04. July 1962 – The World is NOT ready!
Taken to the extreme, if the identification is perfect, it is NECESSARILY omnipotence.
Ultimately, nothing but omnipotence could convert the world, convince the world. The world isn't ready to experience supreme Love. Supreme Love eliminates all problems, even the problem of creation: there are no more problems, I know it since that experience [of April 13]. But the world isn't ready yet, it may take a few thousand years. Although it is beginning to be ready for the manifestation of supreme Power (which seems to indicate that this will manifest first). And this supreme Power would result from a CONSTANT identification.
But this "constancy" isn't yet established: one is identified and then one isn't, is and then isn't, so things get delayed indefinitely. You wind up doing exactly what you tell others not to do – one foot here and one foot there! It just won't do.
There must be certain laws – laws expressing a Wisdom far beyond us – for the experience seems to follow a sort of curve which, because I am in it, I don't understand. And it won't be understood till the end is reached; but I am right in the middle of it, or maybe at the very beginning....
We could say some elegant things, but they don't explain anything; like this feeling, for example, that one must die unto death to be born to immortality.
It doesn't mean anything but it corresponds to something.
To die unto death, to become incapable of dying because death has no more reality.
This is beginning to... I can't say "crystallize," that's much too hard.... It's like a soft breeze condensing.
As you know, N.S. has left his body. It was the result of an accident (he had a weak heart, and he worried about it). He took a fall, probably because he fainted, and fractured his skull: "loss of consciousness" due to cerebral hemorrhage (that's modern science speaking!). When the accident occurred, he came to me (not in a precise form, but in a state of consciousness I immediately recognized), and stayed here motionless, in complete trust and blissful peace – motionless in every state of being, absolutely... (gesture of surrender) total, total trust: what will be, will be; what is, is. No questions, not even a need to know. A cosy peace... a great ease.
They tried, fought, operated: no movement, nothing moved. Then one day they declared him dead (by the way, according to doctors, when the body dies the heart beats on faintly for a few seconds; then it stops and it's all over). In his case, those faint beats (not strong enough to pump blood) continued for half an hour – the kind of heartbeats typical of the trance state. (They all seem to be crassly ignorant! But anyway, it doesn't matter.) And they all said, even the doctors, "Oooh, he must be a great yogi, this only happens to yogis!" I have no idea what they mean by that. But I do know that although those heartbeats aren't strong enough to pump blood through the body (thus putting the body into a cataleptic state), they do suffice to maintain life, and that's how yogis can remain in trance for months on end. Well, I don't know what type of doctors they are (probably very modern), but they're ignorant of this fact. Anyway, according to them he had those pulsations for half an hour (normally they last a few seconds). All right. Hence their remarks. And he was here the whole while, immutable. Then suddenly I felt a kind of shudder; I looked – he was gone. I was busy and didn't note the time, but it was in the afternoon, that's all I know. Later I was told that they had decided to cremate him, and had done so at that time.
The violence of the accident had brutally exteriorized him, but when it happened he must have been thinking of me with trust. He came and didn't budge – he never knew what was happening to his body. He didn't know he was dead! And if....
Then and there I said to myself, "This habit of cremating people is appallingly brutal!" (They put the fire in the mouth first.) He didn't know he was dead and that's how he learned it!... From the reaction of the life of the form in the body.
Even when the body is in a thoroughly bad condition, it takes at least seven days for the life of the form to leave it. And for someone practicing yoga, this life is CONSCIOUS. So you burn people a few hours after the doctors have declared them dead, but the life of the form is every inch alive and, in those who have practiced yoga, conscious.
It made me a bit....
Given the state he was in, it made NO difference to him whether he was dead or alive; that's what was interesting! He remained in a blissful, trusting, peaceful state and I probably would have gently led him either to the psychic world or elsewhere, according to the indication I received as to what he had to do. He would never have known he was dead.
This opened a door for me.
Because they cremated him he was abruptly (Mother violently shudders) and violently thrown into contact with the destruction of the body's form. It must have been the life of the form; when hurled so brutally out of the body, the life of the form must have thrown itself at him! So of course....
I immediately said to myself, "But he was still existing, living, having the experience, absolutely INDEPENDENT of his body – he didn't need his body to have his experience." And with my protection and knowledge I could have put him either in a place of rest or, if need be, in touch with another body – and that would have been the end of it. Now, of course, everything is disrupted and we have to wait for things to calm down.
But it is possible to die without knowing you are dead.
And to retain full consciousness – he was totally conscious and blissful. I find that important, an important experience.
I haven't told anyone what happened when they cremated him, because it would have made them all quite upset and miserable. I said only that he came to me. So don't say a word; they mustn't know. Not that it's irreparable, but still, it's not a pleasant experience.
But it came as if to put me in contact with this possibility.
In ordinary consciousness, what really gets in the way of the experience is our excessive attachment to the physical form as we see it, which looks to us like a permanent reality of the being.
I try to make people understand this through a practical demonstration. You know, I very rarely appear to people in a form even vaguely similar to the one I physically... I was about to say "had"! It always depends on what they are akin to, what they're most intimate with – all sorts of forms. And I try to make them comprehend that THAT form is just as much mine as this one (Mother touches her body). To tell the truth, it is much more truly mine. As for the true form – the TRUE Form – to bear the sight of it, one must be able to relate directly to the Supreme. So when people say, "I want to see you," or "I see you," they mean the aspect of mine they know. But these torrents of forms are ALL true, and most of them truer than this body has ever been. To my consciousness it was always, oh, so pitiably approximate – a caricature! Not even a caricature: no resemblance at all.
It had its good qualities (I seem bent on speaking in the past tense – it's spontaneous), qualities it was built and chosen for. For practical purposes, this body was very necessary, but when it comes to manifesting!...
But had it been truly expressive, something really eloquent, probably there would have been more reluctance to... to give it free rein.
There has never been too great an attachment to this form. There was never any attachment (even in so-called full Ignorance) to anything but consciousness – yes, something set great store by this consciousness, wouldn't let it be destroyed, saying, "This is something precious." But the body.... It's not even too good an instrument; simply modest, plastic, self-effacing, and molding itself to every necessity. An ability to mold itself to all points of view and to realize every ideal it deemed worthy of realizing – this very suppleness was its one virtue. And extremely modest, never wanting to impose itself on anything or anyone. Fully conscious of its incapacity, but... capable of doing anything, of realizing anything. It was consciously formed with this make-up, because that's what was necessary.... And nothing is too great or overwhelming, since there isn't the resistance put up by a small personality with the sense of its own smallness. No, none of that matters – CONSCIOUSNESS matters; consciousness vast as the universe, even vaster. And along with consciousness, the capacity to adapt – to adapt and mold itself to every necessity.
Even now, my one feeling about this form is that it's too rigid. Those stupendous inner revelations, those great movements of creative consciousness are constantly hampered by this. It's trying, it's trying its best, but it is still governed by such appallingly rigid laws! Appalling. How long will it take to overcome this?
We mustn't be in a hurry.
Why, it's that someone can die without knowing he's dead! Someone can die (what people call "dying") without knowing he's dead, so it's not crucially important.
People say, " He has lost consciousness." They made this assumption in N.S.'s case because there were no vital signs and the consciousness in the body was reduced to a minimum; there was still some left (because it did react!), but it was a bare minimum, without much reacting power – he wasn't an accomplished yogi, after all, only an apprentice yogi. It would have been entirely different, for instance, and far more serious, for someone who had practiced hatha yoga. But I mean to say that N.S. was here beside me, fully conscious, and could have moved on to another mode of manifestation without having to go through the throes of death – that's not at all indispensable! Such is my experience, and I find it very important, tremendously important.
Besides, this is the first time it has happened. All those (like I.B., for example) who were hurled violently out of their bodies through an accident have, after a time, become conscious again – the consciousness gathers itself back together. But N.S.'s consciousness never scattered, he never lost consciousness.
His time had come – the instant the accident happened, I knew it was time for him to leave his body. His time had come, but the circumstances had been arranged ("had been arranged" – you know, I don't say by whom...), circumstances had been arranged to derive the utmost benefit. This made me understand a lot of things.... Practically speaking, you need a lot of experiences to learn anything.
But to learn, to profit from such experiences, one must already be on the other side. Up to that point [April 13], I had learned plenty of things, but I was learning them from this side of the fence. Now I am on the other side of the fence. Not entirely, but in large part, at least.
11. July 1962 – Everything is the Lord Himself!
It has never faded, it's always there (gesture behind the head), and at any moment I can immerse myself in it all over again. But what a difference when, after THAT, you come back to an awareness of what is speaking, at least as tremendous a difference as with that "to die unto death." Similarly, that "to die unto death" contained the full Power of THAT. It was clear and... stunningly powerful. And the same impression: easy, easy. There's really no question of hard or easy – it's spontaneous, NATURAL, and so smiling. And that "to die unto death" was filled with such JOY! Such joy.... I could almost have said, "It's plain as day! Don't you see how plain it is! But that's it: we have only to die unto death, and that will be that!"
Recently, for a short part of my nights, I suddenly find a certain task set before me dealing with this one's or that one's mental constructions. And then I feel I am facing a tremendous, destructive falsehood – a TOTAL contradiction, in fact, of this endlessly unfolding creative vibration.
Some of the people concerned are here, others elsewhere – that is, it's the mental state (even the higher mind in some cases, not necessarily very down-to-earth) of this one or that one or.... It comes individually (and the person's name along with it). And a kind of uneasiness takes hold of my body, as if I were in the presence of... I don't know, in ordinary life I would say, "Go away!" (Mother brusquely shoos something away) But here it is presented for me to do a particular work (I know the people, some are here, others elsewhere; they're people I am in touch with for the yoga). So I am faced with these mental formations and each one is HELD like this (Mother grips the thing with both hands) so that I don't simply brush it aside. Then (it's certainly a good opportunity to go completely crazy!) I slowly bring in the divine Vibration, and I hold it like this, without moving (Mother holds this vibration tight and drives it in like a sword of light), without moving... until everything fades away into silence.
I haven't had the chance (laughing) to ask them what happened to them!
Probably they were not immediately aware of it, but it's sure to have an effect.
This has never happened before, it's brand-new. Before, there was always that Power transmitted through the higher mind (what Sri Aurobindo calls the Overmind); it was up there, dissolving, dispersing, changing, doing a whole lot of work, without any difficulty, effortlessly (gesture above the head showing the tranquil, irresistible flowing of a stream), nothing to it. That was my constant, second-to-second action, everywhere, all the time, for everything that came to me. But THIS is completely, completely new. It's a sort of imposition, almost like an imposition on the PHYSICAL brain (I presume it must be for changing the brain cells). And I am allowed to do only one thing (Mother grips the mental construction presented to her); it's right in front of me like this and won't leave me, it clings like a leech, stock-still. So I have to bring in the supreme, divine Vibration, the Vibration I experienced the other day [April 13], and hold it steadily (sometimes it takes quite a while)... until all is hushed in a divine silence.
Either today or yesterday, when I got up around 4:30 or a quarter to five in the morning, I immediately (how shall I put it?)... I deliberately, out of habit, thought of you. "Must this [the operation with the sword of light] be done with Satprem too?" I asked. There was no answer and so far nothing has come.
When I think of you it always takes me into a very crystalline and luminous region – very crystalline, sometimes with.... A state where I can communicate effortlessly.
No, it's not this way (horizontal): it's that way (vertical). No, it's not universal. And the more it descends, the more.... But personally, I am always in contact with you above your head.
It's not partitioned – no, there aren't any walls, it's not like that. Rather it's a concentration with (how to explain?) some irregularities, in the sense that suddenly there's a very intense light, flashes of lightning, and then... it dims. Some places are extremely bright, receptive – receiving, receiving, receiving; others are... not asleep but more passive. And it's not like this (horizontal), it's like that (vertical). And all your activity is above the head; it's very, very active there, but not walled-in – very active. Now and then there's a small burst of light.
And you mustn't be impatient – impatience leads to imitation: and unwittingly, in all sincerity, you imitate things within yourself, within your own experience, you imitate the realization – that's what impatience does.
The true life in its SIMPLE purity cannot come until... until the Lord Himself is doing and deciding everything, acting, realizing, living, having the experience. When everything is in His hands and you have absolutely nothing to do and don't even know WHERE YOU ARE, then... then it comes in its purity, not before.
This is the difference, the radical difference, since the experience [of April 13]: there is nothing but the Lord. All the rest... what is it?... No more than a habit of speaking (not even a habit of thinking, that's all gone), a habit of speaking; so the less one speaks, the happier one is. Otherwise... nothing. And what else could there be? It is He who sees, He who wills, He who acts.
Then everything comes spontaneously, easily, with such great simplicity.
14. July 1962 – The rotten OLD World
...But anyway, the Old World is an OLD world in the true sense of the word. India is much, much older, but more alive. Yet now it strikes me as so very rotten! They went rotten. You know what happens when a rotten apple is put next to a good one: England came and stayed much too long. It made things go quite rotten. Very, very rotten; it's difficult to heal. Otherwise, what's not rotten is truly good.
But there is a place where something is awakening, a small some" thing like what little children and animals have, going like this (Mother imitates a baby bird poking its beak out of the nest and peering around), peep-peep-peep, oh, alert and eager to know: America. They have a carapace as hard as an automobile's – it has to be hammered open, but underneath there's something that wants to know... and knows nothing, nothing, is totally ignorant – but oh, it wants to know! And this can be touched. They may be the first to awaken.
A few in India, but a more widespread movement in America.
Strange, they're on that side! (Mother gestures to the right.) Why are they on the right?... Ah, that's where it is on the map! It's on the other side of the ocean, isn't it? (Mother looks in the direction of the Pondicherry coast.) That's it. No, but it does have something to do with the right.... Action: the right side is action.
They are silly, silly! They are absolutely ignorant and yet... there's a flame of aspiration suddenly awakening. And then they want to know, want to investigate, want to find, want to learn, want to.... It's going like this (Mother blinks her eyes like a baby bird waking up), vibrating and searching.
18. July 1962 – Constantly calling the Lord!
(Concerning the vibration of supreme Love Mother experienced on April 13:)
Matter needs quite a preparation to make it strong enough to hold those vibrations, and... and the body seems to be given a trickle to see how much it can bear. But there's such an immediate intensity of joy in all the cells, in the heart and organs, that it all seems on the verge of exploding.
It comes just to tell you, "See, this is how it is."
I can bring it on at will simply by putting myself in a certain state. But then I notice that someone ("someone"... well, that's a way of speaking) is dosing it out, allowing the contact for a certain length of time or in a certain amount; and there's nothing to be done about it, it's an Order from above. A mere hint of impatience would spoil everything – the power to establish the contact would probably be lost. I have never done this and I don't intend to.
It's like an image.... You see, the body is stretched out here on the chaise longue.... You know how it is when experiments are done on animals? It's something like that – the body is there as the "subject" of an experiment. Then there's my consciousness, the part focused on the earthly experience and the present transformation (it's what I mean when I say "I"). And then the Lord.... I say "the Lord" – I've adopted that because it's the best way of putting it and the easiest for me, but I never, NEVER think of a being. For me, it's a simultaneous contact with the Eternal, the Infinite, the Vast, the Totality of everything – the totality of everything: all that is, all that has been, all that will be, everything. Words spoil it, but it's like that – automatically – with consciousness, sweetness and... SOLICITUDE. With all the qualities a perfect Personality can offer (I don't know if you follow me, but that's the way it is). And "That" (I use all these words to say it, and three-fourths is left out)... is a spontaneous, constant, immediate experience. So the "I" I spoke of asks that the body may have the experience, or at least an initial taste, even a shadow of the experience of this Love. And each time it's asked for, it comes INSTANTLY. Then I see the three together – in my consciousness and perception the three are together – and I see that this Love is dosed out and maintained in exact proportion to what the body can bear.
The body is aware of this and is a little sad about it. But immediately comes something soothing, calming, making it vast. The body instantly senses the immensity and regains its calm.
This experience I am describing is exactly what happened yesterday (it happens every day, but yesterday it was especially clear). And it's still here – I am seeing it as I saw it, it's still here. Actually, it is always here – always here – though it's more striking when the body is stretched out, motionless in the Yoga. The experience is slightly different when walking because that involves action. When the body walks, it acts on behalf of everything that's related to it, hence the action is vaster and more powerful.
But when it is stretched out and asks the Lord to take possession of it, it really asks with all its aspiration. And the very intensity of the aspiration brings in the possibility of a slight emotional vibration. But it is immediately drowned in... the immobile immensity of matter, which senses the Divine Descent like a leaven that makes dough rise – that's it exactly, the terrestrial immensity of matter and the leavening action of the Divine Descent.... The intensity of these vibrations is above and beyond anything we are used to feeling – the vital seems dull and flat in comparison. And what a Wisdom!... It knows how to make use of time – that is, it actually changes itself into time – so as to... minimize the possibilities of damage.
It's plain to see that, left to itself in its full power of transformation and progress, this flame of aspiration, this flame of Agni would have scant consideration for the result of the process – the result of the process is that fire burns. And there could be mishaps in the functioning of the organs. All the organs must undergo a transformation, but were it too rapid and too sudden, well, everything would go out of whack. The machine would simply explode. But this Wisdom doesn't come from the universal consciousness (which I don't really think is so wise!), it's infinitely higher: the Supreme Wisdom. Something so wonderful! It foresees things the universal forces in their universal play would overlook – a wonder!
We mustn't be in a hurry.
It's hard to imagine how a physical body can, for instance, extend or enlarge itself.
It all seems unimaginable. It is unimaginable because the body can't do it yet.
No... and besides, you don't see. If my body resembled its consciousness (because it Is conscious), if what you see with your eyes corresponded to what the body feels, it would probably look monstrous, hideous... or terrifying!
What the eyes see is so false, so false!
But now the body – the body itself, its very own self – feels it is WITHIN things or WITHIN people or WITHIN an action. There are no more limits, none of this (Mother touches the skin of her hands as if all separation had disappeared). Take this example: someone accidentally bumps me (it does happen) with an object or a part of his body. Well, it is NEVER something external: it happens INSIDE – the body's consciousness is much larger than my body. Yesterday, the table leg bumped my foot; so there was the ordinary outward reaction (it operates automatically and in a curious way – the body jumped), and then the body-consciousness – now I am speaking of the body-consciousness – saw that an unexpected and involuntary collision of two objects had taken place INSIDE ITSELF. And it also saw that if it made a certain movement of concentration at that particular spot, inside itself, some pain or damage would result; but if it made the other movement of... (how shall I put it?) of union, of abolishing all separation (which it can do very well), well, then the results of the blow would be annulled. And that's what happened, I did it. I was simply sitting down, and I let my body cope with the whole thing (while I watched with keen interest); and I noticed it really did feel the blow inside and not outside – it wasn't that something from outside had struck it, but that there had been an unexpected, or rather an unforeseen and involuntary collision of two things inside itself. And I clearly followed how the body made a more complete movement of identification (you see, someone with the sense of separation had moved the table, so the sense of separation accompanied the blow, and then of course there was all the regret, and so on and so forth); well, the body simply went into its usual state where there's no sense of separation, and the effect vanished instantaneously. Had I been asked, "Where were you hit, what spot?", I couldn't have told, I don't know. All I know, because of words I heard spoken, is that the table leg bumped into my foot. But where?... I can't say; I couldn't have said even five minutes after the incident – it had utterly disappeared, and disappeared through a VOLUNTARY movement.
This body-consciousness has a will; it is constantly, constantly calling upon the Lord's will: "Lord, take possession of this, take possession of that, take...." There's no question of taking possession of the will, that was done ages ago, but: "Take possession of these cells, those cells, this, that...." It is the BODY'S aspiration. Well, the blow wasn't caused by this will acting in the body; the blow didn't come directly from the body, but from something that had slipped in through an unconscious element; and the body simply erased, or absorbed, digested this unconsciousness – and the thing vanished without a trace!
And do you know how this body is?... It immediately began wondering (I was quietly watching it all from above), "What if" ("ifs" are always idiotic but it's an old bodily habit), "what if the object had been sharp, would the results have been so easy to annul?" (Mother laughs) Then I distinctly heard someone reply (I am putting it into words), "You idiot! That wouldn't have happened in the first place! " That is, the necessary protection would have been there. The protection intervenes only when necessary, not just for the fun of it. "You numbskull," it said (I am translating freely), "how silly can you be! It wouldn't have happened."
But what a world it is – a world of experiences! And the consciousness is somewhere way up high but seeing very clearly, watching with interest.
You just can't imagine – you CANNOT.... When I try to see life as most people see it (it's getting increasingly difficult! but anyhow), the way people ordinarily see it, it becomes a big mishmash! I understand nothing, it makes no more sense – nothing makes sense. Simply, for the sake of the action, I have been warned that nobody can understand – NOBODY can comprehend to what extent the Lord is intermingled, is present and active in all things.
In all things.
For instance, sometimes He "tells" me (of course it's not external; it's an extremely delicate working, and sort of automatic; no time elapses between the order and its execution: they're not two movements but one single thing)... when He says "Speak," or when He says "Keep silent" – like the other day when, as you pointed out, I stopped in the middle of a sentence – it's that all of a sudden... (Mother makes a gesture as if she were unable to speak, or as if suddenly held by silence). At other times it pours out like it's doing now. And I don't "hear" an order, I don't "feel" an order: I LIVE the Order; and it's so patently the Lord's that it seems stupid to even mention it.
Oh, such humorous things happen.... The other day I saw T. Her old mother lives in Moscow; she's very old and on her deathbed, and has asked T. to come see her. So T. is going to go there. It's a risky adventure. She wrote to ask if she could see me before leaving (I don't see anyone and I had no intention of receiving her, but it was decided in spite of me and I let her come). She had been told not to speak, but that's impossible for such a chatterbox!
So she began by lamenting (probably thinking it was the thing to do) over my "serious illness" and god knows what else – I didn't listen. I simply told her, "No, it's not that, it's the yoga." Then, with the effervescence of an ignorant child: "Yoga! But you shouldn't be doing yoga! You shouldn't be...." Just then, the Lord's face came (the Lord's face often takes on Sri Aurobindo's appearance – an idealized Sri Aurobindo, not exactly as he was physically), and it came here (right up against Mother's face), and it was blue. Then It made my finger touch her cheek, like this (Mother seems to tap T.'s cheek), and It told that child, "Little children don't know what they're talking about." And it was so thoroughly Him! He was speaking and I saw only Him, his appearance: "Little children don't know what they're talking about."
I don't know how I looked (I was enjoying myself enormously), but she must have felt something (she didn't say a word), she must at least have felt something strange because a shudder went through her being. And I was told that when she left, she said, "I may come back before I leave, but I won't ask to see Mother!" (Mother laughs.)
But It was blue – all blue. And That said, "Little children don't know what they're talking about."
25. July 1962 – Mother about her yogic development
In fact, if I look at the order my own yoga took.... When I was five years old (I must have begun earlier, but the memory is a bit vague and imprecise)... but from five onwards, in my consciousness (not a mental memory but – how can I put it? – it's noted, a notation in my consciousness)... well, I began with consciousness. Of course I had no idea what it was. But my first experience was of the consciousness here (gesture above the head), which I felt like a Light and a Force; and I felt it there (same gesture) at the age of five. It was a very pleasant sensation. I would sit in a little armchair made especially for me, all alone in my room, and I... (I didn't know what it was, you see, not a thing, nothing – mentally zero) and I had a VERY PLEASANT feeling of something very strong, very luminous, and it was here (above the head). Consciousness. And I felt, "That's what I have to live, what I have to be." Not with all those words, naturally, but... (Mother makes a gesture of aspiration Upward). Then I would pull it down, for it was... it was truly my raison d'être.
That is my first memory – at five years old. Its impact was more on the ethical side than the intellectual; and yet it took an intellectual form too, since.... You see, apparently I was a child like any other, except that I was hard to handle. Hard in the sense that I had no interest in food, no interest in ordinary games, no liking for going to my friends' houses for snacks, because eating cake wasn't the least bit interesting! And it was impossible to punish me because I really couldn't have cared less: being deprived of dessert was rather a relief for me! And then I flatly refused to learn reading, I refused to learn. And even bathing me was very hard, because I was put in the care of an English governess, and that meant cold baths – my brother took it in stride, but I just howled! Later it was found to be bad for me (the doctor said so), but that was much later. So you get the picture.
But whenever there was unpleasantness with my relatives, with playmates or friends, I would feel all the nastiness or bad will – all sorts of pretty ugly things that came (I was rather sensitive, for I instinctively nurtured an ideal of beauty and harmony, which all the circumstances of life kept denying)... so whenever I felt sad, I was most careful not to say anything to my mother or father, because my father didn't give a hoot and my mother would scold me – that was always the first thing she did. And so I would go to my room and sit down in my little armchair, and there I could concentrate and try to understand... in my own way. And I remember that after quite a few probably fruitless attempts I wound up telling myself (I always used to talk to myself; I don't know why or how, but I would talk to myself just as I talked to others): "Look here, you feel sad because so-and-so said something really disgusting to you – but why does that make you cry? Why are you so sad? He's the one who was bad, so he should be crying. You didn't do anything bad to him.... Did you tell him nasty things? Did you fight with her, or with him? No, you didn't do anything, did you; well then, you needn't feel sad. You should only be sad if you've done something bad, but...." So that settled it: I would never cry. With just a slight inward movement, or "something" that said, "You've done no wrong," there was no sadness.
But there was another side to this "someone": it was watching me more and more, and as soon as I said one word or made one gesture too many, had one little bad thought, teased my brother or whatever, the smallest thing, it would say (Mother takes on a severe tone), "Look out, be careful!" At first I used to moan about it, but by and by it taught me: " Don't lament – put right, mend." And when things could be mended – as they almost always could – I would do so. All that on a five to seven-year- old child's scale of intelligence.
So it was consciousness.
Next came the period of learning and developing, but on an ordinary mental level – school years. Curiosity made me want to learn to read. Did I tell you how it happened? When I was around seven, just under seven, my brother, who was eighteen months older, used to bring big pictures home from school with him (you know, pictures for children with captions at the bottom; they're still used nowadays) and he gave me one of them. "What's written there?" I asked. "Read it!" he said. "Don't know how," I replied. "Then learn!" "All right," I told him, "show me the letters." He brought me an A-B-C book. I knew it within two days and on the third day I started reading. That's how I learned. "Oh- oh," they used to say, "this child is backward! Seven years old and she still can't read – disgraceful!" The whole family fretted about it. And then lo and behold, in about a week I knew what should have taken me years to learn – it made them think twice!
Then, school years. I was a very bright student, always for the same reason: I wanted to understand. I wasn't interested in learning things by heart like the others did – I wanted to understand them. And what a memory I had, a fantastic memory for sounds and images! I had only to read a poem aloud at night, and the next morning I knew it. And after I had studied or read a book and someone mentioned a passage to me, I would say, "Ah, yes – that's on page so and so." I would find the page. Nothing had faded, it was all still fresh. But this is the ordinary period of development.
Then at a very young age (about eight or ten), along with my studies I began to paint. At twelve I was already doing portraits. All aspects of art and beauty, but particularly music and painting, fascinated me. I went through a very intense vital development during that period, with, just like in my early years, the presence of a kind of inner Guide; and all centered on studies: the study of sensations, observations, the study of technique, comparative studies, even a whole spectrum of observations dealing with taste, smell and hearing – a kind of classification of experiences. And this extended to all facets of life, all the experiences life can bring, all of them – miseries, joys, difficulties, sufferings, everything – oh, a whole field of studies! And always this presence within, judging, deciding, classifying, organizing and systematizing everything.
Then conscious yoga made a sudden entry into the picture when I met Théon; I must have been about twenty-one. Life's orientation changed, a whole series of experiences took place, with the development of the vital giving interesting occult results.
Then, a period of intensive mental development, mental development of the most complete type: a study of all the philosophies, all the conceptual juggling, in minute detail – delving into systems, getting a grasp on them. Ten years of intensive mental studies leading me to... Sri Aurobindo.
So I had all this preparation. And I am giving you these details simply to tell you it all began with consciousness (I knew very well what consciousness was, even before I had any word or idea to explain it), consciousness and its force – its force of action, its force of execution. Next, a detailed study and thorough development of the vital. After that, mental development taken to its uppermost limit, where you can juggle with all ideas; a developmental stage where it's already understood that all ideas are true and that there's a synthesis to be made, and that beyond the synthesis lies something luminous and true. And behind it all, a continual consciousness. Such was my state when I came here: I'd had a world of experiences and had already attained conscious union with the Divine above and within – all of it consciously realized, carefully noted and so forth – when I came to Sri Aurobindo.
From the standpoint of Shakti, this is the normal course: consciousness, vital, mental and spiritual.
Is it different for men? I don't know. Sri Aurobindo's case was quite special, and apart from him I don't see any convincing example. But generally speaking, what is most developed in a man, along with the mind, is the physical consciousness; the vital is very impulsive, practically ungoverned. That's my experience of the hundreds and hundreds of men I have met. There's normally a physical strength built up through games and exercises, and side by side a more or less advanced, but primarily mental development, very mental. The vital is terribly impulsive and barely organized, except in artists, and even there.... I lived among artists for ten years and found this ground to be mostly fallow. I mingled with all the great artists of the time, I was like a kid sister to them (it was at the turn of the century, with the Universal Exposition in 1900; and these were the leading artists of the epoch); so I was by far the youngest, much younger than any of them – they were all thirty, thirty-five, forty years old, while I was nineteen or twenty. Well I was much more advanced in their own field – not in what I was producing (I was a perfectly ordinary artist), but from the viewpoint of consciousness: observations, experiences, studies.
I am not sure, but it seems to me that the problem of consciousness ought to come first.
That's how I had started to do it.
Well, I think so. What happened to me in life is extremely logical, very, very logical (it wasn't me, I didn't decide anything – you don't make decisions at the age of five). Each stage was prepared by the preceding one.
But then what is this consciousness we feel like a force inside us? For instance, sometimes in meditation it rises, then descends; it's not fixed anywhere. What is this consciousness?
Some receive it from above; for others, it rises from below (gesture to the base of the spine). As I once told you, the old system always proceeds from below upwards, while Sri Aurobindo pulls from above downwards. This becomes very clear in meditation (well, in yoga, in yogic experience): for those who follow the old system, it's invariably the kundalini at the base [of the spine] rising from center to center, center to center, until the lotus (in an ironic tone) bursts open here gesture at the crown of the head). With Sri Aurobindo, it comes like this (gesture of descending Force) and then settles here (above the head); it enters, and from there it comes down, down, down, everywhere, to the very bottom, and even below the feet – the subconscient – and lower still, the inconscient.
It's the Shakti. He said, you know (I am still translating it), that the Shakti drawn up from below (this is what happens in the individual process) is already what could be called a "veiled" Shakti (it has power, but it is veiled). While the Shakti drawn down from above is a PURE Shakti; and if it can be brought down carefully and slowly enough so that it isn't (how shall I put it?) polluted or, in any case, obscured as it enters matter, then the result is immediately much better. As he has explained, if you start out with this feeling of a great power in yourself (because it's always a great power no matter where it awakens), there's inevitably a danger of the ego meddling in. But if it comes pure and you are very careful to keep it pure, not to rush the movement but let it purify as it descends, then half the work is done.
It's a problem. When you contact the Supraconscient and the Shakti emerges at the crown of the head, it's something rising from below, isn't it? Is it then another movement, an ascending movement...?
That is the consciousness of the jiva [soul], the personal, individual consciousness. It's something that grows....
It is the individual consciousness. Aspiration is almost always an expression of the psychic being – the part of us that's organized around the divine center, the small divine flame deep within human beings. You see, this divine flame exists inside each human being, and little by little, through all the incarnations and karma and so on, a being takes shape around it, which Théon called the "psychic being." And when the psychic being reaches its full development, it becomes a kind of bodily or at any rate individual raiment of the soul. The soul is a portion of the Supreme – the jiva is the Supreme in individual form. And since there is only one Supreme, there is only one jiva, but with millions of individual forms. This jiva begins as a divine spark – immutable, eternal and infinite too (infinite in possibility rather than dimension). And through all the incarnations, whatever has received and responded to the divine Influence progressively crystallizes around the jiva, which becomes more and more conscious as well as more and more organized. Ultimately it becomes a completely conscious individual being, master of itself and moved exclusively by the divine Will. That is to say, an individual expression of the Supreme. This is what we call the "psychic being."
Generally speaking, those who practice yoga have either a fully developed, independent psychic being which has taken birth again to do the Divine's work, or else a psychic being in its last incarnation wanting to complete its development and realize itself.
This is what aspires, this is what has the contact.
So, when you're told "become conscious of your psychic being," it's for the being formed by external Nature to contact the divine Presence through the psychic being. Then the psychic takes charge of the whole being; in fact, it is the inner Guide.... Well, when I was a little child, this "person" (which wasn't a person, but an expression of a certain consciousness and will) was actually the psychic presence; there was something else behind, but that's a rather special case. And what happened to me happens to everyone whose psychic being has deliberately incarnated: the psychic being guides your life, and if you let it act freely, it arranges ALL circumstances – it's truly wonderful!... I have seen – not only for myself but for so many people who also had conscious psychic beings – that everything is arranged with a view to... not at all your personal egoistic satisfaction, but your ultimate progress and realization. And all circumstances of life, even those you call "disastrous," are there to lead you where you have to go as swiftly as possible.
Yours is more than a psychic being. As I have told you, your psychic being is accompanied by something which has come for a special purpose, with a particular intellectual power – a luminous, conscious power – which has come from regions higher than the mind, regions Sri Aurobindo calls the Overmind, to do a special work. It is here (gesture enveloping the chest and head) and, along with the psychic, it's trying to organize everything. This, in your psychic, is what you are feeling. It must have great power.... Don't you feel a kind of luminous force?
I have wondered: if a human being developed an exceptionally powerful vocal organ and could consciously connect what he wanted to say or what had to be expressed with this organ, with the voice, and then simply let it flow out under this Influence, that might come nearest to the real thing.
I have had a few brief moments of this kind of experience; but even then it seemed rather paltry. Paltry, a whole realm eludes you.... I remember the period when I used to sit down at the organ at midnight on December 31, without the least notion of what I was going to play or sing, and I would let the Force come – it would play, then the sound, the voice came, and then in the voice, the words. I never wrote anything in advance. And it's because people began noting down what I was saying (of course they got it all mixed up) that I started writing it down beforehand; that was much later, when I stopped coming at midnight. But in the early days, long, long ago when Sri Aurobindo was here, that's how it was; I didn't know what I was going to play or what I would say. And the sound came first, then the voice, and then in the voice, the words – like something condensing, concretizing.
It was quite powerful, but incomplete. Incomplete.
You would really need to add a play of lights, too. But nothing artificial.
The conscious and deliberate manipulation of certain luminous vibrations in addition to sound.
Thought, by comparison (thought as we now know it), is much more material. Thought – formulation in words – is much lower down on the scale.
Some thoughts.... Are they thoughts?... It's something much higher than thought, much higher than ideas.... It is the VISION OF KNOWLEDGE in an extremely luminous region where vibrations are very precise and very strong; and this is obviously what, as it descends, translates into sounds and words (but this is much lower down). In the form closest to the Origin, they are luminous vibrations.
But the human mind latches on to everything and copies it!
It makes a copy: all these light shows, everything they're making nowadays. Like this taste for theater and cinema.... It has its effect, though, doesn't it? But it's a copy.
We are monkeys.
To be interesting it would have to be systematic, using various examples. But then it would make an endless story....
Anyway, the periods of my life have been as clear as could be, distinctly defined, preparing everything for my coming here.
Many, many things in my life have completely vanished – I don't remember them any more, they're gone from my consciousness – everything that was useless. But there is a very clear vision of everything that was preparing the jiva for its action here. Even before coming and meeting Sri Aurobindo, I had realized everything needed to begin his yoga. It was all ready, classified, organized. Magnificent! A superb mental construction... which he demolished within five minutes!
How happy I was! Aah!... It was really the reward for all my efforts.
Nothing! I knew nothing any more, understood nothing at all – not a single idea left in my head! Everything I had carefully built up over so many years (I was past thirty-five, I think), through all my experiences: conscious yoga, non-conscious yoga, life, experiences lived, classified and organized (oh, what a monument!)... crash! It all came tumbling down. Magnificent. I hadn't even asked him.
I had tried to get complete mental silence – you know, what you just described, this kind of mental stillness he speaks of (when you have it, anything can pass through your head without causing the least ripple), but I had never succeeded. I had tried, but couldn't do it. I could be silent when I wanted to, but as soon as I stopped thinking solely of that, stopped wanting only that, the invasion resumed and the work had to be done all over again.
That's all I had told him (not in great detail, in a few words). Then I sat down near him and he began talking with Richard, about the world, yoga, the future – all kinds of things – what was going to happen (he already knew the war would break out; this was 1914, war broke out in August, and he knew it towards the end of March or early April). So the two of them talked and talked and talked – great speculations. It didn't interest me in the least, I didn't listen. All these things belonged to the past, I had seen it all (I too had had my visions and revelations). I was simply sitting beside him on the floor (he was sitting in a chair with Richard facing him across a table, and they were talking). I was just sitting there, not listening. I don't know how long they went on, but all at once I felt a great Force come into me – a peace, a silence, something massive! It came, did this (Mother sweeps her hand across her forehead), descended and stopped here (gesture at the chest).153 When they finished talking, I got up and left. And then I noticed that not a thought remained – I no longer knew anything or understood anything, I was absolutely BLANK. So I gave thanks to the Lord and thanked Sri Aurobindo in my heart.
And I was very careful not to disturb it; I held it like that for I don't know how long, eight or ten days. Nothing – not one idea, not one thought, nothing – a complete BLANK. In other words, from the outside, it must have looked like total idiocy.
But I was living in my inner joy – nothing stirring. I spoke as little as possible and it was like something mechanical, it wasn't me. Then slowly, slowly, as though falling drop by drop, something was built up again. But it had no limits, it had no... it was vast as the universe and wonderfully still and luminous. Nothing here (the head), but THERE (gesture above the head); and then everything began to be seen from there.
And it has never left me – you know, as a proof of Sri Aurobindo's power it's incomparable! I don't believe there has ever been an example of such a (how can I put it?)... such a total success: a miracle. It has NEVER left me. I went to Japan, I did all sorts of things, had all possible kinds of adventures, even the most unpleasant, but it never left me – stillness, stillness, stillness...
And it was he who did it, entirely. I didn't even ask him, there was no aspiration, nothing (there were my previous efforts; I knew it had to come, that's all). But on that day I hadn't mentioned it to him, I wasn't thinking about it, I wasn't doing anything – just sitting there. And outwardly he seemed to be fully engrossed in his conversation about this and that and what was going to happen in the world....
That's the real way.
But I have never been able to do it for anyone – not like that, with such plenitude – never, never.... It's fantastic! It was stupendous!... Truly we can say that only the Lord can do such a thing, He alone. Without the slightest effort, without even seeming to... he didn't even seem to concentrate, nothing, just like that.
28. July 1962 – Impotant Stages in Mother's Yoga
(Mother refers back to the last conversation, where she spoke of her different stages of development.)
I have seen that the different stages of my development occurred in twelve-year periods, though I don't recall the exact dates. The first period, from the age of five (I can't start earlier than five!) to about eighteen, dealt with consciousness. Then came all the artistic and vital development, culminating in the occult development with Théon (I met Théon around 1905 or '06, I think). Then right around this time an intensive mental development began – from 1908 to 1920, or a little before; but it was especially intense before coming here in 1914.
And 1920 marked the beginning of full development. Not spiritual development – that had been going on from the very start – but ACTION, the action with Sri Aurobindo. That was clearly from 1920 on; I had met Sri Aurobindo earlier, but it really began in 1920.
And the realization of the inner Divine?
The dates... I am no good at dates! And I don't have any papers left to give me precise details. But the realization of the inner Divine must have been in 1911, because that's when I started writing my Meditations. But since my earliest childhood, you know, this presence was always there, with an initial emphasis on consciousness, then on the vital and aesthetics, then on the mind... and culminating here, in 1920, with action.
From 1911 or '12, up to 1914, there was the whole series of inner experiences, psychic experiences, preparing me to meet Sri Aurobindo (so this ran parallel to my mental development).
In practice, these periods overlap, but approximately every twelve years a particular type of development predominated, in this order: consciousness first, then the vital (mainly from the aesthetic point of view, but a study of sensations as well), then the mind, then spiritual realization. And in between the vital and mental phases came the brief period of occultism, serving both as a transition and a basis for spiritual development.