03. June 1968 – Decentralization of the cells
Amitangshu asks two questions. The first is, "Does the decentralization take place all at once or in degrees?..."
It takes time.
It happens like this: the central will of the physical being abdicates its will to hold all the cells together. That's the first phenomenon. The central will accepts dissolution. But everything doesn't just scatter all at once — it takes a long time.
What precedes death is accepting to cease the centralization in the form for some reason or other. I have noticed that one of the strongest reasons (one of them, very strong) is a sense of irreparable disharmony. Another is a sort of disgust at carrying on the effort of coordination.
There are, in fact, innumerable reasons, but there is a sort of effort of cohesion and harmonization, and what inevitably precedes death (unless it's caused by a violent accident) is that, for one reason or another, or for no reason, that will to maintain cohesion abdicates.
There's a second question: "Must each cell be conscious of its unity with the center?"
That's not how it is.
(after a long silence)
It's hard to make them understand.... It's still a semi-collective consciousness, not an individual consciousness of the cells.
Anand Arya asks this: "Does the decentralization always take place after death, or can it begin before?"
(Laughing) It often begins before!
Dilip M. asks, "Do the cells scatter in space or within the body? If it is in space, then the body must disappear with the cells?"
Naturally! Naturally, after death the body dissolves. But it takes a long time....
These children don't know because [in India] bodies are burned.
Rita asks, "In the phrase 'scattering of the cells,' doesn't the word 'scattering' have a particular meaning? If so, which one?"
I used the word in its quite positive meaning.
I have even seen that those cells that have been specially developed and have become conscious of the divine Presence within themselves, when the concentration that gives shape to the body is stopped and the body dissolves (it dissolves little by little), all those conscious cells spread out and enter other combinations in which, through contagion, they awaken the consciousness of the Presence each of them had. So then, it's through this phenomenon of concentration, development and scattering that Matter in its totality evolves, so to speak, and learns through contagion, develops through contagion, experiences through contagion.
The cell, too, dissolves. It's the CONSCIOUSNESS of the cells that penetrates others.
It's very hard to explain to one who doesn't have the experience.
08. June 1968 – One must emerge from human consciousness
I was looking at a problem....
Basically, if you remove the veneer — the veneer of good manners — man admits the existence of the Divine only on condition that his sole occupation be to satisfy all of man's needs and desires — it may be collective desires, even "planetary" desires as Y. would put it, but it boils down to that.
And it's like that especially, especially with the notion of a Divine who put on a body.... In fact, they found it quite natural that Christ should be crucified for their own salvation — I find it monstrous.
I've always found it monstrous.
But now, I see it's... quite spontaneous. Here in India, with the notion of guru, of Avatar, you may recognize him, admit him, but he is there exclusively to satisfy all demands — not because he has put on a human body, but because he is the representative of the supreme Power, and you accept the supreme Power, you pretend to obey it, you surrender to it, but with, at the back of your mind, "He is there only to satisfy my desires." The quality of desires depends on the individual: for some, it's the most petty personal desires; for others it's big desires for all humanity, or even for greater realizations, but anyhow it amounts to the same thing. That seems to be the condition for surrendering (!)
To emerge from that, one must emerge from the human consciousness, that is, from the active, acting consciousness.
It's so strong that if anyone dares say that the world and all creations exist for the Divine's satisfaction, it immediately raises a violent protest and he is accused of... they say, "But this Divine is a monster! A monster of egoism," without noticing that they are precisely like that.
It's not pleasant.
No, what I meant was that you may widen, broaden almost to infinity the kind of consciousness human beings have — it's nothing. You must go beyond, in the sense that this notion of egoism, in fact, still wholly belongs to humanity.
You see, every human being (and that resists all developments and all widenings) spontaneously and naturally puts himself in the center and organizes the world around himself; so, for him, the Divine is necessarily something that has put itself in the center and organizes the world in the same way.
For maybe a few hours (I don't exactly know because I didn't pay attention to time), the consciousness was as if... I don't know, turned over (I don't know what word I should use), and there was no center anymore, that center with everything organized around no longer existed at all; that is to say, the divine Consciousness wasn't a central consciousness with everything organized around it — not at all, not at all! It was... something extraordinarily simple and at the same time extraordinarily complex.
(Mother remains silent for a long time)
Now there's only the memory of it, so it's not that anymore. It's only trying to remember.
Even the sense of the possibility of division did not exist....
Now I see (Mother closes her eyes).
It would be like a unity, a unity made of innumerable — billions, you know — innumerable bright points. A SINGLE consciousness — a single consciousness — made of innumerable bright points conscious of themselves.
It seems perfectly stupid, but...And it's not the total of all the points, you understand! It's not that, not a total: it's a unity. But an innumerable unity. And the very fact of using words makes it become stupid.
Impossible. Language is inapt.
(Soon afterwards, regarding an old Playground Talk of June 24, 1953, in which Mother speaks about illnesses.)
At present, and it's been like that for some time, the two things are simultaneous (Mother places the forefinger of her left hand alongside the forefinger of her right hand), in the sense that almost every minute (it's not "minute," but anyway), every minute there is the consciousness that knows: if the attitude is like this (Mother bends her right forefinger a little to the left), it means illness; if the attitude is like that (Mother bends her right forefinger a little to the right), things remain in order. With the knowledge of how order is restored. It's extremely interesting.
But before saying it, I'll wait a little till it's more solidly established, till it becomes clearer, more accurate and entirely... well, in a sort of scientific attitude. But it's very interesting.
If you take this attitude (same gesture to the left), it becomes illness; if you take that attitude (same gesture to the right), it's part of evolution.
In the body.
How the body can consciously participate in its transformation.
But it's a vast subject and I'd rather like its investigation to be carried on farther. I am still in the field of experimentation. When it's more solidly established, I'll talk about it.
15. June 1968 – Subconscious and illness
A letter of Sri Aurobindo:
"In our yoga we mean by the subconscient that quite submerged part of our being in which there is no wakingly conscious and coherent thought, will or feeling or organized reaction, but which yet receives obscurely the impressions of all things and stores them up in itself and from it too all sorts of stimuli, of persistent habitual movements, crudely repeated or disguised in strange forms can surge up into dream or into the waking nature. For if these impressions rise up most in dream in an incoherent and disorganized manner, they can also and do rise up into our waking consciousness as a mechanical repetition of old thoughts, old mental, vital and physical habits or an obscure stimulus to sensations, actions, emotions which do not originate in or from our conscious thought or will and are even often opposed to its perceptions, choice or dictates. In the subconscient there is an obscure mind full of obstinate Sanskaras [imprints or habits], impressions, associations, fixed notions, habitual reactions formed by our past, an obscure vital full of the seeds of habitual desires, sensations and nervous reactions, a most obscure material which governs much that has to do with the condition of the body. It is largely responsible for our illnesses; chronic or repeated illnesses are indeed mainly due to the subconscient and its obstinate memory and habit of repetition of whatever has impressed itself upon the body-consciousness. But this subconscient must be clearly distinguished from the subliminal parts of our being such as the inner or subtle physical consciousness, the inner vital or inner mental; for these are not at all obscure or incoherent or ill-organized, but only veiled from our surface consciousness. Our surface constantly receives something, inner touches, communications or influences, from these sources but does not know for the most part whence they come.
"As for asserting one's will in sleep it is simply a matter of accustoming the subconscient to obey the will laid upon it by the waking mind before sleeping. It very often happens for instance that if you fix upon the subconscient your will to wake up at a particular hour in the morning, the subconscient will obey and you wake up automatically at that hour. This can be extended to other matters. Many have found that by putting a will against sexual dreams or emission on the subconscient before sleeping, there comes after a time (it does not always succeed at the beginning) an automatic action causing one to awake before the dream concludes or before it begins or in some way preventing the thing forbidden from happening. Also one can develop a more conscious sleep in which there is a sort of inner consciousness which can intervene."[^1]
Sri Aurobindo June 24, 1934 ([^1]: Cent. Ed., vol. 22, p. 353.)
Now I remember very well! Sri Aurobindo used to read me the things he wrote before sending them.
Then, regarding a Playground Talk of June 24, 1953:
You say, "An illness is quite simply, always and in every case, even when doctors tell you there are germs — in every case it's a disequilibrium in the being: a disequilibrium between various functionings, a disequilibrium between forces...."
I don't know, but if you say, "a disequilibrium between various functionings," then it seems to be purely physical. I feel something is missing to say that it's a disequilibrium in the PSYCHOLOGICAL being or functioning?
For a few days, and it's becoming increasingly established, there has been an impression that health or illness is a choice (to express it simply). A choice of every minute. For this body, at any rate, that's how it is.
It means abdicating with regard to the general functioning of the physical substance, of the body, and having illnesses you get cured of or not, depending on... other laws than physical laws. But there is every minute — every minute — the possibility to choose the true consciousness, or there is, yes, a disorder or disequilibrium. It's something which is unable to follow the movement of progressive harmony, or sometimes even which doesn't want to. I am talking about cells and groups of cells.
Most of the time, it's a sort of laziness, something unwilling to make an effort, to make a resolve: it prefers to leave the responsibility to others. In English I would call it the remnant, the residue of the Inconscient. It's a sort of spinelessness (gesture of groveling) which accepts a general, impersonal law: you paddle about in illness. And in response to that, there is inside, every minute, the sense of the true attitude, which in the cells is expressed with great simplicity: "There is the Lord, who is the all-powerful Master." Something like that. "It depends entirely on Him. If a surrender is to be made, it's to Him." I make sentences, but for the cells it's not sentences. It's a tiny little movement that expresses itself by repeating the mantra; then the mantra is full — full of force — and there is instantly the surrender: "May Your Will be done," and a tranquillity — a luminous tranquillity. And one sees that there was absolutely no imperative need to be ill or for the disequilibrium to occur.
The phenomenon recurs HUNDREDS of times a day, for very small things.
And then, it gives increasingly a sense of the unreality — the fundamental unreality — of illnesses. That's what I say here [in the Talk]: it's merely a disequilibrium. It's the habit of leaving it to a sort of impersonal collective will of the most material Nature, which organizes things IN THEIR APPEARANCE.
That's the sort of work being done at present, these last few days — constantly, constantly. The only moment when it's not done is when I see people, because when I see people, there's only one thing left: the Lord's Presence, and plunging them in that bath of the Lord. That goes on, it's always there. So that even if, before [seeing people], there was a difficulty or struggle or conflict between the two states, and a will to hold on, at such times it goes away, because that's not the work then: the work is to plunge all those coming near into the Presence — the immutable Presence, constant, active... close.
That would tend to show that the possibility of what's called "illness" is something CONSTANT, a constant state in which you are or aren't; and this "you are or aren't" depends on... many things, especially on your remembering — remembering the sole divine Presence and Reality — and on your way of acting. Life is a series of continuous activities, which last for a longer or shorter time, absorb you more or less, give you a greater or lesser sense of importance or lack of importance — but it's a sort of series of continuous activities; and what's called rest, that is, when the material body is relatively motionless, is an activity on another level and of another kind. And the state of union — of REALIZED union, that is, not something that comes in a flash and goes away, but an established state in which you have a sense of continuity, except when the central Consciousness and Will impel you to leave it... (Mother goes into a contemplation, leaving her sentence unfinished).
There are no such things as purely material forces.
If you like, the only distinction that may be made is between a greater or lesser degree of consciousness. And the appearance of materiality is in proportion to the unconsciousness.
You understand, it has reached a point where there is an impression of fluidity and plasticity asserting itself increasingly with the growth of the true consciousness. The hardening seems to be the result of Unconsciousness; the lack of fluidity and plasticity seems to be the result of Unconsciousness. Not only in the body: for everything the impression is the same. With the growth and the normal state of consciousness, there comes a suppleness and fluidity that completely change the nature of the substance, and the resistance comes from the degree of unconsciousness alone, it's proportional to the degree of unconsciousness.
All this way of speaking [as in the Talk], the ordinary way of speaking seems to be... yes, a manner of speaking, that's right! But it doesn't correspond to fact. It doesn't correspond to reality. It's a manner of speaking, a manner of feeling, a manner of seeing — an old habit. But it's not that.
The work is in full activity here, but there isn't enough distance to talk about it.
The interesting thing regarding this body is that I have a growing impression... of a "residue" which still remains unconscious. Because in my state (which is becoming more and more normal), I feel ("feel," it's a material sensation) at a distance of at least two feet. And when I am consciously concentrated on a thing or an individual, I MATERIALLY feel from inside that consciousness and that individual. For instance, if someone acts with a very unconscious movement, it hurts. It's like giving me a blow.
And it's increasingly that way.
More and more often, there are times (people think I am asleep, I find it very funny! They think I am asleep...), times when I follow the movement like that, apparently wholly concentrated; and the sensitivity, the consciousness is spread all around, everywhere, or on one point for a specific work, but MATERIALLY spread — not mentally (it's a long time since that has been still, and it's more and more so); vitally, it's very peaceful — MATERIALLY.
What I don't know yet, what's not very clear, is... what will be the fate of this residue? To people's ordinary thought, it's what they call "death," that is to say, the rejection of the cells that weren't able to enter this plastic state of consciousness. But the way the work is being done, there is no categorical division [into groups of conscious or unconscious cells in Mother's body]: there are imperceptible (almost) states of variations between the different parts of the being. So you wonder, "Where? What? When? How? What's going to happen?..." It's increasingly becoming a problem....
The whole inner functioning is becoming more and more the result of that conscious action and conscious will; with, even, in part (at least in part) clearly the true functioning already. You understand, the impression is of a remnant, but the remnant isn't something that's rejected: it's something which hesitates, lags behind, has difficulty and tries — it would be only too pleased: if, for instance, there is in one spot a perceptible disorder, a pain, the body no longer starts fidgeting, worrying, wanting medicine or doctors or interventions, no, not at all; it asks... it goes, "O... Lord...," like that. That's all. And it waits. And generally, in the space of a few seconds, the pain goes away.
What complicates matters is the ENTRY from outside of formations, with thoughts, ignorant attitudes (swarming gesture around), impressions — all kinds of impressions. Most of the time it has no effect, but sometimes it gives a shock. So that complicates matters somewhat.
Yes, for this body, it's what we might call "purely material": there's no vital or mental intervention. What generally happens to people is that the vital intervenes and so does the mind — that never, ever happens [in Mother]. That belongs to the past, there's no question of it any longer. Everything takes place purely in the physical consciousness. So for the ordinary consciousness, it's disequilibriums between the various functionings of breathing, digestion, blood circulation and so on. But for me, all that has become the expression of something else.
Relationships with people are so different!... It's constantly as I told you: a movement of unconsciousness is a shock; and there are things...
I can't explain, it's not possible.
Like this fact that I am increasingly stooped (although it's neither the result of fatigue nor the result of a lack of equilibrium, nor... it has no material cause), my impression is that the present part of the body (or rather the part belonging to the past) is shrinking, while I myself, my consciousness, I am so vast and on the contrary so large and so powerful, but at a distance, you understand!... I don't know how to explain, it's a strange sensation. It's as if you were still dragging some old baggage along.[^2] But it's not that it isn't willing.... It's more or less difficult, you understand, so it takes more or less time. It's like elements lagging behind.
[^2]: Mother later added, "Yes, old baggage. But it's not that it's refusing to change, it's not that! It's that it requires TIME."
But the new way of being would only be visible to someone who himself or herself had the supramental vision.... I MATERIALLY see all sorts of things, which aren't visible to others (Mother looks around Satprem). But it's materially.
Mother takes up the translation of a text by Sri Aurobindo:
"This question of free-will and determination is the most knotty of all metaphysical questions and nobody has been able to solve it — for a good reason that both destiny and will exist and even a freewill exists somewhere; the difficulty is only how to get at it and make it effective."
That's perfectly true! It's perfectly true, it's again part of my present experience. It's as if, somewhere, I were suddenly told, "But just say, 'I want this'!" (But not with words: words are a travesty.) Then a little something in the being goes like this (gesture of gathering), and... there it is. And it's true. FOR THE BODY (I don't mean for thought or feelings: once and for all, we are leaving all that aside), only for the body, something that says, "But you just have to say, 'I want this, this must be'" (not with words), and something does indeed go like this (same gesture of gathering), goes like this in a blue light — a bright sapphire — and... there it is. There it is. It's very simple.
Only, one can't explain because one uses words that have another meaning. Saying, "You just have to will" would be nonsense.
But they will ask me all that, they're already growing impatient. And then, they think (they're very polite, very well-mannered), they think, "Mother is... she is going down"! (Mother laughs)
All of a sudden... while I am doing something, writing or listening or anything, all of a sudden I'll enter a consciousness in which I see all relationships differently, and also a sort of power wanting to learn to wield itself; so of course, it's extremely interesting, and instead of going on with what I am doing, I follow the movement... "Here's Mother falling asleep again"! And I read their thoughts, as clear as daylight, their reactions.... Still, I am polite, I don't tell them anything. If I weren't polite, it would cause disasters.
But anyway, there will be one person to know!
But I'd like to know... (I am beginning to be interested in the problem, I am looking at it): will this residue... (Mother breaks off). But the question isn't like that, it's a question of TIME. With time (Sri Aurobindo said three hundred years), with time EVERYTHING would get to change. But there is the wave of habits, and the easy solution which consists in quite simply taking this (Mother points to her own body as to an old garment) and throwing it away: "Off with you, I no longer want you!" It's disgusting. Because it can no longer get along fast enough, one takes it and says, "Off with you! Go away, I no longer want you, go to decomposition." It's disgusting.
And I FEEL the atmosphere. There is the whole collective thought, people writing to me, "I hope you'll still live for a long time"! (Mother laughs) And all the usual nonsense. You know, they are so full of idiotic goodwill.... It makes a difficult environment.
I look at this body; at times it says (at times, when there is too much incomprehension, when the people around are too absolutely unwilling to understand), it says, "Ah, let me go." It says to me ("it," what is it? What's still unconscious, too unconscious and not receptive enough), it says, "Very well, leave me, it doesn't matter, let me go." Like that. Not disgusted or tired, but... Then it's really pitiful. So I say to it (in a tone of voice as if speaking to a child): "No, no, no."
It's a question of patience, of course. Question of patience.
18. June 1968 – Sex-vibrations
(Question) One thing is strange. One never feels sex-vibrations when touching Europeans while one can hardly touch Orientals without feeling it either at the time or by memory afterwards. Does this means that the Europeans are purer than Orientals?
(Sri Aurobindo) "No they are not purer, but they live more in the mental and less in the vital...
Well, not anymore! Since the war everything has changed.
"...Therefore sex is with most of them, less passionate and preoccupying than with most Indians. This is at least true of the English and Americans, not perhaps quite so true of the southern peoples. But still it is a fact that one can meet Europeans more easily in a purely mental way. Vivekananda had noticed this about American women and writes of it in one of his letters."
Not since the war.
Even when I lived there [in the West], everything seemed to me to revolve around that. You couldn't meet people without...
It may be different with the English, I don't' know — I have always felt the English to be wooden!
I am WITHIN, far more within than before — not within here [in Mother], but within all things.... Extremely sensitive to all the movements of those around me: inner movements.
For instance, time goes by... times goes by with, you know, lightning speed! Nights and days and weeks follow each other with dizzy speed. When a Sunday comes, I feel as if the previous Sunday was the day before. Everything is going very, very fast.
But what I know is that the action on human matter is far greater than before — the action. For instance, the possibility of taking a pain away, of changing a vibration — all that increases a lot. With results that are sometimes very interesting.
The other day (I think it was yesterday), the memory suddenly came back to me (I know why things come now: it's always when someone calls or when there is a work to be done), and for some reason I remembered that story about Christ, an old saying: Christ was healing the sick and so on, even bringing a dead man back to life, when he was brought an idiot and asked to give him intelligence.... Then, the story goes, Christ ran away! (Mother laughs) Later he was asked, "Why did you run away?" — "It's the only thing I can't do!"...
But why did it come? (Because it just comes like that, all of a sudden.) So I looked, and then I said, "But no! Why did he run away? He just had to do this (Mother slightly rotates her hand, shaping something), and the child would have become intelligent."
When I go off like that, within, I always seem to... to be shaping vibrations. And when that memory came, it was so clear, I said, "But no! One just has to go like this... (same gesture of the hand), and he will receive the light and become intelligent...." You understand, when I go within, it's always to work on vibrations. And afterwards (the next day, or later in the day) I'll learn that something has happened to someone, he called me and asked me that. It's always a call. And it's a response.
But as the mind is very still, I don't "know" in the mental form: it's in a very... very simple form, very objective (gesture of looking at a picture): all of a sudden came Christ running away because he was brought an idiot — "But no!" And there was the movement of turning vibrations (same gesture as before), receiving the light, and he becomes intelligent — like that.
In fact, it's with things of this sort that I spend my time. I don't note them down, because... there would be too many of them to begin with.
Someone... (most of the time I know who it is, but sometimes I don't)... something has happened to him, something has got twisted; so one works on it, one sets it straight again, puts the light, the good vibration back on it, and then... later in the day, or the next day, I'll receive a line, "I was in a lot of pain" or "I called you." Like that.
But free from the whole mental notation — that doesn't exist: very still.
26. June 1968 – Fear of death
"The fear of death and the aversion to bodily cessation are the stigma left by his animal origin on the human being. That brand must be utterly effaced." (The Synthesis of Yoga, XX.334)
I didn't know that. It's very interesting!
Very interesting in the sense that before one can reach the condition in which death isn't necessary, one must absolutely find it... entirely natural, an unimportant event. It's chiefly that — something of very little importance.
The education of the physical consciousness (not the body's global consciousness, but the consciousness of the cells) consists in teaching them... First of all it's a choice (it looks like one): it's choosing the divine Presence — the divine Consciousness, the divine Presence, the divine Power (all that wordlessly), the "something" we define as the absolute Master. It's a choice of EVERY SECOND between the old laws of Nature — with some mental influence and the whole life as it has been organized — the choice between that, the government by that, and the government by the supreme Consciousness, which is equally present (the feeling of the Presence is equally strong); the other thing is more habitual, and then there's the Presence. It's every second (it's infinitely interesting), and with illustrations: the nerves, for instance... if a nerve obeys all the various laws of Nature and mental conclusions and all that — the whole caboodle — then it starts aching; if it obeys the influence of the supreme Consciousness, then a strange phenomenon takes place... it's not like something getting "cured" — I might rather say, like an unreality fading away.
And that's the life of every second, for the smallest thing, the whole bodily functioning: sleep, food, washing, activities, everything, everything — every second. And the body is learning. There are naturally hesitations stemming from the power of habit and also old ideas floating about in the air (gesture of a swarming in the atmosphere): none of that is personal. As a work, it's tremendous.
Continuous. There was a time when it would be forgotten now and then; now it's beginning not to be forgotten anymore. It's continuous. There's only one thing that interrupts it, it's the work with the outside, the relationship with others for that action which consists in infusing them — infusing them with divine consciousness. So then, this is the result: first, a very clear vision (not a vision in pictures, a very clear vision) of the state they are in; then, this: enveloping and infusing them with divine consciousness; and then, the effect that has, or hasn't. That's the occupation in relationships with people. The other work [on the cells] is the life of every minute.
It's growing more and more precise, more and more interesting — but absorbing.[^1]
[^1]: Mother indeed looks increasingly interiorized and is speaking as though from very deep within.
And a consciousness — a perception, rather — a growing perception of a state which... I don't know how to explain it. There are two simultaneous states: the state of uninterrupted, almost endless continuity, and the state of... toppling over into decomposition (for the body); the two are constantly like this (Mother places one hand closely over the other). And the choice — the constant choice — based, in fact, on a reliance... leaning for support on the divine Consciousness for all things and every second, or ceasing to lean on it. To the cells, that choice appears to be a free choice, with a very strong sense (but not at all formulated in words) of the support constantly given by the supreme Consciousness to help them rely on it alone.
It's not mentalized — hardly mentalized at all — and almost impossible to formulate. But it's very clear. Very clear... what is it? It's not in the sensation — it's in the state of consciousness. It's very clear states of consciousness. But hard to express. Continuous states, continuous, continuous: night and day, ceaselessly, continuously. The planes change, the activities change, but it's continuous. The mode of being or way of being may cease and give place to another, but that state of consciousness is perpetual, uninterrupted, universal, eternal — outside time — outside time, outside space. It's the state of the consciousness.
(a gust of wind sweeps away the letters on Mother's table)
I am bombarded with letters! It's to stop me.
So then, the so-called rest or annulment which is supposed to come from death is neither rest nor annulment: it's simply a fall backward, from which you have to climb up again. It's spinelessness that makes you fall backward — because you'll have to climb up again. It's nothing else than that. There's no opposition, no difference [between life and death], all that is... The body is making fantastic discoveries.
Now and then, there is the old habit [the body's protest]: "Oof! Oh, too much, too much!" Just give it a little slap, it gets ashamed and goes back to work. It's very interesting. Very interesting.
29. June 1968 – Making a discovery every minute
Every minute a discovery. You know, an absolutely accelerated movement. And do you know what set it off? It's the text you read me the other day, by Sri Aurobindo, in which he says that the fear of death in man was the memory of the animal. It seems to have opened a door wide.
It's like a study — a really accelerated study, you can't imagine, one minute after another, like this (snowballing gesture) — from the standpoint of the work, that is, the purpose of physical existence in a body, and the usefulness of physical presence. And the absolutely clear, precise vision, in minutes" detail, of what's real and what's illusory, what's truly necessary and what's only imagination (that of others, but also, at times, one's own). But I would need hours to tell it all.... With (is it a basis?) the perception in the consciousness (but a detailed perception — I don't mean ideas, it has nothing to do with ideas or principles, etc.: there's no mental translation), the perception of what, in the work, demands or depends on the bodily presence (I am purposely not saying "physical presence," because there's a subtle physical presence that's independent of the body), the bodily presence. And then, at the same time, such a clear, precise, detailed vision of the relationship each one has with this body (a relationship which is thought, feelings and physical reactions all at once), and that's what gives the impression of the necessity of bodily presence — gives its measure also. So there is, at the same time, the perception of the TRUE usefulness of physical presence and the perception of the reaction in individuals.... It's a world! A world, because of the fantastic amount of details. A world unfolding every second. And accompanied by an inner perception, first, of the effect it has on the cells, and then that the cohesion has now really become, I may say, the result of a supreme Will, to the extent that it's necessary for... let's say for the experience, or the work (anything — we can call it what we like). In other words, there is the aspect of progress of the cells as an aggregate. There is hardly — hardly, very weakly — the sense of a personality or a physical individuality, it's hardly that; neither is it a habit of being together, because it's very fluid in there: it's truly held together by a higher Will with a definite aim in view, but that too is fluid — nothing is fixed.
It's a world of things I would have to say to be clear, but that's not possible.
At any rate, the inner (or higher) organization of circumstances, feelings, sensations, reactions in the totality of... what thinks it is "individuals," is certainly growing more precise towards a definite aim in its orientation, an aim we might define as "the progress of the content of consciousness," that is to say, the broadening and enlightening of consciousnesses. But I am putting it the wrong way round (that is, I am putting it the way it's understood); the truth is this: it's the Consciousness doing a special work (gesture of kneading) on the instruments of its manifestation, so as to make them clearer, more precise, transparent and complete. When the Consciousness expresses itself, it does so in instruments who darken, muddle, mix up and diminish its power of expression to a tremendous degree; well, that's the work: making them more limpid — more transparent and limpid — more direct, less muddled, and broader, ever broader... and at the same time more and more transparent: removing the obstructing fog — transparent, limpid, and also very vast.
It's a movement of acceleration: it's the great work of the whole creation to consciously return ("return" is another silly word — "turn to" would be better), to become again, to identify again, not by abolishing the whole work of development and ascent, but... It's like a multiplication of the facets of Consciousness, and that multiplication is growing increasingly coherent, organized and conscious of itself.
Individualization is only a means to make the innumerable details of the Consciousness more complex, more refined, more coherent. And "individualization"... we shouldn't mistake it for physical life; physical life is ONE of the various means of that individualization, with such fragmenting and such limitation that it compels a concentration that intensifies the details of the development; but once that is done, it [individualization] isn't the lasting truth.
(Mother goes into a long contemplation)
Individualization, in its feeling or perception or impression, in its sense of separate individuality, has no lasting truth. It continues to exist (how should I put it?) in all its power and all its knowledge, but with the sense of Oneness. Which is altogether different. And there is such a clear perception of what comes into the consciousnesses, into the individuals, what comes from the falsehood of separation; there always remains something, but sometimes it grows dim almost to the point of disappearing (that's in exceptional cases or exceptional beings). But the sense of division must completely disappear. It's...
To explain anything at all I would have to say too many things.
Sri Aurobindo is working ALL THE TIME.
Yes, but that he can't do — that transformation of matter.
Ah, no, that he cannot do. It's dissolved, of course.
That's what we might call the individual work. Only, to what extent can this transformation be integral? That's the question.... I've said it's a much accelerated work, obviously, but in spite of that, you feel the amount of experiences necessary for the transformation is so tremendous that... the limits of a lifetime are too short. But then... I've already told you several times that this aggregate has... not an impression, but a very clear perception that a certain disequilibrium or disorder (which may apparently be very slight, a mere nothing) is enough to cause dissolution. It feels that the slightest thing is enough, and that only the higher Will to keep it together is preventing things from reaching that stage. Like that. It depends on That.... I lived the first thirty years of my life (nearly thirty, twenty-five to thirty) with the sensation that NOTHING could bring about dissolution; that if disorder came, order would quite naturally be restored to allow the body to go on. Very strong, it was very strong. Then there was a period when there was nothing, neither on one side nor on the other; and then, slowly, slowly, there has now come the perception that the LEAST thing is enough, and that it's only the SUPREME Will (not even higher: the supreme Will) that is preventing dissolution. It exclusively depends on That.
And as you say, this presence is maintained to the extent it's useful and indispensable for a certain aspect of the work. And in that case, there's no question of a long or short time, of when, how, what and all that — "It's as You will." Constantly, in every cell, every activity, every moment: "What You will, Lord." All the time. Like that. No question. Only, there is an observation, a very clear perception of the fact that this supreme Will is what enables things to carry on as they do.
So the conclusion is easy to draw: as long as He wills it, it will be like that; when He wills it otherwise, it will be otherwise. And that's all. At the same time, of course, the lesson is given: an increasingly clear perception that the field of the indispensable isn't as large as we imagine.... For me, Sri Aurobindo's presence is EXTREMELY effective — active.
But for this body it's interesting: it's in the smallest little details, you know, that the body is shown the extent to which the presence has a real effect, thus making it necessary, and the extent to which it isn't necessary. It's growing increasingly precise in the smallest details.
The cells have no personal choice; their attitude is really like this: "What You will, what You will..." for everything, everything. With only an increasing, intensifying, more and more constant, uninterrupted sensation that the sole support is — the Supreme Lord. There's only He, only He. And that's inside, in the body.
At the same time, a very precise perception.... You know, once (years ago) I was asked, "What is purity?" I answered, "Purity is to be exclusively under the influence of the Supreme Lord and to receive nothing but from him." Then, a year or two later, while reading Sri Aurobindo, I found a sentence in English which said exactly the same thing in other words[^1] (a sentence I had never read and didn't know). I saw that same sentence yesterday evening (I have a calendar with quotations from Sri Aurobindo).... They [the cells] are growing purer and purer, and the extent to which they aren't is pointed out very clearly, in an absolutely precise, distinct way, as if with the point of a needle, on the spot that isn't pure. And it hurts! It always corresponds to a pain — while the same physical condition goes on. Take an exposed nerve in a tooth: normally, it should hurt constantly; at times, in an almost general way, it doesn't exist, but just when the purity isn't total, whew! It hurts excruciatingly!... And in a few seconds it may pass. So it all exclusively depends on That — everything. It's a proof, the most concrete proof!
[^1]: "Purity is to accept no other influence but only the influence of the Divine." (Letters on Yoga, 23.645)