04. September 1968 – The subtle physical World
Two or three nights ago, and again last night, Sri Aurobindo was there for a long time; two nights ago, he was there for at least two hours. And he was there because someone had come (someone with a lot of authority) who wanted to organize something, and I wanted Sri Aurobindo to explain to him how he should do it. That someone was a European (European or American, I don't know, but he rather seemed European to me), very tall, with broad shoulders. I don't know him. A man between forty and fifty, I think.... How is that Monsignor R.?
He [Sri Aurobindo] came back yesterday evening again, during the night. He was there for a good while.
But now, the visions are so concrete that they are almost material — they aren't "visions," you understand: it's life for a certain length of time. It's certainly in a region where I didn't use to see previously.[^1] Very concrete, precise, and the transition from that state to the waking state is almost imperceptible. It's not a reversal of consciousness as it usually is: it's almost imperceptible, as though intermingled (Mother slides the fingers of her right hand between those of her left hand to show how the two worlds interpenetrate).
[^1]: What is this region in which Mother did not see previously, if not the cellular region?
I see all kinds of people whom I generally didn't use to see. For instance, I didn't use to dream of P., I never used to see him at night; now I see him often, but... (how to explain?) with just a slight change (same gesture of the fingers of one hand sliding between those of the other hand), it's very... It's not the same region at all. M. too, for instance, I didn't use to see him at night; last night, I saw him for a long time — I questioned him, he answered me, I spoke to him.... It was quite concrete.
But the setting isn't the same. It's a VERY familiar setting: I don't feel I am in a new place; it's a place where I am, if not all the time, at least every day. And where there are habits, and... It's very strange, it's a region where I wasn't conscious previously. And very, very near (same gesture).
Last night, for instance, when Sri Aurobindo came, I brought him a big drawing, like this, a drawing with writing on it, and I told him, "See, I wanted to show you this, how interesting it is, how amusing!" And it was... When I am awake, I don't know what it is. It was something I had kept aside to show Sri Aurobindo, and as soon as he came I showed him, saying, "See how interesting it is!" And awake, I don't know what it is.... There would seem to be a whole LIFE like that — a whole life, a whole activity going on, yes, very near, probably in the subtle physical, but very near. Very, very concrete, not at all the impression of a dream. Thoroughly concrete, with sensations. And a continuity: even when I am not conscious of it, it continues, and when I become conscious, the continuation is there: I'll become conscious of it again "farther ahead," and it has changed while I wasn't conscious there.
It looks like a material region (material, that is, physical) where the consciousness is more awake — the consciousness is very clear, very clear, and sharp, you know: sharp perceptions.
And the body quite has the impression of being educated, of learning things — "learning" not things: learning everything.
It [this subtle physical world] is like a lining, but a lining that would be more conscious.
The light is very clear, the shapes very precise.
Three or four days ago, after lunch (I rest before going to take my bath, I lie down here), I fell asleep (I sleep very little: I go into an inner consciousness, but I don't sleep). I fell asleep. I woke up, then got up and started towards the bathroom — I felt as I did before: I was walking by myself, I had my balance. And spontaneously, without thought. But then... it was taken away (gesture as if someone came to take that strength away from Mother). So I suspected that during my sleep, a part of the vital being (laughing) had come back, and naturally I was beginning to live again!... So it was taken away.
And the body is being given an education: it's being taught how to will — the true way of being and willing. And over the entire material creation (gesture covering and enveloping the earth), there is a tissue — which we might call "catastrophic" — a tissue of bad will. That is to say, a sort of web, yes, a defeatist web — defeatist, catastrophic — where you botch what you wanted to do, where there are all possible accidents, all possible bad wills. Like a web. And the body is being taught to get out of it.[^2]
[^2]: This "web" is what separates our false matter from the true world "like a lining of ours," the place where Mother did not see previously.
It's as if mingled with the Force that realizes and expresses itself; it's like something mingling with the material creation. And the body is being taught to break free from it. But it's difficult, very difficult.
It's the cause of diseases, the cause of accidents — it's the cause of all destructive things.
And this web is there constantly, all the time, like this (same covering gesture).
It's very tightly mingled [with the body]. It's not clearly separate yet.
So that's how I live. There are still hours during which I don't know what's happening outwardly.
07. September 1968 – Speaking about death
(An old Playground Talk of July 1, 1953, in which Mother speaks about death. Mother begins by asking for the end to be cut....)
(text of the Talk)
"I have told you many times, and couldn't repeat it too often, that we are not made of a piece. Within ourselves we have lots of states of being, and each state of being has its own life. All that is gathered together in a single body, as long as you have one, and acts through a single body; that's what gives you the sense of a single person, a single being. But there are many of them, and there are in particular concentrations on different planes: just as you have a physical being, you have a vital being, a mental being, a psychic being, and many others with all possible intermediaries.... So when you leave your body, all those beings will scatter. It's only if you are a very advanced yogi and have been capable of unifying your being around the divine center that those beings remain linked together. If you haven't been able to unify yourself, then at the time of death, all that will scatter: every being will go back to its own region. With the vital being, for example, your various desires will separate and each of them will go and chase its realization quite independently, because there will no longer be a physical being to hold them together. While if you have united your consciousness to the psychic consciousness, when you die you will remain conscious of your psychic being, and the psychic being will return to the psychic world which is a world of bliss, joy, peace, tranquillity, and growing knowledge.... But if you have lived in your vital and all its impulses, each impulse will try to realize itself here and there.... For instance, for the miser who was concentrated on his money, when he dies the part of his vital that was concerned with his money will hook on there and will keep watching over the money so no one takes it. People won't see him, but he is there nonetheless, and very unhappy if something happens to his dear money.... Now, if you live exclusively in your physical consciousness (which is difficult, because, after all, you have thoughts and feelings), if you live exclusively in your physical, when the physical being disappears, you disappear along with it, it's over.... There is a spirit of the form: your form has a spirit that lives on for seven days after your death. The doctors have declared you dead, but the spirit of your form is alive, and not only alive but conscious in most cases. It lasts for seven to eight days, and after that, it too dissolves — I am not talking about yogis, I am talking about ordinary people. Yogis have no laws, it's quite different; for them the world is different. I am talking about ordinary people living an ordinary life; for them it's like that. So the conclusion is that if you want to preserve your consciousness, it would be better to center it on a part of your being which is immortal; otherwise it will evaporate like a flame into thin air. And happily so, because if it were otherwise, there might be gods or kinds of superior men who would create hells and heavens as they do in their material imagination, inside which they would shut you up." (Question:) It is said that there is a god of death. Is it true? "Yes. As for me, I call him a 'genius of death.' I know him very well. And it's an extraordinary organization. You can't imagine how organized it is! I think there are many of those genii of death, hundreds of them. I met at least two of them. One I met in France, the other in Japan, and they were very different. Which leads me to believe that depending on the mental culture, the education, the countries and beliefs, there must be different genii. But there are genii for all manifestations of Nature: there are genii of fire, genii of air, water, rain, wind; and there are genii of death. Any one genius of death is entitled to a certain number of dead every day. It's truly a fantastic organization. It's a sort of alliance between the vital forces and the forces of Nature. If, for example, he decided, 'Here is the number of people I am entitled to,' say four or five, or six, or one or two (it varies from day to day), if he decided so many people would die, he'll go straight and set himself up near the person who's going to die. But if you (not the person) happen to be conscious, if you see the genius going to the person but do not want him or her to die, then, if you have a certain occult power, you can tell him, 'No, I forbid you to take this person.' That's something which happened, not once but several times, in Japan and here. It wasn't the same genius. Which makes me say there must be many of them.... If you can tell him, 'I forbid you to take this person' and have the power to send him away, there's nothing he can do but go away; but he won't give up his due and will go elsewhere — there will be a death elsewhere...." (Question:) Some people, when they are about to die, are aware of it. Why don't they tell the genius to go away? "Two things are needed. First, nothing in your being, no part of your being, should wish to die. That doesn't often happen. You always have, somewhere in you, a defeatist: something tired or disgusted, which has had enough, something lazy or which doesn't want to fight and says, 'Ah, well, let it be over, so much the better.' That's enough — you're dead. But it's a fact: if nothing, absolutely nothing in you consents to die, you will not die. For someone to die, there is always a second, if a hundredth part of a second, when he consents. If there isn't that second of consent, he will not die. But who is certain he doesn't have within himself, somewhere, a tiny bit of a defeatist which just yields and says, 'Oh well'?... Hence the need to unify oneself. Whatever the path we may follow, the subject we may study, we always reach the same result. The most important thing for an individual is to unify himself around his divine center; that way he becomes a real individual, master of himself and of his destiny. Otherwise, he is a plaything of the forces, which toss him about like a cork in a stream. He goes where he doesn't want to, is made to do what he doesn't want to, and finally he gets lost in a hole without any way to stop himself doing so. But if you are consciously organized, unified around the divine center, governed and led by it, you are the master of your destiny. It's worth trying.... At any rate, I find it's better to be the master rather than the slave. The feeling of being pulled by strings and being made to do things you may or may not want to do is a rather unpleasant sensation.... It's quite irksome. Well, I don't know, I, for one, found it quite irksome even when I was a small child. When I was five, I began finding it wholly intolerable, and I sought a way for it to be otherwise — without anyone being able to tell me anything. Because I knew no one capable of helping me, and I didn't have the luck you have — someone who can tell you, 'Here is what you must do.' There was no one to tell me. I had to find it all by myself. I found it. I began at the age of five. And you, it's a long time since you were five?..."
All that seems to me... (Mother gestures behind her shoulder). That's what people like. If I were to tell them what I know now, they wouldn't be happy.
What I say there is the vision of the mechanism [the occult working of death], and it's very true in the sense it was lived like that. But now I am on the other side. All that I say here is part of all the complications of the execution.[^1]
[^1]: Mother means the material execution of the divine Plane or Vision.
Now, for me, it's like another person.
Strangely, I had a very odd impression, as if... you were reading here (gesture at ground level).
I know all that is correct, it happened the way it's said and is quite correct. But now, it's as if I were looking from above, like this (Mother bends down as if looking from a great height). And then, it becomes so simple.... Simply the Vision realizing itself (it's not a vision, not a will, not a decision, but the nearest approximation is "vision"). A Vision realizing itself (gesture as if to show the Force of Vision coming down). Then, below, all that results in calls. From above, it's like that, something descending; from above you see: there are, yes, points of consciousness that shine and call, and then there is Contact (gesture of junction between the Force above and the shining points below).
It's very strange, I really feel as if I am somewhere above, seeing things from above.
A great mass of Power — Power-Consciousness-Vision — descending onto the world.
These last few days, when I apparently woke up (but it wasn't "waking up," it was the consciousness which, in its natural state, is spread out everywhere, and then concentrates inside the body), when it concentrates inside this, there is first the sense of a sort of fall (swooping gesture), then a curious sensation of restriction, which the first times was almost painful. (Now it's become a sort of habit.) The consciousness concentrating inside this. So there is a brief moment of adaptation; at first there was a sense of discomfort, now it's better.[^2] So then, it's beginning to function again. Now I understand, because while you were reading I was there, above, looking like this (Mother bends down), as if from above. Even now, I am seeing from above.
[^2]: It seems Mother, of late, had bouts of nausea on "waking."
All that I said there was the description of the working of death.... All those complications! Here it's so simple (descending gesture of the Vision-Force expressing itself).
It's strange.... I have my eyes closed, but I see. Only, I see... differently. It's very SIMPLE. It's forces... like a Pressure like this (same descending gesture).
Obviously the center of the consciousness is elsewhere.
11. September 1968 – Transparency of the psychic being
For me, only one thing has happened.... A very interesting fact that I noted. I forget the occasion and how it took place, but it was the day before yesterday, and the fact I noted was the presence of the psychic being — that the psychic being hasn't gone at all. I said [on August 28], "The vital and the mind have gone," but the psychic being hasn't.
I think it was in relation to someone I saw (I don't remember), and I noticed that a very great power was there; and the PHYSICAL being, the body, was conscious of the presence of the psychic being, which was constantly there, behind. It hasn't gone. Conscious.
It was a day when someone had come (I forget who), and the whole Force which was there before concentrated on that person — it was the same thing: the Force, the Presence, with the same Pressure on the person. And then, it was the psychic being which said, "But I haven't gone, I've remained here!" With its full consciousness, you understand. It's the intermediaries [i.e., the mind and the vital] that have gone.
It's difficult to explain.... There is the impression of a lack — a lack from the active point of view, the point of view of everyday action.
But the contact with people, for example (the contact with people present and even when they're not there), the relationship has remained the same, exactly the same. It's even more constant: this state is more constant than it used to be.
It's very difficult to explain.
Here, we could put it like this: any action (occult action, I mean) seems to be at least as strong at a distance as in the presence — in certain cases, stronger. Any need of activity (there already wasn't much of it previously) has considerably lessened. And there is a sort of difference in the outward relationship, it has changed. These last few days I have observed (and it's obviously the psychic consciousness that observes; when I say "I," it's not — that's what struck me — it's not the body: it's the psychic consciousness), and for example, the habit of keeping my eyes closed has increased, and it doesn't hamper the psychic being in any way. It goes on with its action, its relationship.
It may be (I am not saying anything because there's nothing very... nothing definite, at any rate), there may be a new relationship or new intermediary being built between the psychic being and the material, the physical. It seems to be something now developing.
The psychic being is perfectly transparent, it doesn't cause any change.
It must depend on the case, yes, on the kind of action: on people, circumstances. Because the psychic being doesn't in any way alter either the quality or the nature or the action of the Force. It's like something absolutely transparent.
It varies rather according to the cases in which the Force wants to apply itself: cases, people, circumstances. When the action is general, it seems to be direct. But I am not absolutely sure. And the presence of the psychic being makes itself felt only in the case of certain people.
It strikes me as a kind of beacon — a beacon projecting the Light — and at the same time, a sort of receiving set that receives the vibrations.... It's very, very accurate — very accurate — as regards the quality of the vibrations of everything around it. Oh, it's become far more accurate than before. A slight movement here, there, or there, or a wave — all that is perceived very clearly, very clearly, with a consciousness which is highly receptive and at the same time without any reactions. There are no reactions, it's like an extremely delicate (that is, sensitive) receiving set, but without any reaction. No reaction. Things come into a vast, immense, luminous movement.
The consciousness is constantly like this: something very vast — very vast — VERY peaceful, very luminous, like that, and everything gets registered in it.
The Power comes from above. And the Power is something... (what should I say?) as if warm, golden. And it gives the impression of being... (smiling) more compact.
(A Playground Talk of July 15, 1953.)
"You will see that your whole conception and notion [of heaven and hell] is based on one thing, an entity you call God, and a world you call his creation, which, to your mind, are two different things — one having made the other, the latter being subjected to the former and the expression of what the former made. Well, that's the initial error. But if you could feel deep down that there is no division between that something you call God and that something you call the creation; if you thought, 'It's exactly the same thing,' if you could FEEL that what you call God (which is perhaps a mere word), what you call God suffers when you suffer, is ignorant when you are ignorant, and it is through this whole creation that he finds himself again little by little, step by step, unites with himself, realizes himself, expresses himself, and it's not at all something he willed arbitrarily and made autocratically, but it is the growing, increasingly developing expression of a consciousness that objectifies itself to itself... Then, instead of being like a little child who kneels down, folds his hands and says, 'God, I implore You, make me a good boy, let me not cause my mother any sorrow...' (that's very easy and, well, I can't say it's bad!), instead of lighting a candle and kneeling before it with folded hands, light a flame in your heart and have a great aspiration for 'something more beautiful, truer, nobler, better than anything I know; I ask that tomorrow I begin knowing all those things and begin doing all that I cannot do — and every day a little more.' Then, if you objectify a little, if for some reason you have been put in presence of a lot of misery in the world, if you have unhappy friends or suffering parents or difficulties — anything — then you ask that the entire consciousness may rise TOGETHER towards that perfection which must manifest, that all this ignorance which has made the world so unhappy may be changed into enlightened knowledge, that all that bad will may be illumined and transformed into benevolence.... And how lovely those prayers would be!"
I remember that during those "classes," on certain days I knew it was the psychic that spoke, and on other days it was only the mind. And that day, I remember, the psychic presence was very strong.
21. September 1968 – One Consciousness, One Will
You understand, we live every moment in a world where everything is tangled together. In a normal way (I don't mean "normal" for everyone, but it's always been normal for me), things work out; they work out all right, you feel the Protection. And that's what has gone! There's something struggling against that.... Until now, there has never, never been the feeling of anything that really had a power [against Mother]: I just had to do like this (gesture of sweeping away), and it was over. But what I can do now is to mend harmful effects or repulse them — it's intolerable!
And it's mostly mental, it comes with a sort of sense of fatality: "You are the one who caused this to happen, you're getting your just deserts." Like that. Then the body's answer is very simple, it says, "We're all in the same state! The whole of Matter is like this, it's full of ignorance and incapacity." That becomes "faults" in the human mind, but it's not faults. Or else, it's hopeless: if what has been is indefinitely the cause of the whole future, it's hopeless.
So all that can be held at arm's length, it can be calmed, but I clearly see it's not going away. And the body truly has trust, it has faith, that's what saves it, otherwise...
That also points out the consequences: for instance, yes, precisely, the incapacity to protect others, to give them the needed condition, to do what's needed for them — all that is pointed out with... you know, unrelenting fierceness. To such a point that this poor body started weeping! Like that. Then naturally, there is the faith that sets everything right. But you know, it's as if you were a monster that had created all the disorder everywhere. It's frightful!
It's like this: the body is absolutely convinced that there is only one Will — one Consciousness, one Will. Consequently, whatever happens is part of that Consciousness and that Will. That's how it is, you understand. So it can't get angry. It has one spontaneous tendency: let the aspiration be more intense, the surrender more complete, the trust more total. It gets formulated like this: "That — That which is everything and is one — is nevertheless, despite all appearances, it is nevertheless the Supreme Goodness, the Supreme Beauty, the Supreme Harmony... everything reaches out towards That. That is it. And we too reach out towards That." There, that's the body's "philosophy." But not in the manner of the other parts of the being: quite spontaneous, and with a sort of indisputability.
You see, the body is convinced — absolutely convinced — that it can receive blows only because its faith isn't sufficient. Not total enough, not complete enough, not absolute enough.
It's very conscious of its imbecility and... (how can I explain?) at the same time it has the feeling that that very consciousness of its imbecility is an obstacle; that it should only feel it is... the supreme Truth, the supreme Reality. And then everything would be well.
05. September 1968 – On Aphorism 51
"When I hear of a righteous wrath, I wonder at man's capacity for self-deception."
There was a question: "Our self-deception is always 'in good faith'; we always act for the good of others or in the interest of humanity — and to serve you, that goes without saying! How exactly do we deceive ourselves, and how can we truly know?"[^1]
[^1]: This question and Mother's answer are from 1961: see Agenda 2 of January 17, 1961.
It's terribly true.
Just yesterday, even before I read this (I didn't read it), I had a long vision on the subject, that's the surprising thing!
But on such a different plane...
Yes, when we regard the higher part of our mind as the judge of our action, that's how we can deceive ourselves "in good faith." In other words, the mind is incapable of seeing the truth and it judges according to its own limited capacity — not only limited but unconscious of the truth; so then, as far as it's concerned, the mind is "in good faith," it does the best it can. It's like that.
Naturally, those who are fully conscious of their psychic cannot possibly deceive themselves, because if they refer their problem to the psychic, they can find the divine answer there. But even for those who are in contact with their psychic, the answer doesn't have the same character as the mental answer, which is precise, categorical, absolute, and imposes itself — the psychic answer is more a TENDENCY than an assertion. It's something that can still have different interpretations in the mind.
Which brings me back to my experience of yesterday. After looking at the problem, I reached the conclusion that it's impossible to reproach a human being who does the best he can according to his consciousness, because how can he go beyond his own consciousness?... That's precisely the error most people make: they judge someone else according to their own consciousness, but the other person doesn't have their consciousness! Therefore they can't judge (I am only talking about people of goodwill, of course). To the vision of a more complete or higher consciousness, someone else is in error, but to the person himself, he's doing as best as he can what he thinks he has to do.
Which amounts to saying that it's absolutely impossible to blame someone who acts sincerely according to his own limited consciousness. And in fact, seen from that standpoint, everyone has a limited consciousness, except THE Consciousness. It's only THE Consciousness that isn't limited. But all manifestations are necessarily limited, unless they emerge from themselves and unite with the supreme Consciousness — then... In what conditions can that happen?
It's the problem of identification with the Supreme, which is the Supreme One — One that is all.
There is a whole side of human thought which has held the conception that identification with the supreme Consciousness could only come through the abolition of the individual creation, but in fact Sri Aurobindo said it was possible WITHOUT doing away with the creation. They hold the conception that the creation must be done away with because they don't take the creation beyond the human creation — it's impossible for man, but possible for the supramental being. And that will be the essential difference of the supramental being: being able, without losing a limited form, to unite his consciousness with the supreme Consciousness.
But it's impossible for man. That I know.
As I said, you have it [union with the supreme Consciousness], but as soon as you want to express it, it's finished, it becomes again... (gesture as if shut up in a box). That means the substance we are built with isn't sufficiently purified, illumined, transformed (anything, any word) to express the supreme Consciousness without distorting it.
(silence Mother enters an experience)
It's a certain opacity of Matter, of the substance, which prevents it from being able to manifest the Consciousness... and that same opacity (I don't know what to call it), that opacity is what gives Matter the sense of existing.
It's part of the experience of these last few days. For... I don't know, for weeks I lived in a sort of fluidity — a transparent fluidity — and as that transparent fluidity is replaced by this something I now call "opacity," a sort of concretization of the body's existence comes back.
You understand, the psychic being's direct contact with the bodily substance, without intermediary, gives the sensation... (is it "sensation"? I don't know; it's neither sensation nor perception), it's a sort of "felt vision" — and that vision is very precise, very precise — of the value of the vibrations in comparison with a higher vibration which is (this is as much as I can say) more directly expressive of the supreme Vibration.
It's difficult to express, but the body is now living an experience it had never had, like going from an imprecision to a precision, from a sort of fluidity to... it's not something concrete, but from something fluid — fluid and imprecise — to something precise. Any event (any small event that happens to the body) is an occasion for a new perception. Previously, everything was fluid and imprecise; now it's beginning to grow more precise — more precise, more accurate. But it loses a little of its fluidity.
It's very hard to express.
I had never thought about it. Strangely, it's not deliberate, I've just now had the experience. So it's not very clear yet.
In reality, the mind provides a precision which is lacking when it's not there. Its role in the creation has been, as a matter of fact, to make things precise, to explain them, and at the same time to limit them.
28. September 1968 – A psychic benevolence
There is a state of being (a state of being or way of being) in which these... (what should we call them? It's higher magic), these practices of higher magic have no effect. There is a state of consciousness in which they cannot act, it's beyond their field of action.
For it to be active, that state of consciousness must be sufficiently material, that is to say, in the most material part of the psychic. It's a field of consciousness that belongs to the psychic world. But it must be in the psychic TURNED TOWARDS MATTER. And not just a thought: it must be a spontaneous way of being.
It can be expressed in different ways.... It's a terrestrial manifestation of divine Love in its form of... it has something to do with benevolence — it's not "benevolence," but a way of existing, feeling, seeing, acting, which is a sort of... (words are stupid), a "psychic benevolence," which is an expression of divine Oneness (Mother shakes her head at the inadequacy of words). The mental transcription takes all the truth out of it.
It's something I feel but cannot describe; something exceedingly powerful in the sense that even materially, quite materially (physically, materially), if someone comes to kill you, he can't. He comes and approaches you, but then he can't do it. There have been examples.
But I FEEL it. The origin of it is psychic, but it can concretize and create a certain kind of vibration. Well, if in one's consciousness one lives in that, there's absolutely no magic that can act. I feel it, because from time to time it comes, and at such times everything is clear. And it acts especially here (gesture around the head).
"Benevolence" (laughing) is the ridiculous human distortion of "that." It's a very, very peculiar vibration. What we might call "one of the ways of being of divine Love." And it can become a very material vibration.
It must be to teach us to cultivate that!