06. November 1968 – Studying of all religions
There was a time when I did a comparative study of all that I used to see and feel in all the religious sanctuaries, and that's really something interesting. In Protestant temples, it stopped at the mind, there was nothing else — nothing: dry, very dry. A mind, and behind it, nothing.
As for the Catholics, it depended a lot on the church or the cathedral — on the place — a lot. Varied. So then, I would compare with all the other sanctuaries.... You understand, in the course of my travels I would always go and see — very interesting.
Buddhist temples are VERY FINE. Obviously nihilistic, but there is always a very concentrated atmosphere — concentrated and SINCERE. A sincere effort.
In temples here... Oh, I met all kinds of things (lots of little devils), but all kinds of things. Here it was really interesting.... In one temple the godhead came to me and asked me to help her have influence on people! She told me, "I'll give you all I have, but you must see that..." (she didn't use those words — I am translating). I was riding in a car towards her temple, and on the way she landed in the car! It was so unexpected! She told me, "Do come. See that my power increases and I'll give you all I have!..." (It's in that temple that once a year they cut the necks of hundreds of chickens.[^5]) So I said to her, "No."
If I could have prevented all that slaughter!...
[^5]: Mother told this story in Agenda 2 of April 29, 1961.
13. November 1968 – An interminable work
It's really an interminable work. It's this certain... (what should I call it? We can hardly call it "mind"), this mind of the physical.... It seems it's being educated. But it's an interminable work.
For instance, its habit of building possibilities, or foreseeing (we can hardly call it "building" or "foreseeing"... it's a sort of very dark thing deep down) possibilities and imagining events, with the whole pessimistic and dramatic side shown in all its ridiculousness. So then, I don't know, it's obviously to learn to control and direct that, but... At first sight, it just has to be swept away, it's absolutely useless: you waste your time with it and make a bad job. You fill the atmosphere with a quantity of thoroughly disgusting formations with pulp-fiction imaginations.
There is an attempt at control, but all that is still very, very dark.
Lots of people from the United States are coming here at the moment, and they bring news of an appalling crisis over there, a crisis of discouraged pessimism.... The whole youth seems to be in a woeful state of depression and discouragement.
They've discovered all that was hollow, false, unreal in the old way of seeing life, and they haven't found anything to replace it with.... A few rare individuals (we get their letters, or they come here) say that they came across Sri Aurobindo's teaching and found it to be the salvation. But they are very few. And the majority of people don't understand — they don't have the intelligence needed to understand.
So everywhere they're sinking back; there has been an effort to emerge from that exclusive search for personal satisfaction, and it has led to extravagances; but now the very absurdity of those extravagances has become apparent, so they're sinking back very deep, and they haven't found — they haven't found the true path. Because it's not a mental path.
Everywhere there is still the cult of the mind, that's the terrible thing.
(Mother goes into contemplation)
Interminable work, that's all. That's the impression this body has. It's at peace. Interminable work.
And it doesn't have... (how should I put it?) a clear vision of the path or the process, so... It only understands one thing: never forget, never at any time, not even for a second, what it calls "the Divine" and wants to reach. That's all.
And then, from time to time, there are flashes, like flashes from the Grace, absolutely wonderful.... But they last for one second.
Not very encouraging.
There's only one thing: like a building up of force... a force that MIGHT be a Power. I do feel it's slowly, slowly building up.... So then, maybe that's what is vibrating... and maybe there's an impatience to act? I don't know.
But it's not precise yet.
And a very clear awareness of all the obstacles, of all that's against, of the general attitude. With the very clear perception that... one must remain veiled. Exactly. This is the time when one must remain veiled. That's all.
But saying it makes it far more precise than it really is.
16. November 1968 – A great Presence
It's the physical being educated.
When the vital and the mind are there, they use the physical as an instrument for their will and whims — usually it has no independent life. So then, in the space of a few days, a few weeks, it has been educated all over again. It remembered all the experiences it had and sorted them out again, so to speak, and it has reached a sort of homogeneity wholly centered around the divine Presence.
It has had several experiences of this Presence.... Spontaneously, for the body, it's a "conscious Light"; a conscious Light it sees everywhere, feels everywhere, whose presence it constantly feels. But once or twice it saw a figure. That surprised it a lot and it wasn't too reassured (!), it wondered if it wasn't an imposture or... But a great Presence (gesture like a human figure). The details of shape weren't there, but... It was like a concretization meant for the physical, of this conscious Light which was there, you see, and was as if concretized (gesture of gathering) into a shape which was luminous, too, which could be seen, and with such power! Above all, it was like the Power of the Lord — it was awesome. And the body's impression was that That could do anything. There was nothing That couldn't do. I can't say arms or hands or legs could be seen; it wasn't that, it was a shape, but as if with a head and shoulders: a shape, you understand. And to begin with, as I said, the first time the body saw it, it was slightly alarmed: "What's this? Is it an imposture?..." Then, as always, the "Thing" came over it and said, "Quiet, quiet, quiet...." Not words: like waves. So it kept very still, and it felt an awesome Power. It came when the body was very still and had stopped worrying, and That seemed to be telling it, "This is how I act on people." And it was a sort of concretization or materialization of this conscious Light. You couldn't see any eyes or a nose or a mouth or anything of the sort: it was an immense figure ("immense," anyway the part that was like a head was touching the ceiling).
I saw it twice, and both times it was when I was calling the Lord so He might act; for some reason I was calling the Lord onto someone or for something, and the body was like this (gesture of aspiration or call). And once I saw it behind someone. It was like... (Mother clenches her two fists) like condensed Power.
Two cases (but one was especially clear) in which things didn't seem to be as they should have been; there seemed to be a disorder to set right, and as always, I was making contact — simply making contact.[^1] And that was when I felt it became that Power. I didn't say anything — didn't say a word, didn't make a gesture, didn't say anything — and the circumstance changed. It wasn't here: it was something physically happening elsewhere. And it was changed in that way.... There was another case in which it was someone's will and thought that needed to be changed — but that I don't know, I haven't any news yet, I don't know.
[^1]: Between the Force above and the person or circumstance.
The development seems to be moving towards that: an action on people and on the earth, quite physical.
Several times, when the body was... simply disgusted at its pettiness, its incapacity, its ignorance, its stupidity... (laughing) the response was very fine: "Be quiet! It's not you who do things." So the body wondered (laughing), "But then, what use am I?!" It said... I don't know, I got the impression of the place where two currents are joined (you know, when you connect one current with another?), the impression that the body was like that, that was its use!... It had the sensation of being like one of these tools... (Mother points to the electric socket).
23. November 1968 – Mother’s experience
I've had an interesting experience.... Not yesterday evening but the evening before, someone I won't name told me, "I am fully in the physical consciousness: no more meditations, and the Divine has become something up above, so far away...." Then, instantly, while he was speaking, the whole room FILLED with the divine Presence. "Oh," I told him, "Not up above: HERE, right here." And at that moment, EVERYTHING, the whole atmosphere... you know, the very air seemed to change into divine Presence (Mother touches her hands, her face, her body): you understand, everything was touched, touched, permeated, but with... above all, there was a dazzling Light, a Peace like this (massive gesture), a Power, and also such Sweetness... something... you felt it would be enough to melt a rock.
And it hasn't left. It has remained.
It came like that, and has remained.
And the whole night was like that — everything. Even now the two things are there: a little of the ordinary consciousness, as if mechanically, but I just have to remain still or concentrated for a second and it's there. And it's the BODY'S experience, you understand, physical, material, the body's experience: everything, absolutely everything is full, full, there's NOTHING but That, and we are like... everything is like something shriveled, you know, like dried-up bark, something dried up. You get the impression that things (not completely — superficially) have become hard, dry, and that's why they don't feel. That's why they don't feel Him, otherwise everything, but everything is NOTHING but That; you can't breathe without breathing Him, you understand; you move about, and it's within Him that you move about; you are... everything, the whole universe is within Him — but MATERIALLY, physically, physically.
It's the cure of the "drying up" that I am now seeking.
I feel it's fantastic, you understand.
And then, when I listen, It also says things; I told Him, "But then, why do people always climb up above?" And with the most extraordinary, fantastic humor: "Because they want me to be very far from their consciousness!" Things like that, but not formulated so precisely: impressions. Several times — several times I heard: "Why do they go so far away to seek what's..." (you know, the theories that have said, "It's within you")... "to seek what's everywhere?"
I didn't say it to that person, first of all because the experience wasn't a continuous thing as it now is.
And above all, there was: NO NEW RELIGIONS! No dogmas, no fixed teaching. Avoid — at any cost avoid turning it into a new religion. Because the moment it was formulated in an... elegant way that imposed itself and had a force, IT WOULD BE OVER.
You get the impression that He is everywhere, but everywhere, and there's nothing else. And we aren't aware of it because we are... shriveled up (I don't know how to put it), dried. up. We've made (laughing) tremendous efforts to separate ourselves — and we've succeeded! We've succeeded, but only in our consciousness, not in the fact. In the fact, It's there. It's there. There's NOTHING but That. What we know, what we see, what we touch is as if bathing, floating within That; but it's permeable; it's permeable, absolutely: That goes through it. The sense of separateness comes from here (Mother touches her forehead).
Perhaps the experience came because, for several days, there had been a very great concentration to find, not exactly the why or the how, but the FACT, the fact of separateness, the fact that everything appears so stupid, so ugly.... I was assailed, assailed by kinds of living memories of all sorts of experiences (all sorts: from things read to paintings, films, and life, people, things), memories of this body, all the memories we might call "anti-divine," in which the body had a sensation of repulsive or bad things, like negations of the divine Presence. It began like that. For two days I was like that, to such a point that the body was almost desperate. Then the experience came, and it hasn't moved. It hasn't moved. It came: vrrff! finished, hasn't moved. You see, experiences come and then draw back — but this hasn't moved. It's there right now. So the body is trying to be fluid (Mother makes a gesture of spreading), it's trying to melt; it's trying, it understands what it is. It's trying — not succeeding, obviously! (Mother looks at her hands) But its consciousness knows.
But that experience is having effects: some people have felt relieved all of a sudden, one or two absolutely cured. And when something goes wrong in the body, it doesn't need to ask: the trouble is set right quite naturally.
That hasn't even given the body a need to stop doing anything and to remain wholly concentrated in its experience, no: no desire, nothing. Like this: floating... floating in a luminous immensity... which is within! (Mother laughs) The immensity isn't only outside: it's within. It's within. This (Mother touches her hands, this separate appearance), you really feel it's... I don't know how to put it, but it only has reality in the deformation of the consciousness — but not the human consciousness: something that happened, something that took place in the Consciousness... (Mother shakes her head) I don't understand.
All the theories, all the explanations, all the stories that are at the root of every religion, it all seems to me... like a distraction. So then, you wonder, you wonder... (I am going to say something...) whether the Lord hasn't been putting on an act for Himself!...
But it's difficult to express. I've spent days when I really lived all the horrors of the creation (and in the consciousness of their horror), then that brought about this experience, and... the whole horror vanished.
It wasn't moral things at all: it was mostly physical sufferings. Especially THE physical suffering. And that physical suffering, I saw it: a physical suffering that lasts — unceasing, going on night and day. And all at once, instead of being in that state of consciousness, you are in the state of consciousness of this exclusive divine Presence — the pain is gone! And it was physical, quite physical, with a physical reason.[^1] You understand, doctors might say: "It's for this reason, that reason..." — quite a material thing, absolutely physical: poff! gone.... Your consciousness changes — it comes back.
[^1]: Mother's face was swollen by a tooth abscess.
And if you stay long enough in the true consciousness, the appearance, that is, what we call the physical "fact" itself, disappears, not just the pain.... I have the feeling of having touched... (there's no mind to understand, thank God!), of having touched the central experience.
But it's a very small beginning.
One would have the impression or certitude of having touched the supreme Secret only if the physical were transformed.... According to the experience (the experience in tiny details), that's how it should be. But then, would there first be ONE body in which this Consciousness was expressed, or must everything, but everything be transformed?... That I don't know.
It would happen if the play — the play of separateness — came to an end. That would be the solution of the transformation. A phenomenon of consciousness.
But it's so concrete, you see!
Only, the other consciousness is still there.... Just now, this morning, I saw a considerable number of people: everyone of them came, and I looked (there was no "I looked": for the PERSON there, it was like that, I was looking at him), the eyes were fixed [on the person] like that, and then there was the perception and vision (but not "vision" as it's understood: it's all a phenomenon of consciousness), the awareness of the Presence; the Presence permeating that sort of bark, of hardened thing, permeating, permeating everywhere. And when I look, when the eyes are fixed, it makes a sort of concentration [of this Presence].... But it's certainly quite a transitory and intermediate state, because the other consciousness (the consciousness that sees things and deals with them as usual, with the perception of what goes on in the individual, what he thinks — not so much what he thinks as what he feels, the way he is), that's there. It's obviously necessary, too, to maintain contact, but... It's clearly still an experience, not an established fact. What I mean by "established fact" is the consciousness established in such a way that nothing else exists, it alone is present — it's not yet like that.
(Mother remains silent for a long time and does not answer)
But this notion of the "descending" Supermind, of a "permeating" Consciousness, is OUR translation.... The experience came as the experience of an eternal fact: not at all something just now taking place. That it's all the result of states of consciousness is certain (whether there is something beyond, I do not know, but at any rate I have the positive experience of that). It's movements of consciousness. Why, how?... I don't know. But looking at it from the other side, the fact that something belonging to this terrestrial region as it is has become conscious, is what gives the impression that something has "taken place".... I don't know if I can make myself understood.... I mean that this body is just the same as all the rest of the earth, but for some reason or other, it happens to have become conscious in the other way; well, that normally should be expressed in the earth consciousness as a "coming," a "descent," a "beginning".... But is it a beginning? What has "come"?... You understand, there's NOTHING but the Lord (I call it "the Lord" for the convenience of language, because otherwise...), there's nothing but the Lord, not anything else — nothing else exists. Everything takes place within Him, consciously. And we are... like grains of sand in this Infinity; only, we are the Lord with the capacity of being conscious of the Lord's consciousness. That's exactly it.
Before that experience, when I was in the consciousness of all the sufferings and horrors of physical life, at one point something came (it didn't "say" — we are forced to use words, but all this takes place without mentalization), an impression... to translate I would say, "Aren't you afraid of going insane?..." Do you understand? (It's a translation.) So then, the body spontaneously replied, We are ALL insane, we can't get more insane than we are!" And things instantly calmed down.
It's here that this consciousness is (Mother touches Satprem's chest). This (gesture pointing to the mind and above) is just light, light... (immense gesture). But in this body, this consciousness is here (same gesture to the chest). I mean the consciousness... that we are within the Lord.
I know, the consciousness that's here knows that this way of speaking is quite childish, but it prefers this childish way to one that would try to be precise and would be mental.
27. November 1968 – The central experience of the transformation
The body has the impression that it's beginning to understand. For it, naturally, there are no thoughts at all — none at all; but it's states of consciousness. States of consciousness complementing one another, replacing one another.... To such a point that the body wonders how one can know with thought; for it, the only way of knowing, the only way of experiencing, is consciousness. It's growing increasingly clear from a general point of view. And it's applying it; it's applying it to itself, that is to say, a work is going on to make all the parts of the body conscious not only of the forces they receive, the forces going through the body, but of the action of its inner working.
That's growing increasingly precise.
It's mostly this: for the body, everything is a phenomenon of consciousness, and when it wants to do something, it almost no longer understands the meaning of "knowing how to do it"; it must be CONSCIOUS of the manner of doing it. And not only for itself, but for all the people around it. That's becoming such an obvious fact.... So to learn from someone else, to learn, for instance, the manner of doing a thing — for the body it's only by doing it and at the same time applying the consciousness that it can learn. And what one explains, what someone else may explain, seems... it seems hollow — lifeless, hollow.
It's becoming more and more like that.
It's the attitude of perfect receptivity in complete surrender.
Because that's true.
I truly don't know if there are "parts" or organs that still have what we might call their "spirit of independence," but truly the body has made its surrender, that is, it has no will of its own; it has no desire, no will of its own, and it's all the time as if "listening" — all the time — to perceive the Indication.
It's beginning to know the exact spot or function that isn't... I can't say "transformed," because that's quite a high-sounding word, but not in harmony with the others, and causing a disorder. That's becoming a perception of every moment. When something apparently abnormal takes place, there is the understanding, the awareness of why it occurs and what it must be leading to: how an apparent disorder can lead to a greater perfection. That's it. It's a tiny little beginning. But it has begun. The body is beginning to be a little conscious. And not only for itself alone, but for all others too, it has begun: seeing, perceiving how the Consciousness (with a capital C) acts in others. And in fact, at times (words lag WAY BEHIND the experience), there no longer is the perception of division: there is the perception of diversity (that's becoming very interesting)... the diversity (if it weren't for what we might call the "latching on" of separateness), the diversity that, in the true consciousness, would be perfectly harmonious and would make a whole that would be perfection itself (Mother makes a round gesture).
It's the latching on — what happened?... What happened?...
It remains to be seen if, for some reason or other, it was necessary or if it was an accident — but how could it be an accident!... For the moment (there's no thought, so it's a little vague), for the moment there is an impression... I might put it simply like this: the impression of a TREMENDOUS acquisition of consciousness, which has been gained by paying the very high price of all the suffering and all the disorder.... Yesterday or today (I forget when, I think yesterday), at one point the problem was so acute (Mother touches her cheek and throat), and then the divine Consciousness seemed to be saying, "In all this suffering, it's I who suffer" (the Consciousness, you understand), "it's I who suffer, but in a way different from yours." I don't know how to express it.... There was a sort of impression that the divine Consciousness was perceiving what to us was a suffering, that it existed — it existed for the divine Consciousness. But not in the same way as it exists for our own consciousness. So then, there was an attempt to make understood the consciousness of the whole at the same time, the simultaneous consciousness of everything... to express myself I might just say, the consciousness of suffering (the most acute disorder) and of Harmony (the most perfect Ananda) — both together, perceived together. Naturally that changes the nature of suffering.
But all that is very conscious of being some kind of chatter. It's not the translation of what is.
There is also the perception that little by little, following all these experiences, every aggregate (what, for us, is a body) is getting used to having the power to bear the true Consciousness.... It requires a play of adaptation.
But you know, Sri Aurobindo too wrote in Thoughts and Glimpses, I think, that suffering was a preparation for Ananda.[^2]
[^2]: "...Pain that travails towards the touch of an unimaginable ecstasy." See also Thoughts and Aphorisms: 93 — "Pain is the touch of our Mother teaching us how to bear and grow in rapture. She has three stages of her schooling, endurance first, next equality of soul, last ecstasy."
Yes. I must say there are many things from Sri Aurobindo that I am beginning to understand in a very different way.
I told you it was here (Mother points to her nose, mouth and throat) that there was the most complete resistance. As an experience it's very interesting, but it's still in full work....
The impression of being on the verge of touching something, and then... it escapes. Something is missing.
Still a long, long, long way to go.
30. November 1968 – The body learns to live
The body constantly feels it's learning — learning to live. And learning to be what it must be. Constantly, night and day.
And that's all.
It has everything to learn.
And very acutely, the sensation that speech distorts, the word distorts.... The body doesn't like speaking.
For example, these last few days, it was wondering about one thing; are there bodies that are proud?... There are lots of bodies that are proud when the vital and the mind are in them. But without that... it's not possible! Not possible.
But it constantly has the sensation not only of the Presence but of the divine Action, like this (gesture like a flow passing through Mother and onto people), and it doesn't even think, "It's through me," not even that. It feels (to translate) that it could be through anything. Some very precise actions take place, and the body is conscious, but never conscious that it's doing the action, or that the action is taking place through it. The sense of "it" doesn't exist... except, now and then, for the impression of something somewhat inert; it still has the sensation of its inertia — it's not the full Consciousness. But it doesn't even bother about that, it's not its business.
There's a keen and constant observation of EVERYTHING, each and every thing going on — inexpressible.... By the time you've said it, a whole lot of other things have taken place.