January 31, 1961
(Concerning the experience related on January 24, of the supramental Force reorganizing the activity of each center of consciousness. The experience ended in a deep trance: “I slipped into trance...”)
I neglected to mention something very important.
At the moment of my coming out of the trance, I had a very concrete, positive perception (not a mental understanding, it didn't come from the being's intellectual part, the part that understands and explains everything and Is symbolized, I think, by Indra; it wasn't in any way conveyed through that higher intelligence, it wasn't mental). A kind of perception (not really a sensation, it was more than a sensation) of the almost total unimportance of the external, material expression of the body's condition: the consciousness OF THE BODY was absolutely indifferent to external, physical signs, whether they were like this or like that (the BODY'S consciousness was what had experienced the identity). And this body-consciousness had the perception of the EXTREME RELATIVITY of the most material expression.
I am translating it to make myself understood – it wasn't like that at the time of the experience. Suppose, for example, that there was a disorder here or there in the body, not actually an illness (because illness implies some important inner factor such as an attack or the necessity for some transformation, many different things), but the outer expression of a disorder, such as swollen legs or a malfunctioning liver – not an illness, a disorder, a functional disorder. Well, it was all utterly unimportant: IT IN NO WAY CHANGES THE BODY'S TRUE CONSCIOUSNESS. Although we are in the habit of thinking that the body is very disturbed when it's ill, when something is going wrong, it's not so. It isn't disturbed in the way we understand it.
Then what is disturbed if not the body?
Oh, it's the physical mind, this stupid mind! It makes all the trouble, always.
It isn't the body at all?
No! The body is VERY enduring.
Then what suffers?
Suffering also comes through the physical mind, because if this entity is calmed down, we no longer suffer – exactly what happened to me!
The physical mind, you see, makes use of the nervous substance; if we withdraw it from the nervous substance, we no longer feel anything, for that's what gives us the perception of sensation.... We know something is wrong, but we no longer suffer from it.
This was a very important experience. Afterwards (especially yesterday afternoon and this morning), I gradually began to realize that this kind of indifferent detachment is the ESSENTIAL condition for the establishment of true Harmony in the most material Matter – the most external, physical Matter (Mother pinches the skin of her hand).
This experience has been like a stage – an indispensable stage for establishing this complete detachment; an indispensable stage so that the harmony of the body-consciousness (which came with the body's experience of the Divine) might have its effect upon the most external, superficial part of the body.
This is the logical consequence of the research I have been doing for a long time now on the cause of illnesses and how to overcome them.
This ought to be noted down, because it's important. It has seemed all the more important to me these last two days. Beginning yesterday evening, there was a whole series of experiences, and this morning I came to a certain conclusion, whose starting point, I realized, was that experience I had upon coming out of trance....
The rest will come later.
It was the very moment I was coming out of the trance, at 3 a.m. – I came out of it with that1; it was the first contact. I had forgotten to mention this to you because it took on importance only very recently.
(A little later, concerning the Saraswati Puja photos that Mother first refused to send to X on the 21st, then decided to send on the 25th, with a kind of imperative “cubic certainty”.)
X has replied. He said something like this, which Amrita translated: “I have received the photos. It is a...” I don't know whether he said ‘illumination’ or ‘flame,’ “ascending towards the Truth, leading towards the Truth.” That's the impression it gave him: that it was leading somewhere.
That's good – he received it as I sent it.
But would it really have made a difference to send these photos on the 21st, as Amrita wanted, rather than later?
Ah, yes! (How to explain?...) On the 21st, these photos could still have created a kind of difficulty in X's consciousness (a semiconscious difficulty) because of all the obstacles, all the contradictions, all that was coming to put up a fight – he is very sensitive to these things and I didn't want to put him in contact with that realm. Later, though... they had been given a good thump on the head (Mother abruptly bangs down both hands) and were keeping still. Then I said, “All right, now you can send them.”
I always avoid putting him in contact with the realm of conflicts and contradictions because he is extremely sensitive and it causes him difficulties. That's why I said, “No, don't bother.” Afterwards, it was fine!
Now I have begun reading those hymns2 .... Oh, now I understand! All those obstacles were a preparation straight from Sri Aurobindo. Now I understand! (What I mean by “understand” is that it's a help for making progress.) I understand the nature of certain obstructions and certain difficulties, and what allows certain forces to oppose each other – I understand it quite clearly.
I have read only two hymns so far. By the time I reach the end... I will probably have found something.
(After the work, Mother begins speaking of her translation of “The Synthesis of Yoga”.)
A few days ago I had an experience related to this. For some time I had been unable to work because I was unwell and my eyes were very tired. And two or three days ago, when I resumed the translation, I suddenly realized that I was seeing it quite differently! Something had happened during those days (how to put it?)... the position of the translation work in relation to the text was different. My last sentence was all I had with me, because I file my papers as I go along, so I went back to it along with the corresponding English sentence. “Oh, look!” I said, “That's how it goes!” And I made all the corrections quite spontaneously. The position really seemed different.
It's not yet perfect, it's still being worked on, but when I read it over, I saw that I had truly gone beyond the stage where one tries to find a correspondence with what one reads, an appropriate expression sufficiently close to the original text (that's the state I was in before). Now it's not like that anymore! The translation seems to come spontaneously: that is English, this is French – sometimes very different, sometimes very close. It was rather interesting, for you know that Sri Aurobindo was strongly drawn to the structure of the French language (he used to say that it created a far better, far clearer and far more forceful English than the Saxon structure), and often, while writing in English, he quite spontaneously used the French syntax. When it's like that, the translation adapts naturally – you get the impression that it was almost written in French. But when the structure is Saxon, what used to happen is that a French equivalent would come to me; but now it's almost as if something were directing: “That is English, this is French.”
It was there, it was clear; but it's not yet permanent. Something is beginning. I hope it's going to become established before too long and that there will be no more translating difficulties.
Meanwhile, I am interested in seeing how it functions in your mind.... I think that after some time – perhaps not too long from now – we will be able to do this work together in an interesting way....
The trouble is the time shortage. There isn't enough time!3
Oh, yes, this is very, very annoying, my child! You don't need to tell me! I have never in my life had enough time. Whatever I do, whether I am speaking to someone, organizing something, doing a particular work, the time is always too short, and I have the feeling, “Oh, if I could only do that quietly!” Anything, no matter what, becomes interesting if it can be done calmly, with the right attitude and the right concentration. Yet we are perpetually hurried by the next thing coming along.
But this is a shortcoming. And I know it, I know it – I will find the solution. And when I have found it, it will be....
But time isn't elastic! If the days had three more hours in them it would be perfect!
Ye... es... but it's because we are still too bound up in the outermost form of things. You can't imagine the difference this makes! One does the SAME thing in exactly the same way, the motion is identical, but in one case it takes time, while in the other case it doesn't.
I have experienced this very concretely. In the mornings, for instance, I have a very short time, very limited and very fixed, to get to the balcony for darshan, and there are a number of completely material things I must do beforehand. It's quite natural to feel that time must always be the same – but it's not true. It's not true – even I am astonished!
With my japa the contrast is the same, it's absolutely astounding: I feel I am saying the words in the same way, with the same sound, exactly the same rhythm, but in some cases, with a particular inner attitude, the time by the clock is different! Yet nevertheless, bound up as we are in our physical Matter, we imagine it has taken exactly the same amount of time! That's what is so strange, this extraordinary relativity vis-à-vis the clock.
This must be what they tried to express by Joshua making the sun stand still.
There is something there... to be found. Something extraordinary. How wonderful it will be when we find it!
There are a few secrets like that – I feel them as secrets. And now and then it's as though I am given an example, as though I am being told, “You see, that's really how it is.” And I am dumbfounded.... In ordinary language, one would say, “It's miraculous!” But it isn't miraculous, it is something to be found.
And we shall find it!4
So, mon petit, that's all.
1 That = the perception of the almost total unimportance of the external, material expression of the body's condition.
2 The Vedic hymns translated by Sri Aurobindo (cf. On the Veda, Cent. Ed., X.241, ff.).
3 Once again, Satprem was doing seven hours of japa daily.
4 In the equations of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, quantities as “immutable” as the mass of a body, the frequency of a vibration, or the time separating two events, are linked to the speed of the system where the physical event takes place. Recent experiments in outer space have allowed the validity of Einstein's equations to be verified. Thus a clock on a satellite in constant rotation around the Earth will measure sixty seconds between two audio signals, while an identical clock on Earth measures sixty-one seconds between the same two signals: time “slows down” as speed increases. It is like the story of the space traveler returning to Earth less aged than his twin: you pass into another “frame of reference.”
It is striking that Mother's body-experiences very often parallel recent theories of modern physics, as if mathematical equations were the means of formulating in human language certain complex phenomena, remote from our day to day reality, which Mother was living spontaneously in her body – perhaps “at the speed of light.”