September 10, 1961
(Concerning the tantric guru:)
Has A. spoken to you about this?... X told him that you were the bridge between him and me (he even spoke in English): “Oh, Satprem was the bridge.” (Mother smiles) And a second later he added, “But now we don't need it anymore!” (Mother laughs merrily) I was much amused!
(A little later, regarding the book on Sri Aurobindo:)
Anything one can write is so flat, so flat in comparison with what one perceives!
Yes, in comparison with Sri Aurobindo's contact (the vibration that comes from him, if you like), it always seems meager, always flat. Even the most... you know, spiritual experiences that have been described, experiences that others have had – well, even experiences that are stronger, clearer, more powerful, more complete than any of those seem... when you make contact with Sri Aurobindo, oh, how thin they all seem, so thin!
Besides, as a means of expression.... writing is hard labor, you know. It's not pleasant, it's not like composing music or painting.
Oh, let me tell you....
It's hard. I would rather have been a musician – it would have changed my life completely. I feel I have always lacked something to open up....
I don't know, but Sri Aurobindo spoke of it at the end of the book on the Vedas, in the chapter on the origin of languages. He seems to be saying that it's better if one goes back to the origin of the vibrations. Ultimately, as a language grows more intellectual, it hardens and dries up. Perhaps when we had only sounds (the A's and the O's; the O's especially are very flexible, the whole gamut of O's), perhaps it was more... supple.
I feel this so often now. How to put it.... I always try not to talk – talking bothers me. Yes, it's a real nuisance. When I see someone, the first thing I do is to avoid talking. Then, when the Vibration comes, it's good; there is a sort of communication, and if the person is the least bit receptive, what comes is like a... it's subtler than music; it's a vibration bringing its own principle of harmony. But people usually get impatient after a while and, wanting something more “concrete,” oblige me to talk. They always insist on it. Then, being in a certain atmosphere, a certain vibration, I immediately feel something going like this (gesture of a fall to another level), and then hardening. Even when I babble (you see, the very effort of trying to be more subtle makes me babble), even my babblings (laughing)... become dry by comparison. There are all sorts of things that are so much fuller – full, packed with an inner richness – and as soon as this is put into words, oh!...
The night before last, around 3 in the morning, I was in a place where there were a lot of people from here (you were there), and I was trying to play some music, precisely in order to SAY something. There were three pianos there, which seemed to be interlocked into each other, so I leaned over sideways to get at one of the three and began playing on it. It was in a large hall with people seated at a distance, but you were just at my left alongside a young lady who was a symbol figure (that is, the vibration or impression I received from her and the relationship I had with her could be applied as well to four or five persons here: it was like relating to an amalgam – something that is very interesting and often happens to me). Anyway, I was leaning over one of the keyboards and trying... trying to work something out, to illustrate how “this” would translate into “that.” Finally I realized that playing half-standing, half-leaning was unnecessary acrobatics, because a grand piano was right there in front, so I sat down before it. Well, the most amusing part of it was that the keys (there were two keyboards) were all blue – like the marbled paper we are making now, all blue, and with every possible marbled effect. Black keys, white keys, high keys, low keys (all of them were the same width, quite wide, like this), all seemed to be coated – but it wasn't paper – with this blue. Facing the piano I said to myself, “Well now, this can't be played with physical eyes – it has to be played FROM ABOVE.”
While I was playing, I kept telling myself, “But this is what I've tried to do with music all my life – play on the blue keyboard!”
It was great fun, you know.
Suddenly, along came a SOUND! Not physical, but so complete, so full, as if... as if something exploded, like a.... I don't know what, much more resounding than an orchestra – something exploding. It was overwhelming!
I was so sorry to have to get up. Because (laughing) I thought, “At least I would have heard something good for once!” It was such an outburst of sound! So extraordinary and so powerful that.... But it was 4 o'clock and time to get up.
Maybe this is what you were thinking of – what you would like to express in your book. it occurred in a place similar to the realm of expression where, as I told you, I have frequently been going lately. It is very, very vast, very open, but this time there were no walls. No ceiling, no walls. There was only a kind of ground – very pale, luminous, vast and... very empty, empty. People were seated but I didn't see any chairs. Only the pianos were visible, and they were quite odd: you could hardly see anything but the keyboards, which were sort of overlapping. In front was a grand piano, and over here was a somewhat bigger one – the one I had been leaning over sideways to play on – and then there was one turned to the other side. And then this grand piano, right in front – but with only the keyboard visible! “Well, why shouldn't I be comfortable!” I said to myself, and I sat down. Then everything became blue – great, blue notes. “How am I going to play?” I wondered. I tried to play as usual and then: “It doesn't work, it doesn't work,” I said. “Ah! It has to be played from above – it has to be played from above!” So I place my hands on the keys, I concentrate... and brrff! It was like some... not violent, not loud and noisy, but – oh, overwhelming! Three, four – not notes: sounds, harmonies... I don't really know what.
But this must be what you were thinking of, what you would like to use for your book.1
Yes, I would certainly like to....
It will come. Ah, it will come!
It's time for me to leave now.
So there you are, petit; it will come.
1 Strangely enough, some years earlier, when Satprem was writing L'Orpailleur, Sujata had a vision in which she saw him typing, and from the typewriter came, not typewritten lines, but music!