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The Mother


Volume 2

September 16, 1961

(Satprem complains of his difficulties in writing the book on Sri Aurobindo. He says in particular that he has a feeling of being “blocked”)

I have asked Sri Aurobindo to help you.

You know, we are surrounded by complications, but there is always a place where it all opens out simple and straight – this is a fact of my experience. You go around in circles, seeking, working at it, and you feel stuck; then something in the inner attitude gives way, and all of a sudden it opens out – quite simply.

I have had this experience very often. So I have asked Sri Aurobindo to give it to you.

And he says repeatedly, insistently: Be simple, be simple. Say simply what you feel. Be simple, be simple, insistently. These are only words, but as a matter of fact, when he spoke these words it was like a path of light opening up, and everything became very simple: “Just take one step after another, that's all we have to do!” – that's how it seemed to me.

It's curious, all the complications seemed to be there (Mother touches her temples), very complicated and very difficult to adjust; and then when he said, Be simple – how strange – it was like a light coming from his eyes, as if one had suddenly emerged into a garden of light.

It gave that impression – like a garden bathed in light.

Such great insistence on the simple thing: say simply what you see or what you know – simple, simple. A simplicity... it was altogether the impression of a joyous garden.

Be simple, be simple.

The complications are there (same gesture), it is hard and complicated – and then a door opens: Be simple.

As if there were too much mental tension: something here at the temples.


I have to face a similar difficulty, mind you, although it's on another level. There is such a tremendous accumulation of people to see, things to do, questions to be resolved – everything. The accumulation is So TIGHTLY packed – so compact! Too compact for the life – for the hours, the time, the forces – of an ordinary body. Yet behind it all, there is a sort of constant “active immobility,” in the sense that the consciousness has the impression of being immobile, of being borne along on the stream of progress and evolution. But this immobility.... If I should try to do what I have to do, you know, everything I have to do, well... it becomes impossible, things clog up, it gets painful. And here his answer is the same: Be simple, be simple.

This morning when I was “walking,” the program of the day and the work ahead of me was so formidable that I felt it to be impossible. And yet simultaneously there was this... immobile inner POSITION in me; as soon as I stop my movement of formation and action, it becomes like a dance of joy: all the cells vibrating (there is a sort of vivacity, and an extraordinary music), all the cells vibrant with the joy of the Presence – the divine Presence. But when I see the outside world entering and attacking, well... this joy doesn't exactly disappear, but it retreats. And the result is that I always feel like sitting down and keeping still – when I can do that it is marvelous. But of course, all the suggestions from outside come in: suggestions of helplessness and old age, of wear and tear, of diminishing power, all that – and I know positively that it's false. But calm in the body is indispensable. Well, for me also Sri Aurobindo's answer is always the same: Be simple, be simple, very simple.

And I know what he means: to deny entry to regimenting, organizing, prescriptive, judgmental thought – he wants none of all that. What he calls being simple is a joyous spontaneity; in action, in expression, in movement, in life – be simple, be simple, be simple. A joyous spontaneity. To rediscover in evolution that condition he calls divine, which was a spontaneous and happy condition. He wants us to rediscover that. And for days now he has been here telling me (and the same goes for your work): Be simple, be simple, be simple. And in his simplicity was a luminous joy.

A joyous spontaneity.

What's terrible is this organizing mind. It's terrible! It has us so convinced that we can't do without it that it's very difficult to resist. Indeed, it has convinced all humanity. The whole so-called elite of humanity has been convinced that nothing worthwhile can be achieved without this mental organizing power.

But Sri Aurobindo wants us to have the same simple joy as a blossoming rose: Be simple, be simple, be simple. And when I hear it or see it, it's like a rivulet of golden light, like a fragrant garden – all, all, all is open. Be simple.

So you see, mon petit...

These last two or three days I have been constantly seeing this for you. Then this morning it came for me, because the accumulation of work has become so tremendous that I would need ten times more time than I have merely to bring things up to date. So there I was, feeling a bit cornered; there was even a force wanting me to stop in the midst of my walk and RELAX, and I was resisting it with all my will – until I realized I was doing something foolish. It was the same thing, he said the same thing for me. I relaxed – and immediately everything was fine.

Essentially, we live with too much tension, don't we?

There you have it, mon petit, my message for the week.

What to do about it? Oh, that will come. But it's true, we are always too tense – always. And I know that as long as we are controlled by that admirable mind, we feel that to relax means to fall into tamas and unconsciousness. All these old notions remain, prolonging themselves; and there's something like the residue of one of those marvelous censors, telling you: “Be careful, tamas, tamas! Be careful, you are dozing off – very bad, very bad.” And it's idiotic, because tamas is neither joyous nor luminous, while this is an immediate joy and light.

*   *

A little later:

I am still unable to write a line, except when someone needs a reply; then it comes straight-away, without reflecting, a few lines – that's all right. But to read a question and then answer, oh! It's not lassitude, it's a refusal to budge.

Yes, but you are besieged by so many people who really don't...

Oh, mon petit, it's disgraceful.


It's disgraceful.

I don't know, I only get echoes from Sujata, I don't really know what's happening, but I get the impression that a lot of your time is being uselessly taken up.

Oh, it's awful. Imagine, nowadays I go upstairs at 6:30 or 7 in the evening.

Well, yes, that's what Sujata told me. It isn't good.

It's awful. And WHY?

Sri Aurobindo says, in one of the letters quoted in On Himself, “All the same, you would not expect us to spend all our time acting like the head of the family and reconciling all your stupid quarrels....


... and busying ourselves with your stupid affairs.” He is very frank, you know, he doesn't mince words; he states it very clearly: It is idiotic. That cheered me up! (Mother laughs)

Listen, here is a letter I have written to one of the teachers at the School (Mother reads):

“We are not here to do only a little better what the others do, we are here to do what the others CANNOT do, because they do not have even the idea that it can be done. We are here to open the way of the Future to children who belong to the Future. Anything else is not worth the trouble and not worthy of Sri Aurobindo's help.”

That's what I wrote.

It is Sri Aurobindo, of course, because it came in English.

(Mother gets up to leave)

There you are, petit. Now if I can pass this vision along to you, your book will come easily.

in French

in German