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The Mother


Volume 2

November 12, 1961

(Mother improvises on the harmonium to “say” something, or perhaps to calm Satprem's nerves, then continues:)

Sri Aurobindo was telling me, “Satprem has a headache and is tired because he's trying to do an unnecessary work.”

No, it's not me, I didn't think that myself, but it came to me several times. So I wondered if inspiration was coming, after all, but you Were fighting against it. That would be more than enough to make you tired!

But you see, Id been struggling for four or five days with no results. Well, this morning.... I was angry yesterday, angry with you...

(Unperturbed) Yes.

... because it wasn't coming.

Yes (laughing), that's all right with me!

Well, this morning, you see....

It came nicely. After you got angry, it finally came!

No, it was simply a question of linking certain things up.

But is it necessary to “link up”? I doubt it. It was an extremely mental idea.

No, I don't really mean “linking,” rather.... Take what came this morning, for instance; it showed me (I think) that something really had to be changed. I have that feeling....

(Mother nods her head.)

And in the whole last part, there are at least twenty pages like that, with things that need to be perfected. It's a matter of a few little details – if I knew what to do with them, everything would fall into place.

You don't have an example?... Haven't you brought your text?

It's like a puzzle, with bits and pieces that aren't in their places yet. It has all come in such a fragmentary way, you see, that I've been forced to make repetitions, links. That's the snag: it indicates to me that something isn't going right. For if it were really THAT, there wouldn't be repetitions.

You haven't brought anything?

Yes, I have some things here, if you want....


(Unenthusiastically) You want me to read some things?

Yes, read to me.

(Unconvinced) Yes, I can read them to you.

(after the reading, Mother comments:)

With me it's happening all the time: tzzt! Just like a foil-thrust. That's the only way it comes.

Writing seems a very poor means of expression to me.1

But how else can people understand! We must (laughing) make a concession to present terrestrial conditions.

Of all the means of expression, it seems the poorest.


Perhaps, because it has the greatest pretensions to precision, which naturally shrinks everything down. There's an impression of paucity, of an absence of depth.

Yet in Vedic times they spoke of “The Word” – the creative Word [Vak]. This is the idea behind the mantra. Too bad a book can't be written using mantras!


It would be interesting, if it were possible – that's precisely what I mean when I say: no links, no train of logic, no continuity; these are always, always mental. An inspiration, an intuition, a revelation always comes, “poff!”, leaving a score of things unsaid – gaps to be filled in with spiritual experience.

If you start to explain, it falls flat – there's no help for it.

So I wonder, after all, if there aren't many revelations in your book which MUST NOT be explained; then it's left up to each one's capacity to muse over it, to fill in the gaps with his imagination.

In the end, it would be a very interesting attempt: a stimulant for people's intuitive capacities, instead of taking them all for donkeys and spoon-feeding them, going yum-yum-yum-yum-yum so that they'll digest it!


I have the feeling.... You know, Sri Aurobindo is trying to make me understand something, and it gives me a very strong feeling that you are creating unnecessary difficulties for yourself, and if... if only you could let go of something (I don't know what), then suddenly it would be: ah! It's done, it's all done, there it is!

Maybe in a few minutes – in any case not more than a few days – it would be finished. And ORIGINAL. The main impression is that it would be something new, original, unexpected, and that's just what's needed: something unexpected, unlike anything ever done before. Something sudden. At the risk of... being a bit bewildering – that doesn't matter! It doesn't matter. With all those pictures it will always be accessible to everyone. Especially each time you express this fatigue, this difficulty, what Sri Aurobindo seems to be saying comes back to me: “But of course! He is banging up against something that shouldn't even be there!”

(Laughing) Perhaps that's why you were angry with me! Because I insist! Upstairs [in Mother's room, during japa], it keeps coming all the time, all the time: “Go on – take the plunge! Clear the hurdle, take the plunge, cross to the other side.” Constantly, constantly.

You see, in what you've just read to me, every place where something rushes in from above is VERY good. Then suddenly something in me begins to... (words are much too crude), begins to grow bored or tired (that's too crude, it's only a slight uneasiness). And I invariably notice that what bothers me are the explanations – I'm exaggerating.

Actually, one always says too much. Always too much.

The art of good writing consists in knowing how to be silent. The things you don't say are far more important than the things you do.


1 Not including poetry.









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