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The Mother


Volume 4

June 19, 1963

This is a really difficult period right now.

All last night...

There are activities that take place in a semidarkness, which the people of the place – people who are here at the Ashram – regard as light... and where everyone attends to his affairs with his own ideas and what he considers to be his “knowledge.” Everything takes place in a semidarkness, a great confusion and a... you know, a most oppressive sense of powerlessness. It went on for hours. Finally, I absolutely wanted – I wanted to get out of that place at all costs and return to the Light (the real one) and the open. But it was literally impossible: whatever path I took to get out suddenly collapsed, or disappeared as if swallowed up in a wall or a complexity of incoherent things, or else it came to an abrupt end, plunging straight down very deep.... I remember one of those places, I absolutely wanted to find a way out, and when I got there, there was a sheer gulf, and I said to myself, “What am I going to do?” Just then I saw a man, I don't know who he was, but he was dressed (it was symbolic) as a mountain climber, with all the equipment needed to climb down a sheer cliff, and with the help of his ice ax he fastened himself to the cliff and climbed down. Then I said, “This is PRETENDING to find the way, but it's not finding the way.” I was there concentrating, and as I concentrated, suddenly I was able to find a path which led me up to a terrace.

I was accompanied by three or four people (but they are symbolic people). Everything was taking place in a half-night, and outside it was complete night. But when I reached the terrace, there was one of those big electric street lights, which turned on and gave a white light (like the half-light of an electric lamp in the night – which is nothing). The terrace was a very long one, but with a drop on every side: there was no way to get out; at one end, the way was blocked by a sort of house, and on both sides it plunged straight down into a black hole. And then that sense of powerlessness, of knowing nothing – you don't know where to go, you don't know what to do. It was... And it is THE ORDINARY STATE OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS – the consciousness of human activity. But in my consciousness (I was shut in there, you understand), it was truly... it was almost a torture, last night; it was frightful.

I was saying to myself, “But what's the way to get out of here?” I concentrated, became conscious again of the divine Presence, but there was something telling me, “Nothing is responding, it's not working.” It was horrible. “Nothing is responding, it's not working; it's not working, it can't change, nothing is responding; nothing is responding, it's not working.” I was there like that, with two or three people. I sat down (some rooms were higher than others and it made a difference in level between the terraces), I sat down on a ledge, questioning intensely within, “What can I do? What can I do? What's the way? What can I do? Where's the lever?” I was trying to find the lever for changing it all. But I was unable to find it. Suddenly, from the room at the end a little old man came out, very old, who gave the impression of an attachment to old things; just the same (he was all blue), just the same when he arrived (it must be the symbol of an old method or an old discipline), I told him, “Ah, now that you are here, can you tell me the way out of this place? What's the way to get free, the way out?” That started him laughing: “No, no! There's no way, no way out, you must be content with what you have.” Then he looked at that poor light above, which really didn't give much light at all, and he said (in a high-sounding tone): “But in the first place, I came to tell you that you must put out that sun! I don't want that dazzling sun here.” Ah!... I thought, “That's what he calls a sun!” I was so disgusted that finally I woke up. Something pulled me out abruptly. But with such a strong impression – so strong – that I was gripped by anguish: “What can be done to change that?” The WAY, you see, the way was inadequate – inadequate. That was the anguish: “My own experience is inadequate, it has no effect THERE, so what's to be done? What's to be done? What can be done?” So that's how I was for hours this morning: “What's the way? What's the way? What's the way to change that darkness into light?”

It wasn't very cheering.

I'm not giving you all the details, but all sorts of people were there, with all their plans, all their ideas; one would come (what I've just said was only at the end, but before that plenty of people had come) and say, “Oh, look how cleverly I've organized this!” Then another one would come with another plan, then they would confer among themselves, then... It was just life, you see! A whole mental domain of life.

And my experience did not REACH there; there was no contact, I was powerless. What little light that turned on because of my presence and was considered as a dazzling sun was to me a mere street lamp.... It was painful.

I thought, “Why? Why am I not happy and quiet here, too?” And something answered, “Because I want to change that.” If I accepted it, I wouldn't even notice it; it's because I want to change that darkness. So then... then there will be joy only when we have FOUND the way – and how to find it?... All the methods I use for the yoga and for transformation, all were useless, useless, useless, no action, no action, no effect, no effect.... I've never seen a place so unreceptive! No effect, none at all. And everybody VERY content with what he knew!

It is evidently a mental domain. A mental subconscient. But it's horrible. Horrible.

Then in the morning, I asked myself, “What? Is there still a lot like that?” A world! A whole world, a mass of things. And that powerlessness in which you find yourself; which means that unless I am given the key, there is no way. That funny little old man, oh, he almost made me angry (I cannot get angry, but I was almost angry and that's what woke me up), I was indignant. “Aah, aah (Mother takes the old man's rasping tone), so you want to get out of here?! But no one gets out of this place! And why do you want to get out?... There's no way to get out, can't you see that there's no getting out of here – and why do you want to get out?!... Anyway, I came to tell you, I only came to tell you to put out that sun! That dazzling sun, you know!”

Well ....

Those are my nights.

So you get the feeling it will take centuries – centuries to change! Or else a catastrophe.

Though even a catastrophe... (Mother shakes her head negatively) it shakes it all up, then everything sinks back to the bottom.


And I kept trying to go down.

It must be to reach subconscient and inconscient depths. That's always what gives difficulties – an abyss.

I haven't yet tried to take the plunge. So far, nothing ever pushed me to plunge down – several times I did find an unexpected way, but there was never the impulsion: “Too bad, I'll throw myself off.”

I don't know why.

(long silence)

It is becoming increasingly positive – positive. And as if the problem were drawing closer and closer, growing more and more tight and stifling.


It's perfectly obvious that people can live, that men can exist and live BECAUSE they are unconscious. If they were conscious, really conscious of the state they live in, it would be intolerable. And I can see that there is a very difficult period when you go from that unconsciousness (unconsciousness of the habit of living in that state) to a conscious vision of the state you live in. When you become totally conscious of things as they are – of what you are, of your condition – and when you do not yet have the power to get out, like last night, it's almost intolerable. And there was a very clear awareness, very precise, that it isn't a question of life or death: it doesn't depend on that sort of thing, which ultimately changes nothing but a wholly superficial appearance – that's not it! You know, people who are unhappy think, “Ah, a day will come when I'll die, and all my difficulties will be over” – they're simpletons! It won't be over at all, it will go on. It will go on until the time when they get out for good, that is, when they emerge from Ignorance into Knowledge. It's the only way out: to emerge from Ignorance into Knowledge. And you can die a thousand times, it won't get you out, it's perfectly useless – it just goes on. Sometimes, on the contrary, it drags you even further down.

That's the thing.

But if you know this too soon, there's something... intolerable, intolerable. For a minute, it's really intolerable. If there weren't the inner faith to answer that there WILL be an end, that you WILL emerge...

It must require a tremendously powerful lever.

I suppose people without solid heads become unhinged. Although truly, there is a remarkable Grace, because people are given a dose of experiences exactly according to their capacity. But this morning there was an hour... an hour when I was absolutely conscious, absolutely conscious, and conscious of one single thing: the powerlessness – the powerlessness to get out of Ignorance. The will to get out of Ignorance and the powerlessness to do so. It gave me a whole hour of tension.

When I woke up, the tension was such that my head was like a boiling kettle; so immediately, I said, “Lord, it's Your concern, not mine; it's not my business.” And naturally, everything calmed down instantly.

But those who do not have that experience (it's not a question of words, it's a question of experience), those who do not have that experience, were they to have that half-knowledge, the knowledge that we live in Ignorance, that we live in Ignorance with a sort of incapacity to get out – “There is no way out, no way to get out” – and that human wisdom is like that little old man who comes and tells you, “But why should you want to get out? Why should you – that's the way things are, just the way things are.”... It's appalling. I felt, you know, like when you concentrate forces to the bursting point, as they do with their bombs; it was exactly like that: so concentrated, so overwhelming that I felt as if everything were about to burst. So much so that it would be utterly impossible for humanity to live with the awareness of the state it is in, if, at the same time, there weren't the key to get out (the key hasn't been found yet), or the assurance that we will get out.

I'm not speaking of things of the higher mind, because there the key to the way out was found long ago, a long time ago: I mean down below, in the material world – the material world. That's why all those people, like the old man last night, go somewhere else – it's all the same to them, why should they bother! “Why do you want to change that?... And don't try to give light here, it's no use and in addition it's a nuisance. Leave this Ignorance in peace.”

It is very clearly symbolic. But it's a frightful anguish, hard to bear.

That's why they all said, “Flee, flee, flee – leave it all, stop bothering about that, there's no getting out.”


It is the work in the physical mind we spoke of the other day – the material mind.


It was very strange because I was in that state all the time, saying to myself, “I must find something, I must find something, there's something to find....” And I tried to call down the experiences of the higher beings,1 but it couldn't reach down – it couldn't reach down, couldn't make contact. So when I saw that old man come (I knew perfectly well that he could do nothing whatsoever, but I thought, “I must ask him, I must ask him just the same, I must ask him”), I asked him – although I knew perfectly well that he couldn't give me the key. There was that double thing: the knowledge that all that goes on there2 is useless, useless, that that's not where the solution lies; and yet you should neglect nothing, overlook nothing, leave no stone unturned. Give everything a try.


And I came out like this (gesture as if Mother suddenly emerged from the experience with a movement backward and upward). How can I explain?... I was trying to find my way by going down, to find a way out down below, but I couldn't find it. So when that old man came, someone who was with me... very obligingly went to turn out the light [on the old man's orders]! Then I felt within myself, “I can't bear it, I can't stand here and watch this light being turned out – this light which turned on when I came – I can't bear that!” And I left abruptly like this (same gesture of stepping backward and upward), and found myself instantly back in my bed.

Yet the way I seek is ever descending, descending, descending – never to the heights. It's always descending, descending, descending.

Oh!... When will it be over?... I don't know.


All the details are clear – it would take a book to write them. Everybody now has his place and meaning.3 And they're all so content, so content! So BLISSFULLY ignorant of the condition they live in. And I'm not speaking of people who know nothing: all those who were there last night were people full of philosophy, of knowledge, of “spiritual experiences” and all that – the cream.

The elite of mankind....


1 The higher parts of Mother's being.


2 In that mental domain.


3 Mother often said that each of the Ashram disciples was the symbol of a particular difficulty to be conquered.









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