July 10, 1963
(Regarding the English translation of “The Adventure of Consciousness”:)
...What's impossible to translate is the musical rhythm of the sentence – that's impossible. Because the English rhythm and the French rhythm are very different in character, and if you translate literally something that has a poetic rhythm in English, it may not come out poetic at all in French. So a translation is a translation, we have to settle for it.... But there will still be quite enough ideas left to do people some good!
Yes, but sometimes it becomes quite jerky. The French has a staccato, powerful rhythm, so in English it gives an impression of small bits cut and pasted together. But anyway, I think she is doing as well as can be done.
But Sri Aurobindo always told me that French once translated makes good English, while English once translated makes poor French. Because there is a precision in the language that comes from the translation, but that doesn't exist in natural English.
Anyhow, I know it will do.
(Then Mother reads out a passage from “Savitri”:)
There's something here....
A slow reversal's movement then took place:
A gas belched out from some invisible Fire,
Of its dense rings were formed these million stars;
Upon earth's new-born soil God's tread was heard.
It's magnificent... magnificent.
In French it would be poor.
I don't seek to translate poetically, I only try to render the meaning. I read the English sentence until I SEE the meaning clearly, and once I see it, I put it into French, but very awkwardly – I don't claim to be a poet! Only, the meaning is correct.
This translation will not serve any purpose – it serves a purpose only for me. But I don't even have the time, I can hardly spare half an hour a day for this work – I hope I can offer myself half an hour a day!
(Satprem reads Mother a previous conversation, of May 11, in which Mother said that the true mantra is not the one given you by a guru but the mantra that wells up from within spontaneously, like the cry of your soul.)
But how is it, if the mantra automatically contains the power of the experience, that it is always said that unless you have been “given” the mantra by your guru, it has no power?
That's when you have no power of your own, naturally!
If, for example, just anybody comes to me and asks me for a mantra, I won't tell him he should find his own mantra inside.... What I said there applies to those who are in contact with their soul. But those who have no conscious contact with their soul cannot find their mantra – their head will search for words, but that's nothing. I said the mantra must well up from within – but for them, nothing will well up! They won't find it. They won't find it, not a chance! So in that case, the guru passes on his own power.
Yes, but when you read a mantra in a book, for instance, it is said there's no force in it – how is that, since the vibration is there?
But if you have the power within yourself and read the book, you will get the force! (Mother laughs) What's required is the capacity to feel and make contact.
Ultimately, what does the guru do? He connects (gesture of junction), he is nothing but a link. It's not “his” power he gives you (that's what he thinks, but it's not true): he is the link. He brings you into contact with the Power – a contact you don't have without him. But those who don't need a guru will make contact WITHOUT a guru.
It's not at all like something he pulls out of his pocket and offers you! That's not it at all: it's the power to make contact.
Ultimately, it's simply a question of consciousness: people (ordinary people) have a consciousness that reaches up to a certain point (a point not very far away generally), and what's beyond it, to them, is the “unconscious” (although it's full of consciousness!), but it's unconscious to them because they can't make contact. It's the same as when at night you wake up in another state of being, become conscious and have a “dream” (what people call a dream, meaning an experience), then you return to your ordinary consciousness, and as there is no contact between the two consciousnesses, you don't even remember your dream. But you can, through methodical development, extend your consciousness and make a connection between the two; and the minute the connection is made, it takes very little to remember everything. But what's difficult is to extend your consciousness.
Basically, the guru's real power is to fill up the gaps! To bring you into contact: when you are in the higher planes, to bring you into contact with the Highest. Or to bring you into contact with your soul, your psychic being within, or to bring you into contact with the Supreme – but that not many can do.
That's what I saw when I spoke to you the other day about what I called a “bath of the Lord.” The atmosphere was full, really chockfull of a Presence (you can't even call it a “vibration,” it's much more than a vibration: it's a Presence), but when people enter it, they don't feel anything! Or if they do, they don't even understand, it doesn't correspond to anything in their consciousness. But if I concentrate a particular vibration on their consciousness, I bring them into contact with it. And all of a sudden they feel something, with the impression that it's a new thing – it's nothing new! What's new is their capacity to perceive the thing.
In a general way, that's how it works: the Lord is everywhere, His vibration is everywhere, but what's new is the capacity to feel Him or be conscious of Him. From all eternity He has been there, for all eternity He shall be there.
And the experience I have constantly – constantly – isn't that I go in search of something that's not there and bring it where it wasn't! When I tell the Lord, “Manifest Yourself,” I don't mean He hasn't manifested! I mean: “Give us the power to feel Your manifestation.” We should say: “Become manifest.... Grant that we may grow conscious of Your Presence.”
And that gives a clear sense of Unreality and Unconsciousness – and of all the consequent disorder. Because there is a CONSTANT Reality, a CONSTANT divine Order, and it's only the incapacity to perceive it that makes the present Disorder and Falsehood.
The experiences go on multiplying. But then, outwardly, everyone seems to start squabbling and quarreling with each other (laughing) much more than before, even (!), over the most futile things in the world and most unnecessarily, without any ground, just like that. And then, to me the two sides become visible at once: the true thing and its deformation; the event as it should occur and its deformation. Yet the event REMAINS THE SAME – the deformation is merely a sort of excrescence added on to it, which is absolutely unnecessary and complicates things atrociously, for no reason. And also which gives a strong impression of Falsehood (in the English sense of falsehood, not lie1): something without meaning or purpose, absolutely unnecessary and perfectly idiotic – then why is it there??... Seized and twisted – everything is seized and twisted. Where does that habit of twisting things come from? I don't know.
Ultimately one wonders who finds it amusing?! People complain, they say they're wretched – but it's their own fault! They're the first to twist things! If they didn't have that habit, everything would be perfectly simple.
And events would NOT be changed.
Or do you want to ask something?
No.... I was contemplating what you said.... It's true, we see things from the wrong end.
Exactly! That's exactly it!
These days I am EXPERIENCING that every minute, for everything, everything – everyone and everything around me, at EVERY minute. It's extremely interesting.
I'll give you the example of what Pavitra told me yesterday: he always used to go out of his body in his aspiration and to rise very high – I told him a hundred times that he shouldn't do it, it wasn't good (for HIM; to another I would have said to do it). He never understood, and every time he meditated, brrt! he would go out of his body. Then the other day he told me, “Ah, now I've understood! I was always seeking Mother up above, till suddenly I couldn't find anything any more. So I concentrated here [in the body], and I found Mother immediately.” And he added, “It's because now Mother is here!” (Mother laughs) I didn't explain anything, but that was exactly the point!
I didn't tell him anything, but I smiled as though he had made a discovery!
People try to come into contact with something that's HERE!
And the Power... I would have to tell a mountain of experiences. For years and years and years, the Power was like this (gesture above the head): the Consciousness is there and the Power acts from there (same gesture). But it takes a long time to materialize (it depends on the person, but anyway, it always takes some time to materialize), and it gets distorted on the way, so that what's left is a rather ineffective residue. And I was wondering within me, “But for all that to change, a DIRECT power is needed! A power that would make itself felt directly, in other words, that would pass from cell to cell: vibrations of the same quality....” It's beginning to come. But I was also wondering why it didn't come faster.... Although I know very well: it's because we distort everything; we are so accustomed to living in a MENTALIZED consciousness that we distort everything, and naturally the Power cannot come just to get distorted. So now, the lesson is this: the Power comes for a specific action, for instance, to act on someone – the Power is here, it acts – and at the same time, I am given the opportunity to observe, really to VISUALIZE the... (how should I put it?)... Sri Aurobindo uses the word accretion (“outgrowth” isn't the word, it gives the feeling of something growing from within out – that's not it, it's something that comes from outside and is added on). I visualize how deformation sets in and is automatically added on to the Power – which spoils everything. So the Power stops short, everything reverts to its place... and it starts all over again.
It takes a very sharp, attentive, and above all impersonal observation (impersonal in the sense of objective, without any reaction) to see those things.
Only little by little, little by little do you learn the true functioning; because those things that are added on and spoil everything aren't deliberate additions arising from a desire or impatience or overenthusiasm – it's none of that, it's due to... a habit. It's quite simply a habit. That is, the psychological element is purified and doesn't interfere: it's just a habit. The SUBSTANCE has the habit of doing things that way, and so it does them that way. So it must be taught not to stir, to keep quiet, so that when the Vibration comes, the something that always rushes forward doesn't do so.
It's very interesting.
As though you were standing on the threshold of a stu-pen-dous realization that depends on a VERY SMALL thing.
Sri Aurobindo said somewhere that miraculous realizations do not last (they do occur, but they don't last), and that transformation alone will effect a lasting change – now I understand! Because some people happen, for some reason or other (a moment or a flash, or for a particular purpose), to receive the Force: all at once the Force comes, goes through them and acts, producing a fantastic result, but... it doesn't recur. It cannot recur, because it's like a combination of circumstances, nothing else. It's only when a modest work of this kind, a work of “local” transformation, so to speak, is completed and when there is the FULL consciousness with the FULL mastery of how to use the Force without anything interfering, that... it will be like a chemistry experiment you have learned to perform correctly: you can repeat it at will every time it's necessary.
That's the period of work under way. Very interesting.
But there's no glory in it!
1 In French the same word, mensonge, has both senses.