August 7, 1963
You look tired....
The difficulties are continuing.
There's a keen struggle against the constant Negation of all inner life – higher life, rather. That is to say, the general Disbelief [in the body].
It's giving me the same kind of nights again. But it's odd, I don't know what it means, last night there were buildings made of a kind of red granite, and many Japanese. Japanese women sewing and making ladies' dresses and fabrics; Japanese youths climbing up and down the buildings with great agility; and everybody was very nice. But it was always the same thing (gesture of a collapse or a fall into a hole): you know, a path opens up, you walk on it, and after a while, plop! it all collapses. And there was a young Japanese man who was climbing up and down the place absolutely like a monkey, with extraordinary ease: “Oh,” I thought, “but that's what I should do!” But when I approached the spot, the things he used to climb up and down vanished! Finally, after a while, I made a decision: “I will go just the same,” and found myself downstairs. There I met some people and all sorts of things took place. But what I found interesting was that all the buildings (there were a great many of them, countless buildings!) were made of a kind of red porphyry. It was very beautiful, Granite or porphyry, there were both. Wide stairs, big halls, large gardens – even in the gardens there were constructions.
But outwardly, difficulties are coming back, in the sense that the Chinese seem to be seized again with a zeal to conquer – they are massing troops at the border.
Yet it seems quite unlikely they will attack.
Then why are they massing troops?
Obviously, but... The result is that the Americans said they would come to help if they attacked. Even the Russians said they would help.
Well, we don't know. I SEE those great currents: they're like currents of madness that catch hold of people and things.... At bottom, it may be really a rather acute conflict between the Yes and the No, that is to say, between all that struggles to hasten the coming of new things and all that refuses – refuses with increasing violence.
Constantly, constantly, this poor body is assailed by all the old ideas and old convictions that keep telling it that it's mistaken, it lives in illusion, it thinks it's being transformed but it's all humbug. So the body... is a little tired, it wonders, “Won't I get a little rest?” Night and day, it spends its time in the battle, nonstop. It's beginning to wonder if it's not some kind of inferiority of its own, an incapacity to deal with things quietly?
And then, it has never been very fond of food (that's something it has never been interested in), but in those cases, food becomes almost... not positively disgusting, but... It has always considered eating as tiring.
Someone who understands!
(As if “by chance,” Satprem reads Mother an old conversation, of January 24, 1961, on the influenza epidemic in Japan during World War I.)
And the best part of the story is that they've never had that type of influenza since.
The Japanese are receptive people.
They've learned so much from the Americans – it has warped their taste, but now it's beginning to come back. Also, all that they've learned helps them. And they've converted America to the sense of Beauty!
It's odd, last night, it was all Japanese....
(Then Satprem reads the conversation of May 22, 1963, in which he tells Mother how she cured him suddenly of an infectious disease, as though something suddenly “tipped over.”)
I've noticed that phenomenon: always, when great difficulties crop up – a violent attack, a disorganization – the change isn't progressive: it's abrupt, like a reversal.
Just this morning, it was the same thing for me. You see, when the difficulty comes, there is a kind of general disorganization in the body, with intense pains, and... (I observe, I want to follow the thing) it's not at all a progressive abatement followed by recovery, that's not how it works: it's absolutely like the reversal of a prism – everything vanishes at one stroke. There remains only that stupid habit the body has of remembering. And in remembering... the remembrance makes you feel tired and out of sorts – but the thing is over.
The body's remembrance is yet another thing that will have to be worked upon.
There is a state in which you don't feel anything – a state – and a positive one, because it's a state of peace; a kind of very tranquil and very happy peace; a peace which makes you feel like staying that way forever: “Oh, if I could be that way forever!...” Or else there's a chaos in which everything clashes and denies and quarrels – as though everything were in an uproar. It reminds me of the very first experience I had when I was – I really lived – that Pulsation of Love and when it was decided I was to take my body again, to reenter my body; well, I had contact with my body, I knew I was in contact with my body, only through a pain. Contact with the body meant suffering.
I said that, in fact.
It seems to me (I've been feeling that for a long time now, more than a year, almost a year and a half), it seems to me that all the work was done only to teach every single element of the body to have a physical, material consciousness, but at the same time to maintain that state of peace – a positive, full, thoroughly comfortable peace: something that can last indefinitely. That is to say, I progressively teach the body what I could call all the divine states; I teach it to feel and live in the divine states. Well, the closest things (two things are close enough, but one is more comfortable, if I may say so – it's the word ease in English – than the other; the other is more tense [Mother makes a fist], there is a will in it) the closest things are the sense of eternity and the sense of silence. Because behind the whole creation (I mean the material creation), there is a perfect Silence, not the opposite of noise but a positive silence, which is at the same time a complete immobility – that's very good as an antidote to disorder. But the sense of eternity is still better, and it has a sweetness the other hasn't; the sense of eternity includes the sense of sweetness (but not “sweetness” as we understand it). It's extremely comfortable. That is, there is no reason why it should change – or cease or start anew. It is selfexistent, perfect in itself. And these are the best antidotes to the other state [of disorder]: peace, simple peace, isn't always sufficient.
After all, the body is an utterly wretched thing.... Yesterday, I think, it was complaining, really complaining (I said it was a “whiner,” but yesterday it was complaining), really asking, “Why, why was such a wretched thing ever made?” – Incapacity, incomprehension, oh!... Nothing but limitations and impossibilities. A sterile goodwill, a complete lack of power, and as soon as some little vital power comes, it's turned into violence – disgusting.
Whenever I complain like that, I can be sure I'll have a night of tension, and the next morning a “jolt.”
It would be better to remain quiet, take things as they are and let the Lord do His work without... without pushing Him all the time like that. I always feel that all our misfortunes are attracted by our impatience or discontent. If we were blissfully content and let things follow their course, “When You will it, it will be, that's all. I am an idiot, I remain an idiot, and when You will it to change...”
But can we afford to let things follow their course? If we do, everything goes haywire.
We can tell ourselves, “Oh, everything will be fine,” and let things sort themselves out, but then they just happen haphazardly.
They happen haphazardly, but probably there comes a point when they get better.... (Laughing) We don't dare carry out the experiment to the very end!
That belief in us is obviously what makes us struggle. But I am not so sure it is true Wisdom.
I don't know.
Let's take a practical example [Mother smiles ironically at the “practical”! on another level than the corporeal level: say you have a garden invaded by crows and sparrows that are eating everything, insects, negligent gardeners.... So you have a choice: either you wear yourself out and get worked up about it but you keep the garden, or you react against your reaction and you say, “All right, I won't say anything, let things go as they like,” and then everything gets spoiled.
But if you stick your nose into it, you get worked up, because it's chaos.
No, you should be able to stick your nose into it without getting worked up! And it's quite possible. It's something the body has achieved, here, this body: it can intervene without getting worked up. But that's not the question! The question is something BEHIND that. That's not it. The question is: if we leave disorder alone (if, to be precise, we let it reach its maximum), will the progress (what we call progress, that is, the change) not be greater?
Will the garden not be eaten up by the insects? That's the question.
We don't make the experiment!
I saw in France a patch of garden: it was surrounded by walls, and the land had belonged to someone who took great care of it and had planted flowers in it. It was fairly large, but completely enclosed. That person died. It was in southern France. He died and no one (there were no heirs), no one looked after the garden: it was closed and stayed that way. I saw that garden... I don't remember now, but certainly more than five years afterwards. It probably happened that the lock broke little by little and came loose; I pushed the door open and entered.... I've never seen anything more beautiful! There weren't any paths any more, there was no order any more, nothing but confusion – but what confusion! I've never seen anything more beautiful. I stood there in a sort of ecstasy.... There is a book (I think it's Le Paradou by Zola) in which there is a description of a fairy place – it was just like that: all the flowers and plants entangled, in an absolutely disorderly growth, but with a harmony of another type, a much vaster, much stronger harmony.
It was extraordinarily beautiful.
We have the mental habit of wanting to order, classify and regulate everything: we always want to have order – a mental order. But that's... For example, in those places untouched by men, such as virgin forests, there is a beauty you don't find in life, and it's a vital, unruly beauty which doesn't satisfy mental reason, yet contains a far greater wealth than anything the mind conceives and organizes.
But in the meantime, life is beleaguered by thousands of insects – millions of insects...
... that constantly try to eat it up.
You know, a naturalist once said that if man didn't destroy the ant, the ant would drive man off the earth.
Well, that's the point!
It's possible! (Mother laughs)
It's hard to find...
What's hard is to find the TRUE THING.
But in fact, it must be quite a difficult problem, since it's the very problem that confronts the future of the earth.
The side of reason (of a gradual and harmonious progress as conceived by the mind) wants peace and quiet, order and harmony among nations. The “mortar and pestle” method, which mixes everything together to bring out something more potent, a richer combination of the elements, demands destruction. Both are there in the atmosphere, like this (Mother looks). And it would seem – it would seem – that the decision hasn't been made yet, as Sri Aurobindo says [“it is still hanging”].
Yet... at present, it would seem that my work is more a work of pacification (I mean the universal work).
But I am not sure.
There was a time when I struggled very strongly against wastage: waste of force, waste of material, waste of time, and also, of course, waste of lives. A terrible waste of lives. But isn't this attitude still one of blinkered sentimentality?? I can't say.
For a very long time – a very long time – I preferred one path to the other, and all the while when I lived with Sri Aurobindo physically, I quite certainly preferred the path of harmonious growth to that of... the general “throwing back into the melting pot”!
That habit of throwing everything back, mixing it all together to start anew... Even if it takes less and less time to learn one's lesson anew, still it takes some time, and that seems so useless!
All that the body knows, all that it has learned, it has learned it as an “aggregate,” so if all that goes into another body, everything has to be learned again – which is a pain in the neck. You waste a lot of time.
So your garden is in trouble!?
No, no! I was taking it as an example.
Yes, but you said it was a “practical” example!
No, sometimes the sensation of how life is beleaguered comes to me in waves – you are beleaguered. It's a perception I have, sometimes very strongly; you can't do anything without being beleaguered by something – for everything, everywhere, in every detail. For a year or two I've had that sensation. Sometimes it's revolting... or else distressing. I've never felt it so strongly as during these last years – that sensation of being beleaguered, assailed.
All sorts of things come that way; at one period one thing, at another period another thing – those are periods of inner transformation. For instance, the sense of a universal duplicity (what in the Vedas they call crookedness): the impression that nothing goes straight. I have extraordinary examples of writing a sentence with a clear, precise will, and it was understood (by someone with perfect goodwill) in quite another way, according to his own vision of things. It happened a few days ago. But it happens all the time! I say something, which to me is as clear as can be, and it's understood absolutely differently, sometimes the very opposite! So there's the feeling, the sensation that EVERYTHING is that way, all life is that way, all consciousnesses are that way, all vibrations are that way – instead of going straight, everything is crooked. It's so strong that, as you say, it almost makes you feel sort of ill-at-ease. You are disgusted, it makes you feel sick.
And at another time, it's something else that comes.
It's precisely in response to those things that there is a call (gesture of the Force descending into the body) for purification: so the thing may be set right, so there may be at least one drop of Truth somewhere. So then it gives a “jolt.”
The extent of that deformation is so considerable, so generalized that usually you don't notice it, either in yourself or in others – you notice it only when it assumes glaring proportions, but then... hypocrisy, for example.
But I am speaking of a phenomenon that's constant.
There is the whole gamut, you see, right from the most material. In the most material, it's really like that: elements that are perpetually clashing and clashing and clashing... everything is clashing, as though it were the only way to exist. In the vital realm, it's violence. And in the mental realm, it's mainly that crookedness. That's why I said to myself, “Truly, we are poor things!”
There is clearly in us the Remembrance that gives birth to the aspiration for something divine – if that weren't there, latent, we could never... we could not even imagine! That aspiration couldn't exist, it would be meaningless. But still, what a long path this is....
It seems (it's quite certain) that the closer you come to the other side, the more it appears... the more you see the difference.
As long as you wallow in your Ignorance, you don't notice it.