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The Mother


Volume 4

November 20, 1963

So, any news? How are you?


Not all that well?

Not all that well, no.

Your health isn't good?

Not too good either.

What's wrong?

It's inside also.

Oh, then that's why! What's wrong inside?

You don't want to tell me?

I'm a bit... disillusioned.

By what?

My faith doesn't waver, but I have the impression that except for a certain number of things I have to do and for which I receive a precise help, a help really from above, for the rest, nothing. You understand, it's ten years now since I came here, well, there's nothing – not that I lack faith, but there's no development.

Maybe not the development you're expecting.

Well, for me, it has to be a development of consciousness: you SEE. I don't know, you should see!

Ah, always that question of “seeing.”

Of course!

But that's not necessary, some people realize without seeing.

I find that quite incomplete. There's no consciousness.

No consciousness?


Aren't you conscious?

Of what??


My faith doesn't change: this is the Truth, without a doubt. Even if nothing happened for two centuries, it would still be the Truth, but...

Oh, two centuries, that's nothing! Two millennia, my child, come on.... You're in too great a hurry.

I really thought... When I began the yoga, it seemed to me quite natural: you do such and such a thing, you come to such and such a result – it seemed obvious to me. That obviousness is what has been shaken.

Yes, that's what I felt. Would you believe that lately, for about two or three weeks, there has been a kind of craving for effects (what YOU call “results”), effects. To me, they were “effects.” And I said to myself, “That's odd, I've never had that in my life, I am absolutely indifferent, why this craving?” – All the time I keep catching your illnesses! Say, that's not very nice! (laughter)

Ah, now I understand! I said to myself, “Where is it coming from? Where is it coming from?...”

All right.

Well, it will pass. It's going to pass.


I have been shown in a perfectly objective, but tenuous, way some effects that are insignificant in their dimensions, yet OVERWHELMING, I am telling you, overwhelming in their quality. And with a smile, as if I were made fun of and told, “Oh, so you want results? Well, here they are. You want effects? Well, here they are.” And then it went on (you know, what I call “insignificant” is what concerns life's tiny little circumstances of every minute): “You want TERRESTRIAL results? Well, these are far more considerable in their quality than you can see.” And indeed, I saw small, very small things, movements of consciousness in Matter, tiny little things that were... truly astounding in their quality, and that are never noticed because they are totally unimportant (outwardly unimportant). Only if you observe in a most tenuous way do you notice them, because they are, in fact, phenomena of consciousness in the cells – are you conscious of your cells?

(Satprem shakes his head)

No. Well, become conscious of your cells, and you will see that there are results!

All these last few days, it has been coming as... as proofs, proofs that can crush any doubt: proofs of the Supreme's omnipresence in the apparently MOST UNCONSCIOUS MATTER – something so overwhelming that the rational reason can hardly believe it. But it is forced to. Only, of course, you notice it when you have reached that most tenuous degree of attention and when, instead of wanting great things that cause a lot of noise and movement and appear very dazzling, you content yourself with observing very, very little, very tiny things that are to our pretentious reason perfectly insignificant, but to the Lord are crushing proofs.

But I don't need proofs! I don't doubt for a second, there isn't one doubt in my consciousness.

Then what do you lack?

Well, I tell myself I'm useless! I'm not capable. That's all.

But that's not true!

Then why am I not conscious?

But that's false, mon petit!

But I'm not aware of anything going on. I wake up in the morning, for example, and I don't have the faintest idea of where I've been at night.

And here I am trying never to remember!... I go to the greatest trouble to succeed – I do succeed, I am beginning to succeed. When I go to bed, I ask, “For the love of God, for the love of You, Lord, let me rest blissfully and peacefully, without being conscious of... all that useless jumble of life and people.” And when I wake up (I wake up nearly four or five times in the night, that is, I come out of my trance and enter the external consciousness), every time I notice there had been an event going on, but immediately, something comes and goes vrrt!... (gesture of erasing) because I asked; so it goes away. And He's full of humor, the Lord, you know (Mother laughs), far more than we think, because He gives me just a hint of something which is suddenly extremely interesting and revealing: the other day, I had been put in contact with the political circumstances of the country, then naturally, at my idiotic request, as soon as I woke up, as soon as I came back to the external consciousness, something came and went vrrt!... and the thing vanished. So I made a little attempt to bring it back, but I heard someone laugh, saying, “You see!...”

In the end, the conclusion of it all is that we're fools! We want what we're not given, we don't want what we're given, and we mix in all kinds of personal desires with the care the Lord takes of us.

But I can't call unconsciousness a “care”! When I'm unconscious, I feel it as something wrong!

But are you really unconscious?

Yes, certainly; what am I conscious of?...

Mon petit...

I'm conscious of my own noise, of my own din, of my stories, that's all I'm conscious of!

(Mother laughs) I remember, it wasn't at night, but in daytime; while I was walking, the Lord complimented me on you.

Well, I'll be...!

Not that way, not the way we understand compliments. I was looking into the way the Truth has to make use of mental capacities to express itself. (Because you're asked to silence the mind, and when you succeed in doing so, you really do succeed, but but that's not the aim; it's only a means, it's to change your way of functioning.) So I was looking at the way the mind has to function in the true life (the supramental life, since Sri Aurobindo said he called “supramental” the manifestation of Truth and Light). Anyway, I was looking. I was conducting a kind of terrestrial survey, wondering, “Are there on earth mentalities that are ready to receive and manifest – especially manifest – that vibration properly?” And I heard the Lord answer me something (I am translating, naturally): “But why are you looking so far afield? You have the fitting instrument with you.” And it was you. So I thought, “That's fine.”

I didn't voice any doubt on His judgment!

But since you protest and chafe... And He showed me how the drop of Light came, burst, sent forth radiation and went through your mentality without being dimmed – it was a very lovely thing to see.

I didn't tell you because... is it necessary to pay compliments? The fact itself was more important than saying it. But since you're unhappy, I am telling you: that's how it is. Maybe it's a habit of inner revolt – you aren't a rebel by nature, by any chance?

I tried to find out why your physical life began (well, not quite began, but you were very, very young, just the same) with such a painful experience [the concentration camps]. And I saw why: it was like a separation – not “separation,” but disentanglement, you understand?... There are two things in every human being: what comes from the past and has persisted because it is formed and conscious, and then all that dark, unconscious mass, really muddy, that is added in every new life. Then the other thing gets into that and finds itself imprisoned, you know – adulterated and imprisoned – and generally it takes more than half one's life to emerge from that entanglement. Well, for you, care was taken to... more than double the dose at the beginning, and it caused a kind of tearing apart: one part went up above, another part fell down below. And the part (it acted almost like a filter), the part that rose up was very cleansed, very cleansed of all that swarming: it's becoming very, very conscious of the mixture.... Just see, today, the whole morning until I was swamped with work by people, till then there was a sharp awareness of the part of the being that still belongs, as I said, to Unconsciousness, to Ignorance, to Darkness, to Stupidity, and is... not even as harmonious as a tree or a flower; something that's not even as tranquil as a stone, not even as harmonious and not even as strong as the animal – something that is really a downfall. That is really human inferiority. And maybe (no, I shouldn't say “maybe”: I know) it was necessary for things to settle down – settle, you know, as when you let a liquid settle? That's exactly it: it's the Light that settles, the Consciousness that settles. And indeed it's true, there is in you a part that has entirely settled. Every time I see it (it comes in the course of the work, you understand), it's lovely in its quality of light, its quality of vibration, and it has settled considerably. But it's true that there is also a kind of sediment, a deposit (deposit, you know?) which is a bit heavy – that's what you're conscious of.

But you shouldn't say “me”! It's not you, that residue isn't you!... But you are indeed conscious of the Light, aren't you?

Yes, I am conscious of it when I write, for instance.

Yes, or when you meditate.

Yes, but that's all. It's a light or a force.

Mon petit, it's as lovely as can be! It sparkles like champagne – it's as lovely as can be, and it's a light. Like champagne bubbles, you know? It's bubbles of light.

But why doesn't it express itself in an awakened external consciousness?

Because it has settled! So you should get the awareness or knowledge that this [the body] isn't you – the trouble is that when you say “me” you think of this (Mother strikes her body), but that's not it! It isn't you! And you have to feel that it isn't you before you can come down again into it to take possession of it and change it. As long as you say, “This is me,” you are tied, bound hand and foot.

What's you is this (gesture above the head), it's there: what sparkles in the light – that's you. This [the body] isn't you, it's the sediment. You still have your body's self-esteem! You should feel: this isn't me, it isn't me. It is... yes, what was put together more or less clumsily and ignorantly by father, mother, maybe with the influence of grandparents.... That discovery I made at the age of about fifteen or sixteen, or seventeen. I began to see clearly all the “gifts” (if we can call them that) that came from father, mother, parents, grandparents, education, people who looked after me, that whole mudhole, as it were, into which you fall headfirst. And then, the quality of the vibration, the quality of the sensation, of the so-called “thoughts” (which aren't thoughts, but are almost automatic mental reflexes of sorts) and of the feelings (if you can call them feelings: they are kinds of reactions to the milieu and to all that comes from outside) – it all swarms, swarms like worms in the mud.

When you see it all and you begin to say, “But this isn't me!” and you feel it isn't you: “It isn't me! No – me is what looks on; me is what wills; me is what knows....”

You must be having revelations without even noticing them! You have all this here (gesture above Satprem's head), it's full of revelations, mon petit! And there you are, trying to see with the eyes of the vital, to have experiences in the subtle physical, all kinds of things, which cannot even come because you are here (gesture above), and that is the sediment.


But I don't know, it's clear that the Lord is particularly interested in your case, because He has shown me many things of your body's life, your body's reactions – He must be taking care of you! (Laughing) Maybe if you give Him credit, you'll notice it!

I rather get sore, I flare up, I take Him to task.

Oh, you always get sore – you are a rebel by nature.

That's tiresome, one wastes one's time.


But the time of change must have come, because I was shown the worst – your worst state – and then what you are to be. In fact, I realize now (laughing) that I've been occupied with you quite a lot these days.

I must say that what I see isn't very pretty.

Everyone is born with... (what can I call it?) some special twist (laughing) – I know my own twist, I know it quite well! (I don't talk about it because it isn't enjoyable.) But that's what remains last of all. With our idiotic human logic, we think, “That's what should go first,” but it's not true: it's what goes last! Even when it all becomes clear, clear (gesture above), even when you have all the experiences, the habit stays on and it keeps coming back. So you push it back: it rises again from the subconscient; you chase it away: it comes back from outside. So if for one minute you aren't on your guard, it shows up again – oh, what a nuisance! But Sri Aurobindo wrote about this somewhere, I don't remember the words; I read it very recently, and when I read it, I thought, “Ah, there it is! He knew it was that way.” So it comforted me, and I thought, “All right, then.” He said that he who has purified his mind and so on and so forth, who is ready to work towards Perfection (it's in the Synthesis, “The Yoga of Self-Perfection”), “He is ready and patient for lapses and the recurrence of old errors, and he works quietly, waiting patiently till the time comes for them to leave.” I thought, “Very well, that's how it is now.” I am patiently waiting for the time when... (though I don't miss any opportunity to catch them by the tip of their nose, or the tip of their ear, and to say, “Ha, you're still here!...”).

The first thing is to detach your consciousness, that's most important. And to say: I-AM-NOT-THIS, it's something that has been ADDED, placed to enable me to touch Matter – but it isn't me. And then if you say, “That is me” (gesture upward), you'll see that you will be happy, because it is lovely – lovely, luminous, sparkling. It's really fine, it has an exceptional quality. And that's you. But you have to say, “That is me,” and be convinced that it's you. Naturally, the old habits come to deny it, but you must know that they're old habits, nothing else, they don't matter – that is you.

This movement is indispensable. A moment comes when one must absolutely separate oneself from all this, because only when one has separated oneself and become quite conscious that one is there (gesture above the head), that one is THAT, only then can one come down again to change it all. Not to forsake it, but to be its master.

I've spent nights in sewers, cleaning out sewers.

Ah, that's good! (Mother laughs) Oh, but that's very funny because I've done identical things. Listen!... Oh, well, it's very funny.

It's all right, it's all right.

We must endure. The victory belongs to the most enduring.

There are times when one is disgusted, and that's just when one should remember this. Now, your disgust may have reasons of its own (!) But you have only to endure. You know, there is one thing, I don't know if you have savored it yet: as soon as you have a difficulty, dissatisfaction, revolt, disgust – anything – fatigue, tension, discomfort, all, all that negative side (there are lots and lots and lots of such things, they take on all kinds of different colors), the immediate movement – immediate – of calling the Lord and saying, “It's up to You.” As long as you try (instinctively you try to arrange things with your best light, your best consciousness, your best knowledge...), it's stupid, because that prolongs the struggle, and ultimately it's not very effective. There is only one effective thing, that's to step back from what's still called “me” and... with or without words, it doesn't matter, but above all with the flame of aspiration, this (gesture to the heart), and something perfectly, perfectly sincere: “Lord, it's You; and only You can do it, You alone can do it, I can't....” It's excellent, you can't imagine how excellent! For instance, someone comes and deluges you with impossible problems, wants you to make instant decisions; you have to write, you have to answer, you have to say – all of it – and it's like truckloads of darkness and stupidity and wrong movements and all that being dumped on you; and it's dumped and dumped and dumped – you are almost stoned to death with all that. You begin to stiffen, you get tense; then, immediately (gesture of stepping back): “O Lord....” You stay quiet, take a little step back (gesture of offering): “It's up to you.”

But you can't imagine, it's wonderful! Immediately there comes – clear, simple, effortlessly, without seeking for it – exactly what has to be done or said or written: the whole tension stops, it's over. And then, if you need paper, the paper is there; if you need a fountain pen, you find just the one you need; if you need... (there's no seeking: above all don't seek, don't try to seek, you'll just make another mess) – it's there. And that's a fact of EVERY MINUTE. You have the field of experience every second. For instance, you're dealing with a servant who doesn't do things properly or as you think they should be done, or you're dealing with a stomach that doesn't work the way you'd like it to and it hurts: it's the same method, there is no other. You know, at times... situations get so tense that you feel as if you're about to faint, the body can't stand it any more, it's so tense; or else there's a pain, something wrong, things aren't sorting themselves out, and there's a tension; so immediately you stop everything: “Lord, You, it's up to You....” At first there comes a peace, as if you were entirely outside existence, and then it's gone – the pain goes, the dizziness disappears. And what is to happen happens automatically. And, you see, it's not in meditation, not in actions of terrestrial importance: it's the field of experience you have ALL the time, without interruption – when you know how to put it to use. And for everything: when something hurts, for instance, when things resist or grate or howl inside there, instead of your saying, “Oh, how it hurts!...” you call the Lord in there: “Come in here,” and then you stay calm, not thinking of anything – you simply stay still in your sensation. And more than a thousand times, you know, I was almost bewildered: “Look! The pain is gone!” You didn't even notice how it went. So people who want to lead a special life or have a special organization to have experiences, that's quite silly – the greatest possible diversity of experiences is at your disposal every minute, every minute. Only you must learn not to have a mental ambition for “great” things. Just the other day, I was shown in such a clear way a very small thing I had done (“I,” it's the body speaking), a very small things that had been done by the Lord in this body (that's a long sentence!), and I was shown the terrestrial consequence of that very small thing – it was visible, I mean, as my hand is visible to my eyes – and the terrestrial correspondence. Then I understood.

We are given everything – EVERYTHING. All the difficulties that have to be overcome, all of them (and the more capable we are, that is, the more complex the instrument is, the more numerous the difficulties are), all the difficulties, all the opportunities to overcome them, all the possible experiences, and limited in time and space so they can be innumerable. And it has repercussions and consequences all over the earth (I am not concerned with what goes on in the universe because, for the time being, that isn't my work). But it is certain (because it has been said so and I know it) that what goes on on the earth has repercussions throughout the universe. Sitting there, you live the everyday life with its usual insignificance, its unimportance, its lack of interest... and it's a WONDERFUL field of experiences, of innumerable experiences, not only innumerable but as varied as can be, from the most subtle to the most material, without leaving your body. Only, you should have RETURNED to it. You cannot have authority over your body without having left it.

Once the body is no longer you at all, once it is something that has been added and TACKED onto you, once it is that way and you look at it from above (a psychological “above”), then you can come down into it again as its all-powerful master.

You must come out of it first, then come down again.

There you are.

And one should also look at all those difficulties, all those bad habits (like, for you, that habit of revolt: it's something that seems to have been kneaded into the cells of your body), one should look at all that with the smile of someone who says, “I am not that. Oh, this was put on me!... Oh, that was added....” And you know, it was added... because it's one of the victories you must win.

I've witnessed the most complete panorama of all the idiotic things in this life,1 they were shown to me as in a complete panorama: passing from one to another, seeing each of them separately and how they combined with each other. And then: Why? Why should one choose this? (A child's question, which one asks immediately.) And immediately, the answer: “But the more” (let's say “central” to be clearer) “the more central the origin and the more pure in its essence, the greater the ‘ignoble complexity below,’ as we could call it. Because the lower down you go, the more it takes an essential light to change things.”

Once you've been told this very nicely, you're satisfied, you stop worrying – it's all right, you take things as they are: “That's how things are, it's my work and I do it; I ask only one thing, it is to do my work, all the rest doesn't matter.”

There, mon petit.

Oh, you've made me chatter away!


1 Mother is referring to her own life.









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