July 7, 1965
(About Mother's recent cold. After listening to the English translation of her last comments on the “Aphorisms” brought to her by Nolini, Mother starts speaking in English:)
I don't know for others but for a very long time in life when there is an illness (some illness of any kind) automatically the cells forget everything, all their sadhana and everything, and it is only slowly when you get out of the illness that the cells begin to remember. And then, my ambition was (I remember that, it was long ago, many years ago), my ambition was that the cells should remember when being ill – which is absurd because it would have been better to aspire to have no illness! But for a time it was like that. The first time that the cells remembered, oh, I was very happy. But now, it is the opposite; that is, as soon as the disorder comes, the cells first... first they got a little anxious: “Oh, we are so bad that we are still catching illnesses” – that was a period; and then, afterwards there was the impression: “Oh, You want to teach us a lesson, we have something to learn” – that was already much better: a kind of eagerness. And now there is an intense joy and a kind of power; a power that comes, a power of aspiration and a power of realization that comes with the sense: “We are winning a victory, we are winning a new victory....”
That has been my condition over the last few days.
I know how this cold came in, it comes only by negligence – not exactly... on ne fait pas attention [people are careless].1
For instance, the doctor had a cold, I knew it instantly; instantly I did what had to be done, and I didn't catch anything; but someone else had a cold, I wasn't on my guard, and while handling the things he handled, I caught it: I noticed it when it came in – it was already too late. I said, “All right,” then it followed its whole course. It was particularly violent, I think, because the cells were feeling, “Ah!” (the joy first), “Ah, now we're going to make some progress!” Then a sort of force, of power of transformation came like that, along with the illness, and that's why the illness developed to the full. At one point it was going to exceed a certain limit and it would have become very inconvenient for the work, so I said, “No, no! Take care, because I can't stop my work like that.” As if to say, “Enough of these bad jokes, you don't want to be ill any longer.” Then a force came, something... like a boxer.
It was very, very interesting.
And the play of the will on the cells, the way in which the cells obey the will, is very interesting. Because, it goes without saying, now it isn't an individual will (it isn't a personal will, it's nothing that looks like the old business of before), but it is... the Will for Harmony in the world: the Lord in his aspect of harmony. There is the Lord in his aspect of transformation and the Lord in his aspect of harmony. But the Lord in his aspect of harmony has a harmonizing will; so when that will for harmony comes, it acts in its turn, saying, “Not everything for the Will for Transformation! Things shouldn't go too fast because everything will be demolished! The will for harmony should be there and things should follow a rhythmic and harmonious movement,” and then everything is sorted out.
To tell the truth (it has been a very intense study these last few days), I don't know what an illness is. They speak of viruses, they speak of microbes, they speak... but we are entirely made up of those things! It's only their interplay, their way of adjusting and harmonizing among themselves that makes all the difference. There is nothing that isn't a “microbe” or a “virus” – they give ugly names to the things they don't want, but it's all the same thing!... For the cells, that's not the problem – the problem is not that, but whether to follow the Will for Transformation (which sometimes is a bit brutal – brutal compared to the very small thing a body is), or whether to follow the Will for Harmony, which is always pleasant, and is always there, even when outwardly things are decomposing.
It's a truer explanation, it explains things better than all the notions of illness.
I don't believe much in illnesses.
There aren't two identical illnesses.
I am sure (I am not a scientist, but if I knew), I am sure that there aren't two identical microbes.
Then Mother takes up “Savitri”: The Debate of Love and Death.
Is he going on? What does he offer Savitri?
Oh, he is base (laughing), base with vulgarity. (Mother reads:)
Daughters of thy own shape in heart and mind
Fair hero sons and sweetness undisturbed...
See that joy! Oh!... How vulgar that being is! Can there really be people who are tempted by this?
I think Sri Aurobindo deliberately made this Death very vulgar to discourage all the illusionists and Nirvanists.
But even when I was quite small, five years old, it seemed to me commonplace, while if I had been told, “Let there be no more cruelty in the world,” ah, there is something I would have found worthwhile. “Let there be no more injustice, let there be no more suffering because of people's wickedness,” there is something one can dedicate oneself to. But producing daughters and sons... I have never felt physically very maternal. There are millions and millions who do that, so do it again? – No, truly that's not what one is born for.
1 Here Mother reverts to French.