March 28, 1970
(Mother holds a note out to Satprem)
This is what I sent for the conferences of the New Age Association.1 They asked, “Is the aim of life to be happy?...” So I replied:
“That is just putting things topsy-turvy.
“The aim of human life is to discover the Divine and to manifest it. Naturally, this discovery leads to happiness, but this happiness is a consequence, not an aim in itself. And it is this mistake of taking a mere consequence for the aim of life that has been the cause of most of the miseries afflicting humanity.”
What do they mean by “happiness”!
Yes! Everyone thinks it's his or her personal little happiness, and that's the cause of the whole misery.
They did put “to be happy”: “Is the aim of life to be happy?”... That's AMAZING! And that's just what has distorted things, it's the source of everything. “Me, I am happy if I kill someone – so let me kill someone”! (Mother laughs)
Yes, they always put the little person at the center.
Yes, always, always!
What have you brought? Nothing?... There are the latest things from Sri Aurobindo, do you have them?
On the four stages of pain?
421 – There are four stages in the pain God gives to us; when it is only pain; when it is pain that causes pleasure; when it is pain that is pleasure; and when it is purely a fiercer form of delight.
“If Sri Aurobindo refers to moral pain, whatever it may be, I can say from experience that the four stages he speaks of correspond to four states of consciousness that stem from the inner development and the degree of union with the divine consciousness obtained by the individual consciousness. When the union is perfect, there only remains the ‘fiercer form of delight.’
“If he refers to physical pain endured by the body, the experience does not follow so clearly defined an order, all the more so as union with the Divine most often causes the pain to disappear.”
Yes, that's my experience, that's what I told you.
I don't know whether he was actually referring to physical pain?... How does he put it?
“...A fiercer form of delight.”
That experience I had it in 1912 (1912 or '13, I don't remember), in Paris. I was in Paris. Once, I had an anxiety about someone who was to travel to Paris and arrive at a certain time; time was passing and passing, and the person didn't arrive. Then, at one point, I had a sort of anguish, I wondered what had happened. And that anguish suddenly... You see, I was already conscious of my psychic being (I had been for a long time), and that anguish suddenly became extraordinarily intense, and it made (bursting gesture) like fireworks – a marvel! So I understand what he means by “a fierce form of delight.” But it was purely psychological, it wasn't physical.... 1912 or '13.
But physically, the body's whole experience now is that it only has to... to give itself unreservedly, to abandon itself totally to the divine Presence, and the pain, any pain at all, disappears.
That I said the other day.
It's not at all that it turns into something else: it disappears. And on a physical level, it's more important because, along with the pain, the CAUSE disappears too. Which means that the disorder that had occurred is dissolved, it no longer exists. That's why I don't think Sri Aurobindo is referring to physical things, because in the physical, experiences are different.
Psychological or inner things, even sensations (sensations about events, not about the body), have a fluidity, they're quite different in character. Things of the body have a sort of... (what shall I call it?) maybe a concrete stability or fixity, I don't know. For example, if you have a pain somewhere (say in the heart or lungs or... some pain), it corresponds to something within, something that happened, a disorder, and the pain (when you are in a tranquil state) corresponds to what we might call the “situation” of the cells, so when the pain disappears it means the cells are back in place – it doesn't mean that the disorder is continuing but you no longer feel it, that's not it. So it's not the sensation you have that changes, it's the material FACT that has changed. And that I find much more marvelous: the contact with the true Force puts things back in order.
Yet, usually with physical things, one feels it takes a little time to ...
But that's because the cells are not used to surrendering, to giving themselves. Once the cells are conscious and give themselves, I have noticed that things can go really very fast. But it may depend on the kind of disorder; I suppose, for instance, that a broken bone may need some time to be repaired.
I once broke this little bone (Mother points to the little finger of her left hand). Sri Aurobindo was there and I told no one except him (especially no doctor). I didn't bandage it, didn't do anything, I just kept it straight. There was even a time when I could feel the knitting of the bone (it made a slight lump, as it always does), but that too disappeared. But it took... I don't remember exactly (that was long ago, he was there), but I simply took care not to move my finger (it was the left hand), and it knitted together without bandage or anything, like that, relatively fast, and without leaving ANY trace. It was broken.
It was broken, but the bones hadn't moved apart. I could feel the fracture – a month later it was over (I forget exactly how many days). And broken obviously means something very concrete!
But I don't know if, for instance, in the body's present state, it wouldn't happen much faster. I don't know. But now, it's a thoroughly conscious and almost “methodical” work, I might say, which is inflicted on the body so that one part after another, and all the parts and all the groups of cells may learn... true life.
But there is one thing.... In what he wrote, in what he told me, Sri Aurobindo seemed to take as a sign of the transformation the constant presence of Ananda [bliss].... And that was one of the things I told him about: the being manifesting in this body, and consequently the body (because even from a very young age, the body had tried to surrender to the inner being, not to remain independent), in the body itself, there had never been either the feeling or the need, or even the intent of living in Ananda. Since it was very small, the body was built with... I might put it like this: “the will to do what had to be done” – to be what it had to be and to do it. When it was very small, the object of the surrender was not known, but the minute it knew it, for it that was very definitive.... You understand, the first contact (as I said) was the divine Presence in the psychic being, and so, the minute it became a fact – a patent fact, there was no arguing, the experience was perfectly conclusive – from that minute, the body had only one idea left (not even one idea, one will), to be what THAT wanted it to be.... Now, for it, it's beyond any possible discussion: it's like this (gesture hands open), simply attentive and anxious to do what the Divine wants it to do, and it tries more and more not to feel any difference. That's beginning – it's not yet there everywhere. In many parts of the body, there is only ONE thing left: there is not the Thing that wants and the thing that obeys, it's no longer like that – only ONE Vibration. It's beginning. But it doesn't expect it to result in a sense of delight or Ananda or... In fact, it's quite indifferent to that. It was born and formed quite indifferent.
I said that to Sri Aurobindo. (Laughing) He looked at me and said, “There aren't two people like you on earth!” (Mother laughs) Because, he says, people may overcome the need to be happy (not “be happy,” that doesn't mean anything), anyway the need of satisfaction, of Ananda, but for it to be spontaneous...! Like that, effortless.
No merit! It was quite natural.
That's why that famous question [“Is the aim of life to be happy?”], for the body itself, it's such an obvious thing! If it were told, “You were born to be happy...” (Mother stares in surprise), it doesn't understand!
(Soon afterwards, for a message for April 24, Mother asks Satprem to look for a quotation from Sri Aurobindo. Satprem proposes this:)
“There is nothing that can be set down as impossible in the chances of the future, and the urge in Nature always creates its own means.”
It's interesting.... That's precisely the change of consciousness that has taken place in the body's cells: if they are told, “Nature will find the means,” it leaves them absolutely indifferent – their impression is that it's the Divine that DIRECTLY... kneads Matter. That's the object of what I call the “change of power”: to substitute the divine, direct Power for the power of Nature. And the cells no longer have that... (I can't find the word in French) that reliance at all.
It's not quite trust, it's “relying on.” They no longer rely on Nature to do things: they have a conviction and a faith, and even an experience (a fragmentary one) of the direct Influence of the Divine.
It's when Nature does things that it takes time, it's Nature that needs time.
Is there something else?
“Whatever the way may be, you must accept it wholly and put your will into it; with a divided and wavering will you cannot hope for success in anything, neither in life nor in yoga.”
That's very useful, yes, very useful! Most people are like this (vacillating gesture). Do you have others?
“To know the highest Truth and to be in harmony with it is the condition of right being; to express it in all that we are, experience and do is the condition of right living.”
Oh, but this is very good! We'll take this. It's good for everyone.
(Then Mother takes up the French translation of the above quotation and spends a long time looking for a word for “right.” Satprem reads out several unsatisfactory translations from a dictionary.)
The French language is very literary and mental, isn't it?
Yes, it's very rigid.
They're beginning to wonder what Auroville's language will be.
I think it will be a language that will... (Laughing) The children are setting the example: they know several languages and make sentences with words from every language, and... it's quite colorful! Little A.F. knows Tamil, Italian, French and English; he is three years old, and (laughing), it makes a fine muddle!
Something like that.
It's like the Americans. Their language... the English say that have totally spoilt the language, but the Americans say that the way they speak has more life. That's how it is.
This little A.F. is sweet.... And very amusing. The day before yesterday, it was his mother's birthday, so I received her. He was quite upset because he didn't come, and he had said, “I will see Mother – tomorrow I will see Mother.” So yesterday, the whole morning long, he told everyone, “I'm going to see Mother, I'm going to see Mother....” He came here – Z told me he was here, I said, “Go and fetch him.” (Laughing) She went, and he said, “Oh, I don't need to see Mother anymore!” (laughter)... Probably he had felt the Force in the atmosphere.
So they gave him a flower and he left.
I think these children have a much greater inner sensitiveness – much greater. There are little ones like that... (about that age, two, three, four). One came with his parents, they brought him; I didn't particularly pay attention to him (I found the little one sweet, that's all). Afterwards, when he left, he said, “I'm not leaving this place. I want to see Mother, I'm not leaving here.” And he asked, he said, “I want to see Mother every day”!... He came back and sat down (all the family members came, received flowers, left and so on), but he remained quietly seated at my feet. He didn't move, he was quite satisfied. And strangely, it's not because I pay special attention to them, not at all. Not at all.
One child, the other day, brought me flowers. I gave him a rose, and then he went to the other family members: he wanted to take their bouquets to give them to me.... He came back, sat down, looked at his rose for a long time, and then he came and gave it to me as if it were... it was so clearly, “This is the best I have, so I'm giving it to you!” (Mother laughs)
I gave it back to him.
They have something more, already.
People who speak Esperanto wrote me an official letter to say how many they are (a considerable number), and that they would like their Esperanto to be Auroville's language.... There are lots of people who speak that language, lots. Everywhere, I think. I got that letter two or three days ago.
But Auroville's language, let it just be born spontaneously!
Yes, spontaneously, naturally! Ah, we shouldn't intervene.
For the time being, I write birth certificates in French.... And when there is a central organization (which will be like a town hall or a municipality, I don't know – anything), if passports are given, they will be citizens of the world.... So everywhere people will start saying, “They're a bit mad,” and then in a hundred years... it will be natural. I remember the beginning of the century (of this century, before you were born), and now... there has been a tremendous CHANGE!
(Satprem prepares to leave, lays his forehead on Mother's knees, she takes his hands)
This morning for two or three hours, I had a curious experience (the body). Once it had the experience that each... (what could I call it? It wasn't a person, it was like an individualized aggregate), each aggregate had its own essential way (not as it is now, as it IS or ought to be), its own way of understanding and manifesting the Supreme, the Divine, and that was what made its own individuality, its particular way of being. And all those ways put together were roughly a reproduction of the total Divine – but each way has to understand that it's only ONE way and that all other ways are just as true as itself. But it was the body which understood that! It felt it very clearly, for several hours. ONE way... And then, it was so amusing, because (laughing) it said, “Yes, yes, as for me, I am the way that wants EVERYTHING to be harmonious!” It said that, repeated it again and again: “I am the way that wants EVERYTHING to be harmonious....” It understood, it understood that; it didn't bother it in the least that there should be millions and billions of other ways – that was ITS way.
Everything, but everything should be harmonious – harmony, harmony, harmony. Something... (words are very, very dry, very hollow) something – a vibration it knows well, a vibration which, for it, is... the expressed combination of Love and Harmony. But “love” is small and “harmony” is small. The two together (along with something else) make up its way of being in the universe.
That was very amusing. Really very amusing.
It understands very, very well – very well – that all have the same right to existence and must... Everything is hardly capable of expressing That which must be expressed.
It was the body, not the mind – strangely, it has a sense of reality that isn't mental or vital or emotive or anything of the sort. It's something else. Very, very concrete.
The body was happy, very happy! It says, “Yes, this is it, this is it!” As if the Lord had told it its secret. It said, “Now I know, now I know this is it.” And everyone – everyone and everything – everyone, each of these billions... all of it. But they don't know! (Mother laughs)
The body is amusing, you know! As an experience, it was amusing.
Harmony, love. But... what people put into these words isn't the thing – it's not the thing.
It's after reading all these Aphorisms: that makes it work a lot.
What should be my way of being?
Ah, it's for you to find it! Oh, that's the only way it's amusing.
I think I know, but there it's no longer the body that knows (Mother makes a gesture above).
No.... You have to find it. (Mother laughs)
1 An association of students from the Ashram.