May 13, 1970
R. asked me to say what we mean by religion....
(Mother holds out a letter)
Sweet Mother, the notion of religion is most often connected to that of the quest for God. Should we understand it in that perspective alone? Aren't there today, as a matter of fact, other forms of religion?
I had written something BEFORE I received this question. It came in English:
(Mother holds out a note)
We call religion any concept of the world or the universe which is presented as the exclusive Truth in which one must have an absolute faith, generally because this Truth is declared to be the result of a revelation.
Most of the religions affirm the existence of a God and the rules to follow to obey Him, but there are also Godless religions, such as socio-political organisations which, in the name of an Ideal or the State, claim the same right to be obeyed.
Man's right is a free pursuit of the Truth with the liberty to approach it in his own way. But each one must know that his discovery is good for him alone and it is not to be enforced upon others.
And also this:
In Auroville, nothing belongs to anyone in particular. All is a collective property.
I have difficulty speaking....
Didn't you have something to ask?
Yes, I would have a few things.... There are two things. First, on the mental or vital planes, there are means of correspondence: you have a mental or a vital body, and you can develop those bodies. But this subtle physical, how do you develop it, how do you consciously make contact with it?
(after a long silence)
As for me, I didn't do it on purpose, so I don't know!
In fact, I rather FOLLOWED Sri Aurobindo there, because before he left his body, I don't remember having had much contact with this subtle physical – I may have had some, but it didn't strike me. But it was since he started being there and I met him daily...
But we have a body corresponding to that world, don't we?... I mean we, for instance, we human beings, do we have a body corresponding to that world?
Some have a body in the subtle physical, oh yes!... Oh, yes.
But not everyone?
For some it's... fluid, that is, uncertain, but some do have a body.... I think people develop their subtle physical in the course of life.
Yes, and I'd like to know how it can be done, in fact.
How its done? That's what I don't know, because, I tell you, it came spontaneously.
But it's very similar [to the material world].... Only, there doesn't seem to be the same laws of... (how do they call it?), what they said is the result of attraction to the center of the earth?
Yes, there doesn't seem to be the same laws of gravitation, because you can move about like this (Mother gestures with a finger, as if bounding from one point to another), through the will. You don't have to walk or... (same gesture). The consciousness and the will have a far greater power than in the material physical.
There's a greater fluidity, but still you find things again [from one visit to the next]: you find things again and with changes, you understand? They are things that exist independently of our will.
(long silence a peacock lands on Mother's terrace)
I'm not much use! (Mother laughs) You understand, I myself have everything to learn there.
It clearly can't depend on the mind or the vital....
(Mother shakes her head)
But does it depend on the psychic or on an aspiration in the body?
My own impression (it's an impression more than a certainty) is that there is a more subtle part (that's where Sri Aurobindo is [Mother raises her right hand slightly]), a part that depends on the above, that is to say, the higher consciousness and the psychic; then there is a part that tries to take form in the body (gesture of connection between the two or of descent of the one into the other), that is, a way of being of the cells that would be the beginning of a new body, but that's... when it happens, it's a bizarre sensation. A bizarre sensation. The very body feels as if... it's dying – something, it doesn't know what it is. And it's rather hard to bear. It's only a state of intense faith that enables you to bear it. As if the one were being changed into the other.... As if what is were trying to change into something else. But that's... it's hard to bear. You really have to be in a state of intense faith to go through the thing; it expresses itself as something resembling... something wholly new, so it resembles a discomfort.
It's almost a constant state now for my body. Only at very rare moments does it suddenly... “Aah!...” (gesture filled with wonder). When those moments come, it's wonderful. But they're very rare.... Sometimes a day goes by without even one. That state [of “discomfort”] used to be more frequent during the day, but now it's beginning to happen at night. Last night, a good part of the night I spent like that, and then I was able to be in peace only because my whole body was... (gesture of surrender) saying to the Lord, “Your Will, Lord, Your Will, Your Will....” Like that.
So then, with hearing and sight, at times it's as if on the verge of fading completely; and at other times it becomes very, very clear – very clear. And with no apparent reason. Sometimes I'll see things quite distinctly, and other times everything will be through a veil.
With hearing it's the same thing: sometimes I'll hear very distinctly, while at other times I can no longer hear.
It must depend on the truth in what you see or hear?
Maybe, but it especially depends on... Yes, it may be that. But it also depends on the body's own state.
Did you have something else?
Yes, as a matter of fact, the other question was to know what this “next way” of seeing and hearing is like?
(after a silence)
It depends (that I know), it EXCLUSIVELY depends on the consciousness, that it to say, the extent to which the consciousness is awake.
Generally, it comes like that, that discomfort I mentioned; so, immediately, the body surrenders – surrenders as if saying (it doesn't say, but anyway it's as if): “If it's death, well, may Your Will be done.” You understand, total surrender. So then, when the surrender is... (if it's more or less effective, I don't know), sometimes a clarity comes, an understanding, a SELF-EVIDENCE of everything – a truly remarkable state. But it doesn't last. The least thing disrupts it.
I know.... The body feels that if it could surrender TOTALLY – have no independent existence, no personal effort, no personal will... insofar as that's possible, everything is fine. But this is a tension and a fatigue that are becoming absolutely unbearable, so... Generally, that's what brings about death, it's the fatigue of the tension of life. Last night again, it was like that.... It's becoming so, so strong that I... I was like this (gesture of surrender) and the body gave itself in order to... (how can I put it?), we can't say to “disappear,” but like this (gesture of fusion and surrender). So I was lying on my bed as if... I might say... I can't say “ready to die” because there was no will either to die or not to die, but it was like this: without resistance, absolutely without resistance. So then, what happened? I don't know, hours went by, and then I woke up – it isn't “sleep,” yet it was something like sleep.
In the morning, it wasn't more difficult than usual – it wasn't much easier, but not more difficult than usual.
Whenever the body manages not to think about itself (I don't know how to explain this, because it's not a “thought”), not to be conscious of itself, then things are better.
I feel that a work is taking place there, below (Mother touches her body), and a work is taking place in this way (gesture a little higher with the right hand, and below with the left hand, both hands parallel with a space between them), and then between the two, it's... it's not yet. So then, what's going to happen between the two?... This (the right hand, above) is the subtle physical, and this (the left hand, below) is the material physical, and then, between the two, there is a confusion... or something that's not ready or...
Did you have anything else?... And you (to Sujata), do you have anything?
Mother, on Friday morning I saw you, you called me, you showed me the wall and you told me, “Look, those two pictures will become real.”
Then I started wiping so it could take place without difficulty.
(Satprem:) She started wiping and cleaning the wall so the picture would come out without difficulty.
And did something come out?
(Sujata:) There were two pictures.
(Satprem to Mother:) Later on, you spoke of those two visions you had: the image of death (when you shot someone point-blank), and the vision of your supramental body.
Was it the same day?
The previous morning.
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
There was around you, like that, one of those... like a Hindu temple, but a small one.... Hindu temples, you know? Simply like that....