May 20, 1970
(Those last few days, Mother had her left eye slightly infected, then an abscess in a tooth – Satprem too.)
After the eye, it was the teeth.... One thing after another. Anyway...
It's just going on.
Did you see the brochure [on Auroville and Religions]? It's nice.... I had it distributed in Auroville. People from “Auromodèle” come in turn every Tuesday afternoon (five or six of them), so yesterday I gave them that.
But I too see some of them: one after another they come to see me.
Yes, one feels they're beginning to wake up a little.
Yes, yes, it's beginning to stir.
A few are nice....
What do they tell you? It would amuse me to know.
Most of them have problems of action – or rather of lack of action.
Also problems of relationship among themselves, and so on. So I try... I tell them what comes to me at the time. I try to make them understand the great thing behind.
Yes, it does them good. They need to be guided.
But one of them even asked me if I could go there!...
So I told them, listen!... No, giving speeches is quite useless. All those who want to come like that, individually I can say something for them, but not collectively.
That, you know, is a prayer I often have: to know what I should say to people.
There's a new ambassador of France in Delhi (the previous one was... oh, he was awful, awfully stupid), they sent a new one, and Maurice Schumann1 wrote him a letter and told him he was particularly interested in the Ashram and wanted some information – that man didn't even come! But then (laughing) he wrote back (I knew it because Schumann wrote to Baron, who sent the letter to A.), the ambassador wrote he didn't have time to come, but had asked D.2 for information! (Mother laughs) So D. wrote... you understand what it will be like!
They [the D.s] stressed a lot the frictions with villagers. They even wrote that villagers had thrown stones at our people in Auroville.... Naturally, they were bound to make a mess, while things seem quite smooth on the contrary.
R. [Auroville's architect] has asked to see me tonight.
Oh, really? Why?
Just like that. I don't know. Simply to make contact.
R., something's stirring inside! (Mother laughs a lot) He is torn between the old man full of ties there and the new life, the new consciousness which is beginning to be interesting.
There were interesting things again by Sri Aurobindo, did you get them?
(Satprem reads the latest aphorisms)
517 – Until thou canst learn to grapple with God...
(Mother laughs heartily)
... as a wrestler with his comrade, thy soul's strength shall always be hid from thee.
516 – O fool of thy weakness, cover not God's face from thyself by a veil of awe, approach Him not with a suppliant weakness. Look! thou wilt see on His face not the solemnity of the King and Judge, but the smile of the Lover.
I don't remember.... There was something after, wasn't there?...
Not after, but one before:
515 – He who has done even a little good to human beings, though he be the worst of sinners, is accepted by God in the ranks of His lovers and servants. He shall look upon the face of the Eternal.
And you answer:
“Sri Aurobindo's effort has always been to free his disciples, or even his readers, from all prejudice, all conventional morality.”
It's wonderful to what point it isn't this active consciousness that writes: it sounds quite foreign to me!... But the day before yesterday, I wrote something, and while writing, I said to myself, “Oh, this will interest Satprem.” And I no longer remember either!
It's very strange.
I am like this (gesture at the forehead, still) and suddenly I'll take my pencil and write. And I know what I write at the time of writing it, afterwards it's over.
(Mother looks for S.S.'s notebook by her side)
In this notebook I write every other day. Only, he removes everything, so I don't know. This is the last one. You will tell me if it makes sense.
“Does the sense of physical pain disappear in the cosmic consciousness?”
So you reply:
“Certainly it exists in the cosmic consciousness....
The cosmic consciousness is the universal consciousness, the MATERIAL consciousness; there it exists. I know it, in fact, because it's a consciousness I constantly have, so I know that pain exists.
But it's what follows:
“It is in the Supreme, Divine Consciousness that pain does not exist. That is to say, the nature of the sensation changes and opposites disappear in order to be replaced by something indefinable in our language.”
Is it clear?
Yes, yes, it's clear!
There are many things of the sort [in S. S.'s notebook], but I don't know what he does with them.... You could ask him....
Oh! (Mother rubs her left eye), it was better; has it become red again now?
No, Mother, I can't see.
Oh, but you know, within it's like this (gesture of battle). Quite, quite the impression (and a very concrete impression) of Falsehood locked in a struggle with the Truth.
From time to time, a little experience of... three, a few seconds: absolutely unimaginable, marvelous, and then hup! everything vanishes.... It's a veritable battlefield.
Do we follow your experience a little?... Or what should we do to be in the movement better?
(after a silence)
But with regard to you, I had (that was the last time I saw you), I had the impression that you were following well. I have the impression that she (pointing to Sujata) follows well, too. Some are beginning to have experiences. Some have experiences, but without knowing it! (Mother laughs) There is an effect. I can't deny it, there is an effect.
The biggest difficulty, as always, is the mind, BECAUSE IT TRIES TO UNDERSTAND IN ITS OWN WAY. That's the difficulty.... Some people would go much faster if they didn't have that. They feel that if they don't understand mentally, they haven't understood.
Yes, I understand that very well!
Yes, oh yes! But I think you're going fast, I feel you're going fast.
But the substance, that's the question: how to... [change it]?
Ah!... That even the body doesn't... [know]. I tell you, that's how it is: now and then, once, twice, three times a day at the most, or once at night: a few seconds... (Mother opens her eyes in wonder), and then, poff! it's gone.
The body isn't worried, but there's the outside pressure [from the people]: “Will it change, or will all this be... quite simply preparatory work for another life?...” It doesn't ask: the others ask themselves. And then, there is also the pressure of all the ordinary, idiotic thoughts....
But I don't care, it doesn't bother me much. I am used to it. It doesn't bother the consciousness, but sometimes it makes for some difficulties.
You see, the body doesn't have a very pleasant time, but anyway it doesn't complain; but sometimes, all of a sudden it marvels at how... how things are miraculously arranged for it. Then, the next minute, it no longer feels that. That's it, that's the whole thing!
These troubles (Mother touches her cheek) still seem very real, yet for a few seconds they stop being so – but they don't disappear (because that doesn't last long enough, I suppose).
If we could know precisely what causes the tilt to one side or the other....
Yes, yes, exactly.
There is clearly an attempt to let the body know, and it suddenly finds itself... outside all habits, outside all actions and reactions, consequences and so on; then it's like this (Mother opens eyes in wonder), and then it disappears.
It's so new for the material consciousness that each time you feel as if... on the verge of mental derangement. (Derangement of CONSCIOUSNESS – it's not mental derangement, the mind has nothing to do with that, thank God! That's a wonderful help I was given.) But the consciousness, there's a minute of panic in the consciousness.
Because from the beginning and constantly, there's a sort of commonsense firmly rooted in the being, which refuses to imagine things; it says, “I don't want to imagine this, I don't want to imagine that....” So then, the consciousness takes up things only when they are totally concrete – it's too easy to start spinning tales and... None of that. Totally PRACTICAL, concrete.
But that practical sense, is it an obstacle?
Oh, it's not an obstacle! For me, it's a safeguard.
No, I see too clearly, too many people who have a scrap of experience, with that experience (gesture of winding a huge ball of yarn) they make a whole mental construction, and then... You know, when the mind meddles...
But I have often said to myself that if, all of a sudden, by means of accelerated evolution, a caterpillar were given human eyes ...
It would be frightening.
Yes, that's right.
Well, relatively speaking, it must be something a bit similar.
Yes, that's it!... In fact, the body has enough commonsense to... It KNOWS it's not ill – it knows very well it's not an illness, that it's in fact an attempt at transformation, it knows that very well.... And from a psychological standpoint, that's important and it's a great help, but... there are all those centuries of habit.
(Mother goes into a meditation)
The atmosphere is very good.... I was precisely like this (gesture inwardly turned to Satprem, to know whether he “follows the movement”), it was magnificent. Your atmosphere is very good. It's very good. And mentally very peaceful, almost completely silent.
Very pleasant! (Mother laughs)
Yes, you could ask S. S. [in whose notebook Mother writes] to give you all that's not absolutely personal. Some things are quite indifferent, but now and then there will be an interesting answer.
I'll ask him.
(Satprem lays his head on Mother's knees)
The body, the body consciousness is changing very rapidly. And its attitude is completely different, it's universalizing very well; it no longer has... (Mother touches her hands to point to the body's separation). That's becoming more and more flimsy and... unreal.
1 France's minister of External Affairs who had come to Pondicherry in September 1947, drawn there by Baron (at the time governor of Pondicherry). Schumann met Mother and Sri Aurobindo and proposed the creation of a Franco-Indian cultural institute under Sri Aurobindo's direction.
2 The Consul of France at Pondicherry, who is particularly hostile to the Ashram.