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The Mind of the Cells

Mira Aditi, Mysore Institut de Recherches Ιvolutives, France

Translated from French Le Mental des Cellules

Beyond the tombs, forward!



A Passport to Where?


1. The New Element

2. The Other State

3. The Next Reign

The New Functioning

Tactile Vision

The Great Body

The Supramental Contagion

4. The Descent into the Body

The Mortal Habit

The Mental Layers

5. The Physical Mind

6. The Passage

The Supramental Vibration

Between Two States

7. The New Physics

The Other Time

A Substitution of Vibration

The Transparent Secret

8. The Mind of the Cells

The Apprenticeship of the Cells

The New Principle of Centralisation

Free Matter

A New Mind

9. The Eyes of the Body

The Net

The Living and the Dead

10. Over-Life

Life and Death

A Dangerous Unknown

11. Mothers Departure

12. Apocalypse or Fairy Tale?

A Passport to Where?

On precisely the fifteenth day after my twentieth birthday, at the comer of an avenue in a French city, my life changed abruptly. To the sound of screeching tires and slamming doors, two men, armed with revolvers, sprang out of a Kriminal Polizei Citroen, seized me and took me away. It was all over in thirty seconds. I would never again be one of the ordinary human species. The Gestapo, the interrogations under electric spotlights; night, day, rolling into one another; the footsteps of the SS in the corridor at dawn — to be shot today? Or tomorrow? Buchenwald's frozen yards, the rails in the immaculately tiled shower rooms — was it for a bath, or a gas shower? And then, then ... The death of one man is not serious. But the death of Man? The death of a child of man with all his dreams and his hopes, his faith in beauty, his faith in love, his faith in the immensity of life like a treasure to be won, a continent to explore, a secret to discover. And then ... then, NOTHING. Death is something. But that nothing?

On that fifteenth of November of the thirty thousandth century after the advent of Homo sapiens, I found myself naked and devastated as at the beginning of Time, or the end of Time. Is Man dead? — Long live Man! A beating heart, what does it mean ... without its science, its gospels or its books — without country or law? Everything is dead, or unborn. There is this heart beating as if before the Flood, or after. There is this child of a terrestrial species, on a great bare shore where a seagull takes flight, gazing as if at the beginning of the world.

And what does this heart mean, without science or knowledge, for all knowledge has collapsed or is yet to be born?

A heart, it beats hope, faith and Becoming. It sees the world like a great adventure to be played out. But what is there to discover when all the old becomings are dead, all the old human science is dead and when all the gods are dead, or yet to be born?

It is terrifying. It is wonderful.

There are no more hopes — there is Hope unknown.

And I wonder whether this child of man who was twenty years and fifteen days old, whether that bare, emptied heart, is not a sign that soon there will be so many, and so many other childrens' hearts on that great bare shore of the world, gazing at the incapacity of their science, the incapacity of their bombs, the incapacity of their machines and the dreadful and wonderful incapacity of all the Western or Eastern gods. And then, and then ...

We are not at the end of a civilisation.

We are at the Time of Man's imminent birth.

We have played long enough with electric trains, penicillin and electronic chromosomes — what if it were time for another game, another discovery in a pure heartbeat, of an unknown man beneath his worn-out cloak?

Twenty-two years old, fresh out of hell and in a rage, I took Life, that deceitful witch, on my lap and said: Now, it's between the two of us. You tell me your secret and no nonsense — your secret, which is not found in books or science or machines; which is neither from the West nor the East nor any country, but from the Country of the true Earth. Your secret beating in my naked heart.

I moved heaven and earth. I tried everything. Oh, I wanted to compel this devastated human flesh, this hopeless and accursed Earth — this wonderful Earth — to cry out its secret. I roamed continents; I listened to the beat of the phantom gongs at Thebes and Luxor; I plunged into the red trails of Afghanistan and unearthed Greco-Buddhist heads, but there was still no smile on my lips; I climbed the slopes of the Himalayas, dug into eagles' nests in search of the treasure of the Rajput Princes; I smoked opium to the point of drowning, I hammered at all the doors of this body, but the secret was still not there; I plunged into Guyana's rain forest and listened to the shrieks of red monkeys at night like a bestial choir at the beginning of worlds; I crossed Brazil and Africa, ever looking for a gold or mica or any kind of mine. But that Mine deep within still did not divulge its secret. I came back to confront myself in India, I grasped the secret of the yogis; I meditated and got lost on rarefied summits with them. But the Earth, this Earth still would not tell me its Wonder. I was a beggar on the roads; I pushed this body to the end of its tether; I prayed in temples, knocked on all the doors. But the only Door that could fill my heart at last would not open.

There I was naked once again. Was there no hope but to pile up electronic machines, bombs and false wisdom — or true wisdom that takes you to heaven but leaves this Earth to decay on its two feet?

This time, I was thirty.

It was still the thirty thousandth century after the advent of a man — what? All that, all those millions of years to end up wearing a tie, holding an attache case and with a stamp in my passport? A passport to WHERE? A stamp for WHAT? Where then was Man the great adventure with a secret to discover and an unknown treasure?

I was born in Paris. I might have been bom in Tokyo or New York — but to be born to the world? Born at last to something, that is not my grandfather and my great grandfather and the family's diplomas and books piled up in dead libraries, and the eternal little story repeated in French, English or Chinese, in a man who dies again and again without having found what makes his heart beat, nor why a seagull taking flight on a little beach suddenly fills him with breath as if he could fly?

My passport says that I cannot fly, except in a Boeing 747.

But my heart says otherwise.

And the entire heart of the Earth is beginning to say otherwise.

One day, when I was thirty, I met Her who said otherwise. She was eighty. She was young and full of mirth like a little girl. She was called “Mother.” It was in Pondicherry, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.

Mother is the most wonderful adventure I have known, the last door that opens when all the others have closed on nothing. For fifteen years she took me on unknown paths leading into Man's morrow, or perhaps into his real beginning. My heart was beating as if for the first time ever. Mother is the secret of the Earth. No, she is not a saint, not a mystic, not a yogi; she is not from the East or the West; she is not a miracle worker either, or a guru, or the founder of a religion. Mother is the discoverer of Man's secret after he has been stripped of his machines, his religions, his spiritualisms and his materialisms, his Western or Eastern ideologies — when he is himself, simply a heart beating and calling for the Earth-of-Truth, simply a body calling for the Truth of the body, like the seagull's cry for space and high wind.

It is her secret and her discovery that I will try to tell you.

For Mother is a fairy tale in the cells of the body.

A human cell, what is it?

Another concentration camp ... biological this time?

Or a passport to ... where?


8 July 1980


We are before an extraordinary mystery, which could truly be a fairy tale.

The fairy tale of the species.

We set forth from the Galapagos archipelago, where, around 1835, Darwin first conceived his theory of evolution: iguanas are not forever iguanas... nor is man forever a man. We have never been told anything more serious since then — nor more captivating, or let us say more liberating, for it really is a question of finding a way out of captivity. And where is the way out, apart from the explosion of the planet or heavenly, yogic or other salvations which, as we are beginning to see, leave the planet unchanged?

“Salvation is physical,” said she whose adventure in the consciousness of the cells I will narrate. Evolution is materialistic, as it should be, or material in any case. What remains to be seen is, what is this Matter? Closed or open? Darwin opened it, as did his contemporary Jules Verne. Max Planck, Heisenberg and Einstein opened it, as did their impressionist, fauvist or pointillist friends — Matter burst forth on all sides. Sri Aurobindo and Mother belong to that side. Some astrophysicists too. And why should it be closed with the biologists?

Sri Aurobindo was ten years old when Darwin died in 1882; he had already left India for London to learn the lesson of Western materialism; Mother, his future companion, was four years old in Paris, and in Ulm, Einstein was three.

Ever since Darwin we have been told something very serious too, but when this “serious” begins to resemble a prison, we become wary. For the prodigious evolutionary picture since the explosion of the vertebrates, some four hundred million years ago, has oddly leaped from one biology to the next, with some crab, rabbit or orang-utan philosophies on the way. How it leaps is what interests us. Now, in 1953, a team of Anglo-American biophysicists discovered the replicating mechanism of the DNA molecule. This is serious, indeed. The order in the chain of amino acids determines forever whether we will give birth to a mouse or a man, and a certain magical and perfectly scientific molecule called deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA determines imperturbably this assembling from father to son, unless some X-rays or cosmic rays (or a little bomb) come along and collide with the chain, causing it to derail at some point ... and more likely lead us toward a monstrosity than toward a new species. Even then, all this extends over thousands and thousands of years of imperceptible mutation which might end up, with some luck, releasing some mechanism and sending us headlong at last into another species ... if the bomb leaves us the time and if, in the meantime, the four and half billion Homo sapiens on this planet have not bred so many more billions of rat sapiens and devoured the earth. That is to be seen too, for it took thousands of years, after all, to reach the first billion in 1830, whereas a hundred years were enough to reach the second billion, thirty years for the third billion, and only fourteen for the fourth billion!1

The problem is urgent. We no longer have thousands of evolutionary years to solve it; perhaps not even ten years. So, despite the Anglo-American team and replicating cells, where is the way out?

Is there a solution in the cell and in Matter, if this solution is not in heaven or in yogic liberations? But there is no doubt that man will not remain a man indefinitely, not even an “improved” man, just as the reptile did not remain a reptile in the dried-out swamps of the Mesozoic — if we do not find the “trick,” evolution will find it for us, biologists notwithstanding. Seventy million years ago, the saurians suddenly disappeared from the earth they were suffocating, leaving arboreal mice and shrews to frolic and gambol about.

57.412 “Can we hope that this body, at present our means of terrestrial manifestation, will have the possibility of transforming itself progressively into something which will be able to express a higher life, or will it be necessary to abandon this form totally to enter another which does not yet exist on earth?” asked Mother, who was in fact going to look for the “trick” of the species in the cells of the body. “Will there be a continuity or will there be a sudden appearance of something new?... Will the human species be like certain species which have disappeared from the earth?”

This was in 1957.

It took Darwin more than twenty years to dare to express what he had sensed in the Galapagos archipelago. The Origin of Species dates back to 1859. Even so, he said, “It is somewhat like confessing a murder.” I am before Mother's story rather like Darwin before his iguanas. “Come now, is it possible?” And what will the biologists say, and medical science, and...? Yet there is no doubt. For nineteen years, without quite understanding what it all meant, I listened to Mother, Sri Aurobindo's continuator, describing her experiences. Then, one day in 1973, at the age of ninety-five, she left, leaving me stunned in front of a mountain of documents filled with meaning and incomprehensible at the same time. For seven years I grappled with those documents, fought with them, banged my fist against the wall and called Mother from the other side of that “idiotic death,” as she called it, for her to reveal her secret — which was there, nonetheless, completely revealed in those thousands of pages of documents, the Agenda. But what does a mouse's experience mean to a dinosaur? Yet it is full of meaning, there it is, but a slight triggering is required to put all the pieces of the puzzle into place. I even wrote three volumes2 in an attempt to grasp the thread, to map out the path in that incomprehensible tomorrow of man. Oh, how I battled. Sometimes, I was even like Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, with my magnifying glass and mental reasoning trying to grasp what is no longer mental. Mother is an impossibly fascinating detective story of the next species — how is a new species made, from where does it come, from which side, what is the mechanism? And then, one day, it was obvious — but there is nothing more invisible than the obvious, we see nothing because it is right under our noses. Can mice see anything in a man? Or even a monkey? It must think we no longer climb trees very well, and then what? So I looked and looked at Mother's story, and then? Then my eyes widened and, yes, it is rather like Darwin's “confessing a murder.” I do understand what he meant. It is such a challenge to our species and to the laws of our species, and yet it is logical and natural — but go and tell the Borneo shrew that Homo sapiens is natural and logical!

I see only one way to lead the reader into this detective-biology of the next species: it is to state Mother's decisive experiences bluntly, without embellishments or comments, by numbering them like laboratory experiments, and then, around these kernels of experience, to draw the lines that have led there and those that lead from there to a new kernel of experience, until the puzzle is complete and the conclusion inevitable.

We are not going into any kind of mysticism or philosophy, even Hindu philosophy, nor even into any kind of scientism. For what is the reptile's science to the archaeopteryx? We are going into the facts of the experience, strange though they may seem to us. And, like Darwin in the Galapagos, we start from a simple fact which no evolutionist will deny, Mother's first fact:

58.2811 The physical substance progresses through each individual formation, and one day this substance will be capable of building a bridge between physical life as we know it and the supramental life that is to manifest.

The body is the bridge.

The body means the cells.

Cells that behave according to the Anglo-American schema ... or otherwise?

Imperceptible mutations extending over thousands of years ... or a sudden change: “the miracle of the earth,” she would say, the fairy tale of the species?

But a tale which is perfectly biological and terrestrial.

58.145 It seems that one can never understand truly except when one understands with one's body.

54.214 For the body, to know is to have the power to do.3

Mother is the most formidable revolution ever accomplished by man since the day when a first hominid in a Neolithic glade started counting the stars and his sorrows.

Mother was born Mirra Alfassa in Paris in 1878, of an Egyptian mother and a Turkish father. She was a year older than Einstein, and a contemporary of Anatole France, with whom she shared a sense of gentle irony. It was the century of “positivism”; her father and mother were “all-out materialists,” he a banker and a first-rate mathematician, she a disciple of Karl Marx until the age of eighty-eight.

Little Mirra had strange experiences of times past and perhaps of the future; she met Sri Aurobindo “in a dream” ten years before going to Pondicherry and took him for “a Hindu god dressed in the costume of a vision.” Mathematician, painter and pianist, she befriended Gustave Moreau, Rodin, Monet and married a painter whom she later divorced. She then married a philosopher who took her to Japan and China, at the time when Mao Tse-tung was writing “The Great Union of the Popular Masses”, and on to Pondicherry to stay by Sri Aurobindo. For thirty years she lived beside him who at the dawn of the century announced a “new evolution”: “Man is a transitional being.” After his departure in 1950, Mother was left at the head of a huge ashram which seemed to represent all the resistances of the world. She then plunged into the “yoga of the cells” and finally discovered “the great passage” to another species. Alone, surrounded by incomprehension, resistance and ill-will, she left her body in 1973 at the age of ninety-five. “I don't think there ever was anyone more materialistic than I was, with all the practical common sense and positivism,” she would tell me while in the midst of her dangerous experiences in the consciousness of the cells, “and now I understand why it was that way! It gave my body a wonderful base of equilibrium. The explanations I sought were always material; it seemed obvious to me: there's no need for mysteries or anything of the kind — you explain things materially. So I am sure there is no tendency to mystical dreaming in me! Far from it, this body had nothing mystical, thank God!”

1. The New Element

There was a turning point in the history of our species, but it was probably preceded by many small unintelligible sporadic breakthroughs under this name or that, for who could understand that this was the breakthrough into another species? Only when you have become a man can you say, “Oh, so this is what a man is.” Even then, you say that to yourself only after many progressive experiences which lead you to the conclusion that, undoubtedly, we are not delirious monkeys nor, above all, decadent and disabled primates, for the first obvious fact about the new species is everything that it loses of the old species: the qualities of man are the weaknesses of the ape.

This breakthrough into a strange “something else,” which we do not realize is the state of the next species, probably took place microscopically, at different physiological levels, through hundreds and thousands of preparatory years, but always without the awareness that it was the “other state.” Before the small tarsier of Borneo acquired its binocular vision that prepared our own, there must have been, within many species, a number of strange or aberrant “visions” that were nonetheless the “logic” and “mathematics” and evidence of that fish or this bat. And what is our human retinal vision anyway? — A narrow band between ultraviolet and near infrared, seen in a binocular way. Moreover, because this evolutionary breakthrough always falls back into the old state until the decisive appearance of the new species, it has to find expression in the language of the unwitting experimenter, in accordance with its habits and with a considerable coating that almost completely distorts what the pure experience of the other state might be. Thus, through the centuries and millenniums of our species, there have been no lack of “mystics,” “madmen” or “hallucinators” in all the languages of the world, and we have tended to confirm or glorify those who best befitted our idea of Good, Beauty, Apocalypse or Paradise — but what does the bat's Good mean to the wren? The bat is a little “dazzled,” that is all. But there was “something” all the same, if only a mystical bat's paradise.

Thus for Homo sapiens, this breakthrough took place at different levels of his being and as he is shut in a mental shell, like the sea urchin in its calcareous carapace, like the stone in its mantle of electrons or the monkey in its vital power, most often the attempts to come out had to take place at the mental level: you faint on the operating table, or in a mystical trance, or simply while sleeping, and you go off elsewhere. A certain blackout of the old system seems necessary to reach the “elsewhere,” and it is logical: you do not go in human boots to the “paradise” of the next species, or keep your reptile's skin for the inaugural glides of an archaeopteryx. As I have said, it is the weaknesses of the old species which open the door to the next species — but a door has to open. Over millenniums, we have thus opened many doors in our heads, or, more rarely, in our hearts. We have even gone lower down the physiological ladder and opened the doors of the lower abdomen and let in all sorts of hells and fanatical or cruel little beings: specimens of a derailed subspecies who still people the earth rather abundantly. Let us leave aside those who went straight out of the species through the top in an ecstatic or nirvanic rocket and who, sometimes left us strange delighted stammerings. Poetry, too, is a “translation” of that evasive other state which our species is eager to grasp, without knowing at which end to tackle it — and at which end do you catch the tail of the next species?

The way out into the other state (into “the thing,” as Mother said, who had no word for it in her vocabulary), is neither at the mental nor psycho-cardiac level, nor at the umbilical or pelvic level. But more precisely — for one cannot assert dogmatically or categorically that the other breakthroughs emerged into nothing — it is not at the mental or cardiac levels, etc., that you can have the pure “thing”, in its original language without translation. The next species is in the body. That is obvious. As long as it is not in the body, at the physiological, cellular level, it will still be a translation in a foreign language through layers of sleep or ecstasy, or meditation, letting through all kinds of small refracted rays and more or less fabulous or fanciful little stories, though they are the expression of “something,” all the same, like the glance of the goldfish at a man through the glass of its bowl. We do not know whether we look angelical or diabolical from the other side of the bowl, but even so, we are “something happening.”

If we say that the way out is at the “cellular level,” biology will immediately pounce on us with its imprescriptible and imperturbable sequence of amino acids from father to son, except for some pathological variations. “How are you going to change the sequence of nucleotides to produce another species?... And what will it have — fins, wings, or a third eye?” At one point in evolution, it was very difficult for a nodule of manganese to imagine an impertinent, ambling flagellate. A new species is very impertinent for the old. But all the same, there must be a link, a connection — some sort of end by which you can catch hold of it. Our difficulty is not only a lack of imagination of the future, but above all an inability to imagine anything but an improvement or an extension of the present: our next man will still be a man + this and + that and - this and - that. Is the radiolarian an extension of manganese? And is man an extension of the tree fern? But perhaps it is something else altogether. So what is the connection, the link with this “something else altogether”? We have not the slightest idea what will be the bridge, because we do not know where the other side is. Yet it is in the body.

In other words, the next species is perhaps another reign, as different from the aforesaid fern as from the arboreal shrew. Not a man +, but another being, another form of life in Matter after the mineral, the vegetable and the animal reign to which we belong. However, there must be a connection, just as the virus is the bridge between Matter and Life — and what will be the bridge from life to “overlife,” to use one of Mother's groping expressions? What is that life? To say that the modification of germinal cells produces a new species is still to go round and round in the convolutions of the old species which is incapable of coming out of its animal pattern to imagine a pattern no longer animal, mineral or vegetable, yet perfectly material however — shrews may be angelical and supernatural for the nodule of manganese, but they are no less material or evolutionary. One day, it happened. One day, something different from an animal man will happen — is happening already perhaps. Perhaps it is even happening right now.

If it is not the modification of germinal cells that produces something else, what modification does? There has to be a modification somewhere, a new element. What does the modification of the fern represent in relation to the mineral, or the modification of the animal represent in relation to the vegetable? We are obsessed by forms — by form — but what has changed from one reign to another ... save movement? There was a transition from the inertia of the stone to the accelerated growth of vegetable life, to the dynamic explosion of the animal: changes in movement. Here the physicists are going to open their eyes and tell us about electromagnetic waves or the whirling of electrons around the nucleus. Einstein taught us relativity: the parameters of a physical event are closely linked to the speed of the frame of reference. To put things simply, speed is a question of distance, distance is a question of an ant's six legs, a seagull's two wings or a man's two feet, or even a turbojet — but all that is the animal being propagating more or less quickly, with more or less ingenious mechanisms to fill what is “far” from it or “outside” it. But it might well be that the next “mechanism” or the next “organ” of the next species is such that the movement will be even more accelerated, so to speak, to the point that “outside” or “far” will no longer exist and the “distance” of the flagellate or the turbojet will be as obsolete as the inertia of the stone is for the living being. What is this mechanism or this “organ” that will grant us such rapid movement that it will instantly join the far reaches of the galaxies, as if there were no distance, as if everything unfolded within us, and yet in a body of cellular, terrestrial matter? Is there a functioning in the body that would enable us to be simultaneously between certain cellular walls, which make us a man rather than a mouse, and at the same time to be in New York, Borneo or the devil knows where? If this “supernatural” movement were attributed to us physiologically — geographically attributed, we could say — then we would obviously be dealing with another species arid another reign. Man's “natural” state may well be the fish's supernatural state: the natural clearly changes from one species to another, and “the supernatural is that the nature of which we have not yet attained,” as Sri Aurobindo said.4

It remains to be seen where, in the body, this curious new functioning, which would not annul our precious germinal cells, but would give all our corporeal cells a new mode of being, perhaps a wholly new geography seen through other, non-binocular eyes, would be situated. And in that case, what becomes of the turbojet and the entire devilish machinery, telephone and space rocket included? It is clearly another space and another time — another “frame of reference,” another determinism — and it may be as shattering as going from the quiet inertia of the mineral to the swarming vertebrates. And what becomes of death in that case? What becomes of Matter in this new “system”? — What is Matter, its electrons, its cells, its galaxies seen through a non-binocular organ and through something other than a microscope or a telescope, which have never been anything but a widening of the same obsolete retinal vision?

Biology and physics define the laws of a certain milieu or a certain human fishbowl which endeavours to look at itself or to look through the walls of its bowl, but when you move to another milieu, as the amphibian one day emerged into the open air of Life, the old laws fall away and another unforeseeable “life,” or “overlife,” appears.

The “link” remains to be found. If it is not found in ecstatic and nirvanic pirouettes or mental convolutions, or in the sleep and dreams of this painful species which was perhaps conceived for a real paradise on earth, in a real body without death and without imprisoning walls, where is it? From one species to another, from one reign to another, we have moved from one less spacious prison to another, hardly more spacious — could the next reign be that of spacious man, without prisons?

With Mother, instead of escaping into poetic and mystical heights, we descend into the adventure of the consciousness of the cells, in search of the next milieu and the cellular mechanism, the new element which will open the doors of our prison and cast us forth onto a new earth, just as one day the first amphibian landed on the sunlit shores of a new world.

57.107 A new world is BORN. It's not the old one transforming itself, it is a NEW world that is born. And we are right in the middle of this period of transition where the two are entangled: where the other still persists all-powerful, entirely dominating the ordinary consciousness, but where the new one quietly slips in, yet very modest, unnoticed — unnoticed to the point that outwardly it does not disturb very much ... for the time being, and that, even in the consciousness of the majority of men it is quite imperceptible. And still it is working, growing.

56.310 Each time a new element is introduced into the possible combinations, it causes what may be called a “tearing of limits”.... It is obvious that modern scientific perception is much closer to something corresponding to the new reality than, say, were the perceptions of the Stone Age — without a shadow of doubt. But even that will suddenly find itself completely outdated, surpassed, and probably overturned with the intrusion of something which was not in the universe that was studied. It is this change, this sudden transformation of the universal element that will quite certainly bring about a kind of chaos in the perceptions, out of which a new knowledge will emerge.

This “new element” is the mind of the cells, which is in the process of upsetting our human earth, just as our thinking mind one day upset the earth of the apes.

2. The Other State

A first experience is always very strange, even a bit crazy. All the same, there must have been one moment, one day, when for the first time on this planet, one last old reptile became a first young bird. What is it like when, all of a sudden, you take off and there has never ever been before a bird in any somewhat logical and reasonable sky? It is not at all natural, and more than one old dinosaur must have shrugged a few backbones: “It can't be, it's a hallucination.” From hallucination to hallucination, we have produced little men in suits — and now, what's next?

One January morning in 1962, I saw Mother arrive looking a little pale and, with her usual, self-mocking air, as if irony were the only bearable way to tackle the new species, without wholly losing one's hold on the old. Mother was eighty-four. Then, in her amused and quiet tone of voice, she told me:

62.91 It's a curious thing, these are bizarre attacks that seem to have nothing to do with my state of health. It's a sort of decentralisation. You see, to form a body, all the cells are concentrated by a kind of centripetal force that binds them together; here, it's just the opposite: it's as if there were a kind of centrifugal force that is dispersing them. And when it becomes a bit too much, I go out of my body, and the outward, apparent result is that I faint — I don't “faint,” because I am fully conscious. So obviously this creates a kind of ... bizarre disorganization.

The new species is obviously, before anything else, the disorganization of the old.

... Last time, someone happened to be there and I didn't fall, so I didn't hurt myself, but this time I was all alone in my bathroom and ... actually I was continuing a phenomenon of consciousness in which I was spreading over the world — spreading PHYSICALLY, that's the strange thing! It's the sensation OF THE CELLS. I experienced a movement of diffusion becoming more and more intense and rapid, and then, all of a sudden, I found myself lying on the floor.

The experience develops according to a certain curve. I will merely describe the curve before saying how Mother got there, through what processes and transitions. The fact is that Mother came out of a certain human state to enter into another state, or another milieu, like the amphibian. The description of the new milieu will enable us to better understand the old one and what makes up the barrier separating the two states. This barrier is the crux of our problem, but it is clearly situated at the cellular level, since that is where the exit point is located, or rather the countless exit points.

62.155 For example, I walk a little to get the body used to it again (I walk accompanied by someone), and I am aware of a rather particular state ... something that I could describe as: what gives me the illusion of a body! I entrust it to the person I walk with (in other words, it's not my responsibility: that person has to make sure that it doesn't fall, doesn't bump into things, you understand), and the consciousness is a sort of limitless consciousness, like waves, but not individual waves: it's a MOVEMENT of waves, a movement of material waves, corporeal, I might say, as vast as the earth, but not ... not round or flat or ... something quite infinite in its sensation, but an undulatory movement. And this undulatory movement is the movement of life.

Undoubtedly, we are right in the middle of the physics of Matter. In fact, all the theories of physics that attempt to describe the structure of our universe and the composition of matter agree on one point: the undulatory movement is the constituent and the dynamic foundation of physical reality. Whether it is gravitational or electromagnetic fields or atomic interaction, whether at the heart of the atom or at the far reaches of the universe, everything moves or is propagated according to an undulatory movement: “The undulatory movement is the movement of life,” says Mother strikingly. And she continues:

... And so the consciousness (of the body, I suppose) ... there is a consciousness floating along in that with a sensation of eternal peace, but it is not an “expanse,” the word is wrong: it's a limitless movement, with a very harmonious and very tranquil rhythm, very vast, and very calm. And this movement is life. I walk around my room, and that is what walks. It's very silent, like a movement of waves without beginning or end, with a condensation like this (vertical gesture) and a condensation like that (horizontal gesture), and then a movement of expansion (gesture like a pulsating ocean). That is, a sort of gathering up, and concentration, then an expansion and diffusion.

Are we not reminded of the electromagnetic field with its two perpendicular components, the electric and the magnetic fields, whose propagation follows an infinite sine wave? This movement of gathering, then expansion, is the exact description of the propagation in space of a sine wave train. And immediately we touch on a prodigious mystery: How can a body be, materially and cellularly, the wave that forms and carries the worlds along in its infinite movement and governs the existence of atoms and galaxies? How can one be a ubiquitous and infinite electromagnetic wave while remaining within the narrow confines of a human body ... which all the same, tends to faint a little at first because it is not accustomed to it? In other words, a body the size of the universe.

The experience was to continue for eleven years, with gradual precision and a slow “adaptation,” but with a vocabulary that led me astray for a long time, for sometimes Mother used one word and sometimes another, which I thought referred to different phenomena, and more importantly to different worlds, whereas she was always describing the same curve in the same material world — but just try to describe Matter through the eyes of a bird to an incorrigible tadpole that measures the walls of its bowl! To the tadpole, it no longer seems to be true or solid matter, it is even somewhat supernatural. And what “words” could Mother use to describe what is yet wordless? — “Electromagnetic” waves come afterwards. In the meantime, it is “something happening.”

But the first cry on coming out of the full experience, which was to take place three months later, in April 1962, leaves us pensive:

62.134 Death is an illusion, illness is an illusion, ignorance is an illusion! Something that has no reality, no existence.... Only Love, and Love, and Love — immense, formidable, prodigious, carrying everything. And the thing is DONE.

The transition to the other species is done. If one first bird has flown among the reptiles, others will fly — ineluctably. But the fundamental point is that, in this other state, death and illness disappear materially, since it is an experience of the body and the cells, not a mystical experience of nirvanic heights. It is not the “world is an illusion,” as preached by mystics, it is the illusion of our physical perception of the world and of the ensuing falsehood: illness and death. If the cellular perception changes, illness and death change and fade away ... into something else, which Mother was going to gradually discover. The experience continues:

62.121 I am constantly faced with this problem, which is utterly concrete and absolutely material: you are dealing with these cells, which have to remain cells and not vaporise into a nonphysical reality; and at the same time they have to have a suppleness, a lack of fixity enabling them to widen indefinitely. For this body, it's very difficult — very difficult to do without losing (what shall I call it?) its centre of coagulation, without it dissolving into the surrounding mass.

61.252 This body is not at all its former self: it is scarcely more than a concentration, a kind of agglomeration of something; it's not a body in a skin — not at all. It is a sort of agglomeration, a concentration of vibrations. And even what is normally called an “illness,” even these functional disorders do not have the same meaning for this body as they have for doctors, for instance, or for ordinary people — it's not like that, it doesn't feel them like that. It feels them rather as ... like a kind of difficulty in adjusting to a new vibratory need.

62.185 The only sensation that remains in the old way is physical pain. And it seems like symbolic points of what remains of the old consciousness — pain. Pain is the one thing that I feel the way I used to. For instance, food, taste, smell, vision, hearing — all that's completely changed. They belong to another rhythm. That means the whole way the organs function — have the organs changed or is it their functioning? I don't know, but they obey another law. The only materially concrete thing left in this world — this world of illusion — is pain. That seems to me to be the very essence of Falsehood. I am even forbidden to utilise my knowledge, my power and my force to annul pain in the way I used to before — I used to do it very well. No, that has been totally forbidden. But I have seen that something else is in sight, something that is in the making.... That's still, it can't be called a miracle, because it's not a miracle, but a wonder, the unknown. When will it come? How will it come? I do not know.

Indeed, it was no longer a question of eradicating pain or suspending death through higher “powers,” yogic or others, but of transforming pain and death through the natural power of the very cells. That is the whole “yoga of the cells.” The next species is not one that will be endowed with new wondrous organs or splendiferous powers, but one whose cellular functioning and cellular perception will completely and naturally change the condition of the mortal bodies in which we are temporarily garbed.

62.315 Now I make a constant distinction between ... (how should I put it?) life in a straight line and at right angles, and undulatory life. There is a life where everything is sharp-edged, hard, angular, and you bump into things everywhere, and there is an undulatory life, very sweet, very charming — very charming — but not, not too solid. Strange, it's quite a different kind of life. Even goodwill is aggressive, even affection, tenderness, attachment — all that is as aggressive as can be. It's like being beaten with a stick. But “that” ... is a kind of cadence, an undulatory movement which is so ample and so powerful, tremendous, really. And it doesn't disturb anything. It doesn't displace anything, doesn't clash with anything. And it carries the universe in its undulatory movement, so supple!

Could this be Einstein's famous “unified field”?

68.32 From a practical point of view, if something goes wrong somewhere for whatever reason (a pain here, something wrong there), with “that,” almost instantly the disorder disappears, and if I patiently remain in that state, the MEMORY of the disorder disappears. And that's how disorders, which had become habits, gradually disappear.

68.1610 It's strange, the consciousness has become more and more intense and spread out, and the body is like something floating within this consciousness, but it's not active. I can't explain. It's like an ocean of light that keeps doing its work, and then, in it, there floats something.... It's deep ultramarine blue. Do you know that colour?... That's it.

68.32 Only when the body is ready will it be able to let itself go like that. That's the work of preparation. The movement, yes, is to let oneself melt entirely and the result is the ego's abolition, that is to say, an unknown state; you understand, which we may call “physically unrealized,” because all those who sought Nirvana did so by giving up their body, whereas our work is to make the body, the material substance, capable of melting. That's the present attempt. How to keep the form without the ego? — That's the problem. That's how the work is done, little by little, little by little. That's why it takes time: each element is taken up again, transformed.... The marvel (for the ordinary consciousness, it's a miracle) is to keep the form while entirely losing the ego. For the vital and the mind, it's easier to understand, but here, this body, for it not to be dissolved by this movement of fusion...? Well, that's precisely the experience. That's precisely the so interesting curve of what is unfolding at present. At times, you feel as if everything, everything is dissolving, getting disorganized; and I have observed closely: at first the physical consciousness wasn't sufficiently enlightened, it would feel, “Ah, this must be what heralds death”; then, little by little, came the knowledge that it wasn't that at all, it was only the inner preparation to be capable. And then, on the contrary, the very clear vision of this plasticity, so particular, this suppleness so extraordinary that if it were realized, it obviously means the abolition of the necessity of death. Every time the rule or domination of Nature's ordinary laws is, on one point or another, replaced by the other authority [that of the other state], that creates a state of transition with all the appearances of a tremendous disorder and a very great danger. And as long as the body doesn't know, as long as it's in its state of ignorance, it is panic-stricken, it thinks it has a serious illness. But originally it's not that: it's the withdrawal of the ordinary law of Nature, and its replacement by the other. So there is a moment when it's neither this nor that, and that moment is critical.

69.164 The body is strangely fragile at the same time, that's the curious thing. There's a sense of having gone out of all ordinary laws, and ... in suspense, like that. Something which is seeking to be established. And extremely sensitive to everything that comes — the two things at the same time: extremely sensitive to what comes from others, and at the same time, with a sort of extraordinary power to enter into them and work there. As if all kinds of limits were ... done away with.

62.275 It's a very impersonal sort of state in which all this habit of reacting to outside things and surroundings has completely disappeared. But nothing has come to replace it. It's ... an undulation. That's all. So when will it change into something else? I don't know. And you can't, you can't try! You can't make an effort, you can't try to find out, because this intellectual activity, which has nothing to do with “that,” immediately intervenes. That's why I have concluded that it's something one must become, be, live — but how? And in what way? I have no idea.

How can the fish try to be anything other than a fish? It will still make the efforts of a fish with its ideas of a fish.

62.66 To the ordinary vision, externally, superficially, you could say there has been a great deterioration, but the body doesn't feel that way at all! What it feels is that this movement or that effort, this gesture or that action belongs to the world — to this world of Ignorance — and that it's not done in the true way, it's not the true movement. And it's sensation or perception is that that state I was speaking of, which is soft, without angles, smooth, has to develop in a certain way and produce corporeal effects that will allow the true action. There is a way to be found. But not “found” like that, with one's head: a way that is somewhere in the MAKING. It has come to the point that when I change states, I suddenly feel as if my body is surrounded with rasps and chunks of wood, while it's very comfortably seated on downy cushions!

Then, in that fragmented space, the meaning of time changes as well. And one morning, with a laugh, Mother told me:

62.147 A time will come when we will say, “Remember, in such and such a year we thought we were doing something!...” Would you believe it, I found myself suddenly projected forward: “Do you remember, over there” (and it's always to the left — I wonder why?), “do you remember over there, oh, we thought we were doing something, we thought we knew something!...” It's amusing. Yes, the ordinary consciousness is like an axis with everything revolving around it. An axis which is fixed somewhere, and everything revolves around it — that is the ordinary individual consciousness. And if the axis shifts, one feels lost. It's like a big axis (it is more or less big, it can be tiny) planted squarely in time with everything revolving around it. The consciousness may be more or less extended, more or less high, more or less strong, but it revolves around an axis. And now, for me, there is no more axis. I was looking — it's not there anymore, gone, flown away! The consciousness can go here, it can go there, or there (gesture to the cardinal points), it can go backwards, it can go forwards, it can go anywhere — there's no more axis, it no longer revolves around an axis. It's interesting. No more axis!

But suddenly, the “undulation” or wave movement becomes concrete and reveals what it really is: the constituent and the foundation of the whole physical reality:

63.108 There must be something new in the consciousness of the cellular aggregates ... something, a new experience that must be in progress. The result: last night, I had a series of fantastic, cellular experiences, which I cannot even explain and which must be the beginning of a new revelation.... When the experience began, there was something looking on (you know, there is always something looking on somewhat ironically, always amused), which said, “Well! If that happened to someone else, he would think he was quite sick, or half mad!” So I stayed very still and thought, “All right, let it be, I'll watch, I'll see — I'll see soon enough....” Indescribable! Indescribable (the experience will have to recur several times before I can understand), fantastic! It started at 8:30 and went on until 2:30 in the morning; that is to say, not for a second did I lose consciousness, I was there watching the most extraordinary things. I don't know where this is going.... Indescribable. You know, you become a forest, a river, a mountain, a house — and it's the sensation OF THE BODY, the absolutely concrete sensation of the body. Many other things too. Indescribable.

(Question:) A sort of ubiquity of the cells?

Yes. A oneness — the sense of oneness. It's clear that if this experience becomes something natural, spontaneous and constant, death can no longer exist: even for this body.... There's something I sense there, without being able to express it or understand it mentally as yet. There must be a difference, even in the behaviour of the cells, when you leave your body. Something else must take place.

If the cellular consciousness is no longer caught and imprisoned in the net of a body, what happens when that point of matter, which is in perfect continuity with the entire terrestrial body, spreads itself?

63.67 It's a curious thing ... the sight is completely different from physical sight: you see thousands of kilometres away and very nearby at the same time.

72.268 (Question:) But what do you see?

I feel like saying: nothing! Nothing, I “see” nothing. There is no longer “something that sees,” but I AM an innumerable quantity of things. I LIVE an innumerable quantity of things. And so ... (she added, laughing) there are so, so many — so many — that it's like nothing!

62.147 Don't you feel something like a pure superelectricity?... When one touches that, one sees that it's everywhere, but we are unaware of it.

Could this be “plasma,” whose strange properties physicists do not understand very well?

Such is the “other state” in brief. Now we have to understand its physiological and functional consequences — the “other way” — and the mechanism of the transition: what makes the barrier, and how it can be crossed. But it is immediately clear that one can no longer speak of philosophy or religion here — blown away. For centuries we have been told about “spiritualists” and “materialists,” but what matter are we talking about, and what spirit?

What is the “spirit” of the fish to the amphibian? — It is another mode of breathing. Religion and philosophy are both pulmonary respiration.

To see philosophies and religions breaking apart is very reassuring: no more becoming muddled.

But science as well!

What is a fish's physics or even astrophysics worth to a species of a completely different milieu?

All our “laws” in a little fishbowl were simply the measure of our powerlessness: they were a certain way of looking, albeit electronic, through the walls of our fishbowl. But when the bowl is shattered? When there is no longer a “through”?

Darwin did speak of “confessing a murder.”

Yet, Mother also called this other state “the divine state” or “love,” or on other occasions, “the all-powerful state,” or “that,” and.... And again, “the Supermind.”

3. The Next Reign

After all, one might wonder, what is the advantage of becoming a forest or a river if in this daily life we continue to stumble and grope around searching for the right action, the exact thought, the exact perception and the true intuition? Our human life is beset by error. What differentiates us from other species is not so much that we have dissected molecules, invented the radar and probed space, but that we make mistakes. The animal does not make mistakes, it knows instantly. The entire paraphernalia of our science is in fact a gigantic device trying to fill the absence of a simple little direct knowledge and to supply us with thousands of arms, antennae and mechanisms to replace immediate action. We are totally powerless in the middle of a Machine which is supposed to be powerful for us. Should the Machine fail, we would become sub-animals.

63.2011 Something not even as harmonious as a tree or a flower; something that's not even as tranquil as a stone, not even as strong as the animal — something that is really a downfall. That is truly human inferiority.

61.169 Sri Aurobindo repeatedly says, “Be simple ... be simple,” and when he spoke these words, it was like a path of light opening up — very simple: “Oh, but just take one step after the other!” It's curious, as if all complications came from here (Mother touches her temples); very complicated and very difficult to adjust, and then when he said, “Be simple,” it was like a light coming from his eyes, like this, as if one had suddenly emerged into a garden of light. And when I hear it or see it, it's like a stream of golden light, like a fragrant garden — all, all is open. “Be simple.” And I know what he means: not to let in that thought which controls, organizes, orders and judges — he wants none of that. What he calls simple is a joyous spontaneity: in action, in expression, in movement, in life. To rediscover in evolution that type of condition he called divine, which was a spontaneous and happy condition.

The New Functioning

We share something very simple with animals: the cell. Even if our amino acids weave human proteins rather than rat proteins, the functioning is the same. What differs is this mental excrescence, which may finally only be a temporary excrescence to enable us to rediscover consciously and individually the power which is subconsciously and collectively at the heart of the animal cell. We have mistaken the means for the end, rather like a crab that would take its claws for the supreme organ of knowledge. But if there is an evolution and if there is a secret of evolution, if these millions of species, since the virus, that were strewn over the face of this good earth have a meaning (and we must admit that there is a progressive meaning in the knowledge of the milieu or successive milieus and the power over the milieu, and perhaps in the joy of the milieu, which our own species particularly lacks), then we have to assume that this meaning, this power, this knowledge, and above all this joy, if they do not fall from heaven, must be hidden in the very heart of Matter's primordial constituent: the atom and the cell. Only that which is “involved” can evolve, said Sri Aurobindo: the seed or the atom already contains its fruit. Our entire evolutionary route, with various claws, antennae, vibrating cilia or cranial protuberances on the way, has no other meaning than to rediscover what is there, which was momentarily concealed by the main organ we used to explore the outside of the milieu. We explore the power of the atom indirectly through our claws and cyclotrons, but we do not know the power of the cell and the knowledge of the cell, because that cannot be manipulated from outside: it has to be lived. Our body is the thing we live the least: our head has taken all the place, with a few more or less happy passions. And yet, dash it, if there is an evolution, it is in Matter, our matter, that it must take place?

60.65 At times you sense there's an extraordinary secret to discover, just there at your fingertips; you feel you are going to catch the “Thing,” to know.... Sometimes, for a second, you see the Secret; there is an opening, and then it closes again. Then once again, things are unveiled for a second, and you come to know a little more. Yesterday the Secret was there, quite clear, wide open. Well, I saw this Secret — I saw that it is in terrestrial Matter, on earth, that the Supreme becomes perfect...

The “Supreme” ... what is it? What is “supreme” is perfect life, perfect knowledge, perfect power, perfect joy — perfect evolution.

... I saw this Secret (which is getting more and more perceptible as the Supramental [the other state] becomes more precise), I saw it in the everyday outer life, precisely in this physical life which all spiritualities reject: a kind of precision and exactness right down to the atom.

Could this life — imprecise, groping, indirect, and painful because it never knows and never has the power of its vision — discover its powerful exactness, its potent knowledge, its effective vision, within a unitary terrestrial body which knows its own millionth of an atom and its own millionth of an exact second, in New York as in Hong Kong, as in the corner of one's own room, as in the thousands of beings who live, fly, walk, crawl and whirl in a mantle of electrons, because this body is its own atoms and its own cells anywhere in the terrestrial universe and at any second?

Such is the “new way” that was in the making in Mother's body, and through one body, perhaps in the entire earth body. We will only describe a few suggestive stages.

67.23 The body has become transparent, so to speak, and almost nonexistent; I don't know how to put it ... it doesn't obstruct the vibrations: all vibrations can go through. The body itself has scarcely the sense of its limits. It's fairly new. I can see it has come about rather progressively, but it's fairly new, so it's hard to express. But the body itself no longer feels limited: it feels spread out in everything it does, in everything around it, in all things, people, movements, sensations, in all that.... It's spread out like that. It has become very amusing. It's really new. One has to be a little attentive and careful not to bump into things, or drop them: the gestures are somewhat wobbly. It's very interesting. It must be a transitional phase, until the time the true consciousness is established; then it will have a wholly different functioning from what it had previously, but with a precision that can be foreseen to be incalculable, and of a very different order. With many things, for instance, the vision is clearer with eyes closed than with eyes open. But now that I see, to endure is difficult. It's difficult. Oh, these last few days there have been moments ... moments of anguish, you know, in an ordinary consciousness it would translate into almost intolerable physical pains. But the result is this: that, truly, the body itself has changed consciousness: there's nothing left here inside, it's all like that, like something everything goes through.

71.56 When the body comes out of “that” [the other state], it feels as if it's going to dissolve the next minute, that it was the only thing holding it together. For a long time there has been the impression that if the ego were to disappear, the being would disappear, the form would disappear, but that's not true! What's difficult is that the ordinary laws of life no longer hold. So then, there is all the old habit, and there is the new thing to be learned. It's as if the cells, the organization that makes up the form we call human, which holds it all together, it's as if this had to learn that it can persist without the sense of a separate individuality, while for thousands of years it has been accustomed to existing separately only due to the ego — without the ego, it goes on ... according to another law the body doesn't yet know, but... which it finds incomprehensible. It's not a will, I don't know, it's ... a something: a way of being.

67.211 Now that the cells are becoming conscious, they very much wonder what's the use of all this? “How should things truly be? What's our function, our utility, our basis? What's the divine way of being? What will be the difference?...” And a very subtle perception of a way of being that could be luminous, harmonious. That way of being is still quite indefinable; but in this seeking there is a constant perception (which translates as a vision) of a multicoloured light, of all the colours — all the colours not in layers but as if it was a combination of dots of all the colours: a stippling. Now I see it constantly, associated with everything, and it seems to be what we might call a “perception of true Matter....”

There is the old habitual matter, seen through the walls of our fishbowl, and then the other ... without walls, without the special eyes of a fish or a man — as it is seen by itself, we could say. But “seen” still implies an exterior organ: matter as it lives itself or as it is — real Matter. A perception which would be of great interest to the physicists.

... All possible colours are combined without being mixed together, and combined in luminous dots. Everything is as though made up of this. And it seems to be the true mode of being — I am not yet completely sure, but at any rate it's a far more conscious mode of being. I see it all the time: with eyes open, or eyes closed, all the time. It gives a strange perception at once of subtlety, permeability (if I may call it that), of suppleness of form, and a considerable diminution of the rigidity of forms. And the body, the first time it felt that in one part or the other, it felt ... a bit lost, with the sense of something eluding it. But if one remains very quiet, it's simply replaced by a sort of plasticity and fluidity that seems to be a new mode of the cells. It might probably be what, on the material level, must take the place of the physical ego. But, of course, the first contact is always very ... surprising. What's a little difficult is the moment of transition from one mode of being to the other. It's done very progressively, yet at the moment of transition there are a few seconds that are ... “unexpected,” to say the least. All habits are undone. It's the same with all the functions: blood circulation, digestion, breathing — all the functions. At the moment of transition it's not that one abruptly takes the place of the other, but there is a state of fluidity between the two which is difficult.... And I can see that for years the body and the whole body consciousness used to rush back into the old way to seek safety, to escape; but now, the body has been persuaded not to do it anymore and on the contrary to accept: “Well, if it's dissolution, it's dissolution.” You feel all the usual stability is vanishing.... The great adventure.

Not for the faint-hearted.

66.221 All kinds of minor disorders come, but to the consciousness they are clearly disorders related to the transformation; something knows full well that the disorder came to make the transition from the ordinary automatic functioning to the conscious functioning under the direct direction and the direct influence of the Supreme [“that,” the other state]. And when that point has reached a certain stage of transformation, you move on to another point, then another, and then another. So nothing is done until ... everything is ready. And it's all a question of changing the habit. The whole automatic habit of millennia must be changed into a conscious and directly guided action.

67.224 The difficulty is always the transition: if the memory of the other method (the ordinary method, the universal method of all human beings) comes, all of a sudden it is as if ... (it's very strange), as if the body was incapable of doing anything, absolutely as if it were about to faint. Then, it immediately reacts, and the other movement gets the upper hand again.

61.26 It's a funny thing, it came over me all of a sudden: I no longer knew how to climb the stairs! I no longer knew how to climb them! It came over me once in the middle of lunch, too: I no longer knew how to eat! Of course, for the external world, that's what is called “lapsing into second childhood.” But what's necessary is to abandon everything: all power, all understanding, all intelligence, all knowledge, everything, absolutely everything — to become perfectly nonexistent. That's important.

Obviously, as long as one keeps the power of the old species and the knowledge of the old species, one cannot become the next species — it means an instantaneous wall, the old wall of the fishbowl.

69.2012 This poor body cannot say anything because it doesn't know. All that it thought it had learned for ninety years has been shown quite clearly to be worthless! And that it has everything to learn. So it's like that, good willed, but absolutely ignorant.

70.184 At times, the body can't even hold itself upright, and for a reason which isn't... It no longer obeys the same laws as those that keep us upright, so ...

67.309 It's the transfer. This morning, with every action, every movement, every gesture, with the attitude of the body, of the cells, the absolutely material consciousness, with everything, everything — the old method was gone. There only remained “that,” something (how can I explain?) ... smooth. There was nothing that clashes or grates or causes difficulties anymore, and everything was like that, in a single rhythm. It's something so even, and which feels so sweet, you know, and with a TREMENDOUS power in the smallest things.... For about four hours, the transfer was constant, free from mixture. Everything: bathing, eating, all that now no longer takes place in the same way. I don't know how to explain.... No memories left, no habits. Things aren't done because you learned to do them that way: they are done spontaneously by the Consciousness. To replace the memory, the remembrance, the action, with ... the new method of consciousness that knows the thing JUST when it has to be done: “This needs to be done.” It's not, “Ah, I have to go there,” no: you are at each minute where you should be, and when you arrive at the place you had to go to: “Ah, there it is.”

A bird leaving the Arctic snows for Sri Lanka's lagoons does not “search for” its destination: it is at each second where it has to be, because the world map unfolds within it, or it unfolds within direct geography. We call it “instinct,” but that is our mental stupidity: the instinct of the world is that it is the world, totally, without walls. And Mother added:

... You can easily understand why saints and sages, those who wanted to benefit constantly from this divine atmosphere, they had gotten rid of all material things — because they weren't transformed, and so they fell back into the old way of being. But to transform this matter, is incomparably superior! It gives an extraordinary stability and consciousness and REALITY. Things become the true vision, the true consciousness; it becomes so concrete, so real [yes, true Matter]. Nothing — nothing else, nothing else can give that fullness. Escaping, fleeing, dreaming, meditating, going into higher planes, all that is all very nice, but how poor it looks in comparison, how poor! So poor.

68.45 The whole solid base that makes up the corporeal person — hop! gone, taken away. For instance, I had a total abolition of memory, and ... Now I am used to those things, so all the cells remain like that, still, silent and exclusively turned toward the Consciousness, and they wait. You see, all that we do, all that we know, everything is based on a sort of semiconscious memory which is there — that's gone. And there's nothing anymore. It's replaced by a sort of luminous presence, and ... things are there, but you don't know how. They're there effortlessly. And what's there is only JUST what's needed at a given moment. There isn't all that baggage you constantly drag behind you: there's JUST the thing you need.

61.187 And the moment the solution is required, it comes: it comes in facts, in acts, in movements.

69.82 There is no longer this accumulated, confused mass of so-called knowledge. It's spontaneous, natural, unsophisticated, very, very simple and almost childlike in its simplicity.

70.58 You understand, all the impossibilities, all the “this can't be,” “that can't be done...,” all that is swept away.

69.263 The consciousness [of the other state] is constantly at work, not as a continuation of what went before, but as an effect of what it perceives EACH INSTANT. In the ordinary mental movement, there is the consequence of what you've done before — it's not that, it's the consciousness which CONSTANTLY sees what has to be done, it's the consciousness which, every second, follows — follows its own movement. And that allows everything! It's precisely what allows miracles, reversals, and so on — it allows everything.

Would not death, illnesses, physical “impossibilities,” “laws,” everything, be the crystallisation of a certain ... false memory, that of false matter? That of a certain fishbowl. A habit that goes around in circles.

69.2211 & 1911 What prevents is a “concentric” vibration, a sort of concentric vibration, meaning that instead of being in an infinite eternity, things are seen in relation to oneself. That's what prevents. It's self-centred imbecility.

62.121 & 63 It's an extremely delicate functioning, probably because it is not usual: the slightest movement, the slightest mental vibration upsets everything.... That is to say, the minute the old way of behaving with your body pops up (you “want” this and “want” that and want...), everything stops. Simply an ordinary movement, the movement of ordinary functioning — when you slip back into it out of a kind of habit, everything stops. It's tiny, those things aren't easily seen, they're tenuous, so tenuous. Then you have to wait until that mechanism consents to stop. And when you have caught hold of “that,” again and you can stay in it for a few seconds, it's marvellous — then it gets jammed again, and everything has to be done all over.

62.2711 It's beginning to obey another law. For instance, knowing at the exact moment what needs to be done, what has to be said, what's going to happen — if there is the slightest concern or concentration to know, it doesn't happen. If you are just like that, simply in that kind of inner immobility, then for all the minute details of life, just at the necessary moment, you know: what you have to say comes; what you have to reply is there; the person who has to come, enters. It's a sort of automatic thing that one does. In the mental world, you think of the thing before doing it; there it's not like that.

70.184 For example, if I am not supposed to say something, instead of its going through thought, “I mustn't speak” — I just can't speak anymore! All sorts of things like that. The functioning is direct.

66.67 We always come back to this: to be, is the only thing that has power.

Tactile Vision

We can conceive life to be spontaneous, “automatic” and harmonious, as animal life is. Already that would be such a tremendous change in our species equipped with clocks, doctors and telephones, that we find it hard to imagine. We can conceive that at each second we would know the exact gesture, the exact word, and all that needs to be known in the world, like the bird which “knows” the lagoon over there, seven thousand kilometres away. But what will our means of action be, except for letting ourselves be cradled in the great rhythm?... We are distinct from other species in that we can change the world, which the animal cannot, probably because it is perfectly harmonious and happy in its routine. Sometimes our misfortune is our power. It is probable that our unfortunate evolutionary detour via the mental bowl, in which we have cut ourselves off from everything, separated ourselves from everything, have had to invent everything in order to bring closer what we have distanced from ourselves, to mechanize everything in order to replace the simple missing organ, was aimed not only at making us individually conscious, but through our very misfortune, at forcing us to conquer the “laws” (we have not conquered them: we have only outwitted them, because we do not know their innermost moving force, the “direct key” as Mother said), and finally at enabling us to touch the real moving force, the lever which will change the biological round — which the animal cannot change — and death. The very power that made the galaxies and the cells must have the power to change these same cells and build with them an organism that will be a little more complete and a little less prone to dissolution.

The new “organ” of action is very simple, as one would expect; it is neither mandibles nor cerebral convolutions: it is being. A mode of being that has nothing to do with metaphysics, but has everything to do with physiology and cellular consciousness. Here too, we will merely note a few stages in the formation of this organ.

64.1010 & 66.263 For instance, I pick up a piece of paper: I see as clearly as I did before; then comes the old habit (or the idea or memory) that I need a magnifying glass to see — and I can't see anymore! Then I FORGET about seeing or not seeing, and I can do my work very well, I don't notice that I see or don't see!... And it's like that with everything.

Once again we are struck by this kind of memory or remembrance which makes one blind, ill or dying, and then that memory goes away and the thing no longer exists! It no longer exists: you can see very well, you no longer have cancer, and you are not dying in the least. The next species is the one that will lose the memory of death. And Mother adds:

... It's an apparent incoherence. It must depend on another law, which for the moment I don't know, and which governs the physical.

66.93 & 3011 The perception of people's inner reality is infinitely more precise than before. If I see a photograph, for example, there's no question anymore of seeing “through” something: I almost exclusively see what the person IS. The “through” diminishes to such a point that, at times, it no longer exists at all: I suddenly see the photo come alive, in three dimensions, with the person's head sticking out! It's really strange, as if I were being taught to see in a different way.

Which means that in order to see, there is no need of eyes at all, or of retina, or to see “through” anything at all, as if the whole of evolution had made successive organs and successive visions to see through a certain milieu — and then the bowl is shattered and we get to the total “milieu” and to the only organ.

65.26 It's rather strange, this vision. There always seems to be a veil between me and things [we will return to this “veil,” which is probably the cellular barrier separating us from the other state]. Then all of a sudden, without any apparent reason, a thing becomes clear, precise, sharp — the next minute, it's over. Sometimes it's a word lighting up in a letter, sometimes it's an object. And it is a different quality of vision, as if light were shining from within things instead of shining on them: it isn't a reflected light, it isn't luminous like a candle, for instance, but instead of being lit by a projected light, things have their own light, which doesn't radiate. It's becoming more and more frequent, but with perfect illogicality. Which means that I understand nothing of the logic of it. And the vision is extraordinarily precise with the full comprehension of the thing seen while you are seeing it! For instance, I saw this phenomenon early this morning, in the bathroom before turning the light on: a bottle in the cupboard became so clear, with such inner life! “Oh, look!” I said — the next minute, it was over. This is clearly the preparation for a vision through the inner light rather than projected light. And it is ... oh, it's warm, living, intense — and of such precision! Everything is seen at the same time: not only the colour and shape, but the nature of the vibration in a liquid — it's admirable!

And what is this “inner light” in matter, in a liquid? — True matter ... such as it is, without a distorting organ, without any “through”?

70.31 Knowledge is replaced in a strange way by something that has nothing to do with thought and less and less to do with vision, something superior which is a new kind of perception: one knows. It's far above thought, above vision, it's a kind of perception: there is no more differentiation of the organs. And it's a perception, yes, which is total: which is at once, vision, hearing and knowledge. Something that is a new type of perception. So then, you know. It replaces knowledge. A perception that is so much truer, but so new I don't know how to express it.

62.610 When I look at people, I don't see them as they see themselves: I see them with the vibration of all the forces that are in them and pass through them. That means my physical sight is not failing, but changing in character, because, to me, the physical precision of normal physical sight is false. But that does not stop me from seeing physically. If, for instance, I try to thread a needle while looking at it, it's literally impossible, but if it's necessary that I thread a needle, it threads by itself! I have nothing to do with it: I hold the needle, I hold the thread, that's that. I think that if this state gets perfected, one should be able to do everything by the OTHER MEANS, the means that doesn't depend on external senses, and then, it will clearly be the beginning of a supramental expression. Because it's a kind of innate knowledge which DOES things.

Perhaps the innate knowledge that “makes” everyone and each species: an innate knowledge at the heart of every cell and every atom? The helium atom knows its two electrons perfectly well. And I asked Mother:

(Question:) But wouldn't a “clairvoyant” see that way?

Oh, no! This has nothing to do with all the visions I've had. It's not a “vision”! I can't even say that it's an image: it's a knowledge. I can't even say that it's a “knowledge”: it's something which IS EVERYTHING at once, which contains its own truth.

63.318 The sense of the “concrete” is increasingly fading away — like something that is far, far away in an unreal past. And that kind of dry and lifeless “concrete” [i.e., our human perception of Matter] is replaced by something very simple, very complete, in that all the senses function together, and very INTIMATELY with everything. Before, each thing was separate, divided, unconnected with the other, it was very superficial, like a pinpoint. It's not at all that way anymore. The feeling you get above all is one of intimacy, that is to say, there is no distance, no difference, there is not “something that sees” and “something that is seen”; yet, there is in it what corresponds to vision, hearing, sensation, all the perceptions, taste, smell.... What prevents the functioning from being perfect are all the old habits. If we could let ourselves be borne along without wanting to “see well,” to “hear well,” we would have the other perception, which is much TRUER. And always that feeling of something smooth, without any clashes, any complications, as though you could no longer bump into things, no longer ... It's quite interesting.

72.121 When it comes, it's not like thoughts, it's not that: I am as though BATHED IN IT, and then ... I don't know, it's not something I “see” — something foreign to me that I see — it's ... suddenly I AM that. Then there is no more “person”, any ... And these experiences, I can't find words to describe them. You understand, I have lost the capacity of memory, but I feel it's on purpose, that my vision of things would be much less spontaneous and sincere if I remembered. It's always like a new revelation, and not in the same manner. That's it: you BECOME the thing — you become it. You don't “see” it, it's not something you see or understand or know, it's ... something you are.

66.145 What goes on here [in our retinal vision of Matter, which we could call “false matter”], what we describe is so blunt, devoid of fineness, crude, like a rough-hewn statue: it's rough, crude, exaggerated; and it's distorted by the sense of separation given by the ego. While THERE, I don't know how to explain, there, all is ONE, there is a single thing taking on all sorts of forms, but not with one centre that feels and another centre that sees and another centre that understands; it's not like that, it's all ONE substance with indescribable suppleness, which adapts itself to all the movements of all that happens, without separation. So then, it leaves you in a state that lasts for hours and in which I am in this world [our world], yet without being in it. Because ... I don't feel things the way the world feels them. It's a very strange phenomenon.

But that is exactly the vision of the physical continuum!

68.86 Now I see.... It would be like a unity, a unity made of innumerable — billions, you know — innumerable bright points. A SINGLE consciousness — made of innumerable bright points conscious of themselves. But it's not the sum of all the points! It's not that, not a sum: it's a unity. But an innumerable unity. The very fact of using words, it becomes stupid.

64.268 Everything is becoming a LIVING consciousness, each thing emanates its own consciousness and exists because of it. For instance, knowing exactly in one's consciousness just a second or a minute beforehand: The clock is going to strike, someone is going to enter, someone is going to move.... And those things aren't mental, they are part of the mechanism, yet they are all phenomena of consciousness: the things themselves LIVE, they LET YOU KNOW where they are, where you'll find them. It's a whole world of tiny, microscopic phenomena that are another way of living that seems to be the result of consciousness without what we call “knowledge.” For instance, from time to time, I hear people speak of something or the other and say, “It will be like this and like that,” instantly there comes a sort of tactile vision ... (how can I explain it?...) It resembles touch and sight, yet it's neither touch nor sight, but both together: it's the thing AS IT IS, it's THAT. It's a consciousness wherein the mental element is absent. And it's so clear! With such infinitesimal precision! It's like an immediate contact with the thing as it is. It is another way of living.

63.411 Everything is becoming as if it were seen for the first time and from an altogether different angle — everything, everything: people's character, circumstances, even the movement of the earth and the stars, everything has become entirely new and ... unexpected, in the sense that all the human mental vision — completely gone! So things are much better!

(Question:) But is it a vision of “another world”?

This new vision of things ... it's not going out of Matter in order to see the world in another way (that has been done for a long time, of course, by all the seers and psychics, it's nothing new, and it's nothing marvellous), that's not it: it's Matter looking at itself in an entirely new way, and that's what is amusing! It sees the whole affair altogether differently.

The Great Body

We can understand the visual aspect of the new organ, even its tactile aspect and the direct knowledge it brings, but we cannot help thinking that there is a certain rather eccentric lady sitting in her armchair and touching or seeing things “from a distance” through some kind of strange tele-vision, and a tactile one on top of it. But that is because we have not understood the reality of the phenomenon. There is no “distance,” and that certain lady is completely eccentric! The electromagnetic wave is not more (or not less) situated in an armchair than the atoms of our molecules are separated from small neighbouring atoms, except by a temporary and binocular optical illusion — that is the great separative illusion we live in. We can only say that there is a certain preferential, or rather, practical centre that brings an innumerable experience or an innumerable existence back to a certain armchair in Pondicherry. The centre is not dissolved, since it still goes about its occupations, laughs and tells me its story in a perfectly physiological body, but that same centre can be temporarily anywhere depending on what needs to be done — really be there: not in thought or in vision or in any “TV” or whatever, but physiologically and atomically (and in many other ways). Then the mode of action of the supramental being or our next species becomes clear. The supramental being is first and foremost a being who acts, acts supremely and directly, and contagiously, we might say. It is not a sort of armchair super-show (and it must be said that the “show,” in present-day conditions, is not funny, it is even painful), it is a transforming and immediate super-action: the work one does in one's own body is done in everyone's body as if in one's own, since one is this body and that body and countless bodies (and not only bodies).

The best thing we can do is to follow the curve of the phenomenon in Mother's body, in all its tentative steps. Explanations come afterwards; at the time of the experience, it is strange. This first cry:

63.107 But for all that to change, a direct power is needed! A power that would make itself felt directly, in other words, that would pass from cell to cell: vibrations of the same quality.

The reply was to come brutally: cerebral haemorrhage ... in the body of someone “else.”

63.64 I am conscious of the body, but it isn't the consciousness of this (Mother touches her body): it's the consciousness of THE body — it may be anyone's body! I am conscious of those vibrations of disorder which most often come in the form of suggestions of disorder: for example a suggestion of haemorrhage. The body consciousness rejects it. Then the battle begins (all this takes place all the way down in the cells and the material consciousness), between what we could call the “will for haemorrhage” and the reaction of the body's cells. It's very much like a real battle, a real combat. All of a sudden, the body is seized by a very strong determination and issues a command, in no time the effect begins to make itself felt and, gradually everything returns to normal. All this takes place in the material consciousness. Physically, this body has all the sensations, but not the haemorrhage, you understand. But it does have the sensations, that is, all the sensory effects. All right. Once the battle is over, I look at all that, I see my body (which has been fairly shaken, mind you), and I say to myself, “What in the world is all this?...” A few days afterwards, I receive a letter from someone and in the letter: the whole story, the attack, the haemorrhage, how suddenly the being is seized with an irresistible will, and hears the words — the very words that were uttered HERE. The result: saved, cured. I remembered my episode (!) and I began to understand that my body is everywhere! You see, it's not a question of just these cells here: these are cells and my faith in many hundreds, maybe thousands of people.... It's THE body! That's what is so difficult for people to understand. It is THE body — it is no more my body than other bodies. And it is seized with such things all the time, all the time: they fall on it from this side, that side, every which way.

71.242 It's decentralized, completely decentralized....

68.207 For instance, it happens I don't know how many times a day: suddenly, the awareness of a disorder, a pain or suffering somewhere — somewhere in some part, but not a part shut in here (Mother points to her own body): but like a spot in an immense body. And after a while, I learn that someone or other has had such and such a pain ... which was felt as being part of that immense body!

70.281 It was a rather peculiar night.... The body, the consciousness of the body, was the consciousness of a dying body, and at the same time with the perfect knowledge that it wasn't dying! But it was the consciousness of a dying body, with all the anguish, all the suffering, all those things, but there was the awareness that it wasn't this (Mother's body) that was dying. And it lasted a long time, it lasted all night. Afterwards, I learned that X had died in the early hours of the morning. Then I understood....

But that was also how Mother was going to gradually come in touch with the mechanism of death, and reach the key. For if it is a question of transforming Matter, death is certainly the first thing to be transformed. That key is the key to all the rest. It may well be the key to the fishbowl.

The experience continues:

61.187 It's an inundation coming into me from outside! And what a mixture! From all sides, from everyone, and not only from here: from far, far away on the earth, and sometimes from far back in time — far back in time, into the past, things from out of the past that come to be put in order, put in their place. And so it's a constant work and ... All the time, as if one keeps catching a new illness that has to be cured.

68.2610 There are countless experiences, dozens of them every day, showing that it's the identification or unification with other bodies that makes you feel this person's misery, that person's misery.... It's a FACT. And it's not felt as being another body, it's felt as your own. Which means it has become difficult to make a distinction. So one isn't complaining about one's own misery, it's that EVERYTHING is one's misery!

63.289 That suffering, that general misery is becoming almost unbearable, like a sort of acute anguish — which is certainly necessary to get out of it. To get out, I mean, to cure, to change — not to flee. I don't like flight. That was my major objection to the Buddhists: all they advise you to do is merely to give you an opportunity to escape — that's not pretty. But to change, yes.

To change the mortal functioning of this matter.

And the phenomenon of identification or unification is not limited to living human beings, it encompasses circumstances as well and life's “mechanical” events — in fact, it encompasses everything.

66.179 There is a new activity. I find myself ... I catch myself doing something, to be precise — talking to people whom most of the time I don't know, then describing a scene: they can do such and such a thing, and it will result in such and such a thing. They are like scenes from a book or scenes from a movie. Then, during the day or the next day, someone tells me, “I received a message from you and you told me to write to so-and-so and tell him such and such a thing”! And I am not doing it mentally, not at all: I LIVE — I live a scene or narrate a scene, and it's received by someone else (and I am not at all thinking of that person!). And it's happening here, in France, in America, everywhere. It's becoming amusing.... Someone writes to me, “You told me this,” and it's one of my “scenes”! One of the scenes I lived — not lived, at once lived and created. I don't know how to explain it. It's like a work of moulding. There are stories of countries, stories of governments; I don't know the result there — maybe we'll see after some time. And in this type of activity, I have all kinds of knowledge that I don't have! Sometimes even medical knowledge or technical knowledge that I don't at all have — yet I have, of course, since I say, “This is how it is and that is how it should be done....” It's rather amusing.

64.151 And all this happens IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, not while I am sleeping. This story [one of Mother's countless experiences] happened to me when I had just had my bath! All at once something comes, takes hold of me, and then there's a sort of life in which I live until something is done — some action — and when that action is done, everything goes away without leaving a trace.

71.177 & 217 This story of America and China, for example [Kissinger's secret visit to China], and all sorts of similar things came in that way.... It's curious. A kind of universalization. How can I explain it?... It is as if I had BECOME the circumstances, the people, the words ... The body is more and more conscious, but not at all in the mental way, like ... like things that are lived. I don't know how to explain.

66.1911 They are not words, not thoughts, but something absolutely concrete which comes as if on a screen. And it's a screen INSIDE my consciousness: it's not outside, it's inside. And things come like that. If I were in a superficial consciousness, I would ask myself, “Why am I thinking of this?” But I don't “think” of it and it's not a thought, it's ... a life being organized (Mother makes a gesture of shaping something). It's very interesting. From the smallest things to the biggest: cyclones, earthquakes, revolutions, all that, and then very, very small things, a tiny little circumstance of life, like an offering of money, a gift someone has sent me, very small, apparently unimportant things — everything is shown with equal value! There is no “big,” no “small,” no “important,” no “unimportant.” And it's constantly like that. It's strange. It's almost... like a memory in advance.

71.1711 & 70.58 It's as if the consciousness were not in the same position with respect to things, so they appear quite different. Ordinary human consciousness, even if it has the broadest ideas, is always at the centre, and things exist in relation to a centre: in the human consciousness, you are at one point, and everything exists in relation to this point of consciousness. While now, the point no longer exists! So things are self-existent. You see, my consciousness is WITHIN things, it is not something that “receives.” I almost feel that I am moving about inside you all, as if I were doing it from within. I no longer feel my body's limits.... I don't know how to put it. Yes, it's almost as if it had become fluid. And it's not like someone who has widened in order to take others into himself, that's not it: it's a force, a consciousness which is SPREAD OUT over things. I don't get the sense of a limit: I have the impression of something spread out, even physically.

The Supramental Contagion

From then on, the key to the supramental action appears Perhaps we should speak of a contagion rather than an action really a power “from cell to cell.”

63.207 I have a kind of certitude [said Mother when she was still at the very beginning of this infinitesimal work in the cells, searching for the passage through the cellular barrier], a certitude that once this microscopic work is completed, the result will be almost overwhelming. Because the power's action through the mind gets diluted, qualified, adapted, altered, and how much reaches here below? Whereas the day it acts through this matter, it will obviously be overwhelming.

63.107 It's only when a modest work of this kind, a work of “local” [i.e., cellular], transformation, so to speak, is completed and when there will be the full consciousness with the full mastery of how to use the Force without anything intervening, that... like a chemistry experiment you have learned to perform well: you can repeat it at will each time it's necessary.

61.112 & 254 (Question:) All this work you are doing on your body, how can it act upon the corporeal substance outside yourself?

Always in the same way, because the vibration spreads. It's a question of contagion. Spiritual vibrations are quite clearly contagious. Mental vibrations are contagious. Vital vibrations, too, are contagious (not often in their finer effects, but anyway it's obvious: a man's anger, for instance, spreads very easily). Well then, the quality of cellular vibrations must also be contagious. For example, each time I have been able to master something, I mean find the true solution for what we call an “illness” or a malfunctioning — the true solution, that's to say the vibration that will undo the wrong or set things right — I've always found it very easy to cure the same thing in others, through the emission of this vibration. That's how it works, because the entire substance is ONE. All is one, you see, we constantly forget that! We always have a sense of separation — that's a complete and utter falsehood! Because we rely on what our eyes see — that is truly falsehood. You know, it's like an image plastered over something. But it's not true. Even in the most material matter, even a stone — even in a stone — as soon as one's consciousness changes, all that separation, all that division disappears completely. These are ... (what can I call it?) modes of concentration or vibratory modes WITHIN THE SAME THING.

64.73 X was in a state of intense emotion, and at one point our eyes met. Then there came into me from him such a violent emotion that I almost started sobbing, can you imagine!... And it's always there, in the lower abdomen, that this identification with the world takes place.... I immediately stopped X's vibrations (it took me a few minutes), and everything was back in order again. Then I understood that this contagion was kept as a means of action — it isn't pleasant for the body!... And when I restore order here (gesture to the abdomen), it restores order there, too.

63.1112 When the experience [of the other state] comes, it's quite prevalent: “it” flows in the blood, it vibrates in the nerves, it lives in the cells, and everywhere, not just the cells of this body: I have an impression of many bloods, many cells, many nerves participating. Which means that the central consciousness of individuals isn't always aware of it, the individual isn't aware of it (it has an extraordinary feeling, but it doesn't know what it is), whereas the cells are aware of it, but they cannot express it. You see, there are DEGREES of consciousness, and here [in Mother's body] it appears to be a more conscious centre of consciousness, that's all; but otherwise....

And the experience becomes more and more precise, universal:

68.186 It's strange, I'll be following a movement, and then ... I go off [into the “undulation”]. It happens any time. I'll be eating: in the middle of the meal, something comes like that, I follow the movement and I remain with my spoon in mid-air then afterwards, I see all the people waiting!

(Question:) For several months now I've noticed it, the impression of an aloofness.

No, I am WITHIN, far more within than before — not “within” here [in Mother's body], but within all things. When I go off like that, it is always as if... as if I was shaping vibrations. And afterwards I learn that something has happened to someone: something has become twisted, so you work on it, you set it straight again, bring the light, the right vibration.

64.269 I am speaking here of the body's cells, but it's the same thing with external events, even with world events. It's even remarkable with regard to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc.: it would seem that the entire earth is like the body.

60.237 More and more, it's a common yoga — the whole earth. And it's like that day and night, when I walk, when I speak, when I eat: it's like kneading dough to make it rise.

Finally, the experience became perfectly intelligible, and one morning, Mother exclaimed:

61.2312 It was the perception of power, the power that comes from supreme love [the other state], fantastic! It made me understand one thing: that the state I had been put in was for obtaining this power that comes through an identity with all material things.... Then, I saw this power, from a methodical point of view, working to organize (not as something spasmodic or accidental as it is with mediums), but as an ORGANIZATION OF MATTER. And so I began to understand: with “that,” comes the power to put each thing in its place!... provided one is universal enough. It's fantastic! It has the power to change everything, and in what a way! One IS simply “that,” one, ONE vibration of “that.” That is to say, one IS that, and consequently one DOES that. But it's the key!

58.262 A direct key that needs no complicated science for expression.

It could be said that our mental reign, or even our animal reign on the whole, is the indirect reign, the reign of machinery, from the shrew gnawing a liana with its teeth to a physicist smashing the atom in a cyclotron. Countless mechanisms, increasingly complicated, from vibratile cilia, wings and fins, to the turbojet and the telex. A colossal artifice. Somewhat as if evolution, that is to say a certain power (and we cannot speak of power without consciousness, albeit the consciousness of the hydrogen nucleus snatching its unique electron), a certain power has cloaked itself with increasingly adapted and ingenious mechanisms or organs, to finally reach this evolutionary point, this turning point of epochs, when the mechanism becomes aware of its engine, and after having divided itself countlessly into countless bodies, rediscovers the total unity of its intracellular or galactic substance and can act directly on its substance, its nuclei, its cells, as on universal matter. After the mineral, vegetable and animal reign: the next, direct reign. A reorganization of Matter by the very power of Matter and by the very consciousness contained in the atom and in every cell. But we had to reach that point, at that cellular and atomic level, instead of melting into celestial or nirvanic expanses; we had to break the barrier that separates us from the next “milieu,” the total milieu of our next, global species, as one day the mineral broke the barrier of its inertia. What was there at the beginning of evolution is found again at the end: the power rediscovers its power, and unconsciousness its buried consciousness.

“Salvation is physical,” said Mother.

68.1112 The body is something very, very simple and very childlike, and it has that experience so imperatively, you understand, it doesn't need to “seek”: it's there. Then, it wonders why men haven't been aware of that since the beginning? It wonders, “Why, why have they sought all kinds of things — religions, gods ... all kinds of things” — when it's so simple! So simple, for the body it's so obvious.

64.3010 All the mental constructions men have tried to live and realize on earth come to me from every side: all the great Schools, the great Ideas, the great Realizations, the great... and then the religions — that's still lower down; all of it, oh, what childishness! And a kind of certainty, deep down in Matter, that the solution is THERE. Oh, what fuss, how vainly you have tried! — Go deep enough within, stay quiet enough, and then “that” will be. And you cannot understand it: it only has to be.

61.182(Question:) But why does one have to go down? Can't one act on matter from above?

Act from above, I have been acting from above for more than thirty years, it changes nothing! It doesn't transform. To transform means to transform. For the transformation one must descend into the body, and that's terrible.... Otherwise it will never be transformed, it will remain as it is. One can, you see, one can even pose as a superman! But it remains up in the air, it's not the real thing, it's not the next stage in terrestrial evolution.

62.245 These positions, the spiritual and the materialist positions, if we may say, which consider themselves exclusive (exclusive and unique, and so each one denies the other's value from the angle of truth), are inadequate, and not only because neither one will accept the other, but because even accepting and uniting them both IS NOT ENOUGH to solve the problem. It is something else — a third position which is not the consequence of these two, but which is something to be discovered, which will probably open the door to total knowledge. And it's this “something” we are seeking. Perhaps not only seeking, perhaps it is in the MAKING.

A new physiological position in Matter. No longer a philosophical position with its so-called materialisms and spiritualisms, which are only the obverse and reverse of the same false vision of Matter, but a position of the body, in the body, which will change all the laws of the old “frame of reference.”

A new mode of life in Matter, which will reorganize Matter through its own power, and finally change death — for death was only the reverse side of this “life,” just as the other side of the aquatic bowl was not the end of the fish but the beginning of another form of life in Matter.

Then, in a distant future, we will begin to see the mode of action of the supramental being: how he will manipulate matter.

58.192 & 32 When a change has to be effected, it is done not by an external and artificial means, but by an inner operation, BY AN OPERATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS which gives a form or an appearance to the substance. Life creates its own forms.... The absurdity here is all the artificial means that have to be used: any imbecile has more power if he has more means by which to acquire the necessary artifice. Whereas in the supramental world, the more one is conscious and in contact with the truth of things, the more authority the will has over substance. The authority is a true authority. If you want clothes, you must have the power to make them, a real power. If you don't have this power, well then, you remain naked. There are no artificial means to compensate for the lack of power. Here, not one in a million times is authority the expression of something true. Everything is colossally stupid.

How true!

Supramental consciousness gives form to matter; it fashions matter by sending out the corresponding vibration, as, today, we fashion thoughts with the word.

But now, how do we get there! What is the process?

4. The Descent into the Body

Death is really our only question. Until the physical fact of this coffin or that funeral pyre is changed, nothing will be changed and we will continue the “law” that has besieged life since unicellular micro-organisms, even if, for a while, we go off into the “undulation.” “It's almost as if it were the question I had been given to solve,” said Mother. Mother is, first of all, the battle against death — because Sri Aurobindo had died in 1950. Like Orpheus and Eurydice. And for twenty-three years, she was going to do battle with “the question” like a lioness. But in fact, one cannot go into the undulation and ubiquitous life without something changing in the regime of death, because what makes the barrier also makes death. And what makes the barrier, what is the cellular mechanism of death? Scientists observe the coordinates of the phenomenon and say: If there is this + this + that, there is death. But why is this so? They have no idea. The next reign is, first of all, one that will have another position in relation to death, that will no longer be inside death. If the mode of life must change, the mode of death must change too, otherwise we go round in the same-old-never-ending story, with a few celestial and ubiquitous illusions between the two.

And where are we going to catch this nest of death?

For that, we have to descend into the body.

This is the “path of descent” Mother spoke of in 1959.

It may even well be the “descent into hell.”

The Mortal Habit

How do we descend into the body?... It seems quite natural to us: we walk on two feet, we feed the machine, and cover it all with a certain number of philosophies of varying thickness and of variable ingenuity. And on we go. Well, before we begin to understand anything about the body, it must cease to be at all “natural.” As long as the guinea pig behaves normally in its cage, it will only breed another guinea pig which will breed another guinea pig. We can modify food, modify sleep, modify the quality of the air we breathe; hatha yogis have had no hesitation in playing on all the mechanisms — one can even stop one's heartbeats. And then, what? We are not searching for a circus of the old species, nor even an “improved” old species. It is something else. We can manipulate all the mechanisms of the body, but nothing new will come out of it, because these mechanisms only touch the surface — which is why neither biologists nor hatha yogis have found the key, or even really understood the problem. We repeat: since the arboreal shrew, all we have done is to fiddle with mechanisms. Something else has to be found, another spring deeper within our bodies.

And what is the path?

The experience is simple, in fact — simple to describe in any case, but it is of no use if it is not lived, because it is not between the pages of a book that the body's functioning will be changed. We are not seeking one more theory, but to fashion something new.

Thus we might believe, in the manner of a superbiologist with something of a yogi, that in this descent we will come across a buzzing latticework of nerves and veinlets, hear breathing sounds, throb with nucleoli and dendrites — in a word, that we will start living our body microscopically with a sort of yogic and electronic magnifying glass to detect the “thing.” But the thing is in none of those good things — our body is an excellent body, as good as that of a little snake or a kingfisher, with minor mechanical differences. So what prevents this excellent thing from being so excellent? What makes it move around as a man rather than as a beetle, both equally mortal, mark you? The biologists, always searching for mechanisms, because that is the only thing they can grasp, will tell us that it turns into a man rather than into something else because certain amino acids — the same ones since the primitive virus up to Einstein — wind around in a certain way, in a certain order, and produce human proteins rather than something else. And there is no getting out of it. It is implacable and scientific since the first cloud of hydrogen and they will perpetually continue to wind around in that way, or a bit differently. That is why Mother said in a nutshell, “Materialism is the gospel of death.” (And as spiritualism is the gospel of heaven, something else really needs to be found that will sit a bit better or live a bit better between those two positions.) But why does it wind around in this way or in that other? What is the mechanism or the dynamism or the underlying force that makes or wants the amino acids to wind around in this way with the lizard or in that way with Homo sapiens, without any appreciable difference except that they wind or want to wind? It is not the difference between a lizard and a man that interests us, but this fact of winding or of the typical aggregate. What does it obey? Scientists do not know. But Mother knows. That “thing” is what interests us. Because if we hold the secret ... it's not that we are going to start winding proteins around in another order to produce another problematic species, but we will hold the lever of life itself: what makes it move in one direction or another, towards a fish or a man, or rather what entrenches it in a typical habit and, perhaps, makes it die. From one species to the other, there is only a different habit of winding around the same materials. What regulates this habit of matter? There it is. If we find the answer, then we may find what makes us die and we may lose the habit of dying.

A certain habit.

The Mental Layers

The descent into the body is thus not brought about through any yogic technique, but in the simplest possible way: you go into what is there. And you do not sink into any latticework of veinlets and dendrites, but into something quite different, which is also like a strange Amazonian forest. To perceive the cell or experience the cell, we must first of all cross through all that covers it: opaque and buzzing layers upon layers. The first of all these layers is our intellectual layer — the one in which we live. That is the top of the fishbowl. Clearly, all ideas, philosophies, religions and the rest have nothing to do with the body. That layer does not look like much, it is like the air we breathe, but it is an enormous swarming mass. All this has to fall silent. If we want to see clearly in a liquid, it has to settle. The first operation: silencing the mind. When that layer has been more or less clarified, a second layer suddenly appears, which grows very precise once it is no longer embellished by the higher din of ideas and philosophical or humanitarian nobleness: the emotional mind. A much stickier layer. However beautiful these emotions may be, they have nothing to do with the body. The second operation: quieting the emotional mind. Already a more complicated operation, which looks like a guerrilla war in the desert. When that layer is more or less clarified and quietened, a third layer suddenly appears which was previously entangled in the two higher layers: the sensory mind, that which governs our reactions. There, it becomes a real virgin forest with all sorts of little snakes and swamps. We are not yet quite in the body, but we are drawing nearer. All the sensations of weariness and sleepiness, of fear, of pain and pleasure, likes and dislikes, attraction and aggression, tension and relaxation — all this swarms about. But we realize to what degree all this is dictated by habit, the milieu, education: a whole jumble which has nothing to do with the body and which is as if stuck on it. The third operation: the transparency of the sensory mind, or perfect neutrality. If you tense up or reject, it is as if you had instantly erected a wall. In other words, you stop crossing through and remain stuck in the middle of Amazonia. The body has to be freed from this entire active and reactive web. Then, the body becomes a little wobbly, as if it were no longer aware of its moorings and its weight — in fact it is strangely lightened, it starts becoming something of “the body.” Then we come to the barrier: the fourth layer, that of the physical mind.

But we do not know that it is the barrier, we do not know at all where we are nor what we are doing in that kind of jungle — afterwards, once we have crossed through, we realize that this was the barrier and become aware of its exact nature. At the time — and it lasted years for Mother — it is a microscopic teeming, sticky and interminable, and we do not quite know if it leads to the “other side” or to the body's disintegration, or even if there is another side to this microscopic hell, a hell so tightly stuck to the body that it would seem that to unstick that layer would be to unstick the body completely. When Francisco de Orellana, coming from the Andes, sailed down the Amazon for the first time, which was not yet called the Amazon but “whatever,” teeming with lianas and caimans, he did not know at all whether it would lead to the Atlantic or to death, nor what he was crossing through. It is very easy to be a cartographer afterwards.

Here we will give just a few stages or landmarks of this crossing as far as the barrier of the physical mind.

65.247 When you observe, you realize that what takes the most time is becoming conscious of what must be changed, having a conscious contact that enables it to change.

How long did it take the great primates to realize that what counts is not to swing about in the trees, but to sit down pensively in the corner of a glade and gaze at... nothing?

66.303 To have the body experience you must live in your body! It is why the ancient sages and saints didn't know what to do with the body: they went out of it and meditated, so then the body is no more concerned.

63.108 A tremendous battle against millennial habits.

59.195 When you come down to the body, when you attempt to make it take one step forward — oh, not even one step, just a little step — everything starts grating: it's like stepping on an anthill.

56.276 As soon as you want to progress, immediately you run into the resistance of all that does not want to progress in you and around you.

58.256 The distance to be covered between the body's habitual state, that almost total unconsciousness to which we are accustomed because we are “like that,” and then the perfect awakening of the consciousness, the response of all the cells, all the organs, all the functionings ... between the two, there seems to be centuries of labour.

53.1410 Death is not something inevitable, it's an accident which has always occurred till now (which anyway seems to have always occurred till now), and we have taken it into our head to conquer this accident and overcome it. But it is such a terrible, such a tremendous battle against all the laws of Nature, all the collective suggestions, all the terrestrial habits, that unless you are a first-class warrior frightened by nothing, it's better not to begin the battle. You must be an absolutely intrepid hero, for, at every step, at every second, you have to wage battle against all that is established. So it's not very easy. And even individually, it's a battle against oneself, because if you want your physical consciousness to be in a state that admits of physical immortality, you must be free to such an extent from everything which the physical consciousness at present represents that it's a battle of every second: all feelings, all sensations, all repulsions, all that exists and forms the fabric of our physical life must be overcome, transformed and freed from all its habits. It's a battle of every second against thousands and millions of adversaries.

64.3010 The body is learning one thing: ALL that happens is for progress. All that happens is for reaching the true state, the one that is expected of the cells so that the realization may be accomplished — even the blows, even the pains, even apparent disorganizations, all that is on purpose. And it's only when the body takes it in the wrong way, like a fool, that things get worse.

60.281 Difficulties come from very small things that may seem quite commonplace, but which block the way. They come for no earthly reason, a detail, a word, an illness in someone close to me, and abruptly something in me contracts. Then all the work has to be started afresh as though nothing had been done. It might be thought that the form of the body is a point of concentration, and that without this concentration, or hardness, physical life would not be possible. But that's not true! The body is really a wonderful instrument, it is capable of widening, of becoming vast; then everything is done in a wonderful harmony, with an admirable plasticity: the slightest gesture, the least little task. And then, all of a sudden, for a stupidity, a draught, a mere nothing, it forgets — it shrinks back into itself: the fear of disappearing, the fear of not being. And everything has to be started again from scratch.

61.157 To be a saint or a sage is not very difficult after all, but the supramental transformation is another story, oh!... No one has ever followed this path. Sri Aurobindo was the first, and he left without telling us what he was doing. I am literally hewing a path through a virgin forest — worse than a virgin forest. And then I have the feeling of not knowing anything. From a purely material, chemical, biological, medical, therapeutic standpoint, I don't think many people do know (there may be some? In any case, I don't know). So yogically, it's very easy, you know everything that needs be done and you do it as easily as that, it's nothing; but this transformation of matter! What has to be done? How is it to be done? What is the path? Is there a path? Is there a process? — Probably not. The awareness of the enormity of the thing is given to me drop by drop ... so as not to be crushed. It has reached the point where all spiritual life, all these peoples and races who have been trying since the beginning of the earth, it all seems like nothing at all, like child's play. And then it's a work without glory: you get no results, no experiences that fill you with ecstasy or joy — none of that, it's a hideous labour. It's truly a blind march, with nothing, in a desert riddled with all types of pitfalls and obstacles imaginable. You walk blindfolded, knowing nothing.

If we want the eyes of the body to open, the eyes of the mind have to close.

60.165 Everything is fine up above; but down below, it's swarming. In fact, it's a battle against small, really tiny things, things: habits of being, ways of feeling and of reacting....

69.2712 When it is a question of material things, intelligent people instinctively feel that everything is quite familiar, known and based on established experiences. So there, one is vulnerable. And that's just what is being taught to the body: the inanity of the present way of seeing and understanding things, based on right and wrong, good and evil, light and dark ... all those contradictions; the entire judgment, the entire conception of material life is based on that. Even the physical part which thought it knew how to live and knew what needs to be done and how it should be done, it too has to understand that this is not true knowledge, not the true way of using external things. For example, this consciousness which is at work seems to be constantly “teasing” the body: “See, you have this sensation, well, what is it based on? You think you know, but do you really know what's behind it?...” and for all the little things of life, at every minute. It's a factual demonstration, through the experience of every minute, that when you do things with that kind of sensation of acquired wisdom or acquired understanding, or a lived experience, how ... false it is, I might say, and that there is something ELSE behind.

58.105 You are pummelled and hammered until you understand — until you are in that state in which all bodies are your body.

As soon as there is a reaction of “me” in the body, there's an instantaneous wall: that is the whole story ever since a first unicellular micro-organism wove its protective membrane.

60.1211 An assent more and more complete, more and more integral, more and more surrendered.... That's when you have the feeling you must be absolutely like a child. If you start thinking, “Oh, I want to be like this, oh, I ought to be like that,” you waste your time.

And how can one know what to be in order to be the next species?

60.1712 Sometimes you feel, “Oh, how wonderful, I've caught the thing!” And then back it falls — the toil. Sometimes you feel you are falling into a hole, really a hole, and how are you ever going to get out of it? And it goes on like that, week after week. Particularly that sense of what's “important” and “unimportant” — is something which vanishes. You are left like that, with ... nothing. There's no scale of importance! That's our mental stupidity, entirely: either nothing is important or EVERYTHING is equally important. The speck of dust, there, that you wipe away, or ecstatic contemplation, it's all the same.

Just reflect: What is “important” for the next species? — We shall know when we are there. The coccyx vertebrae are an unimportant residue of an organ that was very important to the apes.

62.610 It's easy to understand: if it were a question of stopping something and starting something else, it might be done rather rapidly. But to keep a body alive, so that it keeps functioning, and then, at the same time, to have a new functioning and a transformation ... that makes a difficult combination to realise. Especially when it comes to the heart: to replace the heart with the centre of Power, a formidable, dynamic power! At what precise MOMENT are you going to eliminate the circulation and throw in the Force?... It's difficult. In ordinary life, you think of things and then you do them — here it's just the opposite! In this life, you have to do things first, and understand afterwards, but long afterwards. You have to act first, without thinking. If you think, you get nowhere; that is to say, you are reverting to the old way.

62.3010 It's new, which means you can't even tell if you are progressing! You don't know where you're going, you have no idea what path you're on. All kinds of things are happening, but are they part of the path or not part of the path? I really don't know. We will know only at the end.

63.226 A transitional period which is truly unsatisfactory, in the sense that you no longer feel the strength you had, the capacities you had, but you don't feel at all the power and capacities you would expect either — you are halfway between, neither like this nor like that. With, now and then, some absolutely bewildering things, things that make you stare wide-eyed, “Oh, that's how it is!” And at the same time, such tiresome limitations, so tiresome.

71.2912 For me the fastest path has been ... (how shall I put it?) the growing sense of my inanity — nonexistence. To feel I could do nothing, knew nothing, wanted nothing.... Only, there is no place for fear — if one is afraid, it becomes dreadful. Fortunately, my body isn't afraid.

65.1010 Those are all the things that are considered “unimportant,” and it's the whole mass of all that which prevents the physical transformation. And because they are very small things and considered negligible, they are the worst obstacles. I am talking about enlightened consciousnesses that live in the truth, that have aspiration and that wonder why this intensity of aspiration produces such poor results — now I know. The poor result is because we don't attach enough importance to those very small things that belong to the subconscious mechanism and because of which in thought you are free, in sentiment you are free, even in impulse you are free, and physically you are a slave. One must undo all that, undo it, undo it. There only remains the mechanism of habit. But it holds on, it clings, oh!...

67.267 We could call our world, “the world of bad habits.”

67.28 & 1910 The slow underground labour, invisible, almost imperceptible.... The sordid battlefield.

65.259 That's what I call sincerity: if one can catch oneself at each minute belonging to the old stupidity.

65.121 In the past you were told, “Get away from it all! Let it puddle about peacefully.” But we don't have the right to do that, it's contrary to our work. And you know, I had reached an almost absolute freedom with regard to my body, to such a point that I could feel nothing at all, nothing, but now I am not even allowed to go out of my body, can you imagine! Even when I am in some pain or when things are rather difficult and I say to myself, “Oh, to go into my beatitudes,” It is not allowed. I am bound there. It's here, HERE that we must realize.

60.2611 And then, things do not happen at all as they do in ordinary life, but for three to four minutes, sometimes ten minutes, I am abom-in-ab-ly sick, with every sign that it's all over. And it's just for me to have the experience, to find the strength. So then, it's just at such “moments,” when logically, according to ordinary physical logic, it's all over, that you catch hold of the key. One has to go through all that without flinching. How many more such moments will be needed? I have no idea, right now I am hewing the path.

Obviously, there had to be, at a given moment in History, the final convulsions of a reptile in order to begin to find the key to the bird.

69.35 Death, food and money: this new consciousness feels that those are the three “daunting” things in human life — that human life revolves around those three things: eating, dying, and having money. And for it, the three are ... passing inventions, which derive from a wholly transitory state that doesn't correspond to anything very deep or very permanent. And so, it teaches the body to be otherwise.

61.125 Even all those moments one can have in life with sudden glimpses of an immortal consciousness, the contact with the truth, even that, all those experiences are very nice, very good, but it's not THAT. The true SENSE of life: To what does it really correspond? What is behind it all? Why did the Lord create it? What is He heading towards?... He obviously has a secret, and he is keeping it. Well, I want his secret. Why is it the way it is? — It's certainly not the way it is just to be the way it is: it's meant to become something else. And it's this something else that I want.

62.2311 Each step forward forces you to take, not a step backward, but a step into the shadow, and from the physical standpoint it's terrible. As if one has touched the bottom of unconsciousness and ... yes, of inert materiality.

63.218 I don't know whether it is the last battle, but it has descended very deep.... It is, so to say, the primal substance that was utilised by Life, and it has a sort of inability to feel, to experience a reason for that Life. I have an impression of being quite close to the bottom of the pit. At one point, there was such a frightening state of anguish, because it was a nothingness — a nothingness you couldn't get out of. There was no way of getting out of that nothingness, because it was nothing. And it was at a moment, the tension was so great that ... you wonder, “Am I going to burst?” And it is that which is the basis and foundation of all materialism.

Then suddenly, the barrier became clear:

61.157 All possible difficulties in the body's subconscient arose en masse — as it was bound to happen, and as it surely happened for Sri Aurobindo. I have understood. Well, you know, it's no joke! I wondered why all that went at him so relentlessly — now I understand, because there is the same, identical relentlessness against me. It's not exactly the body's consciousness, but one could say the corporeal substance as it is organized by the mind, the first movement of the mind in Life, that which made the transition from animal to man, the first mentalization of matter. Well, something in there protests, and naturally, by protesting creates disorders.

We are poised at the edge of human life, before “something” that does not exist in the animal and which has caused all the complication of human life, all its non-knowledge, its pain, its separation, its illnesses — all this “misfortune” which in the end is our true power to find the way out, because it has forced us to go down into the depths to find the key. It is the physical mind. The first “mentalization” of matter. It is the barrier. And at the same time, it is the way toward an even more radical discovery, an even deeper layer: that of the cellular mind which not only contains the power to undo our old habits of misfortune, but to undo the typal habit of each species, and finally the old habit of dying.

5. The Physical Mind

This physical mind is an extraordinary discovery. Yet it comes and goes under our very noses, drones in our ears and controls our slightest gestures, only we take no notice of it, or if we do, we find it so ridiculous that we discard it or drown it in the din of our noble thoughts, our noble feelings, and all our superior nobleness, all of which collapse in the end because we have not taken this microscopic bizarre character into account. The greatest discovery is to find out what is impeding us. If every species knew what impedes the next species, it would soon turn all its values upside down and find the way. But for that to happen, you must feel ill at ease in your own species, you must start suffocating a little — such is our privilege among all the little creatures happily going around in circles in their bowl. If a few fish had not started suffocating in their dried-up ponds, they would never have invented pulmonary respiration and transformed their fins into legs to become amphibians. This physical mind is precisely what suffocates us — insidiously, innumerably and quite implacably. It is our cage. It is the very wall of our human fishbowl. We do not need extraordinary mutations to break out of our bowl: we need to suffocate enough to find the means. Perhaps our species is precisely reaching the time of suffocation.

We know the higher part at least, if we can call it that, of this physical mind: the part that repeats microscopic material thoughts ad nauseum, like an old woman talking to herself. If we did not catch it, it would go on repeating for hours and hours, without feeling the slightest bit tired, “You haven't closed the door, why don't you go and see ...,” like a recording, when you know perfectly well that you have closed the door. It repeats everything: the slightest gesture, the slightest snatch of a sentence, the tiniest stumble on a staircase — twenty years later it remembers exactly. An implacable memory. It is infinitesimal like the point of a needle, it sticks itself into any bit of matter, traces its furrow, and goes on repeating forever. We are criss-crossed from top to bottom, down to the smallest nerve by that mechanical furrowing — and right down to our cells. In fact, we are literally capped and woven by this physical mind. It is the great fixative; without it, we would perhaps forget that we are humans perpetually harnessed to this mode of matter and to death. But that is exactly its job: to harness us to matter.

Its second “quality,” which we know somewhat in its higher and visible parts, is fear. It is afraid of everything: “Be careful, you haven't taken your scarf, you'll catch a cold.... Be careful, you're walking too fast, you'll break your leg.... Be careful, you can't do that or you'll tire your heart....” And you-can't, you-can't, it is a mind full of you-can'ts. Even if you “could,” it would prevent you from doing — which is why you cannot. In short, it carefully guards the limits of the fish-bowl. It is the prison guard. “And then the doctor said ... and the professor said, and the encyclopedia, the policeman, the clergyman and the biologist — consequently ...” Everybody has said so — re-consequently. It is the greatest logician in the world. An implacable, innumerable microscopic logic. It is the greatest policeman of all the species: “Look, you can't get out of the fishbowl; on the other side there's no more material water, there's death and the pure spirit of fish — and anyway, it doesn't exist: it can't be swum, can't be touched, can't be seen — consequently.” But the logic of the physical mind leads us straight to the nest we were looking for: death. Everything leads there. It is not the preservation of the species, no: it is the preservation of death. All you have to do is to follow its microscopic whispering a little; as soon as you get a scratch: “Oh, is it not poisonous?”; as soon as Moscow sneezes: “Oh, doesn't it mean war?” It foresees every possible catastrophe, every possible illness, every accident — and above all death, that it has foreseen since the beginning. “It's an illness, you know, there's no getting away from it. You MUST take so many pills, you must do this... and you mustn't do that, you mustn't...” We are bound from head to foot, invisibly, insidiously and inexorably. A sort of fear-of-everything, ingrained in matter, which is like a memory or a regret of the happy tranquil inertia of the stone — life is a catastrophe, it is a threat, a danger. Death is peace at last. And it winds and secretes its little death every minute, until it achieves its aim: “I told you so.” And what would the entire ecclesiastic hierarchy do if death was no more? What would the biologist do, and the philosopher and the entire holy tribe? When you think of it, they all live on death. It is the guardian of the law of death. Law means death. From A to Z, the physical mind is indeed the gospel of death. The supreme example of the functioning of this character can be found in the patient suffering from Parkinson's disease, when, trembling uncontrollably, he desperately tries to take a step forward, stumbles and tries again: “You can't, you can see for yourself, you can't walk,” until the disease is firmly fixed. To fix is the physical mind's job. Then we understand its tremendous hypnotic power; it really takes all our higher din for us not to notice the all-powerfulness of this infinitesimal whisperer. It is precisely what professional “healers” and “hypnotists” work on. They effectively prevent you from feeling the pain while you would normally start screaming, or they make you do “impossible” things contrary to all our “you-can'ts” — they abolish this physical mind for a moment. In fact, all doctors act on this physical mind — sometimes to heal but more often to fix the illness. In our higher consciousness, we make fun of this repetitious, timorous caricature, we scoff at it and send it packing — but it remains beneath, winding its little deaths around, its little illnesses and little accidents which will produce a great peaceful death implanted once and for all. All things considered, it always catches up with us. There is something in living matter that aspires to the peace of the mineral. There is an implacable memory that takes us back to the dawn of ages ... perhaps to matter's initial condition where the supreme power is buried in what seems to be supreme powerlessness, and supreme immobility in the supreme movement of atoms. If the death of the species is the obstacle, it means it is the key to something else. Wherever there is a wall, there is the other side of the wall. The only obstacle is not to notice the wall.

We will briefly describe a few milestones along Mothers passage through that ultimate layer which envelops us tightly and “seals” us hermetically, as it were, in our mortal and human way of being. It is what Mother called “the horrible thing.” We are in fact enveloped in a quadruple, superimposed web: the first, whose mesh is relatively loose, is that of the intellectual mind; the second, with an already tighter and stickier mesh, is that of the emotional mind; then the compact mesh of the sensory mind, and finally the microscopic mesh of the physical mind — underneath it all is the body, that is to say, an unknown whose reality completely escapes us because all that comes from the so-called “body” is distorted, falsified and actually comprises the four successive webs. What lies there, beneath? Biologists may speak of enzymes and DNA molecules, but it is as if they were speaking of the nature of man condemned for life at the bottom of a dungeon — take him out of the dungeon, make him trot about in the sun, and we shall see if the little molecules behave in the same way, and if all their “laws” are not merely the laws of the dungeon.

54.103 They would prefer to die and keep their habits than live in an immortal way and lose them.

57.155 I challenge you to transform your body if your mind isn't transformed. Just try, and let's see! You cannot move one finger, say one word, take one step without the mind intervening; so with what instrument are you going to transform your body if your mind is not already transformed?

58.105 One of the most serious obstacles is the legitimization that the false, ignorant, external consciousness, the ordinary consciousness, gives to all the so-called physical laws — causes, effects and consequences — and to all that science has discovered physically and materially. All that is an unquestionable reality in the consciousness, and it's so automatic that it's unconscious. When it's a question of movements such as anger, desire, etc., you recognize that they are wrong and must disappear, but when it's a question of material laws — of the body, for example, of its needs, its health, its food and all those things — they have such a solid, concrete reality [yes, the “dungeon”], so compact and so established, that it appears absolutely unquestionable.

61.173 Each one is shut up in his little formation of the most ordinary mind, which fabricates everyday life like in a narrow prison.

67.2110 Then there are all those old things that come from human atavism: be reasonable, prudent, shrewd ... take precautions, be provident, oh!... The whole fabric of ordinary human equilibrium. It's so sordid! And the whole mentalization of the cells ...

The cells are “mentalized,” that is to say, hypnotized and more than likely terrorized by the prison guard.

... the whole mentalization of the cells is like that, full of that, and not only in its own way of being, according to its own experience, but in the way of being of the parents, grandparents, the people around, and ... oh!

68.2610 It's hell, really; it's only thanks to this Possibility [the other state, outside the dungeon] that it's not hell, otherwise ... You understand, one gets the impression that all the layers of being have been whipped together (you know, like when you make mayonnaise!), all the layers of being well mixed together like that, in a great confusion, so naturally the “horrible thing” is bearable because of all the rest which is in there! But if you start separating that from the rest... It's perfectly obvious that if it weren't unbearable, it would never change.

Mother lived in this last, “pure” layer, if one dare say, separated from the rest, at the edge of the body, in search of the passage.

62.63 This consciousness is so neutral, so dull; it feels like something that does not move or change, that is incapable of responding; the impression that you could wait for millions and millions of years and nothing would budge. It takes catastrophes to get it moving, it is really strange! And not only that, but the wisp of imagination it has is always catastrophic. Whatever it foresees is always for the worst. And a worst that is so small, so mean, so nasty — really it's the most sickening condition of human consciousness and of matter. Well, I have been right in it for months, and my way of being in it is to go through every possible illness.

65.247 This material mind loves catastrophes and attracts them, and even creates them, because it needs the shock of emotion to awaken its unconsciousness. All that is unconscious, all that is inert needs violent emotions to shake itself awake. And that need creates a sort of attraction to or morbid imagination of those things — all the time it keeps imagining all possible catastrophes or opening the door to bad suggestions. You feel a little pain — “Oh, is it going to be a cancer?”

68.910 These are worlds of suggestion. You are in one wave of suggestion: everything is frightening; you are in another wave of suggestion: everything is charming; you are in another wave: everything is magnificent....

63.38 The physical substance — the very elementary consciousness that's in the physical substance — has been so ill-treated that it finds it very hard to believe things can be different. It's my experience: the concrete and utterly tangible intervention of the supreme Power and supreme Light — the physical substance has that experience, and each time it has a new sense of wonder, but in that sense of wonder I can see something like: “Is it really possible?”... It gives me the impression, you know, of a dog that has been beaten so much that it expects nothing but blows. It's sad. And this physical substance feels a sort of anxiety towards mental force; the moment a mental force manifests, it cries out: “Oh, no! Enough of that, enough!” As though it were the cause of all its torment. It feels the mental force as something so hard, dry, rigid, implacable — above all dry, empty: empty of the true vibration. It seems to regard that as the Enemy. This morning there was a kind of vision or sensation of the curve that went from the animal to man, then of the return to the state above the animal, in which life, action, movement aren't the result of mind but of a force, which is felt as a force of shadowless light, self-luminous, casting no shadows, and absolutely peaceful. And in that peace, so harmonious, so soft... oh, it's supreme rest.

No longer the nostalgic return to the peace of the mineral, but cellular rest in the great unwalled expanse.

“Liberation” is in the body.

64.710 The big difficulty in matter is that the material consciousness, that is to say, the mind in matter, was formed under the pressure of difficulties — difficulties, obstacles, suffering, struggle. It was, so to speak, “worked out” by those things, and that gave it an imprint almost of pessimism and defeatism, which is certainly the greatest obstacle. You are constantly forced to stop, push away, convert a pessimism, a doubt or a totally defeatist imagination. How many times at the moment of a suffering, there, acute, when you feel it's going to become intolerable, there is in the cells a little inner movement: the cells send out their SOS ... everything stops, the suffering disappears and is replaced by a feeling of blissful well-being. But the first reaction of that stupid material consciousness: “Ha! Let's see how long it's going to last.” So, naturally, with that movement, it demolishes everything. You have to start all over again.

58.105 As soon as the body is conscious, it's conscious of its own falsehood! It's conscious of this law, that law, this third law, that fourth law, that tenth law — everything is “laws”: “We are subject to physical laws: this will produce such and such result, and if you do this, that will happen, and ...” No! It oozes out of every pore. We have to understand that it's NOT TRUE — it's not true, all that is sheer falsehood. It's NOT true! If one had the experience that I had a few days ago ...

For, at times, the mesh of the web opened up and let in another state which looked miraculous, like green meadows to an escapee from the dungeon:

... This experience is supreme knowledge in action, with the complete abolition of all consequences, past and future....

And this is where our eyes open wide:

... Each second has its eternity and its own law, which is a law of absolute truth.

Then the mesh closes up again.

65.107 & 48 I can tell you that the mental distortions of doctors are frightening: they stick in your brain, remain there, and return ten years later. They have, oh, they have a hypnotic power over the material consciousness which is a bit ... troubling. The doctor crystallizes the illness, makes it concrete, hard. Afterwards, he takes credit for curing it... when he can.

60.2510 I looked, and I saw the power of thought over the body — it's tremendous! You can't imagine how tremendous it is! Even a subconscious and sometimes unconscious thought acts and provokes fantastic results. I have been studying this in detail for two years — it's incredible! Tiny mental and vital reactions — so tiny that in our ordinary consciousness they don't appear to have the LEAST importance — act on the body's cells and can create a disorder. But I know in an absolute way that if you can master this whole mass of the physical mind, then you CAN, you are the master: it's not a Fatality, it's not something that totally escapes our control, it's not some sort of “Law of Nature” over which we have no power. For two years now I have been accumulating experiences in their minutest details, apparently quite futile things — you must consent to that, not have delusions of grandeur, you must know that the key can be found in the tiniest effort to create a true attitude in a few cells.

60.511 I went down into a place in consciousness, a part of the consciousness, something that lives in apprehension, dread, fear, anxiety ... it's truly, truly terrifying. And we carry that within us! We aren't aware of it, but it's there: it's cowardly, and that's what can make you fall ill in a minute. It has its root in the cells' subconscient. You have to descend into it to change it. But it makes for painful moments, you know.

63.196 As if the problem was becoming increasingly close, tight and crushing. It is this work in the physical mind, the material mind. So I try to find my way by going down — looking for a way out down below — and I can't find it. The way that I am looking for is always descending, descending — it's never ascending but always descending, descending.... Oh, when it will be over... I don't know.

60.1312 It is swarming down below. How do you stop that vulgar, idiotic and above all defeatist automatism from constantly manifesting? It's really an automatism: it doesn't respond to any conscious will, nothing. And it's quite intimately related to the body's illnesses. I am right in the problem.

Then the “problem” drops its mask, which means that the wall appears, is clearly defined, and once we know that it is the wall, we begin to have the key. Strangely, Mother touched the wall thanks to someone near her afflicted with Parkinson's disease:

65.1812 & 63.189 When this material mentality is seized with an idea, it is literally possessed by the idea and it's almost impossible for it to free itself. Diseases are just that. It's the same thing with Parkinson's disease: this tremor is the possession by an idea, a hypnosis accompanied by a fear in matter. The two together: possession and fear. In the old Scriptures they used to compare that with a dog's twisted tail. And it is truly like that, it's a sort of twist that you try to straighten out and which goes back to its shape automatically, idiotically — you untwist it, it twists up again; you reject it, it comes again. It's extremely interesting, but it's lamentable. And ALL illnesses are like that, all, all of them, whatever their external form. The external form is only one way of being of the SAME THING — because things are arranged in every possible way, so then, some follow similar twists, and that's what doctors call “such and such an illness....” And the body's cells obey that material mind.

Mother had reached the bottom of the hole.

But this discovery, which does not look like much, is quite stupendous. It is as if we were looking for keys right and left, in chromosomes, molecules and penicillin and all the holy kit and caboodle of our science which codifies the walls of the prison — and suddenly, it is nothing but a code of our own walled-up hypnotism. “You know, walls are made up of ten billion atoms per DNA molecule and there are a million billion billion atoms per twenty cubic centimetres of matter — as many as there are grains of sand in all the oceans in the world — and twenty different types of amino acids and five types of nucleotides, and how are you going to get out of that?”5 But then ... it is nothing but the phantasmagorical fabric of our own material mentality: that is not where the obstacle lies, that is not even the wall. The wall is what we think it is. Illness is what we think it is. Death is what we think it is. And all the “laws” of the species are what it thinks they are. A mind in matter.

Then we understand that we can get out of it.

6. The Passage

If there were only our force alone, it would be practically impossible to cross through the microscopic web of the physical mind. It is a rubber web: if you push on it, it retracts; if you hit it, it slides away. You could go on for ages — it is what ensures the stability of the species. But a very interesting phenomenon occurs: once in a while, for a few seconds, the mesh gives way. Then an tremendous invasion takes place — “tremendous” indeed, and you immediately understand why it only lasts a few seconds: an adaptation is needed. If a carp is forced to a depth of two thousand metres, it is crushed. And the seconds recur patiently over the years, until the organism adapts itself. But if once there is a first opening, it will recur automatically, irrepressibly, because nothing is more stubborn than matter. In fact, this descent into the layer of the physical mind is so suffocating that it creates an irresistible call for air, and provokes one day or the other the first invasion by the other “milieu” — the law seems to be the same throughout the whole gamut of species: a considerable degree of suffocation or demolition of the prevailing milieu is needed for another milieu to manifest. The obstacle is the lever. Our times strangely resemble those of the end of the dinosaurs on an earth they had ravaged — another means of living and breathing, or of not suffocating, has to be found. And each species has always its pioneer: a first fish that experiences pulmonary respiration, or something else — a being who takes the first step. Sri Aurobindo and Mother are neither philosophers nor sages nor saints: they are the pioneers or the experimenters of the next species.

The Supramental Vibration

The first time a tear occurred in the web was in 1958, the year of Joliot-Curie's death and of the first American satellite. Then the phenomenon recurred in increasing doses until the great exit into the other state, in 1962. Let Mother describe the experience, which was very similar each time:

58.811 I was descending as if into a sheer crevasse, between two rocks, rocks that appeared to be made of something harder than basalt, but metallic at the same time. There seemed to be no end and no bottom, and the deeper I went, the narrower it became: narrower and narrower, tapering like a funnel. The bottom was invisible: a black hole. And it went down and down, like that, with no air, no light ... suffocating. Then it was as if I had touched a spring at the very bottom — a spring I hadn't seen, but which acted instantly with tremendous power, and cast me up forthwith, projected me out of that crevasse into a formless, limitless immensity. And it was all-powerful, of an infinite richness, as if that immensity were made up of innumerable imperceptible dots — dots which took up no space, and of a deep warm gold. All that was absolutely living, alive with a power that seemed infinite. Yet immobile. Perfect immobility, but with such extraordinary intensity of movement and life! And in a life so ... innumerable that you can only call it infinite, metaphorically speaking. An intensity with a power, a force, a peace — the peace of eternity. Silence and calm. A POWER capable of everything. Everything. There was all that impression of power, of warmth, of gold.... It wasn't fluid: it was like a powdering. And each one of these “things” (they cannot be called specks or fragments, or even dots, unless we take “dot” in the mathematical sense of a point, that occupies no space), each of them was like living gold: a powdering of warm gold. I can't say it was bright, I can't say it was dark; nor was it made of light either: a multitude of tiny gold dots, nothing but that. And containing such power and warmth, it was fantastic! Then, at the same time, the feeling of plenitude, and the peace of omnipotence. It was movement at its ultimate, infinitely more rapid than all we can imagine, and at the same time it was absolute peace, perfect tranquillity.

Suddenly, Mother seemed to have emerged at the atomic level, her body seemed to live quantum physics. A lightning-fast movement within a massive immobility, such seemed to be the permanent feature of the experience. Then the experience recurred with greater precision and in more massive doses.

58.169 The other day (I was in my bathroom), it came, it took over the entire body. It rose like that — all the cells were trembling. And with such a power! So I let the thing develop, and the vibration kept increasing and increasing and growing, and all the cells of the body were caught in an intensity of aspiration ... as if the entire body were swelling — it became fantastic. I felt that everything was going to burst. And it has such a transformative power! I felt that if I continued, something would happen, in the sense that there would be a change in the equilibrium of the body's cells. It has a great action, a very great action: it can prevent an accident.

This is a mystery we will come back to when the experience takes on its full dimension.

58.115 It's strange, it coagulates something: the whole cellular life becomes a solid, compact mass and in a tremendous concentration — and ONE vibration. Instead of all the usual vibrations of the body, there's only one vibration. As if all the cells of the body had ... a single mass.

61.241 The whole body has become ONE extremely rapid and intense, but immobile vibration. I don't know how you can explain that because it didn't move in space and yet it was a vibration (that's to say, it wasn't immobile), but it was immobile in space. It was in the body, and it was as though in EACH cell there was a vibration, which was a single BLOCK of vibration.

One cannot help thinking of the whirling of electrons around the nucleus, so rapid that it seems immobile and gives matter an apparent solidity.

63.185 Such a powerful mass! It was much more solid than Matter. It was something very particular, and solid, more solid, more material than Matter. And it had a power, a weight, a density — extraordinary!

60.1110 That extraordinary vibration... like a pulsation in the cells. During the first months, I had an almost detailed awareness of these myriad cells opening with that vibration.

That is the vibration which Mother called the “supramental vibration”; physicists may call it by some other name in their vocabulary, but it is the same.

66.1511 It's something that takes hold of the body: a vibration so warm, so sweet, and at the same time so terribly powerful!

64.253 And this vibration gives the feeling of a fire. It is indeed a vibration with the intensity of a higher fire. The body even felt several times, that it is the equivalent of a fever.

60.1211 We must learn to widen, widen, not only the inner consciousness, but even this conglomeration of cells, to widen this sort of crystallization, if we want to be able to hold this force. I know. Two or three times, I felt that the body was going to burst. I was on the verge of saying, “Burst and be done with it.” Then, weeks go by, sometimes months between one thing and another, for some elasticity to come into these idiotic cells. Time is wasted. But three times, I really felt that I was on the verge of ... falling apart. The first time, it brought on such a fever, the body was boiling from head to toe: everything became reddish gold, like that, and then ... it was over.

72.151 My body is living the process.

72.297 It's as if to show you that in order to conquer death, you must be ready to go through death. And it shows you as if it was a difference, just a difference of attitude: the body can either fall apart or be transformed. And it's ... almost the same process.

Then again the web closes up:

72.197 There's an accumulation of defeatism in the body's subconscient, we absolutely must change that. The subconscient has to be clarified for the new race to come — it's a mire. It's full of defeatism: the first reaction is defeatist. And it keeps rising to the surface.... There is TREMENDOUS energy checked by that — by that horrible thing.

Then the way begins to grow clearer: one goes from the microscopic to the macroscopic, from the powdering of atomic energy to the “undulation” of the other state:

63.35 Now, it happens that the body has the sense not only of a terrestrial movement, but of a universal movement which is so fantastically rapid that it's imperceptible, beyond perception. As if there were “something” that doesn't move WITHIN a space, but is both beyond immobility and beyond movement, in the sense that it's so rapid as to be absolutely imperceptible to all the senses. This is something new. I've noticed that in that state, the movement exceeds the force or the power that concentrates the cells into an individual form [that is when, at first, Mother used to faint]. And it is a state that seems to be all-powerful. It must be the passage to the true thing. And it is constant. It's a constant phenomenon: passing from this to that, from this to that, to such a point — it's so strong — that there is a second, or a minute, or anyway a certain interval, I don't know, when you are neither this nor that; then you have a feeling of nothingness. It's almost instantaneous; if it lasted longer, it would probably result in fainting, or I don't know what. But it is constant, from one to the other, from one to the other, this, that, there is a passage.... It's a bizarre life which is neither this nor that, nor a mixture of the two states, nor a juxtaposition, but as though both were operating through each other. It must be intercellular, which means that the mixture must be very microscopic, on the surface.

One goes through the walls of the fishbowl, or through the wall of electrons. And it is right there, in this passage, where the two states seem to function simultaneously, or “one through the other,” as Mother puts it, that one grasps the extraordinary secrets which may well be the fairy tale of the next species. Really, we do not know if there has been a more fundamental event than Sri Aurobindo's and Mother's experience in the entire history of humanity — our atomic fission seems like child's play in comparison, even though all the scientific discoveries have prepared us to understand the living experience better.

Between Two States

This crossing of the wall or the web does not take place once and for all — that's it, you are out of it, and then it's all over, you are in another milieu. If it were thus, the old body would probably die, having fulfilled its evolutionary function which was simply to get us to the other state. The amphibian does not lose its old body: it acquires the possibility of a new respiratory mode, pulmonary, which makes it land in another state, in the open air, on the shores of this good earth, and gradually, the very conditions of this new milieu force it to develop new organs and a new way of being on earth. Mother's body very much remained on this good earth, but they were new shores, a little strange at first sight — a sight that no longer had anything to do with the old retinal vision in the old fishbowl — and the new conditions, the new laws, if any, had to be explored. A tremendous change of “program.” But you do not land on the new shore once and for all, since it does happen that you fall back into the old fishbowl (probably because of the need for a slow adaptation). What is it then, that causes you to fall back into the old state and what causes you to cross into the new one? What is the mechanism of the passage? For years, Mother went back and forth, or oscillated between the two states, and it is exactly this in-between moment, this hybrid state, one could say, that has enabled us, not only to explore the conditions and the secrets of the new milieu, but to discover the very reality of our own milieu, the one our physicists, biologists and physicians think they have recorded and codified so well. But their code is worthless! It is adapted only to a certain thinking fishbowl. In fact, it is a revolution, the consequences of which have not been fully assessed.

Here are the first stammerings of the new world:

61.66 Take absolutely identical circumstances, not even a day, a few hours apart; identical circumstances: the same outer circumstances and the same inner circumstances, in other words the “psychological state” is the same; the circumstances of life, the same; events, the same; people, no appreciable difference. And in one case the body (I mean the cellular consciousness), feels a sort of eurhythmy, a general harmony, everything dovetails so marvellously well, without rubbing, without friction — everything functions and organizes itself in a total harmony; everything is marvellous and the body feels well. And then, in the other case ... everything is the same, the consciousness is the same, and that's when something escapes, that harmony is no longer there. For what reason? — You don't understand any more. And then the body starts malfunctioning. Yet everything is identical and ... there's something elusive, as if you were running after something that escapes you. And what is it that escapes? — You don't understand. What is it?... More and more, I have the impression of... what? How can it be explained?... A question of vibrations in matter. It's incomprehensible. Which means that it eludes all mental laws and all psychological laws entirely: it's something self-existent. There are so many question marks! The more you go into the details, the more mysterious it becomes. It could almost be ... it's almost like being on the borderline between two worlds. It's the same world, and it's completely different — are they two aspects of this world? I can't even say that. And yet it's the SAME world.

But the amphibian lands on the same world, it is not another earth.

... And it's so subtle: if you go like this (Mother tilts her hand slightly to the right), it's perfectly harmonious; if you go like that (slight tilt to the left), it's at once absurd, meaningless, and laborious, painful. And it's the SAME thing! It's all the same thing. Then really, if you stand back from it and use high-flown words, you would say: all this (tilt to the right) is truth, and all that (tilt to the left) is falsehood — but it's the SAME thing! In one case, you feel carried (not only the body but the entire world, all circumstances), carried, floating in a beatific light, and in the other case, it's deadening, heavy, painful — ex-act-ly the same thing! Almost the same material vibrations. What is it? Perhaps if we found that, we would have it all — the total secret. That must be how truth became falsehood. But “how,” what is this “how”? What's the mechanism? It's double ... it's double. And there's a sort of prescience that only the body can know, that's what is extraordinary!

And, years later, at the other end of the curve:

70.184 Never, ever have I lived so totally in the other state, fully conscious, and it lasted for two hours. Things were as real, as precise as they are here ... which means that I don't know what the difference is. There's a difference ... it's thin, you don't feel it's something thick or heavy: it's thin. It was really remarkable, one would have been unable to say, “This is the subtle physical [the other state], and that, is the material physical.” It was ... it was surprisingly ONE WITHIN THE OTHER. You don't get the impression of TWO things and yet it's very different — it seems to be a modality rather than a difference, I don't know how to express it....

Like the first bird discovering that it is not another, “subtle” world, but its own earth with another mode. And Mother added this, giving the full import of the experience:

... I remember, last night, suddenly I saw a functioning, and I said to myself, “Oh, that, if we knew that, how many things, how many fears, how many combinations, how many... would crumble away, would have no meaning anymore.” What we take to be “laws of Nature,” “ineluctable” things, were absurd, an absurdity! With the true consciousness, it crumbles away. You are the one who decides it's ineluctable! It's probably a ... there's a POSITION to be changed, a position of the consciousness to be changed.

A position on this or that side of the web.

There are thousands of fascinating experiences. It would take volumes (in fact the thirteen volumes of Mother's Agenda, four to six hundred pages each). We can only give a few landmarks. But the fundamental fact is that on this or that side of the web of the physical mind, the physical and physiological laws are no longer the same. And it is not far: it is just beneath this sticky murmur in the depths of the body.

73.173 The difference is such that I wonder ... sometimes I wonder how it's possible! At times it's so new, so unexpected, it's almost painful.

(Question:) You mean you don't actually go out of matter?

No, no!

It's a new state IN matter?

Yes, yes, exactly. But then, it's governed by something other than the sun — I don't know what. Probably the supramental consciousness.

70.129 You understand, I feel as if I am plunged into a world that I do not know, of struggling with laws I do not know, in order to work out a change I do not know either — what's the nature of this change?

Yes, but Mother, I really feel that through all this obscurity and this ignorance of the “laws,” you are being deliberately led to the point where the solution will be found.

You are right. If you like, I could say that I think that way (I don't “think,” but...). But there's everything in between!

It cannot but succeed!


Because you are the body of the earth! Because this is really the hope.

Isn't that poetry?

Oh, no! That's how it is. One just has to see: the outside world is more and more infernal.

Oh, yes, that's true!

So that's what it is in your body.

A first being has to take the new step.

But nevertheless, a few persistent lines become apparent:

68.412 & 2112 The body is all the time — constantly, unceasingly — in the presence of this experience: when you are like this (Mother tilts her hand slightly to the right), things work out miraculously — miraculously, it's unbelievable; and it suffices just to be like that (tilt to the left), for everything to be disgusting, to go wrong, to grate: a tiny little movement. And then once again it becomes miraculously marvellous. For microscopic, “unimportant” things, that is to say, for EVERYTHING — without the “important things” or “unimportant” — it becomes miraculous, and it's the SAME thing! But in one case you are in pain, you suffer, you are miserable and in the other case.... And it's the same thing. The body has this experience of being completely disorganized, of having a cold, a pain here, a pain there — and when it's in a certain attitude, nothing anymore! All that no longer exists, there's not a trace — there's no cold anymore, no pain anymore, nothing anymore, it's all gone! Though it's ready to come back [if you fall back into the other position]. And not only is it gone, but the CIRCUMSTANCES of the people around you change! In one case, everything is stubborn, twisted, and in the other.... And it doesn't take time, it's not a “long process” of transformation: it's like something turning around all at once: hup, hup (Mother tilts her hand to the left and to the right). It's like a factual demonstration of this wonderful consciousness which comes and in which all that vanishes like ... something that has no consistency, no reality — it vanishes. And a demonstration which is not just in the imagination but in the FACT: a demonstration of the power so that all this ... vain dream of life as it is, for it to be turned into a marvel, like that, simply through this turning around.... We might put it this way: the body has the sense of being shut inside something — shut in, yes — shut in like inside a box, but it can see through; it sees and it can also have an action (though limited) through something that's still there and which must disappear. So it's constantly pushing, pushing like that to catch hold of the secret; you feel you're about to find it, and then ...

69.315 I had the exact repetition of the experience Buddha Siddhartha had, but IN THE BODY. He said, “There is only one way out: Nirvana.” And at the same time, I had the true state of consciousness: his solution and the true one. It was really interesting. How the Buddhistic solution is only ONE step and beyond that step is where the true solution lies. But what is this creation? — Separation and wickedness, cruelty, suffering, and then all that decay, disease, death, destruction (all that is part of the same thing). The experience I had was the UNREALITY of those things, as though we had stepped into an unreal Falsehood, and when you step out of it, everything disappears — it DOES NOT exist, it isn't. That is what is frightening! What to us is so real, so concrete, so dreadful, all that does not exist! It's ... we have stepped into Falsehood. Why? How? What?...

This “unreal Falsehood” is the very definition of the mental fishbowl. But branchial respiration was of course not a “falsehood” — only, when you discover sunlight and pulmonary respiration, it is something else. And Mother added this:

... And all the methods — which we may call artificial, Nirvana included — all the methods of getting out of it are worthless. I don't know. But salvation is PHYSICAL — not at all mental, but physical. I mean it's not in escape: it's HERE. And it's not as if it's veiled or hidden or anything: it's HERE. Why? What in the whole deprives you of the power to live “that”? I don't know. It's here, HERE! All the rest, including death, really becomes a falsehood, that is to say, something that does not exist.

But the old state does not dissolve all at once, it is as if one had to stay in it in order to dissolve it from within, or to let the new vibratory state infiltrate.

67.197 The millennial habit of being otherwise is so strong that the impression is ... it's like stretching a rubber band: as long as you keep it stretched, the effect is there; but if the tension is relaxed, even for a second, it snaps back out of habit. Once the other movement is established, then it will be natural, this constant tension won't be necessary. There's this extraordinary impression of the unreality of suffering, the unreality of diseases, the unreality.... There are moments, you know, of inexpressible glory. And the other thing is there — pressing all around.

68.49 Over the entire material creation there is a tissue — which we might call “catastrophic” — a tissue of bad will. That is to say, a sort of web, yes, a defeatist web — defeatist, catastrophic — where you botch all that you wanted to do, where there are all possible accidents, all bad wills. It's like a web. And the body is being taught to get out of it. It's as if mingled with the Force that realizes and expresses itself; it's like something mingling with the material creation. It's the cause of diseases, the cause of accidents — it's the cause of all destructive things.

Then the vibratory quality of the two states is defined:

62.412 The quality of these two vibrations (which are still superimposed in such a way that one can be conscious of both) is indescribable! But one is a fragmentation — infinite fragmentation — and absolute instability, and the other is eternal immobility, an infinite immensity of absolute light. The consciousness is still going from one to the other. '

69.304 There's a kind of demonstration. Man gives great importance to life and death — for him there's a great difference and death is a rather capital event(!). And I am shown to what extent the disequilibrium which expresses itself in circumstances of what people call “death,” how the two things are constantly there: this all-containing Harmony [the other state] which is the very essence of life, and this division, this fragmentation — apparent, unreal, which has an artificial existence, and which is the cause of death — how the two are interwoven in such a way that you can go from one to the other at any time and on any occasion. And it's not at all what people think, that there needs to be something “serious”; it's simply being here or being there (slight tilt to the right and to the left), and that's all. So you are here (tilt to the left) and remain there: it's over; and there (tilt to the right), it's perpetual life, absolute power and ... you can't even call it “peace,” it's ... something immutable. And at the same time, everything is there: this state and that state are both there.

65.2311 & 63.78 You know, you are in considerable discomfort, unable to breathe, you have a feeling of nausea, of helplessness, you can't even move, or think or do anything, quite out of sorts and then suddenly... the consciousness — the body's consciousness of the vibration of love, which is the very essence of the creation, just one second: everything lights up, pfft! gone, it's all gone. Then you look at yourself, amazed — it's all gone. It's absolutely like the reversal of a prism — everything vanishes at one stroke. Only that stupid habit the body has of remembering remains. And in remembering.... In one case, there is a sort of inner silence in the cells, a profound quietude, which doesn't prevent movement, even rapid movement, but the movement seems to be founded on an eternal vibration; and in the other case, there is that inner precipitation, that trepidation.

The very definition of the physical mind.

61.26 I go off into the experience, and ten minutes later I notice that I've been in that state, with my fountain pen poised in my hand! I have found myself in such states where you no longer understand anything, no longer know anything, no longer think anything, no longer want anything, no longer can do anything — you are ... like that, arrested. And then I see, I see people like those around me, looking at me and thinking, “Oh, Mother is lapsing into second childhood....”

69.1810 The body feels that the highest vibration, the vibration of the true consciousness, is so intense that it is the equivalent of the inertia of immobility — with an intensity that's imperceptible (for us). That intensity is so great that, for us, it's the equivalent of inertia. It's a state of immortality, immutably peaceful, tranquil, with like lightning-fast waves, so rapid that they seem still. And it's like this: nothing moves (apparently) within a tremendous movement. And it seems so natural, so simple!... And then, as soon as you're back on the other side, its.... Truly, the ordinary state, the old state, is consciously death and suffering. And then in the other state, death and suffering appear to be ... absolutely unreal — there you are.

It would seem that at the frontier of the body, there where this primal mind locks together with corporeal matter, trembles and contracts like a patient suffering from Parkinson's disease, where it merges with the whirling of electrons in their ceaseless motion and builds with them a single solid wall, something like a reversal of state takes place: you go from “infinite fragmentation” in a constant trepidation to “lightning-fast waves” in perfect immobility — like passing from Newtonian physics to intergalactic physics, or perhaps to a new physics.

63.232 At any moment, if I stop talking or listening or working, it's ... like great beatific wings, as vast as the world, beating slowly. It's a feeling of immense wings — not two: they're all around and they spread out everywhere.

72.315 Time no longer exists.... As if another time had entered this one.

Another physics has entered matter.

7. The New Physics

The Other Time

Those experiences on the “other side of the web” might seem to be purely subjective, with no material consequence for the old milieu we live in. “Yes, that ‘tremendous energy’ and that ‘unreality’ of illness and death are all very well, but here in this old fishbowl, we are genuinely ill and we continue to genuinely die.” It is a “concrete” fact. But Mother's absolutely fabulous experience — that real revolution in the history of the human species — is that we effectively are in a fishbowl of physical unreality. Physical laws are not what we think they are, physical illnesses and physical death are not what we think or feel they are. Our entire sensation and perception of the physical world is false. Consequently, we can get out of it physically. If we get out of this false perception, we do not go off into Nirvana or paradise or death: we enter the true physical, true matter ... such as it is. It is another life in matter. For Mother's story is not that of some oddity who goes off into another state, as the amphibian into the open air, and then farewell to the old ocean of falsehood and unreality: these are two states or two worlds one within the other, and if we move on to the new state we modify the physical laws of the old state. We go from false matter to true matter, from false laws to the true law of the world. Mother's first cry was in 1958, when a tear occurred in the web — and she was no child: she was eighty in 1958 and the curve was to prolong for fifteen more years.

58.105 From the minute you are in the other consciousness, all these things which appear so real, so concrete, change INSTANTLY! There are a number of material conditions of my body — MATERIAL — that changed instantly. It didn't last long enough for everything to change, but some things changed and never returned. That's to say that if this consciousness were kept constantly, it would be a perpetual miracle (what WE call a miracle), a perpetual and fantastic miracle! But from the supramental point of view, it wouldn't be a miracle at all, it would be the most normal thing.

Indeed, there is nothing “miraculous” in all that, it is no more miraculous than Newton's apple falling at a certain speed. But, as we said, at a certain speed and in relation to a certain frame of reference. And this is where Mother's corporeal experiences link up with Einstein's physics.

One of Mothers first remarks in 1962, after the “great exit” from the web and that first cry, “Death is an illusion, illness is an illusion, ignorance is an illusion ... only love, love and love — immense, tremendous, prodigious, carrying along everything,” is this little thought which contains the entire seed of the “miracle” of true matter:

62.66 The sense of time disappears completely in ... an inner immobility. But an immobility in motion!

With her usual sense of humour, Mother added, “If it goes on, I'll be locked up!” But we are the ones who are locked up, for undoubtedly these “lightning-fast waves” — which may well be electromagnetic waves or those of the “unified field” — move at such great speed that they appear immobile. In other words, if speed changes, time necessarily changes. Einstein taught us that.

But let Mother enlarge upon her experience in every direction, starting from the first steps:

62.315 All of a sudden, for no apparent, perceptible reason (I haven't yet discovered why or how), you seem to ... FALL into the other room [that is how Mother sometimes referred to the old human state], as though you had taken a false step, and then it hurts here, hurts there, you are uncomfortable. Then, all of a sudden, it's like moving from one room to another, you go through the door or the wall almost without noticing it, automatically, and then I find myself in a position where everything flows and flows on like a river of tranquil peace (it's truly marvellous): all creation, all life, all movements, all things, and everything like a single mass, with this body in the midst of it all, blending homogeneously with the whole, and it flows like a smiling, peaceful river, on to infinity. And then, all of a sudden, oops! again you trip (Mother makes a gesture of reversal), and once again you find yourself SITUATED, you are somewhere, at a specific MOMENT; then there's a pain here, a pain there, a pain....

You have entered Time again, the time of pain and death.

62.1210 It is getting to be quite concrete: you do like this (Mother tilts her hand to the left), everything becomes artificial, hard, dry, false, deceptive — artificial. You do like that (tilt to the right), all is vast, tranquil, luminous, immense, joyous. And it's merely this or that (Mother tilts her hand from one side to the other). How? Where? It cannot be described, but it's solely a movement of consciousness. And the difference between the true consciousness and the false consciousness becomes more and more precise and THIN at the same time: you don't need to do “great” things to get out of it. It's like a thin little skin, very hard — very hard but malleable, but very, very dry, very thin.

The wall of the bowl. And Mother adds the following comment, which is very revealing:

64.118 It's a type of film. Like a film of difficulties, of complications, added on by the human consciousness (it's much stronger in man than in the animal; the animal doesn't have that: it's something specific to man and the mental formation), and it's something very thin — it's thin like an onion skin, dry like an onion skin, and yet it spoils everything. It's that stupid “onion skin” of the human mentality. An onion skin, you know: it's terribly thin, but nothing can get through.

61.210 It's the consciousness that's false! When you are open and in contact with “that,” the vibration gives you strength and energy (and if you are sufficiently quiet, it fills you with great joy — all this in the cells of the body). You fall back into the ordinary consciousness, and straightaway the same thing, without anything changing, THE SAME VIBRATION COMING FROM THE SAME SOURCE turns into a pain, an uneasiness, and a kind of feeling of instability and decrepitude.... I repeated the experiment three or four times to be sure, and it was absolutely automatic, like a chemical experiment: same conditions, same results. I found it very interesting.

The same vibration, but of course! There are not a hundred and one types of vibrations in the universe, there is only one: the one that carries the universe along, and us too. And that same vibration crosses the walls of the fishbowl and is refracted, distorted, falsified — it is death. It may be a toothache, but it is just the same as death! It belongs to the same family, because all ills lead there, culminate there. It is the entire family of mortal and false vibrations.

Then the experience grows more precise:

63.35 Now I am beginning to feel this Movement in the cells of the body: a movement which is a sort of eternal vibration, without beginning or end; something existing from all eternity and for all eternity [like a sine wave], and without any division of time: it's only when it's projected onto a screen that it begins to assume the division of time....

That screen is exactly the formula of our human “onion skin”: the fishbowl.

... And that Movement is so total — total and constant, constant — that to the perception it gives the feeling of immobility.

It “assumes the division of time,” and in the same mesh it assumes pain and death.

71.2512 More and more I am convinced that we have a way of receiving things and reacting to them that CREATES difficulties. If you succeed in being all the time in that consciousness [of the other state], there are no difficulties — and yet things are the SAME. The world is the same — it is seen and felt in a totally opposite way. It's like death, you see: it's a transitional phenomenon, but it seems to us to have existed forever (it appears so because our consciousness cuts up everything), but when you have that divine consciousness, oh!... THINGS BECOME ALMOST INSTANTANEOUS, you understand? I can't explain it. It's hard to express.... It's like an image and its projection. All things are, but for us, we see them projected on a screen: one after the other. It's a little like that. I have the impression that I am on the way to discovering ... the illusion that must be destroyed so that physical life can be uninterrupted — discovering that death comes from a distortion of consciousness. That's it.

It is the entire transition from the vibratory fragmenting of our human consciousness, endowed with time and death, to an immense vibration of lightning speed, and yet immobile, endowed with another time.

In his equations of the theory of relativity, Einstein tells us that quantities as “immutable” as the mass of a body, the frequency of a vibration or the time separating two events, are linked to the speed of the frame of reference in which the experience takes place: in the present case, the “earth” frame or the frame of our human “fishbowl.” Thus a clock aboard a satellite in constant rotation around the earth will count sixty seconds between two beeps, while an identical clock on the earth will mark sixty-one seconds between the same two signals: time “dilates” with speed. The greater the speed, the greater the “dilation”. It is the story of the space traveller returning to earth less aged than his fellow creatures. And if the frame of reference approaches the speed of light, time stands still and all the laws of the old Newtonian physics collapse. Indeed, “things become almost instantaneous,” said Mother. We pass into another “frame of reference,” like Mother's body in those lightning-fast waves.

66.3112 It's something else.... It's very peculiar, it's an innumerable present.

69.234 I don't know what is happening, something is going on in the cells, and then ... it's a state, a state of intense vibration, one has at the same time a sense of all-powerfulness, even in here (Mother points to her own body), in this old thing, a luminous all-powerfulness, and static, that is, with the sense of eternity in the cells. Something completely new in the body, which seems perfectly still.... I don't know how it is: it's not stillness, not eternity, I don't know, it's a “something” that is power, light, and really love, to such an extent that, when you leave that state, you wonder if you still have the same shape!

71.189 It's a strange experience. The body feels it no longer belongs to the old way of being, but it knows that it's not yet in the new one and that it is.... It's no longer mortal and not yet immortal. It's quite strange. And sometimes you go from the most frightful feeling of discomfort to ... a marvel. Sometimes, there's not a word in my head, nothing; sometimes, I see and know what's happening everywhere. It's really strange.

Then the experience becomes very precise ... and with fabulous consequences, for if time disappears in the corporeal, material consciousness, so do wear and tear and all the “consequences,” along with their entire sequence of illness, accident and death: each “second” (so to say) is new; each “moment” in the universe is new, as if it had just been born — man's every “instant” is free and virgin of all past and all “future.” The “future” is totally present at each and every “second.” And where is the consequence of “yesterday” and of these eighty-seven years which will never be eighty-seven years + one day? That day no longer exists, it is another day of the earth.

61.254 The usual state of consciousness is to do something FOR something. For example, all those Vedic Rishis had a goal: for them, the goal was to find immortality. But whatever the level there's always a goal. As for us, we speak of “supramental realization.” But just recently, I don't know what happened, something seemed to take hold of me, I don't know ... not a thought, not a feeling, but rather something like a state: the unreality of the goal. Not unreality: the uselessness. Not even uselessness: the nonexistence of the goal. It's ... Now it's a kind of absoluteness at each and every second, in each movement, from the most subtle, the most spiritual, to the most material — this linking is what has disappeared. The linking has disappeared: this is not the “cause” of that, and this is not done “for” that: you aren't going “there” — it all seems ... It's rather curious. An absolute — perpetual, innumerable, and simultaneous. The sense of connection has gone, the sense of cause and effect has gone: all that belongs to the world of space and time. Each ... each what? You can't say a “movement,” you can't say a “state of consciousness,” you can't say a “vibration” (all this still belongs to our mode of perception), so you say “thing” — “thing” means nothing. Each “thing” carries in itself its own absolute law. There's a total absence of “cause and effect,” of goal, of intention. This kind of connection (Mother makes a horizontal gesture) doesn't exist: it's like this (vertical gesture). Something that has neither cause nor effect, nor continuation, nor intention — intention of what! It's like this (same vertical gesture).

A vertical time, new at each “second.”

62.206 In the true position, there's no friction, no wear and tear.

58.105 Each second has its eternity and its own law.

As if Mother's body were living at the speed of light. Then we begin to see the outline of the earth's miracle.

A Substitution of Vibration

No, the goal is not immortality in this old body, that would be quite worthless. “Who would care to be confined in one narrow and changeless lodging unto a long eternity?” said Sri Aurobindo.6 This new consciousness obviously has to gradually change the modalities of its body, and all this corporeal rigidity has to acquire a new suppleness, free itself from its dependence on coarse matter to feed itself, discover new sources of energy, and so on — a few centuries will be needed. In the meantime, the body has to last, and the new state, which Mother called “the deathless state” (there is a nuance), will give us the time needed to carry out the required transformations in this old transitional body. That is not really where the problem lies, it is evolutionary mechanics which will follow its course in a more or less accelerated way. This acceleration is what interests us, it is the true driving force of change.

1930 The true change of consciousness is that which will change the PHYSICAL conditions of the world and will make of it an entirely new creation.

Mother said that in 1930. This new physics is what interests us. We could perhaps speak of supramental physics — how does it work?

First of all, this new state is powerfully contagious. That is its primary quality. The anthropoid's first mental vibrations were probably very contagious — and today we all know the power of a current of thought throughout the world. But here, strangely (or not), it is a power of material contagion, as if the fact of living the true state, the true matter, we might say, had the power to change the laws of the illusory false matter we live in: its entire course of “logical” sequences of cause and effect, which is but the cause and the effect of a certain illusion. The first “law” of the new physics is that each second is new and carries its own law, which depends on nothing “before,” nor does it have any consequence “after.” But how can a “state of consciousness” be contagious, we might ask ourselves as good materialists of the old matter? “Consciousness” is eminently subjective.... It could very well be the world's supreme objectivity, but so far we know nothing about it, for, as by way of consciousness, we only know what goes round in our heads. But there is a consciousness in matter and it is a state of consciousness in matter — a state of cellular consciousness — and nothing is more contagious than matter, for it is the one and the same continuous thing from one end of the universe to the other. It is only our head that is separate.

It is best to let Mother explain her first gropings in the new physics, as early as 1958, when the first hole occurred in the web:

58.66 The whole time it [the new experience] remained actively like that, it was absolutely impossible to have the least disorder in the body, and not only in the body but in ALL THE surrounding matter. It was as if every object obeyed, and without needing to “decide” to obey: it was automatic...

It is not a will communicating orders to matter: it is matter itself that communicates, automatically.

... There was a divine harmony in EVERYTHING (it took place in my bathroom upstairs, most certainly to demonstrate that it takes place in the most trivial things), in everything, constantly. So if that state is established permanently, there can NO LONGER be illness, it's impossible. There can no longer be accidents, there can no longer be disorders, and everything should harmonize (probably in a progressive way) just as that was harmonized: all the objects in the bathroom were full of joyful enthusiasm — everything obeyed, everything! I really had the feeling that it was a first experience, that is to say, something new on earth. It's a state, really of absolute omniscience and omnipotence in the body, and it modifies all the surrounding vibrations.... It is likely that the greatest resistance will be in the most conscious beings, due to the mind itself, which wants things to continue according to their mode of ignorance. So-called inert Matter is much more easily “responsive”: it does not resist. And I am convinced that among plants, for example, or among animals, the response will be much more prompt than among men. It will be more difficult to act upon a highly organized mind: beings who live in an entirely crystallized, organized mental consciousness are as hard as rock. It resists. According to my experience, what's “unconscious” will certainly follow more easily: it was a delight to see the water in the tap, the mouthwash in the bottle, the glass, the cloth, it had such an air of of joy and consent!

61.113 Yesterday, while I was walking, I was walking in a kind of universe which was exclusively the divine [the other state]; it could be touched, it could be felt, it was inside, outside, everywhere. For three-quarters of an hour, nothing but “that.” Well, I can assure you that at that moment, there were definitely no more problems! And what simplicity! Nothing to think about, nothing to want, nothing to “decide”: to BE, be, be! To be in the infinite complexity of an infinite unity: everything was there, but nothing was separate; everything was in motion, yet nothing moved.

61.3010 This new creation is something denser and more compact than the physical [“mass” increases with speed, said Einstein]. One always tends to think it's more ethereal, but it's not! The impression I get of this atmosphere, is of something more compact, and at the same time without heaviness or thickness. And so solid! Oh, so cohesive, so MASSIVE, and at the same time ... I don't know, it's something completely different from anything you might expect. You can't imagine what it is. Something compact and UNDIVIDED.

66.221 It's a wonderful way of being! Infinitely superior to all that we have here. Here, there's always something going wrong (a pain here or a pain there, or this or that, and then circumstances which go wrong too), all that... the aspect of it all changes. And it becomes light, you know — light, supple. All the hardness and rigidity — gone. It changes everything! Everything changes! You know, I was brushing my teeth, rinsing my eyes, doing the most material things: their nature changed! And there was a conscious vibration in the eye that was being rinsed, in the toothbrush, in ... All that was different. It's clear that if you become the master of that state, you can change all the circumstances around you.

Then suddenly, the experience takes on a dimension that leaves you pensive.

67.127 All of a sudden, for two or three seconds, you seem to be holding the key. And all that's conventionally called “miracles” looks like the simplest thing in the world: “But it's perfectly simple, all you have to do is this!” And then ... it goes away. But when it's there, it's so simple, so NATURAL! And absolutely all-powerful. For example, one thing that seems to be trying to come is the power to heal. But not at all as it's described, it's not that at all — it doesn't give a sense of “healing,” it's ... putting things back in order. But that's not it either.... It's a LITTLE SOMETHING THAT DISAPPEARS, and that little something is ... essentially it's the Falsehood.

In other words, the fishbowl of physical unreality in which we live.

... It's very strange. Basically, it's what gives the ordinary human consciousness the sense of reality — that's what must disappear. What we call “concrete,” a “concrete reality” — yes, what truly gives you the sense of a “real” existence — that's the sensation which must disappear and be replaced by.... It's inexpressible. It's like a universal pulsation. And it's at once all-light, all-power, all-intensity of love, and such fullness! It's so full that nothing else can exist. And when “that” is there, in the body, in the cells, it suffices to focus “that” on someone or something, and order is instantly restored. So, to put it simply, it “cures”: it cures the disease. But it doesn't cure it: it annuls it! Yes, it annuls it, UNREALIZES it.

And that is where we begin to stare wide-eyed.

... You understand, it's not a “higher force” acting in others THROUGH Matter: it's a direct action from matter to matter. What people generally call “healing power” is a very great mental or vital power that IMPOSES itself through the resistance of Matter — but it's not that at all! It's the contagion of a vibration. And then it's irrevocable.

61.271 This state is a kind of absolute. An absolute which not only doesn't have to “conquer” obstacles and resistances, but which automatically ANNULS the resistance.

And here is the last coordinate of the mystery:

67.153 When you stir water, it's no longer transparent: it creates ripples, and those ripples prevent the water from being transparent. You can no longer see through it. It's the same thing in the body: when you are calm, quiet and vast, everything becomes limpid. And in that limpidity you can see very clearly, decide very clearly, everything works out and things organize themselves, you don't even need to intervene.... (How can I explain?...) The entire universe moves forward with fantastic speed and in perfect immobility. (Words seem idiotic, but you can feel it, see it, live it.) A luminous immobility moving forward with fantastic speed. And in that immobility there is perfect transparency, and the problem does not exist: the solution precedes the problem.

Disease, death, accidents do not exist, cannot exist: the solution precedes the problem or prevents the problem from arising — it annuls the problem as if it had never existed except in our false consciousness. “Evil” is unrealized, yes, or its illusory existence loses reality. And our entire existence besieged with ills becomes a perpetual miracle. A corporeal limpidity in which all that no longer exists, no longer is. “A little something that disappears.”

66.318 This body lived the truth this morning several times for a few seconds ... which might have been eternities. And then, one doesn't know if it lasted or if it didn't last: all that is finished. And it doesn't abolish anything, that's the most wonderful part! Everything is there, nothing is abolished. I mean it abolishes nothing of the world; you don't even feel that Falsehood is abolished: it doesn't exist, it isn't. It's a tiny nothing — which changes everything. That's how a dead man can come back to life. That's how: through that change.

And finally the picture becomes clear, and not only clear but full of hope and accessible to the humanity that we are. On that day, Mother held the key to the “little something” that separates the two states: the old human state which she calls here the state of imperfection, and the new state she calls the state of perfection. And these two states are not sidereal or transcendental distances apart: they are here, together, one within the other, on this earth.

64.1211 & 253 Perfection is there, always, coexisting with imperfection — perfection and imperfection are coexistent always, and not only simultaneous, but at the SAME PLACE (Mother presses her two hands together), I don't know how to put it. Which means that at any second and whatever the conditions, you can attain perfection: it isn't something that has to be acquired little by little, through successive progress; perfection is an absolute state that can be attained at any moment. And then, the conclusion is very interesting... When the truth [the other state] manifests, the false vibration disappears; it is annulled as if it had never existed, before the vibration of truth that replaces it. You see, truth is there, falsehood is there (Mother presses her two hands together); perfection is there, imperfection is there; they're perfectly coexistent, in the same place — the minute you perceive perfection, imperfection disappears, the Illusion disappears. In other words, the capacity to live in and be this true vibration seems to have the power to SUBSTITUTE this vibration for the vibration of falsehood, to the extent that.... For instance, the result of the false vibration should naturally be an accident or a catastrophe, but if, within those vibrations, there is a consciousness that has the power to become aware of the vibration of truth, it can — it MUST — cancel the other, stop the catastrophe.... There is a growing feeling that the True is the only way to change the world, that all the other processes of slow transformation are always at a tangent (you draw nearer and nearer but you never arrive), and that the last step must be this — the substitution of the true vibration.

The substitution of the new supramental physics for the old mortal, scientific and mental physics.

Could it be that, one day, for the entire earth, the vibration of truth will suddenly come through the mesh of our web and annul, unrealize the horror we live in, the pain we live in, the death we live in — and we shall wake up on a new earth ... where the old laws of death will no longer have any meaning and will fade away like a futile dream? Not a slow transformation, no: a sudden change which makes us stare so wide-eyed that all the old paraphernalia falls from our hands — and we find ourselves left with an immense laughter.

And the earth will look at itself as if for the first time.

But, let us add, and let there be no mistake, this is not an experience that only a few privileged human “freaks of nature” can have in exceptional conditions. This is an experience we can all have, materially and corporeally, and which many have even without noticing it. It looks so simple and so natural that one does not notice it. The trouble with the secret is that it is right under our noses.

The Transparent Secret

What is very difficult for us to understand is that, from head to toe (especially the head), we live in a world of physical unreality. In spite of ourselves, even if we begin to understand the truth a little, our first, automatic, spontaneous, corporeal reaction is, “Well, I can see it, I can touch it, it's concrete; well, gravity exists, you fall down; well, it is AN illness ... and the doctor said so and everyone said so. Just try throwing yourself into the void!” No, let us hasten to say, it is not a question of being unreasonable according to our old temporary laws, it is much more serious than that. It is the mechanism of unreality that we must understand.

We have already spoken of that microscopic web which envelops each gesture, each step, each reflex, each nerve and our entire body: “You can't and you mustn't, be careful of this, be careful of that, it is dangerous, it is fatal — and it's not possible, not possible....” Everything is “not possible” for this defeatist, catastrophic, timorous individual. Here we magnify the phenomenon with words, but in fact, it is a minuscule trepidation in matter, something that might resemble a microscopic fear, or a tetanic movement in the body's substance. Probably the frightened memory of a little cell in the middle of this enormous teeming, devouring magma, from which it had to separate and protect itself. And this movement of constant, infinitesimal contraction causes a sort of ultra-fast imperceptible trepidation which creates a veritable wall around our body, a wall strangely similar to the electronic barrier of particles in their ceaseless whirling. That is the trepidation of the physical mind mentioned earlier, which is like the catastrophic memory of the earth — all of living matter has evolved from catastrophe to catastrophe. The difference being that with the appearance of the human species, man has “mentalized,” that is to say, crystallized and codified, the “catastrophe.” He has given it a frightening, hypnotic power. Even if it were possible, it would be impossible.

And the truth of the world is that everything is possible.

It's just that we have delegated the power of overcoming our “impossibilities” to the Machine, instead of looking within ourselves for the key to the great Possible.

To illustrate the transparent secret, which is the secret of the great Possible, I will give just two examples taken from Mother's experience, and one from my own. The first experience occurred following a local riot against the Pondicherry Ashram:

65.192 & 242 I saw that bombardment of stones and those flames leaping up to the sky: the whole sky was red. I was simply seated at my table when the attack started, having my dinner. And a little before it started, that experience came, that consciousness [of the other state]: I wasn't this body anymore, I was the earth — the physical truth-consciousness of the earth, to be exact — with a peace, a stillness unknown to the physical. And that whole attack seemed like an absolute falsehood, without any element of truth behind it [that is to say, the great illusion of the fishbowl]. Yet at the same time, simultaneously (it can't be said, but it was simultaneous), everywhere, all over the town, and especially over the Ashram here, I had a microscopic perception (but absolutely precise and exact) of all the points of falsehood that ESTABLISHED THE CONTACT: the exact vibration of falsehood in each one or each thing that allowed the contact. So if that consciousness [of the other state] that was there had been collective, if it had been possible to receive it collectively, nothing would have been touched: the stones would have been thrown, but wouldn't have hit anyone. For instance, a brickbat was flung and hit my window and I saw at that very minute, in the consciousness of the people present, the exact vibration of Falsehood that had allowed the stone to hit there. And at the same time, simultaneously, everywhere, all over the town ... So now I know — I know in a certain, absolute and unforgettable way — what is the vibration of truth in the physical, in what state the physical must be so as TO BE the Truth. It's something unshakeable, which PHYSICALLY does not budge. (Mentally, it's nothing, it's easy.) It is like a physical magnet for the true physical vibrations — it doesn't go through the mind or even through the vital: it's physically a sort of magnet that attracts the physical truth....

The “physical truth” is precisely that of the other state, in which all that rioting has no reality — no truth in itself — and consequently no power. And Mother added:

... The vibrations of falsehood are a sort of movement which is like a trepidation in Matter. I could see as clearly as I see material objects, the vibration that MADE CONTACT with all that Falsehood, and THE Vibration in which nothing made contact, that NOTHING COULD touch.... Since then, several people have told me their experience. For instance, X went out, he wanted to telephone the police and had to cross the yard (it was literally a shower of brickbats); everyone shouted to him, “Come back in, come back in! You're mad!” But he went across — not one stone hit him. And he felt it was impossible for them to hit him. It was like a demonstration of the difference in vibration between the two states: the vibration that responds to falsehood, and the vibration in which there is no response, which means that NO CONTACT is possible — they are different worlds. One is a world of truth and the other is a world of falsehood. And this world of truth is PHYSICAL, it is material: it's not up above, it is material. And that's what must come to the fore and take the place of the other.

(Question:) The “true physical” Sri Aurobindo spoke of?

The true physical, yes.

A material world where accidents, illnesses, death cannot take place. And it is that world which must take the place of ours — not by any miracle: simply a change of vibration in matter. The vibration of the true state annuls all the false, illusory vibrations of the fishbowl. A riot is not an “illusion”: it is tangible and concrete, even striking; yet it is an illusion: there is a vibratory state of matter, a true state in which you cannot be hit — there is no contact, they are like two worlds, one within the other. A world of physical truth and a world of physical falsehood. A world of physical freedom and a world of physical slavery. A world of physical laws and a world outside of illusory laws — which may be striking or not, fatal or not, gravitational or not... depending on whether you are here or there. Another position in matter. Precisely this new position of the species, which is no more either in our illusory spiritualisms or in our illusory materialisms.

The truth of matter is something else.

This other example is taken quite simply from Mother's childhood:

63.93 I was nine or ten years old and I was running with some friends in the Fontainebleau forest. The forest is rather dense, so you can't see very far ahead. Because of the pace at which I was running, I didn't see I was coming to the edge of the road, which at that spot was overhanging the road by about ten feet, and it was paved with stones — freshly paved. I had built up such a momentum that I couldn't stop — whoosh! I went sailing into the air. I was ten at the most, with no notion of the miraculous or the marvellous, nothing — I was simply flung into the air. I felt something supporting me, holding me up, and I was literally set down on the ground, on the stones. I got up (I found it perfectly natural): not a scratch, not a speck of dust, nothing, absolutely intact. Then everyone rushed to see. “Oh, it's nothing!” I said, “I am all right.” But I remember the feeling of something carrying me: I came down very slowly. And the material proof was there, it was no illusion since I was unscathed — the road was freshly paved with stones (you know the flint stones of France?).... The soul was very alive at the time and with all its strength it resisted the intrusion of the material logic of the world — so it seemed perfectly natural to me. I simply thought, “No, accidents can't happen to me.”

What is remarkable is that years later, when Mother told me this story, she made a connection between the movement of the slow falling that set her down on the flint stones and that great movement of wings that we have mentioned: “Like great beatific wings, as vast as the world, beating slowly — not two: they're all around and spread out everywhere.”

Another vibratory state of matter, which even annuls gravitation. There are no laws! There is only what we think of them — but it is not an intellectual thought: it is a microscopic thought in matter. We do not know the true physical, true matter, the true nature of the world, we only know our trepidation in matter, which makes contact with all the catastrophes and creates catastrophes — like a cocoon of “scientific” death which envelops us from head to toe, and the more scientific it is, the more impervious it is. We are scientifically hit on the head by brickbats, and we very scientifically break our leg: “Well really, it's concrete, it's tangible, it's real....” And Mother exclaimed:

55.1412 This sublime state is the natural state! It is you who are constantly in an unnatural, abnormal state, which is a falsification and a distortion.

Finally, I will give my own lived experience. It happened in the barren canyons near Pondicherry. I was sitting quietly, when three men came out of a hollow. Instantly I knew: “They have come to kill me.” I remained seated, without moving. And very strangely, without making any effort, or concentrating in any way, I suddenly found myself as if emptied of myself, without any reaction, without fear, without anything, like a stone — but a conscious stone watching the scene as if it were some show that did not concern it, like in a dream, when you watch something happening to someone else, who is nevertheless yourself. The sensation was not really that of a stone, except for its neutrality, but rather of a body, my body, as if it were completely transparent and null, slightly floating. Nothing moved, not a quiver, not a throb — and I had nothing to do with it, there was no “control” or any effort on my part. Something seemed to have seized hold of me in a transparent immobility. The three men were there: two in front, one behind. I did not move. They spoke amongst themselves. Then a sort of voice within me said: “Stand up.” I stood up, with my back to the edge of the canyon. One of the two henchmen took off my watch, probably to make it look like a theft. The man behind came and stood in front of me. I saw the killer raise his arm to push me down into the canyon. I followed the movement of the killer's arm, my eyes met the golden eyes of the killer. He lowered his arm, stayed there for a moment, vacillating, as if he did not quite know what to do or what he was doing there. He in turn really seemed to look at the whole scene as if it had no meaning, or as if he had forgotten what he had come there for. He turned his back, the two others turned their backs and they left. Then suddenly, they took to their heels as if they were panic-stricken. Then my heart suddenly remembered that it should have been frightened, that it had just escaped being killed ... and it started pounding like mad.

The only thing I know is that had there been the slightest effort on my part, the least stiffening, the slightest reaction to reject those men, even an inner rejection, a mere “no” within, I would have been killed instantly: the wall thus raised would have met the other's vibration, and the vibration's ricochet would have triggered off the entire mechanism. But there was nothing, not a breath, I was like a draught: the other's vibration passed through, there was no ricochet. A draught cannot be killed, can it? To be able to kill, there has to be a contact, a grip — he could not grip anything, for there was nothing. So, if there was nothing, there was nothing!

That is to say, for five or seven minutes, by some grace, my physical mind did not function. That is how all “miracles” occur. But the true miracle is the natural state.

The earth of the next species.

A transparent secret.

60.1510 It's very amusing: the thing in itself doesn't exist for people! What's important to them is their attitude towards the thing: what they think of it. How funny it is! Each thing carries its own truth within itself — its absolute truth, so luminous, so clear — and if one is in contact with THAT, everything is organised marvellously. But men are NOT in contact with “that”': they are always in contact THROUGH their thought — what they think of something, what they feel about something, or sometimes worse than that.

The concrete secret remains to be learned: how do you annul this physical mind to reach the natural state, the pure cell, stripped of any scientific, catastrophic and mental covering? That really is Mother and Sri Aurobindo's extraordinary discovery: that of the “mind of the cells,” the greatest biological revolution since the first living particle began attacking and fleeing at the frontier of inanimate matter and life.

That is the second evolutionary transition, no longer from matter to life, but from life to something else that Mother called “over-life,” which we might just as well call “over-death,” because it is no longer life as we know it, nor obviously the death that goes along with it.

It is what Sri Aurobindo called the “life divine.”

8. The Mind of the Cells

Beneath its fourfold web, the body lives nothing of the world as it is. This world “as it is” is precisely the great mystery of evolution — we know it and so do other species through a certain highly variable vision, whether binocular or composite, within a certain range of vibratory frequencies and through the agency of certain functional mechanisms — claws, fins, vibratile cilia or electronic microscopes — which describe not really the milieu but our own way of being in the milieu, or rather our successive ways of being and perceiving a mysterious something which we translate into electronic, Latin or batrachian languages. But it is always “seen through.” The only difference between man and other species is that man throws in his Greco-Latin arrogance, and that his particular cerebral fins have invaded the entire system and blocked all other means of communication to such an extent that he does not even know what a fish knows, what a bird knows and all the other little creatures of the good Lord, which, we must admit, live in perfect harmony with their milieu despite their total ignorance of higher mathematics. That mysterious “something” we bathe in is gradually revealed, to the explorer of the descent into the body, as a kind of marvel, a rather stupefying marvel in which all the laws, codes and sequences prove to be only laws, codes and the ... etc., of our own instruments of measurement or perception. A madly free universe. Yes, an “instantaneous marvel,” as Mother said. It is the second turning point in evolution since we emerged from the waters, “the new evolution” announced by Sri Aurobindo at the beginning of the last century, in which we shall have to learn how to live and manipulate that rather vertiginous freedom — unless our explosive machine outstrips us and brings us back one more time to this earth or another, to the state of a small flagellate, forever in search of that same freedom and that same marvel. Evolution is very stubborn and this planet or another makes very little difference to it. But what if we were to understand something of the marvel and were to hasten the moment?

All the same, scientists will say, little fish, ladybirds and the creatures of the evolutionary good Lord may not have our higher mathematics nor the cumbersomeness you mention, but nonetheless they are cellularly prisoners of their species: they swim, move about, die, produce unvarying baby fish according to the program in their deoxyribonucleic molecules (forgive me!). You may abolish death, abolish accidents, abolish gravitation and see into Antarctica as you would at home, but there will always remain a little cell of Homo sapiens ... which will obey what? You say that the cell obeys the 'physical mind,' is 'hypnotized' and manipulated by it and not by its genetic program — prove it first of all, then tell us what this 'law-less' cell is going to do, how it is going to stay agglomerated with the other cells, by what 'mechanism' since there is no more mechanism! What force is going to hold it all together and stop our body from being scattered about in the cosmos?

We recall Sri Aurobindo evoking an imaginary logician at the beginning of the earth's history:

When only matter was there and there was no life, if [that logician had been] told that there would soon be life on earth embodied in matter, he would have cried out, “It is impossible, it cannot be done. What! this mass of electrons, gases, chemical elements, this heap of mud and water and stones and inert metals, how are you going to get life in that? Will the metal walk?”7

Will the cells get out of their program? Let us see!

We do not know whether all scientists are like this logician, but we could believe that they are very attached to their prison. Perhaps they are even the keepers of the material prison, as others are the keepers of the spiritual prison.

The Apprenticeship of the Cells

In fact, Mother found it very hard not to be spread out over the cosmos:

62.121 But for this body, it's very difficult — very difficult without it losing its centre of coagulation, without it dissolving into the surrounding mass.

The entire story of Mother's successive fainting spells, when she went out of the web of the physical mind, is highly instructive, if only to prove negatively the imprisoning, coordinating or directing power of the physical mind. It took Mother five years, from 1962 to 1967, to understand the mechanism:

67.2211 & 65.217 It began when the doctors declared I was seriously ill [in 1962]. Because the entire body was emptied of its habits and forces; I couldn't take a step without fainting: if I wanted to walk from here to there, poff! I would faint on the way. I had to be held so that my body wouldn't fall. But as for me, not for one minute did I lose consciousness; I would faint but remain conscious: I didn't lose consciousness and the body didn't lose consciousness. But now I understand very well; in the beginning I didn't.... I had always been under the impression of what Sri Aurobindo said, that this instrument [the physical mind] is useless, it can only be got rid of.... It was very difficult to get rid of it because it was so intimately linked to the amalgam of the physical body and its present form that when I tried and a deeper consciousness [of the other state] wanted to manifest, it caused fainting. I mean to say that the union, the fusion with the other state, without this physical mind, by annulling it, caused fainting. I didn't know what to do.

In fact, the story of those first five years outside the web seem like a perpetual illness, with countless cardiac disorders too, so that Mother could find the key to the cellular functioning. For the cell to function “purely,” that is to say, without the addition or intrusion of factors extraneous to cellular substance, the body has to be emptied of all its old habits and all its old coverings: that is the crossing of all the “layers” of the intellectual, emotional and sensory minds, then the physical mind. Even the instinct of self-preservation, the first wall of the species, has to disappear — which shows the scope of the operation.

65.259 One must accept infirmity and even the appearance of imbecility, everything, and there isn't one being in fifty million who has the courage for that. Lots of people go off elsewhere, into another, more or less subtle world. Of course, there are millions of ways to escape — there is only one way to stay, and that's to truly have courage and endurance, to accept all the appearances of infirmity, the appearance of powerlessness, the appearance of incomprehension, the appearance, yes, of a negation of truth. But if one doesn't accept all that, nothing will ever be changed! Those who want to remain great, luminous, strong, powerful and what have you, well, let them stay up there, they can do nothing for the earth.

That year, Mother was eighty-seven years old.

Let us give a few points along the curve of what could be called the “apprenticeship of the cells.” And naturally, the first obstacle is that the cells panic when they no longer know what to obey. For the new functioning to be revealed, the old one has obviously to disappear.

72.175 All the functions are undergoing a “change of authority”. The functions that worked naturally — that is, in accord with the forces of Nature — all of a sudden, brrm! finished. They withdraw. And then... something... which I call the divine — perhaps what Sri Aurobindo called the supramental — and which is tomorrow's realization (I don't know what to call it). So when everything is really disorganized, when everything is going wrong, “that” consents to intervene. The transition isn't pleasant. Along with sharp pains, and ... impossible to eat anything, etc., etc. Obviously someone had to do it.

69.811 The moment of the “change of authority” is always difficult, and if one isn't aware, one can take it for a sign of illness. It's the cells which no longer know whom they must obey. But it's deceptive. The physical consciousness (the consciousness that makes the cells function) is accustomed to effort, struggle, misery, defeat ... so accustomed that it's quite universal: the end, you know, that end which for centuries and centuries was inevitable, weighs heavily. It's very difficult. It's takes a very slow and constant work to replace that sort of habit... of defeat, basically, with something else.

63.91 It's very hard for the body to change. Because it lives only by the habit of living. And each time something of the true way of living filters in, then without thinking, without reasoning or anything resembling an idea, practically without sensation, almost automatically, there is again panic in the cells. Panic at that particular POINT: you faint, or you are just about to faint, or you have an excruciating pain, or anyhow something APPARENTLY goes wrong. Then what's to be done?... Wait patiently until that small number or large number of cells, that little spot of consciousness, has learned its lesson. It takes one day, two days, then that chaotic, upsetting “big” event calms down, becomes clear, and those particular cells begin saying to themselves, “God, how dumb we are!...” It takes a little while, then they understand. But there are thousands and thousands and thousands of them!

There are one hundred trillion cells in the body of an adult according to scientists.

64.1410 The body is learning the “lesson of illness” — of the illusion of illness. It's very, very amusing, the difference between the thing as it is, the disorder, whatever it is, and the old habit of feeling and receiving the thing, the ordinary habit, what we call an illness: “I am ill.” It's very amusing. And always, if you keep really still (in the vital and the mind, it's very easy, but in the body's cells, it's a little difficult, it has to be learned), but when you are able to be really still, there is always a little light — a warm little light, very bright and wonderfully still, behind, as if it were saying, “You only have to will.” Then the body's cells panic: “Will, how? How can we? The illness is upon us, we are subjugated: it's AN ILLNESS” — the whole drama. Then something says, “Calm down, calm down, don't remain attached to your illness!” So they consent. On THIS POINT, they consent — the next minute, the illness is over. Not the next minute: a few seconds and it's over. Then the cells remember: “But how come? I had a pain here...?” — Pop! it all comes back. And the whole drama unfolds like that, constantly. If they really learned their lesson.... Life is on the verge of becoming wonderful — but we don't know how to live it. We still have to learn.

63.277 The greatest difficulty is that the body's texture is made of ignorance, so that every time the force, the light, the power [of the other state] try to penetrate somewhere, that ignorance has to be dislodged. Every time, the experience is similar, renewed in detail: it's a sort of negation out of ignorant stupidity. At every step, in every detail, it's always the same thing that has to be dissolved. The first reaction is an automatic negation. Then there is always a smile that answers, and almost instantly the pain disappears — “that” settles in, luminous, tranquil. It isn't final, mind you, only a first contact: the experience recurs on another occasion and then, there is already a beginning of collaboration: the cells have learned that with “that,” the state changes (very interestingly, they remember), so they begin to collaborate, and the action is even more rapid. Then a third time, a few hours apart, the pain recurs once again; but then THE CELLS THEMSELVES call, because they remember. Now I've got the knack! It's for the education of the cells, you understand. It's not simply a sick person who has to be cured once and for all: no, it's the education of the cells, to teach them ... to live.

70.283 It's an absolutely conscious work, which I could call “methodical,” that is imposed on the body so that one part after the other, and all the parts, all the groups of cells, learn ... true life.

But the very interesting point — we could call it a fundamental stage in the history of the cells — is that, finally, the cells themselves call. They awaken from their inert hypnotism. Freed from its habits and its coverings, the cellular substance begins to unveil its true nature. Here, Mother arrives at some quite new and interesting observations:

57.1710 There are all kinds of freedom: mental freedom, vital freedom, spiritual freedom, which are the fruit of successive masteries. But there's a freedom that is very new: the freedom of the body. During the influenza epidemic, for example, I spent every day in the midst of people who were germ carriers. But one day, I clearly felt that the body had decided not to catch that flu. You see, it wasn't a question of the “higher will” deciding — no, the body itself decided. When one is up there in one's consciousness, one sees things, one knows, but in actual fact, once one descends again into matter, it's like water disappearing into sand. Well, things have changed: the body has a direct power, without any external intervention. It's not a higher consciousness that imposes itself on the body: it's the body itself awakening in its cells, it's a freedom of the cells.

61.311 I had a kind of perception of the almost total unimportance of the external, material expression that conveys the body's condition. The consciousness of THE BODY was absolutely INDIFFERENT to external, physical signs, whether they are like this or like that, this way or that way. Suppose, for example, that there was a disorder here or there in the body: swollen legs or a malfunctioning liver; well, it was all absolutely unimportant: IT IN NO WAY CHANGES THE BODY'S TRUE CONSCIOUSNESS, whereas we are in the habit of thinking that the body is very perturbed when it is ill or when something goes wrong.

(Question:) So what is perturbed if not the body?

Oh, it's the physical mind, this idiotic mind! That's what causes no end of trouble.

But then what suffers?

It's also through this physical mind, for if we calm that individual we no longer suffer! That's exactly what happened to me. You see, this physical mind makes use of the nervous substance; if we withdraw it from the nervous substance, we no longer feel anything! That's what gives the perception of the sensation.

61.112 To tell the truth, the minute you come out of the ordinary mind completely, no external sign is a proof, absolutely none. You can't base yourself on anything, neither on superb health, good balance, nor on an almost general disorganization — none of that is proof.

All of a sudden, we gad about in a body that no longer resembles anything we know — yet this is the true body. The true body consciousness. A mysterious stranger beneath its fourfold web ... illusory web.

62.1610 Each time I ask my body what IT would like, all the cells say, “No, no, we are immortal, we want to be immortal. We're not tired, we're ready to struggle for centuries if need be!” And this is just what I am realising, that the closer one draws to the cell itself, the more the cell says: “But I am immortal!”

Then we reach the heart of the secret:

64.710 These last few days there was this: a sort of completely decentralized consciousness (as always I am referring to the physical consciousness), a decentralized consciousness that happened to be here, there, there, in this body, that body (in what people call “this person” and “that person,” but that notion doesn't quite exist anymore), and then there was an intervention of a kind of universal consciousness in the cells, as though that consciousness was asking these cells what their reason was for wanting to retain this combination or this agglomerate [Mother's present body], while in fact making them understand or feel the difficulties that come, for instance, from the number of years, external difficulties, all the deterioration caused by friction, wear and tear. But they seemed to be perfectly indifferent to that! That universal consciousness said, “But here are the obstacles....” And those obstacles were clearly seen: that kind of pessimism of the mind. But the cells themselves didn't care a whit! To them it was like an “accident” or an “inescapable disease” or something that DID NOT FORM A NORMAL PART OF THEIR DEVELOPMENT and had been forced upon them: “Oh, that, we don't care about it!...” And from that moment on, a sort of LOWER power to act on that physical mind was born; it gave the cells a MATERIAL power to separate themselves from that and reject it.... It was as if something truly decisive had taken place. There was then a sort of confident joy: “Ah, we're free from that nightmare.” And at the same time, a physical relief — as if the air were easier to breathe.... Yes, it was a bit like being shut inside a shell — a suffocating shell — and an opening has been made in it. You can breathe. And it was a totally material and cellular action.

Mother added the following, which opens up rather astounding horizons:

... But as soon as you descend into that realm, the realm of the cells and even of the cells' constitution, how much less heavy it seems! That sort of heaviness of matter disappears: it becomes fluid and vibrant again. Which would tend to show that the heaviness, the thickness, the inertia, the immobility, is something that has been ADDED ON, it's not an essential quality of matter — it's false matter, matter as we think or feel it, but not matter itself as it is.

But if neither death, illness, accident, pessimism, “inevitable defeat,” are part of the normal development of the cell — nor the heaviness and the rest of our “laws” — then what is the true cellular substance? What is the pure cell, as it is? What is matter?

And once again, if all our gravitational forces collapse, what holds this agglomerate of cells together?

The New Principle of Centralisation

This first particle living at the frontier of inanimate matter, some four billion years ago, yet without memory except for the one that linked it through its atoms to the first hydrogen cloud: vibrated, quivered and spread to absorb and to grow, as does the nucleus to absorb its electrons, as do the galaxies to carry along other galaxies, and the sun other planets, already in search of its universal totality, as if nothing could be without being everything, as if there were a great total memory deep down: hunger or love. A whirling of being upon itself so as to encompass more and more being and space, and to fill a first unity dissolved in an explosion of joy and love, or of whatever we can put into equations but never into our pockets. An infinitesimal movement which gradually created its own laws through its habits and through the conditions of its milieu, a first memory so as to live and repeat a fruitful or useful habit: a first habitual winding around that was soon to form a trembling and mortal cocoon, from where it would have to emerge to die and to grow still more. That was the first web: a coagulated habit. The same one Mother was to encounter, but infinitely complicated and solidified by human mental habit. In short, at the “end” of evolution, the question was to know whether one can get out of the cocoon without dying and rejoin this universal totality imprinted in our atoms without losing the small individual laboriously formed through billions of years of pain: to be at once the point and the totality. Now, this habitual human coagulation which we call the physical mind was “so intimately linked to the amalgam of the physical body and its present form,” said Mother, “that when I tried to get rid of it, it caused fainting.” You are spread out into the cosmos. A new principle of coagulation or centralisation had therefore to be found, which was no longer the mechanical repetition of human habit: when habit is undone, man is undone. Such is the mortal cocoon of all the species: the web. Mother had clearly seen the problem:

69.1712 Death is the decentralisation of the consciousness contained in the body's cells. The cells composing the body are given form by a centralisation of the consciousness which is in them, and as long as that power of concentration is there, the body cannot die. It's only when the power of concentration disappears that the cells are dispersed. Then the body dies. The very first step toward immortality is therefore to replace the mechanical centralisation by a willed centralisation.

Because the intellectual mental, the emotional, the sensory wills cease to exist — all the old habits have been cast off while crossing through the layers — thus there has to be a cellular will ... but a cellular will no longer based on the mechanism of habit — which is precisely our mortal cocoon. Then what will it be based on?

In the course of the “cellular apprenticeship,” the cells had gradually and painfully learned that a “drop of that” can heal everything; they had learned to call “that,” as the nucleus, perhaps, “learns” to snatch its electron. But a cell is very mechanical, even in its primary will: it needs to repeat and repeat — and it does repeat immemorially all the stupidities of the human species (after many others). Another sort of mechanism had therefore to be found, a non-imprisoning mechanism that does not weave a new mortal cocoon around the cell, yet gives it the required cohesion or centralisation.

Mother found a means. A simple means, so simple that it is within everyone's grasp — with Mother, it is always very simple. The means is not new, it is even very ancient, but its application is new. In India it is called a mantra. This is the only “mechanical” means Mother ever used.

Every animate or inanimate thing is endowed with a vibration of its own: a stone, fire, a virus, water, radium, anything. It is the vibration of the habitual force constituting that “object,” its particular frequency or wave-length, like the quasar out there at the edge of the universe. It is the network or the vibratory web which encloses the object and gives it a precise form. Vibration implies sound, even if it is inaudible for us. Now there is a very old science of sounds in India, a science of the entire vibratory range from the most material object to the highest state of consciousness (for a state of consciousness also has a vibration, as does anger or joy or the fragrance of a plant or anything: every possible state has its own particular vibration or sound). Thus this science, generally quite misused, can by emitting the particular “sound” be used to reproduce the object: there is a sound of fire, a sound of water, a sound of anger, a sound of supreme beatitude. And the followers of this science usually turn their knowledge to base and lucrative ends — magical ends — which we need not dwell upon. But there also exists other sounds with the power to evoke states of consciousness (poets know this), and if one can sow anger in someone, one can also sow something else. Love too has a sound — perhaps it is even the sound of the universe. That sound, whatever it may be, is what is called a mantra: a vibration that can reproduce a certain state of consciousness (or, at the other end, a certain state of matter, but that may be the same thing). A mantra is generally composed of one or several Sanskrit syllables.

Thus Mother found her mantra.

Right from the outset of this yoga of the body, she had seen the repetitive power of this cellular substance, and she said to herself that if she could ingrain a certain type of vibration in matter — say, a solar, luminous, expansive vibration like that of love — instead of the usual shrivelled up, sordid, pessimistic, mortal type, then one might have the power to give this substance a new principle of cohesion which would no longer be based on mortal habit but on a divine habit. Instead of winding death, the cell had to wind eternal life. Therefore Mother started repeating a mantra, her mantra, the one that for her evoked supreme love which is supreme life. You begin by repeating the mantra, or the vibration, with your head or your mental memory, and little by little it descends all the degrees of the being: into the heart, into sensations, into movements, and right down to the memory of the body. Once it is fixed in the body, it no longer moves: it repeats itself as unvaryingly as “Oh, cancer! Oh, gravitation! Oh, it hurts! Oh ...” — all the little oh's that make up a habitual and mortal body.

60.46 Sound has a power in itself, and by compelling the body to repeat a sound you compel it to receive the vibration at the same time. But words must have a life of their own (I don't mean an intellectual meaning, nothing of the kind, but a vibration). And the effect on the body is extraordinary: it starts vibrating and vibrating and vibrating....

60.209 I saw that the mantra has an organizing effect on the subconscient, on the inconscient, on matter, on the cells of the body, all that — it takes time, but through repetition and persistency, in the long run it has an effect. It has the same effect as doing daily exercises on the piano, for example. You repeat them mechanically and in the end your hands are filled with consciousness — it fills the body with consciousness.

Then you begin to understand what the new principle of centralisation of the cells could be.

63.107 As though you were on the threshold of a tremendous realization which depends on a very small thing.

Mother's mantra had seven syllables:


It is for all seekers who would like to find matter as it is, without all its false materialisms or its corresponding false spiritualisms — perhaps the spirit even at the heart of matter.

Free Matter

Indeed, these discoveries, astounding enough in themselves, are only the threshold of a new earth, as new as was the appearance of a first green meadow on the stone mantle of this good earth, and of a first gaze on earth's springtime. But a new gaze does not suffice: one still has to learn to live and to manipulate this fantastic cellular freedom — how does one go about it?

The last, rather vertiginous stages of the transition from one state to another give us the key. Mother was no shrinking violet; at ninety, she was younger and more adventurous than the young of man. A kind of adventuress of the next species. No one around her understood anything; they found her old, infirm, lapsed into second childhood. One wonders what a first reptile must have felt when it suddenly took wing?

But that same vertigo contains the key to the new functioning, which goes to show that the obstacle is always the lever:

63.207 All the habitual rhythms of the material world have changed. The body cannot know in the way it knew things before. So there is a period when you are in suspense: no longer this, not yet that, just in between. And the difficulty is that from all quarters and without let-up come all the idiotic suggestions of my entourage: age, deterioration, the possibility of death — illness, dotage, decay... It comes all the time, all the time, and all the time this poor tormented body....

The old species is there around us. Finding the new one is not enough, one still has to avoid being killed by the old one — the first anthropoid was very disturbing for the apes.

69.192 The work consists in changing the conscious base of all the cells — but not all at once because that would be impossible! Even little by little it is very difficult. The moment when the conscious base is changed is ... there is almost a sort of panic in the cells, and the impression, “Ooh! What's going to happen?” So now and then, it's difficult. It's by group, almost by faculty or part of faculty, and some of them are a little difficult. There is a moment when there's almost an anguish, you know, you're suspended like that; it may be a few seconds, but those few seconds are terrible. And even that comes from this idiotic spirit of self-preservation in the depths of all cellular consciousness — the body knows that. It knows it. It's an old habit. All the groups of cells, all the cellular organizations have to make their complete self-abandon, in complete trust. That's indispensable. For some, it's the spontaneous, inevitable movement; there are others that need to be churned a little in order to learn. The various functions are taken up in turn, in a marvellously logical order, following the body's functioning. It's something marvellous, only ... it's true, the body is a very poor thing. Then there are anxieties around me, from an anguish at the idea that the end is possible, to a haste for it to come! There's a whole gamut, from fear to an impatient desire! “Free at last! Free at last to do all the foolish things that I want!...” And the body is very sensitive to what comes from people.

66.285 In actual fact, I cannot eat anymore; I force myself, otherwise all I would do is drink. I have the impression of groping along, and that the slightest false step would hurl me into the chasm. I seem to be on a ridge between two chasms. And it's something going on in the body's cells. There's nothing moral to it, nothing even to do with sensation.

71.2212 At each minute: Do you want life — do you want death?... Do you want life — do you want death?...

69.1810 Truly, the ordinary state, the old state, is consciously death and suffering. And then in the other state, death and suffering appear to be ... absolutely unreal. There you are.

70.205 The body suddenly finds itself outside all habits, all actions and reactions, consequences etc., and there, it's like a wonder ... and then it disappears. It's so new for the material consciousness that each time you feel as if.... There's a minute of panic in the consciousness.

(Question:) I have often said to myself that if, all of a sudden, by means of accelerated evolution, a caterpillar were given the eyes of man....

Yes, that's it! In fact, the body KNOWS it's not ill, it knows it's not an illness, that it is in fact an attempt at transformation, it knows that very well, but ... there are all those centuries of habit.

And then this cry:

66.93 No, it's really an odd state! A mere nothing could make you lose contact.... The body no longer depends on physical laws.

The “mere nothing” that could make you lose contact is death — the death of the old species. It was necessary to reach this point in the process where nothing is left of the old functioning. You see, one cannot be both a reptile and a bird: there comes a moment when it must take off. And it is at that moment that you seize the key — you seize it with your body (not with your head, of course).

60.2611 In the space of three to four minutes, sometimes ten minutes, I'm abominably ill, with every sign that it's all over. And it's only to make me find ... to make me go through the experience, to FIND THE strength. And it's only at such “moments,” when logically, according to the ordinary physical logic, it's all over, that you can seize the key.

The key is extraordinarily simple: when a lung asphyxiates, what does it do? It opens its mouth and calls for air. And what do all those asphyxiating cells do, when they have no more support, no more habits and little windings, which are projected into ... nothing? — They repeat the mantra. Instead of winding death, all of a sudden they start winding the new life, the new vibration, the new force.

From layer to layer — thick, sticky, trepidating layers from the intellectual mind to the emotional mind to the sensory mind — the mantra cuts through like a drill. It bores right in there, imperturbably, with all the virtue of a drivelling old woman who keeps repeating and repeating — until it reaches the microscopic level of the physical mind. There, the experience becomes automatic: under the pressure of the mantra, one mesh gives way — panic; then another ... Lots of little educative panics. Each time, an air hole is made in the web, and the cell catches what it can — the mantra. And then the phenomenon becomes extraordinarily interesting: it is contagious. Matter is the place of immediate contagion: nothing can remain separate and compartmentalized, everything spreads instantaneously. For the simple reason that matter is in a perfect continuum from the little cell to the furthermost galactic limits.

67.28 Energy had completely gone [Mother had once more been “seriously ill”] in order to leave the body absolutely to itself, for its conversion, we might say. Then there was in this body consciousness, the SAME aspiration and the SAME ardour as in all the other parts of the being (but with a far greater stability than in any other part of the being); there are no fluctuations as there are in the vital and the mind: it's very stable. And it's established through kinds of pulsations, not distant from one another, first on one detail, then spreading out and becoming generalized.

63.36 It is this mind of the cells that seizes upon a mantra and eventually repeats it automatically, and with what persistence! I heard the cells repeat my mantra! It was like a choir in which each cell was repeating automatically. As if there were lots of little voices, innumerable little voices repeating and repeating the same sound. It gave me the impression of a church choir with lots and lots and lots of choirboys — tiny little voices. Yet the sound was very clear, I was dumbfounded: the sound of the mantra.

67.2012 There is a stability in the resolve and in the aspiration, a stability that can be found nowhere as much as here (Mother strikes her body). That's the characteristic of matter. And when it has given itself and has faith, it becomes so stable, so constant: it's something ESTABLISHED, and established effortlessly, established spontaneously, naturally, normally. So we can foresee that when this matter becomes truly divine, its manifestation will be infinitely more complete, more perfect in details, and more stable than anywhere else, in any other world.

58.115 It's strange, the mantra coagulates something: all the cellular life becomes one solid, compact mass, in a tremendous concentration — with a single vibration. Instead of all the usual vibrations of the body, there is only a single vibration. It becomes as hard as stone, everything in a single concentration, as if all the cells in the body were a single mass.

68.225 All the time, all the time, even during the worst difficulties, it wells up from the cells all the time, like a golden hymn: an incantation, you know, a call.

That is what Sri Aurobindo had discovered some forty years earlier — but he never explained the secret, probably because it serves no purpose to explain: one has to become in one's body. This is what he said:

... There is too an obscure mind of the body, of the very cells, molecules, corpuscles. Haeckel, the German materialist, spoke somewhere of the will in the atom, and recent science [Heisenberg], dealing with the incalculable individual variation in the activity of the electrons, comes near to perceiving that this is not a figure but the shadow thrown by a secret reality. This body-mind is a very tangible truth; owing to its obscurity and mechanical clinging to past movements and facile oblivion and rejection of the new, we find in it one of the chief obstacles to permeation by the Supermind Force and the transformation of the functioning of the body. On the other hand, once effectively converted, it will be one of the most precious instruments for the stabilisation of the supramental Light and Force in material Nature.8

But for this to happen, a point of asphyxiation had to be reached in the old matter — or false matter, we should say.

And now we are faced with the question, the real question: what then is matter? Matter as it is, true matter? We are told that it is this law + that law + that law, and such and such amino acid + such and such nucleotide + ... An infernal addition. Yes, the addition of all the habits we have contracted in order to move about in the first terrestrial culture medium. But “laws”, there are none! There are only fossilized habits. And one day in 1965, on a banal occasion, the picture became crystal clear. It concerned a disciple who had the beginning of a tumour in the neck:

65.266 & 306 It's a tumour. Probably a hair that has coiled around, and that the organism has covered in a layer of skin, and then, out of habit, it has gone on building skin around it: one layer, then another layer ... It's an idiotic goodwill. And that's how it is for almost all illnesses....

That's how it is for all of life! And for all of matter: an idiotic goodwill, which twists itself one way or the other depending on the need of the moment — and what if there were a true need, for a true life?... And Mother added:

... It's rather peculiar. It's the origin of habits; the cells are under the impression that “This is what we have to do, this is what we have to do, this is ...” (Mother draws a circle with her finger). All chronic illnesses stem from that. There may be an accident (something happens: it is an accident) and then there is a sort of submissive and unconscious goodwill that causes it to be repeated: “We must repeat, we must repeat ...” (same gesture in a circle). And it stops only if a consciousness which is in contact with the cells can make them understand that “No, in this case, you mustn't go on repeating!”

The consciousness which has a contact with the cells is the mantra. It is the undoing of habits. Then one understands that matter can become anything. There is absolute freedom ... as long as one finds the means of contact. Mother concluded:

... There are cases in which this power of repetition is extremely useful. I even think that this is what gives stability to the form, otherwise we would change form or appearance! Or we would liquefy.

From then on, we understand that we are on the threshold of a tremendously new life. The mantra is only the first step to bore through the layers and to prevent the body from scattering in a “terribly” free cosmos. The second step is to know by what means or what instrument we are going to fashion anew this free matter.

For matter is free.

The difficulty is that it is tremendously free.

Once the fishbowl is shattered, there is a tremendous invasion of the very energies that constitute matter and the worlds. What Sri Aurobindo called the “supramental force.”

62.126 A power so tremendous, so FREE, so independent of all circumstances, all reactions, all events. Something else.... Something else!

64.73 A power that can crush everything and rebuild everything.

71.19 All the ordinary body consciousnesses are too thin and fragile to bear this overwhelming power. And so the body is being accustomed to it. And it is ... you know, as if it suddenly caught a glimpse of such, such a marvellous horizon, but overwhelmingly marvellous!

The dawn of a new life.

A New Mind

For a long time, I did not really understand the importance of this mind of the cells, except that, in a certain body called Mother, the old laws seemed to lose their hold — I saw her go through, one after the other; heart attacks, enough to strike a strong man down, and every possible illness. I understood that her body was a testing ground and that once the mind of the cells is ingrained with the right vibration of the mantra, one can last as long as one likes, so to speak. There was also that mysterious “other time,” in which accidents and all the misfortunes of life seemed to dissolve. All that could make up an enviable and fairy-like human life, compared to the one we live, but it still seemed to me to be an individual and exceptional phenomenon — nothing radical that could act to change the structure of the species as a whole. Gradually, Mother opened my eyes.

71.1812 But it's radical, my child! You can't imagine.... I could really say I have become another person. It is only this, the appearance of the external body which remains the same as it was. To what extent will it be able to change? Sri Aurobindo said that if the physical mind were transformed, the body's transformation would follow QUITE NATURALLY. It's really the consciousness that must change, the consciousness of the cells, you understand? That's a radical change. And there are no words to express it because it doesn't exist on earth — it was latent, but not manifested.

It was latent indeed, since this mind of the cells exists in animals (and, according to Sri Aurobindo, there is even a mind in the atom). Tranquilly and harmoniously, this mind winds all the habits of each species without the complications and crystallizations of our human physical mind. Thus, in the substance of her cells, Mother found herself not only in the pre-human state, but even more radically in the state of the first cell in the world, before it has wound any habits. She was at the beginning of the world! And she found it very difficult not to be scattered into the great culture medium. That is the first reaction of any living matter: self-protection, erecting walls. The vibration of the mantra in each cell made that “wall”: a vibratory network dense enough to withstand the surrounding contagion and dispersion. And afterwards?

Afterwards ... the formation of a new species ... simply, automatically. But instead of an unconscious and obscure automatism which winds such and such habit because it has bumped itself on the left or on the right, or because it has not found any food in such and such temperature zone — in a word, all the “conditions” of the milieu — it is a conscious automatism which will gradually reshape or fashion anew the conditions of the body without falling into the trap of any habit, since it has none — or rather, according to a new habit or a new manner of being in the world. In other words, a new species, slowly built from within, and starting from the only mind left: the mind of the cells.

71.1812 & 65.218 & 65.318 This corporeal mind, mine, the only one left, is being converted very rapidly and interestingly.... What could we call it?... A transfer of power. The cells, the entire material consciousness, used to obey the inner individual consciousness (the soul in most cases, or the mind). But now this material mind is organizing itself like the other, or rather like all the others, like the mind of all the layers of being. Just imagine, it's educating itself. It's learning things and organizing the ordinary science of the material world. It's very interesting. You see, all the memory that came from mental knowledge has long since gone, and I used to receive necessary indications only from above [from the higher planes of consciousness]. But now it's A SORT OF MEMORY BEING BUILT FROM BELOW. It's like a shift in the directing will. It's no longer the same thing that makes you act — “act,” or anything, of course: move, walk, anything. The most difficult part is in the nerves, because they are so used to that ordinary conscious will that when it stops and you want the direct action, they seem to go mad. Yesterday morning, I had that experience, which lasted for more than an hour, and it was difficult; but it taught me many things. All this is what we may call “the transfer of power”: it is the old power that withdraws. And then, until the body adapts to the new power, there is a period which is, well, critical.... The minutes are long. This cellular mind, I can assure you, is absolutely new — absolutely new.

A new body being built from below, but so silently and invisibly, by a slow and innumerable formation of new microscopic ways of being in the smallest gestures of each minute and the slightest little vibration in the nerves that is difficult to understand — and I did not really understand. Mother tried to explain to me:

67.3012 That's what this body is now learning — to replace the mental government of intelligence by the spiritual government of the consciousness [of the other state]. And it makes (it looks like nothing, one may not notice it), it makes a tremendous difference, to the point of multiplying the body's possibilities a hundredfold. When the body is subjected to rules, even if they are broad, it is a slave to those rules and its possibilities are limited by them. But when it's governed by the Spirit and the Consciousness [of the other state], that gives it an incomparable possibility and flexibility! And that's what will give it the capacity to prolong its life. The “necessities” have lost their authority: you can adapt yourself this way, adapt yourself that way. All the laws — those laws which were laws of Nature — have lost their despotism, we might say. It's like a progressive victory over all constraints. So naturally, all the laws of Nature, all the human laws, all the habits, all the rules, all that becomes supple and finally becomes nonexistent. It's mainly: all that the mind has brought in terms of rigidity and absoluteness and near invincibility — that's what is going to disappear.

But I still did not understand the consequences of Mother's experience for the species as a whole.

67.2211 (Question:) I quite understand what is happening in you, but...

But since it's taking place in one body, it can take place in all bodies! I am not made of anything different from others. It's made of exactly the same thing, with the same elements, I eat the same things, and it was made in just the same way. And it was as dull, as dark, as unconscious, as stubborn as all the other bodies in the world. It began when the doctors declared that I was seriously ill, that was the beginning. Because the body was emptied of its habits and forces, then, slowly, slowly, the cells woke up to a new receptivity. Otherwise, it would be hopeless! If this matter, which began as ... even a stone is already an organization, it was certainly worse than a stone: the inert, absolute inconscient. Then, little by little, it awakens. Well, the same thing is now taking place: for the animal to become a man, it didn't take anything other than the infusion of a mental consciousness; and now, it's the awakening of that consciousness which was there, deep down, in the very depths. The mind has withdrawn, the vital has withdrawn (that's why it looked like a very serious illness). And then, in the body left to itself, little by little the cells started awakening to the consciousness. Then, out of that, once it has been thoroughly kneaded (there's no knowing how much time it will take), a new form will be born, which will be the form Sri Aurobindo called supramental which will be ... whatever, I don't know what those beings will be called. What will be their mode of expression? How will they make themselves understood?... In man, it developed very slowly. Only, when man emerged from the animal, there was no way to note and record the process; now it's completely different, so it will be more interesting....

This Agenda of Mother's is the whole process.

... But [Mother added], even at this moment in time, the vast majority of men and human intellectuality is perfectly satisfied being busy with itself and its little progress in circles. It doesn't even have — not even a desire for something else! Which means the advent of the superhuman being may well go unnoticed, or not be understood. We can't say because there is no analogy; but it's obvious that if an ape, one of the large apes, had met the first man, he would simply have felt that he was somewhat... strange, that's all. Man has been used to thinking of all that is superior to himself as ... divine beings; that is to say, bodiless beings who appear in the light, anyhow all the gods in their human conception — but it's not that at all!

That is where we now stand.

Shall we go on searching for the key in a “genetic program” which is only the program of human habit, or will we go to the root of habit to discover cellular freedom and the power to shape the species anew?

Shall we miss the point of the process completely? Or will we let it unfold despite ourselves under the shattering impact of History's accidents, as has been the case so far in every evolutionary transition of species?

For a little cell is highly contagious. The great whirlwind that seems to have seized nations, continents, human races with all their beliefs or disbeliefs, and each family, each little consciousness, is perhaps the approach of the same great evolutionary whirlwind which seized the last of the reptiles at the dawn of the mammals. Perhaps we are not so much in the twentieth century of a so-called Christian era as in the thirty-five millionth century since the appearance of a little unicellular micro-organism.

Matter is the most contagious thing in the world. We only know of contagion through reproduction or viruses, but what do we know about the contagion or the propagation of a vibration in Matter? Nothing but a thought vibration was needed to create an Einstein. And now, it is something else. Who wants something else? — But whether we want it or not, IT will BE.

71.0112 It's almost as if a new mind were being formed.

70.143 And the body is learning its lesson — all bodies, all bodies!

But it is not only these cells of the twentieth or thirty-five millionth century which are surreptitiously uprooting the old habits of the world and slipping in something so new that we cannot even see it, or even understand it, except that everything is turned upside down, a new perception of the earth is demolishing our materialism along with our spiritualism, and bringing out... something very strange, perhaps the true gaze of the world, without this side or that, this life and that death, something Mother called “over-life” and which we will try to describe.

61.273 Yesterday, I had such a strong feeling that all constructions, all habits, all ways of seeing, all ordinary reactions, were all collapsing completely. I felt I was suspended in something ... quite different, something ... I don't know. And truly, with the feeling that ALL that one has lived, all one has known, all one has done, is a perfect illusion. Then, you know.... When one has the spiritual experience that material life is an illusion (some find it painful, but I found it so wonderfully beautiful and cheerful that it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life), but now, it's the whole spiritual construction as we have lived it that has become a complete illusion! — Not the same illusion, but a far more serious illusion. And I'm not a baby, I have been doing a conscious yoga for something like sixty years, and there you are....

71.0112 It's a new mind. The way of perceiving time and space is becoming very different, it's changing totally. With sight, for instance, I can see more clearly with my eyes shut than with my eyes open, and yet it's the SAME vision! It's the PHYSICAL vision, purely physical, but a physical that seems ... more complete.

A new earth-vision.

9. The Eyes of the Body

We are before a great mystery.

For seven years now I have been before this mystery and at times one thinks one understands, at other times everything fades away. Yet all the coordinates are there: we have thousands of experiences before our eyes. But how can a caterpillar understand a butterfly's dance over a pond? This is a very mysterious country — terrestrial, perhaps, but who knows? And the thousands of experiences that I have noted down are themselves very confused, or confusing (for us), for Mother did not land in this “country” at once: sometimes she saw it as if in an overview from afar, across inner distances, and she would describe it, give it a name; at another time, she would describe it differently and give it another name, yet it was always the same country — but how are we to know? And finally it was not “another” country, it was our very own: we had already landed in it. But how are we to understand? It is very difficult for a caterpillar to understand the butterfly's world — and this particular butterfly does look mystical, and its pond “supernatural.” Thus the earth and its species go from one supernatural to another until they land in the great natural that was always there. Then, “everything is self-evident,” as Mother put it. But a bit of the “supernatural” will perhaps always stay ahead of us, and we will perhaps always be the prehistory of a butterfly yet to be born — evolution, it moves on. It is very disturbing for the orthodox. Darwin did indeed commit a “murder.”

So, let us continue with the murder.

The Net

57.107 It's a completely ... new and strange perception or sensation or impression.

That was in 1957. Then, four years later:

61.276 We are just on the frontier, on the edge; it is as if there were a semi-transparent curtain and one sees things on the other side, one tries to grasp them, but one cannot as yet. But there is such a sense of proximity! Sometimes, all of a sudden, I see myself as a tremendous concentration of power, pushing and pushing in an inner concentration to pass through.

Then in 1964:

64.189 I am on the frontier of a new perception of life. As if certain parts of the consciousness were in a metamorphosis from the caterpillar state to the butterfly state, something like that.

And once again six years later, in 1970 (Mother was ninety-two):

70.224 There is a region where there are many scenes from Nature, like fields, gardens ... but all behind nets! There is a net of one colour, another colour... Absolutely everything is behind a net as if one moved about with nets. But it's not a single net, it depends: the net depends on what's behind it for its form and colour. And it is ... the means of communication. You understand, fortunately I don't speak because they'd say I have taken leave of my senses! And I see it with my eyes OPEN, during the day, can you imagine! So I see my room, for example — I am here, seeing people — and at the same time I see one landscape or another, and it all changes and moves about, with a net between me and the landscapes. The net seems to be ... (how can I explain?) what separates this true physical from the ordinary physical.

Sceptical, I often asked Mother from one year to the next, if it was not a “psychic's vision.” Of course not. It is “the same vision, physical sight, purely physical, but a physical which appears ... more complete.” And to cap it all, Mother was supposedly blind — therefore with what physical eyes could she see, if they were not ophthalmological eyes?... They were obviously the “eyes” of the body, of the cells. (We are reminded of certain Russian laboratory experiments demonstrating a subject's ability to distinguish colours through the skin of his hands or even the skin of his stomach.) But in fact, they are not little cellular eyes watching as if at a show: it is not “vision,” it is better than vision:

70.257 Now, it's the body that has the experience and it's MUCH truer. There's an intellectual attitude that puts a kind of veil or ... I don't know what, something ... something unreal on the perception of things: as if you were seeing THROUGH a certain veil or a certain atmosphere, whereas the body itself feels directly, BECOMES it. It feels within itself. Instead of reducing the experience to fit the individual, the individual widens to fit the experience.

We cannot help thinking that those landscapes behind nets are the body's vision through the web of the physical mind ... until there is no longer a “through” at all. It may be a coincidence, but in 1979 a scientist at the San Francisco University,9 using photos taken by an electron microscope capable of distinguishing two dots only one thousandth of a micron apart (one thousandth of a thousandth of a millimetre!) noted: “One of the intracellular features of greatest interest to scientists is the network that looks like a fishnet draped throughout the main bodies — the cytoplasm — of the cells. Before discovery of the nets, the cell cytoplasm was thought to be more or less like jelly with no internal structure. Now scientists believe the networks help maintain the cell's shape.” A coincidence?

But the problem is even more radical than a simple change of vision. One of the very first times when Mother caught a glimpse of the other side of the web, or the other state, which she called, as did Sri Aurobindo, “the truth-consciousness” (that is, the consciousness of the truth of the world as it is), she noted the following, which shows the full extent of the problem:

61.187 It's like a veil of falsehood over truth; that's what is responsible for everything we see here. If one takes that off, things will be completely different, entirely different. When one comes out of this ordinary consciousness and enters the truth-consciousness, one is so amazed that things like suffering, misery, death and all that can exist. There's a kind of astonishment; one doesn't understand how that can happen once one has tipped over to the other side. But that experience is usually associated with the experience of the unreality of the world as we know it — it's only the unreality of falsehood, not the unreality of the world!

Truly, almost without a metaphor, we can say that we are in a certain physical fishbowl endowed with a refractive index that causes all the misery and death and unreal falsehood of this world. If that refraction stops, everything changes physically. But Mother added this, which was to become the great question as the years went by:

... This new state of consciousness probably has to become constant, but then that raises a problem: how can one remain in contact with the world as it is, in its distortion? For I have noticed one thing: when this state is very strong in me, so strong that it can withstand all that comes to bombard it from the outside, people don't understand a thing I say — nothing. Consequently it must suppress a useful contact. What would a small supramental creation upon earth be like? Is it possible? How would contact be made between those beings and the ordinary world?

Then, in 1968, the second, radical exit from the web took place. Mother nearly died one more time. A few days after the experience, she attempted to tell me what was happening, or what had happened (or will happen, for tenses too seem to jump through the mesh of the web):

68.288 I am sure that the movement has begun. How long will it take to reach a concrete, visible and organized realization? I don't know. Something has started.... It would seem to be the onrush of the new species, the new creation, or at any rate a new creation. A terrestrial reorganization and a new creation. At one point things were so acute.... Usually, I don't lose patience, but it had reached the point where everything, just everything in the being was as if annulled. Not only could I not speak, but my head was in a state it had never been in in my whole existence — painful, you know. I couldn't see anything anymore, couldn't hear anything anymore.... I had moments, two or three times, absolutely unique and wonderful moments — untranslatable. It's untranslatable. Landscapes!... constructions: immense cities being built. Yes, the future world being built. I couldn't hear anymore, couldn't see anymore, couldn't speak anymore: I was living inside that all the time, night and day. A body without mind and without vital: there were only those perceptions. The mind and vital have been instruments to knead Matter — knead and knead in every possible way: the vital through sensations, the mind through thoughts — to knead. But they strike me as transitory instruments which will be replaced by other states of consciousness. You understand, they are a phase in the universal development and they will fall off like instruments that have outlived their usefulness. So then, I had the concrete experience of what this matter kneaded by the vital and the mind is, but WITHOUT the vital and WITHOUT the mind, it's something else! I lived moments.... All that we can humanly feel and see is nothing in comparison with that. There were moments ... absolutely wonderful moments. But without thought. And it's not “seen” as you see a picture: it's BEING IN, being in a certain place. I've never seen or felt anything so beautiful, and it wasn't “felt,” I don't know how to explain it. And the body was in that, almost porous — porous, without resistance, as if the thing were passing through it. I lived hours ... the most wonderful hours that one can live on earth. One night (this will show you how everything was upside down), I had a rather strong pain; I remained concentrated, and the night went by in what seemed to be a few minutes. While on other days, I was concentrated, and off and on I would ask the time; it seemed to me that I had remained like that for hours and hours, and only five minutes had gone by.... You understand, everything was, I can't say upside down, but of a completely different order.

This is where clock time disappears into the “immobility in motion” we mentioned earlier.

72.2312 It's this sense of time that I don't understand.... I feel, I know that my body is being accustomed to something else.

66.3112 Time no longer has the same reality. It's something else. It's very particular, it's an innumerable present.

69.127 And then I go to America, I go to Europe, I go ... all the time. I go to places in India. And all of that is work, work, work, but so living! And with such an amusing sense of humour! Things here are always cloaked in a number of clothes, it's never the exact thing, but there it's the exact thing. It's very interesting, you know: life stripped of its false appearance. People are so accustomed to disguising everything — there, it's gone!

72.76 It's something that the cells don't quite understand yet, but they know, they feel. They feel as if they were thrust forcibly into a new world.

73.82 It's has nothing to do with going off into inaccessible regions, it's RIGHT HERE. Although, for the moment, all the old habits and the general unconsciousness have put a sort of lid on it which prevents us from seeing and feeling. We must ... we must lift it off. And it's everywhere, you see, everywhere, always. It doesn't come and go: it's always there, everywhere. It's we ... it's our stupidity that keeps us from feeling. There's no need to go off anywhere, no need at all, none at all.

72.275 (Question:) But where do you go when you suddenly go off like that?

But I don't “go off”! I don't go out of material life, but it ... appears different. As if it were made of something else.

Here we are then, faced with a few of the main coordinates — minus one, which we will soon describe and which opens up ... strange perspectives. But the main fact is that behind our “cloak” or our “veil of unreality,” there is a physical earth endowed with a different, instantaneous and innumerable sight, and a different, “vertical” time in which illnesses, accidents and death cannot be: “The solution precedes the problem,” as Mother said. Yet that other time is physical: when you are in it, you cannot be murdered in Pondicherry's canyons (among many other things).

Truly, therefore, “salvation is physical.” There is no need to run off to other, “spiritual” worlds. Redemption has to be attained on the earth and in one's body. We must get out of the net.

But can one do it alone?

Evolution means the whole earth.

The Living and the Dead

I have to admit that I do not really understand this last and strange coordinate, but it is a fact. It began in 1959, nine years after Sri Aurobindo's departure, that is to say, when Mother was already struggling in the last layer of the physical mind, with, from time to time, strange little rents. One fine day in July, while she was drilling into this magma, she suddenly went through the mesh and there was an abrupt invasion of that tremendous energy which Sri Aurobindo called “supramental” and which Mother described very picturesquely as “the boiling porridge of the supramental.” Indeed, one wonders if one is not going to be reduced to a pulp.

59.610 I had a unique experience. For the first time, the supramental light entered my body directly, without passing through the inner or higher consciousnesses. It entered through the feet....

A highly significant detail, for all the experiences of yogis take place above the head, in the layers of the so-called higher consciousness — Mother worked at the other end.

... A red and gold colour, marvellous, warm, intense. And it rose up and up. And as it rose, so did the fever, because the body was not accustomed to that intensity. When all that light came into my head, I thought I would burst and that I would have to stop the experience. Then, I very clearly received the indication to bring down the calm and peace, to widen all this body consciousness, all these cells, so that they could contain the supramental light. And suddenly, there was a second when I fainted. I found myself in another world....

And that is where the confusion began (for me), because as the experience progressed over the years, that “other” world was no longer “other” at all: it was our very own, with our eyes wide open, but seen and lived differently. After having called it the “subtle physical,” Mother slipped into another terminology, then another, and she called it the true physical, true matter — the other state in matter.... But it was simply tomorrows earth, as land might be to an amphibian coming out of the waters.

... Another world, but not far. This world was almost as substantial as the physical world. There were rooms — Sri Aurobindo's room with the bed he rests on — and he lived there, he was there all the time: it was his abode. Even my room was there, with a big mirror like the one I have here, combs, all kinds of things. And the substance of those objects was almost as dense as in the physical world, but they shone with their own light: not translucent, not transparent or radiant, but self-luminous. The objects, the material of the rooms did not have the opacity of physical objects, they were not dry and hard as in the physical world....

But to a microscope, matter is not opaque at all, nor dry or hard.

... And when I awoke, I didn't have the feeling of returning from afar and of having to re-enter my body as I usually do. No, it was simply as though I were in this other world, then I took a step backwards and found myself here again. It took me a good half-hour to understand that this world here existed as much as the other, that I was no longer on the other side but here, in the world of falsehood. I had forgotten everything: people, things, what I had to do — everything was gone as if it had no reality at all. You see, it's not as if this world of truth had to be created from nothing: it's fully ready, it's there, like a lining of our own world. Everything is there. Everything is there....

Then Mother added the following, which gives the dimension of her experience:

... For two full days, I remained in that state, two days of absolute bliss. Sri Aurobindo was with me the whole time, the whole time: when I walked, he walked with me; when I sat down, he sat next to me. By the end of the second day, however, I realized that I couldn't remain there because the work wasn't progressing. The work must be done in the body; the realization must be attained here in this physical world, for otherwise it's not complete. So I withdrew and set to work again.

After Sri Aurobindo's departure, Mother had thus waited for nine years to find his footsteps again ... and why nine years? Because during those nine years, she had crossed the different layers and finally reached the body consciousness: it was the body, its consciousness, that saw what none of the higher, yogic or occult eyes had seen — Sri Aurobindo's abode. It is the body's eyes that have access to the “other” world. Death does not exist for the body's eyes, it is something else.

As the web grew thinner and thinner with the years, the body, such as it is emerged from its successive encumbrances — intellectual, emotional and sensory, all that evolutionary habit had stuck onto it: the net. The “other” world was perfectly here, the body strolled about in it “as in the Bois de Boulogne,” said Mother. Like the amphibian on the shores of this same sunlit earth, but with another respiratory mode. That is what I had difficulty understanding for a long time, and I would ask Mother whether that “other” world was not somewhat like those described by all the traditions: the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Tibetans, all of them? Not at all!... perhaps for the simple reason that all those sages and seers had the excellent habit of going off into the “heights” or occult and celestial depths, whereas the secret was to be found in matter: the “feet.” Obviously, no one had had the courage to descend into that and stir up the vile quagmire that is this physical mind. Or else ... could it be that the said sages and seers had indeed seen that same world, but through spiritual layers or through layers of sleep or of “meditation,” like vague shadows of light (if one may say so) or intangible mystical expanses which were but the ethereal caricature or the evanescent transparency of the same reality located beneath the feet? Only the body could live “that” directly, without magical, occult, spiritual or other spectacles, even electronic ones — without all the “mystery” of the world, which was only its reality grasped by the wrong end or by the wrong instrument. What would a spiritual fish or even a technological fish say while looking at the earth through an aquatic meditation or through magnifying fins?

And Mother ended the description of her experience with these words:

... It would take very little, very little to pass from this world to the Other, FOR THE OTHER WORLD TO BECOME THE REAL ONE. A little click would suffice, or rather a slight reversal in the inner attitude. How can I explain?... It's imperceptible to the ordinary consciousness: a tiny inner shift would be enough, a change in quality.

It suffices to come out of this kind of “refractive index” which blurs everything, twists everything, distorts everything, ruins everything, to emerge into deathless time and into distanceless space. But Mother did say, “For the other world to become the true one,” which means there is no need to “go out of the world,” to “get away”: the other ray, the other non-refraction, the other vibration must take the place of our false, illusory vibration — a “substitution of vibration,” she said. A slight reversal. “A little click would be enough.”

A universal reversal?

The human earth out of the fishbowl?

The terrestrial fairy tale.

Years after this 1959, Mother thus attempted to explain to me that passage from one state to the other or from one “world” to the other.

66.263 I don't know what comparison I should use, but I am certain there are some things that are invisible this way (Mother turns her wrist in one direction), and visible that way (gesture in the other direction). Perhaps it's only an internal change of position, because I have experienced this I don't know how many times, hundreds of times: like this (Mother turns her wrist), everything is what we call “natural,” as we are used to seeing it, then all of a sudden, like that (in the other direction), the nature of things changes. And nothing has happened, except something within, something in the consciousness: a change of position. A change of position, it's no more tangible than that, that's what is so wonderful! Oh, the other day, I found another sentence from Sri Aurobindo: “All now is changed, yet all is still the same.” I read that and said to myself, “Oh, that's what it means!” The nearest explanation is a shift: the angle of perception becomes different. And it's not, as we might be tempted to think, an interiorisation and an exteriorisation, it's not that at all — it's an angle of perception that changes. You are at a certain angle, then you are at another.... I have seen small objects of that sort for the amusement of children: when those objects are in a certain position, they look compact and hard and black, and when you turn them the another way, they are clear, luminous, transparent. It's something like that.

A terrestrial angle of perception that changes?

One day, in the very last years of her life, Mother said to me:

70.29 It's something fantastic ... which looks idiotic.

But the 1959 experience continued, widened and became more and more natural. In 1962:

62.1210 People are quick to say: “They're dead!...” I lived that over the last few days. I spent at least two hours in a world which is the subtle physical [always this changing vocabulary], where the living mingle with the dead with no sense of difference! It makes no difference. There were the living, there were the ... what we call the “living” and what WE call the “dead”: they were there together, moving together, having fun together. And all that in a lovely, tranquil light, really very pleasant. I thought, “There you are! Men have drawn a sharp line like that, and then they say, ‘Now he's dead.’ ”

Seven years later:

69.175 & 215 One is attempting something with this body, but what? I don't know. Very strangely, it has been given a consciousness that no longer has anything to do with time: you understand, there isn't “when it was not,” there isn't “when it will no longer be,” there isn't.... It's not like that, it's all something in motion. So what's going to happen? I don't know. It's contrary to all habits. And then, this body is funny (!), now and then it asks, “Am I alive or am I dead?!” As if all this were a demonstration to make us understand the secrets of existence. It's strange. For example, I went to places where there were lots of people, but mingled, that is, the so-called living and the so-called dead together. Quite together, and used to being together, and finding it quite natural — but CROWDS of people! There is increasingly an impression that our head and our way of seeing are what makes clear-cut limits — but it's not like that! It's all mingled.

And again, as if the dividing wall were growing thinner

69.197 There's a place where those with a body and those without a body are mingled without that making a difference. They have the same reality, the same density and the same conscious, independent existence. And there's an extraordinary likeness to material life, except that you can feel they're freer in their movements. But the strange thing is that when I get up, the state of “over there” continues, and it's as real, as tangible as physical things. There was someone, you understand, I was with someone [someone supposedly dead, there in Mother's room], and I wondered, “Is this person physically like this? Is it physical?” And I was standing!... So it's as if the two worlds were ... (Mother slips the fingers of her right hand through those of her left hand)... Strange.

Very well then, the dead live, which comes as no surprise; some of the dead are even more alive than quite a few consumer citizens, and some of the living are already half dead. Still, who are those “living” who walk about and have fun with the “dead”? Until now we have rarely heard any of the living recount their physical strolls with the “dead.” Does that mean that there is a part of our being, unknown to us, already communicating with that world (which we do not know what to call), where the laws are no longer the same, where “death” is no longer the same, yet which, according to Mother's experience, is a physical world? Does our body know better than we do?

Anyway, those who have had this type of experience with “the dead”, have usually had it in their sleep or in certain special states — yes, through the usual layers. But if these layers are, in fact, the falsehood of the world, its thickness, its false or distorted angle of perception causing all accidents, all illnesses, all the woe and death in the world, what does that signify? What really is life and what really is death? Could there be a place in the material, physical consciousness — in the earth consciousness to come, let us say — where the nature of life and death changes? Really, a new state on earth which will no longer be life as we know it nor death as we know it.

But let Mother continue her strange experimentation to “understand the secrets of existence.”

67.73 And all this is a knowledge of the consciousness of the cells.

It is not the mind, not yogic knowledge, nor all the occultisms in the world: it is the knowledge of the body's consciousness. It is the body that sees. It is the body seeing its earth in a completely different way. It is the body understanding ... its own secrets.

10. Over-Life

Life and Death

Mother had innumerable opportunities to study death — the phenomenon of the corpse — since her experiences as a young woman in Tlemcen, which I have related elsewhere.10 One day I asked her if one could have “the experience of death without dying”? With her usual sense of humour, she replied:

68.289 Surely! You can even have the experience materially if ... if death is brief enough not to give the doctors time to declare you dead!

Needless to say, Mother had little esteem for medical science: “I am an atheist of medicine,” she said to me, laughing. And we are reminded of Sri Aurobindo:

We laugh at the savage for his faith in the medicine man; but how are the civilised less superstitious who have faith in the doctors? The savage finds that when a certain incantation is repeated, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. The civilised patient finds that when he doses himself according to a certain prescription, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. Where is the difference?11

Mother even had several times the rather painful experience of dying in someone else a whole night, as I mentioned earlier. Then those innumerable “little deaths” at the moment of the passage through the web. But what interests us is precisely this moment in the passage from one state to the other: that is when we are likely to grasp the secret — when it tips over. Doctors can enumerate all possible diseases “as a result of which ...,” and cardiac arrest “as a result of which ...” But they know nothing about the reality of the phenomenon. One might just as well describe a car accident in terms of the number of stones on the road. Strange how our science is just “beside the point,” a sort of mechanical caricature of “something” that eludes it completely.

Here is one of Mother's very first experiences after the first exit from the web in 1962, when she was still going in and out of the web in an imperceptible, ceaseless back-and-forth motion, as if on the frontier of two states:

62.89 It's a curious sensation, a strange perception of the two functionings (which are not even superimposed; one can't even say they are superimposed): the body's true functioning and the functioning distorted by the individual sense of the individual body [the human fishbowl]. They're almost simultaneous, and that's why it's so hard to explain.... It's as if the consciousness were pulled or pushed or placed in a certain position and there, the malfunctionings instantly appear [that is, one has re-entered the web], and they instantly appear, not as a consequence: I mean the consciousness becomes aware of their existence....

Here we begin to touch on a secret. Mother seems to say that the wrong functioning (the one that leads ultimately to death) is not the consequence of one's catching all the diseases that might have already existed inside the fishbowl, which one had temporarily come out of, but the consequence of the consciousness becoming aware of their existence. Disease and death are there all the time in the fishbowl, either latent or manifest — that is the mortal state by definition. But the consciousness becomes aware of their existence, that is to say, it gives them a reality. One does not catch a “disease” in the fishbowl, one catches false consciousness — that is the real “disease” of the fishbowl, the only one. Mother continues:

... But then if the consciousness stays in that position long enough, there are what we call consequences: the malfunctioning has its consequences — tiny things, physical discomforts, if you like. And if the consciousness regains its true position, all that ceases INSTANTLY. But sometimes, it's like this [Mother interlaces the fingers of her right hand through those of her left hand]: this position and then that position, this position and that position, within a few seconds [in and out of the web], and then you almost have the simultaneous perception of the two functionings. That's what gave me the knowledge of the thing, otherwise I wouldn't understand; I would simply think I am falling from a state of good health, into another state of ill health — that's not it, it's simply.... Everything, the entire substance, all the vibrations must follow their normal course, you see, it's only the way that the consciousness perceives things that changes. So pushing this knowledge to its extreme limit, that is if you generalize it, life (what we generally call “life,” physical life, the life of the body) and death, are the SAME thing, they're SIMULTANEOUS: it's just the consciousness that moves back and forth, which moves like this or like that [same gesture between the fingers]. I don't know if I am making myself clear. But it's fantastic!...

It is fantastic. There is no such thing as “death,” no cancer, no tuberculosis, no heart trouble ... but there is a false consciousness, in a false position, which instantly causes tuberculosis, causes cancer, etc., with all their fatal consequences. If the consciousness is in the right position, it is not aware of them, and there is no cancer, no tuberculosis, no illness, no disease at all! That is, disease or death are constantly there, they are the normal human state, but you “perceive” them or not. All the vibrations follow their “normal course,” it is only the position of the consciousness that changes. But it's fantastic! And Mother adds this:

... It's an experience I have with examples that are as concrete as can be. For example, this sudden kind of imperceptible shift of consciousness and ... you feel you're going to faint, that is, all the blood rushes from the head to the feet, and then whoops! But if the consciousness is caught IN TIME, it doesn't happen; if it's not caught in time, it does. Consequently, I have a very distinct impression that what, for ordinary human consciousness, appearances and so on, is expressed as death, might simply be the fact that the consciousness has not been brought back to its true position fast enough.... I am quite aware how inadequate the words are for describing the experience. But perhaps we are drawing closer to the knowledge of the “thing” [death]; knowledge means the power to change, doesn't it? I can feel that something is leading me toward the discovery of that power — of that knowledge — naturally by the only possible means: experience. And with great care, for I can feel that....

Obviously; it is dangerous. One may fail to catch the true position quickly enough. But the fundamental fact is that “life and death are the same thing.” It is not a question of cancer, or of ninety years of wear and tear “as a result of which ...” But then all medicine is false! We are in a fishbowl of death, doctors are a hundred percent right — but they treat the illusion.

Now the whole issue is to understand that change of position.

The knowledge of the phenomenon took a step forward with a strange experience which occurred on the occasion of a disciple's death. Briefly, the disciple was walking in a state of inner concentration, without paying much attention to the material world. He bumped into something, stumbled and fractured his skull — after attempting a few horrible operations, the doctors declared him “dead.” All the while, in his consciousness, which was very much alive, the disciple was near Mother: he was near her, tranquil, as if he were continuing his meditation. Then all of a sudden, Mother felt a violent shudder in the disciple, and he disappeared — at the very time when his body was being burnt. And Mother exclaimed:

62.47 Given the state he was in, it made NO DIFFERENCE to him whether he was dead or alive — that's what is so interesting! And because they cremated him, he was abruptly and violently thrown into contact with the destruction of his body's form....

We could say that he suddenly became “aware” that he was dead.

... (Question:) What conclusions, for your experience, can be drawn from this episode?

Why, it's that someone can die without knowing he is dead! He continued to be, to live, to experience, absolutely independently of his body, having no need of his body to have his experience. I find this an important experience.... So, it could be said that one must die unto death to be born to immortality. To die unto death, that is, to become incapable of dying because death has no more reality.

The position of the consciousness changes, and not only do cancer, a heart attack, and whatever, lose all reality, meaning that they cannot be, cannot manifest — even though they are always there, latent in the fishbowl — but death, too, can no longer be. Death is always there, but there is a position of the consciousness that causes one to catch death or not, and accidents and all the rest. Then that experience of “the death of death” becomes clear:

63.163 The impression people have in ordinary life (few are conscious of it) is of a Destiny or a Fate or a will ... “hanging over” them, a set of circumstances (it doesn't matter what you call it), something that weighs you down and tries to manifest through you. And since that last experience of the “death of death”, I've had the feeling.... Before, whenever I intervened for people, either to prevent them from dying or to help them once they were dead — hundreds and hundreds of things that I used to do all the time — I did them with the sense that death was something to be conquered or overcome, or the consequences of which had to be mended....

You conquer or overcome an enemy, and you give the enemy great strength by fighting against him — but what if there is no enemy! What if there is nothing ... but an illusion?

... Now my position has changed. But it may take years to turn into a conscious power. And in the present case, the conscious power would mean the power to give or prevent death equally, to effect the necessary movement of forces — ALMOST A MECHANICAL ACTION ON THE CELLS. With that power, you can give death, you can prevent death. But there is no longer that sensation people have of a brutal clash between life and its opposite, death — death is not the opposite of life! At that moment I understood, and I have never forgotten: death is NOT the opposite of life. It's a sort of change in the cells' functioning, or in their organization. Once you have understood that, it's very simple: you can easily stop the thing from going this way or that way (Mother slips the fingers of her right hand through those of her left hand, one side to the other side of the web); you can go like that or like this or like that. It's ... of course, it would mean a new phase for life on earth.

62.117 This “dying unto death” was clear, stunningly powerful! And also this impression: easy, easy! — There is no question of difficult or easy: it's spontaneous, NATURAL and so smiling!

Natural, exactly. The natural state par excellence. We have entered a fishbowl of unreality in which we become aware of all sorts of disasters, which naturally occur because we become aware of them — as my death would have occurred in the canyons if I had become aware, or if my body had believed that it was going to be killed. Strangely enough, at that moment, it was like “nothing,” so it was nothing! There was no accident. For one minute I was in a natural state. For death to take place, there must be a contact with death, but what if there is no contact!

“A question of functioning in the cells.... Almost a mechanical action on the cells.... A wrong position of the consciousness, which is not brought back quickly enough.” And we always come back to that passage through the web of the physical mind. Years later, Mother drew near the key:

66.262 To me, the problem is to find the process that will lead to the power to undo what was done [death and all this web of unreality enveloping us]. After all those years, there is something that would like to have the power or the key: the process. And is it not necessary to feel or LIVE how it went this way (Mother bends her wrist in one direction) in order to be able to go that way (she bends it in the opposite direction)? What's interesting is that now that this mind of the cells has been organized, it appears to be going with dizzying speed through the whole process of human mental development, in order to reach ... the key, precisely.

It is the mind of the cells that holds the key to death, or rather to non-death: the state in which death and life change into something else and this opposition ceases to exist.

Death is not the opposite of life! It is the same state, the same muddle of “something” we call existence, in which from time to time we catch death for good, but in fact it was always there, we were born with it — we were born into it, one could say. Our cells constantly wind the habit of defeat and death, it is their “idiotic goodwill.” But if we change that vibration, that mode of winding, and give them another vibration — solar and free — to repeat again and again, everything changes! Then life is no longer life as we know it, which is only suspended death, false time, false space, false matter, and death is no longer death as we know it, which is only the disappearance of our false way of looking, our false material scene — it is something which continues, with or without a body, in true time, in true space, true terrestrial and material matter. It is “over-life,” the shattered fishbowl which is not the death of the fish but the beginning of another species or another reign on earth. Yes, a “new phase of life on earth.”

70.31 What I have learned is that the failure of religions was because they were divided: they wanted you to follow one religion to the exclusion of all others; and all human knowledge has gone bankrupt because it was exclusive, and man has gone bankrupt because he was exclusive. What the new consciousness wants is: no more divisions. To be capable of understanding the extreme spiritual, the extreme material, and to find the meeting point there where ... it becomes a true force. It's trying to teach that to the body too, through the most radical means. They all say, “This and not that” — no, this AND that, and this too and that too and everything at the same time. To be supple enough and wide enough for everything to be together. In the body too. The body is used to “This and not that; this or that...” — No, no, no, this AND that. The great Division: life and death — there you are. Everything is the effect of that. Well (words are stupid but ...) overlife is life and death together.... Why call it “overlife”?! We are always tempted to lean to one side: light and darkness (“darkness,” well ...).

Then that strange verse of the Vedic Rishis, five or seven thousand years ago, suddenly conies to mind: “He uncovered the two worlds [Earth and Heaven], eternal and in one nest.” (Rig-Veda, 1.62.7)

The crux of the matter is now in this “with or without a body,” that is, whether this body will have the power or the capacity to go through into the other state and to gradually transform its old conditions into a new condition — whether the body can remain the living link between the two worlds, to be where the living and the dead are together “without any difference,” or else whether it must continue its old habit of disintegrating, open its shell and “die” in order for the human being to return to the web again and again until he finds the key to the illusion. Why the illusion? — So that we can find what no contented species has been able to find before us (probably because it was too contented within its species): the power to undo the genetic winding which binds us to a certain type of species and locks us in a single way of being, whereas the goal of evolution, if there is one, is to be everything and to live everything and find again the totality of the ways of being, known and yet unknown, in one free individual — happy, without a shell, and material nevertheless.

That power is the mind of the cells.

A Dangerous Unknown

A strange and painful life was to begin for Mother. It is very easy to say “the next species” and to put all that into paragraphs (or is it?), but day after day it is quite agonizing for the pioneer — is one going anywhere at all? Is it madness, disintegration, or something else? There is no one to tell you. Perhaps her only human relief was to be able to speak to me — but soon they were even going to close her door on me. A new species, is quite crazy. Truly, I know no one more heroic than Mother.

Yet she laughed and mocked, oh, how she mocked!

70.294 The body says, “After all, it would make a difference mainly for others [if Mother were to die]! For me ...” Only, you understand, they are still in this kind of illusion of death because the body disappears; and even the body no longer quite knows which is true! For it, matter should be the truth; but even about that, it isn't quite sure what that is! There is the other, the other way of being. It knows that the old way is no longer that, but it's beginning to wonder how it will be? How will the new consciousness relate to the old consciousness of those who will still be humans? It comes ... it's strange, it comes like a breath of air, and then it disappears again. The body suffers ... a very strange kind of suffering: it groans, literally groans as if it were suffering terribly, then a little something occurs, and there's no more suffering, it's not at all what we call bliss — we don't know what it is, it's something else, but it's extraordinary: new, completely new. So all this is something taking place in a nebula, which is no longer this and not yet that. It's no longer, no longer the body consciousness as it is, oh, it's on the way to something, but it's not there yet. But the presence of the Grace is an absolutely marvellous thing because I see, the experience as it is, if I were not given at the same time the true meaning of what's taking place, it would be endless agony — it's the old way of being which is dying.

Eight years earlier she had said:

62.126 It has come to the point where if I had no regard for people's peace of mind, I would say, “I don't know whether I am alive or dead!...” Because there is a life, a type of vibration of life which is completely independent of ... [Mother was about to say “of the body”]. No, I'll put it another way: the way people ordinarily feel life, feel that they are alive, is intimately linked with a certain sensation they have of themselves, a sensation of their bodies and of themselves. Take that sensation away completely, that type of sensation, that type of relationship people call “I'm alive” — take that away, then how can you say, “I'm alive” or “I'm not alive”? — It no longer exists! I can't say, the way they do, “I'm alive” — it's something else entirely....

The “agony” was to go on for a long time.

And Mother added, laughing:

... It would be better not to keep this conversation because in the end they [the disciples] will wonder if it wouldn't be better to treat me as a mental case!... But that doesn't matter either!... What I say is becoming more and more difficult. Perhaps fifty years from now people will understand?

We can understand that Mother was no longer in our usual “I live,” but where was she? In “death”? And what is that death, really?... One day, I asked her the question and I got a reply that left me rather dumbfounded, even though I had long been prepared by what she had already told me: “Death is not the opposite of life.”

67.73 I have reached the conclusion that there is really no such thing as death. There is only an appearance, and an appearance based on a limited outlook. But there is no radical change in the vibration of consciousness. The importance attached to the difference of state is a merely superficial difference based on an ignorance of the phenomenon itself. One who could retain a means of communication would be able to say that as far as he himself is concerned, it doesn't make much difference. But that is still something being worked out: there still remain grey areas and some details of the experience are missing.

(Question:) But you say there is no difference.... When one is on the other side, does one continue to have the perception of the physical world?

Yes, yes, exactly.

The perception of beings, of ... [I wanted to say seagulls in the sky, trees, even the earth's lovely sunshine]?

Yes, exactly. Only, instead of having a perception.... You leave a sort of illusory state and a perception which is a perception of appearances, but you do have a perception. That is to say, there were moments when I had the perception, I could see the difference, only, of course, the experience wasn't total (it wasn't total in the sense that it was interrupted by outer circumstances). But the perception is there. Not absolutely identical, but WITH AN EFFECTIVENESS SOMETIMES GREATER in itself. But it's not really perceived by the other side....

And Mother added the following which decidedly opens our eyes completely:

... But it's clear, precise and EVIDENT only with this new vision of the cells, because (how can I explain?...) I knew this — I knew it before [Mother had had innumerable so-called occult experiences] — but I saw it again with the new consciousness, the new way of seeing, and then the understanding was total, the perception was total, absolutely concrete, with conclusive elements that were completely missing in the occult knowledge. While this is a knowledge of the consciousness of the cells.

The body, the consciousness of the body is a direct bridge to the other side of the fishbowl — of course! It does not mean going off into pure spirit: it is going into matter itself ... as it is. The dead are there. Death is here with us. And it is not “death” at all!

Then, one day, Mother made a very enigmatic observation, which however is crystal clear if we look closely at it:

70.253 For the body consciousness that remains conscious when the body is asleep [and what is that consciousness if not the cells' consciousness?], the world as we live it is dark and muddy — always. That is, it's always a half-light — you can hardly see — and the mud. And that isn't an opinion or a sensation: it's a material fact. Consequently, this [cellular] consciousness is already conscious of a world ... which would no longer be subject to the same laws.

72.267 When I stay like that, immobile, after a while there's a host of things that get done, get organized, but (how can I describe it?) it's another type of reality, and it's a more solid reality. And how is it more solid? I don't know. Matter seems to be something vague compared to that [but how would the fish's water appear, compared to a sunlit meadow?]. Vague, opaque, unreceptive. And that something.... So the funniest part is that people think I am asleep! I hardly belong to the old world anymore, so the old world says: she's done for — I couldn't care less!

We might think that Mother was slowly moving towards the side of the dead ... as if the outcome of this entire evolutionary transition, all this effort, these pains of the terrestrial becoming over the ages, was to tumble into a state which could well be material, but without any link, any connection or continuity with the material evolution of species. But that is not the case. Mother was not going off into “death.” It would seem that at the cellular level, a curious alchemy takes place which changes not only life such as we know it, but death too. Truly another state in matter. The dead have no cells! And if this little animal cell has painfully struggled on earth for three and a half billion years, it is not in order to vanish into thin air — the cell too must have its fulfilment. It may even be the place where the next world is being built, no longer that of our life, but no longer that of death either.

72.127 I have the impression I am becoming another person. No, it's not just that: I am in contact with another world, another way of being, which might be called a dangerous way of being.... Dangerous but marvellous. The impression that the relation between what we call “life” and what we call “death” is becoming increasingly different — totally different. You see, it's not that death disappears (death as we conceive of it, as we know it, and in relation to life as we know it), it's not that, not that at all! BOTH are changing... into something we don't know yet, which seems at once dangerous and absolutely marvellous. We have a tendency to want certain things to be true (those WE deem favourable) and certain things to disappear — that's not it! Everything is different. Different. From time to time, for a moment, a brief moment: a marvel. Then, immediately, the feeling of ... a dangerous unknown. There you are. That's how I spend my time.

72.912 Everything is collapsing, except the ... the what? The divine... something — what? It's like an attempt to make you feel that there's no difference between death and life. There. That it's neither death nor life — neither what we call death, nor what we call life. It's ... something. And that, is something divine. Or rather, it's our next stage towards the divine.

69.164 It's strange, it looks just the same and it becomes very different.

62.132 For those who will come in one or two hundred years, it will be easy, they will only have to choose: to belong to the old system or to the new. But now?... A stomach has to digest, of course.... Is it folly? Or is it really possible? I don't know. No one has done it before, so there's no one to tell me.

70.44 The body feels ... the word anguish is too strong, but the impression is of being on the verge of... the unknown — the unknown, the ... something. A very, very odd sensation. Well, what could be said is that it's a sort of new vibration. It's so new that you can't call it “anguish,” but it's the unknown. A mystery of the unknown. And that's becoming constant. So there's only one solution for the body, it's total abandon, and in that total abandon it realizes that that vibration is not one of dissolution, but something — what? The unknown, completely unknown — new, unknown. Sometimes it's struck with panic. It can't say it's in pain much, I can't call that suffering, it's something ... quite extraordinary.

Yes, the “other thing” must be so different that for the body it must be like death!

It's the equivalent! It's a funny life, in any case. I will soon be dangerously contagious, you know!

Perhaps it was the world that was going to catch the dangerous contagion.

70.114 It's a very strange impression, as if one were on the edge — but on the edge of what? I don't know. Something....

70.276 Something which has an innumerable experience at the same time.

72.221 At times the body feels it's impossible, that one can't exist like that, then just at the last minute, something comes, and then it's ... a harmony really unknown to the physical world. A harmony... the physical world seems appalling in comparison. It's really like a new world that wants to manifest.

72.135 There has never been such an impression of ... of nothingness — nothingness. Nothing. I am nothing anymore. As if at each minute the body could die, and at each minute it's miraculously saved. That's extraordinary. And with a constant perception of world events, as if everything were ... (Mother tightly intertwines the fingers of both hands), as if there was a link.

73.173 Sometimes I wonder how it's possible.... There are times when it's so new and unexpected, it's almost painful.

71.258 It's as if you were on a ridge, and the least mis-step would pitch you into a hole. Everything seems different. The nature of the relations with others is changing, the nature of everything is changing, but what, what? As if you were balancing: a tremendous power, and at the same time a tremendous powerlessness. You know, as if you were suspended between the most marvellous and the most vile. Like that. I don't even know where I am going — whether I'm going towards transformation or towards the end.

70.31 And the body feels so clearly that it no longer belongs here, but it's not yet there, so.... In appearance, this body is something completely absurd, with apparent weaknesses that human beings look down upon, and ... awesome forces that human beings cannot bear.

So we come nearer to the real problem. A new species has to be bearable for the old. And can one change species all alone?

71.37 It's as if the two extremes — a marvellous state and a general decomposition — were there, intertwined. Everything — everything is becoming disorganized: people you count on let you down, it seems there is a general dishonesty spreading. And at the same time, for ... a flash, a marvellous state, unimaginable, like the extreme opposite. As if that's what is trying to take the place — but the rest defends itself fiercely. So all the circumstances are like that, everyone is like that, from the government on down to the people here. Then, this marvellous state: it comes into my body for a few minutes, then it goes away. There. That's what I am living night and day, without letup. Three minutes of splendour for twelve hours of misery. That is to say, the extent to which the world is not what it should be is becoming very critical. Usually, one says: there's a mixture of good and bad things — but all that is childishness: the good things are not worth more than the bad! It's not THAT. The divine is something else.

The “divine” is the next way of being on earth.

A dangerous unknown which is the very battle of the world, the one that is being waged in a hundred countries, under a thousand banners, a thousand pretexts, a thousand slogans — but which is the battle of the next species on earth. Will this earth accept, or will it plunge once again into a cataclysm, only to begin again, here or elsewhere, evolution's eternal quest for love in freedom and joy?

But when there will be no more life and death, a formidable wall will fall from our consciousness — as in Jericho — and with it, the most ancient anguish of the earth.

11. Mothers Departure

Why did she leave? Why?

I have been stumbling against that pain for so many years.

70.294 To the ordinary consciousness, this appearance (Mother points to her body) seems to be the most important thing. It's obviously the last thing that will change. And to the ordinary consciousness, it seems to be the last thing that will change because it's the most important: that will be the surest sign. But that's not it at all! It's this change in the CONSCIOUSNESS of the cells which is the important thing. Everything else is a consequence. For us, when this [the body] is able to be visibly something different from what it is, we'll say, “Ah, now the thing is done.” That's not true: the thing IS DONE. The body is a secondary consequence.

Clearly, once the mind of the cells has started winding “that other vibration,” the mantra, it will keep repeating it and winding it as imperturbably as the cell has wound amino acids for three and a half billion years or as the hydrogen nucleus its electron — provided that the present cell lasts long enough to effect the transformations that naturally ensue from the new vibration. “Give me time” was the prayer so often repeated by Mother. “Give me time.” “One would like to have hundreds and hundreds of years to do the work!” she said one year after Sri Aurobindo's departure.

60.281 I am ready to struggle for two hundred years, but the work will be done.

But even that “time” did not seem to be a real problem.

54.258 The cells that can vibrate at the touch of divine joy are cells reborn, on the way to becoming immortal.

67.2110 The impression is that death is now only an old habit, no longer a necessity. It's only because the body is unconscious enough to feel the need of complete rest, that is to say, inertia. When that is abolished, there is no disorganization that cannot be mended, or at any rate no wear and tear, no deterioration, no disharmony that cannot be mended. It's only that. And then that FORMIDABLE collective suggestion ... weighing down.

That suggestion indeed, and the old memory of the peace of the mineral. But even that memory was abolished and replaced by the immobility of those “lightning waves,” so rapid that they seem immobile.

61.206 (Question:) When everything is immobile like that and nothing seems to happen, is something happening?

Something happening?... I don't know. It's the same infinite as when one goes out of the body. But that, in itself, is something. It's very difficult for the body to have that: there is always something vibrating and moving. That seems to put everything back in order, but nothing moves. It's not only silence: it's immobility WITHOUT TENSION, without effort, without anything. Like a kind of eternity in the body. It's a state that seems quite natural to me: I hear the clock chime.

64.189 Years and months are going by with dizzying speed — without leaving any trace, that's what is interesting. So if you look at that, you begin to understand how you can live almost indefinitely because there is no more friction of time.

Once again, in 1970:

70.1410 The body consciousness is slowly changing and in such a way that all its earlier life seems alien to it. It seems to be someone else's consciousness, someone else's life. As if there were no past, you know: everything is ahead, there is nothing behind. A curious sensation. A curious sensation of something beginning. Not at all of something ending, not at all — something beginning. With all the unknown, the unexpected.... Strange. I constantly feel that things are new, that my relationship with them is new.

67.1511 Not a day goes by without the observation that, not a dose, but a tiny little drop, an infinitesimal drop of “that” can cure you in a minute. For example, there is a wave of disorganization, then the substance that makes up the body begins to feel it, then sees the effect, and then everything starts being disorganized. It is that disorganization which prevents the cohesion necessary for the cells to constitute an individual body, so then you say, “Ah, it's going to be the end.” Then the cells aspire and then there's a sort of ... well, the impression is of a densification of that wave of disorganization, and then something comes to a halt: first there is a joy, then a light, then harmony — and the disorder has vanished. And immediately, that impression in the cells of living eternity, for eternity. Well, that occurs not only daily, but several times a day. That's what the work is. A very obscure work. Proclamations, revelations, prophecies, all that is after all very comfortable, it gives a sense of something “concrete”; now it's very obscure, invisible (it will be visible in results only a long, long time away), and not understood. And as a matter of fact, insofar as it's truly new, it is incomprehensible.

It seemed obvious to me that the experience would go on right to the end. I did not even ask myself the question: it was plain and simple. I even thought that the next stage in the process must be the withdrawal of all food (Mother took mostly fluids) and the abolition of all the old digestive system to be replaced by the direct absorption of energies. But, in truth, I did not understand the real problem: I was still imagining some “miraculous and marvellous transformation” which would finally be the tangible sign, visible to all of humanity, and forcing this recalcitrant humanity to understand the process, the existence of a way out, a rational and logical means of breaking out of this suffocating fishbowl and to create a new life on earth. I was not really thinking of Mother's body, but of the body of the earth. This wretched, painful body, so small, had to understand its own joy and its own freedom at last — and the means.

I did not even understand that the first earth and the first humanity were simply there, all around Mother, in the form of a certain number of disciples, precisely representing the earth, human specimens of the great evolutionary process — and if it were not to happen there, where could it happen? If it were not understood there, who could understand? I was still on an “abstract earth.”

I did not really understand a second aspect of the problem either, which however, is the fundamental aspect — precisely the one that could change mankind and force the earth to veer, in spite of itself, into a sort of evolutionary acceleration towards the point, the moment, the inevitable conjunction when all the old chaos would collapse onto itself, like a dead star, and open the new door.

That aspect is the “power.”

That acceleration we can see everywhere around us.

But an acceleration is very painful, it grates, everything grates.

And the power is quite unbearable.

Mother was becoming “unbearable” for all the little evolutionary specimens gathered around her. We obviously could not make that awesome energy, against which we are very snugly protected within our web, enter a body without that energy expanding, radiating, and “contagioning” all the surrounding matter. Yet I myself knew, having experienced it in my body each time I met Mother (even at a distance), how much being near her meant entering a sort of bath of lightning, a torrent of compact power so dense that my whole body seemed to begin to melt. One was seized from within, in every cell, as if millenniums of night and pain suddenly started crying out and praying for light, praying for love, praying for space, praying for freedom ... and one plunged headlong into that bath of fire, body and soul, as if one had at last reached “that” of the world with one's body, “that” for which one had cried out so much, aspired so much through lives and lives of pain and despair, through millenniums of futile stupidity. And then, one was there.... But understandably, one had to plunge there, one had to melt there, for if one did not melt, if one resisted, if there were some “I” whatsoever in the middle of that torrent of power, it would break or grate or revolt. It was unbearable.

And all the little specimens around her grated in chorus.

And the whole earth around her fought and struggled.

67.34 When this luminous power comes, it's so compact! So compact that it appears to be much heavier than matter. It's veiled, veiled, veiled, otherwise.... Unbearable.

68.1311 There's only one thing: like an accumulation of force ... a force that could be a power. I feel it's slowly, slowly building up. And a very clear awareness of all the obstacles, of all that's against, of the general attitude. With a very clear perception that... one must remain veiled. This is the time to remain veiled. That's all.

70.165 If there were a certitude, if, for example Sri Aurobindo said to me, “It's like this,” then it would be very easy; but what's difficult is.... You see, you are surrounded by people who believe you are ill and who treat you as such, while you know you're not ill; you're surrounded by the certitude that you're going very rapidly towards the end, so this poor body is wobbly, like this.

71.177 If things quieten down and I can return to my normal atmosphere, it's as if everything disappears: I no longer suffer. Then back it comes from outside like a ferocious attack: people quarrel, circumstances, everything, goes awry. And all that is thrown on me, so.... There's an onslaught of falsehood.

71.63 “She is old, she is old....” It creates an atmosphere of resistance to the change. It almost creates a conflict in the being. “It's impossible, it's impossible...,” from every side.

71.33 Do you know my impression? They are all old and I am the only one who is young! Provided they are what they call “comfortable,” that's all they want — and free to do some nonsense they wouldn't do in the world. Whereas you feel you COULD hasten the coming if you were... if you were a conqueror. Basically, they just don't care.

69.511 I am no longer in control, everyone has taken control!... I've lost the habit of saying, “I want.”

66.179 I have the feeling of hanging by a slender thread in an absolutely rotten atmosphere of disbelief, futility, bad will. So that's how it is, a slender thread, and it's a miracle if.... They don't even understand that if this vibration of truth were to impose itself, it would mean their destruction! The wonder, is this infinite compassion, thanks to which nothing is destroyed: it waits. It is there with its full power, its full force and ... it simply affirms its presence without imposing it, so as to reduce the damage to a minimum. It's a marvellous compassion. And all these idiots call it powerlessness!

65.1610 They have put on a mask of goodwill. But the inner vibrations still belong to the world of falsehood.

64.221 It's a farce, you know! And it has been going on since 1926. There are certainly a good one-third, and that is being extremely generous, patient and merciful, who are here only because they are comfortable: you work if you want to, you don't work if you don't want to, you always eat, you always have shelter and clothes, and ultimately you sort of do as you please (you must pretend to obey, that's all). And if you're denied a convenience, you start grumbling — yoga is simply out of the picture, it's a hundred thousand miles away from their consciousness: their mouths are full of words, but it's only lip service. I say “no,” and they pretend they have heard “yes,” but anyway... That's life.... That's “spiritual life” for you!

64.3010 The people around me don't help. Those closest to me have no faith.

61.254 I'm not the leader of a group, oh Lord no! Not at any price! It's disgusting. I am going to make a declaration: “I am not the leader of a group, I am not the head of an Ashram!” Now and then, I feel like saying outrageous things: how well I understand Sri Aurobindo who passed over to the other side.

62.132 It's peoples' thoughts that are so annoying, oh!... Everybody, everybody is constantly thinking about old age and death, and death and old age and illness, oh!

But, truly, I did not fathom the depth or the extent of the negation:

69.105 There are minutes when the body feels it has escaped that law of death. But it doesn't last. Then people come with all their thoughts and because of that, it's a bit difficult. You know, there are a considerable number of desires that it should die! Everywhere, they are everywhere! It sees that, it sees it.... I am not quite sure that all those pains it feels all over, all the time, are not coming from ... are not the effect of all the bad wills.

68.155 I fought and fought, but ... there are too many lies around me.

And then this cry:

69.234 It's the whole system that should be dissolved!

And in 1972:

72.103 The atmosphere is dislocated. Supposedly, we are preaching unity to the world, it would be only decent to do it ourselves! — We are the example of the exact opposite. I can see, I can truly see: if I were to leave, I have nobody here, it would be our destruction.

The truth is neither biology, nor physics, nor Mother's being ninety-five — it is that she could no longer stay.

And nor could Sri Aurobindo.

65.412 It was his compassion that made him accept the people around him as they were, otherwise he used to suffer a lot.

And sometimes it was heart-rending:

68.156 I look at this body; at times it says (at times, when there is too much incomprehension, when my entourage is too absolutely uncomprehending), it says, “Ah, let me go.... Very well, leave me, it doesn't matter, let me go.” Not disgusted or tired, but.... Then it's really pitiful. So I say to it, “No, no, no!” as if to a child. It's a question of patience, of course. What's going to happen? I don't know. You, in any case, you will know. You'll be able to tell them, “Things are not as you think they are” — I would tell them, but they won't hear me. I don't know, I don't know what's going to happen. What's going to happen? Do you know?

One day it will be glorious.

When you do something for the first time, no one can explain it to you.

A question of patience.

They had no more patience. They even grumbled around her.

The entire earth grumbled.

“I have no one here.”

That was Sri Aurobindo's ashram.

And then, one day, they closed Mother's door on me. She had no one with whom she could communicate.

69.245 You are the only one I can talk to. The others don't understand.

She was alone with her “guardians.”

On that day, they sealed destiny.


Mother had foreseen the resistance of the world. She also saw the necessity of a long period of immobility “in the undulation” without the constant intrusion of bad wills from outside.

72.262 I think my body has become highly sensitive now and needs to be protected from all the things that come — as if it had to work within, as in an egg.

That was in 1972, a year before her departure.

69.2412 If someone comes in displeased with something I did or said, all of a sudden, the nerves of the body are as if tortured. And it comes from the person who's there — who shows all the signs of devotion, etc.; absolutely no external sign, no spoken or direct manifestation: all the nerves are tortured.

Five years earlier, in 1967, in the middle of a conversation, Mother stopped abruptly, asked me to take a piece of paper and a pencil, and started dictating in a completely neutral tone of voice, as if she were speaking from “elsewhere”:

67.141 Because of the necessities of the transformation, this body may enter a state of trance that will appear cataleptic. Above all, no doctors! Do not hasten, either, to announce my death and to give the government the right to intervene. Keep me carefully sheltered from all injuries that may come from outside — infection, poisoning, etc. — and have untiring patience: it may last days, perhaps weeks, perhaps even longer, and you will have to wait patiently for me to come naturally out of that state once the work of transformation is accomplished.

A cataleptic trance, that is to say, total immobilisation, including the heart, with all the appearances of death — all yogis know this.

On her orders, this note was distributed to five people of her immediate entourage. Thus they knew. Mother had clearly seen the whole picture.

65.412 According to external science, it's in sleep that toxins are burnt; well, it's this stillness that illuminates the obscure vibrations.

There is even an entire “cryogenic” science of healing by cooling the tissues, which has developed over the last few years — a cataleptic trance is the same method, but natural.

Then, in April 1973, just one month before the disciples closed Mother's door on me (oh, I was so, but so unconscious of all the jealousy around, I lived near Mother without being aware of anything, in that wonderful tale of the future, and I thought everyone understood, it was so obvious!), Mother suddenly made the following remark:

73.74 I seem to bring together all the resistances of the world.... You see, I have a solution for the transformation of the body but ... it has never been done before, so it's extremely ... hard to believe. I can't believe that it's that. Yet it's the only solution I see. So the body wants to fall asleep and awaken (“fall asleep” in a certain sense: I am perfectly conscious), and awaken only after it is transformed. But people will never have the patience to stand it, to take care.... Everyone will think that it's the end and they won't take care of me anymore.

Sleeping Beauty, of course! It was clear, crystal clear. Mother was preparing herself for that cataleptic trance. Now, two months earlier, in January 1973, Mother had had a vision and, gasping for breath, she narrated it to me: she was being buried alive. It was the third time she had seen that.

73.101 & 72.34-54 & 69.245 Oh, I haven't told you: it was yesterday or the day before, I don't remember; all of a sudden, for two or three minutes, my body was seized by a horror ... the idea of being put like that into a tomb, it was so horrifying! Horrifying! I couldn't have stood it for more than a few minutes. It was horrifying. And not because I was being buried alive: it was because my body was conscious. It was considered “dead” by everybody since the heart had stopped beating — yet it was conscious. It was a horrifying experience.... I showed all the signs of death, that is, the heart wasn't working anymore, nothing was working — and I was conscious. It was conscious. We must... we must warn them not to rush to....

Then the second time:

... Because it may be ... it may be temporary. Do you understand? It may be momentary, do you understand? Do you understand what I mean?... I feel there is an attempt to transform this body, it feels it, it's full of willingness, but I don't know if it will be capable. Do you follow? So, for some time, it may give the impression that it's all over, but it would only be temporary. It might start again. Because I may be incapable of speaking at that time and of saying it. So I am telling you.... I don't know. I don't know what will happen! There are times when it becomes so difficult that I wonder whether the body will be able to hold out. But I would like there to be someone to prevent them from doing such a stupid thing, because all the work would be lost. People with some authority must be there and say, “You must not do this, Mother does not want” — you....

But who will listen to me? They'll say I am crazy. They won't even let me enter your room!

I did not realize how prophetic I was. On 19 May 1973, the door closed on Mother. She was alone. I was alone. She was to have six more months of it. Soon, I would have to confront the whole pack: there was this Agenda of Mother, so dangerous for the “disciples,” this secret of a future that had nothing to do with their spirituality. I have been slandered, pursued all the way to the Himalayas, threatened with court cases, denounced to the Indian government, harassed by the police, and I do not know who sent that killer to the canyons. That's “spiritual” life for you, said Mother.

They even published a fake “Agenda” to prevent the real one from coming out.

The old anthropoids are quite merciless to those who are not of their tribe.

But even with the door shut, I could not believe it was over. Those cells could not die. The earth could not throw such a wonderful hope into the hole!

73.283 And the material consciousness repeats: OM NAMO BHAGAVATE.... Like a backdrop, behind everything: OM NAMO BHAGAVATE.... You know, a backdrop which is a material support: OM NAMO BHAGAVATE....

No, those cells could not die.

69.245 Leaving is not a solution! I would like ... I would like people not to put me in a box and shove the body ... like that. Because even long after doctors will have declared it to be dead, it will be conscious: its cells are conscious.

Then one morning in 1973, on November 18, someone came to inform us that Mother had “died” the night before, that she was lying in the hall downstairs in the Ashram, and that everyone was filing past her.

I arrived there, dumbfounded. She was lying under golden neon lights whose heat was reflected off the zinc ceiling, while the electric fans turned amid the stifling rumbling of the crowd. They had brought her down there barely seven hours after her “death,” taken her away from the peace of her room and her atmosphere to toss her like fodder to those thousands of vibrations of anguish, grief, fear — of falsehood.

There were three Ashram doctors to declare her dead. It was medical and irrefutable.

A few days earlier, on November 14, around midnight, on her chaise longue — for she had become so stooped that she could no longer lie on a bed — she had asked to walk: “I want to walk, otherwise I will become paralysed.” She walked leaning on the arm of one of the guardians ... until she turned blue. Once again on the night of November 16, she asked to walk: “I want to walk....”

Those were her last words.

I want to walk....

But in that tomb where they put her, I know that the cells repeat: OM NAMO BHAGAVATE ... OM NAMO BHAGAVATE ...OM NAMO BHAGAVATE.

And they will repeat their invocation again and again until the earth awakens from its unreal falsehood.

Until it awakens from its false materialism as from its false spiritualism to enter into true matter and divine life on earth. But perhaps there are still some surprises in store for us. As early as 1958, she had said: “Wait for the last act.”

12. Apocalypse or Fairy Tale?

What is going to happen?

We all have the picture of the world. Chinese demography has just reached a billion — a thousand million men. Every year India has twelve million more babies. A geometrical progression. No human means can stop this tidal wave. I have seen entire Himalayan ranges stripped of their trees — in twenty years. It gives you the shivers. Who speaks of Attila? The entire earth is full of little Attilas — we really don't know whether they are men, or something else, disguised in a man's skin.

Perhaps that is the true question: the earth is full of beings who are not men. They are goats, rats or rabbits, but not men. They may have science, democracy or religion, but they are not men. They are very ingenious digestive tracts. No species is more fake. A rat is what it is, without pretence. Man is not what he is — he pretends a lot of things, with a Bible in his hand and a necktie. Man and falsehood stick together.

In other words, we are not yet men.

Our falsehood is exploding in our faces. There is no other phenomenon. Man is becoming what he is, and what is not will go out of reality — how?

That they will go out is beyond doubt.

But there are millions and millions of fakers, and falsehood is so closely intermingled with truth that we do not really know how it is divinely possible (divinely, for humanly ...) to untangle this mixture without extirpating the good along with the bad. Then, if we look closely, we realize as Mother did that “the best is no better than the worst”: it is the same quagmire of “something” ... which is not what it is, neither in the worst nor in the best. In terms of Evolution, there is a certain cellular aggregate — neither good nor bad — which has put on intellect, philosophy, microscopes, religion, and a certain number of other ingredients of which we may think what we like, but what we think is not of definitive importance for the species, even if it seems so, any more than the gospels or misdeeds of small fish were for the production of mammals. So the “separation of the righteous,” goodness, wherever are those righteous ones?... The apocalypse?

60.237 There are even people who have foreseen the end of the earth, but that's idiotic, said Mother in her simple language. For the earth was built with a certain purpose, and it will not disappear before things are accomplished. But there may be some ... changes.

What does the small cell “think” about it? That may be the true question, the only question. It may even be the place where we will discover what man is, without tricks and without falsehood and without, oh, for heaven's sake, without “truth”! A limpid life, such as it is. The day we throw all our truths into the cosmic dust bin along with all our falsehoods, phew! we will breathe more easily. But how? How do we carry out this tremendous excoriation? How do we reach this small cell, pure and free, without bringing down the entire edifice that we built over it, and without crushing the small cell along with it? That is where we really need a divine magician. We even suspect, along with Aristophanes, Moliere and Sri Aurobindo, that this magician must be something of a humorist.

But let us be serious (for the time being). There are even those disquieting bombs that we are piling up like moles in their holes.

66.219 They don't know (they ought to know, but they don't) that things have a consciousness and a force of manifestation, and that all those means of destruction are pressing to be used; and even though men may not want to use them, a force stronger than they will be pushing them to do so.

“Things” have a consciousness: a bomb as much as a cell or the grain of an atom. The phenomenon is that the entire universe is consciousness and that matter is consciousness — precisely what we are not. We confuse intelligence with consciousness and that is why we see nothing of the universe as it is: we live in our idea of the universe — an explosive idea? What will eventually prevail, that idea or this consciousness in matter? It is like a race between the two. We are at this point in the race. Mother ran the race in her body between that force of destruction and the other one.

She left, apparently.

Sri Aurobindo too — for the same reasons.

Does it mean that the resistance and negation of the little spiritualists and the little materialists are greater and stronger than the evolutionary push? For we are going to change tack, without a shadow of doubt. Those who still believe that Sri Aurobindo and Mother were “sages” or “saints” or philosophers, or whatever, are non-evolutionary fools. Laggards from the Tertiary spiritual era. Mother and Sri Aurobindo did not come to preach or to reveal: they came to DO. And they did what they had come to do. “The thing is done.” They came to extricate and free a set of cells as they are, without their evolutionary coatings or encrustations, in a corner of matter, in a corner of human cellular substance, in spite of — or because of — all the obstacles. Their bodies were the laboratory of evolution. What they did is an evolutionary operation.

Has evolution ever been known to fail?

It is the one thing that never fails, it is the most infallible thing in the world — gospels can fail, but not the cell. Once it has taken something into its “head,” or into its programme, it holds fast to it — until the next evolutionary disturber.

Mother and Sri Aurobindo are great disturbers. One just has to look to see.

We see nothing, as usual, except slogans and millions of radios and televisions around the world, shouting out falsehood-truths or truth-falsehoods, and no one understands anything anymore, except that the foundations are shaking.

65.203 They feel as if the earth they are standing on isn't steady anymore: it trembles. They find it uncomfortable.

63.189 It's impossible for any change, even in one element or one point of the earth consciousness, not to make the whole earth participate in that change. Necessarily. Everything is closely knit together. And a vibration somewhere has terrestrial consequences — I don't say universal, I say terrestrial — necessarily.

And Sri Aurobindo:

The stone lying inert upon the sands, which is kicked away in an idle moment, has been producing its effects upon the hemispheres.12

If our radios and televisions have this effect and can sow panic from Moscow to New York in three minutes, what do we know of the devastating effects of a single patch of matter which suddenly carries out a tremendous coup d'etat, and throws the government of the mind overboard? That is what we cannot fathom, but it is being fathomed right under our noses. The government of the mind is staggering and floundering into incoherence. They make speeches, all of them, but the earth trembles. Matter trembles. The earth might do well to awaken to the reality of the phenomenon before all those little hats — of presidents, archbishops, biologists, yogis or ayatollahs — fly off over the roofs and our flabbergasted heads.

We are not at a “spiritual” turning point of the world, we are not going to change ideas — we are going to change worlds, as did the teleosts in their dried-out water holes. And our communisms or our Marxisms are as pathetic as our capitalisms or our gospels or all our possible little “isms” — we are at an evolutionary turning point. The field of battle is the body, the cell. The means of changing the world is the body, the cell. That is what is changing, nothing else: “All bodies! All bodies,” she said. All the rest is just cerebral effervescence.

So there, we are reaching a strange crossroads of the apocalypse and biology.

Suddenly the problem narrows down. In 1969, Mother had an experience which we cited earlier, but not till the end.... That end is what interests us here. We repeat:

69.315 But what is this creation?... It's separation, then wickedness, cruelty — the thirst to cause harm — then suffering, and then all disease, decomposition, death — destruction. All that is part of a single thing. The experience I had was the UNREALITY of those things, as though we had stepped into an unreal falsehood, and when you step out of it, everything vanishes — it DOES NOT exist, it isn't! That's what is terrifying! What to us is so real, so concrete, so dreadful, all that does not exist. What is.... It's ... we have stepped into falsehood. Why? How? What?... But never, never in this body's entire existence, not once has it felt such a total and profound pain as on that day, oh!... And at the end of it all, bliss. Then, pfft! it faded away. As if all that which is so awful, didn't exist. And all the methods — which we may call artificial, Nirvana included — all the methods to get out of it are worthless. Beginning with the fool who kills himself to put an “end” to his life: that's ... of all the stupidities that is the greatest. From that up to Nirvana (where one imagines one can get out of it), all of it, all of it is worth nothing. Those are different stages, but they're worth nothing. And then, after that, when you really have a sense of perpetual hell, all of a sudden ... all of a sudden, a state of consciousness in which all is light, splendour, beauty, happiness, goodness.... And all that is inexpressible. “Oh, here it is,” it shows itself, and hop! it's gone. Is this, is this the lever?... I don't know. But salvation is physical — not at all mental, but PHYSICAL. I mean it's not in escape: it's ... here. And it's not that it's veiled or hidden or anything: it's HERE. Why? What in the whole deprives you of the power to live “that”? I don't know. It's here, HERE! All the rest, including death and everything, really becomes a falsehood, that is to say, something that does not exist....

And Mother added:

... But one can't get out alone.

64.283 It isn't done for ONE body: it is done for the earth.

Then we really reach the heart of the problem.

It is no longer a question of sorting the “righteous” from the “unrighteous,” but of getting out, in one piece and all of us together, of the same fishbowl of unreality where all our marvels and our truths, our monstrosities and our falsehoods, vanish into something else ... which changes everything. “A mere nothing that changes everything,” she said.

The apocalypse is in the heart of the cell.


We cannot afford to wait much longer. That is a fact.

We might believe that in time, a few heroes of evolution, having understood the procedure, would descend into the body, drill their way through the layers, and free the cell from its atavistic and Newtonian hypnotism; then the process would propagate, as the mental process must have propagated amongst the great apes. But it is already propagating — at a vertiginous speed! And we no longer have the time. Dark crowds are mounting the assault. The earth is crying out. Millions of men are preparing to swoop. A fiery hurricane whirls over Asia. Do we believe we will escape this wild, fiery torrent, behind the glass walls of our neat and smug intellectual castle of crystal? Who has ever seen mad mobs? A formidable contagion is surreptitiously breaking through our ant-size barriers — but what? Is it the contagion of the new life or of imminent death? Behind its cotton walls, America revels in electronics and plays with fire. Behind its ramparts, the Kremlin is cornered and trembles. A cruel, soulless yellow cat watches the game, weaving its web and biding its time, while a corrupt India, once the cradle of light, nurtures devils in its ashrams, but remains the invisible stake of the battle. For India is the heart of the earth — though weighed down and mired, but the heart all the same. Who will win this insane race, the new life or the old death as always? It is no longer a question of decades, we have barely a few years ... or perhaps months. It is at our doorstep.

This new life and this death seem so closely intermingled, not only on each continent but in each nation, each group, each family, each human consciousness, that one wonders how it is possible to uproot one without the other. All the voices scream and lie, truth-falsehood is a same packet of lies, and falsehood shelters a tiny light on which it feeds and which protects it. Nothing can be touched without everything being touched.

And that is where the impossible miracle really becomes the only possible miracle: in one cell and in the very body of the earth.

Four of Mother's observations, if we put them side by side, seem to reveal the key.

66.263 The ordinary consciousness lives in a constant quiver, when you notice it it's terrifying! As long as you don't notice it, it's perfectly natural, but when you notice it, you wonder how people don't go insane, it's a grace. It's a sort of tiny microscopic trepidation, oh, how horrible!

Exactly the description of the physical mind's “web” with, on the other side, the miracle, all possible “miracles” — that is to say, not the “miracle,” but the cessation of our mortal and scientific falsehood: the natural... unknown. And Mother added the following eye-opening remarks:

... And it's the same with everything: world events or natural or human upheavals, earthquakes and tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, floods, or else wars, revolutions, people killing each other without even knowing why — everywhere something pushes them on. Behind this “quiver,” there is a will for disorder that tries to prevent harmony from being established. It's there in the individual, in the collectivity, and in Nature.

So, we begin to see that this “web” is not just a matter of individual cells: it covers the entire human earth. A constant microscopic trepidation that envelops the world in its net.

Then in 1969:

69.105 The amount of suggestions in the earth atmosphere that we might call “defeatist,” it's tremendous! You wonder how everything isn't crushed, it's so.... Everybody is all the time, all the time shaping catastrophes — expecting the worst, seeing the worst, observing nothing but the worst.... Oh, you know, it's down to the smallest things (the body observes everything). So when the reaction is in harmony, everything is fine; when there is that reaction I now call defeatist, if someone takes an object, he drops it. It happens all the time. There's absolutely no reason whatsoever why it should happen: it's the presence of the defeatist consciousness. Then I saw all the wills or the vibrations (because it boils down to qualities of vibrations), all the vibrations that bring about anything from the smallest troubles to the biggest catastrophes — it's all of the same quality!

In 1971, suddenly, my eyes opened wide:

71.78 I have a curious impression of a kind of web — a web ... like very loose threads, I mean not tightly meshed, connecting all events, and if you have power over one of these webs, a whole field of circumstances changes, which apparently have nothing to do with each other, but they are linked together and one necessarily implies the existence of the other. And I have the impression it is something that envelops the earth. And it's not mental. They are circumstances that depend on one another in quite an invisible way outwardly, without any mental logic, and yet as though connected to each other. If you are conscious — really conscious of that — that's how you can change circumstances.

(Question:) Do you feel a power over one of these webs?

No, it's the other way around: it's because I was working on one of the webs that I noticed it.... If you had the power to replace one of these webs with another one, you could change everything like that. It's inexpressible.

What web are you working on at the moment?

I don't know! They are webs that are around the earth....

And that is when my eyes widened:

... There's one, I can see.... Why, every little circumstance of life is on it! So when I look, like this, I see it extends over the whole country [India], and not just over the whole country but over the whole earth.

You drop an object, and what stirs over there in Kamchatka or in Washington? And does our false gesture here stem from some microscopic (or gigantic, there is no difference) vibration in Spitsbergen or Rue Montmartre? Everything is tied together! It is terrifying. And not mental. So what is it? — All the cells and atoms of the earth in one single continuous body. “But if you touch a small cell there, if you make a minute hole in that mesh there, in that microscopic ‘personal’ web ...” — but nothing is “personal”! Nothing is individual. You cannot bore a hole anywhere without boring a hole everywhere! That is what Mother and Sri Aurobindo did: they sowed an irrepressible contagion. But then the problem takes on an unexpected dimension in which the microscopic individual we are becomes disproportionately important, or in proportion to anything on the planet: an earthquake, or a beautiful movement of the soul suddenly bringing forth a smile in the this black muddle of the earth — both equally important. Everything is equal. There is only one question: the quality of the vibration — dark or light, solar and smiling or defeatist.

And, mind you, this is not poetry.

One day in 1967, Mother suddenly came out of a long period of concentration or contemplation, and she started speaking in English, as if Sri Aurobindo were speaking (that often happened). In her quiet crystal voice, she slowly said the following — which I did not understand. Now it becomes clear:

67.251 After some time I will be able to say... (Mother remains silent for a long while) what is meant exactly by the unreality of this apparent matter.... I have exactly the impression of being on the verge of finding a key — a key or a “knack,” a procedure (I don't know how to put it: all this is vulgarization), but something which, if you got hold of it without being wholly on the true side ... in one second you could be the cause of a frightful catastrophe — what catastrophe? I don't know.... Something like a dissolution of the world.

The rupture of the web? A sudden landing on the true side of the world? A “sudden” ... rather flabbergasting indeed.

Mind you, this is not fiction either.

A year later, it was in May 1968. As soon as Mother heard of the student uprising in France, she understood: “This isn't a strike: it's a revolution.” An aborted revolution, it seems, engulfed in old habit and all the old political or other distortions, but there was something there ... which could well be the general rehearsal of a more complete world event... awaiting us. We could call it a collective (and momentary) hole in the web. On May 22, Mother said:

68.225 There is the very strong feeling in the consciousness — very strong — that the time has come. There are immense periods during which things are prepared — the past wears out and the future is prepared — and those are immense periods, neutral, drab, during which things keep repeating themselves over and over, and look as if they will always remain that way. Then, all of a sudden, between two such periods, the change takes place. Like the moment when man appeared on earth — now it's something else, another being....

And Mother suddenly saw those students, the earth's youth:

... The police stand for the defence of the past. But if MILLIONS — not thousands, millions — of people assemble together and occupy [universities], absolutely peacefully (simply assemble and occupy the place), then it will have power. But there must be no violence; as soon as one gives way to violence, it's the return to the past and the open door to all conflicts. No, an occupation by the mass, but a mass ALL-POWERFUL IN ITS IMMOBILITY, imposing its will through sheer numbers. It's clearly — not in the detail of it, but in the direction of the movement [May '68] — clearly a will to have done with the past and to open the door to the future. It's like a sort of disgust of stagnation. That's it. A thirst for “something” which is ahead and appears more luminous, better. And indeed THERE IS something — it's not just imagination: THERE is something. That's the beauty of it, it's that THERE IS something. There is a response. There is a Force that wants to express itself.

There is the web that can be fissured, and is ready for it, if there are sufficient millions of little vibrations of hope ready to cry out — cry out NO to all this falsehood ... unreal falsehood.

Then we draw near the fairy tale.

But a very rational fairy tale, perhaps the supreme rationality of the world.

This piercing through the web is not a vain mirage, it is something that all or many of us have observed, without knowing what it was — children especially. They fall on the flint stones in Fontainebleau without realizing it, without a scratch, as if nothing had happened. And indeed NOTHING has happened. Those moments of what we may call sleepwalking or heroism or any other “ism,” when all of a sudden the air is light and the body dances as if it embraced all the surrounding matter, and the gaze is clear like a flame — and you go through anything: fire, bullets, death, an accident. Nothing can touch you. You are invulnerable. You are triumphant and light. You do not give it a thought, it is simple, so simple, so obvious and without fuss. As if the lungs were filled with sweet air which feels like the springtime of the earth, and so supple, everything is supple, as if it were malleable: you only have to say “I want” and there it is, you are in the miracle. False matter comes undone, you are in the high wind that so lightly blows the worlds along.... We know those moments. The web gives way. Everything is different.

64.253 This has been my experience lately, with a vision and a conviction, the conviction of an experience: the two vibrations [trepidating falsehood and light “truth”] are intermingled all the time, all the time and all the time the one infiltrates the other. Maybe the sense of wonder comes when the quantity that has infiltrated is large enough to be perceptible. But I have an impression — a very acute impression — that this phenomenon is going on all the time, all the time, everywhere in a minuscule way, like an infinitesimal infiltration of truth into falsehood, and that in certain conditions that are visible — it's a sort of luminous swelling, I can't explain — then the mass of infiltration is sufficient to give the impression of a miracle [it was perhaps that, the phenomenon of May '68]. But otherwise, it's something going on all the time, all the time, continuously, in the world.

A substitution of vibration.

The miracle of the earth, taking the place of its falsehood.

What if it happened collectively? What if millions, yes, millions of young voices who have had enough of this old earth of falsehood and its grey columns lining up to get a degree in the old way of dying, if these clear little voices suddenly let their hearts melt, let their chests swell with a light air and cried out, NO, we've had enough!

All these cells, suddenly freed from their hypnotism.

“When? When?” asked the voice of the earth.

55.1210 I think this will happen the moment there is a sufficient number of consciousnesses which feel absolutely that it cannot be otherwise. All that has been, and all that still is, must appear like an absurdity which cannot last — at that moment it can take place, but not before. In spite of everything, there will be a moment when it will happen, there will be a time when the movement will tilt over into a new reality. There was a MOMENT. There was a moment when the mental being was able to manifest on earth. There will come a time when the human consciousness is in the required state for a supramental consciousness to be able to enter this human consciousness and manifest. It does not stretch out like a rubber band, you see: there is a time when it happens — it can be done in a flash.

Everything will drop from our hands: our pens, our laws, our science, our future of men walled up alive. An immense laughter will swell the heart of the world, and there we will be!

Why not now?

Those who are already dead will fall down dead.

An apocalypse, yes, and a smiling one.

Fatal for the dead and light for the ever-living.

A fairy tale in the cells of the earth.

Land's End

15 February 1980


1 See New York Times of 16 March 1980.


2 Mother: (I) The Divine Materialism, (2) The New Species, (3) The Mutation of Death.


3 The first two digits of each quotation from Mother's Agenda indicate the year of the experience: here, 1954.


4 Thoughts and Aphorisms, 17.88.


5 I borrow my scientific knowledge from the remarkable book by Dr. Jastrow of Columbia University, Red Giants and White Dwarfs.


6 Thoughts & Aphorisms, XVII.124.


7 From a letter.


8 Letters on Yoga, XXII.340.


9 Dr. John E. Heuser.


10 See Mother or the Divine Materialism.


11 Thoughts and Aphorisms, XVII.126.


12 Thoughts and Aphorisms, XVII.92.