December 21, 1963
(Regarding the “joys” of Tantric discipline, when Satprem was still at his seven thousandth, or was it seven hundred thousandth, Tantric yantram. Satprem unfortunately did not keep the beginning of this conversation.)
... It's true, in fact, off and on I have fits of revolt, but more and more I'm settling into a kind of nothingness – not many things have meaning. I was very attached to life, I loved life, I found it beautiful – that's gone.
Oh, yes, I can understand that!
But still, there was something good in that love of life, wasn't there?
Yes... for later on, when life is different from what it is.
Now that's gone, if I were told, “You will die tomorrow,” I wouldn't care at all.
Of course! I understand.
And besides, that's the almost essential condition for being capable of living another life while remaining here. It's essential, mon petit, as long as one has the “taste for life,” one is tossed and shaken about.... I consider it a GREAT progress.
That's very good.
The taste for life is, we could say, like a foretaste of what will be, but it isn't at all suited to what is.
You see, when you have the certitude – the certitude – that Ananda, joy, blossoming are the Truth of your being, when you have that inner certitude and look at life as it is, it appears incredible (not the certitude, but life as it is!), an incredible deformation.
Just recently I have been observing this fact. Apart from Sri Aurobindo, all the people I have ever met and had around me were dissatisfied. And in some cases (cases of lives more constantly intimate with me), either rebels, or people terribly bitter about life as it is – which is the very opposite of my nature. I am rather on the side of those who take things quite philosophically as they are – even when I was a very small child. So then I wondered (I saw this these last few days): “Why is it like that?”
I saw that this attitude or way of feeling is like a fortress for what opposes the transformation.
I jotted down two observations this morning and kept them on the table with the idea of reading them to you (they were “remarks,” “observations”), and very clearly I was told that to have that very keen sense of discernment which sees all that is contrary to the divine Truth is very good, it's very good not to be disappointed or deceived (in particular not to deceive oneself), but that whenever you stress on that aspect, you give it a POWER OF BEING, a sort of power that prolongs or perpetuates its existence. So I took my notes and threw them into the wastepaper basket! (Mother laughs) They were the result of studies and observations recently.
As long as Sri Aurobindo was here, these things did not come near me because I counted on him for the exact perception of what was to be and what was to disappear; so they were very far away from my consciousness, I didn't bother about them. They came back only afterwards, when I had to take up the whole work.
But, to tell the truth, if we could always keep in our consciousness, in a clear and living way, the vision of WHAT SHOULD BE, not with the illusion that it's already there (there must be no illusions), but a clear, positive vision of what should be, despite all that denies it... we would be very strong. This necessity is beginning to impose itself: that's what I am asked to do now. We KNOW things are not as they should be (God knows we know it!), but to keep deliberately ignoring those denials in order to keep ACTIVELY in the consciousness the vision of what should be – that, I feel, is true creative power.
You know, the fact of no longer having the physical support of Sri Aurobindo's presence was a blow that might have been mortal (I prevented it from being mortal by closing a door, because he had asked me to continue and I decided to continue), but it made certain things rather difficult because it became necessary to have a constant perception of what has to be done and a constant effort to change what is into what should be.... Probably it's a period of work that must be completed now, and he was asking of me the capacity to live in the positive side. The trouble is, the body is itself a kind of contradiction – but it was suggested to me that those contradictions of the body arise from the fact that I admit in the consciousness all the contradictions, and that consequently they are there in the body, too. Instead of looking at the body and saying, “Oh, this (this limitation, that narrowness) is still here,” I should look only at WHAT SHOULD BE, and the body would be forced to follow.
This seems to be the preparation of the program for next year – a long, long way to go yet. But anyway, there are still a few days left (!)
There are so many victories I can't win yet! It's obviously an incapacity, there are limitations; it must come from an attitude that's not entirely what it should be.
The Lord's Presence is there, his Action is there, in a way that I could almost call perpetual because It rarely... It never withdraws, but the times when It isn't active, when It becomes a little passive, are far less frequent than the times when It is active – far less, there is a big difference. And yet, the result this ought to bring is not there. Therefore, since It uses this body and this atmosphere [of Mother], there must be something that dims, that limits, that alters.... I could give some quite precise and concrete examples, but anyway they involve certain people here, so I won't mention them. But that's what made me question: why, why?...
I have a feeling that something is pressing to eliminate in my active consciousness that discernment which is so sharp, so imperative – sharp, you know, with a vision... (like the vision I had the other day of the nearness and farness), a vision almost microscopically exact. Obviously, this is helpful to get rid of all the things that shouldn't be, but now there is a will for this attitude to move into the background, and for the active consciousness to see constantly and almost exclusively only WHAT SHOULD BE.
Which means there are movements of elimination, of rejection, movements (for a second) of transformation, and also movements of construction – it seems the time has come to step into the movement of construction.
The body consciousness is still very timid, very timid in the sense that it doesn't have confidence in itself. It feels that if it isn't constantly vigilant, watching, watching, observing, discerning, some things (gesture below) may get through that shouldn't get through. That's what hinders. And that is why this certainty comes more and more: no criticism, no criticism at all, none at all, don't see what shouldn't be – see only WHAT SHOULD BE.
It's a great victory to be won – a great victory.
And all the more great and difficult since (certainly because of the necessities of the work) I am surrounded only by people who are on the other side. I don't have around me a single optimist. All that people tell me, all that they bring to me, is always the vision (more or less clear and complete) of what should go; but the vision of what should be... I have never found it except in Sri Aurobindo.
It's only in sudden gusts, in flashes, now and then, and only when he wrote (never when he spoke) that you could find that sort of sharp thing, of sharp discernment, like in what we translated the other day. Otherwise, when he spoke, when he was with people, there was never a negative criticism.
No one else.
From my earliest childhood (when I was five, my memories at five) and for more than eighty years, I have always been surrounded with people who brought me an abundance of revolt, discontent, and then, more and more so, cases (certain cases have been very acute and still are) of sheer ingratitude – not towards me, that doesn't matter at all: towards the Divine. Ingratitude... that is something I have often found very, very painful – that it should exist. It's one of the things I have seen in my life that seemed to me the most... the most intolerable – that sort of acid bitterness against the Divine, because things are as they are, because all that suffering was permitted. It takes on more or less ignorant, more or less intellectual forms... but it's a kind of bitterness. It takes sometimes personal forms, which makes the struggle even more difficult because you can't mix in questions of persons – it's not a personal question, it's an ERROR to think that there can be a single “personal” movement in the world; it's man's ignorant consciousness which makes it personal, but it isn't: it's all terrestrial attitudes.
It came with the Mind; animals don't have that. And that's why I feel a sweetness in animals, even the supposedly most ferocious, which doesn't exist in man.
And yet, of all movements, the one that gives perhaps the most joy – an unalloyed joy, untainted by that egoism – is spontaneous gratitude.
It is something very special. It isn't love, it isn't self-offering.... It's a very FULL joy. Very full.
It is a very special vibration unlike anything other than itself. It is something that widens you, that fills you – that is so fervent!
It is certainly, of all the movements within the reach of human consciousness, the one that draws you the most out of your ego.
And when it can be a gratitude without motive, that vibration (basically, the vibration of what exists towards the Cause of existence)... then a great many barriers vanish instantly.
(Mother contemplates that vibration of gratitude for a long time)
When you can enter that vibration in its purity, you realize immediately that it has the same quality as the vibration of Love: it is directionless. It isn't something going from one thing to another, it doesn't go from here to there (gesture from low to high) or there to here... it is (round gesture) simultaneous and total.
I mean it isn't something that needs the two poles in order to exist; it doesn't go from one pole to the other or from the other to the one: it's a vibration which in its purity is the same as the vibration of Love, which doesn't go from here to there or from there to here – the two poles of existence.
It exists in itself for its own delight of being. (And what I am saying spoils it a lot.)
Men have repeated ad nauseam that nothing exists without those two poles, that those two poles are the cause of existence and everything revolves around them (Mother shakes her head), but that's not the way it is. This means that man, in his ordinary outward consciousness, cannot understand anything beyond that. There we are. That we know. But in its essence (Mother again shakes her head), Love is not like that.
Ultimately, gratitude is only a very slightly colored hue of the essential Vibration of Love.