March 26, 1966
(Mother first reads out a message for the opening of the Ashram's sport season:)
“It may be good to remind you that we are here for a special work, a work not done anywhere else: we want to come into contact with the supreme consciousness, the universal consciousness, we want to receive it and manifest it. For that, we need a very solid base, and our base is our physical being, our body. We therefore need to prepare a solid, healthy, enduring body, skillful, agile and strong, so it may be ready for anything. There is no better way to prepare the body than physical exercises: sports, athletics, gymnastics and all other games are the best means to develop and strengthen the body.
“Therefore I invite you to participate in the competitions beginning today wholeheartedly, with all your energy and will.”
Some curious things are happening.... For instance, I take a paper like the one I have just read [the message], and I see very clearly; 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.
With everything, everything. Sometimes for an hour I follow what goes on: there is a minute work of subtle observation of what goes on here [in Mother] and of what goes on in the thought or consciousness of one or two other persons, with a whole detailed observation showing the difference between the fact as it should normally be (which is simply something direct, a movement taking place), and the complication brought in by thought – not higher thought: the physical thought, that is, the observation and all sorts of deductions, along with the memories of similar events and things heard or seen and all sorts of instances of similar occurrences, of possible hazards – a mishmash, mon petit! Something frightening... which spoils everything and complicates everything: the slightest thing becomes complicated.
These last few days I have had examples of all the possible complications of the physical world, including practices of hypnotism and so-called black magic and all the phenomena that take place in the invisible realm, but just adjoining the physical – like certain materializations, certain disappearances (incidents I saw and was obliged to note; I was obliged to note that they weren't imaginings but things that really took place), but then, with the secret revealed: how they can take place. It's very, very interesting. How it can happen, how the contact with certain distorting vibrations makes certain things possible.
Yesterday evening, after I had written that message (I wrote it in the evening, not in comfort but that was the only time I had; the light wasn't good, but anyway I did it), after I had written, I felt a strong pain here, in my temples. “Ah,” I said, “now I know!” Now and then, after having listened to lots of people and especially after having written lots of birthday cards, answers to letters there is a sort of strange heaviness in my temples (and I've never had headaches in my life, that's not like me!), and I say to myself, “What's this new decrepitude?!” Then I noticed it wasn't that: it's my eyes. It's because I haven't yet found the secret of how to use my eyes. As I said just before, at times I see with extraordinary precision: things seem to come towards me to show themselves it's so clear that the minutes' detail is perceived. That's one extreme. The other extreme is what I have already told several times: a sort of veil. I know things, they are in my consciousness, but I see just clearly enough not to bump against them or knock them over; everything, everything seems to be behind a veil; only I know where things are, so I find them, or I don't bump against them or break them, but that's not because I see – I see a picture behind a veil, as it were. That's the other extreme. In between the two, there are all sorts of gradations. And I am convinced it's to show me that my eyes are still capable of seeing accurately – the instrument is still very good, but I don't know how to use it. I don't know how to use it, because previously I used it as everyone uses his eyes, his hands, his feet, out of a sort of habit, more or less consciously – I was very proud of my consciousness! ([Laughing] We are always very proud!) Very proud to have such conscious hands; in the past, for instance, I would sometimes say, “I want twelve sheets of paper,” then I would stop bothering about it – my hand would go and take, and there were twelve of them. That had been happening for a long, a very long time, but it would happen AT CERTAIN TIMES: when I was in the required state, that is, when there wasn't the intrusion of an arbitrary will. So all this is a field of experiment and study in very small details, absolutely insignificant in themselves, but very instructive. And it goes on all the time, twenty-four hours a day, night and day (at night it's on other planes), but all this takes place in the physical, a more or less subtle physical.
This morning, there was a very amusing story. I was rinsing my eyes and mouth; I do it before daybreak, that is, with electric light. And in my bathroom there is an emergency light. It's one of the latest inventions: it's connected to the power and as long as there is power, the light remains off and a battery inside gets charged; as soon as the power fails, the light turns on and the battery is discharged to keep the light on. It's very well made, they invented it for hospitals and other places where any power failure must be avoided: as soon as the power goes, the light turns on instantaneously, and when the power returns, it goes off and gets recharged for the next time. They installed it for me in the bathroom. And this morning while I was washing my teeth, poff! the light went off. I continued, naturally, since I had that emergency light. But then, I did a study. The lights in C.'s room (and everywhere) were on, it was only here, in this group of rooms. That was an odd phenomenon to begin with. Then I “looked,” and while I looked I noticed something I hadn't taken note of all these last few days: a will to disorganize all my personal life. And causing power failures is one of the known occult methods (I don't know how it's done, in fact, but that man who wrote books and came here a very long time ago, Brunton, said it was one of the tricks known to those who practice occultism: a sudden failure of the lights). There are lots of other such tricks designed to disorganize people's lives with the idea of frightening them or announcing catastrophes to them (I have always found this very childish). But then, I saw that there was (I think I know where, here, it comes from) a will for disorganization, and I saw the path it followed (winding gesture as if Mother were going back to the source). It had begun last night, in the middle of the night: when I got up around midnight, I saw a will wanting to preoccupy me with thoughts of money! And it was insisting: the thought that everything was going wrong, and so on. I saw that in the middle of the night. I was busy with other things, but I saw that will: formations; and naturally I dealt with them as they deserved. But I saw that it went on, trying to disturb people, to make them uncomprehending, and then to turn the power off, all sorts of silly things. It's not the first time it has happened – it's not always the same people because generally, when they have tried and got a good knock in return, they don't try a second time, they've had enough! But there are others who think they are very clever and want to prove to me... (laughing) that they are right and I am wrong – because ultimately it always comes to that! So I spent half an hour this morning, before they restored the power and I resumed my usual activities, half an hour having huge fun following the thread (same winding gesture going back to the source) wherever there was mischief, and then I very kindly “answered.”
In reality, people who live in the ordinary consciousness know very, very little of what goes on physically – very little. They think they know, but all they know is a very superficial appearance, just like... like a sheet of paper wrapping a package; there is the whole package underneath with all that it contains, but all they see is an appearance (gesture of something as thin as cigarette paper). And they are so used to it that they always give an explanation. I asked, “How is it that just this power connection here gave way?” (Lights were on everywhere, only the connection here, which supplies my room, was off.) I asked “to see.” They told me, “Oh, we don't know, maybe the wire was old and it broke”! (Mother laughs) I said, “Very well.”
That's how it is. And it's very funny. Why do people who are in the habit of being relatively punctual suddenly and at the same time meet with something unexpected and are terribly late? And there is constantly something that comes and prevents things from happening quietly, harmoniously, easily. Then you look inside yourself at the type of vibration present in all that, and you notice that little “quiver”... because it is a quiver (Mother gestures to show a microscopic tremor) caused by the ordinary vibration of the ordinary consciousness. The ordinary consciousness lives in a constant quiver, when you notice it it's frightful! 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 tremor (same microscopic and very rapid gesture), oh, how horrible!
So, if for some reason or other there is a disorganization (but I think the reason is one of teaching), one must have the capacity to go like this (Mother brings her two hands down in a gesture that immobilizes everything) and to stop all that instantly. But the capacity has been there for a long time, a long time (it hasn't always been used, but it has been there): the Power. 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 – as they are doing at the moment: 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. And then, it's such a painstaking, persistent teaching, which forgets nothing and is repeated every time something isn't totally understood, and is repeated in greater detail for you to better understand... the working: the working in the hands, in the activity, in the Force going through [Mother] like this, in the use of vibrations – and which teaches the great Lesson: learning how to manifest the divine Force.
It's absolutely wonderful.
And if you look at it from the wrong side, it1 is a tension, it's like something that doesn't leave you a second's respite. And it's true, it doesn't allow you to fall asleep one minute; because in the ordinary consciousness, in the general ordinary life, rest means tamas. Rest means falling back into Inertia. So then, instead of a rest that benefits you, it's a rest that stupefies you and then you have to make effort once more to recapture the consciousness you have lost. That's how the vast majority of people sleep. But now, the lesson is different: when I lie down to rest my body and work without moving (work with an activity that doesn't force the body to move), as soon as there is the slightest... not exactly “fall,” but the slightest descent towards the Inconscient, something in the body immediately gives a start – instantly. It has been like that for a long time, two years, but now it's instantaneous, and it very rarely happens – there is true rest, which is an expansion and immensity of the being in full Light. It's magnificent.
But during the day, there are perpetual lessons, all the time, all the time, for everything, all the time. The lesson is least pronounced when I have to write something or see people; but there, too, the exact quality of people's vibration (not their permanent vibration but the vibration in them at that minute), the quality of their consciousness is immediately made known to me through certain reactions in my body (gesture on different levels of the body). The nerves began only a few months ago their work of “transfer of power.” (What I call “transfer of power” is that instead of the nerves being moved by and obeying complex and organized forces of Nature, of the character, of the material consciousness in the body, they attune themselves to and directly obey the divine Will.) It's the transfer from one to the other that's difficult: there is the entire old habit, and then the new habit to be formed. It was a rather difficult moment. But now there remain enough old vibrations to be able to gauge exactly (and this has nothing to do with thought, it isn't expressed in words or thoughts or anything like all that: just vibrations), to know exactly the state people near me are in. From that point of view the lesson is going on, it's very interesting. And what's wonderful is that more often than not the most receptive vibration, conforming the most to what it should be, is in children, but the very small ones, the tiny tots.... I see lots of people, but now I understand why: I learn enormously that way, through that contact (with people whom I don't know, sometimes whom I see for the first time, or whom I haven't seen for years). It's very interesting.
But when nobody is there or I am alone, or when I don't speak or I am not busy with other people, it's the inner lesson: the whole change in the vibration and how the world is organized. This morning, it was really extraordinarily amusing to see the mass of things that lie behind this appearance, an appearance that seems complicated enough as it is, but it's nothing! It's thin, flimsy, without complexity in comparison with the MASS of things behind, which... (drilling gesture) which bore their way through to reach the surface. It's amusing. But certainly ninety-nine people in a hundred would be seized with panic if they knew, if they saw. I had always been told (I read it, Sri Aurobindo often said it to me, Théon too often said it to me, so did Madame Théon) that it's the Grace that keeps people from knowing. Because if they knew, they would be terrified! All, but all the things that are constantly there, moving behind – behind the appearances – all the complexities that are the true causes of or the instruments for all those small events, which to us are absolutely unimportant, but because of which one day you feel everything is harmonious, and another day you feel it takes a labor to do anything at all. And that's how it is. And naturally, when you know, you have the key. But if you know before you have the key, it's... a little frightening. I think that when people take leave of their senses, it's because they are put in contact with the vibrations before having the knowledge, the sufficient knowledge, the sufficient state of consciousness.
There, we've wasted all our time!
But how is the transition made? The transition that materializes? What is the secret of the passage from that very subtle physical to the physical proper? How is the passage made from one side to the other?
Mon petit, I don't know what comparison I should use, but I am certain there are some things that are invisible this way (Mother rotates her wrist in one direction), and visible that way (gesture in the other direction). My impression is that what we see as a considerable difference between the tangible, the material, and the invisible or the fluid, is only a change of position. Perhaps an internal change of position because it isn't a physical, material change of position, but it is a change of position. Because I have experienced this I don't know how many times, hundreds of times: like this (gesture in one direction), everything is what we call “natural,” as we are used to seeing it, then all of a sudden, like that (gesture in the other direction), the nature of things changes. And nothing has happened, except something within, something in the consciousness: a change of position. Do you remember that aphorism in which Sri Aurobindo says that everything depends on a change in the relation of the sun-consciousness and the earth-consciousness?2 When I read it the first time, I didn't understand, I thought it was something in the very subtle realms; and then, very recently, in one of those experiences, I suddenly understood, I said, “But that's it!” It isn't a shift since nothing moves, yet it is a shift, it is a change of relation. 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 of Sri Aurobindo's: “Now everything is different, yet everything has remained the same.” (It was on one of my birthday cards.) I read that and said to myself, “Oh, that's what it means!” It's true, now everything is different, yet everything has remained the same. We understand it psychologically, but it's not psychological: it's HERE (Mother touches matter). But until one has a solid base... From the standpoint of concrete, physical, material things, I don't think there's anyone more materialistic than I was, with all the practical common sense and positivism; and now I understand why it was like that: it gave my body a marvelous base of equilibrium. It prevented me from having the very sort of madness we were talking about earlier.3 The explanations I asked for were always material, I always sought the material explanation, and it seemed obvious to me there's no need of any mystery, nothing of the sort – you just explain things materially. Therefore I am certain this isn't a tendency to mystic dreaming in me, not at all, not at all, this body had nothing mystic! Nothing... Thank God!
I saw that (not in my head, because for me there are no such limits), in this sort of conglomerate, here: the nearest explanation is a “shift” – a shift, the angle of perception becoming different. And it's not really that, words are incorrect, because it's far more subtle and at the same time far more complete than that. I have watched the change several times; well, this change gives you, to the outward consciousness, the sense of a shift. A motionless shift, meaning that you don't change places. And it's not, as we might be tempted to think, a drawing within and a drawing without, it's not that at all, not at all – it's an angle of perception that changes. You are in a certain angle, then you are in 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 another way, they are clear, luminous, transparent. It's something like that, but it's not that, that's an approximation.
But if we know the way in which the change is effected, we can...
... we can stop the entry of bad vibrations?
As for me, I have only one method (but I can conceive that this is simply because that's the way my nature is), I have only one method, it's self-abolition, the idea (not an “idea”) that the Supreme alone exists.
That's another interesting point, because I was an outright atheist: till the age of twenty, the very idea of God made me furious. Therefore I had the most solid base – no imaginings, no mystic atavism; my mother was very much an unbeliever and so was my father. So from the point of view of atavism it was very good: positivism, materialism. Only one thing: since I was very small, a will for perfection in any field whatever; a will for perfection and the sense of a limitless consciousness – no limits to one's progress or to one's power or to one's scope. And that, since I was very small. But mentally, an absolute refusal to believe in a “God”: I believed only in what I could touch and see. And the whole faculty for experiences was already there (they didn't manifest because the time hadn't come). Only, the sense of a Light here (gesture above the head), which began when I was very small, I was five, along with a will for perfection. A will for perfection: oh, whatever I did always had to be the best I could do. And then, a limitless consciousness. These two things. And my return to the Divine came about through Théon's teaching, when I was told for the first time, “The Divine is within, there” (Mother strikes her breast). Then I felt at once, “Yes, this is it.” Then I did all the work that's taught to find Him again; and through here (gesture to the heart center) I went there (gesture of junction above with the Supreme). But outwardly, mentally, no religion – a horror of religions.
And I see now that it was the most solid base possible for this experience: there was no danger of imaginings.
I have tried many things, a great many, I have looked a great deal, and I see only one that's absolute – only one that's absolute and can bring the absolute result, it's this (gesture turned Upward): the complete annulment of all that, leaving it all, “To You, Lord – You, You, to You.” And it isn't a being with a form, that's not it; it isn't a formless force, it's... It has nothing to do with thought, only with this: the contact. And the contact, an unmistakable contact, which nothing can imitate – nothing, nothing at all has the power to imitate it. And for every difficulty, every time, whatever it is, simply this: “Everything to You, Lord. Everything for You, to You. You alone can do it, You, You alone, You alone. You alone are the Truth; You alone are the Power.” And those words are nothing, they are only the very clumsy expression of something... a stupendous Power.
It's only the incapacity, the clumsiness, the lack of faith we mix into it that takes away His power. The minute we are truly pure, that is, under His influence alone, there are no limits, no limits – nothing, nothing, there is nothing, no law of Nature that can resist, nothing, nothing.
Only, the whole thing is that the time must have come, there must be only That left – all the rest spoils, whatever it is, even the highest, purest, noblest, most beautiful and marvelous things: all that spoils. Only That.
(Mother opens “Savitri”:)
There! Don't you think it's marvelous!
But when the hour of the Divine draws near4
But when the hour of the Divine draws near...
1 “It” = the physical mind.
2 Aphorism 102: “To the senses it is always true that the sun moves round the earth; this is false to the reason. To the reason it is always true that the earth moves round the sun; this is false to the supreme vision. Neither earth moves nor sun; there is only a change in the relation of sun-consciousness and earth-consciousness.”
3 At the beginning of the conversation, Mother had remarked about a sick disciple: “She is extremely nervous and excited. I told her to take sedatives, I told her her whole trouble was physical – she says she is the victim of terrible Asuras! It's ridiculous! It's a physical disturbance and she need not go and trouble the Asuras!”
4 But when the hour of the Divine draws near,
The Mighty Mother shall take birth in Time
And God be born into the human clay...