October 8, 1966
(The conversation is about Satprem's forthcoming birthday. We publish it despite its personal character, for the “rhythmic” significance of birthdays is of general interest and there is always, as Mother says, a curve from the past that doesn't readily connect with the curve of the future.)
It will soon be your birthday....
I can see that what we call “birthday” is an opportunity to take stock. That's why people consult astrologers on certain dates.
The individual has a certain relationship or set of relationships with the Universal, and there must be a rhythm, things recur automatically at the same point in time. So every year, it should be possible to take stock with regard to what's below and what's above, or to what's behind and what's ahead.
It must be like that, because for you, the stocktaking began at the beginning of this month. And then it results in those birthday “cards” and in what I am going to tell you on your birthday. (None of this is thought out: it comes just like that, it's very amusing, I witness a continuous spectacle.) And I saw something very interesting, maybe that's what I wanted to tell you for your book.1
It's like the meeting of two curves: one curve coming from the past and another curve going towards the future, and that day is the meeting point of these two curves. So then, I saw your book as a sort of culmination of the curve coming from the past.... And there is a point that isn't yet clear in your thought or your conception there (gesture above the head): it's something that belongs to the ascending curve of the future. That point is where the difficulty is: the movement that belongs to the curve of the past has difficulty connecting with the movement of the future. I see it as a graph. It's not a thought: it's a graph. There is a point where the two curves haven't connected.
I chose two “cards.” They are here. I am not showing them to you: you will have them on the 29th. I don't yet know what I will write or whether I will write anything.
But this year seems to me to be a very decisive year in your individual life – your LIFE, you understand (how can I explain?), the eternal life in you. The eternal life in your individuality. The difficulty seems to be in connecting the two movements.... They aren't connected yet. It's very interesting. I saw the curves, they are quite pretty.
All this is going on up above. And then, what's very amusing is that when I see, I don't see like that (gesture from below upward), I see like this (gesture from above downward), and I see up above. It's a little higher than this (gesture above the head), and I see from above.
But I saw those curves, I began seeing them. I know them, I have seen them since the beginning of the month and they are growing more precise. And they are quite pretty – very pretty, very elegant. And this one [the new one] is like a magnificent spout of water – much lovelier than that! And it keeps rising, it doesn't fall back, but it sprays a golden rain on the earth.
If someone drew a picture like that for me, I'd give it to you!
(Soon afterwards, the conversation turns to a question asked by a young disciple about the description of Sri Aurobindo's life in “The Adventure of Consciousness,” when Sri Aurobindo was agnostic and began yoga “for the liberation of his country.”)
It's a chapter entitled “The End of the Intellect,” in which I wrote that in the beginning Sri Aurobindo was an agnostic and had mainly cultivated the intellect. So V. has made a summary of this chapter, and in the end he asks: How can one practice yogic disciplines without believing in God or in the Divine?
How? – Very simple. Because these are mere words. When you practice without believing in God or in the Divine, you practice to reach a perfection, to make progress, for all sorts of reasons.
Are there many people... (I am not referring to those who have a religion: they learn a catechism when they are quite small, so it doesn't have much meaning), but taking people as they come, are there many of them who believe in the Divine?... Not in Europe, at any rate. But even here, there are quite a few who, by tradition, have a “family deity,” and yet when they are displeased they think nothing of taking the deity and throwing it into the Ganges! They do it, I know people who did it; they had a family Kali in their home, they took her and threw her into the Ganges because they were displeased with her – if you believe in the Divine, you can't do such things, can you?
I don't know.... Belief in the Divine?... You thirst for a certain perfection, perhaps even to surpass yourself, to reach something higher than what is; when you are a philanthropist, you have an aspiration for mankind to be better, less unhappy and miserable, all kinds of things like that – you can practice a yoga for that, but that's not believing. To believe is to have the faith that there cannot be a world without the Divine, that's what it is; the faith that the very existence of the world is proof of the Divine. And precisely not a “belief,” not something you thought over or were taught, none of all that: a faith. The faith which is a lived knowledge (not a learned knowledge) that the existence of the world is sufficient proof of the Divine – without the Divine, no world. And it's so obvious, of course, that you feel one has to be a bit stupid to think otherwise! And the “Divine,” not in the sense of “raison d'Ítre,” “goal,” “culmination,” not all that: the world as it is is proof of the Divine. Because it IS the Divine in a certain aspect (a distorted enough aspect, but still).
To me it's even stronger than that: when I look at a rose like the one I gave you, this thing which holds such a concentration of spontaneous beauty (not fabricated: a spontaneous beauty, a blossoming), you only have to see that and you're sure the Divine exists, it's a certitude. You can't disbelieve, it's impossible. It's like those people – it's fantastic! – those people who have studied Nature, studied really in depth how everything works and occurs and exists: how can they study sincerely, carefully and painstakingly without being absolutely convinced that the Divine is there? We call it the “Divine” – the Divine is quite tiny! (Mother laughs) To me, the existence is undeniable proof that there is... nothing but THAT – something we cannot name, cannot define, cannot describe, but which we can feel and BECOME more and more. A “something” which is more perfect than all perfections, more beautiful than all beauties, more wonderful than all wonders, which even a totality of all that is cannot express – and only THAT exists. And it's not a “something” floating in nothingness: there is nothing but That.
1 By the Body of the Earth or the Sannyasin. Satprem complained of difficulty in writing the end of his book.