November 9, 1966
(Satprem reads Mother a few excerpts from “The Sannyasin,” in particular the scene in which the Sannyasin is standing with his back to the temple door, having lost both his “spiritual heaven” and the earth in the form of the one he loved.)
This image [of the Sannyasin with his back to the bronze door] was so strong, you know!... Every time you mention it, I see my vision again.1 It was so strong! There was the temple – only the door and the wall could be seen – and the top of a mountain with the abrupt slope downward. Then there was a narrow path between the temple and the precipice, and a roaring crowd surging up, coming up the path, and then...
And I always, always see the same thing.
It MUST have existed, because it has the intensity of something that was physical.
In fact, in my first idea of the book, it was this child who was to die, and that's precisely what caused the people to riot and pursue this Sannyasin. Then I tried to present things without her dying.
Yes, that's better. It's better without the mob's pursuit, otherwise it may suggest that fear is what drives him to the wall, and then it doesn't have the same force anymore.
The vision was a memory, that is, something which exists in the “earth memory.” But that's no reason to make a story out of it. It's better for your book to have a deeper basis.
So then, is that when he has the reaction against asceticism?
Yes, because he has lost her. Not physically, but he loses her since she refuses. She says, “But now you are a Sannyasin, so it's over.” He has fallen from his heaven to go to the other extreme and lead an ordinary life with her. And she says no. She says, “That's not what a new life is.”
But won't it look like hankering after sexual enjoyment? Because that would bring the whole thing down to a very low level. Ill-disposed people would say, “Ah, of course, sexual desire is stronger than spiritual life.”
It depends on the way it's put. This woman... she isn't a woman, she is almost a girl. There has never been a love relationship between them; she is a twelve- to thirteen-year-old child and there is an ancient relationship. Even the word “love” hasn't been uttered between them. There is only a need to be together, a need for union. She feels a oneness between this Sannyasin and her, it's a being together, and she feels that being together doesn't mean to “marry.” But she feels the union, the oneness with him.
Ah, it would be such a good thing from the general point of view if people could be made to understand that true love has nothing to do with sexual relationship, with vital attraction, even with sentimental relationships, that none of this has anything to do with true love.2 But people don't understand. Even when they use the word “love,” they immediately think of sexual union, and that's disastrous, it completely warps the idea.
I don't know, I haven't read Pavitra's book On Love. Have you? Is the point clear in his book?
(Satprem makes a face)
It's not clear?
I find there's something false in his book – something false or falsely expressed.
According to him, there are two paths: the “outward path” and the “return path.” The outward path is people going away from the Lord, living the life of the world, being husband, wife, etc. Then the return path is the “true path,” the path of the return to the Lord, in which all those things are a hindrance.... So, to me, that's a falsehood.
Because what's this “outward path” going far away from the Lord and this “return path” in which human relationships are merely a hindrance?... The return is, on the contrary, when one has gone all the way up...
Yes, and one brings the Divine back down.
Yes, that's the return.
But for him the return is climbing back to the Lord – and then?...
Then it's the end of life!
I was very shocked when I read it. I felt like telling him, then I kept silent... [Mother approves]. As for me, I had always seen the return as the descending path.
It's the Lord coming down.
It's the Truth coming down. The return isn't climbing up, it's not that; that's the outward path, on the contrary.
But of course, that's the outward path.
It began with the stone – the stone – and one sees very clearly the difference between the stone and plants, plants and animals, animals and men. One sees quite clearly all Matter striving and striving and striving towards the Lord – that's the outward journey. It has been like that since the beginning. It climbs up with all its errors, all its confusion, all its falsehoods, all its distortions – but it's EVERYTHING that climbs up. And the return is what is described in the “message” I am going to give on 4.5.67 [May 4, 1967]: “the prison changed into a divine mansion.”3
As a matter of fact, in the book I am writing I show that when one has touched that Light, it's the turning point before coming back down; that the truth isn't the end up above – up above, it's one half.
Yes, (laughing) it's the beginning of the end!
My whole book is based on that.
That's very important. Because all those who begin by being disgusted with life, their first movement is to get away – all of them. I receive truckloads of letters: as soon as they are disgusted with life, as soon as it stops being something marvelous, “Oh, enough! I want to get away, I want to get away.” That's indeed the first movement: you climb up above, but it will be to come back down and change things HERE – it's not to abolish them, but to change them.
Buddha represented the height of abolition. He led to abolition and represented the height of abolition. Very well, but... That's when the summit was reached, when the summit was seen. But we must come back down.
They don't understand, they are still up above, all of them.
Yes, that's what I am saying. His entire book is like that: the outward path leads away from the Lord, and on the return path, you climb back to the Lord. [Turning to Sujata:] It's put like that in his book, isn't it?
(Sujata:) That book... I don't know, I found it a little odd.
Going back to the Divine, yes, that's Nirvana.
Only, as soon as you are there and in contact with the Divine, he tells you, “Go down! Don't stay here, it's not your place!”
But, you know, I am desperately struggling against all those who conceive of spiritual life as... brrt! you go off. That's just the beginning. As for me, I always answer with the story of Buddha: as he was about to enter Nirvana, he suddenly realized that the earth had to be changed... and stayed on.
I remember, once, it was with Madame David-Neel. It's very interesting. She came to give a lecture (I wasn't acquainted with her, that's where I met her for the first time), I think it was at the Theosophical Society (I forget). I went to the lecture, and while she was speaking, I saw Buddha – I saw him clearly: not above her head, a little to the side. He was present. So after the lecture, I was introduced to her (I didn't know the kind of woman she was!), and I said to her, “Oh, Madam, during your speech I saw Buddha present.” She answered me (in a furious tone), “Impossible! Buddha is in Nirvana!” (Mother laughs) Oho!... “Better keep quiet!” I thought.
But he really was there, whatever she thought!
That's what it is: going away.
I didn't understand why Pavitra, who is here, wrote like that.
No, I understand his thought quite well: he see things too closely, mon petit! He sees that all the effort of the earth must be towards the Divine, towards union with the Divine; he sees... (how should I put it?) what precedes, and sees it too closely, not from a sufficient distance. So then, for him, the return is the return towards the Divine.
But if he were told, “Abolition, Nirvana,” he would say, “No, no! not at all.” Only, he doesn't see that.
In reality, it's a threefold movement: the creation, which was the “flight from the Divine” (according, of course, to the ordinary conception which says that the creation “fell,” it “wandered away” from the Divine and men “wandered away” from the Divine); that was the first movement. But that's because he sees it too closely; he doesn't see that the Divine plunged to the very bottom of the Inconscient. (And that's the question: Why did He plunge to the very bottom of the Inconscient?... That's to be “investigated” [Mother laughs], one doesn't yet know how to explain it: everyone explains it differently.) He plunged to the very bottom (as for me, I think I know why, but that will be for later). He plunged to the very bottom of the Inconscient: beneath the stone (Mother makes a gesture of immutability, at the very bottom), beneath the mineral; the mineral is already a first awakening of the consciousness.... But you have to see it as a whole to understand that it's an ascent. If you see human life as it is, the impression is that men become lost in the “fall,” but that's the result of the Mind; the Mind needed to go through the whole experience, to go down to the very bottom in order to understand everything and bring everything back towards the ascent. For plants, it's really an ascent. Thus, according to this vision, there are three movements. But if you see the whole simultaneously, there are only two movements: the first movement is the descent of the Lord into the Inconscient (we can't say anything about that for the moment; once we have emerged from it, we'll be able to say); the second (the first we can conceive of) is, very, very slowly, through all possible experiences, even the most complete mental denials of the Divine, the ascent towards the Divine. And then, once we have climbed up... (Mother makes a gesture of descent), “Come, come here: change this prison into the mansion of the Divine.”
That will be very good, a very good “message” for 4.5.67.
Four is manifestation. Five is power. Six is creation, and seven is realization. Four figures in a wonderful sequence. Here is realization (you want realization?), here it is: the prison turned into the Divine's mansion. People say, “The earth is hopeless, it's done for....” See! It will be fine.
If man hadn't thought it was a “fall,” he would never have had the will to climb up again. He needed to think it was a “fall” – but it's not a fall, it's... something else, which I am now discovering.
(Soon afterwards, white translating into French the “message” for 4.5.67 (May 4, 1967), Mother stops at a word, the French for which doesn't come to her.)
...I never think of anything – oh, that's a blessing, you know, mon petit! I never think of anything without good reason! I am like this (gesture of immobile contemplation, turned upward). The only thing that's formulated with words is: “Lord, You... what You will, what You know, what You do, there is only You. You.” Like that (same gesture of immobility). And all of a sudden, without thinking about it, without looking for it, plop! a drop of light – ah!
1 See Agenda 1, November 20 and 22, 1958.
2 Satprem found the following note among Mother's papers: “When people speak of sexual desire, instead of giving it the noble name of ‘love,’ they should simply call it ‘vital cannibalism.’”
3 “Earth-life is the self-chosen habitation of a great Divinity and his aeonic will is to change it from a blind prison into his splendid mansion and high heaven-reaching temple.” (Sri Aurobindo)