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The Mother


Volume 1

April 9, 1957

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, April 9, 1957


I would like to throw myself at your feet and open my heart to you – but I cannot. I cannot.

For I SEE that, were I to give in now, I would be done for – there would be no alternative but to live out the rest of my days in the Ashram. But everything in me rebels at this idea. The idea of winding up as General Secretary of the Ashram, like Pavitra, makes my skin crawl. It is absurd, and I apologize for speaking this way, Mother, for I admire Pavitra – but I can't help it, I can't do it, I do not want to end up like that.

For more than a year now, I have been hypnotized by the idea that if I give in, I will be “condemned” to remain here. Once more, forgive me for speaking so absurdly, for of course I know it is not a “condemnation”; and yet a part of me feels that it would be.

Thus I am so tense that I do not even want to close my eyes to meditate for fear of yielding. And I fall into all kinds of errors that horrify me, simply because the pressure is too strong at times, and I literally suffocate. Mother, I am not cut out to be a “disciple.”

I realize that all the progress I was able to make during the first two years has been lost and I am just as before, worse than before – as if all my strength were in ruin, all faith in myself undone – so much so that at times I curse myself for having come here at all.

That is the situation, Mother. I feel my unworthiness profoundly. I am the opposite of Satprem, unable to love and to give myself. Everything in me is sealed tight.

So what is to be done? I intend asking your permission to leave as soon as the book is finished (I am determined to finish it, for it will rid me of the past it represents). I expect nothing from the world, except a bit of external space, in the absence of another space.

Signed: Bernard

P.S. And yet, even if I leave, I know that I shall have to come back here... Everything is a paradox, and I CANNOT get out of this paradox.


(Mother's reply)

April 11, 1957

My dear child,

I read your letter yesterday, and here is the answer that immediately came to me. I add to it the assurance that nothing has changed, nor can change, in my relationship with you, and that you are and always will be my child – for that is the truth of your being.

Here is what I wrote:

In your ignorance, you created a phantom of your destiny, and then, out of this non-existent ghost, you made a hobgoblin around which all the resistances of your outer nature have crystallized.

It is a double ignorance:

— in the universe, there are not – there cannot be – two similar destinies.

— each one's destiny is inevitably fulfilled, but the nearer one is to the Divine, the more does this destiny assume its divine qualities.

I am saying all this so that you do not hypnotize yourself further with some imaginary and groundless possibility.

I am with you always.

Signed: Mother

in French

in German