February 3, 1958
(The following experience was later read out to the Wednesday class on 2.19.58)
Between the beings of the supramental world and men, there exists approximately the same gap as between men and animals. Sometime ago, I had the experience of identification with animal life, and it is a fact that animals do not understand us; their consciousness is so constituted that we elude them almost entirely. And yet I have known domestic animals – cats and dogs, but especially cats – who made an almost yogic effort of consciousness to understand us. But generally, when they watch us living and acting, they don't understand, they don't SEE US as we are, and they suffer because of us. We are a constant enigma to them. Only a very tiny part of their consciousness is linked to us. And it is the same for us when we try to look at the supramental world. Only when the link of consciousness has been built shall we see it – and even then, only that part of our being which has undergone the transformation will be capable of seeing it as it is – otherwise the two worlds would remain as separate as the animal world and the human world.
The experience I had on February 3 proves this. Before, I had had an individual, subjective contact with the supramental world, whereas on February 3, I went strolling there in a concrete way – as concretely as I used to go strolling in Paris in times past – in a world that EXISTS IN ITSELF, beyond all subjectivity.
It is like a bridge being built between the two worlds.
This is the experience as I dictated it immediately thereafter:
The supramental world exists in a permanent way, and I am there permanently in a supramental body. I had proof of this today when my earthly consciousness went there and consciously remained there between two and three o'clock in the afternoon: I now know that for the two worlds to join in a constant and conscious relationship what is missing is an intermediate zone between the existing physical world and the supramental world as it exists. This zone has yet to be built, both in the individual consciousness and in the objective world, and it is being built. When formerly I used to speak of the new world that is being created, I was speaking of this intermediate zone. And similarly, when I am on “this” side – that is, in the realm of the physical consciousness – and I see the supramental power, the supramental light and substance constantly permeating matter, I am seeing and participating in the construction of this zone.
I found myself upon an immense ship, which is the symbolic representation of the place where this work is being carried out. This ship, as big as a city, is thoroughly organized, and it had certainly already been functioning for quite some time, for its organization was fully developed. It is the place where people destined for the supramental life are being trained. These people (or at least a part of their being) had already undergone a supramental transformation because the ship itself and all that was aboard was neither material nor subtle-physical, neither vital nor mental: it was a supramental substance. This substance itself was of the most material supramental, the supramental substance nearest the physical world, the first to manifest. The light was a blend of red and gold, forming a uniform substance of luminous orange. Everything was like that – the light was like that, the people were like that – everything had this color, in varying shades, however, which enabled things to be distinguished from one another. The overall impression was of a shadowless world: there were shades, but no shadows. The atmosphere was full of joy, calm, order; everything worked smoothly and silently. At the same time, I could see all the details of the education, the training in all domains by which the people on board were being prepared.
This immense ship had just arrived at the shore of the supramental world, and a first batch of people destined to become the future inhabitants of the supramental world were about to disembark. Everything was arranged for this first landing. A certain number of very tall beings were posted on the wharf. They were not human beings and never before had they been men. Nor were they permanent inhabitants of the supramental world. They had been delegated from above and posted there to control and supervise the landing. I was in charge of all this since the beginning and throughout. I myself had prepared all the groups. I was standing on the bridge of the ship, calling the groups forward one by one and having them disembark on the shore. The tall beings posted there seemed to be reviewing those who were disembarking, allowing those who were ready to go ashore and sending back those who were not and who had to continue their training aboard the ship. While standing there watching everyone, that part of my consciousness coming from here became extremely interested: it wanted to see, to identify all the people, to see how they had changed and to find out who had been taken immediately as well as those who had to remain and continue their training. After awhile, as I was observing, I began to feel pulled backwards and that my body was being awakened by a consciousness or a person from here1 – and in my consciousness, I protested: “No, no, not yet! Not yet! I want to see who's there!” I was watching all this and noting it with intense interest... It went on like that until, suddenly, the clock here began striking three, which violently jerked me back. There was the sensation of a sudden fall into my body. I came back with a shock, but since I had been called back very suddenly, all my memory was still intact. I remained quiet and still until I could bring back the whole experience and preserve it.
The nature of objects on this ship was not that which we know upon earth; for example, the clothes were not made of cloth, and this thing that resembled cloth was not manufactured – it was a part of the body, made of the same substance that took on different forms. It had a kind of plasticity. When a change had to be made, it was done not by artificial and outer means but by an inner working, by a working of the consciousness that gave the substance its form or appearance. Life created its own forms. There was ONE SINGLE substance in all things; it changed the nature of its vibration according to the needs or uses.
Those who were sent back for more training were not of a uniform color; their bodies seemed to have patches of a grayish opacity, a substance resembling the earth substance. They were dull, as though they had not been wholly permeated by the light or wholly transformed. They were not like this all over, but in places.
The tall beings on the shore were not of the same color, at least they did not have this orange tint; they were paler, more transparent. Except for a part of their bodies, only the outline of their forms could be seen. They were very tall, they did not seem to have a skeletal structure, and they could take on any form according to their needs. Only from their waists to their feet did they have a permanent density, which was not felt in the rest of their body. Their color was much more pallid and contained very little red, it verged rather on gold or even white. The parts of whitish light were translucid; they were not absolutely transparent, but less dense, more subtle than the orange substance.
Just as I was called back, when I was saying, “Not yet...,” I had a quick glimpse of myself, of my form in the supramental world. I was a mixture of what these tall beings were and the beings aboard the ship. The top part of myself, especially my head, was a mere silhouette of a whitish color with an orange fringe. The more it approached the feet, the more the color resembled that of the people on the ship, or in other words, orange; the more it went up towards the top, the more translucid and white it was, and the red faded. The head was only a silhouette with a brilliant sun at its center; from it issued rays of light which were the action of the will.
As for the people I saw aboard ship, I recognized them all. Some were here in the Ashram, some came from elsewhere, but I knew them as well. I saw everyone, but as I realized that I would not remember everyone when I came back, I decided not to give any names. Besides, it is unnecessary. Three or four faces were very clearly visible, and when I saw them, I understood the feeling that I have had here, on earth, while looking into their eyes: there was such an extraordinary joy... On the whole, the people were young; there were very few children, and their ages were around fourteen or fifteen, but certainly not below ten or twelve (I did not stay long enough to see all the details). There were no very old people, with the exception of a few. Most of the people who had gone ashore were of a middle age – again, except for a few. Several times before this experience, certain individual cases had already been examined at a place where people capable of being supramentalized are examined; I had then had a few surprises which I had noted – I even told some people. But those whom I disembarked today I saw very distinctly. They were of a middle age, neither young children nor elderly people, with only a few rare exceptions, and this quite corresponded to what I expected. I decided not to say anything, not to give any names. As I did not stay until the end, it would be impossible for me to draw an exact picture, for it was neither absolutely clear nor complete. I do not want to say things to some and not say them to others.
What I can say is that the criterion or the judgment was based EXCLUSIVELY on the substance constituting the people – whether they belonged completely to the supramental world or not, whether they were made of this very special substance. The criterion adopted was neither moral nor psychological. It is likely that their bodily substance was the result of an inner law or an inner movement which, at that time, was not in question. At least it is quite clear that the values are different.
When I came back, along with the memory of the experience, I knew that the supramental world was permanent, that my presence there is permanent, and that only a missing link is needed to allow the consciousness and the substance to connect – and it is this link that is being built. At that time, my impression (an impression which remained rather long, almost the whole day) was of an extreme relativity – no, not exactly that, but an impression that the relationship between this world and the other completely changes the criterion by which things are to be evaluated or judged. This criterion had nothing mental about it, and it gave the strange inner feeling that so many things we consider good or bad are not really so. It was very clear that everything depended upon the capacity of things and upon their ability to express the supramental world or be in relationship with it. It was so completely different, at times even so opposite to our ordinary way of looking at things! I recall one little thing that we usually consider bad... actually how funny it was to see that it is something excellent! And other things that we consider important were really quite unimportant there! Whether it was like this or like that made no difference. What is very obvious is that our appreciation of what is divine or not divine is incorrect. I even laughed at certain things... Our usual feeling about what is anti-divine seems artificial, based upon something untrue, unliving (besides, what we call life here appeared lifeless in comparison with that world); in any event, this feeling should be based upon our relationship between the two worlds and according to whether things make this relationship easier or more difficult. This would thus completely change our evaluation of what brings us nearer to the Divine or what takes us away from Him. With people, too, I saw that what helps them or prevents them from becoming supramental is very different from what our ordinary moral notions imagine. I felt just how... ridiculous we are.
(Then Mother speaks to the children)
There is a continuation to all this, which is like the result in my consciousness of the experience of February 3, but it seems premature to read it now. It will appear in the April issue [of the Bulletin], as a sequel to this.
But one thing – and I wish to stress this point to you – which now seems to me to be the most essential difference between our world and the supramental world (and it is only after having gone there consciously, with the consciousness that ordinarily works here, that this difference appeared to me in what might be called its enormity): everything here, except for what happens within and at a very deep level, seemed absolutely artificial to me. Not one of the values of ordinary physical life is based upon truth. Just as we have to buy cloth, sew it together, then put it on our backs in order to dress ourselves, likewise we have to take things from outside and then put them inside our bodies in order to feed ourselves. For everything, our life is artificial.
A true, sincere, spontaneous life, as in the supramental world, is a springing forth of things through the fact of conscious will, a power over substance that shapes this substance according to what we decide it should be. And he who has this power and this knowledge can obtain whatever he wants, whereas he who does not has no artificial means of getting what he desires.
In ordinary life, EVERYTHING is artificial. Depending upon the chance of your birth or circumstances, you have a more or less high position or a more or less comfortable life, not because it is the spontaneous, natural and sincere expression of your way of being and of your inner need, but because the fortuity of life's circumstances has placed you in contact with these things. An absolutely worthless man may be in a very high position, and a man who might have marvelous capacities of creation and organization may find himself toiling in a quite limited and inferior position, whereas he would be a wholly useful individual if the world were sincere.
It is this artificiality, this insincerity, this complete lack of truth that appeared so shocking to me that... one wonders how, in a world as false as this one, we can arrive at any truthful evaluation of things.
But instead of feeling grieved, morose, rebellious, discontent, I had rather the feeling of what I spoke of at the end: of such a ridiculous absurdity that for several days I was seized with an uncontrollable laughter whenever I saw things and people! Such a tremendous laughter, so absolutely inexplicable (except to me), because of the ridiculousness of these situations.
When I invited you on a voyage into the unknown, a voyage of adventure,2 I did not know just how true were my words! And I can promise those who are ready to embark upon this adventure that they will make some very astonishing discoveries.
1 Indeed, one of the people near Mother had pulled Her out of the experience.
Questions and Answers (July 10, 1957).