March 10, 1959
(The disciple returned to the Ashram, but as he was very quickly seized again by his mania for the road, the Agenda of 1959, alas, is strewn with great gaps and is almost nonexistent. The following conversation is in regard to one of Mother's commentaries on the Dhammapada: “Evil”)
I spent a night – a night of battle – when, for some reason or other, a multitude of vital formations of all kinds entered into the room: beings, things, embryos of beings, residues of beings – all kinds of things... And it was a frightful assault, absolutely disgusting.
In this swarming mass, I noticed the presence of some slightly more conscious wills – wills of the vital plane – and I saw how they try to awaken a reaction in the consciousness of human beings to make them think or want, or if possible, do certain things.
For example, I saw one of them trying to incite anger in someone so that this person would deliver a blow – a spiritual blow. And this formation had a dagger in his hand (a vital dagger, you see, it was a vital being: gray and slimy, horrible), he was holding a very sharp dagger which he was flaunting, saying, “When a person has done something like that (pretending that someone had done an unforgivable thing), this is what he deserves...” and the scenario was complete: the being rushed forward, vitally, with his dagger.
I, who know the consequences of these things, stopped him just in time – I gave him a blow. Then I had enough of all this and it was over, I cleaned the place out. It was almost a physical cleaning, for I had my hands clasped together (I was in a semitrance) and I threw them apart in an abrupt movement, left and right, powerfully, as if to sweep something away, and frrt!... immediately everything was gone.
But had that not happened... I was watching, not exactly with curiosity, but in order to learn – to learn what kind of atmosphere people live in! And it is ALWAYS like that! They are always pestered by HORDES of little formations that are absolutely swarming and disgusting, each one making its... nasty little suggestion.
Take these movements of anger, for example, when someone is carried away by his passion and does things which, in his normal state, he would never do: he is not doing it, it is done by these little formations which are there, swarming in the atmosphere, just waiting for an occasion... to rush in.
When you see them, oh! it's... suffocating. When you're in contact with that... Really, you wonder how anyone can breathe in such an atmosphere. And yet people CONSTANTLY live in that atmosphere! They live in it. Only when they rise above are they NOT in it. Or else there are those who are entirely below; but those are the toys of these things, and their reactions are sometimes not only unexpected but absolutely dreadful – because they are puppets in the hands of these things.
Those who rise above, who enter into a slightly intellectual region, can see all this from above; they can look down at it all, keep their heads above and breathe; but those who live in this realm...
Sri Aurobindo calls this realm the “intermediate zone,” a zone in which, he says, you can have all the experiences you wish if you enter into it. But it isn't (laughing) very advisable! – and I understand why! I had that experience because I had just read what Sri Aurobindo says on this subject in a letter in this latest book, On Yoga; I wanted to see for myself what it was. Ah, I understood!
And I express this in my own way when I say1 that thoughts “come and go, flow in and out.” But thoughts concerning material things are formations originating in that world, they are kinds of wills coming from the vital plane which try to express themselves, and most often they are truly deadly. If you are annoyed, for example, if someone says something unpleasant to you and you react... It always happens in the same way; these little entities are there waiting, and when they feel it's the right moment, they introduce their influence and their suggestions. This is what is vitally symbolized by the being with his dagger rushing forward to stab you – and in the back, at that! Not even face to face! This then expresses itself in the human consciousness by a movement of anger or rage or indignation: “How intolerable! How...!” And the other fellow says, “Yes! We shall put an end to it!”
It is quite interesting to watch it once, but it isn't very pleasant.
1 In this Commentary on the Dhammapada.