May 16, 1960
If there is one fundamental necessity, it is humility. To be humble. Not humble as it is normally understood, such as merely saying, “I am so small, I'm nothing at all” – no, something else... Because the pitfalls are innumerable, and the further you progress in yoga, the more subtle they become, and the more the ego masks itself behind marvelous and saintly appearances. So when somebody says, “I no longer want to rely on anything but Him. I want to close my eyes and rest in Him alone,” this comfortable “Him,” which is exactly what you want him to be, is the ego – or a formidable Asura, or a Titan (depending on each one's capacity). They're all over the earth, the earth is their domain. So the first thing to do is to pocket your ego – not preserve it, but get rid of it as soon as possible!
You can be sure that the God you've created is a God of the ego whenever something within you insists, “This is what I feel, this is what I think, this is what I see; it's my way, my very own – it's my way of being, my way of understanding, my relationship with the Divine, etc.”
And then they say, “I want to close my eyes and see nothing but Him; I want nothing more of the outer world.” And they forget there's Love! That is the great Secret, that which is behind the Existent and the Non-Existent, the Personal and the Impersonal – Love. Not a love between two things, two beings... A love containing everything.
In the early part of the century, I wrote Prayers and Meditations, and I too spoke of “Him”; but I wrote that with all my aspiration, all my sincerity (at least with all the sincerity of the conscious parts of my being) and I locked it up in a drawer so that no one would see it. It was Sri Aurobindo who later asked me to publish it, for it could be useful... If I knew then, fifty years ago, what I know now, I would have been crushed!... All this “shame,” all this “unworthiness”...
After all, it's good to know gradually, good to have some illusions – not for the sake of illusions but as a necessary step along the way.
Everything comes at the right moment.
And what is wonderful is that at each moment the Grace, the Joy, the Light, the Love never cease pouring down in the very midst of all this – despite the ego, despite the shame, despite the unworthiness. To be humble...
I was sick two days ago with a cold and fever. I know why – a point to be transformed. The body may have put too much zeal into it, so it teetered a little. But thanks to that, I had an interesting experience. X1 had put his force on me to speed up the healing. And of course, according to each one's nature, the force gets colored, so to speak – it clothes itself in a different color. In me, this was translated by a new physical experience which lasted from 4 in the morning till 6:30, when I had to start speaking with people and deal with outer things. It was a kind of eternity, a kind of absolute PHYSICAL immobility which contained no possibility of illness within it – as a matter of fact, nothing remained in this immobility, it was a sort of nirvana. But it did not keep me from going through all my usual motions of getting dressed.
I spent the whole day yesterday trying to understand this experience.
And in that kind of physical eternity (which lasted two and a half hours – it's a long time for an experience), I was aware of something missing, something not there: the joy of the consciousness. Because throughout my life I have developed the habit of being conscious of everything, always, at each second. And the joy of the consciousness was not there. So I thanked the Grace that made me see that this kind of nirvana was quite simply physical tamas.2
X has the power of rendering things very material – that's his great power, which is why things get upset when he comes here. Overnight, someone progressing well comes to grips with difficulties; money on the way stops coming; you fall sick, things break down – all because he has the power to give materiality to things from above. For, you see, you can go right to the height of your consciousness and from there sweep away the difficulties (at a certain moment of the sadhana, difficulties truly don't exist; it's only a matter of nabbing the undesirable vibration and it's over, it's reduced to dust). And everything is fine up above, but down below it's swarming. When X comes, it's precisely all this swarming that becomes tangible.
The mastery must be a TRUE mastery, a very humble and austere mastery which starts from the very bottom and, step by step, establishes control. As a matter of fact, it is a battle against small, really tiny things: habits of being, ways of thinking, feeling and reacting.
When this mastery at the very bottom combines with the consciousness at the very top, then you can really begin doing some work – not only work on yourself but also the work for all.
1 The tantric guru.
2 Tamas: inertia. Later, Mother would discover that this is not tamas but something else.