May 24, 1960
It happened last night. For approximately three hours, the physical ego disintegrated for the first time in such a total way.
Nothing remained but the Force, nothing remained but Sat-Chit-Ananda,1 and not only in the consciousness but in the physical sensation – the divine Satchidananda spreading in a constant flood throughout the universe.
These experiences are always absolute, as long as they last; then, through certain signs that I know (I am accustomed to it), I notice that the body consciousness begins closing up again. Or rather, “something” – evidently a Supreme Wisdom – decides it's sufficient for this time and that the body has had enough. It ought not to break, which is why certain precautions are taken. So this comes in several little stages that I know quite well. The final one is always a bit unpleasant because my body gets into rather peculiar positions as a result of the work. As it's only a sort of machine, towards the end I have some difficulty straightening my knees, for example, or opening my fingers – I think they even make a noise, like something forced into one position whose life has become purely spontaneous and mechanical. There are plenty of people like that, plenty, who enter into trance and then can no longer get out by themselves; they get themselves into a certain position and someone has to free them. This has never happened to me; I have always managed to extricate myself. But yesterday evening, the experience lasted a very long time. There was even a little cracking at the end, as when people have rheumatism.
And during all this time, approximately three hours, the consciousness was completely, completely different. It was here, however; it was not outside the earth, it was on earth, but it was completely different – even the body consciousness was different. And what remained was very mechanical; it was a body, but it could just as well have been anything. All this power of consciousness that for more than seventy years I've gradually pushed into each of the body's cells so that each cell could become conscious (and it goes on constantly, constantly), all this seemed to have withdrawn – there only remained one almost lifeless thing. However, I could raise myself up from my bed and even drink a glass of water, but it was all so... bizarre. And when I went back to bed, it took nearly forty-five minutes for the body to regain its normal state. Only after I had entered into another type of samadhi2 and again come out of it did my consciousness fully return. It is the first time I have had an experience of this kind.
During those three hours, there was nothing but the Supreme manifesting through the eternal Mother.
But there was no consciousness of being Mother, neither eternal nor whatever: it was a continuous and all-powerful flood, and so extraordinarily varied, of the Lord manifesting Himself.
It was as vast as the universe, a continuous movement – the movement of manifestation of something which was EVERYTHING at once, a single whole. There was no division. And such a variety of colors, vibrations, powers – extraordinary! It was one single thing, and everything was within it.
The three Supreme Principles were very clearly there: Existence, Consciousness (an active, realizing consciousness) and Ananda. A universal vastness that kept going on and on and on...
It moves and it doesn't move. How can you explain that? It was in motion, a constant, unceasing motion, and yet there was no shifting of place. I had the perception, or rather there was the perception, of something which WAS forever, which never repeated itself, neither began nor ended, which didn't shift places yet was always in motion.
Words cannot express it. No translation, none, not even the most subtle mental translation can express this. It was... Even now the memory I have of it is inexpressible. You have to be in it to feel it, otherwise...
However, to the consciousness it was very, very clear. It was neither mysterious nor incomprehensible, it was absolutely obvious – though untranslatable to our mental consciousness. For they were contradictory, yet they existed simultaneously, indistinguishable: they were not stacked one upon another – it was all simultaneous. How can you explain that?! It's too difficult. It must be experienced.
You see, when something goes beyond thought, a sort of conception of it, or superconception rather, remains behind. But in this case, in my experience, there was no question of thought – it was a question of physical sensation. It was not beyond thought, it was beyond sensation. I was LIVING this thing. And there was no more “I”. There was nothing but this thing, and yet there was a sensation. I can't explain it!
When I went back to bed, the transitional period lasted 45 minutes. During this time, I tried to locate the role of the individual consciousness on earth. In a flash, I understood its purpose. For you see, as long as the experience lasted, I did not feel any necessity at all of an individuality for this supreme flood to manifest. Then I understood, precisely, that the individuality served to put into contact, in this flood, all that reached out towards what is called “I” – this individualized representation of the Divine – in order to receive help and support from it, and to be put into contact. I did not say “put into contact WITH this flood” but “put into contact IN this flood,” for it was not happening outside – nothing was outside this flood, nothing exists outside it.
And what was really very lovely was the ACCURACY and the power which directed the forces. I watched this for three quarters of an hour: for each thing that presented itself (it could have been someone thinking, something taking place, anything at all), a special little concentration of this flood went exactly onto that point, like a special insistence.
And all this was absolutely egoless, without any personal reaction, nothing; there was nothing but the consciousness of the Supreme Action. It was the only thing existing.
And of course, the whole ordinary and higher mind (as well as the physical mind, it goes without saying, for that must be abolished before going into trance), everything here in the head, above the head, around the head – absolutely immobile.
After all that, towards the end of the night, at two in the morning, only a kind of faint suggestion was left: How can this state – which I knew in trance, in samadhi, and which necessitates lying down – become constant in a physical body which moves about? There is something to discover there. And what form will it take? For in my consciousness, you see, it is constantly like that, this universal flood, but the problem is IN THE BODY: it's the problem of the Force in its most material form.
And during the time my experience lasted, I had no feeling of anything exceptional, but rather simply the fact that after all its preparation, the body consciousness was ready for a total identification with That – in my consciousness it's always the same, a perpetual, constant and eternal state in that it never leaves me. It's like that, and it never varies. What diminishes the immensity of the Vibration are the limitations of the material consciousness which can color it and even sometimes change it by giving it a personal appearance. Thus, when I see someone and speak to him, for example, when my eyes concentrate on the person, I have almost the sensation of this flood flowing from me towards the person or of it passing through me to go onto the person. There is an awareness of the eyes, the body. And it is this which limits or even changes a little the immensity of the thing... But already this feeling has almost disappeared; this immensity seems to be acting almost constantly. There are moments when I am less interiorized, when I am more on the surface, and it feels like it's passing through a body – moments when the body consciousness comes back a little. And this is what diminishes the thing.
This experience last night also enabled me to understand what X had felt during one of our meditations. He had explained his experience by way of saying that I was this mystic tree whose roots plunge into the Supreme and whose branches spread forth over the world,3 and he said that one of these branches had entered into him – and it had been a unique experience. He had said, “this is the Mother.”
And now I understand that what he had seen and translated by this Vedic image was that kind of perpetual flood.
And you see, this experience he had, this contact between him and me, is just a point, a drop, it's nothing; it's merely something the consciousness puts into words, but the THING itself is universal. Last night it was universal; there was no room, no bed, no door – and it was concrete, concrete, so concrete, with such a splendor! There was all the Joy – this perpetual downpour in a limitless splendor.
I was reluctant to speak (because of this problem that remains hanging: to make it permanent, even in the active consciousness), and I said to myself that if I speak, it will create difficulties for me in finding the solution... But it's all right. I shall simply have to make a still greater effort, because something always evaporates when you speak.
1 Sat-Chit-Ananda: the three Supreme Principles, Existence (Sat), Consciousness (Chit), and Bliss (Ananda).
2 Samadhi: trance.
3 The Ashwatha Tree (Katha Upanishad, II, iii, 1).