July 26, 1960
I woke up at three o'clock (what I mean is, I came out of my nightly activities). I had an hour ahead of me before getting up. So I concentrated and went within.
I came out of the concentration at 4:10 – quite late. For I was VERY busy! I was in some sort of small house similar to my room, but it was at the top of a tower, for you could see the landscape from above. It was similar to my room here, with large windows. And I was much taller than I actually am, for there was a ledge below each window (there was a cupboard below each window, as in my room), and this ledge came quite low on me; in my room, it comes up to my chest, whereas it was much lower in my vision. And from there... oh, what beautiful landscapes! It was surrounded by such lovely countryside!... There was a flowing river, woods, sunlight – oh, it was really lovely! And I was very busy looking up words in the dictionary!
I had taken out a dictionary. “There, it's this one,” I said. Someone was next to me, but this someone is always symbolic: each activity takes on a special form which may resemble someone or other. (The people around me for the work here are like families in those worlds there; they are types, that is – each person represents a type – so then I know that I'm in contact with all the people of this same type. If they were conscious, they would know that I was there telling them something in particular. But it's not a person, it's a type – and not a type of character, but a type of activity and relationship with me.)
I was with a certain “type,” and I was looking for a word, I wanted to conjugate the verb vaincre [to conquer]: je vaincs, tu vaincs, il vainc – good, now nous vainquons, how do you spell that, nous vainquons? It was so funny! And I was looking it up in the dictionary – vainquons, how do you spell that?
And at the same time, I had the feeling of something completely arbitrary, and all this kind of knowledge seemed so unreal – a completely arbitrary convention corresponding to nothing luminous anywhere.
I was very... oh, I was very, very anxious to know how je vaincs, tu vaincs goes... nous vainquons, vous vainquez. And I woke up at 4:15... without having found it in the dictionary!
Then when I woke up, I immediately said to myself, “Hmm, it's true – how would I spell that?” It took me half a minute to remember. It was really funny!
Coming at the end of the night as it did, it means that it's an exploration in some part or another of a subconscious mental activity. And you can make so many discoveries there... it is unbelievable! But it's lovely. And rarely unpleasant. There was a time when it was very unpleasant, oppressive, full of effort and resistance. I would want to go somewhere, but it would be impossible; I toiled and struggled, but everything would go wrong – the straight paths would suddenly plunge into an abyss, and I'd have to cross the abyss. For years it was like that. Just recently, I looked back over this whole period... But now it is over. Now it's something... it's lovely, it's enjoyable, it's a little... it has a childlike simplicity.
However, it's not a personal subconscient, but a... it's more than the Ashram. For me, the Ashram is not a separate individuality – except in that vision the other day,1 which is what surprised me. It's hardly that. Rather, it is still this Movement of everything, of everything that is included. So it's like entering into the subconscient of the whole earth, and it takes on forms which are quite familiar images to me, but they are absolutely symbolic and very, very funny! It took a moment to see that vainquons is spelled q-u-o-n-s. And I wasn't sure! I meant to ask Pavitra for a dictionary which gives verb conjugations, for then if I'm stuck on something while writing, I can look it up.
The other day I wrote something – it was a letter I gave Pavitra to read. “I think there's a spelling mistake,” he said. “It's quite possible,” I answered, “I make plenty of them.” He looked it up in a splendid dictionary and, as a matter of fact, it was a mistake. I meant to ask him for a dictionary this morning.
It's very simple, actually; it's a convention, a conventional construction somewhere in the subconscious brain, and you write automatically. But if you want to try to bring the light of a slightly higher reason into it, it's terrible. It becomes meaningless, and you forget everything.
You have to be inside this automatic convention to remember; it's very difficult (Mother laughs). So I make a lot of spelling mistakes... (under her breath, in a mischievous tone) I think I'll ask him for his dictionary (laughter)!
Vaincre!... I wanted to write to someone to proclaim the Victory. The idea was very clear, it was really lovely. Then, in a second, I was stopped – “How do you spell vainquons? And how do you spell vaincs?” The person next to me didn't know a thing – nothing. “It's spelled v-a-i-n,” he said. So I said, “No, I don't think so!” (laughter) It went on like that, you know, it was so funny!...
Are you good at spelling?
Oh, it depends. When I don't pay attention, it's all right. I usually don't make mistakes – not too many!
Yes, yes; it's quite automatic, a kind of convention somewhere. But if you have the misfortune to step out of that and to look at it, it's finished, you don't know anything any more.
1 The vision of July 12, 1960.