October 11, 1960
I'm just now finishing the Yoga of Self-Perfection... When we see what human life is and, even in the best of cases, what it represents in the way of imbecility, stupidity, narrowness, meanness (not to mention ignorance because that is too flagrant)... and even those who believe themselves to have generous heart, for example, or liberal ideas, a desire to do good!... Each time the consciousness orients itself in one direction to attain some result, everything that was in existence (not just one's personal existence, but this sort of collectivity of existences that each being represents), everything that is contrary to this effort immediately presents itself in its crudest light.
It happened this morning while I was walking back and forth in my room. I had finished my japa... I had to stop and hold my head in my hands to keep from bursting into tears. “No, it is too dreadful,” I said to myself; “and to think that we want Perfection!”
Then naturally there came as a consolation: only because the consciousness is getting closer to THE REAL THING can it see all this wretchedness, and the contrast alone makes these things appear so mean.
And it's true, those things I saw this morning which seemed so... above all stupid and ugly (I've never had a sense of morality at any time in my life, thank God! But stupid and ugly things have always seemed... I've always done my best to distance myself from them, even when I was very small). And now I see that these things which seem not only ridiculous but, well, almost shameful were considered, as I recall, remarkably noble earlier on and they represented an exceptionally lofty attitude in life – the very same things. So then I understood that it's quite simply a question of proportion.
And that's how the world is – things which now seem totally unacceptable to us, things we CANNOT tolerate, were quite all right in the past.
The day before yesterday, I spent the whole night looking on. I had read the passage by Sri Aurobindo in The Synthesis on “supramental time” (wherein past, present and future coexist in a global consciousness). While you're in it, it's marvelous! You understand things perfectly. But when you're not in it... Above all, there's this problem of how to keep the force of one's aspiration, the power of progress, this power which seems so inevitable – so inevitable if existence (let's simply take terrestrial existence) is to mean anything and its presence to be justified. (This ascending movement towards a progressive “better” that will be eternally better) – How is this to be kept when you have the total vision... this vision in which everything coexists. At that moment, the other becomes something like a game, an amusement, if you will. (Not everyone finds it amusing!) And when you contain all that, why allow yourself the pleasure of succession?... Is this pleasure of succession, of seeing things one after the other, equal to this intensity of the will for progress?... Words are foolish!
The effort to see and to understand this gripped me all night. And when I woke up this morning, I thanked the Lord; I said to Him, “Obviously, if You were to keep me totally in that consciousness, I could no longer... I could no longer do my work!” How could I do my work? For I can only say something to people when I feel it or see it, when I see that it's what must be said, but if I am simultaneously in a consciousness in which I'm aware of everything that has led to that situation, everything that is going to happen, everything I'm going to say, everything the other's going to feel – then how could I do it!
There are still many hundreds of years to go before it becomes entirely what Sri Aurobindo describes – there's no hurry!
The mental silence Sri Aurobindo gave you in 1914, about which you were speaking the other day...
It has never left. I have always kept it. Like a smooth white surface turned upwards. And at any moment at all... You see, we speak like a machine, but there nothing moves; at any moment at all it can turn towards the heights. It's ALWAYS turned like that, but we can become aware of it being like that. Then, if we listen, we can hear what comes from above. My active consciousness, which was here (Mother points to her forehead), has settled above, and it has never again moved from there.
I told this to X – or rather had someone tell him – to see his reaction. And I realized that he did not understand in the least! Once Amrita asked him how he himself SAW and KNEW things. So he tried to explain; he told Amrita that he had to pull his consciousness upwards by a gradual effort, to go beyond the heart, beyond the throat center... to pull it right up here (the top of the head), and once there, you're divine, you know! All of a sudden, I understood that when I said it was there, above the head, it must have seemed absolutely impossible to him! For him, it's the crown of the head1 (what they call the thousand-petalled lotus), just at the top of the head, whereas in my experience it opens, it rises and you go above, and then you settle there... For a number of years it even changed my [physical] vision – it was as if I were looking at things from above. It returns from time to time, too, as if suddenly I were seeing from above instead of from here, at eye level.
But the faculty of forming thoughts is now there, up above; it's no longer here (Mother points to her forehead). And that's contrary to their teachings.
The tantrics recognize seven chakras,2 I believe. Théon said he knew of more, specifically two below the body and three above. That is my experience as well – I know of twelve chakras. And really, the contact with the Divine Consciousness is there (Mother motions above the head), not here (at the top of the head). One must surge up above.
Doing japa seems to exert a pressure on my physical consciousness, which goes on turning! How can I silence it? As soon as my concentration is not absolute, the physical mind starts up – it grabs at anything, anything at all, any word, fact or event that comes along, and it starts turning, turning. If you stop it, if you put some pressure on it, then it springs back up two minutes later... And there is no inner consent at all. It chews on words, it chews on ideas or feelings – interminably. What should I do?
Yes, it's the physical mind. The japa is made precisely to control the physical mind.
I myself use it for a very special reason, because... You see, I invoke (the words are a bit strange)... the Lord of Tomorrow. Not the unmanifest Lord, but the Lord as he will manifest “tomorrow,” or in Sri Aurobindo's words, the divine manifestation in its supramental form.
So the first sound of my mantra is the call to that, the evocation. With the second sound, the body's cells make their “surrender,” they give themselves. And with the third sound comes the identification of this [the body] with That, which produces the divine life. These are my three sounds.
And in the beginning, during the first months that I was doing the japa, I felt them... I had an almost detailed awareness of these myriads of cells opening to this vibration; the vibration of the first sound is an absolutely special vibration (you see, above, there is the light and all that, but beyond this light there is the original vibration), and this vibration was entering into all the cells and was reproduced in them. It went on for months in this way.
Even now, when something or other is not all right, I have only to reproduce the thing with the same type of concentration as at the beginning... for, when I say the japa, the sound and the words together – the way the words are understood, the feel of the words – create a certain totality. I have to reproduce that. And the way it's repeated is evolving all the time. The words are the same, however, the original sound is the same, but it's all constantly evolving towards a more comprehensive realization and a more and more complete STATE. So when I want to obtain a certain result, I reproduce a certain type of this state. For example, if something in the body is not functioning right (it can't really be called an illness, but when something's out of order), or if I wish to do some specific work on a specific person for a specific reason, then I go back to a certain state of repetition of my mantra, which acts directly on the body's cells. And then the same phenomenon is reproduced – exactly the same extraordinary vibration which I recognized when the supramental world descended. It comes in and vibrates like a pulsation in the cells.
But as I told you, now my japa is different. It is as if I were taking the whole world to lift it up; no longer is it a concentration on the body, but rather a taking of the whole world – the entire world – sometimes in its details, sometimes as a whole, but constantly, constantly – to establish the Contact [with the supramental world].
But what you are speaking of, this sort of sound-mill, this milling of words interminably repeating the same thing, I've suddenly caught it two or three times (not very often and with long intervals). It has always seemed fantastic to me! How is it stopped?... Always in the same way. It's something that takes place outside, actually; it's not inside – it's outside, on the surface, generally somewhere here (Mother indicates the temples), and the method is to draw your consciousness up above, to go there and remain there – white. Always this whiteness, white like a sheet of paper, flat like a plate of glass. An absolutely flat and white and motionless surface – white! White like luminous milk, turned upwards. Not transparent: white.
When this mill starts turning – usually it comes from this side (Mother indicates the right side of the head) – it takes hold of any sound or any word at all, and then it starts turning, harping on the same thing. This has happened to me a dozen times perhaps, but it doesn't come from me; it comes from outside, from someone or something or some particular work. So then you take it – as if you were picking it up with pincers, and then... (She lifts it upwards), then I hold it there, in this motionless white – no need to keep it there for long!
Aren't you aware of this thing up above, this white plate at the crown of the head? It's what receives intuitions. It's just like a photographic plate, and it's not even active – things pass right through it without our even realizing it. And then if you concentrate just a little, everything stops, everything stops.
A few days ago, I recall, I wanted to know something that was going to happen. I thought that with the consciousness of supramental time, I could find out... “I MUST find out what's going to happen. What's going to happen?” – No answer. So I concentrated on it, which is what I usually do, I stopped everything and looked from above – total silence. Nothing. No answer. And I felt a slight impatience: “But why can't I know?!” And what came was the equivalent of (I'm translating it in words), “It's none of your business!!”
So I understand more and more. Everything – this whole organization, this whole aggregate, all these cells and nerves and sensors – are all meant uniquely for the work, they have no other purpose than the work; every foolish act that is done is for the work; every stupidity that is thought is for the work; you are made the way you are because only in that way can you do the work – and it's none of your business to seek to be somewhere else. That's my conclusion. “Very well, as You wish, may Your will be done!” – No, not “be done”; it IS done. As You wish, exactly as You wish!
And in the end, it's quite fun.
(Concerning an old “Question and Answer” of July 4, 1956 at the Playground in which Mother speaks of her first realization of the Divine, in Paris)
Just as the shooting star flashed past, there sprang from my consciousness: “To realize the divine union, for my body!” And before twelve months were out, it was done.
I remember, it was at the door of our studio3 in Paris. I can still see it. That's how I always remember – the picture simply comes to me.
I am just finishing The Synthesis of Yoga, and what Sri Aurobindo says is exactly what has happened to me throughout my life. And he explains how you can still make mistakes as long as you are not supramentalized. Sri Aurobindo describes all the ways by which images are sent to you – and they are not always images or reflections of the truth of things past, present or future; there are also all the images that come from human mental formations and all the various things that want to be considered. It is very, very interesting. And interestingly enough, in these few pages I have found a description of the work I have spent my whole life doing, trying to SIFT out all we see.
I can only be sure of something once a certain type of picture comes, and then the whole world could tell me, “But things didn't happen like that”; I would reply, “Sorry, but I see it.” And that type of picture is certain, for I have studied it, I have studied their differences in quality and the texture of the pictures. It is very interesting.
Basically, I see more and more that the Supreme Consciousness makes use of ANYTHING AT ALL when the time comes.
In these Questions and Answers, for example, you had wanted to edit out the words “Sweet Mother” since people from the West might not understand. But then, we have just now received a letter from someone who suddenly had a very beautiful experience when he came across those words, “Sweet Mother.” He saw, he suddenly felt this maternal presence of love and compassion watching over the world. The moment had come and, precisely, it did its work. It's very interesting.
Mentally we say, “Oh, that can't go.” And even I am often inclined to say, “Don't publish this, don't speak of something or other.” Then I realize how silly it is! There is something that uses everything. Even what may seem useless to us – or perhaps worse than useless, harmful – might be just the thing to give someone the right shock.
1 Original English.
2 Chakra: center of consciousness. 1) The crown of the head (sahasradala), 2) between the eyebrows (ajna), 3) the throat (vishuddha), 4) the heart (anahata), 5) the navel (manipura), 6) the abdomen (svadhishthana), 7) the base of the spine (muladhara).
3 Rue Lemercier.