December 17, 1960
(Mother gives the disciple a cadamba flower which she has named “Supramental Sun” – a striking orange ball consisting of innumerable stamens)
It's beautiful, isn't it? It's all together, but it's innumerable. It's ONE thing going in all directions. And what a color! The tree is glorious.
Nature is a marvelous inventor – everything She does is beautiful. I don't believe that man has succeeded in producing anything so perfect. Later, it's true, some new species were developed by him, but nevertheless Nature still remains the origin.
Yes, ugliness seems to begin with man.
I think that even what seems to us ugly in animal and vegetal nature appears so only because of the limitations of our own understanding. But really, as soon as man enters the scene... phew!
Yes, I have always felt that in Nature one can live in beauty, always. But then once man shows up, something gets thrown out of joint. It's the mind, actually. What gives birth to ugliness is really the intrusion of the mind in life. I wonder if it was necessary, if it could not have been immediately harmonious. But it appears not.
Even stones are beautiful; they are always beautiful in one way or another. When life appeared, there were some forms that were a little “difficult,” but not to that extent, not like certain human mental creations. Of course, there may have been some animal species which were rather... but they were more monstrous than actually ugly. And most probably, it only seems like that to our consciousness. But the mind... And it's the same for all these ideas of sin, of wrong, of... all that – it's a falsehood. But it was man who invented falsehood, wasn't it? The mind invented falsehood: to deceive! to deceive! And it's a curious fact that animals domesticated by man have also learned to lie!
Anyway, we have to go beyond all that.
Beyond?... That's quite a task!
So many people are satisfied with their falsehood, their ugliness, their narrowness, all of it. They're quite satisfied. When they're asked to be something else...
This realm that I'm now investigating, oh!... I spend whole nights visiting certain places, and there I meet people I know here materially [in the Ashram]. So many are PERFECTLY satisfied with their... their infirmities, their incapacities, their ugliness, their powerlessness.
And they protest when you want them to change!
Even last night I went down into it... It was so gray and dull and... phew! Banal, lifeless. When they are told that, they retort, “No, not at all! Things are quite all right as they are, it's you who is living in a dreamland!”
We'll get out of it one day.
But you cannot get out as long as it all seems quite natural to you. What's most unfortunate is when you resign yourself to it. You realize this when you go back to earlier states of consciousness; you see that it all seemed, if not quite natural, at least almost inevitable – “that's how things are, you must take them as they are.” And you don't even think about it; you take things as they are, you EXPECT them to be what they are; it's the stuff of our daily lives, and it keeps repeating itself endlessly. And the only thing you learn is to hold on, hold on, not let yourself be shaken, to go right through it all – and it feels endless, interminable, almost eternal. (However, once you understand what “eternal” is, you see that this CANNOT be eternal, for otherwise...)
But this particular state of endurance – this endurance that nothing can upset – is very dangerous. And yet it's indispensable, for you must first accept everything before having the power to transform anything.
It's what Sri Aurobindo always said: FIRST you must accept EVERYTHING – accept it as coming from the Divine, as the Divine Will; accept without disgust, without regret, without getting upset or impatient. Accept with a perfect equanimity; and only AFTER that can you say, “Now let's get to work to change it.”
But to work to change it before having attained a perfect equanimity is impossible. That's what I have learned during these last years.
And for every detail, it's the same. First, “May Thy Will be done”; then, afterwards, “The Will of tomorrow” – and then those things will disappear. But first, one must accept.
That's why it takes so long. Because those who readily accept are... they get encrusted and buried under it; they no longer move. And those who see the future and what must be have a hard time accepting; they pull back, they kick and protest – so they don't have any power.
(Soon afterwards, concerning the conversation of November 5 on the subconscious roots in the cells that can make everything fall apart in a second: “To change it, you have to descend into it... it makes for painful moments... Once it's done, I'll have the power...”)
When was this? November 5? And now it's December 17... Well, it's still continuing!
There should be machines to graph the curves, for it's so ... sometimes it goes like this (gesture of a very steep ascent) and at such moments you feel, “Ah! now I've caught the thing.” And then back it falls – toil. Sometimes it even feels like you're falling in a hole, really a hole – and how are you ever going to get out? But that ALWAYS precedes a rapid ascent and a revelation or illumination: “Ah, how wonderful! I've finally got it!”
And that goes on for weeks and weeks.
To have the exact curve or the REAL history, we'd have to note down everything at each minute, for it's a CONSTANT work that's taking place. You see, the outer activities are becoming almost automatic, whereas this goes on behind – I'm speaking, yet at the same time this is going on behind.
It's a sort of oscillation – really, it's so interesting – between two extremes, one of which is the all-powerfulness and capital or primordial importance of the Physical, and the other its utter unreality.
And it's constantly going back and forth between the two (seesaw motion). And both are equally false, equally true.
It goes back and forth between the two all the time – a kind of curve like an electric arc between them; it goes up, it goes down, it falls and then climbs back up. In a flash comes the clear vision that the universal realization will be achieved along with the perfection of the material, TERRESTRIAL world. (I say “terrestrial”, for the earth is still something unique; the rest of the universe is different – so this blown up speck of dust becomes of capital importance!) Then, at another moment, eternity – for which all the universes are simply... the expression of a second, and in which all this is a sort of – not even an interesting game, but rather... a breathing in and out, in and out... And at such a moment, all the importance we give to material things seems so fantastically idiotic! And it goes in and out... In this state, everything is obvious and indisputable. And in the other state, everything is obvious and indisputable. But between the two there is EVERY combination and every possibility.
And the problem is to hold both of them so PERFECTLY together that they are no longer in opposition. For one second, it comes – ah! – just a thousandth of a second – ah, yes! – and then it's over, it's gone. And you have to begin again.
And particularly, this sense of what's “important” and “not important” is something which vanishes, leaving no trace at all. You are left like that, with... nothing. There is no SCALE in importance – that is entirely our mental imbecility. Either nothing is important or EVERYTHING is EQUALLY important.
The speck of dust, there, which you sweep away, or ecstatic contemplation – it's ALL THE SAME.