December 20, 1960
Regarding Christmas, I'll tell you a curious story.
For a while, there was a Muslim girl close to me (not a believer, but her origins were Muslim; in other words, she wasn't at all Christian) who had a special fondness for Santa Claus! She had seen pictures of him, read some books, etc. Then one year while she was here, she got it into her head that Santa Claus had to bring me something. “He has to bring you something for Christmas,” she told me.
“Try,” I replied.
I don't know what all she did, but she prayed to him to bring me money. She fixed a certain sum. And on Christmas Eve, exactly this sum was given to me! And it was a large sum, several thousand rupees. Exactly the amount she had specified. And it came on that very day in quite an unexpected way.
I found it very interesting.
(Soon afterwards, concerning the last conversation of December 17 – a speck of dust which you sweep away, or ecstatic contemplation, “It's all the same”)
If I could only note all this down... It's been so interesting all morning, right from the start – on the balcony, then upstairs while walking for my japa! And it was on this same theme [experience of the speck of dust]... This habit people have (especially in India, but more or less everywhere among those who have a religious nature), this habit of doing all things religious with respect and compunction – and no mixing of things, above all there should be no mixing; in some circumstances, at certain times, you MUST NOT think of God, for then it would be a kind of blasphemy.
There's the religious attitude, and then there's ordinary life where people do things – working, living, eating, enjoying life; they regard these as the essentials, and as for the rest, well, when there's time they think about it. But what Sri Aurobindo brought down, precisely... I remember at Tlemcen, Théon used to say that there was a whole world of things, such as eating, for example, or taking care of your body, that should be done automatically, without giving it any importance – “it's not the time to think of things divine.”(!) That's what he preached. So you have the religious attitude of all the religious types, and then ordinary life – I found both of them equally unsatisfactory. Then I came here and told Sri Aurobindo my feeling; I said that if someone is truly in union with the Divine, it CANNOT change no matter what he does (the quality of what you're doing may change, but the union can't change no matter what you're doing). And when he said that this was the truth, I felt a relief. And that feeling has stayed with me all through my life.
And now, all these different attitudes which individuals, groups and categories of men hold are coming from every direction (while I'm walking upstairs) to assert their own points of view as the true thing. And I see that for myself, I'm being forced to deal with a whole mass of things, most of which are quite futile from an ordinary point of view – not to mention the things of which these moral or religious types disapprove. Quite interestingly, all kinds of mental formations come like arrows while I'm walking for my japa upstairs (Mother makes a gesture of little arrows in the air coming into her mental atmosphere from every direction); and yet, I'm entirely in what I could call the joy and happiness of my japa, full of the energy of walking (the purpose of walking is to give a material energy to the experience, in all the body's cells). Yet in spite of this, one thing after another comes, like this, like that (Mother draws little arrows in the air): what I must do, what I must answer to this person, what I must say to that one, what has to be done... All kinds of things, most of which might be considered most futile! And I see that all this is SITUATED in a totality, and this totality... I could say that it's nothing but the body of the Divine. I FEEL it, actually, I feel it as if I were touching it everywhere (Mother touches her arms, her hands, her body). And all these things neither veil nor destroy nor divert this feeling of being entirely this... a movement, an action in the body of the Divine. And it's increasing from day to day, for it seems that He is plunging me more and more into entirely material things with the will that THERE TOO it must be done – that all these things must be consciously full of Him; they are full of Him, in actual fact, but it must become conscious, with the perception that it is all the very substance of His being which is moving in everything...
It was quite beautiful on the balcony this morning...
A sweetness, a sensation... (both together) a sensation of eternity, and a sweetness! I wonder if it's even possible for anything to escape That!
Of course, if one is so unfortunate as to start thinking, it's all over.
It's a FACT. It's not a thought, not something you observe – you aren't a witness: it's A FACT which is LIVED. So if you want to translate the experience, you'd have to say the most paradoxical of things, like Sri Aurobindo – so paradoxical that they are almost offensive to reason! Yes, more, far more than paradoxical.