January 31, 1966
(Satprem's letters to Mother having disappeared, he does not remember what caused the “sadness” Mother refers to here, probably certain ways of being in life that he found hard to accept, or perhaps his own incapacity to tolerate life in the world as is it and his tendency to dart off to the heights – unless it was the abyss. Satprem then asked Mother if he should not start writing a new book, “The Sannyasin,” in which he would attempt to exorcize a certain refusal of life as it is.)
Tell me, why do you feel sad?
Because... if you have realized that there is a progress to be made, there's no need to feel sad anymore. It's when one has a progress to make and doesn't realize it that one should feel sad!
I took a good look, and it is indeed possible that by writing this book you will get rid of something that's lingering on – it's possible. My hope was that it could go away simply through the inner movement; but when I received your note yesterday, I took a good look and thought, “Yes, it's probably necessary.”
It has a drawback, but it will have that advantage.... I am not referring to external drawbacks, that can't be helped, we'll have to manage.1 I mean for yourself: it concentrates you in an almost hypnotic way on that part of your being which is... almost imprisoned in the form, in the form of expression, that is to say, the “author,” the “writer.” Yet I know, and it's very clear, that your external being was formed in large part for that, but from a higher standpoint: more as a means than as an end.
You see, your book on Sri Aurobindo is exceptional in all respects and it was a sort of summit in expression. There was also the fact that Sri Aurobindo was always there while you were writing it. When it came, I had the sense of a summit that cannot be exceeded.... That's why I no longer thought about other books: my consciousness used this book on Sri Aurobindo as a starting point towards something else, something more complete. But when I read your letter yesterday, I thought, “Maybe, after all, there is indeed something that has to be expressed; maybe it will be the right way to get rid of a past that's lingering on.”
That's what I wanted to tell you.
If you must do it, it's better to do it, and to do it with this idea, with this aspiration for a whole state of consciousness to be expressed in order to go away into the past, not to keep clinging to your present consciousness.
Can't it be also a means to make a truth descend, a truth-force, as the book on Sri Aurobindo was, but in another way?
That's possible. It's possible, but... (laughing) I'll tell you afterwards!
Just two days ago, I wrote to someone (someone who is a bit under the influence of ascetic ideas), and I told that person, “Those thoughts – those thoughts and that type of action – belong, from the spiritual standpoint, to the ascetic belief, but it-is-no-longer-true.” And I said it with terrible force: IT-IS-NO-LONGER-TRUE. And I saw that at one point in the history of the earth it was necessary to obtain a certain result, but now IT'S NO LONGER TRUE. Voilą. It has given way to a higher and more complete truth. From that point of view, your book can obviously be the expression of this new force.
It's possible, it's by no means impossible.
It's a whole world of spiritual thought and existence to which I'd like to give its most perfect expression, while demolishing it at the same time – not “demolishing” but showing that it's only one side, one part.
Yes, that's right.
I also felt that something else had to be written, going over your whole Agenda as I did for Sri Aurobindo (that has come to me several times very clearly), going over your whole Agenda from the beginning, and then... You know that before I wrote the book on Sri Aurobindo, I took all his works to read them again, and while I read them I seemed to be told, “This passage... that passage... this passage...”1 noted down all kinds of passages. And when afterwards I wrote the book, all those selected passages automatically came to mingle with what was coming to me. And I've had the same impression with all these Agenda conversations: one day I should read them all again in that same consciousness and pick out a number of passages, which, afterwards, would crystallize into a book.
Yes, but not yet – not yet.2
Not yet, no, I clearly feel it's not for now.
It's not for now. Not for now, it's for later.
No, to me, if you write this book, we'll see, because it depends if... If that Truth descends, well, it will descend and then you will automatically express it. Of course, we can aspire for it to be that way. But we can't tell before it is so.
At any rate, what's quite certain is that this book can serve you as a rung to rise above the past and overcome certain difficulties in your nature. And then of course, from that point of view I immediately approve.
So there's no problem left at all, it only has to get done.
There seems to remain a doubt in your consciousness?
Even with this doubt, there was no hesitation; I wanted to tell you, “Do it.”
The question is more of a subtle order: it's to know whether the “thing” is really there, in the inner or higher worlds, and I have to do it, or whether it's a decision of my “writer's ego” that wants to write.
The thing is there... (how can I explain?).
The thing is there in its old form.3 That you have things to say is beyond doubt, and that you will say them is beyond doubt; but it has remained in that form because of... precisely because of a certain difficulty you complained about in your letter, and which persists. So it's to get rid at the same time of a certain state of consciousness and, yes, of a certain difficulty. Your true consciousness, you know, the consciousness of your true being, is in a very rapid ascent; something in you isn't aware of that and lags behind, and that's what causes an unease in you. So it's clear that writing is a good means (probably the best means) of getting rid of it: you throw it outside yourself by expressing it, and then it's finished, you've got rid of it. It's the FORM, you understand, only the form; it's always the same thing: the essence and spirit, and on the other hand the form. You are rising like an arrow, and you don't know it because something remains like that, hard, tight, and it's only a form. Well, it's better to get rid of it; it's the most natural way for you to exteriorize the form, the state of consciousness and the difficulty, all of it together, at the same time as you write the book.
I am sure of it because I spent a large part of the night looking at it.
Yes, it's fine, do it. It will certainly be a very interesting and excellent book, which will be helpful to many people, but anyway it's not... From our point of view, it's secondary.
And now, of course, you are labeled, at least in France, in Germany, in the U.S.A. and here, as “the author of the book on Sri Aurobindo”: it will be a new book by “the author of the book on Sri Aurobindo.” So you will have a readership. All those things are secondary to me, but they are nonetheless true.
But what I am interested in... The only thing I have to say in defense of the writer's job is that, to me, writing is like a mantra: it's embodying a vibration of truth.
That's the true purpose.
If “that” isn't there, I'm not interested.
That's certainly right.
But there is one thing... Even as a writer (you in your present form and as a writer) you can, AS A WRITER, give many different expressions to that thing which you want to attract upon earth and express: you can express it in many different forms. We are now concerned with one particular form that you had conceived; well, what makes this form useful is that, to me (what I am going to tell you may be a bit commonplace), it can be used as a pickaxe, you understand, to root out the things you want to reject from your consciousness: a certain way of being of your consciousness that's receding into the past. And then, afterwards, you will rise to expressions of a higher order.
And, mind you, if we look at the problem from the terrestrial and human standpoint, it's fully part of the things that can be very useful to mankind; if you were “humanitarian,” I would tell you: Without a shadow of doubt, it can be very useful.
So, I tell you, I saw that carefully last night, and I have reached this conclusion: it must be done. There, that's all.
But without sadness – without sadness.
To discover the obstacles, the failings, the resistances in one's own being, in one's own consciousness, isn't a defeat, it's a great victory. And one shouldn't lament, one should rejoice.
But it's full of failings!
Yes! (Mother laughs) Yes, I know that quite well, we are all full of failings.
I don't even know how to live!
That's true indeed! (Mother laughs) That's just why your difficulty is persisting, otherwise it should have been gone long ago. It should have been gone. It will go, but... it has got a certain right to linger, a right given by... yes, a certain attitude of your consciousness towards life. That's in fact one of the things I saw.
Ah, let a whole past be dissolved, rejected outside – expressed and rejected: “It's over, now it's over, I no longer have anything to do with you: I have given you birth.”
Mind you, it's very good, very useful to lots of people who lack that consciousness.4 Nothing in the world is useless, but things must be in their place. When one lingers on in a consciousness that must be exceeded, it becomes a failing – one just has not to linger! One just has to reject it and use it as a springboard to jump higher, that's all. That's how I see it. That's how I see all the incapacities, all the failings, all the failures, I see them like that: “All right, it's a springboard – hop! let's jump, now let's go beyond
When one does the work I am doing and is in contact with all the petty reactions of the physical body, of the most material consciousness... mon petit, it would be absolutely disheartening and sickening to anyone having an ideal. But that... that's how it is, so that's how it is: it must change – we are here so that it will become different. And as long as we aren't conscious of it, it will never change. Therefore one must rejoice when one is conscious, that's all.
All discoveries are always graces – wonderful graces. When you discover that you can't do anything, when you discover that you are a fool, when you discover that you have no capacity, when you discover that you are so petty and mean and stupid, well...”Oh, Lord, I thank You so much, how good You are to show me all this!“And then, it's over. Because the minute you discover it, you say, ‘Now this is up to You. You will do what has to be done for all this to change.’ And the best part of it is that it does change! It does change. When you do like this (gesture of offering to the Heights), sincerely: “Oh, take it, take it, take it, rid me of it, let me be... only You”...
1 Mother means the time that will have to be taken to write the book.
2 That will be eight years later, when Satprem will write his “trilogy” on Mother.
3 The first form of The Sannyasin, which was to be a sort of Greek tragedy, with chorus.
4 Rejecting the world as it is and climbing to the heights.