September 14, 1966
122 – If thou wouldst not be the fool of Opinion, first see wherein thy thought is true, then study wherein its opposite and contradiction is true; last, discover the cause of these differences and the key of God's harmony.
123 – An opinion is neither true nor false, but only serviceable for life or unserviceable...
(Mother laughs heartily)
... for it is a creation of Time and with time it loses its effect and value. Rise thou above opinion and seek wisdom everlasting.
124 – use opinion for life, but let her not bind thy soul in her fetters.
125 – Every law, however embracing or tyrannous, meets somewhere a contrary law by which its operation can be checked, modified, annulled or eluded.
(after a silence)
I was trying to find out in what way opinions are serviceable.... Sri Aurobindo says they are “serviceable or unserviceable” – in what way can an opinion be serviceable?
They momentarily help in action.
No, that's just what I deplore; people act according to their opinions, and that's worthless.
Maybe that's all they have at their disposal!
(Laughing) Then we may say it's a stopgap.
I am always getting letters from people who want or don't want to do something and who tell me, “My opinion is that this is true and that isn't....” And always, more than ninety-nine times in a hundred, it's false, silly.
One very clearly feels – it's visible, anyway – that the opposite opinion has as much value and it's simply a question of attitude, that's all. And naturally, the ego's preferences get always mixed up in it: you prefer things to be that way, so your opinion is that they are that way.
But as long as you don't have the higher light, in order to act you need to use opinions.
It would be better to have wisdom than an opinion. That is to say, to consider all the possibilities, all the aspects of the question, and then to try and be as unegoistic as possible, and for an action, for instance, to see which one may be useful to the largest number of people or may demolish the fewest things, which one is the most constructive. Anyway, even looking at it from a nonspiritual viewpoint, from a merely utilitarian and nonegoistic viewpoint, it's better to act according to wisdom than according to one's opinion.
Yes, but what would be the right way to go about it when you aren't in the light, without getting your opinion or ego mixed up in it?
I think it's to consider all the aspects of the problem, to lay them before your consciousness in as disinterested a way as possible, and to see which is the best (if that's possible), or, if the consequences are unfortunate, which is the least bad.
I meant, what's the best attitude? Is it an attitude of intervention or an attitude of laissez-faire? Which is the best?... One wonders.
Ah, that's the whole question: in order to intervene you must be sure you are right; you must be sure that your view of things is superior, preferable to or truer than that of others or of the other. Of course, it's always wiser not to intervene – people intervene without rhyme or reason, simply because they are in the habit of giving their opinion to others.
But even when you have the vision of the true thing, it's RARELY wise to intervene. It becomes indispensable only if someone wants to do something that will necessarily end in a catastrophe. And even then (smiling), the intervention isn't always very effective.
Ultimately, it's only when you are absolutely sure you have the vision of the truth that it's legitimate to intervene. Not only that, but also the clear vision of consequences. In order to intervene in another's actions, you must be a prophet – a prophet. And a prophet with total benevolence and compassion. You must even have the vision of the consequence the intervention will have in the other's destiny. People are constantly giving each other advice: “Do this, don't do that.” I see that, they don't realize the extent to which they create confusion, they add to the confusion and disorder. And sometimes they harm the individual's normal development.
I consider opinions to be always dangerous things, and most of the time without any value whatever.
You should interfere in another's affairs only if, first, you are infinitely wiser than the other (of course, you always think you are wiser!), but I mean, objectively and not according to your own opinion: if you see more, better, and if you are yourself beyond passions, desires, blind reactions. You must yourself be above all those things in order to have the right to intervene in another's life – even when they ask you to. And when they don't ask you to, it's simply interfering in other people's business.
(Mother goes into a long contemplation, then suddenly opens her eyes)
I've just seen in your atmosphere – something above – a funny picture! It was like a very steep mountainside, and someone, who was like the symbol of man, was climbing up. A being... It's strange, I have seen that several times: beings without clothes, yet they aren't naked! And I can't understand why – what happens? They don't wear any clothes, yet aren't naked.... There is a shape, you see a shape, the shape of a man; you see it and it isn't naked. It's already the third time this has happened to me. But it happened with people who had gone out of their bodies; Purani, for instance, I saw him like that: he wasn't naked, yet he didn't wear any clothes, and you could see the shape of a body, it was blue and pink (I told you, I think). Well, just now, I saw a man, the shape of a man (who resembled you, by the way), climbing up a hill, and he wasn't naked, yet he didn't wear any clothes.... Which means they have a sort of clothing of light. But it doesn't give the impression of a radiating light or anything of that kind. It's like an atmosphere. It might rather be the aura: the aura that has become visible; so the transparency doesn't hide the shape, and at the same time the shape isn't naked. That must be it, it must be the aura: the aura that has become visible.
It was like that. And then, from the sky – there was a vast sky going all the way up from below (it was like a painting), a very clear, very luminous, very pure sky – from the sky there came innumerable... hundreds of things that looked like birds flying towards him, and he drew them to him with a gesture. They generally were pale blue or white; now and then, something like the tip of a wing or the top of a crest was somewhat dark, but that was accidental. They came and came... in their hundreds, and he gathered them with a gesture, then sent them towards the earth: he was standing on a steep slope, and he sent them into the valley below. And there, they turned into... (Mother laughs) opinions! They became opinions! Some were dark, others light-colored, brown, blue....
They were like kinds of birds flying towards the earth, like that. But it was a picture – it wasn't a picture: it moved. It was very amusing!
They came from up above, luminous, in their hundreds. Then he said, “This is how opinions are formed.”
He looked like you. It wasn't “you,” but he looked like you.
They came from the sky, a vast, vast sky, and luminous, clear, neither blue nor white nor pink nor... it was luminous, simply luminous; and from that sky they came in their... I say “hundreds,” but it was in their thousands that they came. He stood there, receiving them, and then with a movement of his hands he sent them towards the earth, where... they became opinions! I think I started laughing, it amused me.
And they all flew down and down – the bottom couldn't be seen – they flew down.
Very well. So perhaps opinions come from a sky of light! (Mother laughs)
In reality, it's much more expressive through pictures than through words!
You remember that sketch I did, the “Ascent to the Truth”? It was like that, there was that sheer rock, and he was climbing (without difficulty, besides), he was climbing like that, and then, not quite at the top but far enough from the earth (the earth could no longer be seen), he received all that and sent it down again. I can still see the picture, it was pretty.
And that particular detail, which I now understand, of the auras becoming visible and acting as clothing; in other words, the auras are the clothing.
It must be in a subtle physical, maybe a true physical. Sri Aurobindo said that the subtle physical was a much truer physical than ours. Things are like that there, with a very clear symbol.
And those birds (they were birds that weren't birds, but they looked like birds), they came all luminous, luminous, with sometimes tiny darker traces here or there, but generally all luminous; their shape was very fluid. And the colors weren't as we know them: it wasn't white, it wasn't pale blue, but as if the essence of white and blue, the essence of colors. I don't know how to explain it. And they came like that, then he sent them down, and when they went through his hands and flew down towards the earth (laughing)... they became brown, blue, gray... all possible colors! But those were opinions.