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The Mother


Volume 7

September 30, 1966

After reading a hitherto unpublished letter of Sri Aurobindo's

“...Although St. Paul had remarkable mystic experiences and, certainly, much profound spiritual knowledge (profound rather than wide, I think) – I would not swear to it that he is referring1 to the supramentalised body (physical body). Perhaps to the supramental body or to some other luminous body in its own space and substance, which he found sometimes as if enveloping him and abolishing this body of death which he felt the material envelope to be. This verse like many others is capable of several interpretations and might refer to a quite supraphysical experience. The idea of a transformation of the body occurs in different traditions, but I have never been quite sure that it meant the change in this very matter. There was a yogi some time ago in this region who taught it, but he hoped when the change was complete, to disappear in light. The Vaishnavas speak of a divine body which will replace this one when there is the complete siddhi. But, again, is this a divine physical or supraphysical body? At the same time there is no obstacle in the way of supposing that all these ideas, intuitions, experiences point to, if they do not exactly denote, the physical transformation.”2

Sri Aurobindo
December 24, 1930

Oddly, these last few days again, this has been the subject of my meditations (not willed ones: they are imposed from above). Because in all the transition from plant to animal and from animal to man (especially from animal to man), the differences of form are, ultimately, minor: the true transformation is the intervention of another agent of consciousness. All the differences between the life of the animal and the life of man stem from the intervention of the Mind; but the substance is essentially the same and it obeys the same laws of formation and construction. There isn't much difference, for instance, between the calf being formed in a cow's womb and the child being formed in its mother's womb. There is one difference: that of the Mind's intervention. But if we envisage a PHYSICAL being, that is, as visible as the physical now is and with the same density, for instance a body that wouldn't need blood circulation and bones (especially these two things: the skeleton and blood circulation)... it's very hard to imagine. And as long as it is like this, with this blood circulation, this functioning of the heart, we could imagine – we can imagine – the renewal of strength, of energy through a power of the Spirit, through other means than food. It's conceivable. But the rigidity, the solidity of the body, how is it possible without a skeleton?... So it would be an infinitely greater transformation than that from animal to man; it would be a transition from man to a being that would no longer be built in the same way, that would no longer function in the same way, that would be like a densification or concretization of... “something.” Up till now, it doesn't correspond to anything we have seen physically, unless the scientists have found something I am not aware of.

We may conceive of a new light or force giving the cells a sort of spontaneous life, a spontaneous strength.

Yes, that's what I said: food can disappear. That's conceivable.

But the whole body could be driven by that force. The body could remain supple, for instance. While still having its bone structure, it could remain supple, with the suppleness of a child.

But that's just why a child can't stand! He can't exert himself. What would replace the bone structure, for example?

The same elements could be there, but endowed with suppleness. Elements whose firmness doesn't stem from hardness but from the force of light, no?

Yes, that's possible.... Only, what I mean is that it may again take place through a large number of new creations. Will the transition from man to this being, for instance, perhaps take place through all kinds of other intermediaries? You understand, what I find formidable is the switch from one to the other.

I can very well conceive of a being who could, through spiritual power, the power of his inner being, absorb the necessary forces, renew himself and remain ever young; that's quite easily conceivable; even providing for a certain suppleness so as to be able to change the form if necessary. But the complete disappearance of this system of construction right away – from one to the other right away, that seems... It appears to require stages.

Obviously, unless something happens (which we are forced to call a “miracle” because we can't understand how it could happen), how can a body like ours become a body entirely built and driven by a higher force, and without a material support?... How can this (Mother pinches the skin of her hands), how can this change into that other thing?... It appears impossible.

It seems miraculous, but...

Yes, in all my experiences, I understand quite well the possibility of not having to eat anymore, of that whole process being done away with (changing the method of absorption, for instance, is possible), but how do you change the structure?

It doesn't seem impossible to me.

It doesn't?

No, maybe it's imagination, but I can readily imagine a spiritual power entering the body and producing a sort of luminous inflation, and everything suddenly blossoms out like a flower. This body, which is crumpled in on itself, blossoms out, becomes radiant, supple, luminous.

Supple and plastic, we can also conceive it could be plastic, that is, the form wouldn't be fixed as it is now. All that is conceivable, but...

But I can very well see it as a sort of luminous blossoming: the Light must have that force. And it doesn't destroy anything in the present structure.

But visible, that can be touched?

Yes. It's simply like a blossoming. What's closed up blossoms out like a flower, that's all; but it's still the flower's structure, only it's in full bloom and radiant. No?

Yes, but... (Mother shakes her head and remains silent for a while). I lack experience, I don't know.

I am absolutely convinced (because I've had experiences that proved it to me) that the life of this body – its life, what makes it move and change – can be replaced by a force; that is to say, a sort of immortality can be created, and the wear and tear can disappear. These two things are possible: the power of life can come, and the wear and tear can disappear. And it can come about psychologically, through total obedience to the divine Impulsion, so that every moment you have the force you need, you do the thing that must be done – all these things, all of them are certitudes. Certitudes. They're not a hope, not an imagining: they are certitudes. Of course, you must educate the body and slowly transform and change the habits. It can be done, all that can be done. But the question is, how much time would it take to do away with the necessity (to take just this problem) of the skeleton? This is still very far ahead, it seems to me. Which means many intermediary stages will be needed. Sri Aurobindo said that life can be prolonged indefinitely. Yes, that's clear. But we aren't yet built with something that completely escapes dissolution, the necessity of dissolution. Bones are very durable, they can even last a thousand years if conditions are favorable, that's agreed, but it doesn't mean immortality IN PRINCIPLE. Do you understand what I mean?

No. Do you think it would have to be a nonphysical substance?

I don't know if it's nonphysical, but it's a physical I am unaware of! And it's not substance as we now know it, and especially not the construction we now know.

I don't know, but if it has to be a PHYSICAL body (as Sri Aurobindo said it would), it seemed to me (but that may be a daydream) that it could be like a lotus bud, for example: our present body is like a small, closed, hard lotus bud, and... it blossoms out, it becomes a flower.

Yes, but that, mon petit, it's...

Is there anything this Light can't do with the elements it has?? The materials remain the same, the elements remain the same, but transfigured.

But vegetal things aren't immortal.

No, it's only a comparison.

Well, that's just the point!

There's only this question: I can conceive of a perpetual change; I could even conceive of a flower that doesn't wither; but it's this principle of immortality.... Which means, basically, a life that escapes the necessity of renewal: the eternal Force would manifest directly and eternally, and this would still be a physical body (Mother touches the skin of her hands).

I quite understand a progressive change and that this substance could be made into something capable of renewing itself eternally from within outward. That would be immortality. But it seems to me that between what is now, what we are, and that other mode of life, a lot of stages might be necessary. You see, if for instance you ask these cells, with all the consciousness and experience they now have, “Is there something you cannot do?”, in their sincerity they will answer, “No, what the Lord wills, I can do.” That's their state of consciousness. But the appearance is otherwise. The personal experience is like this: all that I do with the Lord's Presence, I do effortlessly, without difficulty, without fatigue, without wear and tear, like that (Mother spreads out her arms in a great, harmonious Rhythm), but it's still open to the whole influence from outside and the body is forced to do things that aren't directly the expression of the supreme Impulsion, hence the fatigue, the friction.... So a supramental body suspended in a world that's not the earth is not the thing!


Something is needed that has the power to resist the contagion. Man cannot resist the contagion from the animal, he can't, he has constant relationships. Well, how will that being manage?... It would seem that for a long time – a long time – he will still be subject to the laws of contagion.

I don't know, it doesn't seem impossible to me.


It seems to me that that Power of Light being here, what can affect it?

But the whole world would disappear! That's the problem, you understand.

When That comes, when the Lord is there, there isn't one in a thousand for whom it's not terrifying. And not to the reason, not to the thought: to the flesh, like that. So assume – assume it happens and a being is the condensation and expression, an embodiment of the supreme Power, of the supreme Light – what would happen?!

Well, that's the whole problem.


Because I don't see the difficulty of the transformation in itself. It rather seems to be the difficulty of the world.

If everything could be transformed at the same time, it would be all right, but it's clearly not like that. If one being were transformed all alone...

Yes, perhaps it would be unbearable.


Maybe that's the whole problem.

Multiply a thousand times what very small children feel. (I am talking about those who are exclusively physical, human beings, not those who are reincarnations.) When they are purely physical beings, they can't approach me, mon petit! They start crying and trembling! Yet I love them and welcome them with all my tenderness and as much calm as possible – they start trembling and then get frightened, it's too strong. With those who carry something else in themselves, the reincarnations, it's different: they open out, they are happy; but when there's nothing but this, that is, the external substance... I've seen adults come (I did the experiment: I charge the atmosphere, the Lord is present), well, I've seen forty-year-old men enter that and... brrt! literally run away, disregarding all social courtesy, and after having ASKED to come, you understand! Anyway everything was there to allow them to behave decently – impossible, they couldn't.

But even in my case, having the experience of you, knowing you well, at times it's fearsome.

Ah, you see.

It's not frightening, but... it's really... fearsome.

I am not putting words into your mouth!

Of course one knows – inside one knows there's nothing to fear, but still...


Still it's too strong.

No, it's the substance that fears.


So take the consciousness of a very small child, when you yourself...

In your eyes, there is at times... there is something...

(Mother laughs)


1 “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Corinthians 15:53-54)


2 See Cent. Ed., 24.1237.









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