December 21, 1966
(Mother first reads her “message” for the year 1967:)
Men, countries, continents!
The choice is imperative:
Truth or the abyss.
Have you anything to tell me?
I wondered how a false expression (because it's false, I feel all this expression is false), how it could be worthwhile salvaging this false expression? Is it worth correcting and doing all this work when I feel this expression not to be the true one? Can it still be useful?
The problem isn't like that.
Certainly you must have observed two things: first the differences of condition while you wrote, and also a difference of “pressure” among the things that wanted you to write them. You must have noted these differences while writing?
That's how it is. So then, once it's objectified on paper, you can become aware of the relationship between the pressure you received and the things you wrote, which have varying qualities. When, for instance, you read me those few pages, with certain things I saw the Light behind; with others, it was like a horizontal origin or will (horizontal gesture at forehead level), and it was very pretty, very fine (you understand, I am not looking at it from the literary standpoint at all, or even the standpoint of the beauty of the form, that's not it). It's the quality of the vibration in what's written. And while you were reading to me, I felt the two origins, and I felt a sort of conflict between what came like this (gesture from above) and what came out of habit, like that (horizontal gesture to the forehead): it was especially an old habit, something that came from the past and belonged to a mental, artistic, literary region (all that likes the form, likes certain emotions, certain expressions, all that). And it all constituted a horizontal world that exerted a pressure to be expressed, mostly out of habit, but also with a sort of will to be, a will to last. The other way was a Light falling and expressing itself quite naturally – spontaneously, effortlessly, and UNCONCERNED WITH THE EXTERNAL FORM. And that was much more direct in its expression. But of course, the distinction isn't clear-cut, it's not easy to say, “Oh, this comes from here (gesture to a particular level), oh, that comes from there (gesture to another level).” But there is a movement above and another below.
So I think the “sadhana” would consist in sifting it out, or rather in developing a sensitivity such that the difference would become clear, quite perceptible, so it would no longer be the mind that chose and said, “This is all right, that isn't.” There would be a spontaneous adherence to what is clothed in this light from above and a rejection of what isn't. The sadhana would consist in developing this sensitivity by separating yourself from the old movement, by taking the old movement outside you.
I understand quite well, your letter was a grace for me in the sense that I saw clearly. The only thing is, it's the whole book that I find... inadequate.
Yes, I think the whole book is like that. I don't know, you haven't read everything to me, but in what you read, in that dream notation, for instance, even there, now and then I felt the intrusion of the old habit.
But then, is it worth salvaging all that? I would have to re-create the book.
You mean it would be better to write another book?
I told you: “The book MUST be written,” but it's not necessarily the one that has been written: it's the one that must be written! (Mother laughs). To me, you understand, there is a difference. “Somewhere” there is something that MUST be said, and that something is very useful: I see that the people, for example, who have come to place trust in you because of the book on Sri Aurobindo, will read you with an opening of mind, and if at that time you give them a sort of sensation of the experience, it will help them a lot. It's in that sense I say this book is useful. But for you personally, if you'd rather rewrite it completely than correct it, it doesn't matter.... Only, for you to be capable of rewriting it without falling back into the old state, you must have a decisive awareness of the difference in condition. Suppose you said, “I'll rewrite the book,” and once you started writing the same conflict recurred, that would be useless.... Something must take place there, in the mind, that's where you must become totally conscious of the vibrations.
I see fairly clearly all that must be cut out.... But there's a lot to cut out!
You see clearly.
Yes, but I feel almost everything should be cut out. It's a whole way of saying things...
Ah, it's especially a way – a way of feeling, a way of thinking.
But from the standpoint of external form, the question remains of which method is easier: using the already written text, or writing everything anew. Writing everything anew... You understand, unless you are the master of your activity...
Yes, I am going to fall back into the same conflict.
It's no use.
Well, I'm going to correct it.
Yes, I think it's better to correct it. It may not be very enjoyable, but from the point of view of mental discipline it's very useful.
I really feel your letter as a grace, because as for me I'd toss everything out.
You've made me see how false it was.
What's necessary isn't to destroy, it's to become the master of the expression of your inspiration. You must be the master, that is to say, you mustn't receive the thing “as it comes” and write it “as it comes.” You must receive the inspiration and be conscious of the phenomenon of expression. Then it will be perfect.
I was in the habit of being motionless and letting things flow down.
Yes, but your mind is active – the mind is active. You see, Sri Aurobindo could do it because his mind no longer existed; it was perfectly, perfectly still and inspiration went through it as through pure air. But your mind... In fact, that's the discipline you have to do, because your mind is in the habit of becoming active again. It's good if what comes from above goes through like that, but on condition that the mind be perfectly still. If you like, to put things differently, it's to learn to keep your mind still, while writing at the same time.