Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers:1955-11-02
|Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers
November 2, 1955
Mother speaks again about the necessity of our finding our psychic being, and uniting with our psychic being, so that we can successfully do Sri Aurobindo's yoga. She explains how this was also the goal in the times that the Vedas were written, but they had a different focus, and different methods which we couldn't use today. She also explains something about the inspiration and expression that resulted in the written Vedas; and she says that it can be understood by anyone who has the same experience.
Towards the end of this class, Mother speaks about evolution and involution. Sri Aurobindo teaches that spirit is involved in Matter. And in Matter, spirit evolves back to become its own fullness again.
In the very beginning, there was only spirit. Then, for delight, it became Matter, which is the most unconscious thing; but still, in unconscious Matter, there is a tiny presence of the pure consciousness of spirit, because this whole universe, this whole creation, is only consciousness.
So spirit involves itself in Matter, and then evolves itself out; eventually, it evolves through man's evolution. So it's also the story of our own evolution.
But here, Mother speaks of another kind of involution – or maybe the same involution, but at a later stage, at a later time, of involution. She speaks about how a developed conscious being goes into a body which has been prepared, and is now ready to have the new consciousness in it. So now, that new consciousness comes down, and involves itself in the already established consciousness of a body which has in it already the evolution of a life and a mind – as far as that has come. So now this person who is ready to receive the new consciousness coming into it and involving itself inside – this person has a new consciousness which can now evolve, and the overall consciousness of the person (and the species also) will evolve.
Mother mentions a couple of times in this class that she already spoke of this, when she told the children of how mind evolved in man. She had said that mind came about because certain beings had prepared themselves enough for a mental being to descend in them, and start evolving mind in man. Once mind was involved in man, she said it took countless thousands and perhaps millions of years to evolve into the mental man as we are today. Then she says that this is the same pattern which the new supramental consciousness will follow in man.
If anyone's interested in what Mother said about how mind became involved, all of that is in Mother's Questions and Answers of October 12th, 1955, part 2. It was recorded for the radio on December 16th, 2015. So it should be easy to find.
And with that recording, there are also things from Mother's Agenda where she speaks about the descent of the new Superman consciousness into her, and into other people as well, on January 1st, 1969. And then there's some things from the Agenda, about what happened with that new consciousness after that.
Unfortunately, we don't have the original French recording of this class, because they had to reuse the tape again.
So, we're back in the Playground, it's Mother's Friday class...
2 November 1955
Now then, your question?
- “The process of Yoga is a turning of the human soul from the egoistic state of consciousness absorbed in the outward appearances...” I did not quite understand “the egoistic state of consciousness absorbed in the outward appearances...”
People are occupied with outward things. That means that the consciousness is turned towards external things — that is, all the things of life which one sees, knows, does — instead of being turned inwards in order to find the deeper truth, the divine Presence. This is the first movement. You are busy with all that you do, with the people around you, the things you use; and then with life: sleeping, eating, talking, working a little, having a little fun also; and then beginning over again: sleeping, eating, etc., etc., and then it begins again. And then what this one has said, what that one has done, what one ought to do, the lesson one ought to learn, the exercise one ought to prepare; and then again whether one is keeping well, whether one is feeling fit, etc. This is what one usually thinks about.
So the first movement — and it is not so easy — is to make all that pass to the background, and let one thing come inside and in front of the consciousness as the important thing: the discovery of the very purpose of existence and life, to learn what one is, why one lives, and what there is behind all this. This is the first step: to be interested more in the cause and goal than in the manifestation. That is, the first movement is a withdrawal of the consciousness from this total identification with outward and apparent things, and a kind of inward concentration on what one wants to discover, the Truth one wants to discover. This is the first movement.
Many people who are here forget one thing. They want to begin by the end. They think that they are ready to express in their life what they call the supramental Force or Consciousness, and they want to infuse this in their actions, their movements, their daily life. But the trouble is that they don’t at all know what the supramental Force or Consciousness is and that first of all it is necessary to take the reverse path, the way of interiorisation and of withdrawal from life, in order to find within oneself this Truth which has to be expressed.
For as long as one has not found it, there is nothing to express. And by imagining that one is living an exceptional life, one lives only in the illusion of one’s exceptional state. Therefore, at first not only must one find one’s soul and the Divine who possesses it, but one must identify oneself with it. And then later, one may begin to come back to outward activities, and then transform them; because then one knows in what direction to turn them, into what to transform them.
One can’t jump over this stage. One must first find one’s soul, this is absolutely indispensable, and identify oneself with it. Later one can come to the transformation. Sri Aurobindo has written somewhere: “Our Yoga begins where the others end.” Usually yoga leads precisely to this identification, this union with the Divine — that is why it is called “yoga”. And when people reach this, well, they are at the end of their path and are satisfied. But Sri Aurobindo has written: we begin when they finish; you have found the Divine but instead of sitting down in contemplation and waiting for the Divine to take you out of your body which has become useless, on the contrary, with this consciousness you turn to the body and to life and begin the work of transformation — which is very hard labour. It’s here that he compares it with cutting one’s way through a virgin forest; because as nobody has done it before, one must make one’s path where there was none. But to try to do this without having the indispensable directive of the union with the Divine within, within one’s soul, is childishness. There.
I am speaking of yoga. I am not speaking of your life, of you all, you children here. That’s different. You are here to develop yourselves. And when you are developed and have a precise thought of your own, a vision of your own, when you have enough knowledge to be able to choose freely what life you want to lead, then at that time you will take a decision.
But those who have already taken the decision, well for them it is first of all indispensable to find their soul and unite with their psychic being, and with the Divine who is within it. This is an absolutely indispensable beginning. One can’t leap over that bridge; it is not possible. It can be done very quickly if you know how to use the help that’s given to you; but it has to be done.
Has anyone anything to ask?
Pavitra is looking for his soul!
- Mother, here Sri Aurobindo says: “... the same problem has to be approached from a new starting-point.”
Yes. That’s exactly what I have just said. The problem remains the same...
- The problem...
The problem is to find one’s soul and unite with the Divine.
- But, Mother, was it the same during the Vedic times also?
To find their soul and the Divine? Of course.
- But they did not succeed?
No, Sri Aurobindo says that in the Vedic age they tried to bring the spiritual life into the physical life, but he says that the means they employed, the paths they followed at that time are no longer any good now. Just imagine us before an altar making a puja!... It won’t do now, it is not suitable.
- Is their goal and ours the same?
I think so.
In any case, there were several ages in the earth’s history in which there was given a kind of example, as a promise, of what would be there one day. These were called the golden ages. But certainly there were times in which a more or less complete representation of what had to be was as though lived out. Only it was just a demonstration, an example, which the world was completely unfit to take up as a realisation.
It was only to say: you see, this is how it will be, but not like this in all its details, like this in essence. And I think it did not last very long. In any case the memory of the thing is very limited, very localised and extremely short. There was an intensity, there was a great beauty in the expression, but it was something as though altogether independent of the whole of terrestrial life: an example... almost an example which is not to be followed, which cannot be followed, and which was always accompanied by a promise: “It will be like this”... a promise which has been repeated in very different words, of the New Earth or the Divine World or a New Creation, etc.
And I think it was perhaps at the beginning... not exactly the beginning of humanity but the beginning of the conscious evolution of humanity towards a realisation. We said last time that for a very long time humanity was very static and as though undergoing a preparation so slow, so invisible that it has taken perhaps millions of years. But these promises and examples were like starting-points, like the first push given to begin the evolution of the consciousness towards a higher realisation.
I think the Vedic age was the latest. There were others before it, but of a very short duration.
Something over there?
A question?... Is that all?
It’s still that fellow asking questions!
What do you want to know?
- When Vivekananda spoke of “the essential unity which would find its perfect state”, did he think about it vaguely or...
Vivekananda, as far as I know, was not much for a material realisation. He belonged rather to the order of those who want to escape from life, cure themselves of this illness.
- But at the end of his life he was sorry he had not succeeded.
I had once read something, I don’t know where now, because it was in France, it was a translation in a book, perhaps one of those theosophical books which make translations of Indian things. I had read an incident recounted about Vivekananda who had been deeply shocked and had scolded a disciple because the latter had told him: “Oh! Look how magnificent is the sunset!” This had shocked him deeply. I remember I read this in France and it struck me; I still remember it because it seemed to me... it was his remark that seemed scandalous to me! He said, “Oh! Is it beautiful? If you appreciate the beauty of Nature you will never attain the Divine.” I don’t know, by the way, whether this was true or had been invented by the one who narrated it, I know nothing about it. I am only saying I had read it and that it struck me so much that many times when I look at the sunset or sunrise or a lovely effect of light I still recall this and tell myself, “Why! Such a dissociation... how strange that one can’t live the spiritual life if one admires Nature!”
So if it is true that he was like that, he was certainly at the other end of our programme. I am telling you I don’t know whether it is true, but still, I am giving it to you for what it’s worth. And all that I read about him was like this: that he had a deep contempt for all physical things, that he took them at the most as a means of self-development and liberation — nothing more.
- Mother, you said that the Vedic age was like a promise. A promise to whom?
To the Earth and men.
They left a kind of oral document of their experience. It was transmitted — and this was the promise.
They used an imaged language. Some people say that it was because they wanted it to be an initiation which would be understood only by the initiates. But it could also be an absolutely spontaneous expression without a precise aim to veil things, but which could not be understood except by those who had the experience. For it is quite obviously something that is not mental, which came spontaneously — as though it sprang from the heart and the aspiration — which was the completely spontaneous expression of an experience or knowledge, and naturally, an expression which was poetic, which had its own rhythm, its own beauty and could be accessible only to those who had an identical experience. So it was veiled of itself, there was no need to add a veil upon it. It is more than likely that it happened like that.
When one has a true experience which is not the result of a preliminary thought constructing and obtaining the experience by a special effort, when it is a direct and spontaneous experience, an experience that comes from the very intensity of the aspiration, it is spontaneously formulated into words. When it is total and complete enough, it is formulated into words... which are not thought out, which are spontaneous, which come out spontaneously from the consciousness. Well, it is more than likely that the Vedas were like that. But only those who have had the experience, had the same state of consciousness, can understand what it means.
There are those sentences which seem absolutely banal and ordinary, in which things seem to be said in an almost childish way and which are written out or heard and then noted down, like that. Well, when read with an ordinary consciousness, they seem sometimes even altogether banal. But if one has the experience, one sees that there is a power of realisation and a truth of expression which give you the key to the experience itself.
But it seems obvious that the modern equivalent, at present, of the Rishi of the olden days... even his spontaneous Vedic expression will be very different in its formulation. For the terrestrial development and human development change the conditions of expression. The way of saying of those times and the way of saying today cannot be the same; and yet the experience can be the same experience of something which cannot be thought about but comes as its living expression.
- Mother, were the Vedic Rishis men who had evolved to that state or were they special manifestations?
What do you mean? Whether they were evolutionary beings or involutionary beings?
They were probably... no... they were surely involutionary beings. But the body was the result of evolution.
But it is absolutely certain that they were involutionary beings, that is, beings who had come down from higher regions and used these bodies, who had identified themselves with these bodies.
This is it, what I said the other day, you know, that what has changed the course of terrestrial and human development totally is bodies becoming perfected enough to be able to serve as instruments for beings of higher regions who have come to incarnate in them in order to use them. And it seems obvious that the Rishis were of these — if not all at least those who were the leaders, those who were at the head. But very probably they formed a group which must have had its own realisation, very independent of the surroundings. They lived, besides, quite isolated, if what is reported is correct.
That’s all?... Nothing more? No?
- Mother, will the evolution continue or will it be replaced by involution? That is...
Yes, I understand... But what I don’t understand is the point of your question — whether the process of terrestrial development will continue by an evolution...
- ... or whether it will be replaced by an involution.
Yes... but there is one thing you forget. That Sri Aurobindo has said that each new species which appeared upon earth was the result of an involution. So there has always been the combination of the two. A double work: a work that goes from below upward, and an answer which comes from above downward.
- Mother, isn’t the evolution the inherent Divine manifesting himself? Then why is it necessary?
Involution or evolution?
- Evolution. That is, for example, there was first the evolution of the animal mind. So it was said that the mind was already...
- Hidden, in principle.
In principle, yes. And what prepares it is this: you see, it has been called by all kinds of names: a divine spark, a Presence, etc., which is infused in the darkness of matter in order to start the evolution. But there is something else: there is a descent and identification of beings, of conscious beings, individualities, in the forms produced by the evolution — and so there is a union which takes place between beings of higher regions and the forms evolved by this divine Presence. And the identification takes place between this immanent godhead and this being which comes down. You see, it is when the psychic being, for instance, identifies itself with a personality of a higher order, a divine emanation, a vibhuti who comes to get identified with a psychic being — that is it, this is the thing. But it is not just this one or the other. One does a work of this kind, as I say, a work of development from within outwards; and the other is something which comes down and takes possession of what the first has prepared.
Usually these are individual phenomena. These identifications are individual phenomena. Usually. I don’t say that it is impossible for it to be a collective phenomenon; but still, usually they are individual phenomena.
However, it is enough to have the experience and one understands. It becomes very clear.
So, one must not speak, one must act.
There we are. That’s all?
Good night, my children.
- Questions and Answers 1955, p.349