October 22, 1960
The house on rue Val de Grâce and the Revue Cosmique
Well, well! The house on Val de Grâce! It looks inhabited, the windows have curtains in them. I lived there — a small house, really very small, with a bedroom upstairs.
Here, this is the kitchen; here is the living room, this is the studio. And then behind the kitchen there was a small room that I used as the dining room, and it opened onto a courtyard. Between the dining room and the kitchen there was a bathroom and a small hallway. The kitchen is here; you went up three steps and then there was this small hallway with the stairs leading up to the bedroom. Next to the bedroom was a bathroom about as big as a thimble.
It is part of a huge house. There's a seven-story apartment building on each side, and the street is here.
It wasn't very big. The studio was rather large — a beautiful room ... That's where I received Madame David-Neel — we saw each other nearly every evening.
There was a considerable library in the studio; one whole end was given over to the library — more than two thousand books belonging to my brother. There were even the complete works of several classical writers. And I had my entire collection of the Revue Cosmique, and my post card collection (it was down below) — mainly post cards of Algeria, Tlemcen, nearly 200 of them. But there were five years of the Revue Cosmique. And written in such a French! How funny it was!
Théon's wife dictated it in English while she was in trance. Another English lady who was there claimed to know French like a Frenchman. “Myself, I never use a dictionary,” she would say, “I don't need a dictionary.” But then she would turn out such translations! She made all the classic mistakes of English words that mustn't be translated like that. Then it was sent to me in Paris for correcting. It was literally impossible.
There was this Themanlys, my brother's schoolmate; he wrote books, but he was lazy-minded and didn't want to work! So he had passed that job on to me. But it was impossible, you couldn't do a thing with it. And what words! Théon would invent words for the subtle organs, the inner senses; he had found a word for each thing — a frightful barbarism! And I took care of everything: I found the printer, corrected the proofs — all the work for a long time.
They were stories, narratives, an entire initiation in the form of stories. There was a lot in it, really a lot. She knew many things. But it was presented in such a way that it was unreadable.
I also wrote one or two things, experiences I had noted down; they were rather interesting, which is why I'd like to get them back. I had described some of my visions to Madame Théon, and then she explained their meaning to me. So I would narrate the vision and give its explanation. That was readable and interesting, because there was some symbolism.
“Une Vision”, November 1906
PDF (4 pages)
“Une Vision”, December 1906
PDF (3 pages)
- (Pavitra:) What was this “Chronicle of Ki”?
It wasn't ‘Ki’ but ‘Chi’, for he was the founder of China! — those things were fantastic! The story was almost childish, but there was a whole world of knowledge in it. Madame Théon was an extraordinary occultist. That woman had incredible faculties, incredible.
She was a small woman, fat, almost flabby — she gave you the feeling that if you leaned against her, it would melt! Once, I remember ... I was there in Tlemcen with André's father, who had come to join us — a painter, an artist. Théon was wearing a dark purple robe. Théon said to him, “This robe is purple.” “No, it's not purple,” the other answered, “it's violet.” Théon went rigid: “When I say purple, it's purple!” And they started arguing over this foolishness. Suddenly there flashed from my head, “No, this is too ridiculous!” — I didn't say a word, but it went out from my head (I even saw the flash), and then Madame Théon got up and came over to me, stood behind me (neither of us uttered a word — the other two were staring at each other like two angry cocks), then she laid my head against her breast — absolutely the feeling of sinking into eiderdown!
And never in my life, never, had I felt such peace — it was absolutely luminous and soft ... a peace, such a soft, tender, luminous peace. After a moment, she bent down and whispered in my ear, “One must never question one's master!” It wasn't I who was questioning!
She was a wonderful woman, wonderful. But as for him ... well ...
It's funny ... I don't know why, but a short while ago this house on Val de Grâce suddenly came to me ... (to Pavitra) When did this photograph come?
Suddenly the house had come into the atmosphere. “Well, well,” I said to myself; “someone is thinking about that house.”
“I entered into your sleep last night.”
I entered into your sleep last night. I saw you and told you certain things, I even gave you some explanations: “You see, you must do it this way ... you must go like this ...” I also said, “One day, we shall meditate together.” But more precisely, you had once spoken to me about the problem in your physical mind — that it keeps on turning interminably — and you had told me that it happens during your japa. So last night I told you, “I would like you to do your japa for a few minutes with me one day so that I may see what goes on inside you, in your physical mind.”
But I wasn't speaking to you with words ... Everything I see at night has a special color and a special vibration. It's strange, but it looks sketched ... When I said that to you, for example, there was a kind of patch, a white patch, as I recall — white, exactly like a piece of white paper — a patch with a pink border around it, then this same blue light I keep telling you about — deep blue — encircling the rest, as it were. And beyond that, it was swarming — a swarming of black and dark gray vibrations ... in a terrible agitation. When I saw this, I said to you, “You must repeat your mantra once in my presence so that I may see if there is anything I can do about this swarming.” And then — I don't know why — you objected, and this objection was red, like a tongue of fire lashing out from the white, like this (Mother draws an arabesque). So I said, “No, don't worry, it doesn't matter, I won't disturb a thing!” (Mother laughs mischievously)
All this took place in a realm which is constantly active, everywhere; it is like a permanent mental transcription of everything that physically takes place ... They aren't actually thoughts; when I see this, I don't really get the impression of thinking, but it's a transcription ... it's the result of thoughts on a certain mental atmosphere which records things.
And I see it all the time now. If someone is speaking or if I'm doing something, I see the two things at the same time — I see the physical thing, his words or my action, and then this colored, luminous transcription at the same time. The two things are superimposed. For example, when someone speaks to me, it gets translated into some kind of picture, a play of light or color (which is not always so luminous!) — this is why most of the time, in fact, I don't even know what has been said to me. I recall the first time this phenomenon happened, I said to myself, “Ah, so that's what these modern artists see!” Only, as they themselves aren't very coherent, what they see is not very coherent either!
And that's how it works — it is translated by patches and moving forms, which is how it gets registered in the earth's memory. So when things from this realm enter into people's active consciousness, they get translated into each one's language and the words and thoughts that each one is accustomed to — because that doesn't belong to any language or to any idea: it is the exact IMPRINT of what is happening.
I am constantly seeing this now.
And it is here, too, that I see the result of this confusion and excitement in the Ashram — it jumps, jumps, jumps about. It keeps jumping on the same spot. There are machines like that — constantly shaking; it's exasperating.
A huge head of blue light
For some time now I've been experiencing a precise moment during my japa when something takes hold of me and I have all the difficulty in the world to keep from entering into trance. Yet I remain standing. Usually I'm walking, but some things I say while leaning up against the window — not a very good place to go into trance! And it grabs me exactly at the same place each time.
Yesterday, I suddenly saw a huge living head of blue light — this blue light which is the force, the powerful force in material Nature (this is the light the tantrics use). The head was made entirely of this light, and it wore a sort of tiara — a big head, so big (Mother indicates the length of her forearm); its eyes weren't closed, but rather lowered, like this. The immobility of eternity, absolutely — the repose, the immobility of eternity. A magnificent head, quite similar to the way the gods here are represented, but even better; something between certain heads of the Buddha and ... (these heads most probably come to the artists). Everything else was lost in a kind of cloud.
I felt that this kind of ... yes, immobility came from there: everything stops, absolutely everything stops. Silence, immobility ... truly, you enter into eternity. I told him it wasn't time!
But I tried to understand what he wanted ... It's been difficult here in the Ashram for some time — everyone is seized with a sort of frenzy, a weary restlessness. They are all writing to me, they all want to see me. It makes for such an atmosphere ... I react as well as I can, but I'm not able to pass this on to them to keep them quiet (the more tired and weary you are, the more calm you ought to remain — certainly not get excited, that's dreadful!). So I understood: this head had come to tell me, “This is what you must give them.”
But if I were to pass that on to them, they'd all think they were becoming rattle-brained, that they were losing their faculties, that their energy was spent. For they only feel energy when they spend it. They are incapable of feeling energy in immobility — they have to be stirring about, they have to be spending it. Or else, it has to be pounded into them.
I looked at this problem yesterday; it occupied me for much of the day. And I'm sure this head came to give me the solution. For me, it's very easy — at once ... three seconds, and everything stops, everything. But the others are stubborn! And yet I'm positive, I'm positive, I tell them, “But relax; why are you on pins and needles like that? Relax! It's the only way to overcome your fatigue.” But they immediately start feeling that they'll lose their faculties and become inert — the opposite of life!
And this is surely what oriented my night, for I started my night looking at this problem: How can I make them accept this? For neither should they fall into the other extreme and slip from this weary agitation into tamas. That's obvious.
But how many letters I receive from people telling me, “I feel listless, all I want to do is sleep, to rest, not do anything.” They go on complaining.
The experience I have — what I mean by ‘I’ is this aggregate here (Mother indicates her body), this particular individuality — is that the more quiet and calm it is, the more work it can do and the faster the work can be done. What is most disturbing and time consuming are all these agitated vibrations that fall on me (truly speaking, each person who comes throws them on me). And this is what makes the work difficult — it stirs up a whirlwind. And you can't do anything in this whirlwind, it's impossible. If you try to do something material, your fingers stumble; if you try to do something intellectual, your thoughts get all entangled and you no longer see clearly. I've had the experience, for example, of wanting to look up a word in the dictionary while this agitation was in the atmosphere, and everything jumps up and down (yet the lighting is the same and I'm using the same magnifying glass), I no longer see a thing, it's all jumping! I go page by page, but the word simply doesn't exist in the dictionary! Then I remain quiet, I do this ... (Mother makes a gesture of bringing down the Peace) and after half a minute I open the dictionary: the very spot, and the word leaps out at me! And I see clearly and distinctly. Consequently I have now the indisputable proof that if you want to do anything properly, you must FIRST be calm — but not only be calm yourself; you must either isolate yourself or be capable of imposing a calm on this whirlwind of forces that comes upon you all the time from all around.
All the teachers are wanting to quit the school — weary! Which means they'll begin the year with half the teachers gone. They live in constant tension, they don't know how to relax — that's really what it is. They don't know how to act without agitation.
I think that's what this head came to tell me, and it's precisely what's wrong in the Ashram — everything here is done in agitation, absolutely everything. So it's constantly a comedy of errors; someone speaks, the other doesn't listen and responds all wrong, and nothing gets done. Someone asks one thing, another answers to something else — bah! It's a dreadful con-fu-sion.
What if we meditated a little.
Sit as you normally do and ... forget that I'm here!
(After the meditation)
Vision of Satprem's japa
I'm going to tell you what I saw — it's very interesting. First, emanating from here (Mother indicates the chest), a florescence of every color like a peacock's tail spread wide; but it was made of light, and it was very, very delicate, very fine, like this (gesture). Then it rose up and formed what truly seemed like a luminous peacock, up above, and it remained like that. Then, from here (the chest), what looked like a sword of white light climbed straight up. It went up very high and formed a kind of expanse, a very vast expanse, which was like a call — this lasted the longest. And then, in response, a veritable rain, like ... (no, it was much finer than drops) a golden light — white and golden — with various shades, at times more towards white, at times more golden, at times with a tinge of pink. And all this was descending, descending into you. And here (the chest), it changed into this same deep blue light, with a powdering of green light inside it — emerald green. And at that moment, when it reached here (the level of the heart), a number of little divinities of living gold — a deep, living gold — came, like this, and then looked at you. And just as they looked at you, there was the image of the Mother right at the very center of you — not as she is commonly portrayed but as she is in the Indian consciousness ... Very serene and pure and luminous. And then that changed into a temple, and inside the temple there seemed to be an image of Sri Aurobindo and an image of me — but living images in a powdering of light. Then it grew into a magnificent edifice and settled in with an extraordinary power. And it remained motionless.
That is the representation of your japa.
I had to stop because there is something like time that exists here — what a shame!
But it is very good.
And it shouldn't be difficult to keep that all the time.
I didn't notice you being bothered by these things of the physical mind you had mentioned. However, I had first done this (gesture of cleansing the atmosphere), right at the beginning, so that nothing would come to disturb us ... Did you feel anything?
- I felt that you were there. I felt your Force.
Ah! You felt it!
- Yes, of course — very strongly. At one moment it was very, very powerful.
(Mother laughs heartily) Your japa is lovely. Oh, it's a whole world that's forming, and it's truly harmonious, powerful, beautiful. It's very good. If you like, we'll do this for a few moments from time to time. It was very ... how should I put it? ... very pleasant for me. It feels comfortable, a bit removed from all this porridge! I was very glad.
If you want to prevent these disturbances in your physical mind, then when you sit for japa ... You know my Force, don't you? Well then, wrap it around you, like this, twelve times, from top to bottom.
- Traditionally, one's mantra is never to be repeated before anyone except the guru.