February 18, 1961
(Mother gives Satprem a flower she has named ‘Supramental Action’.)
Don't you find it beautiful?
How living, vibrant! Isn't it lovely!
Oh, the other day I had some zinnias (‘Endurance’) — literally works of art, as though each petal had been painted, and all together so harmonious and so varied at the same time. Oh, Nature is wonderful! ... In the end, we are just copycats, and clumsy ones at that.
(after a moment of silence)
Work in the subconscient
Well, that's all. The situation remains the same.
- And your legs?
Right in the subconscient, a subconscient ... oh, hopelessly weak and dull and ... (how to put it?) enslaved to a host of things — enslaved to EVERYTHING. It has been unfolding before me night after night, night after night, to show me. Last night, it was indescribable! It goes on and on — it seems to have no limits! Naturally, the body feels the effects of this, poor thing! It is the body's subconscient, but it's not personal — it is personal and not personal: it becomes personal only when it enters the body.
You can't imagine the accumulation of impressions recorded and stored in the subconscient, heaped one on top of another. Outwardly, you don't even notice, the waking consciousness isn't aware of it; but they come in, they keep on coming and coming, piling up ... hideous!
So we'll see how long this is going to last.... I understand why people have never tried to change it: stir up that quagmire? ... No! It takes a lot (laughing), a lot of courage! Oh, it's so easy to escape, so easy to say, “None of that concerns me. I belong to higher spheres, it doesn't concern me.”
Anyway, it's obvious that nobody has succeeded, so far not a single person — and I understand! I understand. When you find yourself face to face with it, you wonder, “How could anything possibly withstand this!”
My body was strongly built, solid, full of endurance — it had a tremendous energy, yet ... it's beginning to feel that it isn't easy.
Now, what do you have to tell me? I have nothing to say. As long as it's like this, it will keep going on, that's all. Later on, we shall see.
- But is it necessary to descend to the same level as all these subconscious things? Can't they be acted upon from above?
Act from above.... My child, I have been acting from above for more than thirty years! It changes nothing - or if it changes ... it doesn't transform.
- Then one must descend to that level?
Yes. By acting from above, one can keep these things under control, hold them in place, prevent them from taking any unpleasant initiatives, but that's not.... To transform means to transform.
Even mastery can be achieved — it's quite easy to do from above. But for the transformation one must descend, and that is terrible.... Otherwise, the subconscient will never be transformed, it will remain as it is.
One can even pose as a superman! (Mother laughs) But it remains like that (gesture in the air), it's not the real thing. It's not the new creation, it's not the next step in terrestrial evolution.
You might as well say, “Why are you in a hurry? Wait for Nature to do it.” But Nature would take a few million years and in the process squander away a host of people and things. A few million years are unimportant to her — a passing breeze.
Anyhow, I was sent here to do this work, so I am trying to do it, that's all. I could have.... If it hadn't been for the work, I would have left with Sri Aurobindo; there you have it. I remained only for the sake of the work — because it was there to be done and he told me to do it and I am doing it.... Otherwise, when one is perfectly conscious, one is far less limited without a body: one can see a hundred people at the same time, in a hundred different places, just as Sri Aurobindo is doing right now.
Sri Aurobindo still working
- If I may ask, has Sri Aurobindo remained quite conscious of material things?
Completely. (Mother reflects a moment) Well, completely material, no — only through me. He is conscious of material things through me, not directly. He is very conscious in the subtle physical, but that's not quite the same, not quite (Mother makes a vague gesture), there is a difference.
To give a rather curious example, there was a kind of spell of illness over the Ashram, stemming mainly from people's thoughts, from their way of thinking. It was quite widespread and it was horrible, gloomy, full of fear, pettiness, blind submission, oh! Everyone was in a state of expectation.... In short, the atmosphere was such that there was an attempt to prevent me from leaving my room — I had to sneak out! It was disgusting! Well, on the very night I saw the spell over the Ashram, Sri Aurobindo was lying sick in his bed, just as I had seen him in 1950. Normally, we spend almost every night together, doing this, seeing that, arranging things, talking — it's a kind of second life behind this one, and it makes existence pleasant. But that night when I had to sneak out of my room (in my nightgown!), and people were trying to find me to ... (laughing) force me back into bed, he was lying sick in bed — and this struck me hard, for it means these things still affect him in his consciousness. He was in a kind of trance and not at all well. It didn't last, but nonetheless....
Oh, the things that can collect there, ugh!
I hope you aren't noting down all these unpleasant things I'm saying, because it's really not encouraging.
- It isn't encouraging, but it's relevant. It's part of the battle.
Oh, yes! That, surely! (Mother laughs)
- If we spoke only of success.... And besides, we share these difficulties, more or less.
The day victory is won, all this will become infinitely interesting. But why speak of it if the victory isn't won? It just makes another lengthy description of ... failures.
- I don't believe in failure.
Run aground ... like a ship!
- A defeat? …
Ah, it's not a defeat! It is not a defeat (Mother emphasizes this very vigorously), it is not a defeat!
- A postponement ?
It is something which has not come to fruition because the time for it has not come; but what is done is done. It is not a defeat: what is gained is gained.
- But I don't at all believe it won't bear fruit — a fruition is inevitable!
For the moment, I haven't been told. We'll see. No one (I mean no one with authority) has announced to me it would be a failure. But we shall see.
- The world's outer evolution is moving ahead so rapidly — in terms of scientific developments — that this change CANNOT be put off for millions of years. Man's inner development needs to catch up with all that, doesn't it?
Yes, surely — oh, yes!
- It's inevitable.
(A short while later, concerning a book on Sri Aurobindo that Satprem was to write:)
Satprem's book “Sri Aurobindo et la Transformation du Monde”
Have you seen Bharatidi?
- No, you know how I am, I don't go out.
She saw your publishers in Paris and they told her they are impatiently awaiting (Mother is mocking) your book on Sri Aurobindo....
- I wish I could help them out!...
... that they are counting on it, that it's going to be a ‘big hit’ world-wide, and so forth. They put out a feeler with L'Orpailleur, and seem quite pleased. They are very, very impatient — they say now is the time. “Now is the time” — but it will be more and more ‘the time’, that's what they don't know! The time is only beginning.
- The other day you were telling me to start this “Sri Aurobindo” from any point at all....
Yes, can't you write that way?
- I don't know. Perhaps I'm biased, but I feel that this book should flow from beginning to end.
Oh, yesterday or the day before, I had the occasion to write a sentence about Sri Aurobindo. It was in English and went something like this: In the world's history, what Sri Aurobindo represents is not a teaching nor even a revelation, but a decisive ACTION direct from the Supreme.
I tell you this because just now as we were speaking about the book and you were saying it would come all at once in a single flow, I saw a kind of globe, like a sun — a sun shedding a twinkling dust of incandescent light (the sun was moving forward and this dust came twinkling in front of it), like this (gesture). It came towards you, then made a circle around you as if to say, “Here is the formation”. It was magnificent! There was a creative warmth in it, a warmth like the sun's — a power of Truth. And here again, I was given the same impression: that what Sri Aurobindo has come to bring is not a teaching, not even a revelation, but a FORMIDABLE action coming direct from the Supreme.
It is something pouring over the world.
Your book should convey this feeling — without stating it. Convey the feeling, transmit it — transmit this solar light.
Our means are very poor, it's true; if what I have just seen (and what I'm still seeing right now) could be expressed ... what an absolutely splendid cover it would make for your book! But the best we can do is flat, flat, flat. Oh, our means are so poor!
(After another digression, Mother again speaks of her experience of January 24, which triggered a backlash of subconscious difficulties.)
Descent of January 24, 1961: 'omnipotence'
A great deal has been brought to light since that experience.... It has been the starting point for such turmoil, even physically, such strong jolts that I might have wondered, “Was I dreaming or was it real?”.... And more and more I am coming to understand that this is the INDISPENSABLE preparation in the most material world for that experience to become definitively established, to express itself outwardly, constantly — this is obvious.
If the experience remained permanently, it would be something very close to omnipotence. I felt at the time that there was no such thing as an impossibility: it was truly the sensation of omnipotence. It is not omnipotence, because there is always a greater Omnipotence (one knows this only in the higher realms). But in terms of the material world, it was clearly something very, very different from all that has ever been seen or heard or told by all extant traditions — it all seems like the babbling of a child in comparison. At that moment itself there was only the ‘Something’ which sees, decides — and it is done.
It did not remain. It has remained above, but not here.
It has given the physical consciousness a certain self-confidence in the sense that when I see something now, I am sure of it, there are no hesitations: “Is this right or not? Is this true, is this...” All that has vanished — when I see, there is certainty. That is, there has really been a great change in the material CONSCIOUSNESS; but that formidable power is not there. I tell you, had that power stayed here, had I remained constantly as I was during those hours that night, well, many things would obviously have changed.
All this must be a preparation; there is a lot to be cleared out before the experience can be firmly established. That's logical, it is quite natural.
What's natural also — and annoying — is that people know nothing, understand nothing, even those who see me all the time, like the doctor. He still hasn't been able to understand and he suddenly grew worried, thinking I was on my way to the other side! All this makes a mess of the atmosphere — it just doesn't help! Their faith is not sufficiently ... (how to put it?) enlightened for them to keep still and simply say, “Well, we shall see,” without questioning. They are not beyond questioning and this complicates matters.
I have a feeling (but these are old ideas) that if I were all alone somewhere and didn't have to look after these people and things, it would be easier. But that would not be the TRUE thing. For when I had the experience [of January 24], all that is normally under my care was present: the whole earth seemed to be present at the experience. There is no individuality (Mother indicates her body). I have difficulty finding an individuality now, even in my own body. What I do find in this body are the subconscious vibrations (conscious as well as subconscious) of a WORLD, a whole world of things. So it can be done ONLY on a large scale, otherwise it's the same old story ... but then it's not the power HERE [in matter] — one simply quits this world. Oh, these people can't imagine what it is! They have made such a fuss over their ‘departure’. They have wanted us to believe it was something quite extraordinary. But it's infantile, it's child's play, it's nothing at all to quit this world! One simply goes ‘poff!’, like diving into water — a little kick and one resurfaces, and that's all there is to it, it's done (Mother laughs).
And the same goes for their stories about attachments and desires — my god! There's nothing to it! Imagine, with anything concerning my body, through all this horror of the subconscient, NOT ONCE have I had to bear the consequence of a desire; I have always had to bear the consequences of the battle against life's unconscious and malicious resistances, but not once has something come up like that (gesture of something resurging from below) to tell me, “You see! You had a desire, now here's the result of it!” Not once — very, very sincerely.
That's really not the difficulty — the difficulty is that the world is not ready! The very substance one is made of (Mother touches her body) shares in the world's lack of preparation — naturally! It's the same thing, the very same thing. Perhaps there is a tiny bit more light in this body, but so little that it's not worth mentioning — it's all the same thing.... Oh, a sordid slavery!
Books by disciples
I want you to have enough time to write your book, because I feel that Sri Aurobindo is interested in it — the sun that came a while ago was from him. I feel he is interested and confident you can do it.
What have you reread?
Oh, what a treasure that is — a gold mine!
- And part of “The Secret of the Veda”, as well as two other things because they contain many of Sri Aurobindo's letters: I re-read Z's book on Sri Aurobindo, since there are many letters in it, and....
- Yes, only unfortunately he has tampered with it.
- With the letters?!
Sri Aurobindo had made certain statements about me in those letters, and Z deleted them. (Anyway, it makes no difference for your book, because I'm not at all keen on having any statements about me published.)
But Z is not honest. He hasn't been honest at all.... We were forced to intervene once or twice because his deletions distorted the meaning. We finally told him (for the book published here), “We won't publish it unless you restore these things.”
- I have also reread A.P.'s “Evening Talks”.
Oh, in that, too, there are a lot of.... I myself wasn't present, so I don't know what Sri Aurobindo said, but I have a kind of feeling.... Just recently they wanted to publish something similar in Mother India — “Conversations” with me noted by A. Luckily it was sent to me first: I Cut EVERYTHING! Such platitudes, my child! Oh, it was disgusting. I said, “This is impossible. I have NEVER spoken like that, never!” It was flat, flat, flat, with a superficial, word-for-word understanding! Oh, horrible, horrible.... Whatever passes through people is terribly, terribly lowered — popularized, made commonplace.
Anyhow.... Only Sri Aurobindo can speak of Sri Aurobindo. And as for their notes, it's still Sri Aurobindo à la Z, or Sri Aurobindo à la A, and all the more so since Sri Aurobindo wrote in very different ways depending upon the person he was writing to (gesture indicating different levels).
- Well, if you feel the time will be found, it will surely be found.
Not only do I feel it, I'm set on it.
(Mother gets up to leave)
Tomorrow I'll be going down for handkerchief distribution — to wipe away the tears! (Mother laughs like a mischievous little girl and goes out.)
- Barringtonia speciosa.
- Note that a few days earlier [the night of February 12], a disciple had a very symbolic dream in which she saw all the disciples gathered near the Ashram's main gate with an air of consternation, as though something had happened to Mother.
- In the subconscient.
- In French, the word ‘échouer’ means both ‘to fail’ and ‘to run aground’.
- Sri Aurobindo et la Transformation du Monde [Sri Aurobindo and the Transformation of the World], a book that Éditions du Seuil had asked Satprem to write and subsequently refused on the pretext that it did not conform to the ‘spirit of the collection’. This book would never see the light of day. Satprem would later write another book entitled Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness.
- A long-time disciple (Suzanne Karpeles) and a member of the École Française l'Extrème Orient.
- A monthly review published by the Ashram.
- On the Sunday preceding each Darshan (this February 21st, Mother would be 84), Mother used to distribute saris, napkins or handkerchiefs to the disciples.