January 14, 1963
So? Have you come with a question on these aphorisms?
- There aren't many questions to ask.
I count on the question to set off the movement, because for the moment there's nothing.
More and more it's like that: I know what I must do at the time of doing it, I know what I must say at the time of saying it. I don't try, though once or twice I did try just to see — useless, nothing comes. But when it has to come, it comes as if a tap were opened — effortlessly, without my having to do anything, it just comes.
So for the moment, nothing.
Read me those aphorisms again.
- 81 — God's laughter is sometimes very coarse and unfit for polite ears; He is not satisfied with being Molière, He must needs also be Aristophanes and Rabelais.
- 82 — If men took life less seriously, they could very soon make it more perfect....
- .... God never takes His works seriously; therefore one looks out on this wonderful universe.
Essays Divine and Human, p.432
So what's your question?
- One may ask how taking things seriously prevents life from being more perfect?
(After a long silence) Virtue has always been busy eliminating things from life and (laughing) if we could put together all the virtues from all the countries in the world, nothing much would remain in life!
Virtue claims to seek perfection, but perfection is a totality. So the two movements are contradictory: virtue, which eliminates, prunes, sets limits, and perfection, which accepts everything, rejects nothing but puts everything in its place, evidently cannot go well together.
Taking life seriously generally consists of two movements: the first is to give importance to things that probably have none, and the second is to want life to be limited to a certain number of qualities considered to be pure and worthy. With some (for instance, those Sri Aurobindo refers to here: the prudish or the puritans), that virtue becomes dry, barren, gray, aggressive, and almost always finds fault in all that is joyful, free and happy.
The only way to make life perfect (I mean here life on earth, of course) is to look at it from a sufficient height to see it in its totality, not only its present totality, but over the whole past, present and future: what it has been, what it is, what it must be — you must be able to see it all at once. Because that's the only way to put everything in its place. Nothing can be done away with, nothing SHOULD be done away with, but each thing must find its own place in total harmony with the rest. Then all those things that appear so ‘evil’, so ‘reprehensible’ and ‘unacceptable’ to the puritan mind would become movements of joy and freedom in a totally divine life. And then nothing would stop us from knowing, understanding, feeling and living this wonderful Laughter of the Supreme who takes infinite delight in watching Himself live infinitely.
This delight, this wonderful Laughter which dissolves all shadows, all pain, all suffering ... We only have to go deep enough into ourselves to find the inner Sun and let ourselves be bathed in it. Then everything is but a cascade of harmonious, luminous, sun-filled laughter which leaves no room for shadow and pain.
In fact, even the greatest difficulty, even the greatest grief, even the greatest physical pain, if you can look at them from THERE, take your stand THERE, you see the unreality of the difficulty, the unreality of the grief, the unreality of the pain — and all becomes a joyful and luminous vibration.
It is ultimately the most powerful means of dissolving difficulties, overcoming grief and getting rid of pain. The first two are relatively easy (relatively), the last is more difficult because of our habit of regarding the body and its sensations as extremely concrete and positive — but actually it is the same thing, it's just that we haven't been taught and accustomed to seeing our body as something fluid, plastic, uncertain, malleable. We haven't learned to permeate it with this luminous Laughter which dissolves all shadows and difficulties, all discords, all disharmony, all that grates, cries and weeps.
This Sun — the Sun of divine laughter — is the core of everything, it is the truth of everything. What is needed is to learn to see it, feel it, live it.
And for that, let us flee from those who take life seriously, they are the most boring people on earth!
But it's true. The other day I was telling you about some cellular difficulties. I noticed that as soon as they start, I start laughing! But if someone is here and I tell him the difficulty solemnly, it goes from bad to worse; if I start laughing and talk about it laughingly, it vanishes. Really, it's dreadful to take life seriously! Dreadful. Those who have given me the most difficulties have always been the people who take life seriously.
I've had this experience even just recently. All that comes to me from people who have dedicated their lives to ‘spiritual life’, people who do a yoga in the traditional way, who are very solemn, who see adversaries everywhere, obstacles everywhere, taboos everywhere, prohibitions everywhere, oh, how they complicate life ... and how far they are from the Divine! I saw this the other day with someone you know. With that kind of people, you “should not” do this, “should not” do that, “should not” ... At such and such time you “must not” do this, on such and such day you “must not” do that; you “should not” eat this, you should not ... And then, for heaven's sake, don't you go mixing your daily life with your sacred life! — that's how you dig an abyss.
It's the exact, exact opposite of what I feel now: no matter what happens — something wrong in the body, something wrong with people, something wrong in circumstances — instantly, the first movement: “O my sweet Lord, my Beloved!” And I laugh! And then all is well. I did this the other day (it's spontaneous and instantaneous, it isn't thought out or willed or planned — none of it — it just happens), it happened the other day (I don't recall the details but it was over a circumstance that hardly seemed sacred): I saw myself, and I started laughing. I said, “But look! I don't need to be serious, I don't need to be solemn!”
As soon as it comes (Mother makes a solemn face), I get suspicious, I say to myself, “Oh, something is wrong, some influence or other must have entered the atmosphere that shouldn't be there.” All that remorse, all that regret, all that ... ooh! The sense of indignity, of fault ... and, going a little farther, the sense of sin — oh, that...! That seems to me to belong to another age, a Dark Age.
But especially all the prohibitions. For instance, let me quote you a statement from X which I heard from a third person: “I will do a special puja to help money come. I will prepare a special yantram to bring money. But FOR GOD'S SAKE don't say anything [to Mother], don't do anything or give anything before January 14, because until January 14, a certain planet is in opposition to a certain other planet (Mother laughs), so things follow a downward trend and won't be successful. But afterwards, that particular planet will be ascending and everything will be successful”! (Mother laughs) Something in me said spontaneously (“something”, well, someone), spontaneously and immediately, “But why? I can always hear!” And I laughed. So they thought I was making fun of him — I don't make fun: I laugh, it's not the same!
So, mon petit, that's all.
You can read me another aphorism. That's enough for this one, it's settled!
What's the next one?
- 83 — Shame has admirable results and both in aesthetics and in morality we could ill spare it; but for all that it is a badge of weakness and the proof of ignorance.
It's the same thing! That's what I said at the end: the sense of sin, regret, remorse, all of it, oh! ... That will do, won't it?
(Then Mother examines the list of people she will receive the following days and the birthday greetings to be given.)
February 2 is C.'s birthday, so I'll give him a meditation, because these are people who still believe in meditation! (Mother laughs)
It has become quite an entertaining little field of experiences, by the way. Because nowadays I send people cards, and I have lots of cards, innumerable kinds of cards (C. spends his time preparing them), and automatically, whenever I have to write a card for someone, it isn't as I decided beforehand (because sometimes I decide beforehand), the choice is made at the last minute: “THIS is the card I must send and THIS is what I must say.” I needn't worry about it, it comes just in time. Then I only have to get up, go find the card, write, and it's all over. People will tell me (precisely those who lead a ‘spiritual life’), “What! You make such a trifle the object of a spiritual experience!” And it's the same with ALL small things: what object to be used, what perfume to put on, what bath salts, all manner of ‘futile’, ‘frivolous’, ‘unimportant’ things — “How shocking!” I don't even make an effort to find out or to ... (think, thank God I don't think!), it just comes: this, that, that. Not said — KNOWN. It isn't even said, I am not told, “Do this,” never. It's KNOWN: “Ah, here we are, that's it!” And I choose and do it — very comfortable!
It was actually my experience (for a long, long time, many years) but, these last few days, concrete, in the body's cells. There aren't ‘things’ in which the Lord is and ‘things’ in which He isn't — there are only fools who think so! He is ALWAYS there. He takes nothing seriously and has fun with everything. And He plays with you, if you know how to play — but you don't, people don't know how to play. But how well He knows! How He plays with everything, with the smallest things: you have objects to put on your table? Don't think you have to ponder over how to arrange them — no, we'll play: let's put this here, let's put that there, let's put this like that. Then some other day (because people think, “Now she has decided on this arrangement, so that's the way it's going to be” — well, not so!), some other day (they want to help you! They want to help you put things in order, so it just becomes a mess!), I stay still and quiet, and then we start playing: So! Let's put this here, and that there, and this there ... ah! (Mother laughs) Since I saw you last time it has been that way constantly, probably to prepare me for this aphorism!
There you are, mon petit.
Agreed, then, we'll try and learn to laugh with the Lord.
I know — I know He wants me to learn not to take seriously the responsibility (‘responsibility’ isn't the right word), the formidable task of finding 8,000 rupees a day to meet the Ashram's expenses — in other words, a colossal fortune every month.
And I very well see (because I told Him several times, “You know, it would be great fun if I had plenty of money to play with”), so I see that He laughs, but He doesn't answer!... He teaches me to be able to laugh at this difficulty, to see the cashier send me his book in which the figures are growing astronomical ([laughing] it's by 50,000, 60,000, 80,000, 90,000), while the drawer is nearly empty! And He wants me to learn to laugh at it. The day when I can really laugh — laugh, enjoy myself — SINCERELY (not through effort — you can do anything you want through effort), when it makes me laugh spontaneously, I think it will change. Because otherwise it's impossible.... You see, we have fun with all sorts of things, there's no reason we couldn't have fun with more money than we need and do things in style! It will surely happen one day, but we should — we shouldn't be overwhelmed by the amount, and for that we shouldn't take money seriously.
We shouldn't take money seriously.
It's very hard nowadays, because all over the world people take money seriously, and that makes it very hard. Especially those who have money. Those who have money, how seriously they take it, oh, Lord! That's why it's difficult. We should be able to laugh — laugh, laugh frankly and sincerely, then it would be over.
Well! ... All right, we'll talk about it again.
Good-bye, mon petit.
- Yantram: a ritual drawing used to ‘capture’ forces.
- Showing flowers, landscapes, symbolic photographs, etc.