Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers:1955-11-09

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AurovilleRadio-logo-pop.png Mother's Questions and Answers: November 9, 1955
by Loretta, 2016 (1:01:40)


Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers
November 9, 1955
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In this class, Mother speaks about the fact that while we think that it's us who do the things we do, it's really done by universal forces which are acting through us. In Savitri, Sri Aurobindo says this several times. In Book Seven, the book of Savitri's yoga, in Canto VI he writes:

Our tasks are given, we are but instruments;
Nothing is all our own that we create:
The Power that acts in us is not our force.[1]

And later in this class, Mother says that a being that is absolutely sincere becomes the master of the adverse forces. Otherwise, it will be fully subject to this constant conflict with what – under the appearance of hostile beings – toils, in spite of itself, at the divine work. This clearly gives the idea that the demonic powers don't like being demonic. Sri Aurobindo says this very beautifully in Savitri, in Book Six: The Book of Fate.

At the beginning of the first canto of Book Six, Narad, the divine sage who brings the messages from the gods to man, comes down from above. And as he comes he is chanting. He sings of many divine and wonderful things, including the glory and the marvel still to be born, and of the godhead throwing off at last its veil. And then Sri Aurobindo writes at the end of Narad's chant:

And as he sang the demons wept with joy
Foreseeing the end of their long dreadful task
And the defeat for which they hoped in vain,
And glad release from their self-chosen doom
And return into the One from whom they came.[2]

There's also one of Mother's writings about the work of the hostile forces in us – about their work in combination with the spiritual forces, and in combination with the forces of nature. This writing is among the things that Mother wrote down privately while she was alone in her room. It's printed in a book called Champaklal's Treasures. Champaklal looked after Mother in her room, and he kept everything of Mother's very carefully – everything, down to the ashes from the incense that she burned.

There are a number of small writings in this book, in a section called “Notes, Prayers, and Reflections of the Mother”. This is one of those; and it does not have a date:


Champaklal's Treasures
“Three groups of examiners...”

Champaklals Treasures - Three groups of examiners.jpg
PDF (1 page)


         “The integral yoga is constituted of an uninterrupted series of examinations, which one must pass without being warned about them beforehand – which puts you under the obligation of being always vigilant and attentive.
         Three groups of examiners set these tests. Apparently they have nothing to do with one another, and their procedures are so different, at times even they seem so contradictory that they do not appear to be able to move towards the same end; and yet, they complete one another. They collaborate for the same purpose, and are indispensable for the integrality of the result.
         These three categories of examinations are those set by the forces of Nature; those set by the spiritual and divine forces; and those set by the hostile forces. These latter are the most deceptive in their appearance, and in order to not be taken by surprise, unprepared, demands a constant state of vigilance, sincerity, and humility.
         The most banal circumstances, the events of everyday life, people, things, apparently the most insignificant – all belong to one or other of these three categories of examiners. In this great and complex organisation of tests, it is the events usually considered the most important in life which constitute the examinations easiest to pass – for they find you on your guard and prepared. One stumbles more easily on the little pebbles on the road, because they do not draw attention.
         Endurance and plasticity, cheerfulness and intrepidity are the qualities more especially required for the examinations of physical Nature.
         Aspiration, confidence, idealism, enthusiasm, and generosity in self-giving for the spiritual examinations.
         Vigilance, sincerity, and humanity for the examinations set by the adverse forces.
         And do not think that on one side there are those who pass exams, and on the other, those who set them. At the same time, according to the circumstances and moments, one is both examiner and examinee. And it may even happen that one is simultaneously, all at once, examined and examiner. And the profit drawn from this depends upon the quality and degree of intensity in one's aspiration, and the awakening of one's consciousness.
         And finally, a last recommendation, never pose as an examiner. For, whilst it is very well to remember constantly that one is perhaps fairly in the course of passing a very important exam, it is, on the contrary, extremely dangerous to think oneself appointed to set tests for others. For this is opening the door to the most ridiculous and disastrous vanities.”

So people talk a lot about adverse forces. I mean Mother and Sri Aurobindo have said over and over that an adverse force – in the way they are looking at it – is adverse to the progress of the new forces coming down. But what we see here, if we follow it to its logical conclusion – that all of us are not only being examined, but we also serve the whole process as examiners as well; and there are three categories, and one of them is the hostile force – well, there we are! We are also being used by the hostile force. That's something to – I think – make us think twice about how important it is to go on trying to purify and purify more and more, so that the forces that are against all the Light, possibly aren't even there anymore.

This week, we're really lucky because again we have the original tape recording of the class. And we are doubly lucky, because they kept the recording of Mother reading the chapter from The Synthesis of Yoga.

It's good to note that Mother was born in 1878; this is 1955; so we hear her today when she is seventy-seven years old.

So it's November 9th, 1955; we're in Mother's Friday class, which is in the Playground. We are here with members of the class of students that Mother is actually teaching – and a lot of other people, because all the other students have asked permission to come, and just about everybody else in the Ashram is trying to be there. So the Playground is full; there are people standing along the sides of the walls; they don't understand French (a lot of them), but just to be in Mother's vibration helps them, and that's all they want. And there they are.


9 November 1955[3]



The Synthesis of Yoga, Pt. 1, Ch. 1:
“The Four Aids”

Ch.1 The Four Aids.jpg
PDF (16 pages)


Mother, I don’t understand “Our sense of personal effort and aspiration comes from the attempt of the egoistic mind to identify itself in a wrong and imperfect way with the workings of the divine Force.”

What is it that you do not understand? The sentence or the idea?

The idea, Mother.

It can be put in very familiar terms.

The individual being, and particularly the mind in it, have an instinctive repulsion to admitting that it’s another force than their own small personal one which does things. There is a kind of instinct which makes you feel absolutely convinced that the effort of aspiration, the will to progress are things belonging to you by your own right and, therefore, that you have all the merit.

From the man of art or of literature or of science, who produces something, studies something, and is absolutely convinced that it is he himself who is doing it, to the aspirant yogi who is convinced that it is the ardour of his own aspiration, his personal need for realisation which push him — if someone tells these people (I have had this experience), if someone tells them a little too soon, “Why, no, it is the Divine who aspires in you, it is the divine Force which produces in you...”, they no longer do anything, they fall flat, it doesn’t interest them at all any longer; they say, “Good, I have nothing to do then, let the Divine do it.” And this is what Sri Aurobindo means — that the mind is something so egoistic and so proud that if you take away from it the satisfaction it seeks, it no longer collaborates; nor the vital either. And as the physical is very obedient to the vital and the mind, it too collaborates no longer. Then one is before an inert mass which says, “Good, if it isn’t I, well, let the Divine do what He likes, I am not going to do anything at all any more.”

I knew people who had truly made a lot of progress, who were very close to the moment when one emerges into the truth of things, and who were held back simply by this. Because this need to be the source of the action, to have the merit of the effort, this need is so deeply rooted that they cannot take the last step. Sometimes it takes years. If they are told, “No, it isn’t you, this energy which is in you, this will which is in you, this knowledge which is in you, all this is the Divine; it is not what you call yourself”, this makes them so miserable that they can’t do anything any more. That’s what Sri Aurobindo wants to say in this sentence.

There are people who have such a need to keep the sense of their separate personality that if they are forced to admit that all that springs upwards is inspired by the Divine or even done by Him, they keep for their little person the whole side of defects, faults, errors, and they cherish their defects, so that at least something remains theirs, which is indeed their own, their personal property: “Yes, all that is beautiful, luminous, is the Divine; all horrible things — that’s myself.” But a self... a big self; one must not touch it!

Mother, at times one spontaneously feels an aspiration: and at other moments when one wants to aspire it is no longer spontaneous. Then what is the difference, does the Divine aspire?...

Sri Aurobindo answers this. He describes it extremely well.

For all this darkness, all this inconscience, all this ignorance is not at all something personal. It is the condition of the world, the state of matter, the state of physical life. And it enters you, makes you act; it’s like something pulling the strings of the puppet. All these desires, all these impulses, all these currents of force are things which pass through you, which you obey without even being aware of it, and which you take for yourself. And there is no yourself in this affair. It comes from everywhere and goes everywhere. You are a public square: things enter, go out, make you move.

Mother, why does one have a particular defect and not other defects?

This is the work of Nature.

Why are there some plants of one kind and others of another, some animals of one sort and others of another? There are no two exactly alike combinations in the universe. All the combinations are different. There are no two movements exactly similar in the universe. There is nothing which is reproduced exactly. There are analogies, there are similarities, there are families — there are families of movements which may be called families of vibrations — but there are no two identical things; neither in time nor in space. Nothing is repeated. Otherwise there would be no manifestation, there would be only one single thing.

Manifestation is simply diversity. It is the One deploying Himself in the innumerable, indefinitely.

Nothing? Nowhere?

Sweet Mother,when does the ego become an instrument?

When it is ready to become it.

How does that happen?

How does it happen?... In each one, I believe, it happens in a different way. It may happen suddenly, in the space of a moment, by a kind of inner reversal; it may take years; it may take centuries; it may take several lives. For each one there is a moment when it happens: when he is ready.

And I think he is ready when he is completely formed. The purpose of existence of the ego is the formation of the individual. When the individual is ready the ego can disappear. But before that it does not disappear because it has still some work to do.

When the world is ready to receive the new creation, the adverse forces will disappear. But so long as the world needs to be tempted, kneaded, churned in order to be prepared, the adverse forces will be there to be the temptation and that which strikes you, pushes you, prevents you from sleeping, compels you to be absolutely sincere.

A being that is absolutely sincere becomes the master of the adverse forces. But so long as there is egoism in a being or pride or ill-will, it will always be the object of temptation, of attack; and it will always be fully subject to this constant conflict with what, under the appearance of hostile beings, toils in spite of itself at the divine Work.

The time is not absolutely determined. I have already explained this to you several times. There are many fields of consciousness, zones of consciousness superimposed upon one another; and in each one of these fields of consciousness or action there is a determinism which seems absolute. But the intervention in one field of even the next higher field, like the intervention of the vital in the physical, introduces the determinism of the vital in that of the physical, and necessarily transforms the determinism of the physical. And if through aspiration, the inner will, self-giving and true surrender one can enter into contact with the higher regions or even the supreme region, from up there the supreme determinism will come down and transform all the intermediate determinisms and it will be able to bring about in a so-to-say almost inexistent span of time what would have otherwise taken either years or lives to be accomplished. But this is the only way.

If at the time of some event or circumstance — take for instance, to simplify things, of a danger — if at that time instead of trying to struggle in the domain where one is, one can traverse in a great soaring all the domains which are rungs in the consciousness, and go to the supreme region, what Sri Aurobindo calls the Transcendent, if one can enter into contact with this Transcendent, in a state of perfect surrender, it is He who will act and change everything, in all circumstances — to the extent that this will be what people call miracles, because they do not understand how it can happen.

The sole secret is to know how to climb up right to the top.

That’s all?

You wanted a meditation...


Le 9 novembre 1955[4]


Mère, je ne comprends pas : « Nous avons le sentiment d’une aspiration et d’un effort personnels, mais c’est notre mental égoïste qui cherche d’une façon fausse et imparfaite à s’identifier aux opérations de la Force divine. »

Qu’est‑ce que tu ne comprends pas ? La phrase ou l’idée ?

L’idée, Mère.

On peut le mettre d’une façon très familière.

L’être individuel et particulièrement le mental en lui ont une répulsion instinctive à admettre que c’est une autre force que leur petite force personnelle qui fait les choses. Il y a une sorte d’instinct qui vous fait être tout à fait convaincu que l’effort de l’aspiration, la volonté de progrès sont des choses qui vous appartiennent en propre et, par conséquent, que vous en avez tout le mérite.

Depuis l’homme d’art, ou de littérature, ou de science, qui produit quelque chose, qui étudie quelque chose, et qui est tout à fait convaincu que c’est lui-même qui le fait, jusqu’à l’aspirant yogi qui est convaincu que c’est l’ardeur de sa propre aspiration, que c’est son besoin personnel de réalisation, qui le poussent — si on leur dit (c’est une expérience que j’ai faite), si on leur dit trop tôt : « Mais non, c’est le Divin qui aspire en vous, c’est la Force divine qui produit en vous », ils ne font plus rien, ils tombent plat, cela ne les intéresse plus du tout ; ils disent : « Bon, je n’ai rien à faire alors, que le Divin le fasse. »

Et c’est ce que Sri Aurobindo veut dire. C’est que la mentalité est une chose tellement égoïste et tellement orgueilleuse que, si on lui enlève la satisfaction qu’elle recherche, elle ne collabore plus ; le vital non plus. Et comme le physique est très obéissant au vital et au mental, il ne collabore plus non plus. Alors, on est en face d’une masse inerte qui dit : « Bon, si ce n’est pas moi, eh bien, que le Divin fasse ce qu’Il veut, moi je ne fais plus rien du tout. »

J’ai connu des gens qui vraiment avaient fait beaucoup de progrès, qui sont très près du moment où l’on émerge dans la vérité des choses, et qui sont retenus seulement par cela. Parce que ce besoin d’être la source de l’action, d’avoir le mérite de l’effort, ce besoin est tellement enraciné qu’ils ne peuvent pas faire le dernier pas. Cela prend quelquefois des années. Si on leur dit : « N on, ce n’est pas vous, cette énergie qui est en vous, cette volonté qui est en vous, cette connaissance qui est en vous, tout ça c’est le Divin ; ce n’est pas ce que vous appelez vous », ça les rend tellement misérables qu’ils ne peuvent plus rien faire. C’est cela que Sri Aurobindo veut dire dans cette phrase.

Il y a des gens qui ont tellement besoin de garder le sens de leur personnalité séparée, que s’ils sont forcés d’admettre que tout ce qui s’élance vers le haut est inspiré par le Divin, ou même fait par Lui, ils gardent pour leur petite personne tout le côté des défauts, des fautes, des erreurs, et ils choient leurs défauts, pour qu’au moins quelque chose leur reste, qui soit bien à eux, qui soit leur propriété personnelle : « Oui, tout ce qui est beau, lumineux, c’est le Divin ; toutes les choses horribles, c’est moi. » Mais un moi... un grand moi ; il ne faut pas y toucher !

Mère, on se sent parfois spontanément une aspiration ; et il y a d’autres moments, quand on veut aspirer, ce n’est plus spontané. Alors quelle est la différence, est‑ce que le Divin aspire...

Sri Aurobindo répond à cela. Il le décrit extrêmement bien.

Parce que toute cette obscurité, toute cette inconscience, toute cette ignorance, ce n’est pas du tout une chose personnelle. C’est l’état du monde, l’état de la matière, l’état de la vie physique. Et cela entre en vous, vous fait agir ; c’est comme quelque chose qui tire les fils du pantin. Tous ces désirs, toutes ces impulsions, tous ces courants de force, c’est quelque chose qui passe à travers vous, auquel vous obéissez, sans même vous en rendre compte, et que vous prenez pour vous-même. Et il n’y a pas de vous-même dans cette affaire-là. Ça vient de partout et ça va partout. Vous êtes une place publique : ça entre, ça sort, ça vous fait mouvoir.

Mère, pourquoi a-t-on un défaut particulier, et non pas des défauts différents ?

Ça, c’est le travail de la Nature.

Pourquoi est‑ce qu’il y a des plantes qui sont d’une façon, et d’autres qui sont d’une autre, des animaux qui sont d’une manière, et des animaux qui sont d’une autre ? Il n’y a pas deux combinaisons semblables dans l’univers. Toutes les combinaisons sont différentes. Il n’y a pas deux mouvements semblables dans l’univers. Il n’y a rien qui se reproduise exactement. Il y a des analogies, il y a des similitudes, il y a des familles — il y a des familles de mouvements qu’on pourrait appeler des familles de vibrations —, mais il n’y a pas deux choses qui soient identiques. Ni dans le temps, ni dans l’espace. Rien ne se répète. Autrement, il n’y aurait pas de manifestation, il n’y aurait qu’une chose unique.

La manifestation c’est justement la diversité. C’est l’Unique qui se déploie dans l’innombrable, indéfiniment.

Rien ? Nulle part ?

Douce Mère, quand est‑ce que l’ego devient un instrument ?

Quand il est prêt pour le devenir.

Comment est‑ce que cela arrive ?

Comment est‑ce que cela arrive ?... Dans chacun je pense que cela arrive d’une manière différente. Ça peut arriver tout d’un coup, en l’espace d’une minute, par une sorte de renversement intérieur ; ça peut prendre des années ; ça peut prendre des siècles ; ça peut prendre plusieurs vies. Pour chacun il y a un moment où ça arrive : quand il est prêt. Et je pense qu’il est prêt quand il est complètement formé. La raison d’être de l’ego, c’est la formation de l’individu. Quand l’individu est prêt, l’ego peut disparaître. Mais avant ça, il ne disparaît pas parce qu’il a encore du travail à faire.

Quand le monde sera prêt pour recevoir la création nouvelle, les forces adverses disparaîtront. Mais tant que le monde aura besoin d’être tenté, travaillé, baratté pour se préparer, les forces adverses seront là pour être la tentation et ce qui frappe, ce qui pousse, ce qui vous empêche de vous endormir, ce qui vous oblige à être absolument sincère.

Un être qui est absolument sincère devient le maître des forces adverses. Mais tant qu’il y a dans un être un égoïsme, ou un orgueil, ou même une mauvaise volonté, il sera toujours l’objet de la tentation, de l’attaque ; et il sera complètement soumis à ce conflit constant avec ce qui, sous l’apparence d’êtres hostiles, travaille malgré soi à l’OEuvre divine.

Le temps n’est pas déterminé d’une façon absolue. Je vous ai déjà expliqué cela plusieurs fois. Il y a beaucoup de champs de conscience, de zones de conscience superposés ; et dans chacun de ces champs de conscience ou d’action, il y a un déterminisme qui paraît absolu. Mais l’intervention, dans ce champ-là, d’un champ même immédiatement supérieur... comme l’intervention du vital dans le physique introduit le déterminisme vital dans le déterminisme physique, et transforme nécessairement le déterminisme physique. Et si par l’aspiration, la volonté intérieure, le don de soi et la soumission véritable, on peut entrer en contact avec les régions supérieures ou même la région suprême, de là-haut descendra le déterminisme suprême qui transformera tous les déterminismes intermédiaires, et qui pourra produire, en un espace de temps pour ainsi dire inexistant, ce qui autrement aurait pris ou des années ou des vies pour s’accomplir. Mais c’est le seul moyen.

Si au moment d’un événement ou d’une circonstance quelconque — mettez, par exemple, pour simplifier, d’un danger —, si à ce moment-là, au lieu d’essayer de lutter dans le domaine où l’on se trouve, on est capable de traverser, dans un grand élan, tous les domaines qui sont en échelons dans la conscience, vers la région suprême, vers ce que Sri Aurobindo appelle le Transcendant, si on peut entrer en contact avec ce Transcendant, dans un état de soumission parfaite, c’est Lui qui agira et qui changera tout, dans toutes les circonstances. Au point que c’est ce que les gens appellent des miracles, parce qu’ils ne comprennent pas comment cela peut se produire.

Le seul secret, c’est de savoir grimper jusqu’en haut.

C’est tout ?

Tu voulais une méditation...




  1. Savitri, p.542
  2. Ibid., p.417
  3. Questions and Answers 1955, p.358
  4. Entretiens 1955, p.396