Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers:1956-10-03 part 1
|Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers
October 3, 1956 (part 1 of 2)
Up to now, Mother has worked hard to get people in the class to ask her questions. It seems that she's looking for questions that would bring them new information, or something which she could tell which would give them living spiritual help in the moment. But today, she doesn't do this. She's come to class with questions, and she has prepared the answers in advance.
The first one is an explanation about how she answers questions in the class. She speaks of going into an altered state of consciousness. And then she says a force or consciousness expresses itself by passing through the individual mind; and it automatically attracts – by a kind of affinity – the words it needs to express itself. And if we listen to the original tapes that play after the English translation, in different classes we find that Mother's moods are very different. Or perhaps we could say ‘modes of expression’ are very different. And you can hear them very clearly. Sometimes it seems that she's far away, speaking in a kind of dreaming voice – maybe this is what she means. Perhaps this is the state of consciousness where she's kind of ‘not here’ in a funny way, and this consciousness or force that has come to give the answer is actually doing the work.
We've read about Nirodbaran's account of how she used to come into Sri Aurobindo's room in trance, and she would walk and talk and do whatever work she had to do. But sometimes the trance was so strong that she just sat there. Nirodbaran wrote that he once had a whole conversation with Mother – he had problems in his dispensary, and she was telling him what to do about the problems, but she was in trance the whole time. And all the while she was talking to him, in trance, she was also arranging roses – cutting the stems and putting them in vases. And Mother had said in a previous class that she had trained her body to do its work while part of her consciousness was elsewhere.
Mother never really described what it felt like to her in most of her trance states – although she would tell what she saw, or what she heard. But they of course could not have been the same experience. The word ‘trance’ covers a lot of possible things that her consciousness could have been doing, or different inner experiences she could have been having. In the early days, she would often go into trance when she was doing things with that ashramites. For awhile they had the evening soup ceremony, where Mother had a big pot of soup – hot soup – in front of her; and she would meditate and put some force into the soup to help the sadhaks. And each one would come up and receive a cup of soup from her. And in those days, often she would be standing for half an hour in trance, with the person standing in front of her just waiting for the soup that she was going to give them.
In those days, Mother said that she received calls for help, and she'd have to go right away. So she'd just leave her body – physical body – and her inner consciousness would go and do the work that had to be done.
In much later times, after this class – when the supramental force was descending more and more – we have things in the Agenda where she says people would write her letters for help; and they would receive the answer to their letter even before Mother read the letter (in her physical body). So all of this work that she was doing was increased by the advent of the new consciousness.
And we do have lots of descriptions of what she saw on the subtle planes, related to the new consciousness – all through the Agenda she speaks of these things. But her in class, she speaks of this force or consciousness expressing itself through her. And she does describe similar experiences in the Agenda. There's one time, after she gives a balcony darshan, when she comes back and she says that she can feel the different beings present in her, doing something during the darshan. And it's interesting for us that she says that this way of teaching – when the higher force does it – is the true teaching. Something that we rarely find in books. We have to really have a kind of consciousness that can do that, to find it in the books.
And it makes sense – if we go to a spiritual teacher with a question, we don't want to hear an answer like a lecture. We don't want to hear information that's been stored in their being, even if it was once a true experience. We want to receive some higher consciousness that will act in its own right, in the living, present moment where we are at that time. We want it to give us what we need on our path. We don't just want useful information about the subject of our question. It's best if we can receive the actual experience that the teacher is having in their own consciousness, while they're having it at that time.
Mother says that teaching which comes from the mind of the teacher – even when the mind of the teacher receives an answer to our questions from a higher consciousness, and then it transmits it to us with words – is still less effective than when the force or consciousness just passes through the mind, and the words that it uses for expression come to it. She says that the spoken word then has a vibration of sound which transmits something of the teacher's present experience of the consciousness itself; and in this way we're receiving more.
Mother answers the second question which she has brought – the question on the results of the new consciousness now that it's really coming. She answers the question by describing something she saw. It's about how things will be different because the supramental consciousness is now manifesting on our planes of existence. But she's figured out a way of telling it – or perhaps this ‘something’ has come to her to give her a way of telling it – because she says it comes from something she saw and experienced that she had. And she tells us that she's describing it by using ‘mathematical concepts’, but not using the proper mathematical terms. From what she says, it sounds like possibly she is referring to a field of higher mathematics which is called ‘set theory’. Set theory takes a limited thing – a set thing – and describes its movement in mathematical terms. And here Mother is speaking of sets of things. People who've studied set theory (and remember all that) will know if this is what she's talking about or not.
But finally that doesn't matter, because she gets across what she wants to get across. In her own way, Mother was a mathematical genius. She never studied mathematics in school; I don't think women got those kinds of subjects in those days, when they went to school. But when she was young, her brother Matteo was studying mathematics. And she would study his math along with him. Once, Mother solved a complex, subtle, very difficult mathematical problem – something her brother's math teacher could not solve. And here she's found a way to give us a kind of word-picture, based on things that are familiar to us, based on these mathematical concepts. We do get a feeling of what can happen, now that the new consciousness is here.
It's not a usual experience for us to follow Mother's teachings in this way – but the information that she gives is clear. And she's telling us about how our universe worked before the Supermind came into our manifested sphere. And she's telling it in a really basic and total way. And then she tells us what's going to happen to the whole organized way of working, when the supramental consciousness is active – active in the already-organized workings of consciousness in the whole universe, on all planes.
The original French tape will play after the English translation. And even though you don't speak French, if you listen to it, you can clearly hear in Mother's voice that there's no consciousness or force transmitting something through her. It sounds a lot like a prepared speech – or at least something that she's thought about how to tell us.
Now it's October 3rd, 1956. We're sitting on the sand in the Playground. The students are in front of the Mother; teachers are there; behind are so many ashramites, sitting or leaning against the walls. And maybe someone in the room is waiting (or maybe not ‘in the room’, we could say, because it's outside – the Playground is in open air). So someone could have a question, even. But Mother doesn't ask. She starts...
3 October 1956
I have a whole flood of questions here! But before beginning to answer them, I am going to explain something to you.
You must have noticed on several occasions that my way of talking to you is not always the same. I don’t know if you are very sensitive to the difference, but for me it is quite considerable.... Sometimes, either because of something I have read or for quite another reason — following a question sometimes, but pretty rarely — it so happens that I have what is usually called an experience, but in fact it is simply entering into a certain state of consciousness and, once in that state of consciousness, describing it. In that case what is said passes through the mind, making use of it only as a “storehouse of words”, it could be said; the Force, the Consciousness which is expressing itself passes through the individual mind and attracts by a kind of affinity the words needed for its expression. That is the true teaching, something one rarely finds in books — it may be in books, but one must be in that state of consciousness oneself to be able to discover it. But with the spoken word, the vibration of the sound transmits something at least of the experience, which, for all those who are sensitive, can become contagious.
In the second case, the question asked or the subject chosen is conveyed by the mind to the higher Consciousness, then the mind receives a reply and transmits it again through the word. This is what usually happens in all teachings, provided that the person who teaches has the ability to pass on the question to the higher Consciousness, which is not always the case.
I must say the second method does not interest me very much, and that very often when the question or the subject dealt with does not give me the possibility of entering into an interesting state of consciousness, I would infinitely prefer to keep silent than to speak; it is a sort of duty to be fulfilled which makes me speak. I am just telling you beforehand, for it has often happened that I have cut short our conversation — if it could be called a conversation — and abruptly passed on to meditation; it was in cases like this. But still, someone has happened to ask me to explain this difference and so I am speaking to you about it this evening.
Apart from that, I have yet some other questions of a practical nature, and in connection with these questions I saw something I am going to tell you about — oh! it was not a vision with images, don’t expect something very entertaining. No, it is not that.... I was asked — I am rewording it, this is not the exact text of the question:
- What difference does the presence of the Supermind really make? In what way does it change the tenor of problems, and how should life be reconsidered following this manifestation?
I have been asked to give practical examples; I don’t quite know what that may mean, but anyway, here is what I saw in a sort of mathematical mood — though the language of mathematics is rather foreign to me — but I may call this a mathematical vein, that is to say, a mathematical way of looking at the problem.
I think all of you have studied enough mathematics to know the complexity of the combinations which may be produced by taking certain select elements of a set as a basis. I shall give you an example to make myself clear, for I can’t use the terms which are employed in teaching you. For instance, the letters of the alphabet. There is a certain number of letters in the alphabet; well, if you want to calculate or know the number of combinations possible by taking all these letters together — how they may be organised, in how many ways they can be organised — you have learnt how very fantastic the figure becomes.... Good. But if you take the material world and go down to the most minute element — you know, don’t you, that they have come to absolutely invisible things, innumerable things — if you take this element as the basis and the material world as the whole, and if you imagine a Consciousness or a Will playing with all these elements at making all the possible combinations without ever repeating a single one.... Obviously... In mathematics you are told that the number of elements is finite and that therefore the number of combinations is finite; but that is purely theoretical, for if you come down to practice and all these combinations had to follow each other, even if they went at so great a speed that the change would be almost imperceptible, it is quite obvious that the time needed to make all these combinations would be, apparently at least, infinite; that is to say, the number of combinations would be so immense that no limit could be assigned to it — at least no practical limit; the theory is not interesting for us, but practically it would be like that.
So suppose that what I tell you is true, in this sense that there really is a Consciousness and a Will manifesting these combinations, successively, indefinitely, without ever repeating a single one twice; we come to the conclusion that the universe is new at each moment of eternity. And if the universe is new at each moment of eternity, we have to acknowledge that absolutely nothing is impossible; not only that, but that what we call logic is not necessarily true, and that the logic, one could almost say the fantasy of the Creator, is unlimited.
Therefore, if for one reason or other — which might perhaps be difficult to express — if for some reason a combination were not followed by the one nearest to it but by another freely chosen by the Supreme Freedom, all our external certitudes and all our external logic would instantly break down.
For the problem is much more complicated than you think: it is not only on one plane, in one field, that is to say, what may be called a surface of things, that there is this practically infinite number of elements permitting of eternally new combinations, there is besides what may be called a depth, that is to say, other dimensions. And the Creation is the result not only of surface combinations but of combinations of depths below this surface — what in other terms are called “psychological factors”. But I am at the moment taking a purely mathematical stand, although I don’t speak the language of mathematics, but still it is a mathematical conception. And so here we come to the problem:
Every time a new element is introduced into the total set of possible combinations, it causes what may be called a tearing of its limits: the introduction of something which makes all past limits disappear and new possibilities come in and multiply infinitely the possibilities of old. So, you had a world which, according to the ancient knowledge, had twelve depths or twelve — how to put it? — successive dimensions; and into this world of twelve dimensions, suddenly new dimensions are precipitated; then all the old formulas are instantly transformed and the whole possibility of the old unfolding becomes... one can’t say increased but supplemented by an almost infinite number of new possibilities, and all this in such a way that all the previous logic becomes illogical in the presence of the new logic.
I am not speaking at all of what the human mind has made of the universe, for that is to reduce it to its own dimension; I am speaking of the fact just as it is, of a total set of combinations which are realised successively, in accordance with an order and a choice which, obviously, completely elude the human consciousness, but to which man has to some extent adapted himself and which, with a great effort of study such as humanity has pursued down the centuries, he has succeeded in formulating well enough to be able to hook himself on to something tangible.... It is obvious that modern scientific perception is much nearer to something corresponding to the universal reality than were the perceptions of the Stone Age, for instance — this without the shadow of a doubt. But even this is going to be suddenly completely overpassed, exceeded, and probably turned quite topsy-turvy by the intrusion of something which was not in the universe which was studied.
Well, it is from this change, this sudden transformation of the universal element which quite certainly is going to bring about a kind of chaos in the perceptions, that a new knowledge will emerge. This, in the most general way, is the result of the new manifestation.
- [(Mother spoke of what she said when this talk was first published in 1962. So they put what Mother said in a footnote, and this is what the footnote says:)]
- When this talk was first published in 1962, Mother added the following comment about “the new element”: “It is not a question of ‘new things’ in the sense that they did not exist before, but that they were not manifested in the universe. If they were not already there, involved, they could never have come! That is obvious. Nothing can exist which does not already exist from all eternity in the Supreme, but in the manifestation it is new. The element is not new but it is newly manifested, it has newly come out of the Non-manifest. New, what does that mean? It has no meaning, a ‘new thing’! It is new for us in the Manifestation, that is all.”
Le 3 octobre 1956
J’ai ici une pluie de questions ! Mais avant de commencer à répondre, je vais vous expliquer quelque chose.
Vous avez dû noter déjà plusieurs fois que ma façon de vous parler n’est pas toujours la même. Je ne sais pas si vous êtes très sensibles à la différence, mais pour moi elle est assez considérable... Parfois, à cause de ce que j’ai lu, ou pour toute autre raison — à la suite d’une question quelquefois, mais assez rarement —, il m’arrive d’avoir ce que l’on appelle généralement une expérience, mais en fait c’est simplement d’entrer dans un certain état de conscience et, une fois que l’on est dans cet état de conscience, de le décrire. Dans ce cas-là, ce qui est dit passe à travers le mental, ne se servant de lui que comme d’un « magasin de mots », pourrait-on dire : la Force, la Conscience qui s’exprime, passe à travers le mental individuel et attire, par une sorte d’affinité, les mots nécessaires à son expression. Ceci, c’est le vrai enseignement, celui que l’on trouve difficilement dans les livres — il peut être dans les livres, mais il faut être soi-même dans l’état de conscience pour pouvoir l’y découvrir. Tandis qu’avec la parole, la vibration du son transmet quelque chose au moins de l’expérience qui, pour tous ceux qui sont sensibles, peut devenir contagieuse.
Dans l’autre cas, la question posée ou le sujet choisi est transmis par le mental à la Conscience supérieure, puis le mental reçoit une réponse et la transmet de nouveau à travers la parole. C’est ce qui se passe généralement dans tous les enseignements, en admettant que celui qui enseigne ait la capacité de faire passer la question vers la Conscience supérieure, ce qui n’est pas toujours le cas.
Je dois vous dire que la seconde méthode ne m’intéresse pas beaucoup et que bien souvent, quand la question posée ou le sujet traité ne me donne pas la possibilité d’entrer dans un état de conscience intéressant, j’aimerais infiniment mieux me taire que de vous parler; c’est une espèce de devoir à remplir qui me fait vous parler. Je vous préviens simplement parce qu’il m’est arrivé de couper court à la conversation — si l’on peut appeler cela une conversation — et de passer abruptement à la méditation; c’était dans ces cas-là. Mais enfin, il se trouve que quelqu’un m’a demandé d’expliquer cette différence et c’est pour cela que je vous en parle ce soir.
À part cela, j’ai encore reçu d’autres questions, d’ordre pratique, et à propos de ces questions, j’ai vu quelque chose dont je vais vous parler — oh ! ce n’est pas une vision avec des images, ne vous attendez pas à avoir quelque chose de très amusant! Non, ce n’est pas cela... On m’a demandé (je traduis, ce n’est pas textuellement la question):
- Quelle différence fait vraiment la présence du Supramental ? De quelle manière est‑ce qu’elle change la teneur des problèmes, et comment faut-il reconsidérer la vie depuis cette manifestation?
On m’a demandé des exemples pratiques; je ne sais pas très bien ce que cela peut vouloir dire, mais en tout cas, voilà ce que j’ai vu dans une humeur un peu mathématique — quoique le langage mathématique me soit assez étranger —, mais je peux appeler cela une humeur mathématique, c’est-à-dire une façon mathématique de regarder le problème.
Je pense que tous vous avez fait assez de mathématiques pour connaître la complexité des combinaisons qui peuvent se produire en prenant pour base certains éléments choisis dans un ensemble. Je vous donnerai un exemple pour être plus claire, parce que je ne peux pas employer les termes dont on s’est servi pour vous enseigner. Par exemple, les lettres de l’alphabet. Il y a un certain nombre de lettres dans l’alphabet, eh bien, si l’on veut calculer ou savoir le nombre des combinaisons possibles en prenant toutes ces lettres ensemble — comment on peut les organiser, de combien de manières elles peuvent être organisées —, on vous a appris à quel point le chiffre devient fantastique... Bien. Mais si vous prenez le monde matériel et que vous descendiez à l’élément le plus minuscule (vous savez qu’on en est arrivé à des choses absolument invisibles, n’est‑ce pas, et innombrables), si vous prenez cet élément comme base et le monde matériel comme tout, et que vous imaginiez une Conscience ou une Volonté qui s’amuserait, avec tous ces éléments, à faire toutes les combinaisons possibles sans jamais répéter la même combinaison... De toute évidence... En mathématiques, on vous dit que le nombre des éléments est fini et que, par conséquent, le nombre des combinaisons est fini; mais cela, c’est purement théorique, parce que si vous en venez à la pratique et qu’il fallait que toutes ces combinaisons se suivent, même si elles se suivaient à une allure si rapide que le changement serait presque imperceptible, il est de toute évidence que le temps qu’il faudrait pour faire toutes ces combinaisons serait, au moins apparemment, infini; c’est-à-dire que le nombre des combinaisons serait tellement immense que l’on ne pourrait pas lui assigner de fin — de fin pratique tout au moins, la théorie n’est pas intéressante pour nous; mais pratiquement ce serait comme cela.
Alors imaginez que ce que je vous dis soit vrai, en ce sens qu’il y a vraiment une Conscience et une Volonté qui manifestent ces combinaisons, successivement, indéfiniment, sans jamais en répéter une deux fois; nous arrivons à cette conclusion que l’univers est nouveau à chaque instant de l’éternité. Et si l’univers est nouveau à chaque instant de l’éternité, cela nous oblige à constater qu’il n’y a absolument rien qui soit impossible; non seulement cela, mais que ce que nous appelons logique n’est pas nécessairement vrai, et que la logique, on pourrait presque dire la fantaisie du Créateur, n’a pas de limites.
Par conséquent, si pour une raison quelconque (qu’il serait peut-être difficile d’exprimer, mais pour une raison quelconque) une combinaison n’était pas suivie de celle qui lui est la plus proche, mais d’une autre, choisie librement par la Liberté suprême, toutes nos certitudes extérieures et toute notre logique extérieure tomberaient instantanément.
Parce que le problème est encore beaucoup plus compliqué que vous ne le pensez : ce n’est pas seulement sur un plan, dans un domaine, c’est-à-dire ce que l’on pourrait appeler une surface des choses, qu’il y a cette quantité pratiquement infinie d’éléments permettant des combinaisons éternellement nouvelles, il y a en outre ce que l’on pourrait appeler une profondeur, c’està-dire les autres dimensions. Et la Création est le résultat non seulement des combinaisons de surface, mais des combinaisons de profondeur dans cette surface — ce qu’en d’autres termes on appelle les «facteurs psychologiques». Mais je me place maintenant à un point de vue purement mathématique, quoique je ne parle pas mathématiques, mais enfin c’est une conception mathématique. Et alors, nous voici au problème:
Chaque fois qu’un élément nouveau est introduit dans l’ensemble des combinaisons possibles, cela fait ce que l’on pourrait appeler un déchirement de ses limites: l’introduction de quelque chose qui fait que toutes les limites passées disparaissent et que des possibilités nouvelles interviennent et multiplient indéfiniment les anciennes possibilités. Alors, vous aviez un monde qui, selon la connaissance antique, avait douze profondeurs, ou douze... comment dire... dimensions successives; et dans ce monde de douze dimensions, tout d’un coup se précipitent des dimensions nouvelles, alors toutes les formules anciennes sont instantanément transformées et toute la possibilité du déroulement ancien se trouve... on ne peut pas possibilités nouvelles, et ceci de telle manière que toute la logique antérieure devient illogique en présence de la logique nouvelle.
Je ne parle pas du tout de ce que le mental humain a construit de l’univers, parce que cela, c’est une réduction à sa dimension; je parle du fait tel qu’il est, d’un ensemble de combinaisons qui se réalisent successivement, selon un ordre et un choix qui, évidemment, échappent complètement à la conscience humaine, mais auxquels l’homme s’est quelque peu adapté et qu’avec un grand effort d’études, comme celui qui s’est poursuivi depuis des siècles dans l’humanité, il est arrivé à formuler suffisamment pour pouvoir s’accrocher à quelque chose de tangible... Il est évident que la perception scientifique moderne est beaucoup plus proche de quelque chose qui corresponde à la réalité universelle que les perceptions de l’âge de pierre, par exemple; cela ne fait pas l’ombre d’un doute. Mais cela même va se trouver tout d’un coup complètement dépassé, surpassé, et probablement bouleversé, par l’intrusion de quelque chose qui n’était pas dans l’univers que l’on a étudié.
Eh bien, c’est ce changement, cette transformation brusque de l’élément universel, qui va amener très certainement une sorte de chaos dans les perceptions, d’où surgira une connaissance nouvelle. Cela, de la façon la plus générale, c’est le résultat de la manifestation nouvelle.