Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers:1957-01-30

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Transcript of:
Mother's Questions and Answers: January 30, 1957
by Loretta, 2019 (1:21:41)
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Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers
January 30, 1957
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Excitement vs. refinement and peace

Today, Mother teaches about certain aspects of our vital being. She speaks about our need for strong sensations, as opposed to our need for refinement and peace. It is the need to have a contrast in our lives. We all have so many capacities and abilities that remain unfulfilled within us; and unless we have a longing for higher things in our life, so many things within us seek to have a life in the excitements which are offered in the outer life around us. Or, with our own thoughts and feelings, we make excited energies for ourselves.

Our life-energies have to express themselves; we need something to have some level of feeling about – high feeling or low feeling. We all need a life full of reasons to move our bodies, to do things, and bodies need movement to be healthy. We need to love; we need to feel; we need to want (of course it depends on what we want). We need to work towards something, so all our instruments: our thinking mind, our feeling vital, and our moving physical can all follow their natural purpose. It's only when we mature enough to prefer peace, and beauty, and fine feelings, that we start to seek such things, and we leave strong excitements behind us.

Our vital being is the place of our will. And in most people, it is not disciplined. Just as life comes to us, we want to feel good – so our senses seek the pleasures around us. And the world is made in such a way that everything is mixed. So pleasure and pain walk hand-in-hand with us, everywhere we go.

In Sri Aurobindo's aphorism today, he says the kind of energy in man that pursues after pleasure is a suffering and straining energy. Mother and Sri Aurobindo have shown us that mankind is evolving into a higher being all the time. And now, with the new consciousness coming more and more into people who are ready for it, people are more aware that they need to have ways to grow past living in excitement. They want to grow past having ever-new outer attractions to experience.

Mother once said that once we start on the true inner work in our own being, we are never bored – never bored. But Mother points out here that it is hard for people to change. She says that she has seen many people that Sri Aurobindo helped by giving them inner silence, who could not stay in that state. Instead they needed their old, exciting, active, emotional and mental world. They wanted their old energies back. And they complained that when they had inner silence, they felt stupid.

If a person is sincere in their need for real change, it means their soul – their psychic being – is evolved enough to be guiding them. They have evolved beyond seeking new pleasures for pleasure itself, and then needing to escape the contrast of the pain that comes when the pleasure wears out. Then their soul makes the way for them, and they find what they need for their growth. Otherwise, their life is full of things and activities that seem to satisfy them for awhile, but satisfaction never really comes, or it doesn't last.

Hidden influences that drive us to seek excitements

In Savitri, in Book Two, Canto V, “The Kingdoms of the Little Life”, Sri Aurobindo describes stages of human evolution moving through the need for contrasts – moving from the need for all the strong contrasts in life, to a higher level of existence. In Canto VI, “The Godheads of the Little Life”, which explain the inner things that make people in the ‘little life’ move, he gives us the hidden causes that drive us to seek excitements. Here are some sentences from Canto VI; they describe what makes us seek for excitements and contrasts, and then makes us keep on seeking for them:

The little deities of Time’s nether act
Who work remote from Heaven’s controlling eye, (p.151)
[Were] seen moulding the plastic clay of life,
Out of the greyness of a dim background
Their whispers come, an inarticulate force,
Awake in mind an echoing thought or word,
To their sting of impulse the heart’s sanction draw,
And in that little Nature do their work
And fill its powers and creatures with unease. (p.152)

These are small vital entities, which influence us to seek excitements and know pleasures for their own excitements and pleasures. When our beings are not well-organized around our highest part – our soul – we are less conscious of what we are and what we do. And we are more open to these kinds of influences, especially when we don't know about them. Sri Aurobindo writes:

[The] seed of joy they curse with sorrow’s fruit,
Put out with error’s breath its scanty lights
And turn its surface truths to falsehood’s ends,
Its small emotions spur, its passions drive
To the abyss or through the bog and mire:
Or else with a goad of hard dry lusts they prick,
While jogs on devious ways that nowhere lead
Life’s cart finding no issue from ignorance.
All models they corrupt, all measures cheat,
Make knowledge a poison, virtue a pattern dull
And lead the endless cycles of desire
Through semblances of sad or happy chance
To an inescapable fatality. (p.152)
Wherever are soulless minds and guideless lives
And in a small body self is all that counts,
Wherever love and light and largeness lack,
These crooked fashioners take up their task.
To all half-conscious worlds they extend their reign.
Here too these godlings drive our human hearts,
Our nature’s twilight is their lurking-place:
Here too the darkened primitive heart obeys
The veiled suggestions of a hidden Mind
That dogs our knowledge with misleading light
And stands between us and the Truth that saves.
It speaks to us with the voices of the Night:
Our darkened lives to greater darkness move;
Our seekings listen to calamitous hopes.
A structure of unseeing thoughts is built
And reason used by an irrational Force. (p.153)

Sri Aurobindo uses these strong images to show us how our ordinary life is really a reaction to forces we are not conscious of, and which control us without our knowing it. He goes on to say in Savitri:

This is the ephemeral creature’s daily life.
As long as the human animal is lord
And a dense nether nature screens the soul,
As long as intellect’s outward-gazing sight
Serves earthy interest and creature joys,
An incurable littleness pursues his days. (p.163)
Life is the same in insect, ape and man,
Its stuff unchanged, its way the common route.
A gross content prolongs his fallen state;
His small successes are failures of the soul,
His little pleasures punctuate frequent griefs:
Hardship and toil are the heavy price he pays
For the right to live and his last wages death. (p.164)

In these few sentences, Sri Aurobindo has told us the story of people living in ordinary life. But it doesn't go on forever. The way is always open for people who want to be more conscious, who want to live beyond this condition. Mother says in today's class:

“what man calls “life” is the drama of life, the anxiety of life, the violence of contrasts. And perhaps if there were no death, they would be terribly tired of living.”[1]

Death: a false story

The subject of death is one of the most important contrast-creating things for people. People have very strong reactions inside themselves about death. In the Agenda, Mother said that everything is very simple in its truth, and the human consciousness complicates everything. She spoke about an experience she had, a state she lived in for some days, where she was in a state of knowledge-consciousness, where she saw falsehood separated from truth. And she said that we attribute the course of circumstances to our psychological reaction. She said that when her consciousness was beyond this covering of falsehood, she saw:

“The word ‘death’ and all these human reactions seemed so foolish! So senseless, ignorant, stupid — false, without reality. There was simply something that shifted, like this (Mother draws a curve showing a shift of consciousness from one mode of being to another), and then we, in our false consciousness, made a drama out of it. But it was simply something evolving (same gesture).

Knowing this, it's interesting to listen to the stories we're telling ourselves. We always have stories going on in our mind: we see something, we're driving along the road, we see something, we tell ourself a story. We see a person: we tell ourself a story. And what are these stories? They're our personal dramas that we're living in – in our mind at least, and temporarily at least – but we're doing it all the time.

Our attitude creates our fate

On another subject in class today, Mother speaks about how to interpret the difficulties and obstacles one meets on the path, when one is doing something to obtain a particular aim. And we're going to see that interpreting them is not as important as we might have thought they are. Someone sends a question, asking if such difficulties and obstacles are a sign that they should not have decided to do that particular project; or are they a sign that there is a victory to be won – a sign that one must persevere through all the obstacles and go on. And the question finally asks how to recognize and how to interpret the guidance that comes into our lives.

And Mother responds by saying that almost everything we do, almost everything that goes on in our life, is not important in itself. The only real thing that matters is the attitude with which we do them. She says that the things which will have a profound consequence for us – like marriage, or moving to live in a new place – have importance for conducting our life; but from the point of view of yoga, everything depends much, much more on the attitude we take than on the thing itself. Mother details this attitude. She says it is an attitude of consecration, suppleness, ascent, aspiration, goodwill, plasticity, and effort for progress.

That's a long list – I'm going to repeat it. It's an attitude of consecration, of suppleness, of ascent, aspiration, goodwill, plasticity, and the effort for progress.

Not something that we can manufacture (!). She says that it is the divine consciousness which puts this attitude in us. We receive this attitude if we keep the true orientation in our aspiration, and we have the living will for progress. And this attitude makes everything progress. This attitude creates an atmosphere of progressive harmony, where the best thing that can happen under the circumstances will happen.

In Savitri in “The Book of Fate”, when the king asks the sage Narad ‘what is fate?’, Narad says, “Fate is Truth working out in Ignorance.”[2] So our attitude of every minute is our working out of ignorance into the Truth – or not, depending on the attitude we have. It shapes us as we go through life. It creates who we are, which also creates our fate. And here, Mother says that our attitude can create an atmosphere where the best possible thing can happen.

So, what is the question: do we control our destiny? How do you control your destiny? At the bottom, you control your destiny by the attitude that you have toward everything that your destiny has brought you. And then, in the future, you will receive the result of that, in the fate that comes, in the working out of Truth.

Mother says that the ideal would be an attitude complete enough for the action to be spontaneous, dictated by something other than an outer reason. She means dictated by our highest inner aspirations, for the ongoing perfection of our being. Or again, by our soul within us. And this is cooperation with the goal of our soul – the goal to make us fully conscious beings.

Inner indication not to do something

In this part of the class, Mother gives us a very valuable method to know when we are about to undertake something that we should not do. It is a guidance that we feel in our body. But first, Mother answers the question about the obstacles. And she says that obstacles and oppositions – and encouragements too – should not be used as signs to follow to know if we have made a wrong decision or a right one. Because all these things may have different meanings according to different cases. We should not use these outer events to judge the validity of our undertaking.

But, when one is very attentive, and very sincere, one can have a perceptible inner indication of the value of what one is doing. Then, she says that for someone who, with entire goodwill, and full sincerity, wants to do the thing in the right way, with the whole conscious part of his being, the indication will come if they begin something which will end in disaster. They will always feel an uneasiness, at the region of the solar plexus.

It shows us how connected we really are. We don't think of it that way. But we really are connected to all these things – it's just not in our outer consciousness. But the body can feel it.

And Mother says that this uneasiness is not violent, and does not impose itself – it is a slight uneasiness, something like a sort of regret, like a lack of assent, which can be felt even as a refusal to collaborate. But it is very non-assertive, very slight. If people pay no attention and disregard it, after awhile it will go away.

If you get this inner indication when you are about to start something, and you have disobeyed this little indication several times, it will no longer come. But if you are very attentive to it in all sincerity, it will be a sure and precious guide.

And then Mother says what to do if we don't feel a slight inner indication. She says: if it does not show itself at the beginning, it is better to do your undertaking all the way to the end, so the experience will be complete.

And Mother ends the class by saying that this slight inner uneasiness that we can have – that we can feel at the start of something – when it does come, it is an absolutely precise and categorical indication that our undertaking should not be attempted.

We have the original tape-recording of this class today. And if you listen, you hear Mother speaking slowly and very dreamily, far away. And we know that sometimes she spoke in trance; and perhaps she was just in a special kind of mood, or perhaps she was in trance.

The original tape will play after the English translation.

It's January 30, 1957. Mother's about to start her class, and we're all here in the Playground, sitting on the sand. Mother is in her chair in front of the map of India. And she starts to read – first she gives the title...

January 30, 1957

Questions and Answers 1957-1958
January 30, 1957

Questions and Answers 1957-01-30.jpg
PDF (6 pages)

The Chains

“The whole world yearns after freedom, yet each creature is in love with his chains; this is the first paradox and inextricable knot of our nature.
Man is in love with the bonds of birth; therefore he is caught in the companion bonds of death. In these chains he aspires after freedom of his being and mastery of his self-fulfilment.
Man is in love with power; therefore he is subjected to weakness. For the world is a sea of waves of force that meet and continually fling themselves on each other; he who would ride on the crest of one wave, must faint under the shock of hundreds.
Man is in love with pleasure; therefore he must undergo the yoke of grief and pain. For unmixed delight is only for the free and passionless soul; but that which pursues after pleasure in man is a suffering and straining energy.
Man hungers after calm, but he thirsts also for the experiences of a restless mind and a troubled heart. Enjoyment is to his mind a fever, calm an inertia and a monotony.
Man is in love with the limitations of his physical being, yet he would have also the freedom of his infinite mind and his immortal soul.
And in these contrasts something in him finds a curious attraction; they constitute for his mental being the artistry of life. It is not only the nectar but the poison also that attracts his taste and his curiosity.”

Sri Aurobindo
Thoughts and Glimpses

Sweet Mother, what does “artistry” mean?

What most men call “artistry” is just contrast. Artists say and feel that it is the shadows which make the light, that if there were no contrasts, they would not be able to make a picture. It is the same thing with music: the contrast between “forte” and “piano” is one of the greatest charms of music.

I knew some poets who used to say, “It is my enemies’ hatred which makes me value the affection of my friends....” And it is the almost inevitable likelihood of misfortune which gives all its savour to happiness, and so on. And they value repose only in contrast with the daily agitation, silence only because of the usual noise, and some of them even tell you, “Oh! it is because there are illnesses that good health is cherished.” It goes so far that a thing is valued only when it is lost. And as Sri Aurobindo says here:When this fever of action, of movement, this agitation of creative thought is not there, one feels one is falling into inertia. Most people fear silence, calm, quietude. They no longer feel alive when they are not agitated.

I have seen many cases in which Sri Aurobindo had given silence to somebody, had made his mind silent, and that person came back to him in a kind of despair, saying: “But I have become stupid!” For his thought was no longer excited.

What he says here is terribly true. Men want freedom but they are in love with their chains, and when one wants to take them away, when one wants to show them the path of true liberation, they are afraid, and often they even protest.

Almost all man’s works of art — literary, poetic, artistic — are based on the violence of contrasts in life. When one tries to pull them out of their daily dramas, they really feel that it is not artistic. If they wanted to write a book or compose a play where there would be no contrasts, where there would be no shadows in the picture, it would probably be something seemingly very dull, very monotonous, lifeless, for what man calls “life” is the drama of life, the anxiety of life, the violence of contrasts. And perhaps if there were no death, they would be terribly tired of living.

(Long silence)

I have been asked a question about what I said in one of the former classes:

“The difficulties and obstacles met on the path when one wants to attain a certain aim — are they sometimes a sign that this decision, this plan or project was faulty from the beginning and that hence one should not persist or, on the contrary, do these difficulties indicate a victory to be won, a transformation to be attained? Are they a sign that one must persevere and hold fast? I am not speaking here of the decision to follow the path of Yoga, but of the little things connected with work, sports or other activities. In other words, how to recognise and interpret the Guidance which comes through circumstances or relations with others and through experience?”

I believe this is only an apparent contradiction.

If one wants to follow a discipline of yoga, naturally, before undertaking anything one must try to discern and know if the inspiration received is a real one, coming from the Divine, or whether it is simply a reaction to outer circumstances and an impulse, either vital or mental. It is quite important, even very important, to try to discern and act in full knowledge of the cause. But there are very many things one does and about which one is not in the habit of thinking beforehand. When the circumstance comes, one obeys it, so to say. And, indeed, these things, like almost everything one does in life, are not important in themselves. The only thing that matters is the attitude with which they are done. The fact that you do something because that action is present there before you for one reason or another and that you are, so to say, always obliged to act as long as you are in the outer life — all this has a certain importance from the point of view of the management of life if these acts are liable to have far-reaching consequences in life, as for example, getting married or going to live in one place or another or taking up one occupation or another; these things are generally considered important, and they are so to a certain extent; but even for them, from the point of view of yoga, everything depends much more on the attitude one takes than on the thing itself. And so, above all, for all the very small actions of daily life, the importance is reduced to a minimum.

There are some scrupulous people who set problems to themselves and find it very difficult to solve them, because they state the problem wrongly. I knew a young woman who was a theosophist and was trying to practise; she told me, “We are taught that the divine Will must prevail in all that we do, but in the morning when I have my breakfast, how can I know whether God wants me to put two lumps of sugar in my coffee or only one?”... And it was quite touching, you know, and I had some trouble explaining to her that the spirit in which she drank her coffee, the attitude she had towards her food, was much more important than the number of lumps of sugar she put into it.[3]

It is the same with all the little things one does at every moment. The divine Consciousness does not work in the human way, It does not decide how many lumps of sugar you will put in your coffee. It gradually puts you in the right attitude towards actions, things — an attitude of consecration, suppleness, assent, aspiration, goodwill, plasticity, effort for progress — and this is what counts, much more than the small decision you take at every second. One may try to find out what is the truest thing to do, but it is not by a mental discussion or a mental problem that these things can be resolved. It is in fact by an inner attitude which creates an atmosphere of harmony — progressive harmony — in which all one does will necessarily be the best thing that could be done in those particular circumstances. And the ideal would be an attitude complete enough for the action to be spontaneous, dictated by something other than an outer reason. But that is an ideal — for which one must aspire and which one can realise after some time. Till then, to take care always to keep the true attitude, the true aspiration, is much more important than to decide whether one will do gymnastic marching or not and whether one will go to a certain class or not. Because these things have no real importance in themselves, they have only an altogether relative importance, the only important thing is just to keep the true orientation in one’s aspiration and a living will for progress.

As a general rule, and so that the experience may have its full benefit, when one has undertaken something one must do it with persistence, without caring for obstacles and difficulties, until an absolutely irrefutable event indicates that one no longer has to do it. This happens very rarely. Usually, things follow their own curve and when they reach an issue — either they have come to an end or have produced the desired result — one becomes aware of the reason for doing them. But the obstacles, oppositions — or encouragements — should not be considered as irrefutable signs to be followed, for these things may have very different meanings according to the case, and it is not at all on the basis of these outer events that one must judge the validity of one’s undertaking.

When one is very attentive and very sincere, one can have an indication, an inner but perceptible indication, of the value of what one has undertaken or the action one is doing. Truly, for someone who has an entire goodwill, that is, who in all sincerity, with the whole conscious part of his being, wants to do the right thing in the right way, there is always an indication; if for some reason or other one launches upon a more or less fatal action, one always feels an uneasiness in the region of the solar plexus; an uneasiness which is not violent, which doesn’t compel recognition dramatically, but is very perceptible to someone who is attentive — something like a sort of regret, like a lack of assent. It may go as far as a kind of refusal to collaborate. But I must stress it, without violence, without brutal self-assertion: it makes no noise, does not hurt, it is at the most a slight uneasiness. And if you disregard it, if you pay no attention, attach no importance to it, after a little while it will completely disappear and there will be nothing any longer.

It is not that it increases with the growing error, on the contrary, it disappears and the consciousness becomes veiled.

Therefore, one cannot give this as a sure sign, for if you have disobeyed this little indication several times, well, it will no longer come. But I tell you that if in all sincerity you are very attentive to it, then it will be a very sure and precious guide.

But if there is an uneasiness, it comes at the beginning, almost immediately, and when it doesn’t show itself, well, no matter what one has started, it is preferable to do it to the very end so that the experience may be complete, unless one receives, as I said, an absolutely precise and categorical indication that it should not be done.

Le 30 janvier 1957

Entretiens 1957-58
Le 30 janvier 1957

Entretiens 1957-01-30.jpg
PDF (7 pages)

Les Chaînes

« Le monde entier aspire à la liberté, et pourtant chaque créature est amoureuse de ses chaînes. Tel est le premier paradoxe et l’inextricable noeud de notre nature.
L’homme est amoureux des liens de la naissance ; aussi se trouve-t-il pris dans les liens jumeaux de la mort. Dans ces chaînes, il aspire à la liberté de son être et à la maîtrise de son accomplissement.
L’homme est amoureux du pouvoir ; aussi est-il soumis à la faiblesse. Car le monde est une mer et ses vagues de force se heurtent et déferlent sans cesse les unes contre les autres ; celui qui veut chevaucher la crête d’une seule vague doit s’effondrer sous le choc de cent autres.
L’homme est amoureux du plaisir ; aussi doit-il subir le joug du chagrin et de la douleur. Car la félicité sans mélange n’existe que pour l’âme libre et sans passion ; mais ce qui poursuit le plaisir dans l’homme est une énergie qui souffre et qui peine.
L’homme est assoiffé de calme, mais il a faim aussi des expériences d’un mental agité et d’un coeur inquiet. Pour son mental, la jouissance est une fièvre, le calme, une monotone inertie.
L’homme est amoureux des limitations de son être physique, et cependant il voudrait avoir aussi la liberté de son esprit infini et de son âme immortelle.
Et quelque chose en lui éprouve une étrange attraction pour ces contrastes. Pour son être mental ils constituent l’intensité artistique de la vie. Ce n’est pas seulement le nectar, mais le poison aussi qui attire son goût et sa curiosité. »

(Sri Aurobindo, Aperçus et Pensées)

Douce Mère, que veut dire « intensité artistique » ?

Pour la plupart des hommes, ce qu’ils appellent « artistique », ce sont justement les contrastes.

Les artistes disent, et sentent, que ce sont les ombres qui font les lumières, que s’il n’y avait pas de contrastes ils ne pourraient pas faire de tableaux. La même chose pour la musique : ce sont les contrastes entre les « forte » et les « piano » qui font l’un des plus grands charmes de la musique.

J’ai connu des poètes qui disaient : « C’est la haine de mes ennemis qui me fait apprécier l’affection de mes amis »... Et c’est la possibilité presque inévitable du malheur qui donne toute sa saveur au bonheur, et ainsi de suite. Et le repos, ils ne l’apprécient qu’en contradiction avec l’agitation quotidienne, le silence qu’à cause du bruit général, et même certains vous disent : « Oh ! c’est parce qu’il y a les maladies qu’on aime la bonne santé. » C’est au point que l’on n’apprécie quelque chose que lorsqu’on l’a perdu. Et comme Sri Aurobindo le dit ici : quand il n’y a pas cette fièvre d’action, de mouvement, cette agitation de la pensée créatrice, on a l’impression que l’on tombe dans une inertie. La majorité des gens craignent le silence, le calme, la tranquillité. Ils ne se sentent plus vivre quand ils ne sont pas agités.

J’ai vu bien des cas où Sri Aurobindo avait donné le silence à quelqu’un, avait fait taire son mental, et cette personne revenir à lui avec une sorte de désespoir en lui disant : « Mais je suis devenue stupide ! » Parce que sa pensée n’était plus agitée.

Ce qu’il dit là est terriblement vrai. Les hommes veulent la liberté, mais il sont amoureux de leurs chaînes, et quand on veut les leur enlever, quand on veut leur montrer le chemin de la vraie libération, ils ont peur, et même souvent ils protestent.

Presque toutes les productions d’art — littéraires, poétiques, artistiques — de l’homme sont basées sur la violence des contrastes dans la vie. Quand on essaye de les tirer de leurs drames quotidiens, ils ont vraiment l’impression que ce n’est pas artistique. S’ils voulaient écrire un livre ou composer une pièce de théâtre où il n’y aurait aucun contraste, où tout serait harmonieusement pur et beau, où il n’y aurait pas d’ombre dans le tableau, ce serait probablement quelque chose qui paraîtrait très terne, très monotone, sans vie, parce que ce que l’homme appelle « la vie », c’est le drame de la vie, c’est l’anxiété de la vie, c’est la violence des contrastes. Et peut-être, s’il n’y avait plus de mort, ils seraient terriblement fatigués de vivre.

(long silence)

À propos de ce que j’ai dit dans l’une des classes précédentes, on m’a posé une question :

« Les difficultés et les obstacles que l’on rencontre sur le chemin lorsqu’on veut atteindre un certain but, sontils un signe, parfois, que cette décision, ce plan ou ce projet était fautif dès le départ et donc qu’il ne faut pas persister, ou au contraire, ces difficultés indiquentelles une victoire à remporter, une transformation à accomplir ? Sont-elles un signe qu’il faut persévérer et tenir bon ? Je ne parle pas ici de la décision de suivre le chemin du yoga, mais de petites choses relatives au travail, aux sports ou autres activités. En d’autres termes, comment reconnaître et interpréter la Direction qui vient à travers les circonstances ou les relations avec autrui et l’expérience ? »

Je crois que cette contradiction est seulement apparente.

Si l’on veut suivre une discipline de yoga, naturellement c’est avant d’entreprendre quelque chose qu’il faut tâcher de discerner et de savoir si l’inspiration que l’on reçoit est une inspiration réelle, venant du Divin, ou bien si c’est tout simplement une réaction aux circonstances extérieures et une impulsion, soit vitale, soit mentale. Il est assez important, il est même très important, d’essayer de discerner et d’agir en toute connaissance de cause. Mais il est un très grand nombre de choses que l’on fait et auxquelles on n’a pas l’habitude de réfléchir avant. Quand la circonstance vient, on y obéit pour ainsi dire. Et au fond, ces choses-là, comme presque tout ce que l’on fait dans la vie, n’ont pas d’importance en elles-mêmes. La seule chose qui importe, c’est l’attitude avec laquelle on les fait. Que l’on fasse certaine action parce que cette action s’est trouvée devant vous pour une raison ou pour une autre et que l’on est, pour ainsi dire, toujours obligé d’agir tant que l’on est dans la vie extérieure, cela a une certaine importance au point de vue de la conduite de la vie si ce sont des actes qui peuvent avoir des conséquences assez profondes dans l’existence, comme par exemple de se marier ou d’aller vivre dans un endroit ou dans un autre, ou de prendre une certaine occupation ou une autre ; ce sont des choses qui sont généralement considérées comme importantes, et qui le sont dans une certaine mesure ; mais même pour celles-là, tout dépend beaucoup plus, au point de vue du yoga, de l’attitude que l’on prend que de la chose elle-même. Et alors, surtout pour tous les tout petits actes de la vie quotidienne, l’importance est réduite au minimum.

Il y a certaines personnes, scrupuleuses, qui se posent des problèmes et qui ont une grande difficulté à les résoudre, parce qu’elles se posent mal le problème. J’ai connu une jeune femme qui était théosophe et qui essayait de pratiquer, et qui m’a dit : « On nous enseigne que c’est la Volonté divine qui doit prévaloir dans tout ce que nous faisons, mais le matin, quand je prends mon petit déjeuner, comment savoir si Dieu veut que je mette deux morceaux de sucre dans mon café ou un seul ? »... Et c’était touchant, n’est‑ce pas, et j’ai eu quelque peine à lui expliquer que l’esprit dans lequel elle boirait son café au lait, l’attitude qu’elle avait vis-à-vis de la nourriture qu’elle prendrait était beaucoup plus importante que le nombre de morceaux de sucre qu’elle mettrait dedans !

Il en est ainsi de toutes ces petites choses que l’on fait à chaque minute. La Conscience divine n’agit pas à la manière humaine. Elle ne décide pas du nombre de morceaux de sucre que vous mettrez dans votre café. Elle vous place petit à petit dans l’attitude vraie vis-à-vis des gestes, des choses — une attitude de consécration, de souplesse, d’adhésion, d’aspiration, de bonne volonté, de plasticité, d’effort vers le progrès —, et c’est cela qui compte, beaucoup plus que la petite décision que vous prendrez à chaque seconde. On peut tâcher de percevoir quelle est la chose la plus vraie à faire, mais ce n’est pas avec une discussion mentale ou un problème mental que l’on peut résoudre ces choses. C’est justement avec une attitude intérieure qui crée une atmosphère d’harmonie — d’harmonie progressive — dans laquelle tout ce que l’on fera sera nécessairement, dans les circonstances données, la meilleure chose qui pouvait être faite. Et l’idéal serait une attitude assez totale pour que l’acte soit spontané, dicté par quelque chose d’autre que par une raison extérieure. Mais cela, c’est un idéal — auquel on doit aspirer et que l’on peut réaliser au bout d’un certain temps. Jusque-là, le soin de garder toujours l’attitude vraie, l’aspiration vraie, est beaucoup plus important que de décider si l’on fera la marche gymnastique ou si on ne la fera pas et si l’on ira dans une certaine classe ou si l’on n’ira pas. Parce que ces choses n’ont pas d’importance véritable en elles-mêmes, elles n’ont qu’une importance tout à fait relative, la seule chose importante étant justement de garder l’orientation vraie dans son aspiration et la volonté vivante de progrès.

En règle générale, et pour que l’expérience ait son plein profit, quand on a entrepris quelque chose, il faut le faire avec persistance, sans se soucier des obstacles et des difficultés, jusqu’à ce qu’un événement absolument irréfutable vous fasse savoir que vous n’avez plus à la faire. Ceci arrive très rarement. Généralement, les choses suivent leur courbe, et quand elles arrivent à un aboutissement — ou qu’elles sont terminées ou qu’elles ont apporté le résultat voulu —, on s’aperçoit de la raison pour laquelle on les a faites. Mais les obstacles, les contradictions (ou les encouragements) ne doivent pas être considérés comme des signes irréfutables qu’il faille suivre, parce que ces choses peuvent avoir une signification très différente suivant les cas, et ce n’est pas du tout sur ces événements extérieurs qu’il faut juger de la validité de son entreprise.

Quand on est très attentif et très sincère, on peut avoir une indication, pour ainsi dire intérieure, mais perceptible, de la valeur de ce que l’on a entrepris ou de l’action que l’on est en train de faire. Vraiment, pour celui qui est entièrement de bonne volonté, c’est-à-dire qui veut en toute sincérité, avec toute la partie consciente de son être, faire la vraie chose de la vraie manière, il y a toujours une indication ; si pour une raison quelconque on s’embarque dans une action plus ou moins funeste, on sent toujours un malaise dans la région du plexus solaire — un malaise qui n’est pas violent, qui ne s’impose pas dramatiquement, mais qui est très perceptible pour celui qui est attentif, quelque chose comme une sorte de regret, comme un manque d’adhésion. Cela peut aller jusqu’à une sorte de refus de collaborer. Mais j’insiste : sans violence, sans affirmation brutale ; cela ne fait pas de bruit, cela ne fait pas mal, c’est tout au plus un petit malaise. Et si vous passez outre, si vous ne faites pas attention, si vous n’y attachez pas d’importance, au bout d’un certain temps cela disparaîtra complètement et il n’y aura plus rien.

Ce n’est pas que cela grandisse avec l’erreur croissante ; au contraire, cela disparaît et la conscience se voile.

Par conséquent, on ne peut pas donner cela comme un signe certain, parce que si vous avez désobéi plusieurs fois à cette petite indication, eh bien, elle ne se produira plus. Mais je dis que si en toute sincérité vous y êtes très attentifs, alors ce sera un guide très sûr et très précieux.

Mais s’il y a un malaise, il se produit au début, presque immédiatement ; et lorsqu’il ne se manifeste pas, eh bien, quoi que ce soit que l’on ait commencé, il est préférable de le faire jusqu’au bout pour que l’expérience soit complète, à moins que l’on ne reçoive, comme je l’ai dit, une indication absolument précise et catégorique que cela ne doit pas se faire.

  1. Questions and Answers 1957-1958, p.28
  2. Savitri, p.458, “The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain”
  3. About this story, a disciple remembers Mother telling him something to this effect: “Now I would no longer laugh at this poor lady. I am not sure that the Lord does not also attend to the number of lumps of sugar we put in our coffee!”