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“What does the Word mean?

That’s something else. The Word — it is not pronounced speech and words. There are old traditions which speak of “Let there be light and there was light.” The Word is the Mantra. But it is something quite exceptional, it is when the will formulated in the spirit wants to come down into matter and act directly upon matter that it makes use of the sound — not only of the word but of the sound, the vibration of the sound — to act directly upon matter itself, in matter. It is the opposite movement. You are in the region of thought formulated in words, then from there you may rise higher and get an expression of the silent idea; again from there you may rise yet higher and have the Force: the Force is the Consciousness which is the very source of that thought. And so it becomes a total consciousness instead of something formulated — expressed and formulated. That is, you climb right back to the source. From there, once you possess this light in itself, this consciousness in itself and want to act upon matter to produce a result, this will comes down from plane to plane, and as it becomes more and more material, it defines itself clearly in words or even in a single word, and when it touches matter, instead of its being a silent word, it becomes a word articulated with sounds: a vibration that will act directly upon matter. But one must first have gone high up above in order to be able to come down again. One must have reached the silent consciousness to be able to descend and do this. It must come from above, the source of this word must be up there, not in any intermediary domain. That then is the Word. And one must do what I have said — it is not an easy thing.
         What I have said there (Mother shows “The Four Austerities”[1]) is that one must keep the right attitude and be mentally silent: an attitude not expressed through words or through formulated thoughts, but through a living state of consciousness. An attitude of aspiration, you understand. I am obliged to put it in words because it must be printed on paper (this is why all this loses three-fourths of its force), but still otherwise it would not be acceptable at all; if I gave you a blank sheet, you would not know exactly what I have put there! I am obliged to put it into words.
         An aspiration for all that is essentially true, real, perfect. And this aspiration must be free from words, simply a silent attitude, but extremely intense and unvacillating. Not a word must be allowed the right to enter there and disturb it. It must be like a column of vibrations of aspiration which nothing can touch — and in total silence — and therein, if something comes down, what descends (and will be clothed in words in your mind and in sounds in your mouth) will be the Word. But nothing less than this will do.”[2]

  1. On Education, p. 64: “In conclusion, I would say this: if you want your speech to express the truth and thus acquire the power of the Word, never think out beforehand what you want to say, do not decide what is a good or bad thing to say, do not calculate the effect of what you are going to say. Be silent in mind and remain unwavering in the true attitude of constant aspiration towards the All-Wisdom, the All-Knowledge, the All-Consciousness. Then, if your aspiration is sincere, if it is not a veil for your ambition to do well and to succeed, if it is pure, spontaneous and integral, you will then be able to speak very simply, to say the words that ought to be said, neither more nor less, and they will have a creative power.”
  2. Questions and Answers 1954, p.98