“[I]t is a very complex composite with many layers; there is a layer of physical, a layer of nervous, a layer of mental, even a final stratum of supramental personality; and within these layers themselves there are strata within each stratum. The analysis of the successive couches of the earth is a simple matter compared with the analysis of this wonderful creation we call the personality. The mental being in resuming bodily life forms a new personality for its new terrestrial existence; it takes material from the common matter-stuff, life-stuff, mind-stuff of the physical world and during earthly life it is constantly absorbing fresh material, throwing out what is used up, changing its bodily, nervous and mental tissues. But this is all surface work; behind is the foundation of past experience held back from the physical memory so that the superficial consciousness may not be troubled or interfered with by the conscious burden of the past but may concentrate on the work immediately in hand. Still that foundation of past experience is the bedrock of personality; and it is more than that. It is our real fund on which we can always draw even apart from our present superficial commerce with our surroundings. That commerce adds to our gains, modifies the foundation for a subsequent existence.”
“Years ago, when Sri Aurobindo and I descended together from plane to plane (or from mode of life to mode of life) and reached the Subconscient, we saw that it was no longer individual: it was terrestrial. The rest – the mind, the vital and of course the body – is individualized; but when you descend below this level, that’s no longer the case. There is indeed something between the conscious life of the body and this subconscious terrestrial life – elements are thrown out as a result of the action of individual consciousness upon the subconscious substance; this creates a kind of semiconsciousness, and that stays. For example, when people are told, ‘You have pushed your difficulty down into the subconscient and it will resurface,’ this does not refer to the general Subconscient, but to something individualized out of the Subconscient through the action of individual consciousness and remaining down there until it resurfaces. The process is, so to speak, interminable, even the personal part of it.
Every night, you know, I continue to see more and more astounding things emerging from the Subconscient to be transformed. It’s a kind of mixture – not clearly individualized – of all the things that have been more or less closely associated in life. For example, some people are intermingled there. One relives things almost as in a dream (although these are not ‘dreams’), one relives it all in a certain setting, within a certain set of symbolic, or at any rate expressive, circumstances. Just two days ago I had to deal with someone (I am actively at work there and I had to do something with him), and upon seeing this person, I asked myself, ‘is he this one or that one?’ As I became less involved in the action and looked with a more objective consciousness, the witness-consciousness, I saw that it was simply a mixture of both persons – everything is mixed in the Subconscient.... Already when I lived in Japan there were four people I could never distinguish during my nighttime activities – all four of them (and god knows they weren’t even acquainted!) were always intermingled because their subconscious reactions were identical.
In fact, this is what legitimizes the ego; because if we had never formed an ego, we would have lived all mixed up (laughing), now this person, now another! Oh, it was so comical, seeing this the other day! At first it was a bit bewildering, but when I looked closely, it became utterly amusing: two little people with no physical resemblance, yet of a similar type – small and ... in short, a similarity. It’s like the four men I used to see in Japan: there was an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Japanese and one more, each from a different country; well, at night they were all the same, as if viewed one through the other, all intermingled – very amusing!
But individualization is a slow and difficult process. That’s why you have an ego, otherwise you would never become individualized, but always be ... (Mother laughs) a kind of public place!”
- “But each individual has a different personality.
Yes ... perhaps not in the present state of disorder! But in principle.
- Every conscious being?
Yes, in principle – each TRUE soul.
- True, meaning formed?
Yes, ‘formed’ if you consider it from below. But if you consider it from above ... (Mother laughs).
- Each individual represents something of the Divine?
It could be expressed like that, but it’s still a separative way of putting it.
- But then what is this ‘personality’!?
It’s a mode of being.
- It’s what makes one being different from the other.
A mode of being, yes, in a way, in its essence – in its essence, because in the manifestation all this is destined to disappear. Yes, they are modes of being – like those first four modes of being created at the first manifestation.
- But in our case, would there be innumerable modes of being, each representing one particular aspect?
Yes, the multitude – otherwise there can be no Play.”