Pope John XXIII
“Sri Aurobindo seems to have taken interest in the Pope's successor ... because two nights ago (not in the night, at four in the morning), I was with him — I spent a half hour with him (a half hour of OUR time, which is very long), he had just returned from a ‘tour’, in Italy especially. We didn't directly talk about it, but some people were there (there were all kinds of things, many things), and from his comments to this or that person, or on this or that, I knew he was returning from Italy, where he had gone for the nomination of the new Pope. And he said something like: “It's the best that could be done under the present circumstances.” That is, he appeared satisfied on the whole.
I told you, didn't I, that I saw the death of the Pope [John XXIII] without even knowing he was ill? ... One night, I suddenly saw in the mental atmosphere of the EARTH quite an awesome movement, that is to say, quite global: there were great mental waves (nothing but mental), great waves of anxiety, as though all human thought were very upset; but it wasn't the anxiety of the believers, it was a very global movement — the earth's mental atmosphere was stirring with great movements of upheaval and anxiety (Mother draws waves in the air). I thought, “What's happening?... What's happening that can so upset men?” (as would happen, for instance, with a world war or events of that kind), “What's happening that can draw the attention of the whole earth's atmosphere, its mental atmosphere?” And the next day, I was told that just at that time, the Pope died. So I thought, “Indeed! ...”
Afterwards (because I am not concerned with all those things), I learned what he was doing: his ‘Ecumenical Council’ and all his reforms, his attempt, in short, to bring everyone together as much as he could (all the Christians, at least), and the fact that he had become a friend of the Russians, etc. So then, I concentrated, because according to natural logic (the logic of Nature's actions), the next Pope should be a horrible reactionary — in a word, it didn't bode well. I concentrated and tried to make things work out for the best. And I see that Sri Aurobindo did find the thing important, since he concentrated over there.”
- “I don't know, when I saw the photo of the new Pope [Paul VI], I got a strong impression of a very shrewd man, a politician.
(Mother nods approvingly)
- Someone very, very shrewd. I didn't feel anything spiritual.
Oh, but the last one [John XXIII] didn't have anything spiritual either!
- But he seemed good.
He was a good man.”
“in reality, Catholicism finds its equilibrium because of Communism; so that the rapprochement between the two was a masterstroke. And I don't think the new man (who is a sly fox, I find) will want to lose the advantage the other had gained. The friendship with Russia is very clever. They are today's two platforms of influence in the earth's atmosphere.
We shall see.
I think the foremost idea of the one who left was to prevent war. Consciously, he wanted all Christians to love each other! (Mother laughs) A childish hope. To love each other in Jesus — whom they leave on the cross.
As Sri Aurobindo says, men ... men LOVE grief, that's why Jesus is still nailed on the cross.”
- Mother's Agenda, 29 June 1963