Transformation for Fourth Graders (Radio program)
So, you guys have been here before. You know what I do –
You've never been here?
(Child: I've seen outside, like also there, but I've never been in this inside.)
Okay. Well, every year, for Mother's birthday celebration, I do an exhibition. And the exhibition is to bring as much of the presence of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo as I possibly can. 'Cause when I first came to the Ashram, they had exhibitions. And they were incredibly beautiful, and full of light, and I loved them so much – and when I came here, I didn't find any exhibitions! So I wanted to share all the wonderful things that I felt when I went to exhibitions in the Ashram and I started doing these exhibitions. And slowly by slowly, the nature of the exhibitions evolved, so that they become teaching exhibitions. Not just beautiful things, not just that we get to look at Mother's picture and feel all the wonderful vibrations that Mother brings – but that we also learn something.
So this year, it's on something, that mysterious weird thing that everybody talks about: the Supramental Transformation. So I'm going to explain what that is. Because actually it's not mysterious at all, and it's not – it's even not weird.
As we've talked about before, down through the ages, saints and sages and seekers have sat in meditation to realize something. And in this country especially, there's a tremendous history, and we hear wonderful stories about people running away to the jungle to sit at the feet of their guru – but why do they do that? What do they get?
Well what they get, is... something that hasn't yet come. We have our life, we live it, and the world keeps evolving. And when it evolves, something new comes into the creation. And it comes from the more subtle parts of the creation, all the way – (gesture) more and more and more, physical and physical – until it gets to us.
So what Sri Aurobindo called the Supermind is that un-expressible thing that actually doesn't have any words. Because it's so wonderful and so fantastic that there aren't any words for it. Every religion starts with an experience of that wordless thing. There are some religions that make sure that they never call it a name, because if they call it a name it limits your experience of it.
So Sri Aurobindo found that that inexpressible, incredible, wonderful thing – that gives us so much more capacity, and so much more ability, when it comes through into us – that that thing brought us past using our minds. So that's why he called it the "Super-Mind". Or the "Supra-Mind". It's like 'beyond thinking'. And beyond thinking, we get lots of stuff, and lots of abilities, and abilities to hear other people's thoughts, and abilities to know things before they happen. And all that's not in the function of our mind. 'Course our mind is kind of like a machine, inside of us – it does a kind of work.
So that's where the word “Supramental” comes from. It's that – that inexpressible wonderful thing, that's caused people to dance drunk in the streets with an experience that they cannot express, and cannot explain. And that mysterious thing which has caused people to leave their families, for centuries, and go into the jungles to sit at the feet of a guru, where they have not good food, not a nice house, and no they can't play with their friends – not all those fabulous things that we like so much – because they get that. Inexpressible thing.
So that's coming for everybody all over the world, slowly by slowly. And the people who are more ready to receive that, receive more of it. And that is what Auroville is for.
Many people have been drawn here because they're ready for more of that. And why have they been drawn here? Because that was the work of Mother and Sri Aurobindo, like I explained before – Mother and Sri Aurobindo are working for everyone, to make us all progress. So because Mother and Sri Aurobindo were here, and because they wrote their books and everything's in their books, and because we have their photographs – we get more contact. And we grow faster, and we feel better.
So what is the Transformation? Well, Mother and Sri Aurobindo found that that wonderful thing, that's coming down in this earth for everyone, is so strong, and so powerful, and so different, that it will change our bodies. So that our bodies can express more of the abilities and capacities and powers of that. More of the love, more of the tenderness, more of the gentleness, more of the consciousness. Because our bodies are kind of limited. And our bodies aren't as smart as the rest of us.
So when the bodies change, they're really going to change – they're going to transform. And that's why they call it the Supramental Transformation.
So it's been starting since Mother and Sri Aurobindo came, and it's going to go on for hundreds of years. We are pioneers. We are some of the first people to know about it, and some of the first people to know consciously about it – because you learn about it and you feel it.
Now, in this process, Mother had an experience. And when she came out of her experience, she told someone about it and they wrote it down. And then she came before the whole Ashram and she read out the report of what they wrote. And we have a recording of Mother's reading of that report. So when I'm finished speaking, you can listen to Mother, telling her report.
Now Mother spoke in French. Remember, the last time I told you that Mother started teaching French in the school, and then she took that class where she was teaching Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's philosophy in French, when the children became a little bit older. And in that classroom, where now the students are a little older – and remember I said that wherever Mother went, all the Ashram went? – and so just like you are sitting on the floor, the Ashramites are standing all around, and Mother comes before the whole Ashram, with paper in her hand, and she reads her report.
And even if you can't speak French, if you listen to Mother's voice, you will hear a kind of teaching in her voice, because she's not very excited. I mean if I had that experience, if you had that experience, you would come to your friends and say “wow, look at this incredible experience that I had!” Mother doesn't do that. It's normal, everyday experience. What does that tell us? That tells us that it's an established fact.
Now that report is in those books. Remember I said all Mother's teachings went into the Entretiens, the Questions and Answers. And everybody I know who has read that report, over the last fifty years or more, has never forgotten it. Not only have they never forgotten it, but they see in their mind the word-pictures that Mother draws for them. What does that tell us? It tells us that it's something very close to us.
So what happened? Mother's consciousness goes to a middle place. We have – and I'm just going to say it, I haven't been there so it's just my idea about how to describe it – on one side, is our world. On the other side is the Supramental world, the world of this wonderful consciousness, tremendous abilities, all these things that are coming. In between, there's a gap! How does that – inexpressible that – come over here for us?
Well Mother's experience is that she went to the place where the bridge was being built, between that world and our world. And she said it was a link – the link was being forged. When you have a chain, every link (gesture) has to be in place. Now it was such a large activity that she went into, and how she described it for us, how it translated in her consciousness was this: she was on a huge boat. And this boat was the place where the people were being trained to receive the Supramental consciousness. To receive that consciousness that the great Rishis and the great yogis were giving to people for centuries. Just a few people – just one or two here, one or two there – now many people are receiving it.
So, on that boat were people that she recognized! And she saw people from the Ashram, and she knew who they were. And she told the Ashram this. But she said, “I'm not going to tell you who they are, because I didn't get to see everybody. And so if I don't tell the whole story, people will be disappointed. And so I'm not going to say to some, and not to others.”
She also said that she saw people from other places in the world, because there were people from everywhere who were growing and growing and growing – not just in the Ashram – who were receiving this consciousness.
And she described what she looked like. Now how did she know what she looked like, if she was in her own body? Well, while she was having the experience, in the middle of the afternoon, suddenly the clock in her room struck three. Very loudly, and bam! it brought her back into her body and her physical consciousness with a shock. And it happened so fast that she remembered what she saw.
Now another teaching that the Mother gave the children was how to remember your dreams. At another time – not this same time – she said “when you wake up in the morning, if you are very still, you will remember the tail end of a dream. And if you don't move, but you pull very gently, slowly by slowly all your activities of the night will come into your consciousness.” So Mother exercised this practice when she came back from the Supramental link-place. And she remembered and she told everybody.
And we're going to hear – we have the English translation and you'll hear the words in English so you understand, and then we have Mother in French so we can just take the vibration. You will hear Mother say that the colour of everybody's body was a kind of Supramental colour, the colour of the Auroville flower. Why? Because this first experience of the link between our world and the Supramental world was the most material physical part of the Supramental, penetrating into the most material physical part of our bodies. So what she saw were the bodies. And she saw that the people who weren't ready had kind of gray patches, like earthly substance. And she was standing on the ship. The ship was about to come to the shore. And there was a walkway, a gangplank, that went straight down to the shore. And she was calling the groups to come down the gangplank to the shore.
Standing on the shore, she describes two incredible beings, unbelievable beings – that were not men, and had never been men, but were from a higher place – who had been posted there to review the people. To see if they were truly ready, or if they had to come back for further training. What does this tell us? This tells us how serious this process is. This tells us how important every one of us is, in being able to receive, and grow, as well as we can.
And she describes these beings – they didn't have bodies like humans, they had bodies that could change their shape. And they had bodies that were this colour of the Auroville flower in the lower part, but higher and higher it became like a pale, pale white. And she said she saw her own body. And she was like a mixture, in that world, where she was doing that work of preparing the groups – she was like a mixture of the beings that had been sent and the beings on the ship. And again, at the lower part of the body at the feet, was a darker colour, and lighter and lighter till the top of her head was just an outline, a silhouette. And inside her head there was a light shining. And from that, rays of light came out, which were the action of the will. So I'm not going to tell you the whole story. You guys can lie down and relax – we have four cushions, some of you can put your heads on the cushions – I'm gonna turn on the tape, and you're going to hear her introduction, and then her experience, and then I'm giving your teacher copies of this. They can make copies and she'll give you copies to take home. But first, does anybody have any questions I can answer? (Pause.) Okay. After you hear the recording, you can stay as long as you like, you're not forced to stay in the room. You can walk around the exhibition. In the exhibition you will read Mother's reports on her own transformation. We have the flowers from the Ashram, and we have a little glass box with some of Mother's things, Mother's pen – yes, sweetheart?
(Child: Who painted those?)
These most beautiful flower paintings come from the Ashram. When Mother was here, everybody loved Mother so much that they painted beautiful cloth to make Mother's clothes. And these cloths are still being made. Because in the Ashram they still train Ashramites. So you see two or three more pieces around. And what these actually are – they're dress pieces, and painted saris. But we take them and we cut them and make beautiful pictures out of them.
Okay. Lie down and relax...
(End of audio)
19 February 1958
- Mother reads her comments upon an experience she had on February 3:
Between the beings of the supramental world and men, almost the same separation exists as between men and animals. Some time ago I had the experience of identification with animal life, and it is a fact that animals do not understand us; their consciousness is so constructed that we elude them almost entirely. And yet I have known pet animals—cats and dogs, but especially cats—that used to make an almost yogic effort of consciousness to reach us. But usually, when they see us as we live and act, they do not understand, they do not see us as we are and they suffer because of us. We are a constant enigma to them. Only a very tiny part of their consciousness has a link with us. And it is the same thing for us when we try to look at the supramental world. Only when the link of consciousness is established shall we see it—and even then only the part of our being which has undergone transformation in this way will be able to see it as it is—otherwise the two worlds would remain apart like the animal and human worlds.
The experience I had on the third of February is a proof of this. Before that I had had an individual subjective contact with the supramental world, whereas on the third of February I moved in it concretely, as concretely as I once used to walk in Paris, in a world that exists in itself, outside all subjectivity.
It is like a bridge being thrown between the two worlds. Here is the experience as I dictated it immediately afterwards:
The supramental world exists permanently and I am there permanently in a supramental body. I had the proof of this even today when my earth-consciousness went there and remained there consciously between two and three o’clock in the afternoon. Now, I know that what is lacking for the two worlds to unite in a constant and conscious relation, is an intermediate zone between the physical world as it is and the supramental world as it is. This zone remains to be built, both in the individual consciousness and the objective world, and it is being built. When I used to speak of the new world which is being created, it was of this intermediary zone that I was speaking. And similarly, when I am on this side, that is, in the field of the physical consciousness, and I see the supramental power, the supramental light and substance constantly penetrating matter, it is the construction of this zone which I see and in which I participate.
I was on a huge boat which was a symbolic representation of the place where this work is going on. This boat, as large as a city, is fully organised, and it had certainly already been functioning for some time, for its organisation was complete. It is the place where people who are destined for the supramental life are trained. These people—or at least a part of their being—had already undergone a supramental transformation, for the boat itself and everything on board was neither material nor subtle-physical nor vital nor mental—it was a supramental substance. This substance was of the most material supramental, the supramental substance which is closest to the physical world, the first to manifest. The light was a mixture of gold and red, forming a uniform substance of a luminous orange. Everything was like that—the light was like that, the people were like that—everything had that colour, although with various shades which made it possible to distinguish things from each other. The general impression was of a world without shadows; there were shades but no shadows. The atmosphere was full of joy, calm, order; everything went on regularly and in silence. And at the same time one could see all the details of an education, a training in all fields, by which the people on board were being prepared.
This immense ship had just reached the shore of the supramental world and a first group of people who were destined to become the future inhabitants of this supramental world were to disembark. Everything had been arranged for this first landing. At the wharf several very tall beings were posted. They were not human beings, they had never been men before. Nor were they the permanent inhabitants of the supramental world. They had been delegated from above and posted there to control and supervise the landing. I was in charge of the whole thing from the beginning and all the time. I had prepared all the groups myself. I stood on the boat at the head of the gangway, calling the groups one by one and sending them down to the shore. The tall beings who were posted there were inspecting, so to say, those who were landing, authorising those who were ready and sending back those who were not and who had to continue their training on board the ship. While I was there looking at everybody, the part of my consciousness which came from here became extremely interested; it wanted to see and recognise all the people, see how they had changed and check which ones were taken immediately and which ones had to remain to continue their training. After a while, as I stood there observing, I began to feel that I was being pulled back so that my body might wake up—a consciousness or a person here—and in my consciousness I protested, “No, no, not yet, not yet! I want to see the people!” I was seeing and noting everything with intense interest.... Things continued in this way until suddenly the clock here began to strike three, and this brought me back violently. There was a sensation of suddenly falling into my body. I came back with a shock because I had been called back very suddenly, but with all my memory. I remained quiet, without moving, until I could recollect the whole experience and keep it.
On the boat the nature of objects was not the one we know on earth; for instance, clothes were not made of cloth and what looked like cloth was not manufactured: it formed a part of the body, it was made of the same substance which took different forms. It had a kind of plasticity. When a change had to be made, it took place, not by any artificial and external means but by an inner operation, an operation of consciousness which gave form or appearance to the substance. Life created its own forms. There was one single substance in everything; it changed the quality of its vibration according to need and use.
Those who were sent back for fresh training were not of a uniform colour, it was as if their body had greyish, opaque patches of a substance resembling earthly substance; they were dull, as if they had not been entirely permeated with light, not transformed. They were not like that everywhere, only in places.
The tall beings on the shore were not of the same colour, at least they did not have that orange tint; they were paler, more transparent. Except for one part of their body, one could only see the outline of their form. They were very tall, they seemed not to have any bones and could take any form according to their need. Only from the waist down had they a permanent density, which was not perceptible in the rest of their body. Their colour was much lighter, with very little red, it was more golden or even white. The parts of whitish light were translucent; they were not positively transparent but less dense, more subtle than the orange substance.
When I was called back and while I was saying “Not yet”, each time I had a brief glimpse of myself, that is, of my form in the supramental world. I was a mixture of the tall beings and the beings aboard the ship. My upper part, particularly the head, was only a silhouette whose contents were white with an orange fringe. Going down towards the feet, the colour became more like that of the people on the boat, that is, orange; going upwards, it was more translucent and white and the red grew less. The head was only a silhouette with a sun shining within it; rays of light came from it which were the action of the will.
As for the people I saw on board the ship, I recognised them all. Some were from here, from the Ashram, some came from elsewhere, but I know them too. I saw everybody but as I knew that I would not remember them all when I returned, I decided not to give any names. Besides, it is not necessary. Three or four faces were very clearly visible, and when I saw them, I understood the feeling I had here on earth when looking into their eyes: there was such an extraordinary joy.... People were mostly young, there were very few children and they were about fourteen or fifteen, certainly not below ten or twelve—I did not remain long enough to see all the details. There weren’t any very old people, apart from a few exceptions. Most of the people who went ashore were middle-aged, except a few. Already, before this experience, some individual cases had been examined several times at a place where people capable of being supramentalised were examined; I had a few surprises and noted them; I even told some people about it. But the ones whom I put ashore today, I saw very distinctly; they were middle-aged, neither young children nor old people, apart from a few rare exceptions, and that corresponded fairly well with what I expected. I decided not to say anything, not to give any names. As I did not remain until the end, it was not possible for me to get an exact picture; the picture was not absolutely clear or complete. I do not want to say things to some and not to others.
What I can say is that the point of view, the judgment, was based exclusively on the substance of which the people were made, that is, whether they belonged completely to the supramental world, whether they were made of that very special substance. The standpoint taken is neither moral nor psychological. It is probable that the substance their bodies were made of was the result of an inner law or inner movement which at that time was not in question. At least it is quite clear that the values are different.
When I came back, simultaneously with the recollection of the experience I knew that the supramental world is permanent, that my presence there is permanent, and that only a missing link was necessary for the connection to bemade in the consciousness and the substance, and it is this link which is now being forged. I had the impression—an impression which remained for quite a long time, almost a whole day—of an extreme relativity—no, not exactly that: the impression that the relation between this world and the other completely changed the standpoint from which things should be evaluated or appraised. This standpoint had nothing mental about it and it gave a strange inner feeling that lots of things we consider good or bad are not really so. It was very clear that everything depended on the capacity of things, on their aptitude in expressing the supramental world or being in relation with it. It was so completely different, sometimes even altogether contrary to our ordinary appraisal. I recollect one little thing which we usually consider to be bad; how strange it was to see that in truth it was something excellent! And other things we consider to be important have in fact absolutely no importance at all: whether a thing is like this or like that is not at all important. What is very obvious is that our appraisal of what is divine or undivine is not right. I even laughed to see certain things.... Our usual feeling of what is anti-divine seems artificial, seems based on something that’s not true, not living—besides, what we call life here did not seem living to me compared with that world—anyway, this feeling should be founded on our relation between the two worlds and on how things make the relation between them easier or more difficult. This would make a great difference in our appraisal of what brings us nearer to the Divine or what separates us from Him. In people too I saw that what helps them to become supramental or hinders them from it, is very different from what our usual moral notions imagine. I felt how... ridiculous we are.