Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers:1955-10-12 part 1

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Transcript of:
Mother's Questions and Answers: October 12, 1955 (part 1 of 2)
by Loretta, 2015 (24:23)
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This week Mother reads the part of the Unknown Man, from her play The Great Secret. She skipped over three of the men in the lifeboat, to read this very last large speech. Last week she said she was going to do this, because these readings have not raised enough questions from the children.

This time, the reading will raise a lot of questions. This particular class is about twice as long as most of the other classes, because in the second part, the kids have so many questions. It is so long that we've divided it into two parts for two readings. The first part, which is today, has only two questions: one at the beginning which starts of Mother telling a lot of things.

The part of the Unknown Man in the play was written by Mother. And he's going to give a perfectly clear and concise speech about the necessity for a change in consciousness. He's going to tell how the change will come about, and what it has to be, and why it will come about.

The children in this class are already very familiar with this information, because they've been hearing about it either since they were born, or since they came when they were very small. And they've also been reading Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's writings on the subject. Now they have a good chance to ask questions to Mother; and they do use the opportunity, as we'll see next week, in the second part of this class.

This week, Mother speaks in simple detail about when the change will come, and who is ready (or who will be ready), and therefore who will be the first to start on the new path.

The three characters which Mother skipped over are the Artist, which she wrote herself; the Industrialist, written by her son André; and the Athlete, written by Pranab, the head of the physical education department. All these three men follow the same pattern as the three ones we've already heard [ the Statesman, the Writer and the Scientist ]. They all feel that they have failed to solve the problems that came to them in their work, and that something else must be there – but they don't know what it is.

When the Unknown Man finally speaks, he tells the others that they are disappointed because they've been living in the surface consciousness: they've only been seeing the appearance of things, and they're not aware of the true reality of the universe. He tells them that their problem is twofold: they have to realize their own good; but they also must realize the good of others. But to do that, they must be born into a new and higher consciousness, the Truth-Consciousness. For behind the outer life, with all its falsehoods and problems, there is an eternal reality – a single, serene consciousness; a sovereign knowledge.

He tells them that this reality is within them, at the center of their being – in the same way that it is also at the center of the universe. He speaks about evolution, and he says that the present human mental consciousness will be replaced by a new consciousness, which is no longer mental, but supra-mental. And that this consciousness will give birth to a higher race.

He explains that all religions, all practices – whether Eastern or Western – finally offer only escape from the problems, whether that escape is after life or in life. But the real solution, he says, is in life itself – in the evolution of Nature as it is going on, an evolution which will eventually go on to a new consciousness. He says that the time has come for this long-awaited change of consciousness to take place; and this is the reason why they are all so unsatisfied.

He also says that only a radical change of consciousness can change the world as it is; and that it is the very aim of our existence – so this change is certain. He says (and of course we realize that this all what Mother is saying through him) – he says that first consciousness must be transformed, then life, then forms – in this order. He says “We must become concretely what we are essentially”[1]. And we must live integrally what is in the depths of our being. And then all life will become the expression of the sublime, eternal, divine joy.

At the end of the Unknown Man's speech, the six men in the boat feel hopeful for the first time about the future. But, 'what good will it do them', they say, 'death is approaching'. The Unknown Man tells them it is never too late, and that the Grace is there. The Grace will answer to all sincere aspiration and prayer. The men take heart, they pray, and a boat appears to rescue them; and Mother's play ends, as they go on to the new life.

Unfortunately, there is no tape recording of this class, which would have been so nice to hear Mother say these things! They had to erase the tape and use it again.

So here we are, in Mother's Friday class...

12 October 1955[2]

(Mother reads The Great Secret, “The Unknown Man”.)

The Great Secret
The Great Secret icon.jpg
PDF (27 pages)

When is it going to happen, eh? There. That’s the question I was waiting for.

(To a child) What did you want to ask?

What you said just now.

You see, I know how to read thoughts.

And so, if I were to say that it depends upon you? It is not altogether true, but still there is something true in it.

I think that this will happen the moment there is a sufficiently large number of consciousnesses which feel absolutely that it cannot be otherwise. Now, most people, the immense majority among you have to make an effort to imagine what it will be, and at best, speculate upon it and perhaps hope that this transformation will make things more pleasing, more pleasant — something like that. But your consciousness is so attached to what is, that it even finds it difficult to imagine that things can be otherwise. And until what must be becomes for a sufficiently big group of consciousnesses an inevitable necessity, and all that has been and all that still is at present appears like an absurdity which cannot last... it is at that moment that this can take place, not before.

There remains a problem, namely, whether it is something which can take place and will take place individually before occurring collectively. It is probable. But no individual realisation can be complete nor even approach this perfection if it is not in harmony with at least a group of consciousnesses representative of a new world. In spite of everything there is so great an interdependence of the individual and the collectivity, that the individual realisation, despite all, is limited, impoverished by the irresponsive atmosphere — if I may say so — of what surrounds it. And it is certain that the entire terrestrial life has to follow a certain curve of progress, so that a new world and a new consciousness can manifest. And that is why I said at the beginning that it depends at least partially on you.

Have you ever tried to picture what this new consciousness could be and what a new race could be like, and finally what a new world could be like?

By analogy, it is quite obvious that the arrival of man upon earth has changed the earth-condition. I cannot say that from a certain point of view this was for the greatest good of all, because there are many who have suffered terribly from it, and here it is obvious that the complications the human being has brought into life have not always been very favourable either for him or for others. But from a certain point of view this has brought about a considerable progress, even in the lower species: man meddled with the life of animals, he meddled with the life of plants, he meddled with the life of metals, of minerals; as I said, it was not always for the greatest joy of those he dealt with, but still it certainly changed their conditions of life considerably. Well, in the same way, it is probable that the supramental being, whatever it might be, will considerably change the life of the earth. In our heart and our thought we hope that all the evils the earth suffers from will be at least ameliorated if not cured, and that the general conditions will be more harmonious, and in any case more tolerable. This may happen, because it was the very nature of the mental consciousness which incarnated in man, who acted for his own satisfaction, with his own development in view and without much consideration for the consequences of his actions. Perhaps the Supermind will act more harmoniously. In any case we hope so. That is how we conceive of it.

But I am asking you, in turn, a question: have you thought of it? Have you thought of what it could be?

(To a child) You, have you thought about it? (To another child) You? No? You have thought about it? Then tell me what you have thought. Naturally I am not asking you to repeat to me what you have read in Sri Aurobindo’s books, because that’s not what is in question: you must endeavour to imagine and live something yourself.

Can’t you tell me? Nor you? You can’t tell me?

Mother, because of our imperfection we have to do something. But when the supramental race descends, it will be perfect; then what will be there to do?

Perfect! Perfect in comparison with us but not in comparison with what will come later. The world is in perpetual movement and perpetual progression, and it is very obvious that each time a new consciousness has manifested upon earth, one has felt that it would be... perhaps not a definitive realisation but in any case a considerable progress. And it is also very obvious that for... say, the consciousness of an elephant or a dog... human capacities are something absolutely marvellous. To the extent they are able to understand it, imagine it, sense it — dogs sense them — human faculties are for them something divine. And it is because we, indeed, have come to a stage where we perceive something beyond (that’s what I have said in there, haven’t I?), it’s because of this that we are not satisfied with all that we do; it’s because of this that there is the feeling that whatever we may do, there is something which escapes us — that the real thing escapes us, that we are turning round it but don’t touch it. It’s because we are ready for this something. Otherwise, if we did not understand that, we would be absolutely satisfied with what we can do and there would simply remain the effort to do it better and better. It is the beginning of a new expression. This need, for instance, of something which would be more essentially true; something which would be... on which one could count, which does not collapse when one leans upon it, something which gives us a lasting, permanent support; this need of eternity which we have in ourselves, this need of an absolute, of an absolute truth, an absolute good, an absolute beauty — this indeed awakens at the moment one is ready to receive a new consciousness.

It is certain that for a very long time, perhaps from the very beginning (not the beginning from the evolutionary standpoint, because there were periods of intermediate beings who were much nearer the animal than the true man), when this human form was developed enough and ready to receive something from above, when the first beings of the higher worlds incarnated in human forms, from that time there were always individuals who carried in themselves this need for eternity and the absolute. But it was something individual. And it is only gradually and very progressively, through consecutive periods of light and darkness, that in the whole of humanity something has awakened to the need of a higher good.

It is quite obvious that now, through all the swirlings and all the stupidities, there is an awakening need, almost a kind of sensation of what this could and should be — which means that the time is near. For a very long time it has been said, “It will be, it will be”, and it was promised... thousands and thousands of years ago they had already begun to promise that there would be a new consciousness, a new world, something divine which would manifest upon earth, but it was said, “It will be, it will be”, like that; they spoke of ages, eons, thousands and millions of years. They did not have this sensation which we now have, that it must come, that it is very close. Of course human life is very short and there is a tendency to wish to shorten the distances so that they may be in proportion to the dimensions; but in spite of all, there will come a moment when it happens... there will be a time when it happens, there will be a time when the movement swings over into a new reality... There was a time when the mental being could manifest upon earth. The starting point might have been poor, very incomplete, very partial, but all the same there was a starting point. Why can’t it be now?... That’s all.

Perhaps if those who from the beginning have proclaimed that it would be, those very people say, “It is going to be...”, after all, perhaps they are the best informed. I am considering how from the beginning of the earth’s history (we shall not go farther back to the antecedents, you know, for we have already enough to do with the earth), from the beginning of the earth’s history, in one form or another, under one name or another, Sri Aurobindo has always presided over the great terrestrial transformations; and so when he tells you, “Well, this is the right time”, perhaps he knows. That’s all that I can say.

So, if it is the right time, this is how the problem is put: there are people who are ready or will become ready, and these precisely will be the first to start on the new path. There are others who, perhaps, will become aware of it too late, who will have missed the opportunity; I think there will be many of this kind. But in any case, my point of view is this: even if there should be only half a chance, it would be worth the trouble of trying. For after all... I don’t know... I told you just now, there is a moment when life such as it is, the human consciousness such as it is, seems something absolutely impossible to bear, it creates a kind of disgust, repugnance; one says, “No, it is not that, it is not that; it can’t be that, it can’t continue.” Well, when one comes to this, there is only to throw in one’s all — all one’s effort, all one’s strength, all one’s life, all one’s being — into this chance, if you like, or this exceptional opportunity that is given to cross over to the other side. What a relief to set foot on the new path, that which will lead you elsewhere! This is worth the trouble of casting behind much luggage, of getting rid of many things in order to be able to take that leap. That’s how I see the problem. In fact it is the sublimest of adventures, and if one has in him in the slightest the true spirit of adventure, it is worth risking all for all. But those who are afraid, who wonder, “Am I not going to let go the substance for the shadow?” according to the most banal proverb one can imagine, those who tell themselves, “Bah! After all it is better to profit by what one has than to risk losing everything, we don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, let us take precautions”... unfortunately this is very widespread, extremely widespread... well, about those who are in this state of mind, I can assure you of one thing: that even when the thing occurs before their very nose, they will not perceive it. They will say, “It is good, in this way I won’t regret anything.” It is possible. But perhaps later they will; this we do not know.

In any case what I call being sincere is this: if one thinks that this new realisation is the only thing which is truly worth being lived; if what is, is intolerable — not only for oneself, perhaps not so much for oneself... but still, if one is not absolutely selfish and mean, one feels that, truly, it has lasted long enough, that one has had enough of it, that it must change — well, when one feels like that, one takes everything, all that one is, all that one can, all that one has, and one throws oneself into it completely without ever looking behind, and come what may! I indeed feel that it would be preferable even to plunge into an abyss in this way than to be on the shore, trembling and wondering, “What will happen to me tomorrow if I take this rather rash step?” There we are.

It is preferable to buck up a little, as they say familiarly, and chance it! That’s my opinion.