Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers:1956-12-19

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Transcript of:
Mother's Questions and Answers: December 19, 1956
by Loretta, 2018 (1:12:28)
Audio icon.png Listen on Auroville Radio →

This week, we have something to use to work on the things that we learned last week. Last week, Mother spoke in detail about the influences that have been entering into us all of our lives – the things that form us, the things that move us, and the things that control us. She explained that what we call our ‘self’, the individual being, who is enclosed in the limits of our present consciousness, is constantly penetrated by these influences. And we are always affected by them. They could be any kind of positive influence or negative influence; we accept them unconsciously. They form the subconscious basis of our construction of what we are made of. A subconscious basis which will act on us all of our life, if we don't take care to free ourselves from it.

The first step is the most difficult: the first step is to become aware of our subconscious base. And because its formation was so subtle, and we were so young, and so unconscious, and because now we are so used to it, it's difficult to detect. It takes a constant and painstaking work to be aware of it, to be aware of what comes from it and what moves us, and to reject what we do not want to have.

After that, Mother also spoke last week about what moves us all the time without our knowing it. She taught about the ongoing subtle suggestions and signals that we continue to receive from everyone around us all the time. And she also spoke about the influences coming from the beings of the lower vital worlds. Beings of ill-will, beings with adverse intentions, who send us subtle suggestions and awaken forces and feelings in us that are negative for us – but it is for their own enjoyment.

Last week she explained that the remedy for all this is to have goodwill, sincerity, insight, patience, and the perseverance to go on trying until we succeed in getting rid of all the influences that we don't want.

This week in her teaching, we find something that's a big help. We can do all this stuff. We find that we can consciously form our own being; and we have to keep doing because we never stop forming and changing. If we do, if we stop, everything else goes on – and somehow or the other, we're on the way to death. And with all of that she teaches, we can change ourselves so there is no place for adverse outside influences to gain a foothold of any kind; then they cannot shape us. They cannot shape us by their habit of constantly letting them use us, and therefore expressing themselves and their... whatever they are, in us. And they cannot move us – cannot make us act.

Today in this class, Mother teaches us, most importantly, that thought is a principle of precise formulation. Thought has the power to create forms. In other words, our thought creates us; and we can control this.

In the aphorisms that she reads in this class, Sri Aurobindo says that all that we think we are, we can become. Because the process of that thinking is the way that change occurs in our being. First there comes our vision of our inner truth, the things that we want to be. This forms itself into thought. Then the thought creates the action. This is a normal procedure.

Mother says that the knowledge that one can be all one thinks is a very important key for the development of our being. It shows us that we have control; we have the choice of what we will be, the choice of what we want to be.

If we concentrate from our true inner being on all the beautiful things we want to be, all the goodness we want to be, all the positive and fine things that we have always admired, that we go towards somewhere in our being, that mean so much to us – if we emphasize these, if we concentrate on these things, we will become these things. It doesn't matter what life has made of us. It doesn't matter what we have had to make of ourselves, in response to whatever life has thrown at us. The action of our thought can bring us out of it. Of course it takes untiring perseverance, but it works.

We never have to feel hopelessly and helpless made into something we can't change. We can change, if we do the work, and keep at it.

Mother puts a lot of importance on not thinking about what we don't want to be or what we don't want to do. She says we should not allow any of that to formulate itself into a thought inside of us. Because, to think these things is already the beginning of their realization in us. She says that from every point of view, it is bad to concentrate on what we don't want.

Sri Aurobindo's yoga is a triple action of aspiration, rejection and surrender; and we've been taught to reject things. But we have to do the same thing with the things we refuse to be. We can't go on thinking about them, because the very fact that we have the thought, and keep the thought, gives these things a sort of right to existence inside us. There's a function of our mind which is a mechanical repetition. Our mind does this over and over again, and we have to consciously stop it. Furthermore, we should not allow thoughts of ill-will, or thoughts of hatred or anger or anything like that, to even enter our minds. And if they're there, we have to remove them – we can't let them stay there repeating themselves, because it gives them a power of realization, and it shapes us.

We shape our physical bodies, and our physical functional energies, with these formative processes. If we practice continuously what Mother says, and we keep all the negative thoughts out, deliberately choosing the positive good things and concentrating on them, you can actually see it in your physical body. You can see your beauty when you look in the mirror. Because you are beautiful.

Mother once told the children about telling themselves beautiful stories. She explained she had done that as a child, and that you go somewhere and that you create a beautiful world for yourself. She said that there are children who do that at night, and then the next night they go back to the same place, and they continue creating their beautiful story.

And she warned the children about the people around them spoiling their beautiful story. She said don't let them do it. Because this is the formative process. (She didn't say it to the children in these terms, but it's exactly what she's talking about here.) And she said that the dreams of childhood are the realities of older age.

Last week Mother explained that the subtle impulses of adverse vital beings enter us to make us feel negative things like anger, hatred, greed etc. They enter because we have a corresponding vibration already inside us. So here is the perfect method to free ourself, to protect ourself from the lower vital impulses and influences. If there is nothing inside us that vibrates in consonance with that energy, they cannot enter us or influence us.

A second subject in class today is sincerity. Mother was once asked if she could give one word which would be the most helpful for the yoga practice. She immediately said, ‘sincerity’. Like our surrender, our sincerity is something we have to do constantly. We all have our own method. But there is a common underlying requirement if we want results. And that's discipline. Mother gave the name ‘Discipline’ to a flower, whose spiritual significance she was able to perceive as being Discipline. Her description of the meaning is this: “Sets the example and hopes to be followed”.


We can see this has nothing to do with disciplining others, or making them discipline themselves. The more we discipline ourselves to be as sincere as possible in all parts of our being – in our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions – the more we change. And this influence automatically affects everyone around us. Mother said it is a never-ending process. Every halt in the development of our sincerity necessarily changes the sincerity of yesterday into the insincerity of tomorrow.

Sincerity is another tool for changing ourselves, another tool for forming ourselves. We have to be as sincere as possible in choosing the thoughts which form us. And as sincere as possible in keeping certain things inside us, while rejecting other things and keeping them out.

In class today, Mother explains how much insincerity we all have. She shows us how subtly our insincerities live in us, and how they move us. She also points out that finally, sincerity is having no personal preferences. It is being above the dualities, and having an integral vision of the things, when everything is in its place. Then one has achieved an attitude of equality. One is not moved, one is not pushed; one can be really open to the clarity, the high, clear, very wonderful and comfortable feeling actually, of being sincere.

All this requires giving up the ego. And being in the state of perfect surrender to the divine Will. Obviously it's a huge job. But you have to start sometime; and as soon as you start, there are rewards. Mother describes the wonderful feelings we have when we have rejected even the tiniest particle of falsehood.

She once described perfect sincerity as being absolutely transparent and limpid clear in every part of the being. Transparent, open to the divine Light, the divine force, and the divine influence.

This week we're lucky – we've got the original tape-recording of Mother's class. It will play automatically after the English translation.

It is December 19, 1956. We're sitting in the Playground, it's Mother's Wednesday evening class, everyone is here, Mother starts to speak. And she says...

19 December 1956[1]

[This is the continuation of the idea of last time, with more explanation.]

“Impossibility is only a sum of greater unrealised possibles. It veils an advanced state and a yet unaccomplished journey.
“If thou wouldst have humanity advance, buffet all preconceived ideas. Thought thus smitten awakes and becomes creative. Otherwise it rests in a mechanical repetition and mistakes that for its right activity.
“To rotate on its own axis is not the one movement for the human soul. There is also its wheeling round the Sun of an inexhaustible illumination.
“Be conscious first of thyself within, then think and act. All living thought is a world in preparation; all real act is a thought manifested. The material world exists, because an Idea began to play in divine self-consciousness.
“Thought is not essential to existence nor its cause, but it is an instrument for becoming; I become what I see in myself. All that thought suggests to me, I can do; all that thought reveals in me, I can become. This should be man’s unshakable faith in himself, because God dwells in him.”

Sri Aurobindo, “Thoughts and Glimpses

What is the meaning of “thought awakes and becomes creative”?

No, Sri Aurobindo says at the beginning of the sentence: “Thought thus smitten awakes...” What he says is that in order to progress one must break up old constructions, buffet, demolish all preconceived ideas. Preconceived ideas are the habitual mental constructions in which one lives, and which are fixed, which become rigid fortresses and cannot progress because they are fixed. Nothing that is fixed can progress. So the advice is to break down, that is, destroy all preconceived ideas, all fixed mental constructions. And this is the true way to give birth to new ideas or to thought — active thought — thought which is creative.

And a little further on Sri Aurobindo says that you must first be conscious of yourself, then think, and then act. The vision of the inner truth of the being must precede all action; first the vision of the truth, then this truth formulating itself into thought, then the thought creating the action. That is the normal process.

And this is what Sri Aurobindo gives as the process of creation. In the Unmanifest a thought began to play, that is to say, it awoke and became active; and because thought became active, the world was created.

And in conclusion Sri Aurobindo declares that thought is not essential to existence, it is not the cause of existence, but is just the process, the instrument of becoming, for thought is a principle of precise formulation which has the power of creating forms. And as an illustration Sri Aurobindo says that all that one thinks one is, one can, by the very fact of that thinking, become. This knowledge of the fact that all that one thinks one can be, is a very important key for the development of the being, and not only from the point of view of the possibilities of the being, but also from that of the control and choice of what one will be, of what one wants to be.

This makes us understand the necessity of not admitting into ourselves any thought which destroys aspiration or the creation of the truth of our being. It reveals the considerable importance of not allowing what one doesn’t want to be or doesn’t want to do to formulate itself into thought within the being. Because to think these things is already a beginning of their realisation. From every point of view it is bad to concentrate on what one doesn’t want, on what one has to reject, what one refuses to be, for the very fact that the thought is there gives to things one wants to reject a sort of right of existence within oneself. This explains the considerable importance of not letting destructive suggestions, thoughts of ill-will, hatred, destruction enter; for merely to think of them is already to give them a power of realisation. Sri Aurobindo says that thought is not the cause of existence but an intermediary, the instrument which gives form to life, to creation, and the control of this instrument is of foremost importance if one wants disorder and all that is anti-divine to disappear from creation.

One must not admit bad thoughts into oneself under the pretext that they are merely thoughts. They are tools of execution. And one should not allow them to exist in oneself if one doesn’t want them to do their work of destruction.


No one has any questions? I have brought one. In fact I have brought two. (Mother unfolds a paper and reads:)

“Is it possible for a human being to be perfectly sincere?”

And this question continues:

“Is there a mental sincerity, a vital sincerity, a physical sincerity? What is the difference between these sincerities?”

Naturally, the principle of sincerity is the same everywhere, but its working is different according to the states of being. As for the first question, one could simply answer: No, not if man remains what he is. But he has the possibility of transforming himself sufficiently to become perfectly sincere.

To begin with, it must be said that sincerity is progressive, and as the being progresses and develops, as the universe unfolds in the becoming, sincerity too must go on perfecting itself endlessly. Every halt in that development necessarily changes the sincerity of yesterday into the insincerity of tomorrow.

To be perfectly sincere it is indispensable not to have any preference, any desire, any attraction, any dislike, any sympathy or antipathy, any attachment, any repulsion. One must have a total, integral vision of things, in which everything is in its place and one has the same attitude towards all things: the attitude of true vision. This programme is obviously very difficult for a human being to realise. Unless he has decided to divinise himself, it seems almost impossible that he could be free from all these contraries within him. And yet, so long as one carries them in himself, one cannot be perfectly sincere. Automatically the mental, the vital and even the physical working is falsified. I am emphasising the physical, for even the working of the senses is warped: one does not see, hear, taste, feel things as they are in reality as long as one has a preference. So long as there are things which please you and others which don’t, so long as you are attracted by certain things, and repulsed by others, you cannot see things in their reality; you see them through your reaction, your preference or your repulsion. The senses are instruments which get out of order, in the same way as sensations, feelings and thoughts. Therefore, to be sure of what you see, what you feel, what you experience and think, you must have a complete detachment; and this is obviously not an easy task. But until then your perception cannot be wholly true, and so it is not sincere.

Naturally, this is the maximum. There are crass insincerities which everybody understands and which, I believe, it is not necessary to dwell upon, as for example, saying one thing and thinking another, pretending that you are doing one thing and doing another, expressing a wish which is not your real wish. I am not even speaking of the absolutely glaring lie which consists in saying something different from the fact, but even that diplomatic way of acting which consists in doing things with the idea of obtaining a certain result, in saying something and expecting it to have a certain effect; every combination of this kind which naturally makes you contradict yourself, is a kind of insincerity gross enough for everybody to easily recognise.

But there are others more subtle which are difficult to discern. For instance, so long as you have sympathies and antipathies, quite naturally and as it were spontaneously you will have a favourable perception of what is sympathetic to you and an unfavourable perception of what — or whom — you dislike. And there too the lack of sincerity will be flagrant. However, you may deceive yourself and not perceive that you are being insincere. Then in that case, you have, as it were, the collaboration of mental insincerity. For it is true that there are insincerities of slightly different types according to the state of being or the parts of the being. Only, the origin of these insincerities is always a similar movement arising from desire and the seeking of personal ends — from egoism, from the combination of all the limitations arising from egoism and all the deformations arising from desire.

In fact, as long as the ego is there, one cannot say that a being is perfectly sincere, even though he is striving to become sincere. One must pass beyond the ego, give oneself up totally to the divine Will, surrender without reserve and without calculation... then one can be perfectly sincere, but not before.

That does not mean that one should not make an effort to be more sincere than one is, saying to oneself, “All right, I shall wait for my ego to disappear in order to be sincere”, because one may reverse the terms and say that if you do not try sincerely your ego will never disappear. Therefore, sincerity is the basis of all true realisation, it is the means, the path — and it is also the goal. Without it you are sure to make innumerable blunders and you have constantly to redress the harm you have done to yourself and to others.

There is, besides, a marvellous joy in being sincere. Every act of sincerity carries in itself its own reward: the feeling of purification, of soaring upwards, of liberation one gets when one has rejected even one tiny particle of falsehood.

Sincerity is the safeguard, the protection, the guide, and finally the transforming power.

Le 19 décembre 1956[2]

« L’impossibilité est simplement une somme de possibilités plus grandes encore irréalisées. Elle voile une étape plus avancée, un voyage encore inaccompli.
« Si tu veux que l’humanité progresse, jette bas toute idée préconçue. Ainsi frappée, la pensée s’éveille et devient créatrice. Sinon elle se fixe dans une répétition mécanique qu’elle confond avec son activité véritable.
« Tourner sur son axe n’est pas le seul mouvement de l’âme humaine. Il y a aussi la gravitation autour du Soleil d’une illumination inépuisable.
« Prends d’abord conscience de toi-même au-dedans, puis pense et agis. Toute pensée vivante est un monde en préparation ; tout acte réel est une pensée manifestée. Le monde matériel existe parce qu’une Idée se mit à jouer dans la conscience divine.
« La pensée n’est pas essentielle à l’existence et n’en est pas la cause, mais c’est un instrument pour devenir : je deviens ce que je vois en moi-même. Tout ce que la pensée me suggère, je puis le faire ; tout ce que la pensée révèle en moi, je puis le devenir. Telle devrait être l’inébranlable foi de l’homme en lui-même, car Dieu habite en lui. »

(Aperçus et Pensées, « Le But »)

Que veut dire « la pensée s’éveille et devient créatrice » ?

Non, Sri Aurobindo dit au commencement de la phrase : « Ainsi frappée, la pensée s’éveille. » Ce qu’il dit, c’est qu’il faut, pour faire un progrès, il faut briser les anciennes constructions, jeter bas, démolir toutes les idées préconçues. Les idées préconçues, ce sont les constructions mentales habituelles dans lesquelles on vit, et qui sont fixées, qui deviennent des forteresses sans plasticité et ne peuvent pas progresser, parce qu’elles sont fixes. Tout ce qui est fixe ne peut pas progresser. Alors le conseil est de jeter bas, c’est-à-dire de détruire toutes les idées préconçues, toutes les constructions mentales fixées. Et c’est cela, le moyen de faire naître les idées nouvelles ou la pensée — la pensée active — qui, elle, est créatrice.

Et plus loin, Sri Aurobindo dit qu’il faut d’abord prendre conscience de soi-même, puis penser, et puis agir. C’est la vision de la vérité intérieure de l’être qui doit précéder toute action ; d’abord la vision de la vérité, puis cette vérité se formulant en pensée, puis la pensée créant l’action. C’est cela, le procédé normal.

Et c’est cela que Sri Aurobindo donne comme le procédé de la création. Dans le Non-Manifesté, une pensée s’est mise à jouer, c’est-à-dire qu’elle s’est éveillée et qu’elle est devenue active ; et parce que la pensée est devenue active, le monde a été créé.

Et pour conclure, Sri Aurobindo déclare que la pensée n’est pas essentielle à l’existence, elle n’est pas la cause de l’existence, mais elle est justement le procédé, le moyen du devenir, parce que la pensée est un principe de formulation précise qui a le pouvoir de créer la forme. Et comme illustration, Sri Aurobindo dit que tout ce que l’on pense de soi, par le fait même qu’on le pense, on peut le devenir. Cette connaissance du fait que tout ce que l’on pense, on peut l’être, est une clef très importante pour le développement de l’être, et non seulement au point de vue des possibilités de l’être, mais aussi au point de vue du contrôle et du choix de ce que l’on sera, de ce que l’on veut être.

Cela fait comprendre la nécessité de n’admettre en soi aucune pensée qui détruise l’aspiration ou la création de la vérité de son être. Cela révèle l’importance considérable qu’il y a à ne pas permettre à ce que l’on ne veut pas être, ou à ce que l’on ne veut pas faire, de se formuler en pensée dans l’être. Parce que penser ces choses, c’est déjà un commencement de réalisation. À tous les points de vue, il est mauvais de se concentrer sur ce que l’on ne veut pas, sur ce que l’on doit rejeter, sur ce que l’on refuse d’être, parce que le fait de la pensée donne une sorte de droit d’exister en soi à ces choses que l’on veut repousser. Cela explique l’importance considérable qu’il y a à ne pas laisser entrer les suggestions destructives, les pensées de mauvaise volonté, de haine, de destruction ; car d’y penser seulement, c’est déjà leur donner un pouvoir de réalisation. Sri Aurobindo dit que la pensée n’est pas la cause de l’existence, mais c’est un intermédiaire, l’instrument de la mise en forme de la vie, de la création, et le contrôle de cet instrument est d’une importance capitale si l’on veut que le désordre et tout ce qui est antidivin disparaisse de la création.

On ne doit pas admettre en soi les pensées mauvaises sous prétexte que ce ne sont que des pensées. Ce sont des outils d’exécution. Et on ne doit pas leur permettre d’exister en soi quand on ne veut pas qu’ils fassent leur oeuvre de destruction.


Personne n’a de question ? J’en ai apporté une. En fait j’en ai apporté deux. (Mère déplie un papier et lit)

« Est-il possible pour un être humain d’être parfaitement sincère ? »

Et il y a une suite à cette question :

« Est‑ce qu’il y a une sincérité mentale, une sincérité vitale, une sincérité physique ? Quelle différence y a-t-il entre ces sincérités ? »

Naturellement, le principe de la sincérité est le même partout, mais le fonctionnement est différent suivant les états d’être. Quant à la première question, on pourrait simplement répondre par : non, si l’homme reste ce qu’il est. Mais il a la possibilité de se transformer suffisamment pour devenir parfaitement sincère.

Pour commencer, il faut dire que la sincérité est une chose progressive, et à mesure que l’être progresse et se développe, à mesure que l’univers se déroule dans le devenir, la sincérité doit aller en se perfectionnant sans cesse. Tout arrêt dans ce développement change nécessairement la sincérité d’hier en une insincérité de demain.

Pour être parfaitement sincère, il est indispensable de n’avoir aucune préférence, aucun désir, aucune attraction, aucun dégoût, aucune sympathie ni antipathie, aucun attachement, aucune répulsion. Il faut être dans une vision totale, intégrale des choses, où tout est à sa place et où l’on a une attitude similaire vis-à-vis de toutes choses : l’attitude de la vision vraie. Ce programme est évidemment très difficile à réaliser pour un être humain. À moins qu’il n’ait décidé de se diviniser, il paraît presque impossible qu’il puisse être libre de tous ces contraires en lui. Et pourtant, tant qu’on les porte en soi, on ne peut pas être parfaitement sincère. Automatiquement, le fonctionnement mental, vital, et même physique, est faussé. J’insiste sur le physique, parce que même le fonctionnement des sens est faussé : on ne voit pas, on n’entend pas, on ne goûte pas, on ne sent pas les choses telles qu’elles sont dans leur réalité tant que l’on a une préférence. Tant qu’il y a des choses qui vous plaisent et des choses qui vous déplaisent, tant que l’on a une attraction pour certaines choses et une répulsion pour d’autres, on ne peut pas voir les choses dans leur réalité ; on les voit à travers sa réaction, sa préférence ou sa répulsion. Les sens sont des instruments qui se faussent, de la même façon que les sensations se faussent, que les sentiments se faussent et que les pensées se faussent. Par conséquent, pour être sûr de ce que vous voyez, de ce que vous sentez, de ce que vous éprouvez et de ce que vous pensez, il faut que vous ayez un détachement complet ; ce qui n’est évidemment pas une tâche facile. Mais jusqu’à ce moment-là, votre perception ne peut pas être totalement vraie, et par conséquent elle n’est pas sincère.

Naturellement, c’est un maximum. Il y a des insincérités grossières que tout le monde comprend et sur lesquelles, je pense, il n’est pas nécessaire d’insister. Comme, par exemple, de dire une chose et d’en penser une autre, de prétendre que l’on fait une chose et d’en faire une autre, d’exprimer une volonté qui n’est pas votre volonté vraie. Je ne parle même pas du mensonge tout à fait grossier qui consiste à dire autre chose que ce qui est ; mais même cette façon diplomatique d’agir qui consiste à faire une chose avec l’idée d’obtenir un certain résultat, à dire une chose en s’attendant à ce qu’elle produise un certain effet, toute combinaison de ce genre qui vous porte naturellement à vous contredire vous-même, est un genre d’insincérité assez grossière que tout le monde peut reconnaître facilement.

Mais il y en a d’autres plus subtiles, qui sont difficiles à discerner. Par exemple, tant que vous avez en vous des sympathies et des antipathies, tout naturellement et pour ainsi dire spontanément, vous aurez une perception favorable de ce qui vous est sympathique, et une perception défavorable de ce qui vous est antipathique (de ce qui, ou de ceux qui). Et là aussi, le manque de sincérité sera flagrant. Pourtant, vous pouvez vous tromper vous-même et ne pas percevoir que vous êtes insincère. Alors dans ce cas, vous avez pour ainsi dire la collaboration de l’insincérité mentale. Parce qu’il est vrai qu’il y a des insincérités d’un caractère un peu différent suivant les états d’être ou les parties de l’être. Seulement, l’origine de ces insincérités sera toujours un mouvement analogue provenant du désir et de la recherche de fins personnelles — de l’égoïsme, de cette combinaison de toutes les limitations provenant de l’égoïsme et de toutes les déformations provenant du désir.

Au fond, tant que l’ego est là, on ne peut pas dire qu’un être soit parfaitement sincère, même s’il s’efforce de le devenir. Il faut dépasser l’ego, s’abandonner totalement à la Volonté divine, se donner sans réserve et sans calcul... alors on peut être parfaitement sincère, mais pas avant.

Cela ne veut pas dire qu’il ne faille pas faire d’effort pour être plus sincère que l’on n’est, en se disant : « Bien, j’attendrai que mon ego disparaisse pour être sincère », parce qu’on peut renverser les termes et dire que si vous n’essayez pas sincèrement, jamais votre ego ne disparaîtra. Par conséquent, la sincérité est la base de toute réalisation véritable, elle est le moyen, le chemin — et elle est aussi le but. Sans elle, vous êtes sûr de faire d’innombrables faux pas et d’avoir constamment à réparer le mal que vous vous êtes fait à vous-même et aux autres.

Il y a d’ailleurs une joie merveilleuse à être sincère. Chaque acte de sincérité porte en lui-même sa propre récompense : le sentiment de purification, d’élévation, de libération que l’on sent quand on a rejeté ne serait-ce qu’une parcelle du mensonge.

La sincérité, c’est la sauvegarde, c’est la protection, c’est le guide, et finalement c’est la puissance transformatrice.