In my previous post, written in part together with my cells, it all became a celebration of Sri Aurobindo’s foresight, or rather far-reaching vision of the wonderful evolutive future for our bodies. During the following night I realized the joyful chorus they had in their little song echoed in my memory a text by Mother which I had read again recently, in my overall re-reading of the volume 1 of her ‘Agenda’.
So the next morning I set up looking for that specific passage in the 527 pages of that volume, but it is only this morning that I finally located it. I am happy to share it with you at once, for, as you will see, what Mother was saying so strongly then has been indeed echoed very beautifully by my cells’ enthusiastic song of yesterday!
Here are Mother’s words on that day, with just, in italics, one question in between by her disciple Saptrem, her usual interlocutor for those very special confidences:
May 10, 1958
This morning, I suddenly looked at my body (usually, I don’t look at it – I am inside it, working), I looked at my body and said to myself, “Let’s see, what would a witness say about this body?” – the witness Sri Aurobindo speaks of in The Synthesis of Yoga. Nothing very remarkable. So I formulated it like this (Mother reads a written note):
“This body has neither the uncontested authority of a god nor the imperturbable calm of the sage.”
So, what then?
“It is as yet only an apprentice in supermanhood.”
That is all it is trying to be.
I saw and understood very well that by concentrating, I could have given it the attitude of the absolute authority of the eternal Mother. When Sri Aurobindo told me, “You are She,” at the same time he bestowed upon my body this attitude of absolute authority. But as I had the inner vision of this truth, I concerned myself very little with the imperfections of the physical body – I didn’t bother about that, I only used it as an instrument. Sri Aurobindo did the sadhana for this body, which had only to remain constantly open to his action.1
Afterwards, when he left and I had to do the Yoga myself, to be able to take his physical place, I could have adopted the attitude of the sage, which is what I did since I was in an unparalleled state of calm when he left. As he left his body and entered into mine, he told me, “You will continue, you will go right to the end of the work.” It was then that I imposed a calm upon this body – the calm of total detachment. And I could have remained like that.
But in a way, absolute calm implies withdrawal from action, so a choice had to be made between one or the other. I said to myself, “I am neither exclusively this nor exclusively that.” And actually, to do Sri Aurobindo’s work is to realize the Supramental on earth. So I began that work and, as a matter of fact, this was the only thing I asked of my body. I told it, “Now you shall set right everything which is out of order and gradually realize this intermediate supermanhood between man and the supramental being or, in other words, what I call the superman.”
And this is what I have been doing for the last eight years, and even much more during the past two years, since 1956. Now it is the work of each day, each minute.
That’s where I am. I have renounced the uncontested authority of a god, I have renounced the unshakable calm of the sage… in order to become the superman. I have concentrated everything upon that.
We shall see.
I am learning to work. I am only an apprentice, simply an apprentice – I am learning the trade!
In a considerable number of people, it is their body, the physical body, that obstinately resists.
The difficulty is greater for Westerners than for Indians. It’s as though their substance were steeped in falsehood. It also happens with Indians, of course, but generally the falsehood is much more in the vital than in the physical – because after all, the physical has been utilized by bodies belonging to enlightened beings. The European substance seems steeped in rebellion; in the Indian substance, this rebelliousness is subdued by an influence of surrender. The other day, someone was telling me about some Europeans with whom he corresponds, and I said, “But tell them to read, to learn, to follow The Synthesis of Yoga! – it leads you straight to the path.” Whereupon he replied, “Oh, but they say it’s full of talk on surrender, surrender, always surrender…” and they want none of it.
They want none of it! Even if the mind accepts, the body and the vital refuse. And when the body refuses, it refuses with the stubbornness of a stone.
Is it not due to the body’s unconsciousness?
No. From the minute it is conscious, it is conscious of its own falsehood! It is conscious of this law, of that law, of this third law, that fourth law, this tenth law – everything is a “law.” “We are subject to physical laws: this will produce such and such a result; if you do that, this will happen, etc.” Oh! It reeks! I know it well. I know it very well. These laws reek of falsehood. In the body, we have no faith in the divine Grace, none, none, none, none! Those who have not undergone a tapasya2 as I have, say, “Yes, all these inner moral things, feelings, psychology, all that is very good; we want the Divine and we are ready to… But all the same, material facts are material facts, they have their concrete reality, after all; an illness is an illness, food is food, and everything you do has a consequence, and when you are…” – bah, bah, bah, bah, bah!
We must understand that this isn’t true – it isn’t true, it’s a falsehood, all this is sheer falsehood. It is NOT TRUE, it is not true! (…)
…but it is so deeply rooted: all the reactions of the body-consciousness are like that, with a kind of shrinking at the idea of allowing a higher power to intervene.
From the positive point of view, I am convinced that we agree upon the result to be obtained, that is, an integral and unreserved consecration – in love, knowledge and action – to the Supreme AND TO HIS WORK. I say to the Supreme and to his work because consecration to the Supreme alone is not enough. Now we are here for the supramental realization, this is what is expected of us, but to reach it, our consecration to it must be total, unreserved, absolutely integral. I believe you have understood this – in other words, that you have the will to realize it.
From the negative point of view – I mean the difficulties to be overcome – one of the most serious obstacles is that the ignorant and falsifying outer consciousness, the ordinary consciousness legitimizes all the so-called physical laws, causes, effects and consequences, all that science has discovered physically and materially. All this is an unquestionable reality to the consciousness, a reality that remains independent and absolute even in the face of the eternal divine Reality.
And it is so automatic that it is unconscious.
When it is a question of movements like anger, desire, etc., you recognize that they are wrong and must disappear, but when material laws are in question – laws of the body, for example, its needs, its health, its nourishment, all those things – they have such a solid, compact, established and concrete reality that it appears absolutely unquestionable.
Well, to be able to cure that, which of all the obstacles is the greatest (I mean the habit of putting spiritual life on one side and material life on the other, of acknowledging the right of material laws to exist), one must make a resolution never to legitimize any of these movements, at any cost.
To be able to see the problem as it is, it is absolutely indispensable, as a first step, to get out of the mental consciousness, even out of a mental transcription (in the highest mind) of the supramental vision and truth. A thing cannot be seen as it is, in its truth, except in the supramental consciousness, and if you try to explain, it immediately begins to escape you because you are obliged to give it a mental formulation.
As for me, I saw the thing only at the time of this experience,4 and as a result of this experience. But it is impossible to formulate even the experience itself, and as soon as I endeavored to formulate it and the more I was able to formulate it, the more the thing faded, escaped.
Consequently, if you do not remember having had the experience, you are left in the same condition as before, but with the difference that now you know, you can know, that these material laws do not correspond to the truth – that’s all. They do not at all correspond to the truth, so consequently, if you want to be faithful to your aspiration, you must in no way legitimize all that. Rather, you must say that it is an infirmity from which we are suffering for the moment, for an intermediate period – it is an infirmity and an ignorance – for it really is an ignorance (this is not just a word): it is ignorance, it is not the thing as it is, even in regard to our present material bodies. Therefore, we will not legitimize anything. What we say is this – it is an infirmity which has to be endured for the time being, until we get out of it, but we do NOT ACKNOWLEDGE all this as a concrete reality. It does NOT have a concrete reality, it has a false reality – what we call concrete reality is a false reality.
And the proof – I have the proof because I experienced it myself – is that from the minute you are in the other consciousness, the true consciousness, all these things which appear so real, so concrete, change INSTANTLY. There are a number of things, certain material conditions of my body – material – that changed instantly. It did not last long enough for everything to change, but some things changed and never returned, they remained changed. In other words, if that consciousness were kept constantly, it would be a perpetual miracle (what we would call a miracle from our ordinary point of view), a fantastic and perpetual miracle! But from the supramental point of view, it would not be a miracle at all, it would be the most normal of things.
Therefore, if we do not want to oppose the supramental action by an obscure, inert and obstinate resistance, we have to admit once and for all that none of these things should be legitimized.
1 This last sentence was later added by Mother in writing.
2 Tapasya: yogic discipline or askesis.
3 May 1, 1958.
4 May 1, 1958.