Receiving the Truth – The Mother answers.

The Mother in her correspondence with a disciple answers an age-old question:  Just as the Divine grants prosperity to people when they ask and pray for it, why does it not similarly bestow the the experience of the Truth to aspirants when they ask for it?.  Her answer follows.

– Editor

You say that the Lord gives to people prosperity, children  and happiness whenever they ask for it — Quite true, but these things belong to the physical consciousness and need no preparation to be received; they (people) can have these things with remaining just as they are, while you are asking for the greatest thing of all, the most difficult, the Truth — and to receive the Truth one must be prepared for It, capable of seeing and feeling it — and this demands a big preparation. In fact, the Truth is always with us. And if we do not see It and feel It, it is because we are not capable of seeing and feeling It—This is the reason of the delay. The Lord answers at once all sincere prayer, but we are not aware of His answer.

Behind the weakest weakness there is the supreme Strength, the Lord’s Force.

April 2, 1963

– The Mother

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On Speech, Part III – The Mother

It is true that the guru himself is subject to the same rule of silence with regard to what concerns him personally. In Nature everything is in movement; thus, whatever does not move forward is bound to fall back. The guru must progress even as his disciples do, although his progress may not be on the same plane. And for him too, to speak about his experiences is not favourable: the greater part of the dynamic force for progress contained in the experience evaporates if it is put into words. But on the other hand, by explaining his experiences to his disciples, he greatly helps their understanding and consequently their progress. It is for him in his wisdom to know to what extent he can and ought to sacrifice the one to the other. It goes without saying that no boasting or vainglory should enter into his account, for the slightest vanity would make him no longer a guru but an imposter.
As for the disciple, I would tell him: “In all cases, be faithful to your guru whoever he is; he will lead you as far as you can go. But if you have the good fortune to have the Divine as your guru, there will be no limit to your realisation.”
Nevertheless, even the Divine, when incarnate on earth, is subject to the same law of progress. His instrument of manifestation, the physical being he has assumed, should be in a constant state of progress, and the law of his personal self-expression is in a way linked to the general law of earthly progress. Thus even the embodied god cannot be perfect on earth until men are ready to understand and accept perfection. That day will come when everything that is now done out of a sense of duty towards the Divine will be done out of love for Him. Progress will be a joy instead of being an effort and often even a struggle. Or, more exactly, progress will be made in joy, with the full adherence of the whole being, instead of by coercing the resistance of the ego, which entails great effort and sometimes even great suffering.
In conclusion, I would say this: if you want your speech to express the truth and thus acquire the power of the Word, never think out beforehand what you want to say, do not decide what is a good or bad thing to say, do not calculate the effect of what you are going to say. Be silent in mind and remain unwavering in the true attitude of constant aspiration towards the All-Wisdom, the All-Knowledge, the All-Consciousness. Then, if your aspiration is sincere, if it is not a veil for your ambition to do well and to succeed, if it is pure, spontaneous and integral, you will then be able to speak very simply, to say the words that ought to be said, neither more nor less, and they will have a creative power.

Concluded.

Bulletin, April 1953

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On Speech, Part II – The Mother

There are also all the words that are uttered to express ideas, opinions, the results of reflection or study. Here we are in an intellectual domain and we might think that in this domain men are more reasonable, more self-controlled, and that the practice of rigorous austerity is less indispensable. It is nothing of the kind, however, for even here, into this abode of ideas and knowledge, man has brought the violence of his convictions, the intolerance of his sectarianism, the passion of his preferences. Thus, here too, one must resort to mental austerity and carefully avoid any exchange of ideas that leads to controversies which are all too often bitter and nearly always unnecessary, or any clash of opinion which ends in heated discussions and even quarrels, which are always the result of some mental narrowness that can easily be cured when one rises high enough in the mental domain.

For sectarianism becomes impossible when one knows that any formulated thought is only one way of saying something which eludes all expression. Every idea contains a little of the truth or one aspect of the truth. But no idea is absolutely true in itself.

This sense of the relativity of things is a powerful help in keeping one’s balance and preserving a serene moderation in one’s speech. I once heard an old occultist of some wisdom say, “Nothing is essentially bad; there are only things which are not in their place. Put each thing in its true place and you will have a harmonious world.”

And yet, from the point of view of action, the value of an idea is in proportion to its pragmatic power. It is true that this power varies a great deal according to the individual on whom it acts. An idea that has great impelling force in one individual may have none whatsoever in another. But the power itself is contagious. Certain ideas are capable of transforming the world. They are the ones that ought to be expressed; they are the ruling stars in the firmament of the spirit that will guide the earth towards its supreme realisation.

Lastly, we have all the words that are spoken for the purpose of teaching. This category ranges from the kindergarten to the university course, not forgetting all the artistic and literary creations of mankind that seek to entertain or instruct. In this domain, everything depends on the worth of the creation, and the subject is too vast to be dealt with here. It is a fact that concern about education is very much in vogue at present and praiseworthy attempts are being made to make use of new scientific  discoveries in  the  service  of  education.  But even  in  this matter, austerity is demanded from the aspirant towards truth.

It is generally admitted that in the process of education a certain kind of lighter, more frivolous, more entertaining productions are necessary to reduce the strain of effort and give some relaxation to the children and even to adults. From a certain point of view, this is true; but unfortunately this concession has served as an excuse to justify a whole category of things which are nothing but the efflorescence of all that is vulgar, crude and base in human nature. Its coarsest instincts, its most depraved taste find in this concession a good excuse to display and impose themselves as an inevitable necessity. They are nothing of the kind, however; one can relax without being dissolute, take rest without being vulgar, enjoy oneself without allowing the grosser elements in the nature to rise to the surface. But from the point of view of austerity, these needs themselves change their nature; relaxation is transformed into inner silence, rest into contemplation and enjoyment into bliss.

This generally recognised need for entertainment, slackening of effort and more or less long and total forgetfulness of the aim of life and the purpose of existence should not be considered as something altogether natural and indispensable, but as a weakness to which one yields because of lack of intensity in the aspiration, because of instability in the will, because of ignorance, unconsciousness and sloth. Do not justify these movements and you will soon realise that they are unnecessary; there will even come a time when they become repugnant and unacceptable to you. Then the greater part of human creation, which is ostensibly entertaining but in reality debasing, will lose its support and cease to be encouraged.

However, one should not think that the value of spoken words depends on the nature of the subject of conversation. One can talk idly on spiritual matters just as much as on any other, and this kind of idle talk may well be one of the most dangerous. For example, the neophyte is always very eager to share with others the little he has learnt. But as he advances on the path, he becomes more and more aware that he does not know very much and that before trying to instruct others, he must be very sure of the value of what he knows, until he finally becomes wise and realises that many hours of silent concentration are needed to be able to speak usefully for a few minutes. Moreover, where inner life and spiritual effort are concerned, the use of speech should be subjected to a still more stringent rule and nothing should be said unless it is absolutely indispensable.

It is a well-known fact that one must never speak of one’s spiritual experiences if one does not want to see vanishing in a flash the energy accumulated in the experience, which was meant to hasten one’s progress. The only exception which can be made to the rule is with regard to one’s guru, when one wants to receive some explanation or teaching from him concerning the content and meaning of one’s experience. Indeed, one can speak about these things without danger only to one’s guru, for only the guru is able by his knowledge to use the elements of the experience for your own good, as steps towards new ascents.

To be continued.

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On Speech – The Mother

In the physical domain, we have all the words that are spoken for material reasons. They are by far the most numerous and most probably also the most useful in ordinary life.

A constant babble of words seems to be the indispensable accompaniment to daily work. And yet as soon as one makes an effort to reduce the noise to a minimum, one realises that many things are done better and faster in silence and that this helps to maintain one’s inner peace and concentration.

If you are not alone and live with others, cultivate the habit of not externalising yourself constantly by speaking aloud, and you will notice that little by little an inner understanding is established between yourself and others; you will then be able to communicate among yourselves with a minimum of words or even without any words at all. This outer silence is most favourable to inner peace, and with goodwill and a steadfast aspiration, you will be able to create a harmonious atmosphere which is very conducive to progress.

In social life, in addition to the words that concern material life and occupations, there will be those that express sensations, feelings and emotions. Here the habit of outer silence proves of valuable help. For when one is assailed by a wave of sensations or feelings, this habitual silence gives you time to reflect and, if necessary, to regain possession of yourself before projecting the sensation or feeling in words. How many quarrels can be avoided in this way; how many times one will be saved from one of those psychological catastrophes which are only too often the result of uncontrolled speech.

Without going to this extreme, one should always control the words one speaks and never allow one’s tongue to be prompted by a movement of anger, violence or temper. It is not only the quarrel that is bad in its results, but the fact of allowing one’s tongue to be used to project bad vibrations into the atmosphere; for nothing is more contagious than the vibrations of sound, and by giving these movements a chance to express themselves, one perpetuates them in oneself and in others.

Among the most undesirable kinds of idle talk must also be included everything that is said about others.

Unless you are responsible for certain people, as a guardian, a teacher or a departmental head, what others do or do not do is no concern of yours and you must refrain from talking about them, from giving your opinion about them and what they do, and from repeating what others may think or say about them.

It may happen  that the very nature of your  occupation makes it your duty to report what is taking place in a particular department, undertaking or communal work. But then the report should be confined to the work alone and not touch upon private matters. And as an absolute rule, it must be wholly objective. You should not allow any personal reaction, any preference, any like or dislike to creep in. And above all, never introduce your own petty personal grudges into the work that is assigned to you.

In all cases and as a general rule, the less one speaks of others, even to praise them, the better. It is already so difficult to know exactly what is happening in oneself – how can one know with certainty what is happening in others ? So you must totally abstain from pronouncing upon anybody one of those final judgments which cannot but be foolish if not spiteful.

When a thought is expressed in speech, the vibration of the sound has a considerable power to bring the most material substance into contact with the thought, thus giving it a concrete and effective reality. That is why one must never speak ill of people or things or say things which go against the progress of the divine realisation in the world. This is an absolute general rule. And yet it has one exception. You should not criticise anything unless at the same time you have the conscious power and active will to dissolve or transform the movements or things you criticise. For this conscious power and active will have the capacity of infusing Matter with the possibility to react and refuse the bad vibration and ultimately to correct it so that it becomes impossible for it to go on expressing itself on the physical plane.

To be continued.

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The root of human miseries and the way to peace.

To want what the Divine wants in all sincerity is the essential condition for peace and joy in life. Almost all human miseries come from the fact that human beings are almost always persuaded they know better than the Divine what they need and what life is supposed to bring them. The majority of human beings want other human beings to behave according to their own expectations and life circumstances to follow their own desires, hence they suffer and are unhappy.

Only by giving oneself in all sincerity to the Divine Will does one gain the peace and calm joy that arises from the abolition of desires.

The psychic being knows this definitely. Thus, by uniting with our psychic being, we can know it, too. But the first condition is not to be the slave of personal desires and mistake them for the truth of one’s being.

The Mother.

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Developing the faculty of Intuition – Mother

Mother, how can the faculty of intuition be developed?

There are different kinds of intuition, and we carry these capacities within us. They are always active to some extent but we don’t notice them because we don’t pay enough attention to what is going on in us.

 Behind the emotions, deep within the being, in a consciousness seated somewhere near the level of the solar plexus, there is a sort of prescience, a kind of capacity for foresight, but not in the form of ideas: rather in the form of feelings, almost a perception of sensations. For instance, when one is going to decide to do something, there is sometimes a kind of uneasiness or inner refusal, and usually, if one listens to this deeper indication, one realises that it was justified.

       In other cases there is something that urges, indicates, insists – I am not speaking of impulses, you understand, of all the movements which come from the vital and much lower still – indications which are behind the feelings, which come from the affective part of the being; there too one can receive a fairly sure indication of the thing to be done. These are forms of intuition or of a higher instinct which can be cultivated by observation and also by studying the results. Naturally, it must be done very sincerely, objectively, without prejudice. If one wants to see things in a particular way and at the same time practise this observation, it is all useless. One must do it as if one were looking at what is happening from outside oneself, in someone else.

It is one form of intuition and perhaps the first one that usually manifests.

There is also another form but that one is much more difficult to observe because for those who are accustomed to think, to act by reason – not by impulse but by reason – to reflect before doing anything, there is an extremely swift process from cause to effect in the half-conscious thought which prevents you from seeing the line, the whole line of reasoning and so you don’t think that it is a chain of reasoning, and that is quite deceptive. You have the impression of an intuition but it is not an intuition, it is an extremely rapid subconscious reasoning, which takes up a problem and goes straight to the conclusions. This must not be mistaken for intuition.

      In the ordinary functioning of the brain, intuition is something which suddenly falls like a drop of light. If one has the faculty, the beginning of a faculty of mental vision, it gives the impression of something coming from outside or above, like a little impact of a drop of light in the brain, absolutely independent of all reasoning.

This is perceived more easily when one is able to silence one’s mind, hold it still and attentive, arresting its usual functioning, as if the mind were changed into a kind of mirror turned towards a higher faculty in a sustained and silent attention. That too one can  learn to do. One  must  learn to do it, it is a necessary discipline.

      When you have a question to solve, whatever it may be, usually you concentrate your attention here (pointing between the eyebrows), at the centre just above the eyes, the centre of the conscious will. But then if you do that, you cannot be in contact with intuition. You can be in contact with the source of the will, of effort, even of a certain kind of knowledge, but in the outer, almost material field; whereas, if you want to contact the intuition, you must keep this (Mother indicates the forehead) completely immobile. Active thought must be stopped as far as possible and the entire mental faculty must form – at the top of the head and a little further above if possible – a kind of mirror, very quiet, very still, turned upwards, in silent, very concentrated attention. If you succeed, you can – perhaps not immediately – but you can have the perception of the drops of light falling upon the mirror from a still unknown region and expressing themselves as a conscious thought which has no connection with all the rest of your thought since you have been able to keep it silent. That is the real beginning of the intellectual intuition.

It is a discipline to be followed. For a long time one may try and not succeed, but as soon as one succeeds in making a “mirror”, still and attentive, one always obtains a result, not necessarily with a precise form of thought but always with the sensations of a light coming from above. And then, if one can receive this light coming from above without entering immediately into a whirl of activity, receive it in calm and silence and let it penetrate deep into the being, then after a while it expresses itself either as a luminous thought or as a very precise indication here (Mother indicates the heart), in this other centre.

Naturally, first these two faculties must be developed; then, as soon as there is any result, one must observe the result, as I said, and see the connection with what is happening, the consequences: see, observe very attentively what has come in, what may have caused a distortion, what one has added by way of more or less conscious reasoning or the intervention of a lower will, also more or less conscious; and it is by a very deep study – indeed, almost of every moment, in any case daily and very frequent – that one succeeds in developing one’s intuition. It takes a long time. It takes a long time and there are ambushes: one can deceive oneself, take for intuitions subconscious wills which try to manifest, indications given by impulses one has refused to receive openly, indeed all sorts of difficulties. One must be prepared for that. But if one persists, one is sure to succeed.

And there comes a time when one feels a kind of inner guidance, something which is leading one very perceptibly in all that one does. But then, for the guidance to have its maximum power, one must naturally add to it a conscious surrender: one must be sincerely determined to follow the indication given by the higher force. If one does that, then…one saves years of study, one can seize the result extremely rapidly. If one also does hat, the result comes very rapidly. But for that, it must be done with sincerity and…a kind of inner spontaneity. If one wants to try without this surrender, one may succeed – as one can also succeed in developing one’s personal will and making it into a very considerable power – but that takes a very long time and one meets many obstacles and the result is very precarious; one must be very persistent, obstinate, persevering, and one is sure to succeed, but only after a great labour.

Make your surrender with a sincere, complete self-giving, and you will go ahead at full speed, you will go much faster – but you must not do this calculatingly, for that spoils everything!

 

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Occult Worlds and the Universe – Mother

Q: Do the gods of the Puranas and the gods of Greek and Egyptian Mythology have any real existence ?

Mother:Between the gods of the Puranas and the gods of Grecian and Egyptian mythology, all kinds of similarities are found; it could be an interesting subject for study. To the modern Western world, all these divinities—the Greek gods and other “pagan” gods, as they call them—are simply a product of human imagination and correspond to nothing real in the universe; but this is a gross error.

To understand the mechanism of the universal life, even that of the terrestrial life, one has indeed to know that all these are real and living beings, each one in his own realm, and have an independent reality. They would exist even if men did not exist. The majority of these gods existed before men existed.

In a very old tradition, antecedent probably to the Chaldean and Vedic traditions which are its two branches, the history of creation is narrated not from the metaphysical or psychological point of view, but from an objective point of view, and this history is as real as our story of historical epochs. Of course, it is not the only way of looking at the thing, but it is quite as legitimate as any other; in any case it recognises the concrete reality of these divine beings.

They are beings’ who belong to the progressive creation of the universe and have themselves presided over its formation, from the most ethereal or subtle to the most material regions; it is a descent of the divine creative Spirit. And they descended progressively, through realities more and more—one cannot say dense, because it is not dense, one cannot say even material for matter as we know does not exist on those planes—through realities more and more concrete.

According to traditions and occult schools, all these zones of realities, these planes of realities have got different names; they are classified in a different way, but there is an essential analogy, and if you go back sufficiently far into the traditions, you see only the names changing according to the country and the language. Even now, the experiences of Western occultists and those of Eastern occultists offer great similarities. All who set out on the discovery of these invisible worlds and make a report of what they saw give a very similar description; whether they be of here or there : they use different words, but the experience is very much alike and the handling of the forces is the same.

This knowledge of the occult worlds is based on the existence of subtle bodies and of subtle worlds corresponding to those bodies; they are what the psychological method calls “states of consciousness”, but these states of consciousness really correspond to worlds. The occult procedure thus consists in being aware of these various inner states of being or subtle bodies and in being sufficiently master of them so as to be able to disclose them successively one after another. There is indeed a whole scale of increasing or decreasing subtlety, according to the direction in which you go; and the occult procedure consists in bringing out of a denser body, a subtler body and so on up to the most ethereal regions. You move on by successive exteriorisations into bodies or worlds more and more subtle. It is somewhat as if everytime you passed into another dimension. The fourth dimension of the physicists is nothing else but a mere scientific transcription of an occult knowledge. To give another image, one can say that the physical body is in the centre —it is the most material, the densest and also the smallest— and the more subtle inner bodies overflow more and more the central physical body; they pass through, stretching themselves farther and farther, like water evaporating from a porous vase and forming a kind of steam all around. And the greater the subtlety, the larger the extension, tending to attain to that of the universe; one ends by universalising oneself. And it is a quite concrete process, that gives an objective experience of invisible worlds, enabling one even to act in these worlds.

There is therefore a very small number of people in the West who know that these gods are not merely subjective and imaginary—more or less wildly imaginary—but they correspond to an universal truth.

All these regions, all these domains are filled with beings who exist, each in his domain, and if you are awake and conscious in a particular plane—for instance, if on coming out of a more material body you awake on some higher plane, you have the same relation with the things and people of that plane as you had with the things and people of the material world; that is to say there exists a thoroughly objective relation that has nothing to do with the idea you may have of these things. Naturally, the resemblance is greater and greater as you approach the physical, the material world; even there comes a time when one region has a direct action upon another. In any case, in what Sri Aurobindo calls over mental worlds, you will find a concrete reality, absolutely independent of your personal experience; you go back there and find again the same things, with the differences that have occurred during your absence. And you have relations with those beings that are identical with the relations with physical beings, with this difference that the relation is more plastic, supple and direct —for example, there is the capacity to change the external form, the visible form, following the inner state in which you are; but you can give someone an appointment and you can be at the appointed place and find the same being again with certain differences that have come about in your absence; it is quite concrete with results quite concrete.

One must have at least a little of this experience in order to understand these things. Otherwise, those who are convinced that all this is mere human imagination and mental formations, who believe that these gods have such and such form, because men have thought them to be like that and that they have these defects and these qualities because men have thought them like that —all people who say that God is made in the image of man and that he exists only in human thought,—all these will not understand, to them it will appear absolutely ridiculous, madness. One must have lived a little, touched a little the subject to know how much concrete the thing is.

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The key to preventing the struggle with the ignorance.

The conscious seeking for the Divine does not by itself prevent the struggle with the ignorance of the nature; it is only self-giving to the Mother that can do that.

Sri Aurobindo

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Self-Giving – The Mother

SELF-GIVING

Never say, “I have nothing to give to the Divine.” There is always something to give, for always you can give yourself in a better and more complete way.

To the Divine you are worth no more than what you have given Him.

To give to the Divine what one has in excess is not an offering.

One should give at least something out of what one needs.

If you remember what you have given to the Divine, He will have no need of remembering it Himself; and if you ever mention the gift or speak of it to anybody, it is not to the Divine that you have made the offering but to the demon of your vanity.

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Offering to the Divine – The Mother

Sweet Mother,

You have often told us that our activities must be an offering to the Divine. What does it mean exactly, and how to do it? For instance, when one plays tennis or basketball, how does one do that as an offering? Mental formations are not enough, naturally!

 It means that what you do should not be done with a personal, egoistic aim, for success, for glory, for gain, for material profit or out of vanity, but as a service and an offering, in order to become more conscious of the divine will and to give oneself more entirely to it, until one has made enough progress to know and feel that it is the Divine who acts in you, His force that animates you and His will that supports you – not only a mental knowledge, but the sincerity of a state of consciousness and the power of a living experience.

For that to be possible, all egoistic motives and all egoistic reactions must disappear.  

20 November 1961

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