The “subconscient” — Mother

What does “subconscient” mean, exactly?

Subconscient? It is what is half conscious, you see. And we say “sub”, because that means “below” the consciousness. It is something more obscure than the consciousness, but which, at the same time, is like a lower substratum supporting the consciousness. It is like those stores from which one would draw out something quite unformed, a formless substance which could be translated into forms or translated into actions or translated into impulses or even into feelings. But it is like those stores containing a considerable number of fairly mixed things, not very distinct, but which would be very rich in possibilities; only they would have to be drawn out into the light and organised, classified, put into shape so as to give them a value.

So long as they are there, it is a mass, a mixture, certainly subconscient, that is to say, half-conscious, semi-conscious, in which everything is muddled up. It lacks organisation and classification. It is the characteristic of consciousness to organise and classify… classification, putting into order, arranging logically…   there are varieties of logic, but still, some logic, a beginning of logic. There are higher and higher kinds of logic, more and more superior. But even preliminary logic is the first work of the consciousness.

But consciousness is plunged – plunged as though by its roots – into this domain, and draws up as it would draw up sap; it constantly pumps this subconscient which it has to transform into something organised. That is why we spend our time re-doing the same work. If we had a small limited amount of consciousness which was our own, as some people imagine it, like a small bag full of consciousness, you know, which is one’s own consciousness, well, when you have put it in good order and organised it well, your work will be done, and you can be quiet. But it is not at all like that, it is not at all like that.

Even as there are elements of consciousness which escape and evaporate, which spread out, there is this constant rising, as from a deep ground, of something that asks to be made conscious. And your work has to be perpetually re-done. But one can – if one is careful and attentive – instead of re-doing exactly the same thing each time, one can re-do it with a little progress. Then the movement is not rectilinear, but a movement which goes like this…   you see (Gesture of spiral movement). One seems at times to be going back, but that’s in order to go farther and farther forward.

Questions and Answers Vol 6, Page 320

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Remembering Jyotipriya

Dear Seekers,

Today is the 121st birth anniversary of Jyotipriya. It is a day that our aspiration can quicken and flame more intensely by remembering her life and offering our gratitude. In the intimate soul-relation with the Mother her life became a service to the Divine and luminous example of Mother’s maxim:  “Our life ought to be governed by the love for Truth and the thirst for Light”.  During her first private meeting with the Mother, she expressed her longing to give her life to Beauty and Truth. “You chose long ago to serve” was the Mother’s reply. At the touch of the Mother’s hand on her head, Jyotipriya said “electric forces” went through her entire being. She asked the Mother for a spiritual name. The next morning the Mother handed her a chit – written in Sri Aurobindo’s hand: it read “Jyotipriya, Lover of Light”.

An ardent seeker of the Divine, Jyoti was graced with the Realization of the Divine. One outstanding aspect of her seeking was her selfless personality; her pilgrim feet both led and carried along with her many an aspirant on the path, reminding us of Sri Aurobindo’s beautiful aphorism:  “He who acquires for himself alone acquires ill though he may call it heaven and virtue”.

May Jyoti’s spirit continue inspiring us in her footsteps to a greater self-giving to the Divine.

Those who would like to learn more about Jyotipriya, may follow this link for a short biography of her life:  

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The path to the psychic flame — Mother

Mother: Do you know where the aspiration comes from?

Mona Sarkar: Yes, Mother, from the heart and from the psychic.

Mother: Yes, my child, rather from the psychic; the true aspiration, it is from there; but first, one starts from the heart. Are you in contact with your psychic?

Mona: No, Mother.

Mother No! It is strange. I thought you had learnt this at least. There is much to learn.
So, as long as you are not in contact, you can begin by aspiring from the mind, saying: Ma, Ma, Ma, Ma, and ask precisely what you want, as, for example, Peace, or “Let Peace be established in me.” Then you concentrate in silence and you remain open. You will see that you will be flooded with Peace.

Then you concentrate in the heart, and you aspire to come in contact with the flame, the psychic flame, the purifying flame and go there, very deeply, and remain silent and open like this (Mother opens Her hands like a flower above Her head). Once there — but one must sincerely make a great effort to find it, — you come in contact with the central being; everything else becomes silent, and one has the feeling that “the Divine does everything for me”. One is seized by an immutable joy, peace and freedom. And then nothing in the world is interesting any more except the aspiration that links with the Divine.

Mona Sarkar

“Sweet Mother Luminous Notes”

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Relations with the Divine — Mother

“A spiritual Truth and Right have convicted the good and evil of this world of imperfection or of falsehood and unveiled a supreme good…. But behind all these and in them he has felt a Divinity who is all these things, a Bringer of Light, a Guide and All-Knower, a Master of Force, a Giver of Bliss, Friend, Helper, Father, Mother, Playmate in the world-game, an absolute Master of his being, his soul’s Beloved and Lover.”

Can the Godhead be all these things at once for anybody?

Yes, and many more.

This is only a very brief description!

But here too, if one wants to have this experience, one must  not seek in life and among men for these relationships, because if one seeks them in the ordinary life, as ordinary relationships, one becomes incapable of feeling them exactly as the Divine can give them. And usually, most people, even those who have a living soul, seek these relations with the Divine only after they have had the most bitter and disappointing experiences in their search for human relationships.

This makes them lose much time and wastes a lot of energy. And usually, they are already quite worn out and spent when they reach the state in which they are capable of having these relations in all their splendour with the divine Presence.

That means much time lost and much wastage of energy; but it would seem that very few people can go straight avoiding all these roundabout ways. Mostly, when they are told that there is a divine Joy and a divine Plenitude which far all they can imagine in ordinary life, they don’t believe it; and to believe it they must have, as I said, gone through a painful experience of all that is false, deceptive and disappointing in ordinary relationships.

It is said that example is the best teacher, but in fact there are very few who care to follow an example especially when the examples are a little too far beyond them. They all want to have their own experience; they have the right to it, but that makes the path interminable.

Questions and Answers 17-25 April 1956

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You can realize the Divine — Mother

I know by experience that there isn’t one being who, were it only once in his life, has had a great urge towards… it doesn’t matter how he calls it – let us say the Divine for facility of speech, who is not sure to arrive; even if he turns his back on Him at a certain time, it’s of no importance – he is sure to arrive. He will have to struggle more or less, will have more or less difficulty, but he is sure to succeed one day. It’s a soul that has been chosen, it has become conscious because its hour has come – once the hour has come, well, the result will follow more or less quickly. You can do this in a few months; you can do it in some years; you can do it in some lives – but you will do it.

And what is remarkable is that this freedom of choice is left to you and that, if you decide within yourself that you will do it in this lifetime, you will do it. And I am not speaking here of a permanent and continuous decision because then you can arrive in twelve months. No, I mean: if you have suddenly been seized by this, “I want this”, even once, in a flash, the seal is put, there, like that.

There seems to be only one way out and that is to go in search of one’s soul and to find it. It is there, it does not make a point of hiding itself, it does not play with you just to make things difficult; on the contrary, it makes great efforts to help you find it and to make itself heard.

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Teaching and Practice — Mother

It is always better not to listen to talks especially on so-called spiritual matters. Each one must follow his own way and the others have nothing to do with it.

 9 January 1938

An atmosphere of spirituality sometimes helps much more than an exchange of words.

 22 November 1951

It is not enough to know, you must practise.

It is not enough to pretend, you must be.

15 November 1940

On the path of Truth, in order to know more you must put into practice what you already know.

A little bit of sincere practice  is worth much more than a lot of written or spoken words.

 July 1953

A drop of practice is better than an ocean of theories, advices and good resolutions.


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Action of the Supramental Force — Mother

I asked you about your Force, or the supramental Force; what initial action is it taking now?

Ah yes.

Is it putting things in their places?

In my experience, it is; and it has come to the point where the more concentrated the Force, the more things turn up at the very moment they ought to, people come just when they should and do just what they ought to be doing, the things around me fall into place naturally – and this goes for the LEAST little detail. And simultaneously it brings with it a sense of harmony and rhythm, a joy – a very smiling joy in organization, as if everything were joyously participating in this restructuring. For example, you want to tell someone something and he comes to you; you need someone to do a particular work and he appears; something has to be organized – all the required elements are at hand. All with a kind of miraculous harmony, but nothing miraculous about it! Essentially it’s simply the inner force meeting with a minimum of obstacles, and so things get molded by its action. This happens to me very often, VERY often; and sometimes it goes on for hours. But it’s rather delicate, like a very, very delicate clockwork, like a precision machine, and the least little thing throws everything out of gear. When someone has a bad reaction, for instance, or a bad thought, or an agitated vibration, or an anxiety – anything of this nature is enough to dissolve all the harmony. For me, it’s translated straight-away into a malaise in my body, a very particular type of malaise; then disorder sets in, and the ordinary routine returns. So again I have to gather up, as it were, the Presence of the Lord and begin to infuse it everywhere. Sometimes it goes quickly, sometimes it takes longer; when the disorganization is a little more radical, it takes a little longer.

Agenda Vol 2, July 18, 1961

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Remain a child — Mother

One must be a child all one’s life, as much as one can, as long as one can. Be happy, joyful, content to be a child and remain a child, plastic stuff for shaping.

For me personally, I admit I prefer for my work someone who knows very little, has not laboured too much, but who has a great aspiration, much goodwill and who feels in himself this flame, this need for progressing.

CWM Question and Answers Vol 5 , Page 278

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Aspiration — Mother

Aspiration is like an arrow, like this (gesture). So you aspire, want very earnestly to understand, know, enter into the truth. Yes? And then with that aspiration you do this  (gesture). Your aspiration rises, rises, rises, rises straight up, very strong and then it strikes against a kind of… how to put it? … lid which is there, hard like iron and extremely thick, and it does not pass through. And then you say, “See, what’s the use of aspiring? It brings nothing at all. I meet with something hard and cannot pass!” But you know about the drop of water which falls on the rock, it ends up by making a chasm: it cuts the rock from top to bottom. Your aspiration is a drop of water which, instead of falling, rises. So, by dint of rising, it beats, beats, beats, and one day it makes a hole, by dint of rising; and when it makes the hole suddenly it springs out from this lid and enters an immensity of light, and you say, “Ah, now I understand.”  

It’s like that.  

So one must be very persistent, very stubborn and have an aspiration which rises straight upwards, that is, which does not go roaming around here and there, seeking all kinds of things.  

Only this: to understand, understand, understand, to learn to know, to be.  

When one reaches the very top, there is nothing more to understand, nothing more to learn, one is, and it’s when one is that one understands and knows.

Mother, when one understands, what is it in us that understands? 

It’s the like that knows the like. So it is only because you carry the thing in yourself that you discover it. Because you understand very well that my story is an image, don’t you, that all this is an image; it corresponds quite well with something, but it’s an image all the same, because one can find it as well within as above, you see. It’s only because we have physical notions about the different material planes, material dimensions; because when we understand, it is in another order of dimensions, absolutely. Now this other dimensional order does not correspond to space.  

But you cannot understand and be something unless it is in you in some way or other or you are in it – it’s the same thing, isn’t it? However, to make you understand more easily, I can say it’s because it is in you, because it’s a part of your consciousness, somewhere, otherwise you could never become aware of it. If one did not carry the Divine within oneself, in the essence of one’s being, one could never become aware of the Divine; it would be an impossible venture. And then if you reverse the problem, the moment you conceive and feel in some way or other, or even, to begin with, admit that the Divine is in you, as well as you are in the Divine, then already this opens the door to realisation, just a little, not much – slightly ajar. Then if later the aspiration comes, the intense need to know and to be, then that intense need widens the opening until one can creep in. Then when one has crept in, one becomes aware of what he is. And that’s exactly what Sri Aurobindo says, that one has forgotten, that due to this separation of Sat, Chit, Ananda, forgetfulness comes, forgetfulness of what one is; one thinks oneself to be somebody, you see, anyone at all, a boy, a girl, a man, a woman, a dog, a horse, anything at all, a stone, the sea, the sun; one believes oneself to be all this, instead of thinking oneself the One Divine – because, in fact, if one had continued thinking oneself the One Divine, there would have been no universe at all.         

That was what I wanted to tell him (indicating a child), that this phenomenon of separation seems to be indispensable for a universe to be there, otherwise it would always have remained as it was. But if we re-establish the unity, after having made it pass through this curve, you see, if we re-establish the unity, having benefited from the multiplicity, the division, then we have a unity of a higher quality, a unity which knows itself instead of the unity which doesn’t have to know itself, for there’s nothing which may know the other. When the Oneness is absolute, who can know the Oneness? We must at least be able to have an image, an appearance of something which is not it in order to understand what it is. I believe that this is the secret of the universe. Perhaps the Divine wanted really to know Himself, so He threw Himself out and then looked at Himself, and now He wants to enjoy this possibility of being Himself with the full knowledge of Himself. This becomes much more interesting.  

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I take the greatest care to open the door within all of you — Mother

I take the greatest care to open the door within all of you, so that if you have just a small movement of concentration within you, you do not have to wait for long periods in front of a closed door that will not move, to which you have no key and which you do not know how to open.

The door is open, only you must look in that direction. You must not turn your back on it.

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Judging others — Mother

Judging Others  

The more a mind is ignorant, the more easily it judges everything it does not know or is incapable of understanding.

I want the peace to come into your mind and also the quiet, patient wisdom which prevents one from jumping to hasty conclusions and judgments.

It is always better to keep a quiet mind and to abstain from rushing to conclusions before you have the necessary information.

 12 April 1932 

Whenever somebody is not just according to the usual pattern, if all the parts and activities in him have not the usual balance, if some faculties are more or less missing and some others are exaggerated, the common and easy habit is to declare him “abnormal”and to have done with him after this hasty condemnation. When this summary judgment is passed by somebody in a position of power the consequences can be disastrous. Such people ought to know what true compassion is, then they would act differently.

The first necessity is to abstain from thinking of anyone in a depreciatory way. When we meet a person, our criticising thoughts give to him, so to say, a blow on the nose which naturally creates a revolt in him. It is our mental formation that acts like a deforming mirror to that person, and then one would become queer even if one were not. Why cannot people remove from their minds the idea that somebody or other is not normal? By what criterion do they judge? Who is really normal? I can tell you that not a single person is normal, because to be normal is to be divine.

Man has one leg in animality and the other in humanity. At the same time he is a candidate for divinity. His is not a happy condition. The true animals are better off. And they are also more harmonious among themselves. They do not quarrel as human beings do. They do not put on airs, they do not consider some as inferiors and keep them at a distance.

One must have a sympathetic outlook and learn to cooperate with one’s fellows, building them up and helping them instead of sneering at whatever seems not up to the mark.

Even if somebody has a deficiency and is hypersensitive and self-willed, you cannot hope to improve him by summary measures of compulsion or expulsion. Do not try to force his ego by your own, by behaving according to the same pattern. Guide him gently and understandingly along the lines of his own nature. See whether you can place him where he can work without coming into conflict with others.

You have no right to judge a man unless you are capable of doing what he does better than himself.

It is one of the highest virtues − not to poke your noise in the affairs of others. 

Each of those who are around us can be for us, provided we are attentive, a mirror in which one or more aspects of our being are reflected. If we know how to profit by it, it is a powerful help for our progress. And when the mirror is sincere and of goodwill, the value of the help becomes considerable.

16 August 1967

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Sadhana at home – Sri Aurobindo

It is quite possible for you to do Sadhana at home and in the midst of your work – many do so. What is necessary in the beginning is to remember the Mother as much as possible, to concentrate on her in the heart for a time every day, if possible thinking of her as the Divine Mother, to aspire to feel her there within you, offer her your works and pray that from within she may guide and sustain you.

Sri Aurobindo
(SABCL Vol. 25 p. 161)

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The Mother is the goal — Sri Aurobindo

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Discovery of the Divine – The Mother

People are occupied with outward things. That means that the consciousness is turned towards external things – that is, all the things of life which one sees, knows, does – instead of being turned inwards in order to find the deeper truth, the divine Presence. This is the first movement. You are busy with all that you do, with the people around you, the things you use; and then with life: sleeping, eating, talking, working a little, having a little fun also; and then beginning over again: sleeping, eating, etc., etc., and then it begins again. And then what this one has said, what that one has done, what one ought to do, the lesson one ought to learn, the exercise one ought to prepare; and then again whether one is keeping well, whether one is feeling fit, etc. This is what one usually thinks about.

So the first movement – and it is not so easy – is to make all that pass to the background, and let one thing come inside and in front of the consciousness as the important thing: the discovery of the very purpose of existence and life, to learn what one is, why one lives, and what there is behind all this. This is the first step: to be interested more in the cause and goal than in the manifestation. That is, the first movement is a withdrawal of the consciousness from this total identification with outward and apparent things, and a kind of inward concentration on what one wants to discover, the Truth one wants to discover. This is the first movement.

Many people forget one thing. They want to begin by the end. They think that they are ready to express in their life what they call the supramental Force or Consciousness, and they want to infuse this in their actions, their movements, their daily life. But the trouble is that they don’t at all know what the supramental Force or Consciousness is and that first of all it is necessary to take the reverse path, the way of interiorisation and of withdrawal from life, in order to find within oneself this Truth which has to be expressed.

For as long as one has not found it, there is nothing to express. And by imagining that one is living an exceptional life, one lives only in the illusion of one’s exceptional state. Therefore, at first not only must one find one’s soul and the Divine who possesses it, but one must identify oneself with it. And then later, one may begin to come back to outward activities, and then transform them; because then one knows in what direction to turn them, into what to transform them.

One can’t jump over this stage. One must first find one’s soul, this is absolutely indispensable, and identify oneself with it. Later one can come to the transformation.

It is first of all indispensable to find the soul and unite with the psychic being, and with the Divine who is within it. This is an absolutely indispensable beginning. One can’t leap over that bridge; it is not possible. It can be done very quickly if you know how to use the help that’s given to you; but it has to be done.

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Contact your soul through imagination — Mother

Is it right to see images when one meditates, as for example, a door opening?

     Everything is right, if it has a result. Whatever the means it is all right. Why ? The images you speak of are not necessarily ridiculous; they are mental images, and if they produce a result they are quite appropriate, if they give you an experience, they are appropriate.

     Everyone has his special procedure. Some may have imageries that help them; some, on the contrary, have a more abstract spirit and see ideas only, others again, they who live more in their sensations and feelings, have rather psychological movements, movements of inner feeling and sensation; that depends on each one. Those who have an active, a “form-making” mind, are particularly those who see images, but everybody does not experience tie same thing. Generally, it is more often a sensation, a feeling than an image.

When, for example, I ask you to descend into yourself, some will concentrate on a sensation, but others will have the impression of going down into a well and these have absolutely the image’of steps descending into a dark and deep well and they descend more and more, more and more, and sometimes they do arrive at a door : they sit down before the door with the will to enter and sometimes the door opens, then they enter and see something like a hall or a room or a grotto, and from there if they continue they can arrive at another door and again stop, and with an effort this door also opens and you can go farther and if you do it with sufficient persistence and can continue the experience, there comes a moment when you find yourself before a door which has a special quality of solidity or solemnity and with a great effort of concentration the door opens and you enter into a chamber of light; then you have the experience of the contact of your soul…I do not see what is there bad in having images.

But it is only an imagination, is it not, Mother ?

Imagination ? What is an imagination ? You can imagine nothing that does not exist in the universe. It is impossible to imagine something that does not exist somewhere. The only thing is that you do not put your imagination in its place, or you give it virtues and qualities that it has not or you explain it otherwise than by a good explanation. But whatever you imagine exists somewhere, the only thing is to know where and to put it in its right place.

Naturally, if having imagined that you were before a door, you thought that it was really a physical door that is within your body, then it would be an error; but if you note that it is a mental form taken by your effort for concentration, that is quite correct.

If you take a walk in the mental world, you will find it full of forms like that, all kinds of forms which have no material reality but which exist perfectly well in the mental world.

You cannot think strongly of anything without your thought taking a form.

Imagination is a power of formation. In fact, those who have no imagination are the people who do not create forms in the mental plane, who cannot give a concrete power to their thought. Imagination is a very powerful means of action. For example, if you have a pain somewhere and if you can imagine that you are making it disappear or removing it or destroying it with the help of some images, well, you succeed perfectly well.

The story is told of a person who was losing her hair in a fantastic way and was threatened with baldness in a few weeks. Then someone told her, “Just imagine, when you do your hair, that they are growing and will grow very quickly. And the person while combing her hair was always saying, “Oh, my hair is growing, oh, it is growing very quickly !” And in fact, that is what happened. But what people generally do is to say, “Ah, all my hairs are falling and I am getting bald. It is sure, that is going to happen”. Evidently that is what does happen.

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