I have received three questions, one of which would require some fairly unpleasant remarks which I don’t want to make to you.… There are two others here which I could perhaps answer: One is about a sentence in The Synthesis of Yoga where Sri Aurobindo speaks of the psychic being as “insisting” on “beauty restored to its priesthood of interpretation of the Eternal.”fnSri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, SABCL, Vol. 20, p. 146. I have been asked what this means.
To tell the truth, I don’t know why; I don’t know if it is the old ascetic idea that beauty has no place in yoga, or if it is the word “priesthood” of interpretation of the Eternal, for which an explanation is being asked.
In the first case, I believe I have already said often enough and repeated that in the physical world, of all things it is beauty which best expresses the Divine. The physical world is the world of form, and the perfection of form is beauty. So I think it is not necessary to go over all that again. And once we admit this, that in the physical world beauty is the best and closest expression of the Divine, it is natural to speak of it as a “priestess”, who interprets, expresses, manifests the Eternal. Its true role is to put the whole of manifested nature into contact with the Eternal through the perfection of form, harmony, and through a sense of the ideal which raises you towards something higher. So I think this justifies the word “priesthood” and explains and answers the question.
The other question is about a phrase I used—I believe it was last week—when I spoke of the “threshold of occultism”. So a question is put to me about this occult world, that is to say, 216the world invisible to ordinary physical eyes, and I am asked for explanations or comments on the beings who live in these worlds which are invisible to ordinary eyes.
I am even told that I speak very often of negative entities, that is to say, of hostile formations, of small beings formed from the disintegration of human beings after their death—the disintegration of the vital or mental being at death—but that I have never spoken of the great beings, the magnificent beings or positive entities which help the evolution. I believe I have spoken to you about these quite often, but still I have been asked once again for explanations.
Well, the occult world is not one single region where everything is mixed, which only becomes occult because we can’t see it. The occult world is a gradation of regions, one could perhaps say, of more and more etherial or subtle regions, anyway, those farther and farther removed in their nature from the physical materiality we ordinarily see. And each one of these domains is a world in itself, having its forms and inhabited by beings with a density, one might say, analogous to that of the domain in which they live. Just as in the physical world we are of the same materiality as the physical world, so in the vital world, in the mental world, in the overmind world and in the supramental world—and in many others, infinite others—there are beings which have a form whose substance is similar to the one of that world. This means that if you are able to enter consciously into that world with the part of your being which corresponds to that domain, you can move there quite objectively, as in the material world.
And there, there are as many, and even many more things to see and observe than in our poor little material world, which belongs to only one zone of this infinite gradation. You meet all sorts of things in these domains, and you need to make a study as profound, perhaps still more profound than in the physical world, to be able to know what is happening there, to have relations with the beings who live there.217
It is obvious that as one goes farther, as it were, from the material world, the forms and consciousness of those beings are of a purity, beauty and perfection much higher than our ordinary physical forms. It is only in the nearest vital world, the one which is, so to say, mixed with our material life—though it lies beyond it and there is a zone where the vital is no longer mixed with the material world—of that material vital one can say that in some of its aspects it is even uglier than things here, for it is filled with a bad will which is not counterbalanced by the presence of the psychic being which, in the physical world, amends, corrects, puts right, directs this bad will. But it is rather a limited zone and, as soon as one goes beyond it, one can find and meet things that are not favourable to human life, beings not on the same scale as human existence, but having their own beauty and grandeur, with whom one may establish relations which may become quite pleasant and even useful.
Only, as I have already told you, it is not very prudent to venture into these domains without a previous initiation and, above all, a purification of nature which prevents you from entering there all weighed down and deformed by your desires, your passions, egoisms, fears and weaknesses. Before undertaking these activities one needs a complete preparation of self-purification and widening of the consciousness which is absolutely indispensable.
In these invisible worlds there are also regions which are the result of human mental formations. One can find there all one wants. In fact, one very often finds there exactly what one expects to find. There are hells, there are paradises, there are purgatories. There are all sorts of things in accordance with the different religions and their conceptions. These things have only a very relative existence, but with a relativity similar to that of material things here; that is to say, for someone who finds himself there, they are entirely real and their effects quite tangible. One needs an inner liberation, a wideness of the consciousness and a contact with a deeper and higher truth to be able to escape from 218the illusion of their reality. But this is something almost similar to what happens here: human beings here are mostly convinced that the only reality is the physical reality—the reality of what one can touch, can see—and for them, all that cannot be seen, cannot be touched, cannot be felt, is after all, problematical; well, what happens there is an identical phenomenon. People who at the moment of death are convinced, for one reason or another, that they are going to paradise or maybe to hell, do find themselves there after their death; and for them it is truly a paradise or a hell. And it is extremely difficult to make them come out of it and go to a place which is more true, more real.
So it is difficult to speak of all these worlds, these innumerable worlds, in a few minutes. It is a knowledge which needs a lived experience of many years, thoroughly systematic, and which requires, as I said, an inner preparation absolutely indispensable, to make it harmless.
We all get the chance to have a little contact—very partial, very superficial—with these worlds in our dreams. And the study of dreams itself already demands much time and care, and in itself may constitute a preparation for a deeper study of the invisible worlds.
I think that is all we can profitably say about it this evening.
The last question is from somebody who finds that I have made promises a little lightly and that, after all, I haven’t kept my word!… Perhaps I expected more from humanity than it was capable of giving me—about that I don’t know. Perhaps it is a purely superficial impression.
I said more or less this, that those who are here in the Ashram will know the descent of the Supermind—they can’t blame me for not having informed them when it came, I made no mystery of it!—and that they will participate in it—indeed, I did not forbid anyone to participate in it! On the contrary, I 219believe I encouraged everybody to be open and to receive it, and try to profit by it.
And so I said: From that moment the transforming Grace will radiate in the most effective way. Well, I challenge anyone to tell me the opposite!
But here indeed it begins to be a little more… I added: And fortunately for the aspirants this happy future—I don’t think I wrote it in this way, but that doesn’t matter—this happy future will materialise for them in spite of all the obstacles that the unregenerate human nature may put up against it. I continue to hope that it will be like this!
But now that person, who is perhaps a bit impatient, tells me this: “Why have the difficulties increased for quite a large number of sadhaks?” [Mother puts the paper down forcefully on the table.] Who told you that it is not because you have become more conscious! that all your difficulties were there before, only you did not know it?… If you see more clearly and see things which are not very pretty, it is not the fault of the Supermind, it is your fault! It gives you a light, a mirror in which you can see yourself better than you did before, and you are a little troubled because it is not always very pretty? But what can I do?
And this person concludes: “Doesn’t the supramental Force work here in spite of all the obstacles the unregenerate human nature puts up against it?” Truly, I hope it does! for otherwise, nothing could be done, the world would never be regenerated. But I have explained to you why it seems more difficult to you. It is because you are a little more conscious now and see things you did not see before.
There is yet another reason. When the Force which is at work is stronger, more insistent, naturally what resists, resists as strongly. And if instead—it is here I have to say something that’s not very pleasant—if instead of being hypnotised by your little difficulties, your little inconveniences, your small discomforts, your “big” defects, if instead of being hypnotised by all that, you tried to see the other side, how much more powerful the 220Force is, the Grace more active, the Help more tangible; in a word, if you were a little less egoistic and less concentrated on yourselves and had a little wider vision in which you could include things that don’t concern you personally, perhaps your view of the problem would change.
Well, this is what I advise you to do, and then we shall speak about it later when you have tried my remedy: don’t think so much about yourself.
After all, this perhaps is the problem which interests you most, but it is certainly not the most interesting!