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5 September 1956

5 9 1956

“A principle of dark and dull inertia is at its [life’s] base; all are tied down by the body and its needs and desires to a trivial mind, petty desires and emotions, an insignificant repetition of small worthless functionings, needs, cares, occupations, pains, pleasures that lead to nothing beyond themselves and bear the stamp of an ignorance that knows not its own why and whither. This physical mind of inertia believes in no divinity other than its small earth-gods; it aspires perhaps to a greater comfort, order, pleasure, but asks for no uplifting and no spiritual deliverance. At the centre we meet a stronger Will of life with a greater gusto, but it is a blinded Daemon, a perverted spirit and exults in the very elements that make of life a striving turmoil and an unhappy imbroglio. It is a soul of human or Titanic desire clinging to the garish colour, disordered poetry, violent tragedy or stirring melodrama of the mixed flux of good and evil, joy and sorrow, light and darkness, heady rapture and bitter torture. It loves these things and would have more and more of them or, even when it suffers and cries out against them, can accept or joy in nothing else; it hates and revolts against higher things and in its fury would trample, tear or crucify any diviner Power that has the presumption to offer to make life pure, luminous and happy and snatch from its lips the fiery brew of that exciting mixture. Another Will-in-Life there is that is ready to follow the ameliorating ideal Mind and is allured by its offer to extract some harmony, beauty, light, nobler order out of life, but this is a smaller part of the vital nature and can be easily overpowered by its more violent or darker duller yoke-comrades; nor does it readily lend itself to a call higher than that of the 289Mind unless that call defeats itself, as Religion usually does, by lowering its demand to conditions more intelligible to our obscure vital nature. All these forces the spiritual seeker grows aware of in himself and finds all around him and has to struggle and combat incessantly to be rid of their grip and dislodge the long-entrenched mastery they have exercised over his own being as over the environing human existence. The difficulty is great; for their hold is so strong, so apparently invincible that it justifies the disdainful dictum which compares human nature to a dog’s tail,—for, straighten it never so much by force of ethics, religion, reason or any other redemptive effort, it returns in the end always to the crooked curl of Nature. And so great is the vim, the clutch of that more agitated Life-Will, so immense the peril of its passions and errors, so subtly insistent or persistently invasive, so obstinate up to the very gates of Heaven the fury of its attack or the tedious obstruction of its obstacles that even the saint and the Yogin cannot be sure of their liberated purity or their trained self-mastery against its intrigue or its violence.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, SABCL, Vol. 20, pp. 160–61

[After a long silence] It seems to me that when you begin to see things in this way, when they appear to you as they are described here, you are already close, very close to the solution.

The worst of it is that generally the whole material reality seems to be the only reality, and everything which is not that seems altogether secondary. And the “right” of that material consciousness to rule, guide, organise life, to dominate all the rest, is justified to such an extent that if someone tries to challenge this sacrosanct authority, he is considered half-mad or extremely dangerous.… It seems to me one must still go a very long way to consider material life in the way Sri Aurobindo has described it here. And I am quite convinced that if one feels it 290like that, sees it like that, as he has described it, one is very, very close to the remedy.

It is only élite natures, those who have already had a contact with a higher reality, with something of the divine Consciousness, who feel earthly existence in that way. And when one can become so fully conscious of all these weaknesses and stupidities of the outer consciousness, all these falsehoods of so-called material knowledge and so-called physical laws, the so-called necessities of the body, the “reality” of one’s needs; if one begins to see how very false, stupid, illusory, obscure, foolish all this is, one is truly very close to the solution.

That is the impression I had while reading this. In comparison with the ordinary atmosphere of people around me, I had the feeling that to see things in this way, one must have already climbed to a very high peak, and that one is at the gates of liberation. It is because I felt it so strongly that I wanted to tell you this.

If you can read this passage again and be convinced of its reality and its absolute truth, well, that is already a great step.


Hasn’t anyone any questions to ask?… I have some here [Mother shows a packet of questions], but they seem to belong almost to another world.

Somebody asked me some time ago this question:

“What will be the effect of the Supermind on the earth?”

Probably one of the first effects will be exactly to reveal things on earth in this way, as in what I have just read to you.

And then another question, which I thought I had already answered, for I told you immediately that before the effects of the supramental manifestation become visible and tangible, perceptible to everybody, perhaps thousands of years may go 291by; but still I suppose these ideas are disturbing for the human consciousness with its sense of its short duration and the kind of impatience this brings. So I have been asked:

“Will it take long for the Supermind which is involved in material Nature to emerge into the outer consciousness and bring visible results?”

That depends on the state of consciousness from which one answers, for… For the human consciousness, obviously, I think it will take quite a long time. For another consciousness it will be relatively very fast, and for yet another consciousness, it is already accomplished. It is an accomplished fact. But in order to become aware of this, one must be able to enter into another state of consciousness than the ordinary physical consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo has spoken—I believe I have read it to you, I think it’s in The Synthesis of Yoga—of the true mind, the true vital and the true physical or subtle physical, and he has said that they co-exist with the ordinary mind, vital and physical, and that in certain conditions one may enter into contact with them, and then one becomes aware of the difference between what really is and the appearances of things.

Well, for a developed consciousness, the Supermind is already realised somewhere in a domain of the subtle physical, it already exists there visible, concrete, and expresses itself in forms and activities. And when one is in tune with this domain, when one lives there, one has a very strong feeling that this world would only have to be condensed, so to say, for it to become visible to all. What would then be interesting would be to develop this inner perception which would put you into contact with the supramental truth which is already manifested, and is veiled for you only for want of appropriate organs to enter into relation with it.

It is possible that those who are conscious of their dreams may have dreams of a new kind which put them into contact 292with that world, for it is accessible to the subtle physical of all those who have the corresponding organs in themselves. And there is necessarily a subtle influence of this physical on outer matter, if one is ready to receive impressions from it and admit them into one’s consciousness. That’s all.

Now, if nobody has any questions to ask, well, we shall remain silent.

Something to say, over there? [Mother looks at a disciple.] Oh! he is burning to speak!

Mother, after having realised all that, one still goes back to the lower mind to find the solution.

After having understood, one falls back into the same old mistaken ways?… What a pity!

And every day.

Every day! Why, more’s the pity! And so, what remedy do you propose?

That’s what I am asking.

Oh! you are asking me! Why, to me it seems that when one has seen things in this way, well, if one has enough sensibility, one can no longer accept them as they are. One must truly be very insensitive if, realising to what an extent all this is degrading, one continues to accept it.

Yes, this is one more thing I have noticed and one that has always astonished me. It has always seemed to me quite normal, easy, almost elementary to eliminate from one’s consciousness and nature things one considers to be unacceptable. The moment one knows, the moment one sees them as they are and doesn’t want them any longer, it seems to me to be quite… indeed almost childishly simple. But I have noticed that in most cases—almost 293in all cases—when I tell somebody how things really are, when I give him a true picture of the condition he is in or of the nature of a movement, of what it represents, and when I express that forcefully, so that, according to me, he would immediately have the reaction which seems normal to me, and say: “Oh, if it is like that, I don’t want it any more!” and almost every time I find myself before something which breaks down and tells me, “Oh, you are not very encouraging!” I must confess that this leaves me quite helpless. So, to see is not enough? To know that certain things ought not to be there, that’s not sufficient? It should give you that kind of inner stimulus, a dynamic force which makes you reject the error in such a way that it can’t come back again!

But to fall back into an error which one knows to be an error, to make a mistake once again which one knows to be a mistake, this seems to me fantastic! It is a long time—well, at least relatively, by human reckoning—it is a long time I have been on earth, and I have yet not been able to understand that. It seems to me—it seems to me impossible. Wrong thoughts, wrong impulses, inner and outer falsehood, things which are ugly, base, so long as one does them or has them through ignorance—ignorance is there in the world—one understands, one is in the habit of doing them; it is ignorance, one does not know that it ought to be otherwise. But the moment the knowledge is there, the light is there, the moment one has seen the thing as it is, how can one do it again? That I do not understand!

Then what is one made of? One is made of shreds? One is made of goodness knows what, of jelly?… It can’t be explained. But is there no incentive, no will, nothing? Is there no inner dynamism?

We exploit the Grace!

Ayo, like a jellyfish!

But the Grace is there, It is always there, It only asks to be allowed to help—one doesn’t let It work.


And nothing but this feeling: “Oh, I can’t!”—that’s enough to prevent It from working.

How can you accept the idea that you can’t? You don’t know—that, yes, you may not know—but once you know, it’s finished!