I have a whole flood of questions here! But before beginning to answer them, I am going to explain something to you.
You must have noticed on several occasions that my way of talking to you is not always the same. I don’t know if you are very sensitive to the difference, but for me it is quite considerable.… Sometimes, either because of something I have read or for quite another reason—following a question sometimes, but pretty rarely—it so happens that I have what is usually called an experience, but in fact it is simply entering into a certain state of consciousness and, once in that state of consciousness, describing it. In that case what is said passes through the mind, making use of it only as a “storehouse of words”, it could be said; the Force, the Consciousness which is expressing itself passes through the individual mind and attracts by a kind of affinity the words needed for its expression. That is the true teaching, something one rarely finds in books—it may be in books, but one must be in that state of consciousness oneself to be able to discover it. But with the spoken word, the vibration of the sound transmits something at least of the experience, which, for all those who are sensitive, can become contagious.
In the second case, the question asked or the subject chosen is conveyed by the mind to the higher Consciousness, then the mind receives a reply and transmits it again through the word. This is what usually happens in all teachings, provided that the person who teaches has the ability to pass on the question to the higher Consciousness, which is not always the case.
I must say the second method does not interest me very much, and that very often when the question or the subject dealt with does not give me the possibility of entering into an interesting state of consciousness, I would infinitely prefer to keep silent than to speak; it is a sort of duty to be fulfilled which 311makes me speak. I am just telling you beforehand, for it has often happened that I have cut short our conversation—if it could be called a conversation—and abruptly passed on to meditation; it was in cases like this. But still, someone has happened to ask me to explain this difference and so I am speaking to you about it this evening.
Apart from that, I have yet some other questions of a practical nature, and in connection with these questions I saw something I am going to tell you about—oh! it was not a vision with images, don’t expect something very entertaining. No, it is not that.… I was asked—I am rewording it, this is not the exact text of the question:
What difference does the presence of the Supermind really make? In what way does it change the tenor of problems, and how should life be reconsidered following this manifestation?
I have been asked to give practical examples; I don’t quite know what that may mean, but anyway, here is what I saw in a sort of mathematical mood—though the language of mathematics is rather foreign to me—but I may call this a mathematical vein, that is to say, a mathematical way of looking at the problem.
I think all of you have studied enough mathematics to know the complexity of the combinations which may be produced by taking certain select elements of a set as a basis. I shall give you an example to make myself clear, for I can’t use the terms which are employed in teaching you. For instance, the letters of the alphabet. There is a certain number of letters in the alphabet; well, if you want to calculate or know the number of combinations possible by taking all these letters together—how they may be organised, in how many ways they can be organised—312you have learnt how very fantastic the figure becomes.… Good. But if you take the material world and go down to the most minute element—you know, don’t you, that they have come to absolutely invisible things, innumerable things—if you take this element as the basis and the material world as the whole, and if you imagine a Consciousness or a Will playing with all these elements at making all the possible combinations without ever repeating a single one.… Obviously… In mathematics you are told that the number of elements is finite and that therefore the number of combinations is finite; but that is purely theoretical, for if you come down to practice and all these combinations had to follow each other, even if they went at so great a speed that the change would be almost imperceptible, it is quite obvious that the time needed to make all these combinations would be, apparently at least, infinite; that is to say, the number of combinations would be so immense that no limit could be assigned to it—at least no practical limit; the theory is not interesting for us, but practically it would be like that.
So suppose that what I tell you is true, in this sense that there really is a Consciousness and a Will manifesting these combinations, successively, indefinitely, without ever repeating a single one twice; we come to the conclusion that the universe is new at each moment of eternity. And if the universe is new at each moment of eternity, we have to acknowledge that absolutely nothing is impossible; not only that, but that what we call logic is not necessarily true, and that the logic, one could almost say the fantasy of the Creator, is unlimited.
Therefore, if for one reason or other—which might perhaps be difficult to express—if for some reason a combination were not followed by the one nearest to it but by another freely chosen by the Supreme Freedom, all our external certitudes and all our external logic would instantly break down.
For the problem is much more complicated than you think: it is not only on one plane, in one field, that is to say, what may be called a surface of things, that there is this practically infinite 313number of elements permitting of eternally new combinations, there is besides what may be called a depth, that is to say, other dimensions. And the Creation is the result not only of surface combinations but of combinations of depths below this surface—what in other terms are called “psychological factors”. But I am at the moment taking a purely mathematical stand, although I don’t speak the language of mathematics, but still it is a mathematical conception. And so here we come to the problem:
Every time a new element is introduced into the total set of possible combinations, it causes what may be called a tearing of its limits: the introduction of something which makes all past limits disappear and new possibilities come in and multiply infinitely the possibilities of old. So, you had a world which, according to the ancient knowledge, had twelve depths or twelve—how to put it?—successive dimensions; and into this world of twelve dimensions, suddenly new dimensions are precipitated; then all the old formulas are instantly transformed and the whole possibility of the old unfolding becomes… one can’t say increased but supplemented by an almost infinite number of new possibilities, and all this in such a way that all the previous logic becomes illogical in the presence of the new logic.
I am not speaking at all of what the human mind has made of the universe, for that is to reduce it to its own dimension; I am speaking of the fact just as it is, of a total set of combinations which are realised successively, in accordance with an order and a choice which, obviously, completely elude the human consciousness, but to which man has to some extent adapted himself and which, with a great effort of study such as humanity has pursued down the centuries, he has succeeded in formulating well enough to be able to hook himself on to something tangible.… It is obvious that modern scientific perception is much nearer to something corresponding to the universal reality than were the perceptions of the Stone Age, for instance—this without the shadow of a doubt. But even this is going to be suddenly completely overpassed, exceeded, and probably 314turned quite topsy-turvy by the intrusion of something which was not in the universe which was studied.
Well, it is from this change, this sudden transformation of the universal element which quite certainly is going to bring about a kind of chaos in the perceptions, that a new knowledge will emerge. This, in the most general way, is the result of the new manifestation.fnWhen this talk was first published in 1962, Mother added the following comment about “the new element”: “It is not a question of ‘new things’ in the sense that they did not exist before, but that they were not manifested in the universe. If they were not already there, involved, they could never have come! That is obvious. Nothing can exist which does not already exist from all eternity in the Supreme, but in the manifestation it is new. The element is not new but it is newly manifested, it has newly come out of the Non-manifest. New, what does that mean? It has no meaning, a ‘new thing’! It is new for us in the Manifestation, that is all.”
From an altogether restricted, external and limited point of view, I shall now speak to you of certain things which don’t belong to my own experience but which I have heard about; for instance, that there is a greater number of what are called “child prodigies”. I haven’t met any, so I can’t tell you what is truly prodigious about these children, but still, according to the stories that are related, there are obviously some kind of new types which seem astonishing to the ordinary human consciousness. It is examples of this kind, I believe, that we would like to know in order to understand what is happening.… But it is possible, in fact, that things are happening now which we are not used to watching. But it is a question of interpretation. The only thing I am sure of is what I have just told you, that the quality, the number and the nature of the possible combinations in the universe are suddenly going to change so considerably that it will probably be quite bewildering for all those who do research.
Now, we shall see.
I could perhaps add a practical word to what I have just told you; it is only an illustration of a detail, but it will be an indirect answer to other questions which were asked some time ago about the so-called laws of Nature, causes and effects, “inevitable” consequences in the material field, and more particularly from the point of view of health; for example, that if one doesn’t take certain precautions, if one doesn’t eat as one should, doesn’t follow certain rules, necessarily there are consequences.
It is true. But if this is seen in the light of what I have just said, that no two universal combinations are alike, how can laws be established and what is the absolute truth of these laws?… It does not exist.
For, if you are logical, of course with a little higher logic, since no two things, two combinations, two universal manifestations are ever the same, how can anything repeat itself? It can only be an appearance but is not a fact. And to fix rigid laws in this way—not that you cut yourself off from the apparent surface laws, for the mind makes many laws, and the surface very obligingly seems to comply with these laws, but it is only an appearance—but anyway this cuts you off from the creative Power of the Spirit, it cuts you off from the true Power of the Grace, for you can understand that if by your aspiration or your attitude you introduce a higher element, a new element—what we may now call a supramental element—into the existing combinations, you can suddenly change their nature, and all these so-called necessary and ineluctable laws become absurdities. That is to say that you yourself, with your conception, with your attitude and your acceptance of certain alleged principles, you yourself close the door upon the possibility of the miracle—they are not miracles when one knows how they happen, but obviously for the outer consciousness they seem miraculous. And it is you yourself, saying to yourself with a logic that seems quite reasonable, “Well, if I do this, that will necessarily happen, or if I don’t do that, necessarily this other thing will happen”, it is you yourself who close the door—it 316is as though you were putting an iron curtain between yourself and the free action of the Grace.
How nice it would be to imagine that the Supreme Consciousness, essentially free, presiding at the universal Manifestation, could be full of fantasy in its choice and make things follow one another not according to a logic accessible to human thought but in accordance with another kind of logic, that of the unforeseen!
Then there would no longer be any limits to the possibilities, to the unexpected, the marvellous; and one could hope for the most splendid, the most delightful things from this sovereignly free Will, playing eternally with all the elements and creating unceasingly a new world which logically would have absolutely nothing to do with the preceding one.
Don’t you think it would be charming? We have had enough of the world as it is! Why not let it become at least what we think it ought to be?
And I am telling you all this in order that each one of you may put as few barriers as you can in the way of the possibilities to come. That’s my conclusion.
I don’t know if I have made myself understood, but indeed a day will come, I suppose, when you will know what I meant. That’s all, then.
Some time later, during a “Friday Class”, Mother spoke once again on the subject of child prodigies.
Recently, in one of the Wednesday classes, we talked about child prodigies. Some say that the number of child prodigies is increasing considerably, and some—even among Americans—say it is the influence and work of Sri Aurobindo, and others say it is a result of atom bombs! But the fact is that there is a fairly large number of child prodigies. I did not want to speak about it in much detail, for I did not have any proofs in hand, that is, I did not have any good examples to give. It happens that since 317then someone has brought me a French book written by a child of eight.fnMinou Drouet, born in 1947, author of Arbre mon ami. Naturally there are people who dispute the possibility, but I shall explain to you later how such a thing is possible.
The book is remarkable for a child of eight. This does not mean that if the age of the child were not known the book would be considered wonderful; but there are, here and there, some sentences in it which are quite astonishing. I have noted down these sentences and am going to read them out to you. [Mother skims through her book.]
A little phrase like this: “If we truly love one another, we can hide nothing from each other”.… Obviously this is fine.
And then something else written to a boy with freckles—you know what freckles are, don’t you? She writes to him: “You are beautiful, yes indeed, your freckles are so pretty; one would say that an angel had sown grains of wheat all over your face so as to attract the birds of the sky there.” Surely this is very poetic.
And finally, something really fine which opens the door to the explanation I am going to give you: “I am only an ear, a mouth; the ear hears a storm of words which I cannot explain to you, which an immense voice hurls within me, and my mouth repeats them and nothing of what I say can compare with the streaming of light which is within me.”
Obviously this is very beautiful.
It seems that here and there in her poems—she has written many—one can find reminiscences of Maeterlinck, for instance; so people have concluded that it was not she who had written them, for at the age of eight one doesn’t read Maeterlinck, that it must have been someone else. But in fact there is no need at all to suppose a hoax, and the publisher indeed declares that he is sure of what he is about, that he knows the child very intimately—in fact he was in a way her adoptive father, for her father was dead—and can guarantee that there is no deception. But it is 318not at all necessary to suppose a deception in order to explain this phenomenon.
Authors, writers, who were inspired and serious in their creative work, that is to say, who were concentrated in a kind of consecration of their being to their literary work, form within themselves a sort of mental entity extremely well-constituted and coordinated, having its own life, independent of the body, so that when they die, when the body returns to the earth, this mental formation continues to exist altogether autonomously and independently, and as it has been fashioned for expression it always seeks a means of expression somewhere. And if there happens to be a child who has been formed in particularly favourable circumstances—for instance, the mother of this little girl is herself a poetess and a writer; perhaps the mother herself had an aspiration, a wish that her child would be a remarkable, exceptional being—anyway, if the child who is conceived is formed in particularly favourable circumstances, an entity of this kind may enter into the child at the time of birth and try to use him to express itself; and in that case, this gives a maturity to the child’s mind, which is quite extraordinary, exceptional and which enables him to do things of the kind we have just read.
We could say, without fear of sounding quite absurd, that if what she has written surprisingly resembles certain things in Maeterlinck or has the characteristics of his writings, even with certain almost identical turns of phrase, we could very well imagine that a mental formation of Maeterlinck has incarnated in this child and is using this young instrument to express itself.
There are similar examples, for instance, among musicians. There are pianists who have individualised their hands and made them so wonderfully conscious that these hands are not decomposed—not the physical hands: the hands of the subtle physical and vital—they are not decomposed, do not dissolve at the time of death. They remain as instruments to play the piano and always try to incarnate in the hands of someone playing the piano. I have known some cases of people who, as they were 319about to play, felt as though other hands entered into theirs and started playing really marvellously, in a way they could not have done themselves.
These things are not as exceptional as one might believe, they happen quite often.
I saw the same thing in someone who used to play the violin and another who played the cello—two different cases—and who were not very wonderful performers themselves. One of them was just beginning his studies and the other was a good performer, but nothing marvellous. But all of a sudden, the moment they played the compositions of certain musicians, something of that musician entered into their hands and made their performance absolutely wonderful.
There was even a person—a woman—who used to play the cello, and the moment she played Beethoven, the expression of her face completely changed into Beethoven’s and what she played was sublime, which she could not have played unless something of Beethoven’s mind had entered into her.
Mother, isn’t this exceptional faculty harmful for the persons who play?
Why do you suppose it would do them harm? It does them good!
It is always good to make a progress or to exceed oneself.
But for the child?
I don’t understand. For the child?
Yes. She is already fully mature at the age of eight.
But it is something wonderful to be at the age of eight the expression of something which surpasses the intelligence! In what way do you suppose it could harm her? I don’t quite understand your question.320
When one grows up, one becomes less plastic.
No. You mean that what often happens is that a child prodigy is no longer a prodigy at all when he grows up. But, precisely, those who have studied these cases say that what is exceptional about the things happening now is that child prodigies become, as they put it, prodigious men, that is, the exceptional faculty remains in them and becomes more firmly established as they grow up.
But I don’t see how it can be bad, it can only be good. In what way can it be bad? It is as if you said, “If one has a beautiful soul, that is bad!”
When something of a higher nature enters into you, it is a grace, isn’t it?