For the last several nights I have been passing almost the whole night, many hours, in a place which must certainly belong to the subtle physical and where the material life gets reorganised. It is vast—vast—the crowd is innumerable, but these are individualities, not a crowd; that is to say, I have to deal with each one of them. And then, it is as though at the same time there are documents and writing tables but no walls around! It is a curious place, a very curious place.
I have asked myself many a time whether it was the memory of physical forms that made me see this world in that way or whether it is really like that. At times there is no doubt, because it has a character altogether its own, but at other times there is a doubt and I ask myself if it is not in my active memory. Because I am very conscious at that time and everything is extremely natural, and indeed permanent: I find again the same things at the same place, sometimes with slight differences, but differences necessitated by action. That is to say, it is a coherent world, it is not a disorderly imagination. But to what extent are these forms the reflection of natural forms? To what extent are they like that or do we see them like that? I am not yet very sure. I had the same problem when I used to go into the Overmind and see the gods: I had always a kind of hesitation in knowing whether they are truly like that or whether we perceive them like that because of our physical habits.… There, after some time, I came to a conclusion; but here, physically… ?
It is a curious thing: there are no doors, no windows, neither ceiling nor floor; all this exists in itself, it does not seem to obey the law of gravitation, that is to say, there is no magnetic attraction of the earth, and yet when one writes [Mother laughs] there seems to be a pen! And when one writes upon something, there seems to be a piece of paper; and when there are documents, 79they seem to be in dockets.… One feels that the substance is not the same, but the appearance is very close. And it is this appearance, and I am yet again putting the question to myself: “Is it because of our ordinary cerebral working that we put this appearance upon it or is it truly so?”
There I meet almost everybody. I told you, you are there very regularly and we work. You do not remember. There are others who remember, but their memory is [gesture of a slight twisting of the finger] just a little off the line; that is to say, it is not exactly the same as what I saw. So when they tell me about it, I have altogether the feeling that it is the transcription in their brain that made it so.… And the objective reality of the material world comes from this, that if you see the same object ten times, ten times it resembles itself, with differences that are reasonable, which could be differences due to usage, for example; but there also it is like this! And if you study carefully, even in the physical world two persons do not see things exactly in the same way. There, perhaps it is more accentuated, but it seems to be a similar phenomenon.… The explanation becomes very simple, very easy when you enter into the consciousness where the material reality itself becomes an illusion; it is illusory, it is not exact: the inner reality is more true. Then in that case, it is simple. It is perhaps only our mind that is astonished.
Take writing, for example. I have not observed in detail, but when one writes there, one seems to write much more easily. I do not know how to explain it, it takes much less time and things are noted down on paper—but is it really paper? It looks like paper, but things are noted down much more directly.… There is perhaps a similarity, as for example when you use a pen or a pencil: it is not exactly a pen or a pencil but something resembling it, which is… (how to say it?) the prototype or the principle of this object. But what I mean to say is that if we were still in the age of the quill or the pen that one dips in a liquid, probably I would see it like that! It is the essence or 80the principle of the thing that is translated in the memory by a similarity.
But it is an action. I know the time only when I come back, for I have made it a habit to notice the time whenever I come back to the material consciousness (I have a watch beside my bed and I look at it) and that is how I can say: “This lasted one hour, that lasted two hours.” But there, one has not the sense of time, it is not the same sense—it is the content of the action that matters, and during those hours many, many things are done, many. And so I meet you there very regularly, but many others also, and I am at many places at the same time! And when a person tells me, “But I saw you last night, you did this and that”, then up there somewhere, I say, “Yes, it is true”, there is just a little [same gesture of twisting], just a little difference, but the essence of the thing is the same.
And I have noticed that these things that are quite near the physical disappear if you wake up all of a sudden, particularly if you stir while waking up, if you make a movement or if you turn on your side. It is only afterwards, if at some time I am very quiet and go within myself, then slowly I can again come in contact with that state. Therefore, it does not surprise me that the majority of people do not remember. Experiences in the vital, in the mental are remembered much more easily, but that which is quite close to the physical…
And it has such a character that if one kept the consciousness of it on waking up, one would look somewhat like a mad person. I had the experience of it just two days back and it has taught me a great deal—I looked, studied and studied until I understood. It was during my afternoon rest (I do not at all sleep in the afternoon, but I go like that into the inner consciousness) and I had fixed beforehand that I would wake up at such an hour, that is to say, I would get up. When it was time, I was deep in the midst of my action and the state of consciousness continued with my eyes open; and then, in that state of consciousness, there was… I cannot say “I”, for it was not the same “I”—no, I 81am many persons at that moment—but the “I” of that moment had the habit of carrying a watch, a golden wrist-watch (not here materially, but up there) and had forgotten to put on the watch and looked for it and noticed: “Ah! I forgot to put on my watch. What has become of this watch? Why did I forget?” And when I woke up (I do not carry a watch, you know) and came back to myself, the two consciousnesses were simultaneous and I said loudly, “Where is my watch? I have forgotten to put on my watch”, and it is only when I said that [Mother laughs] that I became aware! So that made me reflect; I studied well, looked quietly, saw closely that at that moment the two consciousnesses are quite [Mother superimposes her two hands closely], quite simultaneous.
It is very interesting. Oh! There were all sorts of problems which have been solved by that experience. For example, the problem of many who are taken as mad, but who are simply in this subtle consciousness [same gesture of superimposition] which dominates at a given moment and which makes them say things that have no meaning here but have a very clear meaning there. And the consciousness is like this [gesture of superimposition, of almost melting together]. This explains many cases of so-called madness. There are also cases of apparent insincerity that are also of like nature, because the consciousness sees clearly in this domain and it is a domain so near that the same names could be given to things; they seem to have the same or quite similar forms, but it is not what is here known by the name “tangible reality”; materially, externally, things are not quite like that. And so there are cases of so-called insincerity which are simply too close a mixture of the two consciousnesses—too close for active discernment. Oh! A whole domain has been made clear, and not only made clear, but has brought with it the key to healing or to transformation. From an inner psychological point of view, this has explained things to an enormous degree, to an enormous degree. That reduces considerably the number of cases of true mental alienation and 82cases of real falsehood, that is to say, cases where one says deliberately, consciously, the contrary of what is—it cannot be as frequent as one believes. Many say things like that [gesture of floating], things inexact, but which they perceive in a world other than the purely material, in too close a mixture and with not enough discrimination to discover the mixture.… Sri Aurobindo used to say that cases of real ill-will, real hostility and real falsehood are very rare, that is to say, “real” in its absolute sense, in themselves, and conscious, deliberate—deliberate, absolute, conscious—that is rare; and it is that which is described as the hostile beings. But all the rest is a kind of illusion of consciousness—of consciousnesses that intermingle with each other [Mother passes the fingers of her right hand into those of the left in a to-and-fro movement] and, being without precise discrimination between the different consciousnesses, are like this [same gesture], mixed, the one entering and coming out of the other.
So the result was to see the immensity of the problem to be solved and of the way to follow and the transformation to achieve.… When you look from the purely psychological standpoint, it becomes relatively easy and quick, but when you come to this [Mother touches her body], to the external form, to what is called Matter, oh, it is a world! Each lesson—it is like lessons that are given, it is so interesting! lessons with all the consequences and explanations; you pass a day, two days to make a small, a very small discovery. And then you see that in the bodily consciousness, after that, after these days or these hours of work, the light is there, it is changed—it is changed, the reactions are no longer the same, but… [gesture indicating a world of work].
And the Presence, the Presence becomes more and more intimate, more and more concrete, and at that time there are moments when it is [gesture of swelling up] so concrete that 83it seems to be absolute, and then [gesture of covering] another state of consciousness comes up and all has to be begun again.
It is interesting.
And it is precisely to teach you.… The great words, the great attitudes, the great experiences, all that is very good up there, but here… nothing spectacular—everything is very modest, very calm, very effaced—very modest. And this is the condition for progress, the condition for transformation.
There, my child.