Mother began this conversation by referring to some of Sri Aurobindo’s Thoughts and Aphorisms. The aphorisms, with Mother’s written comments upon them, are printed below.
383—Machinery is necessary to modern humanity because of our incurable barbarism. If we must encase ourselves in a bewildering multitude of comforts and trappings, we must needs do without Art and its methods; for to dispense with simplicity and freedom is to dispense with beauty. The luxury of our ancestors was rich and even gorgeous, but never encumbered.
384—I cannot give to the barbarous comfort and encumbered ostentation of European life the name of civilisation. Men who are not free in their souls and nobly rhythmical in their appointments are not civilised.
385—Art in modern times and under European influence has become an excrescence upon life or an unnecessary menial; it should have been its chief steward and indispensable arranger.
So long as the mind governs life with the presumptuous certitude that it knows, how can the reign of the Divine be established?
12 March 1970
386—Disease is needlessly prolonged and ends in death oftener than is inevitable, because the mind of the patient supports and dwells upon the disease of his body.
How absolutely true!225
387—Medical Science has been more a curse to mankind than a blessing. It has broken the force of epidemics and unveiled a marvellous surgery; but, also, it has weakened the natural health of man and multiplied individual diseases; it has implanted fear and dependence in the mind and body; it has taught our health to repose not on natural soundness but a rickety and distasteful crutch compact from the mineral and vegetable kingdoms.
388—The doctor aims a drug at a disease; sometimes it hits, sometimes misses. The misses are left out of account, the hits treasured up, reckoned and systematised into a science.
It is wonderful. Wonderful!
389—We laugh at the savage for his faith in the medicine man; but how are the civilised less superstitious who have faith in the doctors? The savage finds that when a certain incantation is repeated, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. The civilised patient finds that when he doses himself according to a certain prescription, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. Where is the difference?
One could say in conclusion that it is the faith of the patient which gives the remedy its power to heal.
If men had an absolute faith in the healing power of Grace, they would perhaps avoid many illnesses.fnThe Mother, On Thoughts and Aphorisms, Cent. Vol. 10, pp. 323-25.
13 March 1970
You have seen the last aphorisms?226
[Mother shakes her head and remains silent for a long time.] Today I received the news that X has passed away. She had gone through a serious operation, she recovered, came back home, she wrote to me saying, “I am getting better and better” … and then, passed away. I got the news today itself. It is like that.
It was the same with Z, the same thing, a relapse. And it looks so much like… it is the effort against, yes, what Sri Aurobindo calls barbarism [Mother makes a gesture which takes in the whole earth atmosphere]. This seems to be… I do not know if it is refusal or an incapacity to come out of the mental construction. And the action of this Consciousness… (how to say it?) is almost pitiless in order to show to what extent the whole mental construction is false—everything, everything, even those reactions that seem spontaneous, all that is the result of an extremely complex mental construction.
Yes, it is pitiless.
You are born within it and it seems so natural to feel in accordance with it, to react in accordance with it, to organise everything in accordance with it, so much so that… it makes you bypass the Truth.
It is even in the organisation of the body itself.
So the Action seems to impose itself with an extraordinary force and that seems (seems to us) pitiless [Mother strikes her fist into Matter], so that the lesson might be learnt.
I remembered the time when Sri Aurobindo was there.… Well, the inner part of the being was in a consciousness that felt, that saw things according to the higher consciousness: altogether different; and then, just when Sri Aurobindo fell ill and when there were all those things, first of all the accident (he broke 227his thigh)… then the body, the body was saying all the time: “These are dreams, these are dreams, this is not for us; for us, the body, it is like that” [gesture indicating under the earth].… It was frightful!… And all that is gone. It is gone completely after so many years, so many years of effort, it is gone; and the body itself felt the divine Presence, it had the impression that… all must necessarily change. And then, some days ago this formation that had left (which is an earthly formation, of all humanity, that is to say, of those who had the vision, the perception, even only the aspiration for the higher Truth—when they come back to the Fact, they stand before this terribly painful thing, this ceaseless negation of all circumstances), this formation from which the body had been completely liberated has come back. It has come back, but… when it came back, when the body saw that, it saw it as one sees a falsehood. And I understood how much the body had changed, because when it saw that, it had the impression… it looked at that with a smile and the impression, ah! that it was an old formation with no truth in it any more. And this was an extraordinary experience: that, the time for that has ended—the time for that has ended. And I know that this Pressure of the Consciousness is a pressure so that things as they were—so miserable, so small, so obscure, so… inescapable as well, apparently—all that is gone behind [Mother makes a gesture over her shoulders]; it is a past that has passed. So I really saw—I saw, I understood—that the work of this Consciousness (which is without pity, it does not care whether the thing is difficult or not, probably it does not even care much for apparent ravages) is so that the normal condition should no longer be a thing so heavy, so obscure, and so ugly—so low—and that it should be the dawn… something breaking out on the horizon: a new consciousness—something more true, more luminous.
What Sri Aurobindo says here of diseases is just that: the force of habit and of all its constructions and all that appears inescapable and irrevocable in diseases, all that, it is 228as though experiences were multiplied in order to show… in order that one might learn that it is simply a question of attitude, yes, attitude, of going beyond, going beyond this mental prison in which humanity has shut itself and of… breathing up above.
And it is the experience of the body. Before, those who had inner experiences used to say, “Yes, up there it is so, but here… ” Now the “but here” very soon will no longer be. This is the conquest that is being done, this tremendous change: that physical life must be governed by the higher consciousness and not by the mental world. It is a change over of authority.… It is difficult. It is hard. It is painful. Naturally there is breakage, but… But truly one can see—one can see. And that is the real change, it is that which will enable the new Consciousness to express itself. And the body is learning, learning its lesson—all bodies, all bodies.
It is the old division made by the mind: up above, it is quite all right, you may have all the experiences and everything is luminous, wonderful; here, nothing to be done. And the feeling that when one is born, still one is born in the world where nothing can be done. That explains, moreover, why all those who had not foreseen the possibility that things could be otherwise, used to say, “Better to depart and then… ” All that has become so clear. But that change, the fact that it is no longer inevitable, that is the great Victory: it is no longer inevitable. One feels—one feels, one sees—and the body itself has had the experience that soon here also it can be more true.
There is, there is truly something changed in the world.
Naturally, it will take some time before it is really established. 229There, it is battle. From all sides, on all levels there is an assault of things that come to say externally, “Nothing has been changed”—but it is not true. It is not true, the body knows that it is not true. And now it knows, it knows in what direction.
And what Sri Aurobindo has written in these aphorisms, just what I am looking at now, is so prophetic! It was so much the vision of the True Thing. So prophetic.
And I see now, I see how his departure and his work so… so vast, yes, and so constant, in the subtle physical, how much, how much it has helped! How much it has [Mother makes a gesture of kneading Matter] helped to prepare things, to change the physical structure.
All the experiences that others have had, which were in order to come in contact with the higher worlds, left here below the physical as it is.… How to say it? From the beginning of my life till Sri Aurobindo’s departure, I was in the consciousness that one can go up, one can know, one can have all the experiences (indeed, one did have them), but when one came back into this body… it was the old mental laws, for-mi-da-ble, which ruled things. And then, all these years have been years of preparation—preparation—liberation and preparation, and these days now it has been… ah! the physical recognition, made by the body, that it has changed.
It has to be “worked out”, as it is said, it has to be realised in all the details, but the change is done—the change is done.
That is to say, the material conditions elaborated by the mind, fixed by it [Mother closes her two fists], that appeared to be inevitable to such an extent that those who had a living experience of the higher worlds thought that one must flee from the world, give up this material world if one wanted to live in the truth (that is the basis of all these theories and faiths); but now it is no longer like that. The physical is capable of 230receiving the higher Light, the Truth, the true Consciousness and of manifesting it.
It is not easy, it needs endurance and will, but a day will come when this will be quite natural. It is just, just the door opened—that is all, now one must go on.
Naturally, what was established clings and struggles desperately. That is the cause of all the trouble [gesture indicating the earthly atmosphere]—it has lost the game. It has lost the game.
It took… a little more than a year for this ConsciousnessfnThe superman consciousness, which manifested on 1 January 1969 (see the January 1969 conversations in this volume). to win this victory. And still, naturally, it is not visible except to those who have the inner vision, but… but it is done.
It was this, the work that Sri Aurobindo had given me. Now I understand.
But it is as if from all sides—all sides—these forces, these powers of the mind rose up in protest—in violent protest—to impose their old laws: “But it was always so!”… It is finished, however. It will not be always so. There!
Something of this battle had been going on in this body these last days.… It was really very interesting.… There was outside, coming from outside, an attempt to submit the body to experiences in order to compel it to recognise: “No, what has always 231been will always be; you may try, but it is an illusion”, and so something happened, quite a little disorganisation in the body, and then the body answered with its attitude: a peace like this [gesture of immobility], and its attitude [gesture of hands open]: “It is as Thou willest, Lord, as Thou willest.”… Like a flash everything disappears! And this has happened several times, at least a dozen times in a day. Then—then the body begins to feel: “There it is!”… It has this delight, this delight of… having lived the Marvel. It is not as it was, it is no more as it was—it is no more as it was.
One has still to fight on, one must have patience, courage, will, confidence—but it is no more “like that”; it is the old thing that seeks to cling—hideous! hideous. But… it is no more like that, no more like that.
And this also: how far, how far will the body be able to go? This also, it is… perfectly peaceful and happy: it is “What Thou willest.”
All the rest appears so old, so old, like something… belonging to a dead past—that seeks to resuscitate itself, but cannot any more.
And all, all, all the circumstances are as catastrophic as possible—the worries and complications and difficulties, all, all have risen up violently, like wild beasts, but… it is finished. The body knows that all this is finished. Perhaps it will take centuries, but it is finished. For it to disappear, that may take centuries, but now it is finished.
This realisation, altogether concrete and absolute, that one could have only when one came out of Matter [Mother lowers a 232finger]: it is sure, it is sure and certain one will have it even here.
This is the fourteenth month since the Consciousness came—fourteenth month, twice seven.
This is the fourteenth?
Then, it is interesting.
How much he has worked since he left! Oh!… all the while, all the while.
It seems… it seems to be a miracle in the body. The disappearance of this formation seems truly miraculous.
And everything is getting clear.
We shall see.
It was relatively quick.
Yes, yes, exactly so. Exactly so.