111-112 (Knowledge is a child with its achievements; for when it has...)
111 – Knowledge is a child with its achievements; for when it has found out something, it runs about the streets whooping and shouting; Wisdom conceals hers for a long time in a thoughtful and mighty silence.
112 – Science talks and behaves as if it had conquered all knowledge. Wisdom, as she walks, hears her solitary tread echoing on the margin of immeasurable Oceans.
Silence… Oh! It is better to practise it than to talk about it.
It is an experience I had here, long ago: the difference between wanting to spread and make use of what one has learnt, immediately, and the contact with higher knowledge, where one remains as quiet as one can so that it can have a transforming effect. I have had the living experience of this – half a day of living experience – but now that seems old to me, old, far behind.
What is the power of this silence? When one rises above, one enters into a kind of great silence, that is frozen, that is everywhere; but what is the power of this silence? Does it do anything?
This is what people used to seek in the past when they wanted to escape from life. They would go into a trance, they would leave their body quite still and they would go within and they were perfectly happy. And with the Sannyasis who had them-selves buried alive it was like that. They said, “Now, I have finished my work” – their language was very impressive – “I have finished, I am entering into Samadhi” and they had themselves buried alive. They went into a room or something, and then it was closed and that was the end of it. And that is what happened: they went into a trance, and after some time, naturally, their body was dissolved and they were in peace. tak.
But Sri Aurobindo says that this silence is powerful.
Well, I would like to know exactly how it is powerful? Because one has the feeling that one could stay there for an eternity…
Not an eternity – Eternity.
…without anything changing.
No, because it is not manifested, it is outside the manifestation. But Sri Aurobindo wants us to bring it down here. That is the difficulty. And one must accept infirmity and even the appearance of imbecility, everything, and not one out of fifty million has the courage for that.
There are millions of ways of fleeing. There is only one way to remain: it is truly to have courage and endurance, to accept every appearance of infirmity, helplessness, incomprehension, even an apparent denial of the Truth. But if one does not accept that, it will never change. Those who want to remain great, luminous, strong, powerful and so on and so forth, well, let them stay up there, they cannot do anything for the earth.
And this incomprehension is a very small thing – a very small thing because the consciousness is such that it is not affected in the least – but it is a total and all-embracing incomprehension! That is to say, one is insulted and held in contempt and all that, just because of what one is doing; for, according to them – all the “great minds” of the earth – one has forsaken one's divinity. They do not put it like that, they say: What? You claim to have a divine consciousness, and then… And one meets it in everybody, in all circumstances. From time to time, someone, for a moment, has a flash, but it is quite exceptional, whereas, “Well then, show your power” – this is everywhere.
For them, the Divine on earth ought to be all-powerful, obviously.
That's it: “Show your power, change the world. And to begin with, do what I want. I mean, the first and most important thing is to do what I want – show your power!” That is what they say constantly.
25 September 1965