122-124 (If thou wouldst not be the fool of Opinion, first see wherein ...)
122 – If thou wouldst not be the fool of Opinion, first see wherein thy thought is true, then study wherein its opposite and contradiction is true; last, discover the cause of these differences and the key of God's harmony.
123 – An opinion is neither true nor false, but only serviceable for life or unserviceable; for it is a creation of Time and with time it loses its effect and value. Rise thou above opinion and seek wisdom everlasting.
124 – Use opinion for life, but let her not bind thy soul in her fetters.
(After a silence)
I was trying to find out in what way opinions are serviceable… Sri Aurobindo says that they are serviceable or unserviceable – in what way can an opinion be serviceable?
They are helpful for a moment, in action.
No, this is precisely what I deplore; people act according to their opinion, and that is worthless. I am constantly receiving letters from people who want or do not want to do something and tell me: “This is my opinion, this is true, that is not true”, and always, more than ninety-nine times out of a hundred it is wrong, it is nonsense.
One feels very clearly – in fact, it is visible – that the opposite opinion has just as much value, that it is simply a question of attitude, nothing more. And naturally the ego's preferences are always involved: you like it better like that and so you have the opinion that it is like that.
But until one can act with the higher light, one needs to use opinions.
It would be better to have some wisdom rather than an opinion, that is, to consider all the possibilities, all the aspects of the question and then try to be as unegoistic as possible and to see, for example, in the case of an action, which one can be of service to the greatest number of people or is the least destructive, the most constructive. Anyway, even from a standpoint that is not spiritual, but merely utilitarian and unselfish, it is better to act according to wisdom than according to one's opinion.
Yes, but what would be the right way to proceed when one doesn't have the light, without involving one's opinion or one's ego?
I think it is to consider all the aspects of the problem, to lay them before your consciousness as disinterestedly as possible and to see which one is the best – if this is possible – or which one is the least harmful if there are unpleasant consequences.
I wanted to ask: what is the best attitude? Is it an attitude of intervention or an attitude of non-interference? Which is better?
Ah, that's just it, to intervene you must be sure that you are right; you must be sure that your vision of things is superior, preferable or truer than the vision of the other person or people. Then it is always wiser not to intervene – people intervene without rhyme or reason, simply because they are in the habit of giving their opinion to others.
Even when you have the vision of the true thing, it is very rarely wise to intervene. It only becomes indispensable when someone wants to do something which will necessarily lead to a catastrophe. Even then, intervention (smiling) is not always very effective.
In fact, intervention is justified only when you are absolutely sure that you have the vision of truth. Not only that, but also a clear vision of the consequences. To intervene in someone else's actions, one must be a prophet – a prophet. And a prophet with total goodness and compassion. One must even have the vision of the consequences that the intervention will have in the destiny of the other person. People are always giving each other advice: “Do this, don't do that.” I see it: they have no idea how much confusion they create, how they increase confusion and disorder. And sometimes they impair the normal development of the individual.
I consider that opinions are always dangerous and most often absolutely worthless.
You should not meddle with other people's affairs, unless first of all you are infinitely wiser than they are – of course, one always thinks that one is wiser! – but I mean in an objective way and not according to your own opinion; unless you see further and better and are yourself above all passions, desires and blind reactions. You must be above all these things yourself to have the right to intervene in someone else's life – even when he asks you to do so. And when he does not, it is simply meddling with something which is not your business.
(Mother goes into a long contemplation, and then continues.)
I have just seen a curious image! It looked like a very steep mountain slope and someone – like the symbol of Man – was climbing. A being… It's strange, I have seen this several times: beings without clothes who are not naked! I mean, they have a kind of robe of light. But it does not look like a radiating light or anything of that kind. It is like an atmosphere, or rather the aura, the aura made visible. And this transparence does not conceal the form and at the same time the form is not naked… And then from the sky – there was a vast sky stretching from top to bottom, like a painting, a very clear, very luminous, very pure sky – there were countless… hundreds of birdlike things flying towards him and he was beckoning them to him. The picture was mainly pale blue, white; from time to time there was something a little darker like a wing-tip or the top of a crest, but that was incidental. And they kept coming in hundreds and he summoned them together with a gesture, then he sent them down to earth – he was standing on a steep slope — he sent them down, into the valley. And there, they became… (Mother laughs) they were opinions! They became opinions! There were dark ones, light ones, brown ones, blue ones…
They were like birds flying down towards earth, like that. But it was a picture and yet it was not a picture, because it was moving. It was very amusing.
And he said: “Look, that is how opinions are formed”… They came from the sky, a vast sky – vast and luminous and clear, neither blue nor white nor pink nor… it was luminous, simply luminous; and from this sky, it was… I said they came in hundreds, but they came in thousands, and he was there, he received them, and then he gestured with his hands and sent them down to earth, and… they became opinions! I think I began to laugh, it amused me.
It is strange.
They were all going down, going down – one could not see the bottom – they were going down.
So then it may be that opinions come from a sky of light! (Mother laughs)
In truth, images are much more expressive than words.
14 September 1966