69 (Sin and virtue are a game of resistance we play with God in His efforts...)
69 – Sin and virtue are a game of resistance we play with God in His efforts to draw us towards perfection. The sense of virtue helps us to cherish our sins in secret.
These Aphorisms 1 clearly express the futility of our ideas of sin and virtue. You had also said, following your experience of 3 February 1958,2 “I saw that what helps people to become supramental or prevents them from doing so, is very different from what our usual moral notions imagine.” You said besides, “What is very clear is that our appraisal of what is divine or undivine is not correct… At that time I had the impression… that the relation between this world and the other completely changed the standpoint from which things should be evaluated or appraised. This standpoint had nothing mental about it and it gave a strange inner feeling that many things we consider to be good or bad are not really so. It was very clear that everything depended on the capacity of things, on their ability to express the supramental world or to be in relation with it.”
What is this supramental standpoint like? What is this capacity or this aptitude to ex the supramental world or to be in relation with it?
I have already spoken a little about that in connection with the story of the stag going through the forest. There was an indication there. 3
Then I put myself in contact again with this experience of the supramental boat. My vision of things has not changed since. And I realised that the experience had had a decisive effect on the situation; it established the required conditions very clearly, very precisely, very definitively.
Once and for all it swept away not only all the ordinary notions of morality, but everything that is considered here in India as necessary for the spiritual life. From this point of view it was very instructive First of all this kind of so-called ascetic purity. Ascetic purity is simply the rejection of all vital movements; instead of taking up these movements and turning them towards the Divine, that is to say, instead of seeing the supreme Presence in them and letting the Supreme act freely on them, you tell Him, “No, that is not your concern.” He is not allowed to interfere with them.
As for the physical, it is an old story, everyone knows: the ascetics have always rejected it, but then they added the vital. Only the things that were classically recognised as sacred or permitted by religious tradition, as for example, the sanctity of marriage and things like that, were accepted, but to live freely – oh! that was incompatible with any religious life.
So all that was completely swept away once and for all.
Which is not to say, however, that what is required is any easier. It is probably much more difficult.
First of all, from the psychological point of view, there must be the condition I spoke about in the story of the stag: perfect equality. It is an absolute condition. I have observed since 1956, for years, that no supramental vibration can be transmitted except in this perfect equality. If there is the least opposition to this equality – in fact the least movement of ego, any preference of the ego, it does not come through, it is not transmitted. This is already difficult enough.
Added to this, there are two conditions for the realisation to become total and they are not easily fulfilled. It is not very difficult on the intellectual plane – I am not speaking here of just anyone at all but of people who have already practised yoga and followed a discipline – it is relatively easy; on the psychological plane too, if you bring in this equality, it is not very difficult. But as soon as you come to the material plane, that is, the physical and then the body, it is not easy. The two conditions are: first, a power of expansion, of widening, that is unlimited, so to say, so that you can widen yourself to the dimension of the supramental consciousness, which is total. The supramental consciousness is the consciousness of the Supreme in His totality when – I say His totality, I mean the Supreme in His aspect of Manifestation. Naturally, from the higher point of view, the point of view of the essence – the essence of what becomes the Supermind in the Manifestation – there must be a capacity for total identification with the Supreme, not only in His aspect of Manifestation, but also in his static or nirvanic aspect, beyond the Manifestation – Non-Being. But in addition to this, one must be able to identify oneself with the Supreme in the Becoming. This implies two things: first a widening that is at least unlimited, as I have said, and at the same time a total plasticity in order to be able to follow the Supreme in His Becoming. It is not at one particular moment that one must be as wide as the universe, but indefinitely, in the Becoming. These are the two conditions; they must be there potentially.
So long as there is no question of physical transformation, the psychological and, in a large measure, subjective point of view is sufficient. And that is relatively easy. But when it comes to including Matter in the work, Matter as it is in this world, where the very starting-point itself is wrong – we start from Inconscience and Ignorance – then it is very difficult. Because, in fact, so that this Matter could reach the individualisation needed to recover the lost Consciousness, it was made with a certain fixity indispensable to make forms last and precisely to maintain this possibility of individuality. And that is the chief obstacle to the widening, the plasticity, the suppleness needed to be able to receive the supermind. I am constantly faced with this problem, which is a very concrete, absolutely material one, when one is dealing with these cells which must remain cells and not evaporate into a reality which is no longer physical. And at the same time, they must have this suppleness, this lack of fixity which enables them to widen indefinitely.
The experience of the boat took place in the subtle physical. And the people who had dark patches and who had to be taken back were always the ones who lacked the suppleness needed for these two movements, but especially the movement of widening, more than the movement of progression to follow the Becoming; this seemed to be a preoccupation later, for those who had landed, after the landing. But the preparation on the boat was for this capacity for widening.
There was also something else which I did not mention when I described my experience: the boat had no machines. Everything, everything was set in motion by the will – individuals and things – even people's dress was a result of their will. And this gave a great suppleness to all these things and to the forms of individuals; because one was conscious of this will, which is not a mental will but a will of the Self, or a spiritual will, one might say, a will of the soul, if one gives that meaning to the word soul. But this is something which can be experienced here when one acts with an absolute spontaneity, that is to say, when an action, such as speech or movement, is not determined by the mind – I am not speaking of thought and intellect – not even by the mind which usually makes us act. Usually, when we do something, we perceive within us the will to do this – thing when we are conscious and observe ourselves doing it, we can see that; there is always – it may be very fleeting – the will to do it. It is the intervention of the mind, the habitual intervention, the order in which things happen. Whereas the supramental action is decided by overleaping the mind. It is not necessary to pass through the mind, it is direct. Something enters into direct contact with the vital centres and makes them act – without passing through the thought, but with full consciousness. The consciousness does not work in the usual order, it goes directly from the centre of spiritual will to Matter.
As long as one can keep this absolute immobility of the mind, the inspiration is absolutely pure, it comes pure. If one can catch it and keep it while speaking, what comes through is also unmixed, it remains pure.
It is an extremely delicate working, probably because it is unfamiliar – the least movement, the smallest mental vibration disturbs everything. But as long as it lasts it is perfectly pure. And that must be the constant state of a supramentalised life. The mentalised spiritual will should no longer intervene; because one may very well have a spiritual will, one can live constantly expressing the spiritual will – that is what happens to all those who feel that they are guided by the Divine within – but that comes through a mental transcription. And so long as it is like that, it is not the supramental life. The supramental life no longer passes through the mind. The mind is an immobile zone of transmission. The slightest twitch is enough to disturb it.
One could say that the constant state that is needed for the Supermind to be able to express itself through a terrestrial consciousness is the perfect equality that comes from spiritual identification with the Supreme. Everything becomes the Supreme in a perfect equality. And it is automatic – not the equality achieved by the conscious will, by intellectual effort or an understanding prior to the state; it is not that. It must be spontaneous and automatic; one should no longer respond to everything that comes from outside as if one were responding to something coming from outside. This kind of reflection and response should be replaced by a state of constant perception – which I cannot call identical because each thing necessarily calls for a special response – but free from any rebound, if one may say so. It is the difference that exists between something coming from outside, that strikes you and that you respond to, and something which is circulating and which quite naturally brings with it the vibrations needed for the general action. I do not know whether I am making myself clearly understood… It is the difference between a vibratory movement circulating in a unitary field of action and a movement coming from something outside, striking from outside and obtaining a response – that is the usual state of human consciousness. On the other hand, when the consciousness is identified with the Supreme, the movements are internal, so to say, in the sense that nothing comes from outside; there are only things that circulate and naturally bring about certain vibrations in the course of their circulation, by similarity and necessity – or that change the vibrations in the medium of circulation.
It is something very familiar to me, because it is my constant state at present – I never have the impression of things coming from outside and striking, but of inner, multiple and sometimes contradictory movements, and of a constant circulation bringing about the inner changes needed for the movement.
That is the indispensable basis.
The widening follows almost automatically, demanding adjustments in the body itself which are difficult to resolve. This is a problem in which I am still completely immersed.
And then the suppleness needed to follow the movement of Becoming; suppleness, that is, the capacity for decrystallisation – the whole period of life spent in individualisation is a period of conscious and deliberate crystallisation, which later has to be undone. Becoming a conscious and individual being is a constant crystallization – constant and deliberate – of all things; and afterwards one must make the opposite movement, constantly, and also, even more so, deliberately. At the same time, one must not lose the benefit, in the consciousness, of what one has acquired by individualisation.
I must say that it is difficult.
From the point of view of thought it is elementary, very easy. And even from the point of view of feelings, it is not difficult; for the heart, that is, the emotional being, to widen itself to the dimension of the Supreme is relatively easy. But the body! It is very difficult, very difficult without the body losing – how to put it? – it’s centre of coagulation; without it dissolving into the surrounding mass. And even then, if one were in the midst of Nature with mountains, forests and rivers, and great natural beauty, plenty of space, it would be rather pleasant! But one cannot take a single step materially, out of one's body, without coming across things that are painful. It occasionally happens that one comes in contact with a substance that is pleasing, harmonious, warm, that vibrates with a higher light. But this is rare. Yes, flowers, sometimes flowers – sometimes, not always. But this material world, oh!… You get knocked everywhere – scratched, scratched, scraped, knocked by all kinds of things that won't unfold. Oh, how difficult it is! How little human life has blossomed! It is shrivelled up, hardened, without light, without warmth to say nothing of joy.
But sometimes, when one sees flowing water or a ray of sunlight in the trees oh, everything sings, the cells sing, they are happy.
But if the physical transformation is so difficult, would it not be preferable to act in an occult way, to materialise something, to create a new body by occult processes?
The idea is that first of all some beings must reach a certain realisation here in the physical world that would give them the power to materialise a supramental being.
I told you that once I endowed a vital being with a body, but I would never have been able to… it would have been impossible to make this body material: something is missing, something is missing. Even if it could be made visible, it probably could not be made permanent – at the very first opportunity it would dematerialise. It is this permanence that we cannot obtain.
I had discussed this with Sri Aurobindo – discussed is a manner of speaking – we had talked about it and he saw it the same way as I did, that is, there is a power we do not have, the power to fix the form here on earth. Even for those who have the capacity to materialise things, they do not remain, they cannot remain, they do not have the quality of physical things.
So the continuity of creation could not be assured without something which possessed that quality.
Igen, ez egy érdekes kérdés. Tényleg gondolhat rá az ember.
I knew the whole occult process in detail, but I could never have made the thing more material, even if I had tried – visible, yes, but impermanent, incapable of progressing.
12 January 1962
1 Aphorisms 67, 68, 69. (back)
2 See the Mother's comments on her experience in Questions and Answers 1957-58 (19 February 1958). (back)
3 See Bulletin of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Vol. XIII: 2 (April 1961), p. 23. (back)