77 - 78 (Genius discovers a system; average talent stereotypes it till it is...)
77–Genius discovers a system; average talent stereotypes it till it is shattered by fresh genius. It is dangerous for an army to be led by veterans; for on the other side God may place Napoleon.
78– When knowledge is fresh in us, then it is invincible; when it is old, it loses its virtue. This is because God moves always forward.
Sri Aurobindo is speaking here of knowledge by inspiration or revelation, when something suddenly descends and illumines the understanding. You suddenly have the impression that you know something for the first time, because it comes directly from the domain of Light, of true Knowledge, and it comes with all its innate power of truth – it illumines you. And when you have just received it, it seems indeed that nothing can resist that Light. And if you take care to allow it to act within you, it accomplishes all the transformation it can achieve in its own domain.
This is an experience one may often have. When it comes, for some time – not very long – everything seems to organise itself quite naturally around that Light. And then, little by little, it mingles with the rest; the intellectual knowledge remains – it is formulated in one way or another – it remains, but it is just as if it were empty. It no longer has that driving power which transforms all the movements of the being into the image of this Light. That is what Sri Aurobindo means: the world moves quickly, the Lord is always moving onward and all this is the trail He leaves behind Him, but it no longer has the same immediate and almighty power as when He projected it into the world.
It feels like a rain of truth falling; everyone who can catch even a drop of it receives a revelation. But unless they themselves are moving forward at a fantastic speed, the Lord with His rain of truth is already very far ahead and they must run very fast to catch up with it!
This is what he means.
Yes, but for this knowledge to have a real power of transformation…
Yes, it is the higher Knowledge, the Truth expressing itself, what Sri Aurobindo calls the true Knowledge, and it is this Knowledge that transforms all creation. But it is as if He were pouring it down all the time and you have to make great haste so as not to be too late!
But haven't you ever had the feeling of a dazzling light in your head? And then it is translated by, Oh, but of course! Sometimes it is something you knew intellectually, but it was dull, lifeless, and it suddenly comes like a tremendous power that arranges everything within the consciousness around that Light. It does not last very long. Sometimes it lasts only a few hours, sometimes a few days, but never more than that, unless you are very slow in your movement. And in the meanwhile the source of the truth is moving, moving, moving…
These are all psychological transformations, but where Matter and the body are concerned, what kind of knowledge is needed?
For the moment, I can't say anything about that, my child, because I do not know.
Is it another kind of knowledge?
No, I do not think so.
It may be another kind of action, but it is not another kind of knowledge.
In truth, we shall only be able to speak of what transforms Matter when Matter is at least a little transformed, when there is a beginning of transformation. Then we shall be able to speak of the process. But for the moment…
But any transformation in the being, on any plane, always has some repercussion on the lower planes. There is always an effect; even things which seem to be purely intellectual certainly have some repercussion on the structure of the brain.
This kind of revelation can only occur in a silent mind – at least in a mind that is at rest, completely quiet and still, otherwise they do not come. Or if they come, you do not notice them, because of all the noise you are making. And of course, they help this quiet, this silence, this receptivity to become better and better established. This feeling of something so still – but not closed, still but open, still but receptive – is something which becomes established through repeated experiences. There is a great difference between a silence that is dead, dull, unresponsive and the receptive silence of a quietened mind. That makes a great difference. But that is the result of these experiences. All the progress we make always results, quite naturally, from truths coming from above.
They have an effect, all these things have an effect on the functioning of the body – the functioning of the organs, of the brain, of the nerves, etc. That will surely happen before – long before – there is any effect on the external form.
In reality, when people speak of transformation they are thinking mainly of a glamorous transformation, no? A beautiful appearance! luminous, supple, plastic, changing at will. But this rather unaesthetic business of transforming the organs – they don't give it much thought! And yet that will certainly be the first thing to happen, long before the transformation of the appearance.
Sri Aurobindo spoke of replacing the organs by the functioning of the charkas.1
Yes, yes. He said three hundred years! (Mother laughs.)
Because if you think it over, you will understand quite easily. If it were only a matter of stopping one thing and starting something else, it could be done quite rapidly. But to keep a body alive, so that it goes on functioning, and at the same time to bring in a new functioning, sufficient for it to stay alive, and a transformation – that makes a kind of combination which is very difficult to realise. I am very much aware of this, very much so… the immense amount of time required to do this without catastrophe.
Especially when we come to the heart: the heart replaced by the centre of power, a tremendous dynamic power! (Mother laughs.) Precisely when are we going to cut off the circulation and release the Force?
It is difficult.
In ordinary life, you think things over and then you do them – it is just the opposite! In this life, first you must do the thing and then, afterwards, you understand, long afterwards. First you must do it – without thinking. If you think, you do nothing worthwhile; that is, you fall back into the old way.
6 October 1962
1 Centers of Consciousness in the subtle body. (back)