96 - 100 (Experience in thy soul the truth of the Scripture; afterwards, if...)
96 – Experience in thy soul the truth of the Scripture; afterwards, if thou wilt, reason and state thy experience intellectually and even then distrust thy statement; but distrust never thy experience.
This doesn't require any explanation.
That is to say, it should be explained to children that the statement, whatever it may be, the Scriptures, whatever they may be, are always a diminution of the experience, they are always less than the experience.
There may be people who need to know this.
97 – When thou affirmest thy soul-experience and deniest the different soul-experience of another, know that God is making a fool of thee. Dost thou not hear His selfdelighted laughter behind thy soul's curtains?
Oh, it's delightful!
One can only smile and say, “Never doubt your experience, for your experience is the truth of your being, but do not imagine that it is a universal truth; and never on the basis of this truth deny the truth of others, because for each one, his experience is the truth of his being. And a total truth would only be the totality of all these individual truths… plus the experience of the Lord Himself!”
98 – Revelation is the direct sight, the direct hearing or the inspired memory of Truth, drsti ,sruti, smrti; it is the highest experience and always accessible to renewed experience. Not because God spoke it, but because the soul saw it, is the word of the Scriptures our supreme authority.
I assume that this is an answer to the Biblical belief in the “Commandments of God” received by Moses, supposedly uttered by the Lord Himself and heard by Moses – it is an indirect way of saying (Mother laughs) that this is not possible.
“Our supreme authority”… “because the soul saw it” – but it can only be a supreme authority for the soul that saw it, not for every soul. For the soul that had this experience and saw, it is the supreme authority, but not for the others.
This was one of the things which used to make me think when I was a small child: these ten Commandments, which are besides extraordinarily commonplace. Love thy father and thy mother… Do not kill… It is revoltingly commonplace. And Moses went up Mount Sinai to hear that!
Now, I do not know whether Sri Aurobindo was thinking of the Indian Scriptures… There were also Chinese Scriptures…
More and more my experience is that revelation – it does come – revelation may be universally applicable, but it is always personal in form, always personal.
It is as if one had an angle of vision of the Truth. It is necessarily, necessarily an angle, from the very moment it is put into words.
You have a wordless, thoughtless experience of a kind of vibration which gives you a feeling of absolute truth and then, if you remain very still, without seeking to know anything, after some time it is as if the vibration were passing through a filter and it is translated as a kind of idea. Then this idea – it is still rather hazy, that is, very general – if you continue to keep very still, attentive and silent, this idea passes through another filter, and then a kind of condensation occurs, like drops, and it turns into words.
But then, when you have had the experience very sincerely – that is, when you are not fooling yourself – it is necessarily only one point, one way of saying the thing, that's all. And it cannot be more than that. Besides, it is very easy to observe that when you are in the habit of using a particular language, it comes in that language; for me it always comes either in English or in French, it does not come in Chinese or in Japanese! The words are inevitably English or French; and sometimes there is a Sanskrit word – but that is because, physically, I learnt Sanskrit. I have occasionally heard – not physically – Sanskrit pronounced by another being; but it does not crystallise, it remains nebulous; and when I come back to an entirely material consciousness, I remember a vague sound, not a precise word. Therefore, it is always an individual angle from the very moment it is formulated.
You must have a kind of very austere sincerity. You are seized with enthusiasm, because the experience brings an extraordinary power: the Power is there – it is there, before the words, and it diminishes with the words – but the Power is there and with this Power you feel very universal, you have the feeling: “It is a universal revelation” – yes, it is a universal revelation, but when you put it into words, it is no longer universal; then it is relevant only for minds that are built to understand this way of speaking. The Force is behind, but you have to go beyond the words.
Things of this sort come to me more and more often and I jot them down on a piece of paper. It is always the same process, always. First of all, a kind of explosion, an explosion of truth-power – it is like a great, white fireworks display (Mother smiles), much more than a fireworks display! And it spins round and round (gesture above the head), it churns and churns; then there is the impression of an idea but the idea is lower, it is like a covering; the idea contains its own sensation, it also brings a sensation the sensation was there before, but without the idea, and so the sensation could not be defined. There is only one thing, it is always an explosion of luminous Power. And then, afterwards, if you look at it and remain very quiet – the head, especially, should keep quiet – everything becomes silent (motionless, upward gesture), then suddenly someone speaks inside the head someone speaks. It is this explosion speaking. Then I take a pencil and paper and I write. But between what speaks and what writes there is still a little space to be crossed, so that when it is written down something up there is not satisfied. So I remain quiet a little longer – “No, not that word, this one” – sometimes it takes two days to become quite final. But those who are satisfied with the power of the experience make short work of this, and send out into the world sensational revelations that are distortions of the Truth.
You must be very steady, very quiet, very critical – especially very quiet, silent, silent, silent, without trying to seize hold of the experience – “Oh! What is it, what is it?” – that spoils everything. But watch – watch very closely. In the words there is something left, something that remains of the original vibration so little! But there is something, something that makes you smile, that is pleasant, like a sparkling wine, and here (Mother indicates a word or a passage in an imaginary note), here it is dull. Then you look with your knowledge of the language, or with your sense of word-rhythm: Look, there's a pebble. You must remove the pebble; and then you wait and suddenly it comes, plop! it falls into place: the right word. If you are patient, after a day or two, it becomes absolutely accurate.
2 February 1964
99 – The word of Scripture is infallible; it is in the interpretation the heart and reason put upon the Scirpture that error has her portion.
I am not quite sure that this is not ironical… To people who say The Scripture is infallible, he answers: Yes, yes, of course the Scriptures are infallible, but beware of your own understanding!
But here is the word of truth:
100 – Shun all lowness, narrowness and shallowness in religious thought and experience. Be wider than the videst horizons, be loftier than higher kanchan jungha, be profounder than the deepest oceans.
5 February 1964