July 7, 1961
(Mother gives Satprem a white zinnia she has named “Integral Endurance,” then an allamanda or “Victory,” and finally a flower of “Supramental Victory.”)
Here is an Integral Endurance. But... victory. Victory. And this one is Supramental Victory – that is, victory in ALL details.
It grows in huge clusters of many, many flowers. There.
And I go on reading....
Yes – the explanation of his yoga and of what he wants us to realize. After reading it yesterday evening I said to him, “How do you expect it to be done in this!” (Mother laughingly indicates her own body.) “No, no, no!” he replied, “That's not it! What is needed now is to learn how to last. We'll speak of this again,” he told me, “in two or three hundred years.” Ah! (laughing) “Very well!” I said. “Learn to last,” he told me.
Well, we're going to learn how to last.
That's why I gave you “Integral Endurance” – it is his message.
Unless one is ABSOLUTELY indifferent, truly one cannot last. This is quite clear. That is the way it must be (gesture of a becalmed sea). For suddenly you find yourself in a state which feels like it could last forever – nothing matters, it goes on and on and on (Mother stretches out her arms, as if floating on a vast, infinite sea)... like this, forever. I have been in this state very often, and you truly feel that.... But the experience must not be in the head (that can be easily had); it has to be HERE (Mother slaps her knees), here in the body. When the body catches on to this, nothing is either disagreeable or agreeable to it – it takes no pleasure, feels no disgust, no uneasiness, no anything. It's in a state, ah!... (same gesture of a becalmed sea)
It's very interesting.
This happens quite often on the balcony, because there I am concentrated on... the descending Light. Then, very often, the body becomes completely still, like this.
That way one can last. Very well. Let's work.
(Mother takes up “Thoughts and Aphorisms.”)
Have you brought a question?
Ah! I have seen T., who told me she was finding it too difficult to ask questions [on Sri Aurobindo's Aphorisms] because it always seemed to be the same thing! So now she has nothing to ask. We have decided she won't ask any more questions, unless, by chance, something suddenly arouses a question in her. Otherwise, no more questions (Mother breathes a sigh of relief).
63 – God is great, says the Mahomedan. Yes, He is so great that He can afford to be weak, whenever that too is necessary.
64 – God often fails in His workings; it is the sign of His illimitable godhead.
65 – Because God is invincibly great, He can afford to be weak; because He is immutably pure, He can indulge with impunity in sin; He knows eternally all delight, therefore He tastes also the delight of pain; He is inalienably wise, therefore He has not debarred Himself from folly.
Can God truly be said to be weak or to fail? Does this actually happen, or is it simply the Lord's play?
That's not how it is, mon petit! This is precisely how the modern Western attitude has become twisted compared to the ancient attitude, the attitude – it isn't exactly ancient – of the Gita. It's extremely difficult for the Western mind to comprehend vividly and concretely that ALL is the Divine. It is so impregnated with the Christian spirit, with the idea of a “Creator” – the creation on one side and God on the other! Upon reflection, one rejects this, but... it has entered into our sensations and feelings, and so – spontaneously, instinctively, almost subconsciously – one credits God with all one considers to be the best, the most beautiful, and especially with what one wishes to attain, to realize. (Each individual, of course, changes the content of his God according to his own consciousness, but it's always what he considers to be the best.) And just as instinctively, spontaneously and subconsciously, one is shocked by the idea that things one doesn't like or doesn't approve of or which don't seem to be the best, could also be God.
I am putting this purposely into rather childish terms so that it will be clearly understood. But this is the way it is. I am sure of it because I have observed it in myself for a VERY long time, and I had to.... Due to the whole subconscious formation of childhood – environment, education, and so forth – we have to DRUM into this (Mother touches her body) the consciousness of Unity: the absolute, EXCLUSIVE unity of the Divine – exclusive in the sense that nothing exists apart from this Unity, even the things which seem most repulsive.
Sri Aurobindo also had to struggle against this because he too received a Christian education. And these Aphorisms are the result – the flowering – of the necessity to struggle against the subconscious formation which has produced such questions (Mother takes on a scandalized tone): “How can God be weak? How can God be foolish? How....” But there is nothing but God! He alone exists, there is nothing outside of Him. And whatever seems repugnant to us is something He no longer wishes to exist – He is preparing the world so that this no longer manifests, so that the manifestation can pass beyond this state to something else. So of course we violently reject everything in us that is destined to leave the active manifestation. There is a movement of rejection.
Yet it is He. There is nothing other than He! This should be repeated from morning to night, from night to morning, because we forget it every minute.
There is only He, there is nothing other than He. He alone exists, there is no existence without Him. There is only He!
There are some reflections a little further on... (Mother leafs through the text and stops at Aphorism 68). Oh, he has such wonderful things to say!
68 – The sense of sin was necessary in order that man might become disgusted with his own imperfections. It was God's corrective for egoism. But man's egoism meets God's device by being very dully alive to its own sins and very keenly alive to the sins of others.
(Mother laughs) Marvelous!
In any case, there it is – asking that kind of question is still taking the attitude of those who make a distinction between what is Divine and what is not Divine, or rather what is God and what is not God. “How can He be weak?” It's a question I could never ask.
I quite understand. But when one speaks of the Lila, the divine play, it implies that He in some way remains in the background and doesn't really “get into the act,” as they say – that He's no really part of the game, but simply watches.
Yes, yes He is! He is totally involved in it. He Himself is the Play.
It must be remembered that there are all these gradations of consciousness: when we speak of God and his Play we are speaking of God in his transcendent state, beyond everything, beyond all the degrees of matter; when we speak of the Play we are speaking of God in his material state. So we say that God transcendent is watching and playing – in Himself, by Himself, with Himself – his material game.
But all language – all language! – is a language of Ignorance. All means of expression, all that is said and all the ways of saying it, are bound to partake of that ignorance. And that's why it's so difficult to express something concretely true; to do so would require extremely lengthy explanations, themselves, of course, fully erroneous. Sri Aurobindo's sentences are sometimes very long for precisely this reason – he is trying to get away from this ignorant language.
Our whole way of thinking is wrong!
All the believers, all the faithful (those from the West in particular) think in terms of “something else” when they speak of God – He cannot be weak, ugly, imperfect, He is something immaculate – but this is wrong thinking. They are dividing, separating. For subconscious thought (I mean thinking without reflecting, instinctively, out of habit, without observing oneself thinking), what is generally considered “perfection” is precisely what is seen or felt or postulated as being virtuous, divine, beautiful, admirable – but it's not that at all! Perfection means something in which nothing is missing. The divine perfection is a totality. The divine perfection is the Divine in his wholeness, with nothing left out. The divine perfection is the whole of the Divine, with nothing subtracted from it. For the moralists it is the exact opposite: divine perfection is nothing but the virtues they stand for!
From the true standpoint, the divine perfection is the whole (Mother makes a global gesture), and the fact that within this whole nothing can be missing is precisely what makes it perfect.1 Consequently, perfection means that each thing is in its place, exactly what it should be, and that relationships among things are also exactly what they should be.
Perfection is one way to approach the Divine; Unity is another. But Perfection is a global approach: all is there and all is as it should be – that is to say, the perfect expression of the Divine (you can't even say “of His Will,” because that still implies something apart, something emanating from Him!).
It could be put like this (but it brings it down considerably): He is what He is and exactly as He wants to be. The “exactly as He wants to be” takes us down quite a few steps, but it still gives an idea of what I mean by “perfection”!
Divine perfection implies infinity and eternity – all is coexistent beyond time and space.
While “walking” in my room, a series of invocations or prayers have come to me2 (I didn't choose them – they were dictated to me) in which I implore the Lord to manifest his Perfection (and I am quite aware of how foolish this expression is, but it does correspond to an aspiration).3 When I say “manifest,” I mean to manifest in our physical, material world – I'm asking for the transformation of this world. And the moment I utter one of these invocations, the sense of the particular approach it represents is there; that's why I am now able to give such a lecture on Perfection – Perfection is one of these approaches. “Manifest this,” I tell Him, “Manifest that, manifest Your Perfection....” (The series is very long and it takes me quite a while to go through it all.) Well, each time I say “Manifest Your Perfection,” I have an awareness of what constitutes Perfection – it is something global.
It's like the word “purity” – one could lecture endlessly on the difference between divine purity and what people call purity. Divine purity (at the lowest level) is to admit but one influence – the divine Influence (but this is at the lowest level, and already terribly distorted). Divine purity means that only the Divine exists – nothing else. It is perfectly pure – only the Divine exists, nothing other than He.
And so on.
This is the third year [of japa] – so it's becoming very clear.
What shall we do now?
Speak about your experience.
I risk repeating myself.
No, never! It's a new experience each time – it's never the same.
Yes. I marvel at people who have the same experience several times over, who hold on to their realizations – I have never been able to do so. There was a time when I tried, but I realized it was stupid, so I don't try anymore. I have never had the same experience twice – never could.
The experience I described the day I said “I have something to tell you” [January 24, 1961] was truly very pleasant and I did try to relive it – but I never could. Whenever I try, whenever something in me insists on recapturing the experience, I always see a Smile and something tells me, “No, no! Let go! You'll see, you'll see....” So I let go.
All right, that's enough-enough for you!
And you – what are you doing?
I'm re-reading “Savitri.”
Lucky man! I would love to read it again. And the more you read, the more marvelous it becomes.
1 Mother later clarified this point: “It is impossible for anything to be missing because it is impossible for anything not to be part of the whole. Nothing can exist apart from the whole. But I am taking this now to its extreme limit of meaning – not down-to-earth, but to the heights, to the extreme limits of meaning. I will explain: everything is not necessarily contained within a given universe, because one universe is only one mode of manifestation – but all possible universes exist. And so I always come back to the same thing: nothing can exist apart from the whole. If we give the whole the name of ‘God,’ for example, then we say that nothing can exist apart from Him. But words are so earthbound, aren't they?” (Mother makes a down-to-earth gesture.)
2 See “Prayers of the Consciousness of the Cells,” Agenda 1, pp. 337-350.
3 As Mother had previously said that “all is as it should be... the Divine is what He is and exactly as He wants to be,” one shouldn't need to “implore” Him to manifest his Perfection.