May 24, 1962
73 – When Wisdom comes, her first lesson is, “There is no such thing as knowledge; there are only aperçus of the Infinite Deity.”
No need for questions.
74 – Practical knowledge is a different thing; that is real and serviceable, but it is never complete. Therefore to systematise and codify it is necessary but fatal.
It is real within its own realm – only within its own realm.
I have looked at this very, very often. There was even a time when I thought that if one could get a total, complete and perfect knowledge of the whole working of physical Nature as we perceive it in the world of Ignorance, then this might be a means to rediscover or reattain the Truth of things. After my last experience [of April 13] I can no longer think this way.
I don't know if I am making myself clear.... I thought for a time, a very long time, that if Science went to its furthest possible limits (if this is conceivable), it would join up with true Knowledge. In the study of the composition of matter, for example – by pressing the investigation further and further on – a point would be reached where the two would meet. But when I had that experience of passing from the eternal Truth-Consciousness to the consciousness of the individualized world,1 well... it appeared impossible to me. And if you ask me now, I think that this possibility of Science pushed to its extreme limits joining up with true Knowledge, and this impossibility of any true conscious connection with the material world are both incorrect. There is something else.
And more and more these days, I find myself facing the whole problem as if I had never seen it before.
Both paths may be leading towards a third point, and that third point is what I am at present... not exactly studying; I am rather in quest of it – the point where the two paths merge into a third that would be the TRUE thing.
But in any case, if it could be absolutely total (there's an “if” here), objective, scientific knowledge pushed to its extreme limits would certainly bring you to the threshold. That's what Sri Aurobindo means. But he also says it's fatal, because all those who went in for that knowledge believed in it as an absolute truth, thus closing the door to the other approach. In this respect it is fatal.
From my own experience, though, I could say to all those who believe EXCLUSIVELY in the spiritual approach, the approach through inner experience, that this – at least if it's exclusive – is equally fatal. For it reveals to them ONE aspect, ONE truth of the Whole – but not THE Whole. The other side seems just as indispensable to me, for when I was so utterly in that supreme Realization, this other falsified, outer realization was undeniably just a distortion (and probably accidental) of something EQUALLY TRUE.
This “something” is what we are seeking. And perhaps not merely seeking – we may be taking part in the MAKING of it.
We are being made use of in the manifestation of this “something.”
Something none can yet imagine, for so far it hasn't come into being. It is an expression yet to come.
That is all I can say.
This is exactly the state of consciousness I am living in now. It's as if I were facing the same eternal problem but... from a NEW POSITION.
These positions – the spiritual and the “materialist” (if you can call it that) positions – which consider themselves exclusive (exclusive and unique, and so each one denies the other's value in the name of Truth) are inadequate, not only because neither one will accept the other, but because even accepting and uniting them both won't solve the problem. Something else is needed, a third position that isn't the result of these two but something still to be discovered, which will probably open the door to total Knowledge.
Well, that's where I stand.
More I can't say – that's as far as I have come.
One might wonder how to participate practically in this....
That.... Ultimately, it's always the same thing. It's always the same: realize your own being, enter into conscious contact with the supreme Truth of your own being, in WHATEVER form, by WHATEVER path (that's totally irrelevant); it's the only way. We each carry a truth within ourselves, and we must unite with that truth; we must live that truth. And the path we have to follow to realize and unite with this truth is the very path that will lead us as near as we can possibly come to Knowledge. I mean the two are absolutely one: the personal realization and Knowledge.
Who knows? Perhaps the very multiplicity of approaches will yield the Secret – the Secret that will open the door.
I don't think any single individual on earth (as it is now) no matter how great he may be, no matter how eternal his consciousness and origin, can all by himself change and realize.... Change the world, change the creation as it is, and realize that higher Truth, the Truth that will be a new world – a truer, if not absolutely true, world. A certain number of individuals (until now they seem to have come in succession, in time, but they might also come as a collectivity, in space) would seem indispensable for this Truth to be concretized and realized.
On a practical level, I am sure of it.
In other words, no matter how great he may be, no matter how conscious, how powerful, ONE avatar all alone cannot realize the supramental life on earth. Either a group in time, a number of individuals staggered over a certain period of time, or a group spread out over a certain space – or maybe both – is indispensable for this Realization. I am convinced of it.
The individual can give the initial impulse, point out the path, WALK the path himself (I mean show the path by realizing it)... but he can't bring the work to fulfillment. The fulfillment of the work depends on certain collective laws that are the expression of a particular aspect of the Eternal and Infinite – naturally, it's all one and the same Being! There aren't different individuals and personalities, it's all one and the same Being. But the same Being expressing itself in a particular way that for us translates as a group or a collectivity.
Well, then – any other questions on this?
I would like to ask you in what way your vision has changed since the experience of April 13 – what exactly is the difference?
For a very long time it had seemed to me that a perfect union between the scientific approach pushed to its extreme and the spiritual approach pushed to its extreme, to its utmost realization, a merging of the two would naturally lead to the Truth we seek, the total Truth. But with the two experiences I have had, the experience of the outer life (with universalization, impersonalization – all the yogic experiences you can have in a material body) and the experience of total and perfect union with the Origin... now that I've had those two experiences and something has happened – something I can't yet describe – I know that knowing and uniting the two approaches is not enough; they open out on a third thing, and that third thing is what is... in the making. The third thing is what can lead to the Realization, to the Truth we seek.
Is it clear this time?
I actually had something else in mind....
In what way has your vision of the PHYSICAL world changed since that experience [of April 13]?
I can't give you more than an approximation of that awareness.
Through yoga I had come to a sort of relationship with the material world based on the notion of the fourth dimension (of the innumerable inner dimensions opened up by yoga) and on the utilization of this attitude and state of consciousness. Using this sense of inner dimensions, and through perfecting the consciousness of the inner dimensions, I used to observe the relation between the material and the spiritual worlds – this was prior to my last experience.
Of course, it's been a long time since there has been any question of three dimensions – all that belongs ABSOLUTELY to the world of illusion and falsehood. But now the whole use of the sense of the fourth dimension – along with all it entails – seems superficial to me! And so much so that I can't recapture it. The other world, the three-dimensional world, is completely unreal; but now that one... (what can I say?) seems conventional to me. Like a conventional transcription opening a particular type of approach to you.
And as for expressing what the other, the true position is like.... It is so far beyond any intellectual state that I can't manage to put it into words.
I know the words will come, but they will come through a series of lived experiences, experiences I haven't had yet.
It dawned on me that that approach, which used to be so useful to me, so convenient, helping me do my yoga and giving me a grip on Matter, is simply a method, a means, a procedure – it is not THAT.
Well, that's the state I am in.
I can't say more.
I would prefer to make some progress before saying anything else.
A little later:
That's enough, isn't it?
It's difficult to digest.
I would prefer to make some progress.... Unless the next topic is completely different.
Yes, it's completely different – but you're tired....
76 – Europe prides herself on her practical and scientific organisation and efficiency. I am waiting till her organisation is perfect; then a child shall destroy her.
I won't say anything about that, mon petit.
Let's forget it.
What can you say!
As a matter of fact, it had occurred to me that we might just have to skip over or omit or forget about certain aphorisms,2 especially the ones on doctors and medicine. (Not that I question the truth in them – not at all! But I question whether it's appropriate to speak of them now.) And this one, too... it's better not to publish it.
I don't think all these aphorisms were written for publication – I don't believe he was thinking of publishing them. He said certain things that were quite private.
So let's classify this one as private!
And the next?
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.
I don't think we can speak of this one either. No, I don't think so.
What we should actually do is make a selection and only talk about aphorisms that give us an opportunity to explain a few things. But these two.... People aren't ready to understand. And besides, they don't fit the style of the Bulletin. What we need is a “combat magazine,” a journal that combats all the ordinary ideas; then all these aphorisms (the ones on doctors, for instance) would be like... yes, like commanders in the battle. A journal with the goal of “demolishing the old idols.” Something along those lines. It would be very interesting to do such a magazine – a combat magazine.
But it can't be an Ashram organ.... It should look like a literary review (it can't be political – you'd be thrown in jail the day after it came out!). It shouldn't be presented as something practical, but merely as literary or philosophical speculation; that wouldn't matter at all, but it would give the journal a certain security which, as a combat magazine, it would need.
It's something that could very well be planned and prepared for '65 or '67. It could probably be done in '67. And then, for each issue (I don't know how many issues a year there would be) we could take one of these aphorisms (like the one on Europe, for example) and go into it all the way.
It would be very interesting. It's worth looking into.
The Bulletin should be calm and peaceful – not violent. We don't want to demolish anyone. We are merely sort of smoothing the way to make it easier for people to travel, nothing else. We needn't bring avalanches down on people!
1 See conversation of May 13.
2 Mother later changed her opinion about this.