March 9, 1963
I'd like to ask you a question.... I haven't quite understood what you meant by “miracles in the Mind.” What are they? “Sri Aurobindo performed miracles in the Mind,” you said.
That was when he brought the supramental Force into the mental consciousness. He would bring into the mental consciousness (the mental consciousness that governs all material movements1) a supramental formation, or power, or force, that instantly altered the organization. With immediate results... that appear illogical because the process doesn't follow the course set by mental logic.
He said it himself: it happened when he was in possession or in conscious command of the supramental Force and Power and when he put it on a particular spot for a particular purpose. It was irrevocable, inevitable: the effect was absolute.
That can be called a miracle.
The supramental force he would put in a person's mind was able to...
Take the example of someone ill, even feeling pain. When Sri Aurobindo was in possession of this supramental Power (at certain times he said it was totally under his control, he could do whatever he wanted with it and apply it wherever he wanted), then he would put this Will on some disorder or other, physical or vital, say (or mental, of course), he would put this Force of a superior harmony, a superior, supramental order, keep it there, and it would act instantly. And it was an order – it created an order and harmony superior to natural harmony. Which means that if the object was to cure, for example, the cure was more perfect and total than a cure brought about by the ordinary physical and mental methods.
There were hosts of instances. But people are so blind, you know, so bogged down in their ordinary consciousness, that they always have ready “explanations.” They can always explain it away. Only those who had faith and aspiration and something very pure in them, that is, those who really wanted to know, were aware of it.
Which means there is a difference between the miracle taking place through or in the mind, and the miracle taking place directly in the physical and vital. For instance, all those who perform miracles like levitation, moving objects, generating lights... (Mother keeps silent for a while, then drops the subject). It's a field that I don't find very living, it doesn't interest me very much.2
But that's how it worked with healing. When the Power was there, he said it was even effortless, all he had to do was to put that Power of order, of supramental harmony, and it would act instantly.3
The difference is hard to explain.
Oh, listen (this is not meant to be published or told), I don't know if I've told you already. I was nine or ten years old, I was running with some friends in the forest of Fontainebleau (I've told this story somewhere). The forest is rather dense, so you can't see very far ahead. We were running, and speeding along as I was, I didn't see I was coming to the edge overhanging the road. The place where we were was about ten feet above the road (more than a story high), and the road was paved with stones – freshly paved. And we were running. I was racing ahead, the others were behind. Well, I'd built up such momentum that I couldn't stop – whoosh! I went sailing into the air. I was ten, eleven at the most, mind you, with no notion of the miraculous or the marvelous, nothing, nothing – I was just flung into the air. And I felt something supporting me, holding me up, and I was literally SET DOWN on the ground, on the stones. I got up (I found it perfectly natural, you understand!): not a scratch, not a speck of dust, nothing, absolutely intact. I fell down very, very slowly. Then everyone rushed up to see. “Oh, it's nothing!” I said, “I am all right.” And I left it at that. But the impression lingered. That feeling of something carrying me (gesture of a slow fall, like a leaf falling in stages with slight pauses): I fell down that slow. And the material proof was there, it was no illusion since I was unscathed – the road was paved with stones (you know the flint stones of France?): not a scratch, nothing. Not a speck of dust.
The soul was very alive at the time, and with all its strength it resisted the intrusion of the material logic4 of the world – so it seemed to me perfectly natural. I simply thought, “No. Accidents can't happen to me.”
But flung like that!... For a very long time the memory of the SENSATION remained: something that went like this (same gesture of a leaf falling) and simply set me down on the road. When I worked with Théon, the memory came back, and I saw it was an entity: what people in Europe call angels (what do they call it?)... guardian angels, that's right. An entity. Théon had told me of certain worlds (worlds of the higher intellect – I don't remember, he had named all the different planes), and in that world are winged beings – who have wings of their own free choice, because they find it pretty! And Madame Théon had always seen two such beings with me. Yet she knew me more than ten years later. And it appears they were always with me. So I took a look and, sure enough, there they were. One even tried to draw: he asked me to lend him my hand to do drawings. I lent my hand, but when I saw the drawing (he did one), I told him, “The ones I do without you are much better!” So that was the end of the matter!
What did it depict?
Funny drawings. One showed a sea with a rock and a small figure (that one was the best). A high cliff, a tiny figure, and then the sea. It wasn't very good!
I would lend my hand and look elsewhere – I didn't look at what I was drawing to make sure there was no subconscious interference. And I could distinctly feel his hand moving mine. After a while, I said to myself, “I think I'll take a look.” I looked – “I say,” I told him, “It's not up to much!”
It was in Tlemcen.
That kind of oddity never interested me. I found them simply natural. But these are what people call miracles.
There was another occurrence (less striking), once in a room as long as this one and wider,5 the salon in my family's house. Some little friends had come and we were playing. I told them, “I'll show you how one should dance.” I went to a corner of the room to get the longest distance to another corner, and I told them, “One single step in the middle.” And I did it! (Mother laughs) I sprang (I didn't even feel I was jumping, it was like dancing, you know, like when they dance on point), landed on the tips of my toes, bounced up and reached the other corner – you can't do that alone, even champions cannot. The length of the jump went beyond records, because afterwards I asked here, when we started physical exercises at the Ashram, I asked what the longest jump was – mine was longer! And they take a run up, you see, they run and then jump. But I didn't run: I was standing in the corner, and hop! up I went (I said “hop!” to myself, soundlessly), and frrrt! I landed on the tips of my toes, bounced and landed the other side – quite evidently I was carried.
All this took place before the age of thirteen or fourteen (from eight to thirteen or fourteen). Many things of the kind, all of which seemed to me perfectly natural – it didn't feel as though I was doing something miraculous. Perfectly natural.
I remember also, once, there were iron hoops (I don't know if they still exist) bordering the lawns in the Bois de Boulogne – and I used to take a walk on them! It was a challenge I threw to my brother (there was a difference of sixteen months between us, he was older – and much better behaved too!). I told him, “Can you walk on these?” “Leave me alone,” he answered, “it's not interesting.” “Just watch!” I told him. And I started walking on them, with such ease! As if I had done it all my life. It was the same phenomenon: I felt weightless.
Always the feeling of being carried: something holding me up, carrying me. And now if I compare the movement or the sensation... it's the same as that vast movement of wings – the same vibration.
After thirteen or fourteen years, it became more difficult. But before that, it was really fine.
It was the same thing when I made that overmental formation (we were heading for miracles!). One day Sri Aurobindo told me I had brought down into Amrita6 a force of the creative Brahma (it's the creative Word, the Word that realizes itself automatically). And I don't know what happened... something, I can't recall what, that showed me it was working very well. Then a sort of idea occurred to me: “Why, we could try this power on mosquitoes: let mosquitoes cease to exist! What would happen?” (We were pestered by mosquitoes at the time.) Before doing it (the meditation was over, it would have been for the next time), I said to Sri Aurobindo, “Well, what if we tried with that force which responds; if we said, ‘Let mosquitoes cease to exist,’ we could at least get rid of them within a certain field of action, a certain field of influence, couldn't we?” So he looked at me (with a smile), kept silent, and, after a moment, turned to me and said, You are in full Overmind. That is not the Truth we want to manifest.... I told you the story. It was on that occasion.
We could have done things of that sort.
He told me (Mother speaks with an ironic tone), “Oh, you can certainly perform miracles! People will be wonderstruck.”
But I found a far lovelier miracle.... It was at Tlemcen, I was playing the piano, I don't recall what (a Beethoven or a Mozart piece). Théon had a piano (because his English secretary used to play the piano), and this piano was in his drawing room, which was on a level with the mountain, halfway up, almost at the top. That is to say, you had to climb two flights of stairs inside the house to reach the drawing room, but the drawing room had large French doors opening out onto the mountainside – it was very beautiful. So then, I used to play in the afternoon, with the French doors wide open. One day, when I finished playing, I turned around to get up, and what did I see but a big toad, all warts – a huge toad – and it was going puff, puff, puff (you know how they inflate and deflate), it was inflating and deflating, inflating and deflating... as though it were in seventh heaven! It had never heard anything so marvelous! It was all alone, as big as this, all round, all black, all warts, between those high doors – French doors wide open to the sun and light. It sat in the middle. It went on for a little while, then when it saw the music was over, it turned around, hop-hop-hopped... and vanished.
That admiration of a toad filled me with joy! It was charming.
Also when I was eleven or twelve, my mother rented a cottage at the edge of a forest: we didn't have to go through the town. I used to go and sit in the forest all alone. I would sit lost in reverie. One day (it happened often), one day some squirrels had come, several birds, and also (Mother opens her eyes wide), deer, looking on.... How lovely it was! When I opened my eyes and saw them, I found it charming – they scampered away.
The memory of all these things returned AFTERWARDS, when I met Théon – long afterwards, when I was more than twenty, that is, more than ten years later. I met Théon and got the explanation of these things, I understood. Then I remembered all that had happened to me, and I thought, “Well!...” Because Madame Théon said to me (I told her all my childhood stories), she said to me, “Oh, but I know, you are THAT, the stamp of THAT is on you.” I thought over what she had said, and I saw it was indeed true. All those experiences I had were very clear indications that there were certainly people in the invisible looking after me! (Mother laughs)
Interestingly there was nothing mental about it: I didn't know the existence of those things, I didn't know what meditation was – I meditated without the least idea of what it was. I knew nothing, absolutely nothing, my mother had kept it all completely taboo: those matters are not to be touched, they drive you crazy!
Later, the memories came back.
(Towards the end of the conversation, Mother asks for the next aphorism for the “Bulletin” and if Satprem has any questions.)
I'd like to ask you a question on death.
All that I thought I knew now seems to me completely superficial, and I have almost... laid my finger on something which, in contrast, gave me the impression of a stupendous discovery. But it was just a flash, the thing is not at my command. I can't speak about it. So it might be better to wait a while before dealing with that subject.
Is this aphorism on death?
Yes, it refers to dualities: life and death, error and knowledge, love and cruelty.... We can, of course, leave aside any question on death, but that was the question that came to me.
I tell you, it would mar a subject that may, in a few months (a few months or a few years, I don't know), grow clearer. There may be something worth telling then.
On a few occasions, you know, I was like this (Mother makes a gesture of hovering between two worlds7), as if I were really put in contact with what I have called “the death of death.” It was the unreality of death. From a COMPLETELY material standpoint. It was a question of cells and of the consciousness in the cells. Like when you are within an inch of something: “There it is! I'm going to catch it, there it is!...” But then it fades away. It has stayed as an impression.
A few seconds' experience which gave me the sense that the most central problem was solved. And then....
When it is like that, it will be interesting.
(Just before leaving)
Do we need another aphorism [for the Bulletin]? We already have three.
I'll just add part of what you said at the beginning, on the miracles in the mind....
What Sri Aurobindo did?
Yes, I asked you what those miracles in the mind were. You said he would bring the Supermind into the Mind.... It's interesting.
You think we should say that to people? They're....
Because personally, I didn't quite understand what it meant and why Sri Aurobindo and you didn't perform any miracles. But I won't put everything you said today.
Oh, no, no, no! No need to... It's only for our own enjoyment. And what about your book, how is it going on?
I'll soon start preparing next year's February 29,8 and your book is part of the preparation.... I am trying to find what to distribute – what will take place. I don't know yet what will take place. But many people, in all corners of the world, are expecting this February 29 (from everywhere they want to come), so I should at least have something ready for them.
The only thing that has come to my consciousness so far is for me to be in an inner state such that I could sit for two or three hours, while people file past me (of course, it's out of the question to distribute anything myself, it's impossible). Simply, for me to be absorbed in contemplation so that it wouldn't matter, people filing past wouldn't alter my state.
It was suggested to me in the form of a vision: I was sitting on a somewhat high chair downstairs, on the ground floor (in the meditation hall where I went in 1960), while people filed past me. But then there should be some sort of distribution, and I am more in favor of something printed than a material object. A material object... I am much too poor, in the first place. Something printed.
It's vague – not vague but incomplete. The details are precise, what I see is precise, but everything isn't there. Only certain points here and there – it's incomplete.
But one thing I know, I want your book to be published by then, to come out by the end of February, possibly for the 21st. But those people take ages to do things properly. That's why I ask you.
I hope it'll be finished at the beginning of next month.
Good. Au revoir, mon petit.
1 In other words, the physical mind, creator of the medical, gravitational and mortal cage we live in.
2 Later, Mother repeated the same remark: “I am not much concerned with this field, I see it from the OTHER angle What I refer to here is seen from below upward, while I see it the other way (gesture from above downward), so it assumes a very different character. We'll talk about it again later.”
3 In the following conversation, Mother gave a very recent example of someone cured by the supramental force acting in the material mind: “After three warnings which he didn't heed, A. [a Paris disciple], one morning, found himself half-paralyzed. And the next day, it started spreading to the other side, the left side. At that point, he gave a call – it struck him to see one side completely paralyzed and the other following suit, he saw himself going down, so he gave a call. And he says that inside a few minutes, a stupendous Force came into him and that Force said, ‘No!’ And almost automatically, everything came to a stop. Nothing came over the left side, and the right side started to improve. And when I received the first telegram informing me that A. had to take to his bed because of an ‘attack’ (a ‘heart attack,’ they said, but it wasn't the heart, it was an embolism in the brain), with the telegram in my hands, I saw, written OVER the telegram's words: ‘It's nothing, no need to worry’! So I said coolly, ‘Oh, it's nothing, no need to worry.’ (Mother laughs) Then the letter came with all the details: thrombosis, and so on. But he says he feels a Force [near Mother] that's not in his ordinary little life over there, he finds it makes all the difference – it's something which gives a LIFE that's not in his ordinary little life in France. Anyhow, this is something like a miracle.”
4 Just what presides over the “inevitability” of accidents, including gravitation, illness and death.
5 About forty feet long and thirteen feet wide.
6 One of Mother's secretaries.
7 In March 1962, when Mother very nearly did not return to her body.
8 Second anniversary of the supramental Manifestation.