There is only one solution,
and that's the direct contact
of the physical with the Supreme.

The Supramental Force in the Body

In the middle of the night before last, I woke up with the feeling of having a much more voluminous and powerful being in my body than usual. It was as if it could scarcely be held inside me and tended to spill over. It felt so compactly powerful as to be almost uncomfortable.

It lasted the rest of the night, and the next day I had considerable trouble containing an overwhelming power that caused spontaneous reactions disproportionate to a human body and made me speak in such strong terms that it sounded like anger. I found it difficult to control myself. "That last attack must have weakened me terribly!" I said to myself, "I don't have the strength to contain this Power." So I insisted on calm.

Then, yesterday afternoon, after I went upstairs to walk, a Force suddenly began manifesting, which was the same as what I had felt within me, but even greater. It began whirling upon the earth and within circumstances like a cyclone of compact power moving in with the intent of changing everything! Things had to change at all costs!

I looked at that and thought, "Hmm, this is getting dangerous. If it continues like this, it'll start a war or a revolution or some natural catastrophe." More importantly, this consciousness has been missioned to transform the earth through the supramental Force by avoiding, as much as possible, all catastrophes. The work is to be done as luminously and harmoniously as the earth will allow, even if it means going slower.

So I tried to counteract that whirlwind of power by applying the highest consciousness to it, that of perfect serenity.

This Force wanted to attack all darkness: ideas, people, movements, events, whatever was stained or shadowy. And it kept on going, a power so formidable that I had to keep a strong concentration, with both hands clenched.

The remainder of the evening passed as usual. I went to bed and at exactly a quarter to twelve I got up with the feeling that this "presence" in me had increased even further and had become formidable. My body had difficulty bearing it and I had to instill a great deal of peace and confidence into it. I concentrated and I told my body to be calm and let go completely.

From midnight until one o'clock I lay in bed fully awake. I was not in trance (I could hear all the noises, the clocks, and so on). And my entire body became one single extremely rapid and intense but immobile vibration. I don't know how to explain it, because it did not move in space, but it was a vibration (it had movement). The exact form of my body became the most brilliant white Light of the supreme Consciousness.

All this was taking place in the body, as if each cell had its own vibration, thus forming a single block of vibrations. I was absolutely still in my bed.

Then this consciousness began to rise consciously. In total stillness this body-consciousness began to rise toward the supreme Consciousness.

For a quarter of an hour, the consciousness rose, rose, rose. It kept rising and rising until the junction took place. A conscious junction, absolutely awake, not in trance.

And then this consciousness became the one Consciousness, perfect, eternal, beyond time, beyond space, beyond movement, beyond everything . . . I don't know . . . in an ecstasy, a beatitude, something ineffable.

It was the consciousness of the body.

I have had this experience while outside my body, in trance, but this time it was the body, the consciousness of the body.

It remained like that for about a quarter of an hour, but it was completely beyond time. It was an eternity.

Then, with the same precision, the same calm, the same deliberate and clear concentration (absolutely nothing mental), I began to come back down. And as I came down, I realized that all the difficulties I was battling the other day, which had caused an illness, were absolutely gone, canceled, mastered. In fact, not even "mastered," because there was nothing left to be mastered; there was only the vibration from top to bottom. (Let me say parenthetically that this had nothing to do with the ascent of a force such as the Kundalini! It wasn't that at all.)

Slowly, still without moving, everything returned into the different centers of the being.

It was as if, without leaving that state, which remained conscious the whole time, that supreme Consciousness began reactivating each center on its way down. First above the head, then the crown of the head, the forehead, the throat, the chest, etc. There was a pause at each center to allow the new realization to organize what was there. It organized and made all the necessary decisions, sometimes down to minute details: what had to be done in this case or said in that case — all that at once and together, not one after the other. It kept going down and down, right to bottom.

Each awakened center was added on to the rest, as it were, taking away nothing from what had come before. So at the end all was simultaneous — a kind of global awareness of everything.

This descending reorganization ended exactly when the clock struck one.

Then I knew I had to go into trance for the work to be complete, though until then I had been wide awake.

So I slipped into trance.

I came out of the trance two hours later, at 3 a.m.

During these two hours I saw with a new consciousness, a new vision, and above all a new power. I had a vision of the entire work: the people, the things, and the systems. It was different in appearance, but mainly different in power — a considerable difference. The power was no longer the same.

A truly essential change has occurred in the body.

I see that the body will have to - how can I express it? — accustom itself to this new Power. But essentially the change has occurred.

It's far, very far from being the final change; there's much more to accomplish. But we may say it's the conscious and total presence of the supramental Force in the body.

The Backlash

I've understood a great deal since that last experience.

It has brought in such turmoil, such strong jolts that even physically I might have wondered, "Was I dreaming or was it real?"

In the past several months this body has been subjected to every possible difficulty one after another, sometimes all together, with relentless violence. Yet I am coming to understand more and more how this is the indispensable preparation so the experience can become established in a permanent way in the most material world.

If the experience stayed permanently, it would be something very close to omnipotence. At the time, I felt there was no such thing as impossibility — truly a sensation of omnipotence. It is not omnipotence, because there is always a greater omnipotence. But in terms of the material world, it was clearly very different from all that has ever been seen or heard or told in every known tradition. At that moment there was the "something" that sees, decides — and it is done.

It did not stay.

It stayed above, but not here.

Yet it has imparted the physical consciousness with some measure of self-confidence in the sense that when I see something now, I am sure of it; there are no more hesitations: "Is this right or not? Is this true or not?" When I see, there is certitude. In other words, there is really a great change in the material consciousness.

But that prodigious power is no longer there. If it had stayed the way it was during that night, obviously many things would now be different.

Evidently, the body needed a very severe test, because from a personal standpoint, it's the only explanation I can find for all the current physical disorders.

Yet, for more than a year now, this body hasn't felt its limits. It is not at all its former self, no longer a body in a sack of skin. It is scarcely more than a concentration, an agglomeration of vibrations.

Even the functional disorders don't have the same meaning for the body as they do for doctors, for instance, or for ordinary people. The body feels them rather as a kind of difficulty in adjusting to a new vibratory need.

And it has a kind of extraordinary smile toward everything.

To each blow it receives, it responds with in an attitude of total surrender. It's a state of perpetual adoration where all the cells vibrate with the joy of Love.

At the end of the day, after the accumulation of things I receive from people and all the work I do, when I have to push and to pull myself up the stairs because my legs feel like two iron rods and do not respond to willpower — even then, the body doesn't protest. It starts walking back and forth while repeating the mantra, and after half an hour it is infinitely better.

Pain does not prevent this body from doing anything at all. Pain isn't a factor, or rather it's a factor that can be easily dealt with.

Yesterday, to make it happy, I wrote down (it's the body speaking): "If this latest difficulty is useful for Your Work, so be it. But if it is an effect of my own stupidity, then I beseech You to cure me of this stupidity as quickly as possible."

It didn't ask to be cured of the illness. "All right," it said, "as long as I can keep going, I will keep going. All I am asking is to be cured of my stupidity."

Yet from a psychological standpoint there is not the slightest shadow in the picture. Even from the material standpoint, the body is bathed in a tremendous accumulation of force and power.

Even though this Presence is felt, perceived and experienced, there is still the physical disorder. The problem is matter, probably cellular matter, not responding to willpower. Each time I climb the stairs, I try to find the way of infusing the Will to counteract that lack of response — but I still haven't found it.

It is a great mystery.

What Sri Aurobindo calls "the Great Secret."

It is so clear that even our highest, most luminous intelligence cannot understand anything. It is even foolish to try.

All our aspirations, our seekings, our ascents feel like flowers to me — quivering, luminous, delicate, lovely, ethereal — but that's not it. It is the very nature of things that must change.

Whereas when that feeling of absoluteness comes, it carries everything with it. Even "absolute" is not strong enough a word. I don't know how to express it. Nothing but that Absolute exists. There is only that.

And there is no individual participation; it's a decision coming straight from the Supreme. There is only one thing you can do: annul yourself as much as possible. If you can annul yourself totally, then the experience is total. And if this "self-annulment" could be permanent, the experience would be permanently there. But that's still far away.

So all this must be a preparation. Lots of things need to be cleared away before that Absolute can settle for good. That makes sense.

What also makes sense — annoyingly so — is that people, including those who see me all the time, understand nothing. During the last episode, they thought I was on my way out! This spoils the atmosphere terribly. Their faith is not sufficiently enlightened for them to keep calm without questioning.

If I were thirty or forty years old, they wouldn't be affected. [Mother is 83]. But unfortunately they think about my age all the time and that creates a negative atmosphere. "After all," they think, "Mother is old."

All the usual nonsense.

If I were alone somewhere and didn't have to look after all these people and things, it would be easier. But that would not be the true thing, either. Because when I had this last experience of the Supramental Force in the body, all that is normally in my care was present in the experience. There was no sense of individuality. In fact, I can't even find any individuality in my own body. What I find in this body are the subconscious vibrations of a world of things.

So this work can only be done on a large scale, otherwise it's the same old story.

Indeed, all substance is one. We constantly forget that! We always have a sense of separation, but that is total falsehood. It's because we keep relying on our senses. But it's not true at all. The moment one's consciousness changes, all this separation, all this division completely vanishes.

It would seem that if one wants to use his individuality, his body, to transform the whole, that is, to use his bodily presence to act upon the universal corporeal substance, there's no end to it. No end to the difficulties, no end to the battle!

A World of Obstacles

Oh, that subconscient!

Every night there's an invasion of things coming up from the subconscient — not just mine, but everybody's. There seems to be no end to it.

Now I have the knack of forgetting. I just forget, because when I used to remember, I had to fight for days on end. So as soon as I wake up, I erase it right away.

But all night long, I am fully conscious of so many things that seem to tell me: "You think there will be a supramental transformation? Well, just look at this thing, and this one, and this other one; look at this circumstance, at the world, at people . . ."

A deluge!

In the evening, before going to sleep, I read the Vedas, which further aggravates the situation, in the sense that those people had the memory of a supramental realization; and they describe it so beautifully and strikingly that it makes you feel so very far from the goal.

Afterward, I spend hours concentrated in prayer, beseeching.

I have reached a condition where I feel absolutely detached from everything, beginning with my body and including the work, ideas, conceptions, and even the people. Everything seems to me utterly dull and nonexistent. Before, I used to find joy in a beautiful idea or a beautiful experience. All that is finished.

I am in a state where absolutely nothing has any value except one thing.

This is obviously an indispensable condition.

What seems to have gone is all this illusory enthusiasm Sri Aurobindo speaks of so often. Each time I read that sentence of his it feels like an icy shower. I no longer remember the exact wording, but he uses two words: illusory hopes — all the human illusory hopes. Well, that has entirely disappeared.

I live with the constant feeling of pushing against a world of tremendous obstacles, with the certitude that, suddenly, all that resistance will give way.

The Flame

How I have been plagued all my life by morality! Everything was immediately placed on a scale of moral values — what helped or hampered progress. Everything, all circumstances, reactions, movements were seen from the perspective of this will to progress.

Now I realize that all these notions of progress are based on illusions.

Things are not what they seem; they don't have the effects they appear to have, or the results that are observed!

Now I know that none of these notions of what is good or bad for our progress are necessary.

Simply, the aspiration must be constantly like a flame. Aspiration — that is, we know what we want, and we want it. But it cannot be given any specific form. Sri Aurobindo has used certain words; we use other words, and others use still other words, but these are nothing but words. There is something beyond all words, which I express simply as "The Will of the Supreme."

And it's: The Will of the Supreme for the earth.

Well, the movement toward That must be constant. The rest is none of our business, and the less we interfere with it mentally, the better.

But that Flame is indispensable.

When it goes out, light it again. When it falters, rekindle it — all the time, all the time, all the time — when sleeping, walking, reading, moving around, speaking.

All the time.

The rest doesn't matter. The important is the flame.

And this aspiration is absolutely independent of all circumstances. I have felt this aspiration in the cells of my body at the very moment when things were at their most critical, when from a medical standpoint the illness was serious. The cells themselves aspire. This aspiration has to extend everywhere in the being.

When one is in this state, there is no need to worry.

Nothing else matters.

The Illusion of Spiritual Life

Since the experience of the Supramental Force in the body, I feel an acute detachment with respect to certain aspects of the work, as if links between my body, the whole physical consciousness, and its environment and entourage were dissolving.

It is getting more and more pronounced.

During these last days, difficulties have been piling up on top of one another. Formerly, I had the power to get a grip on them, but with this new detachment, things simply drift away everywhere.

What has been affected is a certain confidence in the reality of the Power, the reality of spiritual action.

It's as if there were no communication between above and below.

I don't know what is happening exactly. It seems that the nature of the contact is becoming very different, because, in proportion to this detachment, the reality of the Vibration — and especially the vibration of divine Love — keeps growing and growing in a formidable manner, out of all proportion to the body, which is beginning to feel nothing but that.

Is this detachment necessary, then, in order to establish divine Love? I don't know.

Despite all the illnesses and attacks and ill wills besetting the body, it's as if it were living in a bath of the divine vibration — something immense, limitless, and incredibly stable!

The body floats in it, and despite what we call physical pain or blows to the morale (like having a cashier ask for money when you have none to give him), despite all possible complications that keep coming up all at the same time, everything that happens, even those things that are extremely unpleasant to our mental conceptions, everything is felt as a bath of the vibration of divine Love.

So much so that if I didn't control my body, I would be smiling at everything all the time like an idiot. A beatific smile for everything, which I don't show because I control myself!

This transformation is no joke!

Yesterday, I was overcome with the feeling that all constructions, all habit, all ways of seeing, all ordinary reactions are completely disintegrating. I felt suspended in something entirely different, something . . . I don't know.

The feeling that all one has lived, all one has known, all one has done is a total illusion.

It's one thing to have the spiritual experience of the illusion of material life (I found it marvelous and so beautiful, it was one of the loveliest experiences of my life); but now it is the whole spiritual construction as one has lived it that is becoming a total illusion!

Not the same illusion, but a far more serious illusion.

So this experience of the vibration of divine Love is like a mattress so you don't break your neck when falling! That's exactly the feeling.

Yet I am not exactly a baby. It has been some sixty years since I began doing a conscious yoga, with all that memories of an immortal life can bring.

And here I am.

When Sri Aurobindo talks about the need for endurance, I think he is right!

This path is not for the weak, for sure.

I believe this body has suffered as much as a body can bear without falling to pieces, and it keeps going. Not once did it ask for mercy; not once has it said, "This is too much." It says, "As You will, Lord. Here I am."

And it keeps going.

The absolute certainty of the Victory is unquestionable, but I am not speaking at the scale of our bounded mind.

It's up to us to change tack. That's what is expected of us: to stop going in circles.

It's a process where one gets tempered.

And there's no point in giving up, because it would just have to be started all over again next time. What I always say is: "Here's the opportunity — go right to the end with it!"

Every Absolute Second

Our habitual state of consciousness is to do something for something. For example, the Rishis composed their hymns with an end in view; life had a purpose, and for them, the end was to find Immortality or the Truth. At any level, there is always a goal. Even we speak of the "supramental realization" as the goal.

Just recently, though, I don't know what happened, but something took hold of me: the perception of the Supreme who is everything, everywhere, who does everything — what has been, what is, what will be, what is being done. I was overcome, not by a thought or a feeling, but by a kind of condition: the unreality of the goal. Not unreality, but uselessness. Not even uselessness, but the nonexistence of the goal.

In the past, there was a motive or driving force behind every action: do this to achieve that, this will lead to that. But this driving force seems to have been abolished as it became useless.

Now, there is a kind of absoluteness in every second, in every movement, from the subtlest, the most spiritual, to the most material. The sense of connection has disappeared: that isn't the "cause" of this; this isn't done "for" that; one is not heading toward that "goal."

Is this, perhaps, how the Supreme sees?

An innumerable, perpetual, and simultaneous absolute.

Each "movement," each second carries in itself its own absolute law.

It is the total absence of cause and effect, of goal, of intention — of purpose. In other words, the horizontal connection among things has gone, only the vertical, all-encompassing connection exists.

It came in last night. It came slowly, but it became very strong: a kind of Absolute that does not exclude the creation.

This condition has nothing to do with Nirvana, which I know very well and experienced countless times. It is beyond Nirvana and embraces the manifested world as well as everything else — all the appearances and "disappearances" are contained in it.

What is very interesting is that everything stays the same.

My problem begins when I ask myself how things are going to change!

Mental Static

Nothing sensational or interesting to report.

It is a minuscule labor, moment after moment, almost like laying stones to build a road. Every day and all the time, night and day, there are lots of tiny little things — not very interesting. The work follows successive curves, so to speak, each second of which would have to be noted down, and in the course of one of these curves, something is suddenly found.

For example, in The Synthesis of Yoga Sri Aurobindo reviews the other yogas, beginning with Hatha Yoga. I had just translated this passage when I remembered Sri Aurobindo saying that Hatha Yoga was very effective, but it required spending one's entire life training the body, which is an enormous time and effort spent on something not essentially very interesting. And I said to myself, "But after all, even in ordinary life, one spends at least ninety percent of one's lifetime merely to preserve one's body, to keep it functioning! All this attention and concentration to look after an instrument that is put to hardly any use."

I was reflecting upon this, when suddenly all the cells of my body responded so spontaneously, with such warmth: "But it's the Lord who is looking after Himself in us!" Each cell was saying: "But it's the Lord who is looking after Himself in us!"

It was truly lovely. So I gave my reason a good poke: "How stupid can you be! You always forget the essential!"

It was very spontaneous and lovely.

Things like that happen, but it's nothing. It is evidently the proof that something is taking place within this whole cluster of cells, but . . .

Ultimately, we want something else.

What we want is . . . something like an absolute in the presence, in the action, in the consciousness, something that annuls this present sense of separateness. In my case, I can hardly call it a "duality" anymore, but there is still "something that sees and feels." And that's what is irritating.

I sense that everything in me is reaching toward one thing: "You, You alone; let there be only You."

There is always some terrible misunderstanding with the pronoun "You" or "I."

Let That be, and nothing else.

As long as That does not prevail, we are still paving the road.

When I am alone, it is wonderful! The moment this body is left alone, oh, it melts! It melts. There are no more limits. It is happy: "Oh, at last I can cease to be!" Truly, it forgets itself; it goes into something else.

And whenever I grumble or grouse, it says, "Don't forget, it's for Me. It's Me; it's Me bringing in the people; it's Me making them ask things; it's Me organizing everything." So I tweak my ears or pull my hair and say to myself, "How stupid! "

The body is obviously being prepared for something.

But it still much too open to people's mental formations, and so it has to struggle against a world of things! That's my reproach to it — why the struggle? Why, suddenly, do I feel this terrible fatigue falling over me and I have to brace myself? The body reacts naturally by repeating the mantra; then all falls quiet. But why is this effort necessary? Why the need to remember and put up a struggle?

I think this body is doing its best, but it is hindered by the interference of that mental-like activity in matter.

It is really sordid.

I haven't yet been able to eliminate it completely.

There are moments when it's brought to a dead halt. Sometimes, while I walk with the mantra, everything is held still, as if subdued inflexibly.

But the difficulty is that for the ordinary consciousness — and unfortunately I am surrounded by many people who have a very ordinary consciousness — I seem to be in a stupor, a coma, a state of imbecility. It appears to be paralysis or dullness: no more thinking, observing, reacting, or doing anything.

And that mental-like activity keeps coming from outside and trying to interrupt this state, but if I manage to preserve it, then after a while it becomes so massively concrete in its power and its immobility! It must lead somewhere.

Unfortunately, because of those constant interruptions, I can never manage to remain in this state long enough (it would have to go on for hours). And when the body is abruptly pulled out, it seems to lose its balance and experiences some difficult moments.

How I understand people who choose to leave!

But that's not what is wanted of me. I should achieve enough flexibility so the two conditions can exist together.

Matter's Protest

Recently I read a passage where Sri Aurobindo speaks of his own work and explains what he means by the "supramental transformation."

It made me understand the reactions I had to the experience of the supramental force in the body. Immediately afterward, according to the ordinary consciousness, I fell ill. But I did not fall ill! All possible difficulties in the body's subconscient rose up en masse.

It had to happen, as it surely happened to Sri Aurobindo, too. How well I understood! I had always wondered why these difficulties had hounded him so ferociously — now I know, because I am being attacked in the same relentless manner.

Actually, it springs from everything in the material consciousness that can still be touched by the adverse forces; that is, not exactly in the body-consciousness itself, but in the material substance as it has been organized by the mind — the initial mentalization of matter. Well, something in there protests, and that protest creates disorders.

For the past two days I've had the feeling of knowing nothing whatsoever. I've had this feeling for a very long time, but recently it has become extremely acute, as it always does at times of crisis, when things are on the verge of changing, or getting clarified, or exploding.

Indeed, no one has ever followed this path! Sri Aurobindo was the first, and he left without telling us what he was doing. I am literally cutting a path through a jungle — worse than a jungle.

Yogically speaking, it's very easy to become a saint or a sage! I feel I was born like that. One knows all that needs to be done, and doing it is as easy as knowing it. It's nothing.

But this transformation of matter! What has to be done? How is it to be done? What is the path? Is there a path? A procedure? Probably not.

To live in a constant, immutable state where all is the Supreme, all is marvelous love and profound Joy; and to have the substance of the body contradict this state through every possible stupidity: loss of sight, failing strength, a pain here, an ache there, disorders and weaknesses of every kind. And at the same time, the response in the body, no matter what happens to it: "O Lord, Your Grace is infinite."

The contradiction is very disconcerting.

From experience, I know that when one is satisfied with being a saint or a sage and constantly maintains the right attitude, all goes well — the body doesn't get sick, and even if there are attacks it recovers easily. All goes very well as long as there is no will of transformation.

All the difficulties arise in protest against the will of transformation. Whereas if one says, "All right, let things be as they may. I don't care; I am perfectly happy and blissful," then the body begins to feel content!

That's the problem — something totally new is being introduced into matter and the body is protesting.

Clearly, it comes from the subconscient and the inconscient, which rise up with disgusting persistence!

Of course, it comes with all the usual suggestions: "Sri Aurobindo himself didn't do it! How do you expect to succeed where he didn't!" But my answer is always the same: "When the Lord says it's over, I will know it's over."

That stops them short.

As for Sri Aurobindo, he refuses to acknowledge that anything has stopped with his physical departure. That's the point — nothing has stopped. He came for that, and he arranged things to give the maximum chance to success, to put the winning cards on our side.

Obviously, if I were to leave now, I can say there would be a stop, because at the moment I don't see anyone who could continue.

Indeed, the way the body has been built is very important for this supramental work, not so much in relation to spiritual elements or even to mental power, as in the capacity to endure, to last.

I have never been told, either through Sri Aurobindo or directly, if I would go to the end. I have never been told the contrary, either. I have been told nothing. And when I turn toward That — not to question, but simply to know — the answer is always the same: "Carry on; it's not your problem. Don't worry about it." So now I have learned not to worry about it; I am consciously not worried about it.

In the final analysis, everything depends upon the Supreme's Will, because even physical laws and resistances are nothing for Him. But if His Will expresses itself in complete opposition of the whole set of laws governing the manifestation — well, a direct intervention of this kind can only happen at the extreme limit, at the very last second, as it were. Sri Aurobindo has expressed this so well in Savitri! At least three times in the book he has mentioned this Will that abolishes all established laws and all their consequences — the whole formidable colossus of the Manifestation. And this takes place at the very last "second."

Oh, the awareness of the incredible difficulty of the "challenge" is given to me drop by drop, so I won't be overwhelmed. It's measured out with such wisdom! Though evidently there must be some considerable progress, because lately the enormity of the task has been shown to me far more concretely! So much so that all spiritual life, all the peoples and races who have tried since the beginning of the earth, who have made so many efforts to realize something — all of it seems like child's play. You smile and you're happy. It's nothing at all!

To put things in ordinary terms, this work is without glory whatsoever! You get no results, no experiences filling you with ecstasy or joy or wonder. It is a hideous labor.

If there weren't this clear vision and constant aspiration within — oh, it's so dreary and dull and gray!

And I can't say that my experiences are the result of a mental aspiration or will or knowledge - I don't know anything. I don't know how it should be, or what it should be; I don't know what should be done, or what should not be done. It's truly a blind march in a desert riddled with all possible traps and difficulties and obstacles.

The only thing to do is to be in a state of total surrender — provided one doesn't fall asleep!

Between Two Worlds

The subtlety of the problem is truly bewildering.

If I take absolutely identical situations with the same outer circumstances, the same inner circumstances, the same inner "mood," the same events, the same people — just a few hours apart. In one case, the body — the cellular consciousness — feels a sort of eurhythmy and overall harmony in which everything dovetails marvelously, without the least friction. It's peace and joy in a physical sense. All is so harmonious one has a feeling of a divine organization in all the cells, in everything.

In the other case, everything is the same, the consciousness is the same, yet something is missing — the harmony is gone. Why? One doesn't know. And the body begins to feel uneasy and to malfunction.

Yet everything is absolutely identical — mental condition, vital conditions, physical conditions.

Suddenly everything seems meaningless.

The full consciousness of the divine Presence is there, yet something is missing. It's like searching for something that keeps eluding you. Things become meaningless. Even the body's functional movements may be identical, but they are felt to be disharmonious, meaningless. What is missing? One doesn't know.

How can it be explained?

A question of vibrations in matter.

It's incomprehensible, completely eluding all mental or psychological laws.

The more detailed it becomes, the more mysterious it becomes. Talking about it is one thing; putting it into practice is another!

It's almost like being on the border between two worlds. It's the same world — is it two aspects of this world?

I can't even say that. Yet it's the same world. All is the Lord, He and nothing but He. But in one position all is perfect harmony; in the other all is absurd, meaningless, laborious and painful.

And all is the same!

It makes you feel so clearly that things in themselves don't count. What we call "things in themselves" are of no real importance! What really counts is the relation of consciousness with these things.

It's the sense of facing something that completely escapes reason, intelligence, and even the most elevated mental or intellectual comprehension. Using big words, one could say, "All the first position is Truth and all the second is Falsehood" — but it's the same thing!

What is it?

If we found that, perhaps we would have it all — the total Secret.

That must be how Truth became Falsehood.

I am up against this fact: how did Truth become Falsehood? I am not interested in some intellectual answer; I am interested in the mechanism itself, the concrete fact.

And with a sort of prescience I see that only the body can find the answer — that's the extraordinary thing!

That is a true Secret. How splendid it will be when it is found.

Dealing with the Deluge

It has come to the point where the more concentrated the Force, the more things happen at the very moment they are supposed to. People turn up just when they should and do just what they ought to do; things around me fall into place naturally, and this goes for the least little detail. Simultaneously they bring with them a sense of harmony and rhythm, a smiling joy in organization, as if everything were joyously participating in this arrangement.

For example, I want to tell something to someone and he shows up; I need someone to do a specific work and he appears; something has to be organized and all the necessary elements are at hand. All happens with a kind of miraculous harmony, but there is nothing miraculous about it! It's simply the inner force meeting with a minimum of obstacles, and its action molds things.

This happens to me very, very often; and sometimes it goes on for hours.

But it's a rather delicate mechanism, a fine clockwork, and the least little thing throws everything out of gear. If someone has a bad reaction, for instance, or an ill thought, or an agitated vibration, or some anxiety, it is enough to dissolve all the harmony. For me, it translates immediately by a physical malaise, a very special type of malaise.

Then disorder sets in, and the ordinary routine of life returns. Again I have to gather up, as it were, the Presence of the Lord and to start infusing it everywhere. Sometimes it goes fast, but when the disorganization is more radical, it takes a while longer.

For instance, my eye hemorrhage resulted from such a disorder, a very dark force that someone allowed into the atmosphere, not deliberately, not knowingly, but through weakness and ignorance, always mingled with desire and ego and all the rest. (Without desire and ego, these things would never find any access.) At any rate, that was plainly the cause and I felt it immediately. Half an hour later I had this eye hemorrhage.

But it's so lovely when this Harmony comes! Puttering about, arranging papers, putting order in a drawer — it all sings. It's so lovely and joyous and luminous! When this harmony is here, all material circumstances and activities, such as eating or dressing, become delightful. Everything works smoothly, harmoniously, without any friction. There is this joyous, luminous Grace manifesting in all things, even in those we normally regard as unimportant.

In one instance, we touch something and we drop or mishandle it, while in the other everything works so smoothly that even the most difficult movements are accomplished without difficulty. It's an incredible power! We don't give it any importance because it has no grandiose or spectacular effects.

I would begin to be satisfied if this condition of Harmony were constant and total, active in all circumstances and at every moment, day and night. But is it possible with this deluge pouring in from outside?

While walking this morning, I was as if a witness watching what was coming from outside. What a mixture! From all sides, from everyone and everything and everywhere. And not only from here, but from far, far away on the earth, and sometimes from far back in time — things out of the past presenting themselves to the new Light to be put in their proper place.

And this work has to be done constantly.

The Malentendu

I am investigating the consequences of a truly interesting experience.

It was the concrete experience of something I already "knew," but what is knowledge compared to living the experience!

The story began with an entirely concrete incident. Someone was complaining of suffering from a serious psychological illness: the possession, recurring at periodic intervals, by a spirit of falsehood.

This person came to see me and the moment she entered the room there was an upwelling of that profound compassion of Love, along with a concentration of Power to drive away the possession. All this was accompanied by quite an affectionate outward gesture toward her.

Then the person left and within half an hour I received a note from her: "Now I know you hate me. You want me to be ill and to die because I disgust you."

It was interesting because it was so concrete.

I had been conscious of my movement of compassion and love and of what it had become in this other person's consciousness.

Her reaction is very easy to explain: she was already more than half-possessed, and naturally that spirit of falsehood inside her hardly felt comfortable! The identifications with that entity was not only mental, but also vital, and it was so complete that she felt love as a movement of hatred.

I must add that this came after I had been concentrating for three days on finding an explanation for why this world has become the way it is. Of course, it is impossible to find the "why" as long as the reason is asking, for it goes much beyond reason, but what is the mechanism of the Falsehood? Finding the mechanism — having the experience of the mechanism — would already be something.

Then came this concrete juxtaposition of the vibration of Love and its reception as hatred. "Why, this is exactly what happens all the time!" I thought. "The Lord is constantly All-Love, All-Truth, All-Bliss, All-Delightand the world, especially the human world, constantly receives Him in the other way."

An Indispensable Foundation

When we do something, generally we can perceive in ourselves a will to do it. This is the usual sequence in which things happen. This is when the mind intervenes.

But the supramental action takes place directly, without going through the mind. Something comes directly in contact with the vital centers and drives them without the mind's intervention — yet in full consciousness. The consciousness doesn't function in the usual order; it goes straight from the center of spiritual will to matter. And so long as the mind can be kept absolute immobile, the action is unmixed and the inspiration absolutely pure. For example, if we can hold on to this mental immobility while speaking or writing, whatever comes to us remains pure.

It is an extremely delicate balance, probably because we're not used to it, and the slightest movement or mental vibration disrupts everything. Indeed, in a supramentalized life this state of utter immobility must be constant; mentalized will can longer intervene.

A person's life may be the expression of a spiritual will (that's what happens to all those who feel guided by the Divine within), but as long as it comes via a mental transcription, it is not the supramental life. The supramental life no longer uses the mind, which then becomes an immobile zone of transmission.

Thus we can say that the Supramental can express itself in a terrestrial consciousness only when there exists a state of perfect equality, which develops from a spiritual identification with the Supreme: all becomes the Supreme in perfect equality. This state must be spontaneous and automatic, not obtained through conscious will or intellectual effort. There is no longer any reaction to what comes from outside as an "outside" event. That pattern of reaction and reception is replaced by a state of perception completely free from all rebound, so to speak.

It's the difference between something coming from outside and striking us, making us react, and something moving freely and naturally while generating the vibrations needed for the overall action. It's the difference between a vibratory movement within an identical field of action and a movement from an outside source, touching us and eliciting a reaction. Once the consciousness is identified with the Supreme, all movements become inner, as it were — inner in the sense that nothing emanates from the outside.

This state is very familiar, because I am now living in it constantly. I never have the feeling of things coming from outside and bumping into me. Rather, there's the sense of multiple, and sometimes contradictory, inner movements: a continuous flow eliciting the inner changes necessary to the progression.

This state is an indispensable foundation.

Expanding the Body

The whole period of life given over to self-individualization is a time of conscious, willed crystallization, as it were. To become a conscious, individualized being, we need to crystallize everything.

Whereas now, again constantly, the opposite movement has to be made — with an even greater willpower. That crystallization has to be undone and replaced by a sort of suppleness and expansion in everything. Yet the consciousness must not lose the benefit of what has been acquired through individualization.

It isn't easy.

It is elementary for thought. It isn't too difficult for feelings; for the heart, the emotional being, to expand to the dimension of the Supreme is relatively easy.

But this body!

It is extremely difficult to do it without the body losing its center of coagulation, as it were, without dissolving into surrounding matter. In a naturally beautiful environment, with lots of space, with mountains and forests and rivers, it might be pleasant. But it is physically impossible to take a single step outside one's body without meeting unpleasant, painful things. From time to time, one meets a pleasant substance, something harmonious, warm, vibrating with a higher light, but it's rare. Yes, sometimes flowers.

But this material world! One gets clawed and battered and mauled from all sides, by all sorts of things that just don't blossom. How hard it all is! How closed human life is! How shriveled-up, intractable, lacking light and warmth, let alone joy.

I never spoke of this with Sri Aurobindo, because at the time I didn't have these experiences. I had all the psychological experiences, in the mind, even the most material mind, and in the vital and the physical consciousness — but not in the body.

This is something new. And it started only three or four years ago.

Yet I don't think I have wasted any time. One might think that if I had known forty years ago - at the age of forty instead of eighty — what I know now, there would be much more time to work with. But I haven't wasted any time. All that time was necessary to get me where I am today.

Weakness and Glory

I have noticed that if I spontaneously say something the way I see it, without trying to adapt myself to people, they don't understand what I am talking about. My vision of things — of the same things — has become extraordinarily different.

Before, I had a sense of a "higher way of living." Now this so-called higher way of living seems so miserable, petty, narrow that I very often find myself in the same position as those who ask, "But is there really something to that 'spiritual' life?" I understand them. I understand the feeling of those who come in contact with spiritual life and ask, "What's the point?"

In that former illusion, there were noble, generous, heroic actions, which added color to life and could give some interesting moments.

Now I see it all as childishness.

People with a spiritual life live their spiritual life on one side, and let this "life in the body" take care of itself on the other, without attaching any importance to it.

But what a relief to live the Truth at each instant!

I haven't yet found the way.

Yes, it's like a no-man's-land. There is nothing to hold on to.

So the tendency is to step back and go within. But that's not the way! It's a natural movement, but I clearly see that it's false.

This morning both "sides" were there together. There was a keen sense of the absolute pettiness, stupidity and dullness of all outer circumstances, of this whole bodily life in its external form, and at the same time a great symphony of divine joy. And both states were together: a feeling of physical weakness, almost physical decrepitude, and simultaneously a glory of divine splendor.

I can't express it. The minute I try to express something, most of it evaporates.

I always have the most acute experiences when I am in the very midst of physical life, while taking my bath, for example.

It was odd, because on one side the body was unwell, most inharmonious, and simultaneously, in the same physical sensation, there was the sense of such glory! A marvelous glory of bliss, joy, splendor!

How could the two exist together?

My sense is that one consciousness is to replace the other.

Ultimately, it implies a change in the functioning of the body's organs.

But what is the process?

Already the two "modes" are beginning to exist simultaneously. But what does it take for one to disappear and the other to remain on its own, changed? Changed, because as it is now it wouldn't be adequate for the body to function. The body wouldn't perform all the things it needs to perform; it would settle down in a state of bliss, delighting in its condition, but not for long, for it still has a lot of needs! A stomach still needs to digest, for example.

Sometimes I wonder if it's not sheer folly to attempt this!

I don't know. No one has ever done it before, so there's no one to tell me.

That's what I expected of Sri Aurobindo. But he himself was searching. Had he continued, he probably would have found it. But obviously it wasn't possible.

He never said he didn't know.

But if I am given the time, I will know. I am convinced of it. Because despite growing difficulties, there is also growing knowledge and continued progress. And the Presence is becoming so concrete and so helpful, so concrete in its help, that I cannot be mistaken.

But it will take time.

A Tiny beginning

This body-consciousness, this dull consciousness in matter, gives the feeling of something so inert, so invariable, so incapable of response that even millions and millions of years would not budge it.

It takes catastrophes to get it to move.

Oddly enough, the wisp of imagination it does have is invariably catastrophic. Whatever it anticipates is always for the worst — the pettiest, meanest, nastiest kind of worst.

It's the most sickening condition human consciousness and matter can be in.

Well, I have been in it for months now, and my way of being in it is to go through every possible illness and be subjected to every possible physical discomfort one after another.

Recently, things became really a bit critical, dangerous, and for about an hour I had to keep hold of this body with clenched fists. And the whole time the Force was at work in here — it was like kneading a very tough dough — something was saying to this body-consciousness, "Look, you can no longer deny miracles; miracles do happen."

Wide-eyed, it was compelled to see, because the result was right under its nose and it could not be denied.

But the minute I let go of the pressure, it was completely forgotten! I, of course, remember the experience, but the body-consciousness has forgotten.

So we have to keep trying.

What's bothersome, though, is that I go through some pretty difficult moments physically.

Yet this body is so willing. The poor thing, sometimes I find it crying out, imploring like a child: "How do I get out of this mess?"

This is precisely why people who achieved the inner realization have called this work "impossible." It's their own impossibility! I know it's not impossible, but how long will it take? I have no idea.

I sense that if I try to hurry, to speed things up, it jams and becomes like stone — it returns to stone. I don't want that. So one can't be too impatient, or even apply too much pressure. Beyond a certain pressure, it turns to stone.

I well understand people who have attained the realization and remain in the bliss of their realization, casting out this whole external manifestation: "I'll do without!"

That's what has always happened.

But I can't do that.

Although sometimes, yes, there's a sudden glimmer of conscious control over a bodily function, suggesting a time when everything will function by the action of a conscious will.

It's a tiny, tiny beginning, but it has begun. And the slightest mental intrusion from the old movement spoils everything. I mean, the old way of behaving with our body: we want this or that and we want it to behave this way or that way. The minute that starts up, everything stops. Progress comes to a stand still, and one has to wait until the ordinary functioning consents to stop, which means meditation, contemplation, starting all over again.

One must be in a state of beatific union to feel the new functioning appear.

And the only way to do it is in a sort of passivity: not to want the result. Wanting a result brings in an ego movement, which spoils everything.

What has become constant, though, is discrimination, a sense of instant discrimination: seeing all circumstances, vibrations, and relations and putting each in its proper place. I know where things come from, why they come, their effect, where they're going to lead me, and so on.

But impatience and irritation — well, some people need it as a safety valve, but it's a big waste of time.

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