What takes the most time
is becoming conscious
of what needs to be changed.

The Body's Insecurity

A few days ago, while walking in meditation, this body said to the Lord, "What do I have? I have no certainty, no foreknowledge, and no absolute power. I have nothing." It complained bitterly: "I am full of the silliest movements." These small movements of apprehension, uncertainty, anxiety — small movements of all kinds.

People who live the ordinary life don't notice anything, but when one observes what's going on deep down with that discernment — oh, it is so petty, petty, petty!

This body has only one thing, and not even in an absolute way: a sort of equality, an equality in the cells. There is no longer the clash of joy and sorrow. For everything, every reaction, it's as if the cells were chanting: "to You Lord, to You Lord, to You Lord."

That's how it is constantly.

But in spite of this, the body doesn't have a sense of eternal stability, the sense of its permanence. The cells feel eternal, but the body itself does not feel sheltered from all attacks. It doesn't have a sense of absolute security. There are still vibrations of insecurity. And that seems so limited, so petty!

The sense of security only comes through union with the Supreme. Nothing in life as it is, in the world as it is, can offer a sense of security.

But to feel the Supreme's presence so constantly, to be able to refer everything to Him — "To You, to You, to You" — and yet not to have a sense of security! A shock or a blow (not necessarily personal, but in life) can still elicit a vibration of insecurity.

The body finds this disquieting, grievous. Not that it complains, but it complains about itself, about its own inability.

To know that all is You, that You alone exist, to feel You everywhere, to feel You always, yet to still be open to the first thing coming from outside to give you a blow and to have a sense of insecurity — how absurd!

Of course, with the concentration of the true being, that insecurity disappears instantly. But then, it isn't the body that feels security! It's the true consciousness.

We want the body to exist in itself, by itself, with all its own qualities.

In other words, God shouldn't need to manifest for the body to live without anxiety!

And the Earth

This body is capable of passing on to others all it realizes.

It's a capacity of putting certain people or things all around the earth in contact with the experience by focusing the Vibration of the Consciousness onto them.

That's what Sri Aurobindo never stopped repeating: "Do not try to do it all by yourself; the Mother will do it for you, if you trust her."

It's an absolute fact.

This work isn't being done for one body; it is done for the earth.

As Sri Aurobindo said, if people around me do not have the direct Contact with the Lord — a contact I brought with my birth, of which I have grown more and more aware, but which was the very source of this earthly existence — if they don't have that Contact, they can have a conscious contact with me. That's easier, because it's something more tangible.

I am constantly doing this movement of offering: "Lord, I cannot do it; do it for me. Lord, I cannot do it; do it for me." It goes on twenty-four hours a day and as many thousand seconds as there are in a day, spontaneously, sincerely, absolutely: "I don't know how I can do it all by myself. It is such an enormous thing to do. It's all up to You. Do it for me." A difficulty arises; so-and-so is in trouble; these circumstances seem completely awry. "I can't sort it out with my own knowledge. Do what needs to be done. It's all up to You."

It's a movement of every minute, every second.

In fact, if the work was limited to a single body, a single aggregate of cells, it would be very easy in comparison, but the interchange, the oneness, the reciprocity is automatic and spontaneous. I feel that what is going on here in my body naturally, necessarily, and spontaneously has consequences very far and wide. Something new happens in the body, a new pain or disorganization, something unexpected, and a while later I learn that this or that person has come down with the exact same thing!

Sometimes, a movement or reaction comes to me, something in the consciousness of the body complains: "Oh, I'm still like that! What a shame!" But the body's whimper doesn't come from one place. It isn't one thing or one body that complains; it's a whole way of being, a terrestrial way of being expressed by: "Oh, I'm still like that!" Then comes the immediate answer: "But don't you see the usefulness of it?" And I am shown a whole web of movements, vibrations, actions, and reactions; and in one tiny spot I see something slightly inert, which is in need of Force. And everything becomes clear and falls into place!

Clearly, it is egoism that yearns for personal, individual perfection. Instead of wanting overall progress, it seeks personal progress, making divisions where there are none, separations where they do not exist. I see how something going through this body should be accepted when it is in its place and time to be useful, so the whole may continue on its course.

Thus, one can gauge precisely how much is left of the old habit of personal reaction, especially in the emotive part of the being. For the moment the emotive part comes into play, it "personalizes" things, because it enjoys individual reactions. And when a somewhat darker or backward movement occurs, the body is indignant and doesn't understand that it's part of the whole, that the whole must progress together and one cannot perfect a piece of the whole in isolation. It can't be done! It's not that it shouldn't be done; it cannot be done.

Everything moves together.

The Hemorrhage

I am aware of the consciousness of the body, but it isn't the consciousness of this body; it's the consciousness of the Body — it may be anyone's body.

For instance, I become conscious of vibrations of a disorder (most often in the form of suggestions of a particular disorder) that come to see if they will be accepted and have an effect.

Let's take the example of a suggestion of a hemorrhage (I mention hemorrhage because it will soon come into the picture).

Under the higher Influence, the body-consciousness rejects the suggestion. Then the battle begins, all the way down in the cells, in the material consciousness, between what could be called the "will for hemorrhage" and the reaction of the cells. And it's very much like a real battle, a real confrontation.

Suddenly, something like a general shouts an order: "What is this!" This "general" is conscious of the higher forces, the higher realities and the divine intervention in matter. After trying various approaches — willpower, this reaction, that feeling of peace, etc. — he is suddenly seized with a very strong determination and shouts an order. In no time at all, the effect is felt, and gradually everything returns to normal.

All this takes place in the material consciousness. Physically, the body has all the sensations, the sensory effects, but no hemorrhage.

Once the battle is over, I say to myself, "What in the world is this?" Then I forget about it.

A few days later, I receive a letter from someone very close, who has an ardent faith. In the letter this person describes the whole episode: the attack, the hemorrhage, feeling on the verge of death, and suddenly being seized with an irresistible will and hearing words - the very words uttered here. The result: he is saved, cured.

Just in time for the letter to reach me.

I remembered my own episode — and began to understand that my body is everywhere!

It's not just these cells; it's the cells in a number, maybe hundreds or thousands, of people. And since I deliberately keep my mind absolutely silent and blank, trying not to react to all that constantly comes from "outside," nothing is there to think, "It's this person's body or that person's body." It's the body!

That's what is so difficult for people to understand.

It is the body.

This body is not my body any more than other bodies (a bit more, in the sense that it is more directly the object of the concentration of the Force).

With this little episode, I suddenly realized a great number of things — and also the difficulty! The difficulty, because after this experience the body was not exactly ill, but very tired.

It has to grapple with these kinds of things all the time! They spring up all the time, pounce on it from all sides, and I have to concentrate and start the battle.

No Assurance

Sometimes, when things are quite chaotic, I ask for an Assurance from the Lord.

But I see very well that if my body's cells, the body-consciousness, were told, "You are immortal. All these difficulties are experiences. The pain you feel has no importance. This apparent decomposition has no importance. And you will go to the end of the experience, to the transformation" — if it were told that, it would be child's play, because enduring difficulties is nothing.

Never have I been told that. Never have I been given the Assurance.

From time to time, the body is in a sort of state of immortality, but it isn't constant and it depends on other things. And if it's "dependent," it is no longer a supreme Assurance.

At the same time, there is this clear discernment: very likely, there would be a general slackening of the cells' effort if they were told, "Never mind; none of this is important, because you will last till the work is done."

The concentration of willpower to do battle would disappear, and one of the required conditions would be missing.

The Body's Restlessness

Sometimes I catch my body in a sort of haste or impatience and with a feeling of uncertainty. The two together: impatience to get out of the present moment and go immediately to the next, and, at the same time, uncertainty as to what that next moment will bring. The whole thing creates a vibration of restlessness.

I constantly catch my cells that state.

Naturally I react, but for them it's a very normal state: straining after the next moment, never enjoying the quietude of the present moment. It results in a feeling of having to endure and an eagerness to get out of that enduring, along with the hope that the next moment will be better.

That's how it is from moment to moment, moment to moment, moment to moment.

As soon as I bring down the Consciousness and concentrate it on the present moment, everything becomes quiet, immobile, eternal. But if I am not constantly attentive, the other condition of restlessness returns almost as a subconscious and ever-present phenomenon. And it's very tiring.

It must be one of the major sources of fatigue in mankind. Only when one can live in the eternity of the present minute does it stop; then everything becomes white, immobile, peaceful.

But it requires constant vigilance. It's infinitely more difficult than working in the vital, which is child's play in comparison. Because in the mind or the vital, all is a question of organization, choice, decision. It's very easy to decide and to rule! Whereas that cellular tension is there continuously; it's an activity inherent in material existence. It only stops when one goes into samadhi, that is, outwardly in trance.

From time to time — two or three times a day — I am given a few minutes of it. It's a marvelous relaxation. But the body always comes out of it with a sense of anxiety: "Oh, I forgot to live!" Like a good servant who neglected his work. One split second of anxiety: "Oh, I forgot to live! " And the whole drama starts all over again.

This is interesting only for those who find interest in everything, those whose will for perfection neglects no detail whatsoever. For the mind, of course, it's a total waste of time and a pure nonsense.

The Foundation of Materialism

I don't know whether this is the last battle, but these days things have reached the depth of the darkest cellular realm, what still belongs to the world of Unconsciousness and Inertia and is most foreign to the divine Presence. It is the realm of the primal substance used by life, as it were, which lacks any ability to feel and experience a reason for this life.

It's something I had never experienced before.

Even in my earliest childhood, before I had any development, I always felt a Power behind things - a Power, a Force, a kind of warmth — something that is the raison d'Ítre of all things.

But this isn't just the experience of this body's cells. This is an identification with the world in general, with the earth as a whole.

It is an absolutely terrifying and hopeless condition: something without meaning, sensation, or aim, without any joy in itself.

Something that has no raison d'Ítre, and yet it is.

And there is no way out of that nothingness because it is nothing.

A terrible condition.

I have the feeling it is quite close to the bottom of the hole.

Yesterday, the whole day was spent in that condition.

And suddenly, something came from nowhere: there is only one raison d'Ítre, only one Reality, only one Life. And there is nothing but that.

It was a combination of Light, Power, Omnipotence, together with an intense sweetness, warmth, and plenitude. Words cannot describe it. It came all at once, just like that, right in the middle of that terrible state of anxiety.

The condition of all the seekers of Nirvana, with their disgust of life, is almost enjoyable in comparison! It was a thousand times, a million times worse. And there was no way out of it.

At some point, the tension was so great that I wondered, "Am I going to burst?"

Then everything relaxed and opened up . . . OM!

That relief, that blossoming, that peace! Everything vanished, except That.

It's the first time I had that experience. And it wasn't in the least bit personal to my body. It was something else.

This condition is actually the basis and foundation of all materialism.

Pain and Doubt

Sometimes this poor body says to the Lord, "Tell me if I am to last, if I am to live, so I may endure. I don't care about pain and I am ready to suffer, as long as this suffering isn't a sign that I should prepare to go."

That's how it is.

When the body is in pain, it wonders why and asks, "Is this something I have to endure and overcome in order to be able to continue my work, or is it a more or less roundabout way of telling me I am coming undone and am about to disappear?"

But there is no response. I haven't been able to obtain a clear answer.

It probably isn't necessary.

Not a day passes without my having to fight against one pain or another, one difficulty or another.

Of course, the body knows that when its entire consciousness is centered on the Divine, it no longer feels anything; if it has a pain, it no longer feels it. But the minute it becomes slightly aware of the outer world, the awareness of the pain returns.

There are moments of illumination when it has the certitude of the Triumph. But almost immediately something comes to contradict it brutally, as a reminder: "Don't get carried away! You're not yet there, you know."

It has the feeling of knowing nothing, and it isn't told what will happen. So it feels a bit . . . in midair.

It can switch in an instant from a consciousness of eternity to a consciousness of utter fragility.

On top of it, there are numerous adverse forces, adverse suggestions (some caused by ignorance, others by ill will) that come and harass my body. I don't believe them. It doesn't believe them, but it doesn't have the assurance that would allow it to laugh in their face.

There's one thing that remains very, very difficult . . . and it's Sri Aurobindo's departure.

That's at the root of everything.

Before, my body wasn't like this. There was an absolute certainty.

It was a collapse.

It clearly came to teach something that could never have been learned otherwise. But it's always the point the adverse forces use. All the adverse suggestions, the adverse forces, the ill will, the disbelief are based on: "Yes, but he left."

And I know — I know in my deepest consciousness — that he left because he willed to leave. He left because he decided that it should be so, that it was the best thing to do.

But why?

This is a very difficult period.

Giving Up Control

The center of the body-consciousness, usually in the brain, has moved. The body-consciousness, the cellular consciousness, the one that responds to Nature's stimuli and controls the whole functioning of the body has suddenly shifted outside the body.

I experienced my body-consciousness completely leaving the body, and for about ten or fifteen minutes, it was all over and the physical world and the body had stopped existing. Yet I remained very conscious of a movement of forces and of an action — and the body-consciousness was even repeating its mantra and watching the effect of the mantra on the vibrations of forces.

The consciousness left the body over there in the bathroom and returned here on the bed. I was carried from there to here . . . and what happened between the two, I don't know.

Reentering the body after the most material part of the consciousness has left, causing a faint or a state of cataleptic trance, is very painful. All the nerves ache. Suddenly, I felt in a lot of pain, lying on cushions, while my last impression was of standing in the bathroom!

It's the first time in my life that has happened.

Whenever I fainted, I would remain conscious of what was happening to my body. Often, I would even see it lying on the floor.

Here the aftereffect was strange, as if all the body functions had lost their captain and no longer knew what to do. At first, my head felt as if it had grown very, very big and were filled with vibrations — the vibrations of Harmony trying to penetrate the vibrations of Disorder.

I was only conscious of that, since the entire relation with the body had disappeared. All day long I felt a total lack of control in the body, as if everything followed its own impulse.

It was very hard to keep it all together.

The second day was a bit better. But something has changed and it isn't coming back.

It's as if the natural consciousness of the body, which controls all the body movements, now stood at a distance, aloof, as it were. It hasn't exactly "lost interest" in what's happening, because it is laughing! I don't know why, but I feel it's laughing, as if it were making fun of me, making fun of this body. The poor thing has a lot of difficulties, and it is made to do very strange things indeed!

I have an impression similar to the one I had when Sri Aurobindo gave me mental silence. Then, my mind became perfectly blank and empty; I couldn't think anymore or formulate a single idea, nothing. In a word, total idiocy! And it never came back.

This time, it is the same for the body-consciousness. It used to hold everything together, so much so that in case of difficulties, I only had to let it deal with them to straighten things out. That body-consciousness, knows much better than our active mind what the body should or shouldn't do.

But that day it left deliberately. The decision had been made the night before, but I was resisting it, as I knew the normal consequence would be fainting. But "that" willed it, "that" chose its own time (when no accident could happen and someone was there to help me), and "that" acted deliberately.

My body-consciousness left.

And it has not come back as before.

The first day, I was almost dazed. I was groping for a way to function.

But this morning, suddenly, I began to understand: "Ah, that's it!" I was wondering, "What on earth does all this mean? How can I do my work now?" Yesterday, I had to see a lot of people who aren't close and whose atmosphere wasn't good. It was very difficult. I had to keep a hold on myself, and I must have looked strange, very absent. Toward evening, it got better. But the night wasn't good at all.

When I got up, I offered Him my whole night and all the difficulties and all the complications, as I always do. Then a sort of Peace came into me, and in that Peace, I saw it and said, "That's odd! The center of the body-consciousness is no longer there!"

From that moment on, it got much better. The sense of uncertainty pervading this poor body went away. Because, naturally, that center was immediately replaced by the clear Consciousness from above, and over time I am hoping it will take complete control of the body.

In fact, the aim is to replace the natural, automatic consciousness by a "conscious" consciousness.

Aspiration or Surrender?

The more I go into the details, the more I feel I know nothing.

What people call "knowing" is wanting to define, regulate, and organize things — but that doesn't make any sense.

Every passing year brings me closer to a certainty that we know nothing. Yet the consciousness keeps growing and growing and growing.

But there is neither a sense of power, nor a sense of knowledge, nor even a sense of a relaxation — I am forever keeping a close watch over the body to make sure nothing happens to it.

We know nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing.

Naturally, this doesn't concern the inner experience and the inner reality, which are fine and do not cause any problem. It concerns the sort of tension at every minute of the day, in every movement, to do exactly what should be done, to say exactly what should be said — to do the exact thing in every movement. One must pay attention to everything, be uncertain for everything.

There is constant tension.

Or, if one takes the other attitude of trusting the divine Grace and letting the Lord take care of everything, is there not a risk that it will end in the body's disintegration? Rationally, I know the answer, but it's the body that should know it!

Every minute of the day, I am confronted with this problem of finding the attitude that leads to the True Result, as compared to the attitude of accepting all that is, including weakening, decay, disintegration — all things that to the ordinary person are detestable and against which he reacts violently.

After all, we are told that everything is the expression of the divine Will and must be accepted as the divine Will. So this problem arises every minute of the day: if I accept those things as the expression of the divine Will, quite naturally the body will follow its habitual course toward disintegration.

What, then, is the true attitude that can bring perfect equanimity in all circumstances and at the same time give a maximum of force and power and will to the Perfection to be realized?

When dealing with the vital plane, even the lower vital plane, the problem doesn't arise; it's very easy. But here, in the cells of the body, in this life of every minute, so constricted, so shriveled up, so microscopic? What to do when we know we mustn't bring into play any will to reject that which is decay, and at the same time, we can't accept decay because we don't see it as a perfect expression of the Divine?

Something needs to be found, which obviously I haven't found, because the problem keeps arising. I can't say it's a problem of sensation, because I don't live in sensations. It's a question of consciousness, of the consciousness of this body.

I feel that the problem would disappear only if the supreme Consciousness took full possession of the cells and made them move, act, live, so they would be seized with a sense of Omnipotence. Then the problem would be over, because they would no longer be responsible for anything.

This seems to be the only solution. So then comes the prayer: "When will it come?"

There's the easy path of passive acceptance, which evidently leads to increased disintegration; or there's the intensity of aspiration for the Perfection that is to manifest, for all that is to be - an aspiration that keeps everything at a standstill in that expectation.

It's the opposition between these two attitudes.

The situation is made worse by the fact that the cells' goodwill (necessarily ignorant) doesn't know if one attitude is better than the other, if it should choose between the two, or if both should be accepted. They don't know! When I wake up in the morning and the purely physical consciousness returns, the problem returns with it, not because I remember, but because it's here in this body, in the very cells.

When someone with experience and wisdom is present, it is so simple! Before, whenever there was the slightest difficulty, I didn't even need to say anything to Sri Aurobindo; everything would sort itself out.

Now, I have no one to turn to. No one has done it! And this, too, adds to the tension.

A Day in the Life

Mornings are particularly difficult.

While weeks and months go by with almost dizzying speed, the three hours of each morning last like a century! Every minute is won at the cost of an effort. It is the time of work in the body, and not just one body. All the vibrations from sick people, all of life's problems come from everywhere.

These three hours are filled with tension, struggle, acute striving for what should be done or for the right attitude. During these three hours, I repeat my mantra automatically, nonstop.

The words well up from the heart. And when the situation becomes critical, when the disorder and disintegration appear to be gaining in strength, the mantra swells with power . . . and order is restored.

It has been like that for years, and it keeps on increasing.

It's hard work.

Afterward comes the physical contact with the outside world.

I start seeing people and doing the outer work, listening to letters, answering, making decisions. Every person, every letter, every action brings its own measure of disorder, disharmony and disintegration.

When I can remain still and quiet, it's all right. But sometimes it's a bit too much and it becomes very difficult.

But it's so subtle in its nature that it is incomprehensible for most of the people around me. I seem to be making a lot of fuss about nothing. Those are things which, in their unconsciousness, they don't feel at all. It takes shouting and quarrels and battles for them to notice the disorder!

The World of Disorder

It's a terribly dark labor without any clear, visible results. And it goes on every minute, without a break, night and day.

Last night again, I went through strange experiences with people I know very well, whom I was seeing in that way for the very first time. I went into all sorts of places I'd never been to before, where fantastic things occurred and where people I know very well physically appeared in a light and having activities that were totally unexpected.


One wonders, "When will this come to an end?"

There's always more and more and more of it. It's a constant display of new disorders, of new ways of seeing things, new aspects of the world.

I go there fully conscious, in the totality of my consciousness, and I find myself as an outwardly powerless witness of numerous unbelievable experiences.

Materially, it results in all sorts of very unexpected and rather chaotic circumstances, as if disorder were on the rise.

It's undeniably a preparation, but how long will it last?

It's like a detailed demonstration of how absolutely closed this world is to the higher Influence. The moment something comes down and touches the world, it becomes twisted and distorted beyond recognition.

Matter's Obstinacy

The great problem in matter is that the material consciousness, the mind in matter, has been formed under the pressure of difficulties, obstacles, suffering, and struggle. It was shaped, as it were, by these negative experiences, hence an imprint of pessimism and defeatism.

This is what I am most conscious of in my work.

The material consciousness, the most material mind, is accustomed to being whipped in order to act or to make an effort, otherwise it falls into inertia. If it does imagine something, it always imagines difficulties, obstacles, oppositions.

So it needs very concrete, very tangible, and ever-recurring experiences to be convinced that behind all its difficulties, there is a Grace; behind all its failures, there is the Victory; behind all its pain and suffering and contradictions, there is a Bliss. Of all the efforts, this is the one that has to be repeated most often: One is continuously forced to put an end to or drive away or convert a bout of pessimism, of doubt or defeatist imagination.

I am speaking exclusively of the material consciousness.

Naturally, when something comes from above, it goes wham! Then everything falls quiet and stops, waiting.

I do understand why the Truth doesn't express itself more continuously. It's because the difference between its Power and matter's power is so great that matter's power is practically canceled by it. But then, it is not transformed; it is overpowered.

That's what used to happen in the past: The entire material consciousness was as if overwhelmed by a Power that nothing could resist or oppose. And people would feel: "We've done it!" They had done nothing at all, because underneath everything remained unchanged as ever.

Now is the perfect opportunity for changing this material consciousness; but for that it needs complete freedom of movement, without any interference from an overwhelming Power.

I am well aware of this.

But the problem is its obstinacy in stupidity.

For instance, how many times, when the pain is so severe and on the verge of becoming intolerable, do these cells send out their little inner call, their SOS; whereupon everything stops immediately, the pain vanishes, oftentimes to be even replaced with a feeling of blissful well being. Yet the first reaction of that stupid material consciousness is: "Ha! Let's see how long it'll last."

Naturally, that reaction destroys everything. And it all has to be started again.

I think that for the effect to last, for it to be truly the effect of a transformation — as opposed to a miraculous effect that comes, dazzles, and goes away — one has to be very, very, very patient.

We are dealing with a very slow, very heavy, very obstinate consciousness, which cannot move rapidly and keeps holding on to what appears to be a "truth."

A great, great deal of patience is needed to change that.

The Body's Timidity

The body is ready to be very happy, all it wants is to be happy — but it dare not be. It still has not exactly fear, but timidity in the face of joy.

Sometimes, waves of intense Bliss come, waves of Ananda in which all the cells begin to swell with a joyous golden light, but then . . . it's as if it didn't dare be it. That's the difficulty.

The people around me don't help.

The mental atmosphere isn't favorable. The body feels the pressure of defeatist formations all around. Yet it knows those around me are just what is needed; the body needs such an atmosphere so that the material difficulties aren't made worse.

So it is perfectly content, but it doesn't dare be joyous: "Oh, this is still too beautiful a thing for life as it is!"

Now and then, when I am perfectly quiet and at rest, for instance when I know I have half an hour of complete peace to myself, the Lord becomes very, very close. And I feel Him saying to my body (not with words), "Let yourself go, let yourself go; be joyous, be joyous. Let yourself go; relax."

The immediate result is complete relaxation, and I go into bliss.

The thing is, I then lose all contact with the outside world! The body goes into a deep trance, I think, and it loses all contact.

One should be able to keep that bliss while being active and hard at work. I am not talking about the inner joy; that's settled once and for all. I am referring to the Joy in the body itself.

Inertia and Vital Perversion

"Health" no longer has any meaning; "illness" no longer has any meaning.

There are only movements and distortions of vibrations — what could be called bottlenecks in terms of movement and incrustations in terms of the cells.

It's what remains of the old Inertia from which we came.

But there's a double phenomenon: Inertia on one hand and vital perversion on the other — the nervous perversion of the vital influence.

There isn't just Inertia. There is also a sort of perverted ill will. One can relatively easily drive it out and eliminate it from the conscious mental and vital life. That work of changing an individual's nature, considered in the past as a tremendously difficult thing, is relatively easy. All in the nature that depends on the vital or the mind is relatively easy to change, even very easy. I am not saying very easy for the ordinary person, but very easy in comparison with the work in matter, in the body's cells. Of course, their goodwill is undeniable and their trust in the Divine has become absolutely spontaneous. All that is conscious is luminous.

But the trouble is all that is not yet conscious!

The problem lies in the mass of all that isn't yet conscious, which is then tossed between two influences, one as hideous as the other: Inertia, which prevents any progress, and vital perversion and ill will, which twist and distort everything.

When almost everything was in that state, it was visible, conspicuous, but that condition changed very fast. Now things have become very subtle and hidden, difficult to ferret out. The difficulty is what's concealed underneath and isn't "voluminous" enough to draw attention to itself.

Oh, these habits, these habits!

For instance, the habit of expecting catastrophes.

And for Inertia, anything that disturbs the Inertia is a catastrophe.

In the beginning, that's what happened in the body. Any unexpected, more powerful, deeper, stronger, truer vibration than the individual vibration caused instant panic in the cells: "What's going to happen to me!"

Thank God, that period is behind me, but there was a time when it wasn't.

I don't know, but there is a long, long way to go in order to change this substance into a substance plastic enough, receptive enough, strong enough to express the supreme Power.

Matter's Choice

There is a sort of revolution in the atmosphere.

All the experiences described in Savitri [Sri Aurobindo's epic poem] are the very experiences I am having. Yesterday, after Savitri was read to me, the body suddenly straightened itself up in an ardent aspiration and prayer. There was an excruciating feeling of anguish: "The whole experience is here in this body, complete, total, perfect, and because this body has lived too long, it is incapable of expressing it." And it continued: "Why, Lord? Why do You take away from me the power of expression just because it took too long to get to this point?"

It was a sort of revolution in the body's consciousness.

Things have been much, much better since. There has been a decisive change.

The words in Savitri were the exact description of the body's present condition, yet this body has a constant feeling of fragility, of being in a precarious balance.

So with all its aspiration, it asked, "But why? Why? The experience is here. Why can't it be expressed?"

As usual, I had the feeling the Lord was laughing in response and saying to me, "Well, since such is your will, it will be so!" In other words: it's you who chose to be in this condition.

It's perfectly true.

All our incapacities, our limitations, our impossibilities are a choice made by this foolish matter, not through intelligence, but through a sort of feeling that "that's how it must be," things are "naturally" like that. It's a clinging, a foolish clinging to the mode of the lower nature.

It all ended up in tears and laughter — a whole revolution.

And then everything was fine.

But nobody on earth will convince me it isn't because this material nature chooses to be this way that it is this way.

Meanwhile the Lord looks on, smiles, and waits . . . for the body to be cured of its stupidity.

He does all that is necessary, but we don't pay any attention.

It's the fervor of faith that is lacking, that faith Sri Aurobindo so often speaks of.

The reason understands — but the reason does not have the power to move matter.

Every minute, I have the feeling there's a choice between victory and defeat, sun and shadow, harmony and disorder, the comfortable or pleasant and the unpleasant — and one needs to step in with authority to stave off that which is a mixture of cowardice and spinelessness, a limp and submissive attitude.

Speaking about it makes it sound simple and easy, but for the body every minute is a balancing act between three possibilities: fainting or acute pain, indifferent mechanical movement, and glorious Mastery. I am talking about absolutely trivial little gestures such as washing one's eyes, rinsing one's mouth (big events always pass well because nature believes one should behave "properly" in special circumstances). But these three possibilities are always present, and if one isn't constantly on guard, physical nature caves in with repulsive and absolutely disgusting spinelessness.

This is repeated hundreds of times a day.

So if this isn't "sadhana," I don't know what sadhana is! Eating is sadhana, sleeping is sadhana, washing is sadhana — everything is sadhana.

What people are unconscious of, what they don't understand or call an "illness" has become, to me, as clear as daylight. And it's always a question of choice. If the will isn't unshakable, if one isn't holding on to the higher Will with desperate and unrelenting eagerness, then the body starts behaving foolishly and it faints or is overcome with pain.

I know it's the same for everything, for all "illnesses" without exception. So when, in a somewhat dogmatic or literary fashion, the sages proclaim, "Disorder happens because nature has decided to be in disorder," they are not so far off the mark.

It's all about spinelessness, which is one of the things most contrary to the divine Glory. Spinelessness surrenders to illness.

I am talking about my body, not about anyone else.

When I tell sick people, "Be sincere," I know what I mean. If they really want the Divine, all that must stop.

Material nature is full of self-pity: "Yes, I want to be like You, Lord; but then why do You leave me in this condition?"

A good slap — and march on!

The Way of Acceptance

The real problem is in the material substance of the body.

The body is learning one thing, not as an effort, but as a spontaneous condition, namely that all that happens is for progress. All that happens is for attaining the true condition, the one expected of the cells so the Realization may be perfected. All the quarrels, all the difficulties, all the troubles, and even blows and pain, even apparent disorganization — all is for a purpose.

It's only when the body, foolishly, takes things in the wrong way that they get worse and keep coming back. But if the body spontaneously says, "Very well, Lord, what do You want me to learn?" and responds calmly and with ease, then immediately the difficulty becomes tolerable and straightens itself in no time at all.

The minute we've learned the lesson, it's over!

But we are so slow and heavy, we take so much time to realize it's a lesson that it drags on and on and on.

A year or so ago, I believed that the thoughts and attitude of certain people around me were partially responsible for certain difficulties I was having, especially relating to age. But that's not true!

What people think and feel is exactly what's needed to act on this substance! Everything is used to teach the body what it must know: Where it lacks receptivity, where there's inertia, and so on.

So instead of the selfish answer: "No! No! I refuse. I am above this weakness and disorder," let it come, accept it, and strive to find the solution.

Instead of the age-old rejection of life, rejection of the difficulty, rejection of the disorder, and the flight to Nirvana, it's the acceptance of everything — and the Victory.

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