Integral Yoga Literature - By the Mother

Selections from Notes on The Way


The contents of this document are copyright 1972, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry, India. You may make a digital copy or printout of this text for your personal, non-commercial use under the condition that you copy this document without modifications and in its entirety, including this copyright notice.

27 November 1968

It continues.... The body feels that it is beginning to understand. Naturally, for it there is no thought, no thought at all; but these are states of consciousness - states of consciousness that complete each other, replace each other.... And it goes so far as to ask how one can know by thought; for it, the only way to know, to cognise, is consciousness. And this is becoming more and more clear from the general point of view, and it applies it, it applies this to itself; that is to say, a work is being done so that all parts of the body may become conscious, not merely conscious of the forces received, of the forces passing through it, but also of the action of its inner functioning.

It is becoming more and more precise.

And this above all: everything for it is a phenomenon of consciousness, and when it wants to do something, it almost no longer understands what it means to know how to do it. It is necessary that it be conscious of the way to do it. And not only for itself but for all the people around it. It has become such an evident fact.... So, to learn something from somebody else - for example, to learn the way to do a thing: for it, it is only by doing the thing with the consciousness that it applies that it can learn. And what someone explains, what someone else can explain, it seems... this appears hollow - hollow, empty.

And it is becoming more and more so.


You did not answer, Mother, my question about the vision I had of you lying flat on the ground....

(Mother laughs) I suppose it is the symbol of perfect surrender. I lay on my back, isn't it so ?

On your back, upon the ground.

It is the attitude of perfect receptivity in total abandon. It must be the figurative expression of the attitude of the body.

Because truly, I do not know if there are "bits", organs that have still what may be called the spirit of independence, but truly the body has made its surrender; that is to say, it no longer has its own will - it has no desire, no will of its own, and it is as though all the while "listening", all the while, to catch the Indication.

It is beginning to know exactly the spot or the function that is not... I cannot say "transformed", because it is a big word, but that is not in harmony with the rest and creates a disorder. This is becoming a perception of every moment. Whenever there occurs something which seems abnormal, there is the understanding, the consciousness of why it happened and where it should lead to, of how an apparent disorder can lead to a greater perfection. Yes, it is that. It is a very small beginning. But it has begun. It has begun to be a bit conscious. And not only for itself alone, but for others also, it has begun: to see how, to perceive in what way the Consciousness (with a capital C) acts in others; and sometimes indeed (the words follow long after the experience) there is no longer the perception of division; there is the perception of diversity and this becomes very interesting.... The diversity which, if it were not for what one might call the "hitch" of separation, would, in the true consciousness, be perfectly harmonious and would make a whole that would be perfection itself (Mother makes the sign of a circle). It is the hitch - what has happened?... What has come to pass ?...

It remains to be known if for some reason it was necessary or if it is an accident - but how can that be an accident! For the moment (there is no thought, so it is a little vague), for the moment, there is the impression... one might say simply like this: an acquisition of a formidable consciousness, which was acquired, paid for, at the very great price of every suffering and disorder.... Yesterday or today (I do not remember now), yesterday I think, at a certain moment the problem became very acute, and then it was as though the divine Consciousness told me: "In all this suffering, it is I who am suffering" - the Consciousness, isn't it ? - "it is I who am suffering, but in another manner than that of yours." I do not know how to say it, it was like this, the impression that the divine Consciousness experienced what for us is suffering; it existed - it existed for the divine Consciousness - but in a different way than for our own consciousness; and then there was an attempt to make one understand the consciousness of all at the same time, simultaneously, everything (one might simply say to express oneself): suffering, the most acute disorder, and Harmony, the most perfect Ananda - the two together, experienced together. Naturally that changes the nature of the suffering.

But all this is very conscious and this is something like prattling. This is not the translation of what is.

There is also the perception that gradually, through all these experiences, each aggregate (which is for us a body) is accustoming itself so that it may have the capacity to bear the true Consciousness. That does need a movement of adaptation.

But Sri Aurobindo has written also, in Thoughts and Glimpses, I believe, that suffering was the preparation for Ananda. [1]

Yes. I must say that there are many things in Sri Aurobindo which I am now beginning to understand in a very different way.


The feeling of being on the point of touching something and then... it escapes. Something is missing.

Still a long, long, long way to go.



"Pain that travails towards the touch of an unimaginable ecstasy." (Cent. Vol. 16, p. 384) Sri Aurobindo also wrote in Thoughts and Aphorisms: "Pain is the touch of our Mother teaching us how to bear and grow in rapture. She has three stages of her schooling, endurance first, next equality of soul, last ecstasy." (Cent. Vol. 17, p. 89)

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Last modified on Feb 29, 1996