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The Mother

Questions and Answers 1950-51

21 December 1950

Original in French here

"O Consciousness, immobile and serene, Thou watchest at the confines of the world like a sphinx of eternity. And yet to some Thou confidest Thy secret. These can become Thy sovereign will which chooses without preference, executes without desire."
Prayers and Meditations, 10 November 1914

This immobile Consciousness is the "Mother of Dreams" [a poem by Sri Aurobindo], the sphinx of eternity who keeps vigil on the confines of the world like an enigma to be solved. This enigma is the problem of our life, the very raison d'être of the universe. The problem of our life is to realise the Divine or rather to become once again aware of the Divine who is the Universe, the origin, cause and goal of life.
Those who find the secret of the sphinx of eternity become that active and creative Power.
To choose without preference and execute without desire is the great difficulty at the very root of the development of true consciousness and self-control. To choose in this sense means to see what is true and bring it into existence; and to choose thus, without the least personal bias for any thing, any person, action, circumstance, is exactly what is most difficult for an ordinary human being. Yet one must learn to act without any preference, free from all attractions and likings, taking one's stand solely on the Truth which guides. And having chosen in accordance with the Truth the necessary action, one must carry it out without any desire.
If you observe yourself attentively, you will see that before acting you need an inner impetus, something which pushes you. In the ordinary man this impetus is generally desire. This desire ought to be replaced by a clear, precise, constant vision of the Truth.
Some call this the Voice of God or the Will of God. The true meaning of these words has been falsified, so I prefer to speak of "the Truth", though this is but a very limited aspect of That which we cannot name but which is the Source and the Goal of all existence. I deliberately do not use the word God because religions have given this name to an all-powerful being who is other than his creation and outside it. This is not correct.
However, on the physical plane the difference is obvious. For we are yet all that we no longer want to be, and He, He is all that we want to become.

How can we know what the divine Will is?

One does not know it, one feels it. And in order to feel it one must will with such an intensity, such sincerity, that every obstacle disappears. As long as you have a preference, a desire, an attraction, a liking, all these veil the Truth from you. Hence, the first thing to do is to try to master, govern, correct all the movements of your consciousness and eliminate those which cannot be changed until all becomes a perfect and permanent expression of the Truth.
And even to will this is not enough, for very often one forgets to will it.
What is necessary is an aspiration which burns in the being like a constant fire, and every time you have a desire, a preference, an attraction it must be thrown into this fire. If you do this persistently, you will see that a little gleam of true consciousness begins to dawn in your ordinary consciousness. At first it will be faint, very far behind all the din of desires, preferences, attractions, likings. But you must go behind all this and find that true consciousness, all calm, tranquil, almost silent.
Those who are in contact with the true consciousness see all the possibilities at the same time and may deliberately choose even the most unfavourable, if necessary. But to reach this point, you must go a long way.

Should preferences be neutralized or forgotten ?

One should not have them!
When the mind becomes silent, when it stops judging, pushing itself forward with its so-called knowledge, one begins to solve the problem of life. One must refrain from judging, for the mind is only an instrument of action, not an instrument of true knowledge - true knowledge comes from elsewhere.
If one refrained from judging, one would arrive at an ever more precise knowledge of the Truth and nine-tenths of the world's misery would disappear.
The great disorder in the world would to a large extent be neutralized if the mind could admit that it does not know.

"When we have passed beyond enjoyings, we shall have Bliss. Desire way the helper, Desire is the bar."
Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts and Glimpses

... according to the stage where you are.
Naturally, I speak to those who sincerely want to become conscious of their true truth and to express it in their life.... I think this holds true for all who are here.
And I tell the teachers that they must teach more and more in accordance with the Truth; for if we have a school here, it is in order that it be different from the millions of schools in the world; it is to give the children a chance to distinguish between ordinary life and the divine life, the life of truth - to see things in a different way. It is useless to want to repeat here the ordinary life. The teacher's mission is to open the eyes of the children to something which they will not find anywhere else.

"Questions and Answers 1950-1951"

CWM Volume 4, pages 1-3
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry

diffusion by SABDA

Next Talk: 23 december 1950

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