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March 14, 1970
383 - I cannot give to the barbarous comfort and encumbered ostentation of European life the name of civilisation. Men who are not free in their souls and nobly rhythmical in their appointments are not civilised.
384 - Art in modern times and under European influence has become an excrescence upon life or an unnecessary menial; it should have been its chief steward and indispensable arranger.
As long as the mind rules life with its overweening certainly that it knows, how can the reign of the Divine be established?
385 - Disease is needlessly prolonged and ends in death oftener than is inevitable, because the mind of the patient supports and dwells upon the disease of his body.
This is an absolute truth!
386 - Medical Science has been more a curse to mankind than a blessing. It has broken the force of epidemics and unveiled a marvellous surgery; but, also, it has weakened the natural health of man and multiplied individual diseases; it has implanted fear and dependence in the mind and body; it has taught our health to repose not on natural soundness but a rickety and distasteful crutch compact from the mineral and vegetable kingdoms.
387 - The doctor aims a drug at a disease; sometimes it hits, sometimes misses. The misses are left out of account, the hits treasured up, reckoned and systematised into a science.
388 - We laugh at the savage for his faith in the medicine man; but how are the civilised less superstitious who have faith in the doctors? The savage finds that when a certain incantation is repeated, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. The civilised patient finds that when he doses himself according to a certain prescription, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. Where is the difference?
To conclude, we might say that the patient's faith is what gives medicines the power to cure.
If people had an absolute faith in the healing power of the Grace, perhaps they would spare themselves quite a few diseases.
(Mother's voice is quite altered. She sounds more and more out of breath, as if her voice had to cut across great distances.)
(To Sujata:) ... We'll do that tomorrow - tomorrow morning?
(Sujata:) But tomorrow morning, Mother, you have lots of engagements.
But it's every day like that, mon petit! It's ... it's absolutely frightful. There are only these two days, Wednesdays and Saturdays, otherwise I've cut out everything; even birthdays I see them in the afternoon. On other days, it starts at 8 in the morning and ends at noon. It's infernal.
So come tomorrow ... at 9:30 is it all right?
[From here only the talk has been tape-recorded]
(To Satprem:) Have you seen the latest Aphorisms'?
Yes, on diseases and doctors.... But here in one aphorism, Sri Aurobindo has one little sentence which I find admirable; he says, "Machinery is necessary to modern humanity because of our incurable barbarism...."
(Mother nods and remains long silent)
Today I got the news that L.D. had left. [[A very faithful American disciple. ]] She had undergone a very grave operation (there was a cancer), she had recovered, returned home, she wrote me a letter in which she said, "I am better and better ..." and then, gone. I got the news this very day. Like that.
It's like R., the same thing: a relapse. And it looks so much like ... It's this effort against, yes, what Sri Aurobindo calls barbarism (Mother makes a gesture covering the whole earth atmosphere). It seems to be ... I don't know if it's a refusal or an incapacity to emerge from the mental construction. And the action of this Consciousness ... (how shall I put it?), it almost pitilessly shows the extent to which the entire mental construction is false - everything, even apparently spontaneous reactions, all of it is the result of an extremely complex mental construction.
But this Consciousness is pitiless.
We are born in that, and we find it so natural to feel according to that, react according to that, organize everything according to that, and the result is ... that the Truth passes you by.
Its in the very organization of the body.
So then, the Action seems to impose itself with an extraordinary power, and in a manner that appears (appears to us) pitiless (Mother strikes her fist into Matter), so we may learn our lesson.
I remembered the time when Sri Aurobindo was here.... You see, the inner part of the being used to enter into a consciousness that felt and saw things according to the higher consciousness - they were quite different; then, when Sri Aurobindo fell ill, in fact, when there were all those things, first that accident (he broke his leg [[On November 24, 1938. ]] ) ... then the body, the BODY used to say constantly, "Those are dreams, those are dreams, it's not for us; for us bodies, this is how it is...." (gesture underground) It was frightful.... Then all that left. It left completely after so many years - all those years of effort - it left: the body itself would feel the divine Presence, and its impression was that ... everything necessarily had to change. So then, these last few days, that formation which had left (a terrestrial formation, of all mankind, which means that those who have the vision or perception of, or even just the aspiration to, that higher Truth, when they come back into the [material] Fact, they are in front of this dreadfully painful thing, this perpetual negation by all circumstances), that formation, from which the body had completely freed itself, came back. It came back, but ... when it came back, when the body saw it, it saw it as one sees a falsehood. And I understood how much it had changed, because when it saw the formation, its impression ... it looked at it with a smile and the impression: ah, an old formation now devoid of truth. It was an extraordinary experience: that thing, its time is over. Its time is over. And this Pressure of the Consciousness is a pressure for things as they were - so miserable and so petty and so obscure and so ... apparently inescapable at the same time - all of it was ... (Mother gestures above her shoulder) behind, like an antiquated past. So then, I really saw - saw, understood - that the work of this Consciousness (which is pitiless, it's not concerned whether it's difficult or not, probably not even much concerned about apparent damage) is for the normal state to cease to be this thing which is so heavy, so obscure, so ugly - so low - and for the dawn to come ... you know, something dawning on the horizon: a new Consciousness. That something truer and more luminous.
What Sri Aurobindo says here about diseases is just the point: the power of habit, of all constructions, of what appears "inescapable" and "irrevocable" in diseases. With all that, experiences seem to multiply in order to show ... in order for one to learn that it's simply a question of attitude - the attitude of going beyond ... beyond this mental prison humanity has locked itself in, and of ... breathing up above.
IT'S THE BODY'S experience. Before, those who had inner experiences would say, "Yes, up above, that's the way it is, but here ..." Now the "but here" will soon cease to be. This tremendous change is what's being conquered, so physical life may be ruled by the higher consciousness and not by the mental world. It's the change of authority.... It's difficult. It's hard. It's painful. There is some damage done, naturally, but... But truly, one can see - one can see. And that's the REAL CHANGE, that's what will enable the new Consciousness to express itself. And the body is learning, it's learning its lesson - all bodies, all bodies.
That was the old division made by the mind: "Above, things are very fine, you may have all experiences and everything is luminous and marvelous; here, nothing doing." And the impression that when one is born, one is born again into the "hopeless world." That explains, by the way, why all those who did not foresee the possibility of things being otherwise had said, "Better get out of here, and then ..." All that has become so clear! But this change, the fact that it's NO LONGER inescapable, that is the great Victory: it's NO LONGER inescapable. You feel - feel and see, and the body itself has experienced - the possibility that soon, here too, things will be truer.
There is ... there is really something changed in the world.
Naturally, for things to be truly established, it's going to take time. That's the battle going on. From every side, on every plane, there's an onslaught of things coming to say outwardly, "Nothing has changed" - but it's not true. It's not true, the body knows it's not true. And now it knows, it knows in what sense.
What Sri Aurobindo wrote, in fact in those Aphorisms I see right now, is so prophetic! It was so much the vision of the True Thing! So prophetic!
Now I see, I see how his departure and his work so ... so immense, you know, and constant in this subtle physical, how much, how much it has helped! How much he has (Mother gestures as if kneading Matter) ... how much he has helped prepare things, change the structure of the physical.
All the experiences others had had of making contact with the higher worlds, used to leave the physical here as it is. (How should I put it?...) From the very beginning of existence up to Sri Aurobindo's departure, I lived in the awareness that one may rise, one may know, one may have all experiences (and one did have them), but when one came back into this body ... it was those for-mid-able old laws of the mind that ruled everything. So then, all these years have been years spent preparing and preparing - freeing oneself and preparing - and these last few days, it was ... ah! the body PHYSICALLY noting that things had changed.
It has to be worked out, as they say, realized in every detail, but the change IS DONE - the change is done.
Which means that the material conditions, which were elaborated by the mind, FIXED by it (Mother clenches her fist tight), and which appeared so inescapable, to such a point that those who had a living experience of the higher worlds thought one had to flee this world, abandon this material world if one really wanted to live in the Truth (that's the cause of all those theories and beliefs), now things are no longer like that. Now things are no longer like that. The physical is CAPABLE of receiving the higher Light, the Truth, the true Consciousness, and of man-i-fest-ing it.
It's not easy, it calls for endurance and will, but a day will come when it will be quite natural. It's only just the open door - that's all, now we have to go on.
Naturally, what was established hangs on tight and defends itself desperately. That's the cause of this whole trouble (swarming gesture in the earth atmosphere) - but it has lost the battle. It's over. It's over.
It has taken this Consciousness [[The "superman consciousness" which came on January 1, 1969. ]] ... a little more than a year to win this Victory. Naturally, as yet it's visible only to those who have the inner vision, but ... its done.
That was the work Sri Aurobindo had given me, that was it. Now I understand.
But it's as if from every side - every side - those mental forces, mental powers were rising in protest, violent in their protest, so as to impose their old laws: "But things have always been this way!..." But it's over. They won't always be this way, that's all.
Something of this battle was going on in this body these last few days.... It's really very interesting.... From outside, coming from outside, there was an effort to give the body experiences so as to force it to note for itself, "No, what has always been always will be; you may try, but it's an illusion." Then something would come, a nice little disorganization in the body, and it would respond with its attitude: a peace like (immutable gesture): "As You will, Lord, as You will...." - Everything disappeared as in a flash! And it happened several times (at least a dozen times in a day). Then - then the body begins to feel, "There you are!..." It has that joy, that joy of ... the lived Marvel.
Things are not as they were, NO LONGER as they were - things are no longer as they were.
We have to struggle on, we need patience, courage, will, trust - but things are no longer "just the way they are." It's the old thing trying to hang on tight - hideous! Hideous. But ... it's not like that anymore. It's not like that anymore.
This too: how far, how far will the body be able to go? There too, it's ... PERFECTLY peaceful and happy: it will be as You will.
All the rest looks so old, so old, like something ... that belongs to a dead past - which is trying to come back to life, but it can't anymore.
And all, all circumstances are as catastrophic as they can be: troubles, complications, difficulties, everything, just everything goes at it relentlessly like that, like wild beasts, but ... it's over. The body KNOWS that it's over. It may take centuries, but it's over. To disappear, it may take centuries, but it's over now.
This wholly concrete and absolute realization that one could have only when going out of Matter (Mother brings a finger down), it's sure, sure and certain that we will have it RIGHT HERE.
(Mother looks at Satprem for a long time, then takes his hands)
It's the fourteenth month since the Consciousness came - fourteenth month: twice seven.
Is today the 14th?
Yes, the 14th.
So it's interesting.
How he has worked since he left, oh!... All the time, all the time....
It looks ... it looks like a miracle in the body. The disappearance of this formation really looks miraculous. And everything becomes clear. We'll see.
Things have moved relatively fast.
Does it mean that all the human consciousnesses that have a little faith now have the possibility of emerging from this mental hypnosis?
Yes, yes, exactly. Exactly. Exactly.
in Agenda 11 (1970) - online edition - translation IRE
"Notes on the Way" version here
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