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The Mother

Notes on the Way

7 March 1967

Original in French here

I have received a few questions from grown-up students (not small children, but grown-ups) on the subject of “death”, of the conditions of death, why there are so many accidents at the present moment, etc. I have already answered two persons. Naturally, the answers were on the mental level, but with an attempt to go beyond.
It is this kind of mental logic which wants, yes, things to be deduced from one another in accordance with this logic, so they arrive at questions... that are impossible.

[Questions of the students and Mother's answers:

The time and the way of death, are these not always chosen by the soul? In the great destructions of mankind by bombing, flood, earthquake, have all the souls chosen to die together at that moment?

The immense majority of men have a collective destiny. For them the question does not arise at all.
One who has an individualised psychic being can survive even in the midst of collective catastrophes, if that is his soul's choice.

Af ter death, once separated from his physical being, from his vital and mental beings, how is the soul conscious of being, of existing ?

The soul is a spark of the Supreme Divine; I do not see how the Lord has need of a body in order to be conscious of his being.]

It is nothing very new, but it is a widening of the consciousness, and just recently all these questions came into the atmosphere and gave first of all the feeling that man knows nothing about death - he does not know what it is, he does not know what happens, he has built all kinds of hypotheses, but there is nothing certain. And by pushing ahead, by insisting in this way by pushing, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing which is really death.
There is only an appearance, an appearance based on a limited view. But there is no radical change in the vibration of the consciousness.
This came as an answer to a kind of anxiety (there was a kind of anxiety in the cells in not knowing what death truly was - just that, a kind of anxiety) and the answer was very clear and persistent: it is that the consciousness alone can know, for... for the importance given to the difference of condition is only a superficial importance based upon the ignorance of the phenomenon in itself. One who would be able to maintain a means of communication could say that for himself it makes no considerable difference.
But this is something that is being worked out. There are still areas that are not clear, there are details of experience that are missing. So it seems to me that it would be better to wait till the knowledge becomes more complete, because instead of saying an approximation with suppositions, it would be better to say the complete fact with the total experience. Therefore we put it off till later on.

But you say there is no difference.... When one is on the other side, does one continue to have or can one have the perception of the physical world?

Yes, yes, it is so.

The perception of beings of...

Yes, it is so.
Only, instead of having a perception... you come out of a kind of illusory state and of a perception that is a perception of appearances, but you have a perception; that is to say, there were moments when I had the perception, I could see the difference; only, the experience was not total (it was not total in the sense that it was interrupted by outward circumstances), so it is better to wait a little before speaking of it.
But the perception is there.
Not absolutely identical, but with an effectivity sometimes greater in itself; but it was not perceived truly from the other side. I do not know how to explain. I have had an example
not an example, but something lived, the full perception - of a person who lived for years with me, who has remained in wholly conscious contact after going out of the body (but going out of the body very materially), and who is not dissolved but is closely associated with another living being, and has continued the life of his own consciousness in this association. And all that - I cannot give the names or the facts, but it is as concrete as it can be. And this continues.
All this has been seen - I saw it long ago, but it came back as an illustration of the new consciousness, just this morning. Extraordinarily concrete in its effects: changing the capacities and movements of the consciousness of the other, and consciously - an absolutely conscious life. And it is the same consciousness that was conscious during the period when there was nobody at all and the presence was visible only in the vision at night.
There are others.
That one is very near and very intimate and it is why I could follow all the details.
But it is clear, precise and evident only with this new vision because, how to say ?... I knew it - I knew it before, I knew it - but I saw it again with the new consciousness, the new way of seeing, and then the comprehension was total, the perception total, altogether concrete, with elements that were wholly missing convincing elements - wholly missing in the first perception, which was a mental-vital knowledge. This was a knowledge of the consciousness of the cells.
But all that would be interesting only with all the facts (which cannot be given). So I would like to have a more complete, more “impersonal” experience, so to say, that is to say, which is not illustrated by facts, which is a vision of the totality of the process. Then only I shall be able to speak.
It will come.

The Mother

"Notes on the Way"

CWM Volume 11, pages 61-63
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry

diffusion by SABDA

Agenda version here

Previous Talk: 4 March 1967
Next Talk: 24 May 1967

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