Also in this Series
- The Mother’s Dream – Part 1
- The Mother’s Dream – Part 2
The underlying theme of the Mother’s ‘hotel dream’ was the collective yoga. A question put to her by one of her disciples the following day concerning the collective yoga allowed the Mother to recall her vision of the previous night. After she had described her dream [see TVN 2/6, February, 1988], she proceeded to discuss various aspects of the new in contrast to the old, especially in what concerns the collective experience:
‘…And we come back then to…precisely this question of a collective yoga and the collectivity which will be able to realise it. And what should that collectivity be?
‘It is certainly not an arbitrary structure like those made by men, in which they put everything pell-mell, without order or reality, and the whole thing is held together only by illusory links, which were symbolised here by the walls of the hotel, and which, in fact, in ordinary human constructions – if we take as an example a religious community – are symbolised by the monastery building, identical clothes, identical activities, even identical movements. I’ll make it more clear: everybody wears the same uniform, everybody rises at the same hour, eats the same things, offers the same prayers together, etc., there is general uniformity. And naturally inside there is a chaos of consciousnesses, each one going according to his own mode, for this uniformity which goes as far as an identity of beliefs and dogma, is an altogether illusory identity.
‘This is one of the most usual types of human collectivity: to be grouped, linked, united around a common ideal, a common action, a common realisation, but in a completely artificial way. As opposed to this, Sri Aurobindo tells us that a true community – what he calls a gnostic or supramental community – can exist only on the basis of the inner realisation of each of its members, each one realising his real, concrete unity and identity with all the other members of the community, that is, each one should feel not like just one member united in some way with all the others, but all as one, within himself. For each one the others must be himself as much as his own body, and not mentally and artificially, but by a fact of consciousness, by an inner realisation.
‘That means that before hoping to realise this gnostic collectivity, each one should first become – or at least begin to become – a gnostic being. This is obvious; the individual work should come first and the collective work should follow. But it so happens that spontaneously, without any arbitrary intervention of the will, the individual progress is controlled, so to speak, or held back by the collective state. Between the individual and the collectivity there is an interdependence from which one cannot totally free oneself, granting that one tries. And even a person who tried in his yoga to liberate himself totally from the terrestrial and human state of consciousness would be tied down, in his subconscious at least, to the state of the mass, which acts as a brake and actually pulls backwards. One can try to go much faster, try to drop the weight of all attachments and responsibilities, but despite everything, the realisation, even of one who is at the very summit and is the very first in the evolutionary march, is dependent on the realisation of the whole, dependent on the state of the terrestrial collectivity. And that indeed, pulls one back, to such an extent that at times one must wait for centuries for the Earth to be ready in order to be able to realise what is to be realised.
‘And that is why Sri Aurobindo says, somewhere else, that a double movement is necessary, and that the effort for individual progress and realisation would be combined with an effort to try to uplift the whole mass and enable it to make the progress that is indispensable for the greater progress of the individual: a mass-progress, it could be called, which would allow the individual to take one more step forward.
‘And now I must tell you that this is why I thought it would be useful to have some group meditations, in order to work on the creation of a common atmosphere that is a little more organised than…my big hotel of last night!
‘So, the best use one can make of these meditations…is to go within, into the depths of one’s being, as far as one can go, and find the place where one can feel, perceive and perhaps even create an atmosphere of unity in which a force for order and organisation will be able to put each element in its place and make a new coordinated world arise out of the present chaos.’ [TMCE, Volume 9, pages 140-142]
Again in this portion of her talk the Mother brings forth important points, those which form the distinguishing features of the supramental yoga. For it is only when the movement enters the realm of the supramental yoga that this question of a collective realisation becomes urgent and commands attention. The integral yoga is the means to prepare the individual for this larger movement. As I have explained previously, one may engage in the integral yoga disconnected from the collective experience to some extent and make a considerable progress independent of the larger body up to a certain point. But this is impossible in the supramental yoga.
The reason is quite obvious. It is the supramental yoga that has for its principal objective the establishment of a life divine upon Earth. Considering that this is its ultimate aim, the individual realisation is required in order to permit this fuller manifestation to come into being. As the Mother states, ‘…the individual work should come first and the collective work should follow…’.
When the movement enters these last stages the demands of the collective realisation must be met, for indeed they control the outcome and act as a force of inertia, pulling the collective consciousness backward. These demands then introduce something entirely new in the work, and it is here that Sri Aurobindo’s message unmasks the limitations of all previous ways to produce real and lasting changes in the world, inasmuch as none were Earth-oriented.
The religious communities the Mother refers to above were limited by their goal. The uniformity imposed upon their members was for the purpose of steering the aspirant away from the world and any binding ties to the Earth and into a transcendental plane, disconnected from involvement with this material universe and its evolutionary process. However, in terms of the old orientation it was immensely effective. The numerous religious communities of the Roman Catholic Church, for one, which have thrived over the centuries, are testimony to its effectiveness. Yet we witness today a disintegration in those previously unassailable fortresses. This is obliging the Church hierarchy to seek means to revitalise these communities which have now clearly lost their former value and usefulness. In a number of key places, important strongholds of Catholicism, that imposition of sameness, along with other restrictions, is being seriously challenged, with the result that entries into these communities have decreased considerably.
The new Power that is manifesting is a formidable underminer. Its consolidation is forcing the collapse of the old. It is bringing new foundations into existence upon which the supramental world is being built; there are new lines, new processes, and, above all else, new goals. Let us then discuss in depth the nature of this great change and the qualities of the new Power which are making this transformation possible and, I would add, imperative. Its main feature is its capacity to generate an inner realisation in each of [the community’s] members. And further the Mother states, ‘…each one should feel not like just one member united in some way with all the others, but all as one, within himself. For each one the others must be himself as much as his own body, and not mentally and artificially, but by a fact of consciousness, by an inner realisation.’
We are justified in questioning whether such a condition can ever come about, given the ‘chaos of consciousness’ that exists, in particular in this new Age which seems to have upturned all previous models and accepted premises and shattered any semblance of an order which somehow provided a certain stability and continuity. Indeed, in Sri Aurobindo’s words, the world today does ‘present the aspect of a huge cauldron of Medea in which things are being cast, shredded to pieces, experimented on, combined and recombined either to perish and provide the scattered material of new forms or to emerge rejuvenated and changed for a fresh term of existence.’ (The Synthesis of Yoga, CE, Volume 20, page 1.)
When a new power is introduced in an existing arrangement, a ‘real effective power’, this shattering must perforce take place. In the initial stages a dismantling of this nature is inevitable because the new Power forces an enhancement, an extension, an expansion of the field in which it operates. Then, in the Mother’s words, a ‘force for order and organisation will be able to put each element in its place and make a new coordinated world out of the present chaos’.
Thus, what is the nature of a Power that is able to revolutionise the existing order? In the first place we must understand that for such a power to be able to operate and create this superior order, a new field must exist in which it can function according to its nature and for its ultimate goal. Therefore it is this ‘field’ that occupies centre stage of the ongoing work at present, involving the subject of the Mother’s dream: the collective yoga. We observe then that entirely new foundations must be laid which will at the outset create a new field wherein the supramental creation can evolve. We cannot expect to use the old structures for the creation of something truly new. It is indeed within the old that the new creation must arise, but not founded on its now outdated forms – those arbitrary ‘walls of the hotel’.
Consequently, another question arises: How can we effectively become instruments for this unique achievement in a world apparently so hostile to the inherent principles of truth which are the pillars of the new creation? The secret to this achievement lies in the fact that the two worlds, though occupying a single material field, operate in different dimensions because they function according to different laws and processes determined by the resultant combination of energies. These combinations based on quantity and quality – and concentration of power – determine the axial placement and thus the existence or not of a ‘centre’ – a true and recognised centre ‘with real effective power’.
Thus the analysis the Mother gave of her hotel dream provides the answers to these questions. The ‘super-organisation’ the daughter introduces is the new foundation which radically alters the collectivity’s participation and experience and places it in another dimension. In addition, it discloses the method for transforming one of material Nature’s most entrenched ways, so beautifully expressed in the Mother’s vision: the CREATIVE way as opposed to the method of destruction. The ‘old matron’ employed a method that was the result of and an intrinsic part of the foundations on which the mental species finds its support and assures itself of continuity: a total destruction and then a rebuilding. This does not merely pertain to our present society or the civilisations the world has known since the beginning of recorded history, which have so obviously been founded on the principle of chaos. It applies to the entire evolutionary process, stretched over thousands upon thousands of years, periods which have variously been described as Yugas, Ages, Manifestations, and so on. These are colossal time periods during which Nature systematically used this tool to bring down the old framework and introduce new elements.
But the crucial point is this: the end product always bore the seeds within itself of this inferior method because it was rooted in a limited energy field which determined its function. The ‘seed’ determined the final product, and the end product became the tool for the continuity and propagation of the seed ‘in its own image’. It organised each subsequent field for this operation, and therefore the product which arose out of this field partook entirely of the qualities of the seed. The old formula resulted in the limited creation we are a part of and which we see crumbling about us today.
Thus it is clear that we can never separate the two: To create a truly new world we must have at our disposal a power which is able to set in motion an entirely new process for a new seed to evolve, as well as a new field. This is the ‘super-organisation’ that the Old Matron’s daughter wished to introduce, governed by higher Laws to which the old cannot respond.
The difficulty in this attainment now surfaces in its full complexity. For in the midst of this ‘hotel’ with its tested and long established method based on chaos, in which everything must be torn down in order for something else to be built in its place, thus expending energy in a wasteful manner, a new way has to evolve and operate uncontaminated by the old. That is, from the outset this power must create a new field in which to bring into being a system that is intrinsically different from past models, from all the methods the world has known until now. The larger ‘field’ is the Earth. We have no other planetary base upon which to accomplish this work. We have to accept the conditions the Earth offers as legitimate, truthful elements in this integrating process. Nonetheless, the new cannot be contaminated by the old that has until now occupied the entire Earth-field. If the ‘end product’ is to be something other than a mental species, the field or womb in which this gestational process takes place must also be the outcome of a supramental ‘super-organisation’ of energies. In a superior process of this nature the means irrefutably determines the end.
Respect for the method, the means, is indeed one of the distinguishing features of the supramental yoga because it implies an integration of all levels, all dimensions of consciousness-being in the act of Becoming. It implies a harmony of the Being and the Becoming – for which reason a new Dynamism emerges from the realisations this Yoga provides. At the same time, a dispassionate analysis of the present conditions confirms the necessity for a simultaneous convergence of what I have called ‘vertical and horizontal’ directions. The Mother describes these directions in her talk on the Avatar and the Third Way [see TVN 2/5, Appendix 2] as a ‘line in time’ accompanied by a movement spread out in space. The coordination of these two features is indispensable in the initial stages of the new world’s manifestation. But the implications inherent in this conjunct attainment are to be noted because they highlight the need for a new way which brings about a community held together not by any artificial and arbitrary bonds but exclusively by an inner realisation. It is clear that this is the only true foundation for a gnostic society.
At the time of her dream it was difficult to imagine how this would come to pass. Yet a number of years have transpired since her dream – 30, in fact – and during this period all the elements have manifested to make this realisation possible. Not only has it been made possible, it is a fact we can affirm from our central involvement with Sri Aurobindo’s work: the new world is born, the new Power is operating. And on this basis the simultaneous emergence has occurred of a new field and an entirely new ‘seed’, a seed which is no longer the means to propagate the old method based on destruction but which introduces a new principle, a new ‘creative consciousness’ which the Mother saw in her dream-vision in the symbol-form of the Daughter. This Consciousness bears the unique property of being protected by the ‘super-organisation’ or alchemy of energies which makes it ‘off bounds’ for the old powers and the previous laws to which they were bound.
To permit this new alchemy the Mother underwent a specific process. During the decade of the 60s she was engaged in a ‘cleansing of the slate’, so to speak. She had to prepare the field, initially by erasing the old stamp and not by introducing the new, for this was not her task. Hence she was not concerned with the new order or organisation as such. Indeed, the vehicles she left of her work are reflections precisely of the old patterns; and the need to allow a new principle to come into being explains in large part the Mother’s unusual and often perplexing modus operandi. She never tore down a branch of her work or an outlet she had created. Even when its utility was clearly superseded or its original inspiration had been perverted, she allowed the old form to continue functioning, – lamely, often obstructively. While she created channels for the new to manifest, she never really became involved in that later stage, in the operational phase of those new channels.
The mass in the periphery of the old field was evidently overpowering. Thus it seemed to be a constant exercise or experiment in seeking to avoid indulging in the old system of tearing down in order to establish something new. This characterised to a great extent the ashram she created. Whoever has participated in the life of that community for any length of time is struck by this perplexing and contradictory fact of a place now devoid of a renovating impetus in terms of the deeper purposes of Sri Aurobindo’s mission, but where nothing she created is allowed to be dismantled. Therefore, one finds a number of projects still operating but clearly unproductive and which are constant drains on the economy of the community; yet no one dares do away with these draining elements so clearly inefficient and unable to occupy a place in the new world.
The Mother’s insistency on starting new projects to compensate for these failures, while leaving the latter intact, was largely due to her understanding of the need to cease feeding the old system and Diti’s tested method of destruction and chaos. This would almost appear to have been an obsession with the Mother, if one observes the condition of the Ashram and studies its long history. But this can be understood when the true significance and profound dimensions of the Mother’s dream are unveiled. At the same time, it cautions us in rushing to hand over the management of such institutions to elements who are unable to appreciate the demands imposed upon them by the deeper purposes for which they originally came into being. The Ashram’s utility in relation to its original purpose has clearly undergone a radical change. It is no longer needed for ‘cleaning the slate’. But to appreciate its present utility, if any at all, one must seek to do so in the realm of higher knowledge of a very special order. On that basis the shift to a new poise based on an enhanced purpose can come about. This has not been done in the case of the Ashram.
In the case of Auroville it is not a question of having lost its original purpose as much as never having understood that purpose at all. The positive, creative process has not been given the opportunity to manifest in the project, and having been placed in the hands of a Government administrator hardly bodes well for the realisation of the Mother’s dream. A government, no matter how enlightened, cannot pretend to usher in the new, simply because it is limited by its form which is a part and parcel of the old world. The only way projects of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s work can be properly ‘managed’ is on the basis of a power of higher knowledge and seeing.
From my own experience in the Ashram I must admit that I found the Mother’s method often very disturbing. As could be expected, I was wholly identified with ‘the daughter’ and her desire to do things in ‘a new way’. However, the wisdom of the Mother’s method lies in her impeccable understanding of the work she had to accomplish: she was confined to the onerous task of establishing the first basis for a new field to emerge, within which the Daughter would then be able to ‘plant the new seed’. The Mother cleansed the dimension in which the new Power could operate and find protection from the old forces.
Indeed this did come to pass. But at this point we must ask what the utility of that former experiment is when the new has finally emerged victoriously from its midst? And is there any possibility of carrying that experience forward and integrating it into the new way, failing which our previous question is automatically answered: Not allowing itself to be integrated in the new, that former field is rendered obsolete. Its continued existence is thus without purpose.
However, one service it does render by its continuation in spite of a loss of purpose is that it provides us with a powerful means to exercise that imperative of choice, the intrinsic factor for releasing energies which propel one into the new dimension governed by higher laws. Its existence displays more clearly than any other means at our disposal that the Mother succeeded in the work allotted to her and that she left when that work was done. She left a cleaned slate and the emptiness of that former field, devoid of purpose, stands testimony to her success. I trust that this analysis will make this abundantly clear. Had the Mother not dealt so effectively with the Old Matron nothing of the new could have come into being. In the Ashram during her lifetime, conditions were extremely favourable for receiving the new knowledge and for establishing the new consciousness in oneself. That so few there achieved this is explained by the limitations inherent in a process that was incomplete. The greater scope of the Yoga, with its enhanced power, could operate only when that completion was achieved, when the boundaries had been extended. At that point a new field in a contiguous though separate dimension was effectively created.
I have explained the forbearance required by the second members of the Lines – both Solar and Lunar – in The New Way, Volume l, pages 129-130. Being confined to working within the old structure, the 6, or the second power in the descending scale of 9, 6 and 3, can succeed only by accepting this limitation. It goes without saying that this is a masterful achievement, especially when the restraint is consciously undertaken.
On the other hand, the ‘daughters’ of the Lines are compelled to introduce the new. This has been done in both the Solar and Lunar Lines. In the latter, Indira Gandhi clearly found the limitations of the old creation (the ‘old guard’ of the Congress Party) intolerable. And she broke through those restricting barriers as her destiny obliged her to do. The splits in the Congress Party which have been so hotly criticised by one and all must be analysed on the basis of what the third Daughter/Power must accomplish as a member of the Line. Failing to do so results in the shallow understanding of the role of the Nehrus in the life of the New India which plagues all political analysis and historical assessments.
This brings into highlight the minute details of the new field with its extended boundaries, wherein the new has been introduced; and hence our discussion returns to a certain element the Mother describes on the basis of her hotel dream: the true centre, in its right place, a recognised centre with real effective power. In this alone lies the possibility for the collective yoga to come into being and its participants to be channels for the new creation.
The Mother and Sri Aurobindo were clear about what was required and how this requirement brought into play an entirely different basis for action in the world as instruments of the Divine, as parts of a gnostic society in the making. There are no outer coercions. The harmonisation must come about on the basis of an ‘inner realisation’. But of course we must be equally clear as to what exactly that realisation is. All paths seem to offer an ‘inner realisation’. Yet none have brought into being a new world, a supramental creation. Thus in this new way a primary feature is that a realisation must evolve which has the power to unite the group consciousness from within each member and not by any external imposition. (For this reason the Mother sought always to avoid laying down rules and regulations and formal patterns of worship or rituals in the field where the Yoga was practised.)
The Mother provided guidelines of the new way in her plan of the inner Chamber, which was to be at the exact centre of the City. And due to its perfect measurements a new alignment would come into being. But the overall design of the Chamber is what allows us to understand the nature of the realisation that is to alter the group consciousness and its consequent participation.
The crux of the matter lies, quite simply, in ‘centering’. In the profound inner dimensions, hitherto never penetrated, a ‘pulse’ arises which is attuned to the Supreme’s. In this material universe it is known or experienced as the incarnate divine Will. In the Core of the Mother’s Chamber that Pulse/Will arises, or is lodged, in the exact centre of the Pedestal, which I have called the Supreme Power Point (see, The New Way, Volume 2, page 247ff.).
In the West a teaching has come to light in which this special feature of the New Way is incorporated. In the teachings of the Mexican-Indian ‘Nagual’, don Juan, this will combined with purpose is called intent. Further on I will discuss his work in conjunction with ours in greater depth.
But since we are on the subject of dreams and ‘pulses’, let me share one of my own dreams with VISHAAL readers which especially describes this type of attunement to the Pulse I have mentioned. Once more its value lies largely in the fact that at the time I had this dream I was unfamiliar with its symbolism and implications; but its timing forced me to believe that the dream was very important. It took place in the early morning hours of the day I was to leave for India, 27 September 1971. It left me if not disturbed by its abrupt ending (similar to the Mother’s abrupt awakening from her hotel dream), at least considerably perplexed. I realised that the ending of the vision foretold an important discovery I would need to make. Coming right at the time of my departure for India to join the Mother, it seemed clear that in India I was to make this discovery, or that somehow India was intrinsically involved in my vision. Interestingly, in this dream too there was a ship.
I was in a tunnel long and dark. It had a ‘v’ or ‘u’ shape. I was standing in the centre of this tunnel and I could see its two openings, one to my left, the other to my right.
The exit to my left revealed a lovely seascape with what was either a rising or a setting sun on the horizon, half of which was visible above the surface of the water. The sun was golden-red and cast a warm glow over the sea. The sight was exquisite, framed by the circular opening of the tunnel’s mouth which enhanced its beauty.
In the midst of this scene there was a large boat with numerous oarsmen; and, as in the galley of an ancient vessel, they were ranged with their oars on either side of the ship. The point of the vision was that this was the vessel’s maiden voyage and I was witnessing the very moment when it was being launched into the serene sea. And as in ancient times, in this ship there was also an overseer who was giving the beat for the oarsmen to follow in their coordinated rowing. However, this ‘person’ was invisible. In fact, in the dream I perceived who it was: the ship’s overseer on this maiden voyage was the Supreme. It was the Supreme, as an invisible Presence, who was ‘setting the beat’ to which all the oarsmen were attuned in a superb harmonisation, not one out of rhythm – a splendid experience of harmony such as I had never witnessed before. The manner in which this beat, or pulse, kept the rowers in harmony through an inner mechanism or an inner attunement in each of the oarsmen was a powerful and wonderful experience. It was true harmony because there were no external impositions. This demonstrated that spontaneity was the handmaiden of harmony. Thus, on the basis of this exquisite harmony the ship was sent out upon its first voyage.
To my right I saw in the distance the other exit/entrance. There was the same identical seascape, equal in all its details to the other. But the pivotal issue was that from the exact centre of the tunnel where I stood, I had a choice: I could choose either exit I wished to take, each offered the same seascape. But in the exit to my right there was no ship. It was a pristine, solitary seascape, and immensely appealing.
On the basis of my condition at the time and my focus almost exclusively on the individual transformation, I of course chose the exit without the collective manifestation. And just as I was about to move to the right, toward the vacant but equally captivating seascape, I was abruptly awakened. Without a doubt the most significant part of the experience was the abrupt end of the dream, impeding me from enacting the fulfilment of my choice based on my predilection. I was thus left with the distinct sensation that my ‘choice’ was not permitted. I was being held back from pursuing a solitary path to fulfilment (the horizon with the golden-red sun), and that this was an element of the dream I would have to understand. In point of fact, my sojourn in India confirmed my feeling in full. In India I came to discover the full meaning of the dream and the reason for the abrupt awakening I experienced. The work I was to do involved harmony, central to which is a collectivity.
The process the Mother carried out merits a more complete discussion because by understanding what she accomplished and the precise nature of her yoga of transformation, we can better understand our present times and the demands put upon us by the Time-Spirit.
As mentioned, the Mother sought consistently to counteract the power of ‘the old matron’ by not feeding the age-old process of regeneration based on a destructive pattern. Thus she never, or very rarely, terminated a project she had begun, but when it proved useless or its original purpose was perverted or the instrument with which she was involved in the creation proved too headstrong and unresponsive to her force, she would leave that creation as it was, unproductive as it proved to be, and would open up a new avenue. It would seem that she was engaged in a patient work with material Nature to secure her cooperation for the future manifestation by wearing her down, by exhausting the old pattern through a refusal to feed it invigorating energy – her Energy.
But there was something fundamental lacking in this process and it is in evidence even today in the creations she left behind. During the period when the Mother was dealing with this situation – practically her whole life – the new Power had not manifested; hence there was no method to harmonise all these activities and secure their mutual cooperation. There was no ‘super-organisation’ that could ‘put each element in its place’ in a superior act of integration, precisely because to do so an objective means had to evolve which could allow for a harmonisation in that periphery of collective consciousnesses based on an inner realisation of all the participants. This ‘inner realisation’ in terms of a collective expression has to be founded on an objective Truth, one that ALL can appreciate and accept, and, above all, recognise, – not something imposed from outside.
This means that a formula and a power had to come into being which would provide the Vision all could perceive simultaneously and accept, but based on an act of ‘recognition’. At the same time there had to be a means to confirm, both collectively and individually, the existence of this Power and its action in the life of the community. These elements have indeed manifested. They are the fundaments of the New Way.
However, in the Mother’s time this ‘super-organisation’ was not in evidence. The Mother appreciated its need and therefore she sought to prepare the right atmosphere for its subsequent manifestation. She gathered diverse representative energies together in a huge cauldron, as it were. But none of those energies formed a conscious and integrated Harmony. The situation I encountered when I arrived in Pondicherry in September of 1971 was akin to anarchy. The Mother was confined to her room as of 1962 and this periphery was therefore left to itself, in a sense; the disconnection between the parts was evident. There were islands, pools or pockets of energy here and there, each ‘doing the Mother’s work’ but none were a part of an overall harmony, an integrated Cosmos. They were held together exclusively by the Mother. In the Matrimandir Talks, toward the end of that exasperating experience, on 17.1.1970 she remarked ‘…All you have to do is imagine what it would be like if I were gone…Just imagine that and you will see, you will see immediately what would happen.’
Indeed, it was the primordial chaos of the new world. Yet this Chaos was an essential ingredient in the Work. It instigated the emergence of the new Power, forced the descent of the new Knowledge and in this way contributed to the foundation laying of the emergent Cosmos. The field the Mother left had this exclusive purpose, both in the Ashram and in Auroville, – to force into evidence the harmonising and integrating Powers which alone could usher in the new creation.
To accomplish this, the Mother had two especially problematic elements to contend with. One was to secure the effective cooperation of material Nature, concerning which she had the seed-realisation of 1957. In the previous VISHAAL 2/6, February 1988) I have reproduced some of the records the Mother left of those initial and important experiences.
The second involved a far more tenebrous situation. She had to conquer the great Negator. The last 20 years of the Mother’s life were spent in daily proximity with this force of Negation. By far the most demanding part of her Yoga involved the able handling of a force of devastating denial, a force of unredeemable ignorance and a density of consciousness so thick that no light could penetrate its stronghold and the instruments of its expression in the Mother’s entourage.
In the beginning of 1971 the battle lines were drawn. On the one side there were the positive, creative energies; on the other the negative and the destructive. It must be stated before all else that these qualifications assume special meaning in the context of this new way. The main characteristic of the latter is its denial of the Truth – more often by deeds rather than words. In the more extreme cases, where the instrument is entirely possessed by the force of negation, it reveals its true nature by a refusal to accept any light other than its own, any truth but its own falsehood which it holds up as truth, in the true manner of the Titan, or the Asura of Indian tradition. In the less complete manifestation, it is displayed by a clinging to the ‘ego of the instrument’, as Sri Aurobindo has described it, the conviction that the Divine Consciousness depends upon that particular instrument for the fulfilment of its grand Purpose, to the extent that the participant becomes blind to the real Power working through him and through all others. But the condition the Mother was called upon to deal with was primarily the former, the true consciousness of the Asura, inasmuch as she was the embodiment of the Cosmic Divine in its most complete manifestation. Thus her task was to bring about a transformation precisely in that area and therefore involving those powers: the Devas and the Asuras – poles of Light and Darkness which constitute the cosmic dimension perceived as the Cosmic Ignorance, wherein tension and opposition are the ingredients these powers contribute to the evolution. The new and emerging Cosmos is, on the other hand, a manifestation of the Cosmic Truth. The Mother’s task was to prepare the terrain for this great shift in the perception of Reality and by consequence in the expression of that Truth on Earth, a shift in the language of the new way from a ‘binary system’ (Cosmic Ignorance) to a ‘unitary’ one (Cosmic Truth).
It is possible to present a blatant verbal denial of the Truth the Mother sought to establish on Earth by reproducing an especially disturbing dialogue between the Mother and several of her disciples, – one of whom, as the following transcript of the recording reveals, is an embodiment of that devastating force of negation. In the first part of the exchange the Mother discusses certain possible developments in her yoga of transformation with her secretary-disciple. She explains her unknowing at that stage, how she is being kept in the dark and not told explicitly what to expect. She informs the disciple that there is a possibility that she may enter a sort of trance-like state, a ‘sleep’ but which would resemble death, and wherefrom she might awaken transformed:
‘…but the people would never have the patience to support that, to take care [of me]. It is a colossal work, a Herculean task; they are kind [the Mother indicates the direction of the bathroom where her attendants are gathered] but they are doing the maximum, so I cannot ask anything more of them.
‘That’s the thing’. It is the only thing about which the consciousness says, “Yes, that’s it.”
‘So, you understand…There is a state – a state (The Mother closes her fist) like ‘self-absorbed’, where one is…that is the peace.
‘But who, who? To ask that of the people who are taking care of me is impossible.’
(Satprem): ‘I don’t know but for some time now I have had the impression that you were going to ‘withdraw’ in some way; that more and more you would be absorbed and that externally, for God’s sake, you should have less and less contacts for a period of time.’
‘Yes, yes, but then everyone would think that…that it is the end and no one will take care of me anymore.’
(Satprem): ‘Oh! Please, no, no! That is not possible. They will understand. Some will understand in any case. Especially those who are here.’
‘They are the ones who could understand.’
(Satprem): ‘Yes, but I am sure they will understand.’
‘But I cannot tell them.’
(Satprem): ‘But we can tell them – I can tell them!’
‘Yes…But will they believe you?’
(Satprem): ‘Well, I think so! But I feel it. It is clear that you have less and less a desire to be in contact with a quantity of external things which are useless for the work you have to do.’
‘But it is necessary to…to…
(The Mother hesitates, gasps for breath, then is silent)
‘He will come. If you stay long enough, he will come and you can tell him.’
(Satrprem): ‘Tell Pranab? …Yes.’
‘I could say…Perhaps I could tell him, “I have asked Satprem to explain to you…” and then you will explain it well.’
(Satprem): ‘Yes, yes, Sweet Mother, of course.’
‘I can tell you that they are absolutely marvellous; they do the maximum that one can do. It is for that reason that I dare not ask him. You will tell him that I said this.’
‘I seem…(smiling), I seem “fanciful”. I seem full of fancies. I say yes, and then almost immediately afterwards I say no. And so one has the impression that…’
(Satprem): ‘No, no, Sweet Mother, no!’
‘But in my head…the consciousness is clear, clear, clear…But I cannot speak.’
‘When he comes you must tell me because I want to tell him right away.’
(Satprem): ‘Yes, Sweet Mother.’
The Mother then gives flowers to the disciple and after a brief discussion on how her force is felt by him, she asks him to come more regularly, each day, around eleven in the morning. After a moment of silence:
(Pranab enters. The Mother’s assistant, who had been listening to the entire conversation, tells him briefly that ‘Satprem has something to tell him on behalf of the Mother’. There is instant rage. Pranab can be heard shouting in the far end of the room:)
(Pranab, in Bengali): ‘What a joke! No one can fool me! I know everything. (Then in English citing a Bengali saying) When our bed is [the] sea, why do we care for this dew?’
(The Mother comes out of her state of absorption and says to Satprem):
‘If you are tired you must just tell me.’
(Satprem): ‘No, Sweet Mother, but there is Pranab who has just arrived.’
‘Ah! He is there, call him.’
(Pranab, in an awful tone): ‘Yes, Mother?’
‘I have…I can’t speak.’
(Pranab, sarcastically): ‘Don’t speak, Mother!
(In the background one of the assistants is heard laughing.)
‘I have said to Satprem to explain to you what is happening – why I must change…’
(Pranab, cutting the Mother short): ‘Mother! I’m not interested, Mother.’
(Pranab): ‘I’m not interested. Whatever happens, happens. I am there to stand up to the last. Whatever happens, happens.’
(The Mother tries to speak, Pranab cuts her short)
(Pranab): ‘…I am neither reasoning nor doing anything. And I don’t want to listen also, Mother. I understand fully; and let me go on with my own light, own convictions, own faith, own strength, own will. I don’t want to listen, Mother, anything from anybody.’
‘But, you do not want to know?…’
(Pranab): ‘No, Mother, I do not want [to know].’
(Silence, the Mother remains completely immobile, her hands crossed on her knees)
(Pranab): It is perfectly alright. I have come with something. I stand by something that…and if it is not – if it doesn’t come, I don’t mind. I am a sportsman, Mother.
‘And I don’t want to listen [to] any explanations because whatever explanation is given, if for the object I came that doesn’t materialise, it is the same thing to me.’
‘No…it is because there is an attempt to transform the body.’
(Pranab): ‘That will happen, when it happens we shall see, Mother. Why to predict?’
(Satprem): ‘No, meanwhile, for this work she may have to go as if in an inner sleep.’
(Pranab): ‘Let her go! What is there?’
(Satprem): ‘So, you…we have to…’
(Pranab): ‘That she has told me – long before Mother had told me. It is not a new thing, Mother. You had told me, explained [to] me.’
(Satprem): ‘So, she has to…’
(Pranab): ‘I don’t want to listen [to] anything, Mother. Let it happen. What will happen, will happen – and we shall do the best. That’s all.’
(Satprem): ‘No, the thing is just…people…perhaps not too much to disturb her…’
(Pranab explodes. He is half risen from his chair, a fist on his knee as he lets loose a torrent on the Mother)
(Pranab): ‘WHO is disturbing her?!’
(Satprem): ‘No, I’m…’
(Pranab): ‘Anybody is disturbing you? Amongst us – he can be OFF! Nobody disturbs.’
(Satprem, alarmed): ‘No…just…’
(The Mother tries to speak, is cut short by Pranab)
(Pranab): ‘Mother, don’t tell anything. Go on eat, sleep and work and don’t try to make anybody explain [to] me. I know what it is. I know what everything is. Better everybody keeps quiet!’
‘Well, then, alright.’
(Pranab): I don’t want to hear anything from anybody.’
(Pranab goes off to the end of the room. He blasts out to all the attendants present.)
(Pranab): ‘I have my faith, I have my conviction, I have my purpose. And even if I am in the ‘dark’…’
(Satprem, to the Mother): ‘Should I come at eleven tomorrow, Sweet Mother?’
(Pranab): ‘All that HUMBUG, I don’t like.’
‘Yes, my child, you can leave a little before [the arrival of Pranab]…That’s all.’
(Satprem): “I should come around eleven, or a little before?’
‘A little bit – until 11:25.’
(Satprem): ‘That’s it, Sweet Mother. Understood. Goodbye, Sweet Mother.’
(Pranab): ‘All those who like fuss – let them continue with the fuss!’
(Satprem gets up to leave, the Mother takes his hands, her voice like a child’s)
‘Voila, thank you.’
(Pranab): ‘There are many people to do fuss. I think most of them…’
(Satprem, in a choked voice): ‘Goodbye, Sweet Mother.’
(Pranab): ‘In 30 years I have seen enough…! Enough of HUMBUG!’
[From L’Agenda de Mere, Volume 13, pages 395ff,
Institut de Recherches Evolutives, Paris,
and the recording of 7 April, 1973]
In the volume of the Agenda cited above the final play-out of this sordid episode is given in all its dreadful details. To be brief, it culminated in the administration to the Mother of one of the most potent drugs on the market for senility, since she was not ‘behaving’. And within a matter of two or three days of its administration, the Mother left this plane for good.
In the period immediately following the Mother’s passing there were many who went so far as to believe and proclaim that this great Negator was a vibhuti, an emanation of the Supreme according to the Indian tradition. Some felt that having been ‘so close to the Mother’ he was the logical candidate to take her place! I do not believe that in the annals of spiritual history there is a more shocking record of a collective capitulation to the force of Negation as this. The confusion reached such extremes that this individual was entreated by the Ashram hierarchy to address all the ashramites and numerous visitors who had flocked to Pondicherry on receiving news of the Mother’s passing. Disciples believed that he would have ‘the last word’ on the Mother’s transformation.
I attended this meeting on 4 December 1973, where, before over a thousand people, this man once more displayed his appalling ignorance. Yet his hold over the collectivity was so thorough that his talk was considered important enough to print and circulate by the thousands to all the disciples and devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother; but not before it had been edited by certain senior members of the Ashram and cleansed of its more abominable declarations to protect the image of this individual.
Though the recording of the Mother’s 7.4.1973 encounter with the great Negator had been in circulation for a number of years, my son heard it for the first time in the summer of 1986. He had been an honour student at the Ashram School from 1971 until 1980, when he was eliminated from its student body under unacceptable pretexts by this very person in one of his periodic campaigns to eliminate ‘foreigners’ from the institution. When the recording ended the young man commented thoughtfully, ‘How can one explain this to people…’.
I reproduce this comment because these few words summarise an especially murky situation which exists, a condition which festers like a purulent sore in the middle of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s work, and which no one in their entourage has had the capacity to heal. It cannot be healed because none wish to face it, even to acknowledge its existence.
The way they have sought to deal with this embarrassing problem has been to deny it and to label all those who refuse to do so as heretics or hostile forces, and a host of other titles. It is as if to wish to understand the reason for such an unusual and lamentable condition is to be a traitor of some sort and an enemy of the Mother’s work. The result has been that a very important feature of her Yoga has gone completely unperceived, with very serious consequences for that community.
Indeed, by this attitude disciples have joined hands with that very force they seek to ignore and whose true nature has unequivocally been unmasked by the above recording, as well as by countless other records and testimonies of individuals who have been similarly victimised by this man. No sincere disciple of the Mother can fail to admit that in this transcript we have been brought face to face with the power of the great Negator. And, as could be expected in such a situation, this person has become the de facto head of the Ashram. Significantly, he controls, among other things, the two most important areas of that community’s life by which a renovation could be experienced: the admission of children into the Ashram School (or their elimination), and the admittance of adult members into the Ashram itself. Those of whom HE does not approve have never found a place in that community, or have been forced to leave though they had been accepted by the Mother herself. Above all, he has interfered with a crucial aspect of Sri Aurobindo’s mission: its international character, both in the Ashram and in Auroville when the two projects were more or less united in spirit. Being an obsessive xenophobist, he has systematically eliminated, one by one, almost all foreign students from the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, making the continued use of that designation a farce. Indeed, so complete has been his hold that he succeeded in eliminating the 4th member of the Solar Line from its student body (as could have been expected given his role of great Negator). When this occurred an exodus was inevitable since it was the signal that a new field had to be created uncontaminated by those old powers with whom the Mother had been obliged to carry on her labour by the demands of her destiny and mission, precisely for the purpose of allowing that new field to come into being. In this sense it must be stated that by eliminating the Fourth from the Ashram School, this Negator and his lieutenants became the instruments for the fulfilment of a work that had to be done elsewhere and could never have found umbrage within the confines of the old field. Thus, in this instance too it is possible to observe how the new Power utilises ALL forces – negative or positive – for its own grand Purpose.
The teachings of the Mexican-Indian Nagual, don Juan, as recorded in the books of his apprentice, Carlos Castaneda, describe this sort of ‘contribution’ in a work of transformation of a similar nature, when in the course of his explanations to his disciple, Carlos, he refers to the role of the ‘petty tyrant’. The apprentice has to confront the petty tyrant, the presence of whom he must consider a grace in that it obliges the aspirant to draw out the most heroic energies from his or her hidden depths. The greater the power to harm which the petty tyrant possesses, the greater is the benefit he can confer on the ‘warrior’ (vir, or hero of certain Indian paths). But even more significantly, when Carlos asks what happens to those apprentices who fail to conquer the petty tyrant, the Nagual replies:
‘…it goes without saying that warriors always have a chance to recuperate or to retrieve and come back later. But there is another side to this problem. To be defeated by a small-fry petty tyrant is not deadly, but devastating. The degree of mortality, in a figurative sense, is almost as high. By that I mean that warriors who succumb to a small-fry petty tyrant are obliterated by their own sense of failure and unworthiness. That spells high mortality to me.’
‘How do you measure that defeat?’ [the apprentice asks]
‘Anyone who joins the petty tyrant is defeated [italics our own]. To act in anger, without control and discipline, to have no forbearance, is to be defeated.’
‘What happens after warriors are defeated?’
‘They either regroup themselves or they abandon the quest for knowledge and join the ranks of the petty tyrant for life.’
[The Fire From Within, Pocket Books, 1984, page 30.]
Without a doubt there is nothing else available today in the store of literature at the seeker’s disposal which better describes the conditions prevailing in the Mother’s entourage. In addition, I must mention that the work of Carlos Castaneda, particularly his last two books, The Fire From Within and The Power of Silence, is by far the most important material of any true and lasting value that has emerged from the new-Age movements of the 60s and 70s in the West, a period which witnessed an unprecedented increase in the desire for direct knowledge, especially in the youth. No other work from that period can compare with that of the teachings of don Juan. It parallels ours in striking ways, and departs from it perhaps only in its overall aim which appears to be the individual liberation and conquering of death rather than an Earth transformation, the establishment of a new Heaven on a new Earth. Nonetheless, the books of this author-apprentice, especially those mentioned above, are recommended reading for students of the new way. Anyone in this work who has had to deal with the great Negator of the Mother’s entourage, when reading the chapter cited above on the role of the petty tyrant, cannot fail to recognise that individual as precisely the ‘petty tyrant of limitless power’, – a thing of inestimable value for the warrior of Truth, the striver for ‘impeccability’.
In studying this parallel work the student can also appreciate that the circumstances the petty tyrant offers for the work are real. The threat he poses is, in many instances, a matter of life or death. This serves to remind us that the work the Avatar must accomplish is not fictional, illusory, make-believe. The play is as real as the essence it describes in its unfolding, as real as the Consciousness which controls its denouement. The Mother’s Yoga bore ample testimony to this state of affairs.
The most serious indictment of the Ashram and the emasculated condition of its disciples is that they were impotent to deal with this force of Negation and they refuse to admit what this transcript irrefutably establishes: the power in control of the Ashram is the greatest denier of the Avatar.
There is no code of conduct established by Sri Aurobindo that can justify such impotency. On the contrary, there is an anecdote known to all disciples which provides us with a model for action in such cases as this. In the Ashram’s early days, after Sri Aurobindo had withdrawn for his intense tapasya, on a certain occasion Sri Aurobindo heard one of the inmates shouting at the Mother in the corridor outside his room. Immediately he bellowed out like a roaring lion, ‘WHO IS THAT WHO IS SHOUTING AT THE MOTHER!’
Yet after he left this plane, on countless occasions disciples have listened passively as this great Negator made it a habit of ‘shouting at the Mother’, and much worse, and they consistently failed to counteract these constant onslaughts she and others were subjected to; until finally this man secured complete control. It goes without saying that to realise one’s Godhead in the Integral Yoga, it is required first of all that one realise one’s manhood (or womanhood). Needless to say, there are not many ‘warriors’ to be found in that community, which, however, holds itself up as the true and only propagator of Sri Aurobindo’s teachings.
In the light of the above, how immensely powerful does the following read, the ‘Student’s Prayer’, given by the Mother on the occasion of the inauguration of the Sri Aurobindo International University Centre. The significant date is 6 January 1952:
‘Make of us the hero warriors we aspire to become. May we fight successfully the great battle of the future that is to be born, against the past that seeks to endure; so that the new things may manifest and we may be ready to receive them.’
Yes, how can one explain all this to people? One can do so effectively only on the basis of the new cosmology which reveals the roles this individual and others play and have played in the Mother’s work, shorn of sentimentality and false notions of solidarity and loyalty, which in this case are simply the covers of cowardice. It is only the new cosmology that can ‘put each element in its place’. But to make use of it courage is needed, the courage to look deeply at that festering sore and seek to comprehend how and why it developed. At that point, on the basis of this heroic investigation, the painful enigmas dissolve and knowledge illumines one’s heart and one’s way. Then, indeed, the ‘new things may manifest and we may be ready to receive them…’
In 1957, after her hotel dream, the Mother gave some indication of the terrible times that lay ahead for her when she spoke to her entourage of the role the ‘censors’ play in one’s yoga, and her own. Periodically thereafter she made mention of powers of negation and, in the last portion of her life and yoga, of the devastating force of denial she had to contend with in the atmosphere of the Ashram, a pollution in which she was forced to live and whose aim was to nurture a collective denial of her transformation.
However, before continuing with this discussion, I am obliged to clarify one point in particular because it too concerns one of those ‘painful enigmas’ which cloud the atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo’s work. It is the erroneous thesis put forth by certain disciples who played equally significant roles during the time of the Mother’s intense yoga and her passing. The thesis is that that force of negation cut short her life or was responsible for the Mother’s inability to carry through to completion her body transformation. The thesis holds that this power succeeded in cutting her life short before she was able to complete her work.
It must be emphatically stated that the Divine Consciousness controls all the parts, the instruments, the details of its manifestation, – as mentioned above, those negative as well as positive. That force of denial, more than any other, was consistently under its control, precisely because of its thick-skinned ignorance which made it especially ‘controllable’ by the Higher Power for the role it had to play. Indeed, as we all know, the Mother kept this individual closely by her side for several decades, precisely throughout the entire period she was dealing with the force he embodied. On one occasion she disclosed to a disciple that she had been seeking his transformation for many centuries! But in the context of the supramental yoga, what does ‘transformation’ mean? I propose to discuss this point in depth in the third part of this article, since in understanding this issue in its true light we come to the full revelation of the Mother’s Yoga of Transformation.
Thus, to embody this Negation was this individual’s noble offering to the cause, his impeccable service to the Mother. The tragedy is that once she concluded her work an embodiment of this sort is superfluous. The negative instrumentation served its purpose by obliging the Mother to do her yoga, by obliging her to confront daily this tremendous denial and by extracting from her the highest of her Earthly achievements: the collection of energies in the cauldron by a process other than what the Earth has known – the method of collapse and consequent destruction that characterises the ‘chaos’ of the old creation, of the past that seeks to impede the birth of the new.
However, the Mother went no further than this in what concerns her dealings with that force. Once the work was accomplished, signalled by the knowledge she bequeathed to the Daughter of the Solar Line, she left that force complete freedom to take control of the old field, not officially but intrinsically, just as she did with the disciple and architects in the question of the Temple’s plan; and what is more interesting, she let that force be convinced (similar to her strategy with the architects) that it had her under its sway and could arrogantly throw at her the full ugliness of its age-old titanic Denial:
‘I don’ want to listen!’
‘Let me go on with my own light!’
‘I do not want to know!’
‘In 30 years I’ve seen enough of this HUMBUG!’
This episode, the most revealing which history and the modern tape recorder have allowed us to preserve, can best be described by an important feature of the teachings of the nagual don Juan, called stalking. In no other school has the Mother’s masterful achievement in this area been more artfully described. The Mother was indeed the master Stalker. This activity can be briefly summarised as the ability to create a drama in which the stalker conveys the impression of being part of a play which is the outcome of a conspiracy of circumstances in which the stalker is a helpless victim. His apparent complete identification with his role in the drama succeeds in drawing others into the play and extracting from them an indispensable participation which they would withhold if they were aware of the part they were playing and their contribution. The stalker knows the purpose for which he or she is engaging in the play, but the other participants do not. Thus to their eyes the stalker invariably appears to be a victim, a helpless fool, an infirm old man or woman, incapable of anything other than a meek submission to the dictates of fate. This often thrusts these participants into the roles of know-alls, as the above dialogue displays most conclusively (‘I know everything! Don’t explain!)
But the stalker is not a helpless bumbler, as he or she pretends to be. As with the Mother, there is a conscious contact with what don Juan calls the spirit, manifesting in the universe through intent and which in our work is called the Power of the One, the Power that controls the play of circumstances from its centremost position, a centrality common to all things. The stalker is merely in direct contact with this Power and is a conscious instrument for the fulfilment of ITS purpose.
This activity was central to the Mother’s mission on Earth; and at no other time was it displayed more clearly than in her final decade of life, when, as an ‘infirm old lady’ she had to manipulate the forces in daily and relentless opposition to her work, using the tactics of the masterful Stalker that she was. Some of the records of this activity have been preserved in ‘Notes on the Way’ and ‘The Mother’s Agenda’. But the most important part of her work in this regard was not a question of words but deeds, and is not to be found in any recording but in the body of the work she bequeathed to us all, and, above all, in the supreme Nectar that remained after the great churning of the milky/murky ocean of her entourage.
As could be expected, none were aware of the Mother’s brilliant ‘stalking’; hence they have ‘joined hands with the petty tyrant’, as don Juan would explain it, rather than realise that that force of negation was meant to be conquered and not to be himself the conqueror.
When I arrived in the Ashram in 1971, to all outward appearances this force was ‘in control’. The atmosphere was contaminated by its negating consciousness. By the time of my arrival the Chamber’s original plan had been done away with and replaced by the architects’ revised version. But by 1971 the transformative work, the cleansing of the slate, the preparation of the new field was largely completed, to such a degree that the Mother’s Christmas message for 1971 was, ‘The time has come for the rule of falsehood to end. In the Truth alone is salvation.’
The focus of the Mother’s yoga from 1971 onwards was not to deal with that force any more but rather to pour her accumulated power into new vessels. This she did meticulously, by a method whose effectiveness staggers the mind, so complete and accurate was her functioning and control. (In The Tenth Day of Victory I have written of this in detail.) Significantly, it was about this time that her secretary-disciple began periodically to ask the Mother why she was not speaking anymore, why she was not telling him anything. And even more significantly, why it was that she was not mentioning her meetings, if any, with Sri Aurobindo on the subtle plane as she used to do so often. What had he to say?
The Mother was not ‘speaking’ much during her final two years of life, but the Knowledge and Power she was pouring out during those last years was certainly the most formidable display of a guru passing on his store of yogic achievement to a disciple that has ever been witnessed on Earth before.
But the outward situation in the Ashram in 1971 presented the unbiased seeker with a clearly defined ranging of forces on either side of a chasm, and with a choice: the old or the new. In the Ashram this translated itself into an atmosphere generated by those who ‘believed in the Mother’s transformation’ and those who did not, or those who were indifferent to the matter. The ‘believers’ furnished the Mother with a form of ‘support system’ that was entirely necessary during a certain phase of her yoga. The others were conclusively ranging themselves in the ranks of the ‘petty tyrant’.
This was a totally impersonal play. There were no rewards or punishments, no castigations or moralistic triumphs of the Devas over the Asuras. The sole reason for the existence of this alignment was to create an atmosphere, similar to the play in the Cosmic Ignorance, in which the Mother could complete her work; or rather, which would oblige her to do so. This obligation or imposition was the fruit of the play of circumstances, or the alignment of energies in the periphery which created cosmic poles of tension – real tension. It is true that the Supramental Shakti controls the entire unfolding, but this does not diminish the validity and relevance of the supporting actors and actresses in their negation or affirmation. Yet the impersonal nature of this work – a condition demanded of us in the supramental yoga – leaves the instrument ‘free’ at a certain stage, free to choose. One can continue as an instrument of negation or choose the path of creation, of affirmation. All the instruments in the Mother’s entourage, participants in her final victory, were presented with this grace of choosing, both while the Mother was embodied and, for a certain time, even after she left this plane. But the key feature of this act, is an arousal within, with no imposition from outside, for the old times have been surpassed, the old ways rendered obsolete. The Mother made this superior participation in the Supramental Manifestation possible by her immensely precious bequeathal: the Centre and the plan for the daughter’s ‘super-organisation’. The new Gnosis was and is victorious.
While the members of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram do not understand the true nature of the Mother’s transformation, passage to this higher involvement on the basis of a conscious act of choosing is impossible. Failing this the only course left is to participate in the collapse, in the unwinding of a process whose central purpose has ceased to exist. Those who choose to remain prisoners of the past and who choose to adhere to the dictates of the great Negator succumb, by active adherence or by default, to his commands. They throw about themselves the chains of Ignorance and play out on this planet a destiny coloured by the constricting lens of his dark vision.
But what, exactly, is this power? How can it hold sway and cloud the atmosphere so thoroughly that none in the Mother’s entourage are able to see its true nature and role, much less to stand up to this negation and call halt to its rule?
This force derives its power from the vital-physical plane, the dimension closest to the material Earth manifestation. Consequently, we should not be surprised to learn that the embodiment of this force which I have called the great Negator is the director of the Physical Education Department of the Ashram. The dreadful exchange he had with the Mother, reproduced above, displays the true nature of that consciousness, – defiant, inconceivably arrogant in its ignorance, closed to the Mother’s light, enamoured of its own ‘truth’ (‘…Let me go on with my own light!’), rejecting any higher light that can explain and dispel its darkness and dissolve its age-old hold (‘Don’t try to make anybody explain!’). Indeed, it thrives on denial, on negation, on that eternal litany: ‘It cannot be done because it has never been done’ and hence, ‘LET ME BE AS I AM!’
It is a denial that is lodged in each human being – indeed, in each cell of our physical substance. Hence it is this negation that must be transformed if a new material base is to emerge, a new physical instrument, without which the Manifestation cannot be integral.
To deal with such an obscure force before the new Power had become consolidated, only one tactic was possible: stalking. The Mother could not confront that force openly simply because the ‘super-organisation’ had not been unveiled, upon whose new foundations the supramental creation could come into the open and become ‘the recognised centre’ with ‘real effective power’, a Power of Truth none could deny, none could fail to ‘recognise’, a power that could survive even the onslaught of the forces of destruction because its base is no longer in the old creation which was built upon the principle of destruction but an entirely new Base, whose principal feature is a ‘centre that holds’ and is hence the nucleus of the new Cosmos in which all things are in their right place, in which all the members of the community are united on the basis of an ‘inner realisation’ which constitutes the act of choosing or recognition of the Centre. Before the Knowledge was complete – that is, its fourfold foundation – it was not possible to confront any force of denial, any power of negation openly. There was no certainty of victory when the Knowledge was incomplete, when Time had not fulfilled its supramental seed-core. It was only in the decade of the 70s that the gaps were filled and the Knowledge then bore a wholeness whose fourfold base made it an invincible tool.
Aware in her higher consciousness of this situation the Mother restricted herself in her dealings with the forces of negation to the act of gathering energies together ‘in a new way’. While not being in a position to create a cosmos out of that especially chaotic ‘brew’, she did leave us the proper field and on the basis of her noble achievement the rest could safely and victoriously ensue.
The two creations – the old and the new – stand on the same physical base, the Earth. But they are governed by altogether different laws, hence they respond to different influences: one to the old Time, the other to the new Gnostic Time – the key Power of the ‘super-organisation’.
(to be continued)
‘Skambha’, February of 1988