12 September 1956
Sweet Mother, do we have a right to ask questions if we don't
practise what you say?
have the right to do anything! (Laughter) You may ask all the questions
you like. Practise? Fundamentally, it is up to each one to choose, isn't it? — whether he wants to practise or not,
whether he considers it useful or not. That is something which cannot be
imposed; it must be done freely. But one may always ask questions.
Well, I am going to ask a question: “Why don't people practise?”
Do you know why they don't practise?
(Mother asks others in turn.) And you? And you?...Bah! Do you} know?
Perhaps because one is lazy!
That is one
of the main reasons. And so one conceals one's laziness behind fine reasons,
the first of which says, “I can't, I don't know” or else, “I have tried and not
succeeded” or “I don't know where to begin!” Any reason whatever, isn't that
true? The first that comes to you. Or else, one doesn't practise because one
doesn't find it worthwhile to make the effort — that is part of the laziness also, it asks for too much effort!
But one can't live without effort! If one were to refuse to make any effort,
one would not even be able to stand on one's legs or walk or even eat.
I believe that one doesn't practise first of all because this
doesn't have a sufficiently concrete reality to dominate other things in life,
because the effort seems out of proportion to the result. But this kind of
effort is only a beginning: once one gets into it, it is no longer the same
(Turning to the child) So then,
ask your question, even if you don't practise!
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No, I have no question, Sweet Mother.
question was only this! You wanted to say, “Is it honest to ask questions and
then not do anything of what you are told?” Is that it?
(A disciple) We still have this atavism of needing to be forced in
order to do something. From our childhood we have been forced to do things.
Here it is just the opposite.
so one doesn't do anything when not forced to! But something done through
compulsion has no value.
Is that all? Don't you have a question?...I have many but they are
either too specific or too general! Or else, precisely, they are only
interesting for those who are eager to practise.
What would you like to hear?...(Silence) Nothing, you see, you say
nothing. All right, that is very good, I shall say nothing!
(A child) Something to awaken in us a will to progress.
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