A one-act play in prose that can be staged in any country, with
small changes in the details of the presentation which local custom may
Page – 453
As the curtain rises, She and the School friend
are sitting side by side on the sofa.
How nice of you to come and
see me after such a long time...I thought you had forgotten me.
Certainly not. But I had lost trace of you and did not know where
to find you. And now that I have found you, what a surprise! You, married...how
strange! I can't believe it.
I too find it hard to believe.
I under stand...I remember how ironically you used to refer to
marriage as “a co-operative venture in consumption and production”, and how
distasteful you used to find everything that displayed human animality, the
beast in man. And how you used to say, “Let us not be mammals…”
Yes, I have always enjoyed
making fun of current ideas and social conventions. But in all fairness you
must admit that I have never said anything against true love, the love that
comes from a deep affinity and is marked by an identity of views and
aspirations. I always dreamt of a great love that would be shared, free from
all animal activity, something that could physically represent the great love
which is at the origin of the worlds. This dream accounts for my marriage. But
the experience has not been a very happy one. I have loved deeply, with great
and intensity, but my love
has not met with the response it hoped for.
My poor friend !
Oh, I am not telling
you this to arouse your pity. I am not to be pitied. My dream is practically
unrealisable in the world as it is. Human nature would have to change so much
for this to become possible. Besides, my husband and I are very good friends,
although that does not prevent us both from feeling very isolated. Esteem and
mutual concessions create a harmony that makes life more than merely bearable.
But is that happiness?
. For many people
that might be happiness.
True, but sometimes I feel such an emptiness in
my life! It may have been to fill this emptiness that I gave myself entirely
and in all sincerity to that marvellous cause which is so dear to me: to
relieve suffering humanity, to awaken it to its capacities and its true goal
and ultimate transformation.
I can see that something great,
something out of the ordinary rules your life. But as I do not know what it is,
it seems rather mysterious to me.
Of course, I owe you an explanation. I must
tell you about it in detail, but that will take some time. Would you like me to
come and visit you?
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What an excellent
idea! Nothing could please me more. When will you come? Would you like to come
Yes, I would be very
glad to do so. I always find a deep joy in speaking of the marvellous teaching
that guides our life and directs our wills. Just now, I have a few things to
arrange so that when my husband returns from his walk he will find everything
ready. And as soon as he has started his work, I can go out and I shall come
and see you.
Very well, then.
Goodbye, I shall see you soon.
accompanies her friend to the door behind the screen. Then She returns to the
writing table to arrange some papers and books and writing materials. She
places some flowers in a vase on the table and looks around her to see that
everything is in order. At that moment a key is heard turning in the lock.)
Ah, there he is. (The Poet
enters. She approaches him affectionately.) Did you have a pleasant walk?
Yes, thank you. (He puts his hat down on a chair.) I have
found an ending for my poem. It came while I was walking. A little activity in
the open air really does help the inspiration. Yes, I think this will be good:
I end with a song of triumph, a hymn of victory in praise of the evolved man
who has discovered, together with the consciousness of his origin, the
knowledge of all that he is capable of doing and the power to realise it. I
describe him advancing in the happy splendour of union
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towards the conquest of
earthly immortality. It will be beautiful and truly universal, don't you think?
It is high time that art should stop being a justification for ugliness and
defeat...What a happy day it will be when poetry, painting and music express
only beauty, victory and joy, leading the way towards the realisation of the
future, towards the advent of a world in which falsehood and suffering,
ugliness and death will be no more...But meanwhile, how much misery still for
man, how much pain and anguish and bitter solitude...It is terrible! Each one
has his burden to bear, come what may, whether he wants it or not.
.(He stands deep in thought.)
SHE (approaching him
affectionately and putting her hand on his arm)
Come, set to work,
you know that is the best cure for sadness. I am going to leave you to your
inspiration. I promised my friend that I would go and spend the afternoon with
her and tell her something about the marvellous teaching that guides our life.
We shall probably read together some of those pages that are so full of
profound truth. To meditate on these things is a great joy to both of us. That
would upset the ideas of many men, wouldn't it? They are convinced that women
cannot do anything except talk about clothes. On the whole, they are not
entirely wrong. Most women are terribly frivolous, or at least they seem to be.
For very often this lightness on the surface hides a heavy heart and veils an
unfulfilled life. Poor creatures! I know so many of them who deserve to be
You are right. Women
really deserve to be pitied. Almost all of them lack the protection they need
and are like frail craft with no harbour to shelter them from the storm. For
most of them do not receive the education that would teach them to protect
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That is true. Besides, even
in the strongest
of women ,there is a deep need for affection and protection ,for an
all-powerful strength, even in the strongest of
women, there is a deep need for affection and protection, for an
all-powerful strength that leans over her and enfolds her in comforting
sweetness. This is what she seeks in love, and when she has the good fortune to
find it, it gives her confidence in life and opens up for her the door to every
hope. Without that, life for her is like a barren desert that burns and
shrivels up the heart.
Oh, how well you say these
things! You say them like one who has experienced them very deeply. I shall
make a note of them for my next book, which will deal with the education of
women. Well then, I shall start my work.
That's right; I am going.
Goodbye, work well. (She takes a book and goes out.)
POET (sitting down at his desk
and seeing everything ready for his work)
Always the same kind and
affectionate attentions. She never fails in her care and her sweetness. When I
look at her, it is like seeing a light: her intelligence and kindness shine so
brightly around her, spreading to all who are near her, whom she guides towards
nobler horizons. I admire her, I feel a deep respect for her...But all that is
not love...Love! What a dream! Will it ever become a reality? (A melody sung by a magnificent voice is
heard. The poet jumps to his feet and goes to the open window.) What a
wonderful voice! (He listens in silence
until the melody dies away. Sighing, he is about to return to his table when
there is a knock at the door.) Hello, who's there? (He opens the door. The Painter enters.)
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It's you! Hello, old
friend, what good wind brings you here?
I had something to tell
you. I met your wife and she told me you were in your “sanctum”. So I am here.
You did the right
thing...So come into the “sanctum” as you call it, and speak. Don't keep me in
suspense. Is it about painting?
No, my painting is going
well. But I shall tell you about that another time. It is about music. (The Poet shows interest.) Yesterday
evening,, when visiting some friends, I heard a true singer who, I am told, is
your neighbour. (The Poet makes a gesture
of surprise and interest.) Do you know her?
No, but I often hear her
singing from here. She has a superb voice, a voice that stirs all the fibres of
my being. The very first time it struck my ears, it sounded familiar to me,
like an echo from very ancient times. For nearly six months I have been hearing
this voice, which forms a kind of pleasant accompaniment to my work. I have
very often wished to become acquainted with the owner of such a beautiful
What a wonderful
coincidence! Yesterday evening I was introduced to this young lady and she
seems to be very charming indeed. We had a long chat together and in the course
of the conversation she expressed her admiration for your poetry, which she
seems to read with enthusiasm. She also told me that she is all alone in life,
that she has to fend for herself and that
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sometimes she finds it difficult to pull through, and so on. She
dreams of becoming a concert-singer. I immediately thought of you and all your
connections. Everyone knows how obliging you are. So I volunteered to speak to
you about her and to ask you if you could introduce her to a few well-known
musicians or composers. That is why I have come.
You did just the right
thing. It will be a great pleasure for me to do something for her. So what did
the two of you decide?
It was arranged that, if
you agreed, I would go and fetch her immediately – it is not very far – and
bring her to you so that you may get to know each other.
Perfect. Go and fetch her.
I shall wait for you. (The Painter goes
POET (striding restlessly back
How strange, how
strange...There is no such thing as chance; everything is the effect of causes
that are simply beyond our control. The power of affinity – who knows? I am
curious to know whether the singer is as beautiful as her voice. Here they are.
(The door which was only pulled to is
pushed open from outside.) Oh, how pretty she is! (The Clairvoyant enters, smiling, followed by the Painter.)
Mademoiselle, may I
introduce my friend, the well-known poet whom you admire so much.
I am very happy to meet
you, mademoiselle, and to be able
Page - 461
to tell you how much I
admire your beautiful voice, which you use with such artistry.
You are very kind,
monsieur, and I thank you. You will excuse me, won't you, for coming with so
little ceremony. But we are such near neighbours. I knew you even before I was
introduced to you. I noticed that you often came to your window to listen to me
singing and even, at first, I was not very pleased when you applauded me. I
thought you were making fun of me.
How wrong you were! I
simply wanted to express my admiration and to thank you for all the aesthetic
pleasure you give me.
Now that I have done my
duty, I shall leave you. I have an appointment with my art-dealer. Ah, the
blackguard! He wants to make me paint absurdities because, he says, it is the
current taste. But I am resisting...
Yes, resist, resist
valiantly. Do not encourage this degeneracy of modern taste, this lapse into
falsehood which seems to have seeped into the consciousness of all our contemporaries,
in every field of human creativity.
Very well, my friend, I go,
fired with a new courage, to do battle for the truth. Goodbye.
POET AND CLAIRVOYANT
Page – 462
POET (indicating the sofa)
Please sit down, mademoiselle.
So you are willing to
introduce me to a few people and let them hear me?
Certainly. One of our
foremost conductors is a friend of mine and with a talent like yours all doors
will easily open to you.
It will be a great help to
me. Thank you so much.
No, no, do not thank me. (He sits by her side.) If you knew all
the joy you have given me...If you knew what a pleasant accompaniment the
harmony of your rich voice has been to my daily work. I owe you many good and
happy hours; yes, it is I who should be grateful to you.
It is very kind of you to
tell me all this. (She looks around her,
then turns to the Poet with a smile.) It is strange how familiar everything
seems to me here, perhaps not so much the objects themselves as the air, the
atmosphere which envelops them. Excuse my boldness, but I feel as if I were at
home, I feel as if I had been coming here always. And I have the feeling that
all sorts of wonderful things are going to happen to me now.
I shall be the first person
to be glad of it.
CLAIRVOYANT (after a short silence)
I must tell you a strange
thing. When I came to settle in
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this town about six months
ago, after my mother's death, in the hope of earning my living, I had a choice
of several small apartments, each one with its advantages and inconveniences.
The one that I rented here in this house is no better than any other, but I was
impelled to take it by a kind of intuition that I would be happy here, that
good things were in store for me here...It is strange, isn't it?
Strange, yes, very
strange... (Aside) Is this affinity?
Who knows? (To the Clairvoyant) You
know, this is strange too, I have felt much calmer and more contented since I
have been hearing your voice each day, and I had a very great desire to know
And I knew you only as a
writer whose talent I greatly admired and whom I hardly dared to hope to meet
one day. There are such extraordinary and mysterious things in
life...mysterious perhaps only because we do not know their causes, otherwise
everything would be very simple and natural. And look, at this moment, I too
feel a sensation of calm and well-being, and it gives me great strength. If
only you knew how much I need strength and encouragement...Life is hard for a
helpless and unprotected orphan who is forced to earn her living all alone and
who knows nobody to support her in her struggle. But now that I have met you, I
feel that all my difficulties will melt away.
Rest assured that I shall
do everything in my power to help you. It is a duty and a very great pleasure
to be of use to an artist and a woman like you.
CLAIRVOYANT (taking his hand in a
Thank you. I feel as if we
have always been sitting like this,
Page – 464
side by side, and that we
are friends, old friends...We are friends, aren't we?
Yes, from the depths of our
I feel so much at ease
here, that I am forgetting all conventions. And now to crown my impoliteness, I
am overcome by an imperative need to sleep. I have been sleeping so badly at
home for such a long time. I feel uneasy, spied on by invisible enemies who
wish me harm. I am unable to achieve the calm which would give me a much-needed
rest. Whereas here, I have the feeling that something warm and strong enfolds
me like a living cloak and little by little I am being overwhelmed by
POET (looking at her tenderly)
Lie down here, on these
cushions. Make yourself comfortable; don't let anything bother you. And above
all do not think even for a moment of customs and conventions; they are fetters
of no real value which seem to have been forged by man for his own misery.
I am in great need of
sleep. I have a persistent pain in my head which makes me suffer a great deal.
I have worked so hard to achieve a result as quickly as possible and my brain
is terribly tired.
Will you allow me?... I
think I can easily give you some relief. (He
passes his hand several times across her forehead, then lays it on her head for
a moment. The Clairvoyant, who is lying on the cushions, falls asleep with an
expression of joy and well-being.)
Page – 465
CLAIRVOYANT (half asleep)
is all right now, there is no more pain...And I feel so happy.
POET (arranging the cushions so
that she may lie comfortably and sitting by her side, holding her hand in his;
Poor child, so pretty and
yet so lonely.
CLAIRVOYANT (speaking in her sleep)
Oh, how beautiful!
What is beautiful?
CLAIRVOYANT (still asleep)
There, all around you, that
violet light...It is like a living and luminous amethyst. It is all around me
too, it is giving me strength. It is a protection, a sure protection...Nothing
harmful can come near me now. (Enraptured)
How beautiful is the violet light around you!
Since you are comfortable,
sleep quietly now, without seeing anything.
CLAIRVOYANT (in a far-away voice)
I am falling asleep,
falling asleep. Oh, what calm, what ease.
POET (looking at her tenderly)
Yes, sleep, child – a
healing sleep. Life has been hard for you and you have great need of rest. (After a moment's silence) What is the
use of trying to deceive myself? I have to admit it: just as her voice thrilled
my whole being, so too her presence fills me with a calm and profound
happiness. And now she has fallen asleep, under my protection, her first
conscious sleep. Her
Page – 466
very trust gives me a responsibility, a responsibility which would
be very sweet to me. But my wife! I know that she is strong and brave, I know
that long ago she realised that what I feel for her is nothing more than
friendly affection. She herself cannot be satisfied with that; the depths of
her love remain untouched. Yet I have responsibilities towards her too. How can
I tell her that my whole being is concentrated upon another? And yet I cannot
conceal my feelings; falsehood is the only evil. Besides, it would be quite
useless: a woman like her cannot be deceived. Oh, life is often so cruel!
CLAIRVOYANT (still sleeping, turning
round and laying her hand on his)
I am happy...happy...(She rests her head on the Poet's lap in a
movement of childlike confidence.)
Dear child! What can I do?
(He gazes at her, deep in his thoughts.
The Clairvoyant sighs, stretches, and wakes.)
(looking around her with
I have slept...How well I
have slept, never in my life have I slept so well.
I am so glad.
CLAIRVOYANT (looking at him
You see, the light that
encircled you and covered me too was at once a nourishment and a protection; it
was so beautiful, so comforting. Even now that I am awake I can feel it around
Yes, it is still around
you. Is this the first time you have seen coloured lights like this?
Page – 467
I remember having seen
lights or a coloured mist around certain people. But I have never seen any as
beautiful as yours or any to which I have felt so close. Often, around others,
it is like a turbid, unwholesome fog. What is it?
It would take rather long
to give a clear reply. But I shall try to explain it to you as best I can in a
few words. Stop me if I bore you. We are made up of different states which can
be compared to earth, water, air and fire. Do you follow?
Yes, it is most
A less dense state
penetrates and flows through a denser one, as water evaporates through a porous
vessel, with the difference that no loss follows. In the same way, what is more
subtle in us forms a kind of sheath around our bodies and we call this subtle
sheath the aura.
I understand, it is very
clear. So then it can be very useful to see auras in this way?
You are right, it is most
useful. You can easily understand that the aura is the exact reflection of what
is within us, of our feelings and our thoughts. If the thoughts and feelings
are calm and harmonious, the aura too will be calm and harmonious; if the
feelings are tumultuous and the thoughts disturbed, the aura will express this
tumult and disturbance. It will be like the mist
Page – 468
which you say you have seen around certain people.
Yes, I understand. So these
auras are very revealing.
Yes, for those who see
auras, deception can no longer exist. For example, however much a man of bad
will may try to look like an angel of light, it will be in vain. His aura will
reveal that his thoughts and motives are dark.
Magnificent! What effects
this knowledge might have in the world! But where did you learn such beautiful
things? For I do not think that many people are aware of them.
No, especially in modern
times, in an age like ours in which success and the material satisfactions it
brings are the only things that matter. And yet an ever-growing number of
dissatisfied people are trying to find the purpose and goal of life. On the other
hand, there are those who know and strive to help suffering humanity; they are
guardians of the supreme knowledge which has been handed down from generation
to generation and which serves as the basis of a method of self-development
whose aim is to awaken man to the consciousness of what he truly is and what he
How beautiful this teaching
must be! You will reveal it to me little by little, won't you? For we are going
to see each other often, aren't we? I wish we never had to part again....While
I was asleep I felt that you were everything for me and that I belong to you
for ever. And I felt that from now on your protection will always enfold me.
And I who was so full of fear,
Page – 46
who felt exposed to so many
enemies, I am now quiet, calm, confident, for I can tell all who want to harm
me: “I fear you no longer, I am effectively protected, by a protection that
will never fail me.” I am right, am I not?
Yes, yes, you are right.
I am so happy to have met
you at last. I have waited for you so long! And you, are you happy?
Yes...Just now, while you
were asleep, I felt a calm and a quiet happiness which I had never experienced
before. (Thoughtfully) Yes, this is
the true love, which is a force; it is the union that enables new possibilities
to be realised...But...
But what? Since we are so
happy together, what could prevent us…?
POET (rising suddenly)
Oh, you do not know! (He stops short at the sight of She, who has
been standing behind the screen for some time already.) Oh! (She comes forward smiling and very calm.)
I did not know that you
SHE (to the Clairvoyant)
Do not be upset. (Turning to the Poet) Nor you. Yes, I
heard the end of your conversation. I returned just as Mademoiselle was waking
up. I did not want to disturb you and was about to withdraw, but I thought it
would be more useful for
Page – 470
all of us if I heard. So I stayed. For I was sure, my dear, that
you would find yourself in a cruel predicament. I know your
straightforwardness, your loyalty, and I knew that you would be painfully
divided between two opposite paths. You know what is said in the teaching which
for us is the truth: love is the only legitimate bond of union. The absence of
love is enough to invalidate any union. Certainly, there are unions without
love, based on esteem and mutual concessions, which can be quite tolerable, but
I consider that when love comes, everything else should give way to it. My
friend, you remember our pact: we promised each other full freedom the moment
love would awaken in either of us. That is why I listened, and now I have come
to tell you: you are free, be happy.
But you, you? I know you
always live at the summit of your consciousness, in a pure and serene light.
But solitude is sometimes hard and the hours can be monotonous and sad.
Oh, I shall not be alone,
for I shall go and join those through whom we have found the path, those who
possess the eternal wisdom and who have, from a distance, guided our steps
until now. Surely they will shelter me. (She
turns towards the Clairvoyant and takes her by the hand.) Come, do not be
upset. Women who are sensitive and sincere have the right to freely choose the
person who will be their protector and guide in life. You have acted according
to the natural law and all is well. Our way of looking at things and our
behaviour may surprise you; they are new to you and you do not know the reasons
for them. (Pointing to the Poet) He
will explain them to you. I am going away, but before I go let me join your
hands. (She places the hand of the
Clairvoyant in the hand of the Poet.) No blessing can ever be equal to the
blessing of love. And yet I shall give you mine, knowing that it will be dear
to you. And if you permit,
Page – 471
I shall add some advice which is almost a request. Do not allow
your union to serve as an excuse for the satisfaction of animal appetites or
sensual desires. On the contrary, make it a means of mutual support so that you
may transcend yourselves in a constant aspiration and an effort for progress
towards the growing perfection of your being. May your association be both
noble and generous, noble in quality, generous in action. Be an example to the
world and show all men of goodwill the true aim of human life.
CLAIRVOYANT (deeply moved)
You can be sure that we
shall do our utmost to deserve the trust you have shown us and be worthy of
your esteem. But I would like to hear from your own lips that my coming to this
house and the event that has followed do not mean an irreparable misfortune to
Have no fear. I now know
for certain that only one love can satisfy my being: it is the love for the
Divine, the divine love, for that alone never fails. Perhaps one day I shall
find the favourable conditions and the necessary help for the achievement of
the supreme realisation, the transformation and divinisation of the physical
being which will change the world into a blessed place full of harmony and
light, peace and beauty.
Clairvoyant, more and more deeply moved, remains silent, her hands clasped as
if in prayer. The Poet bows respectfully to Her, takes her hand and lays his
forehead on it as the curtain falls.)
Page – 472