March 11, 1962
(Satprem suggests he read certain past Agenda conversations to Mother. She refuses:)
You know, I've almost felt like telling you that all this Agenda stuff isn't meant for circulation. It's only for when I have come to the end - and then what's in it won't matter at all. Or else I will have gone, leaving a note saying I don't want it published ...
... and that I am giving it only to ... I will say to whom. So it doesn't matter. Actually, you could type it up just as it is on the tape. You want to read it to me mainly to get (laughing) some additions, hmm?
There may be additions, but there are also some questions.
I should delete some things, shouldn't I?
No, no, not delete! But sometimes I haven't quite grasped something, or else I've had to interpret because you made a gesture or....
Because it was incomplete, unexpressed.
There are a few points like that in all these texts. It's up to you whether I read only those points or....
You see, a time will come, I think ... a time will come when things will be interesting. So in fact, it's better not to waste the tapes.
No, I really don't agree! Objectively speaking, it's extremely instructive to see the difficulties you have passed through.
It may be instructive, but it can't be published; it's much too personal.
To be published now, yes - but what about fifty years from now? ...
Oh, in fifty years it won't be interesting any more.
You think so?
Of course I do! The whole path is there....
Well, let's make a date for fifty years from now and see how much it interests us then.
But it will, Mother!
Do you think you'll have white hair? ... I don't have white hair I don't dye it, you know, it's natural! No, your hair is a color that never turns white.
Listen, I'm already all white at the temples!
Will you have a beard in fifty years?
No, I don't like beards.
Ah, good, so much the better!
I would rather shave everything off.
Then you'll be like a Bhikku. [[Bhikku: Buddhist monk. ]]
Well. We'll see about the Agenda in fifty years, then.
But really Mother, objectively, there's a tremendous number of interesting things in it....
Yes, mon petit, but next time, not today.
(Mother listens to Satprem read the July 11, 1956 Talk on the vital world. She refuses to have it published in the "Bulletin".)
To begin with, I said that the vital is peopled by small entities, small formations, the remnants of human beings who have died. But there is a whole vital world which has nothing to do with that one, a world peopled by beings of the vital proper, beings of great power and even great beauty. Most people who dabble in occultism without having a deep enough spiritual life are immediately deluded by them - some even take them as the supreme God and worship them. That's generally how religions are created. They are a great success. They are the supreme God of many a religion - they are beings of the vital world, and can assume an appearance of overwhelming beauty. They are the biggest impostors in the world, and dangerous at that; it takes the spiritual instinct, the instinct of true spiritual purity, not to be deceived by them.
Many religions and sects are founded on revelations and miracles, and every bit of it comes from vital beings.
It's one of the greatest problems in human life; I don't mean spiritual life, but the life of people who deal with the beyond.
There are skies (not heavens) in the vital world that are truly paradises. Naturally the real divine element is lacking, but only spiritual purity and the true spiritual sense can show you the difference. All who remain within the vital or mental worlds are completely deluded. They see marvelous things, miracles in profusion (that's where you find the most miracles!).
By neglecting to explain this aspect [in this Talk], I passed over a large part of the topic in silence. I usually don't speak of those things, or else mention them only in passing - it terrifies people and they immediately start wondering, "Oh, is it really a god? Is it this ... is it that? Could it be a devil in disguise?" They panic.
Only it's perfectly true that to deal with those realms one must either be fully protected by a guru, a real guru, a man with knowledge, or else have purity (not saintliness), an unmixed vital and mental purity. Very, very often, bhaktas [devotees] of Sri Aurobindo or me - when they are sincere, truly sincere, that is, people of great spiritual purity - have dozens of beings appear to them, saying, "I am Sri Aurobindo." It happens all the time, with all the right external appearances - it's very easy for such beings to put on a disguise. It takes the inner psychic purity not to be deceived - you invariably FEEL something that makes it impossible for you to be duped. But otherwise, many, many people are taken in.
I don't like to talk about this because people here have no discrimination; they would be left with nothing but fear and would no longer believe in anything, forever asking me, "Oh, isn't this a trick?" ... Which paralyzes everything. That's why I didn't speak about that in this Talk.
You do say a couple of words about it.
It should at least be mentioned that some beings in the vital world can take on completely deceptive appearances at will - all the most dazzling lights are found in the vital, but with a particular quality. So those who have truly approached THE Light can't be deceived. Because ... it's indefinable, something the spiritual sense alone can feel: perfect security, perfect peace, perfect purity (although I hesitate to use the word "purity," which has taken on such an idiotic meaning); what I mean is the absence of all admixture.
To those with the spiritual sense, the most dazzling vital lights always seem to have something artificial about them - they FEEL artificial and cold, hard, aggressive, deceptive. But that's the point: you yourself must be beyond all this. Not to be fooled, you mustn't fool yourself!
Actually, that's the main reason I don't like to talk about occultism. It puts people in touch with an extremely dangerous world which can't be safely entered unless one is (I can't even say a saint, because it's not true; some saints enter the vital world and get right into it!) ... unless one is transformed, unless one has the true spiritual consciousness. On this condition alone are you perfectly safe. So where are the people with the spiritual consciousness? There are really very few of them, very few. And above all, in those who have this occult curiosity there are also all sorts of vital movements, which make it dangerous for them to enter that world. Unless, of course, they go shielded by the guru's presence; with that, you can go anywhere, it's the same as going there with him. And if you do go with him, all is well; he has the knowledge and he protects you. But going there all on your own is ... you need the Divine Protection itself! Or the protection of the guru who represents the Divine. With the guru's protection you are safe.
But isn't it possible to have a fruitful collaboration with those beings? Should they be avoided altogether, or what?
Collaboration? Not with them as they are, and not in the world as it is - no.
I have told you about my dealings with the Lord of Nations on several occasions - it's that kind of thing. It can hardly be called collaboration!
The great ones know (I am not speaking of the multitude of minor beings, but the others; there are millions of emanations - emanations by the truckload! - but only a few great ones), they know enough to be aware of their own position in the universe and that they will come to an end. They know there is such a thing as the Supreme (although they deny it), and that they are cut off from the Supreme, and that they will come to an end. But they have taken a stand against the Work, the Action, the Progress, and are intent on destroying as much as they can.
Some of them get converted. Their conversion means a great entity joining the divine Work - but that seldom happens.
Yes, but what about the minor gods? You often speak of a "little Kali" or a "little Durga"; are these beings beneficent?
Ah, they aren't from the vital at all! Not at all! They are manifestations of Overmind [[In Sri Aurobindo's terminology, the Overmind represents the highest level of the mind, the world of the gods and origin of all the revelations and highest artistic creations - the world that has ruled mental man till now. ]] beings, projected into the vital world for a specific action. But they aren't vital beings: they have an Origin, they are still linked to a being from another world. Oh, no, not at all!
The same goes for all those beings the Tantrics deal with - their origin is not vital, they belong to Nature. They are personified natural forces obedient to the laws of Nature. In other words, they originate from below, not from the vital but the physical world. They are vital forces in the physical, but not of vital origin.
The other day, didn't I tell you the story of those entities working for me?... (It wasn't you? I'd had a vision.) In fact, I very often see entities like Nature spirits when I enter the subtle physical and work there (usually for people here and the Ashram, and for the world at large), I very, very often have them with me, or else I meet them in the course of my work. They are forces, generally feminine in appearance, that do some work and have a great deal of power. They are usually the ones that respond to Tantric invocations (I don't mean the Tantrics who call on Kali or Durga, that's something else altogether, those belong to a totally different world). Most of the time these Nature forces are very willing to help - at any rate, they are wonderfully obliging with me! But they are limited beings, with their own ideas and laws, their own volition, and when vexed they can do unpleasant things. Yet they are not hostile beings, nor are they vital beings: they are personified forces of physical Nature, in the subtle physical.
A world of things could be said....
No, I don't know if it's wise to publish this Talk; if too incomplete, it looks like ignorant chatter. And I have always deliberately refused to say things in full since it's so very disconcerting for people, very disconcerting.
But couldn't what you just said be added to the Talk?
I can tell you the result: a lot of people will lose all confidence in what they see. Then it becomes impossible to work with them. I can't even teach them to receive what I tell them in silence any more; they instantly start wondering, "Oh, is it Mother or a spirit of falsehood?" They really have no sense of discrimination, you see, they don't KNOW! So if they have to come every time, wondering "Was it you or was it ...?" And when they're in that state they don't listen properly. There's a whole range of work I can't do any more, because they lack the necessary discrimination. So I normally don't say anything.
I really prefer to say nothing.
In fact, practically speaking, that's why these things used to be kept secret: one should get knowledge ONLY when it's accompanied by discrimination enabling one to distinguish the origin of what is seen or received. One without the other makes for a dangerous weapon.
Some people have even been driven insane, through their own constant fear - out of fear they refused all protection. I tell you, only those with a great devotion and a great love are not deceived - a great devotion gives you an immediate sense of things; when your devotion goes like this (shrinking gesture), you know what it means. But your devotion must be sincere and very strong; it's the only protection.
Written things can fall into all sorts of hands and become very dangerous weapons.
No, I prefer not to put these things in the Bulletin; I would rather not speak of occult matters. I understand more and more, now that I am grappling with material difficulties that used to be nonexistent (in the material world, I mean), they didn't exist for me before. The material domain was something happening far below and I didn't bother with it at all. Even when I was practicing occultism in the most material world, I looked on it from above; there was this sort of inner light, this Presence - I was born with it, so naturally I had no problems. But now that I am in the thick of this work, I don't want to speak of that, it's too dangerous.
That teaching should really be given under the seal of secrecy, and given along with the necessary power and discrimination for going through the experiences without danger. And that means the guru's constant personal care and attention.
Certain stages of your development even require the guru's physical presence: you must no longer go into trance unless he is there, sitting beside you. Out of the question! Can't you just imagine
me saddled with loads of people! ... It's impossible; I couldn't even do the job properly. No, it's impossible, it would simply mean exposing a lot of people to permanent danger - and I don't want to. So we'll put this Talk aside.
But even without what you've said now....
Then it becomes inanities - it's too incomplete. I'd rather not attract people's attention to these topics too much. There must be other things to publish. Since you can't give the full picture, it becomes sheer inanity. If you wanted to be perfectly complete, you could write volumes (it's a tremendous world of experiences!). And saying just a thing or two makes you look like one of those ninnies who have a few experiences and think they've discovered the world!