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At the Feet of The Mother

Error is an Illusion and a Mask of the Divine (HH 147)

Often in life we wonder what is the best way to live. Life is surrounded by a host of forces of which we are mostly ignorant, leave alone master them. One method is to study all these forces one by one, successively or simultaneously and apply this knowledge into practice. Thus are born the various Sciences, gross and subtle, material and occult, each trying to find and master some one aspect of the Infinite. But there is a supreme science through which we can cut through these innumerable possibilities and arrive at the needed mastery. It is to find the Divine everywhere and in everything. The present talk deals with this aspect of yoga.


Words of the Mother

“79 – God is infinite Possibility. Therefore Truth is never at rest; therefore, also, Error is justified of her children.”

Sri Aurobindo: Thoughts and Aphorisms

Perhaps he means there’s no such thing as error!

Yes, it’s the same thing, another way of saying the same thing. In other words, what we call error was at one time truth.

Error is a time-bound notion.

But there are things that really might seem like errors.


That’s exactly the impression: all our judgments are momentary. One moment one thing, the next moment something else. And errors exist for us because we see things in succession, one after the other; but that can’t be how the Divine sees them, because everything is in Him….

…I think Sri Aurobindo wanted to say that error is an illusion like everything else, that there is no such thing as error: all possibilities are present, and since they ARE all present, they are often – they are NECESSARILY contradictory. Contradictory in their appearance. But all you have to do is look at yourself and ask, “What do I call error?” And if you face the thing squarely and ask, “What do I call error?” you immediately see how stupid it is – there is no error, you simply can’t put your finger on it.

This is plainly what he meant: Error is one of the innumerable, infinite possibilities (“infinite” means that absolutely nothing is outside the possibility of being). So where is there room for error in this? It’s WE who call it error, it’s totally arbitrary. “That’s an error,” we say – but in relation to what? To our judgment of what is true, yes, but certainly not in relation to the Lord’s judgment, since it is part of Him!

Few people can bear this widening of understanding.

When I start looking, you know (Mother closes her eyes), there are two things simultaneously: that smile, that joy, that laughter, and then … that peace! Oh really, such peace…. Such a full, luminous peace … and TOTAL: no more struggle, no more contradictions. No more struggle. A SINGLE luminous harmony … and yet everything is there, what we call error, suffering, misery, it’s all there. NOTHING is done away with. It is another way of seeing.

(long silence)

There’s nothing to say – if you sincerely want to get out of it, it’s really not so difficult: there’s nothing to do but leave everything to the Lord. And He does it all. He does it all, He is … it’s so wonderful! So wonderful!

He takes anything, even what we call a quite ordinary intelligence, and then He simply shows you how to put that intelligence aside, lay it to rest: “There now, keep still, don’t stir, don’t bother me; I don’t need you.” And then a door opens – you don’t even feel you have to open it; it’s wide open, and you’re led through to the other side. It’s Someone else who does all this, not you. And then … the other way becomes impossible.

Oh, all this frightful toil, this effort of the mind to understand!

Struggling, giving itself headaches – phew! … Absolutely useless, absolutely useless. It leads nowhere, except to more confusion.

You find yourself facing a so-called problem: “What am I to say? What am I to do? How should I act?…” There is nothing to do! Nothing but to say to the Lord, “You see, here’s the situation.” That’s all. And then keep very still. And spontaneously, without thinking about it, without reflecting, without calculating, without doing anything, anything whatsoever, without the slightest effort … you do what must be done. But it’s the Lord who does it, it’s no longer you. He does it, He arranges the circumstances, He arranges the people, He puts the words in your mouth or under your pen – He does it all, all, all, all, and you have nothing more to do, nothing but let yourself live in bliss.

I am beginning to be convinced that people don’t really want it.

But it’s the spadework beforehand, clearing the way for it, that’s hard, that’s difficult.

You don’t even need to do that! He does it for you.

But there’s a constant invasion: the old consciousness, the old thoughts….

Yes, out of habit it all tries to start up again. But all you need to say is, “Look, Lord; see, see how it is.” That’s all. “Look at this, Lord, look at that, look at this idiot here …” and it’s over. Immediately. And the change comes automatically, mon petit, without the slightest effort. Simply … simply be sincere, in other words, TRULY want the right thing. One is quite conscious of being powerless, utterly incompetent: more and more, I feel that this amalgam of matter, of cells and all the rest, is just pitiful! Pitiful. I don’t know, under certain conditions people may feel powerful, wonderful, luminous, competent … but as far as I am concerned, that’s because they have no idea what they’re really like! When you really see what you’re made of … it’s nothing, really nothing. But it’s capable of anything, provided … provided you let the Lord do it. The trouble is that something always wants to do things on its own. If it weren’t like that….

People come, letters arrive, various circumstances and problems arise (it’s over now, but at the time – even a year ago – that kind of thing was sometimes a problem for me). Well, right away, I … (Mother opens her hands in front of her forehead, palms upwards, as though presenting the problem to the Lord): “Here, Lord, look at this.” All I am good for is (same gesture): “I am presenting it to You, Lord.” And then I keep still, I just keep still: “I won’t move unless You move me, I won’t speak unless You make me speak….” And then you stop thinking about it. You think about it just for a second, long enough to do this (same gesture). It comes in like this, then up it goes (gesture showing a problem coming to Mother from one side and being sent above). And later, you suddenly realize you’re speaking or acting or making a decision or writing a letter or … and He has done it all.

But one can be full of excellent goodwill and still want to Do things. And that’s what complicates everything. Or else there’s a lack of faith, a lack of belief in the Lord’s ability – you think you have to do things yourself because He doesn’t know how! (Mother laughs) This sort of stupidity is very widespread, you know: “How can He see these things? We’re living in a world of Falsehood, how can He see Falsehood…?” But in fact He does see things as they are!

And I am not talking about people with no intelligence, but about intelligent people, people who are trying…. There’s still a sort of conviction in them somewhere, even in those who know that we’re living in a world of Ignorance and Falsehood and that there’s a Lord who is all truth. Well, they reason that precisely because He is all truth, He won’t understand (Mother laughs). “He won’t understand our falsehood, I have to deal with it on my own.” This is a very predominant, very widespread attitude.

One sometimes even goes to a great deal of trouble to explain things to Him: “It’s this way, You see, that’s how it is.” And when you’re finished, you realize…. Oh, that reminds me of an experience I had one night two years ago. It was the first time the Supermind entered the cells of my body, and it had risen up to the brain. So the brain found itself in the presence of something (laughing) considerably more powerful than it was used to receiving! And, like the idiot it is, it got worried. As for me (gesture above or beyond), I saw it all, I saw that the brain was getting worried, so I tried to tell it what a nitwit it was and to just keep still. It did keep still, but … you know, it was really seething away in there, as if it were about to explode. So I said, “All right now, let’s go see Sri Aurobindo and ask him what to do.” Immediately everything became utterly calm … and I woke up in Sri Aurobindo’s house in the subtle physical – a very material sensation, with everything quite concrete. So I arrived, or rather not I but the body-consciousness arrived and started explaining to Sri Aurobindo what had happened – it was very excited, talking and talking. The response was a sort of inscrutable smile and then … nothing. He simply looked. An inscrutable smile – not a word. All the excitement died away. A face out of eternity. The excitement died away. Then it was time for Sri Aurobindo’s lunch (people eat there – in another way). So as not to disturb him, I went into the next room. He came in after some time and stood before me (I – my physical being, that is, my physical consciousness – had had time to calm down). I knelt down and took his hand (a MUCH clearer sensation than anything physical, mon petit!); I kissed his hand. He simply said, “Oh! This is better. (Mother laughs.)

I am skipping all the details (it was a long thing, lasting an hour), but suddenly he went out of the room, leaving me alone (after expressing what he wanted to tell me with a gesture, which I understood). And then I simply seemed to take a step (gesture of crossing a threshold), and I found myself lying in my bed again. And at that moment I said to myself, “Really! We make all kinds of complications, and it’s so simple: you just have to go like this (same gesture) and there you are; then you go like that (same gesture in the opposite direction) and you’re back here.”


All this is now ancient history – VERY old. It’s not like that at all any more.

Oh, we make things complicated for nothing!

I often wonder: when one prays to the Lord, when one wants to tell Him that something’s wrong, I always feel it’s necessary to concentrate very hard because it’s really something Far you have to call. But is this true? Or is it really….

It depends on us!

Personally, you know, I have come to feel Him everywhere, all the time, all the time, to the point of actual physical contact (it’s subtle physical, but physical): in things, in the air, in people, in … like this (Mother presses her hands against her face). So I don’t have far to go! I just have to do this (Mother turns her hands slightly inwards), one second’s concentration – and there He is! Because He is here, you know, He is everywhere.

He is far only if we think He’s far.

Of course, when we start thinking of all the zones, all the universal planes of consciousness, and that He’s way, way, way up there at the end of all that, well … then it does become very far, very far indeed! (Mother laughs) But if we think of Him as being everywhere, in everything, that He is everything, that only our way of perceiving things keeps us from seeing and feeling Him, and all we have to do is this (Mother turns her hands inwards) … a movement like this, a movement like that (Mother turns her hands inwards and outwards in turn), then it gets to be quite concrete: you go like this (outward gesture) and everything becomes artificial – hard, dry, false, deceptive, artificial; you go like that (inward gesture) and all is vast, tranquil, luminous, peaceful, immense, joyous. And it’s merely this … or that (Mother turns her hands inwards and outwards in turn). How? Where? It can’t be described, but it is solely – solely – a movement of consciousness, nothing else. A movement of consciousness. And the difference between the true and the false consciousness becomes more and more … precise and at the same time THIN: you don’t need to do “great” things to get out of it. Before, there used to be a feeling of living WITHIN something and that a great effort of interiorization, concentration, absorption was needed to get out of it; but now I feel it’s something one accepts (Mother puts her hand in front of her face like a screen), something like a thin little rind, very hard – malleable, but very hard, very dry, very thin, very thin … something like a mask you put on – then you go like this (gesture), and it’s gone.

I foresee a time when it will no longer be necessary to be aware of the mask: the mask will be so thin that we can see and feel and act through it, and it won’t be necessary to put it back on.

That’s what is starting to happen.

But this Presence in all things…. It is a Vibration – a Vibration containing everything. A Vibration containing a sort of infinite power, infinite joy, infinite peace, and immensity, IMMENSITY, IMMENSITY: it’s boundless…. But it is solely a Vibration, it doesn’t…. Oh, Lord! It can’t be thought, so it can’t be described. If you think … as soon as you start thinking, it’s the same old mess again. That’s why you can’t say anything.

Indeed, He is far because you think He is far. If you could just, you know, think of Him being right here, like this (gesture close to the face), touching you … if you could feel this. It’s not like touching another person, it’s not like that. It’s not something foreign, external, coming to you from outside – no! It’s … everywhere.

There was a period when I used to sort of curl up into a ball Within. For the least difficulty I became just like a circumference! All curled up into a ball Within.

And you feel Him everywhere, everywhere, everywhere – within, without, everywhere. Him, nothing but Him – Him, His Vibration.

But you have to shut this off (the head). Until you shut it off, you can’t see the TRUE thing – you can only use comparisons, you say it’s like this or like that … oh!


And how many times, how many times the feeling that…. There is no form – there is a form and there is none, it just can’t be expressed. You feel a look, too, and there are no eyes – there is no look but there is a look; a look and a smile and … there’s no mouth, no face! And yet there is a smile and a look and … (Mother laughs) you can’t help saying, “Yes, Lord, I am stupid!” But He laughs – and you laugh, and you’re happy.

It can’t, it can’t be explained! It can’t be expressed. You can’t say anything. Whatever you say is nothing, nothing.


You just call on the Lord and say “Now then: here’s the program.” And that’s enough – it comes.

It comes.

October 12, 1962


May 5, 2015

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It is not the personality, the character that is of the first importance in rebirth — it is the psychic being who stands behind the evolution of the nature and evolves with it.