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At the Feet of The Mother

The Power of Simplicity (HH 152)

There is a way of life where we glide through things, – events, circumstances, people as if like a wave flowing towards its Goal. But the Mind complicates things by bringing its many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, the vital by its cligning of desires and preferences. Let us share some thoughts of the Mother on the Art of Living or gliding through life supported by the Hand of Grace and the Heart of Love.

Words of the Mother


It’s a rather amusing sensation, a combination of sensation and feeling, that the ordinary human attitude towards things multiplies and magnifies the difficulties to fantastic proportions; while if they simply had the true attitude – a normal attitude, quite simple, uncomplicated – ahh, all life would be much easier. For the body feels the vibrations (those very vibrations which concentrate to form a body), it feels their nature and sees that its ‘normal’ reaction, a peaceful and confident reaction, makes things so much easier! But as soon as this agitation of anxiety, fear, discontent comes in, the reaction of a will that ‘doesn’t want any of it’ … oh, right away it becomes like water boiling: pff! pff! pff! like a machine. While if the difficulty is accepted with confidence and simplicity, it’s reduced to its minimum, and I mean purely materially, in the material vibration itself.

Almost (I say ‘almost’ because the body hasn’t had every experience), but almost all pains can be reduced to something absolutely negligible. (Of course, some pains it hasn’t had, but it has had a sufficient number!) It’s this anxiety resulting from a semi-mental vibration (the first stirrings of Mind) that complicates everything, everything! For example, take this difficulty I mentioned of climbing the stairs: in the doctor’s consciousness or anyone else’s, pain causes it. According to their ordinary reasoning, pain is what tenses the nerves and muscles so one can no longer walk – but this is absolutely FALSE. Pain does not prevent my body from doing anything at all. Pain isn’t a factor, or rather it’s a factor that can be easily dealt with. It’s not that: it is Matter; Matter (probably cellular matter, or … ) losing its capacity to respond to the will, to will-power.

February 25, 1961


* * *


….the only solution – the only way out of the difficulty is to BECOME divine Love. And the experience was there at the same time for a few moments (it lasted long enough, maybe more than half an hour). Then you understand that everything you have to go through, all these ordeals, all this suffering, all these miseries, is nothing in comparison with the experience of what will be (and what is). But we are still incapable, meaning that the cells haven’t the strength yet. They are beginning to have the capacity to be, but not the strength to keep That – “That” cannot stay yet.

And That has such an extraordinary power to transform what is! All our notions (and this had become visible), our notions of miracle, of marvelous change, all the stories of miracles that have been told, all of it becomes a child’s prattle – it’s nothing! Nothing. All that we try to have, all that we aspire to have, all that … is childishness.

One must … one must truly be heroic – heroic. I assure you, I see these cells, they are heroic – heroic. As for them, they don’t “know” in that mental way: it’s only their adoration that saves them. That is, “What You will, Lord, what You will, what You will … ,” with the simplicity of a child’s ingenuous heart: “What You will, what You will, what You will … only what You will and nothing but what You will exists.” Then it’s all right. But without that, it’s not possible. It’s not possible to know what they know and to continue to be if That isn’t there. You know, the feeling is, “At Your service, what You will, what You will … whatever You will … ,” without discussion, without anything, without even a sensation, nothing: “What You will, what You will….”

This is the only strength, there is no other.

July 27, 1966


* * *


All things are so simple and at the same time so complex….

For instance, that relationship of simplicity (like the one a child has) in which you very simply ask for the thing you feel the need for, but without mental complications; without explanations, without justifications, without all that useless farrago – simply, “Oh, I would like …” You have, for instance, quite a special feeling towards someone or something and you would like that someone or something to be perfectly harmonious, happy (which physically is expressed by good health or favorable circumstances), and so, spontaneously, simply, you say, “Oh! …,” you pray, “Oh, may it be like that!” And it happens. Then the thought, the general human thought: “This has happened, therefore it’s the expression of the Truth.” And it’s made into a principle: “This is true, this is the way things must be.” But up above, in that Consciousness – that global Consciousness – in that total Harmony, those things in themselves, in their material expression (“good health,” “favorable circumstances”) are of no more than minor importance, so to say, of almost nonexistent importance: things may be this way or that or this (they may be a hundred different ways), without its making any difference to the Harmony; but this particular way is chosen because of the simple, pure, naive beauty of the aspiration – that is lovely, that is powerful in its simplicity. And, you know, without mental complication, without hypocrisy of any sort, any pretense of any sort: very simply, but from a luminous, pure, loving heart, without any egoism, “just like that.” So that’s a lovely light which has its place; and because of it, things may be this way or that (good health, favorable circumstances), it doesn’t matter, it’s unimportant. Human beings only attach importance to the external form, to what has manifested; they say, “Oh, this is true, since it is” – and it’s … a passing breath of air. But the cause of it, its origin has a place in that total, universal Harmony: a disinterested goodwill, love devoid of egoism, trust that doesn’t argue or reason, simplicity – ingenuous simplicity for which evil doesn’t exist.81 If we could catch hold of that and keep it … The trust for which evil doesn’t exist – not “trust” in what takes place here: trust up above, in that all-powerful principle of Harmony.

July 5, 1967


* * *


You know, we are surrounded by complications, but there is always a place where it all opens out simple and straight – this is a fact of my experience. You go around in circles, seeking, working at it, and you feel stuck; then something in the inner attitude gives way, and all of a sudden it opens out – quite simply.

I have had this experience very often. So I have asked Sri Aurobindo to give it to you.

And he says repeatedly, insistently: Be simple, be simple. Say simply what you feel. Be simple, be simple, insistently. These are only words, but as a matter of fact, when he spoke these words it was like a path of light opening up, and everything became very simple: ‘Just take one step after another, that’s all we have to do!’ – that’s how it seemed to me.

It’s curious, all the complications seemed to be there (Mother touches her temples), very complicated and very difficult to adjust; and then when he said, Be simple – how strange – it was like a light coming from his eyes, as if one had suddenly emerged into a garden of light.

It gave that impression – like a garden bathed in light.

Such great insistence on the simple thing: say simply what you see or what you know – simple, simple. A simplicity … it was altogether the impression of a joyous garden.

Be simple, be simple. 

The complications are there (same gesture), it is hard and complicated – and then a door opens: Be simple.

As if there were too much mental tension: something here at the temples.


I have to face a similar difficulty, mind you, although it’s on another level. There is such a tremendous accumulation of people to see, things to do, questions to be resolved – everything. The accumulation is So tightly packed – so compact! Too compact for the life – for the hours, the time, the forces – of an ordinary body. Yet behind it all, there is a sort of constant ‘active immobility,’ in the sense that the consciousness has the impression of being immobile, of being borne along on the stream of progress and evolution. But this immobility…. If I should try to do what I have to do, you know, everything I have to do, well … it becomes impossible, things clog up, it gets painful. And here his answer is the same: Be simple, be simple.

This morning when I was ‘walking,’ the program of the day and the work ahead of me was so formidable that I felt it to be impossible. And yet simultaneously there was this … immobile inner POSITION in me; as soon as I stop my movement of formation and action, it becomes like a dance of joy: all the cells vibrating (there is a sort of vivacity, and an extraordinary music), all the cells vibrant with the joy of the Presence – the divine Presence. But when I see the outside world entering and attacking, well … this joy doesn’t exactly disappear, but it retreats. And the result is that I always feel like sitting down and keeping still – when I can do that it is marvelous. But of course, all the suggestions from outside come in: suggestions of helplessness and old age, of wear and tear, of diminishing power, all that – and I know positively that it’s false. But calm in the body is indispensable. Well, for me also Sri Aurobindo’s answer is always the same: Be simple, be simple, very simple.

And I know what he means: to deny entry to regimenting, organizing, prescriptive, judgmental thought – he wants none of all that. What he calls being simple is a joyous spontaneity; in action, in expression, in movement, in life – be simple, be simple, be simple. A joyous spontaneity. To rediscover in evolution that condition he calls divine, which was a spontaneous and happy condition. He wants us to rediscover that. And for days now he has been here telling me (and the same goes for your work): Be simple, be simple, be simple. And in his simplicity was a luminous joy.

A joyous spontaneity.

What’s terrible is this organizing mind. It’s terrible! It has us so convinced that we can’t do without it that it’s very difficult to resist. Indeed, it has convinced all humanity. The whole so-called elite of humanity has been convinced that nothing worthwhile can be achieved without this mental organizing power.

But Sri Aurobindo wants us to have the same simple joy as a blossoming rose: Be simple, be simple, be simple. And when I hear it or see it, it’s like a rivulet of golden light, like a fragrant garden – all, all, all is open. Be simple.

So you see, mon petit …

These last two or three days I have been constantly seeing this for you. Then this morning it came for me, because the accumulation of work has become so tremendous that I would need ten times more time than I have merely to bring things up to date. So there I was, feeling a bit cornered; there was even a force wanting me to stop in the midst of my walk and RELAX, and I was resisting it with all my will – until I realized I was doing something foolish. It was the same thing, he said the same thing for me. I relaxed – and immediately everything was fine.

Essentially, we live with too much tension, don’t we?

There you have it, mon petit, my message for the week.

What to do about it? Oh, that will come. But it’s true, we are always too tense – always. And I know that as long as we are controlled by that admirable mind, we feel that to relax means to fall into tamas and unconsciousness. All these old notions remain, prolonging themselves; and there’s something like the residue of one of those marvelous censors, telling you: ‘Be careful, tamas, tamas! Be careful, you are dozing off – very bad, very bad.’ And it’s idiotic, because tamas is neither joyous nor luminous, while this is an immediate joy and light.

September 16, 1961

Jun 9, 2015

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