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Read Summary of Cellular Transformation

Our body's cells must hold the Immortal's flame.


What Is the Physical Consciousness?

What is the body consciousness? The vital consciousness, of course—the physical consciousness as a whole. But then, in this physical consciousness as a whole, there is the physical mind—a mind that is occupied with all the ordinary things and responds to everything around you. There is also the vital consciousness, which is the awareness of sensations, impulses, enthusiasms and desires. Finally, there is the physical consciousness itself, the material consciousness, the body consciousness, and that is the one which has so far never been entirely transformed. The global, overall consciousness of the body has been transformed, that is, one can throw off the bondage of thought, of habits that one no longer considers inevitable. That can change, it has been changed. But what remains to be changed is the consciousness of the cells.

There is a consciousness in the cells: it is what we call the “body consciousness” and it is wholly bound up with the body. [2]


As to the gross material part it is not necessary to specify its place, for that is obvious, but it must be remembered that this too has a consciousness of its own, the obscure consciousness proper to the limbs, cells, tissues, glands, organs.[3]


By the gross physical is meant the earthly and bodily physical—as experienced by the outward sense mind and senses. But that is not the whole of Matter. There is a subtle physical also with a subtler consciousness in it which can (for instance) go to a distance from the body and yet feel and be aware of things in a not merely mental or vital way. As for mind and vital they are everywhere—there is an obscure mind and life even in the cells of the body, the stones or in molecules and atoms. [4]


...the cells are an already very developed thing, in the sense that they are a form of LIFE in Matter; they are a form of life, they’re not purely material, inert Matter…. [5]


Just as there is an individual consciousness, there is a group consciousness and a consciousness of the system, a universal consciousness which is made up of the set of all the consciousnesses composing it, plus something, something—something more subtle. Just like you: you have lots of cells in your body; each cell has its own consciousness and you have a consciousness which is the consciousness of your total individuality, though made up of all these small cellular consciousnesses. [6]


In ourselves there is such a vital consciousness which acts in the cells of the body and the automatic vital functions so that we go through purposeful movements and obey attractions and repulsions to which our mind is a stranger. In animals this vital consciousness is an even more important factor. In plants it is intuitively evident. The seekings and shrinkings of the plant, its pleasure and pain, its sleep and its wakefulness … are all movements of consciousness, but, as far as we can see, not of mentality. [7]


Q. Where is the connection between the central will of the physical being and the cells established? And how?

A:The cells have an inner composition or structure which corresponds to the structure of the universe. So the link is established between identical external and internal states.... It is not "external", but it is external for the individual. That is, the cell, in its internal composition, receives the vibration of the corresponding state in the composition of the whole. Each cell is composed of different radiances, with a wholly luminous centre, and the connection is established between light and light. That is, the will, the central light, acts on the cell by touching the corresponding lights, by an inner contact of the being. Each cell is a world in miniature corresponding to the whole. [8]

Cellular Mind

It [that mind which has all sorts of fears and worries, which sees the worst, repeats the same things forever] is the most unconscious part of the physical mind, and that’s what connects the physical mind with this material substance. But that’s already an organized mind, you understand? It is the most material part, the one that borders on the mind… (what can we call this mind?), we can’t even call it “corporeal mind”: it is the mind of the cells, a cellular mind.

This cellular mind exists in animals, and there is even a faint beginning (but very faint, like a promise) in plants: they respond to a mental action. They respond. As soon as Life manifests, there is already the beginning, like a promise of mind, of mental movement. And in animals, it's very clear. Whereas that physical mind really began to exist only in man. That's what a very small child already has: it already has a physical mind; so that no two very small children are alike, with identical reactions: there is already a difference. And it is especially what is given you with the special FORM of your body, by atavism, and then fully developed by education. [9]


Mind for instance is everywhere. The physical mind is technically placed below the vital and yet it is a prolongation of the mind proper and can act in its own sphere by direct touch with the higher mental intelligence. And there is too an obscure mind of the body, of the very cells, molecules, corpuscles. Haeckel, the German materialist, spoke somewhere of the will in the atom, and recent Science, dealing with the incalculable individual variation in the activity of the electrons, comes near to perceiving that this is not a figure but the shadow thrown by a secret reality. This body-mind is a very tangible truth; owing to its obscurity and mechanical clinging to past movements and facile oblivion and rejection of the new, we find in it one of the chief obstacles to permeation by the supermind force and the transformation of the functioning of the body. On the other hand, once effectively converted, it will be one of the most precious instruments for the stabilisation of the supramental light and force in material Nature. [10]


The near totality of the body’s movements are movements of habit. Behind, there is the consciousness of the physical mind (what I call the “cellular mind”) which is constantly conscious of the divine Presence and anxious to allow nothing but That; then a whole work is going on to change, to shift the origin of movements. I mean that instead of them being just automatic; out of habit, the divine Consciousness and Presence automatically makes the movements (Mother makes the gesture of forcing the consciousness into the body). But it’s quite … quite inexpressible, that is, as soon as you try to express it, it becomes mentalized, it’s no longer the thing. That’s why it’s very difficult to express. I can’t speak of it.

But I think I told you not long ago about that habit and that taste for drama in the most material consciousness. That was the starting point. As soon as that part became conscious, that habit became alien, so to say, alien to the true consciousness, so the transfer is now taking place.

It’s a very delicate and difficult work.

It means fighting against a millennial habit, you understand. It’s the automatism of the material consciousness which is, yes, dramatic, almost catastrophic; sometimes dramatic and dramatic while imagining a conclusion that undoes the drama. But as soon as you express it all, it becomes much too concrete. It’s better not to talk about it. [11]


...this aspiration here [in the cellular mind], oh, it has a power—a power of realization—quite an extraordinary power. If this becomes organized, it will be possible to do something. There is an accumulated power there. [12] It is the material mind—not even the material mind: the mind OF MATTER. It is the mental substance that belongs to Matter itself, to the cells. That's what was formerly called "the spirit of the form," when it was said that mummies kept their bodies intact as long as the spirit of the form persisted. That's the mind I mean, that completely material mind. The other one, the physical mind, has been organized for a long time.

It is the mind that was like an uncoordinated substance, with a constant, unorganized activity (Mother gestures to show a constant tremor). This is the mind which is being organized. That’s what is important, because Sri Aurobindo said it was unorganizable and the only thing to do was to reject it from existence. And I was under that impression, too. But when the transforming action on the cells is constant, this material mind begins to become organized, that’s the wonderful thing! It begins to become organized. And then, as it becomes organized, it learns to FALL SILENT—that’s the beautiful thing! It learns to keep calm, silent, and to let the supreme Force act without interfering. [13]

Cellular Transformation

All other Yogas regard this life as an illusion or a passing phase; the supramental Yoga alone regards it as a thing created by the Divine for a progressive manifestation and takes the fulfilment of the life and the body for its object. The supramental is simply the Truth-Consciousness and what it brings in its descent is the full truth of life, the full truth of consciousness in Matter...The utmost Ananda the body and life are now capable of is a brief excitement of the vital mind or the nerves or the cells which is limited, imperfect and soon passes; with the supramental change all the cells, nerves, vital forces, embodied mental forces can become filled with a thousand fold Ananda, capable of an intensity of bliss which passes description and which need not fade away. ...The supramental love means an intense unity of soul with soul, mind with mind, life with life, and an entire flooding of the body consciousness with the physical experience of oneness, the presence of the Beloved in every part, in every cell of the body... With the supramental change, the very thing on which you insist, the possibility of the free physical meeting of the embodied Divine with the sadhak without conflict of forces and without undesirable reactions becomes possible, assured and free. [14]


The gnosis is the effective principle of the Spirit, a highest dynamism of the spiritual existence. The gnostic individual would be the consummation of the spiritual man; his whole way of being, thinking, living, acting would be governed by the power of a vast universal spirituality… He would feel the presence of the Divine in every centre of his consciousness, in every vibration of his life-force, in every cell of his body. In all the workings of his force of Nature he would be aware of the workings of the supreme World-Mother, the Supernature; he would see his natural being as the becoming and manifestation of the power of the World-Mother. [15]


Death is the phenomenon of decentralisation and dispersion of the cells which make up the physical body.

The consciousness is, by its very nature, immortal, and in order to manifest in the physical world, it assumes more or less lasting material forms.

The material substance is in course of transformation in order to become a multiform and increasingly perfect and lasting mode of expression for this consciousness. [16]


With a whole world of perceptions at the same time (Mother makes a gesture around her), like a general terrestrial consciousness, with examples showing that it's only when the consciousness contained in the cells is decentralized that one is dead. Otherwise, nothing, not even the heart stopping, can cause death.

Naturally, this decentralization stems from innumerable causes, but they are causes we might call psychological. And the cells contained in the body, or composing the body, are held in form by a centralization of the consciousness in them, and as long as that power of concentration is there, the body cannot die. It’s only when the power of concentration disappears that the cells scatter. And then one dies. Then the body dies.[17]


I used the word dispersion of the cells in its most concrete sense. When the concentration which forms the body comes to an end and the body dissolves, all the cells that have been especially developed and have become conscious of the divine Presence within them, are scattered and enter other combinations in which they awaken, by contagion, the consciousness of the Presence that each one has had. And in this way, by this phenomenon of concentration, development and dispersion, all matter evolves and learns by contagion, develops by contagion, has the experience by contagion.

Naturally, the cell dissolves with the body. It is the consciousness of the cells that enters other combinations. [18]

Why Is Cellular Transformation Important?

For this transformation to succeed, all human beings—even all living beings as well as their material environment—must be transformed. Otherwise things will remain as they are: an individual experience cannot change terrestrial life. This is the essential difference between the old idea of transformation—that is, the becoming conscious with the psychic being and the inner life—and transformation as we conceive it and speak of it. Not only an individual or a group of individuals or even all individuals, but life, the overall consciousness of this more or less developed material life, have to be transformed. Without such a transformation we shall have the same misery, the same calamities and the same atrocities in the world. A few individuals will escape from it by their psychic development, but the general mass will remain in the same state of misery. [19]

To Make the Body Conscious

The molecular, cellular substance…perhaps even the cellular…the molecular and atomic, is progressing in its capacity to express the divine Force and Consciousness. Through all these organisms this substance becomes more and more conscious, more and more luminous, more and more receptive, until it reaches a perfection sufficient for it to become a possible vehicle for the divine Force itself which will be able to use it as it uses the elements of the other parts of the creation, like the mind or the vital. [20]


To make this obscurity luminous and directly instrumental to the higher planes and to the divine movement is what we mean in our Yoga by making the body conscious,—that is to say, full of a true, awake and responsive awareness instead of its own obscure, limited half-subconscience. [21]


In the body there are invaluable and unknown treasures. In all its cells, there is an intensity of life, of aspiration, of the will to progress, which one does not usually even realise. The body-consciousness would have to be completely warped by the action of the mind and vital for it not to have an immediate will to re-establish the equilibrium. When this will is not there, it means that the entire body-consciousness has been spoilt by the intervention of the mind and vital. In people who cherish their malady more or less subconsciously with a sort of morbidity under the pretext that it makes them interesting, it is not their body at all—poor body!—it is something they have imposed upon it with a mental or vital perversion. The body, if left to itself, is remarkable, for, not only does it aspire for equilibrium and well-being but it is capable of restoring the balance. If one leaves one's body alone without intervening with all those thoughts, all the vital reactions, all the depressions, and also all the so-called knowledge and mental constructions and fears—if one leaves the body to itself, spontaneously it will do what is necessary to set itself right again. [22]


If we live only in the outward physical consciousness, it may descend and work behind the veil but we shall feel nothing and only see certain results after a long time. Or at most we feel a certain clarity and peace in the mind, a joy in the vital, a happy state in the physical and infer the touch of the Divine. But if we are awake in the inward physical, we shall feel the light, power or Ananda flowing through the body, the limbs, nerves, blood, breath and, through the subtle body, affecting the most material cells and making them conscious and blissful and we shall sense directly the Divine Power and Presence.[23]


The essential "I" sense disappears when there is the stable realisation of the one universal Self in all and that remains at all moments in all conditions under any circumstances. Usually this comes first in the Purusha consciousness and the extension to the Prakriti movements is not immediate… Most Vedantists stop there, because they think that those reactions will fall away from one at death and all will disappear into the One. But for a change of the nature it is necessary that the experience and seeing of the Purusha should spread to all the parts, mind, vital, physical, subconscient. Then the ego movements of Prakriti can also disappear gradually from one field after another till none is left. For this a perfect samata even in the cells of the body and in every vibration of the being is necessary—samaṁ hi brahma… The individual remains but that is not the small separative ego, but a form and power of the Universal which feels itself one with all beings, an acting centre and instrument of the Universal Transcendent, full of the Ananda of the presence and the action but not thinking or moving independently or acting for its own sake. That cannot be called egoism. [24]


everlastingattitude, everlasting, there is no reason why it shouldn't continue. The cells feel themselves everlasting, with a certain state of harmonious inner peace which partakes of eternity, that is to say, free from the kind of disorder and friction that causes aging and disintegration . People's ordinary consciousness (it's not a question of ideas, concepts or anything of that kind: it's the body's consciousness, the consciousness of the body's cells), the ordinary, NATURAL, NORMAL consciousness is a consciousness full of grating and friction, in perpetual disorder, and that's the cause of aging. Well, this is beginning to fade away. [25]


In this new substance which is spreading and acting in the world, there is a warmth, a power, a joy so intense that all intellectual activity seems cold and dry beside it. And that is why the less one talks about these things the better it is. A single moment, a single impulse of deep and true love, an instant of the understanding which lies in the divine Grace brings you much closer to the goal than all possible explanations. Even a kind of refined sensation, subtle, clear, luminous, acute, which penetrates deep, opens the door for you more than the subtlest explanations. And if we carry the experience still further, it seems that when one comes to the work of transformation of the body, when some cells of the body, more ready than others, more refined, more subtle, more plastic, are able to feel concretely the presence of the divine Grace, the divine Will, the divine Power, this Knowledge that is not intellectual but a knowledge by identity, when one feels this in the cells of the body, then the experience is so total, so imperative, so living, concrete, tangible, real that everything else seems a vain dream. [26]


Q.Can one learn to control one’s subconscient as one controls one’s conscious thought?

A: It is especially during the body’s sleep that one is in contact with the subconscient. In becoming conscious of one’s nights, control of the subconscient becomes much easier.

The control can become total when the cells become conscious of the Divine in them and when they open themselves voluntarily to His influence...Little by little the subconscient automatism of the body is being replaced by the consciousness of the Divine Presence governing the entire functioning of the body. [27]


As the human being grows in evolution, he grows in sensibility and suffers more keenly in mind and life and body. For the growth in consciousness is not sufficiently supported by a growth in force; the body becomes more subtle, more finely capable, but less solidly efficient in its external energy: man has to call in his will, his mental power to dynamise, correct and control his nervous being, force it to the strenuous tasks he demands from his instruments, steel it against suffering and disaster. …The gnostic evolution at a certain stage must bring about a completeness of this reversal and of this power of self-protection which will fulfil the claim of the body for immunity and serenity of its being and for deliverance from suffering and build in it a power for the total delight of existence. A spiritual Ananda can flow into the body and inundate cell and tissue; a luminous materialisation of this higher Ananda could of itself bring about a total transformation of the deficient or adverse sensibilities of physical Nature. [28]

To Conquer Death

There are lots of ways of dying, depending on the various planes of consciousness, and there are lots of causes (gesture in a gradation), but in each domain there is, as it were, an essential cause that makes death at the same time necessary, indispensable and unavoidable. And then, physically, that is, materially in the body's cells, you seem to be... (Mother makes a gesture at a tangent), you are just on the borderline, on the verge of finding the secret of why there is cessation, why dissolution is made necessary by the incapacity to follow the movement of transformation. [29]


...we are constantly accompanied by this threat or presence of Death. Well, along with this, in the cells, there is a call for a Power of Eternity, with an intensity which would not be there except for this constant threat. Then one understands, one begins to feel quite concretely that all these things are only ways of intensifying the manifestation, of making it progress, of making it more perfect. And if the means are crude, it is because the manifestation itself is very crude. And as it becomes more perfect and fit to manifest that which is eternally progressive, the very crude means will give way to subtler ones and the world will progress without any need for such brutal oppositions. This is simply because the world is still in its infancy and human consciousness is still entirely in its infancy. This is a very concrete experience. It follows that when the earth no longer needs to die in order to progress, there will be no more death. When the earth no longer needs to suffer in order to progress, there will be no more suffering. And when the earth no longer needs to hate in order to love, there will be no more hatred.

[Based on Aphorisms 88-92 88—This world was built by Death that he might live. Wilt thou abolish death? Then life too will perish. Thou canst not abolish death, but thou mayst transform it into a greater living. 89—This world was built by Cruelty that she might love. Wilt thou abolish cruelty? Then love too will perish. Thou canst not abolish cruelty, but thou mayst transfigure it into its opposite, into a fierce Love and Delightfulness. 90—This world was built by Ignorance and Error that they might know. Wilt thou abolish ignorance and error? Then knowledge too will perish. Thou canst not abolish ignorance and error, but thou mayst transmute them into the utter and effulgent exceeding of reason. 91—If Life alone were and not death, there could be no immortality; if love were alone and not cruelty, joy would be only a tepid and ephemeral rapture; if reason were alone and not ignorance, our highest attainment would not exceed a limited rationality and worldly wisdom. 92—Death transformed becomes Life that is Immortality; Cruelty transfigured becomes Love that is intolerable ecstasy; Ignorance transmuted becomes Light that leaps beyond wisdom and knowledge.] [30]


As for immortality, it cannot come if there is attachment to the body,—for it is only by living in the immortal part of oneself which is unidentified with the body and bringing down its consciousness and force into the cells that it can come.The scientists now hold that it is (theoretically at least) possible to discover physical means by which death can be overcome, but that would mean only a prolongation of the present consciousness in the present body. Unless there is a change of consciousness and change of functioning, it would be a very small gain. [31]


The individual form persisted as a too binding mould; it cannot follow the movements of the forces; it cannot change in harmony with the progressive change in the universal dynamism; it cannot meet continually Nature’s demand or keep pace with her; it gets out of the current. At a certain point of this growing disparity and disharmony between the form and the force that presses upon it, a complete dissolution of the form is unavoidable. A new form must be created; a new harmony and parity made possible. This is the true significance of death and this is its use in Nature. But if the form can become more quick and pliant and the cells of the body can be awakened to change with the changing consciousness, there would be no need of a drastic dissolution, death would be no longer inevitable. [32]

To Conquer Fear

[Mother relating an incident on fear in the cells]The cobra, furious, hurled itself against the glass, and every time it did so the scientist closed his eyes! Our psychologist told himself, “But look here, I know that this snake cannot pass through, why do I close my eyes?” Well, one must recognise that it is difficult to conquer the reaction. It is a sense of protection, and if one feels that one cannot protect oneself, one is afraid. But the movement of fear which is expressed by the eyes fluttering is not a mental or a vital fear: it is a fear in the cells of the body; for it has not been impressed upon them that there is no danger and they do not know how to resist. It is because one has not done yoga, you see. With yoga one can watch with open eyes, one would not close them; but one would not close them because one calls upon something else, and that "something else" is the sense of the divine Presence in oneself which is stronger than everything. [33]


The first and most important point is to know that life is one and immortal. … This gives the indispensable psychological basis with which to confront the problem, for the problem remains. Even if the inner being is enlightened enough to be above all fear, the fear still remains hidden in the cells of the body, obscure, spontaneous, beyond the reach of reason, usually almost unconscious. It is in these obscure depths that one must find it out, seize hold of it and cast upon it the light of knowledge and certitude. [34]

How to Transform the Cells?

The physical consciousness? It opens just like the rest, receives a new consciousness, obeys the Force, feels a change even in the cells, aspires to and seeks self-giving and union with the Divine. [35]


... from the physical point of view human beings live in frightful ignorance. … But it asks for years of labour, and above all years of work almost without any mental control, just with a consciousness that’s subtle enough to establish a connection with the elements of transformation and progress. And to know also how to determine for one’s body, exactly, the amount of physical effort, of material activity, of expenditure and recuperation of energy, the proportion between what is received and what is given,the utilisation of energies to re-establish a state of equilibrium which has been broken, to make the cells which are lagging behind progress, to build conditions for the possibility of higher progress, etc... it is a formidable task. And yet, it is that which must be done if one hopes to transform one's body. First it must be put completely in harmony with the inner consciousness. And to do that, it is a work in each cell, so to say, in each little activity, in every movement of the organs. [36]


The body feels very strongly, very strongly that everything could be simple, so simple! And so that the being—this kind of individual agglomerate—can be transformed, it needs precisely to become more simple, simple, simple. All these complications of Nature, which they are now beginning to understand and study, which are so intricate for the slightest thing—the smallest of our functions is the result of a system so complicated that it is almost unthinkable; certainly it would be impossible for human thought to plan and put together all these things—now science is discovering them, and one can see very clearly that if the functioning is to be divine, that is, if it is to escape this disorder and confusion, it must be simplified, simplified, simplified. (Long silence) That is to say, Nature, or rather Nature in her attempt at self-expression, was obliged to resort to an unbelievable and almost infinite complication in order to reproduce the primal Simplicity. And we come back to the same thing. From this excess of complication arises the possibility of a simplicity which would not be empty but full—a full simplicity, a simplicity that contains everything; whereas without these complications, simplicity is empty. Now they are making discoveries like that. In anatomy, for example, they are discovering surgical treatments which are unbelievably complicated! It is like their classification of the elements of Matter—what frightful complexity! And all this is for the purpose of… in an effort to express Unity, the one Simplicity—the divine state. [37]


Yes, this problem of the transformation, I see more and more clearly that there are three approaches, three ways to go about it, and that in order to be more complete, one should combine the three.

One—the most important, naturally—is the way we could call “spiritual,” which is that of the contact with the Consciousness—Love-Consciousness-Power, that is; these three aspects: supreme Love-Consciousness-Power. And the contact, the identification: to make all the material cells capable of receiving Him and expressing Him—of BEING That.

Of all the ways, that is the most powerful and the most indispensable.

There is the occult way, which brings all the intermediary worlds into play. There is a very detailed knowledge of all the powers and personalities, all the intermediary regions, and it makes use of all that. That’s where one makes use of the Overmind godheads: it’s in this second way. Shiva, Krishna, all the aspects of the Mother are part of this second way. Then there is the higher intellectual approach, which is the projection of a surpassing scientific mind and takes up the problem from below. It has its importance too. From the standpoint of the detail of the operation, it reduces approximation, it gives a more direct and precise action.

If one can combine all three, then obviously the thing will go faster.

Without the first, nothing is possible (and the other two are even unrealistic without the first: they lead nowhere, you go round in circles endlessly). But if you clothe the first in the other two, then I think the action is more precise, more direct, more rapid.[38]


For when the action is integral and perfect, to this purely material knowledge there is added an internal knowledge, and a power to bring into play forces like the supramental forces, which can do instantaneously what takes in the material world a fairly long time, you see. There too, when one succeeds in bringing in not only the material knowledge which allows you to put things in their place as quickly as possible but also in making a supramental power and knowledge intervene, so that the force of truth can be projected upon the place—in such a way that everything is put under the influence of this force, and that things, elements, the cells and everything, everything constituting them, all become receptive to this supramental power and the organisation is made according to a law of truth... [39]


Let us take as an example that in certain circumstances or by an exceptional grace you are suddenly put into contact with a supramental light, power or consciousness. It is like an abrupt opening in your closed shell, like a rent in that opaque envelope which separates you from the Truth, and the contact is established. Immediately this force, this consciousness, this light acts, even on your physical cells; it acts in the mind, in the vital, in the body, changes the vibrations, organises the substance and begins its work of transformation. You are under the impact of this sudden contact and action; for you it is a sort of indescribable, inexpressible state which takes hold of you, you haven't any clear, precise, definite idea of it, it is... "something that happens". It may give you the impression of being wonderful or tremendous, but it is inexpressible and incomprehensible for you. That is the experience in its essence and its true power. [40]

By Physical Activities

… "How does one awaken the consciousness of the physical being?", that is precisely the aim of physical education. It is physical education that teaches the cells to be conscious. But for the development of the brain, it is study, observation, intelligent education, above all observation and reasoning. And naturally, for the whole education of the consciousness from the point of view of character, it is yoga. [41]


Physical culture is the process of infusing consciousness into the cells of the body. One may or may not know it, but it is a fact. When we concentrate to make our muscles move according to our will, when we endeavour to make our limbs more supple, to give them an agility, or a force, or a resistance, or a plasticity which they do not naturally possess, we infuse into the cells of the body a consciousness which was not there before, thus turning it into an increasingly homogeneous and receptive instrument, which progresses in and by its activities. This is the primary importance of physical culture. Of course, that is not the only thing that brings consciousness into the body, but it is something which acts in an overall way, and this is rare. I have already told you several times that the artist infuses a very great consciousness into his hands, as the intellectual does into his brain. But these are, as it were, local phenomena, whereas the action of physical culture is more general. And when one sees the absolutely marvellous results of this culture, when one observes the extent to which the body is capable of perfecting itself, one understands how useful this can be to the action of the psychic being which has entered into this material substance. For naturally, when it is in possession of an organised and harmonised instrument which is full of strength and suppleness and possibilities, its task is greatly facilitated.

I do not say that people who practise physical culture necessarily do it for this purpose, because very few are aware of this result. But whether they are aware of it or not, this is the result. Moreover, if you are at all sensitive, when you observe the moving body of a person who has practised physical culture in a methodical and rational way, you see a light, a consciousness, a life, which is not there in others. …

Therefore we can say without fear of being mistaken that physical culture is the sadhana of the body and that all sadhana necessarily helps to hasten the achievement of the goal. The more consciously you do it, the quicker and more general the result, but even if you do it blindly, if you can see no further than the tips of your fingers or your feet or your nose, you help the overall development.

Finally, one can say that any discipline that is followed rigorously, sincerely, deliberately, is a considerable help, for it enables life on earth to attain its goal more rapidly and prepares it to receive the new life. To discipline oneself is to hasten the arrival of this new life and the contact with the supramental reality. As it is, the physical body is truly nothing but a very disfigured shadow of the eternal life of the Self. But this physical body is capable of progressive development; through each individual formation, the physical substance progresses, and one day it will be capable of building a bridge between physical life as we know it and the supramental life which is to manifest. [Based on Aphorism 11 - Immortality is not the survival of the mental personality after death, though that also is true, but the waking possession of the unborn and deathless Self of which body is only an instrument and a shadow.] [42]

By Aspiration

Not only the mind and the vital, but the body also in all its cells must aspire for the divine transformation. [43]


... each part of the being has its own aspiration which has the nature of the aspiring part. There is even a physical aspiration; the body can… The cells of the body understand what the transformations will be, and with all their strength, all the consciousness they contain, they aspire for this transformation. The very cells of the body—not the central will, thought or emotion—the cells of the body open in this way to receive the Force.[44]


At the centre of each cell lies the Divine Consciousness. By aspiration and repeated self-giving, the cells must be made transparent. [45]


There comes a moment when the body itself finds that there is nothing in the world which is so worth living for as this transformation; that There is nothing which can have as great an interest as this passionate interest of transformation. It is as though all the cells of the body were at thirst for that Light which wants to manifest; they cry out for it, they find an intense joy in it and are sure of the Victory.

This is the aspiration that I am trying to communicate to you, and you will understand that everything else in life is dull, insipid, futile, worthless in comparison with that: the transformation in the Light. [46]


But physical Matter in its cellular form has, we can't say a fear or an anxiety, but a sort of apprehension of new vibrations, and that apprehension naturally takes away from the cells their receptivity and takes on the appearance of a discomfort (it's not a suffering but a discomfort). But when that apprehension is counterbalanced and cured by aspiration and the will for total surrender and the act of total surrender, then that sort of apprehension having disappeared, there comes supreme ease. [47]


Even in the body, for instance, when there is something like an attack, an accident, an illness trying to come in—something—an attack on the body, a body that is left to its natural spontaneity has an urge, an aspiration, a spontaneous will to call for help. But as soon as the affair goes to the head, it takes the form of things to which one is accustomed: everything is spoilt. But if the body is seen in itself, just as it is, there is something which suddenly wakes up and calls for help, and with such a faith, such an intensity, just as the tiny little baby calls its mamma, you know—or whoever is there, it says nothing if it cannot speak. But the body left to itself without this kind of constant action of the mind upon it… well, it has this: as soon as there is some disturbance, immediately it has an aspiration, a call, an effort to seek help, and this is very powerful. If nothing intervenes, it is very powerful. It is as though the cells themselves sprang up in an aspiration, a call.

In the body there are invaluable and unknown treasures. In all its cells, there is an intensity of life, of aspiration, of the will to progress, which one does not usually even realise. The body-consciousness would have to be completely warped by the action of the mind and vital for it not to have an immediate will to re-establish the equilibrium. When this will is not there, it means that the entire body-consciousness has been spoilt by the intervention of the mind and vital. In people who cherish their malady more or less subconsciously with a sort of morbidity under the pretext that it makes them interesting, it is not their body at all—poor body!—it is something they have imposed upon it with a mental or vital perversion. The body, if left to itself, is remarkable, for, not only does it aspire for equilibrium and well-being but it is capable of restoring the balance. If one leaves one’s body alone without intervening with all those thoughts, all the vital reactions, all the depressions, and also all the so-called knowledge and mental constructions and fears—if one leaves the body to itself, spontaneously it will do what is necessary to set itself right again.

The body in its natural state likes equilibrium, likes harmony; it is the other parts of the being which spoil everything. [48]

By Offering

Of course, there is a higher state than this, the state Sri Aurobindo speaks of as the ideal to be fulfilled: the divine life in a divine body. But he himself tells us that this will take time; it is an integral transformation which cannot be achieved in a moment. It will even take quite a long time. But when it is accomplished, when the consciousness has become a supramental consciousness, then action will no longer be determined at every moment by a mental choice or be dependent on the physical capacity: the entire body will spontaneously, integrally, be the perfect expression of the inner truth.

This is the ideal we must keep before us, for the realisation of which we must strive; but we must not delude ourselves and think that it can be a rapid transformation, miraculous, immediate, marvellous, without effort and without labour.

However, it is no longer only a possibility, it is no longer even only a promise for a far-off future: it is something which is in the making. And already one can not only foresee but feel the moment when the body will be able to repeat integrally the experience of the most spiritual part of the being, as the inner spirit has already done, and will itself be able to stand in its bodily consciousness before the supreme Reality, turn to it integrally and say in all sincerity, in a total self-giving of all its cells: "To be Thyself—exclusively, perfectly—Thyself, infinitely, eternally... very simply." [49]


That's what is remarkable in the physical, it's that when the physical has learned something, it never forgets. Once the cells have learned that, learned this self-giving, this offering to the Divine, and this NEED to offer themselves, it's learned, and it DOESN'T BUDGE ANYMORE. It's constant, twenty-four hours a day, ceaselessly, day after day, changelessly; even when something goes wrong (you have a pain or something), the first movement is this: it's to offer it, to give it—spontaneously. The higher consciousness doesn't intervene, it's spontaneous: it's the consciousness contained in the cells. [Mother’s experience] [50]

By Peace

... a peace all the same, a real peace, a concrete, concrete stillness. So the thing to be done (because that peace is perceptible I've had the experience of it so many times) is to remain very objective within that peace; then you can benefit from the peace without accepting its limits. You should, for instance, be able to keep that peace in the cells (the brain cells if you feel tired) without allowing yourself to be enclosed like that. There is no need to struggle, just remain turned upward.... It's very hard to explain. But maybe you will experience it, then you'll understand what I mean.

There is always a vibration subtler than his vibration of peace, and that one must remain free, without getting enclosed in the other. For example, if something pulls and causes a mental tension in the head, just keep in contact with that peace (oh, he does have a capacity of mental immobility), and let it penetrate you, but without concentrating all your being on it: allow the rest of your activity to unfold as usual in an infinity. It’s only the vibrations of the physical mind that you should keep in that stability. [51]


A quietness in the cells of the body, even a sense of immobility (so that the body seems to be moved rather than to move) is a different thing and easily distinguishable from the inertia. The down flow of peace usually brings much of the static Brahman into the consciousness down to the physical... [52]

By Wideness

Wideness and calmness are the foundation of the Yogic consciousness and the best condition for inner growth and experience. If a wide calm can be established in the physical consciousness, occupying and filling the very body and all its cells, that can become the basis for its transformation; in fact, without this wideness and calmness the transformation is hardly possible. [53]


It is only a real descent of the higher consciousness from above that can give a peaceful and beautiful merging of the atoms ...into the wideness of the Divine—that is to say one feels the very cells sharing in that peace and wideness. This is possible even if the material body is ill. In most cases it is the subtle body that feels like that, but as the subtle penetrates everywhere the gross physical, the physical body also feels like that. But then it does not feel disturbed by the pains or motions of the illness—they do not affect its peace or Ananda. [54]

By Ananda

For this delight is everywhere. This delight is something very subtle. One moves in the midst of things and it is as though they were all singing to you their delight. There comes a time when it becomes very familiar in the life around you. Of course, I must admit that it is a little more difficult to feel it in human beings, because there are all their mental and vital formations which come into the field of perception and disturb it. There is too much of this kind of egoistic asperity which gets mixed with things, so it is more difficult to contact the Delight there. But even in animals one feels it; it is already a little more difficult than in plants. But in plants, in flowers, it is so wonderful! They speak all their joy, they express it. And as I said, in all familiar objects, the things around you, which you use, there is a state of consciousness in which each one is happy to be, just as it is. So at that moment one knows one has touched true Delight. And it is not conditioned. I mean it does not depend upon… it depends on nothing. It does not depend on outer circumstances,does not depend on a more or less favourable state, it does not depend on anything: it is a communion with the raison d’être of the universe.

And when this comes it fills all the cells of the body. It is not even a thing which is thought out—one does no reason, does not analyse, it is not that: it is a state in which one lives. And when the body shares in it, it is so fresh—so fresh, so spontaneous, so… it no longer turns back upon itself, there is no longer any sense of self-observation, of self-analysis or of analysing things. All that is like a canticle of joyous vibrations, but very, very quiet, without violence, without passion, nothing of all that. It is very subtle and very intense at the same time, and when it comes, it seems that the whole universe is a marvellous harmony. Even what is to the ordinary human consciousness ugly, unpleasant, appears marvellous. [55]


The cells which are able to vibrate to the contact of divine joy, to receive and preserve it, are regenerated cells on the way to becoming immortal. But the vibration of divine joy and those of pleasure cannot lodge together in the same vital and physical system. So one must have totally renounced experiencing all pleasure in order to be in a state to receive the Ananda. But very few are those who can renounce pleasure without, by the very fact, renouncing all participation in active life and plunging into a rigorous asceticism. And among those who know that it is in active life that the transformation must take place, some try to see pleasure as a more or less warped form of Ananda, and thus justify in themselves the quest for personal satisfaction, creating in themselves an almost insuperable obstacle to their own transformation. [56]

Helpful Practices

The inner transformation cannot be brought about by physical means either of a positive or a negative nature. On the contrary, the physical change itself can only be brought about by a descent of the greater supramental consciousness into the cells of the body. Till then at least the body and its supporting energies have to be maintained in part by the ordinary means, food, sleep, etc. Food has to be taken in the right spirit, with the right consciousness; sleep has to be gradually transformed into the Yogic repose. A premature and excessive physical austerity (tapasyā) may endanger the process of the sadhana by establishing a disturbance and abnormality of the forces in the different parts of the system. A great energy may pour into the mental and vital parts, but the nerves and the body may be overstrained and lose the strength to support the play of these higher energies. This is the reason why an extreme physical austerity is not included here as a substantive part of the sadhana. [57]


You must sleep well…As soon as you feel tired, let yourself drift into sleep, don't resist. That's important. ... It's in a sort of stillness of the cells' consciousness that they assimilate the new force. So when it comes, don't resist. Generally, it doesn't last very long: fifteen minutes, twenty minutes. A period of assimilation. You know, the atmosphere is charged, charged, increasingly charged. So if suddenly you feel something pulling, don't resist, let yourself go. [58]


You must always try to keep the quietude, not allow depressing or disturbing thoughts or feelings to enter you or take hold of your mind or your speech. …And if the mind keeps its quietude and receptivity to higher forces only, it can then easily pass on that quietude and receptivity to the body consciousness and even to the material cells of the body. [59]


You can be at once in the state of aspiration, of willing, which calls down something—exactly the will to open oneself and receive, and the aspiration which calls down the force you want to receive—and at the same time be in that state of complete inner stillness which allows full penetration, for it is in this immobility that one can be penetrated, that one becomes permeable by the Force. Well, the two can be simultaneous without the one disturbing the other, or can alternate so closely that they can hardly be distinguished. But one can be like that, like a great flame rising in aspiration, and at the same time as though this flame formed a vase, a large vase, opening and receiving all that comes down.

And the two can go together. And when one succeeds in having the two together, one can have them constantly, whatever one may be doing. Only there may be a slight, very slight displacement of consciousness, almost imperceptible, which becomes aware of the flame first and then of the vase of receptivity—of what seeks to be filled and the flame that rises to call down what must fill the vase—a very slight pendular movement and so close that it gives the impression that one has the two at the same time.

This is one of the things one discovers gradually as the body becomes ready for transformations. It is quite a remarkable instrument in the see that it can experience two contraries at the same time. There is a certain state of body-consciousness which brings things together, totalises things that in other states of consciousness alternate or even in certain others oppose each other. But if one has reached up there, in the vital and the mind, a development sufficient for harmonising opposites (that of course, is quite indispensable), when one has succeeded in doing this, there are moments when it alternates, you see, one thing comes after the other, while what is remarkable in the consciousness of the body is that it can feel (“feel”, can we say “feel”?—“experience”—the word “aware” expresses it best) all things simultaneously, as though you were hot and cold at once, as though you were active and passive at once, and everything becomes like that. Then you begin to grasp the totality of movements in the cells. It is something much more concrete naturally, but much more perfect in the body than in any other part of the being. This means that if things continue in this way, it will be proved that the physical, material instrument is the most perfect of all. That is why perhaps it is the most difficult to transform, to perfect. But of all, it is the one most capable of perfection. [60]

Japa and Mantra

On the material level, japa is very good for that. When your head is tired and you are a little weary of forever contradicting that pessimism, you just have to repeat your japa, and automatically you make contact. To make contact. That's something the cells value a lot. A lot. It's a very good way, because it's a way that isn't mental, it's a mechanical way, it's a question of vibration. [61]

Mother’s Experience with Japa

… what you call “aspiration” is a movement of your psychic consciousness, mentally formulated and supported by the vital—but it ISN’T YOUR BODY. And it’s only if you are very attentive to the vibration of the cells, if you are accustomed to observing them and feeling them that you can see. Well, I don’t know, but I can’t complain about my body’s cells…. You know, it isn’t a perception, it isn’t a sensation, it is… a LIVED FAITH in the existence of the Supreme alone—you know, a faith that it’s the only Reality and the only Existence. Just that, and everything seems to swell up, as if all these cells were swelling up with such joy!… Only, it doesn’t take the form of a feeling, not even of a sensation, even less of a thought; so if you aren’t very attentive, you don’t notice it. But, for instance, when I repeat the mantra, it’s repeated by that famous physical mind, which is so stupid (the mantra is the only thing that can keep a rein on it), and now it has become so identified that the mantra is its whole life, it is like a pulsation of its being; but then when I come to the invocation (there is a series of invocations: each one has its own effect on the body), when I come to “Manifest Your Love,” I see a sort of twinkling of a golden light, which represents an intense joy in all the cells. [62]


For the moment, of all the formulas or mantras, the one that acts most directly on this body, that seizes all the cells and immediately does this (vibrating motion) is the Sanskrit mantra: OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH.

As soon as I sit for meditation, as soon as I have a quiet minute to concentrate, it always begins with this mantra, and there is a response in the body, in the cells of the body: they all start vibrating. [63]


The japa is made precisely to control the physical mind. I myself use it for a very special reason, because … You see, I invoke (the words are a bit strange) … the Lord of Tomorrow. Not the unmanifest Lord, but the Lord as he will manifest ‘tomorrow,’ or in Sri Aurobindo’s words, the divine manifestation in its supramental form. So the first sound of my mantra is the call to that, the evocation. With the second sound, the body’s cells make their’ surrender,’ they give themselves. And with the third sound comes the identification of this [the body] with That, which produces the divine life. These are my three sounds.

And in the beginning, during the first months that I was doing the japa, I felt them … I had an almost detailed awareness of these myriads of cells opening to this vibration; the vibration of the first sound is an absolutely special vibration (you see, above, there is the light and all that, but beyond this light there is the original vibration), and this vibration was entering into all the cells and was reproduced in them. It went on for months in this way.

Even now, when something or other is not all right, I have only to reproduce the thing with the same type of concentration as at the beginning … for, when I say the japa, the sound and the words together—the way the words are understood, the feel of the words—create a certain totality. I have to reproduce that. And the way it’s repeated is evolving all the time. The words are the same, however, the original sound is the same, but it’s all constantly evolving towards a more comprehensive realization and a more and more complete STATE. So when I want to obtain a certain result, I reproduce a certain type of this state. For example, if something in the body is not functioning right (it can’t really be called an illness, but when something’s out of order), or if I wish to do some specific work on a specific person for a specific reason, then I go back to a certain state of repetition of my mantra, which acts directly on the body’s cells. And then the same phenomenon is reproduced—exactly the same extraordinary vibration which I recognized when the supramental world descended. It comes in and vibrates like a pulsation in the cells. [64]

For Dealing with Illness

First of all, you must not want it and nothing in the body must want it. You must have a very strong will not to be ill. This is the first condition.

The second condition is to call the light, a light of equilibrium, a light of peace, quietude and balance, and to push it into all the cells of the body, enjoining them not to be afraid, because that again is another condition.

First, not to want to be ill, and then not to be afraid of illness. You must neither attract it nor tremble. You must not want illness at all. But you must not because of fear not want it; you must not be afraid; you must have a calm certitude and a complete trust in the power of the Grace to shelter you from everything, and then think of something else, not be concerned about this any longer. When you have done these two things, refusing the illness with all your will and infusing a confidence which completely eliminates the fear in the cells of the body, and then busying yourself with something else, not thinking any longer about the illness, forgetting that it exists… there, if you know how to do that, you may even be in contact with people who have contagious diseases, and yet you do not catch them. But you must know how to do this. [65]


Inwardly, I have been told this many times—told and shown by small experiences—that the body can bear much more than we think, if no fear or anxiety is added to the pain. If we eliminate the mental factor, the body, left to itself, has neither fear nor apprehension nor anxiety about what is going to happen—no anguish—and it can bear a great deal. The second step is when the body has decided to bear it—you see, it takes the decision to bear it: immediately, the acuteness, what is acute in the pain disappears. I am speaking absolutely materially.

And if you are calm—here, another factor comes in, the need for inner calm—if you have the inner calm, then the pain changes into an almost pleasant sensation—not “pleasant” in the ordinary sense, but an almost comfortable feeling comes. Again, I am speaking purely physically, materially.

And the last stage, when the cells have faith in the divine Presence and in the sovereign divine Will, when they have this trust that all is for the good, then ecstasy comes—the cells open, like this, become luminous and ecstatic. [Based on Aphorism 93 - 93-Pain is the touch of our Mother teaching us how to hear and grow in rapture. She has tree stages of her schooling, endurance first, next equality of soul, last ecstasy.] [66]


If one knows how to teach the cells the splendour that lies within them, if one knows how to make them understand the reality which makes them exist, gives them being, then they too enter the total harmony, and the physical disorder which causes the illness vanishes as do all other disorders of the being.

But for that one must be neither cowardly nor fearful. When the physical disorder comes, one must not be afraid; one must not run away from it, must face it with courage, calmness, confidence, with the certitude that illness is a falsehood and that if one turns entirely, in full confidence, with a complete quietude to the divine Grace, It will settle in these cells as It is established in the depths of the being, and the cells themselves will share in the eternal Truth and Delight. [67]


It's a sort of spinelessness (gesture of groveling) which accepts a general, impersonal law: you paddle about in illness. And in response to that, there is inside, every minute, the sense of the true attitude, which in the cells is expressed with great simplicity: "There is the Lord, who is the all-powerful Master." Something like that. "It depends entirely on Him. If a surrender is to be made, it's to Him." I make sentences, but for the cells it's not sentences. It's a tiny little movement that expresses itself by repeating the mantra; then the mantra is full—full of force—and there is instantly the surrender: "May Your Will be done," and a tranquillity—a luminous tranquillity. And one sees that there was absolutely no imperative need to be ill or for the disequilibrium to occur. [68]


I have noticed something very interesting. Suppose there is a pain, some sign or other that something in the body is out of order. In the consciousness—in the consciousness—you are absolutely indifferent, which means that whether it’s life or death, disease or health, there is equality; but if the body reacts according to its old habit, “What should be done to get over it?” and all that it involves (I am not speaking of a reaction in the mind, but here, in the body), the thing takes root. Why? Because it has to stay there… (laughing) to enable you to study it! If, on the other hand, the cells have learned their lesson and say right away, “Lord, Your presence” (without words—the attitude), pfft! the thing goes.

It's no use if the thought does it, if the psychic consciousness, EVEN THE PHYSICAL CONSCIOUSNESS, does it: it must be the cells that do it. So the one who does it in the thought says, "Here, I give myself to the Divine, I am ready for anything, I am in a state of perfect equality, and still I am ill! So what am I to believe?" …there should instantaneously be, wherever a disorder has occurred for some reason or other, this: "Lord—Lord, this is You; Lord, we are You; Lord, You are here"—everything flies away. A sensation, an attitude—instantaneously, hup! it's over. [69]

By Will

Wake up in yourself a will to conquer. Not a mere will in the mind but a will in the very cells of your body. Without that you can't do anything; you may take a hundred medicines but they won't cure you unless you have a will to overcome the physical illness. [70]


We could say that the cure for all physical disorders lies in the cells becoming convinced—conscious and convinced—that they are an expression of the Divine, or even that they are divine in their essence. [71]

By Faith

...healing by faith in the cells is an actual fact and a law of Nature and has been demonstrated often enough even apart from Yoga. The way to get faith and everything else is to insist on having them and refuse to flag or despair or give up until one has them—it is the way by which everything has been got since this difficult world began to have thinking and aspiring creatures upon it. It is to open always, always to the Light and turn one’s back on the darkness. It is to refuse the voices that cry persistently, “You cannot, you shall not, you are incapable, you are the puppet of a dream”—for these are the enemy voices, they cut one off from the result that was coming by their strident clamour and then triumphantly point to the barrenness of result as a proof of their thesis. The difficulty of the endeavour is a known thing, but the difficult is not the impossible—it is the difficult that has always been accomplished and the conquest of difficulties makes up all that is valuable in the earth's history. In the spiritual endeavour also it shall be so. [72]

By Peace

The peace and spontaneous knowledge are in the psychic being and from there they spread to mind and vital and physical. It is in the outer physical consciousness that the difficulty still tries to persist and brings the restlessness sometimes into the physical mind, sometimes into the nerves, sometimes in the shape of bodily trouble into the body. But all these things can and must go. Even the illnesses can go entirely with the growth of peace and power in the nerves and physical cells—stomach pains, weakness of the eyes and everything else. [73]

Impediments to the Transformation

The physical nature is obscure and recalcitrant everywhere; it is very difficult for it to become conscious of the divine Presence. That is why we must be patient and keep on aspiring with the certitude of Victory. [74]


...[physical mind] is closely connected with the brain functioning. All these things—irritation, grief, fear etc. etc.—can become entirely discharged of thought content and felt simply as a physical sensation in the cells, not accepted by the thought (even in the physical mind), not shared in by the emotional being—a wave brought from outside into the material body consciousness. [75]


This consciousness has much difficulty in changing, because it is under the influence of the collective suggestion which is absolutely opposed to the transformation. So one has to struggle with this collective suggestion, not only with the collective suggestion of the present, but with the collective suggestion which belongs to the earth-consciousness as a whole, the terrestrial human consciousness which goes back to the earliest formation of man. That has to be overcome before the cells can be spontaneously aware of the Truth, of the Eternity of matter. [76]


Out of the subconscious we bring ordinarily so much to the surface as our waking sense mind and intelligence need for their purpose; in so bringing them up we are not aware of their nature, origin, operation and do not apprehend them in their own values but by a translation into the values of our waking human sense and intelligence. But the risings of the subconscious, its effects upon the mind and body, are mostly automatic, uncalled for and involuntary; for we have no knowledge and therefore no control of the subconscient. It is only by an experience abnormal to us, most commonly in illness or some disturbance of balance, that we can become directly aware of something in the dumb world, dumb but very active, of our bodily being and vitality or grow conscious of the secret movements of the mechanical subhuman physical and vital mind which underlies our surface,—a consciousness which is ours but seems not ours because it is not part of our known mentality. This and much more lives concealed in the subconscience. [77]

Supramental Body

What takes time is to prepare Matter, this cellular matter as it is now organized [since the awakening of the mind of the cells in Mother], to make it supple enough and strong enough to be able to bear and manifest the divine Force. That takes a lot of time…. It explains everything, everything—everything is explained. The day we can describe that in detail, it will be really interesting.

And there is a small beginning of how that being which Sri Aurobindo calls “supramental” will be—the next creation. A small beginning. And it is, as Sri Aurobindo said, an explanation from within outward—the “outward,” the surface, has only a quite secondary importance and it will come at the very end, when it’s ready. But it begins from within outward, and it begins in a rather precise and interesting way. [78]


In speaking of the divine body I entered into some far-off speculations about what might become possible in the future evolution of it by means of a spiritual force, but obviously the possibilities could not be anything near or immediate and I said clearly enough that we shall have to begin at the beginning and not attempt anything out of the way. Perhaps I should have insisted more on present limitations but that I should now make clear. For the immediate object of my endeavours is to establish spiritual life on earth and for that the first necessity must always be to realise the Divine; only then can life be spiritualised or what I have called the Life Divine be made possible. The creation of something that could be called a divine body could be only an ulterior aim undertaken as part of this transformation… [79]


The descent of the Supermind will bring to one who receives it and is fulfilled in the truth-consciousness all the possibilities of the divine life. It will take up not only the whole characteristic experience which we recognise already as constituting the spiritual life, but also all which we now exclude from that category but which is capable of divinisation, not excluding whatever of the earth-nature and the earth-life can be transformed by the touch of the Supermind and taken up into the manifested life of the Spirit. For a divine life on earth need not be a thing apart and exclusive having nothing to do with the common earthly existence: it will take up human being and human life, transform what can be transformed, spiritualise whatever can be spiritualised, cast its influence on the rest and effectuate either a radical or an uplifting change, bring about a deeper communion between the universal and the individual, invade the ideal with the spiritual truth of which it is a luminous shadow and help to uplift into or towards a greater and higher existence. Mind it will uplift towards a diviner light of thought and will, life towards deeper and truer emotion and action, towards a larger power of itself, towards high aims and motives. Whatever cannot yet be raised into its own full truth of being, it will bring nearer to that fullness; whatever is not ready even for that change, will still see the possibility open to it whenever its still incomplete evolution has made it ready for self-fulfilment. Even the body, if it can bear the touch of Supermind, will become more aware of its own truth,—for there is a body consciousness that has its own instinctive truth and power of right condition and action, even a kind of unexpressed occult knowledge in the constitution of its cells and tissues which may one day become conscious and contribute to the transformation of the physical being. An awakening must come in the earth-nature and in the earth-consciousness which will be, if not the actual beginning, at least the effective preparation and the first steps of its evolution towards a new and diviner world order. [80]


These material cells had to gain the capacity to receive and manifest the consciousness; and what permits a radical transformation is that instead of an ascent which is so to speak eternal and indefinite, there is the appearance of a new type—a descent from above. The previous descent was a mental one, while this is what Sri Aurobindo calls a "supramental descent"; the impression is, a descent of the supreme Consciousness infusing itself into something capable of receiving and manifesting it. Then, out of that, once it has been thoroughly kneaded (there's no knowing how much time it will take), a new form will be born, which will be the form Sri Aurobindo called supramental. [81]


The supramental body which has to be brought into being here has four main attributes: lightness, adaptability, plasticity and luminosity. When the physical body is thoroughly divinised, it will feel as if it were always walking on air, there will be no heaviness or tamas or unconsciousness in it. There will also be no end to its power of adaptability: in whatever conditions it is placed it will immediately be equal to the demands made upon it because its full consciousness will drive out all that inertia and incapacity which usually make Matter a drag on the Spirit. Supramental plasticity will enable it to stand the attack of every hostile force which strives to pierce it: it will present no dull resistance to the attack but will be, on the contrary, so pliant as to nullify the force by giving way to it to pass off. Thus it will suffer no harmful consequences and the most deadly attacks will leave it unscathed. Lastly, it will be turned into the stuff of light, each cell will radiate the supramental glory. Not only those who are developed enough to have their subtle sight open but the ordinary man too will be able to perceive this luminosity. It will be an evident fact to each and all, a permanent proof of the transformation which will convince even the most sceptical.

The bodily transformation will be the supreme spiritual rebirth—an utter casting away of all the ordinary past. For spiritual rebirth means the constant throwing away of our previous associations and circumstances and proceeding to live as if at each virgin moment we were starting life anew. It is to be free of what is called Karma, the stream of our past actions: in other words, a liberation from the bondage of Nature’s common activity of cause and effect. When this cutting away of the past is triumphantly accomplished in the consciousness, all those mistakes, blunders, errors and follies which, still vivid in our recollection, cling to us like leeches sucking our life-blood, drop away, leaving us most joyfully free. This freedom is not a mere matter of thought; it is the most solid, practical, material fact. We really are free, nothing binds us, nothing affects us, there is no obsession of responsibility. If we want to counteract, annul or outgrow our past, we cannot do it by mere repentance or similar things, we must forget that the untransformed past has ever been and enter into an enlightened state of consciousness which breaks loose from all moorings. To be reborn means to enter, first of all, into our psychic consciousness where we are one with the Divine and eternally free from the reactions of Karma. Without becoming aware of the psychic, it is not possible to do so; but once we are securely conscious of the true soul in us which is always surrendered to the Divine, all bondage ceases. Then incessantly life begins afresh, then the past no longer cleaves to us. To give you an idea of the final height of spiritual rebirth, I may say that there can be a constant experience of the whole universe actually disappearing at every instant and being at every instant newly created! [82]

More from Mother’s Experiences on Working on Her Body

This transformation by the help of the mind―by self-analysis―is a first step; afterwards, it is necessary to transform the vital impulses: that is much more difficult, and especially to transform the physical. Every cell in our bodies must become conscious. This is the work I am doing here; it will enable the conquest of death. That is another story; that will be the humanity of the future, perhaps after hundreds of years, perhaps sooner. It will depend on men, on nations. [83]


As for me, the purpose of this body is now simply: the Command and the Will of the Lord, so I can do as much groundwork as possible. But it isn’t the Goal at all. You see, we don’t know, we don’t have the slightest knowledge of what the supramental life is. Therefore we don’t know if this (:Mother pinches the skin of her hand:) can change enough to adapt or not—and to tell the truth, I am not worried about it, it’s not a problem that preoccupies me too much; the problem I am preoccupied with is building that supramental consciousness So IT becomes the being. It's that consciousness which must become the being. That's what's important…. And in order to do that, all the consciousness contained in these cells must aggregate, form and organize itself into an independent conscious entity—the consciousness in the cells must aggregate and form into a conscious entity capable of being conscious of Matter as well as conscious of the Supramental. That's the thing. That's what is being done. [84]


… it is a cellular will, and a cellular endurance too—which is quite intriguing. It's not a central will and central endurance (that's something else altogether)—it's cellular. That's why Sri Aurobindo used to tell me this body had been specially prepared and chosen for the Work—because of its capacity for obstinate endurance and will. But that's no reason to exercise this ability uselessly! So I am making sure it relaxes now; I tell it constantly, "Now, now! Just let go! Relax, have some fun, where's the harm in it?" I have to tell it to be quiet, very quiet. And it's very surprised to hear that: "Ah! Can I live that way? I don't have to hurry? I can live that way?" [85]


After perfect stillness, there is the movement of inner aspiration (I am always referring to the aspiration of the cells—I am using words to describe something wordless, but there is no other way to express oneself), the surrender, that is to say, the SPONTANEOUS AND TOTAL acceptance of the supreme Will (which is unknown to us). Does the total Will want things to go this way or that way, that is, towards the disintegration of certain elements or towards...? And then again, there are endless nuances: there is the passage from one height to another (I am speaking of cellular realizations, of course, don't forget that), I mean that you have a certain inner equilibrium, an equilibrium of movement, of life, and it's understood that in order to go from one movement to a higher movement, there is almost always a descent, then a new ascent—there is a transition. So does the shock received impel you to go down in order to climb up again, or does it impel you do go down in order to abandon old movements? Because there are cellular ways of being that have to disappear in order to give way to others; there are others that climb down in order to climb up again with a higher harmony and organization. This is the second point. And you should wait and see WITHOUT POSTULATING IN ADVANCE what has to be. There is especially, of course, the desire: the desire to be comfortable, the desire to be in peace and all that—that must cease absolutely and disappear. You must be absolutely without any reaction, like this ("gesture of immobile offering Upward, palms open"). And then, when you are like that ("you," meaning the cells), after a while the perception comes of the category the movement belongs to, and you just have to follow the perception, whether it is that something must disappear and be replaced by something else (which one doesn't know yet), or whether it is that something must be transformed.[86]


Above, beginning with the center between the eyebrows, the work has been done for a long time. There it is blank. For ages upon ages upon ages, the union with the Supreme has been realized and is constant.

Below this center is the body. And this body has indeed the concrete sensation of the Divine in each of its cells; but it needs to become universalized. That's the work to be done, center by center. I understand now what Sri Aurobindo meant when he repeatedly insisted, 'Widen yourself.' All this must be universalized; it is the condition, the basis, for the Supramental to descend into the body.

According to the ancient traditions, this universalization of the physical body was considered the supreme realization, but it is only a foundation, the base upon which the Supramental can come down without breaking everything. [87]


But when it comes to including Matter in the work, Matter as it is in this world, where the very starting-point itself is wrong—we start from Inconscience and Ignorance—then it is very difficult. Because, in fact, so that this Matter could reach the individualisation needed to recover the lost Consciousness, it was made with a certain fixity indispensable to make forms last and precisely to maintain this possibility of individuality. And that is the chief obstacle to the widening, the plasticity, the suppleness needed to be able to receive the supermind. I am constantly faced with this problem, which is a very concrete, absolutely material one, when one is dealing with these cells which must remain cells and not evaporate into a reality which is no longer physical. And at the same time, they must have this suppleness, this lack of fixity which enables them to widen indefinitely. [Based on Aphorism 69 - Sin and virtue are a game of resistance we play with God in His efforts to draw us towards perfection. The sense of virtue helps us to cherish our sins in secret.] [88]


This is one of the things I’ve learned lately by experience—universalisation, the contact with everything (horizontal gesture)—and it has been shown to the body in such a precise way, in the detail of the vibration…. In the state of receptivity (vertical gesture to the Heights), of receptive passivity (the opposite of action, that is), the body must be turned exclusively to the Supreme (same vertical gesture): the body and the cells have been taught that, and they’ve understood—they’ve understood and are now used to it. In the state of action (horizontal gesture), when you are one with (well, let’s limit the problem to the earth), one with the whole earth, there must be an ACTIVE radiating vibration of the supreme Force. Receptivity like this (vertical gesture that receives the Force), and activity like this (horizontal gesture that spreads the Force out). And the cells have felt, they’ve understood, they can do it. And the relationship with everything around you, down to the smallest detail, is something so wonderful, with an influence radiating farther and farther away.

When you realize those two attitudes simultaneously, the contagion is abolished: the mental contagion (the one Sri Aurobindo refers to here, the one you get when you “admire” something), the mental contagion, the vital contagion, and EVEN THE PHYSICAL CONTAGION—when the cells realize that, you stop catching illnesses. Because formerly (for a long time), whenever something occurred in the sphere of influence of the action, there used to be a repercussion (in Mother). For a very long time, it was dangerous. Then it became reduced to a sense of unease which would become conscious, and conscious of the why—the why and the how. It was reduced to a state of unease, but it was still … tiresome. And now it’s a kind of … I can’t say “knowledge,” because it’s not mental, but an awareness (there’s no word for it in French), a perception—and nothing more, it doesn’t have any action (that is, any repercussion in Mother’s body). So then, the whole problem lies there: There are those who found this, the vertical ascent to the heights, and who isolated themselves from the world (they weren’t able to do that completely because they didn’t have the knowledge, but they tried). That’s not the solution. Then there are those who want to help, the generous ones who are like this (gesture of horizontal expansion), and who catch everything, even the mental illnesses of all the people around them. The truth is the two together: this, the passive, receptive state (vertical gesture), and that, the active state of action and radiating influence (horizontal gesture). And the body has become wholly conscious of the dual movement and is working to realize it in detail. [89]


There is an increasingly concrete perception that everything—that there is nothing that doesn't hold its own joy of being, because that's THE way of being: without joy of being, there is no being. But it's not what we mentally understand by "joy of being." It's... something which is hard to express. And this perception of suffering and joy (almost of evil and good), all of that is necessities of the work to enable it to be done in a certain field of unconsciousness. Because true consciousness is something entirely, totally different. That's what the consciousness of the cells is now learning, and learning through a concrete experience; and all those appreciations of what is good and what is evil, of what is suffering and what is joy, all that seems misty. But the "thing"—the Truth—the concrete thing still hasn't been caught. It's on the way, one feels it's on the way, but it's not there yet. If one had it... one would be the all-powerful master. And possibly one cannot have it until the world in its totality, or to a sufficient extent, is ready for the transformation. [90]


The ordinary idea that this phenomenon must necessarily occur first in the body where the Consciousness is expressed more constantly, seems absolutely useless and subordinate; on the contrary, it occurs everywhere at the same time, wherever it can do so most easily and completely, and it is not necessarily this agglomerate of cells ("Mother points to her own body") that is most prepared for this operation. Therefore it may remain as it is in its appearance for a very long time, even if its understanding and receptivity are exceptional. I mean that the awareness, the conscious perception of this body is infinitely superior to the awareness of all the others with which it is in contact, except at those moments—the moments—when other bodies, as if by Grace, have this perception; whereas for this body, it is a natural and constant state. It is the effective result of the fact that this Truth-Consciousness is more constantly concentrated on this group of cells than on any other—more directly. But the substitution of one vibration for the other—in circumstances, in action, in objects—occurs at the point where it can have the most striking and effectual results.

It is something I have felt very, very clearly and which one cannot feel so long as the physical ego is there, because the physical ego has the sense of its own importance and that disappears entirely with the physical ego. And when it disappears one has the precise perception that the intervention or the manifestation of the true vibration does not depend on egos or individualities—human or national individualities or even those of Nature: animals, plants, etc. It depends on a certain play of the cells and Matter in which some agglomerates are particularly favourable to the transformation—not “transformation”, but substitution, to be precise: the substitution of the vibration of Truth for the vibration of Falsehood. And this phenomenon can be quite independent of any groupings or individualities—it may be one piece here, one piece there, one thing here, one thing there—and it always corresponds to a certain quality of vibration that brings about an expansion—a receptive expansion. Then the phenomenon can take place.

[Based on Aphorism 101-102 101—In God's sight there is no near or distant, no present, past or future. These things are only a convenient perspective for His world-picture. 102—To the senses it is always true that the sun moves round the earth; this is false to the reason. To the reason it is always true that the earth moves round the sun; this is false to the supreme vision. Neither earth moves nor sun; there is only a change in the relation of sun-consciousness and earth-consciousness.] [91]

~'s a question of proportion between the amount, the sum of the vibrations that belong to the Supreme, and the sum of the vibrations that still belong to darkness. Depending on the proportion, the poisoning appears as something concrete, real, or else as something that can be eliminated, in other words, that doesn't resist the influence of the Vibration of Truth. ..and the unfavorable elements, or between the favorable and the unfavorable vibrations? And I saw very clearly: the proportion varies according to the amount of cells in the body that are under the direct Influence, that respond to the supreme Vibration alone, and the amount of other cells that still belong to the ordinary way of vibrating. It was very clear, because I could see all the possibilities, from the ordinary mass [of cells], which is completely upset by that intrusion and where you have to fight with all the ordinary methods to get rid of the undesirable element, to the totality of the cellular response to the supreme Force, which renders the intrusion perfectly innocuous.... But this is still a dream for tomorrow—we're on the way. But the proportion has become rather favorable. [92]


I quite understand a progressive change and that this substance could be made into something capable of renewing itself eternally from within outward. That would be immortality. But it seems to me that between what is now, what we are, and that other mode of life, a lot of stages might be necessary. You see, if for instance you ask these cells, with all the consciousness and experience they now have, "Is there something you cannot do?", in their sincerity they will answer, "No, what the Lord wills, I can do." That's their state of consciousness. But the appearance is otherwise. The personal experience is like this: all that I do with the Lord’s Presence, I do effortlessly, without difficulty, without fatigue, without wear and tear, like that (Mother spreads out her arms in a great, harmonious Rhythm),but it's still open to the whole influence from outside and the body is forced to do things that aren't directly the expression of the supreme Impulsion, hence the fatigue, the friction.... So a supramental body suspended in a world that's not the earth is not the thing! [93]


I don’t know if I can make myself understood, but it is something I have felt very, very clearly, and which one cannot feel as long as the physical ego is there, because the physical ego has the sense of its own importance, and that disappears entirely with the physical ego. When it disappears, one has a clear perception that the intervention or manifestation of the true Vibration doesn't depend on egos or individualities (human or national individualities, or even individualities of Nature: animals, plants and so on), it depends on a certain play of the cells and Matter in which there are aggregates particularly favorable for the transformation to occur—not "transformation": the substitution, to be precise, the substitution of the Vibration of Truth for the vibration of Falsehood. And the phenomenon may be very independent of groupings and individualities (it may happen in one part here, another part there, one thing here, another thing there); and it always corresponds to a certain quality of vibration that causes a sort of swelling—a receptive swelling—and then, the thing can occur. [94]


...“transfer of power”: it is the old power that withdraws. But then, until the body adapts to the new power, there is a period which is, well, critical. As all the cells are in a state of conscious aspiration, it’s going relatively fast, but still… the minutes are long.

But there is increasingly a sort of certitude in the cells that everything that happens is with a view to this transformation and this transfer of the directing power. And at the very moment when things are materially painful (not even physically: materially painful), the cells keep that certitude. And so they withstand, they endure the suffering without being depressed or affected in the least, with that certitude that it is to prepare for the transformation, that it is even the process of transformation and of the transfer of the directing power. [95]

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