Questions and Answers 1957 and 1958 (CWM Vol.9)

Questions and Answers 1957 and 1958

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 9

This volume contains the conversations of the Mother in 1957 and 1958 with the members of her Wednesday evening French class, held at the Ashram Playground. The class was composed of sadhaks of the Ashram and students of the Ashram’s school. The Mother usually began by reading out a passage from a French translation of one of Sri Aurobindo’s writings; she then commented on it or invited questions. For most of 1957 the Mother discussed the second part of Thoughts and Glimpses and the essays in The Supramental Manifestation upon Earth. From October 1957 to November 1958 she took up two of the final chapters of The Life Divine. These conversations comprise the last of the Mother’s “Wednesday classes”, which began in 1950.

The Mother’s French classes cover the eight-year period from 1950 to 1958. The Wednesday classes of 1950-51 and 1953-58 comprise the “Questions and Answers” talks. Between June 1951 and March 1953 these classes were replaced by “translation classes” in which the Mother translated into French several of Sri Aurobindo’s works, including The Ideal of Human Unity, The Human Cycle, part of The Synthesis of Yoga and the last six chapters of The Life Divine. During this period, she continued to speak informally with the students, but what she said was not tape-recorded.

Book Details

Author: The Mother

Print Length: 452 pages

Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Book format: PDF, ePub, Kindle

Language: English

Book Download


Questions and Answers 1957

2 January 1957:

  • Can one go out of time and space?;
  • Not a crucified but a glorified body;
  • Individual effort and the new force

9 January 1957:

  • God is essentially Delight;
  • God and Nature play at hide-and-seek;
  • Why, and when, are you grave?

16 January 1957:

  • Seeking something without knowing it;
  • Why are we here?

23 January 1957:

  • How should we understand pure delight?;
  • The “drop of honey”;
  • Action of the Divine Will in the world

30 January 1957:

  • Artistry is just contrast;
  • How to perceive the Divine Guidance?

6 February 1957:

  • Death; need of progress;
  • Changing Nature’s methods

7 February 1957:

  • Individual and collective meditation

13 February 1957:

  • Suffering; pain and pleasure;
  • Illness and its cure

20 February 1957:

  • Limitations of the body and individuality

6 March 1957:

  • Freedom, servitude and love

8 March 1957:

  • A Buddhist story

13 March 1957:

  • Our best friend

15 March 1957:

  • Reminiscences of Tlemcen

20 March 1957:

  • Never sit down; true repose

22 March 1957:

  • A story of initiation: knowledge and practice

27 March 1957:

  • If only humanity consented to be spiritualised

3 April 1957:

  • Different religions and spirituality

10 April 1957:

  • Sports and yoga;
  • Organising one’s life

17 April 1957:

  • Transformation of the body

24 April 1957:

  • Perfection: lower and higher

1 May 1957:

  • Sports competitions: their value

8 May 1957:

  • Vital excitement; reason; instinct

15 May 1957:

  • Differentiation of the sexes;
  • Transformation from above downwards

29 May 1957:

  • Progressive transformation

5 June 1957:

  • Questions and silence;
  • Methods of meditation

12 June 1957:

  • Fasting and spiritual progress

19 June 1957:

  • Causes of illness Fear and illness;
  • Mind’s working: faith and illness

26 June 1957:

  • Birth through direct transmutation;
  • Man and woman;
  • Judging others;
  • divine Presence in all;
  • New birth

3 July 1957:

  • Collective yoga: vision of a huge hotel

9 July 1957:

  • Incontinence of speech

10 July 1957:

  • A new world is born;
  • Overmind creation dissolved

17 July 1957:

  • Power of conscious will over matter

24 July 1957:

  • The involved supermind;
  • The new world and the old;
  • Will for progress indispensable

31 July 1957:

  • Awakening aspiration in the body

7 August 1957:

  • The resistances: politics and money;
  • Aspiration to realise the supramental life

14 August 1957:

  • Meditation on Sri Aurobindo

21 August 1957:

  • The Ashram and true communal life;
  • Level of consciousness in the Ashram

28 August 1957:

  • Freedom and Divine Will

4 September 1957:

  • Sri Aurobindo: “an eternal birth”

11 September 1957:

  • Vital chemistry: attraction and repulsion

18 September 1957:

  • Occultism and supramental life

25 September 1957:

  • Preparation of the intermediate being

2 October 1957:

  • The Mind of Light;
  • Statues of the Buddha;
  • Burden of the past

9 October 1957:

  • As many universes as individuals;
  • Passage to the higher hemisphere

16 October 1957:

  • Story of successive involutions

23 October 1957:

  • The central motive of terrestrial existence;
  • Evolution

30 October 1957:

  • Double movement of evolution;
  • Disappearance of a species

13 November 1957:

  • Superiority of man over animal;
  • Consciousness precedes form

27 November 1957:

  • Sri Aurobindo’s method in The Life Divine;
  • Individual and cosmic evolution

4 December 1957:

  • The method of The Life Divine;
  • Problem of emergence of a new species

11 December 1957:

  • Appearance of the first men

18 December 1957:

  • Modern science and illusion;
  • Value of experience: its transforming power;
  • Supramental power: first aspect to manifest

Questions and Answers 1958

1 January 1958:

  • The collaboration of material Nature;
  • Miracles visible to a deep vision of things;
  • Explanation of New Year Message

8 January 1958:

  • Sri Aurobindo’s method of exposition;
  • The mind as a public place;
  • Mental control;
  • Sri Aurobindo’s subtle hand

15 January 1958:

  • The only unshakable point of support

22 January 1958:

  • Intellectual theories;
  • Expressing a living and real Truth

29 January 1958:

  • The plan of the universe;
  • Self-awareness

5 February 1958:

  • The great voyage of the Supreme;
  • Freedom and determinism

12 February 1958:

  • Psychic progress from life to life;
  • The earth, the place of progress

19 February 1958:

  • Experience of the supramental boat;
  • The Censors;
  • Absurdity of artificial means

26 February 1958:

  • The moon and the stars;
  • Horoscopes and yoga

5 March 1958:

  • Vibrations and words;
  • Power of thought; the gift of tongues

12 March 1958:

  • The key of past transformations

19 March 1958:

  • General tension in humanity;
  • Peace and progress;
  • Perversion and vision of transformation

26 March 1958:

  • Mental anxiety and trust in spiritual power

2 April 1958:

  • Correcting a mistake

9 April 1958:

  • The eyes of the soul;
  • Perceiving the soul

16 April 1958:

  • The superman;
  • New realisation

23 April 1958:

  • Progress and bargaining

30 April 1958:

  • Mental constructions and experience

7 May 1958:

  • The secret of Nature

14 May 1958:

  • Intellectual activity and subtle knowing;
  • Understanding with the body

21 May 1958:

  • Mental honesty

28 May 1958:

  • The Avatar

4 June 1958:

  • New birth

11 June 1958:

  • Is there a spiritual being in everybody?

18 June 1958:

  • Philosophy, religion, occultism, spirituality

25 June 1958:

  • Sadhana in the body

9 July 1958:

  • Faith and personal effort

16 July 1958:

  • Is religion a necessity?

23 July 1958:

  • How to develop intuition;
  • Concentration

30 July 1958:

  • The planchette;
  • automatic writing;
  • “Proofs” and knowledge

6 August 1958:

  • Collective prayer;
  • the ideal collectivity

13 August 1958:

  • Profit by staying in the Ashram;
  • What Sri Aurobindo has come to tell us;
  • Finding the Divine

15 August 1958:

  • Our relation with the Gods

27 August 1958:

  • Meditation and imagination;
  • From thought to idea, from idea to principle

3 September 1958:

  • How to discipline the imagination;
  • Mental formations

10 September 1958:

  • Magic, occultism, physical science

17 September 1958:

  • Power of formulating experience;
  • Usefulness of mental development

24 September 1958:

  • Living the truth;
  • Words and experience

1 October 1958:

  • The ideal of moral perfection

8 October 1958:

  • Stages between man and superman

22 October 1958:

  • Spiritual life;
  • reversal of consciousness;
  • Helping others

29 October 1958:

  • Mental self-sufficiency;
  • Grace

5 November 1958:

  • Knowing how to be silent

12 November 1958:

  • The aim of the Supreme;
  • Trust in the Grace

26 November 1958:

  • The role of the Spirit;
  • New birth

Book Sample

Questions and Answers 1957 and 1958

2 January 1957

Sweet Mother, can one go out of Time and Space?

If one goes out of the manifestation.

It is the fact of objectivisation, of manifestation which has created time and space. To go out of it one must return to the origin, that is, go out of the manifestation. Otherwise from the very first objectivisation time and space were created.

There is a feeling or a perception or an experience of eternity and infinity in which one has the impression of going out of time and space…. It is only an impression.

One must pass beyond all forms, even the most subtle forms of consciousness, far beyond the forms of thought, the forms of consciousness, to be able to have this impression of being outside space and time. This is what generally happens to people who enter into samadhi — the true samadhi — and when they come back to their normal consciousness, they don’t remember anything, for, in fact, there was nothing they could remember. This is what Sri Aurobindo says here: If Brahman were only an impersonal abstraction, the one reasonable end would be annihilation. For it is obvious that if one goes out of time and space, all separate existence automatically ceases.

There, now. So one can, without much result!

Is that all? Have you tried to go out of time and space?

(The child shakes his head vigorously.)

Mother will you explain the New Year Message? What is the meaning of: “It is not a crucified but a glorified body that will save the world?”

I am going to tell you something, you will understand.

One day, I don’t know when exactly, I suddenly remembered that I had to give a message for the year. Usually these messages reveal what is going to happen during the year, and as I had nothing to say, for certain reasons, I asked myself, or rather I asked whether I might receive a clear indication of what was to be said. I asked exactly this: what was the best state in the world, and the thing which could help these people or this state of consciousness to draw a little closer to the truth?

What was the best state?

A few hours later I had a booklet in my hands which had come from America and had been published as a kind of account of a photographic exhibition entitled “The Family of Man”. There were quotations in this booklet and the reproduction of a number of photographs, classified according to the subject, and all for the purpose of trying to awaken the true sense of fraternity in men. The whole thing represented a sort of effort — immense, pathetic — to prevent a possible war. The quotations had been chosen by a woman-reporter who had come here and whom I had seen. And so, all this came expressing in a really touching way, the best human will which can manifest on earth at present, from the collective point of view. I am not saying that some individuals have not risen much higher and understand much better, but they are individual cases and not a collective attempt to do something for humanity. I was moved.

And then I came to the end of their booklet and to the remedy they in their ignorant goodwill suggested to prevent men from killing one another…. It was so poor, so weak, so ignorant, so ineffective, that I was truly moved and — I had a dream, that this exhibition would come here, to Pondicherry, that we could show it and add a concluding fascicule to their booklet in which the true remedy would be revealed to them. And all that took shape very concretely, with the kind of photographs which would be necessary, the quotations that should be put, and then, quite decisively, like something welling up from the depths of consciousness, came this sentence. I wrote it down, and as soon as it was written I said to myself: “Why, this is my message.” And it was decided it would be this. So there it is.

This means that it is just the thing which can make the goodwill of mankind, the best being expressed on earth today, progress. It has taken a rather special form because this goodwill came from a Christian country and naturally there was quite a special Christian influence, but this is an attitude which is found everywhere in the world, differently expressed according to the country and the religion, and it was as a reaction against the ignorance of this attitude that I wrote this. Naturally, there is the same idea in India, this idea of the complete renunciation of all physical reality, the profound contempt for the material world which is considered an illusion and a falsehood, that leaves, as Sri Aurobindo used to say, the field free to the sovereign sway of the adverse forces. If you escape from the concrete reality to seek a distant and abstract one, you leave the whole field of concrete realisation at the full disposal of the adverse forces — which have taken hold of it and more or less govern it now — in order to go away yourself to realise what Sri Aurobindo calls here a zero or a void unit — to become the sovereign of a nought. It is the return into Nirvana. This idea is everywhere in the world but expresses itself in different forms.

Because until now evil has been opposed by weakness, by a spiritual force without any power for transformation in the material world, this tremendous effort of goodwill has ended only in deplorable failure and left the world in the same state of misery and corruption and falsehood. It is on the same plane as the one where the adverse forces are ruling that one must have a greater power than theirs, a power which can conquer them totally in that very domain. To put it otherwise, a spiritual force which would be capable of transforming both the consciousness and the material world. This force is the supramental force. What is necessary is to be receptive to its action on the physical plane, and not to run away into a distant Nirvana leaving the enemy with full power over what one abandons.

It is neither sacrifice nor renunciation nor weakness which can bring the victory. It is only Delight, a delight which is strength, endurance, supreme courage. The delight brought by the supramental force. It is much more difficult than giving everything up and running away, it demands an infinitely greater heroism — but that is the only way to conquer.

i“A Power greater than that of Evil can alone win the Victory. It is not a crucified but a glorified body that will save the world.”

Cathegory “The Mother”


Discover More:

The Mother Mirra Alfassa
Sri Aurobindo Ashram