Things to keep in mind

Those who wish their relevant thoughts to be posted here may email them to auroleaks at gmail dot com. Before you post, though, bear a few things in mind:

From the viewpoint of outer discipline it is indispensable, when you have an opinion and express it, to remember that it is only an opinion, a way of seeing and feeling, and that other people’s opinions, and ways of seeing and feeling are as legitimate as your own, and that instead of opposing them you should total them up and try to find a more comprehensive synthesis. (Words of the Mother II, 2004, p. 200)

It is always better not to listen to talks especially on so-called spiritual matters. Each one must follow his own way and the others have nothing to do with it. (Words of the Mother II, 2004, p. 204)

You express your faith in Sri Aurobindo with certain words which are for you the best expression of this faith; this is quite all right. But if you are convinced that these very words are the only correct ones to express what Sri Aurobindo is, then you become dogmatic and are ready to create a religion. (Words of the Mother III, 2004, p. 27)

Man’s right is to pursue the Truth freely and to approach it freely in his own way. But each one ought to know that his discovery is good for him alone and is not to be imposed upon others. (Words of the Mother III, 2004, p. 30)

When thou hearest an opinion that displeases thee, study and find out the truth in it. — Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts and Aphorisms

If you sincerely want to live according to the Truth, you must know that you can learn from everything and that you have the possibility of making progress at every moment. A great stupidity can often reveal a great light to you, if you know how to see it. — The Mother’s comment on the above, CW 10, 299.

Each one should have his own way of thinking, feeling and reaction; why do you want others to do as you do and be like you? And even granting that your truth is greater than theirs— though this word means nothing at all, for, from a certain point of view all truths are true; they are all partial, but they are true because they are truths but the minute you want your truth to be greater than your neighbour’s, you begin to wander away from the truth.

This habit of wanting to compel others to think as you do, has always seemed very strange to me; this is what I call “the propagandist spirit”, and it goes very far. You can go one step further and want people to do what you do, feel as you feel, and then it becomes a frightful uniformity…. Anyway, I can assure you that there comes a time when one no longer feels any necessity at all, at all, of convincing others of the truth of what one thinks. (The Mother, Questions and Answers, 4 April 1956)

Q: “Thou must reach thy own summit,” says Sri Aurobindo [in his essay “The Divine Superman”]. Is the summit the same for everybody or does each one have his particular summit?

A: In the last analysis, it is always the same summit—the divine oneness which is behind all things—but everyone will reach his own summit, that is, through his own nature and own way of manifesting the divine unity. This is what we were saying the other day: each one represents a special way of having a relation with the Divine and manifesting the Divine. You don’t need to follow another’s path! You must follow your own path and it is by this path that you will reach the summit, which is one, but found by your own route. The goal is beyond the summits— the goal is one and beyond the summits—but one may attain this summit each by his own road, climbing his own mountain, not the mountain of another. (The Mother, Questions and Answers, 23 April 1951)

The reason cannot grasp all truth in its embrace because truth is too infinite for it; but still it does grasp the something of it which we immediately need, and its insufficiency does not detract from the value of its work, but is rather the measure of its value. For man is not intended to grasp the whole truth of his being at once, but to move towards it through a succession of experiences and a constant, though not by any means a perfectly continuous self-enlargement. The first business of reason then is to justify and enlighten to him his various experiences and to give him faith and conviction in holding on to his self-enlargings. It justifies to him now this, now that, the experience of the moment, the receding light of the past, the half-seen vision of the future. Its inconstancy, its divisibility against itself, its power of sustaining opposite views are the whole secret of its value. It would not do indeed for it to support too conflicting views in the same individual, except at moments of awakening and transition, but in the collective body of men and in the successions of Time that is its whole business. For so man moves towards the infinity of the Truth by the experience of its variety; so his reason helps him to build, change, destroy what he has built and prepare a new construction, in a word, to progress, grow, enlarge himself in his self-knowledge and world-knowledge and their works. — Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle, 122.

… everyone is claiming to be a “defender of the Truth.” … Someone wrote to me a first time, asking me to answer; I neglected to. So he wrote a second time to tell me, “What can we do if you don’t answer?” I answered (they’ll probably bite their tongues at my reply), I replied something like this:

“Truth is not a dogma that one can learn once and for all and impose as a rule. Truth is as infinite as the supreme Lord and It manifests every instant for those who are sincere and attentive.”

… The same day, that is, just today, I got another letter. … The whole letter ranted and raved about all that’s going on in the Ashram, saying, “What! This place is worse than the world!” and so forth. (All this in the name of “truth,” naturally.) So (laughing) I answered:

Were Truth to manifest in such a way as to be seen and understood by all, they would be terrified by the enormity of their ignorance and false interpretation.”

…The wonderful thing is that till now not one has told me, “Maybe my opinions aren’t true?” — not one! “Maybe my way of seeing or feeling isn’t true?” — not one. They are all in full Truth!

… The defenders of the truth are often worse than the enemies of the truth. … And above all, they want a truth expressed in a few very clear and well-defined words, so they can say, “This is true.” The old calamity of religions: “This is true” — therefore the rest is falsehood. … THEY are the possessors of the Truth — Falsehood is for others! … And even intelligent people (that’s the strange thing, because it’s so idiotic!), even people who, anyway, have a brain, who understand, fall into the trap.

Thanks to all this … I have had these last three days a vision – a concrete vision every second, showing how the supreme Consciousness (which I personally find convenient to call the “supreme Lord”), how EVERY SECOND it makes you do or say or see or know ex-act-ly what is needed for everything to move on like this (round gesture expressing the innumerably ramified movement of universal forces), to move forward.

… it’s a movement … that makes use of everything to lead towards the goal, even “errors” — which aren’t errors because when the Consciousness is there, the error isn’t one committed by ignorance: a thing is said or done because that’s what needs to be said or needs to be done — it may in appearance be even a blunder, yet it’s ex-act-ly what is needed for everything to move forward (same innumerable round gesture), move forward luminously towards the desired goal. It’s absolutely marvelous! And seen in tiny little details and in the whole. It’s this marvel of a Consciousness that makes everyone do what must be done, puts everything in its place, sorts out everything, and it’s our idiocy, an absolutely ignorant and stupid vision, that would have us believe in mistakes, in errors, in … Everyone is a problem to be resolved, so all those problems interpenetrate, and it is the WHOLE that must be led towards precisely this famous Truth (the true one). But I’ve spent, you know, hours in admiration — a blissful admiration — at this marvel of organization, with all the little things around you, all the little people around you, all the little circumstances. … It’s wonderful, wonderful!

And then, this overweening mind which understands nothing and asserts itself in its all-powerful knowledge, oh … it’s so comical!

It is the maximum use of all possibilities and all impossibilities, all capacities and all incapacities; a maximum use in a maximum power and a maximum Compassion, and also … a smile! A smile, a sense of humor, oh! … Such a benevolent irony, so full of compassion, so wonderful. … And this overweening mind, a fantastic phenomenon indeed: it spends its time judging what it doesn’t know and deciding on what it doesn’t see!

The Mother’s Agenda, March 22, 1967.