Editor’s note: In this conversation with the children, the Mother explains so simply and clearly that every moment is an opportunity to make new progress. And the only reason we ever feel bored is because we fail to make use of that opportunity to learn something new. For the ease of online readability, we have added a few headings to organise the long passage.

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To Be as Perfect an Instrument as Possible

If you said to yourself, my children, “We want to be as perfect instruments as possible to express the divine Will in the world”, then for this instrument to be perfect, it must be cultivated, educated, trained. It must not be left like a shapeless piece of stone.

When you want to build with a stone you chisel it; when you want to make a formless block into a beautiful diamond, you chisel it. Well, it is the same thing. When with your brain and body you want to make a beautiful instrument for the Divine, you must cultivate it, sharpen it, refine it, complete what is missing, perfect what is there.



For example, you go to your class. If you are not in a very good mood, you say, “Oh, how tedious it is going to be!” Supposing it is a professor who does not know how to entertain you (one can be a very good professor without knowing how to amuse you, for it is not always easy. . . there are days when one does not like to be amusing), one would like to be somewhere else rather than at the school.

Still, you go to your class, in that way, you go because you have to go, for if you go about according to your whims, you will never have control over yourself, it will be your whims that will control you, it won’t be you who will control yourself. You go to your class.

Every Minute Can be an Opportunity for Progress

But then, on your way there, instead of saying, “Oh, how bored I am going to be, oh, dear! it is not going to be at all interesting”, etc., if you say,

“There is not a minute in life, there is not a circumstance in one’s existence that cannot bring an opportunity for progress; what then is the progress that I am going to make today? . . .

“I offer all my little person to the Divine. I want it to be a good instrument for Him to express Himself, that I may be ready one day for the transformation. What am I going to do today?

“I am going to that class, it is a subject that does not enthuse me; but if I do not know how to take interest in this work, it is perhaps because there is something lacking in me, because somewhere in my brain some cells are missing.

“But then, if that is so, I am going to try to find out; I am going to listen properly, concentrate properly and above all drive away from my mind this kind of frivolity, this outward levity which makes me feel bored when there’s something I do not grasp.

“Why do I get bored?. . . Because I do not progress.”

When We Do Not Progress, We Get Bored

When one does not progress, one gets bored—old and young, everybody—because we are here upon earth to progress. If we do not progress every minute, well, it is indeed boring, monotonous; it is not always pleasant, it is far from being fine. “So I am going to find out today what progress I can make in this class; there is something I do not know and which I can learn.”

If you want to learn, you can learn at every moment. As for me I have learnt even by listening to little children’s chatter. Every moment something may happen; someone may say a word to you, even an idiot may say a word that opens you to something enabling you to make some progress.

And then, if you knew, how life becomes interesting! You can no longer get bored, that is gone, everything is interesting, everything is wonderful—because every minute you can learn, at each step make progress.



For example, when you are in the street, instead of being simply there and not knowing what you are doing, if you look around, if you observe. . . indeed, it is not always pleasant to be in the street, but if you begin to observe and to see how this person walks, how that one moves, how this light plays upon that object, how this little bit of a tree there suddenly makes the landscape pretty, how hundreds of things shine. . . then every minute you can learn something.

Learning from a Woman’s Walk: The Mother’s Experience

Not only can you learn, but I remember to have once had—I was just walking in the street—to have had a kind of illumination, because there was a woman walking in front of me and truly she knew how to walk. How lovely it was! Her movement was magnificent!

I saw that and suddenly I saw the whole origin of Greek culture, how all these forms descend towards the world to express Beauty—simply because here was a woman who knew how to walk!

Earth, a Field for Progress

You understand, this is how all things become interesting. And so, instead of going to the class and doing stupid things there. . . if you could go to the class in order to make progress, every day a new little progress—even if it be the understanding why your professor bores you—it would be wonderful, for all of a sudden he will no longer be boring to you, all of a sudden you will discover that he is very interesting! It is like that.

If you look at life in this way, life becomes something wonderful. That is the only way of making it interesting, because life upon earth is made to be a field for progress and if we progress to the maximum we draw the maximum benefit from our life upon earth. And then one feels happy. When one does the best one can, one is happy.



Boredom Indicates Not Being in a State of Progress

Disciple: When one is bored, Mother, does that mean one does not progress?

At that time, yes, certainly without a doubt; not only does one not progress, but one misses an opportunity for progressing.

There was a concurrence of circumstances which seemed to you dull, boring, stupid and you were in their midst; well, if you get bored, it means that you yourself are as boring as the circumstances! And that is a clear proof that you are simply not in a state of progress.

There is nothing more contrary to the very reason of existence than this passing wave of boredom.

If you make a little effort within yourself at that time, if you tell yourself: “Wait a bit, what is it that I should learn? What does all that bring to me so that I may learn something? What progress should I make in overcoming myself? What is the weakness that I must overcome? What is the inertia that I must conquer?” If you say that to yourself, you will see the next minute you are no longer bored. You will immediately get interested and you will make progress! This is a commonplace of consciousness.



Refuse to Slide Down When Bored

And then, you know, most people when they get bored, instead of trying to rise a step higher, descend a step lower, they become still worse than what they were, and they do all the stupid things that others do, go in for all the vulgarities, all the meannesses, everything, in order to amuse themselves. They get intoxicated, take poison, ruin their health, ruin their brain, they utter crudities. They do all that because they are bored.

Well, if instead of going down, one had risen up, one would have profited by the circumstances. Instead of profiting, one falls a little lower yet than where one was.

~ CWM, Vol. 5, pp. 47-50

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Renaissance with its focus on Indian Culture and Integral Yoga features inspiring content in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s vision for India and her role in the future of humanity. It aims to highlight that the eternal spirit and creative genius of India must express itself in new forms in various domains – spiritual, artistic, literary, philosophic, scientific, aesthetic.

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