Editor’s note: We feature a conversation where the Mother addresses a few questions on a passage from one of her earlier conversations. She emphasises that peace is essential if one aspires to become receptive to the divine force, light and inspiration. She further adds that having a sense of peace and calm descending into oneself is one of the indications that one is ready for the spiritual path.
We also include another conversation in which the Mother gives a highly practical advice on how to keep one’s peace — step back. The editors have made a few formatting revisions without any alterations in the original text.
Needed an extremely solid basis of calmness, of equality of soul and inner peace
The Mother’s Words dated 14 April, 1929:
“Some persons ask: ‘Why has not the Divine come yet?’ Because you are not ready. If a little drop makes you sing and dance and scream, what would happen if the whole thing came down?– The Mother (CWM, Vol. 3, p. 11)
“Therefore do we say to people who have not a strong and firm and capacious basis in the body and the vital and the mind: ‘Do not pull’, meaning ‘Do not try to pull at the forces of the Divine, but wait in peace and calmness.’ For they would not be able to bear the descent. But to those who possess the necessary basis and foundation, we say, on the contrary, ‘Aspire and draw.’ For they would be able to receive and yet not be upset by the forces descending from the Divine.”
Question: Why does the divine force upset people?
The Mother: Because it is too strong for them. It is as though you were in the midst of a big cyclone. It happens at times that the wind is so violent that you are not able to stand—you have to lie down and wait till it blows over.
Now, the divine forces are a thousand times stronger than a cyclonic wind. If you do not have in you a very wide receptivity, an extremely solid basis of calmness, of equality of soul and inner peace, they come and carry you away like a gale and you cannot resist them.
It is the same thing with light; some people get a pain in the eyes when they look at the sun and are obliged to put on dark glasses because sunlight is too strong for them. But this is merely sunlight. When you are able to look at the supramental light, it appears to you so brilliant that sunlight seems like a black stain in comparison.
One must have strong eyes and a solid brain to bear that, one must be well prepared, established in something extremely calm and vast—it is as though one had such a strong basis of tranquillity that when the storm passes, when the light comes with a great intensity, one is able to remain immobile and receive what one can without being knocked over. But there is not one being in a million who can do it.
Only those who have had a foretaste of inner experience can know what this means.
But even if you enter consciously into the psychic, it is dazzling; and it is within your reach because it is your own psychic being, and yet it is so different from your external consciousness that the first time you enter it consciously, it seems to you truly dazzling, something infinitely more brilliant than the most brilliant sunlight.
The psychic is what may be called “the Divine within the reach of man”.
Sri Aurobindo on Peace, the First Foundation
Signs that one is ready for the path
Question: Are there any signs which indicate that one is ready for the path, especially if one has no spiritual teacher?
The Mother: Yes, the most important indication is a perfect equality of soul in all circumstances. It is an absolutely indispensable basis; something very quiet, calm, peaceful, the feeling of a great force. Not the quietness that comes from inertia but the sensation of a concentrated power which keeps you always steady, whatever happens, even in circumstances which may appear to you the most terrible in your life. That is the first sign.
A second sign: you feel completely imprisoned in your ordinary normal consciousness, as in something extremely hard, something suffocating and intolerable, as though you had to pierce a hole in a brass wall. And the torture becomes almost unbearable, it is stifling; there is an inner effort to break through and you cannot manage to break through. This also is one of the first signs.
It means that your inner consciousness has reached a point where its outer mould is much too small for it—the mould of ordinary life, of ordinary activities, ordinary relations, all that becomes so small, so petty; you feel within you a force to break all that.
There is yet another sign: when you concentrate and have an aspiration, you feel something coming down into you, you receive an answer; you feel a light, a peace, a force coming down; and almost immediately—you need not wait or spend a very long time—nothing but an inner aspiration, a call, and the answer comes. This also means that the relation has been well established.
– The Mother, CWM Vol. 4 , pp. 96-98
Step back and keep your peace
Most of you live on the surface of your being, exposed to the touch of external influences. You live almost projected, as it were, outside your own body, and when you meet some unpleasant being similarly projected you get upset. The whole trouble arises out of your not being accustomed to stepping back. You must always step back into yourself—learn to go deep within—step back and you will be safe.
Do not lend yourself to the superficial forces which move in the outside world. Even if you are in a hurry to do something, step back for a while and you will discover to your surprise how much sooner and with what greater success your work can be done.
If someone is angry with you, do not be caught in his vibrations but simply step back and his anger, finding no support or response, will vanish. Always keep your peace, resist all temptation to lose it. Never decide anything without stepping back, never speak a word without stepping back, never throw yourself into action without stepping back.
All that belongs to the ordinary world is impermanent and fugitive, so there is nothing in it worth getting upset about. What is lasting, eternal, immortal and infinite—that indeed is worth having, worth conquering, worth possessing. It is Divine Light, Divine Love, Divine Life—it is also Supreme Peace, Perfect Joy and All-Mastery upon earth with the Complete Manifestation as the crowning.
When you get the sense of the relativity of things, then whatever happens you can step back and look; you can remain quiet and call on the Divine Force and wait for an answer. Then you will know exactly what to do. Remember, therefore, that you cannot receive the answer before you are very peaceful. Practice that inner peace, make at least a small beginning and go on in your practice until it becomes a habit with you.
– The Mother, CWM Vol. 3, p. 160
~ Design: Raamkumar