(Mother takes flowers) I'll put them in water.... Flowers are the beauty of life.
And there is a progress.
At the end of the physical demonstration[[Every year on December 2, all the children of the School and all the disciples taking part in sports carry out a general demonstration of physical culture. ]] [on December 2], all the children will pray in chorus, and the prayer has been written by me. I will read it to you.
But I hadn't thought about it: they asked me for it, and I wrote it.
They must have read the Bulletin, and then they asked me for a prayer - a prayer that would really be the body's. I answered:
THE PRAYER OF THE CELLS IN THE BODY
Now that by the effect of the Grace we are slowly emerging out of inconscience and waking up to a conscious life, an ardent prayer rises in us for more light, more consciousness:
"O Supreme Lord of the Universe, we implore Thee, give us the strength and the beauty, the harmonious perfection needed to be Thy divine instruments upon earth."
It's almost a proclamation.
There. So we'll put it into French.
They will say it after their demonstration; it seems they are going to show the whole evolution of physical culture, and then, at the end, they will say, "We have not reached the end, we are at the beginning of something, and here is our prayer."
I was very glad.
You said there is a progress?
A progress! It's a tremendous progress! The thought had never occurred to them, never; taken as a whole, they had never thought of the transformation: their thought was to become the best athletes in the world and all the usual nonsense.
The body, you see, they've asked for a prayer of the BODY. They have finally understood that the body must begin to transform itself into something else. Previously, they were all full of the whole history of physical culture in every country, in which country it's most developed, the use of the body as it is, and ... and so on. Anyway, it was the Olympic ideal. Now, they have leaped beyond: that is the past, now they want the transformation.
You understand, people were asking to be divine in their mind and vital - that is, the whole ancient history of spirituality, the same old theme for centuries - but now, it's the BODY. It's the body that asks to participate. It's certainly a progress.
Yes, but one can see how in the mind the aspiration sustains itself, how it lives by itself. In the heart too, one can see how the aspiration lives. But in the body? How can one awaken that aspiration in the body?
But good God! it's fully awakened! It's been for months in me! So it means they've felt it, they are feeling it.
How it's done? - It's being done.
But how can one in oneself ...
No, no, no. If it has been done in one body, it can be done in all bodies.
Yes, but I ask how.... Yes, how?
Well, that's what I have been trying to explain for months.
It's, first of all, awakening the consciousness in the cells....
Yes, but once it's done it's done: the consciousness keeps awakening more and more, the cells live consciously, aspire consciously. I have been trying to explain it, good Lord, for months! For months I have been trying to explain it. And so, that's just what pleased me: it's that they have at least understood the possibility of it.
The same consciousness which was the vital's and the mind's monopoly has become corporeal: the consciousness acts in the body's cells.
The body's cells grow into something conscious, entirely conscious.
A consciousness which is independent, absolutely independent of the vital consciousness or the mental consciousness: it's a corporeal consciousness.
And this physical mind, which Sri Aurobindo said was an impossibility and something going round in circles which would do so forever, without consciousness, precisely, like a sort of machine, this physical mind has been converted, it has fallen silent, and in silence it has received inspiration from the Consciousness. And it has started praying again: the same prayers that were earlier in the mind.
I quite understand all that can take place in you, but...
But since it's taking place in one body, it can take place in all bodies! I am not made of anything different from others. The difference is the consciousness, that's all. It's made of exactly the same thing, with the same elements, I eat the same things, and it was made in just the same way.
And it was as dull, as dark, as unconscious, as stubborn as all other bodies in the world.
It began when the doctors declared I was seriously ill, that was the beginning.[[The turning point of March 16, 1962, culminating on April 13, 1962: the great pulsations. ]] Because the entire body was emptied of its habits and forces, and then, slowly, slowly, the cells woke up to a new receptivity and opened directly to the divine Influence.
Every cell is vibrating.
Otherwise, it would be hopeless! If this matter, which began as ... Even a stone is already an organization; it was certainly worse than a stone: the inert, absolute Inconscient. Then, little by little, little by little, it awakens. One can see it, you know, one sees it: one just has to open one's eyes to see it. Well, the same thing is now taking place: for the animal to become a man, it didn't take anything else than the infusion of a consciousness - a mental consciousness - and now, it's the awakening of that consciousness which was there, deep down, in the very depths. The mind has withdrawn, the vital has withdrawn, everything has withdrawn; when I was supposedly ill, the mind had gone away, the vital had gone away, and the body was left to itself - purposely. And that's why, it's precisely because the vital and mind had gone that it looked like a very serious illness. And then, in the body left to itself, the cells little by little started awakening to the consciousness (gesture of a rising aspiration); once those two had gone, the consciousness which had been infused into the body THROUGH the vital (from the mind to the vital and from the vital to the body) started slowly, slowly emerging. It began with that burst of Love from all the way up, from the extreme, supreme altitude; then, little by little, little by little, it came down to the body. Then that sort of physical mind, that is, something totally and completely idiotic going round and round in circles, forever repeating the same thing over and over again, cleared up little by little and grew conscious, organized, then fell silent. And then in that silence, the aspiration expressed itself in prayers.
It's a denial of all the spiritual assertions of the past: "If you want to live fully conscious of the divine life, leave your body - the body cannot follow." Well, Sri Aurobindo came and said, "Not only can the body follow, but it can be the base that will manifest the Divine."
The work remains to be done.
But now there is a certitude. The result is still very far - very far ahead, there is much to do before the crust, the outermost surface experience as it is, can manifest what takes place within (not "within" in the spiritual depths: within in the body). For it to be able to manifest what is within ... That will come last, which is very good because if it came earlier, we would neglect the work; we would be so happy that we'd forget to complete the work. Everything must have been done within, everything must be fully and thoroughly changed, then the outside will express it.
But it's all ONE SINGLE substance, the very same everywhere, which was unconscious everywhere; and so, the remarkable thing is that things are taking place AUTOMATICALLY (gesture of points scattered throughout the world), quite unexpected things here and there, even in people who don't know anything.
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 - it will be ... anything, I don't know what those beings will be called.
What will be their mode of expression? How will they make themselves understood and so on?... In man, it developed very slowly. Only, mind has done a lot of kneading and, after all, has made things move faster.
How will we get there?... There will certainly be stages in the manifestation with, perhaps, a specimen that will come and say, "Here is how it is." (Mother looks in front of her) One can see that.
Only, when man emerged from the animal, there was no way to record - to note and record the process; now it's quite different, so it will be more interesting.
But even at this moment in time, the vast majority - the vast majority - of human intellectuality is perfectly satisfied being busy with itself, satisfied with its little progress like this (Mother draws a microscopic circle). It doesn't even, doesn't even have a desire for something else!
Which means the advent of the superhuman being may well ... it may very well go unnoticed, or not be understood. We can't say, because there is no analogy; it's obvious that if one of the apes, the large apes, had met the first man, he would just have felt there was a somewhat ... strange being, that's all. But now it's different because man thinks, reasons....
But anything higher than him man has been used to thinking of as ... divine beings; that is to say, bodiless beings, appearing in the light, anyway all the gods in human conception - but it's not that at all!
Shall we translate this?
(Mother translates into French
the "prayer of the cells in the body"
Aren't you convinced?
Why don't you try?
But I do! That's why I asked you the question. I am not doubting anything. I asked you how it's done, that's what I don't see.... For instance, I shave every morning. Well, in the morning you are dazed, tired, the mind doesn't work, the vital doesn't work....
Yes, it's an excellent opportunity.
Well, yes, so that's what I do! But I tell you, I just don't see, I don't. I don't know how it can be stirred - it doesn't stir.... It doesn't stir unless I apply the mind or the vital or the heart.
It's not that I doubt! I say that my body is a donkey, quite possibly, but I don't doubt.
It's not a donkey, poor thing! (Mother laughs)
Doubt there isn't. But there is a question on the "how," that's what I don't know.
That problem never arose for me, because ... When you do music or when you do painting, you very clearly notice how the consciousness permeates the cells and those cells become conscious. This experience, for instance: there are objects in a box, and you say to your hand, "Take twelve of them." The hand goes like that, without your bothering about it, and it finds the twelve (without counting, just like that), it takes the twelve and gives them to you. That's an experience I had long ago; when I was twenty I began with experiences of that kind. So I know, I knew how the consciousness works. You understand, it's impossible to learn the piano or painting without the consciousness coming into the hands, and the hands become conscious INDEPENDENTLY of the brain - the brain may be busy elsewhere, it doesn't matter in the least. Besides, that's what happens in those people who are called "sleepwalkers": they have a consciousness belonging to their body, which makes them move about and do things quite independently of the mind and the vital.
I mean that when I am shaving in front of the mirror, if within myself I don't apply the mantra or an aspiration from the heart, well, it's an inert chunk shaving, and in addition the physical mind keeps running. But if I apply a mantra or a mental will ...
No! It's THE BODY that ends up saying the mantra spontaneously! So spontaneously that even if you happen to be thinking of something else, your body will be saying the mantra. Don't you have that experience?
And it's the body that aspires, the body that says the mantra, the body that wants the light, the body that wants the consciousness - you yourself may be thinking of something else, Tom, Dick or Harry or a book or anything, it doesn't matter.
But now I understand, I understand very well! In the beginning I didn't, I thought I had been made supposedly very ill in order to stop the life I led downstairs[[ Since the "illness" of 1962, Mother has not left her rooms upstairs. ]] - the life I now lead is far more busy than the one I led downstairs, so ... I wondered why, whether it was a transitional phase. But now I understand: cut off - I would keep fainting. What made the doctor declare that I was ill is that I couldn't take a step without fainting: if I wanted to walk from here to there, poff! I would faint on the way; I had to be held up so my body wouldn't drop to the ground. So the doctor's decision: to bed and no moving. But as for me, not for one minute did I lose consciousness! I would faint but remain conscious, I would see my body and know I had fainted; I didn't lose consciousness, the body didn't lose consciousness. So now I understand! The body was cut off from the vital and the mind and left to its own means; and then little by little, little by little ...
I remember, for instance, all that the doctors do: they give you vitamins, this and that. All right. So as soon as I had taken those vitamins, I saw that sort of physical mind start stirring and stirring and stirring: "Vitamins," I said, "I don't want them, they cause excitement in the brain." Then they changed and gave me something some other time, and that was good. And all that, all of it was simply THE BODY: all that it knew, all the experiences it had had, all the mastery from all the parts of the being, from the vital to the mind and above, all of that was gone! And this poor body was left to itself. Then, naturally, little by little something was rebuilt. For a long time I remained unable ... unable to do hardly anything (a little something, but hardly anything), but little by little it all was rebuilt, increasingly rebuilt: a conscious, purely conscious being - which is now chattering away! (It was unable to express itself.)
Yes, I understand. I understand. Well, perhaps that is what Sri Aurobindo meant when he said, "Your body is at present the only one on earth that can do this work." I thought it was a kindness on his part.... But it's true that it was cut off, I knew it - I saw it - cut off, the states of being were sent away: "Go away, all of you are not wanted anymore." Then the body had to rebuild a life for itself. And instead of having to go through all those states of being as it did before, through successive awakenings (gesture of ascent from degree to degree, in the way of the yogis of old), up to the highest height, the highest height beyond the form, now it's no longer that at all, the body no longer needs anything of all that, it simply has ... (gesture of a rising aspiration opening out like a flower). Something within opened and developed, which caused that idiotic mind to become organized and capable of falling silent in an aspiration. And then ... then there was the direct Contact, without intermediaries - the direct contact. That it now has constantly. Constantly, every single moment, the direct contact. And it's THE BODY: it doesn't go through all kinds of things and states of being, not at all, it's direct.
But once that has been done (this is something Sri Aurobindo had said), once ONE body has done it, it has the capacity of passing it on to others; and I tell you, there is now (I am not saying in its totality and in detail, probably not), but here and there (scattered gesture to show various points on earth) people suddenly get one experience or another. Some of them (most) get frightened, so naturally it goes away - that is because they weren't prepared enough within (if it's not the little routine of every minute, ever the same, they get frightened), and once they get frightened it's over, it means they will need years of preparation for the experience to recur. But still, some don't; suddenly, an experience: "Ah!" something wholly new, wholly unexpected, which they had never thought of.
It's contagious. That I know. And it's the only hope, because if everyone had to go through the same experience again ... Well, I am ninety now - at the age of ninety people are tired, they've had enough of life. To do this work one must feel as young as a small child.
It takes a long time, I clearly see that it has taken a long time.
And it isn't done, of course, it's BEING done - it isn't done, far from it. Far from it ... What's the proportion of conscious cells? We don't know.
From time to time, some cells scold others, that's very funny! They scold them, they catch hold of them, say a thing or two (in their own way) to those which want ... (Mother draws a tiny circle) to go on with the old habits: digestion has to be done in a certain way, absorption has to be done in a certain way, circulation has to be done in a certain way, breathing has to ... all the functions have to be done according to Nature's method. And when it isn't like that, they are worried. Then those which know catch hold of them and give them a good bombardment of the Lord, it's very funny!
There is something that translates into words (it's wordless, but something in there translates into words), and so there are conversations between the cells (Mother laughs): "You fool, what are you afraid of? Don't you see it's the Lord doing this to transform you?" Then the other: "Ah! ..." And then it falls quiet, opens out, and waits. And ... the pain goes away, the disorder goes away, and then everything works out.
But if by some mischance the mind comes in, starts watching or judging, then everything stops and falls back into the old habit.
Basically, it's the vital, mental - and so on - ego, it's all of that which was - poff! - taken away.
It was a radical operation.
So now there is a sort of suppleness and plasticity. And all this is learning (it's very much in touch with everything [horizontal gesture]), it's learning to find its whole support, its whole strength, its whole knowledge, its whole light, its whole will, everything like that (vertical gesture, turned to the Supreme), exclusively like that, in an extraordinary plasticity.
And then - the splendor of the Presence.
So what should I do to you?
I don't know, an operation!
A radical operation (Mother laughs).
But tell me, when they put you to sleep to open your stomach, were you conscious? Nothing at all? Nothing?
(We publish here the second series of the "Prayers of the Consciousness of the Cells,"[[After the first series of 1951-1959, see Agenda 1, p. 335 ff. ]] as Mother gave them to Satprem in 1970, collected under this title.)
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