The Moon has inspired man in many ways. It seems to occupy an important place in folk lore, myths, art, poetry, mystic literature much before Science began its expeditions. On the 50th anniversary of the first man on the Moon we take up this subject touching upon some of its aspects, especially in view of man’s cosmic travels to the Moon and beyond.
Words of the Mother
But the Russians have sent spacecraft to Venus, they took four months to reach, and in those spacecraft were radio-like communication systems that send news, and a device to collect the soil and analyze it – all of it just machines. It reached Venus, and now they give the news every day: “Here is how it is on Venus.” (Mother laughs) They are rather amazing! The Americans were content with the moon – you reach the moon quite soon, in two months, I think, maybe less than that. But the Russians took four months to get to Venus and it arrived there, they got the news, it works with electrical devices.
Yes, but on the earth it doesn’t work!
On the earth!… A humorist wrote an article in which the Americans had reached the moon, and while they were looking around, they suddenly saw people walk up to them: “They’re Moonlings!” They couldn’t understand each other (they could speak to each other but couldn’t understand); but one of them spoke English and other languages, and so they found out that the Moonlings were Russians! That was very funny.
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(The American astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon on July 21. Mother shows the following text which was suggested to her as a “message” for August 15.)
It’s Nolini who suggested this text … because of the people who landed on the moon! (Mother laughs) But it’s far too personal – I said no. I am just showing it to you, but I told him, “No, I don’t want.”
Q: “I have been wondering whether the Mother has been able to establish a direct connection with Mars or any other far off planet which is probably habitable and inhabited.”
A: “A long time ago Mother was going everywhere in the subtle body but she found it of a very secondary interest. Our attention must be fixed on the earth because our work is here. Besides, the earth is a concentration of all the other worlds and one can touch them by touching something corresponding in the earth-atmosphere.”
He tells what I was doing, but I don’t like to be spoken of. They’re so excited about this moon! Have you heard?
Yes, but what’s so exciting about that?
To hear the voice of the gentleman on the moon …. You hear him as he speaks. I must say I find all that puerile. It’s childish.
But I also heard the radio …. I got a queer sensation: I went there in a trice, like that (gesture like an arrow darting from the forehead to the moon); when I heard, I went there in a trice because I was told there was a dangerous moment when they were to leave the moon to rejoin the other man who was going around [orbiting the moon] – it seems that was dangerous. I had just been told about it …. At first when I heard the voice, I didn’t understand anything he said (it was uninteresting, besides: he said he had picked up a stone, that there were mountains – things like that, quite uninteresting). Then, hop! I was sent off like that (same gesture to the forehead), and I actually FELT that I was going there (I found that amusing), like that, prrt! Off from here, direct.
They’re on their way back. But the Russians sent a robot in a machine that went round the moon, landed on it and picked up stones – and it was a robot! They said, “We’ll never risk a human life – a robot is good enough.”
But the children at the School here were in an extraordinary state of excitement …. So I was asked to say something to them. I said, “I’d better not say anything, because I would say it’s big children having fun!” (Mother laughs) It would have thrown cold water on them!
July 23, 1969
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(The disciple complains of his difficulties)
Difficulties are sent to us exclusively to make the realization more perfect.
Each time we try to realize something and we encounter a resistance or an obstacle, or even a failure – what appears to be a failure – we should know, we should never forget, that it is exclusively, absolutely, to make the realization more perfect.
So this habit of cringing, of being discouraged or even feeling ill at ease or abusing oneself, saying, ‘There, I’ve done it again …’ All this is absolute foolishness.
Rather, simply say, ‘We do not know how to do things as they should be done, well then, let them be done for us and come what may!’ If we could only see how everything that looks like a difficulty, an error, a failure or an obstacle is simply there to help us make the realization more perfect.
Once we know this, everything becomes easy.
* * *
These last few days, I saw the photos of those who went to the moon…. Have you seen them? Did you see how decked out they were?
Yes, I saw.
Ah … so they’ve become machines.
That’s right – robots.
Yes, and then (laughing), the Russians said, Why not send robots, it’s not worth sending men!… That’s the point.
* * *
I have come to understand that the Chinese are a lunar race – their origin is the moon. They came to earth when the moon got too cold and they could no longer exist there. This is something I saw at the beginning of the century and my impression was further intensified when I went to China. They are a lunar race. And they gave me the feeling of people who lack a psychic being: they are cold, ice-cold. But wonderfully intellectual!
I met another Chinese a few years ago, a man with a spiritual life. He came to meet me and talked for an hour about China. It made me understand China externally as if I had been born and lived my whole life there. I saw they were people who have attained the summit of the intellect, and who have a creative power – inventors. He told me, “No people in the world could understand Sri Aurobindo intellectually as well as the Chinese.” And it was luminously true. The highest intellectual comprehension, really at its peak.
It’s another story when it comes to doing yoga…. Although that must depend entirely on the individual. The Chinese don’t have the same spiritual intensity you find rooted in the Indian character – it’s something completely different. Here, spiritual life is real, concrete, tangible – totally real. For the Chinese it all happens at the top of the head.
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Cosmonautics – Nolini Kant Gupta
Modern science, modern applied science, has brought about and is bringing about more and more a big change in the earth atmosphere. It is not merely the dust and smoke, gases and fumes thrown out by the modern machineries from the earth into the sky that have been increasing ominously in volume, but the less patent vibrations that have been released by advanced scientific projects and experiments and that have been encircling the earth more and more in a tight embrace. A quiet and clean air was such a treasure for human beings; men have always longed for it as a necessity and also as a diversion, and it was so readily available. The saints and sages went up to mountain-tops and into deep forests and far away into open meadows for a full-breath draught of that heavenly element.
But now physically, materially, we know that the radiowaves and innumerable other cosmic waves have been constantly, ceaselessly hammering, churning the earth-atmosphere all around us. Human bodies are immersed in a real turmoil. They are bathed in a whirlwind constantly. The nerves and tissues are being shaken from within to their very roots throughout one’s life, day and night. There is no peace, no tranquillity upon earth; physical and material repose has altogether disappeared. The high hill-tops or mountain-sides do not help any more nor the ocean depths nor any African jungle nor even the Sahara desert.
The incidence of illness, of disequilibrium among human beings, is a pronounced phenomenon in modern age. Stability, steadiness, measure, all the qualities that made for a balanced sober life in the past are on the decline, have almost disappeared. Ill-health, malaise, imbalance, physical and mental, are reigning supreme. And the million doctors upon earth are finding it difficult to heal their patients or even themselves.
Is that the reason why man has now become so eager to quit earthly atmosphere and soar up into starry spaces? In any case, the human body is now, at least by way of experiment, being shifted to other atmospheres, other modes of living. The important, the most significant thing however is not so much the discovery of new regions of the universe but new dimensions of the human body itself. No doubt this is just the beginning, but there are indications, pointers towards unthinkable possibilities in the future. Men are now training themselves to be inhabitants not of earth only but of distant places. It is a demonstration of developments on unusual lines for the body. At present to dwell or even to stay in unearthly regions, the earthly body has to be protected, buttressed, propped up, with much care and skill by a mechanical outfit – crude scaffolding after all. In the future, other simpler and natural ways will surely be found.
As we know, Nature has pushed up its secret consciousness to the human level and is still pushing it up, upward to levels of the higher man, towards the Superman. She has moulded the body for the jelly-fish and moved up through all the intermediaries to the human body. Man’s body like his consciousness has to be remoulded in such a way as to be able to enclose and express the superman-consciousness. The rigid natural laws that bind down the body – the so-called natural laws of temperature and pressure, of respiration and circulation, of assimilation and rejection – have to be turned, obviated, neutralised so that man may be actually, physically a citizen of the world.
Now, the discipline that the physical body is made to undergo at present, in order to accustom itself to high flying, may one day point to the way for a new adaptation and disposition for the body. As it is, the disruption that has been made in the earth atmosphere because of Science’s new adventure is also a way to acclimatising the human body to new conditions. The new conditions are becoming even more and more new and the body is being forced to follow suit. At the beginning the result is a rupture but that is the way towards a new disposition, a new dispensation.
Showers, torrential streams of tiny infinitesimal particles – waves of invisible light, charges of electricity, all kinds of ultimate units of matter, are pouring down upon earth shrouding it, overwhelming it, drowning it, stifling it as it were. It is not merely a discovery of what has already been there, a static reality since time immemorial, but that they have been coming, arriving, adding ceaselessly to the volume already there and continuing to do so more and more as time advances. For it is said that these particles, cosmic rays, radio-waves, have been on their journey for such a long time from the very beginning of time that they are arriving only now into the earth atmosphere. And always there are others that are arriving, are continuing to arrive at every instant from farther and farther distances. The density and volume and the force of impact of this additional quantity of matter are ever on the increase and one does not know when and what will be the end. Not only so, not only the old existing particles but new particles, none can gainsay the probability, are also being created continuously, in the process. And suppose even some are destroyed, the loss is more than compensated by the creation of new ones, may be, of a different variety, with prospects of a new and novel development.
Thus the burden upon earth has been increasing – and the nature also of the burden is changing. The change is not perhaps very obvious today but the body has already been feeling it and expressing its reactions in the instability of the balance so long enjoyed by man. That is to say, the modern man physically lives or soon will have to live under a new set of circumstances and his physical body has to undergo a change commensurate with its habitat or it will have to disappear.
The cosmonauts are teaching us at least the possibility of a new, almost a revolutionary acclimatisation of the body, the capability of the human organs to follow a different rhythm of life in place of the old normal way. We know from the past history of the evolutionary stages of life that the advent of a new species is signalled by a change in the conditions of living, and the change in the habitat involves a change in the form, the organs and functions of the body: that is what is meant by the appearance of a new type of creature adapted to the new conditions. Even so today cosmic travels are forcing the human body to adapt itself to new conditions and it is a very conscious discipline. The change in the body of living beings in the previous stages is due to an unconscious pressure brought to bear upon it by an unconscious Nature. But now the situation is different: man is attempting consciously to surpass himself, he has begun to do it in the physical field with remarkable results and a great promise. True, there is another factor, indeed the major factor behind, within the inner consciousness of man and within the inner regions of the world. As I have said, it is a revolutionary change there that is forcing itself upon the outside and the surface of existence.
Thus there is a twofold process for the new man to establish himself here. First, of course, there is the psychological or inner change and reorganisation: man’s attempt to reach a new status of being and consciousness not in the category of the mere mental but a supramental status. Its nature and character and formation is being probed into by the new spiritual seekers and aspirants. That work is being done from within outward, and from above downward. This however is supplemented, supported, effectuated or materialised by the other attempt from below going upward and from outside going inward. That is the way of science, of the pragmatic man. The one we may say somewhat philosophically, is the Purusha, the conscious being coming down; the other, Prakriti, pushing up, Nature driving upward or inward.
It is true the process of acclimatisation that Nature follows is a slow one and gradual though somewhat crude, in spite of scientific refinements and subtleties; yet it is a help and has an accumulated effect. We may just record the progress achieved in the mere outward mechanisation from Lindberg’s transatlantic crossing to Borman-company’s journey to the moon.
Just at present the appearances are slender but the cumulative effect of these slender forerunners in the long run, or, who knows may be in the short run, is sure to be tremendously obvious. It is expected that the human body itself will acquire new dispositions forced by outer circumstances, the newly developing environment and impelled by the inner stress of the descending consciousness with its formative power. The power and action of the descending consciousness is outside our ken, it is easily overlooked – unknown and invisible to the normal mind. But in fact it is a great deal due to this element and. thanks to it, that man’s phenomenal discoveries of today and miraculous successes have been and are being achieved in the physical field in such a quick and revolutionary manner. The Mother has plainly declared that the new world is already there built and ready and is pressing down upon the material cover and sooner rather than later will force it open and manifest itself.