The Mother reveals that Delight is the real solution and not abandonment and an escape into nirvana. This week we go little deeper into this Delight, the Delight of Existence that is within and without, near and far, here and beyond, penetrating, pervading, enveloping all creatures and things.
Words of the Mother
“God cannot cease from leaning down towards Nature, nor man from aspiring-towards the Godhead. It is the eternal relation of the finite to the infinite. When they seem to turn from each other, it is to recoil for a more intimate meeting.
“In man nature of the world becomes again selfconscious so that it may take the greater leap towards its Enjoyer. This is the Enjoyer whom unknowingly it possesses, whom life and sensation possessing deny and denying seek. Nature of the world knows not God, only because it knows not itself; when it knows itself, it shall know unalloyed delight of being.
“Possession in oneness and not loss in oneness is the secret. God and Man, World and Beyond-world become one when they know each other. Their division is the cause of ignorance as ignorance is the cause of suffering.”
Sri Aurobindo: Thoughts and Glimpses, SABCL, Vol. 16, p. 382
According to what Sri Aurobindo says here, the reality of the universe is what is called God or godhead, but essentially it is Delight. The universe is created in Delight and for Delight. But this Delight can exist only in the perfect oneness of the creation with its creator, and Sri Aurobindo describes this oneness as the Possessor—that is, the Creator—the Possessor being possessed by his creation, a sort of reciprocal possession which is the very essence of the Oneness and the source of all delight. And it is because of division—because the Possessor no longer possesses and because the possessed no longer possesses the Possessor, division is created and the essential Delight is changed into ignorance, and this ignorance is the cause of all suffering. “Ignorance”, not in the sense in which it is usually understood, for that is what Sri Aurobindo calls Nescience: that ignorance is a consequence of the other. True ignorance is ignorance of the oneness, the union, the identity. And that is the cause of all suffering.
Ever since division began and creation lost its direct contact with the Creator, ignorance has reigned, and all suffering is its result.
All those who have had the inner experience have had this experience, that the moment one re-establishes the union with the divine source, all suffering disappears. But there has been a very persistent movement, about which I spoke to you last week, which put at the source of creation not this essential divine Delight but desire. This delight of creation, self-manifestation, self-expression—there is an entire line of seekers and sages who have considered it not as a delight but as a desire; the whole line of Buddhism is of this kind. And instead of seeing the solution in a Oneness which restores to us the essential Delight of the manifestation and the becoming, they consider that the goal and also the way are a total rejection of all desire to be and a return to annihilation. This conception amounts to an essential misunderstanding. The methods recommended for self-liberation are methods of development which can be very useful, but this conception of a world that’s essentially bad, for it is the result of desire, and from which one must escape at all costs and as quickly as possible, has been the greatest and most serious distortion of all spiritual life in the history of mankind.
It might have been useful, perhaps, at a particular time, for everything is useful in the world’s history, but this utility has passed, it is outworn, and it is time for this conception to be superseded and for us to return to a more essential and higher Truth, to go back to the Delight of existence, the Joy of union and manifestation of the Divine.
This new orientation—I mean new in its terrestrial realization — must replace all the former spiritual orientations and open the way to the new realisation which will be a supramental realisation. That is why I told you last week that only Delight, the true divine Delight can bring about the Victory.
Naturally, there must be no confusion about what this Delight is, and that is why from the beginning Sri Aurobindo puts us on our guard, telling us that it is only when one has passed beyond enjoyings that one can enter into Bliss. Bliss is precisely that state which comes from the manifestation of this Delight. But it is quite the opposite of all that is usually called joy and pleasure, and these must be completely given up in order to have the other….
9 January 1957
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Why do God and Nature “run from each other when glimpsed”?
In order to play. He says so: “They are at play.” It is in play.
(A young disciple) Mother, does Nature know it is a game? God knows it is a game, but does Nature know it?
I think Nature knows it too, it is only man who does not know!
Footnote: 1 “God and Nature are like a boy and a girl at play and in love. They hide and run from each other when glimpsed so that they may be sought after and chased and captured.”
Thoughts and Glimpses, SABCL, Vol. 16, p. 382
(Another child) Sweet Mother, where can Nature hide?
Where can she hide? She hides in the inconscience, my child. That is the greatest hiding-place, the inconscience. Besides, God also hides in the inconscience. Perhaps, when one knows it is a game and plays it for fun, it is amusing. But when one doesn’t know it is a game, it is not amusing. You see, it is only when one is on the other side, on the divine side, that one can see it like that; that is, as long as we are in the ignorance, well, inevitably we suffer from what should amuse and please us. Fundamentally, it comes to this: when one does something deliberately, knowing what one is doing, it is very interesting and may even be very amusing. But when it is something you don’t do deliberately and don’t understand, when it is something imposed on you and endured, it is not pleasant. So the solution, the one which is always given: you must learn, know, do it deliberately. But to tell you my true feeling, I think it would be much better to change the game…. When one is in that state, one can smile, understand and even be amused, but when one sees, when one is conscious of all those who, far from knowing that they are playing, take the game very seriously and find it rather unpleasant, well… I don’t know, one would prefer it to change. That is a purely personal opinion. I know very well: the moment one crosses over to the other side… instead of being underneath and enduring, when one is above and not only observes but acts oneself, it is so total a reversal that it is difficult to recall the state one was in when carrying all the weight of this inconscience, this ignorance on one’s back, when one was enduring things without knowing why or how or where one was going or why it was like that. One forgets all that. And then one can say: it is an “eternal game in an eternal garden”. But for it to be an amusing game, everybody should be able to play the game knowing the rules of the game; as long as one does not know the rules of the game, it is not pleasant. So the solution you are given is: “But learn the rules of the game!”… That is not within everybody’s reach. I have the impression, a very powerful impression, that a practical joker came and spoilt the game and made it into something dramatic, and this practical joker is obviously the cause of the division and the ignorance which is the result of this division, and of the suffering which is the result of ignorance. Indeed, in spite of all the spiritual traditions, it is difficult to conceive that this state of division, ignorance and suffering was foreseen at the beginning of creation. In spite of everything, one doesn’t like to think that it could have been foreseen. Indeed, I refuse to believe it. I call it an accident—a rather terrible accident, but still, you see, it is especially terrible to the human consciousness; for the universal consciousness, it may only be quite a reparable accident. And after all, when it has been set right, we shall even be able to recall it and say, “Ah! it has given us something we wouldn’t have had otherwise.” But we must first wait for it to be put right.
Anyway, I don’t know if there are people who say that it was foreseen and willed, but I tell you it was neither foreseen nor willed, and this is precisely why when it happened, quite unexpectedly, immediately something else sprang forth from the Source, which probably would not have manifested if this accident had not taken place. If Delight had remained Delight, conceived as Delight, and everything had come about in Delight and Union instead of in division, there would never have been any need for the divine Consciousness to plunge into the inconscience as Love. So, when one sees this from very far and from high above, one says, “After all, something has perhaps been gained from it.” But one must see it from a great distance and a great height to be able to say that. Or rather, when it is left far behind, when one has gone beyond this state, entered into Union and Delight, when division and inconscience and suffering have disappeared, then one may very wisely say, “Ah, yes, we have gained an experience we would never have had otherwise.” But the experience must be behind, we must not be right in the midst of it. For, even for someone who—this is something I know— even for someone who has come out of this state, who lives in the consciousness of Oneness, for whom ignorance is something external, no longer something intimate and painful, even for that person it is impossible to look on the suffering of all those who have not come out of it with a smile of indifference. That seems impossible to me. Therefore, it is really necessary that things in the world should change and the acute state of sickness should disappear, so that we can say, “Ah! yes, we have benefited by it.” It is true that something has been gained, but it is a very costly gain.
That is why, I believe, because of that, so many initiates and sages have been attracted by the solution of the void, of Nirvana, for this is obviously a very radical way of escaping from the consequences of an ignorant manifestation. Only, the solution of changing this manifestation into a true, truly divine reality is a far superior solution. And this is what we want to attempt now, with a certitude of succeeding one day or another, for, in spite of everything, despite everything,
what is true is eternally true, and what is true in essence must necessarily become true in the realisation, one day or another. Sri Aurobindo told us that we had taken the first step on the path and that the time had come to accomplish the work, therefore one has only to set out. That’s all….
In fact, this would amount to saying that when one plays one is much more divine than when one is serious! (Laughing) But it’s not always good to say this. Perhaps there is more divinity in the spontaneous play of children than in the erudition of the scholar or the asceticism of the saint. That’s what I have always thought. Only (smiling) it is a divinity which is quite unconscious of itself. As for me, I must confess to you that I feel much more essentially myself when I am joyful and when I play—in my own way—than when I am very grave and very serious—much more. Grave and serious—that always gives me the impression that I am dragging the weight of all this creation, so heavy and so obscure, whereas when I play—when I play, when I can laugh, can enjoy myself—it gives me the feeling of a fine powder of delight falling from above and tinting this creation, this world with a very special colour and bringing it much closer to what it should essentially be….