Reflections on the Mother’s Commentary on Sri Aurobindo’s Thoughts and Aphorisms.
In this talk we read from the following Aphorism of Sri Aurobindo:
JNANA – 12: They proved to me by convincing reasons that God did not exist, and I believed them. Afterwards I saw God, for He came and embraced me. And now which am I to believe, the reasonings of others or my own experience?
The Mother’s commentary:
Sri Aurobindo is not asking a question, but rather making an ironic comment. It is to bring out clearly the stupidity of the reasonings of the mind, which imagines it can speak of what it does not know. It is nothing else.
You can prove anything with the mind. When you know how to use it and have mastered reasoning and deduction, you can prove anything. As a matter of fact, this is an exercise that is given in universities to make the mind supple: you are given a thesis to prove and immediately afterwards, with equal conviction, you have to prove its antithesis—in the hope that if you rise a little above both, you will discover the synthesis.
Therefore, once it is conceded that anything can be proved, it follows that reasoning leads nowhere; because if you can prove something and in the next moment prove its opposite, this is the proof that your proofs are worthless.
There is experience. For a simple heart, a sincere and honest nature, a nature which knows that its experience is sincere, that it is not a falsification of desire or of mental ambition, but a spontaneous movement which comes from the soul — the experience is absolutely convincing. It loses its power of conviction when the desire to have an experience, or the ambition to think oneself very superior, becomes mixed with it. If you have that in you, then beware, because desires and ambitions falsify experience. The mind is a formative power, and if you have a very strong desire for something very important and very interesting to happen to you, you can make it happen, at least in the eyes of those who see things superficially. But apart from these cases, if you are honest, sincere, spontaneous, and especially when experiences come to you without any effort on your part to have them, and as a spontaneous expression of your deeper aspiration, then these experiences carry with them the seal of an absolute authenticity; and even if the whole world tells you that they are nonsense and illusion, it does not change your personal convictions. But naturally, for this, you must not deceive yourself. You must be sincere and honest with a complete inner rectitude.
Someone has asked me, “How is it possible for God to reveal Himself to an unbeliever?” That’s very funny; because if it pleases God to reveal Himself to an unbeliever, I don’t see what would prevent Him from doing so!
On the contrary, He has a sense of humour—Sri Aurobindo has told us many times already that the Supreme has a sense of humour, that we are the ones who want to make Him into a grave and invariably serious character—and He may find it very amusing to come and embrace an unbeliever. Someone who has only the day before declared, “God does not exist. I do not believe in Him. All that is folly and ignorance….”, He gathers him into His arms, He presses him to His heart—and He laughs in his face.
Everything is possible, even things which to our small and limited intelligence seem absurd.
[CWM 12: 32-33]