Last week we shared certain truths about death as revealed through the writings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. But does it mean that there is no difference between different kinds of death? Does the incarnate Divine pass through the same process as all of us do? Our outer eyes and physical mind may believe it to be so. But we are in for surprising revelations when we listen to what the Mother has to say about Herself or more specifically about what we ignorantly call Her ‘passing away.’ Death has a different sense and purpose for Her who had known it since long. Let us listen to Her carefully:
Words of the Mother
I know this because when the body became like that – it was more than three-quarters dead – and people were taking care of me, doing everything for me, I was fully conscious, FULLY, but I couldn’t…. I was like a dead person. And it wasn’t that I couldn’t move, but I couldn’t manifest anything – I didn’t want to! I was in a state of total bliss, and couldn’t have cared less about what was going to happen. Well, that’s what I think must happen to those who … who die in a state of grace – it’s true, some people die well and others don’t. It all depends on one’s state of consciousness.
If at death you withdraw from physical circumstances, from ordinary physical consciousness, and unite with the great universal Force, or the divine Presence, then all these little things…. It’s not that you’re not conscious of them – you are very conscious: conscious of what others are doing, conscious of everything, but … it’s not important.
But for those who are attached to people and things when they die, it must be a hellish torment.
October 16, 1962
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I am no more in my body. I have left the Lord to take care of it, if it is to have the Supramental or not. I know, and I have also said, that now is the last fight. If the purpose for which this body is alive is to be fulfilled, that is to say, the first steps towards the Supramental transformation, then it will continue today. It is the Lord’s decision. I am not even asking what He has decided. If the body is incapable of bearing the fight, if it has to be dissolved, then humanity will pass through a critical time. What the Asuric Force that has succeeded in taking the appearance of Sri Aurobindo will create is a new religion or thought, perhaps cruel and merciless, in the name of the Supramental Realisation. But everybody must know that it is not true, it is not Sri Aurobindo’s teaching, not the truth of his teaching. The truth of Sri Aurobindo is a truth of love and light and mercy. He is good and great and compassionate and divine…. Et c’est Lui qui aura la victoire finale….[And He will have the final victory. ]
The fight is within the body.
It can’t go on. They must be defeated or else this body is defeated…. All depends on what the Lord decides….
It is the battlefield. How far it can resist I don’t know. After all, it depends on Him. He knows if the time has come or not, the time for the beginning of the Victory – then the body will survive. If not, in any case, my love and consciousness will be there.
April 3, 1962
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Night of April 12-13. [ Mother gives the first part of this message in English.]
Suddenly in the night I woke up with the full awareness of what we could call the Yoga of the world. The Supreme Love was manifesting through big pulsations, and each pulsation was bringing the world further in its manifestation. It was the formidable pulsations of the eternal, stupendous Love, only Love: each pulsation of the Love was carrying the universe further in its manifestation.
And the certitude that what is to be done is done and the Supramental Manifestation is realized.
Everything was Personal, nothing was individual.
This was going on and on and on and on….
The certitude that what is to be done is DONE.
All the results of the Falsehood had disappeared: Death was an illusion, Sickness was an illusion, Ignorance was an illusion – something that had no reality, no existence…. Only Love, and Love, and Love, and Love – immense, formidable, stupendous, carrying everything.
And how, how to express in the world? It was like an impossibility, because of the contradiction…. But then it came: “You have accepted that this world should know the Supramental Truth … and it will be expressed totally, integrally.” Yes, yes….
And the thing is DONE.
The individual consciousness came back, just the sense of a limitation, limitation of pain; without that, no individual.[[ Here Mother begins speaking French. ]]
And we set off again on the way, certain of the Victory.
The heavens are ringing with chants of Victory!
Truth alone exists; Truth alone shall manifest. Onward! … Onward!
Gloire à Toi, Seigneur, Triomphateur suprême![[Glory to You, Lord, Triumphant One supreme.
And now, to work.
Patience … endurance … perfect equanimity. And absolute faith.
Compared to the experience, whatever I say is nothing, nothing, nothing but words.
And our consciousness is the same, absolutely the same as the Lord’s. There was no difference, no difference at all….
We are That, we are That, we are That.
April 13, 1962
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(This is the first conversation with Mother in two months. She is still reclining on her chaise longue. She looks quite pale and fragile, almost translucent. She enlarges upon the experience she had a month earlier, on April 13. The following text was not taped but noted down from memory and then read out to Mother.)
I was at the Origin – I WAS the Origin. For more than two hours, consciously, here on this bed, I was the Origin. And it was like gusts – like great gusts ending in explosions. And each one of these gusts was a span of the universe.
It was Love in its supreme essence – which has nothing to do with what people normally understand by that word.
And each gust of this essence of Love was dividing and spreading out … but they weren’t forces, it was far beyond the realm of forces. The universe as we know it no longer existed; it was a sort of bizarre illusion, bearing no relation to THAT. There was only the truth of the universe, with those great gusts of color – they were colored – great gusts colored with something that is the essence of color.
It was stupendous. I lived more than two hours like that, consciously.
And then a Voice was explaining everything to me (not exactly a Voice, but something that was Sri Aurobindo’s origin, like the most recent gust from the Origin). As the experience unfolded, this Voice explained each gust to me, each span of the universe; and then it explained how it all became like this (Mother makes a gesture of reversal): the distortion of the universe. And I was wondering how it was possible, with that Consciousness, that supreme Consciousness, to relate to the present, distorted universe. How to make the connection without losing that Consciousness? A relationship between the two seemed impossible. And that’s when that sort of Voice reminded me of my promise, that I had promised to do the Work on earth and it would be done. “I promised to do the Work and it will be done.”
For instance, I am walking a little now, with someone’s assistance, to get the body used to it again. And when I started walking, I became aware of a rather peculiar state … I might describe it as: what gives me the illusion of a body (Mother laughs)…. I entrust it to the person I walk with. In other words, it’s not my responsibility: the other person has to make sure it doesn’t fall, doesn’t bump into anything – you see what I mean. And the consciousness is a limitless consciousness, like a material equivalent or expression of these gusts – it’s like waves, but waves with no …. Not separate waves, but a MOVEMENT of waves; a movement of what might be called material, corporeal waves, as vast as the earth, but not … not round, not flat…. Something giving a great sense of infinity but moving in waves. And this wave movement is the movement of life. And the consciousness (the body-consciousness, I suppose) floats along in this, with a sensation of eternal peace…. But it’s not an expanse – that’s not the word for it. It is a limitless movement, with a very harmonious and very tranquil rhythm, very vast, very calm. And this movement is life itself.
I walk around the room, and that is what is walking.
what I call Me (gesture high above), my consciousness, is completely outside the body. That’s what the consciousness of the body is (what I’ve just been describing), with only points of pain as reminders of what a body usually is: an ache here, an ache there, another ache here…. That’s what it’s like. And this pain has a small and extremely limited life; it’s not general, it’s not a body that suffers: it is suffering that suffers. It’s a point, a point of pain – a scratch here, a sore there, things like that. That’s what is individual and suffers – it’s not the body that has a sore, you understand.
But are you making a distinction between the body-consciousness and the physical consciousness?…
Oh yes! The physical consciousness is something very complex; it includes the whole physical, conscious world.
My physical consciousness has been universalized for a long, long time, it encompasses all terrestrial movements[[To illustrate this, Mother added: “I was always BATHED in the atmosphere of the people around me – their thoughts, their ways of feeling and seeing and understanding.” ]]; but the body is limited solely to this small concentration of substance (Mother touches her body) – that’s what I call the body-consciousness.
And when I said, “I have left the body,”[On April 3, Mother said: “I am no more in my body.”] it certainly didn’t mean I have left the physical consciousness – my overall contact with the terrestrial world has remained the same. It concerns only the purely bodily aspect, the specific concretization or concentration of substance giving each of us a different body – a different APPEARANCE.
And a rather illusory appearance, besides. As soon as you rise to a certain height (I saw it quite clearly during that progressive reconcretization), this appearance quickly loses its reality. Our external appearance is very, very illusory. Our particular form (this one’s form, that one’s form), the form we see with our physical eyes is very superficial, you know. …
May 13, 1962
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The other day you said, “What I call Me high above, my consciousness, is completely outside the body.” And on April 3, you also said something that gave me a kind of jolt: “I am no more in this body.” Why?… Have you really left this body?
I could almost tell it as a joke: for years and years I felt my consciousness to be outside my body – I always used to say it was there (gesture above the head), and not in my body. But from the time of that first experience [April 3], when the doctor said the heart had been physically affected and would stop working if I wasn’t careful, from that moment on I felt … I felt that my body was outside me! It sounds like a joke, but that’s how it is.
So to be understood I said, “I am no more in my body.” But it isn’t that. I hadn’t been in my body, my consciousness had been outside my body, for quite a long time! But there was a kind of connection, you know, something that made me feel it as “my body.” (If I spoke carelessly, I could now say “what used to be my body,” although I know well enough it’s still alive!). Well, from April 3 on, when everyone claimed I was so sick and I was forbidden to get out of bed, I had the impression that what was called my body was now outside me.
There was a relation, I kept a link with it, but it took some days to get established (I don’t know how many, because for a long time I couldn’t keep track of anything). After some days (say ten days, twenty days, I don’t know), the will began to function, the body was again under the control of the will. But that didn’t happen right away – for some days, the will that deals with the body was annulled (I was entirely conscious and alive, but not in my body). The body was merely something moved around by the people looking after me. Not that it was separate, but I couldn’t even say, “it’s a body” – it wasn’t anything any more!
….The supreme Will was in full agreement; the body had been entrusted, in a way (I don’t know how to express this) … yes, it was like something entrusted, and I was simply looking on – I watched it all for I don’t know how many days, with hardly any interest.
The one really concrete link was … pain. That’s how the contact was kept.
When you said, “I am no more in this body,” I thought that because of the necessities of the Work some part of you had withdrawn.
Oh, no! Nothing withdrew – it had already withdrawn a long time ago. The consciousness wasn’t at all centered in the body. When I said “I,” for instance, it NEVER occurred to me that “I” was this (Mother points to her body). I, the I who spoke, was always a will ENTIRELY independent of the body, entirely independent.
But there has been a strange phenomenon [since April 3]…. Before, I used to say, “I am outside my body.” It was always “I am outside my body.” But this time, the body seemed to have been consigned or entrusted – more like entrusted….
And I have the perception … a sensation, really, the sensation of … something not at all me, but entrusted to me. More and more now, there is the feeling of something being entrusted to me in the universal organization for a definite purpose. That’s really the sensation I have now (the mind is very calm, so it’s difficult to express – I don’t “think” all these things, they are more like perceptions). And it’s not the usual kind of sensation: the ONLY (I insist on this), the ONLY sensation that remains in the old way is physical pain. And really, those points of pain … they seem like the SYMBOLIC POINTS of what remains of the old consciousness.
Pain is the one thing I sense the way I used to. Food, for instance, taste, smell, vision, hearing – all that’s completely changed. They belong to another rhythm. And this condition has come progressively, like a crystallization of something behind the senses that doesn’t come from here – in taste, smell, vision, hearing, touch…. Except this one point…. Even the sense of touch is different now – but PAIN ….
Pain is the old world.
It’s quite odd, you know; pain is like the symbolic (and rather too concrete!) sign of life in the Ignorance.
And even there I have had an instant (but it was like a flash – the flash of a new experience), an instant when pain disappeared into something else. It has happened three or four times. The pain suddenly became … something completely different (not a pleasant sensation, not that at all): another state of consciousness.
And I have the definite impression that that so-called illness was the external and ILLUSORY form of an indispensable process of transformation; without that so-called illness there could be no transformation – it is not an illness, I KNOW it: when people speak of “illness,” something in me laughs and says, “What a bunch of geese!”
It is not an illness….
And the only concrete thing left in this world – this world of illusion – is pain. It seems to me the very essence of Falsehood.
But what feels it feels it very concretely! … I clearly see it’s false, but that doesn’t stop my body from feeling it – and there is a reason: it is the battlefield.
I have even been forbidden to utilize my knowledge, power and force to annul the pain in the way I used to (and I used to do it very well). That has been totally forbidden. But I have seen that something else is in sight. Something else is in the making…. It can’t be called a miracle because it’s not a miracle, but it’s something wonderful – the unknown….
The old way of relating no longer exists at all.
It can truly be said that for a short while the body went out of my consciousness completely. I didn’t leave my body; the body left the consciousness.
May 18, 1962
* * *
For so many, so many years I have had all kinds of experiences. For about sixty years I have been constantly looking after people who are said to be “dying” – constantly. Well, there are almost as many cases as there are people – there are categories, but the cases are innumerable (and I am not referring to external cases, to the material event: I am referring to the inner cases). This is to say that I have been put in almost constant contact with the phenomenon, and yet, it remains a problem…. At least twice in this existence, I have gone through what people call “death” – and both times the experience was different. The experience was different, yet the apparent fact was the same.
And if I look at it in a certain way (explanations, of course, are meaningless), if I look at it in a certain way, I mean, to have the true key … one has it only with the Power. Well, that Power … (Mother shakes her head)
It’s hard to explain if I want to make myself understood. For instance, many times (many times, very often), people told me they wanted to die for some reason or other; and by doing a certain thing, it happened. The “thing” wasn’t always the same, but the result was in appearance always the same: the person left his or her body. I even had near me, at least twice, very clearly and precisely, people who were supposedly “dead,” who had left their body in that way, and they knew nothing about it! Therefore, for that part of their being, it made no difference. And it has also happened that I’ve “resurrected,” as it is called, someone who had been declared dead. This is to tell you that all the various possibilities (not all, but many), all that has been shown to me.
Naturally, it is always a movement of the consciousness [that brings about death] and a certain movement of the will, but …
What I was wondering about today (not “wondering” – words are always wrong – because it isn’t mental, I wasn’t wondering mentally), but suddenly there came in front of me, like this (gesture indicating a cinema screen): could what is called “death” be by chance a multitude of different things?… We say “life,” “death,” and we oppose that death to life – could it be, by chance, that what people call “death” is a multitude of different things, of different possibilities?
April 28, 1965
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Yesterday or the day before, the whole day from morning to evening, something was saying, “I am … I am or have the consciousness of a dead person on earth.” I am putting it into words, but it seemed to say, “This is how the consciousness of a dead person is in relation to the earth and physical things…. I am a dead person living on earth.” According to the stand of the consciousness (because the consciousness changes its stand constantly), according to the stand of the consciousness, it was, “This is how the dead are in relation to the earth,” then, “I am absolutely like a dead person in relation to the earth,” then, “I am the way a dead person lives without any consciousness of the earth,” then, “I am quite like a dead person living on earth …” and so on. And I went on speaking, acting, doing as usual.
But it has been like that for a long time.
For a very long time, more than two years, I saw the world like this (ascending gesture, from one level to a higher level), and now I see it like this (descending gesture). I don’t know how to explain it because there’s nothing mentalized about it, and non-mentalized sensations have a certain haziness that’s hard to define. But words and thought were a certain distance away (gesture around the head), like something that watches and appreciates, in other words, that tells what it sees – something around. And today, it has been extremely strong two or three times (I mean that that state dominated the whole consciousness): a sort of impression (or sensation or perception, but it’s nothing like all that) of, “I am a dead person living on earth.”…
I am talking about the body. It’s not the inner beings, it’s the body.
And the body always says yes, it does like this (gesture of surrender). No choice, no preference, no aspiration, even: a total, complete surrender. So then, things of that sort come to me; yesterday, all day long, it was: “A dead person living on earth.” With the perception (not a very pronounced perception yet, but clear enough) of a vast difference between the way of life [of this body] and that of other people, of all the others, the people who talk to me, the people with whom I live. It isn’t clear-cut yet, or sharp or very precise, but it’s very clear – very clear, very perceptible. It’s another way of life.
One would tend to say that it’s not a gain from the standpoint of consciousness, since things become blurred. I don’t know, is that way of being a gain?
It can only be a transition. It’s a transitory mode.
From the standpoint of consciousness, it’s a tremendous gain! Because all slavery, all bonds with external things, all that is finished, it has completely fallen off – completely fallen off: there’s absolute freedom. In other words, That alone remains, the Supreme Master is the master. From that point of view, it can only be a gain. It’s such a radical realization…. It seems to be an absolute of freedom, something that’s considered impossible to realize while living the ordinary life on earth.
It corresponds to the experience of absolute freedom one has in the higher parts of the being when one has become completely independent of the body. But the remarkable point (I lay great stress on this) is that it’s the consciousness OF THE BODY that has those experiences … and it’s a body that’s still visibly here (!)
Of course, there is nothing left of what gives human beings “trust of life.” There doesn’t seem to be any support from the outward world left; there is only … the supreme Will. To put it into ordinary words, well, the body feels it lives only because the supreme Lord wants it to live, otherwise it wouldn’t be able to live.
Yes, but it seems to me that a state of perfection should embrace everything, so that one can be in the supreme state without its abolishing the material state.
But it doesn’t abolish it.
No, but still you say it’s “far away,” “behind a veil,” that it no longer has its exactness and precision.
That’s a purely human and superficial perception. I don’t at all feel that I have lost anything, on the contrary! I have the sense of a state much superior to the one I had.
Even from the material standpoint?
What the Lord wants is done – that’s all; it begins there and ends there.
If He told me … Whatever He wants the body to do, it can do; it no longer depends on physical laws.
What He wants to see it can see; what He wants to hear it can hear.
And when He wants to see or wants to hear materially, it sees perfectly and hears perfectly.
Oh, perfectly! At times the sight is more precise than it ever was. But it’s fleeting: it comes and goes; probably because it’s only as an assurance of what will be. But, for instance, the perception of people’s inner reality (not what they think they are or what they pretend to be or what they appear to be – all that disappears), the perception of their inner reality is infinitely more precise than formerly. If I see a photograph, for example, there’s no question anymore of seeing “through” something: I almost exclusively see what the person IS. The “through” decreases to such a point that at times it no longer exists at all.
March 9, 1966
May 26, 2015