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Difference between the Physical Mind and the Material Mind—The Mother

by on November 23, 2012

31 August 1965
That isn’t the physical mind. The physical mind, it’s a long time since … It is the material mind – not even the material mind: the mind OF MATTER! It is the mental substance that belongs to Matter itself, to the cells. That’s what was formerly called “the spirit of the form,” when it was said that mummies kept their bodies intact as long as the spirit of the form persisted. [27 February 1965] That’s the mind I mean, that completely material mind. The other one, the physical mind, has been organized for a long time.

The physical mind is the mind of the physical personality formed by the body. It grows with the body, but it isn’t the mind of Matter: it is the mind of the physical being. For instance, it is the mind that makes one’s character: the bodily, physical character, which is in large part formed by atavism and education. What is called “physical mind” is all that. Yes, it’s the result of atavism, of education and of the formation of the body; that’s what makes the physical character. For example, some people are patient, some are strong and so on – physically, I mean, not for vital or mental reasons, but purely physically everyone has a character. That’s the physical mind. And it is part of any integral yoga: you discipline this physical mind. I have done it for more than sixty years.

It is the most unconscious part of the physical mind, and that’s what connects the physical mind with this material substance. But that’s already an organized mind, you understand? It is the most material part, the one that borders on the mind … (what can we call this mind?), we can’t even call it “corporeal mind”: it is the mind of the cells, a cellular mind.

This cellular mind exists in animals, and there is even a faint beginning (but very faint, like a promise) in plants: they respond to a mental action. They respond. As soon as Life manifests, there is already the beginning, like a promise of mind, of mental movement. And in animals, it’s very clear. Whereas that physical mind really began to exist only in man. That’s what a very small child already has: it already has a physical mind; so that no two very small children are alike, with identical reactions: there is already a difference. And it is especially what is given you with the special FORM of your body, by atavism, and then fully developed by education.

No, the physical mind, as soon as you do an integral yoga, you are obliged to deal with it, while this material, cellular mind, I can assure you that it’s absolutely new! Absolutely new.

It is the mind that was like an uncoordinated substance, with a constant, unorganized activity (Mother gestures to show a constant tremor). This is the mind which is being organized. That’s what is important, because Sri Aurobindo said it was unorganizable and the only thing to do was to reject it from existence. And I was under that impression, too. But when the transforming action on the cells is constant, this material mind begins to become organized, that’s the wonderful thing! It begins to become organized. And then, as it becomes organized, it learns to FALL SILENT – that’s the beautiful thing! It learns to keep calm, silent, and to let the supreme Force act without interfering.

The most difficult part is in the nerves, because they are so habituated to that ordinary conscious will that when it stops and you want the direct Action from the highest height, they seem to become mad. Yesterday morning I had that experience, which lasted for more than an hour, and it was difficult; but it taught me many things – many things. And all this is what we may call the “transfer of power”: it is the old power that withdraws. But then, until the body adapts to the new power, there is a period which is, well, critical. As all the cells are in a state of conscious aspiration, it’s going relatively fast, but still … the minutes are long.

But there is increasingly a sort of certitude in the cells that everything that happens is with a view to this transformation and this transfer of the directing power. And at the very moment when things are materially painful (not even physically: materially painful), the cells keep that certitude. And so they withstand, they endure the suffering without being depressed or affected in the least, with that certitude that it is to prepare for the transformation, that it is even the process of transformation and of the transfer of the directing power. As I said, it’s in the nerves that the experience is the most painful (naturally, since they are the most sensitive cells, those with the sharpest sensation). But they have a very great receptivity, and very spontaneous, a spontaneously strong receptivity – and effortless – to the harmonious physical vibration (which is very rare, but still it exists in some individuals), and that physical vibration … what we could call a physical FORCE, a harmonious physical vibration (spontaneously harmonious, of course, without the need for mental intervention – like the vibrations of a flower, for instance; there are physical vibrations that are like that, that carry in themselves a harmonious force), and the nerves are extremely sensitive and receptive to that vibration, which immediately puts them right again.

It’s very interesting, it explains many, many things. A day will come when all this will be explained and put in its proper place. Now isn’t the time to reveal it yet, but it’s very interesting.

I really have the feeling that it’s beginning to be organized, that the work is beginning to be organized.

Naturally, care must be taken to avoid letting a mental organization intervene, which is why I am not trying to explain things too much. The mind comes, and then that’s not it anymore.


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