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The resistance of the physical body, and laws based on falsehood

The following is from vol. 1 of the Agenda, dated May 10, 1958, and relates to resistence to the sadhana (spiritual practice, which goes right down to the physical body. The Mother then makes some interesting comments about "laws".

In a considerable number of people, it is their body, the physical body, that obstinately resists.

The difficulty is greater for Westerners than for Indians. It's as though their substance were steeped in falsehood. It also happens with Indians, of course, but generally the falsehood is much more in the vital than in the physical - because after all, the physical has been utilized by bodies belonging to enlightened beings. The European substance seems steeped in rebellion; in the Indian substance this rebelliousness is subdued by an influence of surrender. The other day, someone was telling me about some Europeans with whom he corresponds, and I said, 'But tell them to read, to learn, to follow The Synthesis of Yoga! - it leads you straight to the path.' Whereupon he replied, 'Oh, but they say it's full of talk on surrender, surrender, always surrender ...' and they want none of it.

They want none of it! Even if the mind accepts, the body and the vital refuse. And when the body refuses, it refuses with the stubbornness of a stone.

Satprem: Is it not due to the body's unconsciousness?

Mirra: No. From the minute it is conscious, it is conscious of its own falsehood! It is conscious of this law, of that law, of this third law that fourth law, this tenth law - everything is a 'law.' 'We are subject to physical laws: this will produce such and such a result if you do that, this will happen, etc.' Oh! It reeks! I know it well. I know it very well. These laws reek of falsehood. In the body, we have no faith in the divine Grace, none, none, none, none! Those who have not undergone a tapasya [yogic discipline] as I have, say, 'Yes, all these inner moral things, feelings, psychology, all that is very good; we want the Divine and we are ready to ... But all the same, material facts are material facts, they have their concrete reality, after all an illness is an illness, food is food, and everything you do has a consequence, and when you are ...' - bah, bah, bah, bah, bah!

We must understand that this isn't true - it isn't true, it's a falsehood, all this is sheer falsehood. It is NOT TRUE, it is not true!

If only we would accept the Supreme inside our bodies, if we had the experience I had a few days ago: the supreme Knowledge in action along with the complete abolition of all consequences, past and future. Each second has its own eternity and its own law, which is a law of absolute truth.

Mother's Agenda vol 1, pp.156-157

This is a completely different take to, say, the teachings of Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff and Ouspensky speak of laws that determine the activity of the being at different "vibratory levels" - the further down the scale of being one goes, the greater the number of laws and hence the restrictions there are. At the physical level there are the greatest number of laws (although he also speaks of an even lower level, equivalent perhaps to the "8th Sphere" of Theosophy and Steiner). This is the level of the physical body, and this is the resistance that the Mother is talking about.

Now, what Mirra says here does not actually contradict with Gurdjieff, in fact Gurdjieff would probably approve. he spoke of man awakening from the mechanical state of "sleep" and becoming free. In Gnosticism too, the soul or the divine spark is trapped in matter, enslaved by the evil archons, but can rise above to its true home. Similarily here, the experience of the Inner Divine, the Master of the Yoga, allows one to be free of the laws - or fears (one has to eat, actions of these consequences, etc) - that rule physical consciousness. Unlike Gnostic soteriology there is no dualism here, it is rather a Zen-like or Advaitin realisation that there never were these restrictions, they are simply falsehood, avidya. But whereas Zen or Advaita involves a cognitive or super-cognitive experience of Enlightenment (prajna, bodhi), a direct realisation of the Self (Advaita) or Mind of the Buddha (Zen), Mirra refers to the path of Devotion: "If only we would accept the Supreme inside our bodies". Indeed, the whole Agenda is steeped in bhakti, devotion to the Divine. It is an interesting fact also that the supposedly intellectual teachings of Sri Aurobndo are at their base very devotional; this is a devotionalism that runs through all of Hinduism (even Shankara composed hymns to the supreme Mother), and Mirra's approach is even more devotional again (as indicated for example by her Prayers and Meditations).

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
All quoted material © copyright Institute for Evolutionary Research, 1979
page uploaded 30 March 2005