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Psychological Perfection
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Mother shows the white Champak flower she is holding in her hand. She has named the flower "Psychological Perfection".

Who remembers this?
(Counting the petals) One, two, three, four, five psychological perfections. What are the five psychological perfections?
For they can be changed. And in fact, to tell you my secrets, every time I give it to someone, they are not always the same psychological perfections. That depends on people's needs. Even to the same person I may give at different times different psychological perfections; so it's not fixed. But the first time this flower was named "Psychological Perfection'', I remember very well it was at a gathering up there where Prosperity ("Prosperity'' is the place where, on the first of every month, Mother used to distribute to the disciples what they needed for the month.) now is, where I go on the first of the month; there was a gathering and we had decided the five psychological perfections, at that time they were noted down, but as for me it is something very fluid — I told you it depends on the circumstances and needs — I don't remember what was chosen the first time.
So, if someone knows it, he can tell us, we'll compare.

I am not sure.
You are not sure. Is there anyone who is sure?

Aspiration, devotion, sincerity and faith.
That makes only four, so far.

And surrender.
Surrender? Someone told me something else.
(To a disciple) You, do you know? Well, then, come and tell us.

In English, Mother?
Ah, no, my child, this is a French class, not in English!

Faith, sincerity, aspiration, devotion, surrender.
But that's what he just said. (Turning to another disciple) You a little while ago, you told me "faithfulness''.

I said that, but it's not faithfulness, instead of faithfulness it's faith.
But why should there not be faithfulness? I didn't put it down, because I didn't try to recall anything, I simply wrote down what seemed to me the most important and most general. But it may be put in various ways.

In any case, what is always there, in all combinations and to whomever I give it, the first among them all is sincerity. For if there is no sincerity, one cannot advance even by half a step. So that is the first, and it is always there.

But it is possible to translate it by another word, if you prefer it, which would be "transparency''. I shall explain this word:
Someone is in front of me and I am looking at him; I look into his eyes. And if this person is sincere or "transparent'', through his eyes I go down and I see his soul — clearly. But — this is precisely the experience — when I look at somebody and see a little cloud, then I continue, I see a screen, and then sometimes it is a wall, and afterwards it is something quite black; and all this must be crossed, and holes bored in order to go through; and even then I am not sure if at the last minute I may not find myself before a door of bronze so thick that I shall never get through and see his soul; so, of such a person I can immediately say that he is not sincere. But I can also say, figuratively, that he is not transparent. That is the first thing.

There is a second, which is obviously, as indispensable if you want to go forward; it is to have faith. Or another word, which seems more limited but is for me more important, because (it is a question of experience) if your faith is not made of a complete trust in the Divine, well, you may very easily remain under the impression that you have faith and yet be losing all trust in the divine Power or divine Goodness, or the Trust the Divine has in you. These are the three stumbling-blocks:

Those who have what they call an unshakable faith in the Divine, and say, "It is the Divine who is doing everything, who can do everything; all that happens in me, in others, everywhere, is the work of the Divine and the Divine alone'', if they follow this with some kind of logic, after some time they will blame the Divine for all the most terrible wrongs which take place in the world and make of Him a real demon, cruel and frightfulif — they have no trust.

Or again, they do have faith, but tell themselves, "Well, I have faith in the Divine, but this world, I see quite well what it's like! First of all, I suffer so much, don't I? I am very unhappy, far more unhappy than all my neighbours'' — for one is always far more unhappy than all one's neighbours — "I am very unhappy and, truly, life is cruel to me. But then the Divine is divine, He is All-Goodness, All-Generosity, All-Harmony, so how is it that I am so unhappy? He must be powerless; otherwise being so good how could He let me suffer so much?''
That is the second stumbling-block.

And the third: there are people who have what may be called a warped and excessive modesty or humility and who tell themselves, "Surely the Divine has thrown me out, I am good for nothing, He can do nothing with me, the only thing for me is to give up the game, for He finds me unworthy of Him!''

So, unless one adds to faith a total and complete trust in the Divine Grace, there will be difficulties. So both are necessary....

Now, we have put "devotion'' in this series. Yes, devotion is all very well, but unless it is accompanied by many other things it too may make many mistakes. It may meet with great difficulties

You have devotion, and you keep your ego. And then your ego makes you do all sorts of things out of devotion, things which are terribly egoistic. That is to say, you think only of yourself, not of others, nor of the world, nor of the work, nor of what ought to be done — you think only of your devotion. And you become tremendously egoistic. And so, when you find out that the Divine, for some reason, does not answer to your devotion with the enthusiasm you expected of Him, you despair and fall back into the same three difficulties I was just speaking about: either the Divine is cruel — we have read that, there are many such stories, of enthusiastic devotees who abuse the Divine because He is no longer as gentle and near to them as before, He has withdrawn, "Why hast Thou deserted me? Thou hast abandoned me, O monster!...'' They don't dare to say this, but think it, or else they say, "Oh! I must have made such a serious mistake that I am thrown out'', and they fall into despair.

25 January 1956
- The Mother

All can be done if the god-touch is there.  - Sri Aurobindo