The Mother Answers on Money - I
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How does money manifest on other planes?

What other planes? He [Sri Aurobindo] speaks of the vital and physical, doesn't he?... that it is a force which manifests on the vital plane and the physical plane. The vital forces have a very great influence over money.

(After a silence)... You see, when one thinks of money, one thinks of bank-notes or coins or some kind of wealth, some precious things. But this is only the physical expression of a force which may be handled by the vital and which, when possessed and controlled, almost automatically brings along these more material expressions of money. And that is a kind of power. (Silence)... It is a power of attracting certain very material vibrations, which has a capacity for utilisation that increases its strength—which is like the action of physical exercise, you see—it increases its strength through utilisation.

For example, if you have a control over this force—it is a force which, in the vital world, has a colour varying between red, a dark, extremely strong red and a deep gold that's neither bright nor very pale. Well, this force—when it is made to move, to circulate, its strength increases. It is not something one can accumulate and keep without using. It is a force which must always be circulated. For example, people who are misers and accumulate all the money, all the wealth they can attract towards themselves, put this force aside without using its power of movement; and either it escapes or it lies benumbed and loses its strength.

The true method of being in the stream of this money-power is precisely what is written here: a sense of absolute impersonality, the feeling that it is not something you possess or which belongs to you, but that it is a force you can handle and direct where it ought to go in order to do the most useful work. And by these movements, by this constant action, the power increases—the power of attraction, a certain power of organisation also. That is to say, even somebody who has no physical means, who is not in those material circumstances where he could materially handle money, if he is in possession of this force, he can make it act, make it circulate, and if ever he finds it necessary, receives from it as much power as he needs without there being externally any sign or any reason why the money should come to him. He may be in conditions which are absolutely the very opposite of those of usual wealth, and yet can handle this force and always have at his disposal all the wealth that's necessary to carry on his work.

Therefore, it was like this, you see: this letter was written to someone who wanted to go out from here to collect money for Sri Aurobindo's work, and this person had no means at all. So he began by saying to Sri Aurobindo, "But as I myself have no means, people will have no trust in me, and I won't be able to get anything." And Sri Aurobindo answered him something like this, that it is not the external force in its most material form which is necessary, it is the handling of the inner force which gives one control over money wherever it is: whether it is in public institutions or with individuals, one obtains control over it and one can, when it is necessary, attract by a certain movement what is needed.

Sweet Mother, in what way have the money-forces left the Divine?
(The child repeats its question.)
It is precisely the main word in your question which I don't understand. In what manner, in what way have the money-forces...
... left the Divine?

Left? The money-power belongs to a world which was created deformed. It is something that belongs to the vital world; and he says this, doesn't he? He says that it belongs to the vital and material worlds. And so at all times, always it was under the control of the Asuric forces; and what must be done is precisely to reconquer it from the Asuric forces.

That is why in the past, all those who wanted to do Yoga or follow a discipline, used to say that one should not touch money, for it was something—they said—diabolic or Asuric or at least altogether opposed to the divine life. But the whole universe, in all its manifestation, is the Divine Himself, and so belongs entirely to Him; and it is on this ground that he says that the money-forces belong to the Divine. One must reconquer them and give them to Him. They have been under the influence of the Asuric forces: one must win them back in order to put them at the disposal of the Divine so that He may be able to use them for His work of transformation.

(Long silence)

Sweet Mother, it is men who have created money. Then how is it a divine power?

Hm! (laughing)... It is as though you told me: it is a man and woman who have created another person, then how can he be divine in essence? It is exactly the same thing! The whole creation is made externally by external things, but behind that there are divine forces. What men have invented—paper or coins or other objects—all these are but means of expression nothing else but that... I just said this a moment ago, it is not the force itself, it is its material expression as men have created it. But this is purely conventional. For example, there are countries where small shells are exchanged instead of money. There are even countries where... Someone has written a story like this: in the North wealth means having hooks for fishing; and the rich man is he who has the greatest number of fish-hooks. You know what these are, don't you?—small iron hooks for cahing fish which are fixed at the end of the line. So, the multimillionaire is one who has a huge number of hooks!

It is purely conventional. What is behind is the force I am speaking about, you see, and so it manifests in all sorts of ways. For example, even gold, you know... men have given a certain value to gold, because of all metals it deteriorates the least. It is preserved almost indefinitely. And this is the reason, there's no other. But it is a mere convention. The proof is that each time a new gold-mine is found and exploited, the value of gold has fallen. These are mere conventions between human beings. But what makes money a power is not this, it is the force that's behind. As I was saying a while ago, it is a force that is able to attract and use anything whatever, all material things and...

So this is used according to a convention. Now, it is understood that wealth is represented by bits of paper which become very dirty, and on which something is printed. They are altogether disgusting, most often good only for lighting the fire. But it is considered a great fortune. Why? Because that's the convention. Yet one who is capable of attracting this and using it for something good, to increase the welfare of this world, the welfare and well-being of the world, that man has a hold on the money-power, that is to say, the force that is behind money.

In French we call money "argent". "Argent" is also the name of a white metal which is just a little more... a little prettier and a little more lasting than other metals, one which is less easily oxidised and spoilt. So this is called "argent", money. And then, by expansion, all that is wealth is also called "argent". It is really paper or gold or sometimes just written things... because many large fortunes are only numbers written on paper, not even these papers which circulate, only books! There are immense fortunes which govern the world and are just written on papers, like that, with some documents and conventions between men. The fortune may increase, become triple, fourfold, tenfold, or else it may be reduced to nothing. They sell everything, they sell cotton, they sell sugar, they sell corn, coffee, anything at all, but there is nothing! There is no cotton, no sugar, no corn, nothing. Everything is on paper! And so you buy millions of worth of cotton: you don't have a wisp of cotton there! It is all on paper. And so, sometimes later, you sell it off again. If the price of cotton has increased, you gain a fortune, if it has gone down you lose a fortune. And you have with you neither money nor cotton nor anything, nothing but paper. "Laughter"... It is entirely a convention.

Contd. Page 2

28 July 1954
- The Mother

I cherish God the fire, not God the Dream. - Sri Aurobindo