again, this evening, I am not going to read, but I wont
tell you a story; I am going to tell you about Madame X.
X was born on the Isle of Wight and she lived in Tlemcen
with her husband who was a great occultist. Madame X herself
was an occultist of great powers, a remarkable clairvoyant,
and she had mediumistic qualities. Her powers were quite
exceptional; she had received an extremely complete and
rigorous training and she could exteriorise herself, that
is, bring out of her material body a subtle body, in full
consciousness, and do it twelve times in succession. That
is, she could pass consciously from one state of being to
another, live there as consciously as in her physical body,
and then again put that subtler body into trance, exteriorise
herself from it, and so on twelve times successively, to
the extreme limit of the world of forms.
I shall speak
to you about that later, when you can understand better
what I am talking about. But I am going to tell you about
some small incidents I saw when I was in Tlemcen myself,
and a story she told me I shall also tell you.
incidents are of a more external kind, but very funny.
was almost always in trance and she had trained her body
so well that even when she was in trance, that is, when
one or more parts of her being were exteriorised, the body
had a life of its own and she could walk about and even
attend to some small material occupations.
a great deal of work, for in her trances she could talk
freely and she used to narrate what she saw, which was noted
down and later formed a teachingwhich has even been
published. And because of all that and the occult work she
was doing, she was often tired, in the sense that her body
was tired and needed to recuperate its vitality in a very
one day when she was particularly tired, she told me, You
will see how I am going to recover my strength. She
had plucked from her gardenit was not a garden, it
was a vast estate with ancient olive trees, and fig trees
such as I have never seen anywhere else, it was a real marvel,
on a mountain-side, from the plain to almost half way upand
in this garden there were many lemon trees and orange trees
and grapefruit. Grapefruit has flowers which have an even
better fragrance than orange blossomsthey are large
flowers and she knew how to make an essence from them herself,
she had given me a bottlewell, she had plucked a huge
grapefruit like this, (gesture) very large and ripe,
and she lay down on her bed and put the grapefruit on her
solar plexus, here, (gesture) like this, holding
it with both hands. She lay down and rested. She did not
sleep, she rested. She told me, Come back in an hour.
An hour later I returned
and the grapefruit was as
flat as a pancake. That meant that she had such a power
to absorb vitality that she had absorbed all the life from
the fruit and it had become soft and completely flat. And
I saw that myself! You may try, you wont succeed!
timeand this is even more amusing
I shall tell you a little about Tlemcen, which you probably
dont know. Tlemcen is a small town in southern Algeria,
almost on the borders of the Sahara. The town itself is
built in the valley which is surrounded by a circle of mountains,
not very high but nevertheless higher than hills. And the
valley is very fertile, verdurous, magnificent. The population
there is mainly Arabs and rich merchants; indeed, the city
is very prosperous it was, for I dont know what
it is like now; I am speaking to you about things that happened
at the beginning of this centurythere were very prosperous
merchants there and from time to time these Arabs came to
pay a visit to Monsieur X. They knew nothing, understood
nothing, but they were very interested.
day, towards evening, one of these people arrived and started
asking questions, ludicrous ones besides. Then Madame X
said to me, You will see, we are going to have a little
fun. In the verandah of the house there was a big
dining-table, a very large table, like that, quite wide,
with eight legs, four on each side. It was really massive,
and heavy. Chairs had been arranged to receive this man,
at a little distance from the table. He was at one end,
Madame X at the other; I was seated on one side, Monsieur
X also. All four of us were there. Nobody was near the table,
all of us were at a distance from it. And so, he was asking
questions, as I said rather ludicrous ones, on the powers
one could have and what could be done with what he called
She looked at me and said nothing
but sat very still. Suddenly I heard a cry, a cry of terror.
The table started moving and with an almost heroic gesture
went to attack the poor man seated at the other end! It
went and bumped against him.
Madame X had not touched
it, nobody had touched it. She had only concentrated on
the table and by her vital power had made it move. At first
the table had wobbled a little, then had started moving
slowly, then suddenly, as in one bound, it flung itself
on that man, who went away and never came back!
also had the power to dematerialise and rematerialise things.
And she never said anything, she did not boast, she did
not say, I am going to do something, she did
not speak of anything; she just did it quietly. She did
not attach much importance to these things, she knew they
were just a proof that there are other forces than purely
I used to go out in the eveningstowards the end of
the afternoon I used to go for a walk with Monsieur X to
see the countryside, go walking in the mountains, the neighbouring
villagesI used to lock my door; it was a habit with
me, I always locked my door. Madame X would rarely go out,
for the reasons I have already mentioned, because she was
in a trance most of the time and liked to stay at home.
But when I returned from the walk and opened my doorwhich
was locked, and therefore nobody could have enteredI
would always find a kind of little garland of flowers on
my pillow. They were flowers which grew in the garden, they
are called Belles de Nuit; we have them here, they open
in the evening and have a wonderful fragrance. There was
a whole alley of them, with big bushes as high as this;
they are remarkable flowersI believe its the
same hereon the same bush there are different coloured
flowers: yellow, red, mixed, violet. They are tiny flowers
bluebells; no, rather like the convolvulus, but
these grow on bushesconvolvulus is a creeper, these
are busheswe have some here in the garden. She always
used to put some behind her ears, for they have a lovely
smell, oh! delightfully beautiful. And so, she used to take
a walk in the alley between these big bushes which were
quite high, and she gathered flowers, andwhen I came
back, these flowers were in my room!
She never told
me how she did it, but she certainly did not go in there.
Once she said to me, Were there no flowers in your
room?Ah! yes, indeed, I said. And
that was all. Then I knew it was she who had put them there.
could tell you many stories, but I shall finish with this
one she had told me, which I did not see myself.
I was telling you, Tlemcen is very near the Sahara and it
has a desert climate except that in the valley a river flows
which never dries up and makes the whole country very fertile.
But the mountains were absolutely arid. Only in the part
occupied by farmers did something grow. Now, Monsieur Xs
parka large estatewas, as I said, a marvellous
everything grew there, everything one could imagine
and to a magnificent size. Now, she told methey had
been there a very long time that about five or six
years before, I think, they had felt that these barren mountains
might one day cause the river to dry up and that it would
be better to plant trees there; and the administrator of
Tlemcen ordered trees to be planted on all the neighbouring
hills; a wide amphitheatre, you know. He said that pine
trees should be planted, for in Algeria the sea-pine grows
very well. And they wanted to try it. Well, for some reason
or otherforgetfulness or fantasy, heaven knows!
instead of ordering pine trees they ordered fir trees! Fir
trees belong to Scandinavian countries, not at all to desert
lands. And very conscientiously all these fir trees were
planted. Now Madame X saw this and I believe she felt like
making an experiment. So it happened that four or five years
later these fir trees had not only grown but had become
magnificent and when I went to Tlemcen the mountains all
around were absolutely green, magnificent with trees. She
said to me, You see, these are not pine trees, they
are fir trees, and indeed they wereyou know
fir trees are Christmas trees, dont you? they
were fir trees. Then she told me how after three years when
the fir trees had grown, suddenly one day or rather one
December night, as she had just gone to bed and put out
her light, she was awakened by a tiny little noiseshe
was very sensitive to noise; she opened her eyes and saw
something like a moonbeamthere was no moon that nightlighting
up a corner of her room. And she noticed that a little gnome
was there, like the ones you see in the fairy-tales of Norway
and Sweden, Scandinavian fairy-tales. He was a tiny little
fellow with a big head, a pointed cap, pointed shoes of
dark green, a long white beard, and all covered with snow.
she looked at himher eyes were openshe looked
at him and said, But
Eh! what are you doing
here?she was a little worried, for in the warmth
of her room the snow was melting and making a little pool
on the floor of her room. But what are you doing here!
he smiled at her, gave her his sweetest smile and said,
But we were called by the fir trees! Fir trees call
the snow. They are trees of the snow countries. I am the
Lord of the Snow, so I came to announce to you that
are coming. We have been called, we are coming.
But we are near the Sahara!
Ah! then you shouldnt have planted fir trees.
Finally she told him, Listen, I dont know if
what you tell me is true, but you are spoiling my floor.
he went away. The moonlight went with him. She lit a lampfor
there was no electricityshe lit a lamp and saw
a little pool of water in the place where he had stood.
So it was not a dream, there really was a little being whose
snow had melted in her room. And the next morning when the
sun rose, it rose upon mountains covered with snow. It was
the first time, it had never been seen before in that country.
then, every winternot for long, just for a little
whileall the mountains are covered with snow.
thats my story.
- The Mother
Once when I was at Tlemcen with Theon (this happened twice,
but I'm not sure about the second time because I was alone),
my body was in a cataleptic state and I was in conscious
trance.... It was a peculiar kind of catalepsy in the sense
that my body could speak, though very slowlyTheon
had taught me how to do it. But this is because the 'life
of the form' always remains (this is what takes seven days
to leave the body) and it can even be trained to make the
body movethe being is no longer there, but the life
of the form can make the body move (in any case, utter words).
However, this state is not without danger, the proof being
that while I was working in trance, for some reason or other
(which I no longer remember, but obviously due to some negligence
on the part of Theon who was there to watch over me), the
cordI don't know what to call itwent snap! The
link was cut, malevolently, and when it was time and I wanted
to return, I could no longer re-enter my body. But I was
still able to warn him: 'The cord is cut.' Then he used
his power and knowledge to help me come backbut it
was no joke! It was very difficult. And this is when I had
the experience of the two different states, because the
part that had gone out was now without the body's supportthe
link was cut. Then I knew. Of course, I was in a special
state; I was doing a fully conscious work with all the vital
power, and I was in control not only of my surroundings
but.... You see, what happens is a kind of reversal of consciousness:
you begin to belong to another world; you feel this quite
distinctly. Theon instantly told me to concentrate (I was
finding it all interestingMother laughsI
was making experiments and getting ready to go wandering
off, but he was terribly scared that I would die on him!).
He begged me to concentrate, so I concentrated on my body.
I re-entered, it hurt terribly, terriblyan excruciating
pain, like plunging into a hell.
Into a hell (Mother laughs).
It was frightful. It doesn't last long.
made me drink half a glass of cognac (he always made me
take some every day after the trance because I would work
in trance for more than an hour, which is generally a forbidden
practice). Still, I am quite sure that with anybody but
me and him, this would have been the end. I would not have
- The Mother