Gradations in Death
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I wondered whether it was peculiar to the earth and if the other planets and suns weren't in this idiotic situation? ... On an external level it would be interesting to know. But I am nearly sure that death, for instance, is something that belongs exclusively to earth life—death as we FEEL it, as we understand it. Yet animals take part in it, but they don't have man's mental deformation.... The taste for drama is exclusively human, because those animals that live with man catch the malady, while those that don't don't have it at all.


For two days the sense of not knowing whether you are alive or dead (but these are words on the surface), of not being very sure of the difference it makes.... And then, the body asking this question: "But everyone has his theory: one says death is like this, another says it's like that, yet another says still something different, but what is our OWN experience like? ..." And it was like that (gesture of hanging between two worlds).

Then the body suddenly remembered (that was rather interesting; it's more recent, it was yesterday or the day before), the body suddenly remembered that it had once been brought back to life. It said, "But you knew at that time, you knew since you brought me back to life. Then I recollected what I used to know (and had stopped knowing because the knowledge was quite incomplete—it was entirely external and lacked the higher knowledge), I recollected the experience, and the two things joined together [the old knowledge and the new]. "Now," I said, "this is interesting!"

You know, the story of the "soul leaving the body," what childishness! Because I had that experience, too, of leaving (not the soul! It's entirely independent, always and in everyone), of leaving the psychic being, the individual psychic being. When I went away from here in 1915, I left my psychic being here deliberately. I left it here, I didn't take it with me. So the body can live without psychic being (it was rather sick, by the way, but that wasn't the reason—it's again the taste for drama! ... Oh, always the taste for drama!).

There we are.

So the problem narrows down more and more.... If your most material vital being goes out, it doesn't make you die—it puts you in catalepsy, but it doesn't make you die. What makes you die? ...

There are two things that make you die. One (the one that precedes the dramatic human existence) is wear and tear. What does wear and tear come from? From Ignorance, obviously. Ignorance and incapacity to renew forces; that's how the whole lower life works: it decomposes, recomposes, decomposes again.... But it's only with animality and the beginning of a mental functioning that there arises (Mother takes on a grandiloquent tone) "death," as we conceive it. But that is when the vital element that gives life (what we call "life") breaks down. There are innumerable reasons for that, all of which come from the same source. Of course, looking at it as a whole, it is the incapacity to follow the movement of progress: the need to mix everything together again in order to start all over again. But for those who begin to think, that no longer has any reason to exist.

An accident?... An accident to the material combination. But which accident, since the heart can stop and start again? It's a question of how long the accident lasts.

If, for this wear and tear, this deterioration (which comes from the Inconscient and is the result of the RESISTANCE of the Inconscient), if for this we can substitute the aspiration for progress and transformation (not with words—the vibration)... That experience has been given me several times. Suppose something is quite upset, there is a pain somewhere, something disorganized that no longer works properly; if there is the vision and conception in faith (faith and consecration to the Supreme) that it's deliberate, that the Supreme has allowed it to be (how can I express it? All words are meaningless), has allowed or willed it, or wanted it to be, because to Him it was the best way to transform the thing, to have it make the necessary progress, if the cells that are somewhat disorganized and "sick," as they say, are able to feel this... then, instantly, it takes a marvelous turn for the better—instantly, in five minutes, ten minutes. I could give concrete, precise examples, with all the details. So that means bringing the two extremes into contact, I might say. And if that can become the normal life of the elements which make up this outer form, then there is no reason why...

No, there is no need to die, no need whatsoever. There comes a point when death loses all meaning.

And in the small detail, in the little cell or the faint sensation (and when you come to feelings, there is some kind of thing which is the embryo of thought—oh, then...), you catch the taste for drama. Ah, then everything is explained.

The taste for drama, the need for catastrophe.

That's what was there, pressing and pressing on the earth to bring about all the conditions for a clashing and clangoring grand finale (Mother shrugs her shoulders).

And only one remedy: to broaden into eternal peace ... To break limits, become immense.

(long silence)
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14 June 1967
- The Mother

Let us give joy to all for joy is ours. - Sri Aurobindo