On Money and Organization
Conversations and Statements
On money and organization in
Money is the visible sign of a universal force, and this force in its manifestation on earth works on the vital and physical planes and is indispensable to the fullness of the outer life. In its origin and its true action it belongs to the Divine. But like other powers of the Divine it is delegated here and in the ignorance of the lower Nature can be usurped for the uses of the ego or held by Asuric influences and perverted to their purpose. This is indeed one of the three forces — power, wealth, sex — that have the strongest attraction for the human ego and the Asura and are most generally misheld and misused by those who retain them. The seekers or keepers of wealth are more often possessed rather than its possessors; few escape entirely a certain distorting influence stamped on it by its long seizure and perversion by the Asura. For this reason most spiritual disciplines insist on a complete self-control, detachment and renunciation of all bondage to wealth and of all personal and egoistic desire for its possession. Some even put a ban on money and riches and proclaim poverty and bareness of life as the only spiritual condition. But this is an error; it leaves the power in the hands of the hostile forces. To reconquer it for the Divine to whom it belongs and use it divinely for the divine life is the supramental way for the Sadhaka.
You must neither turn with an ascetic shrinking from the money power, the means it gives and the objects it brings, nor cherish a rajasic attachment to them or a spirit of enslaving self-indulgence in their gratifications. Regard wealth simply as a power to be won back for the Mother and placed at her service.
All wealth belongs to the Divine and those who hold it are trustees, not possessors. It is with them today, tomorrow it may be elsewhere. All depends on the way they discharge their trust while it is with them, in what spirit, with what consciousness in their use of it, to what purpose.
In your personal use of money look on all you have or get or bring as the Mother’s. Make no demand but accept what you receive from her and use it for the purposes for which it is given to you. Be entirely selfless, entirely scrupulous, exact, careful in detail, a good trustee; always consider that it is her possessions and not your own that you are handling. On the other hand, what you receive for her, lay religiously before her; turn nothing to your own or anybody else’s purpose.
Do not look up to men because of their riches or allow yourself to be impressed by the show, the power or the influence. When you ask for the Mother, you must feel that it is she who is demanding through you a very little of what belongs to her and the man from whom you ask will be judged by his response.
If you are free from the money-taint but without any ascetic withdrawal, you will have a greater power to command the money for the divine work. Equality of mind, absence of demand and the full dedication of all you possess and receive and all your power of acquisition to the Divine Shakti and her work are the signs of this freedom. Any perturbation of mind with regard to money and its use, any claim, any grudging is a sure index of some imperfection or bondage.
The ideal Sadhaka in this kind in one who if required to live poorly can so live and no sense of want will affect him or interfere with the full inner play of the divine consciousness, and if he is required to live richly, can so live and never for a moment fall into desire or attachment to his wealth or to the things that he uses or servitude to self-indulgence or a weak bondage to the habits that the possession of riches creates. The divine Will is all for him and the divine Ananda.
In the supramental creation the money-force has to be restored to the Divine Power and used for a true and beautiful and harmonious equipment and ordering of a new divinised vital and physical existence in whatever way the Divine Mother herself decides in her creative vision. But first it must be conquered back for her and those will be strongest for the conquest who are in this part of their nature strong and large and free from ego and surrendered without any claim or withholding or hesitation, pure and powerful channels for the Supreme Puissance.
There should be somewhere on earth a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of goodwill who have a sincere aspiration could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme truth; a place of peace, concord and harmony where all the fighting instincts of man would be used exclusively to conquer the causes of his sufferings and miseries, to surmount his weaknesses and ignorance, to triumph over his limitations and incapacities; a place where the needs of the spirit and the concern for progress would take precedence over the satisfaction of desires and passions, the search for pleasure and material enjoyment. In this place, children would be able to grow and develop integrally without losing contact with their souls; education would be given not for passing examinations or obtaining certificates and posts but to enrich existing faculties and bring forth new ones. In this place, titles and positions would be replaced by opportunities to serve and organize; the bodily needs of each one would be equally provided for, and intellectual, moral and spiritual superiority would be expressed in the general organization not by an increase in the pleasures and powers of life but by increased duties and responsibilities. Beauty in all its artistic forms, painting, sculpture, music, literature, would be equally accessible to all; the ability to share in the joy it brings would be limited only by the capacities of each one and not by social and financial position. For in this ideal place money would no longer be the sovereign lord; individual worth would have a far greater importance than that of material wealth and social standing. There, work would not be a way to earn one’s living but a way to express oneself and to develop one’s capacities and possibilities while being of service to the community as a whole, which, for its own part, would provide for each individual’s subsistence and sphere of action. In short, it would be a place where human relationships, which are normally based almost exclusively on competition and strife, would be replaced by relationships of emulation in doing well, of collaboration and real brotherhood.
The earth is certainly not ready to realize such an ideal, for mankind does not yet possess sufficient knowledge to understand and adopt it nor the conscious force that is indispensable in order to execute it; that is why I call it a dream.
And yet this dream is in the course of becoming a reality…
The Mother, August 1954
July 6, 1958
This morning I asked myself the question, ‘is money truly under Nature’s control?’ I shall have to see… Because for me personally, she always gives everything in abundance.
When I was young, I was as poor as a turkey, as poor as could be! As an artist, I had sometimes to go out in society (as artists are forced to). I had lacquered boots that were cracked… and I painted them so it wouldn’t show! This is to tell you the state in which I was — poor as a turkey. So one day, in a shop window, I saw a very pretty petticoat much in fashion then, with lace, ribbons, etc. (It was the fashion in those days to have long skirts which trailed on the floor, and I didn’t have a petticoat which could go with such things — I didn’t care, it didn’t matter to me in the least, but since Nature has told me that I would always have everything I needed, I wanted to make an experiment.) So I said, ‘Well, I would very much like to have a petticoat to go with these skirts.’ I got five of them! They came from every direction!
And it is always like that. I never ask for anything, but if by chance I say to myself, ‘Hmm, wouldn’t it be nice to have that,’ mountains of them pour in! So last year, I made an experiment, I told Nature, ‘Listen, my little one, you say that you will collaborate, you told me I would never lack anything. Well then, to put it on a level of feelings, it would really be fun, it would give me joy (in the style of Krishna’s joy), to have a lot of money to do everything I feel like doing. It’s not that I want to increase things for myself, no; you give me more than I need. But to have some fun, to be able to give freely, to do things freely, to spend freely — I am asking you to give me a crore of rupees for my birthday!
She didn’t do a thing! Nothing, absolutely nothing: a complete refusal. Did she refuse or was unable to? It may be that… I always saw that money was under the control of an asuric force. (I am speaking of currency, ‘cash’; I don’t want to do business. When I try to do business, it generally succeeds very well, but I don’t mean that. I am speaking of cash.) I never asked her that question.
The first time I came here and spoke with Sri Aurobindo about what was needed for the Work, he told me (he also wrote it to me) that for the secure achievement of the Work we would need three powers: one was the power over health, the second was the power over the government, and the third was the power over money.
Health naturally depends upon the sadhana; but even that is not so sure: there are other factors. As for the second, the power over government, Sri Aurobindo looked at it, studied it, considered very carefully, and finally he told me, ‘There is only one way to have that power: it is to be the government. One can influence individuals, one can transmit the will to them, but their hands are tied. In a government, there is no individual, nor even several, who is all-powerful and who can decide things. One must be the government oneself and give it to the desired orientation.’
For the last, for money, he told me, ‘I still don’t know exactly what it depends on’. Then one day I entered into trance with this idea in mind, and after a certain journey I came to a place like a subterranean grotto (which means that it is in the subconscient, or perhaps even in the inconscient) which was the source, the place and the power over money. I was about to enter this grotto (a kind of inner cave) when I saw, coiled and upright, an immense serpent, like an all black python, formidable, as big as a seven-story house, who said, ‘You cannot pass!’ — ‘Why not? Let me pass!’ — ‘Myself, I would let you pass, but if I did, “they” would immediately destroy me.’ — ‘Who, then is this “they”?’ — ‘They are the Asuric powers who rule over money. They have put me there to guard the entrance, precisely so that you may not enter.’ — ‘And what is it that would give one the power to enter?’ Then he told me something like this: ‘I heard (that is, he himself had no special knowledge, but it was something he had heard from his masters, those who ruled over him), I heard that he who will have a total power over the human sexual impulses (not merely in himself, but a universal power — that is, a power enabling him to control this everywhere, among all men) will have the right to enter.’ In other words, these forces would not be able to prevent him from entering.
A personal realization is very easy, it is nothing at all; a personal realization is one thing, but the power to control it among all men — that is to control or master such movements at will, everywhere — is quite another. I don’t believe that this… condition has been fulfilled. If what the serpent said is true and if this is really what will vanquish these hostile forces that rule over money, well then, it has not been fulfilled.
It has been fulfilled to a certain extent — but it’s negligible. It is conditional, limited: in one case, it works; in another, it doesn’t. It is quite problematic. And natural, where terrestrial things are involved (I don’t say universal, but in any case terrestrial), when it is something involving the earth, it must be complete; there cannot be any approximations.
Therefore, it’s an affair between the asuras and the human species. To transform itself is the only solution left to the human species — in other words, to tear from the asuric forces the power of ruling over the human species.
So considering all that Sri Aurobindo came to the conclusion that only the supramental power… (Mother brings down her hands) as he said, will be able to rule over everything. And when that happen, it will be all over — including nature….
4 October 1958
(Towards the end of the conversation, about money:)
Money belongs to the one who spends it; that is an absolute law. You may pile up money, but it doesn’t belong to you until you spend it. Then you have the merit, the glory, the joy, the pleasure of spending it!
Money is meant to circulate. What should remain constant is the progressive movement of an increase in the earth’s production — an ever-expanding progressive movement to increase the earth’s production and improve existence on earth. It is the material improvement of terrestrial life and the growth of the earth’s production that must go on expanding, enlarging, and not this silly paper or this inert metal that is amassed and lifeless.
Money is not meant to generate money; money should generate an increase in production, an improvement in the conditions of life and a progress in human consciousness. This is its true use. What I call an improvement of consciousness, a progress in consciousness, is everything that education in all its forms can provide — not as it’s generally understood, but as we understand it here: education in art, education in… from the education of the body, from the most material progress, to the spiritual education and progress through yoga; the whole spectrum, everything that serve to augment that and to augment the material base for the earth’s progress, the best use of what the earth can give — its intelligent utilization, not the utilization that wastes and loses energies. The use that allows energies to be replenished.
In the universe there is an inexhaustible source of energy that asks only to be replenished; if you know how to go about it, it is replenished. Instead of draining life and the energies of our earth and making it something parched and inert, we must know the practical exercise for replenishing the energy constantly. And these are not just words; I know how it’s to be done, and science is in the process of thoroughly finding out — it has found out most admirably. But instead of using it to satisfy human passions, instead of using what science has found so that men may destroy each other more effectively than they are presently doing, it must be used to enrich the earth, to make the earth richer and richer, more active, generous, productive and to make all life grow towards its maximum efficiency. This is the true use of money. And if it’s not used like that, it’s a vice — ‘short circuit’ and a vice.
But how many people know how to use it in this way? Very few, which is why they have to be taught. What I call ‘teach’ is to show, to give the example. We want to be the example of true living in the world. It’s a challenge I am placing before the whole financial world: I am telling them that they are in the process of withering and ruining the earth with their idiotic system; and with even less than they are now spending for useless things — merely for inflating something that has no inherent life, that should be only an instrument at the service of life, that has no reality in itself, that is only a means and not an end (they make an end of something that is only a means). well then, instead of making of it an end, they should make it the means. With what they have at their disposal they could… of, transform the earth so quickly! Transform it, put it into contact, truly into contact, with the supramental forces that would make life bountiful and, indeed, constantly renewed — instead of becoming withered, stagnant, shriveled up: a future moon. A dead moon.
We are told that in a few millions or billions of years, the earth will become some kind of moon. The movement should be the opposite: the earth should become more and more a resplendent sun, but a sun of life. Not a sun that burns, but a sun that illumines — a radiant glory.
[The following note has been written by other in French. The heading is hers]
Money is a force and should not be an individual possession, no more than air, water of fire.
To begin with, the abolishment of inheritance.
Financial power is the materialization of a vital force turned into one of the greatest powers of action: the power to attract, acquire, and utilize. Like all the other powers, it must be put at the service of the Divine.
January 14, 1963
Agreed, then we’ll try and learn to laugh with the Lord.
I know — I know He wants me to learn not to take seriously the responsibility (“responsibility” isn’t the right word), the formidable task of finding 8,000 rupees a day to meet the Ashram’s expenses — in other words, a colossal fortune every month.
And I very well see (Because I told him several times, “You know, it would be great fun if I had plenty of money to play with”), so I see that He laughs, but He doesn’t answer!… He teaches me to be able to laugh at this difficulty, to see the cashier send me his book in which the figures are growing astronomical ([laughing] it’s by 50,000, 60,000, 80,000, 90,000), while the drawer is nearly empty! And He wants me to learn to laugh at it. The day when I can really laugh — laugh, enjoy myself — sincerely (not through effort — you can do anything you want through effort), when it makes me laugh spontaneously, I think it will change. Because otherwise it’s impossible… You see, you have fun with all sorts of things, there’s no reason we couldn’t have fun with more money than we need and do things in style! It will surely happen one day, but we should — we shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the amount, and for that we shouldn’t take money seriously.
We shouldn’t take money seriously.
It’s very hard nowadays, because all over the world people take money seriously, and that makes it very hard. Especially those who have money. Those who have money, how seriously they take it, oh, Lord! That’s why it is difficult. We should be able to laugh — laugh, laugh frankly and sincerely, then it would be over.
Well!… All right, we’ll talk about it again.
Good-bye, mon petit.
October 19, 1963
I am coming to the conclusion that there must be a great power (a transforming power, probably) in the extreme tension of circumstances. Let me explain myself:
The Help is ever present, in the sense that you unquestionably feel that the Force acts (the “Force,” that is, the supreme Consciousness and supreme Knowledge), the Force acts with a sort of pressure on all people and all circumstances, in a favorable direction so that what happens may truly be the best — and the best hierarchically; in other words, the highest and purest (you know my definition of “pure”) is a sort of center in relation to which things get organized; they get organized hierarchically, each with it’s “right to progress” but as if to favor what’s closest to and most expressive of the Divine — that is going on constantly, I see hundreds of examples of it all the time. Yet, from the point of view of outer circumstances, there is such a tension that you feel you are close to catastrophe.
Sri Aurobindo told me that there are three difficulties, and they are the three things that have to be conquered for the earth to be ready (this is from the purely outward point of view, I am not speaking of psychological factors): government, money, health.
Of the three, health is the most directly connected to the inner transformation, but not completely so because it constantly depends on what comes in from outside: influences, vibrations — the contagion from the outside. You have to eat: everything you receive along with food — it’s fantastic! There’s so much that eating represents a considerable work — the physical digestion is nothing, but the work of assimilation and adaptation of all the rest is considerable. Consequently, of the three, health is the most directly under the influence of the inner progress, but, as I said, not completely so. Therefore, that too has to be conquered.
As for money, when Sri Aurobindo was there was no problem: all that we needed came. Yet the last two years were beginning to be more difficult and he kept saying, I think I already told you, that it resulted from the wrong attitude of the people around; that this wrong attitude represented a considerable problem — it has gone from bad to worse, it has become quite acute.
As for government, it has followed an opposite curve: in the beginning, it was frightfully hostile, I mean, simply to be able to stay here we had to struggle every minute. And Sri Aurobindo told me that probably both health and money would give way at once; maybe health first and money afterwards, but not with a big difference. And he added, “As for the government, there is but one solution, only one: it is to be the government.” If you are not the government, you will never be able to conquer it, except when the earth is transformed — but then there won’t be any work left! This is the situation. Things have been like this for… forty, fifty years — more than forty years.
But because of my inner work, I become increasingly aware of things, increasingly aware of the Care, the Solicitude and the hierarchical Organization of circumstances so that the most precious and useful thing for the divine work is favored — of course not conspicuously so, but inwardly. And yet, in the three domains — government, money and health — things always reach a point, a point of such tension and complication that if you didn’t have the inner certitude, they would always seem to point simply to the catastrophe, the fall. And it’s always at that point that… (gesture of abrupt reversal) everything turns around — not before, not one minute before.
It’s not to give me faith — I have it; it’s not to give me consciousness — I have it; it’s for an outward reason. I cannot yet grasp why. Because inwardly, even if I were told that everything would be demolished in the most tragic manner, I would say, “Very well.” And in all sincerity, you know, nothing anywhere in me starts protesting or vibrating, nothing at all. I say, “All right.” But I see — I do see that in that tension, a certain power is released, like a power intense enough to cure a tamas, to change a tamas.
7 September 1966
(Then Mother sorts out flowers and keep one aside for the Ashram’s cashier.)
I don’t have any money either. I owe him 15,000 rupees and the poor man has to pay all the rents…. I have debts everywhere! (Mother laughs)
That’s how it is, it doesn’t matter!
In the past, when I had money problems, I always had money from here or there, it was easy: I would take it, and as soon as money came, I’d put it back. But now it no longer works! I owe Amrita 20,000 rupees; I owe H. 13,000; I owe the cashier 15,000 rupees. That’s how it is. It doesn’t matter, I don’t attach any importance to it.
We have an awesome budget; we have the budget of a small village — no, a small town. It’s a budget of 26 lakhs of rupees a year, you understand. And then, all those who used to give me money (people who had businesses and so on), have been ruined by the government’s wonderful actions. So they can’t give me any more. They give what they can, they are very nice, they make great efforts, but…
The only ones who could give me money are the scoundrels! (Mother laughs) They have plenty of money, stolen from everywhere, but they don’t want to give it!
It doesn’t matter, it’ll only last for a time.
There is a sort of wind blowing, like a gust of great confusion; a very dark confusion totally deprived of intelligence. Discernment, clear-sightedness, even enlightened common sense, seem to have disappeared everywhere. It’s a phase to go through.
Wealth doesn’t depend on the amount of money you have: it depends on the proportion between that money and what you have to spend. To poor fellows without responsibilities except themselves and their family, I would appear extremely rich. I receive a thousand rupees daily — but I need seven thousand! I spend seven thousand and receive a thousand, that’s the proportion.
You must do something about the scoundrels.
(Mother laughs) You know, there are lots of people who put money in their walls (they hide it with curtains or papers). There’s a fortune, several crores of rupees: millions hidden away in walls! And then they worry themselves sick, they constantly fear a police raid; while if they give it away, they would become quite respectable people! They wouldn’t be scarred anymore, they would have a peaceful life…. I have the possibility of saying that they are anonymous gifts, as in temples; so that’s a way for them to turn honest, it would be all to their advantage, but they are more attached to their money than to their life! I said several times (I know some people who have money hidden in their walls), I let it be known through intermediaries that they only had put it in a suitcase and come and leave it at my door. And I’ll say it’s an anonymous gift, that’s all. And they will be free — not only free, but (smiling) with a blessing, because it’s for the divine work….. No, they are prisoners, prisoners of their money.
And the rather interesting thing is that (without any exception so far) all those who had an opportunity to give me money and didn’t want to — who didn’t want to because of their attachment to money — lost it. It was taken from them, either by the government or a financial catastrophe or an industrial catastrophe, or simply stolen — lost.
A very long time ago (Sri Aurobindo was still here), an old Tamil financier came here with his wife. He lived to be very old; his wife died and he stayed on. And he gave money: he paid for his expenses, made little gifts now and then, but he was very rich. And when his wife died, he thought, “Ah, what if I gave all that I have?” Then he had second thoughts: “One never knows, the Ashram might come to an end…..3 And he left all his money with relatives of his who were bankers or whaetevr, and … pffft! All gone. So he himself said, “There’s my folly! I don’t have it, anyway I don’t have that money; if I had given it I would have had the credit of giving it; now I have neither the money nor the credit!” (Mother laughs)
October 5, 1968
About the financial situation, I have a little story to tell you, which took place on Sunday or Monday. I told you that the situation was quite…to ordinary consciousness, it was critical. And there was a payment to be made. I don’t remember the material details, but something had to be paid very urgently (I think it was to the workers: they were hungry and hadn’t been given their money). And I needed a certain amount — which I didn’t have: I had nothing. Then a sort of compassion came into me for those people who didn’t have any money. I saw it wasn’t right, and I could not do anything because there was none. So, in the evening while I was walking (I have an hour of meditation and quiet, of concentration), I presented it all like this (gesture upward), and with an almost childlike attitude I said to the Lord (He was here, of course, I was with Him) something that cannot be translated (I don’t know, I don’t speak but it could be translated into words) roughly like this: “I know you are with me and behind everything I do and everywhere, but I’d like to know whether what I do, the work I do interests You or not! (Mother laughs) And if it does interest You, well, I must have this money.”
It came like that, in a quite childlike form, but very, very pure. And two days later, when it was necessary for the money to come, for me to have money, just as everything seemed quite impossible, Amrita suddenly came in, telling me, “Here, so-and-so has sent a cheque for such-and-such an amount.” — Exactly the amount needed. And I think it was the first time that person has sent money. It was quite unexpected, absolutely a miracle — a miracle for children. The required amount, just at the required time, and absolutely unexpected. Then I had a good laugh. And I said to myself, “How silly we can be! We don’t know that everything happens exactly as it has to.”
I can’t say that I worry (I never do) but I was wondering… sometimes I wonder, “Is it going to go on, or…” I am not quite sure of what’s going to happen, because… I never try to know nor do I desire to know, but I don’t feel I am “told.” (I think this is another mental stupidity and when nothing is formulated, it means things are all right and as they should be.) But, of course, there is a childishness that would like to be “told,” “Do this this way and that way, and this…” But it doesn’t work! It’s not like that!
I don’t receive any command: when I have something to say, I receive the exact word or sentence, in an absolute way; but for action, I don’t receive any command, because… I don’t think I have any hesitation, I never wonder, “Should I do this or should I do that?” Never. My whole effort is to live from minute to minute. I mean, to do every minute exactly what should be done, without making plans, without thinking, without… because it all becomes mental; as soon as you start thinking something out, that’s no longer it. But quite instinctively and spontaneously, I do what needs to be done: this, that, this…. When something needs a response, it comes. As for money, it’s the same thing; the only thing I am led to do is to say, “So-and-so has asked for so much, such-and-such Service needs so much,” like that (not a long time in advance, but when it becomes imperative). And that’s all. It’s like that. So I don’t know what will happen tomorrow; I don’t at all seek to know what’s going to happen. But on that day, I seemed to be asking, “Well, give me proof that You are interested.” — Poff! It came just at the right time. So I laughed, I said to myself, “What a baby I must still be!”
And for two days, just when I needed to give some money, it came. So I said, “All right, that’s fine.” But now it’s no longer so amusing! It was really amusing! It was really amusing.
There is now a kind of organization, maybe not quite on an ordinary level but on a human one (maybe not just human, but anyway), the spirit of organization likes to have everything in front of it like a picture, and then to make plans, to organize, see: this comes here, that comes there…. All that is useless. We must learn to live from minute to minute, like that. It’s much more comfortable And what prevents things from being so is (I think) that it’s exactly contrary to the reasonable human mind, and that everyone around me expects me to make plans and decisions and… So there is a pressure; I think that’s it. Otherwise, it would naturally and spontaneously be like that: the miracle every minute. My tendency is always to say, “Oh, don’t worry! The more you worry, the more difficult you make things — don’t bother, don’t bother.” But they stare at me with a kind of horror (Mother laughs): I don’t “plan ahead,” you see.
That’s my little “story” — my little miracle. It was as though to tell me, “Oh, you’d like to see a miracle? — Here it is, ready-made!” (Mother laughs) It’s a good lesson.
30 December 1967
(Mother extracts from a heap of papers, letters and envelopes of all kinds, a note on Auroville, which was based on her words but written from memory.)
(Laughing) All this hangs together in a marvelous balance!
(The disciple reads out the note)
“Auroville will be a self-supporting township.
“All who live there will participate in its life and development.
“This participation may be passive or active.
“There will be no taxes as such but each will contribute to the collective welfare in work, kind or money.
“Sections like Industries which participate actively will contribute part of their income towards the development of the township. Or if they produce something (like foodstuff) useful for the citizens, they will contribute in kind to the township which is responsible for the feeding of the citizens.
“No rules or laws are being framed. Things will get formulated as the underlying Truth of the township emerges and takes shape progressively. We do not anticipate.”
Is that all?
I thought I had said more than that. Because inwardly I said a lot, a whole lot about the organization of food and so on…. We are going to try things out.
Some things are really interesting. For instance, I’d like… To begin with, every country will have its pavilion, and in the pavilion, there will be a kitchen from that country, which means that the Japanese will be able to eat Japanese food if they want to (!), and so on, but in the township itself, there will be food for vegetarians, food for non-vegetarians, and also a sort of attempt to find “tomorrow’s food.” The idea is that all this work of assimilation which makes you so heavy (it takes up so much time and energy from the being) should be done BEFORE, that you should be able to immediately assimilate what you are given, as with things they now make; for instance, they have those vitamins that can be directly assimilated, and also (what do they call it?… [Mother tries to remember] I take them every day…. Words and I aren’t on very good terms!)… proteins. Nutritive principles that are found in one thing or another and aren’t voluminous—you need to take a tremendous quantity of food to assimilate very little. So now that they are clever enough on the chemical level, that could be simplified. People don’t like it, simply because… they take an intense pleasure in eating (!), but when you no longer take pleasure in eating, you need to be nourished and not to waste your time with that. The amount of time lost is enormous: time for eating, time for digesting, and the rest. So I would like an experimental kitchen to be there, a sort of “culinary laboratory,” for a try. And according to their tastes and tendencies, people would go here or there.
And you don’t pay for your food, but you must give work, or ingredients: for example, those who had fields would give the produce of their fields; those who had factories would give their products; or else your own work in exchange for food.
That alone does away with much of the internal circulation of money.
And in every field things of that sort could be found…. Ultimately, it must be a town for studies—studies and research on how to live both in a simplified way and in a way such that the higher qualities have MORE TIME to develop. There.
It’s only a small beginning.
(Then Mother goes over the text of the note,
sentence by sentence)
“Auroville will be a self-supporting township.”
I want to insist on the fact that it will be an experiment: it’s to make experiments—experiments, research, studies.
An experimental city?
Yes… Auroville will be a city that will attempt to be, or strive or want to be, self-supporting, that is…
“Autonomous” would be understood as a sort of independence that breaks off relations with the outside, and that’s not what I mean.
For instance, those who produce food, a factory such as “Aurofood” (naturally, when we are fifty thousand, it will be difficult to meet the needs, but for the moment we’ll only be a few thousand at the most), well, a factory always produces far too much…. So it will sell outside and receive money. And “Aurofood,” for instance, wants to have a special relationship with workers, not at all the old system—something that would be an improvement on the Communist system, a more balanced organization that Sovietism or Communism, that is, which doesn’t too much lean either toward one side or the other.
The idea of Aurofood is good, and they are trying to make propaganda among industrialists.
And there is one thing I wanted to say. One’s participation in the welfare and existence of the whole township isn’t something worked out individually: such and such an individual must give so much. It’s not like that. It’s worked out according to one’s means, activity, possibilities of production; it’s not the democratic idea, which cuts everything into small equal bits—an absurd machinery. It’s worked out according to one’s means: one who has much gives much, one who has little gives little; one who is strong works a lot, one who isn’t does something else. You understand, it’s something truer, deeper. And that’s why I am not trying to explain it right away, because people will start making all kinds of protests. It must come into being AUTOMATICALLY, so to say, with the growth of the township, in the true spirit. That’s why this note is quite succinct.
This sentence, for instance:
“All who live there will participate in its life and development…”
… according to their capacities and means, not a mechanical “so much per unit.” That’s the point. It must be something living and TRUE, not mechanical. And “according to their capacities,” that is, one who has material means such as those a factory gives will have to provide in proportion to his production—not so much per individual or per head.
“This participation may be passive or active.”
I don’t understand what they mean by “passive” (because I spoke in French, then they put it into English). What can they mean by “passive”?… It would rather be on different planes or levels of consciousness.
You meant that those who basically are sages, who work within, won’t have to…
Yes, that’s right. Those who have a higher knowledge won’t have to work with their hands, that’s what I mean.
“There will be no taxes as such but each will contribute to the collective welfare in work, kind or money.”
So that’s clear: there will be no taxes of any kind, but everyone will have to contribute to the collective welfare through his work, in kind or with money. Those who have nothing other than money will give money. But to tell the truth, the “work” may be an inner work (but that can’t be said, because people aren’t honest enough). The work may be an occult work, a completely inner work, but of course, for it to be so, it must be absolutely sincere and true, and with the capacity: no pretense. But it’s not necessarily a material work.
“Sections like Industries which participate actively will contribute part of their income towards the development of the township. Or if they produce something (like foodstuff) useful for the citizens, they will contribute in kind to the township which is responsible for the feeding of the citizens.”
That’s what we’ve said. The industries will participate actively, they will contribute. If they are industries producing articles that aren’t in constant need—and are therefore in amounts or numbers too great for the township’s own use, so that they will be sold outside—those industries must naturally participate through money. And I take the example of food: those who produce food will give the township what it needs (in proportion to what they produce, of course), and it is the township’s responsibility to feed everyone. That means people won’t have to buy their food with money, but they will have to earn it.
It’s a kind of adaptation of the Communist system, but not in a spirit of levelling: according to everyone’s capacity, his position (not a psychological or intellectual one), his INNER position.
In democracies and with the Communists, there’s a levelling down: everyone is pulled down to the same level.
Yes, that’s just the point.
The true part is that every human being has the material right… (but it’s not a “right”…). The organization should be such, arranged in such a way, that everyone’s material need should be met, not according to notions of right and equality, but on the basis of the most elementary necessities; then, once that is established, everyone must be free to organize his life, not according to his monetary means, but according to his inner capacities.
“No rules or laws are being framed. Things will get formulated as the underlying Truth of the township emerges and takes shape progressively. We do not anticipate.”
What I mean is that usually (always so far, and more and more so), men establish mental rules according to their conceptions and their ideal, then they apply them (Mother lowers her fist, as if to show the world under the mental grip). And that’s absolutely false, arbitrary, unreal, so the result is that things revolt, or else waste away and disappear…. It’s the experience of LIFE ITSELF that must slowly work out rules AS SUPPLE AND VAST as possible, in order that they ever remain progressive. Nothing must be fixed. That’s the immense error of governments: they build a framework and say, “Here is what we’ve established, now we must live under it.” So naturally, Life is crushed and prevented from progressing. It is Life itself, developing more and more in a progression towards Light, Knowledge, Power, that must little by little establish rules as general as possible, so as to be extremely supple and capable of changing according to need—of changing AS RAPIDLY as habits and needs do.
At bottom, the problem almost boils down to this: to replace the mental government of intelligence by the government of a spiritualized consciousness.
April 10, 1968
The first thing to be accepted and recognized by all is that the invisible, higher power (higher in the sense that it belongs to a plane of consciousness which, although veiled to most, one can gain, a consciousness one may call as one likes, any name — that doesn’t matter — but which is integral and pure in the sense that it’s not mendacious, it’s based on the Truth), that this power is capable of governing material things for everyone in a MUCH TRUER, happier and more beneficial way then any material power.
The second thing is the power of conviction. That is to say, the highest consciousness, when it’s put in contact with Matter, spontaneously has… (what should I call it?… It’s not an “influence,” because there’s no will to influence…. I might put it this way:) it has a power of conviction greater than that of all intermediary regions. Through simple contact, its power of conviction that is its power of transformation, is greater than that of all the intermediary regions. That is a fact. Those two facts make it impossible for any pretense to last. (I am looking at it from the standpoint of a collective organisation.)
As soon as you come down from that supreme Height, you find the whole play of diverse influences (gesture of mixture and conflict), and that’s in fact a sure sign: if you come down ever so slightly (even into a region of higher mentality, higher intelligence), the WHOLE conflict of influences starts. Only what’s truly all the way up, with perfect purity, has this power of spontaneous conviction. All substitutes you may try are therefore an approximation, and not a much better one than democracy — by “democracy,” I mean the system that wants to rule through the greatest number and lowest masses (I am referring to “social democracy,” the latest trend).
If there is no representative of the supreme Consciousness (which can happen, of course), if there isn’t any, we could perhaps (this would be worth trying) replace him with the government by a small number — we would have to choose between four and eight, something like that : four, seven or eight — a small number having an INTUITIVE intelligence. “Intuitive is more important than “intelligence”: they should have an intuition that manifest intellectually. (From a practical standpoint it would have some drawbacks, but it might be nearer the truth than the lowest rung: socialism or communism.) All the intermediaries have proved incompetent: theocracy, aristocracy, democracy, plutocracy — all that is a complete failure….
The only thing which could be adequate is the Truth-Consciousness, which would chose some instruments and would express itself through a certain number of instruments, if there were no one (“one” isn’t enough either, “one” would inevitably need to choose a group).
But all those participating in the experience would have to be absolutely convinced that the highest consciousness is the best judge of the MOST MATERIAL THING. You see, what has ruined India is this idea that the higher consciousness has to do with “higher” things, while it’s not interested in lower things and knows nothing about them! That’s what has caused the ruin of India. Well, this error must be completely abolished. It’s the highest consciousness that sees the most clearly—the most clearly and the most truly—what the needs of the most material thing should be.
With this, we could try out a new kind of government.
3 August 1968
(Mother remains very tired. She nevertheless listens to a long paper on Auroville, which she rejects, and prepares with the disciple a note summing up the ideal of this future city.)
“For millenia, we have been developing outer means, outer instruments, outer techniques of living—and finally those means and techniques are crushing us. The sign of the new humanity is a reversal in the standpoint, and the understanding that inner knowledge and inner technique can change the world and master it without crushing it.
“Auroville is the place where this new way of living is being worked out, it is a center of accelerated evolution where man must begin to change his world through the power of the inner spirit.”
(Then Mother goes into a long contemplation)
It seems to be accelerated transformation, it’s a little crushing. We’ll see.
6 February 1969
(Notes of Roger Anger)
1. To build Auroville, do we need a method of working, organisation, co-ordination?
Discipline is necessary for life. To live, the body itself is subject in all its functions to a rigorous discipline. Any slackening of this discipline results in illness.
2. What should the nature of this organisation be ? In the present and in the Future.
Organisation is a discipline of action, but for Auroville we aspire to go beyond organisations, which are arbitrary and artificial. We want an organisation that is the expression of a higher consciousness working for the manifestation of the Truth of the Future.
3. Until we have a common consciousness and the true and way of working collectivly is in operation, what should we do?
A hierarchical organisation gathered round the most enlightened centre, submitting itself to a collective discipline.
4. Should we use methods of organisation of proven efficiency, but based on human logic and the use of machines?”
This is a makeshift to which we should submit ourselves only very provisionally.
5. Should we let the individual initiative manifest freely, personal action be impelled by inspiration and intuition, and turn down any suggestion which the individual concerned does not feel to be good?
To be viable, this would demand that all Auroville workers should be yogis, conscious of the Divine Truth.
6. Has the time come to aspire to, set up or attempt a general organisation, or should we wait for the correct attitude and people?
An organisation is needed for the work to be done. But the organisation itself should be flexible and progressive.
7. If the solution is to wait, is it nevertheless necessary to devise principles of organisation and to prevent the occurrence of an uncontrollable disorder?
All those who want to live and work in Auroville must have:
An integral goodwill, a constant aspiration to know the Truth and submit oneself to it.
A plasticity sufficient to face the demands of the work and a ceaseless will for progress so as to progress forever towards the ultimate Truth.
Finally a bit of advice:
Be more preoccupied with your own faults than with those of others.
If everyone seriously worked to perfect himself, the perfection of the whole would automatically follow.
May 3, 1969
This consciousness is very interesting. It has (smiling)… it’s not scorn, it’s a sort of faraway indifference for all human ideas — all conventions, all principles, all moralities, it finds all of that… absolutely grotesque. Now and then, it comes into contact with human ideas (Mother takes a surprised tone of voice): “Ooh! So that’s what they think…” It’s amusing!
There are two things. Death, it doesn’t at all understand what we mean by that, the importance we attach to it — but not at all. And then, money, to this consciousness is buffoonery: this system of money, the invention of this system, which prevents you from doing anything unless you pull out a banknote, to it, really it’s buffoonery. Strange, I suddenly realize that the psychic being (dominating gesture behind)… the psychic being is almost like a witness, it’s a witness to the whole operation of things, and it knows (it understands the deeper reasons, it knows how things are). It’s in the body that this Consciousness is so active, and so, every time the body goes on with the little habits from the time when there was a mind and a vital, really it feels it as a buffoonery. And the attitude with regard to money is like …. Death, food and money: this Consciousness feels those are the three ‘awesome” things in human life, that human life revolves around these three things — eating, (laughing) dying and having money — and to it the three are… they are passing inventions which derive from a wholly transitory state that doesn’t correspond to anything very deep or very permanent. That’s its attitude. And then it teaches the body to be otherwise.
May 10, 1969
… And then, this Consciousness seems to be drawn to two things: money and … (Mother runs her hand across her forehead as if she had forgotten). Oh, it’s gone — this Consciousness doesn’t want me to say it.
Politics, yes, it has shoved me right into it! I have been asked to choose the President [of India] who will replace the one who has just died! And the best part of the story is that this Consciousness immediately suggests what needs to be done…. We’ll see.
But regarding money, it doesn’t tell me what it replaces it with. You see, it wants money to be a circulating force. That’s perfectly true, but…
27 August 1969
(Mother takes a note near her)
There’s a Druid (laughing), a still-existing druid, from Brittany, who has written a letter to F. saying he had heard about Auroville from friends of hers and wants to come. He says, “I am poor, I am not bringing anything” (he is married, he and his wife intend to come together). He writes that he will bring a book; a book by one of his friends, who has had “the economic and financial vision” of the world. He will bring it—he says it’s a revelation—for it to be used in Auroville. So, in my answer, I intend to tell him, “Here is the basis on which Auroville is established…”
(Mother hands her note)
“Money is not meant to make money…
I wrote this in English very long ago and sent it to America: it caused a revolution! Most people were indignant that one might think such a thing!
“…Money is meant to prepare the earth for the new creation.”
So we’ll see the druid!… That makes the fourth person: we have a healer of cancer coming; we have a healer pure and simple coming; we have… (Mother tries to remember) ah, yes, a Persian inventor who has made “extraordinary inventions” for education (he sent a paper), esp