Also in this Series
- Discussions with Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
- Discussions with Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
…And, that’s why basically it doesn’t matter. [The order in which Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s books are read.] It depends on the individual development. You know, this is really a process that we are talking about, it’s not just reading books…
So, the basic material is complete in each book, would you say?
Yes it is complete according to that aspect that’s touched upon. I mean, I always find that The New Way is the most complete. That was the last book, and everything that was developed in the other books is brought to fruition in The New Way. It’s a rather different experience from the others. More total. And it has a different purpose also. Let’s say they have different purposes. But basically they can be read out of order and then what I find now is people do go back to them again. For example, if somebody reads The New Way and then reads The Gnostic Circle, they’ll go back to The New Way again later, after studying The Gnostic Circle and of course understand much more. But you can read The New Way alone.
And you read them for more than information apparently.
Of course, because that’s what I mean, it’s really a process.
I wonder if you had known the Mother. Could you tell us a little about her?
Well, there again we are talking about different levels, because I knew her inwardly before I went to the Ashram, and that’s the experience that really remained. Meeting her physically of course was a culmination. But she guided me before that inwardly to her, and that was really quite an experience, the way this was carried out. But that’s another story entirely. Physically, yes, I met her on five occasions, privately. No words, just there. The first time of course it was a very emotional experience. Having been prepared to go there and finally it happened…. I was struck by how ancient she was. Sitting in her chair. She wasn’t old, it was just ancient. And she had done a lot of work and you could see it. She was breaking through barriers and physically you could see it.
Wasn’t she going to change all the cells in her body?
Yes, but…there is a lot of misunderstanding about that. Of course that was a fundamental part of her work. It is quite interesting what she was actually doing. I see the matter quite differently, in the sense that her body was a field of this work, and the work that she did of course was a microscopic form of the larger universal body. And there were certain things that she did…but this is in the context of this work as it is developing, and the Mother had a particular task and she did that. Sri Aurobindo had his task and he did that. And we go on now and each one has to do what he has to do. So, if you look at the Mother’s work isolated, as such: what she was doing and what we suppose that she was supposed to have done, then you think… ‘Well, nothing happened’. Everyone presumed that she would transform her body and come out looking like a young girl, or Lord knows what. But of course these ideas had no bearing on what she was really doing. So, in that particular work there were so many different levels you had to simply find your way through this labyrinth, through layers and layers until you got to the true work that was going on, that she did complete.
I don’t know if you’ve read any of my things on this. It’s in The New Way basically…you know, it was very difficult for people in the Ashram at that time, especially for those who had no understanding of what was to come. The experience was very difficult because it seemed that everything ended there, with no clear understanding of what it was she had actually done. And like Sri Aurobindo, she didn’t really announce: ‘Well, I’ve finished and I’m going.’ Sri Aurobindo didn’t do anything of the sort either. He just left in a very unusual fashion. But he had completed what he had to do.
And I must say…I have to say, now, in this work…the people who are drawn to it and finally get involved, are those who are not concerned only with an individual development. This is very important. You cannot take it out of the context of the collective development and the world situation. In many other yogas and paths you can do that. But this particular work is almost, I would say, meaningless…in order to really understand it you have to see it in the context of the total development. As it is an integral yoga that Sri Aurobindo brought, in the same way the process is integral and has to deal with all levels. This may be very different from what we might…from the idea we may have of a collective work. That’s another story. But…people, for example, who are only interested in their own personal development usually become rather confused at a certain point. They don’t understand why certain things happen, what does it all mean. When you do though, it is very exciting.
Does your work include summarising their work?
Well, it’s a continuation. Very definitely. It’s building on the foundations. Let us say, my work is the outcome of the foundations that they laid. I couldn’t have done a thing without that. Especially in The New Way you come to see that. In The Gnostic Circle also, but in The New Way it is very clear, because there is this formula that I’ve given there — 9/6/3/0-, 0/1, and this includes the first two stages that they laid down, comprising the numbers 9 and 6. And then we go down the scale. So, it would be totally meaningless — well, it would have been impossible…I wouldn’t have been able to see a thing if they hadn’t come and done what they had to do. In the first place having been born when they were born. That is one of the main keys.
Often people say to me — you know, some people who don’t understand Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s work — that they are disturbed by the fact that I do refer to them. But you see, it is impossible. They say, ‘Well why don’t you just leave it out and do your own thing’, so to speak. But that ‘thing’ would be meaningless without them. It’s a fourfold foundation, this is the important point. It has its cosmic harmony that is rooted in four cosmic principles. And it has to be. They represent two of those principles. So, it’s impossible to do otherwise.
And they also…their work corresponds to different levels of the being. We have the physical, the vital-emotional; we have the mental and then we have the spiritual. Those levels are also comprised in each section of the wheel. Notwithstanding that each time, each stage that we arrive at is complete in itself. All of these parts are present always and worked upon. But the emphasis or the angle from which each one works corresponds to either the physical or the vital, and so on; that’s the stress. And it corresponds also to world conditions; what it is in the world that is being worked upon.
…I’m a member of the Theosophical Society. And that is a very familiar concept to me: giving up the ego…when I first started [therapy] I was very happy to give up the ego, just kind of sit off on a cloud somewhere…But somehow that didn’t seem to be the way therapy work was going. It was more talking about ego development. I see a conflict in that….
I can understand this because in psychology the ego is one thing and in spiritual work it means a different thing. Usually in psychology it refers more to what we would consider to be the personality level, and that is quite different from the individuality, which is closer to what you seek to achieve in a spiritual path. Almost any of them. The ego in terms of the work that we do is just that element that isolates you, that…it is really a pivot of the being. It is a pivot unfortunately of our whole race, which simply means that you are an isolated entity working from a very egocentric point. You’re cut off from the whole. And this is a property of the whole race, you understand. So, it is very important at a certain point to understand this distinction because what it does, in almost any spiritual path,…it does not allow you to attain any sort of consciousness that is more universal, a cosmic consciousness for example, or to experience any of the…Samadhi, Nirvana, whatever. You see?
Now in this work we go further. There’s a framework here which is far more complete in the sense that you must deal with the personality also. The direction of this work is entirely different from all spiritual paths, as far as I know. Here the direction is Earthbound. You are to establish this new consciousness, this…as Sri Aurobindo called it, the ‘life divine’…upon Earth. So we have to deal with absolutely every aspect of life, and into that comes this development of the new pivot of the being that is not the ego and therefore that does not isolate you as an individual, but rather allows you to integrate and harmonise. To integrate. This is probably the fundamental point to discuss, because I think this is the main problem that we face. Everybody faces. And they don’t really understand the dimensions of it and what it requires to overcome this situation. It is something that has developed since man first began, you see? It is the pivot of the race, so it’s very difficult.
You know, there have been many experiences that allow us to feel that we have transcended that, and in certain aspects we have, spiritually. We have, we can disconnect ourselves from all of this, we can experience states of consciousness that are very far beyond, or that give us the impression of being totally egoless. On the human level there are certain times in our lives when we do touch that…moments of real loving, and so forth. But you always have to deal with this physical body which is structured in such a way that the pivot of our physical bodies right now is the ego, and it is located in the sex centre. So, what this means is simply that we have this atavistic drive there, and as a race we pivot that point.
Now this doesn’t mean that…it has nothing to do with sex as such, with the enjoyment of sex, or whatever. But it does have to do with the purpose of our coming into being, of our evolution. And this is the whole point. So, what has to happen now, and when people talk about a new consciousness, when they talk about the ‘new Earth’, the ‘second coming’, and Lord knows what…as far as I can see they really don’t understand the process. They don’t understand what it is that has to change. And not understanding that, usually there’s an undermining, constantly: they seek to attain this, and they end up over here, because not understanding the process, it is undermined constantly. They are doing things that would bring you to the opposite point, you see? Like for example a direction that is otherworldly in the quest…to go to heaven or to go out of the cosmos, extra-cosmic, — namely the Void, Nirvana, or any of those experiences. So, these undermine any possibility of establishing anything here. In fact, they fortify…they are experiences that have evolved precisely because it is an incomplete species.
You take for example the phrase, ‘the new heaven and the new earth’, in The Revelation. Well, that phrase alone is simply extraordinary in its import, and it happens to be also the phrase that we find in the very ancient texts, the Rig Veda: A new heaven and a new earth. Everybody understands that in their own way, but the important point there is: a new heaven; which means a totally new understanding of God, of the Absolute, the Higher Reality. So, what really does this imply, and this is where one must be very clear. The direction is completely different. In most paths, in every path, in every religion you are working on yourself in order to get out of this condition, and even in Buddhism, especially…in any path you take birth because you have to work out a karma. When you finally do that you are liberated and you don’t have to take birth any more. And so there we are, stuck with this problem. Now, these are all solutions based on a condition of incompletion, of a race that never really reached any higher development — physically, I’m talking about, which of course is based on Consciousness. But physically this is very important, you see.
So, when we talk about the Mother transforming her body, we are talking about a completely different poise which allows for an integration of every aspect of the being and which means then a shift in the whole pivot. We raise it from the sex centre to a higher position, and then everything changes, and every possibility becomes then possible. So this question of the ego is fundamental in this because all our solutions are based on this incomplete species, which has obviously come to a point where we cannot survive any longer as we are going. You see, there is an imbalance in the development. So what do we do with this imbalance? We are receiving these higher forces, these tremendous inspirations of…in technology. Just take technology. It is astounding what they are doing today. But it is clear that the consciousness has not followed that development, and so we are faced with what we are faced with. We are faced with a situation that…ah, we are going to end it all. Somehow, by hook or crook. And in the midst of all of that, however, comes this new creation. And this is the whole point of this work. To be able to see this rise of this new world in the midst of everything that is collapsing, because that is the way that it is taking place.
So, it is a very important point. The ego is something that has to be transcended now, but not abolished in the way that perhaps you may have experienced, where you let go. No, you’ve got to deal with it in ‘a new way’. You have to deal with your problems in a totally new way.
This is also a question of destiny. Some people are destined to do this work, which is very difficult in these stages, in this transitional period. Some are not. Some must come back again. It is basically the soul’s choice. But I think everybody, I think most people now are being brought to the point where they realise that all of these solutions have not worked. I mean the spiritual, the religious, the psychological; nothing is stopping this decay. Whereas we are all aware that people are becoming far more aware. In my travels now I am astounded to see how aware people are. They don’t have the answers perhaps, but they are aware, and they are informed, they are curious, they are asking questions. You know, it’s a very exciting moment in this respect. People are very ripe to really have this complete shift in the lens of their seeing; and to put everything into the right perspective.
So, what I can say about that is that this is the whole point of the ego. It is a question now of a completely new manifestation. And it is something that you just cannot even compare to the old thing, because the whole of our vision, of our past projections were from that condition of…I can’t say a wrong pivot, but of course it’s wrong in the context of what is developing now. But it was necessary for the time that it was used, and now we have to transcend that. We cannot just abolish it and say, ‘let’s let go!’ We have to say, ‘Well, now, what’s the higher truth?’ And then you come into something that is of course very interesting. You come to the point of…What is this Earth all about? What is meant to happen? What is this species for? Why is it evolving, and where is it going? Of course these are the questions that Sri Aurobindo touches when he brings in the whole point of the Supramental Creation, the gnostic being, which would be this new species that would ultimately take the place of the mental being.
When the ego is the pivot, it is not possible to have this complete balance, of all the parts of the being integrated. Therefore you have an imbalance and you have…generally it is the mind that dominates, which is the prominent power of our civilisation; which is the problem with all our technology. It is simply the mind gone wild, completely and absolutely enamoured of what it is discovering, and has no means to restrain itself any more. In order to really rectify this then, there must be a work that allows for this other element to manifest; and this is what we are involved in and what is actually taking place.
I don’t know if that has answered you. Do you have anything else to ask on this?
I’m wondering if nuclear war is inevitable, if we’re all just going to blow ourselves up and this little group is going to then take over.
Well, now we get into another very interesting example, especially since I have been travelling — and even when I was in India. You know, it’s the question: Who is going to be saved? [Laughter] Usually the people who are going to be saved…well, you don’t want to have anything to do with them. I’d rather go down under. [Laughter] If that’s the consciousness that is going to prevail…all these groups…what about the ones who are going to be lifted off the planet? You know, there is to be a shift in the axis of the Earth, and great catastrophes, so space ships are going to come and lift off certain select people. Well, all of this is really very childish. I mean, I have to say that though this work is involved with what is coming, and what we must…what we expect that will ultimately take the place of this, it is something that is developing right here and now. And so at that point it becomes rather immaterial. In fact, in my books I never deal with things like that: Well, we’re going to be saved. I don’t think I have ever even thought about it for a moment: whether I am going to be saved, or you, or whoever. It’s just totally irrelevant. The whole point is to do the Work. And that’s all. And then whatever is to be will be, whoever is to enjoy it…Because you see, it is all wrong positioning. It is an enjoyment of EACH MOMENT. I think this is the most exciting time to be alive! In ten thousand years it couldn’t have been better! [Laughter]
Have you been to New York City lately? [Laughter]
No, but I was in 1981, and I said, this is Babylon…This is Babylon. Really I had an extraordinary experience…it was like a cathedral. It was extraordinary. It was this Money God, I mean the real POWER behind money — power in the occult sense, you know, not in terms of what money power can buy. In the occult sense, what money means really, the energy…And there it was. And I said, ‘Well, if anything happens here, the collapse of this is going to be really enough to reach the centre of the Earth.’ You know, the caving in…but a very exciting place at the same time. And I felt at that time…I said, ‘I have something to do here. I just hope and pray that it doesn’t mean living here.’ [Laughter]
Now that’s another point. You see, we’re all concerned now about this problem, especially people who have children, and see that in their lifetimes, and probably our own, but in their lifetimes certainly — well, I would say within the next 15 years at the most, probably before the turn of the century — either there is a solution found, or we have to play it out to the hilt. But, the way I have seen this Force work, operate in the world, it has such a total control over everything. So total that it seems to me rather that it’s going to be, again, a very controlled process that will not be totally destructive, as such, but will be very clearly leading toward this new world, this new creation.
A very big destruction? I just don’t think that that is the way, that that is really necessary. And I think really that more or less what happens is that these things just sort of cave in on themselves, destroy themselves. You can see what is happening around. It is really a caving-in process constantly. And that’s the process that takes place in each body, each human body. So, we are really playing it out in the world as it is in each physical body where, because of this pivot, as I mentioned — in the sex centre — there is a void at the centre of the human being, and that is the void that just consumes these energies. And that is the definition of mortality, why we cannot regenerate our bodies. You can see that also this is something very interesting because there is so much concern now with the physical.
I think also the concern with transplanting organs and keeping everybody alive.
That’s kind of useless, isn’t it?
Well, I think the really important work being done now is the question of prolonging life. Not necessarily by transplanting organs but genetically, by trying to find out how we age, why we age. I think that that is the point. Because the way I have been able to see it — at a certain point in my own work, my own yoga — was that the question of a certain extended lifespan is very necessary, in order to do this particular work, to be able to see this transformation process through; and that for the time being I’m sure that will happen. We already are extending [the lifespan]. If you look at it, at the turn of the century the lifespan must have been, what, 50, 45 years old? Probably the average. And now it’s into the 70’s. Usually a person now dies in the 80’s, when [it is] anything less than that you think something is really wrong. Especially in the United States. So, I think that this is a very important part of the Work as it is being experienced on the mass level, unconsciously. These signs are very clear and they do correspond to needs…in order to carry out such a work, to extend life, to be able to complete a work.
And now this, for example you can see it now, those of you who have looked into the Gnostic Circle…there are these cycles. Well, what usually happens then, when a person is working on him or herself, and if you have the Gnostic Circle as the backdrop when you are studying these cycles…what usually happens is that there are key points that are missed in the process; which means that, for example, there are certain pressures that occur in life, certain tensions that tend to close you in and create a condition in which there is an immense amount of pressure. And at those points, what happens is that in order to escape that pressure…that’s precisely what we do: we escape, we find some way out. Ordinary psychology I think knows this abundantly. All right, and what happens is that you go on like that and you go through these cycles, and your time runs out. Quite simply. There is no time left to deal with it, because, you see, if you don’t do a certain work by a certain age, crusts come up; and then in order to be able to reach very profound levels, very deep levels, there are these crusts and this force then has to create such pressures that, by a certain point, physically you cannot sustain it any longer.
So, you know, if a person is very perceptive, and you’re following the development of someone over a long period, you can see the point where this person steps out of any higher possibility. I mean ‘higher’ in terms of this complete work. And you see it, and you see that it is no longer possible, because in order to be able to carry that person through, so much pressure would be needed as to bring about death. Because it would be physically impossible to sustain this. Therefore, when we talk about an extended lifespan, this becomes very important in the context of work like this. Because, you see, your lifespan is a totality. If you’re meant to die at 90, this exists already. I mean, it’s sort of programmed in your soul and your cells, let’s say. So, you have a halfway point at 45, you understand. And that would be a very critical point. If it happens to be at 72, well your halfway point would be at 36. These would be crucial points. Now, you don’t need to know the totality of your lifespan, but if you are very sensitive you can feel in your own life when you come to really important, the important crossroads.
Now, the ordinary person lives like this, but usually people that are doing some amount of work on themselves, keep themselves supple enough to be able to continue benefiting. But a lot of people of course do not at all. And they are caught in what is called that eternal hell. They just go round and round, round and round, and never really develop beyond a certain point. They can enjoy life more, but in the context of really what the destiny of the Earth is all about, and the participation of each individual, it is almost meaningless.
Now, if you don’t know it, it really doesn’t matter. But when you begin to perceive these things, then it becomes very important to be very aware, and very conscious of the state that you are in, what pressures, why those pressures are acting upon you. And to stand up to it, you see, in the right poise..
The ideal would be to start when you’re very young, so that you’d have 50, 60 years then to do it.
Exactly. Well, look at what is happening now. Look at the young people. A lot of them are of course being destroyed by what is happening, but they are also so aware. Even at 10, 12…and the things that they ask you, the general awareness.
And yet the pressures on teenagers in this country are almost unbearable if they are very sensitive.
You see, for the same reason, because these are, — let’s call them cosmic forces that are acting, that are stirring up things, injecting all this into the ‘pot’, you see. And so, there’s a saying in Italian, Si salva chi puo! Who can save themselves, save themselves. Those are the sort of sacrifices along the way. Because when you get to a certain point you look at these things as sort of universal movements. You understand? You see ‘teenagers in the United States’. Period. And you don’t see individuals. You see that all of them — the ones that have fallen, and the ones that…all are being carried by a ‘force’ that is carrying out a process.
So, it is very important. They are aware of things that…I mean, just the drug situation. Let’s stop there. That’s sufficient enough to see what a dilemma they face. But on the other hand, out of that there will come this group that starts very young and has a greater possibility to do the complete work.
Also, some yogas I have studied say that if you pass on and then come back, reincarnate, you begin again at the level you attained in the previous incarnation. So in that sense, wouldn’t we have an endless amount of time to do the work?
Of course, that we must always consider. As I say, we must look at the universal force working; you also have to look at the larger endless cycles of your life. But there I must say that we do, in this respect, have a rather immature understanding of karma and reincarnation. So immature that I say, well finally it’s best to leave it alone. You see, we always project. We look at it from a moral standpoint. This is good. This is bad. I do this bad deed, I’m going to get paid in this way. And frankly, in the Divine Consciousness there is no such perception. Things are harmonious or disharmonious; or those very ‘bad’ acts may be the very things that do make you make a progress.
Now, I’m not saying by this that…I’m not condoning these activities, because that’s the whole point. It is to become aware, conscious. What I am saying is that we are projecting onto the Divine our very limited mental…And you look at the universe. Where is the morality in the universe? The whole process of life, this whole creative and destructive process certainly doesn’t take into consideration the individual prayers. And yet it does too. Of course every one of us has had the experience where you’re in a dilemma and you…you PRAY. And you get an answer. So, in that sense of course on the personal level there IS a response. There is a personal God, as the Hindus know quite well. There are all these different levels.
But, I find that generally all of this is very immature, spiritually immature. We’re projecting onto the Divine our mental formula, which is based on Good and Evil.
Is it true that if you don’t accept the idea of karma, then you don’t have to play it out? That karma only exists if it exists for you in your mind.
Well, I wouldn’t say that, but what I would say is that the entire process changes when you are aware of it. For example, when you are doing yoga. Now, I think almost everybody has had this experience. You feel, you experience an acceleration of what would normally be called karma. In other words, you do an act and right away…you do it in the morning and in the afternoon — WHAM! It comes right back at you. And this is one of the most important, one of the most positive aspects of doing a serious work on oneself. That this begins to happen. And so, what does it mean? Any of you who have been through psychotherapy know that in order to find the root cause of whatever it is that you are working on today, my gosh, you’ve got to dig and dig and dig; because you’ve lost the thread in between.
So, in processes of yoga, you accelerate that. And there’s a force working to show you very clearly, right away, the connection. This is also necessary. And this makes it possible to deal with the problems, to find the roots; and of course then to solve them.
In a way it is true. Of course if you don’t pay attention to it, it doesn’t exist. But you’re the loser in the process, because you are not taking advantage of…I mean, it is the same thing as saying, ‘All of this is illusion, and it really doesn’t exist.’ Well, you can live in that consciousness, and then it is illusion for you, and you miss out on the beauty of certain things that this manifestation in matter represents. Of course it is the attitude that you have toward it. But that doesn’t mean that the universe really doesn’t exist; it means that you believe that it doesn’t exist, and that’s the basis of your life.
I firmly believe that what you do now is very important and has an effect. I just mean that what we consider ‘good’, what we consider ‘evil’, all of these are simply projections from our incomplete condition. That’s all. And that when it starts changing, when that shifts a bit, you really look at things and say, ‘Well, that was really very infantile, all of those ideas.’
And yet of course at certain stages of your life, of your development, it can be very important to believe that. It can help a lot of people to understand themselves, their motivations. The problem with believing in reincarnation…is this delegation of responsibility: to the past, or to the future. A lot of people indulge in that, though they believe they do not. You know…because I did this in the past, that’s why…. And then suddenly they are relieved of the problem. But they really haven’t dealt with it, you see. And I find that this is one of the most damaging aspects. So that’s why I really don’t deal with it too much.
In the third volume of The New Way which is in press now, I have gone into karma very extensively, but for a totally different reason, because I’m interested in the collective web of karma. How it is that this has come about. You see, it is very interesting because finally you come to the point where you realise that if you change one item of one individual, you really are affecting the whole. Negatively or positively. In other words, our world is what it is because we all sustain it. I’m sure that all of us realise that now. Just a little bit of work on yourself, you realise that your state of consciousness is affecting the totality. But the point is, here again, how is this mechanism sustained, and what does it mean to sustain it, and what does it mean…that we must obliterate this cosmic web entirely, this karmic web? Or establish a new one? You see? So I am interested in this mechanism, and for that you have to come to terms with the individual in the collectivity, to find how this works.
I am interested also in the question of undoing the past karma, and how an individual does that, what really is the almost ‘physical’ mechanism that abolishes it. This has to do with time: the past, present and the future. It has to do also with the incomplete condition of the being, with the wrong pivot, which accumulates a sediment. I see it physically. I see it as a physical sediment that weighs you down, that creates that pivot in the sex centre. And this has to do with incomplete living, in the present…then the past becomes, as I say, like a sediment. It condenses there and pins you down to what in certain paths they would call ‘the lower nature’, and to be nailed to that cross, you see. And this had to do with the experience in time.
Now, you cannot deal with this unless you accept time, first of all, as part and parcel of the spiritual experience. And this is another problem, because people usually don’t. Since you’re dealing with experiences in time and time energy, if you don’t accept that to begin with and you say, ‘Well, it’s all illusion and it doesn’t exist and let’s go beyond it’, again you cannot solve it. You can save yourself individually in the same sense that if you don’t pay attention to your karma it doesn’t exist. But that does nothing to change anything here. And I think that really mature people, I mean spiritually aware, let’s say, have reached the point where we obviously do want to change things here. One would have to be really insensitive not to understand that…we have a certain responsibility. And we have to do something. The question is how, what, and for what purpose.
Would you say something about what you mean when you talk about ‘working on ourselves’.
Well, I just mean that…most people who are undergoing psychotherapy consider that they are working on themselves for a certain transformation, to become more aware, more conscious. I use that term because I often refer to this as ‘a work’, and I say ‘work on oneself’. In India we would call it yoga, doing yoga. So…Is that what you’re asking? Or are you asking, what is this?
Yes, more or less. But I feel there’s a concept behind what you’re saying, namely, awareness; getting more aware, getting conscious. Isn’t that the work?
Yes, of course.
Is that the whole work?
No, no, because…you have many paths that bring you to that point. They’re engaged in this process. The difference is that you must be aware or become conscious on many different levels. They transcend. And, you know, this is what I consider to be one of the most damaging legacies of spirituality, as we know it. It is this problem, because in order to be able to open people to this possibility that there is a different process, ‘a new way’, something else, there’s a lot of resistance. You see, it is very easy then to label all these things as ‘unspiritual’; you don’t want to deal with them. I’ve found, for example, a very great conflict in people in terms of carrying on with their ordinary lives, their ordinary work, and also a so-called spiritual discipline. Just recently I experienced it very profoundly, with someone who really could not reconcile these two things. Though this person thought she was, or probably thought she was. But of course she was in conflict. And I could see the conflict very clearly. I don’t think she saw it at all; but I saw it very clearly. The problem is that there is no possibility of integrating all this. So for her — and she was following an Indian path — well, it was: spirituality is one thing, and it’s in an ashram, or it’s in this and that…and here I have to do this kind of work which seems to be in total conflict.
So, I have found this all over to be the problem. And I’ve also understood that no more is there a solution in a monastery or an ashram, or whatever. That this really is irrelevant. Now what is important is something entirely different. This means a ‘centre’, where a particular type and quantity of energies are gathered, in order to be able to do a particular work. And that is to create a microcosm, which, because of this interesting way in which a certain amount of energies are brought together, you can work on the whole. This doesn’t require great numbers…. And, another thing, it requires a certain environment, in which you are dealing with life, as it is, you see. Now, in strict ashrams or monasteries, of course it is entirely different. An atmosphere is created which is completely contrary to the life we lead in the world. So, this I feel has come to an end. A lot of the collapses of these ashrams that we’re witnessing now are due largely to this. But finally, that’s not the answer. People come out of them, they cannot cope really. And they cannot cope in the sense that they have not even found the other yet, you see? Because this is of course the tragedy of it. They haven’t found one and they cannot survive in the other.
Yes, I see that in the case of certain individuals it is sort of tragic.
Yes, it is. So, in terms of my own work — I have to speak from the standpoint of this work — this is the process that has been followed. We have always had a certain amount of individuals gathered together who represented particular ‘knots’, and those ‘knots’ had to be unraveled. But when you unraveled it, you unraveled it for the whole. You were establishing something that could then serve as a blueprint.
Like group therapy?
Well, in fact it is just like that. Of course it is a group therapy, with a lot of the experiences that you might experience in group therapy, of the psychological level, with the difference that it is put into a larger context.
For more than the group.
Yes, that work cannot be done unless you have the larger perspective, the total vision. Otherwise it falls through. It’s precisely the question: you’re not there to work on yourself, isolated. You are there to work on yourself, others, and to form this integrated system.
In other words, you can start serving before you’re perfect.
Oh, of course. That is the whole point. You have hit upon something else: this whole question of utopias, let’s say, working toward a.…This is again ludicrous, because, you see, in this work you are really not working toward, you are working as you say, you are serving in your mixed-up condition, as it is. But provided you are aware. Now, usually people are not; because when they are in that state they are living in the ego, completely closed off, so they see themselves as the centre of the universe. And then they don’t benefit by it. It is very amusing to see. It is amazing. Of course for the person it’s rather tragic, but I always consider it rather amusing to see people in that state. You say, ‘My God, if they could only see what they are contributing.’
This is very important, what you say. You are serving in your process of development, very specifically. Well, there again, provided that you’re working with someone who is aware; or that you are able to have this awareness in your daily living, your interaction with everybody. That’s a tall order. But that is ultimately the purpose of a book like The Gnostic Circle, in which you are to apply it. It is completely useless for me to tell you: This is how it works, this is what it means in your life. I can say, ‘Yes, this is how it works mechanically. This is it.’ But you must apply that in your own life because the Gnostic Circle is something that you grow into. You grow into the understanding of it. So, if you take it [the book] up today and you read it and you say, ‘Well, I really don’t understand this.’ But that’s sitting there. Even just the diagram. It is sitting in you, and that is working on you. And then you’re going to pick it up later on and you’re going to be at a different level of understanding. So you are growing into that ‘blueprint’. It is really a blueprint of the new consciousness.
It’s not an intellectual process.
I loved the beginning of THE GNOSTIC CIRCLE when you talked about the purpose now being to divinise the material. And for me that encapsulated exactly what I felt was the direction I needed to go, because I had also been involved with teachings which kept on focusing on the Transcendent. You know, transcend suffering, transcend everything. Just shoot yourself right out there into the soul world. And it wasn’t enough…
It left too much unresolved and unexplained. This is the point: then WHY? What is this all about? Because ultimately that’s what you ask.
Yes. I also wanted to ask, what does the work teach about what happens to the souls who, for whatever reasons, do not come to participate in the last circle, and does the Earth go through this greater circle more than once? Is this cycle also something that continues? So that souls at different levels of evolution would enter the cycle at different points?
And ultimately all souls will move toward that…manifesting, operating from the higher centre…the higher pivot point.
Yes, of course. This changes constantly, in the sense that the more conscious you are of the process, you will be seeing it entirely differently. This question of recurrence, this becomes very different as the consciousness changes and widens. But basically that is what it is: these recurring cycles. Like the Gnostic Circle…just like your own life. You start at zero years and you go on, and you complete a cycle at 9, and one again at 18, and it goes on and on. At a certain point you step out of that wheel. You step out of this vision of Time as seen from this point, this solar system, let’s say. You step out of it and of course you come back in again. Now, there will be a point, though, when you come back very conscious of the process. Right now you cannot because we are living in this condition of ignorance. You couldn’t possibly bring that burden back in again. Otherwise you would not be able to survive. At a certain point though, death as well as birth becomes far more conscious. There are signs of that already happening now…people becoming more conscious; all this emphasis now on these near-death experiences. All these things that are taking place; another indication that people are realising…. They are not realising, they are just carried along by a movement. People are beginning to have these experiences, and isn’t it interesting that suddenly you’ve got books written on everybody’s near-death experience. You see, this is simply indicating this greater consciousness in death and in birth ultimately. And so, the cycle goes on. Your development continues. But again, there it is: it is a memory that is contained in the soul. It’s not a ‘memory’. It is a condition of being. You come back in a condition of being; and there is no memory as such. You ARE that BECAUSE of your past development; and you start from that point again, unburdened by the outer layers of the physical, vital, memory, and of course the mental memory, which would be an unbearable burden.
So, it is a recurring process. And of course in the Gnostic Circle what is important to understand is that this is now a vision of a complete, total development. Whereas what we usually do…. You know, you have your 12 and 9 superimposed. So, one is the signs of the Zodiac, let’s say the ‘space dimension’, this horizontal dimension. Then you have the ‘vertical’ which is the 9, the 9 planets, and our number system, and time, and how we measure time. But you see, as a race, most people only get to the 6 point, or the 8th level, which is Scorpio, and that is the sign of Death, as any astrologer will be able to tell you. And that’s where we end the wheel. So, the rest, that slice of the circle, is non-existent in terms of the lived experience of the human being. And this corresponds also to that void that I was describing. We just ‘cave in’. So you can just visualise it. You see, you make a circle and you come…and at the point where you are ready to get into a higher possibility, the pressures become so intense that you find a way of escape from those pressures, and you slip out and you fall back again; you never really attain this. The rest of the wheel, let’s say, is experienced unconsciously. Now, it doesn’t mean that your time stops. It means that that particular heightened consciousness that would allow you to then live the total circle is non-existent because you have ‘copped out’. You see?
What does that mean, to live the rest of the circle?
You see, your time goes on. In other words, let’s say a person is 24 years old, which is the 6 point. The pressures there become very intense at a certain point. All right. Now, time is going to continue. He is going to be 25, and then 26 and 27. You are living that process in time. But, let’s say psychologically or spiritually you are not, because you have not accepted that more total state at the point where you should have, and this is what I mean by the ‘crusts’ coming in. Each point that you miss in that condition creates stronger barriers. And then finally, yes, you go on, you’re living out your time; but you are living it out as a pygmy — as a spiritual pygmy. You are undermining all the time. There is a caving in of energy. You see? So the point in all of this then is this total awareness and this poising of the consciousness in such a way that at each moment this process, this caving in, this escape is no longer possible; until finally the total integrated being comes about.
So, you are experiencing all the ages of your life, all the cycles; but you are experiencing them at, let’s say, half of your potential. Usually even less. But in any case, this must be taken always in the context of the total human species. The instruments that we are only provide for so much. And the exciting work that we’re involved in, what we are witnessing, is that we can see this. And we can see now the ‘seeds’; and from this we can see the formation of the new thing, and realise, Yes, that’s it.
Up to this point it hasn’t been possible for individuals to have completed the entire circle, until your realisation and your work.
No, and it is because it involves world conditions, you understand? It’s not…. We are talking — and this is what people really fail to understand, because we have been so focused on individual solutions all the time — we are a species. Why are we in these bodies? You understand? I mean, is it just to get out of them? The whole thing is rather senseless.
To come into a human body and the whole point is to get back where we were. It doesn’t make any sense.
But at the same time, as I was saying, now we have this marvellous condition where we can perceive clearly what it is that is really going on, what’s behind it. And why? And that is because the world conditions now have reached the point where.… These are the tensions! You understand? As a species. So imagine it as something caving in, caving in.… Well, as a species there is this thing coming down upon us. Now, the escape is: blow ourselves to bits. That’s the escape. But you see, you understand that it’s the same process for an individual. In your life, the circumstances of your life are oppressive, oppressive, oppressive, and when they become too much, you take a drug, or take a new lover, or who knows what! And you get out of it for a time, and you come back again, you repeat the same…. You will see, if you are very perceptive when you are working with the Gnostic Circle, you will see that when you come back to the same points, almost the same conditions prevail. They are apparently different, and that’s how they fool you, you see? But they are the same conditions; in other words to create the same amount of tension and pressure. And then what happens is you escape. As I say, as a civilisation the same thing. So, these pressures are coming in, and what are we going to do? Everybody says, ‘Well, there’s no way out, we’re just going to be blown to bits.’ Obviously there doesn’t seem to be any solution. But then there is a solution in the sense that a core survives…and it’s going through the process that is not experiencing escape because it says: It is to be established here, on Earth, in the physical body, in matter. And so, it withstands this pressure and it does not accept the escape of Nirvana, of the Void, of Samadhi.…
You see, this is the main key. Because you cannot…this Core has never been formed as a collective group. It must be a collectivity who does this. It cannot be any longer an individual solution. So, in order to get that core one has to reject any possibility that gives you a way out. And this is the point, you see. And then to do that, of course it is very difficult. And at the same time it is a glorious experience because it is so immensely beautiful, what is happening…so immensely beautiful.
I’m a little confused about this…shifting of the pivot. Are you saying that we in this room could consciously or sub-consciously do some kind of work and we’d shift our own pivot?
Of course. That’s the whole point.
It is? Because when I was reading I got to a point in The Gnostic Circle, and it was like — I don’t know if you saw the film ‘Star Man’, but it was like…it was like science fiction. This ‘gnostic being’, this ‘being’ coming, super-intelligent…and not, I mean sex was not…
No, this is an evolutionary process. Evolution. It comes from this. I mean, it is not going to descend.
But you’re saying that we can evolve ourselves. And I was thinking that only in many hundreds of years that this gnostic being will come.
Now wait a minute. Of course, that’s a different thing. What you would call the Age of Truth, the Satya Yuga as they call it in India, where they consider that the Earth is to be populated by Gods. That’s of course a different thing. Well, it’s not different. It is what we are working to establish, but there is something that is established right now. The particular stage that we are at in this cycle of the Ages, this Aquarian Age right now, is that we are creating a ‘nucleus’. We are planting the ‘seeds’ right now. So, yes, you definitely can do this. It doesn’t mean that physically you’re going to transform your body, which was the problem with the Mother, when people were projecting this onto the Mother, about her changing her cells. Yes, the work was being done, but it didn’t mean that physically she was going to walk in the room as a 16 year old when she was 95. But she was doing that.
Now, it depends on how deeply you see. So, in your own life you have to be able to perceive that. And this is what you must be engaged in if you are an intelligent person. You don’t want to accept the old solutions. You just say No. And you’ll see how the force works in your life to be able to present this completely other solution that we haven’t ever dealt with before.
Yes, it is something that is going to grow — constantly. You have to look at it like this: it’s a constant manifestation of a perfection that is. If you see the perfection that is at each moment, that doesn’t mean you don’t see the dynamic aspect. This ‘thing’ is perfect in its seed. And it grows. And so it increases, and this we are able to perceive. And it goes on and on and on and on and on…I mean, there is no end to this. We are only at the beginning really. Just like Sri Aurobindo’s work. That was only the mere beginning. Most people take it as an end: Sri Aurobindo left his body, and that’s the end of it. He planted a seed that he had not even given the full details of. He gave this vision like this [gesture of vastness], and that is a part of the ingredients of this ‘core’.
So, you can be very aware of the process that you’re living. And you can be aware by the present conditions in the world that force you to see in your own individual life; and you have a possibility of something else. And that’s your responsibility, it is to find the way to that…
And that’s the tough part….
Another misconception here is the question, ‘Oh, we have to give up so much.’ Now, I don’t want you to misconstrue and think I’m on the bandwagon of: ‘Enjoy yourself to the hilt!’ and all of that, because ‘everything goes’ and ‘it’s all part of the Divine.’ That’s really not the point. What does happen though is that as you evolve, of course things simply fall away. And that’s all. That’s the process. And that brings us to an interesting point regarding the shift of the pivot from the sex centre. Well, now, you see, we’ve been dealing with sex all wrong. From 5000 years at least, we’ve been on the wrong.… Certainly in our times, in this Manifestation; let’s say from 2000, 3000 years ago, something began to go really haywire in this situation. So you indulge or you abstain. And you do nothing to change that condition of being, really. Now this is the ironic thing, because we’ve devised so many systems, and finally now we’ve come to the point where there is this outrageous license…. And with all these remarkable manifestations of Herpes and AIDS and whatnot. It is really something very interesting that has happened.
But then, on the other hand, of course you have no solution in suppression and oppression. And so, what is the answer? You’re all the more nailed to that cross by these solutions. So, the solution is not to deal with that sex pivot at all: Create the higher one. And the other simply goes…
That’s just to give you an example of the problem that has been faced all along: a vision that is incomplete can only give incomplete solutions. Temporary solutions.
So, everything will change. You know, really, ‘All things made new’, is the biblical saying in The Revelation: All things made new.
In that connection, would you say that the spirit of Herpes and AIDS are like plagues of the second chakra?
I think that they’re just the logical result of people exposing themselves, in ways that they don’t understand. Unconscious processes are going on and these diseases are simply manifestations of very unconscious forces, energies that have taken these forms and that people have allowed — you know, because before we were keeping it under, keeping it suppressed. And so I see illness in that way. This is really a form of Consciousness — a twisted form of Consciousness involving the physical. And these are simply manifestations. You know, when everybody says, ‘Well, I’m sexually free, now I can do what I like’, you are liberating…not liberating. You are letting off, opening a Pandora’s box, and if you don’t know what you’re dealing with…. Now, individually you can do this and nothing much happens. But, again, when it becomes a collective movement, then the problems start, because you are creating, really, a new form. This is really what it is.
Again, it is not moralistic in any way. It is no plague being inflicted. It’s simply the logical result of this kind of behaviour. But behaviour in terms of unconscious exposing. I’ve written something about AIDS in that respect. And, I don’t know how aware people are, why they don’t see that this developed at the same time that homosexuals came out in the open. So, it is simply not possible to not see this, because it is a fact. They came out in the open, then AIDS came at the same time. Clearly you are dealing here with something that was released by this process, that was very unconscious — which I consider to be the guilt that was involved. Especially in Christian society. So, this simply takes a ‘form’. Now, I think if you go into illness, health, all of this in a certain way, you will see of course… what is an illness? You’re dealing again with physical substances really. And so, the basis of it is always consciousness. That is the ‘stuff’ of which all of this is made. You twist it this way, you twist it that way, and you get a ‘form’. It throws up different forms. I can’t go along with it in the sense of…this is a chastisement, a punishment. Again that’s really the ‘good and evil’, the moralistic way of looking at it. It is simply logical: You expose yourself. That’s fine. But then you have to accept what happens.
You’re saying that this is a manifestation of suppressed guilt?
Yes, of course. And look at the type of illness: this question of a breakdown of the immune system. They are vulnerable to everything and anything. And this is exactly what happened. Well, then you have to face it, you see.
Now, what is this going to level off to? That is the important question.
Some people have said that this is going to be like a plague that wipes out half of humanity.
We have a lot of guilt, an awful lot of guilt. So I wouldn’t doubt it! Of course. I mean, it could very well be, in that sense: that you know that our Judeo-Christian society is plagued by guilt. It’s not plagued by AIDS or Herpes, or whatever. It is plagued by guilt. Now, again, there we go. How does psychology deal with it? Well…free love, free whatever! Free sex — and that solves the problem.
Not in the least. And so, it only takes this form now because they really haven’t solved the problem of guilt, which had its roots in something entirely different.
That’s the point: what is at the root of the problem? Where, I mean, how did this arise? Why is it a religion that centres on guilt? How did this come about? What are the seeds of that, you see? And of course this is the whole of our society. The Orient is a little bit free of that, but it constantly is overtaken by these waves too, because again, you see, it is no longer isolated. It’s a global thing. It’s our whole civilisation really that is living out something.
No. Civilisation in general. We are living out something very important that has to do with everything we have talked about here.
Would it be our guilt that’s calling upon us all of these destructive forces that are in the world today?
Yes, but maybe not calling upon…but it is simply the logical result. You know, it’s not that you are calling, but…there again, the true idea of karma: you do this and then it’s going to come out like that.
It is not just guilt though. And the teaching is, I think to the degree I understand it, is that we are at a time right now where there has to be a certain amount of destruction and dissolution of the old, in order to prepare for the new, I mean, that’s just part of the cycle.
Exactly. That is the whole point. That is what I say: every moment is a perfection. Even in our ignorance. You know, when you really perceive the Divine, when you identify with that, in every moment…it is something just glorious. Because, you see each perfection of each moment. Yes, of course, you cannot live in that consciousness always because you’ve got to deal with the working out process. We are here to do that. So of course you have to come back and deal with the negative things. And you can’t say, ‘Well, no it is all God, it’s all the Divine, it’s all perfect’ — which is what a lot of people have done, as a solution. It isn’t. I mean, you have to respect the Being and the Becoming. And this is another key of this work.
I was just reading the latest book of Krishnamurti and David Bohm — a conversation. There you are going to find exactly the contrary: Becoming is like a mortal sin. So, then I say, what solution, when you start saying that there is no becoming at all? Then it is really a joke — because then what are we doing here? Then really there’s no purpose, no sense to it.