On Matter and Evolutionary Transformation

A friend recently passed on and invited inquiry on the following comments made by the Mother on matter and transformation, elaborating on the 6 June 1962 statement she made to Satprem, ‘If matter where changeable, it would have changed LONG ago.’ It reminds me of the gap between what our minds think or imagine constitutes real change and spiritual transformation, and what actually constitutes real change and spiritual transformation. In Sri Aurobindo's vision of evolution towards the 'Life Divine', new stages of evolution are a higher organization of the previous one. Life initiated a new organization and potential of Matter. Mind initiated a new organization and potential of Life and Matter. And in the next phase, Spirit initiates a new 'Supermental' organization and potential of Mind, Life and Matter.

The Mother's Agenda
9 June 1962

The Mother: 'There is nothing to change! Only the relations between things change....
'As an analogy, look at what science has discovered about the so-called composition of matter at the atomic level – there's nothing to change. Nothing to change! The constituent element doesn't change, the relations between things are what change.
'Everything has one and the same constituent element, you see; and everything lies IN the interrelations. Well, it's exactly the same for the transformation. …'

[Further on in the discussion:]

The Mother: … ‘Ultimately there is but one power and one substance. There are varying modalities – countless modalities – of power and substance, but there is but ONE power and ONE substance, as there is but ONE consciousness and ONE truth.’

Satprem: 'Yes, but when you say that what changes is only “the relations between things, it’s still a matter of subjectivity (I use the word for lack of a better one). But when it comes down to the brass tacks of transformation – physical immortality in the body for instance – doesn’t it involve more than a simple inner change of relations? Doesn’t MATTER itself have to be transformed? So there has to be a power over matter. Not merely a change of relations … no?'

The Mother: 'No; you can’t grasp what I mean by the word “relation” unless you take it scientifically. Your body, and my body, this table, this carpet, are all made up of the SAME thing. The differences we see – different bodies, different forms – are due to the movements of the interrelations within this same thing.'

Satprem: 'Yes, so then it’s the interrelations that have to change.'
The Mother: 'But this has to be very concretely grasped. Well, I say that the power must change the inter-atomic movement. Then instead of disintegrating, your bodily substance will obey the movement of Transformation, you follow? But it’s all the SAME thing! What must change or the relations among things.

'And so it becomes EVIDENT that immortality can be achieved! Things get destroyed simply because of their own rigidity – and even then, it’s only a semblance of destruction; the essential element stays the same, everywhere, in everything, in decay just as much as in life.

'It’s extremely interesting!

'Ultimately, it’s all the constructing Will. This constructing Will is eternal, immortal and infinite – it’s obvious – so if it is left to this Will, there is no reason why Its creation shouldn’t partake of this immortality and infinity – things don’t necessarily have to go through the semblance of disintegration to change form, it’s not indispensible. It has come to be that way for some reason or other (which is probably none of our business), but it’s not indispensible, it could be different.’

I found this thread of insight continued in the Agenda on 23 June 1962:

The Mother: 'From the standpoint of spiritual knowledge, decay, dissolution and disintegration unquestionably result from a wrong attitude.'
Satprem: ‘A wrong attitude?’

The Mother: 'Yes, a wrong attitude.
'My own experience is going on in the tiniest details, details imperceptible in themselves but pointing in a certain direction that, increasingly, is this: when you take a wrong attitude, it immediately sets off all the disorders. Almost as if you shift into a wrong gear – the image is too rigid, of course, it’s not really that … but we can say that the whole universe is rolling smoothly along and it’s only when you go like this or like that (the Mother indicates a shifting of gears) that disorders arise. You can have a wrong attitude in a number of ways. It’s like a slight shifting of gears: things still work (assuming the mechanism to be particularly supple) but they grate – they grate and therefore wear out and deteriorate and break down. But if they were in the true position, there would be no friction. [bold emphasis added]

'The sense of friction doesn’t exist – it disappears, there’s no friction. Friction results only from the wrong angle … from something, a sort of shift.

'Of course, this is much more easily expressed in psychological terms – psychologically, it’s very simple, crystal clear – but even MATERIALLY it’s like that. …

'The body itself senses that it must learn to live in eternity.

'That seems quite indispensable.

'And for that, surely, the first thing that has to go is haste, impatience – that much is clear.' 


I will add related links and further posts on this thread in the coming days and weeks.