WRITINGS BY THE MOTHER
© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust
25 June 1912
What is the most useful idea to spread and what is the best example to set?
The question can be considered in two ways, a very general one applicable to the whole earth, and another specific one which concerns our present social environment.
From the general point of view, it seems to me that the most useful idea to spread is twofold:
1) Man carries within himself perfect power, perfect wisdom and perfect knowledge, and if he wants to possess them, he must discover them in the depth of his being, by introspection and concentration.
2) These divine qualities are identical at the centre, at the heart of all beings; this implies the essential unity of all, and all the consequences of solidarity and fraternity that follow from it.
The best example to give would be the unalloyed serenity and immutably peaceful happiness which belong to one who knows how to live integrally this thought of the One God in all.
From the point of view of our present environment, here is the idea which, it seems to me, it is most useful to spread:
True progressive evolution, an evolution which can lead man to his rightful happiness, does not lie in any external means, material improvement or social change. Only a deep and inner process of individual self-perfection can make for real progress and completely transform the present state of things, and change suffering and misery into a serene and lasting contentment.
Consequently, the best example is one that shows the first stage of individual self-perfection which makes possible all the rest, the first victory to be won over the egoistic personality: disinterestedness. [new p. 70]
At a time when all rush upon money as the means to satisfy [old p. 67]their innumerable cravings, one who remains indifferent to wealth and acts, not for the sake of gain, but solely to follow a disinterested ideal, is probably setting the example which is most useful at present. [new p. 71][old p. 68]