© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

Mental arrogance

21 July 1954

Sweet Mother, what does "mental arrogance" mean?

Mental arrogance? That means... what all of you have! (Laughter)

I don't know a human being who does not have mental arrogance. There are those who have a little, there are those who have much, there are those who are entirely made up of it.... The mind, by its very nature, is something essentially arrogant. It fancies that it can know, it imagines that it can judge, and it spends its time passing judgments on everything--within you, on yourself, on others, on all things!

Recently, a very amusing incident happened. Someone wrote and began to express a doubt about something said by Sri Aurobindo. But then, afterwards, he added, "But we should not forget that he who wrote this is at least as intelligent as we!" (Mother laughs.) When people spend their time judging things, if they tell themselves, "But perhaps the other person is at least as intelligent as I am!", they would be less...

But you have only to observe yourselves... you can observe yourself, catch yourself at least a hundred times a day, with a mind which decides everything, knows everything, judges everything, knows very well what is good, what bad, what is true, what false, what is right.... And also how one should act, what this person should have done, how to resolve that problem.... All men know, you see.... If they were at the head of governments, for instance, they would know very well how to manage everything! But people don't listen to them... that's all!

You have only to look at yourself, you will see, you will catch yourself all the time.... Not to speak of those who have long ago decided about all the errors God has committed and [old p. 242]how the [new p. 242]world would be if it were they who had been commissioned to make it!