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WRITINGS BY THE MOTHER
© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

Conflicting wills

13 October 1954

Mother, for instance, when one makes a resolution to do something, one finds that sometimes one comes into conflict with the feelings of others. Then what should be done in this case?

When...?

When one has decided to do something...

Yes.

... then one finds that sometimes one comes into conflict with another's feelings.

Into conflict?

That is to say...

Yes, yes, I understand quite well.

So what should be done?

It depends absolutely on the case. It is difficult to say... First [old p. 370]of all... (Silence) If it is just an external and superficial decision based on the little knowledge one has, and the little qualities and little defects one has, then naturally, if one comes into conflict [new p. 370]with other wills of a similar quality--you see, the wills may be different but the quality is the same, then one has to decide according to the circumstances and in accordance with the inner result one wants to get. It is very difficult to say, in each case the decision must be different.

But if one belongs to those who act only when they feel within that it is an order from the higher truth-consciousness, that "This I have decided to do because it has to be done whatever the consequences", then if one comes into conflict with the preferences, wills, opposition of others, one must quite simply do this (Mother makes a movement as of turning her back) and continue on one's way. But it is only in this case that one has the right to do it.

When it is just a personal movement, moved by one's personal preferences, one's personal desires or even one's personal conceptions, well, as soon as one meets with oppositions one must weigh the problem, see the facts and act according to... (silence) the best goodwill one has, the best perception one has. And this depends absolutely on what one wanted to do, and the opposition one meets with. So it is impossible to make a rule of a general kind.

There is only one thing that gives you the right to go straight on your path without caring for anything: that's if you have been set going, set in motion by a higher truth. But you must be sure of that. You must not take your desire for the higher truth, you understand, because one very easily makes a mistake. You must know it, and have solid proofs to support it, and know that it is usually something which does not touch you personally. If you are in the least interested in it, one way or another, be on your guard and think twice before being convinced that it is the higher will and the expression of a truth.

However, there are cases where it is like that." This is what [old p. 371]ought to be done; this indeed is the truth." And then, whatever the opposition, one goes straight on one's way, without worrying about circumstances or consequences. But it is only in this case [new p. 371]that one has the right to do it; that is, at the time the Divine acts in you, you ought no longer to care for anything except the divine Will. But if it is not the divine Will, each problem must be resolved according to the case, the circumstances and...

For instance, one has decided not to chat, then...

One meets somebody who chatters?

No...

One just turns one's back and goes away! (Laughter) Very simple!

Then the other person will be very angry.

Eh?

The other person will be very angry.

So much the worse for him! (Laughter) So much the worse for him. This is exactly the instance, one of the instances I spoke about: not to care. One can, if one likes the person very much and doesn't want to displease him too much, one can tell him gently, "No, please, let us not talk uselessly, it is bad for everybody." That's all. If it is someone you don't care for or who is not important for you, you have only to turn your back upon him and go away.

Especially if he is a friend, someone who, like you, ought to know that this should not be done.... In this case you must be categorical. If it is someone who, through a set of circumstances, ought to know like you that it is something that ought [old p. 372]not to be done and if he begins to do it in spite of that, he is dishonest. Because when one does something he knows he should not do, one becomes dishonest from that minute; and you are not to [new p. 372]have any consideration for such a person. You have only to turn round and walk away; and if he gets angry, so much the worse for him. He will only have to... the result will be that he will have to overcome his anger. That's all. This will perhaps do him some good.

There is a great weakness in social relations, a very great weakness; and that is why, in fact, one gets angry and gets carried away and says things he should not say. If one were not weak, one would never be violent. Weakness and violence are two things that go together. He who is truly strong is never violent. This is something one should always remember. Violence is always a sign of a weakness somewhere. Of course, one sees a man with bulging muscles who is very strong, knocking down another with all his might, and one says, "He is strong!" It is not true. He has muscles, but morally he is very weak. So, he may be strong here and weak there. Usually this is what happens.

But I say, and also people who have observed animals, for example, animals which are very strong: how quiet they are. Naturally, when they run after their prey they put out all their energy; but it is not violence, it is energy. But if you have ever seen a lion--when it has nothing to do, it does not fidget. If it is ill, it is restless. But if it is well, in good health, if it has nothing to do, it will not move, it will be quite still. It will look like a sage. (Laughter)

Agitation, violence, anger, all these things are always, without exception, signs of weakness. And especially when one gets carried away in his speech and says things one should not say, this indeed is the sign of a frightful mental weakness--mental and vital--frightful. Otherwise you may hear all the insults in the world, people may tell you all possible stupidities; if you are not weak, you may perhaps not smile outwardly, for it is not always good taste to smile, but deep within you, you are [old p. 373]smiling, you let it pass, it does not touch you.... Simply, if your mind has formed the habit of being quiet as it is recommended here, and you have the perception of truth within yourself, you can hear [new p. 373]anything at all. It does not even produce the semblance of a vibration--everything remains absolutely immobile and quiet. And then if the witness we were speaking about a while ago is there, looking on at the comedy, he surely smiles.

But if you feel the vibrations which come from the other person who throws on you all his violence and anger, if you feel this... at first it does... and then, suddenly, there is a response; and then if you yourself begin to get into a temper, you may be sure that you are as weak as he.

 


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