© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

Sweet Mother,

What is the difference between desire and aspiration, and between selfishness and self-realisation?

Desire is a vital movement, aspiration is a psychic movement.

When one has had a true aspiration, unselfish and sincere, one cannot even ask the question anymore; for the vibration of aspiration, luminous and calm, has nothing to do with the vibration of desire, which is passionate, dark and often violent.

Selfishness means wanting everything for oneself, understanding nothing but oneself, caring for others only insofar as they are necessary or important to oneself. In French, self-realisation (realisation du Soi) means discovering the divine centre in one's being. In English, self-fulfilment is generally taken [new p. 412]in the sense "to be successful". Sri Aurobindo in his [old p. 410]writings uses the word "self-realisation" to mean realisation of the Self, that is to say, becoming conscious of the Divine in oneself and identifying with Him.


14 September 1969

Collected Works of The Mother, First Edition, Volume 16, p. 409