Mother reads from Lights on Yoga, “Surrender and Opening”.
Sweet Mother, when we concentrate on one of your photos—there are many photos, each one with a different expression—does it make a difference for us, the one on which we concentrate?
If you do it purposely, yes, of course. If you choose this photo for a particular reason or that other one for another reason, surely. It has an effect. It is as though you were choosing to concentrate on one aspect of the Mother rather than another; for example, if you choose to concentrate on Mahakali or Mahalakshmi or on Maheshwari, the results will be different. That part of you which answers to these qualities will awaken and become receptive. So, it is the same thing. But somebody who has only one photo, whichever it may be, and concentrates, without choosing this one or that, because he has only one, then it is of no importance which one it is. For the fact of concentrating on the photograph puts one in contact with the Force, and that is what is necessary in the case of everyone who responds automatically.
It is only when the person who concentrates puts a special will, with a special relation, into his concentration that it has an effect. Otherwise the relation is more general, and it is always the expression of the need or the aspiration of the person who concentrates. If he is absolutely neutral, if he does not choose, does not aspire for any particular thing, if he comes like this, like a white page and absolutely neutral, then it is the forces and aspects he needs which will answer to the concentration and perhaps even the person himself will not know what particular things he needs, because very few people are conscious of themselves. They live in a vague feeling, they have a vague aspiration and it is almost unseizable; it is not something organised, coordinated and willed, with a clear vision, for example, of the difficulties one wants to overcome or the capacities one wants to acquire; this, usually, is already the result of a fairly advanced discipline. One must have reflected much, observed much, studied much in order to be able to know exactly what he needs. Otherwise it is something hazy, this impression: one tries to catch it and it escapes…
-24 August, 1955, The Mother – Questions and Answers 1955
… Every book, on account of the words it contains, is like a small accumulator of these forces. People don’t know this, for they don’t know how to make use of it, but it is so. In the same way, in every picture, photograph, there is an accumulation, a small accumulation representative of the force of the person whose picture it is, of his nature and, if he has powers, of his powers.
-The Mother, Questions and Answers 1956
… But for example, the perception of the inner reality of people—not what they think they are or what they pretend to be or what they seem to be: all that disappears—but the perception of their inner reality is infinitely more precise than before. I see a photograph, for example; it is no longer a matter of seeing “through” something: I see almost nothing but what the person is. The “through” diminishes to such an extent that sometimes it does not exist at all.
-The Mother – On Thoughts and Aphorisms
Why is the photo a fragmentary and limited presence?
Because the photo catches only the image of a moment, an instant of a person’s appearance and of what that appearance can reveal of a passing psychological condition and fragmentary soul-state. Even if the photograph is taken under the best possible conditions at an exceptional and particularly expressive moment, it cannot in any way reproduce the whole personality.
– 5 November 1959, The Mother – Some Answers from the Mother