‘All religions have saved a number
of souls, but none yet has been able
to spiritualise mankind. For that
there is needed not cult and creed,
but a sustained and all-comprehending
effort at spiritual self-evolution.’
CE, Volume 16, page 394
Discussions with Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
15 June 1986, Stone Ridge, New York
An excerpt from Part One:
[If] you look at the Mother's work isolated, as such: what she was doing and what we suppose that she was supposed to have done, then you think... ‘Well, nothing happened’. Everyone presumed that she would transform her body and come out looking like a young girl, or Lord knows what. But of course these ideas had no bearing on what she was really doing. So, in that particular work there were so many different levels you had to simply find your way through this labyrinth, through layers and layers until you got to the true work that was going on, that she did complete.
I don't know if you've read any of my things on this. It's in The New Way
basically...you know, it was very difficult for people in the [Sri Aurobindo] Ashram at that time, especially for those who had no understanding of what was to come. The experience was very difficult because it seemed that everything ended there, with no clear understanding of what it was she had actually done. And like Sri Aurobindo, she didn't really announce: ‘Well, I've finished and I'm going.’ Sri Aurobindo didn't do anything of the sort either. He just left in a very unusual fashion. But he had completed what he had to do.
And I must say...I have to say, now, in this work...the people who are drawn to it and finally get involved, are those who are not concerned only with an individual development. This is very important. You cannot take it out of the context of the collective development and the world situation. In many other yogas and paths you can do that. But this particular work is almost, I would say, meaningless...in order to really understand it you have to see it in the context of the total development. As it is an integral yoga that Sri Aurobindo brought, in the same way the process is integral and has to deal with all levels. This may be very different from what we might...from the idea we may have of a collective work. That's another story. But...people, for example, who are only interested in their own personal development, usually become rather confused at a certain point. They don't understand why certain things happen, what does it all mean? When you do though, it is very exciting.'
A full transcript of this discussion is available at Puranic Cosmology Updated.