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Words of Wisdom

Knowledge and Wisdom – Selections from “On Thoughts and Aphorisms” by The Mother (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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Mirra Alfassa, who became known as The Mother, or SriMa, was born in 1878 in Paris, France. Based on her inner experience and guidance by a Saint she later recognized as Sri Aurobindo, she traveled to India in 1914, where she met Him for the first time. Sri Aurobindo conferred the title of “The Mother” in recognition of her embodiment of the principles of the Divine Mother. The Mother also developed an extensive series of spiritual writings. These highlight a goal of ultimate union with the Divine, along with becoming master of ourselves and our destiny. Shining through all of her work is the Mother’s love and devotion to God.

The following passages come from the Mother’s book, “On Thoughts and Aphorisms,” where the Mother expounds on the following quote by Sri Aurobindo, “There are two allied powers in man: knowledge and Wisdom. Knowledge is so much of the truth, seen in a distorted medium, as the mind arrives at by groping; Wisdom what the eye of divine vision sees in the spirit.”

“And Sri Aurobindo says clearly enough — for those who understand — that one of these powers belongs to the mind and that the other belongs to the Spirit. This is precisely the profound truth that Sri Aurobindo wants to reveal in His aphorism: if the mind tries to obtain the second power, it is unable to do so, since it is a power that belongs to the Spirit and arises in the human being together with the spiritual consciousness.”

“The truth is a whole and everything is necessary. The distorted medium through which you see, the mental atmosphere, is unsuited for the manifestation or the expression or even the perception of all the elements — and one can say that the better part is lost. So it can no longer be called the truth, but rather something which in essence is true, and yet no longer so at all in the mental atmosphere — it is an ignorance. So, to summarize, I shall say that knowledge, as it can be grasped by the human mind, is necessarily knowledge in ignorance, one could almost say an ignorant knowledge. Wisdom is the vision of truth in its essence and of its application in the manifestation.”
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