By "States of Consciousness" is here meant not temporary states as opposed to permanent stages, but permanent reincarnating continnua of consciousness, which are embodied in and make up the individual personality, as aggregates of states of consciousness within that personality. This also ties in with Gurdjieff's idea of many "I"s, as wel as Jane Roberts aspect psychology (e.g. Adventures in Consciousness: An Introduction to Aspect Psychology). I first read about this in Mother's Agenda vol. 7, (October 26, 1966), where Mirra (known as The Mother, a profoundly Realized adept) to Satprem
October 26, 1966
Mirra: Do you know that I played yesterday? I tried the organ. It was very entertaining: as soon as I sat down, something came into my hands, but something that LOVED music, and it came in so easily, so gently and intensely. And suddenly my hands found their past skill again - the whole half of my arm was seized by a little being. It was really lovely, it sounded very childlike and was quite charming, quite charming.
It's the first time it has been so complete: it was no longer at all my hands that were playing, no longer at all. It's the first time. I don't know if it will be like that for the 30th [Satprem's birthday].
Mirra: There's something I'd like to show you. You know that I went to the balcony the other day, [On October 21.] in full sun, and it completely altered my appearance (Mother looks for a series of photos). I must say that I felt very different from what I am when I go there. I was very, very different. I am not saying anything, you'll see....
(Mother hands the photos to Satprem)
Mirra: I look like someone else.
Satprem: Oh, yes! It's odd, it doesn't look like you at all.
Mirra: Some say it looks like me.
But I look like a man, don't I?
Satprem: Yes, there is something masculine, especially in this one.
Mirra: Yes, I look like a man.
It was someone else who was there - but there are always others, that's what people don't know! Others come all the time, all the time (Mother draws a circle above her head to suggest a circular dance): old ones, new ones, future ones, there is constantly something. It's very strange. And then the photograph catches it.
Satprem: Yes, it's very striking on this one; it's less pronounced on the others.
Mirra: And it's someone I know, but I can't put a name to him. I look like an old scientist there, no? It's strange (Mother looks at the photo again). There's something strange: a sort of very keen knowledge [in the person in the photo] that stems from observation, but I can't find out the country and time it's from.
They are particular states of consciousness that grew precise and were expressed particularly well in certain individuals at certain moments - it's not during the whole life of a whole individual, it's not that: it's states of consciousness that reached the height of their formation and intensity at certain moments. And then, it all comes back like a big merry-go-round (Mother draws a circular dance above her head and around her), all the time, through all times and all countries. The photo catches it, and when it comes to me, when I see it, I seem to be looking not at all at this person [Mother], but at someone I have known quite a lot, someone I have known quite well: "But of course, it's you, no doubt!" But I can't put a name.
Yes, it's like a merry-go-round of all the moments when the Consciousness manifested in people. It's very interesting. The body is now growing very impersonal.
Satprem: But once, I had a curious experience with you.... I've never had visions with open eyes, but once (it struck me), many years ago, downstairs, you were telling me a story about cats and talking about the "king of the cats" you had met, the genius of the species - and your face (it was extraordinary) was that of a cat! But a supercat, who was there in front of me! Yet I have no visions, absolutely none, but it was plainly visible. I found it very striking. It was quite extraordinary.
Mirra: The body's appearance had changed.
Satprem: Yes, your whole face had changed its appearance. And I am sure a photograph would have shown it, because it wasn't a vision.
Mirra: Yes, those are things photographs catch. They're very sensitive.
Satprem: It's strange.
Mirra: Once at the balcony, I was Buddha, absolutely! It lasted a minute or two. And quite a few people told me, "Oh, you were Buddha." If a photo had been taken, it would have been visible.
But it comes constantly like that, like a sort of merry-go-round of people coming by (same gesture of a round dance), and hup! they manifest and go away, hup! they manifest and go away.... And in those photos, I have several times recognized someone, but without being able to put a name.
But this (Mother looks at the photo again) is a man, I am sure it's a man, and I have a feeling that if he wasn't an "official" scientist, he was a man who had a science, a very intimate and keen observation of things. And it was a moment when that consciousness of observation was at its highest. They caught it with the photo; the next minute it would no longer have been there. He is almost saying something, expressing something (Mother shows Satprem the photo): see the mouth. It's very curious.
But from that point of view, the body is growing very impersonal. It's like with my hands: it has never been as spontaneous and complete as it was yesterday - I can't say I no longer had hands because there was no "I" anymore. That's how it is, something comes (something from someone: an idea, a force, a movement, an expression), poff! and it becomes this [Mother's body, or her hands in this instance]. And it was very joyful and very sweet: there was a sort of joyful charm, very young. Half an hour before,
I didn't know I was going to play: it came just like that. And it wasn't "to play," there was nothing serious or important, none of that existed: there only was something very young, very lively.
It's a phenomenon that's growing concrete. There are all sorts of ... they aren't people: they are states of consciousness that expressed themselves or maybe even took a precise shape in the lives of all kinds of people; some of them are quite known to me: I have seen them often, they come back often and I know them very well - I can put names to them. But these states of consciousness weren't exclusively in this or that person: they were in many people and in many ages.
And it's more and more often like that. I think it's to make the [cellular] aggregate more supple, to give it suppleness.
Sri Aurobindo wrote somewhere, I don't remember in what connection, that in a certain state of consciousness one had the power to CHANGE THE PAST. I found that very striking.
Because it's an experience I've had several times, and with all this work I am doing now, I understand better. You see, what seems to be perpetuated or preserved isn't individuals: it's states of consciousness - states of consciousness. Those states of consciousness manifest through many individuals and many different lives, and those states of consciousness are what progress towards a more and more luminous perfection. There are now, at present, all kinds of "categories" of states of consciousness that come one upon another in order to be put in contact with the Truth, the Light, the perfect Consciousness, and at the same time they have retained a sort of imprint (like a memory) of the moments when they manifested.
There is a big work of transformation of the material states of consciousness going on: the states of consciousness nearest to the Inconscient, the most material states of consciousness. They come like that [to present themselves to Mother], with one or two examples of their previous manifestation (perhaps even their first emergence from the Inconscient), and then I see the transition (along with what has transformed them, changed them or even simply altered them through successive manifestations), the transition up to the point when they are now presented before the supreme Consciousness for the final transformation. This is a perpetual work, so to speak, because, interestingly, it's a work I can go on doing while seeing people. Generally my work was interrupted when I saw people, because I was busy with them and that diminished and limited the work: they represented a small aggregate of difficulties that enormously shrank the Action [of Mother]. But now it's no longer like that. And the interesting point is that it places people in this or that "curve of transformation" of the consciousness. For some time I have been seeing a considerable number of people I had never seen before (with all the old or familiar people there was no difficulty, but with the new ones it generally caused a shrinking of the work), and now with this "study" of states of consciousness, people are placed: here, there, here (Mother draws different levels in space). And if they are receptive, they must go away [after seeing Mother] with a new impulse to transform themselves. Those who aren't receptive just miss it; but they are no longer a disturbance: they come in and go out. And from that I know what state they are in - I can even do it with photos, but when I see people it's much more complete. Photos are no more than one moment of their being, while here, even what isn't being manifested is there, hidden behind, and can be seen, so I see the person more completely. It's very interesting. It transforms this whole burden of visitors into something interesting.
And from Mother's Agenda vol. 7, (October 29, 1966)
Mirra: There are lots of things, lots of things.... Last night again, we were together for a long time. But we are together to WORK together; you understand, it's not as if you are looking after me and I am looking after you, it's not that: we meet because we work together. And there are vast movements of consciousness.
To tell the truth, I don't like mental activity - I have never liked it. I worked a lot in the mind for a time: it was a phase, the phase of mental development when I did philosophy - all philosophies, comparative philosophies - in order to make the intellect more supple. But to tell the truth, it doesn't interest me. While states of consciousness - movements of consciousness, states of consciousness - that's tremendously interesting! And going on at the moment there is a very keen, that is, very painstaking study of the relationship between states of consciousness and the phenomenon of death.
Ultimately, all beliefs people have about what happens after death ... Human beings have long tried to know, of course, and some religions thought they had found an explanation.... I've had personal experiences. And now the problem is put in a new way, as if (I say "as if" because I haven't come to the end and I don't know), as if what is perpetuated from life to life weren't personalities but STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS, which are immortal and in constant transformation at the same time, and what's transformed through one's lives is the state of consciousness.... Some have only one state of consciousness, others have many (there are even certain people who have two nearly opposite states of consciousness, which results in that "double personality" and those contradictions in life). Some are very simple and have only one, and that results in almost primitive individuals; but they sometimes have a wonderful development in their state of consciousness.... That explains many contradictions. That's what I am clearly shown at the moment: states of consciousness passing through numerous aggregates. And then, there is, there too, a secret to be found for the prolongation of an aggregate, that is, what gives the character not of immortality (which is something very different), but of the indefinite duration of life - of the FORM, rather (life never stops), of the form. So then, once this study has been done in depth, another secret will have been found.