Margaret Woodrow Wilson to Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo


Margaret Woodrow Wilson to Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo


Wilson, Margaret Woodrow, 1886-1944




[1936-1940] June 8


Margaret A. Wilson writes Eleanor Wilson McAdoo with news from the Aurobindo ashram in India.


Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Papers, University of California, Santa Barbara


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Wilson family




Beloved Sister

     You worry about not being good for Faithie because of your overwhelming love for her-- well I dont exactly worry about the anlaogous situation with us- that I love you so intensely that I lose what little quiet there is underneath my quicksilver surface mind when I think of any need of yours and therefore fail to listen to the innermost voice which alone could be of help to you because it is not I not this little ego-I. but I do often have a dreadful feeling of having failed you when you really need help. Then I have to remind myself of one of the beautiful poignant experiences of Vivekananda, the great Hindu seer, one of those who lived not so long ago and whom I feel very close to as if I had actually known him. His great heart embraced the whole world and he could suffer for humanity more deeply adnd agonisingly than we can imagine, for we really suffer only with and for those to whom we feel close personally and individually. One day he was going through an agony of suffering, this time for the poor down trodden Indian race and was deeply anxious lest they should lose their faith in God-- at the height of his agony he heard a voice which said Am I protecting them or are you? I have a friend who saw him immediately after this experience and she says that he walked as one transfigured and they say that never afterwards did he doubt no matter what he saw that the Lord had his loved ones, all of humanity, in the everlasting arms where they were forever safe. Oh darling you are safe and your little one is safe. She is just going through growing pains and so are you, so do we all, until we really grow up to our spiritual stature. I am convinced more than ever since I have been here that the greatest achievement possible to us is simply the power to quiet the mind completely and in that quiet listen to the still small voice or just simply to rest in that quiet and receive the strength that will rise out of it from the depths of our being, and that quiet strength will emanate from us to others and help them without our trying to help them all the more when we are not trying to advise or help. Did not you tell me once that someone gave you a kind of exercsise for relaxing the body and quieting the mind and that using it you could quiet yourself in five minutes? Why not try it or any other method that comes naturally to your mind with a view to acquring and establishing the habit of mental quiet. The mind will put up a fight for a long time perhaps but in the end you will grow conscious of a deep strong something in you, more conscious I should say for you have often felt it in moments when a sweet peace surrounded you or after some critical moment of suffering, have you not? Since I have undertaken to establish a quiet mind I have been horrified by the extent to which a restless mind controls and wastes our energy and forces us to live with small and superficial things when we could live on the heights and below the surface of our being if we would quiet that monkey as Vivekananda used to call the mind. You know of course that the practise of Yoga consists largely in quieting the mind to the point where it is not opearative at all and then at that point the soul consciousness comes forward and takes control of the mind and the heart and the body and uses them only as instruments, does not allow them to run away with It any longer. But even before that perfect point is reached- I have not reached it even for a moment- one can reach a quiet place within which is close to the soul and there receive its strength and peace and intimations of eternal truths. For instance if when you relax your body and quiet your mind you just forget Faith (Hard yes but you can for a few moments) then when you come back to the ordinary state of mind everything will look different because you will somehow by retring from all the problems have reached a better perspective from which you can then view them. All these things are subtly psychological and therefore very very hard to describe. I think probably the best thing I can say from my own point of view and the most practical is simply this- Try any method you can find or think of to quiet your mind down to the point where it does not seem to be working at all and just peace surrounds you and then just notice what happens either at the time or afterwards. All kinds of wonderful things can happen in a quiet consciousness.
     I like you do not like to think how long it has been since I last wrote. I do not seem able to get postal card conscious. Perhaps we shall have just to reconcile ourselves to having a correspondence like Oneils-Eugene- with whom it is said a correspondence is either a feast or a fast!
     Darling it has not been given me to directly help people with invisible power- that is consciously but if without my knowing it my thoughts help you because they are backed by some power which is meant to be of help to you, you will certainly receive that help for my thoughts go to you propelled by an intensity of love that I have felt for very oh very few people in my life.
     By the way did I tell you that on the train coming here last Fall I was accompanied as far as Madras by a youngish Hindu man whom I met in Bombay? A days and a half of constant talk we had, too strenuous with the windows open letting in noise dirt and heat with the result that I lost my voice and landed here whispering and my voice has not entirely recovered yet- swift punishment for disobeying one of the canons of yoga which is not to talk too much. Well we took such a liking to each other that we became brother and sister on the spot and have been corresponding in a very desultory fashion since and very shortly. He is practising yoga too with another seer and has had some really great spiritual experience. What made me think of him was that his last letter came to my mind as I was writing the sentence about my thoughts getting to you if they are meant to help. This is his letter-judge by it how lengthy his letter are- He is a true Yogi- doesn't his head off to say a simple thing as I do!               "following thought of today, your brother wants to greet you-- you rise up in your own consciousness all things visible and invisible rise up to greet you-- The shadow of imperfection gives place to perfection-Life is then "The Blessing" to all that exist far and near you." Arindam.
It is true that if you lift your own consciousness above its ordinary level, whatever that is, you become a channel for the blessing that is meant for you and all around you near or far though they be. The blessing seems always to be hovering above us waiting to descend and asks only that we look up to receive it, not down.
     I have to write another letter this morning about the manuscript that I am editing for Swami Nikhilananda in America which will not get to him now until the summer is half over and I have not done my work for today- my typing work for my beloved Teacher. He shows His compassion by letting me type for Him for every sheet I send Him is full of mistkes and corrections and there are expert typist here. But He knows that I have need of that connection with Him. Oh Nell I wish I could tell you without the words seeming either incredible or banal what I am convinced He is, what He has attained to. You notice that I cannot write of him with a small capital as of ordinary persons. He has attained what Christ and Buddha and other supreme seers have attained- His full Divine Consciousness.
     If I were you I would not wrorry at all about material things or at least as little as possible- you said that you did not want to spend money on the trip to the Orient- for a practical reason and that is that money spent on something enriching and for Faith very educational is money saved and in the world as it is now with God knows what ahead money in the bank or even in land is not surely saved at all. Some one said during the depression that the rich people were those who had spent all their money on some form of enlarging experience or education and not those who had saved. This can be carried too far but I think a bit of the attitude God will provide is needed more than ever now when we can have no idea what it coming next.
     Oh dear this letteer seems to me to be just that which I say is futile

Original Format



McAdoo, Eleanor Wilson, 1889-1967




Wilson, Margaret Woodrow, 1886-1944, “Margaret Woodrow Wilson to Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo,” [1936-1940] June 8, WWP19644, Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Collection at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.