Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The God Of The Jews And Christians

But I also remember reading The Tradition, before I met Sri Aurobindo (it was like a novel, a serialized romance of the world's creation, but it was very evocative; Théon called it The Tradition). That was where I first learned of the universal Mother's first four emanations, when the Lord delegated his creative power to the Mother. And it was identical to the ancient Indian tradition, but told like a nursery story; anyone could understand - it was an image, like a movie, and very vivid.
So She made her first four emanations. The first was Consciousness and Light (arising from Sachchidananda); the second was Ananda and Love; the third was Life; and Truth was the fourth. Then, so the story goes, conscious of their infinite power, instead of keeping their connection with the supreme Mother and, through Her, with the Supreme, instead of receiving indications for action from Him and doing things in proper order, they were conscious of their own power and each one took off independently to do as he pleased - they had power and they used it. They forgot their Origin. And because of this initial oblivion, Consciousness became unconsciousness, and Light became darkness; Ananda became suffering, Love became hate; Life became Death; and Truth became Falsehood. And they were instantly thrown headlong into what became Matter. According to Théon, the world as we know it is the result of that. And that was the Supreme himself in his first manifestation.
But the story is easy to understand, and quite evocative. On the surface, for intellectuals, it's very childish; but once you have the experience you understand it very well - I understood and felt the thing immediately.
And once the world has become like that, has become the vital world in all its darkness, and they, from this vital world, have created Matter, the supreme Mother sees (laughing) the result of her first four emanations and She turns towards the Supreme in a great entreaty: "Now that this world is in such a dreadful state, it has to be saved! We can't just leave it this way, can we? It has to be saved, the divine consciousness must be given back to it. What to do?" And the Supreme says, "Thrust yourself into a new emanation, an emanation of the ESSENCE of Love, down into the most material Matter." That meant plunging into the earth (the earth had become a symbol and a representation of the whole drama). "Plunge into Matter." So She plunged into Matter, and that became the primordial source of the Divine within material substance. And from there (as is so well described in Savitri), She begins to act as a leaven in Matter, raising it up from within.
And as She plunged into the earth, a second series of emanations was sent forth - the gods - to inhabit the intermediary zones between Sachchidananda and the earth. And these gods (laughing) ... well, great care was taken to make them perfect, so they wouldn't give any trouble! But they are a bit ... a bit too perfect, aren't they? Yes, a bit too perfect: they never make mistakes, they always do exactly as they're told.... In short, rather lacking in initiative. They do have some, but....
In fact, they were not surrendered in the way a psychic being can be, because they had no psychic in them. The psychic being is the result of that descent. Only human beings have it. And that's what makes humanity so superior to the gods. Théon insisted greatly on this: throughout his story, humans are far superior to gods and should not obey them - they should only be in contact with the Supreme in his aspect of perfect Love.
I don't know how to put it.... To me, those gods always seemed ... (not those described in the Puranas, they're different ... well, not so very different!) but the way Théon presented them, they seemed just like a bunch of marshmallows! It's not that they had no power - they had a lot of power, but they lacked that psychic flame.
And to Théon, the God of the Jews and Christians was an Asura. This Asura wanted to be unique; and so he became the most terrible despot imaginable. Anatole France said the same thing (I now know that Anatole France had never read Théon's story, but I can't imagine where he picked this up). It's in The Revolt of the Angels. He says that Satan is the true God and that Jehovah, the "only God," is the monster. And when the angels wanted Satan to become the one and only God, Satan realized he was immediately taking on all Jehovah's failings! So he refused: "Oh, no - thank you very much!" It's a wonderful story, and in exactly the same spirit as what Théon used to say. The very first thing I asked Anatole France (I told you I met him once - mutual friends introduced us), the first thing I asked him was, "Have you ever read The Tradition?" He said no. I explained why I had asked, and he was interested. He said his source was his own imagination. He had caught that idea intuitively...

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