Monday, November 23, 2009

The Awakeing Of Matter

July 28, 1961

Here is something important. Sri Aurobindo says that everything is involved down here - the mind, the vital, the supermind - and that what is involved evolves. But if everything is involved, including the supermind, what is the need for a 'descent'? Can't things evolve by themselves?

Ah! He has explained this somewhere.

But I don't remember seeing anything that satisfied me.

Isn't it in the Essays on the Gita ? He explains what Krishna says and how the two [descent and evolution] are combined. I read it not long ago because I was interested in this very question. And I even said something myself about the difference between what evolves (what emerges from this involution) and the Response from what already exists above in all its glory.

We'll have to find this passage.

There are two lines in the ancient traditions, two ways of explaining this. One says it is by the 'descent' of what already exists in all its perfection that what is involved can be awakened to consciousness and evolution. It's like the old story: when what Sri Aurobindo calls the universal Mother or the Shakti (or Sachchidananda [[Sachchidananda is the Supreme Consciousness in its triple aspect of Existence (Sat), Consciousness (Chit) and Bliss (Ananda). ]] ) realized what had happened in Matter (that is, in what had created Matter) and that this involution had led to a state of Inconscience, total unconsciousness, the ancient lore says that at once the divine Love descended straight from the Lord into Matter and began to awaken what was involved there. [277]

Other traditions speak of the Consciousness, the divine Consciousness, instead of Love. One even finds accounts full of imagery depicting a Being of prismatic light lying in deep sleep in the cave of the Inconscient; and this Descent awakens him to an activity which is still (how to put it?) inner, an immobile activity, an activity by radiation. Countless rays issue from his body and spread throughout the Inconscient, and little by little they awaken in each thing, in each atom, as it were, the aspiration to Consciousness and the beginning of evolution.

I have had this experience.

I have had the experience of being 'missioned,' so to speak, in a form of Love and Consciousness combined - divine Love in its supreme purity, divine Consciousness in its supreme purity - and emanated DIRECTLY, without passing through all the intermediate states, directly into the nethermost depths of the Inconscient. And there I had the impression of being, or rather of finding a symbolic Being in deep sleep ... so veiled that he was almost invisible. Then, at my contact, the veil seemed to be rent and, without his awakening, there was a sort of radiation spreading out.... I can still see my vision. [[See the addendum following this conversation for a transcription of Mother's vision as she noted it down for publication in Theon's Cosmic Review in 1906. ]]


There is always what could almost be called a popular way of presenting things. Take the whole Story of the Creation, of how things have come about: it can be told as an unfolding story (this is what Theon did in a book he called The Tradition - he told the whole story in the Biblical manner, with psychological knowledge hidden in symbols and forms). There is a psychological manner of telling things and a metaphysical manner. The metaphysical, for me, is almost incomprehensible; it's uninteresting (or interesting only to minds that are made that way). An almost childish, illustrative way of telling things seems more evocative to me than any metaphysical theory (but this is a personal opinion - and of no great moment!). The psychological approach is more dynamic for transformation, and Sri Aurobindo usually adopted it. He doesn't tell us stories (I was the one who told him stories! Images are very evocative for me). [278] But if one combines the two approaches.... Actually, to be philosophical, one would have to combine the three. But I have always found the metaphysical approach ineffective; it doesn't lead to realization but only gives people the IDEA that they know, when they really know nothing at all. From the standpoint of push, of a dynamic urge towards transformation, the psychological approach is obviously the most powerful. But the other [the symbolic approach] is lovelier!


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