Also in this Series
This latest Act of Seeing has brought an unexpected result. I understand why the residents of Skambha are all women, with men joining few and far between and usually for brief periods. The reason is now so clear. But it has become this clear only with the latest breakthrough; and it is as coherent as everything else connected to this work.
How did Skambha come about? In viewing its origin the affinity it has with women is natural – and obvious. Skambha is a true and indisputable ‘centre’. The physical land was discovered only after centering, as in the New Way, had occurred in 1983. It geographical coordinates fit the prescription exactly. Thus, to truly understand Skambha one has to know the nature of a true centre and how it emerges. It comes into being under intense pressure of contraction. It is spherical pressure, pressing in from all sides, converging on the Point that is forced into this material dimension from ‘the other side’, which act then results in ‘filling the Void’. This is the objective. Without that there can be no birth of the New Way on this side; and consequently no progression toward immortality. The emergence of a Centre that fills the Void is the very first step on the long road to an immortal state of being.
Thus, the issue is intense (and almost unbearable) contraction. It is as if the whole universe converges on this single Point – compressed consciousness-being. The creation of such a Centre re-enacts the act of creation itself. It emerges from the other side, from that essentiality, compelled into this material universe by the act of supreme contraction.
The difficulty lies in withstanding the pressure even and especially when it reaches an unbearable intensity, and not succumbing to the usual escape pattern of the mortal creature: death. The habit we have formed, and which we reinforce with every death or a particular psychological response pattern, is to allow ourselves the appeasement of the escape from the intense contraction by exiting this dimension. Therefore, for the mortal creation the Void becomes the soothing ‘comfort zone’. It is a mere illusion, an accommodation in defence or our mortality and the fact that as we are presently constituted, our consciousness cannot withstand the intensity of contraction that is the prerequisite for filling the Void.
I now know more in depth why I was told at the culmination of Vivienne’s birth, ‘This is why you were born a woman.’ Women have a natural affinity with contraction. Every birth is the result of contraction. The Enneagram, itself on the rhythm of 9, describes visually the contraction of the birth process. And the Enneagram is the 9 of Time, the vertical, companion to the horizontal and expansion.
These reflections also explain more pointedly why the Mother stated that her force works best through women: to ‘give birth’ to the new supramental creation that demands a centre at the heart of its fledgling cosmos, women are logically, organically more suited to the task. This has now been confirmed in full by the latest Act of Seeing.
Men do not enjoy the same affinity. Their natural poise of consciousness- being encourages flight, escape when contraction is felt. It explains why men cannot stay at Skambha. It has nothing to do with the attitude or demands of a domineering personality, as some believe. Rather, this portion of the Earth being a true Centre, enjoys an atmosphere that partakes fully of the characteristics that are required for a Centre, first of all to come into being; and then to continue an organic maturing process by the aid of Time, with which a Centre has a natural affinity. Indeed, as Time advances, so too does the power of the Centre increase. This is witnessed at Skambha. As of the past two years, since 2010 especially, Skambha’s power has increased palpably, measurable by the effects its pressure of contraction exerts on its permanent residents, but especially on the men who come into its orbit. Of late the urge to escape – in some cases almost an act of desperation, it would seem – has been evident. This indicates the increased action of the Centre. Men, as is their organic bent, have much more difficulty in withstanding the pressure of contraction. They are obliged, forced to flee because if they do not they fear they will collapse under the unbearable pressure, become irrelevant or even suffer the extinction of their manhood. Such is the intensity of the Skambha atmosphere.
Women have a poise of consciousness-being that is better suited to the atmosphere of Skambha. The monthly cycles they respond to – and which the male of the species ignores – engenders a natural affinity with the vertical of Time, and hence with the cosmic direction of contraction. Therefore Pablo once said, ‘Women are at the centre of the Earth, men outside.’ Every cosmic body, galaxy, star, planet must experience intense contraction to come into existence; or rather for the formation of that structure’s core.
The male drive to control women, to dominate them, and even to rape is due to the ever-present gnawing innermost lament at lacking the components of consciousness-being which can create in him the same affinity with contraction – because that affinity is also what makes women open and receptive to that essentiality of Being where contraction and gravity have their origin. It is this affinity that makes women feel comfortable at Skambha while men feel discomfort.
Sri Aurobindo did not succumb to the pressure of contraction. He knew how to avoid the oblivion of Death. His ally was Time; and thus was born the One. Woman cannot be the One; she is the channel for its emergence from the other side.
Roles are now more sharply defined.
Thea is unveiled at the Centre as the Centre, as holding the key to centering in her consciousness-being.
The doors of perception this opens are many. This is just the beginning.