‘At present mankind is undergoing an evolutionary crisis in which is concealed a choice of its destiny…’
‘…The significance of our existence here determines our destiny: that destiny is something that already exists in us as a necessity and a potentiality, the necessity of our being’s secret and emergent reality, a truth of its potentialities that is being worked out; both, though not yet realised, are even now implied in what has been already manifested. If there is a Being that is becoming, a Reality of existence that is unrolling itself in Time, what that being, that reality secretly is what we have to become, and so to become is our life’s significance.’
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 28
‘…This fullness of the means of life might be, by its power for a release from the incessant unsatisfied stress of his economic and physical needs, an opportunity for the full pursuit of other and greater aims surpassing the material existence, for the discovery of a higher truth and good and beauty, for the discovery of a greater and diviner spirit which would intervene and use life for a higher perfection of the being; but it is being used instead for the multiplication of new wants and an aggressive expansion of the collective ego.’
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 28
I write these lines in the United States of America, the nation whose coming into existence changed the face of the world. For a new world was indeed born, where new energies could find their freedom of expression, largely unburdened by the weight of past traditions.
The impression of a new and vibrant vitality is unmistakable in America, as anyone coming from an older, ancient civilisation can affirm when entering within the borders of this vast country. Indeed, one feels ‘burdenless’, and this creates the impression that anything is possible in the United States, the impossible appears totally possible, the attainable is there for all to attain. This is so largely because one is free of the weight of the past.
In terms of the new way, this condition is especially meaningful. I have delved deeply into the question of ‘time energy’. By specific yogic processes it was discovered that the experience of time ― the lived experience of conscious awareness, on this planet, in our particular physical bodies ― revolves around the question of energy, much as all else in this universe. Time is energy, or the executive force of Consciousness. As Sri Aurobindo wrote in Savitri: ‘The executor of my will, eternal Time.’
But an experience lived in an unconscious state, with half or more of the energies of the being asleep, results in the fact that time begins to condense energy within one’s consciousness-being. Consequently, one way in which we can describe the ego is by this formulation: the ego is the pivot formed by those accumulated, unresolved substances that come into being because of a wrong poise of the consciousness of the individual, whereby the time energies of the past form a ‘knot’ and pull the being off centre. That is, one lives one’s life pivoting this off-centre, which is the dross of our experience in time. The past becomes thus our prison. It is the burden we carry and which nails us to our cross in the lowest chakra.
Certain Yogas have sought to release this energy by various techniques which would bring about enlightenment. Tantra is one such path. The rise of the Kundalini in Tantra Yoga is one method to bring about a release. But there are certain limitations in the Tantric and Kundalini Yogas which I have described in the third volume of The New Way. Suffice to say here that seers have long been aware of this ‘knotted energy’ — or the coiled Serpent at the base of the spine. The ego’s pivot, and hence the pivot of the present human race, is the sex centre. Consequently, we have the Left-Handed path of Tantra which seeks to utilise the sex act for the attainment of its highest goal.
This is the situation for each human being born in a human body on this planet. But it is also applicable to nations. Some nations are tremendously burdened by the past, to such an extent that in order to free themselves from these shackles, they do so by seeking to obliterate them completely. China is one example offering this type of resolution, in that it has dramatically cut away its past and introduced a new order. But there are others as well. In the Middle Ages we find that Islam stepped in to fill a void it had created by a similar act of cutting away the existing order. And what was once there, a force of the new, has today become a conservative power of the past.
The United States of America does not have this burden, but because of this we find an interesting situation prevailing, perhaps even more interesting in view of the astrological sign that rules the nation, — Cancer. This sign describes the ego pivot, given the present condition of the race. That is, it is the sign that describes where and when the separation occurs in the evolution of consciousness that permits an individual to emerge. In our present condition of incompletion and unenlightenment, and our difficulty in dealing with time energy in a manner which would allow for a gnostic race to come into being, Cancer thus describes the ego pivot. Hence it is the sign of the past in astrological tradition, and also the
‘end of life’ period and the ‘tomb’. Its hieroglyphic symbol pictures the void we orbit as a race, an ‘empty centre’. And indeed the past is like a black hole; it consumes precious time energy, the lack of which keeps us from enjoying a state of immortal being.
America is representative of this condition because though she does not carry the burden of the past, yet she pivots a certain void. Other nations fill that void with traditions that have accumulated and which eventually become forces of inertia. This, however, the United States has not been permitted to do. The nation has only a short history of barely 200 years, and this short span covers precisely the period of history that saw tremendous upheavals the world over with respect to tradition and continuity.
America is indeed part of the ‘new world’. But in the context of this work, we may use this term as synonymous with ‘the new creation’. That is, this is a global condition and the time of the discovery of America marked the period when a ‘new world’ was being born on Earth, involving the whole planet. The coming into being of the United States as a nation in 1776 (a year of 3 power according to the mathematics of unity) was part of the foundation-laying for a new world order. But an essential ingredient in this order is a vision of oneness and unity. When these become firm pillars of our seeing and are applied to international affairs, then a new world order will take the place of the divisive oldness we live at present.
This vision of oneness and unity must permeate all aspects of life, the individual’s daily experience as well as relations between nations. Similarly, it must refashion our vision of the zodiacal wheel. For the condition that assails us of an incomplete experience of time, forces a separative vision of the wheel; and this creates a fragmented view of the zodiacal signs, whereby each is analysed in isolation of the rest. But with the new perceptive faculties now emerging, such as the Mind of Light, (see TVN 0/2, December 1985) this limitation is overcome. Accompanying the vision of planetary oneness there is a seeing of the integrated, united zodiac. Thus Cancer is no longer a sign separate from the rest, since that would then describe the ‘void’ central to the old creation and hence be productive of the off-centre pivot in the individual; and consequently it would be the sign representing the ego. Any nation, therefore, ruled by Cancer during times when these perceptive limitations prevailed on Earth, would suffer also from the severe limitations the ego would impose. (The several bouts with isolationist policies that the United States has experienced would indicate the old poise and an ‘unintegrated’ Cancer influence.)
However, the United States of America is one of the nations at the forefront of the new world order, and she came into being precisely when those first foundations of human unity and global oneness were being laid. The last three centuries of this millennium are ushering in a radically different harmony among nations and individuals; and the final three decades of this century are carrying this process to its culmination. Consequently, America’s rulership by Cancer carries a different significance. The void is still central, this is a fact, but not having tradition to fill it, the nation has come to express another attribute of the sign: Change. The result is a country caught up in a process of compulsive change, attempts to fill the void. The economic system America champions in the world is also strongly coloured by this factor, since the consumerist society is one that feeds on this need. New products must be churned out with relentless fury to replace old ones; and this, when accompanied by sophisticated marketing and advertising techniques, drives the public to desire ever better products with an insatiable appetite. The new technology is heightening this condition because daily new inventions render obsolete those of yesterday. The consumer is thus driven along on the crests of this compulsive wave of change.
Yet this situation lies very close to the key purpose for America’s existence, her true dharma, we may say. It is a very special attribute that she offers the world and represents her contribution to the symphony of nations, and in particular for the new world order that is upon us. This drive to renew, rather than a clinging to tradition and the ways of the past, is the expression of her Cancer heritage. But since this is a harmony of the One and the Many, one cannot appreciate this heritage and contribution unless the vision of oneness replaces the old seeing. Thus Cancer in the new holistic vision would not be the ego, if taken in conjunction with the other signs, all constituting one evolutionary ‘journey’, one united and connected process. More pointedly, Cancer must be viewed in conjunction with the sign that stands opposite on the wheel, Capricorn. We then find that these two poles form one axis, so to speak. Capricorn then fills that void with the stable core that it provides, for that is its dharma; while Cancer offers to Capricorn the essential ingredient it needs: the drive to renew, to change, without which the stability of Capricorn would become its power of undoing by virtue of a stagnation of energies.
India is known to be ruled by Capricorn, and within the symphony of nations she does provide us with that stable core, which has resulted in the fact that India has given the world so many philosophical systems and spiritual paths and leaders. But a harmonious interchange between these two nations, India and America, is essential now, especially for the latter, which has yet to fulfil her dharma. The United States may have been born as an independent nation in 1776, that year of 3 power, but her journey in the discovery of her soul is still incomplete. Likewise, though India — the new India — was born in 1947, also a year of 3 power, she too awaits the moment of her psychic fulfilment.
Both nations have reached a very important crossroads, and this has become especially apparent to me in my recent travels in the United States. But opposing any true expression of the American soul are forces of inertia which are making a concerted effort to fill that central void. The rise of conservatism in this decade, accompanied by a phenomenal increase in fundamentalism, indicates that occult forces are seeking to draw America away from her true destiny, — a destiny which in fact she has not yet fulfilled.
This of course may be said of all nations: none have fulfilled their destinies. It may be said of the entire Earth. The planet stands at a formidable crossroads: on one side lies collapse, caving in of energies, destruction, and on the other we find the new creation which the Earth is meant to house and which is the true and sole reason for her existence. This planet is to provide the physical base for this evolution to a higher species and a gnostic society.
The turning point America (and India) faces, is thus the same the whole Earth faces. What is going to emerge? Out of this great churning will the Earth’s soul be victorious and her child live and take his place in the complete harmony of the System? Or will the forces of Inertia prevail and cast this new creation into the black hole of the past, aborting the birth of the One Earth and the harmonious interrelations between nations and between individuals?
It is clear that this crucial juncture is upon us as a species, as a planet. There is no longer any possibility of an individual salvation, — read ‘escape’. It is abundantly evident that isolated parts cannot disengage themselves from this decisive reckoning. Thus the critical juncture that America faces expresses the turning point of our entire civilisation. What is to come? What is, in the first place, the real nature of the victory?
This may be said to be the central issue of the present discussion, and about which we seek to be very clear. At stake is the destiny of an entire civilisation. But more than that, it is the destiny of a planet. The decisive moment of which we are witnesses and participants, concerns the unveiling of the Earth’s soul.
In our racial memories we carry truth-seeings of our planetary psychic being. These have been conveyed in various ways and handed down throughout the Ages, — in epics, myths, or in records left by individual seers of their truth perceptions which all traditions have preserved. These are veiled prophetic glimpses, of seeings into that soul dimension. Yet the difference with our times is of capital importance. We are now living the actual Birth, a condition which the world has not known prior to our Age. Or if it has in the endless recurring cycles of Time, that event has receded deep into our collective unconscious. We have lost the living and conscious connection with that planetary condition. Some [people?] attempt to reconstruct this past, to ferret out traces of cultures and civilisations which seem to indicate that the Earth has known the full birth of her soul. But I am not especially concerned with what might have been thousands of years ago. I am solely concerned with the actual birth we are living now; and I realise that the times we live in are, for this reason, the most glorious and exciting that our race has living memory of. We are experiencing that great Birth. We have the possibility to be conscious participants in this unique event. For out of the labour pains of our times, the new creation emerges. Can there be any more sublime grace than to be offered by destiny the possibility of a conscious participation in this revolutionising happening?
An event of such phenomenal importance and proportions is clearly a global involvement, concerning nations and individuals. Therefore, if one observes world events with the eye of a new Seeing, enlightened by this faculty of clear vision, they take on a different meaning. We view then in a new perspective. Accordingly, this introduces a heightened sense of responsibility. For example, the turning point that the United States faces becomes a matter of deepest concern for all nations and people. We cannot stand aloof from the consequences a wrong turn at this stage would signify. In addition, a true spiritual insight reveals that the old methods for dealing with our problems are not adequate to influence events and people or change the course of destiny during this entirely new Birth. To seek to usher in the new Creation requires a new way, a new process. And this is what we are concerned with primarily. It is more than clear that the right course is not going to be found in the old paths of the spirit, nor through the already outdated solutions science and political ideologies provide. Rather, it is abundantly clear that a new consciousness has to come into being which can deal with the tremendous mental development of the human race, — the major conditioning factor of our civilisation. That is, a supramental change has to come about — or rather, is coming about. And we seek to become more conscious instruments in this great Change.
However, this requires special Knowledge. In my travels in America, I have been able to observe that there exists a decided immaturity in questions of Spirit. Unlike India where for thousands of years sages, seers, and yogis have been exploring all the existent dimensions open to the individual in his or her quest for Truth — from the highest reaches of the spirit, down through the innumerable occult planes and into the physical — , America is barely at the first portal in this investigation. Consequently, I have found that this lack of a precise Knowledge about those subtle, occult dimensions and the forces working therein has placed in jeopardy the realisation of the country’s higher potential. I feel that this matter is serious enough to merit a somewhat detailed discussion, and it is my hope that an explanation of the nature of the problem will help to arrest an incipient wrong turn and guide those individuals who could provide a certain amount of precious energies for the great Change back to the safe and real path of the Earth’s own way.
A great wave is sweeping over America, dispersing energies and creating a considerable amount of confusion among seekers regarding the nation’s true role in the new dispensation that the Earth stands poised to experience. This is occurring because, as mentioned, there is very little real understanding of the true nature of the occult dimensions that surround us, — those subtle dimensions with their respective forces, entities, and so forth, that ‘fold into’ the physical, and permeate it. These entities seek to mould the consciousness of the people in ‘their own image’, quite simply. Yet they have no real role to play in this manifestation; or rather, no directional role.
This has presently reached alarming proportions. One of its main expressions is the rampant influences these occult forces have acquired by means of mediumistic channels — be this either through automatic writing, the pendulum, the planchette, or simply a ‘source’ speaking through a sensitive, all of which are means to receive ‘messages’ from disembodied entities. There are many ways to receive such communications, but the actual methods are unimportant. The resultant communications are, however, a matter of deep concern to anyone knowledgeable about such matters.
The position needs to be explained in greater detail. In an integral path, and above all a supramental manifestation which presupposes an integration of all levels of the being, from the subtlest realms of the Spirit to the densest dimensions of material creation, it is not possible to brush aside the occult realms and all their intermediate planes as ‘illusory’, or to consider them plagued by the scourge of impermanency and hence to be dismissed as unreal. This has been done in the past. In fact, all spiritual disciplines and philosophies have propagated this view in one way or another. They all prescribe an extra-cosmic apotheosis, and in so doing the question of knowledge about the occult planes becomes irrelevant, since the Cosmic Body of the Mother is dismissed as ‘unreal’. The aim is to escape those subtle as well as physical planes, which are labelled Illusion, or Maya. This attitude is reflected in zodiacal tradition by the aforementioned separation between Cancer and Capricorn. By this divisive view, Cancer then becomes Diti of Vedic tradition, the Mother of darkness and division. Aditi, the unifying Mother, only comes into being when this point is joined in the perceptive vision to Capricorn.
In calling creation ‘illusion’, this has not freed the race from an interpenetration by the occult forces of this physical dimension. In fact, today we find that this disregard fostered by the spiritual authorities has created fertile ground for occult forces to influence happenings on the planet and they have come to wield considerable power over people, especially those engaged in a quest for Truth. It is not that those forces can effectively impede the new Birth, or even that they care to do so. What is happening, however, and which is truly lamentable, is that channels that could serve the Divine as instruments for the Supramental Change are being taken over by these powers of lesser significance; and worse yet, they are cajoled into believing that they are those chosen instruments utilised for this change.
I must point out that this is not a new phenomenon. In India the role of these forces has long been accurately known. But what is new is the all-pervasiveness of the happening. Yet Tantra, for instance, is a specialised Indian path with a specific body of knowledge concerning those occult realms. Indeed, any path that places the Divine Mother on its central altar of worship — such as the Tantric and ancient Vedic — perforce has to accept the reality of those innumerable occult dimensions that constitute Her consciousness-being. In her cosmic form she is the Body of the Absolute; and even as our own physical bodies contain subtle as well as denser material sheaths, so too does the Cosmic Mother’s ‘body’ embrace these same dimensions in macrocosmic proportions. Consequently, in the Supramental Yoga, in which the union with the Divine Shakti is paramount, it is not possible to either deny or ignore the existence of those occult planes with the forces that inhabit them.
However, it must be cautioned that an even more finely honed discrimination is required in this new path, insofar as it harmonises both the individual and the collectivity and by consequence it integrates all aspects of existence. This means that in the Supramental Manifestation, we cannot disengage the individual from the circumscribing collective consciousness. It is all one. Thus the phenomenon of communicating with the occult entities we are describing is of major concern to us since it is a primary influence today in the nation that has a special role to play in the dawning new creation.
These occult forces are seeking to gain influence on Earth by usurping certain channels, and especially by using the extensive communications network for the express purpose of extending their influence as widely as possible. At stake is the destiny of the planet. Is she to be the home of the supramental creation and thus fulfil her true destiny, or are those forces going to succeed in disfiguring the message and usurping the individual channels and moulding the vision into their lesser image? Each force in those planes attempts to do just that. The proverbial war between the Dark and the Light revolves finally around this conflict: the dark simply represents those forces of Inertia which strive to impede the forward movement and the establishment of the New. They are those blocked energies of the Past that resist change at all cost. And the seeker today faces an arduous task, for those influences come under the guise of the Good. It may also be said that as far as those entities are concerned, given the limited knowledge they possess, they are good. But as far as this work is concerned, though we must agree that a certain goodness exists, in the context of the new creation, what does ‘good’ really mean?
The point to bring forth here is that what may have been valid and true in ages past is not necessarily the light of today. Quite the contrary. Or what might be valid and true for another galaxy in another star system, may not be relevant and healthy for this planet, Earth. But let us briefly analyse this situation.
The Supramental Creation is a thing indigenous to planet Earth. Therefore it emerges from this planet’s own consciousness-being and in harmony with her own evolutionary laws. Via these laws that new creation comes into being, therefore resulting in an expression of the Earth’s particular and unique inherent Truth-essence, — not something imposed from outside, no matter how romantic such interventions may appear to our fanciful and imaginative tastes. It may be safely stated that the salient feature of this new creation is precisely a society in which each individual and every aspect of that society expresses their inherent truth of being.
One aspect that is perhaps the central ingredient in this evolutionary development is the gestation and birth process. The cycle of 9 is thus fundamental and it is the means used to create a new blueprint of the new consciousness to establish new ‘forms’. Therefore to expect that this new world is to come into being on Earth through channels external to that process and through guidance from other galaxies, or by the help of guidance from the occult dimensions through any particular ‘source’, is to fail to understand the real process and its full mechanism for introducing change.
The forces in these other dimensions are typal entities (see TVN 1/3; Sri Aurobindo on the Supramental Evolution). They are not engaged in this sort of evolutionary process. Yet they do seek to spread their ‘word’ on this planet, in this physical dimension, a fact which is made especially evident today by the great proliferation of mediums and ‘sources’. But lacking the capacity to discriminate on those planes, the seeker in America is being drawn into an area of occultism that can be extremely dangerous for the layman who has no secure grounding in the knowledge required to deal with those planes and forces. This situation has long been appreciated in India, and from very ancient times a distinction was made between spiritual attainments and the occult. In addition, it has always been recognised that to attain any proficiency in occultism a specialised preparation is required, and, in particular, the guidance of a trusted and reliable master or guru, to assist the disciple in the early stages in order to avoid a catastrophic possession by the forces operating in the occult planes.
To illustrate, I would like to reproduce a portion from a Tantric text that deals with this matter. It cautions the seeker on the spiritual path and lays bare the dangers one faces. The same advice can be extended to seekers in America, who unquestioningly accept all that comes through occult channels. The passage is from, The Ten Great Cosmic Powers, by S. Shankaranarayanan, (Dipti Publications), page 2:
‘…There is a regular hierarchy of Gods, some of whom are far above the highest heavens of human reach. But there are also Gods and Goddesses closer to the human level. They are more readily accessible to those who aspire to them and in some cases the seeker on the Tantric path looks to the aid and lead of these deities in his effort. They are endowed with capacities and powers beyond normal human possibility, but they are not at all for that reason divine in nature. There are higher and lower classes of them, ucca and ksudra Devatas. Those that are nearest to the earth-plane, swarming in the vital world overtopping the physical, are usually of the latter type. They respond very readily to the approaches of those who seek their help but they do so mainly for their own purpose, namely, to get hold of the particular human vehicle and convert it into a centre for their activity on the earth. They may and do answer the call of the seeker in the beginning, but in the end they let him down, rather roughly, once their purpose is fulfilled. The seeker is mislead, his inner progress comes to a standstill if it does not end in disaster. The Kshudra Devatas mislead the seeker with petty glamorous gifts, induce a false sense of progress and siddhi, prevent the dawn of real Jnana [knowledge] which would expose their whole game and succeed in enslaving the man for their purpose at the cost of his soul which is betrayed into misadventure.’
In addition to the above, I would like to draw the reader’s attention to the article that appeared in this Newsletter, 0/3, February 1986, on Pendulums, Planchettes and Automatic Writing.
To conclude, it is clear that the time has come for the American seeker to extend his or her boundaries, to begin to forge truly secure foundations in a more central domain of Truth-Seeing. During my travels it became apparent that a certain saturation had taken place; it was abundantly clear that something else has to manifest now, something that represents the culmination of two decades of intense involvement with the paths of the Spirit, something that in fact can reconcile the two poles of existence — the material and the spiritual — and which are translated into our life on this planet as the presently antagonistic poises of change and stability. For us at this time, one of the most relevant attributes of the Supermind is its inherent harmonisation of these two aspects of universal manifestation, and the new way has evolved as a tool to apply this higher principle in our individual and collective lives. This path is universal in its scope, as well as the language that characterises it, and by means of which it extends its influence in the world. It was born on Earth and is of the Earth. There is no question of its subjugation to the dictates of beings from other galaxies, or entities from the occult dimensions; nor is it dependent on sanction from disembodied spirits whose consciousnesses ‘on the other side’ retain the same limitations as when they were embodied on this planet. Nonetheless, this is indeed a vision connected with certain higher planes of consciousness, those realms of the Truth-Consciousness, as Sri Aurobindo described them. But these are intrinsic parts of the Earth’s own inherent truth of being. The Supermind is the mode by which the connection with the Absolute is made, as it is for each individual born on this planet.
India can provide the central stable core with its spiritual foundation and mature knowledge and wisdom born of the ages. But America must contribute the element of change and force of renewal, an element which is essential in any creation in matter. A forging of an axis of this sort, balancing change and stability, is the means by which an integrated new creation, expressing itself individually and collectively, can come about and hasten the establishment on Earth of the life divine.
Kodaikanal, August, 1986
A silent Cause divine…
A silent Cause divine
Has settled in my heart
From where a laughter mocks
The busyness without.
No movement now,
Mobility coils out from one point:
A vibrant core of quiet joy,
A snow-white ocean of fathomless Power.
Gone, gone the asking
Gone the yearning.
Nothing but that Cause remains.
Silent, impeccable and alone.
3 September 1986