‘…This unity embracing all mind, life and matter in the Light of a supramental Truth and the pulse of a spiritual Bliss will be to us our internal fulfilment of the Divine in a complete cosmic consciousness. But since we must embrace all this in the double term of the Being and the Becoming, the knowledge that we shall possess must be complete and integral. It must not stop with the realisation of the pure Self and Spirit, but include also all those modes of the Spirit, by which it supports, develops and throws itself out into its cosmic manifestation. Self-knowledge and world-knowledge must be made one in the all-ensphering knowledge of the Brahmin.’
The Synthesis of Yoga
On April 13, 1962, the Mother experienced perhaps the most critical moment in her yoga, a process that had stretched over many decades. Her physical body was the focus of an action that was to mark the beginning of a new phase in the work she was born to accomplish. On that fateful night, she was declared ‘dead’, only to ‘resuscitate’ some time later. And then she proceeded to describe the experience she had in that state. She entered into a dimension which revealed that material creation was carried along in its manifestation by pulsations or undulations, and that the essence of these pulsations was the power of Love:
‘Suddenly in the night I awoke with the full awareness of what we could call the Yoga of the World. The Supreme Love was manifesting through big pulsations, and each pulsation was bringing the world further in its manifestation. It was the formidable pulsations of the eternal, stupendous Love, only Love; and each pulsation of the Love was carrying the universe further in its manifestation…’
(Extracted from The Gnostic Circle, page 57)
1956, the year of the Supramental Manifestation, marked a new beginning in the unfolding of Sri Aurobindo’s vision and determined a particularly important turning point regarding the action of Supermind (see VISHAAL 0/1 and 0/2). From then onward Supermind crossed a certain threshold and the processes it controls began to overtly bear witness to its upholding power.
From that time onward as well, the Mother’s yoga gradually began to give evidence that it was being carried out in consonance with this new development, that she was in fact the instrument through which that Power was hewing its path and extending its influence in the world. But to be more specific, it was arranging a ‘new language’ for itself, precisely one of the means by which a collective change is meant to come about, bridging the consciousness of the unity and the multiplicity. Hence, the descriptions the Mother gave of her yogic experiences thereafter provide us with certain clues as to the exact language the new Knowledge would evolve. In the first issue of VISHAAL (October 1985), I have given an example of that new formulation. In this article I shall present a further example, equally accurate, of the new formulation that was arising out of the direct experiences provided by the supramental yoga.
Time, as I have pointed out in all my publications, holds the key to the new language. And this is not an abstract formula, theory or hypothesis. It is a living time, gestator of a lived experience that delineates an intelligent and intelligible process, a conscious pattern in evolution and a means by which we can measure the activity of Supermind on Earth.
Considering the role time plays, the fact that this critical juncture for the Mother was reached in 1962 is meaningful in many ways. First, in terms of number-power, 1962 equals 9 (1+9+6+2=18=9). Any year of this vibration points to a new beginning. It marks a death to the prior 9-year cycle and the start of a new one, integrating in the process all that had been lived previously. The 9-power years are seed periods (by virtue of the equality of the 9 with the 0). The experiences lived at that time present a sort of condensation of what will extend outward in time, spanning the next 9-year period. This 9 rhythm may also be referred to one’s age, any year equalling 9, as, for example, one’s 18th, 27th, or 36th year, and so on.
There are many remarkable facets to this arrangement, but limited space does not permit a detailed discussion here. However, the reader may refer to my books on the subject for a more detailed presentation, with a complete exposition of the theory and the methodology in the context of the new yoga. Nonetheless, I must make brief mention of certain facts, in order to bring forth the importance of 1962 in the Mother’s life and the progress of her work. In fact, 1962 was especially important in that it marked 36 years from the beginning of the Aquarian Age (1926); and the rhythm of 36, or 4 x 9, carries a yogic (or other) process through four levels, or a complete development, corresponding to the four levels of creation: physical, vital, mental and spiritual. Indeed, that year marked a substantial change in that the Mother then withdrew permanently to her room and hence from the outer management of the Ashram which, until that time, she had supervised. From then onward she remained in this withdrawn state, fully concentrated on her new phase of yoga.
Apart from the 9-year cycle, students of Sri Aurobindo’s life and works are aware that the 12-year cycle is also significant, to such an extent that happenings involving this cycle in his lifetime cannot be easily dismissed as ‘coincidences’, – a word which in any case we employ to cover a range of striking synchronistic phenomena for which we have no valid explanation. As such, we see that 1962 marked the 12th year after Sri Aurobindo’s passing, and it was a 9-power year. These two numbers and their corresponding time cycles experienced an integration in 1962, in the Mother’s yoga. And indeed the process we shall discuss concerning the new formulation she set in motion then revolves around a harmony of 9 and 12, the former being related to time and the latter to space. These divisions of the Circle, into 9 and 12 parts, give us, in their superimposed combination, the Gnostic Circle.
Shortly after the Mother’s critical ‘death’ experience of the night of 12/13 April, 1962, a new vision began to emerge. It was truly a new beginning and set the pace for an entirely different development, not only within the parameters of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, but in the context of the entire range of known yogas. Indeed, this marked the beginning of the formulation of certain essential elements in the supramental yoga. This was in fact the ‘newness’ that was born in the Mother’s ‘death’ experience – a death that was effectively a new birth.
I should like to present an example of this new formulation that began to take shape at that time. To do so, I shall reproduce a dialogue of the Mother’s which took place just after her momentous ‘death’. This conversation was on 24 May, 1962. I have included the major portion of this talk as Appendix VIII of The New Way, Volumes 1&2, but for this review I shall present the entire published transcript (translated from the French), taken from L’Agenda de Mere, Volume III, Institut de Recherches Evolutives, Paris (1979).
There was a time when I thought that if one could have a total knowledge, complete and perfect, of the entire functioning of physical Nature, as one perceives it in the world of Ignorance, this could be the means to rediscover or once again to reach the Truth of things. With my last experience (of 13 April), I can no longer think this way.
I don’t know if I am making myself understood . . . . There was a time – a very long time – when I thought that Science, if it went to the depths of its potential, but in an absolute form (if this were possible), would discover the true Knowledge. As for example in its study of the composition of Matter: by pushing-pushing-pushing the investigation, there would be a time when the two would join. Well, then I had the experience of the passage of the eternal Truth-Consciousness to the consciousness of the individualised world, it seemed to me that this was impossible. And if you ask me now, I think that the one and the other, that possibility of attainment by pushing Science to its limits, and then that impossibility of any conscious, real connection with the material world, are both inexact. There is something else.
And during these days, more and more I find myself surrounded by the whole problem, as if I had never seen it.
Perhaps these are two paths leading to a third point, and at the moment it is the third point that I am in the process of…not exactly studying, but I am searching for – where the two would join in a third that would be the True Thing.
But certainly objective knowledge, scientific, pushed to its extremes, if it is at all possible for it to be total (in this there is an ‘if’), at least leads to the threshold. This is what Sri Aurobindo says, only he says it is fatal, because all those who have given themselves up to this sort of knowledge, believed in it as if it were an absolute truth, and this closed for them the door to the other approach. This is what is fatal.
But according to my personal experience, I can see that for all those who believe in the EXCLUSIVE spiritual approach via the inner experience, this is in any case also fatal if it is exclusive. Because it reveals ONE aspect to them, ONE truth of the ALL, but not the ALL. The other side seemed to me equally indispensable, in the sense that when I was so totally immersed in that supreme Realisation, it was absolutely indisputable that the other external realisation, deceiving, was only a deformation (probably accidental) of something that was AS TRUE AS the other.
It is that something that we are searching for. Perhaps not merely searching for, but building.
We are being used so that we may participate in the manifestation of that which is still inconceivable for everyone, because it is not yet there. It is an expression that is yet to come.
That is all I can say.
It is truly the state of consciousness in which I live at this moment. It is as if I were in the presence of this eternal problem, but…FROM ANOTHER POSITION.
These positions, the spiritual and the ‘materialistic’, if one may call it so, that are believed to be exclusive (exclusive and unique, so that one denies the value of the other, from the point of view of Truth), are insufficient, not only because they do not admit each other, but because even admitting the two and uniting the two does not suffice to solve the problem. There is something else – a third thing which is not the result of these two, but something that is to be discovered, which will probably open the door to the total Knowledge.
This is where I am. More I cannot say because I am there.
One can ask, practically, how to participate in this…
This discovery? That…after all, it is always the same thing. It is always the same: realise one’s own being, enter into a conscious rapport with the supreme Truth of one’s own being, under NO MATTER what form, NO MATTER what path – this is unimportant – it is only the means. Each one of us carries within a truth, and it is with this truth that one must unite, this truth that must be lived; and in this way the path that he will have to follow in order to unite with and realise this truth is the path that will take him CLOSEST to the Knowledge. That is to say, the two are totally united: the personal realisation, and the Knowledge.
Who knows, perhaps it is even this multiplicity of approaches that will provide the Secret – the Secret that will open the door.
I do not think that a single individual (on the earth as it is now), however great he is, however eternal his consciousness, and origin, can alone, by himself change and realise, – change the world, change the creation as it is and realise the Higher Truth that will be a new world, a world more true, if not absolutely true. It seems a certain number of individuals (till now it appears to be rather in time, as a succession, but it may also be in space, a collectivity) is indispensable so that this Truth may concretise and realise itself. I am practically sure of it.
That is to say, however great, however conscious, however powerful ONE Avatar may be, he cannot, all alone realise the supramental life on Earth. It is either a group in time, arranged in a line in time, or a group spread over space – or both – that are indispensable for this realisation. I am convinced of it.
The individual can give the impetus, indicate the way, WALK himself on the path, that is to say show the way by realising it himself – but not accomplish it. The accomplishment obeys the collective laws which are the expression of a certain aspect of the Eternal and the Infinite – naturally! it is all the same Being. It is not some different individuals or some different personalities, it is the same Being. But it is the same Being that expresses itself in a certain way which, for us, translates itself by means of an ensemble, a group, a collectivity.
There…Have you any other questions to ask about this?
I would like to ask you: on what point has your vision become different after that experience (of 13 April)? What is the point of difference?
I repeat, for a long time it seemed to me that if one made a perfect union between the scientific approach carried to its extreme and the spiritual approach carried to its extreme – its maximum realisation – , if one joined these two, one would find, one would obtain naturally the Truth one seeks, the total Truth. But with the two experiences that I had, the experience of the external life (with universalisation, impersonalisation, with all the yogic experiences that one can have in the material body), and then the experience of the total and perfect union with the Origin, now that I have had these two experiences and there has occurred something – which I cannot describe now – I know that the knowledge of the two and the union of the two are not sufficient; that there is a third thing in which these two terminate, and it is this third thing that is in the making, in the process of working itself out. It is this third thing that can lead to the Realisation, the Truth that we seek.
This time is it clear?
It was something else I had in mind…How has your vision of the PHYSICAL world changed after this (experience)?
One can give only an approximation of that consciousness.
I arrived by yoga at a certain kind of relation with the material world based on the notion of the fourth dimension (inner dimensions that become innumerable in yoga) and I made use of this attitude and this state of consciousness. I studied the relation between the material world and the spiritual world with the sense of inner dimensions – that had been my experience before the last one.
Naturally, for a long time, there was no longer any question of three dimensions – that belonged absolutely to the world of illusion and falsehood. But now it is the use of the sense of the fourth dimension with all that it entails which appears to me as superficial! I do not find it any more, the thing is so strong. The other, the three-dimensional world is absolutely unreal; and the other one appears, how to say, conventional. It is as it were a conventional translation to give you a certain kind of approach.
And as for saying what it is, the other one, the true position?…It is so much beyond all intellectual states that I am unable to formulate it.
But the formula will come, I know. But it will come in a series of lived experiences, which I have not yet had.
The means which were for me useful, very convenient, and by the help of which I did my yoga, which gave me a grip on Matter, appeared to me like a method, a means, a procedure – but it is not THAT.
This is the state I am in.
More I cannot say. I would prefer making some progress before saying anything else.
Like the 5 February, 1969 dialogues concerning the way in which the Superman Consciousness would be organised for Earth use, utilising number-power or the mechanism of time, this conversation is another milestone. It offers an equally precise clue to a certain arrangement the Supermind uses for the purpose of producing an imprint on the evolutionary blueprint – that is, the mechanism that the Supreme Consciousness utilises in its process of deployment in the material creation. As the Mother says, ‘…the collective laws which are the expression of a certain aspect of the Eternal and the Infinite.’ This deployment is the act of giving a body to the Absolute. Our evolution as a species provides a channel for the reproduction of certain basic laws in the act of the manifestation. From an in-depth study of human evolution within the framework of terrestrial and cosmic existence, we can come to a better, a truer integral vision of the reality of our world. This is the goal that the Mother indicates in her dialogue she was set upon reaching.
The important clue the Mother provides in this conversation concerns two poises that are the mainstays of the mechanism Supermind employs. In consequence, these two poises have become the principal features of the new cosmology, that new ‘formula’ the Mother was seeking, or the laws describing the structure of the vehicle for the propagation of the Truth-Consciousness in the world. We have, then, a new cosmic language, and elements central to the Mother’s experience are found to be pillars in this new cosmology.
Insofar as the Mother embodied the Divine Consciousness focussing its action on the cosmic dimension (the number 6), it is not surprising that the successful completion of her yoga should have produced a new cosmic synthesis. It is evident that the elements constituting this unique synthesis have been in existence for centuries, millennia, and stretching back even to the origin. She did not bring them into being, but rather her yoga served to give birth to the initial stages of a process of integration, on the basis of which a new language could arise expressing a more total Knowledge. This constitutes the ‘third point’ or poise she refers to. It is not a product of scientific investigation, nor of the spiritual endeavour, properly speaking. And yet, like all true syntheses, this Knowledge harmonises both poises; and at the same time it is indeed something else. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, is an aphorism that is especially true and applicable to the process under discussion.
In the analysis of the Mother’s 5 February, 1969 experience (VISHAAL, October 1985), it was noted that her yoga was centred on the cosmic dimension and was a descending, penetrating activity, an action ‘above’ reaching down into the physical. I shall demonstrate the manner in which this ‘direction’ is registered by the use of numbers, the elements so central to her experience. This can be done by presenting the formula of the Supramental Descent: 9-6-3-0/1, which, in effect, represents a descending or inverted direction in time, – that is, time coupled with vibratory number-power. (This same formula was presented in VISHAAL 0/1, to describe the contribution of the Lunar Line.) But the exciting aspect of this revelation lies in the fact that once the Mother had broken through in her yoga to the new dimensions of the Supramental Manifestation, she immediately began to perceive the existence of this inverted direction, even though at the time she was not fully able to grasp the intricacies of its actual formulation (‘…But the formula will come, I know. But it will come in a series of lived experiences, which I have not had yet…’) and the manner in which this would come to express itself in the body of the new Knowledge. Regardless of this temporary limitation, we find that once again the Mother’s description was precise enough to provide a means which could help us to verify the accuracy of the Knowledge, once it became formulated on the basis of those ‘lived experiences’.
In this conversation, the Mother describes two poises, which for her constitute the mechanism (corresponding to higher laws) on the basis of which the Supramental Change would come about. In so doing, she provides us with the splendidly accurate description of exactly how the Supramental Manifestation would be arranged in terms of the Incarnations (the Avatars she refers to) who would form one of these ‘poises’ or directions involving an inversion of number-power, related to time via our calendar – in other words, registered by the births of these incarnations, as well as the points in time when significant breakthroughs in their yogas (and other meaningful happenings) would take place to form a new web of time, or a new ‘blueprint’. We are brought into the heart of her Yoga by these descriptions, and are able to follow the process as if it were unfolding before our eyes, even as the Mother was then engaged in a process of ‘unfolding’, or hewing the path day by day.
In 1962, the Mother began to cross the threshold to a new way and hence to make possible the precise formulation of the Supramental Action on Earth. Indeed, the avataric Descent for this new age of the Supermind has been arranged as a succession in a line in time, because this is the mechanism for the great Change, utilising certain higher laws which control the evolutionary process. The above mentioned formula (9-6-3-0/1) is the pattern of that deployment, and indeed ONE incarnation is not sufficient to secure the victory, insofar as it is a process that covers four planes of consciousness – spiritual, mental, vital and physical. This ‘line in time’ that the Mother had foreseen in 1962 – 9 years before the last components were known, or that such a ‘line’ even existed for that matter – came to be called the Solar Line in the new cosmology, or the new formulation that the Mother was seeking so assiduously. Its peripheral companion in the action is the Lunar Line of the Nehrus (see VISHAAL 0/1), and like the resistance the Nehru succession has encountered in Indian political life, so too has the Solar Line faced a similar if not worse resistance and downright hostility; as if this hostility and denial could in any way alter the power of destiny stemming from the Truth-Consciousness and erase what is and has been done.
The necessity for a mechanism using an inverted time power is fully understood when it is realised that the Supramental Manifestation has a fourfold nature, corresponding, as mentioned, to the four planes of existence. Accordingly, this renders clear why Sri Aurobindo had seen that the Square was the geometric symbol of the Supermind, insofar as this form is composed of four sides and its number equivalent is 4. As explained in VISHAAL 0/1, there is an experience of reversal at the last poise: the 3 introduces this reversal and the two dimensions, or directions, join at the level of the 0/1. This would be the interconnecting nexus for the two poises the Mother mentions in her dialogue: an avataric descent stretched out in a succession in time, AND a group spread out in space. That is, the mechanism brings into being a harmony of the unity and the multiplicity – in higher knowledge, this is its significance – or the individual poise and the collective.
But there is something even more interesting to note in this unique arrangement. At the third level, the Descent has reached the domain of the vital. It is in that domain that the ‘organisation’ of time comes into being, in its periods which civilisation has registered by calendars in consonance with the cosmic harmony. When in her talk of 5 February, 1969, the Mother spoke of the ‘creative zone of the physical’, it was this area that was indicated, and hence she mentioned ‘the order of events’ that her action would determine. This is the zone that serves as a ‘bridge’ connecting the more subtle planes to the physical. As proof of this, we may note that it was only when the third stage of the Descent was reached, centred on the third incarnation of the Line and indeed connected to the vital plane, that the question of Time became prominent and it was possible to ‘measure’ the action of the Supermind via the time factor. Added to this, all disciples of Sri Aurobindo are aware of the fact that he was rather obsessed with time. There are various, often amusing, anecdotes in circulation attesting to his interest in this fundamental element of creation.
The Supramental Descent embraces a fourfold action; it integrates four planes in the process that constitutes what I have called the vertical dimension. This implies a vertically descending direction measured through number-power and the calendar. There is a penetrating descent into the physical manifestation of this Earth-plane, thereby producing an involution: it embeds a ‘seed’, a supramental Seed in the field of earth-consciousness. This ‘field’ is constituted by the expanding evolutionary movement, the horizontal dimension of the consciousness-cell, – a ‘group spread over space’. Thus the two poises – vertical and horizontal, or involutionary/evolutionary – join at a certain stage of the manifestation, a certain maturing point that occurs when the final two stages are reached. In the formula by which this activity can be measured, it would be at the level of the third and fourth powers (3 and 0/1). The express work of the Third in the organisation is precisely to secure this interconnection by a process of reversal. That is, the inverted, involutionary embedding reaches its compact wholeness, after which the Fourth Power engenders an expansion that overtakes the evolutionary process and plays itself out over the wider field of the Earth. Time is the instrument by which this action of the solar Line is extended to encompass the whole earth-consciousness and to permeate the evolutionary mechanism. This activity and the part time plays have been amply detailed in my books. The Mother’s yoga of the 1960s opened the way to the formidable body of Knowledge that would be fundamental in the overtaking process that is upon us.
When the Mother perceived the necessity of these two interconnected dimensions, the new language was still far from materialising. Above all, she did not have the key to the means by which such an action could not only play itself out but could also be registered in our world of material creation. The Divine Measure was yet to be established as the key element in the Supramental Change. But when that key finally did come – after the victorious completion of the Mother’s transformation – she was able to reveal to the world that time and number were the means. Thus, in 1969 she described how the Supramental Consciousness would work in the very terms we subsequently employed and have been able to verify according to the laws which comprise the new cosmology. This is the beginning of the third poise beyond both science and spirituality – a poise that does not deny the constituent elements of material creation in order to realise the heights of the supreme Spirit, nor does it deny the upholding subtle planes of consciousness in the effort to stamp its mark and mould civilisation into its image. Neither one – science or spirituality – secures its exclusive supremacy in the arena of life on Earth.
The important factor that comes forth in this analysis of the Mother’s dialogue is that an entirely new poise emerges when the Supermind reaches a particular phase in its actualisation. The time when this threshold was reached, initiating therefore the onset of this revolutionary activity, was the 9-year span from 1962-1971. By the beginning of the decade of the 70s, the Mother’s yoga had effectively produced the Divine Measure, the truth-measure of matter, and this was indeed the Golden Rod by which a new and truer understanding of matter could begin to emerge. However, with the new revelation the method also manifested of the realistic process for establishing a new consciousness on the planet and in consequence for the emergence of a new world order. The key to this realisation lies in a harmony and integration of the above mentioned directions the Truth-Consciousness uses for its manifestation on Earth: involution and evolution, – or the vertical and horizontal poises of contraction and expansion. We can best understand their respective properties if we imagine it as a biological process. What has to come into being is veritably a new Cell. As in a biological cell, there are two parts to the supramental Consciousness-Cell: the nucleus and the cellular mass. In this new Cell the nucleus comes into being by a contracting, involutionary action, which, through the mechanism of time, forms a core from which the encircling mass receives its sustenance.
The contracting power (of time), utilised for the formation of the Cell’s nucleus, creates then a sort of binding energy, on the basis of which the new Cell is held together. As the reader can appreciate, this process involving a reduced microscopic consciousness-cell, is the same any cell is subject to; the Supramental Manifestation in fact reproduces the original act of manifestation, the fundamental laws of all creation in matter.
What is embedded in the core/nucleus then extends to the outer mass, influences it and uses it for its propagation (‘the collective laws which are the expression of a certain aspect of the Eternal and the Infinite’). The nuclear activity of the Solar Line could not succeed in penetrating the world consciousness if deprived of the cellular mass of the collectivity.
This is an evolutionary process. An experience that is, in fact, the deepest truth of the evolution of consciousness on the planet. Ever and always the first expression in any great change in evolution comes through the creation of a new cell of consciousness in some form or other, which then divides and reproduces itself according to the pattern embedded in the nucleus or Seed. The Supramental Manifestation is no different. Rather, it is the apotheosis of the entire evolutionary arc of which we are a part. That is, when the truth-conscious creation comes into being it signifies that as an evolving planetary species we have crossed a decisive threshold: from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge.
It is clear beyond any doubt that the Mother was consciously ‘in search of’ that third poise, since it involves the Divine Measure whose revelation was the core of her destiny. She was well aware of its indisputable relevance to the work of transformation she was embarked upon. Time and again I have referred to this search as something so entirely evident, if one studies the records of her yogic experiences with the right preparation and in the correct poised of consciousness. Above all, the study must be pursued on the basis of an holistic seeing and supported by a vision that provides us with the coherent thread that time weaves through the garland of innumerable yogic achievements that she was forming. Thus, in these introductory issues of VISHAAL, I have presented two milestone dialogues in which she offers us the insight into the beginning and the end of her formidable activity, embracing in fact the final years of her embodiment. In the dialogue under discussion in this issue, she describes the first glimpses she was given of the path to be hewn. Above all, the Mother knew from the first breakthrough that the ultimate answer would be a process of transformation of the earth-consciousness that would ultimately harmonise and integrate two poises of universal creation: time and space, or contraction and expansion. But in order to do so an entirely new vision of just what these universal dimensions are had to come about. Hence in the process that followed hers, covering the 1970s to the present, time and space have come to reveal aspects or certain properties ignored by both the worlds of science and spirituality. Indeed, this has carried us to that Third Poise the Mother had foreseen. By the work we are able to present in this combined third and fourth stage of the Supramental Manifestation, it is entirely possible to carry the yogic achievements of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother out of the realm of speculation and thereby secure their indisputable contribution at the heart of the new world that is being born.
December of 1985
The Aeon Centre of Cosmology