‘All roads do not lead to Rome’

‘Perspectives’

Amid the many systems of the One
Made by an interpreting creative joy
Alone it points us to our journey back
Out of our long self-loss in Nature’s deeps;
Planted on earth it holds in it all realms:
It is a brief compendium of the Vast.
This was the single stair to being’s goal.
A summary of the stages of the spirit.
Its copy of the cosmic hierarchies
Refashioned in our secret air of self
A subtle pattern of the universe.
It is within, below, without, above.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book 2, Canto 1

4 October, 1986

I wanted to record some things the other night, but…now that we’re on the subject of the difference between paths…

I don’t know, this work really moves farther and farther away from… It just moves farther and farther away! And then, when I read something like this, today, it gets more and more acute.

The other night something really interesting came up…the process leading to it. The process. That was the whole point, because what finally came out was another one of these radically different positions everybody takes. Because I realized that the only difference, I mean the main difference with this work, why it would really bring a change in the world, was concerning the process.

In other words, there is the idea in spirituality that ‘all roads lead to Rome’, you know. Here I saw that that is really the big fallacy, that there is only one process, really. But that when you get there that is where the multiplicity comes in. That there is only one way to get to that Core, let’s say; but once you get to that Core, that ‘seed’ of the individual – whatever – that’s when you cannot determine what it is going to be; because that is where the individual dharma, that is where the individual truth-essence manifests in any form according to that Truth.

But there is only one way to get there. And this was the remarkable thing. Because all of these people – this man from the Ramakrishna Mission – all of them will go on saying all paths lead to God; and that is their big thing. Any religion, any path, any God-realisation… And then I realized that in this it is completely different. That was what the Mother gave in the Matrimandir. This was the whole idea of that ONE STAIRWAY. The stairway is the ‘process’.

I mean, it was so remarkable because I was going into it so deeply. And I said, Okay, what is the key to this work? I mean, what is it that we are really after? Of course it is to reach that ‘seed’, that Point, that One-in-the-Core. Individually. Collectively. As a work…in whatever form.

But that inner truth of every thing, how do you get to it? This is what nobody has been able to do before. And of course, when you are going out into the periphery and you are dispersing the consciousness, then all paths do lead to that. From any point you can extend outward and the whole question is dispersal of the consciousness. So it doesn’t really matter. You can take any to get to this otherworldly stance. It doesn’t matter.

In this you really can’t because there is only one direction. That is, it is centred, no? So, I was going into this, this whole question of centering. What is the basis of it and what does it produce? Well, of course, what it produces is that that ‘point’ comes into existence, which becomes your ‘anchor’ thereafter. And there is only one way to get to that. And that is the way of the Earth. It is the direction that goes inward, into the Core.

And then there was that extraordinary vision of The Magical Carousel with this ‘mountain’ in Capricorn. [The children] go inside the mountain. They are thrust there. Then what happens? Into that Chamber from which they have no escape, you see?

Now, this is the problem, because you have no escape. And in order to get to that inner Point that is what has to happen. You cannot… That’s the concentration; that the Mother was talking about in the Temple. This remarkable thing.

What was she saying? She was saying: to concentrate; she said, to concentrate. And she stressed this.

And you know, the extraordinary thing is that it has ab-so-lute-ly NOTHING to do with meditation. I mean, nothing. Really you can sit and ‘contemplate your navel’ till doomsday and you will never get this realization, because it has nothing to do with…. You can meditate and that is fine. But the two things don’t go together.

This ‘concentration’ is the focus that keeps you in this one-pointed direction into the heart of things. And for that, I am telling you, there is only one process. You see?

But once you get in there, once you realize that inner dharma – because that is what you do finally when you come into that – that is where the multiplicity begins. Of an individual expression. Where every individual becomes…CONTRIBUTES this extraordinary wealth.

You re-enact the evolution.

That’s it.

And how remarkable that Temple is. How fantastic, with this ONE STAIRWAY. But of course, what happened when they distorted it: the first thing they came up with was a dozen stairways! You see?

 …Because it just occurred to me… Well, all right, it is interesting, I’ve come to this point: there is only one way. All the time there is this problem about…you know: You’re so tolerant, or you have to accept all of the other schools, or… Well, I have to say that more and more …so riddled with flaws. I mean, so FLAWED. It gets to be a bit embarrassing after a while, you know?!

There is this Temple. And [the Mother] was saying the same thing: there is one stairway (and it was symbolic). There’s one way to get inside it. There’s not a dozen! She said, ‘I don’t even want one stairway and you’re bringing in all of this!’

Well, isn’t it true that they should have done this, that that should have been the first point of contention…because: Let’s all be free, let’s not be confined to one process. Because unless you’re confined to the one process you cannot reach [the Core]… This is the interesting thing.

So, what was I doing in my work in 1983? This was what was so extraordinary. It was that I gave ‘the Process’. That is my real contribution. You know, I ‘made’ that stairway. I hewed that. I gave that process which is this tremendous concentration where you hold firm, you reach that centre, that point, that One-in-the-Core. And then you come to the Dharma. And that is your base in life. Your individual base.

There were a lot of things that were coming…it was quite remarkable these days. But it was this: that you really can never… Unless you really reach your own inner dharma by whichever means (if you could in any other way), you can’t do this work. It is impossible. That is really what the finality of it is because that is what is lacking in the world. That is what nobody has.

And so I saw… Who has been given the method to do this? Of course, this in conjunction with the Mother and the Temple. That was my big key, you know. And that was why there was that ‘construction process’. What was it that I constructed? I was constructing the process of this. Opening that up.

It is very interesting because when you make that breakthrough then obviously it becomes progressively easier for others. Look at our work from that time, 1983-84. Now, what had to happen? Obviously there had to be that ‘reversal’, – and that happened. Up until that point there was this ‘concentration’ that was always a caving in, this pressure, pushing in. think of The Magical Carousel  and that scene in Capricorn…almost a suffocating feeling. You know, you’re drawn to this point.

This was happening in me – but it was happening in the work. This is important. Because obviously when I reached that inner dharma… What did I reach? I reached the Dharma of the work. My individual dharma happens to be that. So, the two went hand-in-hand; and it was immediately reflected in the work.

So what happened? When you got to that point and that reversal came about, from then onward in time an increase started… And then you gather forms. You are able to build. So you consider it like a building project.

It is almost the multiplicity that starts…

That is when it starts.

Now, this [resembles] my realization in Pondicherry in September, 1972, when I was ‘silenced’, let’s say – in the Zero. But it was at that point that, in terms of the Knowledge, that same multiplicity started. And all of it was partaking of that one breakthrough, the realization I had of that Zero, you see?

Now, the same thing here. Depending on the quality of the seed, let’s say, that you reach, that is what comes out. Inevitably.

So, what happened in this work? This extraordinary increase began. And you can see it. And it started gathering about itself…

Then of course that remarkable process of repulsion and attraction: ritam. Putting everything in its place. The ordering. All of that because that Centre was filled. There was that Base, that Point – from which to work. And then progressively each year from that time we have been building on that.

It is just like in a building when you lay your first foundation-stone. From that – and you don’t even see it – from that the building arises. And then you’ve got this colossal thing that comes out. This is exactly the same.

That is the message of the Temple. There it is. And there is only one way.

Now I have this problem you see…I have to go against everybody, what they think. As I say, this idea that all roads lead to Rome. Well, they really don’t.

You know, the process is what I am talking about. I’m not saying…I mean, yours is going to be slightly different in the sense that it is determined by the conditions of your life. But there is one method and it is this convergence into that Point, – until you get there: no escape…that form of concentration that makes you hold firm until you can reach that ‘inner chamber’, that inner core. This is the important thing. So, this process is the same for…it is going to be the same for the whole world. Everything. That is why the tensions in the world are there in this way. They are doing this: confining, confining.

Then after, as I say, comes the increase. And the expression comes in a multiplicity of form; and this is what has been happening in this work because from that time, 1984, it is starting…this expansion.

But it was such a remarkable clarity of this wonderful image of the Temple, you know, that tells you absolutely everything you need to know… And that the thing is done. This was the extraordinary thing: IT IS DONE. Now, the rest is inevitable.

Mind you, that ‘seed’ is the Seed of Immortality. This is its whole quality. That is why nobody has ever been able to realize immortality of the physical; because they had never had this direction. But that is where the Seed of Immortality is, and when you get that it becomes the base. You realize that it is inevitable then that this play itself out at some point and reach that state of Immortality. On all levels. Because it is from there that it stems, you see. That is its quality: this Golden Seed, this Hiranyaretas. That Immortal One.

It has just never been done before like this. Once it is done, once the process is done…because that’s the tricky part: it is to live the process. It is the process itself that opens the path. Once you’ve laid out the process then the rest… As I say, it becomes progressively easier.

You have to realize that all of you had to go through that process with me of this Reversal. Whereas people who come into the work now don’t have to do that. They don’t have to live the process with me. They come to find their place already in a ‘system’ that is manifesting, that is growing. We were working, let’s say, in the Zero, when nothing was…and we had to bring it out from that Point. But people who come do not have this…critical…

You know, it was the halfway point of these three decades till the end of the millennium. It was exactly the halfway point. It was really the do-or-die of this work. I knew it. If it didn’t succeed I knew that you could all pack up and go off somewhere, because it was completely useless to continue. And it worked, of course. But the perception was very clear that what was happening then was the great decisive moment: creation or destruction.

I notice that it is getting so very much easier. It could be that I am expressing things more clearly; but that is part of it too, no? Obviously if you’ve lived the process then you are able to express it more clearly. But I notice that all of these people…they are grasping things quicker, that poise comes into being with less of an effort, or a strain. Because there is that ‘centre that holds’, you see.

And then you have this factor of the negative elements that get caught in the shadow universe. This is a fact. And you see how they are still bound to it, and they still have to play that out. You take X’s case, for instance. That ‘seed’, that inner truth, I know what it is. So, she can never be other than that. No matter whether it is in the shadow kingdom or the kingdom of light. It has got to be a playout determined by that.

(Pause)

And this is how you come to the harmony between the inner truth and the external forms…

That is the only way that harmony can take place.

There is never any separation.

[A discussion follows on Objective Art, and then:]

…What is this process? Connecting those planes. Now, this hadn’t happened in Sri Aurobindo’s time. And this was part of what I was going into all these days. They couldn’t realize this. I mean, they couldn’t realize that One-in-the-Core because it hadn’t come to that point. You realize that? It was all converging down, down, down – more, until you got to the Third Level. And that is the level at which it happens.

So, they could never have given this process, you know, it was impossible. Nor could they have lived it as such. They lived what they had to live for their levels…to open, to make these links: the Transcendent, the Cosmic, and then the… And that is what the Mother did. She ‘linked’ those planes and gave the cosmic plan…gave forth the Cosmic Truth. Replaced the Ignorance, the Cosmic Ignorance, and gave forth the ‘plan’ of the Cosmic Truth.

It could not be done earlier; it could not have been explained earlier. Nothing. Each had to add a portion – to come to that.

(Pause)

Nonetheless with that certitude. All the time with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother – that total certitude: That it was done and that it would be.

That is obviously the foundation, you know. And that is why not just anybody can do it. It has got to be beings born for that, because that is what gives… It is that dharma. It is like what I was saying, when I went through that process, well I got to the dharma of the work – because that is what my inner being is made of. And that’s the foundation you bring into the world. So, automatically there is a certitude underlying everything. I mean, it is there. It is your essence. You come for that purpose, to do that.

But it was so remarkable to go into all of this, to see what has really been done… You know, these years in Kodaikanal. What an extraordinary thing has happened.

And so then, of course, all the little details really become so unimportant…the little difficulties. Because, you know, you have, again, that certitude….


[Added at the time of printing:]


The most urgent question for the Earth is the realization of the inner truth of things. By extending the consciousness outward, by stretching it beyond, we have rendered this intimate discovery, unveiling, progressively more difficult; until today we are at a complete loss as to how to proceed in order to ‘find our roots’ as it were. Or, as I would say, how to find our core and our purpose.

In that Core we find that Golden Seed – our inner Truth. And the one stairway into the Temple that the Mother sought to have incorporated in the construction represents that way of concentration. But she also described the descent and rise into the Chamber (through the floor) as being ‘symbolic’ too of this process.

Indeed, for me it represents that rise of the pivot of being, that shift to a higher pivot: in a word, the creation of a new axis of being, – individually, collectively, for the Earth herself.

This is why the single stairway of 15 steps rising into the Chamber was such an important feature of the Mother’s original plan. Like everything else in the Temple, it foretold the new way; and by her act of seeing which rent the veils that were keeping this way as yet hidden, the Mother set in motion that process.

In Volume 3 of The New Way, I describe in detail the necessity for, and the method of, shifting the axis in the human being to a higher pivot; the higher pivot consisting of the new axis that comes into being on the basis of a perfect centering, is a singular convergence of Time and Space dimensions (vertical/horizontal). Lacking this higher pivot and axis the human being orbits a void, where energies cave in, collapse. This describes the process of destruction as opposed to creation. It is the definition of death.

The modified plan of the architects is a representation of the present human condition: the perfect centering and the correct axis were lost, when the builders refused to make the diameter of the Chamber 24 meters to the walls, as the Mother has so often requested; and at the same time, the entire construction came up with a hole in the centre of the Chamber: a void. In terms of symbols in architecture this is truly a remarkable symbol-image of the human dilemma and the evolutionary impasse.


Thea
March, 1987

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