Also in this Series
The transcript I have presented in Part 2 of this series, the Mother’s disturbing encounter on 7 April, 1973, with one of her closest aides, throws up another of those ‘painful enigmas’. Sincere disciples, courageous seekers of truth in quest of knowledge, must admit the existence of this enigma; at the same time, they must seek illumination and strive to attain a full understanding of the problem, the reason for its existence and the way it must be resolved.
The enigma is this: How could the Mother have kept such an abomination by her side for decades, tolerating his abuses, his constant humiliating outbursts, his injustices and brutalities to all but his close lieutenants, his ignorance, his dullness of consciousness, – in a word, his asuric nature? So close was he kept by her that as her physical incapacities increased he even slept in her room at night in the event that she might require some assistance. The sincere disciple is wholly justified in questioning the Mother’s wisdom in such a situation, especially in view of the recording in circulation of one of her encounters with him. This transcript unquestionably unmasks the severe limitations of his consciousness. Thus, why was he allowed to maintain his commanding position for so long during the Mother’s lifetime and even now?
The answer to this ‘painful enigma’ lies in the nature of the problem we are dealing with in the question of a ‘supramental transformation’. At the same time, to attain an understanding of this process, the hold this force has must be discussed. Where does its power lie? How has it been able to withstand the force of Truth for millennia and defy ‘conversion’?
It has been able to do so by an extraordinarily simple tactic – so simple that it is easily overlooked. This power by its harsh resistance, its closed, black hole consciousness, its brutishness has always forced the way of destruction upon those it confronts on the individual level and all the way up the scale to nations as a whole. Wars are an example of this imposition.
The tactic is ingenious, for, as Sri Aurobindo has written in one of his aphorisms, ‘If I cannot be Rama, then I would be Ravana, for he is the dark side of Vishnu.’ Ravana is the asuric power the divine Rama must conquer. That is, if the light is not my kingdom, I will oblige the Divine to recognise my dark though equal status by my opposition to the Supreme’s rule; I will occupy an equal position by compelling others to operate on my terms. And this, above all else, has kept the planet under the rule of the Ignorance for so long. Until now there has been no effective method to deal with the situation this strategy creates.
In analysing this logic we discover the centremost ‘knot’ that needs to be undone for the reign of Truth to become established. It consists in the passage from a binary to a unitary system, as I described in Part 2 of this article. We shall now analyse this in depth, but first it is necessary to lay emphasis on the fact that in order for a unitary system to come into being, the entire field in which it is to arise, or be organised, or ordered, has to be of an intrinsically different quality to that in which the old creation has arisen. Hence at the outset there is a specific requirement, and it is this that the Mother had to contend with. While not actually participating in the ordering process or the creation of a cosmos, for this to be possible she had to refrain from dealing in ‘the old way’ with the nuclear energies gathered around her for the purpose of creating the atmosphere in which to carry out her work. Failing to do so would have introduced the old seed into the heart of the process, which would thereby ensure its propagation and hence the contamination of the new that was seeking to be born.
This required refraining from using the method of destruction; but it must be stated that the question we are dealing with is not the use of violence or not in the way it has come to be understood. Destruction in this context has little to do with violence, as moralistically defined, particularly in our present times. Rather, the manner in which the old creation secured its continued sovereignty has been by forcing its elimination from the system due to its thick skinned resistance to the power of Truth. Its ingenuity resided in the fact that it even agreed to its own destruction, if that was demanded in order to have the old method prevail and hence the continuity of the mental creation with its inferior processes. But at the heart of the matter, the real sovereign in the affair is Death – the ultimate Destroyer.
In this too we must be clear about what death signifies and where its hold on the species lies. For it is the unconsciousness of the process, the disintegration of the perceiving instrument and the soul’s plunge into total oblivion that are the powers Death utilises to secure its reigning position. The human race is thus born into unconsciousness, strives throughout life to gain a semblance of a conscious awareness, and leaves this plane by a plunge once again into total oblivion. Thus our race, this mental human being, can be described as a creation of Ignorance; essentially we are children of the Lord of Falsehood. It is this condition that we seek to transform as warriors of the Divine in this Age of the Supermind.
I have mentioned the work of the nagual don Juan and the line of Toltec seers he belongs to in the previous issue of VISHAAL. There too the ultimate conquest is over death, a conscious passage to the beyond by the mastery of a process which confers on the warrior the ability to leave this plane by a manner in which ‘the sting of death’ is absent. This ability was the property not only of the nagual himself but of the entire party of apprentices. Collectively they mastered the method by which this willed simultaneous departure was possible without the destruction of the perceiving Eye.
In Sri Aurobindo’s yoga there is a similar aim. But, while the teachings of the nagual’s line appear to centre on the individual liberation and conquest of death, in Sri Aurobindo’s work the aim is universal. The Supramental Manifestation signifies a great shift in the structure of the human consciousness, and ultimately in the species as a whole, by introducing a fundamental change in the evolutionary pattern – by stamping a new image in the cell. The means to achieve this high aim forms the basis of our present work. The method I am describing here, which involves a radically different approach to the powers of the Ignorance, is the way to create a new evolutionary blueprint.
Having this universal aim it is clear that the supramental yoga can never be an exclusively individualistic affair. The process requires a superior harmonisation of the individual and the collectivity. But this is a select collectivity in the initial stages. However, by this I do not mean an ‘elect’ or an ‘elite’. This select collectivity comprises powers of light and darkness, as this essay is demonstrating. The issue is to gather together diverse representative energies in order to form a microcosm in which the conditions can be reproduced that are adequate to bring about this great change. And at the outset these energies must be collected, combined, intermingled in a new way, by a method that is intrinsically different from the old process which produced the mental human being. Central to the method is an awareness of the nature of the problem and at all times the capacity to deal with the elements that require transformation on the basis of a conscious participation.
To use the Mother’s entourage as an example, disciples are misled when they believe that the success of the endeavour lay in the transformation of one or even a number of disciples. This is not the question at all. Individuals such as the great Negator participate by lending their energies, twisted as they are, dark as they may be, for the consolidation of an embryo system. They participate not to secure their own transformation but rather to provide the Mother with the proper field or laboratory in which SHE can do the Yoga of Transformation for the greater Earth-field. This means engaging in a method that produces a new cellular combination and hence introduces into the evolution something entirely new. It is the next step in the Earth’s affirmation as a planet where a superior species is to be housed.
The uniqueness of our planetary home is that here such a process is being enacted. The glory of our times is that right now this great change is taking place; and perhaps for the first time we are able to participate in this change in a totally CONSCIOUS fashion. But it is a mark of the human being’s hard-crusted ignorance that he cannot appreciate the grace that is being offered by human birth at present. One is trapped in the illusion of pain and suffering and the conviction that that is the only possible experience opened to the individual on this Earth. Such is the extent of the negation that pollutes the atmosphere of the planet.
To introduce something entirely new there must be a detailed knowledge of the method by which this can come into being. A stumbling block to this understanding is the human being’s moralistic consciousness. This was evident in Mohandas Gandhi’s non-violent movement, which played itself out entirely on the ethical, socio-religious plane and never touched the higher dimensions of the soul and spirit. Hence its limitation and the resultant degeneration at the end of his leadership when the outcome of his efforts seemed to produce an even greater upsurge of senseless violence. But we find this limitation amidst Sri Aurobindo’s followers as well. The prominence of the ‘ego of the instrument’ in his entourage is an example of this failing. Disciples believe that the success of his work resided in the transformation of the individuals destiny had brought to him and the Mother for their work. But what does transformation signify in the context of the supramental change?
Amongst the Mother’s disciples it is believed in a rather sentimental fashion that the transformation of the great Negator which she had been assiduously seeking for centuries, lay in his ‘conversion’. In our minds this appears to be something on the order of a born-again Christian experience. Perhaps he had to ‘see the light’ according to the old mould. But in actual fact, a consciousness of that nature cannot ‘see the light’ and is not meant to. The problem to be solved is of another order. Throughout the ages this force has imposed its ways on the evolution of consciousness. It has succeeded in prolonging the destructive method as opposed to the creative. What this signifies in its deepest essence is a cutting away of the element that refuses to be integrated into the unitary system. Indeed, because of this a unitary system with a central Sun has never been able to manifest. Such a system demands that ‘each thing be put in its right place’, as the Mother stated concerning her hotel vision and the analysis of its symbols. If what we consider to be the dark element has no place in the system, then how is it to be removed? And if it is removed, where does that leave the question of integrality? It is clear that this has been a major obstacle in the realisation of a life divine on Earth, since the nature of God is all-encompassing. God is in the light as well as the dark. The supreme Reality is a unity manifesting through diversity. Hence if we wish to establish a supramental creation on Earth, reflecting this Divine Integrality, then we are obliged to contend with the greatest paradox the mind has ever had to face: In the new creation of truth and light, what is the place of the darkness?
Off and on in this analysis I have stated that the dark powers contributed to the Mother’s Yoga by their opposition, by obliging her to do her Yoga. I have stated that ALL powers, those dark as well as light, are contributing to the establishment of the new way. The dark force contributes by its negation which creates a certain combination of energies in the fledgling System that reproduce the larger field to be transformed. The forces of the light contribute by their affirmation, by engaging in the creative process almost exclusively. However, the roles shift from time to time. Especially at the third level of the Work. At that point a different phenomenon occurs which we shall discuss in detail.
But to complete the point I wish to make regarding the adverse elements in the Mother’s entourage, the success of the endeavour lay not in the individual’s transformation (read, conversion) but in the Mother’s ability to resist dealing with those energies in the old way, by the method of cutting out the resistant forces and thus withholding that precious ingredient of integrality from the creative process. Once she had succeeded in attaining this goal, the fate of the negators is immaterial; they are no longer ‘cosmically’ relevant. I believe that this will help sincere seekers comprehend this ‘painful enigma’ in its true nature and the Mother’s strange insistency in keeping the great Negator by her side at all costs, tolerating what no other spiritual guide would ever have tolerated. For the question had very little to do with him as an individual, but rather the element he contributed to a process that extended far beyond the individual sphere. Nonetheless, the full transformation demanded a more complete process which was not a part of the Mother’s destined work. It is a work of our times.
In Sri Aurobindo’s epic, Savitri, the manner in which the Goddess deals with the Dark Lord is similar. The transformation she brings about in this power is not by a process of annihilation but rather by the expansion of the Light, by a creative effulgence and an undeniably superior ‘logic’ and gnosis in her debate with Death. In fact. when this is achieved she even tells the Lord of Death to be her instrument still for a while longer (in her mission on Earth), announcing in this way that the dark force is equally a power of the Divine during this transitional phase and that ALL powers, the dark and the light, are participants in this great change.
Even as we consider the individual to be unduly important in the Avatar’s work, we give an exaggerated importance to the collectivity as a whole that surrounds him in the initial stages. This collectivity drives the Avatar to complete his or her mission by reproducing on a microscopic scale the conditions of the greater Earth-field. This is the sole purpose of the need for ‘petty tyrants’ who surround the members of the Solar Line, for it is necessary to have these conditions reproduced in the true centre, where the precise lines of the supramental creation are being drawn. Disciples furnished these conditions. But one easily loses sight of this fact and the egos of these participants becomes inflated rather than eliminated by this exaggerated self-importance, to the extent that the participant believes that his transformation draws the lines of the system, that his contribution and offering are the decisive factors. This is only true when the Yoga reaches the third level, that of the Individual Divine. Then the lines expand to include a harmonisation of the One and the Many, the individual in the collectivity.
The real mechanism in this great transition the Earth is experiencing is quite different. For a successful crossing to a higher destiny, the larger field has to be recreated AT THE TRUE CENTRE of the work, for the true Realiser who has the power, by the dictates of the Time-spirit, to accomplish this for the larger body. For this reason I refer to these Powers as ‘evolutionary avatars’, to distinguish them from the ordinary ‘avatar’, – a title that has been sufficiently abused in India today. The line of evolutionary avatars I refer to comprises the Hindu Line of the Ten Avatars, but the confusion the Buddha introduced in this Line is part of the work the Avatar must deal with, the ‘error of the Buddha’ Sri Aurobindo referred to; it is an intrinsic part of the problem the binary system presents in the evolution of consciousness on the planet.
Thus others may experience what the Evolutionary Avatars experience, but this has no bearing on the evolutionary process. The only way a real change can be introduced into that sphere, which will result in a new and higher species, is when the solar Line succeeds in creating a ‘cosmos out of the chaos.’ That is, when the new System comes into being which orbits a higher Axis. This is the significance in the Mother’s words regarding ‘the true centre’, a recognised centre with real effective power. This power comes only when the right connection is made with Time. The lines of the new system are drawn by Time, from the centre outward, from the seed and extending, by the power of Time, to the full periphery of the circle.
When I write of ‘the new time’, I mean time as an ally in the creative process – no longer the Destroyer, no longer the power that draws us irrevocably to an ultimate and conclusive disintegration of the perceiving Eye. The new Time, or the gnostic Time, is the element in the new way that allows us to participate in the transformation by a conscious evolution. It extends itself out from the zero/womb of the compact seed of itself. For the fact is we cannot create without time; and the revolution the new way brings is in this uncontaminated seed of gnostic Time at the heart of the new creation.
‘Petty tyrants’ such as the great Negator the Mother had to face daily are the negative ingredients in this transitional stage of the process. Inasmuch as the condition of the Earth is still one of ignorance and a predominance of the adverse forces, this negative contribution is essential (‘…Death, be still my instrument a while…’). However, at the third level of the Manifestation another possibility surfaces and hence the individual’s realisation takes on a different meaning. While initially the contribution may be negative, the wholeness of the Knowledge at that point permits the negative element the real possibility of transformation.
In the Mother’s time this greater potential was not a consolidated part of the Work. In effect, the negative elements in her entourage continue entrenched in that same mire of old. What is more lamentable, they have participated in a formidable process without understanding at all what the nature and purpose were of that process of which they were such intrinsic parts. Indeed, in this very question of understanding the process lays the possibility of any true transformation. But while the Manifestation was incomplete and the Knowledge was yet deprived of its wholeness, that understanding could not come about and provide an objectively sound foundation. And this brings our discussion to the question of the composition of the ‘new field’, for it is only in this enhanced environment that the greater potentials of the supramental transformation can find scope for developing.
To illustrate a key aspect of this transformation, let me reproduce certain notes which the Mother made during an experience she had had on 17 December, 1969. (I have reproduced the entire transcript of the ‘revelation’, as she called it, in TVN, 3/1, April 1988, page 36-7.) Needless to say, that ‘revelation’ was an exact forerunner of the present work involving will, centrality, and the shift of the axis in the human species. The experience came to the Mother when she had been asked, ‘What is death?’ She wrote down,
‘Death is the consequence of the decentralisation of the Consciousness contained in the cells composing the body.’
This implies that life in a physical body is a question of the cells being held together by a centralisation of some sort. In the new way this is found to be so; moreover, the next step entails precisely a shift in that inferiorly poised body-axis to a higher positioning, – the emergence hence of a ‘true centre’. The Mother foresaw that next step when she wrote,
‘The very first step toward immortality is to replace the mechanical centralisation by a willed centralisation.
‘Decentralisation produced by Nature is mechanical. It must be replaced by a willed centralisation.’
This is a compact description of the properties of the new unitary system in contrast to the binary pattern which is characterised by its mechanical nature, lacking any conscious involvement of the will. This ‘new centralisation’ is not mechanical. The entire process is conscious and willed, and, above all else, it hinges on a ‘true centre’ for it is a centre with ‘real effective power’ which permits an organism to emerge that is free from a mechanical and unconscious existence.
Today we are faced with the urgent need to deal with this essential matter: the implementation of a ‘new way’ as the basis upon which the gnostic system will arise, rather than the old method of destruction which prolongs the rule of Death. Collectively we cannot escape this demand since our arsenals are bursting with the tools for a total annihilation of humanity. Concerned individuals throughout the world are seeking to counteract the forces of destruction in the effort to call an end to the threat of a nuclear holocaust. But the reason for the failure of these individuals and groups in their obviously sincere efforts to introduce a better system is that they do not have any sound knowledge of, first of all, how the present system actually came into being, what its purpose has been, and how it propagates itself; and secondly, how this system can be effectively undone and replaced by a new and higher order. Lacking this precise knowledge all analyses of the subject are shallow and do not provide the elements which will disclose the core of the matter. Consequently they fail to bring about any change. In fact, with rare exceptions, these efforts ultimately become a part of the collapse civilisation is experiencing.
An example is the spread of Eastern thought throughout the world which has served to sow confusion, it would seem, rather than increase the Light and the Power needed to dislodge the forces of negation from their ruling position, inasmuch as the Eastern philosophy that has reached the West is itself a part of the old creation. It is presently a potent tool for drawing creative energies away from the world by emphasising, directly or indirectly, the ‘illusory’ nature of creation, a heaven or a salvation beyond this Earth, a ‘nirvana’ or a ‘samadhi’ that is extra-terrestrial and extra-cosmic. This has put the final seal on the impossible-to-transform condition of material creation.
What then constitutes this ‘new way of creation’ as opposed to destruction? The answer lies in the need for a ‘centre with real effective power’, as the Mother foresaw in her extraordinary vision. And to reach that stage where the centre as she described it could come into being, a major shift had to come about: the transformation I have described as a shift to a unitary system from the present binary system.
We can understand the position quite easily in its cosmic correspondence: our Earth is called a ‘binary system’ because it has a single partner in its orbit of the Sun, – the Moon. Both Earth and Moon are engaged in an orbital dance around the system’s central Sun. In a manner that better serves our purposes, we can take as an example a binary system of two suns, as we find in our galactic neighbour Sirius, to describe the human condition. One sun is luminous, the other is dark. The latter appears to feed off of the luminous object and creates a pole of tension which, if disturbed, would seem to threaten the entire system with collapse.
Let us now extend this to the individual’s condition – man as a microcosm, a reduction of the macrocosm; and by consequence we may extend the image to describe the condition of our civilisation and even the very physical structure of the human being.
The apex of the old creation, the actual mental species, is a product of a binary pattern. There are two ‘centres’ within the individual vying for supremacy. In actual fact these ‘centres’ support each other; they are the elements which sustain the old species; they are the foundations of the old world. And they are not centres, properly speaking. To be precise, this binary pattern is the reason why the ‘true recognised centre, with real effective power’ has not come into being until now. The binary condition prevents a true centre from emerging and producing a superior model.
In the actual binary pattern of the mental human being, common to all who inhabit a bodily instrument as it is presently constituted, these axes represent a ‘higher’ and a ‘lower’ focus. In the evolution of consciousness on the planet, tension between the two foci has increased, resulting now in a clear-cut dichotomy: spirit and matter. There is no question of a harmonisation or an integration of these pivots of human existence in the old system with its binary structure, since that creation was founded on this play of tension and confrontation. This is its inherent ‘seed’. If left to itself without the introduction of anything beyond it or higher, the only possible development for the old creation is a greater and greater hardening of the system until a brittleness results which, like Sri Aurobindo’s Ravana in the aphorism, calls down upon itself a definitive catastrophe, rather than allow the introduction of any attenuating element. It cannot give up its equal status with its partner on the other end of the pole. The system thrives on this play of tension based on dualism.
Consequently, the extreme importance of the Mother’s careful treatment of that force of Negation is obvious, for the really critical aspect of her Yoga of Transformation was the manner in which she kept the great Negator by her side, who embodied for her that brittle and destructive process, and consistently refused to be carried away by his rages, histrionics, brutalities, into the old pattern. Had she annihilated his power, which was what he sought consistently to force upon her, we would then be justified in claiming that she had ‘failed’ her Yoga.
Yet there are not many who understand the nature of her Yoga. The confusion must be considered legitimate when we realise that we are dealing with various interrelated dimensions of existence. The Mother was engaged in the preparation of a new field in the cosmic dimension; but the ultimate aim is the transformation of the individual consciousness and the physical instrument. Thus the binary system she dealt with was the Cosmic Ignorance wherein the Light and the Dark opposing each other are legitimate pillars. It is this binary Cosmic Ignorance that has given us all the religions we know and have come to cherish so fervently, even as we witness their divisive influences in action almost daily, – in Ireland, in the Middle East, in the sub-continent, and throughout the world to greater or lesser degrees. Religions are inherently divisive in character, a fact we must acknowledge; and since the new creation is emerging these old refuges are being dismantled before our eyes. The rise of fundamentalism in all religions on all parts of the globe is simply the indication that the Cosmic Ignorance, to which every religion owes its allegiance, has been undermined at its roots by the successful supramental yoga.
The religions that have emerged from the Middle East are examples of the stark dichotomy that characterises the binary system, teaching as they do the separation between the dark and the light, and, above all, conferring on ‘Satan’ an equal status of objective existence. Any system which propagates a dichotomy of this nature, with material creation on one side, lorded over by Satan, and heaven and God on the other, is simply a true reflection of the dualistic qualities of the binary system.
We witness a hardening process in our civilisation in the rise of fundamentalism, and its occasional companion terrorism. Interestingly, the two often go hand in hand, their advocates come from a similar mould. The fundamentalist is the one most prone to utilising terrorism to re-establish a faith that he feels is losing its purity and original intensity due to societal developments which he believes are inimical to the contents of his faith. In such an instance the fundamentalist becomes Ravana and prefers open combat on the side of the dark power, believing that the ultimate good he wishes to establish justifies his sinister methods. In effect, it is a desperate attempt to keep the binary system intact.
This is the predictable development in a system that is being intrinsically undermined by one simple factor: the rise and the establishment of the new, unitary cosmos.
To bring this discussion closer to our work we may look at the cosmology of the old system compared to the new vision of the cosmos that has developed on the basis of the supramental manifestation and the ‘new time’. In traditional astrology we find a binary system central to the pattern. The geocentricity of traditional astrology has been hotly criticised by present-day scientists and held as a reason for condemning the art: astrologers of the ancient world were ‘ignorant’, they claim, unmindful of the fact that in our planetary system the sun is central and not the Earth. But the point is that the system of astrology we inherited from the ancient world simply reflected the stage of evolution of the human consciousness in a most accurate manner. The binary Earth-Moon complex at the centre of the system perfectly describes the mental being, the highest specimen Nature has developed so far. On the other hand, in the Gnostic Circle, the new vision of the cosmos and the blueprint of the evolution of the truth-conscious species, we observe that the Sun is central. Earth and Moon and their binary partnership are put in their rightful orbit, the third position from the central Sun. The two systems, when studied together – the old astrology and the new cosmology – perfectly convey the great shift that humanity is experiencing today.
We come now to the question of ‘order’ or ritam, as it is called in ancient Vedic texts. The major achievement of the new cosmology is its ability to ‘put each thing in its rightful place’. This may appear to be a trivial matter, but it is the secret for transition to a higher order. Only in the supramental creation do we find each thing in its rightful place. And on the basis of this ‘ordering’ the transformation of the negative or dark element in the system becomes possible. The very fact that we are now able to engage in this ordering process is the surest indication that the victory is at hand.
Thus, concerning the great Negator, for example, it is not a question of brutal conquest or of annihilating that force or cutting it out of the system. Rather, its conquest is an act of unmasking. However, this is a complex matter. Bearing as it does a singular importance in the Work, we are obliged to discuss this issue in considerable depth. At the same time this will provide the student with the means to learn which tools are used for the conquest, which weapons the warrior of the Divine is legitimately allowed to utilise in his struggle with the adverse powers that seek to obstruct the rise of the New.
Knowledge and the power of Truth are the principal weapons at our disposal. On the basis of this combination we are able to ‘put each thing in its place’. If we apply these tools to the Mother’s work and the adverse elements in her entourage, concurrent with a discovery of each person’s role in the drama, we realise that a new yardstick has emerged, entirely different from the moralistic ethos of the old creation. Thus there is no objective falsehood in the sense that there is no equal status given to the dark power by virtue of its binary imposition. Everything is contained within a unitary system, with a single central luminous Sun of Truth-Consciousness. All powers within this system conspire to give expression in the material universe to the central Will. Hence in the analysis of her hotel dream the Mother mentioned this very factor: a community held together around a central unifying will. Indeed, the principal focus of the struggle can be termed a ‘battle of wills’ – for it is Will that is the driving force in the universal manifestation.
A moral ethos is characterised by its inability in society to integrate certain energies which had become ‘knotted’ in the course of the evolution of consciousness. This knotting up, if it may be so-called, results from the fact that evolution on Earth has never been an INTEGRAL process. It is only now that this aspect is being introduced; and it is the key feature of the Supramental Manifestation, the result of a descent of the four powers constituting the Solar Line. This fourfold overlapping manifestation has not occurred before on this planet. The knotting up of energies in the old creation resulted from the gaps in the System and the descent of only partial aspects or rays of the supreme Power. There was no wholeness prior to the advent of the Solar Line in this new Age. We may be even more specific: the wholeness demanded of the Supramental Manifestation did not become unveiled and active until March of 1976. At that time the Fourth Power was uncovered – precisely the principle of Integrality. This then fulfilled the prophecy of a fourfold structure as the basis of supermind’s action on Earth through involution and evolution, since Sri Aurobindo had allotted the Square as the geometric symbol of Supermind, hence utilising the ancient method of symbols in higher knowledge to announce its fourfold essence. Indeed, it is only a four-sided figure that has stability; anything less cannot truly be said to represent a divine ‘creation in matter’, the goal of the new Manifestation.
Thus given the incompleteness or unsoundness of the old creation, precious energies have been diverted into the void, producing a ‘knotting up’. These have defied integration throughout the aeons of evolution on this planet. They continue to be the obstructing elements, on the individual and collective scale. In the language of the new cosmology, we refer to this situation as fragmented Time rather than the experience of Whole Time as conveyed in the Gnostic Circle, the major key of knowledge in our work today.
However, the fourfold nature of the Manifestation became an integrated reality in March, 1976. From that time onward the real ability to ‘put each thing in its right place’ in the context of the Daughter’s ‘super-organisation’ has been a primary focus of the Work. Indeed, the several volumes of The New Way are the outcome of that 1976 breakthrough. They bear testimony to this enhanced capacity of seeing which such wholeness and integrality allow.
But in this transitional phase to undertake an ordering of this nature means dealing also with the negative elements, their ‘rightness’ as well; failing to do so results in unwholeness and fragmentation and the divisive perceptions of the past which we seek to outgrow. Consequently, in my work I have brought into relevance these negative factors, risking in the process criticism from those quarters that do not understand the meaning of integrality, or its need, and the necessity to see the place of ALL aspects of creation, positive or negative, and their combined contribution. The uninitiated consider that only the good must be stressed and we must concern ourselves strictly with that if we wish to be ‘spiritual’. However, this attitude, so prevalent in spiritual communities, closes out any possibility of being channels for the new creative consciousness to accomplish its all-encompassing work in the world.
Nonetheless, the matter is not a simple one. To put the negative element in its ‘rightful place’, in the context of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s work requires a consciousness which is not moralistically oriented. For this reason one of the most interesting discoveries the Mother made in her sojourn in the supramental world on 3 February, 1958, [see TVN 2/6, page 25] was the startling realisation of an entirely different value system there. The Mother discovered that attitudes and actions here which we consider to be ‘wrong’ according to her impeccable seeing of that higher reality were in fact good!
What then, we may ask, lies at the root of this question of ‘rightness’? For we are touching upon immensely important points in this inquiry, which have been the causes throughout the aeons for the divisiveness we experience on Earth, between nations and between individuals.
Rightness, each element in its ‘rightful place’, implies a correct time placement, which in turn means that its inherent truth and purpose are being fulfilled. But central to this issue is the essential nature of that ‘purpose’. Its symbol in the new cosmology is the Sun, the figure Sri Aurobindo saw to be the symbol of the Supermind. The ability to live the fulfilment of that Purpose implies an attunement to the ‘pulse of the Supreme’ which I have described in Part 2. And for this there must be a ‘true centre’ which in turn provides ‘real effective power’.
To draw the matter to a concrete example, during the Mother’s final decades of life she was that Centre for the work. In the Ashram, she held all the peripheral parts of the circle (the disciples) to herself, bound them within her ‘system’ and carried them along in her Yoga as positive or negative contributing forces, giving them both a legitimate place in the Work. That is, a true centre obliges all the parts of the periphery to fulfil ITS PURPOSE.
When the Mother finalised her Yoga and proceeded to withdraw, this was the beginning of a shift. Throughout the decade of the 70s this shifting of the centre and its purpose was being cemented at the heart of the Work. Concurrently there was an enhancement in progress: the basic lines of the Manifestation had expanded, the Powers had increased to four.
Being the Centre during those last three difficult decades of her life, the Mother gave a sense of rightness and purpose to the members of her entourage with whom she was carrying out the transformative process. Thus an adverse element such as the great Negator cannot be labelled ‘evil’ in the old moralistic sense, insofar as he was a precious ingredient in her work, without which the Mother could not have been successful.
Hence the ‘rightness’ of the great Negator’s contribution consists in its temporal placement. But his remained valid only so long as the Mother provided the ‘centre that holds’, which at that stage of the Yoga comprised the preparation of an atmosphere for the new field and seed to emerge. When the Mother left this plane, that centre, that binding nexus, ceased to operate since its purpose had been fulfilled. It then moved down the Line.
One of the clearest proofs we have of this situation is the fact that the Mother wished to have her encounter with the great Negator recorded so that it might be an element in his subsequent unmasking, because his role had come to an end. Anyone who has had contact with the Mother realises that she would have avoided at all costs exposing her secretary-disciple and others to the notorious rages of the great Negator, whose insufferable character she knew better than anyone else. Yet, as the transcript reveals, inconsistent with her character and habitual practices, she thrust the disciple into a head-on collision with this irredeemable and abusive consciousness. Therefore I sustain that the encounter she had with him on 7 April 1973, was a part of her ‘stalking’ and cannot be understood otherwise; it had little or nothing to do with the question of trance and sleep, or whatever. Its purpose was to lay the basis for the subsequent unmasking of that power since its ‘time had come’. The centre was moving on to another level. A precious element in the public unmasking was, of course, the recording of her encounter. In actual fact the great Negator unmasks himself.
It is interesting to observe what happens in an organism when this stage is reached. Continuing with our example, we observe that the great Negator was precipitated into the void left by the shift of the Centre. The Mother passed on her knowledge and power to the next in the Line – in a most accurate and careful manner. But the individuals who worked with her in her former activity were left orbiting an empty shell as it were. The centre was removed according to the laws governing this Manifestation once she had concluded her work. And at that point the void was entirely filled by the consciousness working through those negative obstructing elements, since like attracts like and the emptiness draws the Shadow to itself. It is only at that stage that we can begin to speak of wrongness and concrete opposition to the Divine. When this occurs we are justified in stating that the organism has lost its purpose, insofar as the power of Time has moved on and the central nexus has shifted. Indeed, this is the specific characteristic of a development of this nature: the void implies a lack of a divine Purpose. In place of the luminous Sun we find a shadow, a dark sun. It is this emptiness that everyone then orbits, held together by an illusion, by an unreal substance, while convincing themselves that they are still ‘doing the Master’s work’. In actual fact, they are simply being held prisoners in the fortress of the great Negator where there is no regeneration, held prisoners of ‘the past that seeks to endure’ and obstruct the manifestation ‘of the new things’ of the future.
This development is entirely understandable when one is familiar with the role Time plays in the Supramental Manifestation. Whole Time means integrality, an integration of the three times around a central Axis and Purpose. The ‘bridge’ the Mother and the Third conjointly build involves bridging the three times, past, present and future around a core of ‘simultaneous time’, or the gnostic seed. In the allotment of the Work, the Third (the Individual Divine) deals with the present; to the Fourth belongs the future. But in the Supramental Manifestation these are integrated principles by virtue of the fourfold structure. The 4th Power adds to the Solar Line this wholeness, without which the victory cannot be conclusive and embrace the four levels of existence: spiritual, mental, vital and physical; it cannot be carried over and extended in the material creation. And by virtue of this culminating wholeness and consequent extension he is known as the principle of Victory, because when this Power is incorporated into the process, unveiled or ‘recognised’, then alone can we truly speak of a manifestation of the Supermind organised for Earth use. Until then the Bridge is yet incomplete. It is still ‘up there’ with no real connection ‘here below’.
But that is history how. The Bridge was completed and Time was made whole as of 1976. And true to the ‘rightness’ which the new cosmology explains, thereafter the great Negator eliminated that Fourth Principle of Integrality and Victory from the Ashram School. This action was entirely consistent with his place and role in the process, for in so doing he secured the perfect implementation of the Divine Plan by forcing the shift to a new and cleansed Base.
The old base is then observed to be an empty shell with a shadow in place of the central divine Purpose; and this pretends then to be its ‘binding force’. In fact, these are the ‘illusory ties’ the Mother commented on in the analysis of her hotel dream. Indeed, at that point the organisation (the ‘walls of the hotel’) seeks to stand in place of that Centre and loyalty to ‘the Ashram’ or ‘the Church’ is mistaken for attachment to the Divine and the true Centre. An empty shell can only house the things of the past.
I am reminded by this of a dream – while we are on the subject of dreams. A member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram described this dream to me in the late 1970s, while I was living in Pondicherry. The gist of it was that she had entered the Ashram’s main building, where one finds the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and there she saw all the ashramites, her colleagues, moving about with blind men’s canes, tapping their way around as the blind do in their unfortunate condition. She was naturally shocked by this sight. At that point another ashramite came up to her and said, ‘It’s all right, it’s all right. One soon gets used to the darkness!’
This same person had a remarkable dream-vision in the early morning of 23 July 1984. I shall present its description in her own words. This dream provides us with an excellent symbolic portrayal of the process I have described involving the bridging of the three times. She wrote:
‘… [It was] some place in Pondicherry, unrecognisable or unfamiliar though. If you stood facing the ocean – the ocean [was] to your left, a very old, ancient, historical, very big castle in the centre and wild virgin woods to the right. This castle was so large and spread out that it had many minarets. The castle was very much on the sea, for at times the tail of the huge waves would touch the walls of the castle.
‘You were sort of sitting at a distance, a little away from the entire scene, almost like a watchman – guarding, taking care of the three: the ocean, …the ancient castle, and the virgin woods.
‘The time in the dream was very early Monday morning and when I woke up it was very early Monday morning.
‘I happened to pass by that way and saw you waiting there in the chair. Of course my heart began to race, but my eyes couldn’t believe what they saw. I walked faster and moved towards you. You were indeed there…’
After this meeting the subject sought my address (in Kodaikanal) and then reported that the dream ended as ‘…we parted, you to continue your duty, I to come home.’ She concludes her description by specifying the quality of the dream: ‘It was one of those rare, strong dreams which is reality and not a fleeting dream. I couldn’t believe it was a dream.’
In actual fact this vision bore the characteristics of a soul experience rather than a dream. Its most interesting aspect is that the subject had no understanding at all of the process she was seeing represented symbolically and hence she was unaware of the real content of the dream. Yet true to an innate capacity she possesses to dream in extraordinarily sophisticated symbols, she saw in this vision not only the condition of the community in which she lives, but the complex workings of a very new process.
The dream is quite clear in its meaning, provided one understands the symbols. This ashramite was seeing time in its three periods – past, present and future. Time’s present was represented for her by the castle. This becomes the symbol of the actual centre of her universe (it was the centrepiece of the scene), her lived experience and hence the condition of the community of which she is a part. The Mother saw that collectivity’s habitat or consciousness represented by a hotel in 1957. Twenty-seven years later (the third multiple of 9) and in the same month, and in fact at the decade’s 4.5 Orbit once again (July 1984, while in the 1950s it was July 1957), this ashramite saw that same habitat of consciousness represented not by a hotel but by a castle, equally a static symbol; in this case more so by virtue of its enclosing walls.
The present and the collective experience she is a part of are described by the castle with many minarets, high walls, closed in, etc., as castles usually are. Being the central image of the dream it is important to understand why the dreamer selected this image to represent the present. She has lived in the Ashram from a very young age; she graduated from the Ashram School and then joined its faculty. And today, without the active, living presence of the Mother, it has become a community where ‘the things of the past’ are preserved. Indeed, it has a very formidable past which it conserves, just as she expressed in her description of the castle with many minarets, very old, ancient, historic. The Ashram, now with its more than 60 years has accumulated a long history, a weighty heritage starting from the days of Sri Aurobindo’s involvement with the Indian freedom movement. It has earned a position on the historical map of India, as well as a place on the pilgrim’s itinerary.
The other ‘times’ are also accurately represented in the dream’s symbology: the ocean washing the castle’s walls is the past. We are reminded by this of St John’s ‘Apocalypse’, in which the past is also seen by the prophet as the sea. The ocean is also a symbol of consciousness.
In this dream the two – past and present – bear a connection by virtue of the waves beating upon the castle’s walls. The subject makes a specific point of this: ‘The castle was very much on the sea, for at times the tail of the huge waves would touch the walls of the castle.’
In point of fact, it is the consciousness of the past that nourishes the present and gives rise to an imagery recalling a ‘preserved past in the present’ as the central symbol. We may contrast this with the Mother’s dream where that same community is represented by a hotel with nothing in evidence in its imagery that would place it in the past, for the Mother was not dealing with time in her yoga and the fossilisation had not yet taken place. Whereas my dream of a hotel symbolising India did indeed offer an image of an ancient past in a ‘neutral’ present (the hotel symbol – not a castle, symbol evoking the past), but which had to be transformed, remade to serve the present. In this case, the ashramite’s dream does not offer any signs of a renovation. The past is preserved in the present, – ancient and closed, hence the symbol of a castle and not a hotel. But there is a further confirmation of this in the dream itself.
Along with her careful written description the dreamer also provided me with a drawing of the scene and its three principal elements. She drew the ocean connected to the castle. However, the most significant part of the vision, which might not have come to light had she not made the drawing for me, was the fact that the symbol of the future – the virgin woods – bore no connection to the present or to the past. In her drawing she indicates clearly that the woods are distanced from them both; there is a separation and the woods are off in the far corner of the page, while the castle and the ocean are on the other side. In the foreground she drew a chair which I was occupying as I sat…‘guarding the three – the ocean, the ancient castle and the virgin woods…’
What is remarkable in this instance is the subject’s ability to dream beyond the boundaries of her conscious awareness in such an accurate and enlightened manner. In this and in many other instances, she was something like a Pythoness of ancient Greece, who provided seekers with profound wisdom through symbols of which she had no conscious knowledge. Likewise, this dreamer had no understanding in her conscious mind of the connection between the dream’s symbols and my work with Time; in particular, the need to bridge the three times. The community she is a part of is that castle – Diti’s stronghold – and it has no means of replenishment except the waves of the past. There is no other dynamism in the imagery. All movement stops at the castle’s walls. At that point everything is closed in. Nothing extends beyond. Nothing moves.
What is missing is the connection with the future (the virgin woods). The fact that the dreamer describes them as ‘virgin woods’, indicates the unknown quality of the future. Its unexplored and perhaps ominous condition (‘wild virgin woods’) is something distant, removed, separated from the other ‘times’ she has seen in the dream. Time is the lived experience of consciousness in our material universe. It is not an abstract factor but materialises itself in the details of our lives on this planet. Thus while these symbols in the dream represent Time in its three phases, concurrently the symbols portray the dreamer’s experience of life, her lived experience of time. The lever that can draw the movement forward, unblock it, activate the present is a connection not with the past alone but specifically WITH THE FUTURE. For when that is cut off, the dynamism required to release energies, which in this case are seen to be hoarded in the preserved past of the present, is absent. The present is thus simply a ‘womb of the past’, its tomb.
I would add at this point that the entire theme of the Rigvedic myth is this very one: the ‘rays’ (or ‘cows’) are hoarded by the adverse forces, Diti’s offspring, and these rays are time’s energy. The ‘cave’ wherein the ‘cows’ are kept is the womb of the past, the tomb of the light. The release that is effected and the victory of the tenth month of the year is the passage to a higher poise which the released energy allows; hence, the experience of Whole Time and the integration of all the planes of existence. The content of the dream we are presently analysing is decidedly Vedic.
Interestingly, this dream took place at the very close of Diti’s month, July, and that is the power which is symbolised by the castle and its secure high walls, cutting it off from the future, thus representing the status quo. In The Magical Carousel I have portrayed this same power in Chapter 4. In this modern myth the Queen of Night is equivalent to Diti of the ancient Vedic myth. And true to this person’s interesting capacity to dream beyond her awareness, she saw her present precisely in the form of a castle. For the castle symbolism in the Queen of Night or Diti’s kingdom is not a random selection. It is, like the Mother’s hotel, evocative of a static, unregenerative habitat.
My ‘duty’ in the dream is more than clear. Though I am not a resident of the place (the dream makes this point), my duty is to watch over the process, the bridging of the three times and the integration. But for this subject and her community that integration has not occurred; hence I am simply ‘watching’, ‘guarding’. In my experience with dreams I have rarely come across such a fine example of the soul speaking to a dreamer in its most vibrant, dispassionate and neutral spirit. There are no threats, no ominous messages or judgements, no castigations. There is just a pure statement of facts, providing the seeker with all the elements of ‘choice’ and ‘recognition’, with the total freedom to make use of them or not, to accept or not the gifts her soul is offering. And the soul, like the watchman of her dream, patiently waits for the time when its light can emerge from the Queen of Night’s formidable castle of the midnight darkness and the vigil can end. This dream seems to be a projection of the Mother’s call to students to ‘fight the battle of the future’ against ‘the past that seeks to endure’, for the time of the NEW THINGS has truly come.
We now reach the final part of our analysis of the Mother’s dream: its connection with the present and the remarkable synchronicity of events we have been experiencing as we move forward in this exciting adventure. Therefore, in the concluding Part 4, I shall discuss, among other things, the important ‘collaboration’ of physical Nature, on a factual basis, insofar as it was such a fundamental part of the Mother’s 1957 experience. The manner in which Nature is collaborating in the establishment of the new gnostic creation, though entirely different than what many would expect, is no less startling and wondrous.
‘Skambha’, April 1988