– two texts by Sri Aurobindo –
The flower named by The Mother ‘Beauty of the New Creation – Beauty of Auroville’
‘The Divine and the Undivine’
In our human consciousness there is an image of an ideal truth of being, a divine nature, an incipient godhead: in relation to that higher truth our present state of imperfection can be relatively described as an undivine life and the conditions of the world from which we start as undivine conditions…
It is the Power within us, the concealed Divinity, that has lit the flame of aspiration, pictures the image of the ideal, keeps alive our discontent and pushes us to throw off the disguise and to reveal … the Godhead in the manifest spirit, mind, life and body of this terrestrial creature.
Our present nature can only be transitional, our imperfect status a starting-point and opportunity for the achievement of another higher, wider and greater that shall be divine and perfect not only by the secret spirit within it but in its manifest and most outward form of existence.
from ‘The Life Divine’ Book 2, Part I, Chapter 4, pages 396 – 397
‘Man a Transitional Being’
But what shall be the gain to be won for the Earth-consciousness we embody by this unprecedented ascent from mind to supermind and what the ransom of the supramental change? To what end should man leave his safe human limits for this hazardous adventure?
First consider what was gained when Nature passed from the brute inconscience and inertia of what seems inanimate Matter to the vibrant awakening of sensibility of plant range. Life was gained; the gain was the first beginnings of a mite groping and involved, reaching a consciousness that stretches out dumbly for growth, towards sense vibration, to a preparation for vital yearnings, a living joy and beauty.
The plant achieved a first form of life but could not possess it, because this first organised life-consciousness had feeling and seeking but blind, dumb, deaf, chained to the soil and was involved in its own nerve and tissue; it could not get out of them, could not get behind its nerve self as does the vital mind of the animal; still less could it turn down from above upon it to know and realise and control its own motions as does the observing and thinking mind in man.
This was an imprisoned gain, for there was still a gross oppression of the first Inconscience which had covered up with the brute phenomenon of Matter and of Energy of Matter all signs of the Spirit. Nature could in no wise stop here, because she held much in her that was still occult, potential, unexpressed, unorganised, latent; the evolution had perforce to go farther. The animal had to replace the plant at the head and top of Nature.
And what then was gained when Nature passed from the obscurity of the plant kingdom to the awakened sense, desire and emotion and the free mobility of animal life? The gain was liberated sense and feeling and desire and courage and cunning and the contrivance of the objects of desire, passion and action and hunger and battle and conquest and the sex-call and play and pleasure, and all the joy and pain of the conscious living creature. Not only the life of the body which the animal has in common with the plant but a life-mind that appeared for the first time in the earth-story and grew from form to more organised form till it reached in the best the limit of its own formula.
The animal achieved a first form of mind, but could not possess it, because this first organised mind-consciousness was enslaved to a narrow scope, tied to the full functioning of the physical body and brain and nerve, tied to serve the physical life and its desires and needs and passions, limited to the insistent uses of the vital urge, to material longing and feeling and action, bound in its own inferior instrumentation, its spontaneous combinings of association and memory and instinct. It could not get away from them, could not get behind them as man’s intelligence gets behind them to observe them; still less could it turn down on them from above as do human reason and will to control, enlarge, re-order, exceed, sublimate.
At each capital step of Nature’s ascent there is a reversal of consciousness in the evolving spirit. As when a climber turns on a summit to which he has laboured and looks down with an exalted and wider power of vision on all that was once above or on a level with him but is now below his feet, the evolutionary being not only transcends his past self, his former now-exceeded status, but commands from a higher grade of self-experience and vision, with a new apprehending feeling or a new comprehending sight and effectuating power in a greater system of values, all that was once his own consciousness but is now below him and belongs to an inferior creation.
This reversal is the sign of a decisive victory and the seal of a radical progress in Nature. The new consciousness attained in the spiritual evolution is always higher in grade and power, always larger, more comprehensive, wider in sight and feeling, richer and finer in faculties, more complex, organic, dominating than the consciousness that was once our own but is now left behind us. There are greater breadth and space, heights before impassable, unexpected depths and intimacies. There is a luminous expansion that is the very sign-manual of the Supreme upon his work.
Mark that each of the great radical steps forward already taken by Nature has been infinitely greater in its change, incalculably vaster in its consequences than its puny predecessor. There is a miraculous opening to an always richer and wider expression, there is a new illuminating of the creation and a dynamic heightening of its significances. There is in this world we live in no equality of all on a flat level, but a hierarchy of ever-increasing precipitous superiorities pushing their mountain shoulders upwards towards the Supreme.
Because man is a mental being, he naturally imagines that mind is the one great leader and actor and creator or the indispensable agent in the universe. But this is an error; even for knowledge mind is not the only or the greatest possible instrument, the one aspirant and discoverer. Mind is a clumsy interlude between Nature’s vast and precise subconscient action and the vaster infallible superconscient action of the Godhead.
There is nothing mind can do that cannot be better done in the mind’s immobility and thought-free stillness. When mind is still, then Truth gets her chance to be heard in the purity of the silence.Truth cannot be attained by the Mind’s thought but only by identity and silent vision. Truth lives in the calm wordless Light of the eternal spaces; she does not intervene in the noise and cackle of logical debate.
Thought in the mind can at most be Truth’s brilliant and transparent garment; it is not even her body. Look through the robe, not at it and you may see some hint of her form. There can be a thought-body of Truth, but that is the spontaneous supramental Thought and Word that leap fully formed out of the Light, not any difficult mental counterfeit and patchwork.
The Supramental Thought is not a means of arriving at Truth, but a way of expressing her; for Truth in the Supermind is self-found or self-existent. It is an arrow from the Light, not a bridge to reach it.
Cease inwardly from thought and word, be motionless within you, look upward into the light and outward into the vast cosmic consciousness that is around you. Be more and more one with the brightness and the vastness. Then will Truth dawn on you from above and flow in you from all around you. But only if the mind is no less intense in its purity than its silence. For in an impure mind the silence will soon fill with misleading lights and false voices, the echo or sublimation of its own vain conceits and opinions or the response to its secret pride, vanity, ambition, lust, greed or desire. The Titans and the Demons will speak to it more readily than the divine Voices.
Silence is indispensable, but also there is needed wideness. If the mind is not silent, it cannot receive the lights and voices of the supernal Truth or receiving mixes with them its own flickering tongues and blind pretentious babble. Active, arrogant, noisy it distorts and disfigures what it receives.
If it is not wide, it cannot house the effective power and creative force of the Truth. Some light may play there but it becomes narrow, confined and sterile: the Force that is descending is cabined and thwarted and withdraws again to its vast heights from this rebellious foreign plane.
Or even if something comes down and remains it is a pearl in the mire; for no change takes place in the nature or else there is formed only a thin intensity that points narrowly upward to the summits, but can hold little and diffuse less upon the world around it.
From ‘The Hour of God and Other Writings’ Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library,
Volume 17, 1972
‘The more we concentrate on the goal,
the more it blossoms forth and becomes precise’
The flower named by The Mother ‘The Beauty of Tomorrow Manifesting the Divine’