Loretta reads Savitri:Two.XI "The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Mind" part 1
|Loretta reads Savitri
Book Two: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds
Canto XI: The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Mind
Part 1 of 3, pages 260-264
The great yogi is entering into the worlds of the higher mind. And as we travel with him on this most amazing adventure, we enter into a place of different levels of consciousness that are completely different from the lower mind. Most people have or use only this lower mind; they don't receive much from the higher mind (or they don't know they receive).
The lower mind we now know very well. We know it receives all its information from the senses. And therefore it is limited to only the external world. And it is further limited to the way each particular person's senses function. We also know that the different kinds of thinking in the lower mind have to cut the information it receives into small pieces – small things that it can manage. And that it always takes for the complete totality of things whatever it happens to be working on at the time. And then it does it again the next time...
As it is made by Nature and the Divine, our lower mind will never see the true complete whole. Now that we have come this far, it's good to have a kind of overview as what the mind really is. Because we are moving into a place where some of the same things happen, but they are different. And Sri Aurobindo has for us a really great description of Mind – not 'lower mind' or 'higher mind', but Mind. And this is what he says:
- “Nature has created within her mental unity, formed in the universal Mind separate-seeming dynamos as it were of mentality, constant centres for the generation, distribution and reabsorption of mental force and mental activities, stations as it were in a system of mental telegraphy where messages are conceived, written, sent, received, deciphered, and these messages and these activities are of many kinds, sensational, emotional, perceptual, conceptual, intuitional”
So this is what is going on within us. And then he says:
- “[T]he Soul manifested in mental Nature accepts, uses for its outlook on the world and seems to itself to project and to receive their shocks, to suffer or to master their consequences. Nature instals the base of these dynamos in the material bodies she has formed [– our bodies –], makes these bodies the ground for her stations and connects the mental with the material by a nerve-system full of the movement of vital currents through which the mind becomes conscious of the material world and, so far as it chooses, of the vital world of Nature. Otherwise the mind would be conscious of the mental world first and chiefly and would only indirectly glimpse the material. As it is, its attention is fixed on the body and the material world in which it has been installed and it is aware of the rest of existence only dimly, indirectly or subconsciously...”
And this is us. We're really mainly focused on ourselves. And then Sri Aurobindo goes on to say:
- “...aware of the rest of existence only dimly, indirectly or subconsciously in that vast remainder of itself with regard to which superficially it has become irresponsive and oblivious.”
So, here is our mind! It's almost a scientific description, of a receiving and sending dynamo which is put in our body. And also an explanation that it is our vital – our emotions, our sensations, our energies – that connects it with material nature.
Now, in the greater mind, Sri Aurobindo is going to take us into thoughts that do not come in through our senses. And the first thing he does in this canto is to generally describe the splendors of the ideal mind, where these great thoughts live. He tells us that these are the spirit's truths – truths which can come to us from this greater mind. The first part of the canto today is a kind of introduction: he describes them. Next time, he'll describe in more detail what kinds of thoughts there are. And what's the result of receiving these kinds of thoughts and having them work in us.
But again we're going to find even through the higher mind that the mind is not enough for full consciousness. As we just saw in Sri Aurobindo's brief descriptive summary of what we think are our thoughts, we find that what we think are our thoughts are not our thoughts at all. It all comes in from universal nature – lower or higher. Certainly we didn't really know this before; it's very strange to the usual ways we've been educated.
Here we have something from Mother telling us how our more universal thought, coming from the higher mind, remains universal (in our thoughts) even though it's in our thoughts. Someone had asked Mother how thought is formed in the universal Mind. And Mother said:
- “There is a region of the mind, higher than the ordinary mind, in which there are ideas, typal ideas, really prototypes; and these ideas descend and are clothed in mental substance. So, in accordance with — how to put it? — the quality of the receiver, they either keep all their own qualities and original nature or become distorted, coloured, transformed in the individual consciousness. But the idea goes far beyond the mind; the idea has an origin much higher than the mind. So, the functioning is the same from both the universal and the individual point of view; the individual movement is only representative of the universal one. The scale is different, but the phenomenon is the same. Of course, these are no longer “thoughts” as we conceive thoughts; they are universal principles — but it’s the same thing — universal principles on which the universes are built.
- The universe, after all, is only one person, only one individuality in the midst of the eternal Creation. Each universe is a person who takes form, lives, dissolves, and another takes shape — it is the same thing. For us, the person is the human individual; and from the universal point of view the person is the universal individual; it is one universe in the midst of all the universes.”
So here we get a sense of the higher thoughts of different levels of higher universal Mind, in our human mind.
And we have something else from Mother. It shows us the real truth of a so-called 'original thought'. It shows how we get them; and this is the only kind of thought that we can truly say is 'our thought'. She says:
- “But our thought is something which hardly exists. It can be “our” thought only if, instead of being like a public place as we generally are in our normal state — we are like a public place and all the forces pass there, come and go, enter, depart, jostle each other and even quarrel — if instead of being like that, we are a concentrated consciousness, turned upwards in an aspiration, and open beyond the limits of the human mind to something higher; then, being open like this brings down that higher something across all the layers of reality, and this something may enter into contact with our conscious brain and take a form there which is no longer the creation of a universal force or a personal mind stronger than ours, but the direct expression and creation of a light which is above us, and which may be a light of the highest kind if our aspiration and opening allow it. That is the only case in which one can say that the thought is our own. Otherwise, all the rest is simply a passing notation: we note down, we invest a force with words, a force that’s altogether universal and collective, which enters, goes out, moves and passes freely from one person to another.”
For quite some time we've lost sight of our great King. He's not mentioned much in the lower mind. But as we go into higher mind, Sri Aurobindo speaks about King Aswapati once more. He tells us that “His being stretched beyond the sight of Thought” (p.260). And “a wonder space // Of great and marvellous meetings called his steps” (p.260). Later on he tells us:
- The Thinker entered the immortals’ air
- And drank again his pure and mighty source. (p.263)
And this reminds us that Aswapati is experiencing these things in his own thoughts, as he goes on doing his yoga in his own mind. And we know that Sri Aurobindo is giving us his own personal experiences as the King in Savitri.
So first he tells us what ideal mind does, and how, in the regions of higher mind, “The Spirit’s truths take form as living Gods” (p.261). And he says that some of this divinity, which we have lost by taking birth into material bodies, can come to us. We live self-exiled from our heavenly home when we are in a material body, which is “Hampered by obscure cell and treacherous nerve” (p.262). Our future strives towards these things that we now call 'miracles' – things of which we have tiny experiences from time to time. And Sri Aurobindo ends this part of the canto with a brief description of “The unfallen planes, the thought-created worlds” (p.263) of a perfection that we can only dream of, and from which we receive our higher dreams.
So we began and will end this broadcast with a Sanskrit mantra from the Mundaka Upanishad. It's been translated into English by Sri Aurobindo. It's very interesting, because it tells us – just as Mother and Sri Aurobindo always tell us – how purification of our inner being allows the higher mind to have power in us for our use. It describes the vital forces pervading the conscious heart – just as Sri Aurobindo has been saying that it's the vital that connects us through the mind; and the ancient way of thinking that science is coming back to is that in some sense our mind really comes from the heart.
And it also speaks of the five-fold entry, which means the entry through our five senses – just as Sri Aurobindo wrote about it just now.
So here's the English translation that Sri Aurobindo gave us:
Eye cannot seize, speech cannot grasp Him, nor these other godheads; not by austerity can he be held nor by works: only when the inner being is purified by a glad serenity of knowledge, then indeed, meditating, one beholds the Spirit indivisible.
This Self is subtle and has to be known by a thought-mind into which the life-force has made its five-fold entry: all the conscious heart of creatures is shot through and inwoven with the currents of the life-force and only when it is purified can this Self manifest its power”
“Whatever world the man whose inner being is purified sheds the light of his mind upon, and whatsoever desires he cherishes, that world he takes by conquest, and those desires. Then, let whosoever seeks for success and well-being approach with homage a self-knower.”
So, Book Two, Canto XI: we start to enter “The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Mind”.
Canto Eleven The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Mind There ceased the limits of the labouring Power. But being and creation cease not there. For Thought transcends the circles of mortal mind, It is greater than its earthly instrument: The godhead crammed into mind’s narrow space Escapes on every side into some vast That is a passage to infinity. It moves eternal in the spirit’s field, A runner towards the far spiritual light, A child and servant of the spirit’s force. But mind too falls back from a nameless peak. His being stretched beyond the sight of Thought. For the spirit is eternal and unmade And not by thinking was its greatness born, And not by thinking can its knowledge come. It knows itself and in itself it lives, It moves where no thought is nor any form. Its feet are steadied upon finite things, Its wings can dare to cross the Infinite. Arriving into his ken a wonder space Of great and marvellous meetings called his steps, Where Thought leaned on a Vision beyond thought And shaped a world from the Unthinkable. On peaks imagination cannot tread, In the horizons of a tireless sight, Under a blue veil of eternity The splendours of ideal Mind were seen Outstretched across the boundaries of things known. Origin of the little that we are, Instinct with the endless more that we must be, A prop of all that human strength enacts, Creator of hopes by earth unrealised, p.261 It spreads beyond the expanding universe; It wings beyond the boundaries of Dream, It overtops the ceiling of life’s soar. Awake in a luminous sphere unbound by Thought, Exposed to omniscient immensities, It casts on our world its great crowned influences, Its speed that outstrips the ambling of the hours, Its force that strides invincibly through Time, Its mights that bridge the gulf twixt man and God, Its lights that combat Ignorance and Death. In its vast ambit of ideal Space Where beauty and mightiness walk hand in hand, The Spirit’s truths take form as living Gods And each can build a world in its own right. In an air which doubt and error cannot mark With the stigmata of their deformity, In communion with the musing privacy Of a truth that sees in an unerring light Where the sight falters not nor wanders thought, Exempt from our world’s exorbitant tax of tears, Dreaming its luminous creations gaze On the Ideas that people eternity. In a sun-blaze of joy and absolute power Above the Masters of the Ideal throne In sessions of secure felicity, In regions of illumined certitude. Far are those realms from our labour and yearning and call, Perfection’s reign and hallowed sanctuary Closed to the uncertain thoughts of human mind, Remote from the turbid tread of mortal life. But since our secret selves are next of kin, A breath of unattained divinity Visits the imperfect earth on which we toil; Across a gleaming ether’s golden laugh A light falls on our vexed unsatisfied lives, A thought comes down from the ideal worlds p.262 And moves us to new-model even here Some image of their greatness and appeal And wonder beyond the ken of mortal hope. Amid the heavy sameness of the days And contradicted by the human law, A faith in things that are not and must be Lives comrade of this world’s delight and pain, The child of the secret soul’s forbidden desire Born of its amour with eternity. Our spirits break free from their environment; The future brings its face of miracle near, Its godhead looks at us with present eyes; Acts deemed impossible grow natural; We feel the hero’s immortality; The courage and the strength death cannot touch Awake in limbs that are mortal, hearts that fail; We move by the rapid impulse of a will That scorns the tardy trudge of mortal time. These promptings come not from an alien sphere: Ourselves are citizens of that mother State, Adventurers, we have colonised Matter’s night. But now our rights are barred, our passports void; We live self-exiled from our heavenlier home. An errant ray from the immortal Mind Accepted the earth’s blindness and became Our human thought, servant of Ignorance. An exile, labourer on this unsure globe Captured and driven in Life’s nescient grasp, Hampered by obscure cell and treacherous nerve, It dreams of happier states and nobler powers, The natural privilege of unfallen gods, Recalling still its old lost sovereignty. Amidst earth’s mist and fog and mud and stone It still remembers its exalted sphere And the high city of its splendid birth. A memory steals in from lost heavens of Truth, p.263 A wide release comes near, a Glory calls, A might looks out, an estranged felicity. In glamorous passages of half-veiled light Wandering, a brilliant shadow of itself, This quick uncertain leader of blind gods, This tender of small lamps, this minister serf Hired by a mind and body for earth-use Forgets its work mid crude realities; It recovers its renounced imperial right, It wears once more a purple robe of thought And knows itself the Ideal’s seer and king, Communicant and prophet of the Unborn, Heir to delight and immortality. All things are real that here are only dreams, In our unknown depths sleeps their reserve of truth, On our unreached heights they reign and come to us In thought and muse trailing their robes of light. But our dwarf will and cold pragmatic sense Admit not the celestial visitants: Awaiting us on the Ideal’s peaks Or guarded in our secret self unseen Yet flashed sometimes across the awakened soul, Hide from our lives their greatness, beauty, power. Our present feels sometimes their regal touch, Our future strives towards their luminous thrones: Out of spiritual secrecy they gaze, Immortal footfalls in mind’s corridors sound: Our souls can climb into the shining planes, The breadths from which they came can be our home. His privilege regained of shadowless sight The Thinker entered the immortals’ air And drank again his pure and mighty source. Immutable in rhythmic calm and joy He saw, sovereignly free in limitless light, The unfallen planes, the thought-created worlds Where Knowledge is the leader of the act p.264 And Matter is of thinking substance made, Feeling, a heaven-bird poised on dreaming wings, Answers Truth’s call as to a parent’s voice, Form luminous leaps from the all-shaping beam And Will is a conscious chariot of the Gods, And Life, a splendour stream of musing Force, Carries the voices of the mystic Suns. A happiness it brings of whispered truth; There runs in its flow honeying the bosom of Space A laughter from the immortal heart of Bliss, And the unfathomed Joy of timelessness, The sound of Wisdom’s murmur in the Unknown And the breath of an unseen Infinity. In gleaming clarities of amethyst air The chainless and omnipotent Spirit of Mind Brooded on the blue lotus of the Idea. A gold supernal sun of timeless Truth Poured down the mystery of the eternal Ray Through a silence quivering with the word of Light On an endless ocean of discovery. Far-off he saw the joining hemispheres. On meditation’s mounting edge of trance Great stairs of thought climbed up to unborn heights Where Time’s last ridges touch eternity’s skies And Nature speaks to the spirit’s absolute. ...