Loretta reads Savitri:Two.XI "The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Mind" part 3
|Loretta reads Savitri
Book Two: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds
Canto XI: The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Mind
Part 3 of 3, pages 271-276
The traveller is now in his last climb to the top of the triple stairs. This is the “triple realm of ordered thought” (p.264), which makes up the kingdoms of the greater mind. And here, along the way, he meets the godheads which all dwell at this level of the higher mental planes. Sri Aurobindo does not tell us anything more about the traveller yogi king at this point; and we actually only saw him at the very beginning. He entered at the lowest part of the triple stairs, and Sri Aurobindo told us:
- His privilege regained of shadowless sight
- The Thinker entered the immortals’ air
- And drank again his pure and mighty source. (p.263)
And he saw “The unfallen planes, the thought-created worlds” (p.263). And then after that, we start to hear about the triple stairs.
So now, getting to the top, we hear about “the sovereign Kings of Thought” (p.271). They are 'few', and they are 'august'. 'August' means 'marked by majestic dignity and grandeur. Their thoughts are partners in the vast control of the commanding thoughts of the Creator.
Sri Aurobindo speaks of them at the very beginning of this part; and then he changes to a description of the touch from the Supreme. So when he comes back to speak of them again, it's not so easy to recognize it. Because he's been speaking of thoughts, and then he says the word 'These'. And so automatically you think he's still talking about thoughts. But when he says, “These dared to grasp with their thought Truth’s absolute” (p.272), then again he starts to speak of the Kings of Thought and what they do.
So here we are; there is “A great all-ruling Consciousness” (p.271). And without knowing it, Mind “serves a higher Power” (p.271). And Sri Aurobindo tells us, it is still a channel. It is not the source of all. But we are very, very far from our own little mind which gets its information only from our own individual five senses. We've left behind the mind that is bound to the material world, and limited in its function [to] using only small amounts of information that it can manage to work with. Now we are in the high, pure, absolute thoughts. And these can come into us, when we can attain to higher mental planes.
These Kings of Thought grasp Truth's absolute with their thought. With their “abstract purity of godless sight” (p.273), they bring to Mind what Mind could never reach. And with this kind of thought, the Kings of Thought hoped to conquer Truth's high, high base – something so far above. But we notice that Sri Aurobindo has said that their thought is 'godless' in its abstract purity. So this level of mind is still far from the all-containing wholeness of the supramental consciousness.
And finally, when they've abstracted everything, and completely understood it according to their abstraction, he says it sits throned “In a spiritual zero” (p.273). With all its abstractions of the living divinity of the spirit.
And then he goes on to show us that this is the play of these bright gods of Thought. They call the timeless Light into time. So they are a necessary part of things; their plan is to capture Truth. And Sri Aurobindo spells 'Truth' with a capital 'T'. So it is an entity; it is a being in its own right. And he keeps referring to this as 'her'. He says, “[to] keep her captive for the thinker’s joy” (p.274). And finally, we see that it is the Divine Mother, who embodies the supreme Truth – the supreme Truth that this still-limited way of thinking, at the top of the triple realm, is trying to get all of.
Sri Aurobindo takes us through at least three different scenarios; and he analogizes to ways of thinking which we always have, showing us that this is how people actually think about truth. They think it's 'our truth'. We think personally, 'the Truth, we have it'. And he shows us how we're totally in love with this truth that we are so sure is the one Truth, 'the Truth' that we know.
He shows us how we use it for our small purposes. We imprison the truth as our personal, private property. Or we make our special view of the truth the reason and the justification for everything that we are and do. We're so totally enamored with anything that we can get from the truth, that even a little touch of the true – really the true – sends us into raptures.
And Truth graciously responds to us – each one of us. Sri Aurobindo says:
- She made earth her home, for whom heaven was too small. (p.275)
Then he says that:
- She has lowered her heights to the stature of our souls (p.275)
And each one of us thinks he is a king of truth, upon his own separate throne. But we're only tying ourselves down when we try to bind truth to our level. He tells us we have to leap out of our thoughts into sight, and we have to dare to surrender to Truth's absolute. Then, in the still mind, the Unmanifest can reflect his form. And the timeless Ray – the ray of Truth, the ray of the full truth, the Supermind – can come down into our hearts.
In the Record of Yoga, we have some things that Sri Aurobindo has written about attaining these levels of greater mind. On March the 3rd, 1918, he speaks of the supra-intellectual faculty of the all-containing Truth Consciousness. He says this faculty has been in the thought, in the bed of the intuitive mentality (and he's really speaking about himself here, but he's being a little impersonal). Now, in his thought – in this bed of intuitive mentality – it is seeking to get rid of even the intuitive response in him, and to become pure, revelatory, inspirational, perceptive thought.
- [:“After two days of oppression by the environing Intelligence, the ideality is again busy defining its form in the lipi, ideative thought and vangmaya. First, there has been in the thought, including telepathic thought of trikaldrishti, the entire revelatory intuitional ideality in the bed of the intuitive mentality. It is now seeking to get rid of the intuitive mental response and become pure revelatory inspirational ideation, the highest point reached on Feb. 28 in type. The surrounding Intelligence tries still to preserve its habit of response; this is still the chief stumbling-block.”]
If we look at the many things that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have said about how important intuition is, we get the idea of how high he is going – if he's getting beyond intuition. On May 10th, two months after that, he says:
- “Revelation with a stronger discriminatory power is now entering into the pure trikaldrishti.”
And 'trikaldrishti' literally means 'three-sight'. And it is the ability to have in our consciousness the past, present and future, all at the same time. It's beginning to sound like all-omniscience – like knowing everything. But he's still working on it here. He's conscious of its action in himself; and he says that by the date that we're at, it “acts oftenest by a descent into the intuitive mind”. And we've just read that back in March, he said this all-Truth containing faculty is trying to get rid of the intuitive response. So here in May, he says:
- “Time, place, circumstance, though now often correct, are still pursued by intellectual error and uncertainty.”
In Mother's Questions and Answers broadcast – which, quite coincidentally, was broadcast earlier this week – we have something that Mother says about what the descent of the Supermind made available when it first came. (Which means that of course now, it is here for us.) She's not speaking of anything yogically developed in the way that Sri Aurobindo is speaking; but still, it's worth noting, and it's good to know, because it does have something to do with being 'correct' – with really knowing what to do. Instead of floundering around. And this class is on June 20th of 1956. It's four months after the descent of the new all-containing Truth Consciousness – the one that Sri Aurobindo calls the Supermind.
People are complaining that they expected things to become easier after that – but it has not happened for them. And Mother says that she knows a few people who really worked hard to prepare to receive the new consciousness, and things became very easy for them. And then she says:
- “However, there is a very great difference, always, between a kind of mental curiosity which plays with words and ideas, and a true aspiration of the being which means that truly, really, it is that which counts, essentially, and nothing else — that aspiration, that inner will because of which nothing has any value except that, that realisation; nothing counts except that; there is no other reason for existence, for living, than that.
- And yet it is this that’s needed if one wants the Supramental to become visible to the naked eye.
- And mark that I am not speaking of a physical transformation, for this everyone knows: you don’t expect to become luminous and plastic overnight, to lose your weight, be able to displace yourself freely, appear in a dozen places at the same time and what not.... No, I believe you are reasonable enough not to expect this to happen right away. It will take some time.
- But still, simply, the working of the consciousness, simply a certain self-mastery, a control over one’s body, a direct knowledge of things, a capacity of identification and a clear vision — instead of that hazy and vague sight which sees only the mere appearances that are so deceptive, so unreal, so fossilised — a more direct perception, an inner perception, this ought to be able to come and come quickly if one has prepared oneself.
- Simply to have that feeling that the air one breathes is more living, the strength one has more lasting. And instead of always groping like a blind man to know what should be done, to have a clear, precise, inner intimation: it is this — not that: this.
- These are things one can acquire immediately if one is ready.”
Well, it's not the all-containing Truth Consciousness which can see past, present and future, and everything else at once – but if you're trying to become conscious of knowing really, truly, what you should be doing all the time, you start to see how many mistakes and how many stupid things you do! And you see how you're always misleading yourself; and therefore, basically misleading everything else around you. And you start to long for a clear, precise, inner intimation to do – as Mother has just said – to know, that 'it is this'. Not that, but this. This, that one should be doing – all the time.
Going on in the Record of Yoga, we see Sri Aurobindo developing this all-containing consciousness in himself, more and more – this truth-sight. He's been speaking of three levels more and more. And the traveller of the worlds moved up three levels in the lower mind, and now in the greater mind; and it seems that this part of Savitri is the part which people understand the least. There are lots of new names for things, that he puts in here. And things that we never knew about before.
If someone wants to really learn more about these planes of consciousness, and how they function, there is someone who did research on it. Richard Hartz in the Ashram Archives wrote a book called The Composition of Savitri. And it's not a published book; but it is available in the Ashram Archives. If you go there, they will copy it for you.
It shows how Sri Aurobindo started to write Savitri, and how he changed it as he went along – showing how his own yoga was bringing results, that he was now putting in Savitri. So after Sri Aurobindo stopped writing his diary, the Record of Yoga, in October of 1927, he went on giving us his experiences as he went on writing Savitri. So what he began to have, to describe and to name – and what he worked on up to October 1927, when he stopped doing his diary – he went on perfecting, and he went on telling us about it in Savitri (until 1950, when he left).
So now we're going to join Sri Aurobindo and King Aswapati – one and the same person – as they ascend the stairs to the top regions of the higher mind.
… In a sublimer and more daring soar To the wide summit of the triple stairs Bare steps climbed up like flaming rocks of gold Burning their way to a pure absolute sky. August and few the sovereign Kings of Thought Have made of Space their wide all-seeing gaze Surveying the enormous work of Time: A breadth of all-containing Consciousness Supported Being in a still embrace. Intercessors with a luminous Unseen, They capt in the long passage to the world The imperatives of the creator Self Obeyed by unknowing earth, by conscious heaven; Their thoughts are partners in its vast control. A great all-ruling Consciousness is there And Mind unwitting serves a higher Power; It is a channel, not the source of all. The cosmos is no accident in Time; There is a meaning in each play of Chance, There is a freedom in each face of Fate. A Wisdom knows and guides the mysteried world; A Truth-gaze shapes its beings and events; A Word self-born upon creation’s heights, Voice of the Eternal in the temporal spheres, Prophet of the seeings of the Absolute, Sows the Idea’s significance in Form And from that seed the growths of Time arise. On peaks beyond our ken the All-Wisdom sits: A single and infallible look comes down, p.272 A silent touch from the supernal’s air Awakes to ignorant knowledge in its acts The secret power in the inconscient depths, Compelling the blinded Godhead to emerge, Determining Necessity’s nude dance As she passes through the circuit of the hours And vanishes from the chase of finite eyes Down circling vistas of aeonic Time. The unseizable forces of the cosmic whirl Bear in their bacchant limbs the fixity Of an original foresight that is Fate. Even Nature’s ignorance is Truth’s instrument; Our struggling ego cannot change her course: Yet is it a conscious power that moves in us, A seed-idea is parent of our acts And destiny the unrecognised child of Will. Infallibly by Truth’s directing gaze All creatures here their secret self disclose, Forced to become what in themselves they hide. For He who Is grows manifest in the years And the slow Godhead shut within the cell Climbs from the plasm to immortality. But hidden, but denied to mortal grasp, Mystic, ineffable is the spirit’s truth, Unspoken, caught only by the spirit’s eye. When naked of ego and mind it hears the Voice; It looks through light to ever greater light And sees Eternity ensphering Life. This greater Truth is foreign to our thoughts; Where a free Wisdom works, they seek for a rule; Or we only see a tripping game of Chance Or a labour in chains forced by bound Nature’s law, An absolutism of dumb unthinking Power. Audacious in their sense of God-born strength These dared to grasp with their thought Truth’s absolute; By an abstract purity of godless sight, p.273 By a percept nude, intolerant of forms, They brought to Mind what Mind could never reach And hoped to conquer Truth’s supernal base. A stripped imperative of conceptual phrase Architectonic and inevitable Translated the unthinkable into thought: A silver-winged fire of naked subtle sense, An ear of mind withdrawn from the outward’s rhymes Discovered the seed-sounds of the eternal Word, The rhythm and music heard that built the worlds, And seized in things the bodiless Will to be. The Illimitable they measured with number’s rods And traced the last formula of limited things, In transparent systems bodied termless truths, The Timeless made accountable to Time And valued the incommensurable Supreme. To park and hedge the ungrasped infinitudes They erected absolute walls of thought and speech And made a vacuum to hold the One. In their sight they drove towards an empty peak, A mighty space of cold and sunlit air. To unify their task, excluding life Which cannot bear the nakedness of the Vast, They made a cipher of a multitude, In negation found the meaning of the All And in nothingness the absolute positive. A single law simplessed the cosmic theme, Compressing Nature into a formula; Their titan labour made all knowledge one, A mental algebra of the Spirit’s ways, An abstract of the living Divinity. Here the mind’s wisdom stopped; it felt complete; For nothing more was left to think or know: In a spiritual zero it sat throned And took its vast silence for the Ineffable. This was the play of the bright gods of Thought. p.274 Attracting into time the timeless Light, Imprisoning eternity in the hours, This they have planned, to snare the feet of Truth In an aureate net of concept and of phrase And keep her captive for the thinker’s joy In his little world built of immortal dreams: There must she dwell mured in the human mind, An empress prisoner in her subject’s house, Adored and pure and still on his heart’s throne, His splendid property cherished and apart In the wall of silence of his secret muse, Immaculate in white virginity, The same for ever and for ever one, His worshipped changeless Goddess through all time. Or else, a faithful consort of his mind Assenting to his nature and his will, She sanctions and inspires his words and acts Prolonging their resonance through the listening years, Companion and recorder of his march Crossing a brilliant tract of thought and life Carved out of the eternity of Time. A witness to his high triumphant star, Her godhead servitor to a crowned Idea, He shall dominate by her a prostrate world; A warrant for his deeds and his beliefs, She attests his right divine to lead and rule. Or as a lover clasps his one beloved, Godhead of his life’s worship and desire, Icon of his heart’s sole idolatry, She now is his and must live for him alone: She has invaded him with her sudden bliss, An exhaustless marvel in his happy grasp, An allurement, a caught ravishing miracle. Her now he claims after long rapt pursuit, The one joy of his body and his soul: Inescapable is her divine appeal, p.275 Her immense possession an undying thrill, An intoxication and an ecstasy: The passion of her self-revealing moods, A heavenly glory and variety, Makes ever new her body to his eyes, Or else repeats the first enchantment’s touch, The luminous rapture of her mystic breasts And beautiful vibrant limbs a living field Of throbbing new discovery without end. A new beginning flowers in word and laugh, A new charm brings back the old extreme delight: He is lost in her, she is his heaven here. Truth smiled upon the gracious golden game. Out of her hushed eternal spaces leaned The great and boundless Goddess feigned to yield The sunlit sweetness of her secrecies. Incarnating her beauty in his clasp She gave for a brief kiss her immortal lips And drew to her bosom one glorified mortal head: She made earth her home, for whom heaven was too small. In a human breast her occult presence lived; He carved from his own self his figure of her: She shaped her body to a mind’s embrace. Into thought’s narrow limits she has come; Her greatness she has suffered to be pressed Into the little cabin of the Idea, The closed room of a lonely thinker’s grasp: She has lowered her heights to the stature of our souls And dazzled our lids with her celestial gaze. Thus each is satisfied with his high gain And thinks himself beyond mortality blest, A king of truth upon his separate throne. To her possessor in the field of Time A single splendour caught from her glory seems The one true light, her beauty’s glowing whole. But thought nor word can seize eternal Truth: p.276 The whole world lives in a lonely ray of her sun. In our thinking’s close and narrow lamp-lit house The vanity of our shut mortal mind Dreams that the chains of thought have made her ours; But only we play with our own brilliant bonds; Tying her down, it is ourselves we tie. In our hypnosis by one luminous point We see not what small figure of her we hold; We feel not her inspiring boundlessness, We share not her immortal liberty. Thus is it even with the seer and sage; For still the human limits the divine: Out of our thoughts we must leap up to sight, Breathe her divine illimitable air, Her simple vast supremacy confess, Dare to surrender to her absolute. Then the Unmanifest reflects his form In the still mind as in a living glass; The timeless Ray descends into our hearts And we are rapt into eternity. For Truth is wider, greater than her forms. A thousand icons they have made of her And find her in the idols they adore; But she remains herself and infinite. END OF CANTO ELEVEN