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Collected Poems
“A God's Labour”

Collected Poems - A Gods Labour.jpg
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(Mother:) “It’s quite obvious that the Inconscient, the Subconscient and the semi-conscient are accidental; they are not a permanent part of the creation, so are bound to disappear, to be transformed.”[1]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “Men have not learnt yet to recognise the Inconscient on which the whole material world they see is built, or the Ignorance of which their whole nature including their knowledge is built; they think that these words are only abstract metaphysical jargon flung about by the philosophers in their clouds or laboured out in long and wearisome books like The Life Divine. But it is not so with me and I take my stand on my own feeling and experience about them ... My readers will have to do the same if they want to appreciate my poetry, which, of course, they are not bound to do.”[2]

(Mother:) “We know by experience that if we go down into the subconscient, lower than the physical consciousness, into the subconscient and even lower still into the inconscient, we can find in ourselves the origin of atavism, of what comes from our early education and the environment in which we lived. And this gives a kind of special characteristic to the individual, to his outer nature, and it is generally believed that we are born like that and we will stay like that. But by going down into the subconscient, into the inconscient, one can trace the origin of this formation and undo what has been done, change the movements and reactions of the ordinary nature by a conscious and deliberate action and thus really transform one’s character. This is not a common achievement, but it has been done. So one may assert not only that it can be done, but that it has been done. It is the first step towards the integral transformation, but after that, there remains the transformation of the cells which I mentioned earlier.
         There is an article by Sri Aurobindo in one of the Bulletins which describes the various stages through which the entire physical being can be changed. And this is what so far has never been done.”[3]

“Perfection of the Body”
Bulletin, April 1949

Essays in Philosophy and Yoga - Perfection of the Body.jpg
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“Does the inconscient in oneself belong to the individual being or to the earth?

(Mother:) The inconscient is not individualised and when you go down into the inconscient in yourself, it is the inconscient of matter. One can’t say that each individual has his own inconscient, for that would already be a beginning of individualisation, and when you go down into the inconscient, it is perhaps not the universal but at least the terrestrial inconscient.
         The light, the consciousness that comes down into this inconscient in order to transform it must necessarily be a consciousness that is close enough to be able to touch it. It is not possible to conceive of a light — the supramental light, for example — that would have the power to individualise the inconscient. But, through a conscious, individualised being, this light can be brought down into the inconscient and gradually make it conscious.
         First of all, it is the subconscient that has to become conscious, and indeed the main difficulty of the integral transformation is that things are constantly rising up from the subconscient. You think you have got a certain movement under control — anger, for example. You try very hard to control your anger and succeed to some extent, then suddenly it rises up again for some reason unknown to you, as if you hadn’t done anything at all, and you have to start all over again. If it were the transformed part of the being going back to its old ways, it would be most depressing, but it is not like that. It is the material part, the material life which is sustained, supported, so to say, by a subconscient life. And this subconscient is beginning to get individualised around some people; it has certain affinities with a kind of subconscient somewhat like our own, and that is where the things you have repressed or thrown out of your nature go to — and one fine day they rise up again. But if you are able to bring the light into the subconscient and make it conscious, this will no longer happen.

One often has the experience of struggling more or less successfully with a defect or a wrong movement, but just when one gives up expecting a total victory, the thing is removed as if from outside. Why is that?

There are two main reasons for this. In such a case, you may suddenly become receptive, and in this state of receptivity you receive the help that is needed to remove the defect and the help becomes effective. The other reason is that, while trying with patience and perseverance, you have — perhaps unknowingly — hit upon the origin of the difficulty in the subconscient. And once that is done, it is easy to transform whatever you wanted to transform in yourself. But this transformation may seem to you to come ‘from outside’, because you were not aware of what was going on. It does not come from outside, it is outside your active consciousness, and you are aware only of the ‘result’ of your action. It may be one of these two things or both together.”[4]

“Escape, however high, redeems not life,
Life that is left behind on a fallen earth.
Escape cannot uplift the abandoned race
Or bring to it victory and the reign of God.
A greater power must come, a larger light.
Although Light grows on earth and Night recedes,
Yet till the evil is slain in its own home
And Light invades the world’s inconscient base
And perished has the adversary Force,
He still must labour on, his work half done.
One yet may come armoured, invincible;
His will immobile meets the mobile hour;
The world’s blows cannot bend that victor head;
Calm and sure are his steps in the growing Night;
The goal recedes, he hurries not his pace,
He turns not to high voices in the night;
He asks no aid from the inferior gods;
His eyes are fixed on his immutable aim.
Man turns aside or chooses easier paths;
He keeps to the one high and difficult road
That sole can climb to the Eternal’s peaks;
The ineffable planes already have felt his tread;
He has made heaven and earth his instruments,
But the limits fall from him of earth and heaven;
Their law he transcends but uses as his means.
He has seized life’s hands, he has mastered his own heart.
The feints of Nature mislead not his sight,
Inflexible his look towards Truth’s far end;
Fate’s deaf resistance cannot break his will.
In the dreadful passages, the fatal paths,
Invulnerable his soul, his heart unslain,
He lives through the opposition of earth’s Powers
And Nature’s ambushes and the world’s attacks.
His spirit’s stature transcending pain and bliss,
He fronts evil and good with calm and equal eyes.
He too must grapple with the riddling Sphinx
And plunge into her long obscurity.
He has broken into the Inconscient’s depths
That veil themselves even from their own regard:
He has seen God’s slumber shape these magic worlds.
He has watched the dumb God fashioning Matter’s frame,
Dreaming the dreams of its unknowing sleep,
And watched the unconscious Force that built the stars.
He has learned the Inconscient’s workings and its law,
Its incoherent thoughts and rigid acts,
Its hazard wastes of impulse and idea,
The chaos of its mechanic frequencies,
Its random calls, its whispers falsely true,
Misleaders of the hooded listening soul.
All things come to its ear but nothing abides;
All rose from the silence, all goes back to its hush.
Its somnolence founded the universe,
Its obscure waking makes the world seem vain.
Arisen from Nothingness and towards Nothingness turned,
Its dark and potent nescience was earth’s start;
It is the waste stuff from which all was made;
Into its deeps creation can collapse.
Its opposition clogs the march of the soul,
It is the mother of our ignorance.
He must call light into its dark abysms,
Else never can Truth conquer Matter’s sleep
And all earth look into the eyes of God.
All things obscure his knowledge must relume,
All things perverse his power must unknot:
He must pass to the other shore of falsehood’s sea,
He must enter the world’s dark to bring there light.
The heart of evil must be bared to his eyes,
He must learn its cosmic dark necessity,
Its right and its dire roots in Nature’s soil.
He must know the thought that moves the demon act
And justifies the Titan’s erring pride
And the falsehood lurking in earth’s crooked dreams:
He must enter the eternity of Night
And know God’s darkness as he knows his Sun.
For this he must go down into the pit,
For this he must invade the dolorous Vasts.
Imperishable and wise and infinite,
He still must travel Hell the world to save.
Into the eternal Light he shall emerge
On borders of the meeting of all worlds;
There on the verge of Nature’s summit steps
The secret Law of each thing is fulfilled,
All contraries heal their long dissidence.
There meet and clasp the eternal opposites,
There pain becomes a violent fiery joy;
Evil turns back to its original good,
And sorrow lies upon the breasts of Bliss:
She has learned to weep glad tears of happiness;
Her gaze is charged with a wistful ecstasy.
Then shall be ended here the Law of Pain.
Earth shall be made a home of Heaven’s light,
A seer heaven-born shall lodge in human breasts;
The superconscient beam shall touch men’s eyes
And the truth-conscious world come down to earth
Invading Matter with the Spirit’s ray,
Awaking its silence to immortal thoughts,
Awaking the dumb heart to the living Word.
This mortal life shall house Eternity’s bliss,
The body’s self taste immortality.
Then shall the world-redeemer’s task be done.”[5]

  1. Mother's Agenda 1961, 2 August 1961
  2. Letters on Poetry and Art, p.324
  3. Words of the Mother – III, p.294
  4. Ibid., p.295
  5. Savitri, p.448, “The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain”

See also