Matter

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“A Magician’s formulas have made Matter’s laws
And while they last, all things by them are bound;
But the spirit’s consent is needed for each act
And Freedom walks in the same pace with Law.
All here can change if the Magician choose.
If human will could be made one with God’s,
If human thought could echo the thoughts of God,
Man might be all-knowing and omnipotent;
But now he walks in Nature’s doubtful ray.
Yet can the mind of man receive God’s light,
The force of man can be driven by God’s force,
Then is he a miracle doing miracles.
For only so can he be Nature’s king.”[1]


(Sri Aurobindo:) “Matter itself is something (a formation of energy perhaps?) of which we know superficially the structure as it appears to our mind and senses and to certain examining instruments (about which it is now suspected that they largely determine their own results, Nature adapting its replies to the instrument used), but more than that no scientist knows or can know.”[2]


(Mother:) “At first this veil of inert Matter is so total that, to a superficial glance, it is something that has neither life nor consciousness. When you pick up a stone and look at it with your ordinary eyes and consciousness, you say, “It has no life, no consciousness.” For one who knows how to see behind appearances, there is, hidden at the centre of this Matter — at the centre of each atom of this Matter — there is, hidden, the Supreme Divine Reality working from within, gradually, through the millennia, to change this inert Matter into something that is expressive enough to be able to reveal the Spirit within. Then you have the progression of the history of Life: how, from the stone there suddenly appeared a rudimentary life and through successive species a sort of organisation, that is, an organic substance capable of revealing life. But between the mineral and vegetable kingdoms there are transitional elements; one doesn’t know whether they belong to the mineral or already to the vegetable kingdom — when one studies this in detail one sees some strange species which belong neither here nor there, which are not quite this and yet not quite that.”[3]


(Mother:) “I have already spoken to you of the different planes of consciousness. Well, on the material plane, purely material (when separated from the vital plane), it is an absolute mechanism where consequently all things are linked together; and as I was saying the other day, if you want to find the cause of one thing or what is the result of a thing, you will find another and yet another and you will make an entire tour round the universe. And it is like that, everything is absolutely mechanised. Only, in this purely material plane, there can intervene the vital plane, and it already does intervene in the vegetable kingdom. The vital plane has an altogether different determinism, its own particular determinism. But when you introduce the vital determinism into the determinism of the physical, that produces a kind of combination that changes everything. And above the vital plane there is the mental plane.”[4]


(Sri Aurobindo:) “We begin to perceive too the key to the enigma of Matter, follow the interplay of Mind and Life and Consciousness upon it, discover more and more its instrumental and resultant function and detect ultimately the last secret of Matter as a form not merely of Energy but of involved and arrested or unstably fixed and restricted consciousness and begin to see too the possibility of its liberation and plasticity of response to higher Powers, its possibilities for the conscious and no longer the more than half-inconscient incarnation and self-expression of the Spirit.”[5]


(Mother to Mona Sarkar:) “You know, wherever I have walked, wheresoever I have placed my feet, wherever on earth our feet have touched the ground, that place has become sanctified, pure and receptive to our touch, to the transforming Force that we have transmitted, that which has emanated from us, in order to act in the very depths of the inconscience. The light that has emanated from us has awakened these tiny particles from millions of years of torpor to a new consciousness, to the vibration of an unknown Ananda. They have retained this Consciousness and Ananda and have spread them all around to effectuate a change in their surrounding – as if to suffuse it through these molecules, by an influence impregnated with a divine sweetness.... I have touched the soul of the earth, of this matter which greets me with a gratitude that pours itself in an incomparable surrender and invites me further to liberate it from all bondage. I have kindled in the very depths a flame to burn all impurities and to make it pure. And what a work it is that is taking place!
         Wherever I look there is a spark of my light that beckons me. Wheresoever I have placed my feet, there is an activity of the force of transformation which makes the earth-consciousness vibrate. How in this obscure and solid inconscience – this mass of ignorance, of impenetrable tamas, where never a light was seen – now one sees at last a clearing, a ray of light brightening up this tiny mass. In the very depths of the nucleus of these atoms I have kindled a flame which awakens with a quiver like a palpitation, in this inert mass of inconscience imprisoned in an immobile spiral of forces, as in the obscure eternity of ignorance. It reveals a world where nothing was. In these blind realms of matter where it ly inert and mute, in a deep slumber without life, there comes a vibration emanating from the Supreme Will and matter trembles, shudders and awakens in an ecstasy.
         It is a mystic influence, a spiritual Will which has gone out from me and has penetrated even into the subconscient, into the inert inconscience, to act and to awaken the divinity which is hidden in this dark, obscure and black inconscience. It is because it was there, hidden, – this divine spark, – that the world was saved; without that it would be the end of everything, of this universe. Then with the liberation of this force and light, the atoms regained courage to face this obscurity of the ignorance, the falsehood of the world imprisoned in the darkest inconscience. And with this emergence, we see everywhere sparks of this light which wants to establish itself. There where I have placed my feet on the earth it has been blessed and has become receptive to my force. With gratitude, the earth retains the effect of the transmutation that took place by the fact that I walked on her, that is why she expresses herself in an inexpressible joy.
         And Nature gathers this energy which has emanated from me and sends it here and there to bring forth new plants and new flowers that have not been seen before, impregnated with the New Consciousness. It is astonishing – these flowers! They are distinctly different from what we find ordinarily, with characteristics and modes of another plane of consciousness. They are so beautiful and they symbolise an aspect of this New Creation.”[6]




  1. Savitri, p.457, “The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain”
  2. Letters on Yoga – I, p.233
  3. Questions and Answers 1957-1958, p.211
  4. Questions and Answers 1953, p.85
  5. The Synthesis of Yoga, p.183, “The Ascent of the Sacrifice – 2: The Works of Love – The Works of Life”
  6. The Supreme – Conversations with the Mother recollected by Mona Sarkar, p.62


See also