Letters From Skambha ‘The Infinite and the Detail’

In a letter dated 5.2.1989, a pupil wrote to Thea about his understanding of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga: ‘First there must be a call or a need, then a preparation or purification of the nature. Depending on the strong will of man to reject the vibration of the lower nature, his ability to open and to give himself to the Divine and the help of the Yoga Shakti and in  ‘God’s own time’, there will be progress. The preparation and purification consist of silencing the mind and making the vital calm. With this man can easily reject the wrong vibration and open himself to the psychic being and the Divine. The psychic leads more and more, first the inner being, then the outer. After this he can open upwards to the Self, the static and dynamic Brahman. Then he can open upwards to mental regions and the overmental, and so on.

            ‘This is the global line of development in the integral yoga. I am aware there are different lines possible according to the different natures and to a man’s ‘mission’. There are also side paths, etc. Now, the Gnostic Circle and The New Way are there. Is this cycle what Sri Aurobindo meant with ‘God’s own time’? The 4.5 Orbit is the point of undoing of the old consciousness and descent of the new power. After this there is the time of growth in the new cycle (consciousness?) and assimilation till the next 4.5. This growth or assimilation and widening of consciousness is the whole of the yoga, to prepare for the utmost benefit till the next 4.5 point?’


Thea replies: [Regarding] your presentation of the Yoga and your questions about the Gnostic Circle, I think things are becoming more and more clear with the exposition you have given. But I hope I can briefly summarise the situation, because the theme is a vast one and cannot really be dealt with in one letter. It is, after all, the entire scope of the work. At that same time, it draws the discussion to this question of the new element that I have brought to the Yoga. I have gone into this matter deeply in the 3rd Volume [of The New Way].

   When I read your description of the Yoga I have a strange feeling that it is something rather foreign to what I know. The words seem to be right, but there is something not right. Pondering over this I realise the problem lies in the DIRECTION you describe; and this confirms the impression I have formed of your yoga and one of the causes for the strain you feel. You see, reading your description the Yoga seems to take a very linear direction. And that is summed up as an ascent up and out and beyond. This impression comes across very clearly in what you write. The psychic realisation becomes then simply a basis for this action, a tool to be used for the transformation of the nature so that this upward and outward direction can be attained without the impurities of the being interfering in this other attainment in any way.

Now, I am fully aware that many people have this notion, and it is perhaps legitimate to believe this insofar as Sri Aurobindo himself may convey this impression in his writings. But the point is that Sri Aurobindo wrote from a transcendent poise. That is, the work he had to do resided in a transformation of THAT PLANE. What I mean to say is that if we are to bring down the light of those planes, it is necessary to prepare those dimensions for this descent as well as this material plane. Someone had to do that, just as someone had to prepare the Cosmic plane, and just as someone has to prepare this Individual Earth-plane. In dealing with the Transcendent, it is clear that Sri Aurobindo was poised THERE. This is what makes his writing so appealing and free from certain demands put upon the consciousness in, for example, my writings. But when we reach the Cosmic and Individual, these demands begin to increase and often they create unsurmountable obstacles for people who want to ‘lose themselves’ in that Peace, that Vastness, that uncluttered space beyond.

With the Mother’s work we come to that eternal Knot – Matter and Form. This introduces a series of difficulties Sri Aurobindo did not have to deal with, in that incarnation. Those difficulties increase as we move on down the line, especially when we come to the Individual, in close touch with the Earth-plane.

You know, I experienced this situation very vividly when I was approaching New York by plane last September. I don’t know if you have ever been to New York, but anyone who has is forced to admit that the city is not the prettiest in the world. There are slums, dirt, congestion; and for one who is used to country living, an unbearable lack of SKY and AIR.

But, as the plane descended and circled near and over the city, I noted how extraordinarily beautiful it was, constructed as it is by the Hudson River and with its amazing display of man-made wonders such as the famous skyline of Manhattan. The layout of the city was exquisite from that height. It was sunset when we approached, and the red-pink glow added to the beauty and charm of the vision. I could not fail to see a parallel with this work and the difficulties we face. All other yogas have dealt with the human condition from those heights, and the question has been to draw the seeker UP TO THOSE PLANES. Because, you see, when one sees New York from that height, one does not see its filth, its congestion, its squalor, its lack of sun and air, and all the rest. Nor does one see the misery of many of its residents, caught in a mire that is the outcome of just such a stressful and congested living. One sees only the city’s beauty and general outlines. One does not see THE DETAIL.


Now, it is this question of DETAIL that describes the main focus of my work, and to a certain extent the Mother’s. She began to look at details; she began to DESCEND into material creation with her yogic thrust; she began to deal with matter and with form, – which is where the question of detail begins to surface. Sri Aurobindo did not do this, by his own admission. Therefore ‘Savitri’, also by his own admission, is largely a creation of the Overmental plane. This is made evident by the fact that in Savitri that perfection of form and detail is not present, and by consequence that Order that the new creation demands, the creation of a cosmos out of the chaos, to put it succinctly. The prophetic aspect of ‘Savitri’ makes this clear: it is all rather helter-skelter, figures and events of the prophetic vision overlap or pop up here and there with no proper sequence, no clear time-frame for which that Order is indispensable. One is forced to leap around from page to page in order to form a clear vision with ‘each thing in its place’.

But in composing his epic, Sri Aurobindo was dealing with those planes, opening up the Overmind to the higher light and infusing it with this new and hitherto withheld element – in overt manifestation, that is, not hidden and working from behind the veils. In a sense we could say that with Sri Aurobindo’s work, in particular the creation of ‘Savitri’, the Overmind consented to this transformation and to cede the reigning position it has held for so long to the Supermind. Sri Aurobindo was clear about this. He stated quite emphatically that ‘Savitri’ was an overmental creation for the most part. But the reason for this is what I am here describing: ‘Savitri’ was Sri Aurobindo’s tool for the Descent.

The Mother’s tool was something quite different and far more material, we may say. It was the creation of the physical ashram but with the culminating experience of the Temple and the City. It is with her vision of the Temple, and above all with the detailed plan she gave, bearing precise measurements, that we observe this Light penetrating more and more deeply into matter and material creation. At the same time we see the murkiness which had not really surfaced in Sri Aurobindo’s time in this new creation. We see types like X coming to the fore, and all the rest. We see the mire of Auroville and all of that. But it is like the city of New York: when viewed from above the creation is magnificent. Descending into that magnificence, however, one begins to see details that from the heights were unperceived. This, in a nutshell, is the work of the second and third members of the Solar Line. And then there is the Fourth.

You see, the point of Sri Aurobindo’s incarnation is that vision from above, the transcendence, as well as that immanence. It is HIS IMMANENCE as the Fourth, as the Point, as the Seed, that puts the seal on the Descent and allows for the creation of a new Cosmos. And this is what is conveyed in the Gnostic Circle. Sri Aurobindo’s position in that Circle is the 9. That point on the Sacred Triangle describes his work in that incarnation – the Transcendent. But as the Fourth it is the opposite to that 9 Point: it is the 4.5…the ‘Masked Transcendent’. This hidden, masked condition is beautifully conveyed in the Gnostic Circle by the fact that there is no Orbit marked out there by any of the enneagram’s lines, neither the Sacred Triangle’s nor the other lines forming the diagram. Yet the entire diagram focusses on that hidden orbit; all its lines point to that Orbit. Visually, this is evident, and it is something the Gurdjieff school missed entirely: the focus on that mysterious Orbit.

That is the Immanent, that is the ‘gold’ hidden in matter, the Hiranyaretas or the Golden Seed. That is what permits a cosmos to be formed, an ordering to be undertaken. It is the infinitesimal point in the core of the Sun that holds a cosmos together. The 4.5 Orbit is therefore the redemption of the Buddhist and Mayavadist ‘void’. This is what Sri Aurobindo meant when he stated that ‘Kalki would come to correct the error of the Buddha’. At the same time, he referred to the experience of Nirvana as the entry into ‘the higher hemisphere’ from the lower and the beginning of the work, not the culmination. And this too perfectly tallies with the image conveyed in the Gnostic Circle because the 4.5 is indeed the half-way point in the wheel and is the threshold to the higher hemisphere. This is corroborated even in the traditional understanding of the zodiac with relation to Libra, the sign of the 4.5 Orbit.

What I perceive in your description is only half the picture, and I feel this may be the basic cause for the strain you experience. I do not perceive any roundness, which is the key to an INTEGRAL work on oneself. Pursuing the direction you describe does not guarantee an integration and harmonisation of the consciousness-being. This can only come about when in your consciousness you create that cosmos, when you establish that Point which is the new base of life that Sri Aurobindo described. For that an entirely new dimension of the psychic realisation has to come into being. And that is the focus of my work. You see, until 1971 nothing was really known of all this. But let us look at the facts: in 1970 the Mother completed her work in terms of dealing with DETAILS within the parameters prescribed for her Incarnation. The original plan of the Temple was the proof that this first ordering had taken place and that her Yoga had made that possible. The City is the physical representation of that Cosmos, which is ‘held together’ by the Temple, which, in turn, is that central Point, the core-point of the cosmos that ‘holds it together’. In this light you can understand quite easily why the actual shape of Auroville was designed by the original architect as a galaxy, and how perfectly accurate that was. The only problem with the physical reality that is the Auroville we know is that there is no central Point that is capable of ‘holding the city-consciousness together’. Hence there is only chaos there as a result. But this was no fault of the Mother, insofar as she did give the key to the true foundation of the City. And here we have used that key in our work, with accurate and measurable results.

A further point is that the Matrimandir was described as ‘the soul’ of the City. And this provides another clue to the process I am describing. You see, as stated, when you are dealing with matter this question of DETAIL comes to the fore. At the same time, when dealing with matter the question of the soul’s role is immediately introduced, because the soul is the nexus of being in material creation.

Now with this you can perhaps begin to draw certain important correlations: the soul, the Individual Divine, the Third member of the Solar Line, the Temple, the question of ‘perfection in detail’. All of this begins to make very logical and coherent sense. We understand fully why the Descent was arranged the way it has been and why, at this stage, we are faced with the question of Measure in the first place, why the Mother insisted on ‘accurate measurements’ and that she wanted ‘only an engineer’ and not an architect because accuracy was of the utmost importance. And we also realise why this was so hotly combated in Auroville: we are dealing with the ‘mire of detail’ in this issue. It is like the city of New York: from above it is clean and pristine and an exquisite creation of man; but when we descend we see the other side, and we may be appalled. The same applies to the City and the Temple. In the plan stage these were impeccable creations; the Mother’s original plan of the Chamber is unparalleled, it is a perfect cosmos and a replica of the Soul in Matter as the binding nexus of a material creation.

But when in the process of bringing that perfect Vision into the material plane – that is, in EXECUTING the plans the Mother left – then we are confronted with those unpleasant facts which we would rather ignore: the murkiness of the detail, with all the knots that have come into being in this material plane because Supermind has not been the overt ruling Principle in creation. This can explain why the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and our present contribution is always so entangled, so difficult, so obstructed. We are working through those knots in the course of our collective endeavour. There is no ‘sunlit path’ here; there is only one direction. And that is through the entire wheel and all its various ‘points’. Precisely because we are dealing with an INTEGRAL REALISATION.


It is this ‘roundness’, if it may be so called, which I find lacking in your brief presentation of the Yoga. Everything is right, the words are accurate, but something is missing. And I feel that this is the root of the strain you feel. As I have written in the past, you are – no doubt very unconsciously – pursuing a wrong direction. You are not allowing the Sun-Core to bring order into your realisations and draw them together here on this material plane for the creation of a new cosmos out of the chaos of your consciousness-being. Perhaps unwittingly, the direction you are pursuing is ‘otherworldly’. This, as I have written you before, is because of your past attainments, what you have brought over from your past incarnations.

There is a lot of material in this letter to assimilate. I do not expect you to understand all of what I write since I realise this may seem to be in conflict with what you have studied of this Yoga in the past. But, to help you out of the impasse, all you need to do is to observe the ACTUAL and REAL course Sri Aurobindo’s yoga and work have taken. You will clearly have to admit, if you are honest, that what I write is borne out by the real facts of our work and the course it has taken. You see, if you ignore this, then the stagnation in the Ashram and the chaos in Auroville and the split between those two bodies of their work would not make sense at all. But when you do see those ‘disasters’ on the background of this larger vision and fuller knowledge, then it is perfectly clear and ‘all is as it should be’. However, that does not eliminate the need to struggle with those confounding ‘details’ of a material creation What does happen when we accept WHAT IS, is that we engage in these struggles with a trust and a certainty that others lack.

The trust and certainty I write of are quite different from the blind faith displayed by most of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s disciples; or else the fallacious interpretation we have witnessed in Auroville: the Mother is in control of everything so therefore there can be no mistake in Matrimandir! (My reply to that has always been: since the Mother is in control of everything, then why bother about nuclear weapons and all the rest, since she is also behind that creation!) No, the trust and certainty I write of is something entirely different. It is a poise derived from Knowledge, from knowing and not from believing, or even from blind devotion. The world has had enough of that. What is required now is an acceptance of WHAT IS, primarily of WHAT IS in the Mother’s work. That means, accepting this new direction with all that that implies. This means seeking fervently and sincerely to understand WHY there is this direction at all, what its implications are for the Yoga and the world, what the real meaning of the Temple is in the context of this new direction and its relation to ‘perfection in detail’. Remember, Sri Aurobindo stated that this was the reigning Goddess [Mahasaraswati] of our Age. And nowhere is that better corroborated than in the Mother’s final bequeathal to humanity: the plan of her Chamber, the world’s most impeccable blueprint of ‘perfection in detail’.


Extracts from Thea’s Meeting at Stone Ridge, New York 25.9.1988

What I was particularly wanting to speak to you about this time was the change we see, the big shift… Yes, I think that is what everybody is interested in right now. There are remarkable things happening in the world.

          But I found a change in America… Apparently one would say it is for the worse, I felt it in California – an increase in violence in the air. I hadn’t felt it anywhere near that degree in ’86; and in fact now there are all sorts of gang fights going on, gang WARS, virtually. It is becoming quite despairing on that end of the world.

          In general people are in despair in many ways. But what I would like to convey today is…or at least provide some examples in a way that we can see… I will have to call it a POSITIVE ELEMENT in what is happening. I think people are in this state of despair because really people just see the collapse and cannot see where it is going, or really whether it has any purpose, and how far it is going to go; what is going to be left of all this.

         So, if we can go into that today…and I will provide you with some elements of this work – this ‘new way’… I hope I can give you an overall idea of the type of work we are all involved in.

           I would say that in terms of this work what is happening is a shift from what I have come to call a BINARY SYSTEM to a UNITARY SYSTEM. And this shift affects all levels of the being. It affects the spiritual level, the mental level, the vital-emotional level, and it comes all the way down to the physical. In other words it is a total change; and being a total change the world appears to be…as if it is being broken up right now. In fact, I think people are not aware of the real extent of the change. I mean, I don’t think that people have really grasped the fact that, as the Mother has stated so beautifully in one of her talks, ‘a new world is being born’ that bears very little relation to the other. It does in the sense that this must grow out of that, but that it is really a major shift to something entirely new and that people therefore have really very little…I mean, they have no model to follow for this. And, as I say, the shift is so total that people are simply caught in a bind, not knowing how to deal with it. And of course, at this point it appears that all is just being broken down.

         But in fact something else is coming up. And that ‘thing’ that is coming up is responsible for this collapse around. That is, it is BECAUSE this new thing is coming up that it is ACCELERATING this collapse of everything.  And this new thing that is being born, forged and consolidated in our very times is what people do not see because in effect it is nothing more than ‘a seed’. Let us call it a Seed. But the fact that it exists and has never really existed before is what is able to sustain us in this passage now to something entirely new. In fact, the crux of this work, you could say, is the birth or the coming down, the bringing down, or the unveiling – however you wish to call it – of this ‘seed’ that fills the void. That this is something entirely new now; and, in effect, the lack of this element that SUPPORTS, that SUSTAINS, that FILLS that central void of civilisation, of the human being, of whatever, is what has permitted this process always to be a destructive one, always a caving in, a collapsing. Nothing is there to support this.

         Now, this would be very difficult for you to perceive because none of the spiritual paths that people follow, that we know today, are able to explain this…because they are not dealing with this issue at all. In fact, that the spiritual paths do not deal with it is what has consolidated this void so tremendously over the last several thousand years.

            What it boils down to is that everybody is moving AWAY from creation. And, as I have stated time and again – and Sri Aurobindo has stated even more than I have in the past – it is a pulling away from creation, really; and it is a realisation exclusively in a transcendental plane. And this has left the Earth purposeless, apparently; and it has left material creation in a sense… Well, cut off. This is the binary system that has become consolidated.

            So, you have these poles: you have Spirit and Matter. And this is the binary condition. In other words, we have a higher self and we have a lower self, and it appears that what humanity needs is a shift to a higher self and a poising there. But, in effect, this is not possible. What I mean to say is that this is not the answer because it is just jumping from one end of the pole to the other.

            So, it is a THIRD THING, entirely different and new, which is born; and that is the shift to the unitary system I am talking about, which then puts these other elements in their place. It is no longer a binary system which exists on the basis of tension and struggle and which then produces this central void and therefore it always ends in collapse, but it is something else that is born and supports this… And here is the diagram of this unitary system [points to the Gnostic Circle].

            Now, a way to give you a concrete example that I think you all of you will be able to relate to quite easily is if we use traditional astrology. Everybody has an idea of what an astrological chart is and how you erect a chart. But the main thing is that the astrology we know today, which we have inherited from ancient times, is really a representation of the binary system. In other words, the Earth, and by consequence the Moon, is central. You construct a horoscope from that basis. Of course that was a reason why astrology nowadays has been criticised by scientists, because they say. Well, this is wrong: the Earth is NOT central and the Sun is NOT revolving around the Earth…

            That is not the point at all. The point is that the horoscope as we construct it represents the evolution of consciousness as it has reached us today; that this represents the binary system. This is the Old Creation. These are the two centres. The play is supported by a binary structure. Which means TENSION. You eliminate that tension, polarity, whatever you want to call it…You eliminate that and the system collapses.

            So, it was a perfect representation of the condition of humanity. This condition was introduced when Mind began to develop in the evolutionary process. Because mind is this. Mind, as the highest principle, is dualistic; and therefore if you end a creation at that highest instrument – being mind – you end up with the world as we know it today. And you end up in only one way: a world that destroys itself. Because if you follow these things deeply you will see that there can be no other way, that existing in this duality implies that there is not this centre that supports, that ‘holds’, and therefore there is always this constant caving in. And that is the process we know: Something is built up, it must be torn down. And it goes on like that.

            So, the essence of the message of this work and Sri Aurobindo’s work when he began it in the beginning of this century, is that Mind IS NOT the highest principle and that the big shift we are making is now to the unfolding of this highest principle which he called the Supermind, the Truth-Consciousness… That completes the fourfold basis, the fourfold structure of humanity, and that becomes the reigning principle – this Fourth Principle.

            And it is the birth of this ‘thing’ that is changing the equation of absolutely everything; and it is simply displacing Mind. I wouldn’t even say displacing. That isn’t really the correct… It is simply putting Mind in its proper position.

            Another aspect of this work is the question of putting everything where it belongs. So, again we can take the old astrology as an example, and there you have the Earth placed central in the system. And of course the Earth is not central. Yet this explains everything. Now, this has nothing to do with astronomy. We are not concerned with that. We are concerned with a blueprint, something that represents the evolution of consciousness.

            And then you have what has now been born in these times. You have the Gnostic Circle, you see, which simply puts everything in its place, where you have the Sun central and then you have all the planets from the first position, the second, and so on, going all the way around, the 9 planets. So the Sun would be the 0 and the 9 planets are there.

            Now, this is the shift to a unitary system and this is not just an abstract design, but, as you know, astrology is applicable in your life, though some may believe in it, some may not. But the point of astrology is that it is not an abstract. I mean, it does describe your own life, your destiny, your character, whatever. And it can possibly make predictions about the future, describe your past. So, through Time astrology has a relevance and a connection immediately. And the Gnostic Circle the same thing. The very same thing. The only difference is that this is a unitary system; this is not a binary structure. The fact is that it is very simple: the structure of our solar system, that’s all. Each thing in its correct place.

            So, the Earth is in its correct place, at its third position, the Earth and the Moon; you have all the planets in there. And then this diagram goes beyond that, of course. It describes this transformation that we are living today, in very accurate details, and how we are evolving to a higher poise, and the difficult points along the way, the ‘traps’, shall we say, because it contains everything – in the sense that whatever we have realised in the past is also there.

            What I would like to say, therefore, is that what is happening is simply the logical consequence of the course evolution has taken and that we must go through this, and that we are living a transition which is very difficult; because when you are in the midst of transition it is of course very hard to see where you are going, especially if you are living so-called ‘out in the world’, where you have drugs, where you have everything. It becomes very difficult. But it becomes even more important then to have something which allows you to focus on THAT REAL THING that is being born. Because everything else that is collapsing at this point is UNREAL, because it is no longer in its correct place. So, all of that will go.

            Now, what we may perhaps discuss too is the way that this will go. I mean, what is it, this change? How far is it going to go, what will be left, what will…You understand that of course this is something very important in terms of what looms before us. We have now the power that can destroy us entirely. So, this creates a completely different atmosphere in which to be discussing any sort of transformation, yoga, or whatever you wish to call it. It creates a…yes, a ‘field’, a tension that we have never faced before as a civilisation, over thousands of years.

            So, that in itself, the fact that we stand at a crossroads now, when we can either destroy ourselves completely, or survive…I mean, it is not even a question of survival. It is a question of…either we find the RIGHT WAY or we find no way at all. Because no solution on this level of mind is working. We go round and round; things seem to open up and then they close up. These things are on that level of mind. They are not the solution. And we have a lot of examples around the world today.

            Again this brings us to the point that there is really only one way to get out of this, and this is that a group of individuals, whatever, will be consolidating this ‘seed’ of a new creation, and that this will gradually unfold and before long displace the other. But displace it in the sense of ‘putting each thing in its place’. At that point what remains of what we know of life today…well, that will be decided as we go along. But obviously the things that resist this very much will probably go under.

            But the important point to know is that the process is minutely controlled. And this is what people cannot see; and that is why it is so important to have certain keys of Knowledge which allow you to see this control. Because this is the element that is most despairing: things are happening and nobody seems to have a control or a voice or an ability to stop what is happening. Especially in the States. You have that feeling: Something is there. You see it all collaborating for ‘something’. But you see there is no control…and therefore – What can I do?

            So, we go back…in the spiritual path they say, Well, you have to be concerned only with your inner development, with your own realisation and that that will have an effect. That is true. But it is not sufficient because your inner development – yes – but disconnected from what is going on around, it is not sufficient any more, that you must have a key to the work on yourself which at the same time is dealing with all of this. That is, INTEGRATING ALL LEVELS always, and that is really giving a sense to your inner work in the larger work. This again [the Gnostic Circle] helps you with that because it is dealing with every level of society, with everything that can be monitored in the Gnostic Circle.

Where does one keep one’s sense of compassion and responsibility to society on that unitary level?

I understand the problem, because you say… Well, if that is going to go and there is no hope for it, then why deal with it. Well, the point is, you have a work to do in the world, everybody does. Or you do not have a work; but that is also in itself… It is your destiny. You must find out what that is. But then, in doing that, the whole point is if you have to deal with these situations, you can deal with them, there is no question of losing compassion on that level, but it is immensely important to realise what the function of this terrible situation is.

            We can take the two major problems in the USA today…drugs and AIDS. These two things are there in everybody’s consciousness; and these are the elements that seem to be carrying the USA to some terrible…I mean, which nobody can control. And they grow and they grow and they grow, and there are all kinds of ideas: we will legalise drugs, we are NOT going to legalise drugs, we are going to do this. Nothing seems to work.

            Okay, but then you have to go deeply into that. WHY did these things come about? WHAT is their purpose? And then it really does not matter if it is up to you to have to deal with these situations, with these people who are suffering from these things. Yes, fine, but then you must also bear in mind what the purpose of this thing is because then you just get carried away in the hopelessness of the situation.

            Now, AIDS is a perfect example of an illness… Remember, we talked about this the last time; we were talking about the guilt involved.

            But you know, there is much more to the subject because this is really such a conscious virus. Just the fact that it mutates, that they cannot isolate it. And now this will carry us into certain examples that I want to bring up, because you have three decades carrying us to the big shift in the millennium. We could start with the ‘60s, but let’s say the ‘70s, the ‘80s and then the ‘90s…and then there is the big shift. The ‘80s happen to be under the rule of Neptune, and there is simply no illness that could have been devised which could explain better the AIDS virus. Mainly the elusiveness of it.

            So, anybody who has studied astrology knows what is said about Neptune, the elusive planet, the illusion, and you can’t put your finger on it…all of these things. And there it is.

            Now, something especially of this decade is the factor of this whirlpool that is going around: you are in it and you can’t stop it. Nobody can stop it. You know that inevitably it is just going to keep going down (apparently), that you are caught in it and nobody has any control over it. And it pops up here, there and everywhere. So, this, you could say, is the virus of the decade; like drugs emanated from the ‘70s – the ‘60s and the ‘70s; and they are also very beautifully explained in this cosmology. Because the ‘60s in the Gnostic Circle were going through this point. This is the 6 Point. It was going through Sagittarius, and this is the expansion of consciousness, the extension of the boundaries. So, you see the role then that drugs were playing in this, and carried over into the ‘70s. The role that drugs were playing was precisely that: suddenly the ‘doors of perception’ were opened forcibly, and this revolutionised many things. On a mass level. We are talking about things that are affecting on a mass level and conditioning the world that we live in.

            So, you have these things that appear, and they are negative. And they are negative for a particular reason. Also, into this we can bring the United States. Why is all this happening HERE? This madness, you know, this…I mean, it is the United States that is setting the pace, in a way, for this collapse that we see. Mainly these things started here, the whole drug thing took root here. Other parts of the world are affected, have even benefitted, in a sense, – the ones that are selling drugs – but the real problem took root here.

            Why? What role does America play in this? You will see that there is a particular mechanism functioning in all this. It is that we are always dealing with ENERGY. And we are dealing as a civilisation, as individuals, with this question of energy. And speed of consciousness, let us say, which manifests in the evolution of consciousness on Earth and the progression through history, through time…So, what it is is that in this binary structure the consciousness-being of the individual – and by this I mean also the society that we create – has what I call certain ‘appendages’. And these are like ‘encumbrances’ which hold back the speed. I give you this image because you can understand that if there is this movement going on and then you attach certain things to it in order to keep it within the boundaries that is possible to contain…Let us say physically: your bodies are all structured binarily. Which means that you can only do so much with that, you know, and that physically if you want to sustain the new energies that are coming, you have to make a major shift. And this major shift to a unitary system individually will also produce a new physical structure. And that is why also in America there is so much emphasis on the physical; because people perceive this. We simply cannot sustain any more what is happening – physically.

            But the point is that you must make a NEW ALIGNMENT. This is the problem. And then all your involvement with the physical changes its perspective entirely. Because certain things that we waste time with right now will be changed automatically when we make this shift.

            So, there is a major SHIFT that is taking place on all levels. What this means then is that evolution…Let’s look at it physically, linearly…evolution is moving on and is being held back by these encumbrances and kept within certain boundaries.

            Then you come to the ‘60s and you come to this Sagittarius Point. Everybody knows in astrology…I mean, the Centaur, the Horse, the Gallop, the Arrows we are following and following. All of these images are extremely beautiful because they describe the ‘60s, the movement, the things that happened then. And also the ‘innocent joy’ that was there, that is so characteristic of Sagittarius and which now seems GONE. You look back at the ‘60s and it was like…Well, idyllic in a way, it was so innocent what was happening then. No, now we have really gone much deeper into things….

            So, then what happened? This is a release of energy. Okay, in order to get rid of these encumbrances you have to have an excess of energy. I mean, there is a release, and this is done, we could say, forcibly or violently. In the case of drugs it is really a violence done to the consciousness because nobody was ready for that kind of perception, and to integrate it into anything. But you had all of this release of energy. Or, in the case of AIDS, it was preceded by this tremendous promiscuity. Suddenly everybody was ‘free’, and that’s it! You could indulge as much as you like, there was no more problem…

            Now, what is the encumbrance there? The encumbrance is usually the positive encumbrance; because this is the shift we are making, because when we make a shift to a unitary system, we are also stepping out of the old framework of Good and Evil. That split. That was a part of the old structure, and this held us all together for many thousands of years. When you go to a unitary system this cannot hold any longer. It is impossible to live within a world…because that represents the duality. And this is also equivalent to Spirit and Matter: everything that pertained to matter was evil, everything that was spiritual was good. Indiscriminately. But then there was also a problem, because what is good for one man is evil for another; and then the division of religion… All of that is going because what this means too is that we are stepping out and going beyond a religious consciousness. A religious consciousness functions on the basis of a moralistic ethos and the Good and Evil syndrome.


            Could you describe the fourth state a little more?


That is exactly what we are getting into. I hope to give some insights into that also. But this is also a part of the description of the fourth state, because, you see, when we get beyond that… Well, we’ll go into that, because there are difficulties also.

            Alright, so these are the encumbrances. You have ‘positive’ encumbrances in the sense that your moralistic ethos is holding things back at this point. And that is keeping you within the boundaries that are legitimate and relevant in the binary system. And your body is a part of that as well as your emotional structure, as well as your responses on any level. As well as the spirituality that came out of that world.

            So, when we are ready to make a shift we have somehow to get rid of these encumbrances. This is then a question of release of energy. This energy is then just left liberated…the AIDS, and there they were, all the homosexuals came out of the closet, and everybody…Accompanying this was this indulgence, this free indulgence. That is all you heard: the answer to life was in sex and to get rid of your guilt, and all these kinds of things.

            So, obviously nobody really knew what was going on and neither did the homosexual, in the sense that he had no idea all of his guilt was coming out too, but that this was a very important encumbrance. This was very deep-rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition – this guilt. Starting from Adam and Eve, you understand. In some way you have to break things down.

            In the beginning you have to have this release, you have to liberate energies because it is a question of utilising that. But then since it was not within the higher perspective of things, at a certain point there comes the clamp-down, and then you have to make conscious use of that.

            Now, what happened then was simply that there was no CONSCIOUS use of this new energy that was liberated, as with so many things. You can apply this to many aspects of life in present-day society. Yes, civil rights, everything, everybody wants this liberation, they want to be free, they want to have this total possibility at their disposal. But at the same time, when they get it, the instruments they are, are really not capable of using this increase that has come. And then you have a negative manifestation that comes with it. And what is it causing? It is very interesting, what it is causing: simply a greater awareness, a conscious acceptance of one’s responsibilities. And dealing with this issue I don’t think there is a better theme, or a better example than AIDS, because this is really affecting one of the most…solid aspects of the binary system, which is right at your sex centre and your atavism. This is what must eventually go in the fourth level, let’s say, when we finally integrate all these levels: our whole sexual expression must change radically, you see.

            In other words, right now, in a binary structure, the PURPOSE of evolution, the purpose of the human being is centred in the sex centre; it is reproduction in this manner. So, this is one of the fundamental issues that have to be dealt with.

            But how do you deal with it? Of course you have to gradually bring the human being to the point where he realises by a lived experience, not intellectually, or by suppression, by saying, as religions have, it’s bad, it’s evil. Or in spiritual paths that you cannot indulge. It has to be a lived experience that simply…There is a shift physically taking place, and in that shift what we consider so important and necessary is really not so important. And gradually…it is a shift in what you place central in your life. That’s all. But it will have a very fundamental effect on society. In fact, it is one of the things that is going to change everything radically.

            Now, don’t get worried! I am not dealing here with the aspects that accompany sex, you know, ‘love’…sometimes, sometimes not even – usually not! That kind of ‘bliss’ or ‘joy’, or whatever it is that you experience. There is also another possibility on the physical level of an experience of bliss or joy in the body which is NOT rooted in this, you see. At this point we could go into speculations and there is no point in that. What we must discuss right now is simply the immediacy of this shift. This shift, and by that I mean the immediacy of being CONSCIOUS of what is happening. Because it is THAT that changes everything.

            Now we move to a point in evolution where you can describe it as a conscious process, whereas before it was necessary to be ignorant. It was necessary because you couldn’t remain, you couldn’t keep… That was another encumbrance, you understand. You could not contain it within the boundaries of this physical structure if you had a certain conscious participation. The mind would be interfering because there wasn’t that higher principle, you see. And then again, you are back in the same trap.

            But at this point, when this ‘other thing’ is unfolding, the key aspect is a conscious participation. It is no longer just being drawn. So, that is why we are here today to discuss these issues because, you see, the solution cannot come by simply ‘letting it happen’. No, the ones that…I won’t say ‘survive’, because that is not the point. It is not a question of individuals, individual survival now. It is a question of a new creation, – whether we participate in it or not when it comes. But at this point, in order to consolidate that, there have to be individuals who KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING. And who know the mechanism. This is very important. And who work consciously with that. And to work consciously with that you have to have certain keys of Knowledge; and Time is a fundamental element in this construction.


Do you think it is necessary for the restraints to have been lifted in order for consciousness to have developed, or could we have developed consciousness and then lifted…?


No, you see, because it had to be this release of energy, because that is the whole point. It is like the Chaos. A beautiful cosmic image…this Chaos.

            But what does it mean? It means that everything is thrown in there, you know. And then, within that this Power manifests that starts arranging everything. And it arranges everything like that, by obliging you to become conscious, by obliging you to control your actions in this specific case that we are discussing.


            That’s on a mass scale. Is it the same on an individual scale?


Oh, absolutely. And often in your life you will see that things start happening over which you have no control. You are thrust into…I call it ‘the periphery’. You know, you are central to this periphery which is the circumstances of your life. They seem chaotic…and then suddenly a certain awareness comes and then these shifts take place. But you have to have that teeming…

            Well, it depends. It depends, of course, on the path that you are following. But that’s the whole point. There are paths that say: Forget all that, all of that is irrelevant, illusion, and it has no importance. And then therefore you cannot have this experience.

What is the place of the Asura, or Titan, in the new unitary system? It seems to me that they were a part of the binary system, good and evil. Maybe not as we have understood, but sill they were anti-Divine. How does that fit in today?

Well, this is the point. You see, again this is a question of energy. What did that represent? The Titan or the Asura in Indian tradition was the one who had the power. And that power was related to material creation. But you see, then the Deva, the God, kept going farther and farther away from that; the binary polarity became complete. Where then you have the total split and you have the West representing that, the materialistic society IMPOSING its way on the rest of the world because that has been so cut off from the so-called ‘light’. I am saying ‘so-called’ because this is where all the shifts are taking place, you understand, and these terms that we have been using for thousands of years…the light and the dark. Again, this is all coming out of the binary structure.

            So, what is the problem? It is not a question of eliminating that so-called dark…It is that that DISTINCTION of dark and light disappears when this becomes an INTEGRATED system. When you are no longer cutting off half of your being.


So that means that the individual somehow integrates some of the titanic qualities, and therefore the actual Asura is transformed?


Well, the necessity for that kind of polarity disappears. I mean, we are talking precisely about an integral realisation.


            And that is where we are now… Beginning.


We are in transition to that. And all of these aspects, what we are seeing, these COLLAPSES in society, are precisely the impossibility of dealing with that power. One being the sexual expression, you see. Because…I don’t like to call it a ‘lower’ manifestation, but in a sense it is when it is the be-all-and-end-all, when it is the pivot of the race. I mean, the human race PHYSICALLY. And then of course this conditions your whole psychology. That is the centre of your existence in so many ways.

            Now all of that IS being broken down. You can see it in so many ways. It is extremely interesting what is happening now. This is forcing first of all an acceptance of your responsibilities, where really you cannot simply increase the energy out-put. You have to transform the instrument to be able to utilise that, you see. So, these are now the restraints that are coming and that are obliging now a conscious acceptance, a conscious working with these new energies.

            You know, that is the problem in a lot of therapies. Just release everything, let it all go. Or, you know, you open up your ‘full potential’, and all of that. Again it is a question of energy, but unless you really are able to deal with it properly, unless you are realigning your consciousness, you will invariably fall back to this; those will become the reasons for a greater collapse.

            Now, this is what appears to be happening with something like AIDS. We say, Well, this is going to destroy the whole human race. I don’t think that is possible anymore. I would say, to be more specific, as of 1984 I don’t think anything like that is possible. I think that what is happening is far too controlled, that this element is far too solid, that there will never be a total collapse and that rather things will be more and more controlled.

            I will give you an example. In the last two years several things have happened to give you an example of a control within the context of this cosmology. You know, the number 9 plays a specific role in this cosmology and there are particular days in the month which have this ‘9 power’. It is interesting, for example, that the ‘mini-crash’ in the stock market on October 19 was a ‘9’ day. There was another: Chernobyl, another 9 day. And Bhopal, another 9 day. [Also the recent earthquake in Armenia.] So, you look back at these three and you see the impact they had on the world. Bhopal…obviously opened people’s eyes to what could happen and what WAS happening with this kind of production of chemicals in this way, and everything that went with it. Then you see the same…Chernobyl was probably the beginning of the big change in the Soviet Union. And then, of course, the Crash. You see? Now, these were all on 9-power days. When you are in this work you soon begin to recognise…because you see that things that are happening in harmony with time and utilised by the Shakti will take place on those days. And when you see that they take place then, you know that they must follow a complete cycle. From the 0/9 (points to the Gnostic Circle) they must go on and that they must be a part of a total process.


            But that’s on a spiral, a spiral as well as a circle.


Yes, of course. But this precisely describes the difference. It is very easy to say, a spiral. Yes it is a spiral. However, when you are dealing with a universe or a system, let’s say based on destruction, on things being TORN DOWN – which is really what we are headed for if we rely totally on the mental principle – then it is total destruction because it is waste to the extent that it cannot be utilised in the future. Whereas, the spiral implies that you grow from that… Definitely we are doing that, we ARE spiralling in our growth. But to all practical purposes, when you are monitoring your passage through this wheel, the whole point is to be BUILDING UP, touching the four levels as you go on in your life, always building up. But there are cases in which, no, you fall back.

            What happens is really this collapse of energy. The way I describe it is that this [points to the final third segment of the Gnostic Circle, beyond the sign Scorpio] is a void. It becomes a void from this point. And as you progress, you want to reach this point of integration and unity [points to the final three signs of the Circle] and you cannot. So, what I call ‘whole time’ is usually not realised by the human being. And what happens is that beyond that he cannot have a conscious experience anymore. This then becomes ‘heaven’. This becomes something that you experience only in trance.

            Now, the very interesting thing is that this is the 8th sign, Scorpio. And this is the sign of Death, as everybody in astrology knows. And it falls at this level – the 8th. Then you come to the 6 Point [at the end of Scorpio in the Gnostic Circle] and Saturn, and you come to the expansion.

            From this [6th] Point on this whole third segment is the question that we are unveiling today. The possibility of living this WHOLE WHEEL consciously. So, what it means then is that if you are conscious in this particular way, those energies are not collapsing. In other words, you are able to LIVE THIS PASSAGE. Because you are going through time anyway….


Scorpio, Transmuted?


In the New Delhi edition of The Times of India, dated 9 March 1989, an interesting news item appeared. It provides another example of the special quality of our work: the symbol is the thing symbolized. Over the past year I have written a series of articles for VISHAAL, illustrating the truth of this aphorism. At the same time a very important aspect of the Mother’s own yoga was highlighted, an aspect which I feel has been entirely overlooked. This concerns the ‘collaboration of material Nature’ which in 1957 she understood would play an intrinsic part in the manifestation of the new supramental creation. As I have written in past articles, this collaboration is essential when the question is a transformation of physical conditions, patterns, habits, structures; and it is also when dealing with the physical dimension that the question of symbols equal to the things symbolized assumes a prominent place in the Yoga.

     The Times of India news item offers a further proof of this position, perhaps even more astonishingly concrete and non-speculative than anything I have presented for VISHAAL readers so far. This is because it involves the crux of our Yoga, its central purpose. I refer to the special transmutation of energy which, in the human mental creature, has always served to poison the consciousness-being insofar as the present mentally-poised structure of the species offers no ‘extended boundaries’ for this energy to exceed itself, or to carry the individual beyond his/her actual limitations and on to deeper depths and greater heights. This situation has become especially acute in our New Age when a greater influx and release of energy is being experienced. The present human structure cannot contend with this increase.

This ‘penned-in’ energy is also the subject of the Rig Vedic myth. Consequently, it concerns the 8th month of the Vedic year-sacrifice, which in the zodiac is the eighth sign/month Scorpio. The Veda is very specific in relating this ‘penned-in’ energy not only to the eighth level, but also to the ‘dark sun’. Sri Aurobindo makes this clear in his The Secret of the Veda, when discussing Martanda, that mysterious ‘son/sun’ of Aditi:


‘Whence then comes this falsehood, sin, death, suffering of our mortal existence? We are told that there are eight sons of the cosmic Aditi who are born from her body; by seven she moves to the gods, but the eighth son is Martanda, of mortal creation, whom she casts away from her; with the seven she moves to the supreme life, the original age of the gods, but Martanda is brought back out of the inconscient into which he had been cast to preside over mortal birth and death.

‘This Martanda or eighth Surya [sun] is the black or dark, the lost, the hidden sun. The Titans have taken and concealed him in their cavern of darkness and thence he must be released into splendour and freedom by the gods and seers through the power of the sacrifice.’

(pp. 425-6)


I have discussed this eighth Sun at length in The New Way, Volume 2, Chapters 4 and 10. In the former this eighth ‘dark sun’ is related to the Mother’s Chamber and the important central solar Ray, the measure of ‘twenty-one suns’.

In a more pointed reference this eighth sun is indeed the ‘dark sun’ of, what I have called, the binary system that we are. The human mental being is structured binarily, with a light and a dark sun holding together one’s consciousness-being. The result is that one’s true centre is not realised, energies are lost or ‘fallen’, tension, antagonism, struggle and ultimately death are the result. This Dark Sun is the poison of our existence, just as Sri Aurobindo describes above.

This condition is a cosmic, evolutionary necessity – for a time. And being a map of evolution, the zodiac also connects this fallen dark Sun to the eighth month and the sign Scorpio. But traditional astrology grants two symbols to this sign: the lowly and obnoxious Scorpion, and the majestic, awesome and powerful Eagle. It is said that when the energy of Scorpio is transmuted the sign’s imagery changes from the Scorpion to the Eagle. The Eagle is then the symbol of that liberated flight of the energy, unfettered and unlimited, having been released from the ‘cave’ where the Panis of the Rig Vedic myth, the ‘hoarders’ had enclosed it.

This ‘cave’ is, rightfully speaking, the sex centre in our present physical structure which feeds the most material layers. What is meant is that this ‘centre’ is the pivot of the consciousness-being of the mental species in that procreation with its accompanying atavism is the intrinsic ‘purpose’ of the species. The boundaries which are to be exceeded are these limiting functions that confine the consciousness of the human being in this ‘pen-cave’ and do not permit a release which would enlarge the perceptive capacities and thus permit an entirely different experience of life on this planet. The Eagle with its formidable vision, its piercing eye, represents that greater capacity of seeing and hence being.

In our Yoga of the Chamber the exclusive focus of the individual and collective endeavour over the past decade has been this transmutation of the Scorpio energy. To be more exact, it is a question of the transmutation of the energy of Mars, ruler of Scorpio. But Mars also rules the first sign, Aries. Thus these two signs have been prominent in our Yoga. Indeed, true once more to the concrete and non-speculative nature of this applied cosmology, all the participants in this effort were born either under Aries or Scorpio.


Scorpio is the sign of death in traditional astrology. In this new Cosmology it is no longer so cut and dry. In Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem ‘Savitri’, when the Goddess finally conquers Yama, the Lord of Death, in the 10th book of the epic, she commands him to be still her ‘instrument a while’. The exact nature of Death’s continued instrumentation is what requires a special and precise knowledge to perceive. And this involves the transmutation of Scorpio. It is a process in which a far more conscious death is experienced, not only of those creatures who might actually be dying, but also of those who in some way are participants or witnesses in this act of dying. To a certain extent I have described this more conscious involvement in the series ‘Animals in the Emerging Cosmos’.

The effort at this transmutation, hinging as it did on the Yoga of the Chamber, had its counterpart in the Temple episode: the poisoning energy which had to be released and transmuted is the very energy that lodged itself at the heart of the Mother’s township, preventing a successful fulfillment of its destiny. Thus this ‘Scorpion’ had to have its ‘stinger cut’. In another interesting parallel, the two persons largely responsible for the obstruction and blockage in the right construction of the Mother’s Chamber were born under Aries and Scorpio.

My purpose in writing this piece is not to enter into a detailed discussion of the exact nature of this transmutation. I have done this elsewhere. In particular, for precise connections with the zodiacal sign Scorpio, the reader may refer to The Magical Carousel and its companion volume, Commentaries. From Chapter Seven onward a description is given of the work entailed in such a transmutation and its connection to the eighth sign. In this brief space I would merely like to present VISHAAL readers with another example of ‘the symbol is the thing symbolised’. For this purpose I reproduce the Times of India news item, dated 9 March 1989, and entitled, ‘Scorpions with a difference’:


‘Bangalore, March 8 (PTI): Indian entomologists claim to have discovered a “friendly” species of scorpions, which does not kill fellow scorpions, caters to the needs of its young and is sensitive to its environment.

‘The scientists from the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, have named the new species, Hetrometrus Fulvipes, and have sent their findings to the zoological survey of India for confirmation.

‘The behaviour of the new species is markedly different from other such species. To begin with, its members are not cannibalistic, unlike other scorpions which feed on one another, with the fittest eating all the others.

‘Experiments on friendly scorpions over the past two years have shown that the animals refrain from attacking one another, even under conditions of starvation. They also did not fight amongst themselves when attacking crickets, grasshoppers and other insect food thrown into the pen where they were kept.

‘The “friendly” scorpions exhibited another remarkable trait: they dug their own burrows and cared for their young, giving them food and running to their protection in face of danger. Normally scorpions live in others’ nests and do not care for the young.

‘These scorpions also had regular feeding habits and were sensitive to their habitat conditions. Presence of moisture was a must for their survival, and they died when transferred to hot and dry conditions.

‘Their stinger – the small piercing organ with which the animals sting their prey – and the poison sac are comparatively smaller. The UAS entomologists believe that continuous non-usage or lesser usage of these led to a reduction in their size.

‘The scientists say that the “friendly” scorpions could be evolutionarily more advanced than the other scorpion species.’


It goes without saying that this research carried out, as reported, over the past two years – that is, AFTER the major breakthrough in our Yoga of the Chamber – confirms by the formula ‘the symbol is the thing symbolised’ that indeed the ‘stinger has been cut’ in that hostile power. There is an immediate correspondence: first the breakthroughs in the Yoga of the Chamber (namely, in 1983 and 1984) and then the ‘discovery’ of the friendly scorpions by scientists in Bangalore. It is clear (or is it so clear?) that this new species did not develop overnight: but the synchronicity of its discovery with the breakthroughs in the Yoga of the Chamber is what must be noted. I must also point out that the creatures I discussed in ‘Animals in the Emerging Cosmos’ – namely the Horse and the white Fantails – have all come from Bangalore. This city, in more ways than one, has continued to play a prominent part in our Yoga. In addition, even into the present, for one reason or another, I am obliged to make regular trips to Bangalore.

How does Skambha, the permanent seat of the Work, which was ‘discovered’ after the above-mentioned breakthrough, fit into the ‘scorpion scenario’, if at all? The student may be certain that these ‘friendly’ scorpions are found at the Centre. Indeed, three years ago in 1986/7, when we began construction of the kilometer-long driveway which cuts into and down the mountain to reach the estate’s central portion, countless ‘friendly’ scorpions were encountered under the rocks and in the crevices and burrows as their habitat was being disturbed by the construction work. The remarkable thing was that these black, ENORMOUS, dreadful-looking scorpions were, as it turned out, entirely harmless!

The local workers at Skambha are accustomed to working barefooted, as labourers do throughout India and in the rest of the tropics, for the most part. I was therefore considerably alarmed when I first spotted the scorpions – identical to the one silhouetted in the illustration in The Magical Carousel, page 78. Yet, though I was deeply concerned for the labourers, they, on the other hand, were unperturbed. In fact, one young man showed me the wounds he had received when he accidentally stepped on one of the animals: the sting was less than a small bee would produce!

I cannot know whether or not these Skambha scorpions are the same as those discovered by the Bangalore entomologists, but certainly, equal to the ‘friendly’ species, their stings are virtually harmless. And Skambha, located in what was once a dense rain forest before man devastated the area by massive tree felling, may provide that moist environment which this species requires for survival.

Let us note the other features of this new species and the student will observe how accurate astrology has been in perceiving the characteristics of each of the twelve zodiacal signs and finding parallels in certain animal figures. Where this ancient tradition has failed, or suffered limitations or a decline, is in the lack of a unified perception of the wheel. Consequently, it became impossible to see the zodiac’s connection and relevance to evolution on Earth. But even a perception of its unity would not have sufficed: a more complete vision had to manifest, a greater revelation which could reveal certain characteristics of the signs previously hidden. This is precisely the work of redeeming that ‘dark sun’. The evolution of consciousness had to reach the point where the vision of the cosmic harmony had to be truth-based, unlike the formula the cosmic Ignorance has produced for the past several thousands of years as a result of the binary imposition.

With this more complete vision based on the Cosmic Truth, Scorpio is supremely expressive of the severe limitations of the mental human being. The ‘pen’ where those precious ‘rays of the sun’ are ‘hoarded’, as the Rig Veda tells us, is simply the constricting confinements of an instrument that cannot house a greater awareness and sustain the impact of the increase in energy required for the expansion. Consequently that energy ‘turns back upon itself’ and death is the inevitable finality of this human, mental creature – just like the older species of scorpions cannibalistically turn against each other in gruesome acts of destruction when they are threatened in any way.

This condition can be carried over to everything produced by a civilisation which results from a collective experience within this limiting structure. Therefore, our primary concern must perforce be to realign the consciousness-being of the human species in such a way as to bring into existence instruments which are capable of the expansion demanded by this increase. The release of the ‘penned-in’ energy must have an adequate field in which to expand and be liberated from the pattern of auto and mutual destruction which results from the cramped condition it finds itself in.

Without being aware at all of their cannibalistic nature and that when threatened the ‘old-style scorpion’ turns against others of its kind, in 1970 I described just such a situation in the 8th chapter of The Magical Carousel, when the climax is reached in the sign-land of Scorpio and the children, Val and Pom-pom, are attacked by the small-bodied warriors of Hayala’s camp, she being the personification of the sign’s power:


‘Pom-pom and Val are horrified at what has happened. How could they have known? She was so lovely! They had to save her. They try to explain but one by one the warriors rise and come toward them. Val and Pom-pom back up farther and farther until they reach the altar. They jump on top by climbing up Hayala’s throne and become encircled by the men. There is no way to escape, yet just when the first warrior is ready to climb after them, the dark sky is lit up by a great flame that shoots through the air and falls on Hayala’s tent, setting it ablaze.

‘The soldiers become frantic. They rush to save themselves as the sky is filled with flaming arrows. The place is turned into a battleground for, in spite of themselves, the warriors turn against one another in their desperation to escape the fire, and a mass destruction commences.

‘The sound of galloping hoofs and a hearty laugh come from the distance, growing increasingly louder. And all at once a glorious, radiant archer charges into the encampment, shooting his arrows of fire into the sky. He is not an ordinary archer for the back half of his body is that of a horse, a lively spirited animal that gallops through the camp and up to the altar. There the Archer whisks up the two children, placing them on his horse back, and rides off as the warriors continue their destruction. In a last attempt to avenge his mistress, the stingless [Pom-pom had severed his stinger] Scorpion chases after them. They race through the land that Val and Pom-pom crossed on their arrival, onto the beach and through the tunnel of shallow water which the Centaur lights up by the use of his fiery arrows. The door blocks their way and the Scorpion is just behind them at the Centaur’s hoofs splashing in the water, when the Archer sends his mighty arrow into the construction immediately setting it ablaze. With the children clutching to him tightly, his horse half leaps through the flames and onto the other side. The Scorpion is left behind, fortunately without a stinger to use upon himself, and rendered impotent by the fire.’

(pp. 84-85)


The pigmy-sized warriors engaging in this orgy of mutual destruction are, by their reduced size, symbolically describing the constricted structure of the mental instrument. It must be remembered that Scorpio falls in the third quarter of the Gnostic Circle, precisely in the heart of the mental triad, consisting of the signs Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius. Therefore we see that the death of Scorpio is simply due to this restriction and that, as Sri Aurobindo had prophesied in the beginning of the century, a total transformation, even and especially of the physical, would be required to annul the ‘sting of death’.

The new ‘friendly’ species of scorpions gives us an indication of what life would be like on this planet when that stinger is finally cut: there is no mutual destruction and these creatures live in harmony with their environment; there is a sense of ‘each thing in its place’, in that the new scorpion attends to its duties, as the former, older species had not.

In The Magical Carousel that stinger is cut, and the tale continues with the saving grace of the Sagittarian Centaur carrying the children to ‘realms beyond’. This is the expansion permitted when that penned-in energy is released and instead of destroying the children, it serves as their fuel in the discovery of what until now for the human mental being is a heaven beyond material creation. That is, only in death can the human being experience those realms. However, when the instrument is realigned on the basis of the new Yoga of the Chamber, those realms are brought within and into the dimension of our lived experience on this planet. It is then a life divine on Earth, as Sri Aurobindo had foreseen.


The Magical Carousel provides a full description of the course the individual and the group must follow in order to be instruments for this great change on Earth. It is a question of introducing a new direction in the quest. Its three chapters corresponding to the mental quarter of the Gnostic Circle – Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius – are perhaps the book’s most important revelation. For example, the animal symbols which appear in these chapters are clearly indicative of the nature of this change in direction, in particular the Horse symbol, for in Chapter 7, the first sign/chapter of the mental quarter, the Horse is a white one, in keeping with the symbolism of Agni, but with meaningful differences. It is winged, for one, and therefore AIR is its natural element – meaning those ‘lofty’ mental regions above. This is important to note because after their passage through Scorpio, the 8th and next sign/land, the Horse, which in Libra was an Air symbol, is transformed into the Centaur. In addition, in Libra the children are carried out of that sign/land by the white winged Horse but in a chariot, – that is, not in close physical contact with the energy that the Horse represents. Here is the portion of the story describing their descent from those airy Libran heights and into the land of the penned-in energy, the land of the ‘unknown’:


‘The voices fade in the distance as the chariot is pulled through the infinite blue by the winged horse, farther and farther away, on to the realm  of the Unknown. They glide through the clear sky for a long time until they are plunged into a thick grey mist that becomes darker and darker as they penetrate it.

‘Suddenly, completely taken by surprise, the children are snatched up by two powerful, enormous claws that pull them with great force out of the chariot and into the mist. Val looks up to see what has stolen them, yet she sees nothing but the claws of some obviously huge bird, whose body remains completely covered in the dark grey blanket.

‘They seem to descend and the air becomes very hot and sticky. There is such tension, as that felt before the release of rain; it is almost suffocating. The bird stops its powerful flight, hovering slightly, and Val and Pom-pom can just make out below them a somewhat rocky land of intense sombre colours. And as the bird comes closer, carefully selecting the right spot on which to deposit them, they notice that the intense heat causes steam to come from the rocks, filling the air with an eery fog.

‘The bird sets them down and now the children can just barely make out its shape. They seem to have been carried by a great Eagle whose huge shadow disappears through the fog.’



The Eagle, having carried the children into the sign/land of Scorpio, is the promise of the ultimate victory over that 8th son of Aditi, Martanda.

From time to time in VISHAAL and in all my books – published and unpublished – I have presented simple facts such as the above regarding the recent discovery of ‘friendly scorpions’ to illustrate the truth of Sri Aurobindo’s prophecies, and also to provide proof that the Yoga of the Chamber, exactly as I had been describing while it was unfolding, has produced positive results. However, the results obtained so far are the impact this special process has had on evolution, or in the primary blueprint for the evolution of consciousness. Thus the effects are still far from reaching the individual seeker; though the change, having taken place in the original matrix, makes the realignment of consciousness in the human being an inevitable attainment. The question is when.

It has been my experience that the human being must make far greater efforts for this realignment than he or she has made until now. In addition, and complicating the matter considerably, there is the newness of the process. There are no previous models to serve us – similar to our work with animals. One had to hew the path through a virgin forest, but at the same time a conscious participation was necessary. This unusual, almost contradictory combination could only be achieved if the poise vis-à-vis the Divine, or the immaculate Centre, was the correct one. For this there is the question of sincerity to consider, as well as the true surrender, so central an aspect of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga. The atmosphere for this attainment was a trusting offering of oneself in the full awareness of engaging in a process not as a blind tool but with the certainty that knowledge is our right; and with this trusting confidence that what we may not understand today will surely be revealed to us tomorrow – for this is our birthright at this stage of evolution.

However, in the individual seeker the untransmuted Scorpio energy is his/her greatest stumbling block. This forms a hard ‘mass’ which is beautifully described in the Veda as a rock or a cave where the precious gold of the Truth-Conscious Sun is hoarded. One major problem for the seeker is the depth at which this mass is found. Sri Aurobindo refers to that ‘dark sun’ as the cause of all our woes and that which was ‘brought back out of the Inconscient’. Clearly then we are dealing with the central ‘knot’ in human creation. Until this Knot is undone, thoroughly and effectively, we will still be prisoners of this binary catastrophe.

In my experience with students seeking to deal with this Knot, I have seen that, as stated, the newness of the process proves to be the major problem. This translates itself into the fact that all previous codes of right spiritual conduct are practically meaningless or irrelevant when dealing with this hardened mass.

The problem to be solved lies elsewhere and not in the so-called spiritual domain. We are dealing with a basic cosmic and evolutionary fact: the human being is structured binarily and the competing ‘centre’ in this dual poise is the eighth sun/son of Aditi, Martanda, the Dark Sun, the root of whose name in Sanskrit signifies ‘death’.

The realignment we are discussing is meant to undo this binary status and place the consciousness-being of the individual in orbit of the luminous, unitary Sun of Truth-Consciousness – not as a spiritual achievement, for the most part disconnected from this cosmic and evolutionary reality, but rather as a true centre upholding all levels and parts of the being.

Thus, the major focus in the yoga of each individual seeker is a new poise vis-à-vis this Centre. That is, an entirely new attitude in one’s quest. The discovery of what this newness is and its imperative necessity is what constitutes the principal effort in one’s endeavour in the beginning stages of this Yoga. For the whole question is one of realignment, or centering. To achieve this that dark Sun must be dissolved. But the energies which had been hoarded in this hard mass cannot serve to poison one’s consciousness-being, as is presently the case. The dissolution I write of is a process in which those energies, for the first time in the evolution of consciousness, are ‘put in their right place’. That is, they are not ignored or suppressed, and therefore rendered even more heavily crusted over; nor are they permitted to be utilised any longer for the formation of a competing ‘centre’. Rather, they find their true place in their rightful orbit of the Sun of Truth-Consciousness.

At the third and fourth levels of the Supramental Manifestation this Knot is undone and the dissolution of that hardened mass is carried out. This concerns the vital and physical layers of being. However, the major culprit in the drama, impeding the right utilisation and collaboration of the vital and physical, is Mind, insofar as Mind is presently occupying a ruling position which is not its legitimate right. This false occupancy is what throws everything else ‘out of orbit’, all the way down the line, so to speak. And our entire civilisation is a consequence of this mental usurpation.

The difficulty for the individual seeker is that no matter how impressive his or her achievements have been in the yoga, they cannot be integrated in the being – and remain therefore in the category of sleeping energies – until this correct poise is attained.


Skambha, March of 1989                            

An Extract from ‘The 10th Day of Victory’

My tendency had always been to focus on the individual as the intrinsic nexus in a transformation process that might ultimately change conditions in the world.  With the expansion I was feeling this inclination was not superseded, rather something else happened.  I realised that it was the logical development after my years of involvement with the Indian Teacher whose concern was entirely riveted on an individual process:  Change yourself first and be concerned with nothing else, because you are the world, you are the society in which you live.  But I always felt that he would stop short of a full exposition.  On numerous occasions during his talks and in private meetings, I was left with the distinct sensation that he would check himself suddenly, as if he considered that he was going too far and was crossing a threshold not permissible for him.  It seemed to me his was decidedly a preparation.  His work in the world was restricted solely to that.  The destructive process he seemed to be espousing, which left many of his listeners disturbed for he seemed only to break down and not to offer any constructive process after this dismantling, was a necessary method to prepare for a work that was to be a truly new experience.  What that new creation was he left entirely in the realm of the unknown.  It lay beyond that ‘threshold’ and hence for him it was the unknowable.

The Indian Teacher was set upon deconditioning the individual and there was no doubt but that society was in desperate need of this cleansing process.  It was as if he had been sent to break up all the old forms, to leave a tabula rasa so that the new could manifest.  He seemed to be loosening the consciousness-fibres of our world.  But he gave no indication of what that newness might be.  Carry out this process, he might say, and then you will know what no one can tell you or teach you.  His method was a disturbing, constant negation.  In Indian philosophy and psychology it is known as ‘neti-neti’, ‘not this, not that’.  The enquirer reaches the truth by a process of elimination.  The disquieting feature of this method is that it leads to a nirvanic experience, a devastating dissolution of everything.  The ‘ultimate’ in this process is Nothingness.  All else, all the elements that constitute our world of time and space are seen as illusion, maya.  But can one build a new world, a society on this planet which is the product of time and space when everything that constitutes that material creation is termed ‘illusion’, and when Nothingness is the only and highest truth?

In Sri Aurobindo and my own experience of his way I found the fuller reality and the next step.  With this extended perceptive capacity, I saw that his work was that new thing.  The threshold which the Indian Teacher never crossed was where that newness came into being.  If that crossing was made, only then could the individual come to know a total process and integration of the various dimension of our world and the truth-essence of all the constituent elements of a creation in matter.

Negation was not the key to this attainment.  By negation one ended up in Nothingness.  Integration was the means and it resulted in a completeness which the individual could never know if he or she engaged in a process of constant denial of the very elements that form our material world.  A means had to be provided to the human being to perceive rightly, to focus the vision and bring the perceptive faculties to the point of seeing truth in those very elements which are indispensable for the emergence of material forms, for the continuation of the evolution of the species and the world itself.  Science, it was clear, was using those elements to destroy.  Spirituality therefore could not proceed along the same path of destruction through processes of denial and negation, no matter how camouflaged these might be.  Rather, a new creative process had to emerge and I knew Sri Aurobindo’s message and realisation held that key.


Certain dreams I had had in Rome during my involvement with the Indian Teacher now made perfect sense, their symbolism was entirely clear.  In one dream I was holding before him a glass bowl, like a fish bowl filled with water.  In it were all the original forms of life, the earliest biological structures which ultimately eveolved to provide the human consciousness with a vehicle in this world.  I was pointing this out to him, stressing creation  as the real key to Love.  Then I gave him a clock which was also symbolically connected to that Love.  Indeed, Time, I later came to discover, was the executive power of Love in the world.

These dreams were disquieting at the time because I was teaching him. But it was clear that on some very deep level the method he was espousing was disturbing and though I might control the reaction in my waking consciousness, in sleep these profound responses came forth.

The Indian Teacher might eschew process, method, and proclaim an instantaneous realisation; but I knew that method and process (and hence time) were valid, and the nature of the process itself revealed the ultimate attainment.  Negation brought one to Nothingness.  The creative process introduced something entirely new and never before experienced in a world in which only destruction has been the way.  I saw that the way of the Indian Teacher was paradoxically an old way.  He was the final exponent and superior realiser in a line of stunning Negators.  The work of the great sages like Gautam the Buddha, like Shankaracharya, reached an apotheosis in him.  He was indeed Lord Maitreya the world of Buddhism had for so long awaited, as he had been hailed in his youth.  His coming at this time was the immaculate proof that the Earth was facing her most dire moment, when the fullest powers of destruction and creation would stand face to face in her final hour.  The nuclear holocaust threatening complete annihilation was the perfect symbol-result of the way of negation leading to Nothingness.

The experience I had had at the birth of my first child was becoming clear.  The ‘message’ given to me was that this (birth experience) was ‘the reason I was born a woman’.  It was not procreation.  It was a creative process in which consciousness and form blend for the establishment of a new world and a transformed individual within that creation.

The goal of Sri Aurobindo’s work was a grand synthesis of Individual, Cosmos, and Absolute; and this would be the foundation of a new world, an entirely new manifestation on Earth.  The Indian Teacher could never explain or introduce this new creation.  His task was simply to leave the Earth-field ready and to provide a choice, or perhaps an elegant ‘way out’.  He poured all his energy and being into this task, travelling ceaselessly to every corner of the globe to prepare the planet.  But he went no further than that.  He never crossed that sacred threshold which discloses ‘supermind’s organisation for the Earth’, which introduces a new way of creation, indeed of Woman.

. . . The Mother’s symbol disclosed the need for three necessary poises and phases in the course of the establishment of the supramental creation.  I realised that I could never have remained satisfied with the thought of the Indian Teacher because it contained no elements for this integral process.  It provided no concrete means to discover the purpose of evolution, of life on this planet.  True, his command was, Realise this and then you will see!  And that was what I was engaged in: the realisations which would allow one to see, – and to be.

With this cosmic extension of the work I also understood why the Indian Teacher strove incessantly to find words to express his seeing and often lamented that ‘there are no words’ for That.  This ‘language’ emerged only when that threshold had been crossed.  And the cosmos provided a basis for that formulation which was truly a ‘universal language’, a vision of objective truth – provided, however, that that cosmic dimension had also been divested of the veils clouding its truth.  For this the individual had to be poised properly in the act of seeing.  Sri Aurobindo offered the method to attain that new poise, after which ‘all things were made new’.  The exclusive focus of his work was that new creation.  The breaking down of the old he left to others.

And so, I saw myself being carried into a new dimension of their work, a logical and organic development.  No true understanding could come of what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were attempting in the world if one closed oneself in a box of a narrow focus on just one poise of the three when an integration was demanded if at all a new world was to manifest.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet


* The 10th Day of Victory, Volume One was subsequently published by Aeon Books in 2004.  It is also available at www.aeoncentre.com/shop for the Indian audience.  The 10th Day of Victory, Volume 2, Book One was published in 2014 and is available via the same links.