Letters from Skambha

'One must go deeper . . . '

Of course, when I read your letter I cannot really understand what the problem is. I mean, it seems to me you are making a problem where there ought not to be one. But this is usually the way it seems to someone who is outside – relatively speaking – the situation. You have to ‘live with yourself’ and be comfortable with yourself. And I suppose it is this point that creates all our disturbances: we all seem to be seeking ways to be ‘comfortable’ with ourselves and our lives. We have ‘made our beds’ and we want them, we DEMAND that they be comfortable to sleep in! This is our birthright, it would seem.

    So, coming to terms with our lives, as they are, is the problem. There is an underlying frustration in what you write. And I just wonder if it isn’t that you have not found the right companion for yourself. I believe that some of the difficulty lies in this. If the ‘right person’ were there, you wouldn’t be tormented so much about whether or not you should have a relationship, whether or not this would interfere with the yoga, whether or not this would be a distraction, whether it is right, wrong, or whatever. The fact that these considerations exist is what indicates that whoever the person, it is not the right one.

  I do not see how you can suppress your desire for a relationship when it is there. I have never asked you to do this. Just the contrary. What I have repeatedly asked is that you BE CONSCIOUS of what you are doing, whatever you do. So, if the need is there for a relationship, then approach this as consciously as possible. This question of ‘being conscious’ is not to be confused with the type of awareness that is sought in psychotherapy, or similar quests. It is not to indulge without ‘guilt’, ‘shame’, or ‘remorse’, and all the rest. That is not the point. The problems of guilt and shame and remorse are, in the context of this work, simply first-rung issues. They do not go deep enough.

The awareness you must seek here is a very careful and detached observation of yourself so that you can come to understand what DRIVES YOU, what impels or compels you into these situations. We are not concerned with remorse or guilt or shame, or the fact that it just ‘isn’t done’ when one is practicing yoga. Those considerations are all irrelevant or of secondary importance. But you must observe yourself and try to fathom what drives you into these situations. It seems to me that the relationships you find yourself in are inappropriate. They correspond to a certain ‘deformity’ in your nature, if I may call it that. So, you want to SEE THAT. You want to face it clearly and squarely. Unless you do, whatever relationship you find yourself in will never be satisfying. You may use the excuse of the Yoga now to hide the real cause of this frustration; but in your heart you know that this is not the point. The proof is that I have never said: Do not have a relationship. And yet you (and all of you there) keep harping on this issue. At the same time, you do not take seriously when I write that you must simply strive to be as conscious as possible in whatever circumstances life brings before you. The idea is so that these circumstances will be clear mirrors for you to perceive rightly and act accordingly. What must change in your way of being, in your assessment of things, is the focus of your attempts at awareness. I repeat, they are not to rid you of guilt. They are to try to ferret out what in your nature compels you to act in certain ways – anger is another example, and giving in to those impulses – and what therefore ATTRACTS certain situations to you.

My feeling is that you are caught in a circuit. The circumstances of your life are playing out an endless refrain; and you cannot get out of it because you are seeking the wrong thing. You are convinced you should be seeking something that is irrelevant to the real problem and therefore has no power to change anything in your life. But, take heart. Most people are in the same trap!

The fact that you cannot resolve your living and working situation is another example of this trap, if we can call it that. You are caught in a pattern that needs to be broken. You know it. But whatever you do seems to thrust you even more solidly into that same old web. This is due to the fact that you have not gone deep enough. The issues you are dealing with are simply distractions. They are not the real forces that are shaping your life. They are all superficial in the final analysis.

The visual impression of this type of situation can be had in The Magical Carousel, in the chapter on Cancer in relation to Capricorn (4th and 10th). And interestingly, these signs are the USA and India, respectively. That is why in America you have more or less superficial methods to deal with problems. Whereas in India, though the problems seem colossal and far more impossible to solve, the attempt is always to go deep, to the core of things. So, there is the Queen of Night in her beguiling disguises, offering one distraction after another. The children find themselves in a labyrinth, with no direction to the ‘search’. They don’t even know what they are searching for! And when they stumble upon ‘something’, it is veils and illusions and an enticing masquerade that gets them nowhere. Nowhere PERMANENT, that is.

On the other hand, in the Capricorn chapter, the entire ‘thrust’ of the chapter and the experience is this underlying direction, ever and always. They again find themselves in a sort of labyrinth, but with an immense difference. Something urges them forward on the basis of a clear direction, a rise higher and higher, not round and round and round… And on this basis they get to the root of things and they find their true destinies and their true dharmas.

The Woman who represents the finality of the quest in Capricorn is very different from the Cancer Queen of Night. The latter is constantly on the move! She is constantly changing, she has no permanent identity, and therefore does not encourage that quest in those of her ‘castle’. Even the Crab they fall asleep on in the beginning of the chapter offers the same image: they are convinced they have fallen asleep on a SOLID ROCK. But then it starts moving! This is to represent the ego. One thinks it is solid, unchanging, our ‘true self’. Yet it is thoroughly UNSTABLE, just like the rock that turns into a moving crab. And a prime characteristic of the crab is its way of moving about in unexpected directions – sideways, oblong strides this way and that.

Omanisol of Capricorn, on the other hand, is STABLE, PERMANENT, IMMOBILE. She represents that eternal element we carry within at the core of our beings. This is what you have to reach, through all the veils and shadows of the surface layers of your personality. When you reach that you can begin to ‘shape your destiny’. Which simply means that you will draw to yourself only those situations which are in harmony with THAT, which conspire to further THAT, which serve to enhance and make manifest THAT, and only THAT.

Now, this is for most people a frightening panorama. They feel that a pursuit of this nature will render them isolated and cut off from the little and meaningful things of life. It represents an ivory tower of aloneness for most. But this is a wrong assessment. As I have written, suppose you are meant to have a relationship with someone and to share your life with another person. How can you truly know this unless you reach that Core where your true destiny is written? At the same time, when you do, you will set in motion that play of circumstances which will draw to you the right person for expression of the highest part of yourself. It may be that you are meant to have this sort of expression in this lifetime. The point is to make the best of it, to make whatever relationship you are destined to have the outcome of a clear being, with no veils and shadows and twists. In such a state, what can one expect? Only more knots and more knots, and more and more…

We cannot reach this state by wallowing in guilt. Western psychology has rightfully understood what a negative emotion guilt is. But you do not liberate yourself from the drain this negativity produces simply by convincing yourself that to indulge is your ‘right’ and therefore you need not feel bad about it! In fact, people only have these reactions when they are in situations that are not in harmony with their true inner being. The ‘discomfort’ one feels is really the soul’s uneasiness in the situation. It is tolerated as a means to learn and to reach that clear condition of being. One has to move on!  But one has to strive to liberate oneself forever from those negative ties that compel us into situations about which we will feel this unease.

If you observe yourself very carefully henceforth you will see the root of the problem. This means that you cannot judge yourself (again, a point understood by many modern thinkers), you cannot condemn yourself, you cannot wallow in self-pity and a sense of guilt or remorse. You have to be alert for this task. And that means you have to be highly CONCENTRATED. You have to muster all your energy about you and create an atmosphere around you which will be conducive to SEEING. You must call on the Divine Presence. It must become a habit with you to be able to call this Presence forth in such situations.


The Void where Thought was born’…

(The following is a sequel to the letter that appeared in
VISHAAL 4/1, April, 1989, ‘The Infinite and the Detail’)

…I hasten to answer your letter because there seems to be a wrong impression formed. When I wrote about a wrong ‘direction’, I did not mean that you should stop your actual practice of the yoga. This was not the question at all. In fact, as far as I can see, in spite of everything, the practice is bearing results, especially along the lines I have been indicating. It seemed to me that concentration in the heart would be more beneficial. And this is what is happening now, perhaps more than in the past.

 The practices you describe are the general lines of the yoga. They are forever valid and should not be dispensed with. However, for each one the practice varies, as you know. In your case, the path you are following seems to suit you; and that is fine. But what I was referring to was the direction. This is something slightly different, though of course it does have bearing on the sadhana one follows.

By ‘direction’ I am referring to something Sri Aurobindo had written about, perhaps not using this term however, when he wrote of the overall aim of the yoga, its goal, which was different from all other paths. That is the direction. In other words, what is the final objective of your sadhana. As expressed by you I saw no difference in what you were pursuing than in most other paths. That is, the yoga was a means to go up and up and away. The sadhana in the embodied centres, the mental and the vital, was ultimately to provide a springboard for the ascending consciousness to reach the overmental and supramental planes. But then, after that? I mean, I see no difference from Tantra. And this has been my point all along.

The way the yoga is practiced by sadhaks does not convince me that what is gained can become a part of the evolution. That is, that it can CHANGE THINGS HERE, much less signify for the sadhak any bringing down of the light of those upper regions and establishing that as this base IN LIFE. Consequently, I have dealt with this issue at length, in my own yoga and recorded the results in the third volume of The New Way. This is because I find it essential. Also because, as I described in my last letter, it is the work of the Third in the Line to make this connection here below. Nothing of that work had been effectively done. Even now we are merely in the beginning, one could say. But with a difference. Now at least the lines are very clear. One sees clearly what has to be done and that the first solid foundation has been laid. This is a big step forward. But there are many more steps yet to be taken.

My whole point in the third volume of The New Way was to reveal the position in the body of the convergence of the descent and the ascent. I refer specifically to Tantra, as well as other paths. In Tantra, though the embodied centres are used for the sadhana and the Shakti is the focus of the worship and practice, what is the finality? The sadhak concentrates on the rise of the Kundalini, from the lowest chakra at the base of the spine, up through the others and then finally to the attainment of the highest. But where is that highest? It is outside the body. It is above the crown of the head. This is a clear ‘symbol’. The final attainment means a liberation from the body. The embodied centres were used simply to reach that liberation. And any Tantric will tell you that his aim is to secure release from birth ultimately, and a dissolution of his consciousness in the Absolute Brahman, unfettered by the coils of earthly flesh. This is no different from any other path. [In fact, the multiplicity of paths is mainly to cater to the different temperaments of seekers, rather than to provide different goals.] And hence the common slogan in spirituality is ‘there is only ONE TRUTH,’ and all paths and all religions ultimately agree and converge on this one truth.

Now, this is clearly where Sri Aurobindo’s work parts ways with ALL other spiritual paths. And this is why in the final analysis it is even difficult to refer to it as a ‘spiritual’ path. Again, this in itself introduces difficulties because one tends to rely on the old patterns and formulas which simply do not prove reliable in this work. But the new pattern or blueprint has been given; and it is this fact that I am constantly stressing. You have finally understood this when you write ‘….you used them (the Ashram, Auroville and Matrimandir) as objective examples of the development of their cosmos.’ This is accurate. Time and again I have sustained that the keys to the REAL development of Sri Aurobindo’s work are given in certain items of objective knowledge, foremost of which is the Mother’s original plan of the Matrimandir. Again in my last letter to you I stressed the fact: the Mother gave us a blueprint of a ‘soul’ with all its connections to time and matter. And in my work I have revealed those connections and the inner and deeper significance of the Chamber. For this reason it is not possible to regard the Auroville experiment as something to be left under the tutorship of individuals who have no idea of what the real meaning is in the elements they have taken possession of. We have to accept that this is so and continue with the work in spite of these ‘knots’; but at the same time we must see these conditions clearly and realise that these are the means devised to undo those ‘knots’. This too you have now come to understand.

I know of no sadhak in the Ashram or any person in Auroville or connected with that project who has seen the direction of the Work and who understands anything of the new way. And therefore I see that these people, some of whom may be quite sincere in their aspiration, as cut off from the reality of things, as if suspended, awaiting ‘something’, but not even having any clear idea of what that Something might be. That is, there is no appreciation of what is required to make Sri Aurobindo’s yoga radically different from all others, as he stated it was. The sadhana I have witnessed in the inmates of the Ashram – and I do not include the people in Auroville because I have yet to come across anyone from that place who is actually doing any sadhana at all! – is essentially no different from all other spiritual quests. People may believe they are ‘doing the yoga’ – the new yoga of Sri Aurobindo – but this does not make for any effective progress along these new lines.

When Sri Aurobindo announced that he was bringing something entirely new into the Earth’s atmosphere and revolutionising the world of the Spirit, he meant what he was stating very seriously. Far more seriously than what most people believe. That is, they do not have any idea of what such a statement implies. And so, when I write to you that the direction is wrong, I mean this: the goal you are positing as the finality of your quest does not strike me as being expressive of this newness. I see that it will lead you to the goal of all other paths: a dissolution in the Self, or the Brahman, and ‘release’ from birth. You may not see this yourself, for you may not even understand what this really means. Hardly anyone does. But it could very well be the finality of your quest. You may not realise this, for you may not even know what is implied in what I write. But nonetheless I must tell you what I see; also because I believe this lies at the basis of the strain you feel. Being destined for this path, it is clear that the Yoga Shakti will be constantly pressuring for a right direction. And when one is sincere, as I believe you are, one’s aspiration will always attract the person or persons or circumstances which will help to correct the direction and guide you along the way that is the truth of your soul in this lifetime.

In the late 1920s, Sri Aurobindo understood that a similar wrong direction was threatening to overtake his work. As you know from the Ashram literature, it was the period referred to as the Ashram’s ‘brilliant period’. This was because many, many sadhaks at the time were having dazzling visions, the Gods were easily seen and everyone believed that ‘heaven’ was indeed descending on Earth. The Mother herself expressed to Sri Aurobindo that she had received the Creative Word, the power to bring this ‘new’ creation on Earth.

But what was actually happening? Sri Aurobindo knew that the plane that had been reached and the powers responsible for these visions and countless experiences were the lesser forces of the Overmental Plane, and that allowing those powers to shape the new creation would not mean a NEW creation at all. It was in fact a very clever way to cement the old and impede for all times the supramental creation from coming into being.

Sri Aurobindo acted quickly. He halted the movement, stating that if it continued a new world religion would come into being, but nothing to do with his work. This assessment was entirely accurate because the finality of any Overmental creation is necessarily on the level of the religious consciousness. It is in fact the source of Religion.

The result of his action must not have pleased most of his disciples. It plunged everyone right ‘into the mire’. It was then said that the sadhana had gone into the physical, and there were no more dazzling visions and pleasant sleeping pills, as I call them. The work was hard, arduous, but RIGHT.

You see then that even with Sri Aurobindo present there has been a continuous danger of a wrong direction. This pertains to the overall lines of the Work, but it is no less relevant for the individual, through whom these new blueprints have been given. Whether or not they are used by disciples is another matter. If one’s aspiration is sincere for the truly NEW CREATION, then somehow one will be guided to the right way and the person who can guide one on this new path.

There is a ‘knot’ that is very, very deep-rooted in the human embodied consciousness. It is common to all who inhabit a body. This Knot is so difficult to undo – for after all, it is the nexus of the mental creation – that no one prior to Sri Aurobindo has made any effective attempt to get rid of this tremendous obstacle. To attain the heights, as has been done by countless seers and yogis in the past, this Knot presented no obstacle. One could overlook it entirely – precisely because the ‘direction’ was otherworldly; in which case, one had no obligation at all to deal with this problem. Ultimately, it became resolved, or rather dissolved by withholding any reality from it. One could UNDERMINE its existence to the point where it became an ‘illusion’, and the creation that it upheld, the mental human creation, was, by consequence, equally illusory. This was a very effective way of dealing with that Knot. It was so very effective that it is precisely this effectiveness that stands in the way today when we try to deal with this problem. In other words, these great sages had attained such wondrous heights that when we try to convince seekers of the necessity to disregard those past achievements and strive for this ‘new way’, they are not easily convinced. What have we to show for all the struggle and arduous tapasya required to undo that Knot? Especially in these early stages when it is demanded that we plough through the mire of ages in the effort to release those ‘rays of the hidden sun’?

When I assess what has been done so far and the QUALITY of the Knowledge that constitutes this New Way, I find nothing in the legacy spirituality has left us from the past to compare. And I include in this assessment all of Tantra and its various offshoots such as Tibetan Buddhism which has so much of the Tantric School in it. But an appreciation of this sort is not open to all. Precisely because none are aware of the EXACT nature of what is being accomplished by this new way. In the first place, they are not aware what lies at the root of the condition to be transformed, what Sri Aurobindo had alluded to in his poem, ‘A God’s Labour’. He stated very clearly that he had gone ‘where none had gone’, and he described what he encountered as ‘a falsehood…planted deep/At the very root of things’. And further on, he states, as he describes his plunge through ‘the dumb Earth’s dreadful heart’. …’I have seen the source whence her agonies part and the inner reason of hell’. And finally, ‘I have pierced the Void where Thought was born, I have walked in the bottomless pit’…

The ‘void’ that he sings of is the ‘knot’ I describe. The knot is not actually that Void but it is the ‘web’ that Mind weaves out of this nothingness and which it holds to as its sustaining power and ultimate apotheosis. Hence all the paths of spirituality that we know today in one way or another cling to this goal as the apex of the quest. It may not be explicitly stated, but when the goal is in some way ‘otherworldly’, as in all cases, then this Void is implicit.

So, you see, this is the direction that has to be changed. It means going against the current of aeons and aeons. It means having a PRECISE KNOWLEDGE of the old web and how it came into being and of the new matrix that is being created right now.

It is very easy for me to spot an ‘infiltration’ of the old. To such an extent that sometimes I find it bewildering because there is hardly anything free from this contamination. And yet we must do the work right here, and right now. Thus we are condemned (and I choose the word carefully!) to work in the midst of and in spite of this contamination. Perhaps with this background you can better understand why animals have had to be used for an essential part of the work, regarding certain basic lines of this new ‘web’. Their consciousness is not contaminated by that Knot, by that ‘falsehood…planted at the very root of things’, by that ‘Void where Thought was born’… This does not mean that animals are not subjected to the falsehood that is decay and death, or the perishability of this ephemeral flesh. What it means is that Mind has not the upper hand in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. Regarding the latter, it is clear that the Mother found flowers to be more ‘receptive’ to her force and hence it was her custom to pass something of her power to disciples through this medium. Each flower she gave was a clear container of her Force; and since she had the capacity to perceive the ‘inner truth’ of each flower, she was able to localise the particular ‘container’ that would best suit the occasion and the type of force to be transmitted which would aid the disciple in his/her particular problem. This again is because the vegetable kingdom is not contaminated – the contamination being the rule of Mind. The problem with our species is the dominance of Mind, its USURPATION of the highest position. This is what has produced that hardened knot ‘at the root of things’.

In this too spirituality has provided an answer: go beyond mind, stop thought, sit in meditation and remove yourself from the problem, find peace in the beyond, in the static Brahman…and so on. The formulas are many, but none of them solved the ‘nether mysteries’.

The aim of my work presently is to create an indelible imprint on the human consciousness regarding this ‘new direction’. To achieve this I have to keep pounding away at the obnoxious habit of the human being to equate spirituality with otherworldliness, whatever the disguise. At the same time I have to offer impeccable means to see this new Power working in the world now, in its present state. In a word, I have to bring about a ‘new seeing’, a ‘seeing in understanding’ – not visions and lights and all the rest. In fact, that avenue has to be closed for now. One cannot add more baggage to the seeker which has to be shed in any case. But people equate spirituality with those experiences, or with ‘experiences’ of some sort. When these are lacking the person cannot believe he/she is doing any sadhana at all. Precisely because that ‘new seeing’ is not present, for if it were, ‘all things would be made new’ and the thirst for that sort of enticement would vanish. Whatever one perceives ON THIS EARTH would be transformed – the transformation being the lived experience of seeing the Divine Consciousness IN ALL THINGS, controlling everything, and carrying evolution to the next stage, the supramental creation.

But for most people this is not spiritual enough. And there are so many temperaments to contend with. Each seeker has his own individual consciousness to be accommodated into this new ‘web’.

I have difficulty with the terms ‘ascent’ and descent’ at this point. I feel that with the introduction of the supramental yoga, which had not occurred before, these terms are too linear, they do not truly express the real condition of the sadhana, either individually or collectively. So the terms that NATURALLY evolved out of this phase of the work are ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’. I see it in this way: what would be equivalent to the ‘descent’ is a vertical descending direction similar to the descent of old; but the main shift concerns this question of ‘ascent’. Presently it is more on the order of a horizontal expansion. These terms can also be equated with contraction and expansion. Visually, it can be ‘seen’ in this way: there is a descent, like a seed. This then produces ripples, expanding waves in the consciousness-field of the sadhak, which move ever outward from that point. And the ‘point’ I refer to is the important NEXUS in the body where this shift or reversal takes place. That is the new dimension of the soul experience I have referred to in my last letter.

In this condition the body, with all its subtle sheaths of course, is the FIELD of the sadhana. It is never rejected and there is no attempt to exceed its boundaries. But there is a widening so as to incorporate into its field more force, more light, more of the higher things which until now the physical instrument was not able to contain. Contraction draws these into the expanding field – a simultaneous movement.

Again I must refer to the real facts of the Manifestation to provide examples of this arrangement which is valid for the individual as well as the collectivity. The ‘descent’ or the descending vertical direction corresponds to the Solar Line – 9, 6, and 3. What does this mean for the individual? In what way can this Descent become a part of his/her sadhana? What the Solar Line represents is the reality of each individual on this planet, but IN POTENTIAL. That is, you consist of Transcendent, Cosmic and Individual Divine attributes. You, as an individual incarnate soul, come with these triadic attributes. The purpose of your sojourn on this planet is to REALISE that, to unveil these triune powers and ultimately to contribute this to the evolution on Earth so that we shall soon see a new world order founded on this hitherto hidden potential. The soul is that Point into which these attributes, transcendent and cosmic, are ‘compressed’. In the course of the sadhana, when that ‘reversal’ takes place, then there begins the expanding movement, with that Stable Constant, that ‘point’ as one’s base and no longer the Void. This is what I refer to as ‘the birth that fills the void’. At the Reversal the expanding movement begins which is like the ripples in a pond, extending outward from the centre.

The Gnostic Circle contains all of this: the Sacred Triangle is the Circle’s relation to the vertical descent; and the rest, the division of 12, corresponds to the fourfold horizontal poise of individual and collectivity. That is, the Gnostic Circle is a combination of 9 and 12, or vertical and horizontal directions. The 4.5 Orbit is the ‘nether region’ which was formerly the ‘void’ but which now, with the release of the Light, has become that kingdom of the Fourth Power in the Line, and hence the great Reversal Point. This diagram represents the complete field of consciousness-being. These are the lines of the Yoga now. (5.4.1989)


‘The Relative, the Absolute, the One’

…In your letter you had asked about ‘truth’, perhaps it can be given only in ‘drops’. Well, this is true in a way. But the fact is I have given out the full thing, yet even when people read they themselves only select ‘drops’, or what they can understand at any given moment. So, now I have come to the point, just very recently, of taking a different attitude. I am not going to bother with people who have doubts and who cling to them, because they refuse to let go of their doubts since it would mean a commitment and a progress. They would have to CHANGE, quite simply. It is easier to keep doubting. The doubt helps one to remain the same, stuck in the same mire and never going anywhere. Or else they cling to falsehood, out and out. So, I shall not bother any more.

    I will put the truth to you, plain and simple. But I cannot promise that its simplicity will be of any help to you. However, let me try. It concerns your question about the Ananda Power… Yes, this Power corresponds to the Third… But I find these titles just too limiting. They are, for me, the old formulation which arose out of an incomplete knowledge. At the time Sri Aurobindo formulated his work in this way he was describing a manifestation based on TWO POWERS. This created a certain limitation. But he had no choice. That was all time had evolved and ‘permitted’. More ‘time’ was needed to be able to express the true new way.

   What this meant was a shift from two to three. That is, it revolved around the triune Godhead. This is another question you ask regarding September Letters. The Triune Godhead is this: Transcendent, Cosmic, Individual. It is as simple as that. But there is so much in this little triadic formula. Because, you see, these Powers have never INCARNATED together, in an unbroken line, before. And it is only when this shift takes place, from two to three, that we move out of LINEAR perception and into the spherical consciousness of Unity. This sounds simple enough. However, it is pregnant with a revolutionising content. Let me go further.

     In terms of Numbers the above makes all the difference in the world. You see, from very ancient times sages had perceived that Number held the key to almost everything. The Greeks themselves had perceived this, to the point where Plato, I believe, claimed that God only geometrises, that Number was the essence of creation and that through Number we could come to know God.

But what was the block in their perception? It was the failure to understand or to ‘see’ the Zero. And why had they failed to ‘see’ the Zero? Because this triune manifestation had not occurred yet. And why? Simply because ‘the time had not yet come’

Now, remember the words the Mother heard at the time of the Supramental Manifestation on 29 February 1956? They were, ‘The time has come.’ This sounds plain enough and easy enough to explain. Yes, the time has now come. But again there is much more to this simple message. TIME HAD COME. The ability via the channels of Time to give form to that highest Truth. This could only be done with Time as an ally, and on the basis of a complete shift regarding the seeing of Number and its relation to the Creative Power and its subsequent formulation. That shift concerned the question of Unity: unity could no longer be expressed as ‘the One’. It was the Zero.

Here I am not giving you ‘drops’ but the whole truth. Yet you could never appreciate what this means, therefore it must be, for you, just drops. But when I write ‘you’ I mean everyone on this planet today. That may sound like an exaggeration, but, believe me, I have very sound reasons to be able to make this apparently outlandish statement  . The reason is that this simple ‘shift’ marks the threshold between the old and the new consciousness, between the overmind and the Supermind, between the old way and the new way, between a world of relativism and a perception of absolutism.

The latter brings us to an important point. What I have written, equipped with this formula, in The New Way and in all my other books concerns absolute truth. Therefore it has this quality of definiteness and unquestionable precision, accuracy, fact. And this is what disturbs many people who read my books, especially The New Way. No one feels comfortable with Absolutes. Our civilisation is constructed around a ‘relative centre’. This is the Nothingness that is supposed to hold it together. This is where science has carried us: relativity, quantum ‘unpredictable’ physics, and all the rest. We are comfortable with that because it allows us to continue as we are. If everything is relative, anything can be true. But when you pick up a work like The New Way, how do you accommodate this poise? I mean, how can you be comfortable with all those unbelievable facts of events having already taken place in Time, in this exquisite pattern, and still hold on to the Doubt, which is the child of relativism? It is impossible. Either you agree to make this shift, or else you put the book (and all my work) aside and you simply admit that it is not for you… There are other, more wicked ways of dealing with this problem. You can destroy that Truth that makes you feel so uncomfortable. Such is the nature of fear…


Back to the Zero. From ancient times sages had seen unity as One. Isn’t it beautiful: the One is a LINEAR figure. The Zero is circular. Again, ‘the symbol is the thing symbolised’, this time regarding number symbols, or figures. This fact, that unity was equated with the One, may seem irrelevant or of little importance; but it describes the collapse of our civilisation; while the shift to the perception of unity as the Zero describes the new creation and its spherically perceiving consciousness.

Put another way, what this means is that we have torn a veil. We have pushed perception back, beyond the manifest One. You see, the One is the Fourth not the first – if you understand what I mean. Before that Fourth, who is the One, or the point in space, there are the three powers of the Zero, 9, 6, and 3. Never before had this been perceived, because these Powers had not incarnated in a connected Line. This is what is so special about the 9th Manifestation. Can we have any greater Grace than to be born now, when this is taking place? But those who would freeze Sri Aurobindo’s work at the manifestation of just the first two Powers, would wish to impede us from enjoying and living this fullest truth of the Age. Z had asked about Tao and its relation to my work. Yes, I answered, there is a relation. But, you see, in Tao also there is a truth that was incomplete. They saw the world built on two principles, Yin and Yang. And there was a twist in that perception precisely because it was incomplete. Yang is, for the taoist, the creative power; but it is masculine. Whereas in India you have ‘everything in its place’: the Shakti is that Creative Power – the feminine kinetic principle, the formative Power of the Supreme. Why have they seen THAT? Because, remember, they also ‘saw’ the Zero. India gave the Zero to the world. She could only do so if she had seen its truth. When you are dealing with Numbers you are dealing with truths of perception, with expanses of consciousness, with seeings of absoluteness.

What are the difficulties I face? I have to bring the Absolute Truth into a world of relativism, into a civilisation of relativity perception. That is, I have to unveil the Being in the Becoming. To do this I have had to change the direction of the perception: into the Core where the seat of Absolute Truth is lodged, in the individual and in creation. This is why I place so much emphasis on the direction of the quest. It may seem irrelevant in a world that believes ‘all paths lead to God’. There is no path today except this one that leads to the Core. To describe the Third properly one must refer to the Core. It is true that Ananda is its quality – but there is so much more to say… If you read Chapter 10 of The Magical Carousel (and the Commentaries), you will understand the relation between the Core and Absolutism better.

…Yes, a number of Yogis in India perceive that ‘something’ is happening in India and in the world. But my experience has been that most are still bogged down in the mire of the Kali Yuga perception: we are in the Kali Yuga and everything is dismal and dark. And that is it. They do not go beyond that. They know that Kalki must come to redeem the situation, but they are bogged down there too because they have misseen  and put the Buddha at the 9th place in the line of Ten Avatars, so this has thrown them off. What is amusing is that the old seers claimed that the Buddha, even though he was the 9th Avatar, was a ‘ruse of the Supreme’ to ‘mislead seekers’. For reasons best known to them! Indeed, this misplacement has been misleading seekers for 2000 years! I am trying to ‘put order’ into this chaos, and to ‘put each thing in its place’. But is there any real interest? They are now embarking upon a major work, an encyclopaedia of Hinduism. I’ll bet you that even in this colossal, comprehensive work they will request some scholarly sage to write about the Ten Avatars and he will produce an article for this encyclopaedia that will continue to put the Buddha at the 9th position! And so, the falsehood gets repeated and the seekers keep getting led astray by that rascal of Buddha! It is comical.

Enough of ‘absolute truth’ … (14.4.1989)


‘The Secret of Immortal Life’

…It is a period of great difficulties, attacks, very meticulously planned, very hard to deal with since there are so many levels. I can understand why Sri Aurobindo and the Mother shared different aspects of the Work. For one person the immensity of it all is sometimes too much – so many levels and activities. One needs a great deal of precise Knowledge to be able to survive this period.

       You know, it is the last battle before the final and irrevocable reversal. The Falsehood seeks not only to hold its own but to gain more. Because EXPANSION, ACCELERATION are the keywords now. Whoever does not move forward, falls back; and the ground is lost to the Lord of Falsehood. There is a last-ditch attempt to arrest the Divine Advance. So, the times are indeed hard. But I wonder how many can see this? They are all so much trapped in the ego-consciousness. There is no wideness, no seeing, no true surrender to THAT. Alas, even in the best. It is indeed very difficult for the human being, this time of transition.

I can see you moving through the next cycle, 1989-98, with comparative ease, if you want, if something in you does not ‘decide’ to leave earlier. It all depends on the inner poise and that willingness to MOVE FORWARD. Inertia in such cases – indeed, in all cases – is the real and true Enemy. But Inertia is not overcome by noise and frenzy and wasted energy. Inertia is overcome by a special poise which puts us OUT OF ITS REACH, which places us in a dimension where the hold of Inertia simply does not exist.

Before, the way was to escape this force by dissolving the element that represents our connection to life, in time and space and on this planet. Then it was easy. Now, for us, it is not so easy because we are not permitted these escapes. So, we have to discover the Secret of Immortal Life. This means, we have to find the way to REALIGN that Core so that it can no longer be dissolved. Do you understand what I mean?

This is why in my work I am always stressing the NEW DIRECTION: into the Core. The consciousness must be so poised, so centred as to bring about an unveiling of that Point which has never been a part of the evolutionary experience before. This Point is centremost to the Core in our inner beings. A realignment permits that Point, or the One, or Agni, to uphold ‘our journey’ on the path of Immortality. This is the secret of that mysterious ‘Immortality Day’, – indeed, the day Sri Aurobindo gave you your name so many, many years ago…             (19.5.1989)



* *

‘…Beautiful is the face of the Divine Mother, but she too can be hard and terrible. Nay, then, is immortality a plaything to be given lightly to a child, or the divine life a prize without effort or the crown for a weakling? Strive rightly and thou shalt have; trust and thy trust shall in the end be justified; but the dread Law of the Way is there and none can abrogate it.’

Sri Aurobindo
‘The Way’, CE, Vol. 17, p. 40.


‘Nothing can arise from Nothing. Asat, nothingness, is a creation of our mind; where it cannot see or conceive, where its object is something beyond its grasp, too much beyond to give even the sense of a vague intangible, then it cries out, “Here there is nothing.” Out of its own incapacity it has created the conception of a zero. But what in truth is this zero? It is an incalculable infinite.

‘Our sense by its incapacity has invented darkness. In truth there is nothing but Light, only it is a power of light either above or below our poor human vision’s limited range.

‘For do not imagine that light is created by the Suns. The Suns are only physical concentrations of Light, but the splendour they concentrate for us is self-born and everywhere.

‘God is everywhere and wherever God is, there is Light…’.

Sri Aurobindo
‘The Web of Yoga’, CE, Vol. 17, p. 48.


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