The Comet of Immortality

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, Volume 17, page 48

Amarketu, the comet of immortality, is the name I have given to Halley’s Comet in its twentieth-century appearances. The last visit it paid to Earth was in 1910, just at the time that Sri Aurobindo finally left political life and settled in Pondicherry to begin his real mission. British India then was in great turmoil. A process that had begun a number of decades before started to take a more defined shape. But it is a process in which we are still involved. Indeed, these past few decades since the nation attained independence have merely provided an impetus, an acceleration of what was set in motion in 1857, the year of the Sepoy Rebellion.

I have often emphasised in my writings that the 90/99 year cycle is very significant in a process of transformation in which a harmony of spirit and matter is sought (see, Symbols & The Question of Unity, ‘Transformation of the Body and the Cosmic Rhythm’, 1974). In The Vishaal Newsletter of October, 1985, this cycle was discussed with regard to the Indian National Congress and its 90th birthday in 1975, initiating the important 9-year cycle to its 99th birthday in 1984; the very time that Rajiv Gandhi won the national elections for the Congress with an unprecedented majority. Likewise, India has known another 9-upon-90-year cycle that may be considered perhaps the most important in her long and ancient history. This began in 1857. At that time the nation entered the ‘final round’ in a process that was to result in the birth of the new India (see, The New Way 1&2, page 191ff.). Thus, 90 years after 1857, independence from Britain was attained. Yet that independence year, 1947, was in itself the start of another significant cycle, – the 9 years to complete the full 99 in 1956. With this latter, a ‘new body’ was formed; or, to be more precise, – a seed.

As students of Sri Aurobindo’s life and works are aware, 1956 was the year of the long-awaited Supramental Manifestation. Thus those final nine years from 1947 to 1956 brought into being a ‘condensed seed’ which from then onward was to evolve, expand, extend itself outward. That seed or nucleus is the heart of a new world. Sri Aurobindo has discussed the idea of a seed of this nature coming into being when in 1920 he put out a call to the youth of India:

‘Our call is to young India. It is the young who must be the builders of the new world, – not those who accept the competitive individualism, the capitalism or the materialistic communism of the West as India’s future ideal, not those who are enslaved to the old religious formulas and cannot believe in the acceptance and transformation of life by the spirit, but all who are free in mind and heart to accept a completer truth and labour for a greater ideal. They must be men who will dedicate themselves not to the past or the present but to the future. They will need to consecrate their lives to an exceeding of their lower self, to the realisation of God in themselves and in all human beings and to a whole-minded and indefatigable labour for the nation and for humanity. This ideal can be as yet only a little seed and the life that embodies it a small nucleus, but it is our fixed hope that the seed will grow into a great tree and the nucleus be the heart of an ever-extending formation. It is with confident trust in the spirit that inspires us that we take our place among the standard-bearers of the new humanity that is struggling to be born amidst the chaos of a world in dissolution, and of the future India, the greater India of the rebirth that is to rejuvenate the mighty outworn body of the ancient Mother.’

‘Ourselves’, CE, Volume 16, page 331

This brief paragraph is so pregnant with prophetic import that with it alone we can arrive at a thorough understanding of the path that lies before us, as valid today as when it was written in 1920. For that ‘seed’ does exist, though when Sri Aurobindo wrote these lines its formation was merely in the initial stages. Today, after more than 60 years, we are in a position to reveal not only the existence of such a nucleus but to discuss with precision the mechanism by which the inspirational power contained in that seed spreads outward and encourages the development of not only a new India but of a new and transformed Earth, in an ‘ever-extending formation’.

For the birth of a new India is not exclusive and restricted to India alone. Sri Aurobindo had seen that a light was to be born in the East that would serve as the inspirer of a new world order. One of the essential prerequisites of such a transformation is evidently a consciousness that no longer sees a planet divided into hemispheres, blocs, countless individual nations; and then regions and states therein. True, our world is a world of harmony of the one and the many. But the multiple can only express itself, realise its fullest potential and contribution to the whole, when it has perceived itself as an integral part of the greater Earth.

The truth of the new world that is being born is the one Earth. This was the process that began to acquire a more precise form from 1857, the seed of which was fully consolidated by 1956, 99 years thereafter. But all along the way in this span of a century, there have been significant events occurring at precise moments that provide us with a coherent pattern or web of time that we can ‘read’, as an astrologer reads a horoscope. Among these important happenings there are the appearances of certain comets during this century. In past writings on the subject, I have discussed two such comets. One is the article, ‘Language of the Universes’ (Symbols & the Question of Unity), and the comet was called Kohoutek. The other was an unpublished piece entitled ‘Comet West’ (1976). Now, with the reappearance of Halley’s Comet for the second time in the same century, we can close the arc constituted by the timely appearances of these three ‘beings of light’. By pointing out certain facts concerning each appearance, it will become evident to students of cosmic harmonies that not only do comets carry a special message to the Earth, but that in order to understand these messages one must have a particular key of knowledge as one’s guide, a backdrop on which to lay the astronomical details of the comet’s appearance.

The main factor, however, is an enlightened understanding of time, – what I have sometimes called the harmony of gnostic time. Indeed, the most significant aspect of comets is the time cycles they embrace in their orbit of the sun. A vision of unity can help one to decipher the message they bring, and can show that several comets may be part of one ‘family’, we may say, each one collaborating in a common goal, adding a part of the message that is conveyed by the unified vision of that cometary family. In the case under discussion, we are interested in analysing the intermeshed appearances of three comets, whose unified message culminates now with the return of the Comet of Immortality, Amarketu.

Let me provide a precise example of this unusual phenomenon. In 1973/74, during the all-important winter solstice, the Earth eagerly awaited the appearance of comet Kohoutek. Students of the Mother’s work will note that the arrival of Kohoutek accompanied the Mother’s passing. The entire period of its monitored approach to Earth and the Sun covered 9 months from the time of its initial sighting. Within that same period and also following a perfect 9-month cycle, the Mother prepared to leave her body. Indeed, a process that began on her 95th birthday – 21 February, 1973 – was completed exactly nine months later, when, on 20 November, she was placed in the Samadhi where Sri Aurobindo’s body lies. The Mother’s ‘light’ may be said to have withdrawn from the Earth, much in the same manner as the light of Kohoutek withdrew and failed to provide the spectacle that Earth-beings were so enthusiastically awaiting, – precisely during the solstice that from very ancient times has been known as the Festival of Light. In fact, on 5/6 January, the traditional date of the Epiphany (‘the appearance of the light’), Kohoutek disappeared, having been seen and photographed by only three astronauts, equivalent to the three magi who visited the divine Child on this same date as legend tells us. The rest of the Earth saw nothing of Kohoutek, however.

These appearances and cycles are directly related to the Mother’s Temple in a most remarkable manner. However, this should not surprise us insofar as that Temple is itself a synthesis of cosmic harmonies that one can read like a book, consonant with the very highest traditions of sacred architecture and geometry. Thus, during the 9-month period of Kohoutek’s approach and the Mother’s withdrawal, the knowledge of the Temple was also in its initial stages of consolidation. In October, 1973, in fact – one month before the Mother’s passing – the magical key of the Gnostic Circle came to me, the key of the harmony of gnostic time that would allow me subsequently to unravel the secrets of the precise measurements that the Mother gave of her Inner Chamber. Prior to this revelation those measurements remained a mystery. But the circumstances surrounding the approach of Comet Kohoutek were not unlike the circumstances surrounding the ‘approach of the knowledge’. Indeed, in its initial stages the latter too remained a vision enjoyed only by a few, an elite as it were, just as Kohoutek was seen and recorded only by the three ‘astronaut-magi’.

However, as indicated in the previous Newsletter, during the several years before her passing, the Mother occultly passed on this new body of knowledge. Not via a mediumistic-type transmission, it must be pointed out. Rather, she planted ‘seeds’ which then flowered in the consciousness in the form of yogic experiences that then gave forth this new body of higher knowledge in a steady, uninterrupted and coherent development. In October of 1973 the Mother’s inspirational action reached a decisive culmination when, just before her passing, the final element was provided to bring into being the Gnostic Circle.

Thereafter, in the first five days of January, 1974, I began writing The Gnostic Circle, the book in which this key is detailed. In the course of the following nine months, during which time the book was completed, the laws of correspondence unravelled by this key led me to understand the central role the Mother’s Chamber plays in the larger context of Sri Aurobindo’s work. But Kohoutek was indeed accurate in its message of unfulfilled hopes for the Earth: the light that I had seen and sought to establish as the means by which fundamental decisions would be taken for the Temple (and by consequence for the City), in particular regarding the implementation of the Mother’s original plan, failed to impose itself. It too remained the coveted vision of just a few.

Yet a few, a handful, is all that is required to secure the victory; and Kohoutek was only one piece in the larger mosaic of cosmic harmonies – even as the Mother’s passing was one step along the way, yet essential to the fulfillment of the total Vision. For in her passing, the nectar of immortality was handed down, and the third phase in her work was given the final thrust it needed to set it definitely on its way.

However, the years following Kohoutek’s disappointing visit were indeed disappointing. And the knowledge that descended in 1974 concerning the Temple, as recorded in The Gnostic Circle, failed to secure the re-adoption of the Mother’s original plan. The situation was in fact quite dismal. Yet, 1974 was merely the beginning of that descent of knowledge, and 1976 brought the conclusive breakthrough. Interestingly, 1976 also witnessed the unexpected, brilliant appearance of another comet, called West. So perfect was the synchronisation of the appearance of these cosmic bodies that Comet West came at exactly the time of this spectacular breakthrough, providing perhaps the most awesome confirmation via physical phenomena that this work has ever received, as I shall describe anon.

Comet West was no disappointment for the Earth, though its unexpected appearance was the reason why it aroused no great enthusiasm on Earth. However, during the two weeks or so that it was seen by the naked eye, many of us were granted the vision of the Comet in the early morning hours, poised beside a radiant Venus, the morning star:

‘I saw the Omnipotent’s flaming pioneers
Over the heavenly verge which turns toward life
Come crowding down the amber stairs of birth;
Forerunners of a divine multitude
Out of the paths of the morning star they came
Into the little room of mortal life.’

(Savitri, Book III, Canto 4)

These lines introduce Sri Aurobindo’s description in Savitri of the new creation. Likewise, Comet West brought the message of that same advent, for at the very time of its appearance beside the morning star the breakthrough came concerning precisely this new creation, and all the knowledge contained in the first and second volumes of The New Way began to flood the being in a glorious vision that took a period of approximately ten days to be completed – spanning in fact the entire time that Comet West was visible in the heavens. This breakthrough began on 12 March, 1976, and in large part was completed by the March equinox, when the full Solar Line was revealed, a line that consists of four members. Interestingly, nay amazingly, right then Comet West’s nucleus split up neatly and precisely into four circular parts. I reproduce here the photographs of this spectacular synchronistic happening, which reveal the extraordinary interconnection of events in the womb of gnostic time, and the oneness of the Consciousness that guides this work, the destiny of Earth and the happenings in the universe that surrounds us. The Divine Mother speaks to us through all the elements of her cosmic Body. And she speaks in a special and most precious way through these Messengers of Light.


Photo courtesy of New Mexico State University Observatory.

Comet West appeared in the 76th year of this century. Let us see what this fact reveals, for we know that Halley’s Comet has a cycle of 76 years. Therefore, might it not be connected to West in some way, via this harmony of number-power and time? To explain the connection I must dwell to some extent on the knowledge that descended during those days of West’s appearance; that is, the revelation of the fourfold nature of the Solar Line. Four are its members, just as West indicated when its nucleus split into four parts – for that is precisely the significance: the nucleus of this Consciousness-Cell, the progenitor of the new creation, consists of four parts. I have often referred to this organisation of the Supramental Manifestation as a nucleus in fact. But the number 76 concerns the final member of the fourfold Line, the Fourth Power – even as the number 76 equals 4 by the Mathematics of Unity (7+6=13=1+3=4).

The knowledge that came in such glorious streams during those days of March 1976 was centred exclusively on the Mother’s Temple. The very special element that came into being then, or that was unveiled to the inner Eye, was the exact structure of the Temple’s most sacred part, which I have called the Core, consisting of a Globe and a Pedestal. (See the Frontispiece photograph of The New Way 1&2.) The Mother had seen this Core and had given the precise measurement of its Globe (see, Appendix I, The New Way 1&2). But she did not specify the measurement of the Pedestal. However this was immaterial, insofar as the only measurement needed to construct the Core properly on the basis of sacred geometry was the Globe’s diameter. With this in hand, provided by the Mother, the discovery of the exact proportions of the Pedestal came in a process of simple geometric construction. Yet though the geometry was a simple matter, the revelation this construction brought was utterly overwhelming and of the utmost importance for the future of Sri Aurobindo’s work. In fact, that Core construction, executed according to a thorough knowledge of sacred geometry and based on that key measurement the Mother gave for the globe – 70 cm – provided us with the revelation of what has come to be known as ‘Sri Aurobindo’s Secret’. That is, the time of his rebirth, coupled with all the details of what that birth would signify in the future course of his work. It brought the coveted knowledge of the fourfoldness of the Solar Line and the part that Sri Aurobindo’s rebirth would play therein, in particular with respect to certain hitherto unrevealed laws concerning the occult properties of matter and hence the future evolution of the species. An intrinsic aspect of this revelation was the new light it brought concerning the sacred Pranava – OM, whose triune body gives forth the One, or the Fourth Power.

All of this transpired in 1976, and via Comet West a connection was drawn to Halley’s Comet whose cycle is 76 years. The use of a very special device of sacred geometry brought into being a hitherto undetected 20 cm in the Core of the Mother’s Temple, veritably its ‘hidden manna’. And miraculously, these hidden 20 cm are exactly 1/76th part of the measurement of the Solar Ray (1520 cm) whose light descends perennially and fills the Globe, and which the Mother called ‘the symbol of the future realisation’.

I have pointed out the relevance of this number and time cycle, 76, throughout The New Way. It is especially connected to Sri Aurobindo’s work for India and her unification and process of integration. But not limited to India solely. For indeed, Sri Aurobindo prophesied the fuller nature of this work that would be epitomised in this magical 76, when in his 76th Aphorism he wrote:

‘Europe prides herself on her practical and
scientific organisation and efficiency. I am
waiting till her organisation is perfect;
then a child shall destroy her.’

(See: The New Way 1&2, Appendix II)

That ‘child’ is the fourth element, whose integration into the fourfold Solar Line came exactly during Comet West’s appearance in March, 1976. But there is more to this revelation in which matter and spirit join to provide the confirmation we seek, based on just such a union. This Fourth Principle of the Solar Line is the same godhead referred to in The Revelation of St. John as ‘the Conqueror’, and, more interestingly, as Shiva’s son Kartikeya or Skanda, whose vehicle, tradition tells us, is the Peacock. Thus, true to this remarkable synchronism I am describing, scientists referred to the tail of Comet West precisely as ‘a peacock’s tail’ (Nigel Calder, The Comet is Coming!, Viking, 1980).

Now Halley’s Comet has reappeared – for the second time in this century. Its first appearance, as mentioned, coincided exactly with Sri Aurobindo’s retreat to Pondicherry on 4 April, 1910. I must point out that the Mother considered this date sufficiently important to request that the entrance to the Temple be aligned with the rising sun on 4 April. (Whether or not this alignment has been maintained in the building under construction in Auroville, I do not know. But since everything else has been altered in the plan she gave, it is unlikely that this has been respected. Furthermore, there is no point in respecting one item and discarding others. Such treasures of sacred architecture are distinguished precisely by the unity of their design and measurements, which forbids a selective adaptation.)

A significant point in this analysis resides in the fact that Halley’s Comet has appeared twice in this century. True, there may be other comets paying a double visit to the Earth during this period, but it must be pointed out that there is only one comet that has overwhelmingly captured the imagination of the inhabitants of this planet. And this is unquestionably Halley’s. Moreover, the sighting of this particular comet in 1682 by Newton’s contemporary, Edmond Halley, is what inspired a decisive breakthrough in the calculations that permitted an exact prediction of Halley’s return 76 years thereafter. Indeed, confirming those calculations, the comet did reappear as predicted, thus opening a new era in cometary knowledge. Therefore, it may safely be said that Halley’s Comet is no ordinary messenger of light. It is, in a sense, the father of the line. Accordingly, it occupies a special place in our studies, insofar as it introduced a new era in the perception of cometary phenomena. It is equivalent to the breakthrough the pioneering voyages that Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the Americas signified for humankind. It is quite likely that there were voyages to the Americas prior to his during the 1490s – as, for example those of the Nordic seafarers centuries earlier. However, the Nordic voyagers did nothing to integrate their discoveries into the vision of the Earth’s conformation then in existence, with all the subsequent consequences an expansion of that nature would have engendered in the civilisations dominating the world at that time. Columbus’ voyages may not have been unique and perhaps ought not to be considered the first; nonetheless, they alone carried the collective eye of humanity across a certain threshold and introduced a decisive expansion, serving in a sense as a gateway not only to a physical new world but to a new world consciousness, the foundation of our actual civilisation.

The same may be said of Halley’s Comet in its 1607 monitored appearance. Prior to that we know that others had recorded the visit of this particular comet on countless of its passages; but these observations remained isolated. It was only when Halley returned, and fulfilled the accuracy of the predictions, that this phenomena took a special place in the fabric of the Earth’s collective consciousness. Therefore I state that Halley’s Comet is no ordinary messenger, and the light that it brings is no ordinary substance. Its message is the word of Immortality, like the sacred nectar that arose in the churning of the Milky Ocean, the great ocean of our System’s Time, as the Puranas record. In this context, comets can figuratively be seen as the countless treasures that arose in the great churning of the Milky Ocean – our Milky Way – in which the sun of our system is Mt. Meru, the churning stick-axis around which Vasuki, the serpent symbolising the power of Time, is wrapped. We are told that poison arose as well in that great labour, the fumes exuding from Vasuki’s mouth, which the Asuras were obliged to imbibe because they were holding its head. Accordingly, tradition, legend, superstition – and even science – all record the belief that the comet’s tail holds nefarious gases which, if brought into contact with the Earth by some mishap of orbital synchronisation, would produce untold disaster for the inhabitants of this planet. To this day scientific speculation continues concerning the possibility of such a collision occurring in the future, or even having occurred in the past and perhaps being responsible for the disappearance of the dinosaur population, for one. But as if to give even more validity to the Puranic myth, science tells us that comets leave particles of dust in the trails they blaze while orbiting the Sun. This remains in our system, and therefore as the Earth journeys in her own orbit of the Sun, she periodically passes through this ‘dust’, – re-inseminating herself, as it were, with this nectar from the great churning.

What is that substance? It is not that the substance of Halley’s Comet is itself that nectar, let us be clear, but simply that a harmony of Time is the main feature of our solar system; and comets, like all bodies orbiting the Sun, conspire to unfold the significance of that harmony, to render it intelligible to our perceptive awareness. And thereby all the phenomena of our world speak to us as a living oracle, a sacred book of revelation. In this consciousness, a consciousness that is imbued with a sense of unity, of oneness, the great vision of the Vedic Rishis can be appreciated, who chanted the glories of Usha, the Dawn Goddess – those first rays of the Sun: ‘Now perceptive vision has broken out into its wide dawn where nought was before…’ (Rig Veda, I, 124.11).

This ‘perceptive vision’ is equivalent to ‘the new Seeing’ I have described throughout this work, a seeing in understanding. It is superbly captured in the Mother’s Temple, an architectural model of this perceptive vision wherein all elements of the design converge on a luminous central point, the Globe of the Core, which precisely represents the Vedic Dawn Goddess of the perceptive Vision, an aspect of Earth herself.

It is the new Seeing that is the seed of the new creation. And how beautifully we can turn to the Veda once more and find confirmation of this vision, for Usha is said to lead in Agni, in the form of a White Horse. Agni (Skanda) is that Fourth Power, the fourth of the Solar Line. In the Temple he is represented by the Pedestal that upholds the Globe, just as the White Horse (Agni) is Usha’s own carrier who ‘upholds her’.

In 1976 this new creation unveiled its true place in the vision Sri Aurobindo gave to the world. And like the other phenomena under discussion, his work, the nectar that he brought to humanity, the truth-conscious message of a divine life for the planet and her civilisations, crossed a decisive threshold. It was in that year that the vision he gave matured and revealed its fourfold and hence indestructible nature, – at the very time that Comet West also became fourfold in the heavens.

It goes without saying that this happening remained unknown until considerably later. For my part, I saw the photographs of the comet’s nuclear split only in 1985, – that is, nine years after the event. The first photo with the Comet’s nucleus intact bears the date 8 March; parallel to this, my own breakthrough in knowledge was yet to start. But it did on 12 March, and consequently the second photograph with that date shows a beginning of the separation: the splitting up was in its initial stages. By the time the photograph was taken revealing the distinct fourfold nature of the Comet’s nucleus, 18 March, the knowledge of the fourfold Solar Line reached a pinnacle. The process was largely concluded by the equinox. Likewise, the 24 March photo of Comet West shows the parts disintegrating. In addition, I would like to point out that Comet West is the only comet I have ever physically seen in the heavens.

For the layman it may be difficult to appreciate what this enhanced fourfoldness signifies in the context of Sri Aurobindo’s revelation of the Supermind. Therefore, in order to facilitate an understanding of its central importance, let me illustrate the matter by pointing out that Sri Aurobindo had seen the Square to be the symbol of Supermind, a geometrical form which is fourfold in nature and whose numerical value is 4. In consequence, we ought not to be surprised to find that his own symbol, here reproduced, bears precisely a square in its centremost portion. But there is more data conveyed in this centre-square than just its connection with the number 4 and Supermind. And this data also serves to confirm the knowledge that comprises this new cosmology, – the basic formula 9/6/3-0/1.


I have often described this fourfold equation as the formula of the Supramental Manifestation. In Sri Aurobindo’s symbol, drawn according to the very precise instructions given by the Mother for its accurate geometric construction and design, we find that the petals and leaves of the central Lotus, symbol of the Avatar, are exactly 9, 6 and 3 in number, in the correct descending order. This was not a haphazard ‘coincidence’, but was a carefully arranged method to preserve the Knowledge and to allow his very symbol to convey the essential details of his mission and the truths to be revealed at a future time on the basis of the supramental gnosis.

The fourfold essence of the Supramental Manifestation is conveyed in the encompassing square, a symbol of Supermind. Indeed, it is when the powers of 9, 6 and 3 come into being as a triadic, unified manifestation that the reversal can take place and the subsequent 0 in the descending order gives forth the number 1. That One is then the fourth in the line of incarnations whose lives and yogas unite to produce the nucleus-seed of the new world order and gnostic race. It is on this basis that the ‘squaring of the circle’ is achieved, the mystical geometrical problem that has had such a profound hold on seekers since time immemorial; for example, on no less a luminous consciousness than Leonardo da Vinci. Sri Aurobindo’s symbol passes down the precious formula that reveals the deepest truths of this inspiring mystery of sacred geometry: 9/6/3 – and the fourth power of the One.

The nectar that Comet West brought in 1976 was thus consumed and the result was the spectacular discovery of ‘Sri Aurobindo’s Secret’. Now Halley’s Comet returns in the same century as its last appearance, even as Sri Aurobindo has made two appearances within one century, in order to square the circle – or to root the truth-consciousness in the Earth – by himself providing the Fourth Power in the descent, to thus complete the fourfold nature of the Supramental Manifestation.

In 1910 Sri Aurobindo began his work in Pondicherry. In that incarnation it was the permanent base of his work, and remained so until he left his body in 1950. Now, with Halley’s second appearance a new base has come to serve as the seat of the last phases of the fourfold Descent. The two happenings have been synchronised with the usual precision, the essence of this ‘new perceptive vision’, insofar as it is precisely at the time of Halley’s second coming that land is being acquired to serve as the new base. And I have named the comet Amarketu, for Immortality is the essence of the power of the One, the Fourth of the Solar Line, or the Immortal among mortals. Thus Amarketu’s first closest approach to Earth this time was on 26/27 November, 1985, the very day that in 1926 the Mother called Immortality Day – or the exact midway between the dates of her passing and Sri Aurobindo’s; it is as well the date of his return.


The sort of analysis I have made regarding comets is anathema to science. Recently I have had occasion to read a book entitled Perfect Symmetry, the Search for the Beginning of Time, by the scientist Heinz Pagels. Its final chapters once again reveal the great chasm that exists between science and other approaches to truth. Pagels insists upon maintaining a separation between one’s spiritual and religious beliefs and one’s scientific enquiry. He remarks that all truly great scientists have scrupulously adhered to this separation, for not to do so, according to Pagels, would defeat the very purpose of such enquiries. He maintains that all spiritual and religious experiences introduce an element of subjectivity, while science aims wholly at objective knowledge.

After reading Pagels’ ideas on the subject, more strongly than ever I realise that this is perhaps the greatest failing of science; the split that it encourages in the name of objectivity – science on one side, spirit on the other – with the ultimate result of a denial of life’s most essential attributes. In perceiving the deeper strata of existence where real causation lies, the approach of science appears entirely restricted to the surface phenomena; and because of this even that superficial layer is not understood properly, precisely because this separation is encouraged.

Pagels seems to lean toward the view of a universe essentially without purpose. It is interesting to note therefore that in his book he emphasises in his purview of the latest speculations concerning the origin of the universe that creation arose out of nothing. He describes the latest mathematical concepts which are able to prove that space, time and matter arose out of nothingness. But if nothing is the foundation of our world, it is evident that we can find in it no meaning. Philosophically this is the only conclusion we can reach: a foundation of nothingness can only give rise to substances of illusion, intrinsically unreal and hence purposeless. Indeed, Pagels is in the best of company in his postulations, insofar as many branches of spirituality also proclaim that nothing is the highest truth. Moreover, spirituality for the most part endeavours to maintain the same dichotomy that Pagels encourages in his quest for truth.

Though science has indeed provided revolutionising insights into many natural laws, it is still far from discovering not only the origin of creation but also its very purpose in being. In this article I have sought to present a new view of one particular cosmic phenomenon. This will call down upon me the ridicule of the scientific community, without a doubt. But such a dismissal does nothing to answer certain questions and provide a logical assessment of the undeniable fact of synchronicity; and, as the above description of my contact with certain comets reveals, it is the oneness that encourages a union of microcosms and macrocosms at particular, special points in time that conspire to reveal creation’s great purpose.

There are numerous dimensions to our world. Science deals with only the surfacemost of these. The human being is usually caged in a very small portion of these dimensions, which close out the enormous range of possibilities that are his birthright. If one’s consciousness is widened by the practice of yoga, one is brought to exceed one’s limits, extend one’s boundaries; then a host of such synchronistic harmonies begin to manifest and our life is suddenly revealed to be an integrated part of not only the phenomena surrounding us on this particular planet, but a part of the entire cosmic harmony – for oneness is the field of this interconnection. It is only then that the sense of it all – microcosmically and macrocosmically – begins to unveil itself. For the understanding of that great Purpose requires the collaboration of a conscious, seeing Eye. And this is, basically, the purpose of human birth: to provide just such an ‘eye/I’.

Thus the two can never be severed in the real pursuit of truth: the observer and the observed. In physics, measurement is thought to disturb the phenomenon under observation. But is this the whole truth? Certainly not. There is a Golden Rod, a Divine Measure, which is the secret key to discover objective truth in which a synthesis of God, Cosmos and Humankind emerges. It is only such a synthesis that can help to bridge the chasm, heal the splits, and to extend our boundaries as a civilisation and as a species to farther reaches beyond both the divisive worlds of science and spirituality. This expansion of consciousness requires a new perception, as the Mother discovered. And in closing I would like to reproduce portions from the dialogues of the Mother that I have called the Matrimandir Talks, which do not appear in Appendix I of The New Way, since they had not been released by the editor at the time of printing. These portions concern ‘the new perception’, and they were reflections provoked by the difficulties she began to encounter at the outset, when she first disclosed that she had seen the Temple and wished her plan to be implemented. The Mother speaks of the need for a harmonising, all-inclusive awareness based on this new perception, a new poise that alone could serve as the foundation for a new world. She described certain characteristics of the supramental consciousness in this regard, radically different from our mental, separative consciousness. In reviewing these reflections, it is clear that the difficulties that surfaced regarding the Temple were representative for her of the central knot in human awareness, resulting in the acute division we are subjected to as a race wrongly poised, disharmoniously aligned on a cross of off-centeredness.

‘This is what I have learned: the failure of religions is because they were divided – they wanted one to be religious to the exclusion of all other religions; and all forms of human knowledge have failed because they were exclusive; and man has failed because he was exclusive. What the new consciousness wants (and insists upon): no more division. To be able to understand the spiritual extreme and the material extreme and to find…the point of union…where that becomes truly a force.

“Thy will be done” (without any concern about what it is, what that will be – that is, a prior acceptance of whatever may come) is replaced in a strange way…by something that has nothing to do with thought and less and less with vision, something higher which is a sort of perception – a sort of new perception: one knows…A perception…yes, that is total…at once sight, hearing and knowing…a new type of perception.

There was an Aphorism yesterday… [“Perceive always and act in the light of thy increasing perceptions but not those of the reasoning brain only. God speaks to the heart when the brain cannot understand him.”]. But in reading these aphorisms with my latest experiences, I see that Sri Aurobindo knew all this. He had caught hold of that…he was there, and the words that seem strange or not fully comprehensible to even the highest intellectual understanding, have a meaning…For example, precisely in one of the aphorisms I read yesterday there was “perception”, and I remember that when I translated it (some years ago), I said to myself: “Perception…what does he want to say?” Now I understand marvelously. It has nothing to do with our senses.

You know, now when I am put into contact with everything I have said in the past (even though I tried my best)…I have such an impression…Words of the ignorance – everything is based on choice and opposition: that and not that, this and not that, one approves, disapproves. And now that seems so stupid! And so narrow – so narrow. And what one admires in people that one considered saintly (the saints, above all the saints) is refusal: refusal of almost everything, except God (the Mother holds up one finger pointing upward). And everything, everything from the highest – the manner of approaching the Divine – from that to the most material: the functions of the body; all, from the highest to the lowest, it is all the same foolishness: that, but not that; this, but not that; that in contradiction to that; that in opposition to that…All morality, all social rules, all the material organisation of the world based on division. And it seems more and more evident that it is the FIRST thing – the first thing that the superior being (which Sri Aurobindo called the “supramental being”) would want to abolish.

I understand now why he said “supramental” instead of saying “superman” …that being, the basis of its entire existence is different. Instead of being founded on division it is based on union. And man speaks a lot about union, but he has not the slightest idea what it is.’  3 January 1970

(Translated from the French, extracted from L’Agenda de Mere,
Volume XI, Institut de Recherches Evolutives)

Kodaikanal, January 1986

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