I recently received some comments and questions from a long-time student of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother who has recently read through the works of Thea.* The comments and questions were prompted by her encounter with the newly established Facebook page entitled 'Sri Aurobindo Ashram Cover-Up Exposed'. I'm posting my response because it has relevance to anyone who is trying to wrap their mind around the third level of the Supramental Descent and its attendant body of Gnosis.
D, ... It's basically an issue of developing a Supramental Vision of Time which Sri Aurobindo wrote of [in The Synthesis of Yoga see 'Towards the Supramental Time Vision'] . The Gnostic Circle is THE key to doing that ... Can one cultivate the Supramental vision of time without this key ... I don't know, I think that's perhaps like trying to find one's way to a certain spot on the Earth (or in a higher plane of terrestrial Consciousness) without a map. or any external guidance ... Why wouldn't one utilize the map/guidance? ...
It is fascinating to me that you find that Thea doesn't emphasize the importance of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's work or their terminology in her writing and in the process of cultivating a Supramental Consciousness. Honestly, I don't know how one could come to that conclusion after reading all (or almost all) of Thea's published books. I think perhaps, considering that you only began reading these books in mid-December, you have read too quickly, without absorbing or integrating much of the content. To me there is a seamless continuity in the language and presentation each of the incarnations of the Supramental Descent. In no way has Thea suggested that her own work is useful separate from the ENTIRE context of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's yoga. It is a continuity of knowledge, building layer upon layer, each layer vitally important as the foundation of the next. You report that you are not experiencing her work as a necessity of Supramental Gnosis. So now, you can either hold on to this experience as ultimately real and stop with that conclusion or you can consider that something in your being is throwing up a smoke screen ... something in your being that feels challenged, perhaps something that doesn't want to have to take on this demanding yoga ... which is understandable!
From my point of view, you have very much missed the essence of Thea's work. For one, The Gnostic Circle is not astrology! It is the 360 degree, 12 month Vedic Year which is the eternal symbol, container and framework of our individual and collective evolution in Time and Space. It is our common Path, our common Journey, literally, not figuratively. The Rishis knew this as THE eternal framework and context of our Oneness and they were not wrong! It is a real framework and a real journey that cannot at all be avoided and must be lived consciously if one is to establish a unity consciousness in one's being and in the world. It is the only real framework by which one can establish the trikaladristi (simultaneous view of past, present and future) which is a central poise of the Supramental Consciousness. We are living this journey (within this real structure and divine temple) all the time unconsciously and many will continue to do so but why would we choose to remain unconscious in our own HOME ˗ our own dynamic and living field in which everything is organized and harmonized and perfected by the One, by the Sun ... by the Solar or Supramental Consciousness-Force.
There is no OTHER real and divine path that we collectively share. The ego and the divisive mind absolutely refuse to see this. Somehow it thinks it can attain an integral consciousness, a unity consciousness, a Supramental consciousness without acknowledging this very real structure of our journey in Time and Space ... without acknowledging the Earth's very real movements around the Sun, the very real precession of Her equinoxes ... without realizing that we are not separate from that. Rather, WE ARE THAT. We are, each individual on Earth is the soul-child of THAT. We are Time and Space, we contain it All in our being, in our soul. In our Age, and leading up to it seems a mass amnesia has set it wherein it is completely feasible to leave these humongous details of our existence out of the sphere of what we need to know or want to integrate as we aspire to improve our terrestrial existence via our connection to our divinity. The egoic mind simply can't fathom all that needs to be integrated and harmonized. It can't fathom the everything that Oneness includes. It includes everything that has happened, everything that is happening and will happen in time and space ... everything that is held by the perpetual Year. This is not something that may or may not be included in the cultivation and realization of the Supramental Consciousness. It IS included. If it is not included, there is no cultivation, just like if there is no water available in soil, no seed will sprout. It is not a choice that the mind gets to make. The mind can choose to continue to ignore and to project its own limitations onto this field, and continue to ignore the Year as a essential foundation of the totality of what IS and the totality what is to be seen and known, but its exclusions (its de-vast-ating view) are certainly not going to limit the Supramind's action in this field!
It is just absolutely and astoundingly bizarre to me to see how people want the 12 month Year to NOT BE INCLUDED. ... as if it could be optional in terms of complete Self-Knowledge. At the very suggestion of its inclusion, of its central importance in terms of higher knowledge, people throw up the most amazing displays of ignorance, resentment, regression, aggression, etc.
You say you want to understand, but only you will know if that is really true. And time will tell. It would be much easier for you and for all students of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother if the Vedic and Cosmological keys Thea has presented were non-essential in the cultivation of the Supramental Consciousness, i.e. if the Vedic Year had no bearing on their personal adventure of consciousness. Naturally people want things to be easy, naturally people resist having to learn, integrate and apply new knowledge; but that does not, of course, mean the new (Supramental) creation will conform to the tamasic will of the masses in its process of establishing itself.
In several places Thea discusses Sri Aurobindo's reference to the 12 months of the Vedic Year and its importance in terms of recovering the lost sun, i.e. the lost solar consciousness. She refers to his translations and discussion of verses of the Vedas wherein the Vedic Rishis say, flat out, that the gates of the higher consciousness are opened or closed to us by the months and the years. She discusses the Mother's experiences in 1969 wherein she aspires 'to know what the function, the action of the Supramental Consciousness would be.' The Mother is shown how it will be ... how it will be organized, involving numbers and planets ...
'... the numbered expression of the application to life in a coming realization: life to come, but not very far away; for example, in the next century, which is beginning now. ... a truer application, more universal, and with spiritual knowledge; the principle of the position (place) and the utilization of individuals on Earth ... these numbers were LIVING ...
... and therein the Mother admits, 'There are so many things we don’t know!'
In The Secret of the Veda, Sri Aurobindo admitted not knowing the full meaning of these 12 months of the Vedic Year. He knew it was a parable of evolution but said something to the effect that we're not yet in a position to understand the full meaning of the importance of the 9th and 10th months in terms of establishing the Solar Consciousness. Sri Aurobindo translated the Vedic Hymns to Vishnu in terms of the fixed signs of the Zodiac, as seen in the exact order they appear in the Precession of the Equinoxes. To boot, the Mother's symbol is a symbol of the 12 month Vedic Year, each of the four petals of which point to the Fixed Signs. You can protest, as many do, that she never said her symbol has anything to do with the Vedic Year (i.e. the Earth's Year as well as the Great Year and its 12 astrological ages), and that Sri Aurobindo's yoga has nothing to do with this 12 Month Vedic Year. But then why in the world did the Mother design a Temple with 12 pillars representing the 12 months of the year, wherein the diameter and height of the Inner Chamber are equivalent to the Year?!? So you must ask yourself, what does this 12 month year have to do with the Supramental Yoga? Does it mean nothing? What does it mean that this 12 month year, according to the Mother, contained the future realisation? Why is it that the only person who has explained and embodied this future realization is not only not considered a supreme vessel of Supramental Gnosis, but is actually considered delusional?
You know the Mother said and did and experienced all sorts of things that people were not yet in the position to understand, and still to this day seem to have no interest in understanding. Yet most don't consider her delusional, they just pick and choose what they want to hear, so that their own little world is not much disturbed. I was just reading a passage from The Mother's Agenda, I think in 1967 when the Mother tells Satprem that she just saw a Lion-Horse walk around him, saying it was Sri Aurobindo who had come to give him a message. How is one to understand this message if not in terms of zodiacal symbols? If the meaning is not zodiacal in nature, then what is it? Or is this symbol too just to be discarded as meaningless and inconsequential as were the features and measures of the Mother's Temple.
You've asked me to point you towards things that would help you see, and so I have (including pointing towards a possible refusal or resistance in your being, however unconscious, to seeing the truth of the matter), but if you have read all of Thea's works and many writings by Robert and myself, you have already been pointed to all of these things. If none of that has given you a sense of the essential nature of Thea's work in the Supramental Manifestation, I am not sure really what I can add now. It seems to me that you feel, like many others that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother did not foresee and welcome further levels of Supramental Gnosis to help shift the entire world into the new consciousness, which they were not yet in the position to present. Yet, the Mother wrote on 24 May 1962 that she felt certain that the Supramental Avataric line would be stretched out in time and space through multiple people. Did she mean just two people, herself and Sri Aurobindo? Did she mean that whoever came after her would just maintain the knowledge content that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother established? As far as I can tell from my almost 20 years of studying Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, they knew that important features of the Supramental Consciousness-Force were only partially apparent to them. They knew that they would BECOME fully apparent. For instance, has anyone but Thea been able to shed any significant light on what Sri Aurobindo may have been talking about when he wrote in 1935:
'Now I have got the hang of the whole hanged thing ‒ like a very Einstein I have got the mathematical formula of the whole affair (unintelligible as in his case to anybody but myself) and am working it out figure by figure.'
What was he talking about?! Is what he was talking about insignificant? Has anyone studying Sri Aurobindo and the Mother for the past 90 or so years discovered this mathematical formula? If so, what is it and what does it mean in terms of the Supramental Manifestation? It has already been fully expounded upon by Thea. People just don't want to know. They literally don't want to hear it, and they indeed don't hear it. They want to remain in the world that they know, the world that they are comfortable navigating, and spare themselves the growth pains.
One final 'pointer'. Is it possible to read the following excerpt from Savitri and still think that no cosmological knowledge is needed? Are we really meant to remain ignorant of the 'mystic heart of life'? Is the hidden chamber Sri Aurobindo writes of and that the Mother saw in 1970 to remain closed and mute? I very much doubt it. Ask yourself, 'How can the only body knowledge that explains how individuals can see and access this Inner Chamber be considered optional in terms of cultivating a Supramental Consciousness? How can the only person who has presented this knowledge be somehow considered not part of the family of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother?
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book 1, Canto 5
Rhythms & Meters of the Stars
All that the Gods have learned is there self-known.
There in a hidden chamber closed and mute,
are kept the record graphs of the Cosmic Scribe,
and there the tables of the sacred law,
There is the Book of Being's index page
The text and glossary of the Vedic truth
are there; the rhythms and meters of the stars
significant of the movements of our fate:
The symbol powers of number and form,
and the secret code of the history of the world
and natures correspondences with the soul
are written in the mystic heart of life.
So I hope this helps in some way. Right now you seem to be in an uncomfortable limbo land, somewhat lost ... harboring some un-applicable and uninspired appreciation of Thea's work ... saying you want to understand more. Yet you have been given or rather you have collected everything you need. You have the proverbial Motherlode. Now apply the knowledge. Do the yoga required and you will understand more. Right now it is clear that even though you have read Thea's works, you are still outside its gates so to speak. The Supramental knowledge content has not yet dawned on you. Once it does, it becomes self-evident. You can give up, as many do, or keep at it, perhaps being able to conquer whatever obstacles are blocking your progress/seeing. It is your choice. No one can do the yoga for you or see for you. You have to see for yourself. If you are content with what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother taught and with where they left off and you simply don't see the necessity for the keys Thea presents, then that is that.
I wish you the best of light in your journey, Lori
Also, here are some excerpts on Time that may be helpful to you begin to understand this third level of the Supramental Descent of Gnosis. It is at this level wherein the Individual is brought into the understanding and the seeing of the Supramental Consciousness-Force in the details and circumstances of one's movement, one's development in Time and Space, as well as the movement of the whole of creation. It is at this level of the work wherein Time is discovered and experienced as Divine instrument and friend, rather than as a tyrant 'eating' his children (Chronos).
'The [image of the] horse is a physical figure representing like an algebraical symbol, an unknown quantity of force and speed. (Time is its breath, the year is its body, the seasons its limbs, the months and the fortnights its joints, the days and nights its feet.) From the imagery it is evident that this force, this speed, is something universal. Time in its period is the Self of the Horse Sacrificial, so not Matter but Time, is the body of this force of the material universe ... Space then, is the flesh constituting materially this body of Time which the sage attributes to his Horse of the worlds, by movement in Space its periods are shaped and determined. Hence the real power, the fundamental greatness of the Horse is not the material world, not the magnitudes of Space, but the magnitudes of Time ... for Time is that mysterious condition of universal mind which alone makes the ordering of the universe in Space possible.' - Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads; 'The Great Aranyaka'
' ... [O]nce on his path, birth and death become only processes in the development of his being and the stages of [the sadhak's] journey.Time is the remaining aid needed for the effectivity of the process. Time presents itself to human effort as an enemy or a friend, as a resistance, a medium or an instrument. But always it is really the instrument of the soul.Time is a field of circumstances and forces meeting and working out a resultant progression whose course it measures. To the ego it is a tyrant or a resistance, to the Divine an instrument. Therefore, while our effort is personal. Time appears as a resistance, for it presents to us all the obstruction of the forces that conflict with our own. When the divine working and the personal are combined in our consciousness, it appears as a medium and condition. When the two become one, it appears as a servant and instrument.' - Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 'The Four Aids' [in the Yoga of Self-Perfection]
'... It cannot be denied that Time is a major feature of our material universe. In consequence it stands to reason that when spirituality decides that the universal manifestation is need is unreal and illusory, Time is immediately shunned and the seeker is required to go 'beyond time', i.e. to the experience that appears to obliterate Time. Conversely, if we are engaged in a path that seeks a transformation of matter and an experience of the highest planes of reality in this material creation we are obliged to accept the instrumentation of Time. Furthermore, we must seek a means or a key by which Time itself becomes the element utilised in the gestation of a new and superior consciousness-form in the material creation. Hence a new harmony of time results, the essence of which is contained in the [Supramental Cosmology].' - Thea, The New Way, Volume 3
* Some of the questions and comments that invited the above response:
• I just don't see that the building of the Matrimandir incorrectly equals a stopping of the Gnostic/Supramental at MotherSriAurobindo.
• I don't think I am quite on the same page as yourself on the topic of the Gnostic Circle and it being anything more than a Tool- that the Gnostic Circle is not Necessary to practice the yoga and realize the supramental..
• I do not believe that someone not recognizing the solar line makes any difference- as far as me or anyone else doing the yoga and the supramental realization.
• I do not see how it is that it is necessary to use the gnostic circle to get the supramental because MotherSriAurobindo gave us the yoga to getit...that is one thing I do not see. ..not making judgements, rather explaining that I don't see it..
• How is it that the working with the Gnostic Circle is necessary to "achieve" the Supramental consciousness? ..and also ..is it that one has to know they are working with it- or is it that one can't help but be working with it- are you meaning that one has to be aware of the gnostic circle ...do you mean that one cannot get the supramental without learning about and using the gnostic circle?...is it a knowledge one would get on the way, if never coming across it?
• I've been reading the MotherSriAurobindo for 25-now ... and all They write of is the yoga-how to do it...Sri Aurobindo said that He and Mother hewed the path so that we would not have to..They are the map and guidance... I can't imagine using the gnostic circle without their writings and hoping to get to supramental.
• [W]hen thea calls using the circle the new way, without any stress (that I have yet come across) on SriAurbindoMother's writings (and not even using most of the terms they did)...the yoga is the new way...Sri Aurobindo cautioned Much against mistaking parts of the Overmind for the Supermind and even cautioned much against having the supramental as an aim, but of doing the yoga for the sake of the Divine. -so when thea's books make little mention of -and are not using the language / the terms for things, that Sri Aurobindo did(like differentiating the soul and the psychic being..and the psychic being coming to the front and leading the yoga as -not the only way, but -the safest way of not falling pray to the many subtle disguises of the ego), it makes it seem to me that it is being offered as something a bit -a bit as if It is the way...which seems perilous with so little emphasis on it being a toolfor the yoga and even as indispensable.
• Mother Sri Aurobindo spoke of there being no set order -no one map that can be laid down for each-that each one must find their way, taking up helps and putting them down as their yoga is served by them... Mother even was asked of astrology and answered that man can rise above the influence of the cosmic influence, be not subject to it, that when the Divine Will is moving a person, they a...here, let me find something...here, some things they have said on astrology: http://auromere.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/sri-aurobindo-and-the-mother-on-astrology/ ...Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on Astrology auromere.wordpress.com
• ... the Gnostic Circle seems to me a lovely tool, potentially helpful to a certain point(- and most likely a long span of time-) but not in any way a means of replacement for Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga, nor His synthesis of all yogas condensed into an astrological gnostic circle, not an indispensable tool that without which Sri Aurobindo's yoga cannot be done. I wonder if thea is aware that her work with the gnostic circle seems to have this implication- I wonder if it is what she meant. I am not sure that it is or is not.
• ... [If] the gnostic circle is being offered as indispensable, I do not see it and would love for you to direct me to or quote to me the information I am lacking that would make me to understand that it is.