Friday, September 4, 2009

The Geometry and Superstructure of Time

‘Thou shall know me in the rolling of the spheres
And cross me in the atoms of the whirl.
The wheeling forces of my universe
Shall cry to thee the summons of my name.’
– Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book XI, Canto I

The structure of time is not linear. We may talk of a time line and organize events in a time line, but the geometry of time is circular or cyclical. Few people look at the Sun and think, in 180 days I will be ‘over there’ … some 186 million miles on the other side of the Sun/Solar System in relation to where I am today. We collectively experience the changing of seasons and the Sun’s movement across the sky from dawn to dusk. We mentally understand that the Sun’s movement is an optical illusion caused by the Earth’s daily 360 degree rotation on her axis; and that the four seasons are a phenomenon of the Earth’s yearly 360 degree orbit around the Sun. We can even conceive of the 25,920 year Precession of the Equinoxes in which our equinoctial axis rotates 360 degrees backwards through the constellations of the Sidereal Zodiac. But our actual consciousness of the 360 degree structure and dynamics of our material existence is limited. It does not seem real to us. It does not seem real to us to the extent that we disassociate ourselves from it in a myriad of ways. It is popular in our day and age to consider our journey in time to be an illusion of the mind. Many spiritual seekers make a goal of escaping the ‘wheel of time’. ‘Traveling in circles’ is actually derogatory phrase, meaning going nowhere … wasting one’s life energy.

Still, regardless of how unconscious or partially conscious we are of its reality, we are nonetheless carried by this cyclical movement. We are born into this circle of life and it carries us through our lives, through each step and stage of our growth and evolution with unwavering continuity. Unconscious of its design and its dynamics we are an unconscious passenger, unaware of our own vehicle. Conscious of the design and dynamics, we become a conscious rider, aware of that which carries us.

Leonardo DaVinci's 'Sketch of a Horse' (partial)

In Vedic India, sages fittingly described the year and cyclical time as a horse.
‘OM. Dawn is the head of the horse sacrificial. The sun is his eye … Time in its period is the self of the horse sacrificial … the seasons his members, the months and the half months are their joints, the days and nights are his standing place, the stars his bones and the sky is the flesh of his body.’

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Chapter 1, Section 1,
translated by Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads
Sri Aurobindo commented:
‘… this Horse of the Worlds is not an image merely of matter or material force, but, as we have already supposed it to be, an image of power which pervades and constitutes the material universe. We get also from this image about Time the idea of it as an unknown power – for Time which is its self or body, is itself an unknown quantity. The reality expresses itself to us through Time – its body –, but remains itself ungrasped, must be still what men have always felt it to be, the unknown God.’

‘For all [types of beings that seem to posses this universe] He bears them up on His infinite strength and speed and motion. He bears all of them without respect of differences, sambhāvena, with the divine impartiality and equality of soul – samaṁ hi brahma. To the type of each individual being this Universal Might adapts himself …. It is He who bears them on in the courses of Time that are marked out for Him by His hidden Self; He is free and exults in the swiftness of His galloping.’
It seems that the Upanishadic sages, and Sri Aurobindo as well, were quite aware that the body of the year (the body of time) was a substantial vehicle – a rapidly moving one at that. According to what Sri Aurobindo wrote in The Secret of the Veda, the Vedic Rishis described a real increase in Truth, in Consciousness and in Bliss (satchidananda) as the effortless result of learning to travel the year – learning to travel in circles, aware of the geometry of the circle, aware of its ‘figures’ which certainly include its four cardinal points, its 12 months and its trigunas of creation (rajas), preservation (sattva) and dissolution (tamas).

I have mentioned before Sri Aurobindo’s acknowledgement in The Secret of the Veda of his own limitations in terms of understanding the yogic significance of the 12 month Vedic year. [1] In his commentaries on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, in which the year/horse figures as the main character, he repeats this acknowledgement.
‘It is not my intention here, nor is it in my limits possible to develop the philosophy of the Great Aranyaka Upanishad, but only to develop with just sufficient amplitude for entire clearness the ideas contained in its language and involved in its figures. The business of my commentary is to lay a foundation; it is for the thinker to build the superstructure.’ [emphasis mine]
Awareness of the circle’s geometry and the circular Geometry of Time was not an end-goal for the Vedic sages. It was the way or the means by which the transcendent spirit, the material cosmos and individual were revealed to be a fully coordinated unity-consciousness – a divine triadic One which is One in its essence or being, and One in its expression or becoming. The will of the One, and hence the will of one’s own soul, literally shows itself in the 360 degree ‘superstructure’ of cyclical time. The degree to which this structure is seen, is the degree to which the One Self of all selves is known.

When such an awareness is alive and well, as it was in Vedic India, civilization or society is naturally organized accordingly, as a reflection of the divine order. But, during the ages when this vast awareness fades into darkness, mankind’s observation and expression of divine order loses its truth – it loses its lived or direct experience. Accordingly the symbols of the truth-consciousness and eternal order of manifestation (such as the circle, the sun symbol, the divine trinity, the four cardinal points, the twelve months of the year, and even the trigunas) become mute symbols – they become symbols whose true or deepest significance is unintelligible to the eye of the beholder. Thus dogma, empty ritual, religion and superstition creep in where once was gnosis.
‘The letter lived on when the spirit was forgotten; the symbol, the body of the doctrine remained, but the soul of knowledge had fled from its coverings.’

– Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda
The framework of the 12 month zodiacal year – once acknowledged as the Mother of all Sciences and the Mother of all Gods and beings – has been somewhat preserved in mythology, religion, art, architecture and in modern day astrology; but the divinely coordinated reality, the ‘superstructure’ that it represented and brought into focus (into view) for the traveler of its Path, has been lost to our consciousness. As our knowledge of the Path faded in the ‘Dark Ages’ of our past, so did men and women’s ability to experience themselves in unity and harmony with the body and movements of the divine being. As knowledge of the Path and the reality that it represented all but disappeared, mankind’s idea and image of the divine became increasingly stunted, increasingly small-minded and increasingly barren or void of material splendor and dynamic wonder. The beautiful harmonies and sacred geometries of the true ‘body of the Lord’ – including both Heaven (cosmos) and Earth, time and space, and all individual form – were increasingly forgotten and ignored.

Despite certain modern human advances – advances in transportation, communication, computation and sciences that have lead to an increasing globalization and sense of world-community, this profound ignorance and Self-forgetfulness is deeply imbedded in our current civilization. One could say it is the foundation of our civilization. The 360 degree womb or ‘superstructure’ of our existence was thoroughly reduced to an un-divine, illusory maya and a heresy against God in the Age of Pisces (234 BCE – 1926 CE). As a result our world views, philosophies, religions and sciences are splintered into many fragments, disharmonious views and conflicting practices because we have no objective experience of a unified truth of existence, no objective experience of a divine or sacred order. The mind is left to its own limited subjective experience and subjective interpretations. Each separate mind is like one of the proverbial blind men feeling one part of the elephant and assuming that his own experience is a valid representation of the whole elephant. The true or divine form and function of the whole is missed, our efforts and energies remain uncoordinated and our potentials as a human/earthly collective are barely scratched.

Humanity is poised to either quickly self-destruct or to quickly learn how to focus and transmute its energies towards achieving a higher incarnation of itself. Sri Aurobindo, as he intended, has laid the foundation by which the Supermind and the superstructure of existence can be understood. This basic but all-encompassing foundation was necessarily and substantially built upon by the feminine powers (Shakti) of the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea). The Mother constructed her own symbol and her temple’s design based on the superstructure/geometries of the Year; but it was Thea who brought the foundation, the symbols, and the geometries of the year (and hence the superstructure of existence) back into focus so that it could be SEEN and LIVED once more.

Each of these three great yogis have played an important and epic part in recovering this lost Eternal Truth (Sanatana Dharma). It has been a fully triadic effort and accomplishment. Those who ignore or dismiss any one member of this triad have truly misunderstood the yoga and mission of the others. People currently dispute whether or not the ‘Supramental Descent’ is truly avataric in its nature … whether or not Sri Aurobindo is the rightful 9th Avatar of Vishnu. This should be a short debate in light of the fact that no world teacher in many thousands of years has been able to fathom and restore the vision and direct experience of the coordinated structure and consciousness of our material existence – i.e. the vision and direct experience of the divine as the architect and the dynamic substance of our individual and collective evolving Self. The Buddha, who is widely and erroneously considered the 9th Avatar of Vishnu, did no such thing. He taught, circa 400 or 500 BCE, of transcending the suffering of the material matrix by dissolving one’s consciousness into the formless Absolute or the void.

The Buddha had a valid and important function in the course of human evolution, making a big impact on civilization in the Age of Pisces; but he did not have the unique function of an Avatar of Vishnu whose purpose is to restore for humanity the 360 degree vision and structure of the unified Heaven and Earth. Vishnu is the ‘Lord of the Cosmos’, the ‘Lord of the Discus’. He carries with him a spiraling conch shell, he reclines on the spiraling coils of time (on the snake Sheshayi), he is a personification of the four fixed signs of the 360 degree zodiac. It must be seen as increasingly unlikely, to say the least, that any of Vishnu’s dasavataras would ignore, negate, mis-calculate or transcend the earthly and cosmic superstructure that is his own vast domain. It is Vishnu’s sacred business or duty to guard, preserve and restore this domain in the consciousness of Man. There would be no debate whatsoever about Sri Aurobindo’s avatarhood if the reality or totality of what Vishnu’s dasavataras were tasked with preserving and restoring was understood. But clearly, there would be no need for an avatar if mankind had not digressed into a collective of proverbial blind men and women arguing and theorizing about the ‘whole elephant’.

A true avatar of Vishnu, worthy of the name (and place in history), must necessarily reorient and realign humanity within the course and body of time, within the course and body of its own evolutionary journey. It is the avatar’s duty to remind mankind that cyclical time, and more specifically the 360 degree body of the year, is the body of the divine self. This 360 degree body of time was envisioned by the Vedic seers as a Horse that mankind must learn to ‘ride’ if it is to evolve beyond its physical, vital and mental limitations. Until this Horse symbol is truly understood, man’s understanding and approximations of a new age or a new world order will remain an impotent hodgepodge of mental ideas and mental endeavors. [The image above on the right is of Kalki, the 10th Avatar of Vishnu, on his white horse]

It is not a coincidence that the 9th month of the Vedic year – the month equated with victory over the forces of darkness who impede the birth of the immortal One, and the month which is the natural progression beyond Martanda, the ‘dead-egg’ or mortal 8th ‘son’ of the Cosmic Mother Aditi – is celebrated as the Sagittarian centaur, a being who has the body of a horse and the torso and head of a human. If the human is to triumph over his or her mortal and divided consciousness and to be reborn as a divine ‘One’, his or her Mind must fathom the Year/the Horse as a true vehicle and a true body of the Self. There is no other divine vehicle or body (or understanding of Self) that carries us to our self-fulfillment and to our integration and fusion with the divine totality; and hence no other passageway to our Golden Age or to the Heaven on Earth that we are so eagerly looking forward to. [Note: The Golden Age/Heaven on Earth stage of our consciousness/evolution is symbolized by the ‘Earth sign’ Capricorn, the 10th month of the Vedic year].

In 1967, after a period of silence and concentration, the Mother saw a being with the body of a horse and the head of a lion circle around Satprem. She reported:
‘… it was the symbol of… a symbolical animal of something. At the moment, I understood perfectly well, I said ah! and…

Very dignified. Came from there [same gesture on the left] like that, made a round around you and went away. It was for you. Lion is power, and horse…

And like that, it seems silly, but he was very beautiful, and of a beautiful colour. And very dignified.

Tiens!... [The Mother realises she was speaking in English. The conversation resumes in French which I translate into English.]

It was Sri Aurobindo who said all that to you [in English]. It is odd how it comes like that.

It was something that had come to announce something to you. It was a being, but a being… There must be beings like that. It was all in light, and it was something… it was to announce something to you. But so real!

– The Mother’s Agenda, 16 December 1967
The content and message of this announcement, which the Mother attributes to Sri Aurobindo, was spoken and conveyed in the terms of the Vedic year (i.e. in the terms of the tropical zodiac). Sri Aurobindo is himself a Lion, born in the sign of Leo – the 5th month of the Vedic year; and evidence has been presented that he reincarnated in 1963 during the 9th month of the Vedic year, Sagittarius, symbolized by a man with the body of a Horse. [2] Can readers appreciate, after reading thus far in this article, that the half-lion, half-horse creature the Mother saw was an announcement regarding the foundation, structure and dynamic expression of the Supermind? How can this message from Sri Aurobindo be deciphered, if not in terms of the Vedic year? Why do the ‘body of the horse’ and the 9th month of Sagittarius figure so prominently in the Vedic march towards recovering the lost Sun or lost truth-consciousness? Sri Aurobindo and the Mother considered the horse, the 12 months of the Vedic journey and especially the 9th month as significant symbols, but they did not themselves understand their full significance.

There has been exactly one person in the last many thousands of years who has been able to remember and re-present the phenomenal and supramental logic and eternal meaning of the symbolism of the 9th month, and all the months, of the 12 month Vedic year; and that person is Thea. She remembered in full the Geometry (and superstructure) of Time and its importance to the individual and to the human collective in his/her/its process of becoming an unfettered expression of the Divine Will. [3] In 1983 in Volume 3 of The New Way – a study in the rise and establishment of a Gnostic society, she wrote:
‘… when we look at our lives in the light of these ever-recurring cycles, it soon becomes evident that a clearly discernible pattern exists to which our vision was closed before this master key of knowledge was discovered…. Our consciousness during these cycles, when we are engaged in the integral yoga, cannot fail to increase, as it were. We incorporate more and more dimensions of existence, while at the same time we are being drawn closer and closer to the centre, to the core of ourselves which is the seat of the Transcendent in manifestation.’
In Vedic times, Thea would have been known as Usha, the Dawn who brings much needed light after a long dark night of the human soul. In our day and age she is pretty much ignored and dismissed, slandered and attacked. Certain forces lie and conspire to get her thrown out of her home in India [4] where her restoration of Vedic symbolism, wisdom and knowledge is most likely to reignite the hearts and minds of men and women, reminding them of the world’s forgotten truth.

Few currently understand what Thea means when she writes about Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and herself in terms of an avataric or ‘solar’ line of beings whose births and yoga have established the foundation and structure of a new or supramental world order. Many cast her aside as just one more spiritual teacher who thinks way too highly of herself. It does not dawn on them that the unique knowledge she presents and the unique lineage of which she is a part, actually mark the birth of mankind’s much-needed reunion and realignment with the ‘superstructure’ or super-vehicle of time and space. It is understandable that this seems like an unbelievable tale.

Nonetheless, it is actually true. It is a verifiable story and an attainable view once one learns to journey on the swift ‘Time-gallopings of the deathless Horse’ [5] – i.e. to be conscious of the 360 degree body and vehicle of time, increasingly aware of the supramental coordination that shows itself and displays itself in the geometries and harmonies of life’s unfolding events and circumstances. A re-orientation of mind and life towards this universal order is accomplished by direct, lived experience of its substantial reality, not by faith. As such, to believe in Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea as high spiritual beings or as part of an avataric lineage means very little, in terms of effecting world transformation, if the body and movement of time is not understood as a coordinated truth-consciousness, whose geometries and harmonies, once seen, uplift the ‘traveler’ of time towards gnosis and unity.

The individual and human collective must begin to consider and come to realize that ‘riding’ or learning to experience the TOTALITY – the harmonious continuity of one’s entire individual and cosmic existence in both time and space – is infinitely more interesting, exhilarating, blissful, satisfying and rewarding than riding one’s own tangents, ruts of perspective, mental riffs and dismembered fragments of being. Individually and collectively we are poised to discover that the immense ‘power of now’ is a drop in the bucket compared to the power of embodying our full individual and cosmic existence, past, present and future included. We are poised to discover that the immense peace found in the formless timeless void, or even in our faith in God, is a drop in the bucket compared to the peace, joy, love and bliss encountered when remembering the fullness of our being and the perfect logic, the supramental logic ... the divine logic of our dynamic existence and evolution.
‘There are greater destinies mind cannot surmise
Fixed on the summit of the evolving Path
The Traveller now treads in the Ignorance,
Unaware of his next step, not knowing his goal.
Mind is not all his tireless climb can reach ….
There is an infinite truth, an absolute power.
The Spirit’s mightiness shall cast off its mask;
Its greatness shall be felt shaping the world’s course….
A few shall glimpse the miraculous Origin
And some shall feel you in the secret Force
And they shall turn to meet a nameless tread,
Adventurers into a mightier Day.
Ascending out of the limiting breadths of mind,
They shall discover the world’s huge design
And step into the Truth, the Right, the Vast….
These are the high forerunners, the heads of Time,
The great deliverers of earth-bound mind,
The high transfigurers of human clay,
The first-born of a new supernal race.’

– Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book XI, Canto 1

[1] See ‘Coordination’ and the comments that follow the article.
[2] This evidence is presented by Thea in The Hidden Manna, The New Way Volumes 1 & 2, and ‘The Day of the White Peacock’ series.
[3] Thea’s teachings on the Geometry of Time can be found in The Magical Carousel, Symbols and the Question of Unity, The Gnostic Circle and The New Way, Volumes 1, 2 & 3, and Secrets of the Earth.
[4] See ‘The Inconvenient Necessity of Producing Evidence: The Deportation Case Against Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’.
[5] Sri Aurobindo, ‘The Witness Spirit’, a poem written on 26 July 1938 (revised 21 March 1944).

Related Articles:
Number and the Supramental Matrix
* The Simultaneity of Time, Spirit and Matter

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  1. Hi Lori,

    Can you give some insight on how time would be experienced on spiritual level in comparison with the linear time experienced on mental level.


  2. Hi Chris, I will eventually (hopefully soon) dedicate a whole post to this request.

  3. 'I saw a strange beast who came from there like that [Mother points to her left], made a round around you and went away. It was a horse with a lion's head. Beautiful beast! It was a lion, the head like that, the front form was a lion and behind, it was a horse.
    And it was the symbol of... a symbolical animal of something.'

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