Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea on the Subject of Being and Becoming

[An Addendum to 'Being and Becoming']

‘The significance of our existence here determines our destiny: that destiny is something that already exists in us as a necessity and a potentiality, the necessity of our being's secret and emergent reality, a truth of its potentialities that is being worked out; both, though not yet realised, are even now implied in what has been already manifested. If there is a Being that is becoming, a Reality of existence that is unrolling itself in Time, what that being, that reality secretly is what we have to become, and so to become is our life's significance.’

– Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, p. 1024


‘One movement is within, containing everything in itself, without any expression of what is there; and the other movement is just this [the Mother makes a gesture of projection], and all that is within oneself comes out.

And then, for this to become perceptible, it must be continuous. When it is within, it can be simultaneous, for it is unmanifest, so all is in an eternity outside Time and Space – immobile, inexistent. In the opposite direction, everything becomes and so there is a continuity of perceptions which follow one after another and spread out in Space and Time.

And it is the same thing.

It is exactly as if you are like this [the Mother makes a gesture of being doubled up], and then you do this [open up] – and so what was there comes out. So these two movements are literally opposite, but it is the same thing in two opposite attitudes which are simultaneous: it remains like this [inward gesture], and at the same time it is like this [outward gesture]; the one does not cancel out the other and they exist simultaneously. But in one direction it is imperceptible because it is contained within itself, in the other movement it is thrown outside, and so it can be seen. And when it is self-contained, it is co-existent in a perfect simultaneity; and in the other movement it unfolds itself in a constant becoming. And when it unfolds itself, it necessarily creates Time and Space, while there it is outside Space, outside Time and beyond all possible perception. But it is the same thing in two opposite movements.

And that is what truly is.

It is like that…. one single thing in two opposite aspects.’

– The Mother, 11 April 1956, Questions and Answers


‘Sri Aurobindo says that when one succeeds in not separating [the Master of Existence and the World-Mother] in one’s consciousness, one can fully understand who the Lord of the Sacrifice is.* Otherwise one leans to the side of the Master without laying stress on the Shakti or the Mother, one goes into the Impersonal and out of creation, one returns into Nirvana. … Till today this is what has always been considered as yoga: to abandon the personal and enter into the consciousness of the impersonal. Sri Aurobindo speaks of it as an overwhelming experience, for it gives you the impression of liberation from all the ego’s limitations. And later, he describes the union: insistence on the personal side and union with the divine Person; then the world is no longer an illusion nor something transient which will disappear after a time, but the constant and dynamic expression of the eternal divine Person…. when one has the two together, one is perfect.’

– The Mother, 18 April 1956, Questions and Answers

*Sri Aurobindo dedicated an entire chapter to the subject of ‘The Sacrifice and the Lord of the Sacrifice’ in The Synthesis of Yoga. He wrote, ‘This descent [of the Divine principle], this sacrifice of the Purusha, the Divine Soul submitting itself to Force and Matter so it may inform and illuminate them, is the seed of redemption of this world.’ In The Secret of the Veda Sri Aurobindo writes that the Earth’s 12 month journey around the Sun (i.e. the Year) is the symbol of the Vedic Sacrifice. In this dynamic symbol, the Lord of the Sacrifice is the Sun and the journey of self-perfection (also described as a journey of recovering the lost Sun or lost Truth-Consciousness) is carried out by the grace, light, will and power of the Sun in the 12 months or stages of the year. Thea discusses this Sacrifice – a harmonious and measurable unfolding of the Divine Self in Time and Space – in The Gnostic Circle [1975], The New Way, Volumes 1 & 2 [1981], and elsewhere in her written works. She simplifies the matter greatly for humanity by presenting a simple symbol, the Sun Symbol , in which the point is the Being (the Immobile Self, Source, Sol or the Lord of the Sacrifice) and the circle is the Becoming (the Divine unfolding itself in the continuity and circumstance of Time and Space, in the Vedic Sacrifice). Thea’s Gnostic Circle, whose foundation is the Sun Symbol, is a real tool or real philosopher’s stone by which mankind can begin to fathom and experience the simultaneous Being and Becoming, to consciously participate in the Sacrifice, to consciously participate in the unfolding of the Divine within the container of Time and Space as represented by the Vedic Year, and to center oneself within the movement and thereby become aware of and attuned to one’s individual soul as well as to the Soul or Lord of the entire manifestation or Sacrifice. The Mother’s Temple, as envisioned by the Mother herself, was also a means to convey, transmit and restore real knowledge of the relationship between the immobile Being and dynamic Becoming, and real knowledge of how to center oneself within the body of Time and Space. Unfortunately (or perhaps just inevitably), the builders and residents of the Mother’s Temple in Auroville, did not and still do not understand that the specific measurements/blueprints given by the Mother have anything to do with the Vedic Year (Sacrifice) or how the Divine unfolds itself within it, despite efforts made to inform them of this yogic marvel. Hence the builders took the liberty to alter the sacred measurements and specifications given, and the transmission of the Mother’s knowledge/vision continues to be obstructed by a tourist attraction posing as the Mother’s Temple. [For more information on the alterations made to the Mother’s Temple vision, see]


‘To identify oneself with the ever-stable, the one Reality, unchanging within the change, the support of all that occurs in the outer orbits of life, is to know the way of Truth, is to begin the great transformation. The Gnostic Circle shows us just this: It shows us the change that is constant; it shows us the deep and hidden part of the Manifestation which is the Secret Constant. It shows us what is, and yet it shows us the road of becoming. It shows us the being and becoming of all manifested things, for it shows us the truth in both, the truth in change, the truth in stability, it shows us the face of Brahman reflected in the being of Shakti. It shows us the one Divine Mother who is all these things.’

– Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea), The Gnostic Circle, pp. 257-258

‘As for the whole of Creation, so for the Individual: he must become conscious of his movement of expansion and contraction, of his becoming within being. He must experience growth in terms of a complete breath, where each step forward is supported and activated by the measure of the last step, each opening is the outcome of yesterday’s birth and in no way contradicts or cancels it.’

– Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea), The Gnostic Circle, p. 206

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