Friday, July 27, 2012

The More Real You Get the More Real the World Gets

The following image/quote has been passed around and liked amongst my Facebook friends lately. If there were a dislike button, I would have clicked it, but alas that is not a FB option.

The more real you get, the more unreal the world gets. - John Lennon

It seems increasingly odd and backwards to me that people in our day and age still find solace, inspiration joy even in negating the reality of our world ... our material existence. It would be one thing to acknowledge that the perspective of the mental consciousness, being fragmentary as it is, gives us a fragmented or distorted view of reality ... a distorted view of our world; but no such acknowledgement comes across in this Lennon's quote.

Sri Aurobindo wrote of this negation as a 'revolt of Spirit against Matter that for two thousand years, since Buddhism disturbed the balance of the old Aryan world, has dominated increasingly the Indian mind.' This negation or 'revolt of Spirit against Matter' spread well-beyond India of course and lamentably continues to pass for spiritual wisdom in our day and age.

It is worth considering, as Sri Aurobindo did, that this negation of the reality of the material world was a simply a stage of our world development/evolution (a way to escape from human suffering) that now needs to be surpassed if humans want to create a better world based on a higher perspective of reality. Our dysfunctional civilization is largely a product of the follies of this past stage of development (including the follies of Science and Religion), in which spirit and matter have been thought of as opposites rather than as the same Self ... as inseparable. When this split in our consciousness/awareness is mended (as is the goal of true Yoga), there is no impulse to negate the dynamic reality of the world, for it is seen and experienced as a perfect manifestation or unfolding of spirit in matter.

'... [T]hrough many centuries a great army of shining witnesses, saints and teachers, names sacred to Indian memory and dominant in Indian imagination, have borne always the same witness and swelled always the same lofty and distant appeal, – renunciation the sole path of knowledge, acceptation of physical life the act of the ignorant, cessation from birth the right use of human birth, the call of the Spirit, the recoil from Matter.

' ... We seek indeed a larger and completer affirmation. We perceive that in the Indian ascetic ideal the great Vedantic formula, "One without a second", has not been read sufficiently in the light of that other formula equally imperative, "All this is the Brahman". The passionate aspiration of man upward to the Divine has not been sufficiently related to the descending movement of the Divine leaning downward to embrace eternally Its manifestation. Its meaning in Matter has not been so well understood as Its truth in the Spirit.'
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Inertia, Recession and the New Consciousness

 '...[E]xcessive stress on security ... makes it ripe for the Forces of Inertia to take hold of the nation’s economy. Fear is the accompanying tool.'

 'When recession springs up it means that this is the power of Inertia that is attacking because a new force has manifested in the country’s destiny.'
[The following letter, from which the above quotes were taken, was written by Patrizia Norelli Bachelet on 21 April 1986. I am publishing it with her permission, because it not only makes an important connection between inertia and recession, it also encourages readers to understand that increasing inertia corresponds to a new force (a new consciousness-force) that demands forward progress. Hence we can see and appreciate how our global economic recession is a widespread reaction or consequence to the manifestation of a new consciousness. For those not yet familiar with Sri Aurobindo's writings and yoga, he taught that just as from matter evolved life, and from life evolved mind, now we are witnessing the beginnings of the next stage of our evolution, wherein from mind evolves Supermind, which is an all-integrating consciousness-force. The Mother, who was Sri Aurobindo's yogic partner and who ran the Sri Aurobindo Ashram from its conception in 1926, announced in 1956, 'The manifestation of the Supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact, a reality.' [see link] So when Ms. Norelli-Bachelet refers in this letter to a new power, she is referring to this Supramental consciousness-force.]

Dear D,
As for X, I don’t know him . . . But I do know your friend Manoj Das, and I have no high regard for him. Let me explain: When the very first edition of HERITAGE came out, the one with Devan Nair’s article in it, someone gave me a copy. Of course I was interested because there seemed to be a connection with Sri Aurobindo. I studied the magazine thoroughly and was not at all pleased with what I found. Sri Aurobindo had been made a figure of India’s ‘heritage’; that is, a dead thing of the past, one of many. It was really pathetic, for it was another confirmation of just how lost people are in this regard. On the other hand, it was a truthful admission of the state of affairs. For all practical purposes, Sri Aurobindo’s work IS a thing of the past for these people, as far as having any active influence in the world.

My first reaction in such cases is to come forward and present the other more truthful position. That is, when faced with such a situation, I know that the only really effective way to combat this inertia is to progress energetically in the good, to use a phrase of the venerable I Ching. Therefore, I immediately sent some of my articles to Manoj Das in Madras. One was the piece on the Nehrus (Vishaal 0/1) which I had just written (remember that Rajiv had just been elected). Everyone in the Ashram knows of the Mother’s contact with the Nehrus, especially Indira, and many of them also know of my contact with her. Thus that article was very timely, and, above all, it revealed the fact that Sri Aurobindo’s work was an ongoing thing; it presented an exciting vision of the future and showed the formidable control of the divine in the affairs of India, centred explicitly on Sri Aurobindo. In other words, this article, if published, would have immediately counteracted the force of Inertia that had grabbed a hold of HERITAGE, from its very first issue. I felt strongly that something had to be done to rectify this, since it was another proof that a very malicious force was unfortunately all too active still. That HERITAGE was carrying a series of articles by Pranab Bhattacharya, was another dire indication.1

In any case, I sent off the article, accompanied by a series on India, in the light of the Rig Veda. The latter is perhaps the best of all my writings.2 Manoj did not reply immediately, though I had asked him to because I wanted to send the Nehru piece somewhere else if he wasn’t interested. When he did reply he explained that he had been travelling and that he would give me a verdict as soon as he returned to the Ashram, that is, 15 days hence. He was clearly very happy with the articles.

That was the last I heard of him. I sent a couple or reminders. No reply. Finally at the end of February a student of mine had to go to Pondicherry for some work for me, and he [went] in person to Manoj to retrieve the articles. There was not a word of apology, no message to me excusing himself for not only the delay but also for having been so totally UNPROFESSIONAL in his behaviour. A fine start to the magazine! On the other hand, I was not at all surprised by this development. In fact, it was an act of ‘nishkama karma’, much the same as Sri Aurobindo’s Cripp’s Proposal! I knew very well the force that was in possession of things, but that nonetheless it was necessary to make this attempt, for reasons too complicated to explain to you. I was also inwardly aware of the whole course of events, the role that K.D. Sethna played who has been trying to suppress my writings on the Rig Veda for a long time, wanting himself to be considered the sole ‘official’ organ for this ancient scripture. And a host of other things, again too complex to describe.

The upshot is that HERITAGE continues as a totally dead force. It will accomplish absolutely nothing to bring about any real change or to present Sri Aurobindo to the public at large in his true light. The journal is simply an organ in which ashramites can fulfil their ambitions to have their unimportant articles published. Period. It is lamentable that you are caught in all this energies tied up.

In this regard you mention if I could ‘bring along the Shakti and inspire a few people here [Singapore]!’ Under the circumstances, what do you expect me to do? The VISHAAL had a very poor reception, which means that neither you nor others there gained any inspiration from it. There are my books… Well, I hope that some people will study them, not merely look at them on the library shelf to be ‘reminded of’ me! At the same time, I am well aware that you face an uphill task and that you are pressured to disassociate yourself from my work. Such being the case, it is up to you to face the matter and deal with it, according to the inner fibre of your being. I don’t want to insist at all, and in fact, for this reason it is best that I do not stop ever in Singapore, other than the two or three hours required to change flights. What would I have to say to people at the Centre there? You see, Pranab is the de facto head of the Ashram in Pondicherry. Manoj Das is also thoroughly subservient to him. Pranab determines who is to be in the Centre of Education or not. He determines that it is no longer to be an international school, and has therefore eliminated almost all the foreigners and has blocked the entry of all new foreign students. The list of his dark administration is a long one. But you needn’t take my word for it. Please read Volume 13 of The Agenda (in English), the entry for 7.4.1973. Anyone who can read that, or listen to the tapes (in English as they are) and still does not realise that Pranab is in the Ashram as a force to be conquered and not to himself be the conqueror, is either stupid, or a party to this nefarious activity. Quite simply. The facts are all too evident. There is no excuse for this impotent submission. Nor can there be any justification whatsoever for his behaviour vis-à-vis the Mother. ANYONE, no matter who, who shouts down the Mother, insults her, ridicules her yoga, and all the rest, is a force hostile to her Work. Pranab has done this and much more. And it is all recorded.   

The Sakti is ever-present and active in the world. But only those are receptive to it who are open to the future, who do not seek refuge in the comforting womb of Diti, the womb of the past, who are the fearless warriors and heroes of the New Creation. And this brings me to the question of the Singaporean recession.

The state that Singapore is in is the same that the Sri Aurobindo Ashram is in (and by consequence Auroville). Inertia has taken over. The rule is prolonged by playing upon the deep-rooted insecurity that exists in the country. What I have discovered as the flaw in the Singaporean collective consciousness is precisely this excessive stress on security, and therefore this makes it ripe for the Forces of Inertia to take hold of the nation’s economy. Fear is the accompanying tool. Your letter displays this more clearly than anything I could write. You have shelved your idea to open a books store because of the recession, stating that the time is not right. And of course, such an attitude, multiplied by thousands, simply prolongs the recession. And what stands behind it? Egoism. Quite simply. You and all the others put your own private interests and well-being above that of the country. You want to protect the little that you have, you pull in, you withdraw your support to the forces that are behind change, that are open to the new future. And you wait. But what does this bring about? It means that a golden opportunity has been missed. When recession springs up it means that this is the power of Inertia that is attacking because a new force has manifested in the country’s destiny. About this, in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s work, I can be mathematically precise. But what is the point? You would not accept even mathematical proof….

Remember, recession is an imbalance. It is when the force of contraction overpowers the force of expansion. (My whole work is centred on showing people the way, individually and collectively, to achieve a balance of these two for ultimately, this is the way to immortality on all levels.) A balance has to be reintroduced. But this cannot come about with the existing alchemy. Something new has to be introduced. Or to be more specific: the new thing, the new power that has been introduced, and for which reason the forces of inertia have reared up, has to be the factor that creates the balance. Then it is ‘a new balance’ that comes into being, opening up to a new future and a reordering of energies. The real expansion comes into being that is not dissipative at all. These are the foundations for the new world economy. A new power, a supramental power has to be allowed to work so that what emerges is indestructible. Contained within itself is the formula for constant renewal, for creativity, for life, not death.

This requires people of Knowledge and Heroes. Those who cringe in fear are not for this work. They must remain in Diti’s womb, clinging to a past that is dead in order to be assured of the securities to which they had been accustomed. This is Diti’s prime tool: she provides such comfort, such well-being physically; and the upshot of it all is the reigning consciousness of the Ashram: a welfare society. No sakti, no growth just the status quo. But in these times of great transition, when the new future is being born, a status quo cannot prevail. One either goes forward or one goes under. What is to survive is the New Creation. But this creation has surprising characteristics. It is unrecognisable by those who are caught in Diti’s womb, who are submerged in the past. This is maya, the un-Divine Measure.

Yours, in Truth,   [Patrizia]


1 PB was in charge of the preparations around the Mother’s body when she laid in state for the disciples and devotees from all over India to have a last darshan. It is believed that the Guru passes on some of his or her attainments at that time. What was interesting, if  not pathetic, was to see that the attendents in charge had decorated the area with flowers – as one would expect given that the Mother had spent a better part of her life interacting with flowers and revealing their occult energetic properties. But these were all PLASTIC. There was not one live flower surrounding her body. This was the final drop in the proverbial bucket for me.

When meeting the Mother she would invariably give the disciple or devotee an especially chosen flower from a basket by her side, often to convey a message through the exchange. That this life-long practice was treated with such disdain clearly indicated that something sinister had overtaken the atmosphere. The recorded conversations between the Mother, Satprem and this person in April 1973 were proof enough; but placing plastic flowers – of the cheapest kind – revealed even more of the attitude toward the Mother held by those closest to her.

'India: The Vast, the True, the Right', published in Time and Imperishability, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, 1997.