A Material Illusionism, pp. 166-167

Opening Remarks
Creation, viewed strictly from a material standpoint, appears in the last analysis as itself a strange illusion conjured by the senses and mind.

Unreal and remote
At times all looks unreal and remote:
We seem to live in a fiction of our thoughts
Pieced from sensation’s fanciful traveller’s tale,
Or caught on the film of the recording brain,
A figment or circumstance in cosmic sleep.

If an inconscient nature is the sole origin of creation and there is nothing else but matter then it is logical to conclude that all our thoughts and aspirations and hopes are yet another fiction. What we value so much and regard as something special to man is yet another trick of matter and the senses whose blind notations on an unthinking brain are being experienced by us as conscious thoughts.

The somnambulist ego
A somnambulist walking under the moon,
An image of ego treads through an ignorant dream
Counting the moments of a spectral Time.

If ego were all then it is like the image of the ego walking at night, mechanically as if in sleep while engaging with an unreal world of meaningless dreams.

False perspective
In a false perspective of effect and cause,
Trusting to a specious prospect of world-space,
It drifts incessantly from scene to scene,
Whither it knows not, to what fabulous verge.

Mistaking the sequence of cause and effect (since the deeper causes remain hidden), trusting its false understanding of Time and Space it drifts from scene to scene and moment to moment taking this arrangement as the determinant of cause and effect. But Matter itself is not what we ordinarily experience through our mind and senses. Journeying through this materially-immaterial Space, the little ego-self does not know that its feet are being dragged helplessly towards a Fate of which its surface consciousness has not the least idea.

Dream existence
All here is dreamed or doubtfully exists,
But who the dreamer is and whence he looks
Is still unknown or only a shadowy guess.

It is difficult to say what is real when matter itself turns out to be a form of energy whirling in Space. All is probably a dream with no substance. But this still leaves the question unanswered about who is the dreamer who walks through the vast extension of Space.

Ourselves too small
Or the world is real but ourselves too small,
Insufficient for the mightiness of our stage.

Or perhaps we are in our infancy and know not the Reality underlying the enormous Space. Perhaps we have not the instruments to fathom or know what the real journey is, whither we come from and whither we are going.

A sense of awe and wonder
A thin life-curve crosses the titan whirl
Of the orbit of a soulless universe,
And in the belly of the sparse rolling mass
A mind looks out from a small casual globe
And wonders what itself and all things are.

Compared to the vastness of the universe our life seems to brief and too superficial to sound the depths and know what it is all about. Layer after layer we discover and yet the real meaning and purpose of creation remains a mystery. Our mind peers at the Unknown and wonders at creation and its own existence within it.

A pointillage
And yet to some interned subjective sight
That strangely has formed in Matter’s sightless stuff,
A pointillage minute of little self
Takes figure as world-being’s conscious base.

And yet there is something in us, something strangely formed within matter as an inner sight, the feels and senses intuitively that this world as we experience it is merely a surface phenomenon, a screen that conceals much more than what it reveals. This indeed is the starting point of all our discoveries.

Half-lit scene
Such is our scene in the half-light below.

Such is the natural conclusion drawn when we look at human life in the half-light of our ignorance.

Closing Remarks
Thus Sri Aurobindo reveals to us the limitations of the present purely materialistic point of view of the self and world.

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