A Small Insignificant Life, pp. 165-166

Opening Remarks
Life at this stage of evolution moves around a small circle. It cannot embrace the adventure of the Vast and the Unknown.

Short axis
His motion on too short an axis wheels;
He cannot soar but creeps on his long road
Or if, impatient of the trudge of Time,
He would make a splendid haste on Fate’s slow road,
His heart that runs soon pants and tires and sinks;
Or he walks ever on and finds no end.

The life of an average human being runs close to the early plan. It moves around preoccupations with food, survival, and at most, care of the kin. It has a long way to go and sometimes this realisation dawns, albeit little late. Then he tries to catch up but by now his energies have been spent in little futile things and there is little left to run and cover the long distance. He can perhaps see the goal but is unable to reach it.

Hardly a few
Hardly a few can climb to greater life.

It is the rare type of humanity that can look up and seek anything more than satisfying their daily round of desires or feel the urge to soar beyond the stars.

Low scale
All tunes to a low scale and conscious pitch.

Regardless of one’s wealth, position and acquisitions it is a life lived on a low pitch. The inner stature remains small.

House of Ignorance
His knowledge dwells in the house of Ignorance;
His force nears not even once the Omnipotent,
Rare are his visits of heavenly ecstasy.

A limited creature with a little superficial knowledge and small gains of material power is man’s average life. Rarely he feels the touch of higher things.

The bliss which sleeps in things and tries to wake,
Breaks out in him in a small joy of life:
This scanty grace is his persistent stay;
It lightens the burden of his many ills
And reconciles him to his little world.

His little world is filled with little joys that give him some temporary respite from the heavy burden of the days.

Satisfaction of inertia
He is satisfied with his common average kind;
Tomorrow’s hopes and his old rounds of thought,
His old familiar interests and desires
He has made into a thick and narrowing hedge
Defending his small life from the Invisible;
His being’s kinship to infinity
He has shut away from him into inmost self,
Fenced off the greatnesses of hidden God.

His satisfactions are the satisfactions of an animal kind or of the inert stone that seeks nothing greater and nothing more. So too with man at this stage of evolution is satisfied with a routine round of small desires and usual interests. Thus he keep away his fear of the Unknown. His mechanical life turning around fixed things becomes like a defending circle of nature that asks for no greater effort. His ego’s comfort zones prevent him from seeking his own soul.

A trivial part
His being was formed to play a trivial part
In a little drama on a petty stage;
In a narrow plot he has pitched his tent of life
Beneath the wide gaze of the starry Vast.

Though he lives in a bubble house of greatness his life’s drama and the plot move around small things.

Nature’s crown
He is the crown of all that has been done:
Thus is creation’s labour justified;
This is the world’s result, Nature’s last poise!

If this indeed is Nature’s final result, the last step of her mighty aeonic efforts then it is surely a poor result.

And if this were all and nothing more were meant,
If what now seems were the whole of what must be,
If this were not a stade through which we pass
On our road from Matter to eternal Self,
To the Light that made the worlds, the Cause of things,
Well might interpret our mind’s limited view
Existence as an accident in Time,
Illusion or phenomenon or freak,
The paradox of a creative Thought
Which moves between unreal opposites,
Inanimate Force struggling to feel and know,
Matter that chanced to read itself by Mind,
Inconscience monstrously engendering soul.

Indeed if this is all and nothing more is to come, if Nature must rest at this point regarding man as her highest creation, then one must admit that she is poor in creativity. If man is the last word of creation then, given his ignorance and littleness one may well regard it all as a grand illusion that has somehow come into existence. Then human life and creation will forever remain an enigma unable to resolve the paradox of the emergence of mind and the slow awakening of consciousness. If the originating impulsion is unconscious and mechanical it is hard to explain the emergence of thought and feeling or hope and aspiration in an inanimate creation impelled by an inanimate Force.

Closing Remarks
With a touch of irony Sri Aurobindo shows us the mirror so that we can come out of the glass bubble and aspire for transcending this first human formula.

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