Slowly out of the plant life emerges the life of the beast and then the animal-man closer to the animal kind. Thus man emerges out of the beast, a strange mixture of the brute and the yet to emerge developed humanity.
Life has emerged upon earth; it is born out of matter’s womb so to say. Now it must set about its task of expansion and growth.
This world may be a dream but it is a dream of the Spirit and hence real even as the Spirit is Real.
Behind it all one can sense the dance of a stupendous Energy whose footsteps throw these whorls and patterns giving birth to the elements of creation. This is the story of the great unfolding of the universe which is ever in motion and constant progression.
Matter is composed of certain invisible forces that come together to weave forms. These are the five subtle elements that work together within every form. Sri Aurobindo now reveals to us the sequence and the process.
Sri Aurobindo now takes us to the very origin of creation when it is still asleep under the drowse of the Inconscience. This is the state of the material world before the great adventure of life begins.
The earth we inhabit is built of heterogenous elements borrowed from all the different worlds. Among these are also the forces of little life and subconscient worlds that create confusion and disorder. The key therefore is to discover our soul and be governed by it.
This little life is not limited to its domain. It extends onto other domains and casts a great influence on human lives as well. By revealing to us its nature and law of action, Sri Aurobindo is abundantly cautioning us so that we do not fall into their snare.
What has been summarily described here are the beings of the lower vital world and their action. What will follow is a detailed understanding of these creatures and their action in different spheres of earthly life.
Though little in terms of its powers, this world has a strong hold upon matter and consequently upon all life that lives by the flesh. Therefore its empire, though a small little corner in boundless existence, casts its influence far and extends widely.
This Canto deals with the slow and painful emergence of life involved in matter.
The first stir of mind is used by life for its own purposes. Later the mind will free itself and life also grow to look beyond our animal birth and present state of ignorance tied to the outward and the immediate.
This is the brief ephemeral existence of a dwarf humanity, a primitive life that lives only by and for the sake of flesh, not seeking for the soul within.
The mind is a limited and limiting Intelligence. It can see things only in firm and fixed boundaries and distinct and separate from each other. This is the first step in the unfolding of various aspects and powers and possibilities of the mind.