Sri Aurobindo, like a Master Artist, contrasts the deeper view of a spiritual gaze with the superficial one that we are accustomed to.
But all is screened, subliminal, mystical;
It needs the intuitive heart, the inward turn,
It needs the power of a spiritual gaze.
These deeper mysteries of existence, these profound truths are not accessible to the surface mind nor can we discover them through the analytical mind, engaged in and turned towards outer things. They are self-revealed in an intuitive light as we turn within and grow in spiritual power.
Our waking mind’s small moment look
Else to our waking mind’s small moment look
A goalless voyage seems our dubious course
Some Chance has settled or hazarded some Will,
Or a Necessity without aim or cause
Unwillingly compelled to emerge and be.
To the surface mind all appears a meaningless chaos without any direction or purpose, – a senseless void from which creation has somehow emerged.
The dense field and the net of death
In this dense field where nothing is plain or sure,
Our very being seems to us questionable,
Our life a vague experiment, the soul
A flickering light in a strange ignorant world,
The earth a brute mechanic accident, (page 50 begins)
A net of death in which by chance we live.
It is the very nature of this material field that it immediately covers our soul-vision with obscurity and the dense veil of Ignorance. Then to this obscure surface view, our very existence is riddled by doubt, our life and soul appear as by-products, and earth itself the result of an accident where, defying all odds, life has somehow emerged amid the dead and hostile silence of space.
A doubtful guess
All we have learned appears a doubtful guess,
The achievement done a passage or a phase
Whose farther end is hidden from our sight,
A chance happening or a fortuitous fate.
Knowledge is always riddled with doubt in this dense field. At best it is a passage towards a yet greater Unknown. Until the inner doors open and an intuitive light awakens, we can never find the definitive answer to the riddle of earthly life. Here all appears a play of blind fate and chance happenings without any coherence or meaning in it.
From the unknown to the unknown
Out of the unknown we move to the unknown.
This is our state as long as the two farther ends of creation remain hidden to our view.
Fate’s starting line
Ever surround our brief existence here
Grey shadows of unanswered questionings;
The dark Inconscient’s signless mysteries
Stand up unsolved behind Fate’s starting-line.
On the one side is the Inconcient, – the dark and obscure beginning out of which life seems to somehow manage to be born. Yet we do not know what exactly is this primal Darkness from which creation seems to have emerged and into which through an unfolding of events has a tendency to collapse.
The paradox of life
An aspiration in the Night’s profound,
Seed of a perishing body and half-lit mind,
Uplifts its lonely tongue of conscious fire
Towards an undying Light for ever lost;
Only it hears, sole echo of its call,
The dim reply in man’s unknowing heart
And meets, not understanding why it came
Or for what reason is the suffering here,
God’s sanction to the paradox of life
And the riddle of the Immortal’s birth in Time.
Creation is a mystery riddled with opposites. A thick veil of Darkness and Night hangs over this mystery. Yet something is lit up and awake even in this Darkness. Something aspires, even in this obscure terrestrial robe, something that strives to discover some lost secret, something that climbs towards Light and Truth. But there is hardly an answer in the human heart towards this call, towards the undying Light. Thus the riddle of the birth of an immortal Soul in a field of suffering and transience and mortality remains unsolved.
This is our human state as long as we remain subject to Ignorance, as long as our soul has not yet found its freedom.