The Issue (Part 2) – Burden of the Past and the Prison of Nature

Beyond there is a whole world awaiting our discovery, a world beyond thought and ideas, a world that expresses itself as a state of Consciousness, in which delight and harmony, love and truth are inherent and ‘natural’, not something to be acquired through struggle and conflict. It is the realm of intuition and, climbing beyond intuition, the very Source of all Knowledge. Thus, following the trail of Light that shines upon our mind and falls upon our deeper heart, we go in quest of a Reality that is still only vaguely felt, hardly known.

It is here that Man begins to fulfill his real role as a human being which is to go beyond his humanity and, transcending the barriers of the mind, enter the domains of a higher spiritual truth that is seen, heard and felt through other faculties than his present bodily senses, understood by a hidden possibility of intuition rather than his present mind and reason. This is man’s real business, the work of works he has come to do without which he is merely an animal with some instincts of a god.

But this is no easy task. Nature keeps us tied within its boundaries proper to our humanity. It only allows just a little of what lies behind the screen. It uses every kind of trick up her sleeve to prolong our human play. Prominent among her methods, that keep us tied to the present formation of our human personality, are the dual tables of pleasure and pain. We are hooked to the present enjoyments, and are unwilling to go beyond for a greater delight, lest we lose what we already have. Even after we become aware that there is indeed a greater, a far greater delight that awaits our discovery we still hesitate and linger with the joy at hand. The fear of loss, the pain that temporarily accompanies it, or simply the force of past habit and momentum, the impulsion given to a tendency in past live, continues to hold us back as if some invisible chains were tied around our feet. Thus we remain a ‘willing and happy’ captive to the complex play of forces and their intricate balance that binds and ties our life to our limited condition.

The result is a little joy followed by suffering, a little good followed by much that is harmful and hurtful to other. We move within a narrow range of existence, we are attuned to a small bandwidth of frequencies, we live as if caged within the low walls of an ill-lit room, unable to open the doors and windows for fresh air and greater light. We hear a few knocks at our doors, but cannot even turn our gaze in the right direction. We see a thin layer of light filter through some chink in our windows, but know not how to open it. The latches are firmly secured, the nuts and bolts are rusted and fixed, not easy to dislodge. And if perchance we apply some effort and the window-panes of our prison-house of mind-moulded mud and clay called the body begins to open up to some light, the sentries posted by Nature push us in. The names of these sentries are doubt and fear and despair:

Only the Self that builds this figure of self
Can rase the fixed interminable line
That joins these changing names, these numberless lives,
These new oblivious personalities
And keeps still lurking in our conscious acts
The trail of old forgotten thoughts and deeds,
Disown the legacy of our buried selves,
The burdensome heirship to our vanished forms
Accepted blindly by the body and soul.
An episode in an unremembered tale,
Its beginning lost, its motive and plot concealed,
A once living story has prepared and made
Our present fate, child of past energies.
The fixity of the cosmic sequences
Fastened with hidden inevitable links
She must disrupt, dislodge by her soul’s force
Her past, a block on the Immortal’s road,
Make a rased ground and shape anew her fate…
[Savitri: p 12]

A gaol is this immense material world:
Across each road stands armed a stone-eyed Law,
At every gate the huge dim sentinels pace.
A grey tribunal of the Ignorance,
An Inquisition of the priests of Night
In judgment sit on the adventurer soul,
And the dual tables and the Karmic norm
Restrain the Titan in us and the God:
Pain with its lash, joy with its silver bribe
Guard the Wheel’s circling immobility.
A bond is put on the high-climbing mind,
A seal on the too large wide-open heart;
Death stays the journeying discoverer, Life.
[Savitri: p 18]

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