The One Who Has Become the Many pp 60-61

Opening remarks
Though creation appears to our senses as a number of separate objects hung in Space and connected through the play of Time, behind all its variations and multiplicity, there is the One. It is the One Reality that has become the Many. This is the great secret we are here to discover.

The sole transcendent One
All here where each thing seems its lonely self
Are figures of the sole transcendent One:
Only by him they are, his breath is their life;
An unseen Presence moulds the oblivious clay.

We live in a state of division, our normal habitual experience of life is to see each other as well as each object as separate and disconnected with everything else. But the greater truth that is hidden behind this multiplicity is the truth of oneness. This is so because all has emerged from the One, is held in the One and retains always a secret Unity with the One. Not only has everything held emerged from the One and is held together by the One, it is driven and moulded into forms and names and qualities by the Force of the One. Yet the One transcends all the units, each of which tries to reproduce something of that Infinite Reality hidden in everything. Our mind in ignorance sees the One Reality through a broken and distorted mirror and hence is unable to know this Oneness behind everything.

A playmate in the mighty Mother’s game
A playmate in the mighty Mother’s game,
One came upon the dubious whirling globe
To hide from her pursuit in force and form.

It is a beautiful image of the Divine Presence hidden in forms and the flow of forces. By so doing He spurs Nature to seek Him and thereby aspire and progress. This is the game of games, the lila, being played. The Lord of Nature hidden from her sight behind her works, so that she makes effort to find Him and through this gradual and progressive finding build the figure of eternal Perfection here in the play of Time.

A secret spirit in the Inconscient sleep
A secret spirit in the Inconscient’s sleep,
A shapeless Energy, a voiceless Word,
He was here before the elements could emerge,
Before there was light of mind or life could breathe.

What we call as Inconscient is not a blank void but a state of Unconsciousness assumed by the Mighty Energy for Her Work. The spirit is hidden there, asleep as it were, in this densest darkness.

The two, Soul and Nature, are playing this game from the very beginning of creation, even before the elements and forms they weave came into play.

Accomplice of her cosmic huge pretence
Accomplice of her cosmic huge pretence,
His semblances he turns to real shapes    (p 61 begins)
And makes the symbol equal with the truth:
He gives to his timeless thoughts a form in Time.

The cosmic pretence is the immense play of differentiation that makes it appear, to a superficial vision, the sense of separateness. But deep within each element and separate seeming unit, He is there, hidden in each and every fold of creation. Each object becomes thereby something of what He conceives within Himself. Thus each name and form which is but a symbol becomes real in itself because the Divine dwells within it and brings out through the finite object some aspect or quality of His infinity.

He is the substance, he the self of things
He is the substance, he the self of things;
She has forged from him her works of skill and might:
She wraps him in the magic of her moods
And makes of his myriad truths her countless dreams.

All Nature tries to capture and reproduce in the limits of a finite form and name this hidden Truth of the Divine. The substance itself is nothing but an extension, a self-concentration of His Existence. Since the Divine is One and Infinite, Nature too enters into countless variety of her works and her moods.

The Master of being has come down to her
The Master of being has come down to her,
An immortal child born in the fugitive years.

The Lord accepts and assumes all the ‘fanciful’ moods of Nature, consents to the play and its conditions. Though Himself eternal and immortal, He assumes finite shapes that are born and perish in time.

His ceaseless births
In objects wrought, in the persons she conceives,
Dreaming she chases her idea of him,
And catches here a look and there a gest:
Ever he repeats in them his ceaseless births.

Each form is a distorted or clear reflection of something of the Divine. Though being imperfect they are subject to mutation, change, birth and death, the immortal Divine Presence accepts to inhabit each one of them for the joy of the play.

He is himself the dreamer and the dream
He is the Maker and the world he made,
He is the vision and he is the Seer;
He is himself the actor and the act,
He is himself the knower and the known,
He is himself the dreamer and the dream.

The world exists because of Him. It is the Divine Self who has become all these separate seeming objects in Space and Time. The world-play is real since it is the Divine who is the Player and the Play itself. The world is an objectivisation of the Lord Himself. It exists by the Divine and has no separate reality of its own. Therefore the world is real since the Divine is Real. If we call it a dream then it is a dream of the Lord Himself.

Closing remarks
Thus Sri Aurobindo reveals to us the essential unity of the Creator and His Creation even though He transcends it. It is the play of Nature with Her Lord that creates the sense of distinction and differentiation but deep within it is One Substance, One Being, One Consciousness, One Reality.

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