Opening Remarks for the Canto IV “The Kingdoms of the Little Life”
Aswapati has seen the origin of Life which is a Breath of Consciousness from the high peaks of Divine Glory and Power. It’s Force has entered into Earth to uplift and save matter from the state of inertia and unconsciousness. But to do so it must first accept the conditions and limits imposed by Matter. Thus life becomes something limited, limited in joy, limited in power, limited in consciousness. This limited life, small in its scope, a symbol of littleness and incapacity here upon earth, is being described here through revealing forms that hold its force and their limited play.
A strange uneasy meeting
The Force of life entering Matter accepts and assumes the obscurity of the medium through which it has chosen to express itself. It becomes like a bird in a cage that can move about only within certain limits and not fly the vast expanse nor unfold the full potential of its wings.
A dolorous meeting
A quivering trepidant uncertain world
Born from that dolorous meeting and eclipse
Appeared in the emptiness where her feet had trod,
A quick obscurity, a seeking stir.
Life and Matter meet each other in this world. It is an uneasy and painful meeting due to the limiting and eclipsing effect that the obscurity of Matter has upon Life. In return life awakens within matter a seeking for a greater and higher possibility of living and sensing and feeling and thinking.
There was a writhing of half-conscious force
Hardly awakened from the Inconscient’s sleep,
Tied to an instinct-driven Ignorance,
To find itself and find its hold on things.
The force of life awakens matter from its sleep and mountains begin to breath teeming with living things and rivers begin to flow filled with organisms. Birds and beasts, insects and worms appear upon earth, half-conscious creatures struggling to live. Through all this life begins to get a hold on material objects and discover itself in terms of matter.
A strange inheritance
Inheritor of poverty and loss,
Assailed by memories that fled when seized,
Haunted by a forgotten uplifting hope,
It strove with a blindness as of groping hands
To fill the aching and disastrous gap
Between earth-pain and the bliss from which Life fell.
By diving deep into Matter, life loses the fullness of its Force. It is impoverished for the moment, and yet something within her secret heart remembers the high state from where it fell. It hopes to regain this state, this state of bliss that once was native to her, through the heart’s pain and the struggle to live and grow.
Seeking for something missed
A world that ever seeks for something missed,
Hunts for the joy that earth has failed to keep.
Thereby is born the insatiate seeking for joy that is hers even though lost for the time being through its contact with the earth.
Too near to our gates its unappeased unrest
For peace to live on the inert solid globe:
It has joined its hunger to the hunger of earth,
It has given the law of craving to our lives,
It has made our spirit’s need a fathomless gulf.
The disparity between the possibility that is born with life and the actuality of material existence gives birth to a perpetual unrest and craving that is never quite fulfilled. The insatiate hunger of life is, in its essence the hunger for the Infinite on a finite basis. This is the irony of living things, the tragedy and the possibility.
Thus we have been given a first glimpse, a first contact between matter and life force that will give birth to a multitude of forms and figures.