A million years ago the animal sprawling in the swamps of Africa and Asia stood erect, – a marvel of Nature, and called himself man. He was man indeed characterized by something unique, that source of his rise over the animal world he inherited and paradoxically as it were, also the reason for his fall from the spontaneous purity and natural harmony of the animal kingdom. A vague light that had shown itself only as a far off promise and rare occasional glimpses in the higher animals had suddenly shot beyond measure. This light had come to full birth within him and with its birth was born in man a restless seeking for Truth, the search for something higher and nobler and beautiful, a discontent with what was or is. It coaxed the animal out of his slumber, woke in his belly the hunger of the titans and in his heart the instincts of a god. Thus was born, amidst the pathless wilds a strange creature, an uneasy compromise between the demigod and the beast. He raised his head and saw the vacant Vast inviting him. He plunged his gaze below and fathomed the treasures of the deep seas. He looked around and saw the untouched grounds for an endless discovery.
Since then his quest has taken him far and high, without and within. He has cut paths into the wilds of the forest and filled them with cement and stones. He has dwelled within his inner being and tried to divine the laws that built the worlds and the Godheads in their far off starry homes. He has mapped the skies and the seas, plunged into his inner depths, measured the distance between the galaxies and the stars, shrunk space and squeezed time. And yet his search is far from being over. Each discovery has only increased his hunger; each finding has opened to his awakening eye an even greater seeking. The answered questions have raised more unanswered questions. Each mystery solved has led him to the doors of a still greater mystery. Tired and weary and restless he has created toys to satiate his hunger but soon the pangs are felt again and he needs new toys and fresh gadgets to play with even before he has outgrown the fancy of his old gadgets. Even as he sheds old layers of ignorance like peels from his eyes, fresh layers stand between him and the ultimate Truth. The old walls gone, new ones arise in its place; walls subtler and firmer like some magical entrance that refuses to yield unless one knows the elusive formula. Thus does he move in ever-widening circles of Ignorance driven by his first impulse to seek and know. Each ground of Knowledge rests upon a shadowy throne of doubt and a grey penumbra follows his advance. Unsure of anything he still tries to reconcile himself and the world, seeks to unite the two fragments of the one cosmic puzzle, – himself and the world he inhabits. He has lost his animal instincts and the sure spontaneity of that world; he is yet to gain the sure foothold on some terra-firma of sure Knowledge. In fact the very knowledge that had come to save him from the rigours of the animal world has become an artificer of his doom. The many paths he cut across the wilds have left behind thick trails of battle and strife. The animal in him is not dead; it has only assumed a more fanciful face and a cunning brain. The gods within him awake from time to time and he is stirred by sublime impulses but the titans’ voices soon drown his inner listening and he becomes a prey to dark and dangerous impulses.
This has been man’s story so far, a long dim preparation, the search for a Truth ever guessed and neared and missed, the cult of an Ideal never made real here. Still he continues to search out of the wilds into the far blue sky sailing amidst distant stars, his goal fixed outside all present maps, his fragile ship unable to cross the ultimate seas of knowledge or convert it into currencies of wisdom. Thus he moves on through day and night, from life to life, through cycles of creation and destruction. He rises from the grave and the pyre and seeks again and finds and loses and starts his search again. Thus he goes on invited by a rumour and a call. He is as if driven by a curse that denies him rest and peace in any home; all his resting places of knowledge and comfort zones of happiness prove to be only temporary inns. His Science and his Religion both bind him to these minor outposts until the restless urge in him drives him further to some land where he can reconcile both, his inner subjective world and the outer one that seems objective to his senses. He must find that meeting point where the two currents meet, the within and the without. He must touch the reconciling Wisdom in which the self and world grow true and one. He must discover the New Path that will lead him to this Integral Reality, the path that would release from within his depths the imprisoned gods and appease the chained beast that grovels in his subterranean den. It is this that now seeks to be born within him and just as the animal was a living laboratory in which man was worked out; man may well be the conscious instrument through whose co-operation the Next Species is being worked out. Everything that we have witnessed in the past century has worked towards this new becoming, this much wanted and foreseen change. Everything that we are witnessing today is also pointing towards this change that is pressing itself upon us from everywhere, from within and without. It is a meeting point of two currents of Time, the New and the Old; the moment of great churning within and without that through a passage of momentary confusion is yet leading us towards something that is unprecedented in earth’s history, the birth of an entirely new way of seeing and being, the birth of a New World. Towards this we shall now turn our attention……
(To be continued)
Author: Dr. Alok Pandey has been working in the field of psychiatry with a spiritual approach for more than 15 years. He has developed a working concept of integral health and integral psychology which he is using in his life and practice. He is one of the founders of SAIIIHR.