Life emerges with difficulty in matter. It takes a long time before it can establish itself on a material basis. But once the swoon is broken, life begins to climb through various degrees and countless forms and species and genus and families of living organisms begin to inhabit the earth.
Breaking through the drowse of matter’s sleep
When life broke through its half-drowse in the plant
That feels and suffers but cannot move or cry,
In beast and in winged bird and thinking man
It made of the heart’s rhythm its music’s beat;
It forced the unconscious tissues to awake
And ask for happiness and earn the pang
And thrill with pleasure and laughter of brief delight,
And quiver with pain and crave for ecstasy.
Matter is inert. Life is imprisoned within it awaiting its hour to emerge. In plants, it wakes up as sensations but not yet the concrete expression. Senses and sensations come alive first. It is like a reaching out to the world and through it towards the Creator. Next it begins to crystallise itself around a centre in the animal kind. The need for air and light and rain that we find in plants changes into a longing for joy and knowledge and love. But since it is yet far from the intended perfection, it experiences only a limited and momentary, an imperfect glimpse of it, a degraded version so to say, through pleasure and thrill. The limitation makes it aware of what is still missing leading to the opposite sense of suffering and pain. Thus is born the experience of duality and life and living beings swing between pleasure and pain, joy and suffering.
The soul’s desire
Imperative, voiceless, ill-understood,
Too far from light, too close to being’s core,
Born strangely in Time from the eternal Bliss,
It presses on heart’s core and vibrant nerve;
Its sharp self-seeking tears our consciousness;
Our pain and pleasure have that sting for cause:
Instinct with it, but blind to its true joy
The soul’s desire leaps out towards passing things.
Surrounded by darkness and the dense veil of Ignorance, it’s seeking is still vague. Thereby while labouring under the spell of unconsciousness and ignorance it leaps towards transient things in search for an ever elusive happiness. In return, after the brief joy is over, it finds tears and pain. These too serve a purpose and by their intensity create a gap and rent the dense covering awakening consciousness in things inert and asleep. This goes on until life and living beings realise that it is searching for eternal Bliss and that is not something outside but what it always carried deep within itself, near to our being’s core.
All Nature’s longing drive none can resist,
Comes surging through the blood and quickened sense;
An ecstasy of the infinite is her cause.
Desire ultimately is a distortion, in our state of ignorance for the seeking of Delight. It is Bliss out of which life and creation have emerged and it is but natural that they long for this bliss. Yet, not knowing where and how to find it, the hunger for the infinite bliss turns in the finite form towards finite longings.
The deep need for joy
It turns in us to finite loves and lusts,
The will to conquer and have, to seize and keep,
To enlarge life’s room and scope and pleasure’s range,
To battle and overcome and make one’s own,
The hope to mix one’s joy with others’ joy,
A yearning to possess and be possessed,
To enjoy and be enjoyed, to feel, to live.
Lust, ambition, the will to expand and enlarge our possessions, to make others one with us, to give and take and all the various means through which we try to find joy are in fact movements of ignorance and yet behind them there is a truth, a Truth that resides in the core of life itself. It is the truth of the soul, the truth of the Spirit whose very nature is bliss and out which life has emerged for the terrestrial play.
Life’s seekings in its obscurity has led the evolution so far. It has been led by desire which is a construct of ignorance, a ploy used by nature to drive life towards its true goal. This unconscious strivings and wants and struggles must change into a conscious aspiration for the True and the Eternal for then only can life find the infinite Bliss that it is really seeking for.