The Limited World of Beautiful Forms, pp. 114-115

Opening Remarks
We have been told about the various aspects of this subtle physical substance and the corresponding world that it builds. Now Sri Aurobindo summarises it for us.

Marvellous forms near to us
Amazed, his senses ravished with delight,
He moved in a divine, yet kindred world
Admiring marvellous forms so near to ours
Yet perfect like the playthings of a god,
Deathless in the aspect of mortality.

The subtle physical world is nearest to us, just a step round the boundaries of the gross material universe. It is a charming world that has come into existence before the Consciousness plunged into Inconscience. Therefore it is not burdened with the darkness and obscurity of earthly forms, nor the rigidity that subjects our body to wear and tear and eventually death.

Narrow boundaries
In their narrow and exclusive absolutes
The finite’s ranked supremacies throned abide;
It dreams not ever of what might have been;
Only in boundaries can this absolute live.

However this is still a world of finite forms, though beautiful and ravishing to the senses. It is exclusively focussed on beauty of form and content to live in its boundaries without any urge to go further or evolve to higher stations of consciousness and explore greater possibilities of existence.

No room for the incalculable
In a supremeness bound to its own plan
Where all was finished and no widths were left,
No space for shadows of the immeasurable,
No room for the incalculable’s surprise,
A captive of its own beauty and ecstasy,
In a magic circle wrought the enchanted Might.

It is a world of finished products that remain bound to their form. There is in it, no further scope for evolution and growth, no space for some greater light to daw, no room for hidden wonders and Divine surprise. It is charmed by its own beauty and hence a captive of its joy and enchantment.

The spirit stood back
The spirit stood back effaced behind its frame.

That is to say that here the frame is all and the spirit subordinated to the beauty of form.

Life in its boundaries
Admired for the bright finality of its lines
A blue horizon limited the soul;
Thought moved in luminous facilities,
The outer ideal’s shallows its swim-range:
Life in its boundaries lingered satisfied
With the small happiness of the body’s acts.

This is the kind of perfection that the narrow thought of man sometimes conceives, a shallow fulfilment of its ‘ideals’. In this view, there is a finality of lines and the soul and life move within boundaries. The wide and limitless horizons do not open before it as it accepts the impenetrable canopy of the sky. Thought and life and body are here satisfied with smallness of being provided the form and outer figure is margined with beautiful strokes.

Greater work undone
Assigned as Force to a bound corner-Mind,
Attached to the safe paucity of her room,
She did her little works and played and slept
And thought not of a greater work undone.

The greater work is the work of manifesting the fullness of the Divine Consciousness for which earth and humanity are made. But the subtle physical is too satisfied with its limited perfection of outer form and cares not for higher and greater things. Content with its littleness, it seeks nothing more.

Forgetful of the heights
Forgetful of her violent vast desires,
Forgetful of the heights to which she rose,
Her walk was fixed within a radiant groove.

Life in this world had no urge to reach out to the heights, no impulse for the impossible, no room for the incalculable. It lived within its fixed boundaries and the play of a limited light.

Cradle of joy
The beautiful body of a soul at ease,
Like one who laughs in sweet and sunlit groves,
Childlike she swung in her gold cradle of joy.

This space is like a nursery of souls that are not yet ready for the great Adventure of evolution. Here they rest at ease in sweet comforts and radiant groves knowing not the fierce labour of the worlds.

No yearning for lost infinitudes
The spaces’ call reached not her charmed abode,
She had no wings for wide and dangerous flight,
She faced no peril of sky or of abyss,
She knew no vistas and no mighty dreams,
No yearning for her lost infinitudes.

Life here was yet to grow wings and soar into the wide and dangerous skies. Charmed by outward things and lulled into sleep it cared not to dream and venture high nor aspired to regain its lost heights from where it fell.

Closing Remarks
It is a fine and beautiful world, perfect within limits. Its outward charm can lull the flame of aspiration and thereby become a hindrance to our further evolution. It is still a world of Ignorance with fine boundaries that limit the soul’s further advance.

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