But what happens to the wonderful force of Life as it enters into and emerges out of the material frame? We see that in spite of the wonders that it still creates, filling the world with joy, yet it is a rather limited and poor creation where there is also much that is ugly and repugnant. It is as if within its entry and emergence something happens, like a reverse transmutation that deforms its power.
A dark ambiguous Presence
But while the magic breath was on its way,
Before her gifts could reach our prisoned hearts,
A dark ambiguous Presence questioned all.
The dark ambiguous Presence is the Inconscient, the shadow of the Infinite that holds matter firmly in its grip. It stamps and stains the gifts of life with doubt and grief before it touches the human heart.
The secret Will robed with Night
The secret Will that robes itself with Night
And offers to spirit the ordeal of the flesh,
Imposed a mystic mask of death and pain.
It is like a mask of darkness that is put upon its fair and happy energies turning it into death and suffering. It is as if the immortal soul must be first schooled in this field of ignorance until it is ready to receive the gifts of divine life and is strong enough to bear the mighty onrush of its tremendous forces.
The inert Inconscient
Interned now in the slow and suffering years
Sojourns the winged and wonderful wayfarer
And can no more recall her happier state,
But must obey the inert Inconscient’s law,
Insensible foundation of a world
In which blind limits are on beauty laid
And sorrow and joy as struggling comrades live.
The dark Inconscient resists its advance turning the happy heart of life into a sorrowful burden that moves as a dull and slow labourer struggling with his enormous load. Its beautiful face wears an ugly mask and sorrow mates with joy in the human heart.
A dim and dreadful muteness fell on her:
Abolished was her subtle mighty spirit
And slain her boon of child-god happiness,
And all her glory into littleness turned
And all her sweetness into a maimed desire.
The luminous song of life turns mute, her glory and greatness changed into littleness and her gladness turned into a struggling desire clutching at a forfeited happiness with difficulty.
To feed death with her works is here life’s doom.
Thus all her efforts end up feeding death and course towards her gaping mouth.
A myth of being
So veiled was her immortality that she seemed,
Inflicting consciousness on unconscious things,
An episode in an eternal death,
A myth of being that must for ever cease.
The effect of the Inconscience into which creation plunges turns consciousness into unconsciousness, immortality into a recurring cycle of death and rebirth, and being itself into a state of utter self-oblivion and forgetfulness as if it never existed.
The Evil Mystery
Such was the evil mystery of her change.
Thus all is changed into its very opposite.
Thus life is transmuted as if under a magic spell of some dark sorceress who has maimed her powers and turned her into the very opposite of what she actually is.
Closing Remarks for the Canto (Book 2, Canto 3)
We see in this Canto a vivid and detailed description of the origin of Life which is in the Divine Himself. We are also given an elaborate account of the high worlds of life beyond the sphere of sorrow and death and their beings and energies. Next we are revealed the secret of evolution and the emergence of living beings here upon earth (and possibly elsewhere). We are finally shown how this breath of God that descends from great heights is corrupted and polluted as it enters the fields of earth turning it into a poison and a sting.
END OF CANTO THREE