2021: FUTUREWARD

The human predicament

A sailor on the Inconscient’s fathomless sea,
He voyages through a starry world of thought
On Matter’s deck to a spiritual sun.
Across the noise and multitudinous cry,
Across the rapt unknowable silences,
Through a strange mid-world under supernal skies,
Beyond earth’s longitudes and latitudes,
His goal is fixed outside all present maps.
But none learns whither through the unknown he sails
Or what secret mission the great Mother gave.
In the hidden strength of her omnipotent Will,
Driven by her breath across life’s tossing deep,
Through the thunder’s roar and through the windless hush,
Through fog and mist where nothing more is seen,
He carries her sealed orders in his breast.
Late will he know, opening the mystic script,
Whether to a blank port in the Unseen
He goes or, armed with her fiat, to discover
A new mind and body in the city of God
And enshrine the Immortal in his glory’s house
And make the finite one with Infinity.
Across the salt waste of the endless years
Her ocean winds impel his errant boat,
The cosmic waters plashing as he goes,
A rumour around him and danger and a call.
Always he follows in her force’s wake.
He sails through life and death and other life,
He travels on through waking and through sleep.
A power is on him from her occult force
That ties him to his own creation’s fate,
And never can the mighty Traveller rest
And never can the mystic voyage cease
Till the nescient dusk is lifted from man’s soul
And the morns of God have overtaken his night.
As long as Nature lasts, he too is there,
For this is sure that he and she are one;
Even when he sleeps, he keeps her on his breast:
Whoever leaves her, he will not depart
To repose without her in the Unknowable.
There is a truth to know, a work to do;
Her play is real; a Mystery he fulfils:
There is a plan in the Mother’s deep world-whim,
A purpose in her vast and random game.
This ever she meant since the first dawn of life,
This constant will she covered with her sport,
To evoke a Person in the impersonal Void,
With the Truth-Light strike earth’s massive roots of trance,
Wake a dumb self in the inconscient depths
And raise a lost Power from its python sleep
That the eyes of the Timeless might look out from Time
And the world manifest the unveiled Divine.
For this he left his white infinity
And laid on the spirit the burden of the flesh,
That Godhead’s seed might flower in mindless Space.

Such is the predicament of man. We have a double inheritance, a double destiny so to say. There is an outer destiny, the destiny that weaves the events and circumstances of our life and a deeper truer destiny wherein we discover how the scroll of fate is unfolding through these events and circumstances. The secret of the latter is with our soul. We have seen the way 2020 has unfolded before us, beyond anything we could have imagined or predicted at the end of 2019. A stealth and an invasion entering through doors of the Unseen entered the life of humanity and threw it upside down or shall we say outside in. It compelled us to re-evaluate what we truly value, re-evaluate the real worth of our own lives, re-evaluate or perhaps reorient our goals and strategies. It was a year the changed many a life for good as if a giant wave of change swept through the world touching countless points in the process. What could bear the change, has changed, what could not change – collapsed in various ways. The big question, however, is whether have we learnt what the year came to remind us of. We saw the fragility of human existence but did we see the might of the Spirit that can, in a flash change everything. We saw the wave of destruction and awed and in fear tried to find our comfort zones to run for safety and cover but did we see that the ultimate security lies not in outwards means but in the silent spaces of our soul where the scroll of destiny comes for its approval. For the soul in man is greater than its fate. (Savitri: 691). Yet for the moment man seems to be ignorant of this high possibility. Doubt and distrust stand guard forcing him back into the prison of ignorance.

 

Man and the workings of Fate

Inheritor of the brief animal mind,
Man, still a child in Nature’s mighty hands,
In the succession of the moments lives;
To a changing present is his narrow right;
His memory stares back at a phantom past,
The future flees before him as he moves;
He sees imagined garments, not a face.
Armed with a limited precarious strength,
He saves his fruits of work from adverse chance.
A struggling ignorance is his wisdom’s mate:
He waits to see the consequence of his acts,
He waits to weigh the certitude of his thoughts,
He knows not what he shall achieve or when;
He knows not whether at last he shall survive,
Or end like the mastodon and the sloth
And perish from the earth where he was king.
He is ignorant of the meaning of his life,
He is ignorant of his high and splendid fate.

Our lives are caught up as if in an ambiguous net? And so will it be until we have raised the right question and found the true and lasting answers. These questions are not about how we will spend the coming year, how things are going to be in terms of the framework of our outer life. Our outer material life is no doubt important but to concentrate solely on that is one cause of the persistent fear and insecurity in which we live. Even when we have, with great difficulty managed to get rid of one disease of danger, another seems to lurk around the corner waiting for its hour to creep into our lives as a miasma. The questions to be asked therefore are who are we and what is this labour and din in the dungeon that we are constantly engaged in and for what purpose?  These questions have immense practical importance though the average human being hardly cares for finding an answer to these persistent questions that have vexed humanity always. The average human being lives from phenomenon to phenomenon navigating his life somehow through the haze and maze of circumstances clutching at fruits of his efforts lest they slip away even before he has tasted them. Yet time does sometimes plays the spoilsport, as some would say happened in 2020, when all our plans and calculations went in another direction or were delayed and had to adapt and readjust to a sudden unexpected change. Once again we see another year knocking at our doors and we wish ourselves and others that may all be well. Yet we continue our lives in the same old way and hope that things will be as we wish them to be. Let us try then to understand what really is the working of Fate. One thing is sure and it is this that if we do not change then the change is compelled upon us by the power of circumstances. The wise gods of fate use everything to bring out the truth concealed within us.

Fate is Truth working out in Ignorance.
O King, thy fate is a transaction done
At every hour between Nature and thy soul
With God for its foreseeing arbiter.
Fate is a balance drawn in Destiny’s book.
Man can accept his fate, he can refuse.
Even if the One maintains the unseen decree
He writes thy refusal in thy credit page:
For doom is not a close, a mystic seal.
Arisen from the tragic crash of life,
Arisen from the body’s torture and death,
The spirit rises mightier by defeat;
Its godlike wings grow wider with each fall.
Its splendid failures sum to victory.
O man, the events that meet thee on thy road,
Though they smite thy body and soul with joy and grief,
Are not thy fate,—they touch thee awhile and pass;
Even death can cut not short thy spirit’s walk:
Thy goal, the road thou choosest are thy fate.
On the altar throwing thy thoughts, thy heart, thy works,
Thy fate is a long sacrifice to the gods
Till they have opened to thee thy secret self
And made thee one with the indwelling God.
O soul, intruder in Nature’s ignorance,
Armed traveller to the unseen supernal heights,
Thy spirit’s fate is a battle and ceaseless march
Against invisible opponent Powers,
A passage from Matter into timeless self.

 

The law of circumstance

For out of danger and pain heaven-bliss shall come,
Time’s unforeseen event, God’s secret plan.
This world was not built with random bricks of Chance,
A blind god is not destiny’s architect;
A conscious power has drawn the plan of life,
There is a meaning in each curve and line.

While all this is fine and we must wish beautiful things yet we need to understand the subtle laws that govern the law of circumstances and determine the situations and events in which we find ourselves. This subtle law is sometimes called the law of karma which primarily is a law of evolution through actions. Action, of course, is not just outer action which is yet another phenomenon adding to the sum of shifting scenes of life, but an arrow let loose from the quiver of our mind as thoughts and feelings and will. Time is the archer and our soul is the bow. Its consent is needed for every act. When the soul is rather in its infancy then the consent is automatic under the compulsion of the forces of ignorance. Yet through these deeds and their consequences, the soul grows eventually in wisdom and strength. It returns, again and again, wiser and stronger until it changes its poise from being entirely subjected to the spell of darkness, Anisa (not lord) to one that becomes a student and witness of its own field, Sakshi. But this too is only an intermediary phase. The soul in man is greater than its fate but for it to realize this truth it must reclaim its lost divinity. Stepping out of the prison of the ego and the vast ignorance that covers its eyes of knowledge and paralyses and deflects its will into lanes and bylanes of desires, it must become Isa, the lord over nature, master of its fate. It is then that we reverse the present arrangement and instead of being the slave of circumstances become its master. Instead of being helplessly subject to events with our lives hanging tossing half-fulfilled wishes, blind hopes that deceive and the ill-understood mechanical workings of nature’s machinery we become conscious participants in the deep design of creation. We become active collaborators in the unfolding of God’s secret plan upon earth and in man. It is this towards which we must strive for, year after year, day after day, even moment after moment. When in ignorance we believe that it is the circumstances of life that shape and determine the quality of our existence. But when knowledge comes and vision grows then we discover that it is not circumstances that determine us it is rather our state of consciousness that determines the circumstances we find ourselves in.

All that transpires on earth and all beyond
Are parts of an illimitable plan
The One keeps in his heart and knows alone.
Our outward happenings have their seed within,
And even this random Fate that imitates Chance,
This mass of unintelligible results,
Are the dumb graph of truths that work unseen:
The laws of the Unknown create the known.
The events that shape the appearance of our lives
Are a cipher of subliminal quiverings
Which rarely we surprise or vaguely feel,
Are an outcome of suppressed realities
That hardly rise into material day:
They are born from the spirit’s sun of hidden powers
Digging a tunnel through emergency.
But who shall pierce into the cryptic gulf
And learn what deep necessity of the soul
Determined casual deed and consequence?
Absorbed in a routine of daily acts,
Our eyes are fixed on an external scene;
We hear the crash of the wheels of Circumstance
And wonder at the hidden cause of things.
Yet a foreseeing Knowledge might be ours,
If we could take our spirit’s stand within,
If we could hear the muffled daemon voice.

The destiny and the destination of man

In other words, man is not meant to forever carry the burden of his fate. His eyes look forward because unlike the animal kind man is meant to move towards the future. He stands erect symbolically signifying that he is built for the ascension of his consciousness from its first formulation in matter to a final consummation in the Spirit. But this final consummation is not merely about the release of consciousness involved in matter through the layers of life and mind towards the Spirit as the ancient Yogis discovered through the Kundalini yoga. It is rather meant to bring the Spirit down into matter and raise a lost power there, from its python sleep and thereby transfigure all our earthly life into a life divine. It is that for which earth itself has been made, that which is the destiny of man, that which has been decreed by the stars – because it has been Willed by the Divine Mother, the Creatrix Power, the Shakti Herself. She shows us the way by Her own example. Let us follow in Her footsteps this coming year and leaving aside all our fanciful wishes go straight towards the ultimate Source, the secret key to change that lies within us. Let us start the first moment of 2021 with this resolve even as Her that henceforth may this great discovery, this transformation that alone can help earth and humanity come out of the morass of earth nature in which it has stayed stuck for long, this divinization of earthly life that is our privilege and inborn right become not only our preoccupation but our sole occupation. Let us pray with Her:

Lord, we are upon earth to accomplish Thy work of transformation. It is our sole will, our sole preoccupation. Grant that it may be also our sole occupation and that all our actions may help us towards this single goal.

1 January 1951 [CWM 13: 8]

Her own example is there to inspire and enthuse us:

To have it (just to give you an idea) took me a year of exclusive concentration on finding that within myself – that is, to enter into contact with the immanent God. I did nothing but that, thought of nothing but that, wanted nothing but that. There was even a rather funny instance, because I had resolved to do it (I had already been working for a very long time, of course; Madame Théon had told me about my mission on earth and all that, so you can imagine – I am talking about the psychic being belonging to this present creation, this formation – Mother touches her body) … anyway, it was New Year’s Eve and I decided: “Within the coming year.” I had a large, almost square studio, a bit bigger than this room, with a door leading onto a patio. I opened the little door and looked at the sky and there, just as I looked, was a shooting star. You know the tradition: if you formulate an aspiration just as you see a shooting star, before the star disappears, it will be realized within the year. And there, just as I opened the door, was a shooting star – I was totally in my aspiration: “Union with the inner Divine.” And before the end of December of the following year, I had the experience.

October 30, 1962

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