As if the stir of mind trying to emerge out of matter reached the mental planes, and as a response there came a descent from these planes to assist the mental evolution in creation.
Centre of reference
Then came the pressure of a seeing Power
That drew all into a dancing turbid mass
Circling around a single luminous point,
Centre of reference in a conscious field,
Figure of a unitary Light within.
It is the mind that weaves experiences into a formed personality built around the ego-sense. Its light, however partial and limited becomes a nodal point for forces and movements of nature to gather around this little point.
Illusion of fixity
It lit the impulse of the half-sentient flood,
Even an illusion gave of fixity
As if a sea could serve as a firm soil.
Though the forces move in and out of this ill-lit field of mentality, yet it gives the sense of something fixed just as light falling upon a sea gives the sense of constancy even though the sea is ever in flux. This is how we witness the beginning of character and personality, an ever moving fixity created by the constancy of motion in a certain way out of habit.
Strange observing power
That strange observing Power imposed its sight.
An observer or witnessing self begins to be formed as the mind looks upon things in its half-light.
It forced on flux a limit and a shape,
It gave its stream a lower narrow bank,
Drew lines to snare the spirit’s formlessness.
By its nature the mind is a limited light and hence has a tendency to see things in certain limits. The fluidity of the early animal life is lost with the advent of mind and a certain fixity is imposed on the forms of nature and their movements. The spontaneous instincts of life get hampered by the intrusion of the mind just as animals lose their instincts when they live with human beings. An early mould of a separate self begins which is other than the collective sense of a species alone.
It fashioned the life-mind of bird and beast,
The answer of the reptile and the fish,
The primitive pattern of the thoughts of man.
An early life-mind begins in the bird and beast and primitive man that is used to formulate and express desires and certain forms of emotion.
A march of knowledge
A finite movement of the Infinite
Came winging its way through a wide air of Time;
A march of knowledge moved in Nescience
And guarded in the form a separate soul.
With the advent of this life-mind there arises the possibility of learning and change and conscious adaptation. It also creates the sense of distinction of individual forms thereby creating an early mould for an individual soul to take birth.
A hook to clutch eternity
Its right to be immortal it reserved,
But built a wall against the siege of death
And threw a hook to clutch eternity.
With this early mind there began an effort to consciously preserve the individual form and safeguard from death. Before that the sense of self-preservation is largely instinctive. But with the coming of mind there is some kind of a half-conscious effort using a rudimentary reason to safe-guard itself.
A thinking entity appeared in Space.
With the mind a new phase of evolution began, through thought as an intermediary.
Step by step Sri Aurobindo is leading us through the evolutionary process, first of life in matter, then of mind in life.