The Journey from Matter to the Spirit, pp. 658-661 (SH 326)


Book 10 Canto 4 continued. In this remarkable passage we see Savitri revealing the secret of the evolution of forms through an inner compulsion of the soul within.

It compelled the suns to burn through silent Space,
Flame-signs of its uncomprehended Thought
In a wide brooding ether’s formless muse:
It made of Knowledge a veiled and struggling light,
Of Being a substance nescient, dense and dumb,
Of Bliss the beauty of an insentient world.

In finite things the conscious Infinite dwells:
Involved it sleeps in Matter’s helpless trance,
It rules the world from its sleeping senseless Void;
Dreaming it throws out mind and heart and soul
To labour crippled, bound, on the hard earth;
A broken whole it works through scattered points;
Its gleaming shards are Wisdom’s diamond thoughts,
Its shadowy reflex our ignorance.

It starts from the mute mass in countless jets,
It fashions a being out of brain and nerve,
A sentient creature from its pleasures and pangs.

A pack of feelings obscure, a dot of sense
Survives awhile answering the shocks of life,
Then, crushed or its force spent, leaves the dead form,
Leaves the huge universe in which it lived
An insignificant unconsidered guest.

But the soul grows concealed within its house;
It gives to the body its strength and magnificence;
It follows aims in an ignorant aimless world,
It lends significance to earth’s meaningless life.

A demigod animal, came thinking man;
He wallows in mud, yet heavenward soars in thought;
He plays and ponders, laughs and weeps and dreams,
Satisfies his little longings like the beast;
He pores upon life’s book with student eyes.

Out of this tangle of intellect and sense,
Out of the narrow scope of finite thought
At last he wakes into spiritual mind;
A high liberty begins and luminous room:
He glimpses eternity, touches the infinite,
He meets the gods in great and sudden hours,
He feels the universe as his larger self,
Makes Space and Time his opportunity
To join the heights and depths of being in light,
In the heart’s cave speaks secretly with God.

But these are touches and high moments lived;
Fragments of Truth supreme have lit his soul,
Reflections of the sun in waters still.

A few have dared the last supreme ascent
And break through borders of blinding light above,
And feel a breath around of mightier air,
Receive a vaster being’s messages
And bathe in its immense intuitive Ray.

On summit Mind are radiant altitudes
Exposed to the lustre of Infinity,
Outskirts and dependencies of the house of Truth,
Upraised estates of Mind and measureless.

There man can visit but there he cannot live.

A cosmic Thought spreads out its vastitudes;
Its smallest parts are here philosophies
Challenging with their detailed immensity,
Each figuring an omniscient scheme of things.

But higher still can climb the ascending light;
There are vasts of vision and eternal suns,
Oceans of an immortal luminousness,
Flame-hills assaulting heaven with their peaks,
There dwelling all becomes a blaze of sight;
A burning head of vision leads the mind,
Thought trails behind it its long comet tail;
The heart glows, an illuminate and seer,
And sense is kindled into identity.

A highest flight climbs to a deepest view:
In a wide opening of its native sky
Intuition’s lightnings range in a bright pack
Hunting all hidden truths out of their lairs,
Its fiery edge of seeing absolute
Cleaves into locked unknown retreats of self,
Rummages the sky-recesses of the brain,
Lights up the occult chambers of the heart;
Its spear-point ictus of discovery
Pressed on the cover of name, the screen of form,
Strips bare the secret soul of all that is.

Thought there has revelation’s sun-bright eyes;
The Word, a mighty and inspiring Voice,
Enters Truth’s inmost cabin of privacy
And tears away the veil from God and life.

Then stretches the boundless finite’s last expanse,
The cosmic empire of the Overmind,
Time’s buffer state bordering Eternity,
Too vast for the experience of man’s soul:
All here gathers beneath one golden sky:
The Powers that build the cosmos station take
In its house of infinite possibility;
Each god from there builds his own nature’s world;
Ideas are phalanxed like a group of suns,
Each marshalling his company of rays.

Thought crowds in masses seized by one regard;
All Time is one body, Space a single look:
There is the Godhead’s universal gaze
And there the boundaries of immortal Mind:
The line that parts and joins the hemispheres
Closes in on the labour of the Gods
Fencing eternity from the toil of Time.

(Savitri: 658-661)

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