Archive for May 2007
It seizes even upon the obstacles to the spiritual life and compels them to become the means for a richer spiritual conquest and enables us to embrace the whole of Life in our divine scope as the Lila(2) of the Divine; and in some directions it is more immediately rich and fruitful, for it brings forward into the foreground along with divine knowledge, divine works and an enriched devotion of divine Love, the secrets also of the Hatha and Raja Yogas, the use of the body and of mental askesis for the opening up of the divine life on all its planes, to which the Gita gives only a passing and perfunctory attention. Moreover it grasps at that idea of the divine perfectibility of man, possessed by the Vedic Rishis but thrown into the background by the intermediate ages, which is destined to fill so large a place in any future synthesis of human thought, experience and aspiration.
1. All the Puranic tradition, it must be remembered, draws the richness of its contents from the Tantra. 2. The cosmic Play.
Essays on the Gita, CWSA Vol. 19, p. 9
The Tantric solution shows us a supreme superconscient Energy which casts itself out here into teeming worlds and multitudinous beings and in its order the soul rises from birth to birth and follows its million forms, till in a last human series it opens to the consciousness and powers of its own divinity and returns through them by a rapid illumination to the eternal superconscience.
We find at last the commencement of a satisfying synthesis, some justification of existence, a meaningful consequence in rebirth, a use and a sufficient though only temporary significance for the great motion of the cosmos. On lines very like these the modern mind, when it is disposed to accept rebirth, is inclined to view it. But there is a too minor stress on the soul’s divine potentialities, a haste of insistence on the escape into superconscience; the supreme Energy constructs too long and stupendous a preparation for so brief and so insufficient a flowering. There is a lacuna here, some secret is still missing.
Essays in Philosophy and Yoga, CWSA Vol. 13, p. 301
The material sense sees neither God nor gods, neither Yajna nor Agni; it sees only the elements and the formations of the elements, material appearances and the movements in or of those appearances. It does not see Agni, it sees a fire ; it does not see God, it sees the earth green and the sun flaming in heaven and is aware of the wind that blows and the waters that roll. So too it sees the body or appearance of a man, not the man himself; it sees the look or the gesture, but of the thought behind look or gesture it is not aware. Yet the man exists in the body and thought exists in the look or the gesture. So too Agni exists in the fire and God exists in the world. They also live outside of as well as in the fire and outside of as well as in the world.
How do they live in the fire or in the world? As the man lives in his body and a& thought lives in the look or the gesture. The body is not the man in himself and the gesture is not the thought in itself; it is only the man in manifestation or the thought in manifestation. So too the fire is not Agni in himself but Agni in manifestation and the world is not God in Himself but God in manifestation. The man is not manifested only by his body, but also and much more perfectly by his work and action. Thought is not manifested only by look and gesture, but also and much more perfectly by action and speech. So too, Agni is not manifested only by fire, but also and much more perfectly by all workings in the world, -subtle as well as gross material, – of the principle of heat and brilliance and force; God is not manifested only by this material world, but also and much more perfectly by all movements and harmonies of the action of consciousness supporting and informing materjal appearances. SECRETS OF VEDA: The First Rik of the Rig-veda searchforlight.org
In the next few pages of the prologue to The Atman Project, Wilber presents the first of many diagrams of psychological development, describing the Outward and Inward Arcs. The Outward Arc of development includes the sequence: pleroma, uroboros, bodyego, membership-cognition, early and middle ego/persona, late ego/persona; the Inward Arc of development includes the stages: mature ego, biosocial bands, centaur/existential, subtle, causal, Atman. These consecutive stages of ascending development are also presented in the form of a chart.
|3||Axial-body||Physical||Beginning of safety||Impulsive|
|7||Early egoic||Reasoning mind||Belongingness||Conformist|
|8||Middle egoic||Physical ego||Conscientious conformist|
|9||Late egoic||Idea mind||Self-esteem||Conscientious|
|12||Low subtle||Illumined mind||Transcendence|
|13||High subtle||Intuitive mind|
This conception of the stages of development will evolve in Wilber’s writing through many versions and many books, but will retain the same basic structure. And it will frequently be compared with other developmental models. For example, at the end of The Atman Project, Wilber provides several charts that compare his system with some twenty other similar developmental models. I have reproduced here a chart of Wilber’s system based on his comparisons with just three other frequently mentioned models.
As I said, these comparative models have been elaborated and have evolved throughout Wilber’s work, and he uses them effectively to illustrate his point. The general idea of psychological development, the way that it has been drawn from a variety of sources, and, most importantly, his inclusion of the higher mental and spiritual ranges, roughly in accordance with Sri Aurobindo‘s system, are made sufficiently clear… January 2002 integral world.net
This kind of textual meandering, which is limitless, and for the most part useless, points directly to the problem of textual fallacies in Sri Aurobindo’s world. (By which I mean the world of students and disciples of Sri aurobindo as well as his teachings, texts, and direct spiritual influence.) It is a kind of legacy for deconstructionists to savor these things I suppose.
The first deconstruction here would point to the alleged discrepancies between Self and Soul, Atman and Purusa, etc. as defined textually. One can easily reiterate many textual references and then believe that one has grasped something about Self and Soul. This is the scriptural Sri Aurobindo school.
Then there is the yoga transmission school of the yoga guru Sri Aurobindo. For the latter, there is the goal to experience the void as selfless bliss, as well as simultaneously universal world-bliss, and then perhaps to derive from that realisation a sense of the meaning of the Buddhist practice of compassionate emptiness. Something like this seems to be implied by the previous comment.
Whether this tells us anything about the ontological truth of reality (what is) as opposed to the epistemological, subjective impression, of what is thought or felt, etc., and therefore is a reality of Mind only, is not necessarily known or considered. And so there must follow an alternating exploration between text and experience to determine whether Truth-consciousness, in knowing Self, is also knowing world, force, prakriti, process, time, material reality, etc.
Buddhism is much less inclined to tackle this project than Sri Aurobindo was, and in fact that is his primary project. Therefore, the experience of transformation is privileged over textual interpretation, yoga sadhana (practise) over shastra (scripture). Herein lies, perhaps, the paradoxical trap of religion in this school. Shastra, devotion, practise are necessary aids, but unless they disappear in the truth of experience they easily become ego-projections. Then of course we “know” the truth and we “feel” the divine and we “live” a righteous life of yoga. And we can then prattle endlessly about which plane of atman is next in the hiearchy of interpretation.
Do these reflections constitute a “substratum” for understanding Buddhist truth? They may, if we realize that the experience of the Void of Selfless Bliss requires the annihilation of the ego. After that happens, we may realize that it is also the nature a material world and universe that is the body of sacrifice, the fire of agni.
Following are 2 quotes from Ken Wilber, taken from a discussion he had with Andrew Cohen:
“You can talk second tier, but your walk—your center of gravity—can still be first tier. That’s extremely common now. But when you get your walk and your talk at second tier, there’s still third tier waiting. And really, you have to keep going on into third tier. And then integral will flow out of yourself and into the world; it will start embracing everything, and not just as an altered state but as a permanent trait.”
“So my work is just a map. And, of course, you don’t want to confuse the map with the territory. But maps are extraordinarily helpful. After all, do you really want to go into Antarctica or Africa without a map? But I’m concerned about people merely taking this map and by learning it thinking that somehow they have awakened to the territory. The map is self-critical though, in that it says, “Here’s a presentation that’s roughly, to use Aurobindo’s terms, higher mind to illumined mind. But above that, you have really got to push into intuitive mind, overmind, supermind, satchitananda. And it’s going to take your own realization and your own work and your own practice, and I recommend spiritual teachers for this because you’re going to delude yourself all the way up.”
Posted on May 24th, 2007 by Frans
[The fostering or increasing of man in all his substance and possessions, his continual enlargement towards the fullness and richness of the vast Truth-Consciousness, the upholding of him in his great struggle and labour, this is the common preoccupation of the Vedic gods.]
Aswapati, whose birth held a symbol and a sign for us, was concerned with the issue of mortality in this creation. He came, and did intense yajna-tapasya here, and in its splendid-golden fire carried the world’s desire to the Supreme. The long spiritual quest was undertaken with the intention of resolving the mortality’s issue in a divine way. He had the inborn conviction that, thus alone could there be genuine progress here, evolutionary progress from light to more light, the higher powers of the spirit entering into it. In his hard sustained and difficult climbing of the world stairs, world above wonderful world, he has presently arrived at the top of the cosmic manifestation. He is in possession of the greater knowledge, the supramental in its transcendental dynamism which must take charge of the soul of the earth.
Now, as a decisive yogic step, Aswapati has entered the impenetrable luminous blank in which even the world’s yearning he was carrying with him disappeared. What he sees in that luminous blank, the brilliant Void, is a potent universe without galaxies, without streams, mountains, beasts or birds or men, withheld in its utter formlessness that which can manifest, the epiphanic. Behind Sachchidānanda stood the quiescent and what remained was nothing but the Nirvana of the Absolute, the austere apocalyptic alone, Nirvana beyond Nirvana. The cosmic and even the transcendental have disappeared from sight. Yet he must know that one power whose enigma gives meaning and contents to all these thousand things, manifest and unmanifest, phenomenal and eternal. In the process, everything was abolished, and there stood only the forceful positive, the fire that gives fire to these countless fires. In it his spirit’s will pursued the unknowable.
In such a tremendous experience, Aswapati sees that immortal death worked all along with the heart of love, and that ignorance was a bright page in the book entitled Om Chidrūpiņī Paramā, her name, the supreme embodied as the executive Consciousness-Force. There the sons of divinity hymned her glories, and offered to her onyxes and diamonds, and came epic conquests of nobility, and real-ideas of distinction to make these worlds their aspects.
But, first in that bright sacrifice, Aswapati must offer to the great divine the entire occult past of the earth, offer it as an oblation of the sacrifice, āhutī, the past that yet persisted to live, the past including that of Nature and of the Gods. Here was the beginningless beginning, and here was the endless end, here was the unmoved mover. Here flamed his will in trance of luminous sleep, and here was formed the world-celebrating truth, immortal even in things material.
In it a new creation was born, in the House of the Spirit. He brought it out in it, established it in it. It is this new creation that must be brought down here, upon the mortal earth. In it is the fulfilment of the world’s desire. Aswapati’s task becomes now well-focused. He knows that it is Chidrūpiņī Paramā, the divine Consciousness-Force who alone can do it, and that she must take the mortal birth. RYD