January 31, 2006

A power and a presence

SABDA Newsletter EDITORIAL June 2001
All will agree that the ease and comfort with which one can read a book cannot be matched by reading on a computer screen...When one gathers oneself in quiet concentration and takes a copy of Savitri in one’s hands, the answer is clear. This "material envelope" of what the Mother described as "The supreme revelation of Sri Aurobindo’s vision" can hardly be looked upon as an inert fragment of matter. One can feel the book charged with a power and a presence, perhaps without even reading a word. An unearthly glow radiates from the pages. One is already in the atmosphere of Savitri. For words are not merely words.
The Mother often spoke of the consciousness of material objects. The physical apparatus we call a book is the base and material support for the action of the higher knowledge contained in the words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Bathed in their Light, the very paper cannot but absorb the Consciousness, partake of the Presence, as it were, thus contributing to enhance the concreteness of the perception on the material plane. A book provides a permanent focal point on this plane for the concentration of the Rays of Light, a centre to house the Spirit. The perception of this characteristic seems to be most striking with old books — as if the constituent matter has absorbed that much more with the passage of time. The hand made paper of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram appears to lend itself especially well to this quality — with its porous nature it seems to take in more than just the elements.
As the Mother states in her conversation, every book carries something of the personality of the author, becomes a repository of his vibrations. Behind all external communication there is an occult exchange of forces. The Mother has said that thoughts are much more potent than what we believe them to be, they are concrete forces that tend towards realisation on the material plane. Thus a book can project the thought and personality of an author much more effectively than the aggregate of the words in it might suggest. Perhaps this is the hidden truth at the root of the perception of a book’s "intimate feel", mentioned earlier. After all, surely, there is much more to the Sikh tradition of worshipping the Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib, than meets the eye.

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