December 01, 2006

Out of the wood and stone of our nature's stuff

Re: Derrida, Death and Forgiveness by Andrew J. McKenna by Debashish on Tue 14 Nov 2006 07:39 AM PST Profile Permanent Link What is your explanation for "passing through the portals of a birth which is a death"? - viz. "In her deep and greater love for her children she has consented to put on herself the cloak of this obscurity, condescended to bear the attacks and torturing influences of the powers of Darkness and the Falsehood, borne to pass through the portals of the birth that is a death, taken upon herself the pangs and sorrows and sufferings of creation, since it seemed that thus alone could it be lifted to the Light and Joy and Truth and eternal Life."
Please explain the difference, as you understand it, between "avatars, embodiments or permanent incarnations." DB

by RY Deshpande on Tue 14 Nov 2006 03:44 PM PST Profile Permanent Link Portals of the Birth that is a Death The phrase “portals of the birth that is a death” is a beautiful description of this world of ours, of our mortal lot, our mortal state, of the conditions in which we make progress through them both together; in just few words we have here a good picture of this mortal world, mrityuloka. Its poetic enchantment is such that the obscurity and darkness and falsehood in which live become their opposites. What we have in this mortal world is “the birth that is a death”. We can perhaps best see its aspect from Savitri and the Mother. Here are some passages picked up hurriedly:
• In the slow process of the evolving spirit, In the brief stade between a death and birth A first perfection's stage is reached at last; Out of the wood and stone of our nature's stuff A temple is shaped where the high gods could live. p. 531
• …I know beyond all doubt, The great stars burn with my unceasing fire And life and death are both its fuel made. p. 638
• …intermediaries were needed to express… Joy and Freedom in forms. And at first four Beings were emanated to start this universal development which was to be the progressive objectivisation of all that is potentially contained in the Supreme. These Beings were, in the principle of their existence: Consciousness and Light, Life, Bliss and Love, and Truth. You can easily imagine that they had a sense of great power, great strength, of something tremendous, for they were essentially the very principle of these things. Besides, they had full freedom of choice, for this creation was to be Freedom itself.... As soon as they set to work—they had their own conception of how it had to be done—being totally free, they chose to do it independently.
Instead of taking the attitude of servant and instrument of which Sri Aurobindo speaks in what I have just read to you,2 they naturally took the attitude of the master, and this mistake—as I may call it—was the first cause, the essential cause of all the disorder in the universe. As soon as there was separation—for that is the essential cause, separation—as soon as there was separation between the Supreme and what had been emanated, Consciousness changed into inconscience, Light into darkness, Love into hatred, Bliss into suffering, Life into death and Truth into falsehood. And they proceeded with their creations independently, in separation and disorder. The result is the world as we see it. It was made progressively, stage by stage, and it would truly take a little too long to tell you all that, but finally, the consummation is Matter —obscure, inconscient, miserable.... The creative Force which had emanated these four Beings, essentially for the creation of the world, witnessed what was happening, and turning to the Supreme she prayed for the remedy and the cure of the evil that had been done. Then she was given the command to precipitate her onsciousness into this inconscience, her Love into this suffering, and her Truth into this falsehood. And a greater consciousness, a more total love, a more perfect truth than what had been emanated at first, plunged, so to say, into the horror of Matter in order to awaken in it consciousness, love and truth, and to begin the movement of Redemption which was to bring the material universe back to its supreme origin. So, there have been what might be called “successive involutions” in Matter, and a history of these involutions. The present result of these involutions is the appearance of the Supermind emerging from the inconscience; but there is nothing to indicate that after this appearance there will be no others... for the Supreme is inexhaustible and will always create new worlds.
• I have had days when I have lived truly all the horrors of creation (and in the consciousness of their horror), and then that has brought this experience, and... all the horror has disappeared.
• Oh, the horror of falsehood spread everywhere on earth, ruling the world with its law of darkness! I believe that its reign has lasted long enough; this is the master we must now refuse to serve. This is the great, the only remedy.
• MY Lord, my sweet Master, for the accomplishment of Thy work I have sunk down into the unfathomable depths of Matter, I have touched with my finger the horror of the falsehood and the inconscience, I have reached the seat of oblivion and a supreme obscurity. But in my heart was the Remembrance, from my heart there leaped the call which could arrive to Thee: “Lord, Lord, everywhere Thy enemies appear triumphant; falsehood is the monarch of the world; life without Thee is a death, a perpetual hell; doubt has usurped the place of Hope and revolt has pushed out Submission; Faith is spent, Gratitude is not born; blind passions and murderous instincts and a guilty weakness have covered and stifled Thy sweet law of love. Lord, wilt Thou permit Thy enemies to prevail, falsehood and ugliness and suffering to triumph? Lord, give the command to conquer and victory will be there. I know we are unworthy, I know the world is not yet ready. But I cry to Thee with an absolute faith in Thy Grace and I know that Thy Grace will save.” Thus, my prayer rushed up towards Thee; and, from the depths of the abyss, I beheld Thee in Thy radiant splendour; Thou didst appear and Thou saidst to me: “Lose not courage, be firm, be confident,—I COME.” November 24, 1931 RY Deshpande

by Debashish on Tue 14 Nov 2006 04:43 PM PST Profile Permanent Link Sorry I did not clarify myself. I meant that "passing through the portals of the birth that is a death" in the context of "the holocaust of the Supreme" is what the avatar goes through, is it not, accept the mortal lot of the creature so that the creature may rise to divinity? I read the "holocaust of the Purusha" as the sacrifice of the avatar (usually seen as Male) and the holocaust of the Prakriti as the sacrifice of the Mother as avatar.
But perhaps you are pointing out that this reading is not warranted - and Sri Aurobindo is speaking of the Mother's present incarnation alone, not some general train of incarnations? Or do you mean that he is not talking of incarnation at all, but the embodiment of the Mother in the heart of creatures (para prakritir jivabhuta)? And even if either of the above (or both) is/are the sense of the passage, the Mother's avatars would also be an image of the same, don't you think and thus part of its meaning? If on the other hand, you feel it is only the very specific present birth of the Mother he is referring to here, Ithat may be possible. DB

No comments:

Post a comment