Web-Server for Integral Yoga
Sri Aurobindo, "Savitri"
Book Two THE BOOK OF THE TRAVELLER OF THE WORLDS Canto X THE KINGDOMS AND GODHEADS OF THE LITTLE MIND This too must now be overpassed and left, As all must be until the Highest is gained In whom the world and self grow true and one: Till that is reached our journeying cannot cease. Always a nameless goal beckons beyond, Always ascends the zigzag of the gods And upward points the spirit's climbing Fire. This breath of hundred-hued felicity And its pure heightened figure of Time's joy, Tossed upon waves of flawless happiness, Hammered into single beats of ecstasy, This fraction of the spirit's integer Caught into a passionate greatness of extremes, This limited being lifted to zenith bliss, Happy to enjoy one touch of things supreme, Packed into its sealed small infinity, Its endless time-made world outfacing Time, A little output of God's vast delight. The moments stretched towards the eternal Now, The hours discovered immortality, But, satisfied with their sublime contents, On peaks they ceased whose tops half-way to heaven Pointed to an apex they could never mount, To a grandeur in whose air they could not live. Inviting to their high and exquisite sphere, To their secure and fine extremities This creature who hugs his limits to feel safe, These heights declined a greater adventure's call. A glory and sweetness of satisfied desire Tied up the spirit to golden posts of bliss. It could not house the wideness of a soul Which needed all infinity for its home. A memory soft as grass and faint as sleep, The beauty and call receding sank behind Like a sweet song heard fading far away Upon the long high road to Timelessness. Above was an ardent white tranquillity. A musing spirit looked out on the worlds And like a brilliant clambering of skies Passing through clarity to an unseen Light Large lucent realms of Mind from stillness shone. But first he met a silver-grey expanse Where Day and Night had wedded and were one: It was a tract of dim and shifting rays Parting Life's sentient flow from Thought's self-poise. A coalition of uncertainties There exercised uneasy government On a ground reserved for doubt and reasoned guess, A rendezvous of Knowledge with Ignorance. At its low extremity held difficult sway A mind that hardly saw and slowly found; Its nature to our earthly nature close And kin to our precarious mortal thought That looks from soil to sky and sky to soil But knows not the below nor the beyond, It only sensed itself and outward things. This was the first means of our slow ascent From the half-conscience of the animal soul Living in a crowded press of shape-events In a realm it cannot understand nor change: Only it sees and acts in a given scene And feels and joys and sorrows for a while. The ideas that drive the obscure embodied spirit Along the roads of suffering and desire In a world that struggles to discover Truth, Found here their power to be and Nature-Force, Here are devised the forms of an ignorant life That sees the empiric fact as settled law, Labours for the hour and not for eternity And trades its gains to meet the moment's call: The slow process of a material mind - Which serves the body it should rule and use And needs to lean upon an erring sense, Was born in that luminous obscurity. Advancing tardily from a limping start, Crutching hypothesis upon argument, Throning its theories as certitudes, It reasons from the half-known to the unknown, Ever constructing its frail house of thought, Ever undoing the web that it has spun. A twilight sage whose shadow seems to him Self, Moving from minute to brief minute lives; A king dependent on his satellites Signs the decrees of ignorant ministers, A judge in half-possession of his proofs, A voice clamant of uncertainty's postulates An architect of knowledge, not its source. This powerful bondslave of his instruments Thinks his low station Nature's highest top, Oblivious of his share in all things made And haughtily humble in his own conceit Believes himself a spawn of Matter's mud And takes his own creations for his cause. To eternal light and knowledge meant to rise, Up from man's bare beginning is our climb; Out of earth's heavy smallness we must break, We must search our nature with spiritual fire: An insect crawl preludes our glorious flight; Our human state cradles the future god, Our mortal frailty an immortal force. At the glow-worm top of these pale glimmer-realms Where dawn-sheen gambolled with the native dusk And helped the Day to grow and Night to fail, Escaping over a wide and shimmering bridge, He came into a realm of early Light And the regency of a half-risen sun. Out of its rays our mind's full orb was born. Appointed by the Spirit of the Worlds To mediate with the unknowing depths, A prototypal deft Intelligence Half-poised on equal wings of thought and doubt Toiled ceaselessly twixt being's hidden ends. A Secrecy breathed in life's moving act; A covert nurse of Nature's miracles, It shaped life's wonders out of Matter's mud: It cut the pattern of the shapes of things, It pitched mind's tent in the vague ignorant Vast. A master Magician of measure and device Has made an eternity from recurring forms And to the wandering spectator thought Assigned a seat on the inconscient stage. On earth by the will of this Arch-Intelligence A bodiless energy put on Matter's robe; Proton and photon served the imager Eye To change things subtle into a physical world And the invisible appeared as shape And the impalpable was felt as mass: Magic of percept joined with concept's art And lent to each object an interpreting name: Idea was disguised in a body's artistry, And by a strange atomic law's mystique A frame was made in which the sense would put Its symbol picture of the universe. Even a greater miracle was done. The mediating light linked body's power, The sleep and dreaming of the tree and plant, The animal's vibrant sense, the thought in man, To the effulgence of a Ray above. Its skill endorsing Matter's right to think Cut sentient passages for the mind of flesh And found a means for Nescience to know. Offering its little squares and cubes of word As figured substitutes for reality, A mummified mnemonic alphabet, It helped the unseeing force to read her works. A buried consciousness arose in her And now she dreams herself human and awake. But all was still a mobile Ignorance; Still Knowledge could not come and firmly grasp This huge invention seen as a universe. A specialist of logic's hard machine Imposed its rigid artifice on the soul; An aide of the inventor intellect, It cut Truth into manageable bits That each might have his ration of thought-food, Then new-built Truth's slain body by its art: A robot exact and serviceable and false Displaced the spirit's finer view of things: A polished engine did the work of a god. None the true body found, its soul seemed dead: None had the inner look which sees Truth's whole; All glorified the glittering substitute. Then from the secret heights a wave swept down, A brilliant chaos of rebel light arose; It looked above and saw the dazzling peaks, It looked within and woke the sleeping god. Imagination called her shining squads That venture into undiscovered scenes Where all the marvels lurk none yet has known: Lifting her beautiful and miraculous head, She conspired with inspiration's sister brood To fill thought's skies with glimmering nebulae. A bright Error fringed the mystery-altar's frieze; Darkness grew nurse to wisdom's occult sun, Myth suckled knowledge with her lustrous milk; The infant passed from dim to radiant breasts. Thus worked the Power upon the growing world; Its subtle craft withheld the full-orbed blaze, Cherished the soul's childhood and on fictions fed Far richer in their sweet and nectarous sap Nourishing its immature divinity Than the staple or dry straw of Reason's tilth, Its heaped fodder of innumerable facts, Plebeian fare on which today we thrive. Thus streamed down from the realm of early Light, Ethereal thinkings into Matter's world; Its gold-horned herds trooped into earth's cave-heart. Its morning rays illume our twilight's eyes, Its young formations move the mind of earth To labour and to dream and new-create, To feel beauty's touch and know the world and self: The Golden Child began to think and see. In those bright realms are Mind's first forward steps. Ignorant of all but eager to know all, Its curious slow enquiry there begins; Ever searching it grasps at shapes around, Ever it hopes to find out greater things. Ardent and golden-gleamed with sunrise fires, Alert it lives upon invention's verge. Yet all it does is on an infant's scale, As if the cosmos were a nursery game, Mind, life the playthings of a Titan's babe. As one it works who builds a mimic fort Miraculously stable for a while, Made of the sands upon a bank of Time Mid an occult eternity's shoreless sea. A small keen instrument the great Puissance chose, An arduous pastime passionately pursues; To teach the Ignorance is her difficult charge, Her thought starts from an original nescient Void And what she teaches she herself must learn Arousing knowledge from its sleepy lair. For knowledge comes not to us as a guest Called into our chamber from the outer world; A friend and inmate of our secret self, It hid behind our minds and fell asleep And slowly wakes beneath the glows of life; The mighty daemon lies unshaked within, To evoke, to give it form is Nature's task. All was a chaos of the true and false, Mind sought amid deep mists of Nescience; It looked within itself but saw not God. A material interim diplomacy Denied the truth that transient truths might live And hid the deity in creed and guess That the World-Ignorance might grow slowly wise. This was the imbroglio made by sovereign Mind Looking from a gleam-ridge into the Night In its first tamperings with Inconscience: Its alien dusk baffles her luminous eyes; Her rapid hands must learn a cautious zeal; Only a slow advance the earth can bear. Yet was her strength unlike the unseeing earth's Compelled to handle makeshift instruments Invented by the life-force and the flesh. Earth all perceives through doubtful images, All she conceives in hazardous jets of sight, Small lights kindled by touches of groping thought. Incapable of the soul's direct inlook She sees by spasms and solders knowledge-scrap, Makes Truth the slave-girl of her indigence, Expelling Nature's mystic unity Cuts into quantum and mass the moving All; She takes for measuring-rod her ignorance. In her own domain a pontiff and a seer, That greater Power with her half-risen sun Wrought within limits but possessed her field; She knew by a privilege of thinking force And claimed an infant sovereignty of sight. In her eyes however darkly fringed was lit The Archangel's gaze who knows inspired his acts And shapes a world in its far-seeing flame. In her own realm she stumbles not nor fails, But moves in boundaries of subtle power Across which mind can step towards the sun. A candidate for a higher suzerainty, A passage she cut through from Night to Light, And searched for an ungrasped Omniscience. A dwarf three-bodied trinity was her serf. First, smallest of the three, but strong of limb, A low-brow with a square and heavy jowl, A pigmy Thought needing to live in bounds For ever stooped to hammer fact and form. Absorbed and cabined in external sight, It takes its stand on Nature's solid base. A technician admirable, a thinker crude, A riveter of Life to habit's grooves, Obedient to gross Matter's tyranny, A prisoner of the moulds in which it works, It binds itself by what itself creates. A slave of a fixed mass of absolute rules, It sees as Law the habits of the world, It sees as Truth the habits of the mind. In its realm of concrete images and events Turning in a worn circle of ideas And ever repeating old familiar acts, It lives content with the common and the known. It loves the old ground that was its dwelling-place: Abhorring change as an audacious sin, Distrustful of each new discovery Only it advances step by careful step And fears as if a deadly abyss the unknown. A prudent treasurer of its ignorance, It shrinks from adventure, blinks at glorious hope, Preferring a safe foothold upon things To the dangerous joy of wideness and of height. The world's slow impressions on its labouring mind, Tardy imprints almost indelible, Increase their value by their poverty; The old sure memories are its capital stock: Only what sense can grasp seems absolute: External fact it figures as sole truth, Wisdom identifies with the earthward lock, - And things long known and actions always done Are to its clinging hold a balustrade Of safety on the perilous stair of Time. Heaven's trust to it are the established ancient ways, Immutable laws man has no right to change, A sacred legacy from the great dead past Or the one road that God has made for life, A firm shape of Nature never to be changed, Part of the huge routine of the universe. A smile from the Preserver of the Worlds Sent down of old this guardian Mind to earth That all might stand in their fixed changeless type And from their secular posture never move. One sees it circling faithful to its task, Tireless in an assigned tradition's round; In decayed and crumbling offices of Time It keeps close guard in front of custom's wall, Or in an ancient Night's dim environs It dozes on a little courtyard's stones And barks at every unfamiliar light As at a foe who would break up its home, A watch-dog of the spirit's sense-railed house Against intruders from the Invisible, Nourished on scraps of life and Matter's bones In its kennel of objective certitude. And yet behind it stands a cosmic might: A measured Greatness keeps its vaster plan, A fathomless sameness rhythms the tread of life; The stars' changeless orbits furrow inert Space, A million species follow one mute Law. A huge inertness is the world's defence, Even in change is treasured changelessness; Into inertia revolution sinks, In a new dress the old resumes its role; The Energy acts, the stable is its seal: On Shiva's breast is stayed the enormous dance. A fiery spirit came, next of the three. A hunchback rider of the red Wild-Ass, A rash Intelligence leaped down lion-maned From the great mystic Flame that rings the worlds And with its dire edge eats at being's heart. Thence sprang the burning vision of Desire. A thousand shapes it wore, took numberless names: A need of multitude and uncertainty Pricks it for ever to pursue the One On countless roads across the vasts of Time Through circuits of unending difference. It burns all breasts with an ambiguous fire. A radiance gleaming on a murky stream, It flamed towards heaven, then sank, engulfed towards hell; It climbed to drag down Truth into the mire And used for muddy ends its brilliant Force. A huge chameleon gold and blue and red Turning to black and grey and lurid brown, Hungry it stared from a mottled bough of life To snap up insect joys, its favourite food, The dingy sustenance of a sumptuous frame Nursing the splendid passion of its hues. A snake of flame with a dark cloud for tail, Followed by a dream-brood of glittering thoughts, A lifted head with many-tinged flickering crests, It licked at knowledge with a smoky tongue. A whirlpool sucking in an empty air, It based on vacancy stupendous claims, In Nothingness born to Nothingness returned, Yet all the time unwittingly it drove Towards the hidden Something that is All. Ardent to find, incapable to retain, A brilliant instability was its mark, To err its inborn trend, its native cue. At once to an unreflecting credence prone, It thought all true that flattered its own hopes; It cherished golden nothings born of wish, It snatched at the unreal for provender. In darkness it discovered luminous shapes; Peering into a shadow-hung half-light It saw hued images scrawled on Fancy's cave; Or it swept in circles through conjecture's night And caught in imagination's camera Bright scenes of promise held by transient flares, Fixed in life's air the feet of hurrying dreams, Kept prints of passing Forms and hooded Powers And flash-images of half-seen verities. An eager spring to seize and to possess Unguided by reason or the seeing soul Was its first natural motion and its last, It squandered life's force to achieve the impossible: It scorned the straight road and ran on wandering curves And left what it had won for untried things, It saw unrealised aims as instant fate And chose the precipice for its leap to heaven. Adventure its system in the gamble of life, It took fortuitous gains as safe results; Error discouraged not its confident view Ignorant of the deep law of being's ways And failure could not slow its fiery dutch; One chance made true warranted all the rest. Attempt, not victory, was the charm of life. An uncertain winner of uncertain stakes, Instinct its dam and the life-mind its sire, It ran its race and came in first or last. Yet were its works nor small and vain nor null; It nursed a portion of infinity's strength And could create the high things its fancy willed; Its passion caught what calm intelligence missed. Insight of impulse laid its leaping grasp On heavens high Thought had hidden in dazzling mist, Caught glimmers that revealed a lurking sun: It probed the void and found a treasure there. A half-intuition purpled in its sense; It threw the lightning's fork and hit the unseen. It saw in the dark and vaguely blinked in the light, Ignorance was its field, the unknown its prize. Of all these Powers the greatest was the last, Arriving late from a far plane of thought Into a packed irrational world of Chance Where all was grossly felt and blindly done, Yet the haphazard seemed the inevitable, Came Reason, the squat godhead artisan, To her narrow house upon a ridge in Time. Adept of clear contrivance and design, A pensive face and dose and peering eyes, She took her firm and irremovable seat, The strongest, wisest of the troll-like Three. Armed with her lens and measuring-rod and probe, She looked upon an object universe And the multitudes that in it live and die And the body of Space and the fleeing soul of Time, And took the earth and stars into her hands To try what she could make of these strange things. In her strong purposeful laborious mind, Inventing her scheme-lines of reality And the geometric curves of her time-plan, She multiplied her slow half-cuts at Truth: Impatient of enigma and the unknown, Intolerant of the lawless and unique, Imposing reflection on the march of Force, Imposing clarity on the unfathomable, She strove to reduce to rules the mystic world. Nothing she knew but all things hoped to know. In dark inconscient realms once void of thought, Missioned by a supreme Intelligence To throw its ray upon the obscure Vast, An imperfect light leading an erring mass By the power of sense and the idea and word, She ferrets out Nature's process, substance, cause. All life to harmonise by thought's control She with the huge imbroglio struggles still; Ignorant of all but her own seeking mind To save the world from Ignorance she came. A sovereign worker through the centuries, Observing and re-moulding all that is, Confident she took up her stupendous charge. There the low bent and mighty figure sits Bowed under the arc-lamps of her factory-home Amid the clatter and ringing of her tools. A rigorous stare in her creative eyes Coercing the plastic stuff of cosmic Mind, She sets the hard inventions of her brain In a pattern of eternal fixity: Indifferent to the cosmic dumb demand, Unconscious of too close realities, Of the unspoken thought, the voiceless heart, She leans to forge her credos and iron codes And metal structures to imprison life And mechanic models of all things that are. For the world seen she weaves a world conceived: She spins in stiff but unsubstantial lines Her gossamer word-webs of abstract thought, Her segment systems of the Infinite, Her theodicies and cosmogonic charts And myths by which she explains the inexplicable. At will she spaces in thin air of mind Like maps in the school-house of intellect hung, Forcing wide Truth into a narrow scheme, Her numberless warring strict philosophies; Out of Nature's body of phenomenon She carves with Thought's keen edge in rigid lines Like rails for the World-Magician's power to run, Her sciences precise and absolute. On the huge bare walls of human nescience Written round Nature's deep dumb hieroglyphs She pens in dear demotic characters The vast encydopaedia of her thoughts; An algebra of her mathematics' signs, Her numbers and unerring formulas She builds to clinch her summary of things. On all sides runs as if in a cosmic mosque Tracing the scriptural verses of her laws The daedal of her patterned arabesques, Art of her wisdom, artifice of her lore. This art, this artifice are her only stock. In her high works of pure intelligence, In her withdrawal from the senses' trap, There comes no breaking of the walls of mind, There leaps no rending flash of absolute power, There dawns no light of heavenly certitude. A million faces wears her knowledge here And every face is turbaned with a doubt. All now is questioned, all reduced to nought. Once monumental in their massive craft Her old great mythic writings disappear And into their place start strict ephemeral signs; This constant change spells progress to her eyes: Her thought is an endless march without a goal. There is no summit on which she can stand And see in a single glance the Infinite's whole. An inconclusive play is Reason's toil. Each strong idea can use her as its tool; Accepting every brief she pleads her case. Open to every thought, she cannot know. The eternal Advocate seated as judge Armours in logic's invulnerable mail A thousand combatants for Truth's veiled throne And sets on a high horseback of argument To tilt for ever with a wordy lance In a mock tournament where none can win. Assaying thought's values with her rigid tests Balanced she sits on wide and empty air, Aloof and pure in her impartial poise. Absolute her judgments seem but none is sure; Time cancels all her verdicts in appeal. Although like sunbeams to our glow-worm mind Her knowledge feigns to fall from a dear heaven, Its rays are a lantern's lustres in the Night; She throws a glittering robe on Ignorance. But now is lost her ancient sovereign claim To rule mind's high realm in her absolute right, Bind thought with logic's forged infallible chain Or see truth nude in a bright abstract haze. A master and slave of stark phenomenon, She travels on the roads of erring sight Or looks upon a set mechanical world Constructed for her by her instruments. A bullock yoked in the cart of proven fact, She drags huge knowledge-bales through Matter's dust To reach utility's immense bazaar. Apprentice she has grown to her old drudge; An aided sense is her seeking's arbiter. This now she uses as the assayer's stone. As if she knew not facts are husks of truth, The husks she keeps, the kernel throws aside. An ancient wisdom fades into the past, The ages' faith becomes an idle tale, God passes out of the awakened thought, An old discarded dream needed no more: Only she seeks mechanic nature's keys. Interpreting stone-laws inevitable She digs into Matter's hard concealing soil, To unearth the processes of all things done. A loaded huge self-worked machine appears To her eye's eager and admiring stare, An intricate and meaningless enginery Of ordered fateful and unfailing chance: Ingenious and meticulous and minute, Its brute unconscious accurate device Unrolls an unerring march, maps a sure road; It plans without thinking, acts without a will, A million purposes serves with purpose none And builds a rational world without a mind. It has no mover, no maker, no idea: Its vast self-action toils without a cause; A lifeless Energy irresistibly driven, Death's head on the body of Necessity, Engenders life and fathers consciousness, Then wonders why all was and whence it came. Our thoughts are parts of the immense machine, Our ponderings but a freak of Matter's law, The mystic's lore was a fancy or a blind; Of soul or spirit we have now no need: Matter is the admirable Reality, The patent unescapable miracle, The hard truth of things, simple, eternal, sole. A suicidal rash expenditure Creating the world by a mystery of self-loss Has poured its scattered works on empty space; Late shall the self-disintegrating Force Contract the immense expansion it has made: Then ends this mighty and unmeaning toil, The Void is left bare, vacant as before. Thus vindicated, crowned, the grand new Thought Explained the world and mastered all its laws, Touched the dumb roots, woke veiled tremendous powers, It bound to service the unconscious djinns That sleep unused in Matter's ignorant trance. All was precise, rigid, indubitable. But when on Matter's rock of ages based A whole stood up firm and dear-cut and safe, All staggered back into a sea of doubt; This solid scheme melted in endless flux: She had met the formless Power inventor of forms; Suddenly she stumbled upon things unseen: A lightning from the undiscovered Truth Startled her eyes with its perplexing glare And dug a gulf between the Real and Known Till all her knowledge seemed an ignorance. Once more the world was made a wonder-web, A magic's process in a magical space, An unintelligible miracle's depths Whose source is lost in the Ineffable. Once more we face the blank Unknowable. In a crash of values, in a huge doom-crack, In the sputter and scatter of her breaking work She lost her dear conserved constructed world. A quantum dance remained, a sprawl of chance In Energy's stupendous tripping whirl: A ceaseless motion in the unbounded Void Invented forms without a thought or aim: Necessity and Cause were shapeless ghosts; Matter was an incident in being's flow, Law but a clock-work habit of blind force. Ideals, ethics, systems had no base And soon collapsed or without sanction lived; All grew a chaos, a heave and clash and strife. Ideas warring and fierce leaped upon life; A hard compression held down anarchy And liberty was only a phantom's name: Creation and destruction waltzed inarmed On the bosom of a torn and quaking earth; All reeled into a world of Kali's dance. Thus tumbled, sinking, sprawling in the Void, Clutching for props, a soil on which to stand, She only saw a thin atomic Vast, The rare-point sparse substratum Universe On which floats a solid world's phenomenal face. Alone a process of events was there And Nature's plastic and protean change And, strong by death to slay or to create, The riven invisible atom's omnipotent force. One chance remained that here might be a power To liberate man from the old inadequate means And leave him sovereign of the earthly scene. For Reason then might grasp the original Force To drive her car upon the roads of Time. All then might serve the need of the thinking race, An absolute State found order's absolute, To a standardised perfection cut all things, In society build a just exact machine. Then science and reason careless of the soul Could iron out a tranquil uniform world, Aeonic seekings glut with outward truths And a single patterned thinking force on mind, Inflicting Matter's logic on Spirit's dreams A reasonable animal make of man And a symmetrical fabric of his life. This would be Nature's peak on an obscure globe, The grand result of the long ages' toil, Earth's evolution crowned, her mission done. So might it be if the spirit fell asleep; Man then might rest content and live in peace, Master of Nature who wants her bondslave worked, The world's disorder hardening into Law, - If Life's dire heart arose not in revolt, If God within could find no greater plan. But many-visaged is the cosmic Soul; A touch can alter the fixed front of Fate. A sudden turn can come, a road appear, A greater Mind may see a greater Truth, Or we may find when all the rest has failed Hid in ourselves the key of perfect change. Ascending from the soil where creep our days, Earth's consciousness may marry with the Sun, Our mortal life ride on the spirit's wing, Our finite thoughts commune with the Infinite. In the bright kingdoms of the rising Sun All is a birth into a power of light: All here deformed guards there its happy shape, Here all is mixed and marred, there pure and whole; Yet each is a passing step, a moment's phase. Awake to a greater Truth beyond her acts, The mediatrix sat and saw her works And felt the marvel in them and the force But knew the power behind the face of Time: She did the task, obeyed the knowledge given, Her deep heart yearned towards great ideal things And from the light looked out to wider light: A brilliant hedge drawn round her narrowed her power; Faithful to her limited sphere she toiled, but knew Its highest, widest seeing was a half-search, Its mightiest acts a passage or a stage. For not by Reason was creation made And not by Reason can the Truth be seen Which through the veils of thought, the screens of sense Hardly the spirit's vision can descry Dimmed by the imperfection of its means: The little Mind is tied to little things: Its sense is but the spirit's outward touch Half-waked in a world of dark Inconscience, It feels out for its beings and its forms Like one left fumbling in the ignorant Night. In this small mould of infant mind and sense Desire is a child-heart's cry crying for bliss, Our reason only a toys' artificer, A rule-maker in a strange stumbling game. But she her dwarf aids knew whose confident sight A bounded prospect took for the far goal. The world she has made is an interim report Of a traveller towards the half-found truth in things Moving twixt nescience and nescience. For nothing is known while aught remains concealed; The Truth is known only when all is seen. Attracted by the All that is the One, She yearns towards a higher light than hers, Hid by her cults and creeds she has glimpsed God's face: She knows she has but found a form, a robe, But ever she hopes to see him in her heart And feel the body of his reality. As yet a mask is there and not a brow, Although sometimes two hidden eyes appear: Reason cannot tear off that glimmering mask, Her efforts only make it glimmer more; In packets she ties up the Indivisible; Finding her hands too small to hold vast Truth She breaks up knowledge into alien parts Or peers through cloud-rack for a vanished sun: She sees, not understanding what she has seen, Through the locked visages of finite things The myriad aspects of infinity. One day the Face must burn out through the mask. Our ignorance is Wisdom's chrysalis, Our error weds new knowledge on its way, Its darkness is a blackened knot of light; Thought dances hand in hand with Nescience On the grey road that winds towards the Sun. Even while her fingers fumble at the knots Which bind them to their strange companionship, Into the moments of their married strife Sometimes break flashes of the enlightening Fire. Even now great thoughts are here that walk alone: Armed they have come with the infallible word In an investiture of intuitive light That is a sanction from the eyes of God; Announcers of a distant Truth they flame Arriving from the rim of eternity. A fire shall come out of the infinitudes, A greater Gnosis shall regard the world Crossing out of some far omniscience On lustrous seas from the still rapt Alone To illumine the deep heart of self and things. A timeless knowledge it shall bring to Mind, Its aim to life, to Ignorance its close. Above in a high breathless stratosphere, Overshadowing the dwarfish trinity, Lived, aspirants to a limitless Beyond, Captives of Space, walled by the limiting heavens, In the unceasing circuit of the hours, Yearning for the straight paths of eternity, And from their high station looked down on this world Two sun-gaze Daemons witnessing all that is. A power to uplift the laggard world, Imperious rode a huge high-winged Life-Thought Unwont to tread the firm unchanging soil: Accustomed to a blue infinity, It planed in sunlit sky and starlit air; It saw afar the unreached Immortal's home And heard afar the voices of the gods. Iconoclast and shatterer of Time's forts, Overleaping limit and exceeding norm, It lit the thoughts that glow through the centuries And moved to acts of superhuman force. As far as its self-winged airplanes could fly, Visiting the future in great brilliant raids It reconnoitred vistas of dream-fate. Apt to conceive, unable to attain, It drew its concept-maps and vision-plans Too large for the architecture of mortal Space. Beyond in wideness where no footing is, An imagist of bodiless Ideas, Impassive to the cry of life and sense, A pure Thought-Mind surveyed the cosmic act. Archangel of a white transcending realm, It saw the world from solitary heights Luminous in a remote and empty air.
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