ON THE WAY TO SUPERMANHOOD: ESSAYS ON EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTION
13. And Then?
We do not have the power because we do not have total vision. If, by some miracle, power were given to us – any power, on any level – we would instantly turn it into a lovely prison corresponding to our small ideas and sense of good, we would lock our whole family up in it, and the world, if we could. But what do we know of the good of the world? What do we know even of our own good, we who today lament this misfortune only to realize tomorrow that it was knocking at the door of a greater good? For the last two thousand years and more, we have been devising beneficial systems, which crumble one after another – fortunately. Even the wise Plato banished poets from his Republic, much as today we would perhaps banish those useless eccentrics who roam the world and knock blindly at the doors of the future. We complain about our incapacity (to heal, help, cure, save), but it is exactly, minutely commensurate with our capacity of vision – and the philanthropists are far from being the most gifted. We are forever running up against the same mistake: we want to change the world without first changing ourselves.
The superman has lost his small self, lost his small ideas of family and country, good and evil – he has in effect no more ideas, or has them all, exactly when needed. And when one comes, it is carried out, very simply, because its time and moment have come. For him, ideas and feelings are simply the imperative translation of a movement of force – a will-idea or force-idea – which is expressed here by this gesture, there by that action or plan, this poem, that architecture or cantata. But it is one and the same Force in different languages – pictorial, musical, material or economic. He is tuned in to the Rhythm, and he translates according to his particular talent and place in the whole. He is a translator of the Rhythm.
There every thought and feeling is an act,
And every act a symbol and a sign,
And every symbol hides a living power. 
But when nothing impels him, he is perfectly still and tranquil, like the lotus on the pond, drinking in the rays of the sun, without a quiver, without a ripple, without the least trace of “I want” anywhere – he only wants what that wants. And as for the rest, he is simply aglow in the sun, leaving it to others to gather a little honey (or not, for he shines for everyone). This is the simple state par excellence, the simplicity of the Truth. And the instantaneous effectiveness of the Truth without screens.
But his tranquil silence is not inactivity – nothing is inactive in the world, not “even the inertia of the clod, even the silence of the immobile Buddha on the verge of Nirvana."  He is distinguished from others neither by ecstatic meditations atop a festooned gaddhi  nor by a white beard and immaculate clothing. He attends to the trifling details of life, and no one knows who he is. He cares nothing about being recognized, he who recognizes all. And those trifling details are the minute lever with which he operates on all similar substance throughout the world, for there are no boundaries anywhere, except in our heads and our small imprisoned body – life extends infinitely, and this birdcall answers that birdcall, this sorrow, a thousand sorrows. His whole life is a meditation.
Its stillness bears the voice of the world. 
His gestures are the symbol of a great Rite that embraces the stars and the movement of crowds, together with this young locust sapling and that wayside encounter.
He may also lead a revolution or accomplish an awe-inspiring and striking deed, if such is the flow of the Truth in him. He is unpredictable, elusive as Truth itself; he chaffs as he looks grave and smiles as he pores over the world's misery; for he listens to invisible calls and works ceaselessly to pour the Rhythm over the earth's wounds. He does not perform miracles that flare up like a flash in the pan, then leave the earth to its unrepentant darkness; he does not play with occult siddhis  that upset the laws of matter for a time, then let it fall into its old routine of pain; he has no need to convert men or preach to nations, for he knows all too well that men are not converted by ideas or words or by sensational demonstrations, but by a change of inner density, which creates a sudden little breath of ease and sunshine in the darkness – he sows another law in the world, opens the window to another sun; he changes the density of hearts by the tranquil outpouring of his ray. He does not strike or break, does not condemn or judge; he tries to free the same particle of truth contained in each being and each thing and each event, and convert each by its own sun. His power is a power of truth, of matter to matter, and his vision embraces everything, because he has found the little point within that contains all points and beings and places. In this beggar walking by, that cloud tinged with pink, this chance accident, the little nothing that jostles his house or the young shoot growing, he sees the whole earth and its millions of buds growing toward their kindred Truth, and the world's exact position in a faltering of chance or the remark of a passerby. Everything is his field of action. Through the minuscule, he acts upon the whole; in the minuscule, he deciphers the whole. From one end of the world to the other, he touches his own body.
But the work is not finished. Evolution has not reached its summit; it has not even entered its solar Truth. If the Work were to stop here, we would have reached the summit of man and produced a super-man, but not the being of the next age. Our widened consciousness, our direct perceptions, our refined senses, our exact gestures and movements, our perfect actions, our right thoughts and right wills, our unalterable joy would still rest upon an animal body – an aging, precarious and decaying body, which would threaten our luminous poise with abrupt collapse at every moment, checking the operation of our truth-consciousness with a tiny grain of sand – and what kind of truth is that if it is so fragile? Truth is or is not, and it is immortal, infinite, invulnerable. It is light and luminous, incorruptible, and it cannot be prevented from being all that it is, any more than the mango tree can prevent itself from being a full tree with all its flowers and every one of its golden fruits. It will not stop at that limited accomplishment and will not rest until the whole earth and all beings are in its likeness, since the whole earth and all beings are in fact its own seeds. The superman, too, is a “transitional being.” He is the forerunner of another being on earth, as different from man as we are from the ape, and maybe even more, for man is still made of the same substance as the ape while the new being will be made of another substance – immortal, luminous and light as Truth itself. He is the elaborator of the “supramental being” announced by Sri Aurobindo, and his substance is the humble laboratory of a perilous adventure.
Our body's cells must hold the Immortal's flame.
Else would the spirit reach alone its source
Leaving a half-saved world to its dubious fate. [
For the point is not to produce a mind endowed with miraculous and luminous powers, to impose on this body a law superior to its own, or even to push the physical substance to its supreme degree of refinement, but “to create a new physical nature,"  and yet out of this body, this poor, frail animal body, since it is our very base, our instrument of evolution. The new being will not come out of the clear blue sky, ready-made. We have to make it! We have to find the key to our own transmutation in our substance, the Secret of all secrets in the microscopic, in the smallest cell. It is in our body that the transition, the difficult passage, must be effected. If we capture that Secret, perhaps we shall have the divine key to matter, the key to the long earthly pilgrimage, and the radiant and potent look that one day launched us on our journey. We must knock at the door of death and free its powerful secret – for Truth hides there too, since everything that is is Truth. We must unseal the rock of the Inconscient and find the primal base, the solar foundation upon which all existence rests. We have to touch rock bottom in order to touch the supreme Sun. Within a cell of our body lies the identical mystery of all galaxies and all earths. One point, one minuscule point, contains all – the supreme Power and ever radiant Truth, the supreme darkness and death eternal (or so it seems), bound together in a perilous embrace pregnant with an inconceivable Possibility. Another mystery summons us.
A voice arose that was so sweet and terrible
The seeker has followed step by step the process of demechanization. Degree after degree, he has unraveled and cleared the various levels of entanglement that prevented the free flow of Harmony. He is no longer caught up in the mental machinery or the vital machinery; to a certain extent, he is no longer caught up in the subconscious machinery. The gray elf is still there, but like a shadow on a movie screen, a lingering memory of pain, a sort of old but still sensitive wound. It really no longer has any hold, except through that shadow, which taints joy and leaves a dull feeling of uneasiness in the depths, an unfathomable something still unhealed, a sort of lurking Threat without a face or a name – something is still there, like the memory of a catastrophe that can unleash catastrophe at any moment – as if everything were in fact terribly precarious and one forgetful second were enough to tip everything over into the old mortal habit again. There remains a point, a formidable point, and so long as that point has not been conquered, nothing is conquered, nothing is definitively certain. One does not quite know what triggers that sudden swing to the other side, the mortal and painful side, the old, anguish-laden and threatening side. (It is a state of threat, a threat in everything, the instantaneous mantle of lead, the old nameless and throat-constricting thing, as though in one second – one suffocating little second – millennia of night and suffering and shame came bursting into the setting and everything suddenly looked like a brilliant picture plastered on that black, untouched density, which sucks one into its destructive dizziness.) That dark swing sweeps down on you abruptly, without reason, strips you of all your suns, and leaves you naked, as at the beginning of time, before the old Enemy – perhaps the foremost enemy of man and life upon earth, an ineffable mystery that wraps you in its embrace, a dreadful vertical fall that is as if tinged with love and the great Fear. You do not know what provokes it – apparently no error, no slackening of tension, no wrong movement of consciousness that would reopen that forgotten dungeon – but it is wide open. And indeed something has been forgotten; and so long as that forgetting has not been unforgotten, the great golden Memory of Truth will be unable to shine its entire Sun over our entire being. And that Enemy, that shadow, is perhaps the disguised Lover who lures us into his supreme pursuit, his ultimate discovery. We are guided each step of the way. An infallible Hand outlines its meanders in order to take us directly, through a thousand detours, to its happy totality:
The one inevitable supreme result
Hence, it is not through an arbitrary and morbid decision of his own that the seeker will undertake this dark descent – for a long time he has stopped willing anything, he only obeys the little rhythm, the flowing that is growing in him, and directs it here or there according to where it presses. The descent takes place gradually, almost unknown to him, but it is accompanied, as it were, by certain phenomena which become increasingly clear and define the “psychological conditions” of the descent. These psychological conditions are threefold. There is that little “flowing” we have often spoken about, there is that “rhythm,” and there is that “fire” of being which opens the doors of the new world. One may be tempted to think that this is a poetic fiction, an imagery for children, but it is nothing of the sort, and the whole world is a poem becoming true, an image becoming clear, a rhythm taking body. Little by little, a Child looks at the world with eyes of Truth and discovers the lovely Image that was always there; he listens to an undying Rhythm and, attuned to that Rhythm, he enters the immortality he had never ceased to be. That flowing actually grows, that rhythm becomes clearer, that fire intensifies as the first mental and vital layers are clarified. In fact, it is no longer simply a “flowing” but a sort of continuous current, a descending mass that envelops first the crown of the head and the nape of the neck, then the chest, the heart, the solar plexus, the abdomen, the sex organs, the legs, and which even seems to reach under the feet, as if there were an extension of being all the way down there, an abyss of existence. The farther the current descends, the warmer and more compact and denser, almost solid, it becomes – it feels like an unmoving cataract. The descent is proportionate to our degree of clarification and the downthrust of the Force (which grows as we become clearer). No mental or psychoanalytical machinery has the power to reach those deeper layers. The movement is irresistibly powerful, sometimes even doubling one over, as if crushing one under the pressure. But at the same time as the power grows so does the stability, as if finally, at the end of the descent, there were a motionless mass of energy – or with such an intense vibration, so swift and instantaneous, that it seems solidified, immobile, yet moving unbelievably fast in place – a “powdering of warm gold,” says Mother. That is what Sri Aurobindo called the supramental Force. It would almost seem as if it became “supramental,” or acquired supramental qualities, as it descends into matter (that is to say, as we consent to let it go through, as the resistances fall away under its pressure and it victoriously penetrates all the way down to the bottom). We say “supramental,” but it is the same with this word as with everything else: there is only one Force, as there is only one moon, which gradually becomes full to our vision, but the moon was always full and the Force always the same. It is our receptivity which changes and makes it look different from what it always was. It is that “flowing” which spontaneously, automatically, without any will or decision on our part (all our wills add more confusion), effects the descent, overturns obstacles, exposes falsehoods under its relentless searchlight, exposes the gray elf, brings to light all our hiding places, cleanses, purifies, widens and brings infinity to each level and into each cranny – and does not give up, does not stop for a second until everything, down to the least detail, the smallest movement, is restored to its original joy, its infinity, its light, its clear vision, its right will and divine acquiescence. This is the Force of the yoga, the Consciousness-Force Sri Aurobindo spoke of. It is the one which forges the superman, the one which will forge the supramental being – the one which will forge itself in that forgetfulness of itself.
golden Light came down into my brain
Then there is that “fire.” This is not a myth either: “The red-glowing mass of him is seen,” says the Veda, “(Agni, the fire) adorable, great of body, wide of light."  At the beginning, however, this body is just a little spark, its red-glowing mass, a flickering flame sometimes lit but often extinguished, which has to be relit again and again. It is a tiny cry of suffocation in the world's night, a nameless need walking with us, going up and down our meanderings, following us tenaciously like a memory of something else, a golden recollection amid the grayness of the days, a call for air, a need for space, a need of loving, a need of being true. And this cry, this fire, grows:
Man is a narrow bridge, a call that grows. 
At first it is just a little flame in the mind, something groping about in search of a vaster inspiration, a greater truth, a purer knowledge, which soars, soars, and would as soon cut away all the weight of the world, the hindrances, the bonds and tangles of the earth. It soars and sometimes emerges, pure, sharp, upon summits of white light where everything is forever known and true – but the earth, meanwhile, remains false; life and body remain in the dark conflict, and die and decay. So this white little flame begins to take in the heart. It yearns to love, to heal, to save. It gropes about in the dark, helps a fellowman, gives assistance, offers itself and sings a song that would like to embrace all, contain all, take all life into its heart. It is already a warmer and denser flame, but its minutes of illumination are like a pale and fragile firefly on an ocean of obscure life. It is constantly quenched, engulfed, swept under the wave and under our own waves of obscurity – nothing is changed and life continues in its rut. So the seeker decides to drive this fire, this ardent truth, into his every moment and gesture, into his sleep and into his days, into his good and into his evil, into his whole life, so that everything may be purified, consumed by that fire – so that something else may be born at last, a truer life, a truer being. He enters upon the path of the superman. And the fire continues to grow. It goes down and down the degrees of the being, plunges into the subconscious caves, dislodges the gray elf, dislodges the misery within, and burns more and more continuously, powerfully, as if stoked by the obscure pressure. It is already a body almost in our likeness, vermillion-red in color, already verging on gold. But it is still fluctuating and precarious; it lacks a fundamental base, a permanent foundation. So the seeker decides to drive this fire into his substance and body. He wants his own matter to reflect the Truth, to incarnate the Truth; he wants the outside to radiate as the inside. He enters upon the path of the supramental being. For, in truth, this growing self of fire, this ardent body which bears more and more resemblance to our divine archetype, our brother of light up above, and which seems to exceed us on all sides and even to radiate all around with an already orange vibration, is the very body that will form the supramental being. It is the next earthly substance, “harder than the diamond and yet more fluid than the gas,” said Sri Aurobindo.  It is the spiritual condensation of the great Energy before it becomes matter.
But how to induce this fire into our matter, how to effect the passage, or transfusion, of this dark and mortal body to that ardent and immortal one? The work is in progress; it is difficult to talk about. We will not really know how it is done until it is done. No one knows the country or the way to it since no one has ever gotten there. No one has ever made a supramental body! But it will be made, as inevitably as man and the ape and the millipede were already made in the great golden Seed of the world. This is the last adventure of the earth, or maybe the first of a more marvelous series on a new earth of truth. We do not know the secret; we only know in what direction to walk – though knowing the direction is perhaps already knowing the secret, since it unfolds under our steps and is formed by walking it.
So we can at least indicate the direction, the simple direction, for as usual the secrets are simple. The fire is built by the particle of consciousness we put into an unconscious act. Viewed from above, it is unconsciousness resisting and heating up from the friction of the new consciousness seeking entry – it is that futile and automatic gesture which has trouble untwisting its habitual groove and turning differently, under another impulsion; and we have to untwist the old turn a thousand times, insist and persist until a little flame of consciousness replaces the dark routine. Viewed from below, it is that unconsciousness which suffocates and calls out and knocks and seeks. And both are true. It is the memory within which summons the golden ray; it is the great eternal Sun which makes that call for sunlight well up. The process, the great Process, is simple: we must light that little fire by degrees, put the ray into each gesture, each movement, each breath, each body function. Instead of doing things as usual, automatically, mechanically, we must remember Truth there too, yearn for Truth there too, infuse Truth there too. And we meet with resistance, forgetfulness, breakdowns; the machine goes on strike, falls ill, refuses to take the path of light. We must begin again thousands and thousands of times, point by point, gesture by gesture, function by function. We must remember again and again. Then, all of a sudden, in one little point of the body, in that passing little breath, something no longer vibrates in the old way, no longer works as usual; our breathing suddenly follows another rhythm, becomes wide and sunny, like a comfortable lungful of air, a breath of an air never known before, never tasted before, which refreshes everything, cures everything, even nourishes as if we were inhaling the nectar of the immortals. Then everything falls into the old habit. We must start all over again, on one point, on another point, at each instant – life becomes filled with an extreme preoccupation, an intense absorption. A second's minuscule victory strengthens us for another discovery, another victory. And we begin to work in every nook and cranny, every movement; we would like everything to be filled with truth and with that sun which changes everything, gives another flavor to everything, another rhythm, another plenitude. The body itself then begins to awaken, to yearn for truth, for sunshine. It begins to light its own fire of aspiration here and there, begins to want not to forget anymore; and whenever it forgets that new little vibration, it suddenly feels suffocated, as if it were sliding into death. The process is simple, infinite, perpetual: each gesture or operation accomplished with a particle of consciousness binds that consciousness, that little fire of being, to the gesture or operation, and gradually transforms it. It is an infusion of consciousness, a microscopic and methodical and innumerable infusion of fire, until matter itself, under that conscious pressure, awakens to the need of consciousness as the seed awakens to the need for sunlight. Everything then starts growing together, inevitably, irresistibly, under that golden attraction. By degrees, the fire is lit, the vibration radiates, the note spreads, the cells respond to the Influx. The body inaugurates a new type of functioning, a functioning of conscious truth.
The body's virtue is its obstinate permanence; once it has learned something, it never forgets it – it goes on repeating its luminous functioning twenty-four hours a day, day and night, with the same obstinacy with which it used to repeat its diseases, fears, weaknesses and all its dark, age-old animal functioning.
This bodily “demechanization” therefore resembles that of the upper, mental and vital levels, but instead of filling a wasteland of mental unconsciousness between this lamppost and that one, from one end of the street to the other, we must fill a wasteland of bodily unconsciousness between this breathing and that one, this movement and that one, from one end of the body to the other. Instead of confronting a mental machinery churning out a thousand futile thoughts, we face a bodily machinery secreting a thousand imperceptible fears, apprehensions, morbid memories, and turning in a circle in its old, dark arteries. And each “recall,” each interruption of the machinery to fix the look of consciousness upon this obscure process creates and binds its droplet of light, its brief moment of being, its little fire, adding one drop to another, and finally begins to make another flow in those veins, another rhythm and another song, and a new bodily ardor that feels like another body in the body, a sort of luminous double which becomes the support, the “driver,” we could say, of the old shadowy body. It is this luminous double that will ultimately replace (?) or transmute the other. It is the next earthly body, the “Son of the body” the Vedic Rishis spoke of.
In short, we must replace the “program” automatically fed into the cells and the whole inexorable ribonucleic code that keeps secreting its little distress signals and glandular calls with a conscious “program,” a call for light, a solar code in that rattle of valves and pistons and wandering enzymes which, while they make up for our weaknesses and plug the holes of our incapability to absorb directly the great current of restorative Harmony, lock us up in a dungeon of microscopic energy that is soon exhausted and decomposed.
A new spiritual training of the body has to be invented.
Like the other changes of program – mental, vital, and subconscious – this change of bodily, cellular program is, as one can gather, extremely upsetting to the old equilibrium, for the very first task of Truth is always to sow chaos, that is, to dislodge falsehood, aim its searchlight and expose all the little rats burrowing in the recesses of the body, or the thousand and one bacteria of death, we should say. If wrong thoughts and wrong impulses are the falsehoods of the mind and heart, illnesses are the falsehoods of the body – and death the foremost of all falsehoods. But, as usual, our falsehoods turn out to be not so much a fundamental error or fundamental falseness as a resistance against a higher order. This resistance is life's protection – and its entombment. We always regard illness as a struggle against a noxious and destructive agent, but it may be, first, the superficial sign of a struggle against truth and a refusal of truth, which spontaneously and automatically invites death. The seeker will therefore be confronted by the falsehoods of the body; illness and death will become his daily battlefield, maybe even hour by hour and minute by minute – flash-illnesses and flash-deaths – in order for him to learn the trade of Truth and the immortal code in this mortality.
But death is a word for something that does not exist. One does not die when one leaves one's body, any more than when one goes from one room to another or changes clothes. Actually, death is not “on the other side”; it is right here, at every instant, inextricably mingled with life; we take it along everywhere we go and, sometimes, it becomes death. That “sometimes,” that moment, or more complete movement of death in us, is what we must catch hold of. Death is not “another state,” an accident suddenly thrusting us into something else. It is ingrained in life itself; it is its base, its dark foundation. And if we could unravel those tightly knit threads, that death in the quick, that self of death that beats softly within us and tries day after day, almost hour after hour and every instant, to supplant life at will. One dies only from want of truth. It is the only want in the world. If we were totally true, we would be totally immortal. Death is dissolution of falsehood – for falsehood is in essence decay – and we will die only so long as we are not truthful from head to toe and in every cell of our body. In short, death is the keeper of Truth, the dark angel standing at the immortal threshold that destroys anything incapable of passing purely into Truth. We have already crossed the threshold in our purified mind; we have perhaps crossed it in our heart and feelings – we must cross it in our body. The self of truth must completely replace the self of death. The process of immortalization takes place from the top down: first in the mind, then in the heart and senses, then in the body – but the supreme resistance is also the supreme victory.
It is indeed a resistance. Death is a resistance to the law of Truth, to the ever-renewed flow of Harmony. Deep down, we are founded on the “rock of the Inconscient"  the Vedic Rishis spoke of, the rock that is perhaps the first moment when the great Energy solidified, turned into matter, plunged into a dark contraction of itself, “sank” into an inert stillness of its triumphant flow, lost itself in a black, motionless ecstasy that was like the inversion of its solar ecstasy on the summits. Those who have had the experience of descending into the material Inconscient know that the image of the Vedic Rishis is not just an image but a rather formidable reality to go through. It is truly a rock – immense and seemingly bottomless – a sheer drop into a basalt chasm, which cannot even be termed black because there is not one spark of blackness there, not one glimmer that would permit one to call it black – it is the Blackness, absolute, without one breath, without one vibration of anything whatever: an instantaneous suffocation, a mortal stifling, a world utterly still, utterly closed, as if strangled on itself, without a sound, without a movement, without an echo of anything whatsoever. An utter void, and yet like a black, asphyxiating existence, something that is in spite of everything – but is like a density of absolute negation, a tremendous refusal which raises its walls of basalt and plunges, plunges like an abyss into an abyss, like a death into a death. To descend there is in fact like dying. It is death. It is the Inconscient. One cannot be there; one must not be there. It is like a supreme repudiation of everything that moves and breathes, everything that bears a particle of light making it possible to live. It does not move. It does not breathe. It is a NO. A tremendous NO to everything and of everything, which swallows you or expels you – or forces you to summon a light greater than that Darkness.
And there is only one light greater than that thick, stifling Blackness: the supreme Light, the Great Sun of Truth.
This is why it is said in the Upanishads that Yama, the god of death, is the son of the Sun. 
The supreme sun is at the bottom of the supreme darkness. “Death” is the passage to immortality, the keeper of the great total Sun, the ultimate compulsion toward integral Truth. At that moment, whatever is incapable of summoning the Light, all the unpurified fragments of being are immediately snapped up by that NO, dissolved in it, frozen in its black ecstasy, because they are themselves a little spark of that NO, a little refusal of that great Refusal, a chip of that formidable Rock.
And, as a result, we have the key to everything that creates death in life – our countless little deaths every minute. And we understand that this body, this ever so fragile and insignificant little body, which others reject as an old rag or a hindrance to the supreme frolicking of the liberated Spirit, is in fact the site of a supreme conquest and a supreme deliverance, and that the heaven of the Sun of Truth is carved out on earth and in our body every minute by our adherence to or refusal of the light, by our choice, minute by minute, between our self of light and our self of death.
The supramental being is one forever delivered from death and, through his deliverance, the earth will be delivered, compelled to her supreme Sun by her supreme darkness.
The seeker of the integral truth is therefore like a battler of death, but that was in fact what he had been doing all along, ever since he stopped a minute on that boulevard to pierce that dark rush of the machine with his cry. He has struggled against the falsehood of unconsciousness in his mind, in his heart, in his life and every gesture, and in his subconscious; and now falsehood shows its real face: It was death that paraded about the boulevards of the mind, in the recesses of the heart and the caves of the gray elf, death that secretly invited the corrosive thoughts, the dark slippages of desire, the grip of the ego. Behind that unrelenting quest of thirst and possession, behind the thousand questions of the mind, the thousand craving gestures, there were as if two mortal arms yearning to interlock forever and press against a heart, quiet at last, the great satiety of a nothing without desire, without a breath, without the least tension of pain anywhere. The gray elf has assumed its face of stone; the mental ego has laid the last brick of its impregnable fortress. Our brilliant masteries are the masteries of death; one day, they let the cat out of the bag, when the imprisonment is complete: the dead man inside comes to superimpose himself on the dead man outside, exactly, as we have built him gesture by gesture. One does not go to the other side; one always has been on the side of death. But for the battler of Truth, the game becomes clear. Ten times, a hundred times a day he catches himself going to the side of death; he crosses the line again and again, tilts imperceptibly into falsehood with minute nothings in which death takes refuge, goes and forth between life and death in his body's arteries. He learns the technique of the passage. He sorts out the mortal mixture.
I left the surface gods of mind
It is a long, monumental work. Each victory changes into defeat; each defeat becomes a greater victory; and it must be begun again at another point, and still another, endlessly. And we seem to hear Sri Aurobindo's moving voice at the end of the long journey, his cry of indomitable certitude reverberating through the fragile walls of death:
I made an assignation with the Night;...
But this is still a negative way of saying things, for the traveler of the sunlit path seeks neither hells nor Night, nor the tiny flash-deaths, though they sometimes befall him in a cry of suffocation. He seeks to remain always tuned in to the great flow of Harmony and Light and Truth, in everything he does, his every function, every breath of air he takes, every heartbeat. He is a meticulous colonizer of the Light. He pushes it into every nook and cranny of his body, into his sleep as well as his waking, into every activity, every movement, every dark alley of the body, as in the past on the boulevards outside, and he gains ground step by step, cell by cell. He lights the fire of need – need for truth, need for light, need for space – in every one of those infinitesimal fortresses and pushes ever farther the line of unconsciousness. Illnesses befall him, his strength declines,  death smirks for an instant, but this is no longer even a trap or a fall, for he has his eyes wide open and sees that an infallible Hand has led him into this abyss so he can light a fire of truth there, too, a cry for help, a need of space and infinity – and the second the true cry bursts out, everything vanishes; illness, death, all are gone in a split second, like an unreal dream. He learns the unreality of death. It is the supreme unreality; it crumbles in the twinkling of an eye under a single little breath of truth. But if we believe in it, it is instantaneous death. The implacable flow of basalt swallows us up into its nothingness – which is nothing really, nonexistent; the cry of a child pierces it effortlessly! There is but one reality, which is the immortal Truth, the eternal Sun, the great and soft flowing that moves the worlds and bodies – if we want to believe in it, want to let ourselves be carried by It; if we consent to the sunlit path. It is the only Reality. Death does not exist; it is only the forgetting of That. A second of recall, and everything sparkles in the sun again – everything has never ceased sparkling in the sun. There was never any shadow, never any death; there was that false look. Death is a false look. The world is growing toward its true Look, which will change everything into what it really is; it is growing toward its Fire, which will transmute everything into what it really is. The Truth of one point will unveil the Truth of all points; the Truth of matter will act on every fragment of matter – and death and the shadow and the NO buried in the heart of the world will reveal their immortal face, their eternal light, their consenting and glorious YES, because they will have touched their supreme bottom and completed their mission, which was to take us to the gates of the Sun, in our body and upon an earth of truth.
But tracking down falsehood and unconsciousness in the body would still not bring us immortality. It would only prolong life at will. And “who would care to wear one coat for a hundred years or be confined in one narrow and changeless lodging unto a long eternity,” said Sri Aurobindo.  To perpetuate life in its present, coarse functioning would indeed be a dreadful burden, which we would soon wish to be rid of. Thus, this prolongation of life at will is only a first operational step to give us the time to build the supramental being in our body. Doing it takes time; it is a race between the swiftness of death and the speed of the transformation. Sri Aurobindo estimated that it would take three hundred years to form that being. But it does seem that the movement is accelerating more and more, and perhaps that supreme transformation does not depend so much on the length of time of individual preparation as it does on the preparation of the earth body as a whole and on its ability to accept the new world. And the Force of the New World is pounding the earth mercilessly; it is advancing with giant strides. The seams are cracking, and what seemed like a distant peal is becoming a thunderous death knell, which hides the next resurrection. We are touching rock bottom; we are before the gate of the deep Night which veils the unexpected.
All's miracle here and can by miracle change. 
This genesis of the supramental being is not really a distinct stage; it is intimately mingled with that of the superman, and only the mind forces us to draw partitioning lines. Actually, it is a long journey through lives and ages, body after body, the slow growth of a little fire within, no bigger than a firefly, which was already hidden in the atom, the stone, the plant, and which has become conscious of itself in man, which has grown through struggle and pain, experience after experience in a brown skin or a white one, under this latitude or another, which has emerged in the mind as a cold ray, split the darkness into a thousand contradictory beams, which has beat in the heart like a warm little flame, struggled and striven against wind and tide, toiled in love and toiled in grief and toiled in pleasure; which has pierced this shell of life, shone for nothing, pure, like an autumn bonfire on the shores of the world, searched here and searched there, kindled its flame with a thousand nothings that never made plenitude, set the days and hours ablaze, taken in the minutes, the big gestures and the small, the cold seasons and the hot, until there was a single season of fire, a single song of flame here and there. And it has become the body of our body, the heart of our heart, the high thought springing from the white flamings of the Spirit, the pure vision piercing the pain of appearances, the pure love like a vermillion snow upon the sad fields of the earth, the pure music, the pure rhythm attuned to everything – it has become our body of prayer for the world, our body of light for mankind, our ardent body for the earth's future, our living pyre for matter's transfiguration. And the deeper it plunged into that dense darkness, that negation in the depths, that pettiness of a thousand gestures and heartbeats for nothing and routines of death, the brighter it became, the more it shone, the more golden it glowed like a sun, became concrete, as if it were on the verge of an ultimate transfusion, a golden invasion of matter, one last cry of love that would topple the walls and bring forth the living glory of the new body, of the Master of all this evolution. “O Fire... the flaming rays of thy might rush abroad on every side violently,” says the Veda. “The Flame with a hundred treasures... O Son of the body... Thou foundest the mortal in a supreme immortality." 
One day he will emerge, the Master of the long journey of fire, the goal of all those sufferings, the epitome of the ages. And the whole earth will be changed by it, seized by its irresistible ray of joy and beauty, won over to the smile by a smile. And all the shadows will be dispelled, as though they had never existed.
One man's perfection still can save the world. 
His Look of truth will unveil the true look in each of us. His pure Truth will make the same Truth shine in every heart and every atom. His Reality will make the world real. The earth will be transfigured by the irresistible radiance of her own Sun.
Only joy can convert to joy.
What will that supramental body be like, that “life divine” on earth? Here again, miracles will turn out to be the simple nature of the world and the new life to follow a divine logic, the logic of the divine truth of matter. What will be is already here, crude, coarse, scarcely aware of itself, limited by our own limited vision, for truly the world is a vision being unveiled. That stupendous, innumerable, inexhaustible Energy, that Consciousness-Force, that immense Harmony we are cut from – barricaded as we are in an egoistic little body, confined in a little quiver of desire and pain – will flow through us unimpeded, because our self will have become the world's self, our mind the transmitter of the great rhythm, our heart the diffuser of the great throbbing of oneness, our law the one sunlit Law that moves the worlds, and our body the symbol of the great earthly body. There will be no more false note in us, no more personal screen, no more distorting glass, no more egoistic will, but the one Will that moves the worlds and the one note that makes the spheres sing. The Harmony will then be able to flow at all the levels of our body, directly, mightily, purely. The little centers of consciousness,  the chakras of the various plexuses, will have become powerful condensers of the cosmic Energy, its projectors onto matter. They will nourish our own body directly the way today food nourishes us indirectly and heavily. They will each receive the exact vibration corresponding to their function, the light “frequency” corresponding to their action: the rays of the instant will-thought that executes, the flashes of the truth-vision that puts things into place and opens up and frees the truth of each being, each object, each circumstance, the sun of the heart that heals, the flood of Life-Force that sweeps away obstacles, the great ray of the original Force that fashions matter by the truth of matter. All the nerves, tissues, cells that we have demechanized, purified, freed from their congestion of unconsciousness will become free channels for the supramental Force and will flood our body with the lights of the Spirit, with the Joy of the Spirit, with the immortal nectar – until the day this golden Influx is sufficiently concentrated and individualized to replace the heavy functioning of the organs and shows through all the pores of the old skin, permeating and transmuting the gross body, or reabsorbing it into its solar blaze, as the powerful gravitation of atoms reabsorbs the particles and frees their body of radiant energy.
We know nothing, nothing at all of the ultimate movement! But it will take place, as unavoidably as the laburnum pod bursts open to release its golden cascade. The mortal body will have finished its work, which was to generate an immortal body on earth by its own cry and to reveal the Spirit forever contained in its dark cells.
The freed supramental being will then be able to move within his own fluid, light, luminous solar substance, to travel at will, to withdraw into an invisible self-concentration or project himself victoriously outside, to change color and shape according to his state of being, level of concentration or operational need, to communicate directly and musically, to handle matter at will, modify it at will, recreate or reshape it at will, by the simple and direct manipulation of the vibration of truth in things, to build at will, dissolve at will and perform simply and instantly all the operations that our machines accomplish indirectly through a clumsy translation of our mental powers. For, in truth, he is a “supramental” being not because he is endowed with a super-mind poised one degree higher than the mind and possessing a more imperative power over matter, but because he is endowed with a more interior degree of power, which does not impose itself on matter or wrest violent miracles from it, but releases its own creative energy, its own creative joy, and makes it sing its own note of light the way the shepherd makes his pipe sing.
And life outside will obey life inside.
It will be the end of the Artifice. This fabulous, monstrous world bristling with machines on every floor and every level – swallowed up by a machinery that swallows us and swallows life's slightest movement, the least breath of thought, the lightest heartbeat, that rolls us under its enormous armored tank in which those richest in false powers, most armed with deceptive words, most affluent in false colors and tinsel and fake, artificial television lights, whose shell of triumphant unconsciousness is the heaviest, dominate a hypnotized mass which consents to this barbarous sacrifice to Moloch, this universal and total slavery, detailed down to the tiniest subconscious reaction, in which even the most enlightened men are still impelled by the muffled reverberation of the Machine, alienated from their own powers of seeing, feeling and communicating, smothered beneath an enormous apparatus that conditions their thought and feelings and beliefs, regimented by science, regimented by the law, regimented by the Machine one must keep clicking in order to live, eat, breathe and travel, keep alive in order to stay alive – will vanish like some unreal nightmare under the tranquil gaze of Truth, which will put each thing in its place, endow the truer ones with power, clothe each according to his own light, illuminate each one in his true color, expose the innermost vibration without subterfuge, without false clothing, rank beings spontaneously, automatically, visibly, according to the quality of their flame and the intensity of their joy, impart its powerful rhythm to the clearer ones, give to each a world in his measure, a dwelling in his color, an immortal body attuned to his joy, a scope of action commensurate with the scope of his own ray, a power to mold and use matter proportionate to his intensity of truth, his capacity for beauty and his degree of genuine imagination. For, in the end, Truth is Beauty, is supreme Imagination which, through those millions of years and billions of sorrows, sought to make us rediscover our own power of loving, of creating and of uprooting death through immortal joy.
But how will this matter, as heavy and stubborn as it is, this unfeeling rock, obey the power of the Spirit? How will the earth's matter allow itself to be transformed without being crushed, violated, pulverized by some sledgehammer of one kind or another, heated to a few thousand degrees in our nuclear kettles? We might as well ask how that rock could ever escape the tortuous climb of the caterpillar – we see no farther than our mental conditioning, but our vision is false and the matter we crush without mercy is as living, active, responsive as the stream of stars above our heads or the invisible quivering of the lotus under the summer sun. Matter too is living; it too is a substance of the Eternal, and it can respond as much as the mind, heart or plant. Only we have to find the point of contact, to know the true language, just as we have found the language of numbers, only to extract a few monsters. Another language needs to be found for another vision, a concrete language that imparts the experience of what it names, brings to light what it says, touches what it expresses, which does not translate but materializes the vibrations and moves things by emitting the same note. A whole magic of the Word needs to be found again.
For there is also a Rhythm, which is not a fiction either, any more than that “fire” or “flowing” is. They are one and the same thing with a triple face,  in its individual and universal aspects, in its human condensation or interstellar space, in this rock or that bird. Each thing, each being has its rhythm, as well as each event and the return of the birds from the north. It is the world's great Rite, its indivisible symphony from which we are separated in a little mental body. But that rhythm is there, in the heart of everything and in spite of everything, for without it everything would disintegrate and be scattered. It is the prime bonding agent, the musical network that ties thing together, their innermost vibration, the color of their soul and their note. The ancient Tantric texts said, “The Natural Name of anything is the sound which is produced by the action of the moving forces that constitute it."  It is the real Name of each thing, its power of being, and our real and unique name among the billions of appearances. It is what we are and what is behind all the vocabularies and pseudonyms that science and law inflict upon us and upon the world. And perhaps this whole quest of the world, this tormented evolution, this struggle of things and beings, is a slow quest for its real name, its singular identity, its true music under this enormous parody – we are no longer anybody! We are anyone at all in the mental hubbub that passes from one to another; and yet, we are a unique note, a little note which struggles toward its greater music, which rasps and grates and suffers because it cannot be sung. We are an irreplaceable person behind this carnival of false names; we are a Name that is our unique tonality, our little beacon of being, our simple consecration in the great Consecration of the world, and yet which connects us secretly to all other beacons and all other names. To know that Name is to know all names. To name a thing is to be able to recreate it by its music, to seize the similar forces in their harmonic network. The supramental being is first and foremost the “knower of the Word” the Vedic Rishis spoke of, “the priest of the Word,"  “the one who does” by simply invoking the truth of things, poits – he is the Poet of the future age. And his poem is an outpouring of truth whose every fact-creating and matter-creating syllable is attuned to the Great Harmony: a re-creation of matter through the music of truth in matter. He is the Poet of Matter. Through this music, he transmutes; through this music, he communicates; through this music, he knows and loves – because, in truth, that Rhythm is the very vibration of the Love that conceived the worlds and carries them forever in its song.
We have forgotten that little note, the simple note that fills hearts and fills everything, as if the world were suddenly bemisted in orange tenderness, vast and profound as a fathomless love, so old, so old it seems to embrace the ages, to well up from the depths of time, from the depths of sorrow, all the sorrows of the earth and all its nights, its wanderings, its millions of painful paths life after life, its millions of departed faces, its extinct and annihilated loves, which suddenly come to seize us again amid that orange explosion – as if we had been all those pains and faces and beings on the millions of paths of the earth, and all their songs of hope and despair, all their lost and departed loves, all their never-extinguished music – in that one little golden note which bursts out for a second on the wild foam and fills everything with an indescribable orange communion, a total comprehension, a music of triumphant sweetness behind the pain and chaos, an overflowing instantaneousness, as if we were in the Goal forever.
We have reached the shore.
The supramental being and the superman are only the perfection of that little note. They are there! They are coming! They are knocking at the door of our age:
I saw them cross the twilight of an age,
There still remains the irritating secret of the transition between the body of light and this body of darkness, that body of truth and this mortal body. We have spoken of “transfusion” or perhaps reabsorption of one into the other, and also of transmutation of one by the other. But these are words that hide our ignorance. How will this “husk,” as She who continued Sri Aurobindo's work used to call it (and who dared the perilous adventure, the last great saltus of material evolution), be opened, give way to that long-nurtured flower of fire? How will that new material substance – the substance of the new world – make its appearance, materialize? For it is already there; it will not fall from the sky. It is already radiating for those who have the truth-vision. It has been built, condensed, by the flame of aspiration of a few bodies. It almost seems as if a mere nothing would be enough to bring it out into the open, visible and tangible to all – but we do not know what that “nothing” is, that impalpable veil, that ultimate screen, or what will make it fall. It is nothing, really, scarcely a husk, and behind, throbbing and vibrating, is the new world, so intense, radiant and warm, with such a swift rhythm and vivid light, so much more vivid and true than the earth's present light that one really wonders how living in this old callous, narrow, thick and awkward substance is still possible, and that the entire life as it is does seem like an old dried-up husk, thin and flat and colorless, a sort of caricature of the real life, a two-dimensional image of another material world full of depths and vibrancy, of superimposed and fused meanings, of real life, real joy, real movement. Here, outside, there are only little puppets of being moving about, passing figures in a shadow dance, lit up by something else, cast by something else, which is the life of their shadow, the light of their night, the sacred meaning of their futile little gesture, the real body of their pale silhouette. And yet, it is a material world, absolutely material, not some glorious fiction, not a hallucination with eyes closed, not a vague area of little saints. It is there. It is like “real matter,” Sri Aurobindo used to say. It is knocking at our doors, seeking to exist for our eyes and in our bodies, hammering away at the world, as if the great eternal Image were trying to enter the small one, the true world to enter this caricature which is coming to grief on all sides, the Truth of matter to enter this false and illusory coating – as though the illusion were actually on this side, in this false look at matter, this false mental structure which prevents us from seeing things as they are. For they already are, as the fullness of the moon already is, only hidden to our shadow vision.
This solidity of the shadow, this effectiveness of the illusion, is probably the little “nothing” that stands in the way. Could the caterpillar have prevented itself from seeing a linear world, so concrete and objective for it, so incomplete and subjective for us? Our earth is not complete; our life is not complete; our matter itself is not complete. It is knocking, knocking to become one and full. It could well be that the whole falsehood of the earth lies in its false look, which results in a false life, a false action, a false being that is not, that cries out to be, that knocks and knocks on our doors and on the doors of the world. And yet, this “husk” does exist – it suffers, it dies. It is not an illusion, even if, behind, lies the light of its shadow, the source of its gesture, the real face of its mask. What prevents the connection?... Perhaps simply something in the old substance that still takes itself for its shadow instead of taking itself for its sun – perhaps is it only a matter of a conversion of our material consciousness, of its total and integral changeover from the small shadow to the great Person? A changeover which is like a death, a swing into such a radical otherness that it amounts to a disintegration of the old fellow. An instantaneous death-resurrection? A sudden other view, a plunge into Life – true life – which abolishes or “unrealizes” the old shadow?
The whole course, the simple course, is perhaps only to notice what is already there – and to learn to trust.
But this unyielding husk, this old illusory matter everywhere under our feet, continues to exist, at least for others. Its prevailing perception is the criterion of objectivity, what we call the world as it is. Is it conceivable that a handful of more advanced beings, of pioneers of the new world, will live in that true way, that true body (invisible to others), while others will continue living and seeing in the old shadow, stumbling along and suffering and dying with it, until they too become capable of effecting the ultimate conversion and entering the new world – which will become the prevailing objectivity – yet on this earth and in this matter, but seen with the true look? The old husk would fall off when everyone is capable of seeing with the same look – when everyone, thrust into a more advanced “season,” would see the tree in bloom rather than the old pod?... The tree is in bloom because the season has come. Perhaps we must wait till men realize that the season has come and that all the flowers are there, on the beautiful tree – they are indeed there, except for those who dawdle in winter when spring is breaking out all over. The supramental consciousness, the supramental rhythm, is actually an extraordinarily swift rhythm – the present earth seems immobile and stagnant compared to that rhythm – and maybe that simple “acceleration” is what makes all the difference, what brings out the orange sweetness of the supramental radiation, its warm and vivid depths, its light earth, the way the acceleration of the galaxies turns the stars red or purple depending on their direction. How could this new vision, as concrete as that of all the Himalayas put together, even more concrete because it discloses all the innermost depths of the Himalayas and their living peace, their solid eternity, not radically change the whole life of humanity, at least for those who can see, and gradually everybody, as radically as man's perception changed the world as perceived by the caterpillar?... For, ultimately, this new vision does not abolish the world; it reveals it as it is (and this supramental “as it is” is also capable of growing with future ages – where is the end?). It is not true that matter suddenly becomes “different” by some miraculous and transmuting stroke – it becomes (for our eyes) what it always was. It ceases to be this winding and steep caterpillar trail to level out into its sun-drenched prairies, which extend farther and farther with our look. True matter, supramental matter, was forever awaiting our true look – only like recognizes like. The divine season is waiting for us on earth, if we consent to recognize this Like of which we are now only a semblance. And the whole problem of the transmutation arises again: Is it a transmutation of matter or a transmutation of vision? Doubtless it is both, but the change of vision is what triggers the change of matter; the change in vision is what permits a new manipulation of matter, as our human eyes have enabled a new manipulation of the world. And this change of matter seems possible only if humanity as a whole, or a sufficiently effective proportion of the great earthly body – because we are a single body, we always forget – consents to breathe the new air, to soak up that sap, to stop believing in its phantoms and fears and old mental impossibilities. And we can believe – we can even see that this change of vision is contagious. There is contagion of Truth, an irrepressible spreading of Truth. It is Truth that is breaking our molds and our human consciousnesses and our law and our systems and our countries under its invisible golden pressure – the world is under a solar spell, which is shaking our age and throwing it into panic by its influx of vigor, and the Truth of a few will force all the rest to change, as simply and inevitably as the first touch of spring spreads from branch to branch and bursts out from bud to bud.
The secrets are simple, we have said, and we wonder if that “difficult” transmutation, that complex alchemy, those thick manuals and mysterious initiations, those educated austerities and spiritual exercises, those meditations and retreats and tortured breathing, that whole labor of the spirit are not actually the labor of the mind trying to make it difficult, tremendously difficult, so it can inflate itself further, and then glory in untying the enormous knot it had itself tied. If things are too simple, it does not believe in them, because it has nothing to do – because it yearns to do, at all costs. That is its food and livelihood – its ego's livelihood. But that mental inflation and pontification may hide from us an utter simplicity, a supreme facility, a supreme nondoing that is the art of doing well. We have had to do and do again, tramp around the trails of the mind to individualize a fragment of that formidable, immense Consciousness-Force, that universal Energy-Harmony, to make it self-conscious, as it were, in one form and in billions of forms. But has not the time come, at the end of the little flame's long journey, to break the mold that helped us to grow and rediscover the totality of Consciousness and Energy and Harmony in one small center of being, a little point of matter, in one clear little note, and to let That do, That change our eyes, That permeate our tissues, That widen our substance – to let a supreme Child who runs over the great prairies of the world play in us and for us, if we want, because he is us? This difficult transmutation may not be so difficult after all. It must be as simple as truth, simple as a smile, simple as a child at play. Perhaps everything hinges simply on whether we wish to take the path of difficulty – the path of the mind desperately inflating itself to try to blow itself up to the size of the universe, the path of the “buts” and “whys” and “hows” and all the implacable laws that choke us time and again in our mental straitjacket – or the path of an unknown little something stealing through the air, sparkling in the air, winking at every street corner and every encounter, in everything, all the trifles of the day, as though carrying us along in an indescribable golden wake in which everything is easy and simple and miraculous – we are right in the midst of the miracle! We are in the full supramental season. It is knocking at all our closed windows, at our countries, our hearts, our crumbling systems, our shaky laws, our faltering wisdoms, in our thousands of ills that keep coming out, our thousands of little lies abandoning the skiff in distress – it is softly slipping its golden skiff beneath the old specious appearances, it is growing its unexpected buds beneath the old rags, awaiting a tiny little crack to spring out into the open, a tiny little call. The transmutation is not difficult; it is all there, already done, only waiting for us to open our eyes to the unreality of misery and falsehood and death and our impotence – to the unreality of the mind and the laws of the mind. It is waiting for our radical saltus into that future of truth, our mass uprising against the old cage, our general strike against the Machine. Oh! let us leave it to the elders, the old elders of the old world, the old believers in misery and suffering and the bomb and the gospel and the millions of gospels that struggle for a share of the world, to run their old squeaky machine for a few more days, to quarrel over borders, argue over reforms of the rot, debate agreements of disagreement, stockpile bombs and false knowledge and libraries and museums, preach good and evil, preach the friend and the enemy, preach country and no-country, build more and more machines and supermachines and rockets to the moon and misery for every pocketbook – let us leave to them the last convulsions of the falsehood, the last cries of the rot, we who do not care about countries, borders, machines and all that walled-in future, we who believe in a light and inexpressible something that is pounding at the doors of the world and pounding in our hearts, in a completely new future, completely clear and vibrant and marvelous, without borders, without laws, without gospels, beyond all their possibilities and impossibilities, their good and evil, their small countries and small thoughts – we who believe in Truth, in the supreme beauty of Truth, the supreme joy of Truth, the supreme power of Truth. We are the sons of a more marvelous Future which is already there, which will spring out into the open by our cry of trust, sweeping away all the old machinery like an unreal dream, a nightmare of the mind, an old windbag filled with only as much air as we still consent to lend it. The transmutation has to be done in our hearts, the last revolution to be carried out, the supramental revolution of the human species – as others had launched the human revolution among the apes – its great rebellion against the Machine, its general strike against mental knowledge, mental power and mental fabrications – against the mental prison – its mass defection from the old groove of pain, and its calling out for what has to be, its simple cry for truth amidst the rubble of the mental age: the truth, the truth, the truth, and nothing but the truth.
Then Truth shall be.
Most quotations from Sri Aurobindo refer to the complete edition of his works in 30 volumes (the Centenary Edition) and are indicated by the volume number followed by the page. Reference is made in particular to the following volumes:
15-The Ideal of Human Unity
17-The Hour of God
20-The Synthesis of Yoga
1 Savitri, 28: 256.
2 Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 28:370.
3 Sri Aurobindo, The Hour of God, 17:1.
4 The Synthesis of Yoga, 20:82.
5 Sri Aurobindo, “Musa Spiritus,” 5:589.
6 Sri Aurobindo, “Journey's End,” 5:570.
7 This ascending path has been described in By the Body of the Earth and the higher planes of the mind have been discussed in Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness.
8 Sri Aurobindo, “A God's Labour,” 5:99.
9 Rig Veda, III.22.2.
10 Rig Veda, I.70.2.
11 Rig Veda, I.59.1.
12 It was not until 1938 and the cycle of Bethe that this “third fire” – the one triggered in nuclear reactions – was discovered; and it is indeed the fire of the sun, whose enormous radiant energy results from the fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. Before then, science knew only of the first two kinds of fire: the fire in chemical reactions, when molecules are destroyed and recombined without any change in the structure of the constituent atoms, and the fire resulting from modifications in the atom's outer layers (the electrons), which are the source of all the electromagnetic phenomena. (Note compiled by P. B. Saint-Hilaire)
13 Rig Veda, III.39.5.
14 Katha Upanishad, V.8.
15 Rig Veda, II.1.12.
16 Rig Veda, I.179.1.
17 Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, IV.5.4.
18 Thoughts and Aphorisms, no. 383.
19 Mundaka Upanishad, II.2.12.
20 Swetaswatara Upanishad, IV.3.4.
21 Chhandogya Upanishad, VI.8.7.
22 Rig Veda, II.24.4.
23 A geometrical design used by Tantric occultists to materialize certain forces.
24 Rig Veda, III.7.II.
25 Sri Aurobindo, “The Life Heavens,” 5:575.
26 Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, 15:558.
27 Nirodbaran, Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, II.112.
28 Sri Aurobindo, “A God's Labour,” 5:99.
29 Mother, Conversation of September 16, 1953.
30 Mother, Some Words of the Mother, p. 31.
31 Sri Aurobindo, On Himself, 26:375-76.
32 Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 28:183.
33 Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 20:253.
34 Throne (in particular for spiritual leaders).
35 Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 29:573.
37 Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 28:35.
38 Sri Aurobindo, On Himself, p. 172.
39 Sri Aurobindo, “A Voice Arose,” 5:117.
40 Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 28:59.
41 Sri Aurobindo, “The Golden Light,” 5:134.
42 Rig Veda, V.1.2, V.1.9.
43 Sri Aurobindo, “The Dumb Inconscient,” 5:163.
44 A.B. Purani, Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo, II.291.
45 Rig Veda, I.71.2.
46 Katha Upanishad, I.I.7.
47 Sri Aurobindo, “A God's Labour,” 5:101.
48 Sri Aurobindo, “The Pilgrim of the Night,” 5:132.
49 Indeed he is far more conscious of the old vital forces he is losing than of the new forces he is acquiring, which are subtler, unusual for his body, and whose workings he is not familiar with – they seem to vanish in one second, by a minute shift of consciousness, and to return also in one second and refresh him, by another shift of consciousness which he does not fully understand yet. But that one little second of refreshment is inexpressibly more invigorating than hours of physical rest and seems to put everything in order from top to bottom, like a complete renewal of the being.
50 Thoughts and Aphorisms, no. 376.
51 Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 28:85.
52 Rig Veda, I.97.5, I.59.7, III.4.2., I.31.7.
53 Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 29:531.
54 See Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness.
55 Does not the Rig-Veda say, in one of its striking phrases, “This is he [the flame] who has the word of the truth.” (I.59.7)
56 Arthur Avalon, The Serpent Power, p. 96.
57 Rig Veda, I.10.1.
58 Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 28:343-44.
We wish to extend our gratitude and sincere appreciation to The Foundation for World Education, which has made the printing of this book possible. The Foundation was created by the late Mrs. Eleanor Montgomery, who was a friend and a devotee of the Mother.
Our sincere thanks also to Eric Hughes, whose careful and professional proofreading of the manuscript and his love of the work have given the English polish this book deserves.