classes ::: Letters_On_Poetry_And_Art, Sri_Aurobindo, Integral_Yoga, chapter,
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object: - Mystic Poetry and Spiritual Poetry
book class:Letters On Poetry And Art
author class:Sri Aurobindo
subject class:Integral Yoga
media class:chapter

I do not remember the context of the passage you quote from The Future Poetry,1 but I suppose I meant to contrast the veiled utterance of what is usually called mystic poetry with the luminous and assured clarity of the fully expressed spiritual experience. I did not mean to contrast it with the mental clarity which is aimed at usually by poetry in which the intelligence or thinking mind is consulted at each step. The concreteness of intellectual imaged description is one thing and spiritual concreteness is another. Two birds, companions, seated on one tree, but one eats the fruit, the other eats not but watches his fellow that has an illumining spiritual clarity and concreteness to one who has had the experience, but mentally and intellectually it might mean anything or nothing. Poetry uttered with the spiritual clarity may be compared to sunlight poetry uttered with the mystic veil to moonlight. But it was not my intention to deny beauty, power or value to the moonlight. Note that I have distinguished between two kinds of mysticism, one in which the realisation or experience is vague, though inspiringly vague, the other in which the experience is revelatory and intimate, but the utterance it finds is veiled by the image, not thoroughly revealed by it. I do not know to which Tagores recent poetry belongs, I have not read it. The latter kind of poetry (where there is the intimate experience) can be of great power and value witness Blake. Revelation is greater than inspiration it brings the direct knowledge and seeing, inspiration gives the expression, but the two are not always equal. There is even an inspiration without revelation, when one gets the word but the thing remains behind the veil; the transcribing consciousness expresses something with power, like a medium, of which it has not itself the direct sight or the living possession. It is better to get the sight of the thing itself than merely express it by an inspiration which comes from behind the veil, but this kind of poetry too has often a great light and power in it. The highest inspiration brings the intrinsic word, the spiritual mantra; but even where the inspiration is less than that, has a certain vagueness or fluidity of outline, you cannot say of such mystic poetry that it has no inspiration, not the inspired word at all. Where there is no inspiration, there can be no poetry.

10 June 1936

  "...mysticism in its unfavourable or lesser sense comes when either we glimpse but do not intimately realise the now secret things of the spirit or, realising, yet cannot find their direct language, their intrinsic way of utterance, and have to use obscurely luminous hints or a thick drapery of symbol, when we have the revelation, but not the inspiration, the sight but not the word."Sri Aurobindo, The Future Poetry, volume 26 of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SRI AUROBINDO, pp. 213-14.


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   1 Integral Yoga, #Letters On Poetry And Art, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object: - Mystic Poetry and Spiritual Poetry
  author class:Sri Aurobindo

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