classes ::: adjective, verb,
children :::
branches ::: obscurity

bookmarks: Instances - Definitions - Quotes - Chapters - Wordnet - Webgen


object:obscurity
object:obscure
word class:adjective
word class:verb

--- QUOTES
Lift the veil that obscures the heart, and there you will find what you are looking for.
~ Kabir

Daily we must aspire to conquer all mistakes, all obscurities, all ignorances. With my blessings
~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II

Detect first what is false or obscure in you and persistently reject it, then alone can you rightly call for the divine Power to transform you.
~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother

When the wind blows the clouds disappear, and all of space is filled with the light of the sun. Likewise, through the power of dharma practice, our obscurations will disappear, revealing what has been there since beginningless time; a buddha.
~ Chamtrul Rinpoche

... The undivine, therefore, is all that is unwilling to accept the light and force of the Mother. That is why I am always telling you to keep yourself in contact with the Mother and with her Light and Force, because it is only so that you can come out of this confusion and obscurity and receive the Truth that comes from above.
~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother

There is always some tendency to looseness, forgetfulness and inattention in the physical consciousness. One has to be very vigilant and careful to prevent this tendency having its way. There are many [defects of the physical consciousness - but mainly obscurity, inertia, tamas, a passive acceptance of the play of wrong forces, inability to change, attachment to habits, lack of plasticity, forgetfulness, loss of experiences or realisations gained, unwillingness to accept the Light or to follow it, incapacity (through tamas or through attachment or through passive reaction to accustomed forces) to do what it admits to be the Right and the Best.
~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV

--- FOOTER
see also ::: veils, the physical consciousness,

see also ::: the_physical_consciousness, veils

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now begins generated list of local instances, definitions, quotes, instances in chapters, wordnet info if available and instances among weblinks


OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
SEE ALSO

the_physical_consciousness
veils

AUTH

BOOKS
Heart_of_Matter
Letters_On_Yoga
Letters_On_Yoga_IV
Liber_157_-_The_Tao_Teh_King
Modern_Man_in_Search_of_a_Soul
My_Burning_Heart
Process_and_Reality
The_Imitation_of_Christ
The_Use_and_Abuse_of_History
The_Yoga_Sutras
Toward_the_Future

IN CHAPTERS TITLE

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
00.01_-_The_Approach_to_Mysticism
00.05_-_A_Vedic_Conception_of_the_Poet
000_-_Humans_in_Universe
0.02_-_The_Three_Steps_of_Nature
0.03_-_Letters_to_My_little_smile
0.05_-_Letters_to_a_Child
0.06_-_Letters_to_a_Young_Sadhak
01.01_-_The_New_Humanity
01.02_-_Natures_Own_Yoga
01.03_-_Mystic_Poetry
01.04_-_The_Poetry_in_the_Making
0_1958-05-11_-_the_ship_that_said_OM
0_1958-11-26
0_1958_12_-_Floor_1,_young_girl,_we_shall_kill_the_young_princess_-_black_tent
0_1960-09-20
0_1961-02-25
0_1961-04-18
0_1961-04-25
0_1961-07-18
0_1961-08-05
0_1961-11-06
0_1961-11-07
0_1963-06-03
0_1965-05-19
0_1967-05-27
0_1967-08-26
0_1969-09-24
0_1971-04-17
0_1971-11-27
0_1971-12-18
0_1972-01-15
02.01_-_A_Vedic_Story
02.01_-_The_World_War
02.02_-_Lines_of_the_Descent_of_Consciousness
02.02_-_Rishi_Dirghatama
02.04_-_The_Kingdoms_of_the_Little_Life
02.05_-_The_Godheads_of_the_Little_Life
02.08_-_The_World_of_Falsehood,_the_Mother_of_Evil_and_the_Sons_of_Darkness
02.10_-_The_Kingdoms_and_Godheads_of_the_Little_Mind
03.01_-_The_Malady_of_the_Century
03.03_-_The_House_of_the_Spirit_and_the_New_Creation
03.06_-_Here_or_Otherwhere
03.09_-_Sectarianism_or_Loyalty
04.01_-_The_March_of_Civilisation
04.19_-_To_the_Heights-XIX_(The_March_into_the_Night)
04.20_-_To_the_Heights-XX
05.01_-_At_the_Origin_of_Ignorance
05.01_-_Man_and_the_Gods
05.02_-_Gods_Labour
05.06_-_The_Role_of_Evil
05.11_-_The_Place_of_Reason
05.12_-_The_Soul_and_its_Journey
05.34_-_Light,_more_Light
06.02_-_The_Way_of_Fate_and_the_Problem_of_Pain
06.07_-_Total_Transformation_Demands_Total_Rejection
06.11_-_The_Steps_of_the_Soul
06.24_-_When_Imperfection_is_Greater_Than_Perfection
06.27_-_To_Learn_and_to_Understand
06.30_-_Sweet_Holy_Tears
07.09_-_The_Symbolic_Ignorance
07.12_-_This_Ugliness_in_the_World
07.13_-_Divine_Justice
07.14_-_The_Divine_Suffering
07.15_-_Divine_Disgust
07.19_-_Bad_Thought-Formation
07.25_-_Prayer_and_Aspiration
07.35_-_The_Force_of_Body-Consciousness
07.37_-_The_Psychic_Being,_Some_Mysteries
08.16_-_Perfection_and_Progress
08.25_-_Meat-Eating
08.32_-_The_Surrender_of_an_Inner_Warrior
09.01_-_Prayer_and_Aspiration
09.09_-_The_Origin
10.15_-_The_Evolution_of_Language
10.16_-_The_Relative_Best
10.19_-_Short_Notes_-_2-_God_Above_and_God_Within
1.01_-_A_NOTE_ON_PROGRESS
1.01_-_Foreward
1.01_-_Introduction
1.01_-_Two_Powers_Alone
1.02.3.2_-_Knowledge_and_Ignorance
1.02.4.1_-_The_Worlds_-_Surya
1.02.4.2_-_Action_and_the_Divine_Will
10.24_-_Savitri
1.02_-_Fire_over_the_Earth
1.02_-_Isha_Analysis
1.02_-_Shakti_and_Personal_Effort
1.02_-_The_Divine_Is_with_You
1.02_-_The_Eternal_Law
1.02_-_The_Human_Soul
1.02_-_THE_NATURE_OF_THE_GROUND
1.03_-_Self-Surrender_in_Works_-_The_Way_of_The_Gita
1.04_-_The_Sacrifice_the_Triune_Path_and_the_Lord_of_the_Sacrifice
1.05_-_Adam_Kadmon
1.05_-_Problems_of_Modern_Psycho_therapy
1.05_-_The_Ascent_of_the_Sacrifice_-_The_Psychic_Being
1.05_-_The_Destiny_of_the_Individual
1.05_-_Vishnu_as_Brahma_creates_the_world
1.06_-_Agni_and_the_Truth
1.06_-_The_Ascent_of_the_Sacrifice_2_The_Works_of_Love_-_The_Works_of_Life
1.06_-_The_Four_Powers_of_the_Mother
1.06_-_The_Sign_of_the_Fishes
1.07_-_Incarnate_Human_Gods
1.07_-_Note_on_the_word_Go
1.07_-_Standards_of_Conduct_and_Spiritual_Freedom
1.08_-_Psycho_therapy_Today
1.08_-_The_Synthesis_of_Movement
1.09_-_Equality_and_the_Annihilation_of_Ego
1.09_-_Fundamental_Questions_of_Psycho_therapy
1.09_-_The_Greater_Self
11.01_-_The_Eternal_Day__The_Souls_Choice_and_the_Supreme_Consummation
1.1.02_-_Sachchidananda
1.10_-_The_Three_Modes_of_Nature
11.13_-_In_these_Fateful_Days
1.11_-_The_Second_Genesis
1.12_-_The_Herds_of_the_Dawn
1.12_-_The_Superconscient
1.13_-_Dawn_and_the_Truth
1.1.4_-_The_Physical_Mind_and_Sadhana
1.14_-_The_Secret
1.14_-_The_Succesion_to_the_Kingdom_in_Ancient_Latium
1.14_-_The_Supermind_as_Creator
1.14_-_The_Victory_Over_Death
1.16_-_The_Suprarational_Ultimate_of_Life
1.17_-_DOES_MANKIND_MOVE_BIOLOGICALLY_UPON_ITSELF?
1.17_-_The_Transformation
1.19_-_ON_THE_PROBABLE_EXISTENCE_AHEAD_OF_US_OF_AN_ULTRA-HUMAN
12.03_-_The_Sorrows_of_God
1.2.04_-_Sincerity
1.2.07_-_Surrender
1.2.08_-_Faith
12.09_-_The_Story_of_Dr._Faustus_Retold
1.2.10_-_Opening
1.28_-_Supermind,_Mind_and_the_Overmind_Maya
13.02_-_A_Review_of_Sri_Aurobindos_Life
1.3.5.04_-_The_Evolution_of_Consciousness
1.35_-_The_Tao_2
1.47_-_Lityerses
15.07_-_Souls_Freedom
1.50_-_A.C._and_the_Masters;_Why_they_Chose_him,_etc.
1.52_-_Killing_the_Divine_Animal
17.03_-_Agni_and_the_Gods
18.05_-_Ashram_Poets
1913_06_18p
1913_07_23p
1913_11_28p
1913_11_29p
1913_12_29p
1914_01_01p
1914_02_07p
1914_02_15p
1914_02_20p
1914_03_09p
1914_03_18p
1914_04_17p
1914_05_25p
1914_06_09p
1914_08_04p
1916_12_04p
1929-05-05_-_Intellect,_true_and_wrong_movement_-_Attacks_from_adverse_forces_-_Faith,_integral_and_absolute_-_Death,_not_a_necessity_-_Descent_of_Divine_Consciousness_-_Inner_progress_-_Memory_of_former_lives
1929-05-12_-_Beings_of_vital_world_(vampires)_-_Money_power_and_vital_beings_-_Capacity_for_manifestation_of_will_-_Entry_into_vital_world_-_Body,_a_protection_-_Individuality_and_the_vital_world
1929-05-26_-_Individual,_illusion_of_separateness_-_Hostile_forces_and_the_mental_plane_-_Psychic_world,_psychic_being_-_Spiritual_and_psychic_-_Words,_understanding_speech_and_reading_-_Hostile_forces,_their_utility_-_Illusion_of_action,_true_action
1929-06-02_-__Divine_love_and_its_manifestation_-_Part_of_the_vital_being_in_Divine_love
1929-06-30_-_Repulsion_felt_towards_certain_animals,_etc_-_Source_of_evil,_Formateurs_-_Material_world
1929-08-04_-_Surrender_and_sacrifice_-_Personality_and_surrender_-_Desire_and_passion_-_Spirituality_and_morality
1931_11_24p
1938_08_17p
1951-02-08_-_Unifying_the_being_-_ideas_of_good_and_bad_-_Miracles_-_determinism_-_Supreme_Will_-_Distinguishing_the_voice_of_the_Divine
1951-02-10_-_Liberty_and_license_-_surrender_makes_you_free_-_Men_in_authority_as_representatives_of_the_divine_Truth_-_Work_as_offering_-_total_surrender_needs_time_-_Effort_and_inspiration_-_will_and_patience
1951-03-26_-_Losing_all_to_gain_all_-_psychic_being_-_Transforming_the_vital_-_physical_habits_-_the_subconscient_-_Overcoming_difficulties_-_weakness,_an_insincerity_-_to_change_the_world_-_Psychic_source,_flash_of_experience_-_preparation_for_yoga
1951-04-02_-_Causes_of_accidents_-_Little_entities,_helpful_or_mischievous-_incidents
1951-04-07_-_Origin_of_Evil_-_Misery-_its_cause
1951-04-21_-_Sri_Aurobindos_letter_on_conditions_for_doing_yoga_-_Aspiration,_tapasya,_surrender_-_The_lower_vital_-_old_habits_-_obsession_-_Sri_Aurobindo_on_choice_and_the_double_life_-_The_old_fiasco_-_inner_realisation_and_outer_change
1953-05-27
1953-08-19
1953-09-02
1953-11-25
1953-12-30
1954-04-28_-_Aspiration_and_receptivity_-_Resistance_-_Purusha_and_Prakriti,_not_masculine_and_feminine
1954-07-07_-_The_inner_warrior_-_Grace_and_the_Falsehood_-_Opening_from_below_-_Surrender_and_inertia_-_Exclusive_receptivity_-_Grace_and_receptivity
1955-07-06_-_The_psychic_and_the_central_being_or_jivatman_-_Unity_and_multiplicity_in_the_Divine_-_Having_experiences_and_the_ego_-_Mental,_vital_and_physical_exteriorisation_-_Imagination_has_a_formative_power_-_The_function_of_the_imagination
1955-12-14_-_Rejection_of_life_as_illusion_in_the_old_Yogas_-_Fighting_the_adverse_forces_-_Universal_and_individual_being_-_Three_stages_in_Integral_Yoga_-_How_to_feel_the_Divine_Presence_constantly
1956-02-29_-_Sacrifice,_self-giving_-_Divine_Presence_in_the_heart_of_Matter_-_Divine_Oneness_-_Divine_Consciousness_-_All_is_One_-_Divine_in_the_inconscient_aspires_for_the_Divine
1956-05-16_-_Needs_of_the_body,_not_true_in_themselves_-_Spiritual_and_supramental_law_-_Aestheticised_Paganism_-_Morality,_checks_true_spiritual_effort_-_Effect_of_supramental_descent_-_Half-lights_and_false_lights
1956-06-06_-_Sign_or_indication_from_books_of_revelation_-_Spiritualised_mind_-_Stages_of_sadhana_-_Reversal_of_consciousness_-_Organisation_around_central_Presence_-_Boredom,_most_common_human_malady
1956-07-18_-_Unlived_dreams_-_Radha-consciousness_-_Separation_and_identification_-_Ananda_of_identity_and_Ananda_of_union_-_Sincerity,_meditation_and_prayer_-_Enemies_of_the_Divine_-_The_universe_is_progressive
1957-01-16_-_Seeking_something_without_knowing_it_-_Why_are_we_here?
1957-04-17_-_Transformation_of_the_body
1958-06-25_-_Sadhana_in_the_body
1958-10-29_-_Mental_self-sufficiency_-_Grace
1960_04_07?_-_28
1961_03_11_-_58
1962_01_21
1963_11_04
1965_01_12
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Beast_in_the_Cave
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Call_of_Cthulhu
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Horror_at_Red_Hook
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Mound
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Shunned_House
1.pbs_-_On_The_Medusa_Of_Leonardo_da_Vinci_In_The_Florentine_Gallery
1.rt_-_Closed_Path
1.rt_-_Gitanjali
1.wby_-_The_People
1.whitman_-_A_March_In_The_Ranks,_Hard-prest
1.ww_-_A_Complaint
1.ww_-_An_Evening_Walk
1.ww_-_Book_Eighth-_Retrospect--Love_Of_Nature_Leading_To_Love_Of_Man
1.ww_-_Book_Thirteenth_[Imagination_And_Taste,_How_Impaired_And_Restored_Concluded]
1.ww_-_Character_Of_The_Happy_Warrior
1.ww_-_The_Happy_Warrior
2.01_-_THE_ADVENT_OF_LIFE
2.02_-_Brahman,_Purusha,_Ishwara_-_Maya,_Prakriti,_Shakti
2.03_-_Indra_and_the_Thought-Forces
2.03_-_The_Supreme_Divine
2.04_-_Agni,_the_Illumined_Will
2.04_-_The_Secret_of_Secrets
2.06_-_Reality_and_the_Cosmic_Illusion
2.09_-_On_Sadhana
2.1.02_-_Combining_Work,_Meditation_and_Bhakti
2.1.02_-_Love_and_Death
2.1.03_-_Man_and_Superman
2.10_-_Knowledge_by_Identity_and_Separative_Knowledge
2.11_-_The_Shattering_And_Fall_of_The_Primordial_Kings
2.1.2_-_The_Vital_and_Other_Levels_of_Being
2.1.4_-_The_Lower_Vital_Being
2.14_-_The_Origin_and_Remedy_of_Falsehood,_Error,_Wrong_and_Evil
2.14_-_The_Unpacking_of_God
2.1.5.4_-_Arts
2.15_-_On_the_Gods_and_Asuras
2.16_-_The_15th_of_August
2.16_-_The_Integral_Knowledge_and_the_Aim_of_Life;_Four_Theories_of_Existence
2.1.7.08_-_Comments_on_Specific_Lines_and_Passages_of_the_Poem
2.17_-_The_Progress_to_Knowledge_-_God,_Man_and_Nature
2.2.03_-_The_Psychic_Being
2.2.03_-_The_Science_of_Consciousness
2.2.04_-_Practical_Concerns_in_Work
2.20_-_The_Infancy_and_Maturity_of_ZO,_Father_and_Mother,_Israel_The_Ancient_and_Understanding
2.22_-_Rebirth_and_Other_Worlds;_Karma,_the_Soul_and_Immortality
2.22_-_Vijnana_or_Gnosis
2.23_-_A_Virtuous_Woman_is_a_Crown_to_Her_Husband
2.23_-_The_Core_of_the_Gita.s_Meaning
2.24_-_The_Evolution_of_the_Spiritual_Man
2.25_-_The_Triple_Transformation
2.26_-_The_Ascent_towards_Supermind
2.2.7.01_-_Some_General_Remarks
2.27_-_The_Gnostic_Being
2.28_-_The_Divine_Life
2.3.01_-_Aspiration_and_Surrender_to_the_Mother
2.3.01_-_Concentration_and_Meditation
2.3.03_-_The_Mother's_Presence
2.3.04_-_The_Mother's_Force
2.3.07_-_The_Vital_Being_and_Vital_Consciousness
2.3.08_-_The_Mother's_Help_in_Difficulties
2.3.08_-_The_Physical_Consciousness
2.3.10_-_The_Subconscient_and_the_Inconscient
2.3.1_-_Ego_and_Its_Forms
2.4.3_-_Problems_in_Human_Relations
29.06_-_There_is_also_another,_similar_or_parallel_story_in_the_Veda_about_the_God_Agni,_about_the_disappearance_of_this
30.17_-_Rabindranath,_Traveller_of_the_Infinite
3.02_-_The_Great_Secret
3.02_-_The_Practice_Use_of_Dream-Analysis
3.05_-_SAL
3.06_-_The_Sage
3.09_-_Of_Silence_and_Secrecy
3.1.01_-_The_Problem_of_Suffering_and_Evil
3.1.02_-_Spiritual_Evolution_and_the_Supramental
3.1.1_-_The_Transformation_of_the_Physical
3.1.2_-_Levels_of_the_Physical_Being
3.1.3_-_Difficulties_of_the_Physical_Being
3.2.05_-_Our_Ideal
3.2.08_-_Bhakti_Yoga_and_Vaishnavism
3.2.2_-_Sleep
3.2.3_-_Dreams
3.2.4_-_Sex
3.3.01_-_The_Superman
3.3.1_-_Agni,_the_Divine_Will-Force
3.3.1_-_Illness_and_Health
3.3.2_-_Doctors_and_Medicines
3.4.03_-_Materialism
3.4.1.01_-_Poetry_and_Sadhana
3.4.1_-_The_Subconscient_and_the_Integral_Yoga
3.5.01_-_Aphorisms
3.6.01_-_Heraclitus
3.7.1.05_-_The_Significance_of_Rebirth
3.7.1.09_-_Karma_and_Freedom
38.01_-_Asceticism_and_Renunciation
3_-_Commentaries_and_Annotated_Translations
4.02_-_Difficulties
4.04_-_THE_REGENERATION_OF_THE_KING
4.06_-_THE_KING_AS_ANTHROPOS
4.1.1_-_The_Difficulties_of_Yoga
4.1.2.03_-_Preparation_for_the_Supramental_Change
4.1.2_-_The_Difficulties_of_Human_Nature
4.1.3_-_Imperfections_and_Periods_of_Arrest
4.1.4_-_Resistances,_Sufferings_and_Falls
4.2.2_-_Steps_towards_Overcoming_Difficulties
4.2.3_-_Vigilance,_Resolution,_Will_and_the_Divine_Help
4.24_-_The_supramental_Sense
4.2.4_-_Time_and_CHange_of_the_Nature
4.25_-_Towards_the_supramental_Time_Vision
4.3.3_-_Dealing_with_Hostile_Attacks
5.02_-_Perfection_of_the_Body
5.1.03_-_The_Hostile_Forces_and_Hostile_Beings
7.02_-_The_Mind
7_-_Yoga_of_Sri_Aurobindo
Blazing_P3_-_Explore_the_Stages_of_Postconventional_Consciousness
BOOK_III._-_The_external_calamities_of_Rome
BOOK_IX._-_Of_those_who_allege_a_distinction_among_demons,_some_being_good_and_others_evil
BOOK_VII._-_Of_the_select_gods_of_the_civil_theology,_and_that_eternal_life_is_not_obtained_by_worshipping_them
BOOK_XI._-_Augustine_passes_to_the_second_part_of_the_work,_in_which_the_origin,_progress,_and_destinies_of_the_earthly_and_heavenly_cities_are_discussed.Speculations_regarding_the_creation_of_the_world
BOOK_XII._-_Of_the_creation_of_angels_and_men,_and_of_the_origin_of_evil
BOOK_XVI._-_The_history_of_the_city_of_God_from_Noah_to_the_time_of_the_kings_of_Israel
CASE_4_-_WAKUANS_WHY_NO_BEARD?
Cratylus
ENNEAD_01.06_-_Of_Beauty.
ENNEAD_02.03_-_Whether_Astrology_is_of_any_Value.
ENNEAD_02.09_-_Against_the_Gnostics;_or,_That_the_Creator_and_the_World_are_Not_Evil.
ENNEAD_03.06_-_Of_the_Impassibility_of_Incorporeal_Entities_(Soul_and_and_Matter).
ENNEAD_04.05_-_Psychological_Questions_III._-_About_the_Process_of_Vision_and_Hearing.
ENNEAD_04.06a_-_Of_Sensation_and_Memory.
ENNEAD_05.05_-_That_Intelligible_Entities_Are_Not_External_to_the_Intelligence_of_the_Good.
r1912_07_21
r1913_02_01
r1913_12_28
r1914_04_08
r1914_06_20
r1914_08_30
r1914_12_17
r1919_06_24
r1920_06_08
r1927_01_27
r1927_01_29
Sophist
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1
The_Act_of_Creation_text
The_Book_of_the_Prophet_Isaiah
The_Coming_Race_Contents
The_Dwellings_of_the_Philosophers
the_Eternal_Wisdom
The_Poems_of_Cold_Mountain
The_Riddle_of_this_World
Timaeus
Verses_of_Vemana

PRIMARY CLASS

SIMILAR TITLES
obscurity

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH

obscurity ::: 1. Deficiency or absence of light; darkness. 2. The quality or condition of being imperfectly known or difficult to understand. obscurities.

obscurity ::: n. --> The quality or state of being obscure; darkness; privacy; inconspicuousness; unintelligibleness; uncertainty.


TERMS ANYWHERE

A glad and strong and helpful ^submission is demanded to the working of the Divine Force, the obedience of the Illumined disciple of thb Truth, of the inner warrior who fights against obscurity hnd falsehood, of the faithful servant of the Divine.

aprakasa ::: absence of light, obscurity, forgetfulness.

ARRESTS IN SADHANA. ::: A difficulty comes or an arrest in some movement which you have begun or have been carrying on for some time. Such arrests are inevitably frequent enough; one might almost say that every step forward is followed by an arrest. It is to be dealt with by becoming always more quiet, more firm in the will to go through, by opening oneself more and more so that any obstructing non-receptivity in the nature may diminish or disappear, by an affirmation of faith even in the midst of obscurity, faith in the presence of a Power that is working behind the cloud and the veil, in the guidance of the Guru, by an observation of oneself to find any cause of the arrest, not in a spirit of depression or discouragement but with the will to find out and remove it. This is the only right attitude and, if one is persistent in taking it, the periods of arrest are not abolished, - for that cannot be at this stage, - but greatly shortened and lightened in their incidence. Sometimes these arrests are periods, long or short, of assimilation or unseen preparation, their appearance of sterile immobility is deceptive ::: in that case, with the right attitude, one can after a time, by opening, by observation, by accumulated experience, begin to feel, to get some inkling of what is being prepared or done. Sometimes it is a period of true obstruction in which the Power at work has to deal with the obstacles in the way, obstacles in oneself, obstacles of the opposing cosmic forces or any other or of all together, and this kind of arrest may be long or short according to the magnitude or obstinacy or complexity of the impediments that are met. But here, too, the right attitude can alleviate or shorten and, if persistently taken, help to a more radical removal of the difficulties and greatly diminish the necessity of complete arrests hereafter.
On the contrary, an attitude of depression or unfaith in the help or the guidance or in the certitude of the victory of the guiding Power, a shutting up of yourself in the sense of the difficulties, helps the obstructions to recur with force instead of progressively diminishing in their incidence.


ascertain ::: v. t. --> To render (a person) certain; to cause to feel certain; to make confident; to assure; to apprise.
To make (a thing) certain to the mind; to free from obscurity, doubt, or change; to make sure of; to fix; to determine.
To find out or learn for a certainty, by trial, examination, or experiment; to get to know; as, to ascertain the weight of a commodity, or the purity of a metal.


ATTITUDE. ::: A glad and strong and helpful submission is demanded to the working of the Divine Force, the obedience of the illumined disciple of the Truth, of the inner Warrior who fights against obscurity and falsehood, of the faithful servant of the Divine.

background ::: n. --> Ground in the rear or behind, or in the distance, as opposed to the foreground, or the ground in front.
The space which is behind and subordinate to a portrait or group of figures.
Anything behind, serving as a foil; as, the statue had a background of red hangings.
A place in obscurity or retirement, or out of sight.


becloud ::: v. t. --> To cause obscurity or dimness to; to dim; to cloud.

obscurity ::: 1. Deficiency or absence of light; darkness. 2. The quality or condition of being imperfectly known or difficult to understand. obscurities.

obscurity ::: n. --> The quality or state of being obscure; darkness; privacy; inconspicuousness; unintelligibleness; uncertainty.

Body-mind ::: There is an obscure mind of the body, of the very cells, molecules, corpuscles. This body-mind is a very tangible truth ; owing to its obscurity and mechanical clinging to past movements, and facile oblivion and rejection of the new. we find in it one of the chief obstacles to pemiealion by the Supermind

Brother(s) of the Shadow ::: A term given in occultism and especially in modern esotericism to individuals, whether men or women,who follow the path of the shadows, the left-hand path. The term "shadow" is a technical expression andsignifies more than appears on the surface: i.e., the expression is not to be understood of individuals wholive in actual physical obscurity or actual physical shadows, which literalism would be simply absurd;but applies to those who follow the path of matter, which from time immemorial in the esoteric schoolsin both Orient and Occident has frequently been called shadow or shadows. The term originally arose,without doubt, in the philosophical conception of the word maya, for in early Oriental esotericism maya,and more especially maha-maya, was a term applied in one of its many philosophical meanings to thatwhich was contrary to and, indeed, in one sense a reflection of, light. Just as spirit may be considered tobe pure energy, and matter, although essentially crystallized spirit, may be looked upon as the shadowworld or vehicular world in which the energy or spirit or pure light works, just so is maya, as the garmentor expression or sakti of the divine energy, the vehicle or shadow of the divine side of nature, in otherwords its negative or nether pole, as light is the upper or positive pole.The Brothers of the Shadow are therefore those who, being essentially of the nature of matter,instinctively choose and follow the path along which they are most strongly drawn, that is, the path ofmatter or of the shadows. When it is recollected that matter is but a generalizing term, and that what thisterm comprises actually includes an almost infinite number of degrees of increasing ethereality from thegrossest physical substance, or absolute matter, up to the most ethereal or spiritualized substance, weimmediately see the subtle logic of this technical term -- shadows or, more fully, the Path of theShadows, hence the Brothers of the Shadow.They are the so-called black magicians of the Occident, and stand in sharp and notable contrast with thewhite magicians or the Sons of Light who follow the pathway of self-renunciation, self-sacrifice,self-conquest, perfect self-control, and an expansion of the heart and mind and consciousness in love andservice for all that lives. (See also Right-hand Path)The existence and aims of the Brothers of the Shadow are essentially selfish. It is commonly, buterroneously, supposed that the Brothers of the Shadow are men and women always of unpleasant ordispleasing personal appearance, and no greater error than this could possibly be made. Multitudes ofhuman beings are unconsciously treading the path of the shadows and, in comparison with thesemultitudes, it is relatively only a few who self-consciously lead and guide with subtle and nefastintelligence this army of unsuspecting victims of maya. The Brothers of the Shadow are often highlyintellectual men and women, frequently individuals with apparent great personal charm, and to theordinary observer, judging from their conversation and daily works, are fully as well able to "quotescripture" as are the Angels of Light!

buried ::: v. 1. Deposited or hid under ground; covered up with earth or other material. Also fig. **2. Plunged or sunk deep in, so as to be covered from view; put out of sight. adj. 3. Put in the ground or in a tomb; interred. 4. Consigned to a position of obscurity, inaccessibility, or inaction. 5.* Fig.* Consigned to oblivion, put out of the way, abandoned and forgotten.

But there is a wall which divides them from it, a wall of obscurity and unconsciousness. When it breaks down there is a release.

caligo ::: n. --> Dimness or obscurity of sight, dependent upon a speck on the cornea; also, the speck itself.

clear ::: 1. Not obscured or darkened; bright. 2. Free from darkness, obscurity, or cloudiness; transparent. 3. Serene; calm; untroubled. 4. Free from doubt or confusion; certain. 5. Easily perceptible to the eye or ear; distinct. 6. Easily understood; without ambiguity. 7. Free from impediment, obstruction, or hindrance; open. clearer, sun-clear, surface-clear.

Clouds ::: Symbols of obscurity.

Conditions of Transformafirm ::: If you desire this transforma- tion, put yourself in the hands of the Mother and her Powers without cavil or resistance and let her do unhindered her work within you. Three things you roust have, consciousness, plasti- city, unreserved surrender. For you must be conscious in your mind and soul and heart and life and the very cells of your body, aware of the Mother and her Powers and their working ; for although she can and does work in yt)u even in your obscurity and your unconscious parts and moments, it is not the same thing as when you are in an awakened and living communion with her. All your nature must be plasUc to her touch, — • not questioning as the self-sufficient ignorant mind questions and doubts and disputes and is the enemy of its enlightenment and change ; not insisting on its own movements as the vital In man insists and persistently opposes its rcfractoiy desires and ill-wilt to every divine influence ; not obstructing and entrenched m

dark ::: adj. 1. Lacking or having very little light. 2. Concealed or secret; mysterious. 3. Difficult to understand; obscure. 4. Characterized by gloom; dismal. 5. Fig. Sinister; evil; absent moral or spiritual values. 6. (used of color) Having a dark hue; almost black. 7. Showing a brooding ill humor. 8. Having a complexion that is not fair; swarthy. darker, darkest, dark-browed, dark-robed.* n. 9. Absence of light; dark state or condition; darkness, esp. that of night. 10. A dark place: a place of darkness. 11. The condition of being hidden from view, obscure, or unknown; obscurity. *in the dark: in concealment or secrecy.

darkness ::: 1. Absence of light or illumination. 2. Fig. Absence of moral or spiritual values. 3. Obscurity; lack of knowledge or enlightenment; an unenlightened state. 4. A condition of secrecy, mystery, characterized by things hidden. 5. Wickedness or evil. Darkness, darkness", darknesses.

darkness ::: n. --> The absence of light; blackness; obscurity; gloom.
A state of privacy; secrecy.
A state of ignorance or error, especially on moral or religious subjects; hence, wickedness; impurity.
Want of clearness or perspicuity; obscurity; as, the darkness of a subject, or of a discussion.
A state of distress or trouble.


Dats ::: Forces of the night, i.c. ignorant movements finding a lodging in the obscurity of the unenlightened nature.

declare ::: v. t. --> To make clear; to free from obscurity.
To make known by language; to communicate or manifest explicitly and plainly in any way; to exhibit; to publish; to proclaim; to announce.
To make declaration of; to assert; to affirm; to set forth; to avow; as, he declares the story to be false.
To make full statement of, as goods, etc., for the purpose of paying taxes, duties, etc.


dimness ::: n. --> The state or quality / being dim; lack of brightness, clearness, or distinctness; dullness; obscurity.
Dullness, or want of clearness, of vision or of intellectual perception.


disinter ::: v. t. --> To take out of the grave or tomb; to unbury; to exhume; to dig up.
To bring out, as from a grave or hiding place; to bring from obscurity into view.


Distinctness: (Ger. Deutlichkeit) In Husserl: Explicit articulatedness with respect to syntactical components. (See Confused). Distinctness is compatible with emptiness or obscurity of material content. See Descartes, Leibniz. -- D.C.

Divine Force working in him or of its results at least and does not obstruct its descent or its action by his own mental activi- ties, vital restlessness or physical obscurity and inertia.

Divine sacrifice is the descent of the Divine into the obscurity of the unconsciousness.

Duff's device The most dramatic use yet seen of {fall through} in {C}, invented by Tom Duff when he was at Lucasfilm. Trying to {bum} all the instructions he could out of an inner loop that copied data serially onto an output port, he decided to unroll it. He then realised that the unrolled version could be implemented by *interlacing* the structures of a switch and a loop: register n = (count + 7) / 8;   /* count " 0 assumed */ switch (count % 8) { case 0:    do { *to = *from++; case 7:       *to = *from++; case 6:       *to = *from++; case 5:       *to = *from++; case 4:       *to = *from++; case 3:       *to = *from++; case 2:       *to = *from++; case 1:       *to = *from++;           } while (--n " 0); } Shocking though it appears to all who encounter it for the first time, the device is actually perfectly valid, legal C. C's default {fall through} in case statements has long been its most controversial single feature; Duff observed that "This code forms some sort of argument in that debate, but I'm not sure whether it's for or against." [For maximal obscurity, the outermost pair of braces above could be actually be removed - {GLS}] [{Jargon File}] (2001-06-22)

Duff's device ::: The most dramatic use yet seen of fall through in C, invented by Tom Duff when he was at Lucasfilm. Trying to bum all the instructions he could out of an inner then realised that the unrolled version could be implemented by *interlacing* the structures of a switch and a loop: register n = (count + 7) / 8; /* count > 0 assumed */ in that debate, but I'm not sure whether it's for or against.[For maximal obscurity, the outermost pair of braces above could be actually be removed - GLS][Jargon File](2001-06-22)

dusk ::: a. --> Tending to darkness or blackness; moderately dark or black; dusky. ::: n. --> Imperfect obscurity; a middle degree between light and darkness; twilight; as, the dusk of the evening.
A darkish color.


eclipse ::: n. **1. A temporary or permanent dimming or cutting off of light. 2. A fall into obscurity or disuse; a decline. v. 3. To obscure; darken. eclipsed, eclipsing.**

emerge ::: 1. To come forth into view or notice, as from concealment, or obscurity. 2. To rise or come forth from or as if from water or other liquid. 3. To come into existence; develop. 4. To rise, as from an inferior or unfortunate state or condition. emerges, emerged, emerging.

emerge ::: v. i. --> To rise out of a fluid; to come forth from that in which anything has been plunged, enveloped, or concealed; to issue and appear; as, to emerge from the water or the ocean; the sun emerges from behind the moon in an eclipse; to emerge from poverty or obscurity.

emersion ::: n. --> The act of emerging, or of rising out of anything; as, emersion from the sea; emersion from obscurity or difficulties.
The reappearance of a heavenly body after an eclipse or occultation; as, the emersion of the moon from the shadow of the earth; the emersion of a star from behind the moon.


enubilate ::: v. t. --> To clear from mist, clouds, or obscurity.

explain ::: a. --> To flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to expand.
To make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to expound; to unfold and illustrate the meaning of; as, to explain a chapter of the Bible. ::: v. i. --> To give an explanation.


explanation ::: n. --> The act of explaining, expounding, or interpreting; the act of clearing from obscurity and making intelligible; as, the explanation of a passage in Scripture, or of a contract or treaty.
That which explains or makes clear; as, a satisfactory explanation.
The meaning attributed to anything by one who explains it; definition; interpretation; sense.
A mutual exposition of terms, meaning, or motives,


explicate ::: a. --> Evolved; unfolded. ::: v. t. --> To unfold; to expand; to lay open.
To unfold the meaning or sense of; to explain; to clear of difficulties or obscurity; to interpret.


expound ::: v. t. --> To lay open; to expose to view; to examine.
To lay open the meaning of; to explain; to clear of obscurity; to interpret; as, to expound a text of Scripture, a law, a word, a meaning, or a riddle.


Faith — fouf kinds ::: Mental fmth combats doubt and helps to open to the true knowledge ; \Ual faith prevents the attacks of the hostile forces or defeats them and helps to open to the true spiritual will and action ; physical faith keeps one firm through all physical obscurity, inertia or suffering and helps to open to the foundation of the true consciousness ; psychic faith

fuscation ::: n. --> A darkening; obscurity; obfuscation.

gloom ::: n. --> Partial or total darkness; thick shade; obscurity; as, the gloom of a forest, or of midnight.
A shady, gloomy, or dark place or grove.
Cloudiness or heaviness of mind; melancholy; aspect of sorrow; low spirits; dullness.
In gunpowder manufacture, the drying oven. ::: v. i.


gloomy ::: superl. --> Imperfectly illuminated; dismal through obscurity or darkness; dusky; dim; clouded; as, the cavern was gloomy.
Affected with, or expressing, gloom; melancholy; dejected; as, a gloomy temper or countenance.


grope ::: v. i. --> To feel with or use the hands; to handle.
To search or attempt to find something in the dark, or, as a blind person, by feeling; to move about hesitatingly, as in darkness or obscurity; to feel one&


Gsang phu ne'u thog. (Sangphu Ne'utok). A monastery associated with the BKA' GDAMS sect established south of LHA SA in 1073 by RNGOG LEGS PA'I SHES RAB; for many centuries one of the premier institutions of learning in central Tibet. The abbacy passed to the scholar and translator RNGOG BLO LDAN SHES RAB, Legs pa'i shes rab's nephew, on his thirty-fifth birthday. Blo ldan shes rab's translations and summaries (bsdus don) of all the major works of DHARMAKĪRTI, together with the commentaries of DHARMOTTARA, as well as his two major commentaries (rnam bshad) established Gsang phu as the unchallenged center for the study of epistemology (T. tshad ma; S. PRAMĀnA) until SA SKYA PAndITA's masterly presentation of Dharmakīrti's thought in about 1219 in his TSHAD MA RIGS GTER; it criticized some aspects of the Gtsang phu tradition. Most illustrious of the line of pramāna scholars after Rngog at GSANG PHU was PHYWA PA CHOS KYI SENG GE who is credited with originating the distinctively Tibetan BSDUS GRWA genre of textbook (used widely in DGE LUGS monasteries) that introduces beginners to the main topics in ABHIDHARMA in a particular dialectical form that strings together a chain of consequences linked by a chain of reasons. Gtsang phu was also the center of PRAJNĀPĀRAMITĀ studies based on the ABHISAMAYĀLAMKĀRA, originating again with Blo ldan shes rab's translation, summary, and a major commentary. It attracted great masters of various sectarian affiliations including DUS GSUM MKHYEN PA, the first KARMA PA. The monastery divided into two colleges in the twelfth century; Gnyal [alt. Mnyal] zhig 'Jam pa'i rdo rje (fl. c. 1200) was abbot during Sa skya Pandita's early years. Gnyal zhig's students passed on the traditions down to ZHWA LU monastery and to BU STON RIN CHEN GRUB and his followers. Like many former Bka' gdams institutions, it faded into obscurity with the rise of the DGE LUGS sect.

haze ::: 1. An aggregation in the atmosphere of very fine, widely dispersed, solid or liquid particles, or both, giving the air an opalescent appearance that subdues colours. 2. Reduced visibility in the air as a result of condensed water vapour, dust, etc., in the atmosphere. 3. Vagueness of obscurity, as of the mind or perception; confused or vague thoughts, feelings, etc.

haze ::: n. --> Light vapor or smoke in the air which more or less impedes vision, with little or no dampness; a lack of transparency in the air; hence, figuratively, obscurity; dimness. ::: v. i. --> To be hazy, or tick with haze.

Higher Mind ::: I mean by the Higher Mind a first plane of spiritual [consciousness] where one becomes constantly and closely aware of the Self, the One everywhere and knows and sees things habitually with that awareness; but it is still very much on the mindlevel although highly spiritual in its essential substance; and its instrumentation is through an elevated thought-power and comprehensive mental sight—not illumined by any of the intenser upper lights but as if in a large strong and clear daylight. It acts as an intermediate state between the Truth-Light above and the human mind; communicating the higher knowledge in a form that the Mind intensified, broadened, made spiritually supple, can receive without being blinded or dazzled by a Truth beyond it.Our first decisive step out of our human intelligence, our normal mentality, is an ascent into a higher Mind, a mind no longer of mingled light and obscurity or half-light, but a large clarity of the spirit. Its basic substance is a unitarian sense of being with a powerful multiple dynamisation capable of the formation of a multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action, forms and significances of becoming, of all of which there is a spontaneous inherent knowledge. It is th
   refore a power that has proceeded from the Overmind,—but with the Supermind as its ulterior origin,—as all these greater powers have proceeded: but its special character, its activity of consciousness are dominated by Thought; it is a luminous thought-mind, a mind of spirit-born conceptual knowledge.
   Ref: CWSA Vol. 27, 21-22 Page: 20, 974


holocaust ::: “The Mother not only governs all from above but she descends into this lesser triple universe. Impersonally, all things here, even the movements of the Ignorance, are herself in veiled power and her creations in diminished substance, her Nature-body and Nature-force, and they exist because, moved by the mysterious fiat of the Supreme to work out something that was there in the possibilities of the Infinite, she has consented to the great sacrifice and has put on like a mask the soul and forms of the Ignorance. But personally too she has stooped to descend here into the Darkness that she may lead it to the Light, into the Falsehood and Error that she may convert it to the Truth, into this Death that she may turn it to godlike Life, into this world-pain and its obstinate sorrow and suffering that she may end it in the transforming ecstasy of her sublime Ananda. In her deep and great love for her children she has consented to put on herself the cloak of this obscurity, condescended to bear the attacks and torturing influences of the powers of the Darkness and the Falsehood, borne to pass though the portals of the birth that is a death, taken upon herself the pangs and sorrows and sufferings of the creation, since it seemed that thus alone could it be lifted to the Light and Joy and Truth and eternal Life. This is the great sacrifice called sometimes the sacrifice of the Purusha, but much more deeply the holocaust of Prakriti, the sacrifice of the Divine Mother.” The Mother

Huayan jing helun. (J. Kegongyo goron; K. Hwaom kyong hap non 華嚴經合論). In Chinese, "A Comprehensive Exposition of the AVATAMSAKASuTRA," a commentary written by LI TONGXUAN in the Tang dynasty (618-907), a reclusive lay Huayan adept and contemporary of the HUAYAN patriarch FAZANG. The commentary is also known as the "Commentary to the New [Translation] of the AvataMsakasutra" (Xin Huayan jing lun), because it comments on sIKsĀNANDA's "new" eighty-roll translation of the AvataMsakasutra, rather than Buddhabhadra's "old" sixty-roll rendering, which had been the focus of all earlier Huayan commentarial writing. Li Tongxuan's "Exposition of the AvataMsakasutra" contained ideas that were quite distinct from standard Huayan interpretations, such as the emphasis on the centrality of the preliminary soteriological stage of the "ten faiths" (shixin), rather than the "ten abodes" (shizhu) that had been stressed in previous Huayan accounts. Li's work subsequently played a key role in the revitalization of the Chinese Huayan exegetical tradition, especially in the thought of the Huayan patriarch CHENGGUAN. Li's worked dropped out of circulation soon after its composition, but after centuries in obscurity, the exposition was rediscovered by Chinese CHAN adepts during the Song dynasty, such as DAHUI ZONGGAO, and by Korean SoN adepts during the Koryo dynasty for the provocative parallels they perceived between Li Tongxuan's treatment of Huayan soteriology and the Chan approach of sudden awakening (DUNWU). The Korean Son exegete POJO CHINUL (1158-1210) was so inspired by the text that he wrote a three-roll abridgment of it entitled "Excerpts from the Exposition of the AvataMsakasutra" (Hwaom non choryo), which he used to demonstrate the parallels between the Huayan soteriological schema and his preferred meditative approach of "sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation" (K. tono chomsu; C. TUNWU JIANXIU). In Japan, Li Tongxuan's advocacy of meditating on the light emanating from the Buddha's body was also a major influence on MYoE KoBEN.

Hu ::: Whether via revelation or through consciousness, HU is the inner essence of the reality of everything that is perceived... To such extent that, as the reflection of Akbariyyah, first awe then nothingness is experienced and, as such, the Reality of Hu can never be attained! Sight cannot reach HU! HU denotes absolute obscurity and incomprehension! As a matter of fact, all names, including Allah are mentioned in connection with HU in the Quran!

I£ light, strength, the Mother’s consciousness is brought into the body it can penetrate the subconsclent also and convert its obscurity and resistance.

Illness marks some imperfection or weakness or else opening to adverse touches in the physical nature and is often connected also with some obscurity or dlsbannony in the low'd vital or the phj^ical mind or elsewhere.

illuminate ::: v. t. --> To make light; to throw light on; to supply with light, literally or figuratively; to brighten.
To light up; to decorate with artificial lights, as a building or city, in token of rejoicing or respect.
To adorn, as a book or page with borders, initial letters, or miniature pictures in colors and gold, as was done in manuscripts of the Middle Ages.
To make plain or clear; to dispel the obscurity to


illustration ::: n. --> The act of illustrating; the act of making clear and distinct; education; also, the state of being illustrated, or of being made clear and distinct.
That which illustrates; a comparison or example intended to make clear or apprehensible, or to remove obscurity.
A picture designed to decorate a volume or elucidate a literary work.


IMPURITY. ::: The Anaoda descending cannot be held if there is too much sexual impurity creating an intoxicant or degrading mixture ; the Power recedes, if there is ambition, vanity or other aggressive form of lower self, the Oght if there is an attachment to obscurity or to any form of the Ignorance, the Presence if the chamber of the heart has not been made pure.

incelebrity ::: n. --> Want of celebrity or distinction; obscurity.

inevidence ::: n. --> Want of evidence; obscurity.

infuscation ::: n. --> The act of darkening, or state of being dark; darkness; obscurity.

involve ::: v. t. --> To roll or fold up; to wind round; to entwine.
To envelop completely; to surround; to cover; to hide; to involve in darkness or obscurity.
To complicate or make intricate, as in grammatical structure.
To connect with something as a natural or logical consequence or effect; to include necessarily; to imply.
To take in; to gather in; to mingle confusedly; to


It is the cryptic verses of the Veda that help us here; for they contain, though concealed, the gospel of the divine and immortal Supermind and through the veil some illumining flashes come to us. We can see through these utterances the conception of this Supermind as a vastness beyond the ordinary firmaments of our consciousness in which truth of being is luminously one with all that expresses it and assures inevitably truth of vision, formulation, arrangement, word, act and movement and therefore truth also of result of movement, result of action and expression, infallible ordinance or law. Vast all-comprehensiveness; luminous truth and harmony of being in that vastness and not a vague chaos or self-lost obscurity; truth of law and act and knowledge expressive of that harmonious truth of being: these seem to be the essential terms of the Vedic description.” *The Life Divine

It is the cryptic verses of the Veda that help us here; for they contain, though concealed, the gospel of the divine and immortal Supermind and through the veil some illumining flashes come to us. We can see through these utterances the conception of this Supermind as a vastness beyond the ordinary firmaments of our consciousness in which truth of being is luminously one with all that expresses it and assures inevitably truth of vision, formulation, arrangement, word, act and movement and therefore truth also of result of movement, result of action and expression, infallible ordinance or law. Vast all-comprehensiveness; luminous truth and harmony of being in that vastness and not a vague chaos or self-lost obscurity; truth of law and act and knowledge expressive of that harmonious truth of being: these seem to be the essential terms of the Vedic description.” The Life Divine

Krishna's lights ::: Krishna’s light is a special light ; in the mind it brings clarity, freedom from obscurity, mental error and per- version ::: in the vital it clears all perilous stuff and where it is, there is a pure and divine happiness and gladness.

“Light is a general term. Light is not knowledge but the illumination that comes from above and liberates the being from obscurity and darkness.” The Mother

light ::: Sri Aurobindo: ". . . light is primarily a spiritual manifestation of the Divine Reality illuminative and creative; material light is a subsequent representation or conversion of it into Matter for the purposes of the material Energy.” *The Life Divine

"Our sense by its incapacity has invented darkness. In truth there is nothing but Light, only it is a power of light either above or below our poor human vision"s limited range.

  For do not imagine that light is created by the Suns. The Suns are only physical concentrations of Light, but the splendour they concentrate for us is self-born and everywhere.

  God is everywhere and wherever God is, there is Light.” *The Hour of God

"Light is a general term. Light is not knowledge but the illumination that comes from above and liberates the being from obscurity and darkness.” The Mother

The Mother: "The light is everywhere, the force is everywhere. And the world is so small.” Words of the Mother, MCW Vol. 15. ::: *Light, light"s, lights, light-petalled, light-tasselled, half-light.


Light (the) ::: primarily a spiritual manifestation of the Divine Reality illuminative and creative; spiritual Light is not knowledge, but the illumination that comes from above and liberates the being from obscurity and darkness.

Madhav: “Aswapathy is in the mid-world. He is neither in the nether realms of struggle and obscurity nor in the brighter worlds above of power and rapture. He is in realms of Beauty that point to still happier altitudes. The Birds of Wonder are the marvellous beings of that region, the angels, who call upon the higher worlds of Light to manifest in their world.” The Book of the Divine Mother

Madhav: “Now here is a reference to the Vedic imagery where the Rishi speaks of the child being suckled by two mothers. He refers to two mothers, one dark and the other rosy—Night and Dawn or Day signifying movement of obscurity and movement of light. This divine soul, soul that is given to the Divine is nursed by both the mothers. He needs the succour of night and the nourishment of the day. To rest for a while he needs to be in the lap of Mother Night. To be active he is in the lap of Mother Dawn.” Sat-Sang Vol. IX

Mind and the Divine Sakti ::: Be on your guard and do not try to understand and judge the Divine Mother by your little earthly mind that loves to subject even the things that arc beyond it to its own norms and standards, its narrow reasonings and erring impressions, its bottomless aggressive ignorance and its petty self-confident knowledge. The human mind shut in the prison of its half-lit obscurity cannot follow the many-sided freedom of the steps of the Divine Shakti. The rapidity and com- plexity of her vision and action outrun its stumbling comprehen- sion ; the measures of her movement are not its measures. Open rather your soul to her and be content to feel her with the psychic nature and see her with the psychic vision that alone make a straight response to the Truth.

muddiness ::: n. --> The condition or quality of being muddy; turbidness; foulness caused by mud, dirt, or sediment; as, the muddiness of a stream.
Obscurity or confusion, as in treatment of a subject; intellectual dullness.


mysticism ::: n. --> Obscurity of doctrine.
The doctrine of the Mystics, who professed a pure, sublime, and wholly disinterested devotion, and maintained that they had direct intercourse with the divine Spirit, and aquired a knowledge of God and of spiritual things unattainable by the natural intellect, and such as can not be analyzed or explained.
The doctrine that the ultimate elements or principles of knowledge or belief are gained by an act or process akin to feeling or


NEGATIVE—Absence or obscurity of anything affirmative or definite; emptiness; voidness; nullity. Thus, "You can never overthrow falsehood by negative, but by establishing the antagonistic truth."—Robertson.

night ::: n. --> That part of the natural day when the sun is beneath the horizon, or the time from sunset to sunrise; esp., the time between dusk and dawn, when there is no light of the sun, but only moonlight, starlight, or artificial light.
Darkness; obscurity; concealment.
Intellectual and moral darkness; ignorance.
A state of affliction; adversity; as, a dreary night of sorrow.


obscureness ::: n. --> Obscurity.

' OBSCURITY. ::: When one is working on the physical consci- ousness this sense of obscurity rises up. One has to react quickly against it and persistently bring dosvn the Light. When the physical and the subconscient are fully permeated it need come no more.

opacity ::: n. --> The state of being opaque; the quality of a body which renders it impervious to the rays of light; want of transparency; opaqueness.
Obscurity; want of clearness.


opacity ::: the quality or state of a body that makes it impervious to the rays of light; the condition of being in darkness; obscurity.

oracular ::: a. --> Of or pertaining to an oracle; uttering oracles; forecasting the future; as, an oracular tongue.
Resembling an oracle in some way, as in solemnity, wisdom, authority, obscurity, ambiguity, dogmatism.


“Our first decisive step out of our human intelligence, our normal mentality, is an ascent into a higher Mind, a mind no longer of mingled light and obscurity or half-light, but a large clarity of the Spirit. Its basic substance is a unitarian sense of being with a powerful multiple dynamisation capable of the formation of a multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action, forms and significances of becoming, of all of which there is a spontaneous inherent knowledge. It is therefore a power that has proceeded from the Overmind,—but with the Supermind as its ulterior origin,—as all these greater powers have proceeded: but its special character, its activity of consciousness are dominated by Thought; it is a luminous thought-mind, a mind of Spirit-born conceptual knowledge. An all-awareness emerging from the original identity, carrying the truths the identity held in itself, conceiving swiftly, victoriously, multitudinously, formulating and by self-power of the Idea effectually realising its conceptions, is the character of this greater mind of knowledge.” The Life Divine

quest ::: “The quest of man for God, which becomes in the end the most ardent and enthralling of all his quests, begins with his first vague questionings of Nature and a sense of something unseen both in himself and her. Even if, as modern Science insists, religion started from animism, spirit-worship, demon-worship, and the deification of natural forces, these first forms only embody in primitive figures a veiled intuition in the subconscient, an obscure and ignorant feeling of hidden influences and incalculable forces, or a vague sense of being, will, intelligence in what seems to us inconscient, of the invisible behind the visible, of the secretly conscious spirit in things distributing itself in every working of energy. The obscurity and primitive inadequacy of the first perceptions do not detract from the value or the truth of this great quest of the human heart and mind, since all our seekings,—including Science itself,—must start from an obscure and ignorant perception of hidden realities and proceed to the more and more luminous vision of the Truth which at first comes to us masked, draped, veiled by the mists of the Ignorance. Anthropomorphism is an imaged recognition of the truth that man is what he is because God is what He is and that there is one soul and body of things, humanity even in its incompleteness the most complete manifestation yet achieved here and divinity the perfection of what in man is imperfect.” The Life Divine

rdo rje gsum gyi bsnyen sgrub. (dorje sumgyi nyendrup). A rare Tibetan Buddhist tradition, lit. "propitiation and achievement of the three adamantine states," closely related to the KĀLACAKRATANTRA. It was originally promulgated by the great Tibetan adept O RGYAN PA RIN CHEN DPAL, who is said to have received the instructions directly from VAJRAYOGINĪ while traveling through northwest India. O rgyan pa's disciples composed several commentaries on the teaching, but it seems to have since fallen into obscurity.

RESISTANCE. ::: When the soul draws towards the Divine, there may be a resistance in the mind and the common form of that is denial and doubt — which may create mental and vital su/Tering. There may again be a resistance in the vital nature ivhose principal characer is desire and the attachment to the objects of desire, and if in this field there is conflict between the soul and the vital nature, between the Divine Attraction and the pull of the Ignorance, then obviously there may be much suffer- ing of the mind and vital parts. The pbj-sical consciousness also may offer a resistance which is usually that of a fundamental inertia, an obscurity in the very stuff of the physical, an incom- prehension, an inability to respond to the higher consciousness, a habit of helplessly responding to the lower mechanically, even when it docs not want to do so ; both lital and physical suffer- ing may be the consequence. There is, moreover, the resistance of the Universal Nature which does not want the being to escape from the Ignorance into the Light. This may take the form of a vehement insistence in the continuation of the old movements, waves of them thrown on the mind and vital and body so that old ideas, impulses, desires, feelings, responses continue even after they are thrown out and rejected, and can return like an invading army from outside, until the whole nature, given to (he

revive ::: v. i. --> To return to life; to recover life or strength; to live anew; to become reanimated or reinvigorated.
Hence, to recover from a state of oblivion, obscurity, neglect, or depression; as, classical learning revived in the fifteenth century.
To recover its natural or metallic state, as a metal.
To restore, or bring again to life; to reanimate.
To raise from coma, languor, depression, or


security through obscurity "security" Or "security by obscurity". A term applied by hackers to most {operating system} vendors' favourite way of coping with security holes - namely, ignoring them, documenting neither any known holes nor the underlying security {algorithms}, trusting that nobody will find out about them and that people who do find out about them won't exploit them. This never works for long and occasionally sets the world up for debacles like the {RTM} worm of 1988 (see {Great Worm}), but once the brief moments of panic created by such events subside most vendors are all too willing to turn over and go back to sleep. After all, actually fixing the bugs would siphon off the resources needed to implement the next user-interface frill on marketing's wish list - and besides, if they started fixing security bugs customers might begin to *expect* it and imagine that their warranties of merchantability gave them some sort of rights. Historical note: There are conflicting stories about the origin of this term. It has been claimed that it was first used in the {Usenet} newsgroup in {news:comp.sys.apollo} during a campaign to get {HP}/{Apollo} to fix security problems in its {Unix}-{clone} {Aegis}/{DomainOS} (they didn't change a thing). {ITS} fans, on the other hand, say it was coined years earlier in opposition to the incredibly paranoid {Multics} people down the hall, for whom security was everything. In the ITS culture it referred to (1) the fact that by the time a {tourist} figured out how to make trouble he'd generally got over the urge to make it, because he felt part of the community; and (2) (self-mockingly) the poor coverage of the documentation and obscurity of many commands. One instance of *deliberate* security through obscurity is recorded; the command to allow patching the running ITS system ({altmode} altmode control-R) echoed as $$^D. If you actually typed alt alt ^D, that set a flag that would prevent patching the system even if you later got it right. [{Jargon File}] (1994-12-15)

security through obscurity ::: (security) Or security by obscurity. A term applied by hackers to most operating system vendors' favourite way of coping with security holes - namely, started fixing security bugs customers might begin to *expect* it and imagine that their warranties of merchantability gave them some sort of rights.Historical note: There are conflicting stories about the origin of this term. It has been claimed that it was first used in the Usenet newsgroup in typed alt alt ^D, that set a flag that would prevent patching the system even if you later got it right.[Jargon File] (1994-12-15)

Several different keys are needed to interpret the Revelations of John: “no less that the Book of Job, the whole Revelation, is simply an allegorical narrative of the Mysteries and initiation therein of a candidate, who is John himself. . . . The numbers seven, twelve, and others are all so many lights thrown over the obscurity of the work” (IU 2:351; cf SD 2:93&n, 516).

shade ::: n. --> Comparative obscurity owing to interception or interruption of the rays of light; partial darkness caused by the intervention of something between the space contemplated and the source of light.
Darkness; obscurity; -- often in the plural.
An obscure place; a spot not exposed to light; hence, a secluded retreat.
That which intercepts, or shelters from, light or the direct rays of the sun; hence, also, that which protects from heat or currents


shadow ::: n. --> Shade within defined limits; obscurity or deprivation of light, apparent on a surface, and representing the form of the body which intercepts the rays of light; as, the shadow of a man, of a tree, or of a tower. See the Note under Shade, n., 1.
Darkness; shade; obscurity.
A shaded place; shelter; protection; security.
A reflected image, as in a mirror or in water.
That which follows or attends a person or thing like a


SINKING OF CONSCIOUSNESS. ::: An occasional sinking of the consciousness happens to everybody. The causes are various, some touch from outside, something not yet changed or not sufficiently changed In the vital, especially the lower vital, some inertia or obscurity rising up from the physical parts of nature. \Vhen it comes, remain quiet, open yourself to the

soul ::: Sri Aurobindo: "The word ‘soul", as also the word ‘psychic", is used very vaguely and in many different senses in the English language. More often than not, in ordinary parlance, no clear distinction is made between mind and soul and often there is an even more serious confusion, for the vital being of desire — the false soul or desire-soul — is intended by the words ‘soul" and ‘psychic" and not the true soul, the psychic being.” *Letters on Yoga

  "The word soul is very vaguely used in English — as it often refers to the whole non-physical consciousness including even the vital with all its desires and passions. That was why the word psychic being has to be used so as to distinguish this divine portion from the instrumental parts of the nature.” *Letters on Yoga

  "The word soul has various meanings according to the context; it may mean the Purusha supporting the formation of Prakriti, which we call a being, though the proper word would be rather a becoming; it may mean, on the other hand, specifically the psychic being in an evolutionary creature like man; it may mean the spark of the Divine which has been put into Matter by the descent of the Divine into the material world and which upholds all evolving formations here.” *Letters on Yoga

  "A distinction has to be made between the soul in its essence and the psychic being. Behind each and all there is the soul which is the spark of the Divine — none could exist without that. But it is quite possible to have a vital and physical being supported by such a soul essence but without a clearly evolved psychic being behind it.” *Letters on Yoga

  "The soul and the psychic being are practically the same, except that even in things which have not developed a psychic being, there is still a spark of the Divine which can be called the soul. The psychic being is called in Sanskrit the Purusha in the heart or the Chaitya Purusha. (The psychic being is the soul developing in the evolution.)” *Letters on Yoga

  "The soul or spark is there before the development of an organised vital and mind. The soul is something of the Divine that descends into the evolution as a divine Principle within it to support the evolution of the individual out of the Ignorance into the Light. It develops in the course of the evolution a psychic individual or soul individuality which grows from life to life, using the evolving mind, vital and body as its instruments. It is the soul that is immortal while the rest disintegrates; it passes from life to life carrying its experience in essence and the continuity of the evolution of the individual.” *Letters on Yoga

  ". . . for the soul is seated within and impervious to the shocks of external events. . . .” *Essays on the Gita

  ". . . the soul is at first but a spark and then a little flame of godhead burning in the midst of a great darkness; for the most part it is veiled in its inner sanctum and to reveal itself it has to call on the mind, the life-force and the physical consciousness and persuade them, as best they can, to express it; ordinarily, it succeeds at most in suffusing their outwardness with its inner light and modifying with its purifying fineness their dark obscurities or their coarser mixture. Even when there is a formed psychic being able to express itself with some directness in life, it is still in all but a few a smaller portion of the being — ‘no bigger in the mass of the body than the thumb of a man" was the image used by the ancient seers — and it is not always able to prevail against the obscurity or ignorant smallness of the physical consciousness, the mistaken surenesses of the mind or the arrogance and vehemence of the vital nature.” *The Synthesis of Yoga

". . . the soul is an eternal portion of the Supreme and not a fraction of Nature.” The Life Divine

"The true soul secret in us, — subliminal, we have said, but the word is misleading, for this presence is not situated below the threshold of waking mind, but rather burns in the temple of the inmost heart behind the thick screen of an ignorant mind, life and body, not subliminal but behind the veil, — this veiled psychic entity is the flame of the Godhead always alight within us, inextinguishable even by that dense unconsciousness of any spiritual self within which obscures our outward nature. It is a flame born out of the Divine and, luminous inhabitant of the Ignorance, grows in it till it is able to turn it towards the Knowledge. It is the concealed Witness and Control, the hidden Guide, the Daemon of Socrates, the inner light or inner voice of the mystic. It is that which endures and is imperishable in us from birth to birth, untouched by death, decay or corruption, an indestructible spark of the Divine.” The Life Divine

*Soul, soul"s, Soul"s, souls, soulless, soul-bridals, soul-change, soul-force, Soul-Forces, soul-ground, soul-joy, soul-nature, soul-range, soul-ray, soul-scapes, soul-scene, soul-sense, soul-severance, soul-sight, soul-slaying, soul-space,, soul-spaces, soul-strength, soul-stuff, soul-truth, soul-vision, soul-wings, world-soul, World-Soul.



Sri Aurobindo: "The Mother not only governs all from above but she descends into this lesser triple universe. Impersonally, all things here, even the movements of the Ignorance, are herself in veiled power and her creations in diminished substance, her Nature-body and Nature-force, and they exist because, moved by the mysterious fiat of the Supreme to work out something that was there in the possibilities of the Infinite, she has consented to the great sacrifice and has put on like a mask the soul and forms of the Ignorance. But personally too she has stooped to descend here into the Darkness that she may lead it to the Light, into the Falsehood and Error that she may convert it to the Truth, into this Death that she may turn it to godlike Life, into this world-pain and its obstinate sorrow and suffering that she may end it in the transforming ecstasy of her sublime Ananda. In her deep and great love for her children she has consented to put on herself the cloak of this obscurity, condescended to bear the attacks and torturing influences of the powers of the Darkness and the Falsehood, borne to pass though the portals of the birth that is a death, taken upon herself the pangs and sorrows and sufferings of the creation, since it seemed that thus alone could it be lifted to the Light and Joy and Truth and eternal Life. This is the great sacrifice called sometimes the sacrifice of the Purusha, but much more deeply the holocaust of Prakriti, the sacrifice of the Divine Mother.” The Mother

Sri Aurobindo: "The quest of man for God, which becomes in the end the most ardent and enthralling of all his quests, begins with his first vague questionings of Nature and a sense of something unseen both in himself and her. Even if, as modern Science insists, religion started from animism, spirit-worship, demon-worship, and the deification of natural forces, these first forms only embody in primitive figures a veiled intuition in the subconscient, an obscure and ignorant feeling of hidden influences and incalculable forces, or a vague sense of being, will, intelligence in what seems to us inconscient, of the invisible behind the visible, of the secretly conscious spirit in things distributing itself in every working of energy. The obscurity and primitive inadequacy of the first perceptions do not detract from the value or the truth of this great quest of the human heart and mind, since all our seekings, — including Science itself, — must start from an obscure and ignorant perception of hidden realities and proceed to the more and more luminous vision of the Truth which at first comes to us masked, draped, veiled by the mists of the Ignorance. Anthropomorphism is an imaged recognition of the truth that man is what he is because God is what He is and that there is one soul and body of things, humanity even in its incompleteness the most complete manifestation yet achieved here and divinity the perfection of what in man is imperfect.” The Life Divine

tamas ::: darkness, obscurity; [one of the three gunas]: the mode of ignorance and inertia, the force of inconscience (translates in quality as incapacity and inaction) .

tamas ::: darkness; the lowest of the three modes (trigun.a) of the energy of the lower prakr.ti, the gun.a that is "the seed of inertia and non-intelligence", the denial of rajas and sattva, and "dissolves what they create and conserve"; it is a deformation of sama, the corresponding quality in the higher prakr.ti, "an obscurity which mistranslates, we may say, into inaction of power and inaction of knowledge the Spirit"s eternal principle of calm and repose", and it is converted back into pure sama in the process of traigun.yasiddhi. This principle of inertia "is strongest in material nature and in our physical being"; its "stigmata . . . are blindness and unconsciousness and incapacity and unintelligence, sloth and indolence and inactivity and mechanical routine and the mind"s torpor and the life"s sleep and the soul"s slumber".

tamasikata ::: [inertia, obscurity, ignorance].

TAMAS. ::: One of the three gut^as, fundamental qualities or modes of Nature ; principle of inertia of consciousness and force ; translates in quality as obscurity and incapacity and inaction.

TECO ::: (editor, text) /tee'koh/ (Originally an acronym for [paper] Tape Editor and COrrector; later, Text Editor and COrrector]) A text editor developed at may have been the most prolific editor in use before Emacs, to which it was directly ancestral. The first Emacs editor was written in TECO.It was noted for its powerful programming-language-like features and its unspeakably hairy syntax (see write-only language). TECO programs are said to probably not a useful one); one common game used to be predict what the TECO commands corresponding to human names did.As an example of TECO's obscurity, here is a TECO program that takes a list of names such as: Loser, J. RandomQuux, The Great sorts them alphabetically according to surname, and then puts the surname last, removing the comma, to produce the following: Moby DickJ. Random Loser The program is [1 J^P$L$$J .-Z; .,(S,$ -D .)FX1 @F^B $K :L I $ G1 L>$$ (where ^B means Control-B (ASCII 0000010) and $ is actually an alt or escape (ASCII 0011011) character).In fact, this very program was used to produce the second, sorted list from the first list. The first hack at it had a bug: GLS (the author) had accidentally features of TECO, but ^P means sort and J.-Z; ... L> is an idiomatic series of commands for do once for every line.By 1991, Emacs had replaced TECO in hacker's affections but descendants of an early (and somewhat lobotomised) version adopted by DEC can still be found lurking on VMS and a couple of crufty PDP-11 operating systems, and ports of the more advanced MIT versions remain the focus of some antiquarian interest.See also retrocomputing. for VAX/VMS, Unix, MS-DOS, Macintosh, Amiga.[Authro? Home page?](2001-03-26)

TECO "editor, text" /tee'koh/ (Originally an acronym for "[paper] Tape Editor and COrrector"; later, "Text Editor and COrrector"]) A {text editor} developed at {MIT} and modified by just about everybody. With all the dialects included, TECO may have been the most prolific editor in use before {Emacs}, to which it was directly ancestral. The first {Emacs} editor was written in TECO. It was noted for its powerful programming-language-like features and its unspeakably {hairy} {syntax} (see {write-only language}). TECO programs are said to resemble {line noise}. Every string of characters is a valid TECO program (though probably not a useful one); one common game used to be predict what the TECO commands corresponding to human names did. As an example of TECO's obscurity, here is a TECO program that takes a list of names such as: Loser, J. Random Quux, The Great Dick, Moby sorts them alphabetically according to surname, and then puts the surname last, removing the comma, to produce the following: Moby Dick J. Random Loser The Great Quux The program is [1 J^P$L$$ J ".-Z; .,(S,$ -D .)FX1 @F^B $K :L I $ G1 L"$$ (where ^B means "Control-B" (ASCII 0000010) and $ is actually an {alt} or escape (ASCII 0011011) character). In fact, this very program was used to produce the second, sorted list from the first list. The first hack at it had a {bug}: GLS (the author) had accidentally omitted the "@" in front of "F^B", which as anyone can see is clearly the {Wrong Thing}. It worked fine the second time. There is no space to describe all the features of TECO, but "^P" means "sort" and "J".-Z; ... L"" is an idiomatic series of commands for "do once for every line". By 1991, {Emacs} had replaced TECO in hacker's affections but descendants of an early (and somewhat lobotomised) version adopted by {DEC} can still be found lurking on {VMS} and a couple of {crufty} {PDP-11} {operating systems}, and ports of the more advanced MIT versions remain the focus of some antiquarian interest. See also {retrocomputing}. {(ftp://usc.edu/)} for {VAX}/{VMS}, {Unix}, {MS-DOS}, {Macintosh}, {Amiga}. [Authro? Home page?] (2001-03-26)

The feeling of all being conscious or alive comes when our own physical consciousness — and not the mind only — awakes out of its obscurity and becomes aware of the One in all things, the Divine everywhere.

The idea of the three essential modes of Nature is a creation of the ancient Indian thinkers and its truth is not at once obvious, because it was the result of long psychological experiment and profound internal experience. Th
   refore without a long inner experience, without intimate self-observation and intuitive perception of the Nature-forces it is difficult to grasp accurately or firmly utilise. Still certain broad indications may help the seeker on the Way of Works to understand, analyse and control by his assent or
   refusal the combinations of his own nature. These modes are termed in the Indian books qualities, gunas, and are given the names sattva, rajas, tamas. Sattwa is the force of equilibrium and translates in quality as good and harmony and happiness and light; rajas is the force of kinesis and translates in quality as struggle and effort, passion and action; tamas is the force of inconscience and inertia and translates in quality as obscurity and incapacity and inaction. Ordinarily used for psychological self-analysis, these distinctions are valid also in physical Nature. Each thing and every existence in the lower Prakriti contains them and its process and dynamic form are the result of the interaction of these qualitative powers.
   Ref: CWSA Vol. 23-24, Page: 232-233


The personal effort required Is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender ; an aspiration vigilant, constant, un- ceasing — the mind’s will, the heart's seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature ; rejection of the movements of the lower nature — rejection of the mind’s ideas, opinions, prefer- ences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find room in a silent mind, — rejection of the vital nature’s desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arro- gance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, — rejection of the physical nature’s stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine ; surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the ShaUi.

“… the soul is at first but a spark and then a little flame of godhead burning in the midst of a great darkness; for the most part it is veiled in its inner sanctum and to reveal itself it has to call on the mind, the life-force and the physical consciousness and persuade them, as best they can, to express it; ordinarily, it succeeds at most in suffusing their outwardness with its inner light and modifying with its purifying fineness their dark obscurities or their coarser mixture. Even when there is a formed psychic being able to express itself with some directness in life, it is still in all but a few a smaller portion of the being—‘no bigger in the mass of the body than the thumb of a man’ was the image used by the ancient seers—and it is not always able to prevail against the obscurity or ignorant smallness of the physical consciousness, the mistaken surenesses of the mind or the arrogance and vehemence of the vital nature.” The Synthesis of Yoga

The subconscient is a concealed and unexpressed inarticulate consciousness which works below all our conscious physical activities. Just as what we call the superconscient is really a higher consciousness above from which things descend into the being, so the subconscient is below the body-consciousness and things come up into the physical, the vital and the mind-nature from there.Just as the higher consciousness is superconscient to us and supports all our spiritual possibilities and nature, so the subconscient is the basis of our material being and supports all that comes up in the physical nature.Men are not ordinarily conscious of either of these planes of their own being, but by sadhana they can become aware.The subconscient retains the impressions of all our past experiences of life and they can come up from there in dream forms: most dreams in ordinary sleep are formations made from subconscient impressions.The habit of strong recurrence of the same things in our physical consciousness, so that it is difficult to get rid of its habits, is largely due to a subconscient support. The subconscient is full of irrational habits.When things are rejected from all other parts of the nature, they go either into the environmental consciousness around us through which we communicate with others and with universal Nature and try to return from there or they sink into the subconscient and can come up from there even after lying long quiescent so that we think they are gone.When the physical consciousness is being changed, the chief resistance comes from the subconscient. It is constantly maintaining or bringing back the inertia, weakness, obscurity, lack of intelligence which afflict the physical mind and vital or the obscure fears, desires, angers, lusts of the physical vital, or the illnesses, dullnesses, pains, incapabilities to which the body-nature is prone.If light, strength, the Mother's Consciousness is brought down into the body, it can penetrate the subconscient also and convert its obscurity and resistance.When something is erased from the subconscient so completely that it leaves no seed and thrown out of the circumconscient so completely that it can return no more, then only can we be sure that we have finished with it for ever.
   Ref: SABCL Vol. 22-23-24, Page: 356-57


"The universe is certainly or has been up to now in appearance a rough and wasteful game with the dice of chance loaded in favour of the Powers of darkness, the Lords of obscurity, falsehood, death and suffering. But we have to take it as it is and find out — if we reject the way out of the old sages — the way to conquer. Spiritual experience shows that there is behind it all a wide terrain of equality, peace, calm, freedom, and it is only by getting into it that we can have the eye that sees and hope to gain the power that conquers.” Letters on Yoga

“The universe is certainly or has been up to now in appearance a rough and wasteful game with the dice of chance loaded in favour of the Powers of darkness, the Lords of obscurity, falsehood, death and suffering. But we have to take it as it is and find out—if we reject the way out of the old sages—the way to conquer. Spiritual experience shows that there is behind it all a wide terrain of equality, peace, calm, freedom, and it is only by getting into it that we can have the eye that sees and hope to gain the power that conquers.” Letters on Yoga

the vital nature’s desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hosti- lity to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being ; rejection of the physical nature’s stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine.

thought-Mind ::: Sri Aurobindo: "Our first decisive step out of our human intelligence, our normal mentality, is an ascent into a higher Mind, a mind no longer of mingled light and obscurity or half-light, but a large clarity of the Spirit. Its basic substance is a unitarian sense of being with a powerful multiple dynamisation capable of the formation of a multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action, forms and significances of becoming, of all of which there is a spontaneous inherent knowledge. It is therefore a power that has proceeded from the Overmind, — but with the Supermind as its ulterior origin, — as all these greater powers have proceeded: but its special character, its activity of consciousness are dominated by Thought; it is a luminous thought-mind, a mind of Spirit-born conceptual knowledge. An all-awareness emerging from the original identity, carrying the truths the identity held in itself, conceiving swiftly, victoriously, multitudinously, formulating and by self-power of the Idea effectually realising its conceptions, is the character of this greater mind of knowledge. " *The Life Divine

Towers An edifice which rests on earth and, mystically speaking, aspires upwards toward heaven; coming under the general description of high places appropriate, like mountaintops and other natural and artificial elevations, to the worship of celestial powers. Found in many parts of the world, their origin is lost in the obscurity of ages. Prominent among them are the round towers found in Ireland, Scotland, Corsica, Sardinia, etc., undoubtedly used for different purposes at different times: by warriors as fortresses, by priests as sanctuaries and initiation chambers, or as watchtowers, belfries, or places of refuge. The cylindrical shape indicates symbolically the great positive and active principle in nature. In the Bible the tower is erected physically, and spoken of metaphorically, as an emblem of might and aspiration.

Truth, of the inner Warrior who fights against obscurity and falsehood, of the faithful servant of the Divine.

Tzyphon (Hebrew) Tsāfōn [from the verbal root tsāfan to conceal, hide, hold back, treasure] The north or northern quarter, hence the north wind and, because the north was regarded among the ancients as a land of darkness and obscurity, this word came to mean whatever is hid or concealed, hence treasured up or held back. Thus it has come to signify among certain Shemitic mystics a doctrine which is concealed or secret — esotericism.

umbrage ::: n. --> Shade; shadow; obscurity; hence, that which affords a shade, as a screen of trees or foliage.
Shadowy resemblance; shadow.
The feeling of being overshadowed; jealousy of another, as standing in one&


uncloud ::: v. t. --> To free from clouds; to unvail; to clear from obscurity, gloom, sorrow, or the like.

*What is meant here is the Divine in its essential manifestation which reveals itself to us as Light and Consciousness, Power, Love and Beauty. But in its actual cosmic manifestation the Supreme, being the Infinite and not bound by any limitation, can manifest in itself, in its consciousness of innumerable possibilities, something that seems to be the opposite of itself, something in which there can be Darkness, Inconscience, Inertia, Insensibility, Disharmony and Disintegration. It is this that we see at the basis of the material world and speak of nowadays as the Inconscient—the inconscient Ocean of the Rigveda in which the One was hidden and arose in the form of this Universe,— or, as it is sometimes called, the non-being, Asat. The Ignorance which is the characteristic of our mind and life is the result of this origin in the Inconscience. Moreover, in the evolution out of inconscient existence there rise up naturally powers and beings which are interested in the maintenance of all negations of the Divine, error and unconsciousness, pain, suffering, obscurity, death, weakness, illness, disharmony, evil. Hence the perversion of the manifestation here, its inability to reveal the true essence of the Divine. Yet in the very base of this evolution all that is divine is there involved and pressing to evolve, Light, Consciousness, Power, Perfection, Beauty, Love. For in the Inconscient itself and behind the perversions of the Ignorance Divine Consciousness lies concealed and works and must more and more appear, throwing off in the end its disguises. That is why it is said that the world is called to express the Divine.

When the physical consciousness is being changed,' the chkl resistance comes from the subconscient. It is constantly main- taining or bringing back the inertia, weakness, obscurity, lack of intelligence which afflict the physical mind and vitd or' the obscure fears, desires, angers, Jiisis of the physical vital, or the illnesses, dullnesses, pains, incapabilUies to which the body- nature is prone.

whiteness ::: n. --> The quality or state of being white; white color, or freedom from darkness or obscurity on the surface.
Want of a sanguineous tinge; paleness; as from terror, grief, etc.
Freedom from stain or blemish; purity; cleanness.
Nakedness.
A flock of swans.




QUOTES [23 / 23 - 542 / 542]


KEYS (10k)

   12 Sri Aurobindo
   4 The Mother
   1 there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known
   1 Sri Aurobindo
   1 Saint Augustine
   1 Coleridge
   1 Attar of Nishapur
   1 Saint Thomas Aquinas
   1 ?

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   12 Sri Aurobindo
   11 Victor Hugo
   9 Carl Sagan
   9 Anonymous
   7 Robert A Heinlein
   7 F Scott Fitzgerald
   6 Thomas Merton
   6 Leo Tolstoy
   6 David Hume
   5 Samuel Johnson
   5 Matthew Lewis
   5 Friedrich Nietzsche
   5 Alexandre Dumas
   5 Albert Camus
   4 The Mother
   4 Jason Fried
   4 Edmund Burke
   4 Cory Doctorow
   4 Charlotte Bront
   4 Charles Haddon Spurgeon

1:Nothing but a radical change of consciousness can deliver the world from its present obscurity. ~ The Mother, On Education,
2:O obscurity of obscurity, O soul of the soul, Thou art more than all and before all. All is seen in Thee and Thou art seen in all. ~ Attar of Nishapur, the Eternal Wisdom
3:The Divine has an equal love for all human beings, but the obscurity of consciousness of most men prevents them from perceiving this divine love. Truth is wonderful. It is in our perception that it is distorted. ~ ?,
4:I ask of my readers to pardon me, where they may perceive me to have had the desire rather than the power to speak, what they either understand better themselves, or fail to understand through the obscurity of my language. ~ Saint Augustine, (DT 5.1),
5:A system, the 1st principle of which it is to render the mind intuitive of the spiritual… which lies on the other side of our natural consciousness… [has] a great obscurity for those who have never disciplined and strengthened this ulterior consciousness. ~ Coleridge, BL X.243,
6:... The undivine, therefore, is all that is unwilling to accept the light and force of the Mother. That is why I am always telling you to keep yourself in contact with the Mother and with her Light and Force, because it is only so that you can come out of this confusion and obscurity and receive the Truth that comes from above. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
7:Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas,
8:O Lord, O eternal Master, grant that all this may not be in vain, grant that the inexhaustible torrents of Thy divine Force may spread over the earth and penetrate its troubled atmosphere, the struggling energies, the violent chaos of battling elements; grant that the pure light of Thy Knowledge and the inexhaustible love of Thy Benediction may fill men's hearts, penetrate their souls, illumine their consciousness and, out of this obscurity, out of this sombre, terrible and potent darkness, bring forth the splendour of Thy majestic Presence!
   ~ The Mother, Prayers And Meditations,
9:There is always some tendency to looseness, forgetfulness and inattention in the physical consciousness. One has to be very vigilant and careful to prevent this tendency having its way. There are many [defects of the physical consciousness] - but mainly obscurity, inertia, tamas, a passive acceptance of the play of wrong forces, inability to change, attachment to habits, lack of plasticity, forgetfulness, loss of experiences or realisations gained, unwillingness to accept the Light or to follow it, incapacity (through tamas or through attachment or through passive reaction to accustomed forces) to do what it admits to be the Right and the Best.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV,
10:The dream is evidently an indication of the difficulty you are experiencing. The sea is the sea of the vital nature whose flood is pursuing you (desires are the sea water) on your road of sadhana.
The Mother is there in your heart but sleeping - i.e. her power has not become conscious in your inner consciousness because she is surrounded by the thin curtain of skin (the obscurity of the physical nature). It is this (it is not thick any longer but still effective to veil her from you) which has to go so that she may awake. It is a matter of persistence in the will and the endeavour - the response from within, the awaking of the Mother in the heart will come. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - III,
11:There is only one way if you cannot exert your will - it is to call the Force; even the call only with the mind or the mental word is better than being extremely passive and submitted to the attack, - for although it may not succeed instantaneously, the mental call even ends by bringing the Force and opening up the consciousness again. For everything depends upon that. In the externalised consciousness obscurity and suffering can always be there; the more the internalised consciousness reigns, the more these things are pushed back and out, and with the full internalised consciousness they cannot remain
   - if they come, it is as outside touches unable to lodge themselves in the being. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV,
12:Our first decisive step out of our human intelligence, our normal mentality, is an ascent into a higher Mind, a mind no longer of mingled light and obscurity or half-light, but a large clarity of the spirit. Its basic substance is a unitarian sense of being with a powerful multiple dynamisation capable of the formation of a multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action, forms and significances of becoming, of all of which there is a spontaneous inherent knowledge. It is therefore a power that has proceeded from the Overmind,-but with the Supermind as its ulterior origin,-as all these greater powers have proceeded: but its special character, its activity of consciousness are dominated by Thought; it is a luminous thought-mind, a mind of spirit-born conceptual knowledge.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine,
13:Three things you must have, - consciousness, - plasticity and - unreserved surrender.
   For you must be conscious in your mind and soul and heart and life and the very cells of your body, aware of the Mother and her Powers and their working; for although she can and does work in you even in your obscurity and your unconscious parts and moments, it is not the same thing as when you are in an awakened and living communion with her.
   All your nature must be plastic to her touch, - not questioning as the self-sufficient ignorant mind questions and doubts and disputes and is the enemy of its enlightenment and change; not insisting on its own movements as the vital in the man insists and persistently opposes its refractory desires and ill-will to every divine influence; not obstructing and entrenched in incapacity, inertia and tamas as man's physical consciousness obstructs and clinging to the pleasure in smallness and darkness cries out against each touch that disturbs it soulless routine or it dull sloth or its torpid slumber.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother, [58],
14:January 1, 1914

To Thee, supreme Dispenser of all boons,
to Thee who givest life its justification, by making it pure, beautiful and good,
to Thee, Master of our destinies and goal of all our aspirations, was consecrated the first minute of this new year.

May it be completely glorified by this consecration; may those who hope for Thee, seek Thee in the right path; may those who seek Thee find Thee, and those who suffer, not knowing where the remedy lies, feel Thy life gradually piercing the hard crust of their obscure consciousness.

I bow down in deep devotion and in boundless gratitude before Thy beneficent splendour; in name of the earth I give Thee thanks for manifesting Thyself; in its name I implore Thee to manifest Thyself ever more fully, in an uninterrupted growth of Light and Love.

Be the sovereign Master of our thoughts, our feelings, our actions.

Thou art our reality, the only Reality.
Without Thee all is falsehood and illusion, all is dismol obscurity.
In Thee are life and light and joy.
In Thee is supreme Peace.
~ The Mother, Prayers and Meditation,
15:The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity ~ in all this vastness ~ there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. ~ Carl Sagan,
16:So too we can rise to a consciousness above and observe the various parts of our being, inner and outer, mental, vital and physical and the subconscient below all, and act upon one or other or the whole from that higher status. It is possible also to go down from that height or from any height into any of these lower states and take its limited light or its obscurity as our place of working while the rest that we are is either temporarily put away or put behind or else kept as a field of reference from which we can get support, sanction or light and influence or as a status into which we can ascend or recede and from it observe the inferior movements. Or we can plunge into trance, get within ourselves and be conscious there while all outward things are excluded; or we can go beyond even this inner awareness and lose ourselves in some deeper other consciousness or some high superconscience. There is also a pervading equal consciousness into which we can enter and see all ourselves with one enveloping glance or omnipresent awareness one and indivisible. All this which looks strange and abnormal or may seem fantastic to the surface reason acquainted only with our normal status of limited ignorance and its movements divided from our inner higher and total reality, becomes easily intelligible and admissible in the light of the larger reason and logic of the Infinite or by the admission of the greater illimitable powers of the Self, the Spirit in us which is of one essence with the Infinite. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1.2.02
17:In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature.
   In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana; it is his Shakti with her light, power, knowledge, consciousness, Ananda, acting upon the adhara and, when it is opened to her, pouring into it with these divine forces that makes the Sadhana possible. But so long as the lower nature is active the personal effort of the Sadhaka remains necessary.
   The personal effort required is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender, -
   an aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing - the mind's will, the heart's seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature;
   rejection of the movements of the lower nature - rejection of the mind's ideas, opinions, preferences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find free room in a silent mind, - rejection of the vital nature's desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, - rejection of the physical nature's stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine;
   surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the Shakti.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
18:A supreme divine Love is a creative Power and, even though it can exist in itself silent and unchangeable, yet rejoices in external form and expression and is not condemned to be a speechless and bodiless godhead. It has even been said that creation itself was an act of love or at least the building up of a field in which Divine Love could devise its symbols and fulfil itself in act of mutuality and self-giving, and, if not the initial nature of creation, this may well be its ultimate object and motive. It does not so appear now because, even if a Divine Love is there in the world upholding all this evolution of creatures, yet the stuff of life and its action is made up of an egoistic formation, a division, a struggle of life and consciousness to exist and survive in an apparently indifferent, inclement or even hostile world of inanimate and inconscient Matter. In the confusion and obscurity of this struggle all are thrown against each other with a will in each to assert its own existence first and foremost and only secondarily to assert itself in others and very partially for others; for even man's altruism remains essentially egoistic and must be so till the soul finds the secret of the divine Oneness. It is to discover that at its supreme source, to bring it from within and to radiate it out up to the extreme confines of life that is turned the effort of the Yoga. All action, all creation must be turned into a form, a symbol of the cult, the adoration, the sacrifice; it must carry something that makes it bear in it the stamp of a dedication, a reception and translation of the Divine Consciousness, a service of the Beloved, a self-giving, a surrender. This has to be done wherever possible in the outward body and form of the act; it must be done always in its inward emotion and an intentsity that shows it to be an outflow from the soul towards the Eternal.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 2, 164,
19:requirements for the psychic :::
   At a certain stage in the Yoga when the mind is sufficiently quieted and no longer supports itself at every step on the sufficiency of its mental certitudes, when the vital has been steadied and subdued and is no longer constantly insistent on its own rash will, demand and desire, when the physical has been sufficiently altered not to bury altogether the inner flame under the mass of its outwardness, obscurity or inertia, an inmost being hidden within and felt only in its rare influences is able to come forward and illumine the rest and take up the lead of the sadhana. Its character is a one-pointed orientation towards the Divine or the Highest, one-pointed and yet plastic in action and movement; it does not create a rigidity of direction like the one-pointed intellect or a bigotry of the regnant idea or impulse like the one-pointed vital force; it is at every moment and with a supple sureness that it points the way to the Truth, automatically distinguishes the right step from the false, extricates the divine or Godward movement from the clinging mixture of the undivine. Its action is like a searchlight showing up all that has to be changed in the nature; it has in it a flame of will insistent on perfection, on an alchemic transmutation of all the inner and outer existence. It sees the divine essence everywhere but rejects the mere mask and the disguising figure. It insists on Truth, on will and strength and mastery, on Joy and Love and Beauty, but on a Truth of abiding Knowledge that surpasses the mere practical momentary truth of the Ignorance, on an inward joy and not on mere vital pleasure, -- for it prefers rather a purifying suffering and sorrow to degrading satisfactions, -- on love winged upward and not tied to the stake of egoistic craving or with its feet sunk in the mire, on beauty restored to its priesthood of interpretation of the Eternal, on strength and will and mastery as instruments not of the ego but of the Spirit. Its will is for the divinisation of life, the expression through it of a higher Truth, its dedication to the Divine and the Eternal.
   But the most intimate character of the psychic is its pressure towards the Divine through a sacred love, joy and oneness. It is the divine Love that it seeks most, it is the love of the Divine that is its spur, its goal, its star of Truth shining over the luminous cave of the nascent or the still obscure cradle of the new-born godhead within us.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 1,
20:A difficulty comes or an arrest in some movement which you have begun or have been carrying on for some time. How is it to be dealt with?—for such arrests are inevitably frequent enough, not only for you, but for everyone who is a seeker; one might almost say that every step forward is followed by an arrest—at least, that is a very common, if not a universal experience. It is to be dealt with by becoming always more quiet, more firm in the will to go through, by opening oneself more and more so that any obstructing non-receptivity in the nature may diminish or disappear, by an affirmation of faith even in the midst of the obscurity, faith in the presence of a Power that is working behind the cloud and the veil, in the guidance of the Guru, by an observation of oneself to find any cause of the arrest, not in a spirit of depression or discouragement but with the will to find out and remove it. This is the only right attitude and, if one is persistent in taking it, the periods of arrest are not abolished,—for that cannot be at this stage,—but greatly shortened and lightened in their incidence. Sometimes these arrests are periods, long or short, of assimilation or unseen preparation, their appearance of sterile immobility is deceptive: in that case, with the right attitude, one can after a time, by opening, by observation, by accumulated experience, begin to feel, to get some inkling of what is being prepared or done. Sometimes it is a period of true obstruction in which the Power at work has to deal with the obstacles in the way, obstacles in oneself, obstacles of the opposing cosmic forces or any other or of all together, and this kind of arrest may be long or short according to the magnitude or obstinacy or complexity of the impediments that are met. But here too the right attitude can alleviate or shorten and, if persistently taken, help to a more radical removal of the difficulties and greatly diminish the necessity of complete arrests hereafter.

On the contrary, an attitude of depression or unfaith in the help or the guidance or in the certitude of the victory of the guiding Power, a shutting up of yourself in the sense of the difficulties impedes the recovery, prolongs the difficulties, helps the obstructions to recur with force instead of progressively diminishing in their incidence. It is an attitude whose persistence or recurrence you must resolutely throw aside if you want to get over the obstruction which you feel so much—which the depressed attitude only makes, while it lasts, more acute. ~ Sri Aurobindo, LOY4, Imperfections and Periods of Arrest,
21:The Mahashakti, the universal Mother, works out whatever is transmitted by her transcendent consciousness from the Supreme and enters into the worlds that she has made; her presence fills and supports them with the divine spirit and the divine all-sustaining force and delight without which they could not exist. That which we call Nature or Prakriti is only her most outward executive aspect; she marshals and arranges the harmony of her forces and processes, impels the operations of Nature and moves among them secret or manifest in all that can be seen or experienced or put into motion of life. Each of the worlds is nothing but one play of the Mahashakti of that system of worlds or universe, who is there as the cosmic Soul and Personality of the transcendent Mother. Each is something that she has seen in her vision, gathered into her heart of beauty and power and created in her Ananda.
   But there are many planes of her creation, many steps of the Divine Shakti. At the summit of this manifestation of which we are a part there are worlds of infinite existence, consciousness, force and bliss over which the Mother stands as the unveiled eternal Power. All beings there live and move in an ineffable completeness and unalterable oneness, because she carries them safe in her arms for ever. Nearer to us are the worlds of a perfect supramental creation in which the Mother is the supramental Mahashakti, a Power of divine omniscient Will and omnipotent Knowledge always apparent in its unfailing works and spontaneously perfect in every process. There all movements are the steps of the Truth; there all beings are souls and powers and bodies of the divine Light; there all experiences are seas and floods and waves of an intense and absolute Ananda. But here where we dwell are the worlds of the Ignorance, worlds of mind and life and body separated in consciousness from their source, of which this earth is a significant centre and its evolution a crucial process. This too with all its obscurity and struggle and imperfection is upheld by the Universal Mother; this too is impelled and guided to its secret aim by the Mahashakti.
   The Mother as the Mahashakti of this triple world of the Ignorance stands in an intermediate plane between the supramental Light, the Truth life, the Truth creation which has to be brought down here and this mounting and descending hierarchy of planes of consciousness that like a double ladder lapse into the nescience of Matter and climb back again through the flowering of life and soul and mind into the infinity of the Spirit. Determining all that shall be in this universe and in the terrestrial evolution by what she sees and feels and pours from her, she stands there... ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
22:There is no invariable rule of such suffering. It is not the soul that suffers; the Self is calm and equal to all things and the only sorrow of the psychic being is the sorrow of the resistance of Nature to the Divine Will or the resistance of things and people to the call of the True, the Good and the Beautiful. What is affected by suffering is the vital nature and the body. When the soul draws towards the Divine, there may be a resistance in the mind and the common form of that is denial and doubt - which may create mental and vital suffering. There may again be a resistance in the vital nature whose principal character is desire and the attachment to the objects of desire, and if in this field there is conflict between the soul and the vital nature, between the Divine Attraction and the pull of the Ignorance, then obviously there may be much suffering of the mind and vital parts. The physical consciousness also may offer a resistance which is usually that of a fundamental inertia, an obscurity in the very stuff of the physical, an incomprehension, an inability to respond to the higher consciousness, a habit of helplessly responding to the lower mechanically, even when it does not want to do so; both vital and physical suffering may be the consequence. There is moreover the resistance of the Universal Nature which does not want the being to escape from the Ignorance into the Light. This may take the form of a vehement insistence on the continuation of the old movements, waves of them thrown on the mind and vital and body so that old ideas, impulses, desires, feelings, responses continue even after they are thrown out and rejected, and can return like an invading army from outside, until the whole nature, given to the Divine, refuses to admit them. This is the subjective form of the universal resistance, but it may also take an objective form - opposition, calumny, attacks, persecution, misfortunes of many kinds, adverse conditions and circumstances, pain, illness, assaults from men or forces. There too the possibility of suffering is evident. There are two ways to meet all that - first that of the Self, calm, equality, a spirit, a will, a mind, a vital, a physical consciousness that remain resolutely turned towards the Divine and unshaken by all suggestion of doubt, desire, attachment, depression, sorrow, pain, inertia. This is possible when the inner being awakens, when one becomes conscious of the Self, of the inner mind, the inner vital, the inner physical, for that can more easily attune itself to the divine Will, and then there is a division in the being as if there were two beings, one within, calm, strong, equal, unperturbed, a channel of the Divine Consciousness and Force, one without, still encroached on by the lower Nature; but then the disturbances of the latter become something superficial which are no more than an outer ripple, - until these under the inner pressure fade and sink away and the outer being too remains calm, concentrated, unattackable. There is also the way of the psychic, - when the psychic being comes out in its inherent power, its consecration, adoration, love of the Divine, self-giving, surrender and imposes these on the mind, vital and physical consciousness and compels them to turn all their movements Godward. If the psychic is strong and master...
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV, Resistances, Sufferings and Falls, 669,
23:
   Sweet Mother, how can one feel the divine Presence constantly?


Why not?

   But how can one do it?

But I am asking why one should not feel it. Instead of asking the question how to feel it, I ask the question: "What do you do that you don't feel it?" There is no reason not to feel the divine Presence. Once you have felt it, even once, you should be capable of feeling it always, for it is there. It is a fact. It is only our ignorance which makes us unaware of it. But if we become conscious, why should we not always be conscious? Why forget something one has learnt? When one has had the experience, why forget it? It is simply a bad habit, that's all.
   You see, there is something which is a fact, that's to say, it is. But we are unaware of it and do not know it. But after we become conscious and know it, why should we still forget it? Does it make sense? It's quite simply because we are not convinced that once one has met the Divine one can't forget Him any more. We are, on the contrary, full of stupid ideas which say, "Oh! Yes, it's very well once like that, but the rest of the time it will be as usual." So there is no reason why it may not begin again.
   But if we know that... we did not know something, we were ignorant, then the moment we have the knowledge... I am sincerely asking how one can manage to forget. One might not know something, that is a fact; there are countless things one doesn't know. But the moment one knows them, the minute one has the experience, how can one manage to forget? Within yourself you have the divine Presence, you know nothing about it - for all kinds of reasons, but still the chief reason is that you are in a state of ignorance. Yet suddenly, by a clicking of circumstances, you become conscious of this divine Presence, that is, you are before a fact - it is not imagination, it is a fact, it's something which exists. Then how do you manage to forget it once you have known it?
   ...
   It is because something in us, through cowardice or defeatism, accepts this. If one did not accept it, it wouldn't happen.
   Even when everything seems to be suddenly darkened, the flame and the Light are always there. And if one doesn't forget them, one has only to put in front of them the part which is dark; there will perhaps be a battle, there will perhaps be a little difficulty, but it will be something quite transitory; never will you lose your footing. That is why it is said - and it is something true - that to sin through ignorance may have fatal consequences, because when one makes mistakes, well, these mistakes have results, that's obvious, and usually external and material results; but that's no great harm, I have already told you this several times. But when one knows what is true, when one has seen and had the experience of the Truth, to accept the sin again, that is, fall back again into ignorance and obscurity - this is indeed an infinitely more serious mistake. It begins to belong to the domain of ill-will. In any case, it is a sign of slackness and weakness. It means that the will is weak.
   So your question is put the other way round. Instead of asking yourself how to keep it, you must ask yourself: how does one not keep it? Not having it, is a state which everybody is in before the moment of knowing; not knowing - one is in that state before knowing. But once one knows one cannot forget. And if one forgets, it means that there is something which consents to the forgetting, it means there is an assent somewhere; otherwise one would not forget.
   ~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1955, 403,405,406,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:Obscurity often brings safety. ~ aesop, @wisdomtrove
2:Piracy is not the problem, obscurity is. ~ seth-godin, @wisdomtrove
3:Well has he lived who has lived well in obscurity. ~ ovid, @wisdomtrove
4:Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever. ~ napoleon-bonaparte, @wisdomtrove
5:One of the most pernicious effects of haste is obscurity. ~ samuel-johnson, @wisdomtrove
6:I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity. ~ alexander-the-great, @wisdomtrove
7:The obscurity is much oftener in the passions and prejudices of the reasoner than in the subject. ~ alexander-hamilton, @wisdomtrove
8:Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality. ~ martin-luther-king, @wisdomtrove
9:There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition ~ blaise-pascal, @wisdomtrove
10:Poetry, with all its obscurity, has a more general as well as a more powerful dominion over the passions than the art of painting. ~ edmund-burke, @wisdomtrove
11:If you would escape moral and physical assassination, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing—court obscurity, for only in oblivion does safety lie. ~ elbert-hubbard, @wisdomtrove
12:Obscurity, indeed, is painful to the mind as well as to the eye; but to bring light from obscurity, by whatever labour, must needsbe delightful and rejoicing. ~ david-hume, @wisdomtrove
13:We grope about in the labyrinth of our life and in the obscurity of our investigations; bright moments illuminate our path like flashes of lightning. ~ arthur-schopenhauer, @wisdomtrove
14:Learn to be pleased with everything, with wealth so far as it makes us beneficial to others; with poverty, for not having much to care for; and with obscurity, for being unenvied. ~ plutarch, @wisdomtrove
15:Learn to be pleased with everything; with wealth, so far as it makes us beneficial to others; with poverty, for not having much to care for, and with obscurity, for being unenvied. ~ plutarch, @wisdomtrove
16:This is what I see, and what troubles me. I look on all sides, and everywhere I see nothing but obscurity. Nature offers me nothing that is not a matter of doubt and disquiet. ~ blaise-pascal, @wisdomtrove
17:Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. ~ carl-sagan, @wisdomtrove
18:The public, too, has to make an effort in order to understand the writer who, though he renounce complacent obscurity, cannot always express his new-hidden thoughts lucidly and according to accepted models. ~ jean-paul-sartre, @wisdomtrove
19:All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be sceptical, or at least cautious, and not to admit of any hypothesis whatever, much less of any which is supported by no appearance of probability. ~ david-hume, @wisdomtrove
20:Wealth and rank are what men desire, but unless they be obtained in the right way they may not be possessed. Poverty and obscurity are what men detest; but unless prosperity be brought about in the right way, they are not to be abandoned. ~ confucius, @wisdomtrove
21:Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity. ~ thomas-merton, @wisdomtrove
22:This idea [standardized time zones] was first advanced and fought for by Sandford Fleming of Canada and Charles F. Dowd of the United States. I mention them chiefly because like so many benefactors of mankind they have been rewarded by total obscurity. ~ isaac-asimov, @wisdomtrove
23:While Newton seemed to draw off the veil from some of the mysteries of nature, he showed at the same time the imperfections of the mechanical philosophy; and thereby restored her ultimate secrets to that obscurity, in which they ever did and ever will remain. ~ david-hume, @wisdomtrove
24:A lot of us have all sorts of ideas, and we select some rather than others and give expression to those... and some works of art are more successful than others. Some languish in obscurity and are never heard of again, while others form the foundation of a whole school of art. ~ rupert-sheldrake, @wisdomtrove
25:You have available to you, right now, a powerful supercomputer. This powerful tool has been used through-out history to take people from rags to riches, from poverty and obscurity to success and fame, from unhappiness and frustration to joy and self-fulfillment, and it can do the same for you. ~ brian-tracy, @wisdomtrove
26:What makes a hero? Courage, strength, morality, withstanding adversity? Are these the traits that truly show and create a hero? Is the light truly the source of darkness or vice versa? Is the soul a source of hope or despair? Who are these so called heroes and where do they come from? Are their origins in obscurity or in plain sight? ~ fyodor-dostoevsky, @wisdomtrove
27:Truth is like the stars; it does not appear except from behind obscurity of the night. Truth is like all beautiful things in the world; it does not disclose its desirability except to those who first feel the influence of falsehood. Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness.   ~ kahlil-gibran, @wisdomtrove
28:Our senses perceive no extreme. Too much sound deafens us; too much light dazzles us; too great distance or proximity hinders ourview. Too great length and too great brevity of discourse tends to obscurity; too much truth is paralyzing... . In short, extremes are for us as though they were not, and we are not within their notice. They escape us, or we them. ~ blaise-pascal, @wisdomtrove
29:While fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace. ~ virginia-woolf, @wisdomtrove
30:Why, oh why must one grow up, why must one inherit this heavy, numbing responsibility of living an undiscovered life? Out of the nothingness and the undifferentiated mass, to make something of herself! But what? In the obscurity and pathlessness to take a direction! But whither? How take even one step? And yet, how stand still? This was torment indeed, to inherit the responsibility of one’s own life. ~ d-h-lawrence, @wisdomtrove
31:People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher - a Roosevelt, a Tolstoi, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It's the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over. ~ f-scott-fitzgerald, @wisdomtrove
32:I thought that my voyage had come to its end at the last limit of my power, that the path before me was closed, that provisions were exhausted, and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity, but I find that thy will knows no end in me, and when old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart, and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders. ~ rabindranath-tagore, @wisdomtrove
33:To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up. ~ george-orwell, @wisdomtrove
34:But though every created thing is, in this sense, a mystery, the word mystery cannot be applied to moral truth, any more than obscurity can be applied to light. ... Mystery is the antagonist of truth. It is a fog of human invention, that obscures truth, and represents it in distortion. Truth never envelops itself in mystery, and the mystery in which it is at any time enveloped is the work of its antagonist, and never of itself. ~ thomas-paine, @wisdomtrove
35:And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. ~ f-scott-fitzgerald, @wisdomtrove
36:I just remember their kindness and goodness to me, and their peacefulness and their utter simplicity. They inspired real reverence, and I think, in a way, they were certainly saints. And they were saints in that most effective and telling way: sanctified by leading ordinary lives in a completely supernatural manner, sanctified by obscurity, by usual skills, by common tasks, by routine, but skills, tasks, routine which received a supernatural form from grace within. ~ thomas-merton, @wisdomtrove
37:The devil is no fool. He can get people feeling about heaven the way they ought to feel about hell. He can make them fear the means of grace the way they do not fear sin. And he does so, not by light but by obscurity, not by realities but by shadows; not by clarity and substance, but by dreams and the creatures of psychosis. And men are so poor in intellect that a few cold chills down their spine will be enough to keep them from ever finding out the truth about anything. ~ thomas-merton, @wisdomtrove
38:If nothing that can be seen can either be God or represent Him to us as He is, then to find God we must pass beyond everything that can be seen and enter into darkness. Since nothing that can be heard is God, to find Him we must enter into silence. Since God cannot be imagined, anything our imagination tells us about Him is ultimately a lie and therefore we cannot know Him as He really is unless we pass beyond everything that can be imagined and enter into an obscurity without images and without the likeness of any created thing. ~ thomas-merton, @wisdomtrove
39:The ever increasing intensity of despair depends upon the degree of consciousness or is proportionate to this increase: the greater the degree of consciousness, the more intensive the despair. This is everywhere apparent, most clearly in despair at its maximum and minimum. The devil's despair is the most intensive despair, for the devil is sheer spirit and hence unqualified consciousness and transparency; there is no obscurity in the devil that could serve as a mitigating excuse. Therefore, his despair is the most absolute defiance. . . . ~ soren-kierkegaard, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Obscurity often brings safety. ~ Aesop,
2:Obscurity is never a virtue. ~ Roald Dahl,
3:Obscurity is the realm of error. ~ Luc de Clapiers,
4:Enjoy your obscurity while it lasts. ~ Austin Kleon,
5:Obscurity is the kingdom of error. ~ Luc de Clapiers,
6:The enemy of persuasion is obscurity. ~ Nancy Duarte,
7:Piracy is not the problem, obscurity is. ~ Seth Godin,
8:my problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity ~ Cory Doctorow,
9:Live in obscurity--lathe biōsas (λάθε βιώσας) ~ Epicurus,
10:Notoriety is far better than holy obscurity. ~ Eva Leigh,
11:Obscurity is a bigger problem than money. ~ Grant Cardone,
12:Well has he lived who has lived well in obscurity. ~ Ovid,
13:How often the highest talent lurks in obscurity. ~ Plautus,
14:Enjoy your obscurity while it lasts. Use it. ~ Austin Kleon,
15:Celebrity is just obscurity biding its time. ~ Carrie Fisher,
16:Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence. ~ Robert A Heinlein,
17:The big problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity. ~ Cory Doctorow,
18:O how many noble deeds of women are lost in obscurity! ~ Seneca,
19:Call it wine, call it Quinn-sniff induced obscurity ~ Penny Reid,
20:Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever ~ Napol on Bonaparte,
21:The obscurity of the night was in my favour. For ~ Matthew Lewis,
22:Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte,
23:Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever. ~ Napol on Bonaparte,
24:Obscurity is a greater threat to authors than piracy ~ Joanna Penn,
25:How often we see the greatest genius buried in obscurity! ~ Plautus,
26:obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence ~ Robert A Heinlein,
27:A bright and tenacious flower will not bloom in obscurity. ~ Ken Liu,
28:She dressed to look good, and I dressed for obscurity. ~ Jane Smiley,
29:Obscurity is a bigger problem for authors than piracy. ~ Tim O Reilly,
30:I seem to have emerged from the relative obscurity of TV. ~ Peter Webber,
31:The problem for most artists isn't piracy, it's obscurity. ~ Tim O Reilly,
32:One of the most pernicious effects of haste is obscurity. ~ Samuel Johnson,
33:Fame is fickle, but Obscurity is usually faithful to the end. ~ Mason Cooley,
34:Out of obscurity I came, to obscurity I can easily return. ~ Charlotte Bront,
35:I'd rather live long in obscurity than die young with fame. ~ Rick DeStefanis,
36:the greatest threat a writer faces is not piracy—it’s obscurity. ~ Sean Platt,
37:Obscurity and a competence—that is the life that is best worth living. ~ Mark Twain,
38:Notoriety wasn't as good as fame, but was heaps better than obscurity. ~ Neil Gaiman,
39:Notoriety wasn’t as good as fame, but was heaps better than obscurity. ~ Neil Gaiman,
40:The obscurity of a writer is generally in proportion to his incapacity. ~ Quintilian,
41:I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity, ~ Sean Patrick,
42:Nothing helps an artist's career more than a little death and obscurity. ~ Dan Simmons,
43:Obscurity can be a fire of ambition in those who have stalwart souls ~ Taylor Caldwell,
44:Notoriety wasn’t as good as fame, but was heaps better than obscurity. ~ Terry Pratchett,
45:It is human nature to instinctively rebel at obscurity or ordinariness. ~ Taylor Caldwell,
46:It may be hard to monetize fame, but it is impossible to monetize obscurity. ~ Cory Doctorow,
47:I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity. ~ Alexander the Great,
48:Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy. ~ Tim O Reilly,
49:When you grew up in a small town... obscurity was a luxury that didn't exist. ~ Katie Ganshert,
50:The mind's passion is all for singling out. Obscurity has another tale to tell. ~ Adrienne Rich,
51:We are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style. ~ Tom Stoppard,
52:Maybe some people are better off in obscurity than trying to keep on expanding. ~ Erika M Anderson,
53:Obscurity is a good thing. You can fail in obscurity. It removes the fear of failure. ~ Jason Fried,
54:People newly emerged from obscurity generally launch out into indiscriminate display. ~ Jean Ingelow,
55:I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery. ~ Aldous Huxley,
56:I spent a long time writing in obscurity. You'll spend a long time writing in obscurity. ~ Dan Kennedy,
57:For me -- for pretty much every writer -- the big problem isn't piracy, it's obscurity. ~ Cory Doctorow,
58:Unlike stories, real life, when it has passed, inclines toward obscurity, not clarity. ~ Elena Ferrante,
59:You’re hiding behind obscurity. Don’t threaten with vagueness. Tell me what you’ll do. ~ Pepper Winters,
60:Obscurity is dispelled by augmenting the light of discernment, not by attacking the darkness. ~ Socrates,
61:Rest and quiet are the comforts of those who have been content to remain in obscurity. ~ Anthony Trollope,
62:So many people make a name nowadays, that it is more distinguished to remain in obscurity. ~ Thomas Hardy,
63:Well, nothing helps an artist’s career more than a little death and obscurity, I always say. ~ Dan Simmons,
64:I was by birth a gentleman, living neither in any considerable height nor yet in obscurity. ~ Oliver Cromwell,
65:Fame is a devil; obscurity is an Angel! Stay away from me, Devil; Come near to me, Angel! ~ Mehmet Murat ildan,
66:...toward that suddenly brilliant town called Obscurity by a dazzling seashore called The Past. ~ Ray Bradbury,
67:Many things prevent knowledge, including the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life ~ Protagoras,
68:Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.
~ Frantz Fanon,
69:The theory of interest was wrapped in utter obscurity, until Hume and Smith dispelled the vapor. ~ Jean Baptiste Say,
70:Writing felt like it justified, barely, my existence -- this extremity of obscurity I had chosen. ~ William Finnegan,
71:If I could I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results. ~ Emily Bronte,
72:The obscurity is much oftener in the passions and prejudices of the reasoner than in the subject. ~ Alexander Hamilton,
73:Troubled as the future was, it was the unknown future, and in its obscurity there was ignorant hope. ~ Charles Dickens,
74:Untruth being unacceptable to the mind of man, there is no other defence left for absurdity but obscurity. ~ John Locke,
75:As the past has ceased to throw its light upon the future, the mind of man wanders in obscurity. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville,
76:I found a strange solace and safety in my power of invisibility and made obscurity my residence. ~ Erwin Raphael McManus,
77:Never underestimate the ridiculous things that have been done in the name of religious-semantic obscurity. ~ Kate Griffin,
78:There's nothing more horrifying than the possibility or the idea that you will just fade away into obscurity. ~ Marc Maron,
79:Nothing but a radical change of consciousness can deliver the world from its present obscurity. ~ The Mother, On Education,
80:When the work is done, and one's name is becoming distinguished, to withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven. ~ Lao Tzu,
81:std::bind can express the same thing, but the construct is an example of job security through code obscurity: ~ Scott Meyers,
82:God's extraordinary work is most often done by ordinary people in the seeming obscurity of a home and family. ~ Neal A Maxwell,
83:My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the decent obscurity of a learned language. ~ Edward Gibbon,
84:You need a platform upon which to release an orchestral record, otherwise it's just going to be an obscurity. ~ Elvis Costello,
85:Life is an ordeal, albeit an exciting one, but I wouldn't trade it for the good old days of poverty and obscurity. ~ Jim Carrey,
86:Clarity of thought will normally produce clarity of style; obscurity of thought will produce obscurity of style. ~ Bernard Lewis,
87:Don’t be deceived by the thoughts of obscurity that lingers around your head. Go and shine the light in you. ~ Israelmore Ayivor,
88:The glory of ancestors sheds a light around posterity; it allows neither good nor bad qualities to remain in obscurity. ~ Sallust,
89:I think it's important to have had at least a few years of obscurity, where people treat you like everybody else. ~ Robert De Niro,
90:In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. ~ Carl Sagan,
91:Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality. ~ Martin Luther King Jr,
92:As the pearl ripens in the obscurity of its shell, so ripens in the tomb all the fame that is truly precious. ~ Walter Savage Landor,
93:You can keep waiting to get plucked from obscurity, or you can learn how to champion your project one person at a time. ~ Seth Godin,
94:Artists are the best theologians. They feel things that are true before theologians can jargonize them into obscurity. ~ Tony Campolo,
95:If we were not in Vietnam, all that part of the world would be enjoying the obscurity it so richly deserves. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith,
96:I want to be famous so I can be humble about being famous. What good is my humility when I am stuck in this obscurity? ~ David Budbill,
97:There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition ~ Blaise Pascal,
98:If it took Labouchere three columns to prove that I was forgotten, then there is no difference between fame and obscurity. ~ Oscar Wilde,
99:Oh, God, today I pray [to] you on my knees for Dostoevsky’s obscurity, blindness, the most sacred and precious of all things. ~ Ana s Nin,
100:No simplicity of mind, no obscurity of station, can escape the universal duty of questioning all that we believe. ~ William Kingdon Clifford,
101:When we really worship anything, we love not only its clearness but its obscurity. We exult in its very invisibility. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
102:Who but a coward would pass his whole life in hamlets; and for ever abandon his faculties to the eating rust of obscurity? ~ Charlotte Bront,
103:Serving in obscurity can do more to shape a future leader than a dozen years of combing evangelicalism for the perfect position. ~ Dave Harvey,
104:the obscurity of the theory is not the fault of quantum mechanics but is rather due to the limited capacity of our imagination. ~ Carlo Rovelli,
105:Obscurity and Innocence, twin sisters, escape temptations which would pierce their gossamer armor, in contact with the world. ~ Nicolas Chamfort,
106:One of the only coherent philosophical positions is thus revolt. It is a constant confrontation between man and his own obscurity. ~ Albert Camus,
107:Poetry, with all its obscurity, has a more general as well as a more powerful dominion over the passions than the art of painting. ~ Edmund Burke,
108:One of the things I've learned about being president is that we'll work on issues for long periods of time, sometimes in obscurity. ~ Barack Obama,
109:This is the great curse of popularity and the great luxury of obscurity: People only care about your mistakes when they can hear you. ~ Lindy West,
110:Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity.”) ~ Bruce Bawer,
111:Obscurity in writing is commonly an argument of darkness in the mind. The greatest learning is to be seen in the greatest plainness. ~ John Wilkins,
112:The production of obscurity in Paris compares to the production of motor cars in Detroit in the great period of American industry. ~ Ernest Gellner,
113:Christ’s obscurity was as purposefully planned—and equally glorifying to God—as His journey to fame and His fall from the public’s favor. ~ Anonymous,
114:There is a sort of consolation at the contemplation of the yawning abyss, at the bottom of which lie darkness and obscurity. Edmond ~ Alexandre Dumas,
115:Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honor as deserving real distinction are those who remain in obscurity. ~ Thomas Hardy,
116:O obscurity of obscurity, O soul of the soul, Thou art more than all and before all. All is seen in Thee and Thou art seen in all. ~ Farid-uddin-attar,
117:who knows that he is profound strives for clearness; he who would like to appear profound to the multitude strives for obscurity. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
118:An awful sense of her deadness, of her soul-blighting selfishness, began to dawn upon her as something monstrous out of dim, gray obscurity. ~ Zane Grey,
119:The danger is obscurity, of not being recognized as a human being, of vanishing from this earth without having made many impressions on women. ~ Roosh V,
120:Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
121:If we were in the habit of reading poets their obscurity would not matter; and, once we are out of the habit, their clarity does not help. ~ Randall Jarrell,
122:Nominee. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office. ~ Ambrose Bierce,
123:This is not a choice between life and death, but life and immortality! Remain here and die in obscurity, or follow me now and live forever! ~ Nicholas Eames,
124:I have gone from local obscurity to national obscurity to international obscurity. Once I learn how to monetize obscurity, I will be rich. ~ Ernie J Zelinski,
125:John Major is what he is: a man from nowhere, going nowhere, heading for a well-merited obscurity as fast as his mediocre talents can carry him. ~ Paul Johnson,
126:Kennedy’s guy had never been the same. Quit the Service, divorced, finished his human existence in obscurity in some rat’s hole in Mississippi, ~ David Baldacci,
127:What is popular is not necessarily vulgar; and that which we try to rescue from fatal obscurity had in general much better remain where it is. ~ William Hazlitt,
128:Calvin would encourage magistrates to look to Scripture because the written law was given to "remove the obscurity of the law of nature" (II.viii.1). ~ Anonymous,
129:If you would escape moral and physical assassination, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing—court obscurity, for only in oblivion does safety lie. ~ Elbert Hubbard,
130:Whatever happens to the art world, art will go on regardless. As for obscurity, it looms just over the horizon beckoning us all. Why worry. ~ Michael Craig Martin,
131:Philosophical reflection could not leave the relation of mind and spirit in the obscurity which had satisfied the needs of the naive consciousness. ~ Wilhelm Wundt,
132:And so, perhaps, when I say I long to be a pane of glass, I am lying. I long for partial obscurity at the same time that I long for someone to know me. ~ Meg Rosoff,
133:Be Thou exalted over my reputation. Make me ambitious to please Thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream. ~ A W Tozer,
134:Magrathea itself disappeared and its memory soon passed into the obscurity of legend. In these enlightened days, of course, no one believes a word of ~ Douglas Adams,
135:Our parents’ lives, even those enfolded in obscurity, offer us our first, strong assurance that human events have consequence. Here we are, after all. ~ Richard Ford,
136:It's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code... obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. ~ Robert A Heinlein,
137:Obscurity makes success undefined because success is crowned by sharing what you have with people who need it; you can't share if you keep hiding! ~ Israelmore Ayivor,
138:And his eyes will only know darkness,
His ears will only know hatred,
His hands will only destroy,
And from his feet,
Obscurity shall walk. ~ Anonymous,
139:Some people find clarity threatening. They like muddle, confusion, obscurity. So when somebody does no more than speak clearly it sounds threatening. ~ Richard Dawkins,
140:Be happy, noble heart, be blessed for all the good thou hast done and wilt do hereafter, and let my gratitude remain in obscurity like your good deeds. ~ Alexandre Dumas,
141:Ignorance seldom vaults into knowledge, but passes into it through an intermediate state of obscurity, even as night into day through twilight. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
142:Obscurity, indeed, is painful to the mind as well as to the eye; but to bring light from obscurity, by whatever labour, must needsbe delightful and rejoicing. ~ David Hume,
143:The dark obscurity into which her career then lapsed reflects her staunchly independent political stances rather than any deficiency of craft or vision. ~ Zora Neale Hurston,
144:I never knew how good it is to be unknown until now. The last time I was unknown I was too busy trying to become known to realize the advantages of obscurity. ~ Alec Guinness,
145:Until the sixth decade of the century, therefore, these organisms, which have since become the basis of a new branch of science, had hardly emerged from obscurity. ~ Anonymous,
146:College wasn't like the real world. In the real world people dropped names based on their renown. In college, people dropped names based on their obscurity. ~ Jeffrey Eugenides,
147:It is my rather subversive opinion that a writer's feelings of anonymity-obscurity are the second most valuable property on loan to him during his working years. ~ J D Salinger,
148:There was the same need for obscurity, the same suspicion that if a piece of music had reached a large number of people, it had somehow been drained of its worth. ~ Nick Hornby,
149:Not everyone can be as successful a performer as myself, who gave 10 great performances the first time I ever did comedy, and then toiled in obscurity for years. ~ Scott Aukerman,
150:To be sure an artist wishes to raise his standard intellectually as much as possible, but the man must remain in obscurity. Pleasure must be found in the studying. ~ Paul Cezanne,
151:should not every apartment in which man dwells be lofty enough to create some obscurity overhead, where flickering shadows may play at evening about rafters? ~ Henry David Thoreau,
152:A method involving apparent obscurity is surely justified when it is the clearest, the simplest, the only method possible of saying in full what the writer has to say ~ Richard Hughes,
153:Should not every apartment in which man dwells be lofty enough to create some obscurity overhead, where flickering shadows may play at evening about the rafters? ~ Henry David Thoreau,
154:The night was now fast advancing. The Lamps were not yet lighted. The faint beams of the rising Moon scarcely could pierce through the gothic obscurity* of the Church. ~ Matthew Lewis,
155:We should blunt our sharp points, and unravel the complications of things; we should attemper our brightness, and bring ourselves into agreement with the obscurity of others. ~ Lao Tzu,
156:Comedy has to be done en clair. You can’t blunt the edge of wit or the point of satire with obscurity. Try to imagine a famous witty saying that is not immediately clear. ~ James Thurber,
157:I had a great time on News Radio, I got to make tons of money in relative obscurity and learn a lot about the TV biz and work on my standup act constantly. It was a dream gig. ~ Joe Rogan,
158:Afflictive passion and the veil upon cognition— The cure for their obscurity is emptiness. How then shall they not meditate on this Who wish for swift attainment of omniscience? ~ ntideva,
159:He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
160:Learn to be pleased with everything, with wealth so far as it makes us beneficial to others; with poverty, for not having much to care for; and with obscurity, for being unenvied. ~ Plutarch,
161:He who would reproach an author for obscurity should look into his own mind to see whether it is quite clear there. In the dusk the plainest writing is illegible. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
162:I did what I could to inflate the rumor I was on my way to stardom. What I was on my way to, by any mathematical standards known to man, was oblivion, by way of obscurity. ~ Tallulah Bankhead,
163:I don’t need to have the most, be the best, or reach the top. It is okay to pursue a life marked by obscurity and simplicity. It doesn’t matter what I own or how I’m perceived. ~ Jen Hatmaker,
164:This is what I see, and what troubles me. I look on all sides, and everywhere I see nothing but obscurity. Nature offers me nothing that is not a matter of doubt and disquiet. ~ Blaise Pascal,
165:...ambition without pious restraint must end in failure, often involving in its ruin that beautiful reverence which solaces common men for the obscurity and poverty of their lot. ~ Russell Kirk,
166:Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. ~ Carl Sagan,
167:As the Takers see it, the gods gave man the same choice they gave Achilles: a brief life of glory, or a long, uneventful life in obscurity. And the Takers chose a brief life of glory. ~ Daniel Quinn,
168:High culture is paranoid about sentiment, but human beings are intensely sentimental. And if art doesn’t speak language that’s acceptable to people, it relegates itself to obscurity. ~ Thomas Kinkade,
169:This is the great curse of popularity and the great luxury of obscurity: People only care about your mistakes when they can hear you. Only failures can afford to be cavalier and careless. ~ Lindy West,
170:I don't want people running around saying Gwen Brooks's work is intellectual. That makes people think instantly about obscurity. It shouldn't have to mean that, but it often seems to. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks,
171:We musicians play in Time and with Time, but sometimes it is Time that plays with us. One day, unpredictably, the evolution of culture makes real an oeuvre which has lain in obscurity. ~ Igor Markevitch,
172:I like the spirit of this great London which I feel around me. Who but a coward would pass his whole life in hamlets; and for ever abandon his faculties to the eating rust of obscurity? ~ Charlotte Bront,
173:The soul languishing in obscurity contracts a kind of rust, or abandons itself to the chimera of presumption; for it is natural for it to acquire something, even when separated from any one. ~ Quintilian,
174:As touching the gods, I do not know whether they exist or not, nor how they are featured; for there is much to prevent our knowing: the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life. ~ Protagoras,
175:I like the spirit of this great London which I feel around me. Who but a coward would pass his whole life in hamlets; and for ever abandon his faculties to the eating rust of obscurity? ~ Charlotte Bronte,
176:It was a feminist act, revealing secrets in order to free herself and the women of her clan from the silence and obscurity to which a misogyny thousands of years old would have relegated them. ~ Mary Karr,
177:There is value in long years of obscurity, if one doesn't go insane or suicidal, in that, simply because nobody is looking, the habit of fooling around and trying things out gets ingrained. ~ Jules Olitski,
178:Unfortunately for our esteem, societies of the West are not known for their conduciveness to the surrender of pretensions, to the acceptance of age or fat, let alone poverty and obscurity. ~ Alain de Botton,
179:You may be serving in obscurity in some small place, feeling unknown and unappreciated. Listen, God put you were you are for a purpose! ... He will let you know if he wants you somewhere else. ~ Rick Warren,
180:Father once told me there was a sweet spot to life between the age of fifteen and sixty-five when you were fully visible to the world—any older and you fade from sight, dimming to obscurity. And ~ J D Barker,
181:Unless the word of God enlighten men’s path, the whole of their life is enveloped in darkness and obscurity, so that they cannot do anything else than miserably wander from the right way. ~ Kevin J Vanhoozer,
182:. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything--obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. ~ Robert A Heinlein,
183:There is enough light to enlighten the elect and enough obscurity to humiliate them. There is enough obscurity to blind the reprobate and enough light to condemn them and deprive them of excuse. ~ Blaise Pascal,
184:When the artist ... intends from the beginning to be obscure and take obscurity as his objective or goal for its own sake and wishes to astonish, shock, and seem mysterious, that is a swindle. ~ Tawfiq al Hakim,
185:Obscurantism is the academic theorist's revenge on society for having consigned him or her to relative obscurity - a way of proclaiming one's superiority in the face of one's diminished influence. ~ David Lehman,
186:She has never made up her mind between public acclaim—which she sees, rightly or wrongly, as destructive of the true artistic impulse—and obscurity, for which she is not temperamentally fitted. ~ M John Harrison,
187:A book is not an end in itself; it is only a way to touch someone - a bridge extended across a space of loneliness and obscurity - and sometimes it is a way of winning other people to our causes. ~ Isabel Allende,
188:Gray, desolate dread descends on me--a cloud of ash blocking the sun. A complete absence of light or warmth. A tangible, mold-scented obscurity. A revelation: I will never again experience happiness. ~ Jeff Zentner,
189:Still, the change is nearly indescribable - going from total obscurity to walking down a street in New York and having everybody turn and look; to feel the temperature of a room change when I walked in. ~ Matt Damon,
190:The generality of princes, if they were stripped of their purple, and cast naked into the world, would immediately sink to the lowest rank of society, without a hope of emerging from their obscurity. ~ Edward Gibbon,
191:The Divine has an equal love for all human beings, but the obscurity of consciousness of most men prevents them from perceiving this divine love. Truth is wonderful. It is in our perception that it is distorted. ~ ?,
192:Who is to blame for this most recent of sports disgraces in America? The culture that flings young athletes like Tyson up out of obscurity, makes millionaires of them and watches them self-destruct? ~ Joyce Carol Oates,
193:As to the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or do not exist. For many are the obstacles that impede knowledge, both the obscurity of the question and the shortness of human life. ~ Diogenes La rtius,
194:My words like eyes that flinch from light, refuse And shut upon obscurity; my acts Cast to their opposites by impatient violence Break up the sequent path; they fly On a circumference to avoid the centre. ~ Stephen Spender,
195:Light and darkness, brightness and obscurity, or if a more general expression is preferred, light and its absence, are necessary to the production of color… Color itself is a degree of darkness. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
196:On dope he sometimes thought that all the televisions on Calchalk Street were softly cackling about Richard Tull: news flashes about his most recent failures, panel discussions about his obscurity, his neglect. ~ Martin Amis,
197:Besides the obscurity arising from the complexity of objects, and the imperfection of the human faculties, the medium through which the conceptions of men are conveyed to each other adds a fresh embarrassment. ~ James Madison,
198:The public, too, has to make an effort in order to understand the writer who, though he renounce complacent obscurity, cannot always express his new-hidden thoughts lucidly and according to accepted models. ~ Jean Paul Sartre,
199:Leave bands, go back to obscurity if I choose to, without a great sense of loss of security because it's all been based on the fact that I did it on my own or was doing, enjoying doing it on my own in the first place. ~ Eric Clapton,
200:He that is pushing his predecessors into the gulf of obscurity, cannot but sometimes suspect, that he must himself sink in like manner, and, as he stands upon the same precipice, be swept away with the same violence. ~ Samuel Johnson,
201:Modernism in other arts brought extreme difficulty. In poetry, the characteristic difficulty imported under the name of modernism was obscurity. But obscurity could just as easily be a quality of metrical as of free verse. ~ James Fenton,
202:What if embracing obscurity meant that your family members lost a well-known or well-loved circle of acquaintances? Had to move to a smaller house? Drove uglier cars? Wore older clothes? Took fewer or less expensive vacations? ~ Anonymous,
203:So true is it that all transactions of preeminent importance are wrapt in doubt and obscurity; while some hold for certain facts the most precarious hearsays, others turn facts into falsehood; and both are exaggerated by posterity. ~ Tacitus,
204:Under the authority of a language that had been carefully expurgated so that it was no longer directly named, sex was taken charge of, tracked down as it were, by a discourse that aimed to allow it no obscurity, no respite. ~ Michel Foucault,
205:I mean, you hear the word 'globalization' over and over and over again. Globalization, globalization, globalization. Rarely has a word gone so directly from obscurity to meaninglessness without any intervening period of coherence. ~ Robert Reich,
206:All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be sceptical, or at least cautious, and not to admit of any hypothesis whatever, much less of any which is supported by no appearance of probability. ~ David Hume,
207:fairy realms of antiquity. Like a landscape melting into distance, they receive a thousand charms from their very obscurity, and the fancy delights to fill up their outlines with graces and excellences of its own creation. Thus ~ Washington Irving,
208:Only yesterday I was full of worldly fancies, although religion had already some share in my thoughts: glory was still my daydream. Today my hopes are higher, and I covet here below nothing but obscurity and peace. ~ Jean Baptiste Henri Lacordaire,
209:In the future, everyone will have fifteen minutes of fame. Followed by fifteen minutes of legal problems, fifteen minutes of ridicule from late-night TV hosts, fifteen minutes of obscurity, and fifteen minutes of "Where are they now?". ~ Dan Piraro,
210:Wealth and rank are what men desire, but unless they be obtained in the right way they may not be possessed. Poverty and obscurity are what men detest; but unless prosperity be brought about in the right way, they are not to be abandoned. ~ Confucius,
211:Before people complain of the obscurity of modern poetry, they should first examine their consciences and ask themselves with how many people and on how many occasions they have genuinely and profoundly shared some experience with another. ~ W H Auden,
212:Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity. ~ Thomas Merton,
213:Critics should help people see for themselves; they should never try to define things, or impose their own explanations, though I admit that if... a critic's explanations serve to increase the general obscurity, that's all to the good. ~ Georges Braque,
214:No true love is possible, Lewis demonstrates, until we abandon our claims, our rights, our grievances. Until then we will be trapped in the obscurity of our heart's mixed motives, our will to possess, to control, to be our own gods. ~ Michael D O Brien,
215:Science fiction offers an intensely bracing angle of view for writers to adopt, especially in a time of constant innovation and crisis, and it is a scandal that in 1999 so many writers have written it and continue to write it in obscurity. ~ John Clute,
216:Before people complain of the obscurity of modern poetry, they should first examine their consciences and ask themselves with how many people and on how many occasions they have genuinely and profoundly shared some experience with another... ~ W H Auden,
217:To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament. ~ John Warwick Montgomery,
218:All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance
and obscurity, is to be sceptical, or at least cautious, and not
to admit of any hypothesis whatever, much less of any which is
supported by no appearance of probability. ~ David Hume,
219:media saturation is probably very destructive to art. New movements get overexposed and exhausted before they have a chance to grow, and they turn to ashes in a short time. Some degree of time and obscurity is often very necessary to artists. ~ Joyce Johnson,
220:We may not always know exactly why we do what we do, choose what we choose, or feel what we feel. But the obscurity of our real motivations doesn’t stop us from creating perfectly logical-sounding reasons for our actions, decisions, and feelings. ~ Dan Ariely,
221:What we have not had to decipher, to elucidate by our own efforts, what was clear before we looked at it, is not ours. From ourselves comes only that which we drag forth from the obscurity which lies within us, that which to others is unknown. ~ Marcel Proust,
222:Public opinion, - a tyrant, sitting in the dark, wrapt up in mystification and vague terrors of obscurity; deriving power no one knows from whom ... - but irresistible in its power to quell thought, to repress action, to silence conviction. ~ Harriet Martineau,
223:This idea [standardized time zones] was first advanced and fought for by Sandford Fleming of Canada and Charles F. Dowd of the United States. I mention them chiefly because like so many benefactors of mankind they have been rewarded by total obscurity. ~ Isaac Asimov,
224:Don't be a writer, it's a terrible way to live your life, there's nothing to be gained from it but poverty and obscurity and solitude. So if you have a taste for all those things, which means that you really are burning to do it, then go ahead and do it. ~ Paul Auster,
225:Cut off from the Mediterranean by the desert which he had no means of crossing, and bounded elsewhere by oceans which he had no skill in navigating, the black man vegetated in savage obscurity, his habitat being well named the “Dark Continent.” Until ~ T Lothrop Stoddard,
226:But it is true that sometimes an enveloping darkness aids one to clearer vision; as in a panorama building, for example, where the obscurity about the entrance prepares one better for the climax, and gives the scene depicted a more real and vivid appearance. ~ Pierre Loti,
227:While Newton seemed to draw off the veil from some of the mysteries of nature, he showed at the same time the imperfections of the mechanical philosophy; and thereby restored her ultimate secrets to that obscurity, in which they ever did and ever will remain. ~ David Hume,
228:Whoever knows he is deep, strives for clarity; whoever would like to appear deep to the crowd, strives for obscurity. For the crowd considers anything deep if only it cannot see to the bottom: the crowd is so timid and afraid of going into the water. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
229:I am always willing to run some hazard of being tedious, in order to be sure that I am perspicuous; and, after taking the utmost pains that I can to be perspicuous, some obscurity may still appear to remain upon a subject, in its own nature extremely abstracted. ~ Adam Smith,
230:Use this time to make mistakes without the whole world hearing about them. Keep tweaking. Work out the kinks. Test random ideas. Try new things. No one knows you, so it’s no big deal if you mess up. Obscurity helps protect your ego and preserve your confidence. ~ Jason Fried,
231:It was an elevating, transforming vision: a new, fresh, vigorous, and above all morally regenerate people rising from the obscurity to defend the battlements of liberty and then in triumph standing forth, heartening and sustaining the cause of freedom everywhere. ~ Bernard Bailyn,
232:DYER. No, I am not of your Mind, for the Dialogue was fitted up with too much Facility. Words must be pluckt from Obscurity and nourished with Care, improved with Art and corrected with Application. Labour and Time are the Instruments in the perfection of all Work. ~ Peter Ackroyd,
233:We hear the ambient noise of children singing. We hear lions and tigers roar. Hyenas laugh. Some jungle bird or howler monkey declares its existence, screeching a maniac's gibberish. Our entire world, always doing battle against the silence and obscurity of death. ~ Chuck Palahniuk,
234:I know he is--sensitive--on some points, Detective, but you must bear in mind how hard it is for an honest man to do his work in relative obscurity, while dishonest men attain wealth and renown. That is why corruption is so pernicious. It breaks the will of good men. ~ Jed Rubenfeld,
235:The changes in the human condition are uncertain and frequent. Many, on whom fortune has bestowed her favours, may trace their family to a more unprosperous station; and many who are now in obscurity, may look back upon the affluence and exalted rank of their ancestors. ~ Ron Chernow,
236:The human mind is indeed a cave swarming with strange forms of life, most of them unconscious and unilluminated. Unless we can understand something as to how the motives that issue from this obscurity are generated, we can hardly hope to foresee or control them. ~ Charles Horton Cooley,
237:If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity. ~ Daniel Webster,
238:Therefore if we realize that our nature and destiny are what they should be, we will have no anxiety and will be at ease with ourselves in the face of life or death, prominence or obscurity, or an infinite amount of changes and variations, and will be in accord with principle. ~ Guo Xiang,
239:What is thy body but a swallowing grave,
Seeming to bury that posterity
Which, by the rights of time, thou needs must have
If thou destroy them not in dark obscurity?
If so, the world will hold thee in disdain,
Sith in thy pride so fair a hope is slain. ~ William Shakespeare,
240:The changes in the human condition are uncertain and frequent. Many, on whom fortune has bestowed her favours, may trace their family to a more unprosperous station; and many who are now in obscurity, may look back upon the affluence and exalted rank of their ancestors. ~ Alexander Hamilton,
241:It's a culture shock to go from obscurity to notoriety in a flash. Its more to it than talent and money; its pressure, stress, enemies, critics; you have to develop relationships and a team. There are all of these things that go along with taking a leap and following your dreams. ~ T D Jakes,
242:Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
243:When (an advocate) is not thoroughly acquainted with the real strength and weakness of his cause, he knows not where to choose the most impressive argument. When the mark is shrouded in obscurity, the only substitute for accuracy in the aim is in the multitude of the shafts. ~ John Quincy Adams,
244:A lot of us have all sorts of ideas, and we select some rather than others and give expression to those... and some works of art are more successful than others. Some languish in obscurity and are never heard of again, while others form the foundation of a whole school of art. ~ Rupert Sheldrake,
245:It{California} is the land where the fabled Aladdin's Lamp lies buried-and she {San Francisco} is the new Aladdin who shall seize it from its obscurity and summon the genie and command him to crown her with power and greatness and bring to her feet the hoarded treasures of the earth. ~ Mark Twain,
246:We're living at a time when attention is the new currency We're all publishers now, and the more we publish, the more valuable connections we'll make. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Fitbit and the SenseCam give us a simple choice: participate or fade into a lonely obscurity. ~ Pete Cashmore,
247:I shall devote all my efforts to bring light into the immense obscurity that today reigns in Analysis. It so lacks any plan or system, that one is really astonished that there are so many people who devote themselves to it - and, still worse, it is absolutely devoid of any rigor. ~ Niels Henrik Abel,
248:The cold war was the longest war in United States history. Because of the nuclear capabilities of our enemy it was the most dangerous conflict our country ever faced. Those that won this war did so in obscurity. Those that gave their lives in the cold war have never been properly honored. ~ Harry Reid,
249:So the story of Wild Fox Kang’s attempted coup and murder of Cixi lay in darkness and obscurity for nearly a century, until the 1980s, when Chinese scholars discovered in Japanese archives the testimony of the designated killer, Bi, which established beyond doubt the existence of the plot. ~ Jung Chang,
250:I felt condemned to obscurity and to celibacy. But when one is driven by passion, one can live on almost nothing, and I was driven by passion for writing. One does not starve in modern, Western societies, and one can do without such amenities as the telephone, a car, entertainment. ~ Alain Robbe Grillet,
251:If I am ever obscure in my expressions, do not fancy that therefore I am deep. If I were really deep, all the world would understand, though they might not appreciate. The perfectly popular style is the perfectly scientific one. To me an obscurity is a reason for suspecting a fallacy. ~ Charles Kingsley,
252:From the town on the edge of obscurity with a post office and general store to the city with the mega malls and towering skyscrapers that scream of American Genericality, there is use for a dead cheerleader, a werewolf carrying business cards and a vampire fishing off a rickety pier. ~ Benjamin X Wretlind,
253:As all historians know, the past is a great darkness, and filled with echoes. Voices may reach us from it; but what they say to us is imbued with the obscurity of the matrix out of which they come; and try as we may, we cannot always decipher them precisely in the clearer light of our day. ~ Margaret Atwood,
254:Don't be a writer; it's a terrible way to live your life. There's nothing to be gained from it but poverty and obscurity and solitude. So if you have a taste for all those things, which means that you really are burning to do it, then go ahead and do it. But don't expect anything from anybody. ~ Paul Auster,
255:I want to kill every best-seller list and encourage Americans to discover for themselves inspired new literature that will endure in perpetuity. Let’s pluck from squalid obscurity underground, and publish, the next Hemingways, Fitzgeralds, Morrisons, Bellows, Barths, Vonneguts and Faulkners. ~ David B Lentz,
256:Sir Isaac Newton famously said that he had achieved everything by standing on the shoulders of giants—the scientific men whose findings he built upon. The same might be said about silicon. After germanium did all the work, silicon became an icon, and germanium was banished to periodic table obscurity. ~ Sam Kean,
257:Wir tappen im Labyrinth unsers Lebenswandels und im Dunkel unserer Forschungen umher: helleAugenblicke erleuchten dabei wie Blitze unsernWeg. We grope about in the labyrinth of our life and in the obscurity of our investigations; bright moments illuminate our path like flashes of lightning. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
258:I have written a number of short biographical studies of insignificant personages from literary history. My interest has always been in writing biographies of the also-rans: people who lived in the shadow of fame in their own lifetime and who, since their death, have sunk into profound obscurity. ~ Diane Setterfield,
259:Occasionally someone will ask me about how ego fits into the leadership equation. They’ll want to know what keeps a leader from having a huge ego. I think the answer lies in each leader’s pathway to leadership. If people paid their dues and gave their best in obscurity, ego is usually not a problem. ~ John C Maxwell,
260:I do not enjoy the promotional side of being a writer, to be blunt about it. Even with the little amount that is expected of me, which is nothing compared to the life of an artist. Writers can live in obscurity and come out of the woodwork with a book, then go back in. Artists don’t have that luxury. ~ Rachel Kushner,
261:That there are men in all countries to whom a state of war is a mine of wealth, is a fact never to be doubted. characters like these naturally breed in the putrefaction of distempered times, and after fattening on the disease, they perish with it, or, impregnated with the stench, retreat into obscurity. ~ Thomas Paine,
262:Hegel's philosophy is so odd that one would not have expected him to be able to get sane men to accept it, but he did. He set it out with so much obscurity that people thought it must be profound. It can quite easily be expounded lucidly in words of one syllable, but then its absurdity becomes obvious. ~ Bertrand Russell,
263:Three hundred men, who all know each other direct the economic destinies of the Continent and they look for successors among their friends and relations. This is not the place to examine the strange causes of this strange state of affairs which throws a ray of light on the obscurity of our social future. ~ Walther Rathenau,
264:To crave wealth and honor, to demand power, to pile up riches, to gather all those vanities which seem to make for pomp and empty display, that is our furious passion and our unbounded desire.On the other hand, we fear and abhor poverty, obscurity, and humility, and we seek to avoid them by all possible means. ~ John Calvin,
265:Here I beg you to observe in passing that the scruples that prevented ancient writers from using arithmetical terms in geometry, and which can only be a consequence of their inability to perceive clearly the relation between these two subjects, introduced much obscurity and confusion into their explanations. ~ Rene Descartes,
266:It was an old account book, greatly worn; and the writing was not, apparently, very legible, for the man sometimes held the page close to the flame of the candle to get a stronger light upon it. The shadow of the book would then throw into obscurity a half of the room, darkening a number of faces and figures; ~ H P Lovecraft,
267:Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art. But it’s up to the artist to use language that can be understood. Most of these jokers don’t want to use language you and I can learn; they would rather sneer because we ‘fail’ to see what they are driving at. If anything. Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence. ~ Robert A Heinlein,
268:No, my discovery was sex: of sex, by sex, fo r sex. This new-uncovered country, prohibited by the fascism of sensitivity, a land where I could celebrate the death of my former self, where the pain of nostalgia could so easily be made to blend into obscurity amidst the overwhelming joy of the moment. Nira/Sussa ~ Julian Darius,
269:We should accept indiscriminately all His dispensations, whether obscurity or illumination, fruitfulness or barrenness, weakness or strength, sweetness or bitterness, temptations, distractions, pain, weariness, or doubtings; and none of all these should, for one moment retard our course. ~ Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon,
270:While Newton seemed to draw off the veil from some of the mysteries of nature, he showed at the same time the imperfections of the mechanical philosophy, so agreeable to the natural vanity and curiosity of men; and thereby restored her ultimate secrets to that obscurity, in which they ever did and ever will remain. ~ David Hume,
271:a man, with his face half-covered by a black beard, and who, concealed behind the sentry-box, watched the scene with delight, uttered these words in a low tone: "Be happy, noble heart, be blessed for all the good thou hast done and wilt do hereafter, and let my gratitude remain in obscurity like your good deeds. ~ Alexandre Dumas,
272:Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged (...) Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. ~ Carl Sagan,
273:Being profound and seeming profound.— Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
274:Traditional journalism, where reporters deliver information in a balanced and unbiased fashion, is rapidly fading into obscurity. This is especially evident on television where high profile reporters become bigger than the story, delivering news with large dollops of personality and wit – almost as if they are actors. ~ Lance Morcan,
275:The hostility perpetually exercised between one man and another, is caused by the desire of many for that which only few can possess. Every man would be rich, powerful, and famous; yet fame, power, and riches, are only the names of relative conditions, which imply the obscurity, dependence, and poverty of greater numbers. ~ Samuel Johnson,
276:The devil is no fool. He can get people feeling about heaven the way they ought to feel about hell. He can make them fear the means of grace the way they do not fear sin. And he does so, not by light but by obscurity, not by realities but by shadows, not by clarity and substance but by dreams and the creatures of psychosis. ~ Thomas Merton,
277:Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush’s dog getting a book deal. ~ Timothy Egan,
278:This frequently happened. Dantes, cast from solitude into the world, frequently experienced an imperious desire for solitude; and what solitude is more complete, or more poetical, than that of a ship floating in isolation on the sea during the obscurity of the night, in the silence of immensity, and under the eye of heaven? ~ Alexandre Dumas,
279:Those who are ignorant should be taught all you can teach them; society is to blame for not providing free public education; and society will answer for the obscurity it produces. If the soul is left in darkness, sin will be committed. The guilty party is not he who has sinned but he who created the darkness in the first place. ~ Victor Hugo,
280:Because we take these huge long breaks, and then I just kind go, "Okay, fine, this is the way that I've chosen to live my life, and if the band now fades into obscurity, so be it, that's my decision." But then we come back and it's still as big as ever, or bigger. It's always been a surprise to me, that it worked out that way. ~ Milo Aukerman,
281:Of course, in a hundred years, no one will remember any of us and our story will be lost in obscurity, but for us, for all these years when we were kids and then grown-ups, when you were young parents and then grandparents, this is the only story that ever mattered, and it was such a marvelous one. The best story I ever imagined. ~ Jen Hatmaker,
282:I've become convinced that genius is a vastly overrated commodity. I think this country is full of geniuses, guys and gals so bright they make your average card carrying MENSA member look like Fucko the Clown. And I think that most of them are teachers, living and working in small town obscurity because that's the way they like it. ~ Stephen King,
283:I’ve become convinced that genius is a vastly overrated commodity. I think this country is full of geniuses, guys and gals so bright they make your average card-carrying MENSA member look like Fucko the Clown. And I think that most of them are teachers, living and working in small-town obscurity because that’s the way they like it. ~ Stephen King,
284:Believing is a fine thing, but placing those beliefs into execution is a test of strength. Many are those who talk like the roar of the sea, gut their lives are shallow and stagnant, like the rotting marshes. Many are those who lift their heads above the mountain tops, but their spirits remain dormant in the obscurity of the caverns. ~ Khalil Gibran,
285:In every age, man’s questioning has focused not only on his ultimate origin; almost more than the obscurity of his beginnings, what preoccupies him is the hiddenness of the future that awaits him. Man wants to tear aside the curtain; he wants to know what is going to happen, so that he can avoid perdition and set out toward salvation. ~ Benedict XVI,
286:No time must be lost, and no opportunity missed. However trifling it be, part of life’s ultimate success depends upon the diligence with which I examine the world and make it more perfect in my own self. Awareness of this task spurs me on, and at the same time consoles me for my insignificance and obscurity. ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Cosmic Life,
287:Ebola is a zoonosis. So is bubonic plague. So was the so-called Spanish influenza of 1918–1919, which had its ultimate source in a wild aquatic bird and, after passing through some combination of domesticated animals (a duck in southern China, a sow in Iowa?) emerged to kill as many as 50 million people before receding into obscurity. ~ David Quammen,
288:"Can any good come out of Nazareth?" This is always the question of the wiseacres and the knowing ones. But the good, the new, comes from exactly that quarter whence it is not looked for, and is always different from what was expected. Everything new is received with contempt-for it begins in obscurity. It becomes a power unobserved. ~ Ludwig Feuerbach,
289:By the aid of philosophy you will live not unpleasantly, for you will learn to extract pleasure from all places and things: wealth will make you happy, because it will enable you to benefit many; and poverty, as you will not then have many anxieties; and glory, for it will make you honoured; and obscurity, for you will then be safe from envy. ~ Plutarch,
290:What makes a hero? Courage, strength, morality, withstanding adversity? Are these the traits that truly show and create a hero? Is the light truly the source of darkness or vice versa? Is the soul a source of hope or despair? Who are these so called heroes and where do they come from? Are their origins in obscurity or in plain sight? ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky,
291:What makes a hero? Courage, strength, morality, withstanding adversity? Are these the traits that truly show and create a hero? Is the light truly the source of darkness or vice versa? Is the soul a source of hope or despair? Who are these so called heroes and where do they come from? Are their origins in obscurity or in plain sight? ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
292:He could not live, because all man’s efforts, all his impulses to life, are only efforts to increase freedom. Wealth and poverty, fame and obscurity, power and subordination, strength and weakness, health and disease, culture and ignorance, work and leisure, repletion and hunger, virtue and vice, are only greater or lesser degrees of freedom. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
293:I think that the obscurity of the theory is not the fault of quantum mechanics but is rather due to the limited capacity of our imagination. When we try to “see” the quantum world, we are rather like moles used to living underground, to whom someone is trying to describe the Himalayas. Or like the men imprisoned at the back of Plato’s cave. ~ Carlo Rovelli,
294:The relative obscurity of Day’s autobiography and other books like it about Vietnam constitute a lesser-known aspect of our civilian-military divide. The books to which I refer should be part of our recollection of Vietnam, but they generally aren’t. They aren’t so much stories that soldiers tell civilians as those that soldiers tell each other. ~ Robert D Kaplan,
295:Nevertheless, once the excitement of actually being in the House had subsided, he experienced swift disillusionment. The hardly fought election had put him in the limelight, now he was down in the rut, a mere insignificant unit of the rank and file, subservient to the party whips, and kept in his place. It was not easy here to rise out of obscurity. ~ Agatha Christie,
296:Complexity and obscurity have professional value - they are the academic equivalents of apprenticeship rules in the building trades. They exclude the outsiders, keep down the competition, preserve the image of a privileged or priestly class. The man who makes things clear is a scab. He is criticized less for his clarity than for his treachery. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith,
297:Truth is like the stars; it does not appear except from behind obscurity of the night. Truth is like all beautiful things in the world; it does not disclose its desirability except to those who first feel the influence of falsehood. Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness. ~ Khalil Gibran,
298:Propriety of thought and propriety of diction are commonly found together. Obscurity and affectation are the two greatest faults of style. Obscurity of expression generally springs from confusion of ideas; and the same wish to dazzle, at any cost, which produces affectation in the manner of a writer, is likely to produce sophistry in his reasonings. ~ Thomas B Macaulay,
299:The jurist is totally unacquainted with the problem of the value of money; he knows nothing of fluctuations in its exchange-value. The naive popular belief in the stability of the value of money has been admitted, with all its obscurity, into the law, and no great historical cause of large and sudden variations in the value of money has ever provided. ~ Ludwig von Mises,
300:You will die, and when you die, you will know a profound lack of it [dignity]. It's never dignified, always brutal. What's dignified about dying? It's never dignified. And in obscurity? Offensive. Dignity is an affectation, cute but eccentric, like learning French or collecting scarves. And it's fleeting and incredibly mercurial. And subjective. So fuck it. ~ Dave Eggers,
301:It is about something personal and specific, because when the John McCain campaign in 2008 decided to elevate Sarah Palin from total obscurity to make her his vice presidential running mate, they knew they were making a big strategic gamble.They knew they were taking a big risk and it turned out in the end to be a bad choice. It hurt John McCain`s chances. ~ Rachel Maddow,
302:Our senses perceive no extreme. Too much sound deafens us; too much light dazzles us; too great distance or proximity hinders ourview. Too great length and too great brevity of discourse tends to obscurity; too much truth is paralyzing.... In short, extremes are for us as though they were not, and we are not within their notice. They escape us, or we them. ~ Blaise Pascal,
303:"Let there be no inscription upon my tomb. Let no man write my epitaph. No man can write my epitaph. I am here ready to die. I am not allowed to vindicate my character; and when I am prevented from vindicating myself, let no man dare calumniate me. Let my character and motives repose in obscurity and peace, till other times and other men can do them justice. ~ Robert Emmet,
304:While fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace. ~ Virginia Woolf,
305:Although not a person whom one could give as an example or model of bravery, Senhor José, after his years in the Central Registry, has acquired a knowledge of the night, of shadows, obscurity and darkness that makes up for his natural timidity and now permits him, without excessive fear, to reach his arm into the body of the dragon in search of the light switch. ~ Jos Saramago,
306:How rare it is to come across a piece of writing that is unambiguous, unqualified, and also unblurred by understatements or subtleties, and yet at the same time urbane and tolerant. It is a vice of the scientific method when applied to human affairs that it fosters hemming and hawing and a scrupulousness that easily degenerates into obscurity and meaninglessness. ~ Eric Hoffer,
307:Eliminate mental muddiness and obscurity; keep your mind crystal clear. Allow your pure original insight to emerge. Quiet your emotions and abide in serenity. Don't go crazy with the worship of idols, images, and ideas; this is like putting a new head on top of the head you already have. Remember: if you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear. ~ Laozi,
308:There is a great deal of strength in Garfield's life and struggles as a self-made man.... From poverty and obscurity, by labor at all avocations, he became a great scholar, a statesman, a major general, a Senator, a Presidential candidate.... The truth is, no man ever started so low that accomplished so much in all our history. Not Franklin or Lincoln even. ~ Rutherford B Hayes,
309:And they were saints in that most effective and telling way: sanctified by leading ordinary lives in a completely supernatural manner, sanctified by obscurity, by usual skills, by common tasks, by routine, but skills, tasks, routine which received a supernatural form from grace within, and from the habitual union of their souls with God in deep faith and charity. ~ Thomas Merton,
310:I have been pursuing my own train of thought for more than thirty years, undisturbed by all this, just because it is what I must do, and I could not do otherwise, out of an instinctive drive which is nonetheless supported by the confidence that what is thought truly and what throws light on obscurity will be grasped at some point by another thinking mind.XX ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
311:Come what will, I cannot, when I write, think always of myself and of what is elegant and charming in femininity; it is not on those terms, or with such ideas, I ever took pen in hand: and if it is only on such terms my writing will be tolerated, I shall pass away from the public and trouble it no more. Out of obscurity I came, to obscurity I can easily return. ~ Elizabeth Gaskell,
312:It's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn . . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything--obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. ~ Robert A Heinlein,
313:... The undivine, therefore, is all that is unwilling to accept the light and force of the Mother. That is why I am always telling you to keep yourself in contact with the Mother and with her Light and Force, because it is only so that you can come out of this confusion and obscurity and receive the Truth that comes from above. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
314:So many of our sins begin with fear—fear of disappointment, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of death, fear of obscurity. Cynicism may seem a mild transgression, but it is a patient predator that suffocates hope, slowly, over many years, like the honey mushroom which forces itself between the bark and sapwood of a tree and over decades is strangled to death. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
315:That hour in the life of a man when first the help of humanity fails him, and he learns that in his obscurity and indigence humanity holds him a dog and no man: that hour is a hard one, but not the hardest. There is still another hour which follows, when he learns that in his infinite comparative minuteness and abjectness, the gods do likewise despise him, and own him not of their clan. ~ Herman Melville,
316:Prayer is never out of season: in summer and in winter its merchandize is precious. Prayer gains audience with heaven in the dead of night, in the midst of business, in the heat of noonday, in the shades of evening. In every condition, whether of poverty, or sickness, or obscurity, or slander, or doubt, your covenant God will welcome your prayer and answer it from His holy place. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
317:When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness. We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness. But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer. ~ Carl Jung,
318:The realization that The Art of Obscurity is my 25th solo album prompted me to do some deep thinking about where I am, where I’m going and what I still want to achieve from this life in music. In my heart I feel vital and passionate about the creative process and that my best work is the next one I finish. It doesn’t necessarily work out that clean, but for me, it can be the only touchstone. ~ Iain Matthews,
319:Moreover, the sciences are monuments devoted to the public good; each citizen owes to them a tribute proportional to his talents. While the great men, carried to the summit of the edifice, draw and put up the higher floors, the ordinary artists scattered in the lower floors, or hidden in the obscurity of the foundations, must only seek to improve what cleverer hands have created. ~ Charles Augustin de Coulomb,
320:A reluctant watchdog, Culter held a post of small dignity, vulnerable to a thousand shafts of wit … which did not arrive. Francis at his most quiet, his most responsible showed his elder brother the face, Adam thought, his friends sometimes saw. And from that realized that Francis, in those final days, was drawing from obscurity an old friendship, to be remembered later maybe, and recognized. ~ Dorothy Dunnett,
321:I can't wait to go back home and disappear into relative obscurity for a bit. I just want to go back to my house and just get away from it all for a bit. It's so flattering to hear people say nice things about the performance, about the Harry Potter film. It's great. Don't get me wrong. I'm not ashamed of it. I'm not shunning it. It's just been such a bubble I've been in, with these promotions. ~ Matthew Lewis,
322:It is not uncommon for those who at their first entrance into the world were distinguished for attainments or abilities, to disappoint the hopes which they had raised, and to end in neglect and obscurity that life which they began in honour. To the long catalogue of the inconveniences of old age, which moral and satirical writers have so copiously displayed, may be often added the loss of fame. ~ Lyndon B Johnson,
323:I thought that my voyage had come to its end at the last limit of my power, that the path before me was closed, that provisions were exhausted and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity. But I find that thy will knows no end in me. And when old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders. - ~ Om Swami,
324:People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher—a Roosevelt, a Tolstoy, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It's the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
325:There could be no eldest son for her, and younger sons were indelicate things, necessary, but not to be much spoken of. Younger sons had none of the privileges of obscurity; it was their plain duty to remain hidden until some disaster perchance promoted them to their brother's places, and, since this was their function, it was desirable that they should keep themselves wholly suitable for succession. ~ Evelyn Waugh,
326:Why, oh why must one grow up, why must one inherit this heavy, numbing responsibility of living an undiscovered life? Out of the nothingness and the undifferentiated mass, to make something of herself! But what? In the obscurity and pathlessness to take a direction! But whither? How take even one step? And yet, how stand still? This was torment indeed, to inherit the responsibility of one’s own life. ~ D H Lawrence,
327:People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher -- a Roosevelt, a Tolstoi, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It's the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
328:What comes to your mind when you think of the word Transylvania, if you ponder it at all? What comes to my mind are mountains of savage beauty, ancient castles, werewolves, and witches - a land of magical obscurity. How, in short, am I to believe I will still be in Europe, on entering such a realm? I shall let you know if it's Europe or fairyland, when I get there. First, Snagov - I set out tomorrow. ~ Elizabeth Kostova,
329:No one knows who you are right now. And that's just fine. Being obscure is a great position to be in. Be happy you're in the shadows.

Use this time to make mistakes without the whole world hearing about them. Keep tweaking. Work out the kinks. Test random ideas. Try new things. No one knows you, so it's no big deal if you mess up.

Obscurity helps protect your ego and preserve your confidence. ~ Jason Fried,
330:In the vast cosmical changes, the universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, ... sowing an animalcule here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and ... entangling, from the highest to the lowest, all activities in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism, hanging the flight of an insect upon the movement of the earth... Enormous gearing, whose first motor is the gnat, and whose last wheel is the zodiac. ~ Victor Hugo,
331:I thought that my voyage had come to its end at the last limit of my power, that the path before me was closed, that provisions were exhausted, and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity, but I find that thy will knows no end in me, and when old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart, and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders. ~ Rabindranath Tagore,
332:One of the first Italians to give a name to the reawakened interest in Greek and Roman learning was the poet Petrarch, who announced early in the 1340s that poets and scholars were ready to lead the cities of Italy back to the glory days of Rome. Classical learning had declined, Petrarch insisted, into darkness and obscurity. Now was the time for that learning to be rediscovered: a rebirth, a Renaissance. ~ Susan Wise Bauer,
333:The wet sidewalks gleam with a broad sheet of red light. The raindrops glitter as if the sky were pouring down rubies. The spouts gush with fire. Methinks the scene is an emblem of the deceptive glare which mortals throw around their footsteps in the moral world, thus bedazzling themselves till they forget the impenetrable obscurity that hems them in, and that can be dispelled only by radiance from above. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne,
334:He could not live, because all man’s efforts, all his impulses to life, are only efforts to increase freedom. Wealth and poverty, fame and obscurity, power and subordination, strength and weakness, health and disease, culture and ignorance, work and leisure, repletion and hunger, virtue and vice, are only greater or lesser degrees of freedom. A man having no freedom cannot be conceived of except as deprived of life. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
335:There is another reason also why the soul has traveled safely in this obscurity; it has suffered: for the way of suffering is safer, and also more profitable, than that of rejoicing and of action. In suffering God gives strength, but in action and in joy the soul does but show its own weakness and imperfections. And in suffering, the soul practices and acquires virtue, and becomes pure, wiser, and more cautious. ~ Juan de la Cruz,
336:One morning at the end of the two years, as I was writing a letter to his dictation, he came and bent over me, and said--"Jane, have you a glittering ornament round your neck?"
I had a gold watch-chain: I answered "Yes."
"And have you a pale blue dress on?
I had. He informed me then, that for some time he had fancied the obscurity clouding one eye was becoming less dense; and that now he was sure of it. ~ Charlotte Bront,
337:My nun, which is how I think of her, was the most profound witness for God's love I've ever encountered in this world. She was a magnet for lost souls, a petite fortress of strength and unconditional love. What this sprightly, silly, lovely woman did from the obscurity of a faded convent in Rust Belt Chicago was to fulfill in a passionate, tireless way the supreme commandment of Jesus' gospel every day of her life. ~ Cathleen Falsani,
338:Dantes,rejected by all the world,frequently experienced a desire for solitude, and what solitude is at the same time more complete,more poetical , than that of a bark floating isolated on the sea during the obscurity of the night, in the silence of immensity and under the eye of Heaven? Now this solitude was peopled with this thoughts, the night lighted by his illusions, and the silence animated by his anticipations. ~ Alexandre Dumas,
339:Negroes know about each other what can here be called family secrets, and this means that one Negro, if he wishes, can “knock” the other’s “hustle”—can give his game away. It is still not possible to overstate the price a Negro pays to climb out of obscurity—for it is a particular price, involved with being a Negro; and the great wounds, gouges, amputations, losses, scars, endured in such a journey cannot be calculated. ~ James Baldwin,
340:Our lust is furious and our greed limitless in pursuing wealth and honors, chasing after power, heaping up riches, and gathering all those vain things which seem to give us grandeur and glory. On the other hand, we greatly fear and hate poverty, obscurity, and humility, and so we avoid these realities in every way. Thus, we see that those who order their lives according to their own counsel have a restless disposition. We ~ John Calvin,
341:To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up. ~ George Orwell,
342:That this subject [of imaginary magnitudes] has hitherto been considered from the wrong point of view and surrounded by a mysterious obscurity, is to be attributed largely to an ill-adapted notation. If, for example, +1, -1, and the square root of -1 had been called direct, inverse and lateral units, instead of positive, negative and imaginary (or even impossible), such an obscurity would have been out of the question. ~ Carl Friedrich Gauss,
343:But though every created thing is, in this sense, a mystery, the word mystery cannot be applied to moral truth, any more than obscurity can be applied to light. ... Mystery is the antagonist of truth. It is a fog of human invention, that obscures truth, and represents it in distortion. Truth never envelops itself in mystery, and the mystery in which it is at any time enveloped is the work of its antagonist, and never of itself. ~ Thomas Paine,
344:I myself, a professional mathematician, on re-reading my own work find it strains my mental powers to recall to mind from the figures the meanings of the demonstrations, meanings which I myself originally put into the figures and the text from my mind. But when I attempt to remedy the obscurity of the material by putting in extra words, I see myself falling into the opposite fault of becoming chatty in something mathematical. ~ Johannes Kepler,
345:If an author be supposed to involve his thoughts in voluntary obscurity, and to obstruct, by unnecessary difficulties, a mind eager in the pursuit of truth; if he writes not to make others learned, but to boast the learning which he possesses himself, and wishes to be admired rather than understood, he counteracts the first end of writing, and justly suffers the utmost severity of censure, or the more afflicting severity of neglect. ~ Samuel Johnson,
346:Genius is often a short way of spelling hard work. Poverty, obscurity, struggle and ambition formed the foundation for many careers of transcendent achievement. Few marks are made in the world's history by eight-hour-day men.... Sir Joshua Reynolds had but one maxim for success: Work, work, work. Is not rigid and continuous training necessary for the making of strong athletes? Hard work is not fatal to real success. Vouloir c'est pouvoir. ~ B C Forbes,
347:A perpetual stream of strangers and provincials flowed into the capacious bosom of Rome. Whatever was strange or odious, whoever was guilty or suspected, might hope, in the obscurity of that immense capital, to elude the vigilance of the law. In such a various conflux of nations, every teacher, either of truth or of falsehood, every founder, whether of a virtuous or a criminal association, might easily multiply his disciples or accomplices. ~ Edward Gibbon,
348:While property continues to be pretty equally divided, and a considerable share of information pervades the community; the tendency of the people's suffrages, will be to elevate merit even from obscurity. As riches increase and accumulate in few hands; as luxury prevails in society; virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. ~ Alexander Hamilton,
349:Speak, breathe, prophesy, get behind a pulpit and preach, mark exam papers, run a company or a nonprofit, clean your kitchen, put paint on a canvas, organize, rabble-rouse, find transcendence in the laundry pile while you pray in obscurity, deliver babies for Haitian mothers in the midwifery clinic—work the Love out and in and around you however God has made you and placed you to do it. Just do it. Don’t let the lies fence you in or hold you back. ~ Sarah Bessey,
350:I was by birth a gentleman, living neither in any considerable height, nor yet in obscurity. I have been called to several employments in the nation - to serve in parliaments, - and ( because I would not be over tedious ) I did endeavour to discharge the duty of an honest man in those services, to God, and his people's interest, and of the commonwealth; having, when time was, a competent acceptation in the hearts of men, and some evidence thereof. ~ Oliver Cromwell,
351:The first hint of what is to come occurs near the end of Luther’s obscurity. In September 1517 the dutiful Johann Rhau-Grunenberg publishes a one-page broadsheet by Luther with a boring title: A Disputation against Scholastic Theology. In his broadsheet, Luther ironically lists concise propositions to be argued over—a central practice of scholasticism—in order to criticize scholasticism itself, sort of like a poet writing a poem to criticize poetry. ~ Brad S Gregory,
352:This famous building had arisen, that was doomed. To-day Whitehall had been transformed; it would be the turn of Regent Street to-morrow. And month by month the roads smelt more strongly of petrol, and were more difficult to cross, and human beings heard each other speak with greater difficulty, breathed less of the air, and saw less of the sky. Nature withdrew; the leaves were falling by midsummer; the sun shone through dirt with an admired obscurity. ~ E M Forster,
353:Perhaps the deepest reason for Coolidge’s recent obscurity is that the thirtieth president spoke a different economic language from ours. He did not say “money supply”; he said “credit.” He did not say “the federal government”; he said “the national government.” He did not say “private sector”; he said “commerce.” He did not say “savings”; he said “thrift” or “economy.” Indeed, he especially cherished the word “economy” because it came from the Greek for ~ Amity Shlaes,
354:Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source." These thoughts seemed to him comforting. But they were only thoughts. Something was lacking in them, they were not clear, they were too one-sidedly personal and brain-spun. And there was the former agitation and obscurity. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
355:Every artist was haunted by lies. Every artist fought to find truths. Every artist failed. Some turned back, embracing those comforting lies. Others took their own lives in despair. Still others drank themselves into the barrow, or poisoned everyone who drew near enough to touch, to wound. Some simply gave up, and wasted away in obscurity. A few discovered their own mediocrity, and this was the cruellest discovery of all. None found their way to the truths. ~ Steven Erikson,
356:Truly a rare opportunity was given to Marcus Aurelius of showing what the mind can do in despite of circumstances. Most peaceful of warriors, a magnificent monarch whose ideal was quiet happiness in home life, bent to obscurity yet born to greatness, the loving father of children who died young or turned out hateful, his life was one paradox. That nothing might lack, it was in camp before the face of the enemy that he passed away and went to his own place. ~ Marcus Aurelius,
357:I thought that my voyage had come to its end
at the last limit of my power,-that the path before me was closed,
that provisions were exhausted
and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity.

But I find that thy will knows no end in me.
And when old words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Closed Path
,
358:He would also say, 'Those who are ignorant should be taught all you can teach them; society is to blame for not providing free public education, and society will answer for the obscurity it produces. If the soul is left in darkness, sin will be committed. The guilty party is not he who has sinned, but he who created the darkness in the first place."
As you can see, he had a strange, idiosyncratic way of looking at things. I suspect he got it from the Gospel. ~ Victor Hugo,
359:... the sciences are like a beautiful river, of which the course is easy to follow, when it has acquired a certain regularity; but if one wants to go back to the source, one will find it nowhere, because it is everywhere; it is spread so much [as to be] over all the surface of the earth; it is the same if one wants to go back to the origin of the sciences, one will find only obscurity, vague ideas, vicious circles; and one loses oneself in the primitive ideas. ~ Lazare Carnot,
360:I just remember their kindness and goodness to me, and their peacefulness and their utter simplicity. They inspired real reverence, and I think, in a way, they were certainly saints. And they were saints in that most effective and telling way: sanctified by leading ordinary lives in a completely supernatural manner, sanctified by obscurity, by usual skills, by common tasks, by routine, but skills, tasks, routine which received a supernatural form from grace within. ~ Thomas Merton,
361:Achilles chose to live a short life of glory, rather than a long life of obscurity. His personality is the archetype of everyone in this room. Nobody here would have chosen different if they’d known the truth. It’s a lock. A glorious life versus an obscure chance of some disease. No contest. Hell, look at cigarettes. No glory in those, and the warning’s crystal clear. Smoke these, get cancer. Yet people pay big taxes and slink off into corners to light up by the millions. ~ Tim Tigner,
362:Jesus himself, even in his obscurity, dreaded the gathering of crowds, and where possible avoided them. Everything in Christianity that matters is from individual to individual; collectivities belong to the Devil, and so easily respond to his persuasion. The Devil is a demagogue and sloganeer; Jesus was, and is, concerned with individual souls, with the Living Word. What he gives us is truth carried on the wings of love, not slogans carried on the thrust of power. ~ Malcolm Muggeridge,
363:The devil is no fool. He can get people feeling about heaven the way they ought to feel about hell. He can make them fear the means of grace the way they do not fear sin. And he does so, not by light but by obscurity, not by realities but by shadows; not by clarity and substance, but by dreams and the creatures of psychosis. And men are so poor in intellect that a few cold chills down their spine will be enough to keep them from ever finding out the truth about anything. ~ Thomas Merton,
364:I have but one request to ask at my departure from this world; it is-THE CHARITY OF ITS SILENCE. Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me rest in obscurity and peace, and my name remain uninscribed, until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written. ~ Robert Emmet,
365:The four Gricean maxims are: Quantity. Make your contribution to the conversation as informative as required. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required. Quality. Do not say what you believe to be false. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence. Manner. Avoid obscurity of expression (don’t use words that your intended hearer doesn’t know). Avoid ambiguity. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity). Be orderly. Relation. Make your contribution relevant. ~ Daniel J Levitin,
366:If forced to offer an exposé of any given situation, he was always in favour of presenting the substance of what he had to say in terms more or less oracular. Nothing in life – such was his view – must ever be thought of as easy of access. There is something to be said for that approach. Certainly few enough things in life are easy. On the other hand, human affairs can become even additionally clouded with obscurity if the most complicated forms of definition are always deliberately sought. ~ Anthony Powell,
367:After Justinian became Emperor: "He was a man of deep piety, which he signalized, two years after his accession, by closing the schools of philosophy in Athens, where paganism still reigned. The dispossessed philosophers betook themselves to Persia, where the king received them kindly. But they were shocked-- more so, says Gibbon, than became philosophers-- by the Persian practices of polygamy and incest, so they returned home again, and faded into obscurity." How tumultuous thou art, sixth century! ~ Bertrand Russell,
368:What a man finds circa se or sub se is overwhelming in amount, what he finds in se is embarassing in its obscurity, but when from his own being he would obtain light as to what is supra se, then indeed he finds himself face to face with a dark and somewhat terrifying mystery. The trouble is that he is himself involved in the mystery. If, in any true sense, man is an image of God, how should he know himself without knowing God? But if it is really of God that he is an image, how should he know himself? ~ tienne Gilson,
369:What importance can we attach to the things of this world? Friendship? It disappears when the one who is liked comes to grief, or the one who likes becomes powerful. Love? it is deceived, fleeting, or guilty. Fame? You share it with mediocrity or crime. Fortune? Could that frivolity be counted a blessing? All that remains are those so-called happy days that flow past unnoticed in the obscurity of domestic cares, leaving man with the desire neither to lose his life nor to begin it over. ~ Francois Rene de Chateaubriand,
370:The door was locked and Alexia, resourceful as she was, had not yet learned to pick locks. Though she mentally added it to her list of useful skills she needed to acquire along with hand-to-hand combat and the recipe for pesto. If her life were to continue on its present track which after 26 years of obscurity, now seemed to mainly involve people trying to kill her, it would appear that acquiring a less savory skill set might be necessary. Although she supposed pesto making ought to be termed 'more savory'. ~ Gail Carriger,
371:Then, with the barricades complete, the posts assigned, the muskets loaded, the lookouts placed, alone in these fearful streets in which there were now no pedestrians, surrounded by these dumb, and seemingly dead houses, which throbbed with no human motion, wrapped in the deepening shadows of the twilight, which was beginning to fall, in the midst of this obscurity and silence, through which they felt the advance of something inexpressibly tragic and terrifying, isolated, armed, determined, tranquil, they waited. ~ Victor Hugo,
372:This day,” said Gabriel, “this moment, is when you step out from the shadow of the past. Today you make your name. Today your legend is born. Come tomorrow, every tale the bards tell will belong to you, because today we save the world!” Clay sighed in relief. There’d been a hammer, after all. Gabriel tore Vellichor from its scabbard and leveled it at the encroaching Horde. “This is not a choice between life and death, but life and immortality! Remain here and die in obscurity, or follow me now and live forever! ~ Nicholas Eames,
373:The stranger looked at his watch; he jumped to his feet. "Nine o'clock! Mrs. Braile, I'm ashamed. But you must blame your husband, partly. Good night, ma'am; good—Why, look here, Squire Braile!" he arrested himself in offering his hand. "How about the obscurity of the scene where Joe Smith founded his superstition, which bids fair to live right along with the other false religions? Was Leatherwood, Ohio, a narrower stage than Manchester, New York? And in point of time the two cults were only four years apart. ~ William Dean Howells,
374:So that poetry, with all its obscurity, has a more general, as well as a more powerful dominion over the passions, than the other art. And I think there are reasons in nature, why the obscure idea, when properly conveyed, should be more affecting than the clear. It is our ignorance of things that causes all our admiration, and chiefly excites our passions. Knowledge and acquaintance make the most striking causes affect but little. It is thus with the vulgar; and all men are as the vulgar in what they do not understand. ~ Edmund Burke,
375:Penetrate, at certain hours, past the livid face of a human being who is engaged in reflection, and look behind, gaze into that soul, gaze into that obscurity. There, beneath that external silence, battles of giants, like those recorded in Homer, are in progress; skirmishes of dragons and hydras and swarms of phantoms, as in Milton; visionary circles, as in Dante. What a solemn thing is this infinity which every man bears within him, and which he measures with despair against the caprices of his brain and the actions of his life! ~ Victor Hugo,
376:If nothing that can be seen can either be God or represent Him to us as He is, then to find God we must pass beyond everything that can be seen and enter into darkness. Since nothing that can be heard is God, to find Him we must enter into silence. Since God cannot be imagined, anything our imagination tells us about Him is ultimately a lie and therefore we cannot know Him as He really is unless we pass beyond everything that can be imagined and enter into an obscurity without images and without the likeness of any created thing. ~ Thomas Merton,
377:Columbus never found Antilla or anything else he was looking for. His epochal voyage of 1492 was almost the last thing—indeed almost the only thing—that went right in his life. Within eight years, he would find himself summarily relieved of his post as Admiral of the Ocean Sea, returned to Spain in chains, and allowed to sink into such profound obscurity that we don’t know for sure where he is buried. To achieve such a precipitous fall in less than a decade required an unusual measure of incompetence and arrogance. Columbus had both. ~ Bill Bryson,
378:Thus the truth—that his life should be directed by the spiritual element which is its basis, which manifests itself as love, and which is so natural to man—this truth, in order to force a way to man’s consciousness, had to struggle not merely against the obscurity with which it was expressed and the intentional and unintentional distortions surrounding it, but also against deliberate violence, which by means of persecutions and punishments sought to compel men to accept religious laws authorized by the rulers and conflicting with the truth. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
379:It is a matter of living in that state of the absurd I know on what it is founded, this mind and this world straining against each other without being able to embrace each other. I ask for the rule— of life of that state, and what I am offered neglects its basis,
negates one of the terms of the painful opposition, demands of me a resignation. I ask what is involved in the condition I recognize as mine; I know it implies obscurity and ignorance; and I am assured that this ignorance explains everything and that this darkness is my
light. ~ Albert Camus,
380:The ever increasing intensity of despair depends upon the degree of consciousness or is proportionate to this increase: the greater the degree of consciousness, the more intensive the despair. This is everywhere apparent, most clearly in despair at its maximum and minimum. The devil's despair is the most intensive despair, for the devil is sheer spirit and hence unqualified consciousness and transparency; there is no obscurity in the devil that could serve as a mitigating excuse. Therefore, his despair is the most absolute defiance. . . . ~ Soren Kierkegaard,
381:Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas,
382:There is nothing so charming as the knowledge of literature; of that branch of literature, I mean, which enables us to discover the infinity of things, the immensity of Nature, the heavens, the earth, and the seas; this is that branch which has taught us religion, moderation, magnanimity, and that has rescued the soul from obscurity; to make her see all things above and below, first and last, and between both; it is this that furnishes us wherewith to live well and happily, and guides us to pass our lives without displeasure and without offence. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero,
383:Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas,
384:Ideas need to stand out to be noticed. There is so much noisy information out there that if your message is bland, it won't be heard or acted upon. To avoid obscurity, you need to clash with your environment. Incorporating contrast into your presentation will help it stand out. You create contrast by using the presentation form. For example, you can state the problem, then the solution. State an opposing perspective, then your perspective. State the past, then your picture of the future. Adding the cadence of contrast will pull your idea out of obscurity. ~ Nancy Duarte,
385:The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, into ambiguity, not into some predetermined, clearly delineated plan for the future. The next step discloses itself only out of a discernment of God acting in the desert of the present moment. The reality of naked trust is the life of the pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it his presence and his promise. ~ Brennan Manning,
386:He was a noisy robust little man with a gleam of real talent concealed in the messy obscurity of his verse. But because he did his best to shock people with his monstrous mass of otiose words (he was the inventor of the “submental grunt” as he called it), his main output seems now so nugatory, so false, so old-fashioned (super-modern things have a queer knack of dating much faster than others) that his true value is only remembered by a few scholars who admire the magnificent translations of English poems made by him at the very outset of his literary career,— ~ Vladimir Nabokov,
387:One of the only coherent philosophical positions is thus revolt. It is a constant confrontation between man and his own obscurity. It is an insistence upon an impossible transparency. It challenges the world anew every second. Just as danger provided man the unique opportunity of seizing awareness, so metaphysical revolt extends awareness to the whole of experience. It is that constant presence of man in his own eyes. It is not aspiration, for it is devoid of hope. That revolt is the certainty of a crushing fate, without the resignation that ought to accompany it. ~ Albert Camus,
388:O Lord, O eternal Master, grant that all this may not be in vain, grant that the inexhaustible torrents of Thy divine Force may spread over the earth and penetrate its troubled atmosphere, the struggling energies, the violent chaos of battling elements; grant that the pure light of Thy Knowledge and the inexhaustible love of Thy Benediction may fill men's hearts, penetrate their souls, illumine their consciousness and, out of this obscurity, out of this sombre, terrible and potent darkness, bring forth the splendour of Thy majestic Presence!
   ~ The Mother, Prayers And Meditations,
389:Look, we live in a celebrity culture and sometimes you get caught in the wave and the buzz and a lot of it's flattering but, you know, one of the things that I try to remind people of is, is that I was in politics as a state senator operating in obscurity for many years. Before that I was a community organizer working in low income communities in Chicago and nobody knew my name then. And so, having involved myself in public service for a pretty long time without getting too much attention, hopefully I can keep some of the attention that I'm getting now in perspective. ~ Barack Obama,
390:Bands who are in their early 20s today, they are living in their own time and they have a series of parameters they have to work around. Ten years ago, our reality was spending a lot more time in obscurity before anyone really knew who we were. I don't feel like I have any real advice to give anybody who is starting a band today. As Mike Watt said, "You know, not everyone has the ability to be born at the same time." We wanted to be like R.E.M., but the reality is that 15 years after R.E.M. was putting out those records, the playing field had changed drastically as well. ~ Ben Gibbard,
391:it is not that complexity is overrated, but is is overcomplicated; it is not that obscurity is too obscure, it's that the underside grows grungy if it isn't exposed to the change of air;

it is not that the language is exhausted, it is that we run down; it's not that the edge won't cut anymore, it is that the cuts are getting thinner;

it's not that art is artificial, it is that the artists get outright seditty; it's not that literary reputations are not inevitable, it's that they are invented;

not that theories are not beautiful, but that they are feeble ~ C D Wright,
392:Myth is the practical metabolism of our soulish life, the logic of our obsessions and oversights for which we have no language or code. Myth is the "morality" that the ineffable puts upon us, our unaccountable imperatives, our inexplicably selective clarity and obscurity, the mortal one-sidedness of our talents and wits, the passion and apathy that make such a transient passage through our hapless minds; that weave a pattern of fatality others will see before we do. Myth is distinctively human or sublime higher-order instinct, the "reason" in culture that reason knows not of. ~ Kenny Smith,
393:The word mystery cannot be applied to moral truth, any more than obscurity can be applied to light. The God in whom we believe is a God of moral truth, and not a God of mystery or obscurity. Mystery is the antagonist of truth. It is a fog of human invention that obscures truth, and represents it in distortion. Truth never envelops itself in mystery; and the mystery in which it is at any time enveloped, is the work of its antagonist, and never of itself.

Religion, therefore, being the belief of a God, and the practice of a moral truth, cannot have connection with mystery. ~ Thomas Paine,
394:This cloistered existence which is so austere, so depressing, a few of whose features we have just traced, is not life, for it is not liberty; it is not the tomb, for it is not plenitude; it is the strange place whence one beholds, as from the crest of a lofty mountain, on one side the abyss where we are, on the other, the abyss whither we shall go; it is the narrow and misty frontier separating two worlds, illuminated and obscured by both at the same time, where the ray of life which has become enfeebled is mingled with the vague ray of death; it is the half obscurity of the tomb. ~ Victor Hugo,
395:He was… blindingly beautiful, and wealthy, and my boss; all really good reasons why we were not suitable.

But, I really, really liked him. He was damn sexy and interesting and crazy smart and annoyingly insightful. I had to trust that there was something about me that he saw and liked enough to abandon his slamps and his Wendell lifestyle. I didn’t like trusting, I didn’t like setting greater than mild expectations, but I wanted to have faith in him. Call it wine, call it Quinn-sniff induced obscurity but I was too warm and fuzzy feeling to dwell on the scary side of strip poker. ~ Penny Reid,
396:But, sir, isn't death a dreadful thing?" asked Malcolm.

"That depends on whether a man regards it as his fate or as the will of a perfect God. Its obscurity is its dread. But if God be light, then death itself must be full of splendor--a splendor probably too keen for our eyes to receive."

"But there's the dying itself; isn't that fearsome? It's that I would be afraid of."

"I don't see why it should be. It's the lack of a God that makes it dreadful, and you would be greatly to blame for that, Malcolm, if you hadn't found your God by the time you had to die. ~ George MacDonald,
397:He could have disembarked in one of the world's greatest cities. People would have said, "Right time, right place, look what fate can do."

He could have been born into a billionaire financial dynasty. People would have said, "Look what money can do."

He could have been the child of an earthly emperor. People would have said, "Look what political power can do."

He could have come by way of a celebrity family. People would have said, "Look what fame can do."

Instead, he stepped into poverty, weakness, and obscurity, and all we're left to say is, "Look what God can do. ~ Kyle Idleman,
398:It would seem, indeed, that there is in certain men the veritable instinct of a beast, pure and complete like all instinct, which creates antipathies and sympathies, which separates on nature from another for ever, which never hesitates, never is perturbed, never keeps silent, and never admits itself to be in the wrong; clear in its obscurity, infallible, imperious, refractory under all the counsels of intelligence, and all the solvents of reason, and which, whatever may be their destinies, secretly warns the dog-man of the presence of the cat-man and the fox-man of the presence of the lion-man. ~ Victor Hugo,
399:Men love jargon. It is so palpable, tangible, visible, audible; it makes so obvious what one has learned; it satisfies the craving for results. It is impressive for the uninitiated. It makes one feel that one belongs. Jargon divides men into Us and Them….
Obscurity is fascinating. One tries to puzzle out details, is stumpred, and becomes increasingly concerned with meaning – unless one feels put off and gives up altogether.
Those who persevere and take the author seriously are led to ask about what he could possibly have meant, but rarely seem to wonder or discuss whether what he says is true. ~ Walter Kaufmann,
400:All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity, that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut. Whether this be the case with my history or not, I am hardly competent to judge. I sometimes think it might prove useful to some, and entertaining to others; but the world may judge for itself. Shielded by my own obscurity, and by the lapse of years, and a few fictitious names, I do not fear to venture; and will candidly lay before the public what I would not disclose to the most intimate friend. ~ Anne Bront,
401:All the pictures in this book are authentic, vintage found photographs, and with the exception of a few that have undergone minimal postprocessing, they are unaltered. They were lent from the personal archives of ten collectors, people who have spent years and countless hours hunting through giant bins of unsorted snapshots at flea markets and antiques malls and yard sales to find a transcendent few, rescuing images of historical significance and arresting beauty from obscurity—and, most likely, the dump. Their work is an unglamorous labor of love, and I think they are the unsung heroes of the photography world. ~ Ransom Riggs,
402:A bad composition carries its own punishment—contempt and ridicule; a good one excites envy and entails upon its author a thousand mortifications; he finds himself assailed by partial and ill-humored criticism; one man finds fault with the plan, another with the style, a third with the precept which strives to inculcate; and they who cannot succeed in finding fault with the book, employ themselves in stigmatizing its author: they maliciously rake out from obscurity every little circumstance which may throw ridicule upon his private character or conduct and aim at wounding the man since they cannot hurt the writer. ~ Matthew Lewis,
403:Between one heartbeat and the next, a man can dream his entire life; tomorrow will open up in front of him and yesterday will retreat into time’s abyss. There is no better place for personal memories than obscurity. Once lived, the past has very little value. And yet we carry its lifeless body into all future moments, allowing it to crush us with its weight, to identify us, and to speak for us. Even the most capable adults seem reluctant to make a decision without first consulting the past—the corpse—and listening to its endless rebukes. A wise man will ignore such counsel and observe the world from an infinite perspective. ~ Miguel Ruiz,
404:Alma Mater
He knocked, and I beheld him at the door-A vision for the gods to verify.
"What battered ancient is this," thought I,
"And when, if ever, did we meet before?"
But ask him as I might, I got no more
For answer than a moaning and a cry:
Too late to parley, but in time to die,
He staggered, and lay ahapeless on the floor.
When had I known him? And what brought him here?
Love, warning, malediction, fear?
Surely I never thwarted such as he?-Again, what soiled obscurity was this:
Out of what scum, and up from what abyss,
Had they arrived--these rags of memory.
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson,
405:Aomame imagined 1926 Czechoslovakia: The First World War had ended, and the country was freed from the long rule of the Hapsburg Dynasty. As they enjoyed the peaceful respite visiting central Europe, people drank Pilsner beer in cafés and manufactured handsome light machine guns. Two years earlier, in utter obscurity, Franz Kafka had left the world behind. Soon Hitler would come out of nowhere and gobble up this beautiful little country in the blink of an eye, but at the time no one knew what hardships lay in store for them. This may be the most important proposition revealed by history: “At the time, no one knew what was coming. ~ Haruki Murakami,
406:Men dream that heroes are only to be made on special occasions, once or twice in a century; but in truth the finest heroes are home-spun, and are more often hidden in obscurity than platformed by public observation. Trust in the living God is the bullion out of which heroism is coined. Perseverance in well-doing is one of the fields in which faith grows not flowers, but the wheat of her harvest. Plodding on in hard work, bringing up a family on a few shillings a week, bearing constant pain with patience, and so forth—these are the feats of valour through which God is glorified by the rank and file of His believing people. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
407:A man named Vicente Fox was sworn in as president of Mexico, ending seventy-five years of control by the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Across the border, the United States Supreme Court released its landmark decision in Bush v. Gore, deciding the 2000 presidential election and ensuring the term “hanging chad” took its place permanently in the English lexicon. Leninist guerrillas launched an attack in Istanbul, and a series of bombs exploded in downtown Manila, killing twenty-two people and injuring dozens more. Cambodia’s failed coup slipped from network news bulletins, and the country returned once more to relative international obscurity. ~ Dan Eaton,
408:It was difficult to say which were the more dismal, these deserted streets that wandered away to right and left, or the great main thoroughfare with its narcotic and shadowy life. For the latter appeared vast, interminable, grey, and those who travelled by it were scarcely real, the bodies of the living, but rather the uncertain and misty shapes that come sand go across the desert in an Eastern tale, when men look up from the sand and see a caravan pass them, all in silence, without a cry or a greeting. So they passed and repassed each other on those pavements, appearing and vanishing, each intent on his own secret, and wrapped in obscurity. ~ Arthur Machen,
409:Amidst this cold obscurity, there was one brilliant circumstance to cheer him; he was well acquainted with Mr. Henry Hervey, one of the branches of the noble family of that name, who had been quartered at Lichfield as an officer of the army, and had at this time a house in London, where Johnson was frequently entertained, and had an opportunity of meeting genteel company. Not very long before his death, he mentioned this, among other particulars of his life, which he was kindly communicating to me; and he described this early friend, ‘Harry Hervey,’ thus: ‘He was a vicious man, but very kind to me. If you call a dog HERVEY, I shall love him. ~ Samuel Johnson,
410:When confronted with heartbreak, fear, questions, longing, frustrations, and grief, this new life means instead of running to build our cities of protection, we can set out on a different road. This road that may include loneliness, obscurity, hiddenness, and silence. It may be narrow, lined with danger, and filled with darkness at times. But we have a light that will not go out and cannot be turned off. The light of Christ burns bright within us, and wherever we go we will not go alone. This is our promise, our protection, and the place where our voice comes from. When we turn our back on the city, we may find heartache—but we will also find something else. ~ Emily P Freeman,
411:The sweetest and most inoffensive path of life leads through the avenues of science and learning; and whoever can either remove any obstructions in this way, or open up any new prospect, ought so far to be esteemed a benefactor to mankind. And though these researches may appear painful and fatiguing. It is with some minds as with some bodies, which being endowed with vigorous and florid health, require severe exercise, and reap a pleasure from what, to the generality of mankind, may seem burdensome and laborious. Obscurity, indeed, is painful to the mind as well as to the eye; but to bring light from obscurity, by whatever labour, must needs be delightful and rejoicing. ~ David Hume,
412:There is always some tendency to looseness, forgetfulness and inattention in the physical consciousness. One has to be very vigilant and careful to prevent this tendency having its way. There are many [defects of the physical consciousness] - but mainly obscurity, inertia, tamas, a passive acceptance of the play of wrong forces, inability to change, attachment to habits, lack of plasticity, forgetfulness, loss of experiences or realisations gained, unwillingness to accept the Light or to follow it, incapacity (through tamas or through attachment or through passive reaction to accustomed forces) to do what it admits to be the Right and the Best.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV,
413:Who are you?” asked Enoch. The larger, stronger angel spoke first, “We are Gabriel and Uriel, the archangels from the throne of Elohim.” “Elohim?” Enoch had heard of the name. His tribe descended from the line of Seth that had worshipped this god as the creator of all things. But when the dispersion had occurred and his ancestors had settled in the city, they were visited by the gods of Shinar, and this Elohim faded into obscurity. An abstract blurred memory of a distant unseen deity seemed impotent in the real presence of the pantheon with its Four High Gods, Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursag, and their mighty signs and wonders. “Everything you worship is a lie,” said Gabriel. ~ Brian Godawa,
414:The Tree and the Reed

"Well, little one," said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its foot, "why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your head boldly in the air as I do?"

"I am contented with my lot," said the Reed. "I may not be so grand, but I think I am safer."

"Safe!" sneered the Tree. "Who shall pluck me up by the roots or bow my head to the ground?" But it soon had to repent of its boasting, for a hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a useless log on the ground, while the little Reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.

Obscurity often brings safety. ~ Aesop,
415:The dream is evidently an indication of the difficulty you are experiencing. The sea is the sea of the vital nature whose flood is pursuing you (desires are the sea water) on your road of sadhana.
The Mother is there in your heart but sleeping - i.e. her power has not become conscious in your inner consciousness because she is surrounded by the thin curtain of skin (the obscurity of the physical nature). It is this (it is not thick any longer but still effective to veil her from you) which has to go so that she may awake. It is a matter of persistence in the will and the endeavour - the response from within, the awaking of the Mother in the heart will come. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - III,
416:After all, pain, exile, or confinement are sometimes accepted when dictated by good sense or by the doctor. In the eyes of the rebel, what is missing from the misery of the world, as well as from its moments of happiness, is some principle by which they can be explained. The insurrection against evil is, above all, a demand for unity. The rebel obstinately confronts a world condemned to death and the impenetrable obscurity of the human condition with his demand for life and absolute clarity. He is seeking, without knowing it, a moral philosophy or a religion. Rebellion, even though it is blind, is a form of asceticism. Therefore, if the rebel blasphemes, it is in the hope of finding a new god. ~ Albert Camus,
417:I believe in aristocracy, though -- if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secreat understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but power to endure, and they can take a joke. ~ E M Forster,
418:There is only one way if you cannot exert your will - it is to call the Force; even the call only with the mind or the mental word is better than being extremely passive and submitted to the attack, - for although it may not succeed instantaneously, the mental call even ends by bringing the Force and opening up the consciousness again. For everything depends upon that. In the externalised consciousness obscurity and suffering can always be there; the more the internalised consciousness reigns, the more these things are pushed back and out, and with the full internalised consciousness they cannot remain
   - if they come, it is as outside touches unable to lodge themselves in the being. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV,
419:I would hate to have parents who were always looking over my shoulder, reading my diary, checking my thoughts. I would hate to be exposed. And so, perhaps, when I say I long to be a pane of glass, I am lying. I long for partial obscurity at the same time that I long for someone to know me.
It is confusing and difficult to be me.
Sometimes I I need to cry in order to release the great welling sadness I feel in my head.
For this I need privacy. I do not want anyone to see me and ask why, almost as much as I would like to be comforted.
Somehow, without ever being present, Matthew has exposed all of this, brought it wriggling to the surface like worms. They gather there now, vaguely nostalgic for the dark. ~ Meg Rosoff,
420:The Cosmos extends, for all practical purposes, forever. After a brief sedentary hiatus, we are resuming our ancient nomadic way of life. Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds throughout the Solar System and beyond, will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the Universe come from Earth. They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will love it no less for its obscurity and fragility. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings, how many rivers we had to cross before we found our way. ~ Carl Sagan,
421:Thinking, even when thinking is difficult, versus nonthinking Awareness, even when awareness is challenging, versus unawareness Clarity, whether or not it comes easily, versus obscurity or vagueness Respect for reality, whether pleasant or painful, versus avoidance of reality Respect for truth versus rejection of truth Independence versus dependence Active orientation versus passive orientation Willingness to take appropriate risks, even in the face of fear, versus unwillingness Honesty with self versus dishonesty Living in and being responsible to the present versus retreating into fantasy Self-confrontation versus self-avoidance Willingness to see and correct mistakes versus perseverance in error Reason versus irrationalism ~ Nathaniel Branden,
422:At such times, it is particularly important to return to fundamentals. Many assumptions about leadership in the political realm are superficial and unsubstantiated ; there is no need to guide one’s policies by the results of the latest poll or to force every complex idea into a sound bite. Here one can take inspiration from those individuals who have not accepted the conventional wisdom, who have risked defeat, rejection, obscurity, even their lives, in order to pursue ideas in which they (and perhaps a few followers) believe. To put it simply: Leaders can actually lead. One of the important roles that elders can provide in a society is to call attention to those figures from whom one may learn, and by whose lives one may be guided. ~ Howard Gardner,
423:An Author, whether good or bad, or between both, is an Animal whom everybody is privileged to attack; For though All are not able to write books, all conceive themselves able to judge them. A good one excites envy, and entails upon its Author a thousand mortifications. He finds himself assailed by partial and ill-humoured Criticism: One Man finds fault with the plan, Another with the style, a Third with the precept, which it strives to inculcate; and they who cannot succeed in finding fault with the Book, employ themselves in stigmatizing its Author. They maliciously rake out from obscurity every little circumstance which may throw ridicule upon his private character or conduct, and aim at wounding the Man, since They cannot hurt the Writer. ~ Matthew Lewis,
424:And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
425:We didn't try to force God's hand or do the "I just heard a sermon about David and Goliath so I need to quit my job right this second" leap of faith that's so popular in Christian circles. We took our time with the decision, like another guy in the Bible, named Jesus. He spent thirty years in obscurity before he started his adventure. Often, we're not willing to spend thirty minutes in preparation, never mind thirty years, especially when we come home from a conference and find our day jobs waiting for us on Monday morning. I'm not sure why Christians sometimes think the maturation of our own missions will be radically shorter than that of Jesus. But it happens and in the past I've certainly wanted to take wild, unplanned, possibly-not-inspired-by-God leaps of faith. ~ Jon Acuff,
426:Ages of prolonged uncertainty, while they are compatible with the highest degree of saintliness in a few, are inimical to the prosaic every-day virtues of respectable citizens. There seems no use in thrift, when tomorrow all your savings may be dissipated; no advantage in honesty, when the man towards whom you practise it is pretty sure to swindle you; no point in steadfast adherence to the cause, when no cause is important or has a chance of stable victory; no argument in favour of truthfulness, when only supple tergiversation makes the preservation of life and fortune possible. The man whose virtue has no source except a purely terrestrial prudence will in such a world, become an adventurer if he has the courage, and, if not, will seek obscurity as a timid time-server. ~ Bertrand Russell,
427:Together they repeat, ''we are, we are, because we know, because we can tell each other the words of knowledge, of free and absolute consciousness.'' Thus do they stupefy one another.
Having nothing and able to give nothing, they let themselves sink into words that feign communication, because none of them can make his world be the world of the others; they feign words containing the absolute world, and with words they nourish their boredom, making themselves a poultice for the pain; with words they show what they do not know and what they need in order to soothe the pain or make themselves numb to it. Each word contains mystery, and they entrust themselves to words, weaving with them thereby a new, tacitly agreed-upon veil over the obscurity: 'ornaments of the darkness'. ~ Carlo Michelstaedter,
428:Together they repeat, ''we are, we are, because we know, because we can tell each other the words of knowledge, of free and absolute consciousness.'' Thus do they stupefy one another.

Having nothing and able to give nothing, they let themselves sink into words that feign communication, because none of them can make his world be the world of the others; they feign words containing the absolute world, and with words they nourish their boredom, making themselves a poultice for the pain; with words they show what they do not know and what they need in order to soothe the pain or make themselves numb to it. Each word contains mystery, and they entrust themselves to words, weaving with them thereby a new, tacitly agreed-upon veil over the obscurity: 'ornaments of the darkness'. ~ Carlo Michelstaedter,
429:Just as a child cries out in the dark to make a sign of its own persona, which, in its infinite fear, it senses is insufficient, so men, who in the solitude of their empty spirit feel insufficient, inadequately affirm themselves, feigning the sign of the persona they do not have, “knowledge,” as if it were already in their hands. They no longer hear the voice of things telling them, “You are,” and amidst the obscurity they do not have the courage to endure, but each seeks his companion’s hand and says, “I am, you are, we are,” so that the other might act the mirror and tell him,“you are, I am, we are”; and together they repeat, “we are, we are, because we know, because we can tell each other the words of knowledge, of free and absolute consciousness.” Thus do they stupefy one another. ~ Carlo Michelstaedter,
430:Our first decisive step out of our human intelligence, our normal mentality, is an ascent into a higher Mind, a mind no longer of mingled light and obscurity or half-light, but a large clarity of the spirit. Its basic substance is a unitarian sense of being with a powerful multiple dynamisation capable of the formation of a multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action, forms and significances of becoming, of all of which there is a spontaneous inherent knowledge. It is therefore a power that has proceeded from the Overmind,-but with the Supermind as its ulterior origin,-as all these greater powers have proceeded: but its special character, its activity of consciousness are dominated by Thought; it is a luminous thought-mind, a mind of spirit-born conceptual knowledge.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine,
431:Sitting there on the heather, on our planetary grain, I shrank from the abysses that opened up on every side, and in the future. The silent darkness, the featureless unknown, were more dread than all the terrors that imagination had mustered. Peering, the mind could see nothing sure, nothing in all human experience to be grasped as certain, except uncertainty itself; nothing but obscurity gendered by a thick haze of theories. Man's science was a mere mist of numbers; his philosophy but a fog of words. His very perception of this rocky grain and all its wonders was but a shifting and a lying apparition. Even oneself, that seeming-central fact, was a mere phantom, so deceptive, that the most honest of men must question his own honesty, so insubstantial that he must even doubt his very existence. ~ Olaf Stapledon,
432:Smiley himself was one of those solitaires who seem to have come into the world fully educated at the age of eighteen. Obscurity was his nature, as well as his profession. The byways of espionage are not populated by the brash and colourful adventurers of fiction. A man who, like Smiley, has lived and worked for years among his country's enemies learns only one prayer: that he may never, never be noticed. Assimilation is his highest aim, he learns to love the crowds who pass him in the street without a glance; he clings to them for his anonimity and his safety. His fear makes him servile - he could embrace the shoppers who jostle him in their impatience, and force him from the pavement. He could adore the officials, the police, the bus conductors, for the terse indifference of their attitudes. (ch. 9) ~ John le Carr,
433:Soon after, you learn that most of the world doesn't necessarily care about what you think. It sounds harsh, but it's true. As the writer Steven Pressfield says, "It's not that people are mean or cruel, they're just busy."
This is actually a good thing, because you want attention only after you're doing really good work. There's no pressure when you're unknown. You can do what you want. Experiment. Do things just for the fun of it. When you're unknown, there's nothing to distract you from getting better. No public image to manage. No huge paycheck on the line. No stock-holders. No e-mails from your agent. No hangers-on.
You'll never get that freedom back again once people start paying you attention, and especially not once they start paying you money.
Enjoy your obscurity while it lasts. Use it. ~ Austin Kleon,
434:Sonnet For Winter, 48
There is nothing out there; draw the curtain close.
Those are only to lull you -- grass, dirt, puddle, sky.
Not that your potted plant, pet songster are any less false.
Fall into yourself, sink into your own black hole.
Objects are decoys, safer to be deaf as stone,
No Tao can teach you what you don‘t already know.
As Sinbad with his load of old man of the sea
Get used to this daylong donkey’s toil of crafting rhyme.
Winter casts its anchor; what need to wait for more?
Coast and seaport come to life on an once immaculate wall;
Hours, gongs, bells, changes merge into one.
Flinging away its cloak of light and moonlight,
The earth slips into obscurity so that you can create
Your own unmoving sun and earth and moon on the page.
~ Buddhadeb Bosu,
435:He had gathered about him what was considered by many to be the intellectual and artistic elite . . . actually, a group of bored men and libertines who were glib-tongued, talking much of art, literature, and music but without any deep-seated convictions upon any subject aside from their own prejudices. Mainly concerned with their own posturing, they were creatures of fad and whim, seizing upon this writer or that composer and exalting him to the skies until he bored them, then shifting to some other. Occasionally, the artist upon whom they lavished attention were of genuine ability, but more often they possessed some obscurity that gave the dilettantes an illusion of depth and quality. In the majority of cases what was fancied to be profound was simply bad writing, bad painting, or deliberately affected obscurity. ~ Louis L Amour,
436:The general history of art and literature shows that the highest achievements of the human mind are, as a rule, not favorably received at first; but remain in obscurity until they win notice from intelligence of a high order, by whose influence they are brought into a position which they then maintain, in virtue of the authority thus given them. If the reason of this should be asked, it will be found that ultimately, a man can really understand and appreciate those things only which are of like nature with himself. The dull person will like what is dull, and the common person what is common; a man whose ideas are mixed will be attracted by confusion of thought; and folly will appeal to him who has no brains at all; but best of all, a man will like his own works, as being of a character thoroughly at one with himself. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
437:In the course of this story, and very soon now, it will be necessary to make some disclosures about Mr. Krupper of a nature too coarse to be dealt with very directly in a work of such brevity. The grossly naturalistic details of a life, contained in the enormously wide context of that life, are softened and qualified by it, but when you attempt to set those details down in a tale, some measure of obscurity or indirection is called for to provide the same, or even approximate, softening effect that existence in time gives to those gross elements in the life itself. When I say that there was a certain mystery in the life of Mr. Krupper, I am beginning to approach those things in the only way possible without a head-on violence that would disgust and destroy and which would actually falsify the story.

("Hard Candy") ~ Tennessee Williams,
438:Mennonites formed themselves in Holland five hundred years ago after a man named Menno Simons became so moved by hearing Anabaptist prisoners singing hymns before being executed by the Spanish Inquisition that he joined their cause and became their leader. Then they started to move all around the world in colonies looking for freedom and isolation and peace and opportunities to sell cheese. Different countries give us shelter if we agree to stay out of trouble and help with the economy by farming in obscurity. We live like ghosts. Then, sometimes, those countries decide they want us to be real citizens after all and start to force us to do things like join the army or pay taxes or respect laws and then we pack our stuff up in the middle of the night and move to another country where we can live purely but somewhat out of context. ~ Miriam Toews,
439:Although there is no study which presents so simple a beginning as that of geometry, there is none in which difficulties grow more rapidly as we proceed, and what may appear at first rather paradoxical, the more acute the student the more serious will the impediments in the way of his progress appear. This necessarily follows in a science which consists of reasoning from the very commencement, for it is evident that every student will feel a claim to have his objections answered, not by authority, but by argument, and that the intelligent student will perceive more readily than another the force of an objection and the obscurity arising from an unexplained difficulty, as the greater is the ordinary light the more will occasional darkness be felt. To remove some of these difficulties is the principal object of this Treatise. ~ Augustus De Morgan, Ch. I.,
440:To write the poem of the human conscience, were it only of a single man, were it only of the most infamous of men, would be to swallow up all epics in a superior and final epic. The conscience is the chaos of chimeras, of lusts and of temptations, the furnace of dreams, the cave of the ideas which are our shame; it is the pandemonium of sophisms, the battlefield of the passions. At certain hours, penetrate within the livid face of a human being who reflects, and look at what lies behind; look into that soul, look into that obscurity. There, beneath the external silence, there are combats of giants as in Homer, mêlées of dragons and hydras, and clouds of phantoms as in Milton, ghostly labyrinths as in Dante. What a gloom enwraps that infinite which each man bears within himself, and by which he measures in despair the desires of his will, and the actions of his life! ~ Victor Hugo,
441:Total obscurity. Bilbo in Gollum's tunnel.
A mathematician's first steps into unknown territory constitute the first phase of a familiar cycle.
After the darkness comes a faint, faint glimmer of light, just enough to make you think that something is there, almost within reach, waiting to be discovered . . .
Then, after the faint, faint glimmer, if all goes well, you unravel the thread - and suddenly it's broad daylight! You're full of confidence, you want to tell anyone who will listen about what you've found.
And then, after day has broken, after the sun has climbed high into the sky, a phase of depression inevitably follows. You lose all faith in the importance of what you've achieved. Any idiot could have done what you've done, go find yourself a more worthwhile problem and make something of your life. Thus the cycle of mathematical research . . . ~ C dric Villani,
442:Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace nerditude. In the immortal words of Lafcadio Hearn, a geek of incredible obscurity whose work is still in print after a hundred years, “Woo the muse of the odd.” You may be a geek. You may have geek written all over you. You should aim to be one geek they'll never forget. Don't aim to be civilized. Don’t hope that straight people will keep you on as some sort of pet. To hell with them. You should fully realize what society has made of you and take a terrible revenge. Get weird. Get way weird. Get dangerously weird. Get sophisticatedly, thoroughly weird, and don't do it halfway. Put every ounce of horsepower you have behind it. Don't become a well-rounded person. Well-rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a pufferfish. ~ Bruce Sterling,
443:Putting the power grid online raises obvious cybersecurity concerns, but centralized control would only magnify these problems. The history of the Internet has shown that security through obscurity doesn’t work. Systems that have kept their inner workings a secret in the name of security have consistently proved more vulnerable than those that have allowed themselves to be examined—and challenged—by outsiders. The open protocols and programs used to protect Internet communications are the result of ongoing development and testing by a large expert community. Another historical lesson is that people, not technology, are the most common weakness when it comes to security. No matter how secure a system is, someone who has access to it can always be corrupted, wittingly or otherwise. Centralized control introduces a point of vulnerability that is not present in a distributed system. ~ Anonymous,
444:Wait long enough, and what was once mainstream will fall into obscurity. When that happens, it will become valuable again to those looking for authenticity or irony or cleverness. The value, then, is not intrinsic. The thing itself doesn’t have as much value as the perception of how it was obtained or why it is possessed. Once enough people join in, like with oversized glasses frames or slap bracelets, the status gained from owning the item or being a fan of the band is lost, and the search begins again.
You would compete like this no matter how society was constructed. Competition for status is built into the human experience at the biological level. Poor people compete with resources. The middle class competes with selection. The wealthy compete with possessions.
You sold out long ago in one way or another. The specifics of who you sell to and how much you make—those are only details. ~ David McRaney,
445:Then, too, the dissemination of the truth in a society based on coercion was always hindered in one and the same manner, namely, those in power, feeling that the recognition of this truth would undermine their position, consciously or sometimes unconsciously perverted it by explanations and additions quite foreign to it, and also opposed it by open violence. Thus the truth—that his life should be directed by the spiritual element which is its basis, which manifests itself as love, and which is so natural to man—this truth, in order to force a way to man's consciousness, had to struggle not merely against the obscurity with which it was expressed and the intentional and unintentional distortions surrounding it, but also against deliberate violence, which by means of persecutions and punishments sought to compel men to accept religious laws authorized by the rulers and conflicting with the truth. ~ Mahatma Gandhi,
446:A man is born; his first years go by in obscurity amid the pleasures or hardships of childhood. He grows up; then comes the beginning of manhood; finally society's gates open to welcome him; he comes into contact with his fellows. For the first time he is scrutinized and the seeds of the vices and virtues of his maturity are thought to be observed forming in him.

This is, if I am not mistaken, a singular error.

Step back in time; look closely at the child in the very arms of his mother; see the external world reflected for the first time in the yet unclear mirror of his understanding; study the first examples which strike his eyes; listen to the first word which arouse with him the slumbering power of thought; watch the first struggles which he has to undergo; only then will you comprehend the source of the prejudices, the habits, and the passions which are to rule his life. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville,
447:The mind is hurried out of itself, by a crowd of great and confused images; which affect because they are crowded and confused. For separate them, and you lose much of the greatness; and join them, and you infallibly lose the clearness. [...] But painting, when we have allowed for the pleasure of imitation, can only affect simply by the images it presents; and even in painting, a judicious obscurity in some things contributes to the effect of the picture; because the images in painting are exactly similar to those in nature; and in nature, dark, confused, uncertain images have a greater power on the fancy to form the grander passions, than those have which are more clear and determinate. But where and when this observation may be applied to practice, and how far it shall be extended, will be better deduced from the nature of the subject, and from the occasion, than from any rules that can be given. ~ Edmund Burke,
448:Precisely because of this tendency one must be careful not to give the impression, which in any event is false, that only intellectuals equipped with special training are capable of such analytic work. In fact that is just what the intelligentsia would often like us to think: they pretend to be engaged in an esoteric enterprise, inaccessible to simple people. But that’s nonsense. The social sciences generally, and above all the analysis of contemporary affairs, are quite accessible to anyone who wants to take an interest in these matters. The alleged complexity, depth, and obscurity of these questions is part of the illusion propagated by the system of ideological control, which aims to make the issues seem remote from the general population and to persuade them of their incapacity to organize their own affairs or to understand the social world in which they live without the tutelage of intermediaries. ~ Noam Chomsky,
449:All the men of this party were fishing for rubles, decorations, and promotions, and in this pursuit watched only the weathercock of imperial favor, and directly they noticed it turning in any direction, this whole drone population of the army began blowing hard that way, so that it was all the harder for the Emperor to turn it elsewhere. Amid the uncertainties of the position, with the menace of serious danger giving a peculiarly threatening character to everything, amid this vortex of intrigue, egotism, conflict of views and feelings, and the diversity of race among these people—this eighth and largest party of those preoccupied with personal interests imparted great confusion and obscurity to the common task. Whatever question arose, a swarm of these drones, without having finished their buzzing on a previous theme, flew over to the new one and by their hum drowned and obscured the voices of those who were disputing honestly. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
450:The United States was not always on top.  In fact prior to World War II, the country barely cracked the top thirty list of most influential nations on the globe.  Most people attributed the nation’s rise to developing the atomic bomb first.  That technological advantage lasted a grand total of four short years; a relative flash in the pan.  Ascension from obscurity to superpower took a sustained technological edge for decades that the rest of the world was powerless to match.  NASA provided that edge. Computers, integrated circuit boards, metallic alloys, heat shielding, fiber optics, Kevlar, nylon, and the ability to place satellites in orbit all came into commercial use after first being perfected by NASA to serve their needs.  Even the program’s failures and useless passion projects, like studying the dust particles trailing behind a comet, led to new materials, new software, better propulsion systems, and the list went on and on.  ~ Mark Henrikson,
451:Battles against Rome have been lost and won before, but hope was never abandoned, since we were always here in reserve. We, the choicest flower of Britain's manhood, were hidden away in her most secret places. Out of sight of subject shores, we kept even our eyes free from the defilement of tyranny. We, the most distant dwellers upon earth, the last of the free, have been shielded till today by our very remoteness and by the obscurity in which it has shrouded our name. Now, the farthest bounds of Britain lie open to our enemies; and what men know nothing about they always assume to be a valuable prize....

A rich enemy excites their cupidity; a poor one, their lust for power. East and West alike have failed to satisfy them. They are the only people on earth to whose covetousness both riches and poverty are equally tempting. To robbery, butchery and rapine, they give the lying name of 'government'; they create a desolation and call it peace... ~ Tacitus,
452:I believe in aristocracy, though—if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power … but … of the sensitive, the considerate.… Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure … E. M. Forster, “What I Believe,”         in Two Cheers for Democracy             Contents   Cover   Title Page   Copyright   Dedication   Epigraph   Preface   Are You Highly Sensitive? A Self-Test   1  The Facts About Being Highly Sensitive: A (Wrong) Sense of Being Flawed   2  Digging Deeper: Understanding Your Trait for All That It Is ~ Elaine N Aron,
453:Welcome obscurity.

No one knows who you are right now. And that’s just fine. Being obscure is a great position to be in. Be happy you’re in the shadows.

Use this time to make mistakes without the whole world hearing about them. Keep tweaking. Work out the kinks. Test random ideas. Try new things. No one knows you, so it’s no big deal if you mess up. Obscurity helps protect your ego and preserve your confidence….

Would you want the whole world to watch you the first time you do anything? If you’ve never given a speech before, do you want your first speech to be in front of ten thousand people or ten people? You don’t want everyone to watch you starting your business. It makes no sense to tell everyone to look at you if you’re not ready to be looked at yet….

These early days of obscurity are something you’ll miss later on, when you’re really under the microscope. Now’s the time to take risks without worrying about embarrassing yourself. ~ Jason Fried,
454:Now, all quiet, all rusty, wind and rain in possession, lamps extinguished, Mugby Junction dead and indistinct, with its robe drawn over its head, like Cæsar. Now, too, as the belated traveller plodded up and down, a shadowy train went by him in the gloom which was no other than the train of a life. From whatsoever intangible deep cutting or dark tunnel it emerged, here it came, unsummoned and unannounced, stealing upon him and passing away into obscurity. Here, mournfully went by, a child who had never had a childhood or known a parent, inseparable from a youth with a bitter sense of his namelessness, coupled to a man the enforced business of whose best years had been distasteful and oppressive, linked to an ungrateful friend, dragging after him a woman once beloved. Attendant, with many a clank and wrench, were lumbering cares, dark meditations, huge dim disappointments, monotonous years, a long jarring line of the discords of a solitary and unhappy existence. ~ Charles Dickens,
455:For the mythological hero is the champion not of things become but of things becoming; the dragon to be slain by him is precisely the monster of the status quo: Holdfast, the keeper of the past. From obscurity the hero emerges, but the enemy is great and conspicuous in the seat of power; he is enemy, dragon, tyrant, because he turns to his own advantage the authority of his position. He is Holdfast not because he keeps the past but because he keeps. The tyrant is proud, and therein resides his doom. He is proud because he thinks of his strength as his own; thus he is in the clown role, as a mistaker of shadow for substance; it is his destiny to be tricked. The mythological hero, reappearing from the darkness that is the source of the shapes of the day, brings a knowledge of the secret of the tyrant's doom. With a gesture as simple as the pressing of a button, he annihilates the impressive configuration. The hero-deed is a continuous shattering of the crystallizations of the moment ~ Anonymous,
456:But to be brief. The clearness of the Scripture is twofold; even as the
obscurity is twofold also. The one is external, placed in the ministry of
the word; the other internal, placed in the understanding of the heart. If
you speak of the internal clearness, no man sees one iota in the
Scriptures, but he that hath the Spirit of God. All have a darkened heart;
so that, even if they know how to speak of, and set forth, all things in
the Scripture, yet, they cannot feel them nor know them: nor do they
believe that they are the creatures of God, nor any thing else: according
to that of Psalm xiv, 1. "The fool hath said in his heart, God is nothing."
For the Spirit is required to understand the whole of the Scripture and
every part of it. If you speak of the external clearness, nothing whatever
is left obscure or ambiguous; but all things that are in the Scriptures, are
by the Word brought forth into the clearest light, and proclaimed to the
whole world. ~ Martin Luther,
457:O God, be thou exalted over my possessions. Nothing of earth’s treasures shall seem dear unto me if only thou art glorified in my life. Be thou exalted over my friendships. I am determined that thou shalt be above all, though I must stand deserted and alone in the midst of the earth. Be thou exalted above my comforts. Though it mean the loss of bodily comforts and the carrying of heavy crosses, I shall keep my vow made this day before thee. Be thou exalted over my reputation. Make me ambitious to please thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream. Rise, O Lord, into thy proper place of honor, above my ambitions, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health, and even my life itself. Let me decrease that thou mayest increase; let me sink that thou mayest rise above. Ride forth upon me as thou didst ride into Jerusalem mounted upon the humble little beast, a colt, the foal of an ass, and let me hear the children cry to thee, “Hosanna in the highest.” In Jesus’ name, Amen. ~ A W Tozer,
458:But the Lord often leaves his servants, not only to be annoyed by the violence of the wicked, but to be lacerated and destroyed; allows the good to languish in obscurity and squalid poverty, while the ungodly shine forth, as it were, among the stars; and even by withdrawing the light of his countenance does not leave them lasting joy. Wherefore, David by no means disguises the fact, that if believers fix their eyes on the present condition of the world, they will be grievously tempted to believe that with God integrity has neither favour nor reward; so much does impiety prosper and flourish, while the godly are oppressed with ignominy, poverty, contempt, and every kind of cross. The Psalmist says, "But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious of the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked." At length, after a statement of the case, he concludes, "When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me: until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end," (Ps. 73:2, 3, 16, 17). ~ John Calvin,
459:It Is Not Seemly To Be Famous...
It is not seemly to be famous:
Celebrity does not exalt;
There is no need to hoard your writings
And to preserve them in a vault.
To give your all-this is creation,
And not-to deafen and eclipse.
How shameful, when you have no meaning,
To be on everybody's lips!
Try not to live as a pretender,
But so to manage your affairs
That you are loved by wide expanses,
And hear the call of future years.
Leave blanks in life, not in your papers,
And do not ever hesitate
To pencil out whole chunks, whole chapters
Of your existence, of your fate.
Into obscurity retiring
Try your development to hide,
As autumn mist on early mornings
Conceals the dreaming countryside.
Another, step by step, will follow
The living imprint of your feet;
But you yourself must not distinguish
Your victory from your defeat.
And never for a single moment
Betray your credo or pretend,
But be alive-this only mattersAlive and burning to the end.
~ Boris Pasternak,
460:She [Mary Maclane] is almost always referred to as “confessional.” She has been referred to, several times, as the first blogger. Whereas her writing does not confess much - it is much more spiritual memoir than anything, or perhaps something akin to a mystic’s courtly love, directed at the self. I am wondering what distinguishes writing as confessional…

I keep on feeling I prefer the latter-day MacLane, the diary she wrote while convalescing from scarlet fever back home in Butte, Montana, I, Mary MacLane, that Melville House is only publishing as an ebook. Mary MacLane melancholy, totally isolated. Feeling intense disquiet. Now in her early thirties, meditating on her whirlwind celebrity, in cities, feeling distanced from all that, but longing for it too. Obsessed with the Mary MacLane who stopped writing, or stopped publishing books, who was involved with the anarchist/bohemian crowd in Chicago, with the Dill Pickle, who died in poverty and obscurity on the South Side at the age of 48. I want to write about her, but I don’t know how or why yet. ~ Kate Zambreno,
461:By day, contrary to common wisdom, you probably won’t see the Great Pyramids at Giza, and you certainly won’t see the Great Wall of China. Their obscurity is partly the result of having been made from the soil and stone of the surrounding landscape. And although the Great Wall is thousands of miles long, it’s only about twenty feet wide—much narrower than the U.S. interstate highways you can barely see from a transcontinental jet.

From orbit, with the unaided eye, you would have seen smoke plumes rising from the oil-field fires in Kuwait at the end of the first Persian Gulf War in 1991 and smoke from the burning World Trade Center towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. You will also notice the green–brown boundaries between swaths of irrigated and arid land. Beyond that shortlist, there’s not much else made by humans that’s identifiable from hundreds of miles up in the sky. You can see plenty of natural scenery, though, including hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, ice floes in the North Atlantic, and volcanic eruptions wherever they occur. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson,
462:Three things you must have, - consciousness, - plasticity and - unreserved surrender.
   For you must be conscious in your mind and soul and heart and life and the very cells of your body, aware of the Mother and her Powers and their working; for although she can and does work in you even in your obscurity and your unconscious parts and moments, it is not the same thing as when you are in an awakened and living communion with her.
   All your nature must be plastic to her touch, - not questioning as the self-sufficient ignorant mind questions and doubts and disputes and is the enemy of its enlightenment and change; not insisting on its own movements as the vital in the man insists and persistently opposes its refractory desires and ill-will to every divine influence; not obstructing and entrenched in incapacity, inertia and tamas as man's physical consciousness obstructs and clinging to the pleasure in smallness and darkness cries out against each touch that disturbs it soulless routine or it dull sloth or its torpid slumber.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother, [58],
463:It was early morning and already hot. There was a strong odor of earth and grass drying in the sun. We climbed among tall shrubs, on indistinct paths that led toward the tracks. When we reached an electrical pylon we took off our smocks and put them in the schoolbags, which we hid in the bushes. Then we raced through the scrubland, which we knew well, and flew excitedly down the slope that led to the tunnel. The entrance on the right was very dark: we had never been inside that obscurity. We held each other by the hand and entered. It was a long passage, and the luminous circle of the exit seemed far away. Once we got accustomed to the shadowy light, we saw lines of silvery water that slid along the walls, large puddles. Apprehensively, dazed by the echo of our steps, we kept going. Then Lila let out a shout and laughed at the violent explosion of sound. Immediately I shouted and laughed in turn. From that moment all we did was shout, together and separately: laughter and cries, cries and laughter, for the pleasure of hearing them amplified. The tension diminished, the journey began. ~ Elena Ferrante,
464:Quinn seemed to have become one of a jaded philosophical society, a group of arcane deviates. Their raison d'etre was a kind of mystical masochism, forcing initiates toward feats of occult daredevilry - "glimpsing the inferno with eyes of ice", to take from the notebook a phrase that was repeated often and seemed a sort of chant of power. As I suspected, hallucinogenic drugs were used by the sect, and there was no doubt that they believed themselves communing with strange metaphysical venues. Their chief aim, in true mystical fashion, was to transcend common reality in the search for higher states of being, but their stratagem was highly unorthodox, a strange detour along the usual path toward positive illumination. Instead, they maintained a kind of blasphemous fatalism, a doomed determinism which brought them face to face with realms of obscure horror. Perhaps it was this very obscurity that allowed them the excitement of their central purpose, which seemed to be a precarious flirting with personal apocalypse, the striving for horrific dominion over horror itself.

("The Dreaming In Nortown") ~ Thomas Ligotti,
465:January 1, 1914

To Thee, supreme Dispenser of all boons,
to Thee who givest life its justification, by making it pure, beautiful and good,
to Thee, Master of our destinies and goal of all our aspirations, was consecrated the first minute of this new year.

May it be completely glorified by this consecration; may those who hope for Thee, seek Thee in the right path; may those who seek Thee find Thee, and those who suffer, not knowing where the remedy lies, feel Thy life gradually piercing the hard crust of their obscure consciousness.

I bow down in deep devotion and in boundless gratitude before Thy beneficent splendour; in name of the earth I give Thee thanks for manifesting Thyself; in its name I implore Thee to manifest Thyself ever more fully, in an uninterrupted growth of Light and Love.

Be the sovereign Master of our thoughts, our feelings, our actions.

Thou art our reality, the only Reality.
Without Thee all is falsehood and illusion, all is dismol obscurity.
In Thee are life and light and joy.
In Thee is supreme Peace.
~ The Mother, Prayers and Meditation,
466:The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires. The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented. Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquillity of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice. ~ Adam Smith,
467:Fishermen lean on the railing. There are kiosks at regular intervals that grill meats for truck drivers and others who want a quick lunch. Bags of charcoal piled by the sides of the kiosks will supply the heat to grill blood sausages, steaks, hamburgers, and various other cuts of the legendary Argentine flesh that sizzles during the early part of the day in anticipation of the lunch crowd. Many of the kiosks advertise choripan, a conjunction of chorizo (sausage) and pan (bread). There’s another offering called vaciopan, which literally means empty sandwich, but it also is a cut off the cow. This is not a place for vegetarians. The slang here, called lunfardo, is many-layered and inventive. There’s even a genre of slang called vesre when you reverse the syllables—vesre is reves (reverse) with the syllables reversed. Tango becomes gotán and café con leche becomes feca con chele. Sometimes this is compounded and complicated even further when a euphemism for something—a word for marijuana or one’s wife—is pronounced backward, adding yet another layer of obscurity to a slang that already approaches a separate language. ~ David Byrne,
468:Neither Xerxes nor Artabanus, therefore, would have passed F. Scott Fitzgerald’s test, from 1936, for a first-rate intelligence: “the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” 21 Fitzgerald may have intended nothing more than a reproach to himself. His writing career had stalled by then, and four years later he would die, of alcoholism, heart disease, and an obscurity made all the more painful by his earlier fame. He was only forty-four. 22 But the cryptic capaciousness of his aphorism, like Berlin’s on foxes and hedgehogs, has made it immortal. The Delphic oracle would have been envious. 23 One possible meaning for Fitzgerald’s opposites could be taking the best from contradictory approaches while rejecting the worst: precisely the compromise that Xerxes and Artabanus failed to reach twenty-four centuries earlier. How, though, might you do that? It’s easy to see how two minds can reach opposite conclusions, but can opposites coexist peacefully within one? They certainly didn’t in Fitzgerald’s, whose life was as tortured as Tolstoy’s, and half the length. ~ John Lewis Gaddis,
469:Pastors enter congregations vocationally in order to embrace the totality of human life in Jesus' name. We are convinced there is no detail, however unpromising, in people's lives in which Christ may not work his will. Pastors agree to stay with the people in their communities week in and week out, year in and year out, to proclaim and guide, encourage and instruct as God work his purposes (gloriously, it will eventually turn out) in the meandering and disturbingly inconstant lives of our congregations.

This necessarily means taking seriously, and in faith, the dull routines, the empty boredom, and the unattractive responsibilities that make up much of most people's lives. It means witnessing to the transcendent in the fog and rain. It means living hopefully among people who from time to time get flickering glimpses of the Glory but then live through stretches, sometimes long ones, of unaccountable grayness. Most pastor work takes place in obscurity: deciphering grace in the shadows, searching out meaning in a difficult text, blowing on the embers of a hard-used life. This is hard work and not conspicuously glamorous. ~ Eugene H Peterson,
470:No people are uninteresting.
Their fate is like the chronicle of planets.

Nothing in them in not particular,
and planet is dissimilar from planet.

And if a man lived in obscurity
making his friends in that obscurity
obscurity is not uninteresting.

To each his world is private
and in that world one excellent minute.

And in that world one tragic minute
These are private.

In any man who dies there dies with him
his first snow and kiss and fight
it goes with him.

There are left books and bridges
and painted canvas and machinery
Whose fate is to survive.

But what has gone is also not nothing:
by the rule of the game something has gone.
Not people die but worlds die in them.

Whom we knew as faulty, the earth's creatures
Of whom, essentially, what did we know?

Brother of a brother? Friend of friends?
Lover of lover?

We who knew our fathers
in everything, in nothing.

They perish. They cannot be brought back.
The secret worlds are not regenerated.

And every time again and again
I make my lament against destruction. ~ Yevgeny Yevtushenko,
471:The protest against evil which is at the very core of metaphysical revolt is significant in this regard. It is not the
suffering of a child, which is repugnant in itself, but the fact that the suffering is not justified. After all, pain, exile,
or confinement are sometimes accepted when dictated by good sense or by the doctor. In the eyes of the rebel, what
is missing from the misery of the world, as well as from its moments of happiness, is some principle by which they
can be explained. The insurrection against evil is, above all, a demand for unity. The rebel obstinately confronts a
world condemned to death and the impenetrable obscurity of the human condition with his demand for life and
absolute clarity. He is seeking, without knowing it, a moral philosophy or a religion. Rebellion, even though it is
blind, is a form of asceticism. Therefore, if the rebel blasphemes, it is in the hope of finding a new god. He staggers
under the shock of the first and most profound of all religious experiences, but it is a disenchanted religious
experience. It is not rebellion itself that is noble, but its aims, even though its achievements are at times ignoble. ~ Albert Camus,
472:...his consuming interest remains in the world of men, their institutions, their history, their passions. And because he is interested in men, nothing that men do can be altogether tedious...He will naturally be interested in the events that engage men’s ultimate beliefs, their moments of tragedy and grandeur and ecstasy. But he will also be fascinated by the commonplace, the everyday. He will know reverence, but this reverence will not prevent him from wanting to see and to understand. He may sometimes feel revulsion or contempt , but this will also not deter him from wanting to have his questions answered. ...in his quest for understanding, moves through the world of men without respect for the usual lines of demarcation. Nobility ad degradation, power and obscurity, intelligence and folly -- these are equally interesting to him, however unequal they may be in his personal values or tastes. This his questions may lead him to all possible levels of society, the best and least known places, the most respected and the most despised. ...he will find himself in all these places because his own questions have so taken possession of him that he has little choice but to seek for answers. ~ Peter L Berger,
473:Whether you are man or woman, rich or poor, dependent or free, happy or unhappy; whether you bore in your elevation the splendour of the crown or in humble obscurity only the toil and heat of the day; whether your name will be remembered for as long as the world lasts, and so will have been remembered as long as it lasted, or you are without a name and run namelessly with the numberless multitude; whether the glory that surrounded you surpassed all human description, or the severest and most ignominious human judgment was passed on you -- eternity asks you and every one of these millions of millions, just one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not, whether so in despair that you did not know that you were in despair, or in such a way that you bore this sickness concealed deep inside you as your gnawing secret, under your heart like the fruit of a sinful love, or in such a way that, a terror to others, you raged in despair. If then, if you have lived in despair, then whatever else you won or lost, for you everything is lost, eternity does not acknowledge you, it never knew you, or, still more dreadful, it knows you as you are known, it manacles you to yourself in despair! ~ S ren Kierkegaard,
474:In consequence, when the pleasures have been removed which busy people derive from their actual activities, the mind cannot endure the house, the solitude, the walls, and hates to observe its own isolation. From this arises that boredom and self-dissatisfaction, that turmoil of a restless mind and gloomy and grudging endurance of our leisure, especially when we are ashamed to admit the reasons for it and our sense of shame drives the agony inward, and our desires are trapped in narrow bounds without escape and stifle themselves. From this arise melancholy and mourning and a thousand vacillations of a wavering mind, buoyed up by the birth of hope and sickened by the death of it. From this arises the state of mind of those who loathe their own leisure and complain that they have nothing to do, and the bitterest envy at the promotion of others. For unproductive idleness nurtures malice, and because they themselves could not prosper they want everyone else to be ruined. Then from this dislike of others' success and despair of their own, their minds become enraged against fortune, complain about the times, retreat into obscurity, and brood over their own sufferings until they become sick and tired of themselves. ~ Seneca,
475:The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. ~ Carl Sagan,
476:But even though questions of currency policy are never more than questions of the value of money, they are sometimes disguised so that their true nature is hidden from the uninitiated. Public opinion is dominated by erroneous views on the nature of money and its value, and misunderstood slogans have to take the place of clear and precise ideas. The fine and complicated mechanism of the money and credit system is wrapped in obscurity, the proceedings on the Stock Exchange are a mystery, the function and significance of the banks elude interpretation. So it is not surprising that the arguments brought forward in the conflict of the different interests often missed the point altogether. Counsel was darkened with cryptic phrases whose meaning was probably hidden even from those who uttered them. Americans spoke of 'the dollar of our fathers' and Austrians of 'our dear old gulden note'; silver, the money of the common man, was set up against gold, the money of the aristocracy. Many a tribune of the people, in many a passionate discourse, sounded the loud praises of silver, which, hidden in deep mines, lay awaiting the time when it should come forth into the light of day to ransom miserable humanity, languishing in its wretchedness. ~ Ludwig von Mises,
477:I is for immortality, which for some poets is a necessary compensation. Presumably miserable in this life, they will be remembered when the rest of us are long forgotten. None of them asks about the quality of that remembrance--what it will be like to crouch in the dim hallways of somebody's mind until the moment of recollection occurs, or to be lifted off suddenly and forever into the pastures of obscurity. Most poets know better than to concern themselves with such things. They know the chances are better than good that their poems will die when they do and never be heard of again, that they'll be replaced by poems sporting a new look in a language more current. They also know that even if individual poems die, though in some cases slowly, poetry will continue: that its subjects, it constant themes, are less liable to change than fashions in language, and that this is where an alternate, less lustrous immortality might be. We all know that a poem can influence other poems, remain alive in them, just as previous poems are alive in it. Could we not say, therefore, that individual poems succeed most by encouraging revisions of themselves and inducing their own erasure? Yes, but is this immortality, or simply a purposeful way of being dead? ~ Mark Strand,
478:Then you don't think there will be any more permanent world heroes?" "Yes—in history—not in life. Carlyle would have difficulty getting material for a new chapter on 'The Hero as a Big Man.'" "Go on. I'm a good listener to-day." "People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher—a Roosevelt, a Tolstoi, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It's the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over." "Then you blame it on the press?" "Absolutely. Look at you; you're on The New Democracy, considered the most brilliant weekly in the country, read by the men who do things and all that. What's your business? Why, to be as clever, as interesting, and as brilliantly cynical as possible about every man, doctrine, book, or policy that is assigned you to deal with. The more strong lights, the more spiritual scandal you can throw on the matter, the more money they pay you, the more the people buy the issue. You, Tom d'Invilliers, a blighted Shelley, changing, shifting, clever, unscrupulous, represent the critical consciousness of the race—Oh, ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
479:Invitation to Eternity

Say, wilt thou go with me, sweet maid,
Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me
Through the valley-depths of shade,
Of bright and dark obscurity;
Where the path has lost its way,
Where the sun forgets the day,
Where there's nor light nor life to see,
Sweet maiden, wilt thou go with me?

Where stones will turn to flooding streams,
Where plains will rise like ocean's waves,
Where life will fade like visioned dreams
And darkness darken into caves,
Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me
Through this sad non-identity
Where parents live and are forgot,
And sisters live and know us not?

Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me
In this strange death of life to be,
To live in death and be the same,
Without this life or home or name,
At once to be and not to be—
That was and is not—yet to see
Things pass like shadows, and the sky
Above, below, around us lie?

The land of shadows wilt thou trace,
Nor look nor know each other's face;
The present marred with reason gone,
And past and present both as one?
Say, maiden, can thy life be led
To join the living and the dead?
Then trace thy footsteps on with me:
We are wed to one eternity. ~ John Clare,
480:Impromptu
Tell me your race, your name,
O Lady limned as dead, yet as when living fair!
That within this faded frame
An unfading beauty wear.
Were you ever known to fame,
Or, more wisely, chose to be
Lost in love's obscurity?
We may question, gaze, and guess,
You will never answer ``yes,''
For your sweet lips are closed by Death's relentlessness.
Yes, you were chill before
Some thoughtful hand to us your loveliness bequeathed.
You already then no more
Moved, or spoke, or felt, or breathed,
But an eternal silence wore.
Dank and limp your ample hair,
And your eyelids kept the stare
Of a face that cannot speak;
And, where lived the rose's streak,
There only lingered then the lily in your cheek.
Was it your own strange prayer
That you, in death, should be in living garb arrayed,
And your aspect seem as fair,
Fanciful and undecayed,
As when life and love were there?
No! it was no idle whim:
Death was in love with you, and you in love with Him.
And when you, with tender dread,
All to Him surrenderëd,
He took care you should retain
All of life except its pain,
And with unabated charms
Lie fast asleep in your unsleeping lover's arms.
~ Alfred Austin,
481:People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher—a Roosevelt, a Tolstoi, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It's the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over...
We want to believe. Young students try to believe in older authors, constituents try to believe in their Congressmen, countries try to believe in their statesmen, but they can't. Too many voices, too much scattered, illogical, ill-considered criticism. It's worse in the case of newspapers. Any rich, unprogressive old party with that particularly grasping, acquisitive form of mentality known as financial genius can own a paper that is the intellectual meat and drink of thousands of tired, hurried men, men too involved in the business of modern living to swallow anything but predigested food. For two cents the voter buys his politics, prejudices, and philosophy. A year later there is a new political ring or a change in the paper's ownership, consequence: more confusion, more contradiction, a sudden inrush of new ideas, their tempering, their distillation, the reaction against them- ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
482:The eye of the spirit can nowhere find more dazzling brilliance and more shadow than in man; it can fix itself on no other thing which is more formidable, more complicated, more mysterious, and more infinite. There is a spectacle more grand than the sea; it is heaven: there is a spectacle more grand than heaven; it is the inmost recesses of the soul.

To make the poem of the human conscience, were it only with reference to a single man, were it only in connection with the basest of men, would be to blend all epics into one superior and definitive epic. Conscience is the chaos of chimeras, of lusts, and of temptations; the furnace of dreams; the lair of ideas of which we are ashamed; it is the pandemonium of sophisms; it is the battlefield of the passions. Penetrate, at certain hours, past the livid face of a human being who is engaged in reflection, and look behind, gaze into that soul, gaze into that obscurity. There, beneath that external silence, battles of giants, like those recorded in Homer, are in progress; skirmishes of dragons and hydras and swarms of phantoms, as in Milton; visionary circles, as in Dante. What a solemn thing is this infinity which every man bears within him, and which he measures with despair against the caprices of his brain and the actions of his life! ~ Victor Hugo,
483:Thoth Hermes Trismegistus, the founder of Egyptian learning, the Wise Man of the ancient world, gave to the priests and philosophers of antiquity the secrets which have been preserved to this day in myth and legend. These allegories and emblematic figures conceal the secret formulæ for spiritual, mental, moral, and physical regeneration commonly known as the Mystic Chemistry of the Soul (alchemy). These sublime truths were communicated to the initiates of the Mystery Schools, but were concealed from the profane. The latter, unable to understand the abstract philosophical tenets, worshiped the concrete sculptured idols which were emblematic of these secret truths. The wisdom and secrecy of Egypt are epitomized in the Sphinx, which has preserved its secret from the seekers of a hundred generations. The mysteries of Hermeticism, the great spiritual truths hidden from the world by the ignorance of the world, and the keys of the secret doctrines of the ancient philosophers, are all symbolized by the Virgin Isis. Veiled from head to foot, she reveals her wisdom only to the tried and initiated few who have earned the right to enter her sacred presence, tear from the veiled figure of Nature its shroud of obscurity, and stand face to face with the Divine Reality. ~ Manly P Hall, The Secret Teachings of all Ages,
484:In the perusal of philosophical works I have been greatly benefited by a resolve, which, in the antithetic form and with the allowed quaintness of an adage or maxim, I have been accustomed to word thus: until you understand a writer's ignorance, presume yourself ignorant of his understanding. This golden rule of mine does, I own, resemble those of Pythagoras in its obscurity rather than in its depth. If however the reader will permit me to be my own Hierocles, I trust, that he will find its meaning fully explained by the following instances. I have now before me a treatise of a religious fanatic, full of dreams and supernatural experiences. I see clearly the writer's grounds, and their hollowness. I have a complete insight into the causes, which through the medium of his body has acted on his mind; and by application of received and ascertained laws I can satisfactorily explain to my own reason all the strange incidents, which the writer records of himself. And this I can do without suspecting him of any intentional falsehood. As when in broad day-light a man tracks the steps of a traveller, who had lost his way in a fog or by a treacherous moonshine, even so, and with the same tranquil sense of certainty, can I follow the traces of this bewildered visionary. I understand his ignorance. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
485:No, Sir. There is no qualification for government but virtue and wisdom, actual or presumptive. Wherever they are actually found, they have, in whatever state, condition, profession, or trade, the passport of Heaven to human place and honor. Woe to the country which would madly and impiously reject the service of the talents and virtues, civil, military, or religious, that are given to grace and to serve it; and would condemn to obscurity everything formed to diffuse lustre and glory around a state! Woe to that country, too, that, passing into the opposite extreme, considers a low education, a mean, contracted view of things, a sordid, mercenary occupation, as a preferable title to command! Everything ought to be open,—but not indifferently to every man. No rotation, no appointment by lot, no mode of election operating in the spirit of sortition or rotation, can be generally good in a government conversant in extensive objects; because they have no tendency, direct or indirect, to select the man with a view to the duty, or to accommodate the one to the other. I do not hesitate to say that the road to eminence and power, from obscure condition, ought not to be made too easy, nor a thing too much of course. If rare merit be the rarest of all rare things, it ought to pass through some sort of probation. ~ Edmund Burke,
486:Epilogue to Book I. Alas! the forbidden fruits were eaten, And thereby the warm life of reason was congealed. A grain of wheat eclipsed the sun Of Adam, l Like as the Dragon's tail 2 dulls the brightness of the moon. Behold how delicate is the heart, that a morsel of dust Clouded its moon with foul obscurity! When bread is "substance," to eat it nourishes us; When 'tis empty "form," it profits nothing. Like as the green thorn which is cropped by the camel, And then yields him pleasure and nutriment; When its greenness has gone and it becomes dry, If the camel crops that same thorn in the desert, It wounds his palate and mouth without pity, As if conserve of roses should turn to sharp swords. When bread is "substance," it is as a green thorn; When 'tis "form," 'tis as the dry and coarse thorn. And thou eatest it in the same way as of yore Thou wert wont to eat it, O helpless being, Eatest this dry thing in the same manner, After the real "substance" is mingled with dust; It has become mingled with dust, dry in pith and rind. O camel, now beware of that herb! The Word is become foul with mingled earth; The water is become muddy; close the mouth of the well, Till God makes it again pure and sweet; Yea, till He purifies what He has made foul. Patience will accomplish thy desire, not haste. Be patient, God knows what is best. ~ Rumi,
487:Not for the first time I felt myself confronted by the dizzying possibility that an entire episode in the story of mankind might have been forgotten. Indeed it seemed to me then, as I overlooked the mathematical city of the gods from the summit of the Pyramid of the Moon, that our species could have been afflicted with some terrible amnesia and that the dark period so blithely and dismissively referred to as `prehistory' might turn out to conceal unimagined truths about our own past. What is prehistory, after all, if not a time forgotten--a time for which we have no records? What is prehistory if not an epoch of impenetrable obscurity through which our ancestors passed but about which we have no conscious remembrance? It was out of this epoch of obscurity, configured in mathematical code along astronomical and geodetic lines, that Teotihuacan with all its riddles was sent down to us. And out of that same epoch came the great Olmec sculptures, the inexplicably precise and accurate calendar the Mayans inherited from their predecessors, the inscrutable geoglyphs of Nazca, the mysterious Andean city of Tiahuanaco ... and so many other marvels of which we do not know the provenance. It is almost as though we have awakened into the daylight of history from a long and troubled sleep, and yet continue to be disturbed by the faint but haunting echoes of our dreams ~ Graham Hancock,
488:Negroes know about each other what can here be called family secrets, and this means that one Negro, if he wishes, can “knock” the other’s “hustle”—can give his game away. It is still not possible to overstate the price a Negro pays to climb out of obscurity—for it is a particular price, involved with being a Negro; and the great wounds, gouges, amputations, losses, scars, endured in such a journey cannot be calculated. But even this is not the worst of it, since he is really dealing with two hierarchies, one white and one black, the latter modeled on the former. The higher he rises, the less is his journey worth, since (unless he is extremely energetic and anarchic, a genuinely “bad nigger” in the most positive sense of the term) all he can possibly find himself exposed to is the grim emptiness of the white world—which does not live by the standards it uses to victimize him—and the even more ghastly emptiness of black people who wish they were white. Therefore, one “exceptional” Negro watches another “exceptional” Negro in order to find out if he knows how vastly successful and bitterly funny the hoax has been. Alliances, in the great cocktail party of the white man’s world, are formed, almost purely, on this basis, for if both of you can laugh, you have a lot to laugh about. On the other hand, if only one of you can laugh, one of you, inevitably, is laughing at the other. ~ James Baldwin,
489:The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known. ~ Carl Sagan,
490:And here she was, an old woman now, living and hoping, keeping faith, afraid of evil, full of anxiety for the living and an equal concern for the dead; here she was, looking at the ruins of her home, admiring the spring sky without knowing that she was admiring it, wondering why the future of those she loved was so obscure and the past so full of mistakes, not realizing that this very obscurity and unhappiness concealed a strange hope and clarity, not realizing that in the depths of her soul she already knew the meaning of both her own life and the lives of her nearest and dearest, not realizing that even though neither she herself nor any of them could tell what was in store, even though they all knew only too well that at times like these no man can forge his own happiness and that fate alone has the power to pardon and chastise, to raise up to glory and to plunge into need, to reduce a man to labour- camp dust, nevertheless neither fate, nor history, nor the anger of the State, nor the glory or infamy of battle has any power to affect those who call themselves human beings. No, whatever life holds in store – hard-won glory, poverty and despair, or death in a labour camp – they will live as human beings and die as human beings, the same as those who have already perished; and in this alone lies man's eternal and bitter victory over all the grandiose and inhuman forces that ever have been or will be. ~ Vasily Grossman,
491:Unfortunately, I knew exactly what I was suffering from. LIPID (Last Idiot Person I Dated) syndrome: a largely undiagnosed but pervasive disease that afflicts single women. My roommates and I had come up with the term in college, to explain the baffling phenomenon of nostalgia for one’s most recent ex. No matter how absolutely awful that person had been at the time, after a few weeks, the relationship would take on a rosy tint, and wistful little phrases would begin to creep into conversation, like, “I know he cheated on me with three people at the same time, but he was such a fabulous dancer,” or “All right, so he was a raging alcoholic, but when he was sober he did such sweet things! Remember those flowers he bought for me that one time?” Inexplicable, but inevitable. A few weeks of singledom render even the most inexcusable ex charming in retrospect. Hence, LIPID syndrome. As everyone knows, lipids are fats, and fats are bad for you, and therefore ex-boyfriends must be avoided at all costs. This is what comes of having a bio major as a roommate for four years. The one sure way to fight off LIPID syndrome was to distract oneself. True, the only foolproof cure is a new relationship, thus knocking the LIPID back down the dating chain into harmless obscurity, but there are other, temporary diversions. Reading a novel, watching a movie, or delving into the private lives of historical characters. With an anticipatory ~ Lauren Willig,
492:People complain about the obscurity of poetry, especially if they're assigned to write about it, but actually poetry is rather straightforward compared to ordinary conversation with people you don't know well which tends to be jumpy repartee, crooked, coded, allusive to no effect, firmly repressed, locked up in irony, steadfastly refusing to share genuine experience--think of conversation at office parties or conversation between teenage children and parents, or between teenagers themselves, or between men, or between bitter spouces: rarely in ordinary conversation do people speak from the heart and mean what they say. How often in the past week did anyone offer you something from the heart? It's there in poetry. Forget everything you ever read about poetry, it doesn't matter--poetry is the last preserve of honest speech and the outspoken heart. All that I wrote about it as a grad student I hereby recant and abjure--all that matters about poetry to me is directness and clarity and truthfulness. All that is twittery and lit'ry: no thanks, pal. A person could perish of entertainment, especially comedy, so much of it casually nihilistic, hateful, glittering, cold, and in the end clueless. People in nusing homes die watching late-night television and if I were one of them, I'd be grateful when the darkness descends. Thank God if the pastor comes and offers a psalm and a prayer, and they can attain a glimmer of clarity at the end. ~ Garrison Keillor,
493:Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… . And one fine morning ——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
494:AT THIS POINT a nameless woman is abruptly introduced as a contrast to Hygd and a puzzle to Beowulf scholars. A vicious torturer and man-killer before marriage, she is sent “overseas” by her father to marry King Offa, who tames her into a model queen, her progression thus being the opposite of Heremod’s. The abruptness of this allusion and obscurity of her name, also the elaborate praise of Offa, have caused much speculation about the possible spuriousness of this passage, and since two historic kings were named Offa—the first a Continental king of the Angles in the fourth century and the second an English king of the Mercians in the eighth—it is impossible to determine what the Beowulf poet had in mind, if indeed it is not an interpolation in honor of the Mercian king, in whose reign some critics have suggested that the poem may have been composed. Garmund is the father of the Continental Offa, Eomer is Offa’s son, and Hemming is their kin. Beowulf then predicts trouble between Danes and Heathobards, which will eventually lead to the burning of Heorot foreshadowed earlier in the poem. Hoping to settle an old feud, Hrothgar has betrothed his daughter Freawaru to Ingeld, son of King Froda of the Heathobards, who was slain by Danes in battle. Beowulf, in his report to Hygelac, then imagines that an old Heathobard warrior, incensed by a young member of Freawaru’s retinue who struts about wearing the sword of a slain Heathobard warrior, will urge the son of the slain warrior to take revenge, after which Ingeld will be forced to renew hostilities. ~ Unknown,
495:What have I earned for all that work,’ I said, ‘For all that I have done at my own charge? The daily spite of this unmannerly town, Where who has served the most is most defamed, The reputation of his lifetime lost Between the night and morning. I might have lived, And you know well how great the longing has been, Where every day my footfall should have lit In the green shadow of Ferrara wall; Or climbed among the images of the past – The unperturbed and courtly images – Evening and morning, the steep street of Urbino To where the Duchess and her people talked The stately midnight through until they stood In their great window looking at the dawn; I might have had no friend that could not mix Courtesy and passion into one like those That saw the wicks grow yellow in the dawn; I might have used the one substantial right My trade allows: chosen my company, And chosen what scenery had pleased me best.’ Thereon my phoenix answered in reproof, ‘The drunkards, pilferers of public funds, All the dishonest crowd I had driven away, When my luck changed and they dared meet my face, Crawled from obscurity, and set upon me Those I had served and some that I had fed; Yet never have I, now nor any time, Complained of the people.’ All I could reply Was: ‘You, that have not lived in thought but deed, Can have the purity of a natural force, But I, whose virtues are the definitions Of the analytic mind, can neither close The eye of the mind nor keep my tongue from speech.’ And yet, because my heart leaped at her words, I was abashed, and now they come to mind After nine years, I sink my head abashed. ~ W B Yeats,
496:All he could think was that his own people, an emergent culture that had clawed its way back to its feet after the ice, was nothing but a shadow of that former greatness. It was not simply that the Gilgamesh and all their current space effort was cobbled together from bastardized, half-understood pieces of the ancient world’s vastly superior technology. It was everything: from the very beginning his people had known they were inheriting a used world. The ruins and the decayed relics of a former people had been everywhere, underfoot, underground, up mountains, immortalized in stories. Discovering such a wealth of dead metal in orbit had hardly been a surprise, when all recorded history had been a progress over a desert of broken bones. There had been no innovation that the ancients had not already achieved, and done better. How many inventors had been relegated to historical obscurity because some later treasure-hunter had unearthed the older, superior method of achieving the same end? Weapons, engines, political systems, philosophies, sources of energy . . . Holsten’s people had thought themselves lucky that someone had built such a convenient flight of steps back up from the dark into the sunlight of civilization. They had never quite come to the realization that those steps led only to that one place. Who knows what we might have achieved, had we not been so keen to recreate all their follies, he thought now. Could we have saved the Earth? Would we be living there now on our own green planet? All the knowledge in the universe now at his fingertips, yet to that question he had no answer. ~ Adrian Tchaikovsky,
497:It must be admitted that sexual intercourse in marriage is not sinful, provided the intention is to beget offspring. Yet even in marriage a virtuous man will wish that he could manage without lust. Even in marriage, as the desire for privacy shows, people are ashamed of sexual intercourse, because 'this lawful act of nature is (from our first parents) accompanied with our penal shame'. The cynics thought that one should be without shame, and Diogenes would have none of it, wishing to be in all things like a dog; yet even he, after one attempt, abandoned, in practice, this extreme of shamelessness. What is shameful about lust is its independence of the will. Adam and Eve, before the fall, could have had sexual intercourse without lust, though in fact they did not. Handicraftsmen, in the pursuit of their trade, move their hands without lust; similarly Adam, if only he had kept away from the apple-tree, could have performed the business of sex without the emotions that it now demands. The sexual members, like the rest of the body, would have obeyed the will. The need of lust in sexual intercourse is a punishment for Adam's sin, but for which sex might have been divorced from pleasure. Omitting some physiological details which the translator has very properly left in the decent obscurity of the original Latin, the above is St Augustine's theory as regards sex. It is evident from the above that what makes the ascetic dislike sex is its independence of the will. Virtue, it is held, demands a complete control of the will over the body, but such control does not suffice to make the sexual act possible. The sexual act, therefore, seems inconsistent with a perfectly virtuous life. ~ Anonymous,
498:It was pitiful for a person born in a wholesome free atmosphere to listen to their humble and hearty outpourings of loyalty toward their king and Church and nobility; as if they had any more occasion to love and honor king and Church and noble than a slave has to love and honor the lash, or a dog has to love and honor the stranger that kicks him! Why, dear me, ANY kind of royalty, howsoever modified, ANY kind of aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult; but if you are born and brought up under that sort of arrangement you probably never find it out for yourself, and don't believe it when somebody else tells you. It is enough to make a body ashamed of his race to think of the sort of froth that has always occupied its thrones without shadow of right or reason, and the seventh-rate people that have always figured as its aristocracies -- a company of monarchs and nobles who, as a rule, would have achieved only poverty and obscurity if left, like their betters, to their own exertions...

The truth was, the nation as a body was in the world for one object, and one only: to grovel before king and Church and noble; to slave for them, sweat blood for them, starve that they might be fed, work that they might play, drink misery to the dregs that they might be happy, go naked that they might wear silks and jewels, pay taxes that they might be spared from paying them, be familiar all their lives with the degrading language and postures of adulation that they might walk in pride and think themselves the gods of this world. And for all this, the thanks they got were cuffs and contempt; and so poor-spirited were they that they took even this sort of attention as an honor. ~ Mark Twain,
499:In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature.
   In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana; it is his Shakti with her light, power, knowledge, consciousness, Ananda, acting upon the adhara and, when it is opened to her, pouring into it with these divine forces that makes the Sadhana possible. But so long as the lower nature is active the personal effort of the Sadhaka remains necessary.
   The personal effort required is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender, -
   an aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing - the mind's will, the heart's seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature;
   rejection of the movements of the lower nature - rejection of the mind's ideas, opinions, preferences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find free room in a silent mind, - rejection of the vital nature's desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, - rejection of the physical nature's stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine;
   surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the Shakti.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
500:Flauvic’s remark about scholarship, I decided before the day ended, was a kind of double-edged sword. When I discovered my ancestor Ardis was not so much prominent as notorious, my first reaction was a snort of laughter, followed by interest--and some indignation.
The queen’s memoir, which was replete with gossip, detailed Ardis’s numerous and colorful dalliances. Her ten-year career of flirtation came to a close not long after she became engaged to a Renselaeus prince. This engagement ended after a duel with the third Merindar son--no one knew the real reasons why--and though both men lived through the duel, neither talked of it afterward. Or to her. She wound up marrying into a minor house in the southwest and passed the rest of her days in obscurity.
She was beautiful, wealthy, and popular, yet it appeared, through the pages of this memoir anyway, that the main business of her life had been to issue forth in the newest and most shocking gown in order to shine down the other women of the Court, and to win away lovers from her rivals. There was no hint that she performed any kind of service whatever.
In short, she was a fool.
This made me drop the book and perform a fast and furious review of my conversations with Flauvic. Did he think I was a fool? Did he think that I would find Ardis in the records and admire her?
Or was this some kind of oblique challenge? Was he hinting that I ought to do more than my ancestor--such as get involved in a fight for the crown?
The answer seemed pretty obvious. I decided not to communicate with Flauvic about my foolish ancestor. Instead, I’d use his idea but find my own time period and historical personages. A much more elegant answer. ~ Sherwood Smith,
501:You cannot trade the courage needed to live every moment for immunity from life's sorrows. We may say we know this but ours is the culture of the deal-making mind. From infancy, we have breathed in the belief that there is always a deal to be made, a bargain to be struck. Eventually, we believe, if we do the right thing, if we are good enough, clever enough, sincere enough, work hard enough, we will be rewarded. There are different verses to this song - if you are sorry for your sins and try hard not to sin again, you will go to heaven; if you do your daily practise, clean up your diet, heal your inner child, ferret out all your emotional issue's, focus your intent, come into alignment with the world around you, hone your affirmations, find and listen to the voice of your higher self, you will be rewarded with vibrant health, abundant prosperity, loving relations and inner peace - in other words, heaven!
We know that what we do and how we think affects the quality of our lives. Many things are clearly up to us. And many others are not. I can see no evidence that the universe works on a simple meritocratic system of cause and effect. Bad things happen to good people - all the time. Monetary success does come to some who do not do what they love, as well as to some who are unwilling or unable to see the harm they do to the planet or others. Illness and misfortune come to some who follow their soul's desire. Many great artist's have been poor. Great teachers have lived in obscurity.
My invitation, my challenge to you here, is to journey into a deeper intimacy with the world and your life without any promise of safety or guarantee of reward beyond the intrinsic value of full participation. ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer,
502:"WHAT have I earned for all that work,' I said,
'For all that I have done at my own charge?
The daily spite of this unmannerly town,
Where who has served the most is most defaned,
The reputation of his lifetime lost
Between the night and morning. I might have lived,
And you know well how great the longing has been,
Where every day my footfall Should have lit
In the green shadow of Ferrara wall;
Or climbed among the images of the past
The unperturbed and courtly images
Evening and morning, the steep street of Urbino
To where the Duchess and her people talked
The stately midnight through until they stood
In their great window looking at the dawn;
I might have had no friend that could not mix
Courtesy and passion into one like those
That saw the wicks grow yellow in the dawn;
I might have used the one substantial right
My trade allows: chosen my company,
And chosen what scenery had pleased me best.
Thereon my phoenix answered in reproof,
"The drunkards, pilferers of public funds,
All the dishonest crowd I had driven away,
When my luck changed and they dared meet my face,
Crawled from obscurity, and set upon me
Those I had served and some that I had fed;
Yet never have I, now nor any time,
Complained of the people.'
All I could reply
Was: "You, that have not lived in thought but deed,
Can have the purity of a natural force,
But I, whose virtues are the definitions
Of the analytic mind, can neither close
The eye of the mind nor keep my tongue from speech.'
And yet, because my heart leaped at her words,
I was abashed, and now they come to mind
After nine years, I sink my head abashed.

~ William Butler Yeats, The People
,
503:To have followed the speculative vision of Behaim in his famous globe, or of others like him, would have been disastrous, even though their work represents the cream of fifteenth-century mapmaking and was known to Columbus. Indeed, as one commentator has observed, if his chart had been based on the Behaim scenario, 'Columbus could not even have known of the whereabouts of the New World, much less discover it.'
Yet not only does he seem to have known where he was going but, on some accounts, when he was going to get there:
'Now and then Pinzón and Columbus consult and deliberate -- mutually discuss their route. The map or chart passes not infrequently from the one captain to the other; the observations and calculations as to their position are daily recorded, their conduct and course for the night duly agreed upon.
On the eve of their due arrival Columbus issues the order to stay the course of the armada, to shorten sail, because he knew that he was close to the New World and was afraid of going ashore during the obscurity of the night ...
How does he know the place and the hour?
'His Genius' says the Columbus legend in explanation. But the Map? The critics will ask, what did it contain? Whose was it? What did that map contain that was so frequently passed from Columbus to Pinzón during the voyage?'
I've presented my case that what the map may have contained was an accurate but ancient, and indeed antediluvian, representation of the coast and islands of Central America, notably the north-south-oriented Great Bahama Bank island, which Columbus -- no less ignorant than any of his contemporaries about the existence of the Americas -- took to be an accurate map of part of the coast of China and the islands of Japan. ~ Graham Hancock,
504:In mystical literature such self-contradictory phrases as "dazzling obscurity," "whispering silence," "teeming desert," are continually met with. They prove that not conceptual speech, but music rather, is the element through which we are best spoken to by mystical truth. Many mystical scriptures are indeed little more than musical compositions. "He who would hear the voice of Nada, 'the Soundless Sound,' and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dharana…. When to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams, when he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE—the inner sound which kills the outer…. For then the soul will hear, and will remember. And then to the inner ear will speak THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE…. And now thy SELF is lost in SELF, THYSELF unto THYSELF, merged in that SELF from which thou first didst radiate.. . . Behold! thou hast become the Light, thou hast become the Sound, thou art thy Master and thy God. Thou art THYSELF the object of thy search: the VOICE unbroken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the seven sounds in one, the VOICE OF THE SILENCE. Om tat Sat."[277] [277] H. P. Blavatsky: The voice of the Silence. These words, if they do not awaken laughter as you receive them, probably stir chords within you which music and language touch in common. Music gives us ontological messages which non-musical criticism is unable to contradict, though it may laugh at our foolishness in minding them. There is a verge of the mind which these things haunt; and whispers therefrom mingle with the operations of our understanding, even as the waters of the infinite ocean send their waves to break among the pebbles that lie upon our shores. ~ William James,
505:Having learnt from experiment and argument that a stone falls downwards, a man indubitably believes this, and always expects the law he has learnt to be fulfilled.

But learning just as certainly that his will is subject to laws, he does not and cannot believe it.

However often experiment and reasoning may show a man that under the same conditions and with the same character he will do the same thing as before, yet when, under the same conditions and with the same character, he approaches for the thousandth time the action that always ends in the same way, he feels as certainly convinced as before the experiment that he can act as he pleases. Every man, savage or sage, however incontestably reason and experiment may prove to him that it is impossible to imagine two different courses of action in precisely the same conditions, feels that without this irrational conception (which constitutes the essence of freedom) he cannot imagine life. He feels that, however impossible it may be, it is so, for without this conceptions of freedom not only would he be unable to understand life, but he would be unable to live for a single moment.

He could not live, because all man's efforts, all his impulses to life, are only efforts to increase freedom. Wealth and poverty, fame and obscurity, power and subordination, strength and weakness, health and disease, culture and ignorance, work and leisure, repletion and hunger, virtue and vice, are only greater or lesser degrees of freedom.

A man having no freedom cannot be conceived of except as deprived of life.

If the conception of freedom appears to reason a senseless contradiction, like the possibility of performing two actions at one and the same instant of time, or of an effect without a cause, that only proves that consciousness is not subject to reason. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
506:We succeeded in taking that picture from [deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideaologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitands of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity--in all this vastness-- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us... To my mind, there is perhaps no better demostration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. ~ Carl Sagan,
507:March 17 MORNING “Remember the poor.” — Galatians 2:10 WHY does God allow so many of His children to be poor? He could make them all rich if He pleased; He could lay bags of gold at their doors; He could send them a large annual income; or He could scatter round their houses abundance of provisions, as once he made the quails lie in heaps round the camp of Israel, and rained bread out of heaven to feed them. There is no necessity that they should be poor, except that He sees it to be best. “The cattle upon a thousand hills are His” — He could supply them; He could make the richest, the greatest, and the mightiest bring all their power and riches to the feet of His children, for the hearts of all men are in His control. But He does not choose to do so; He allows them to suffer want, He allows them to pine in penury and obscurity. Why is this? There are many reasons: one is, to give us, who are favoured with enough, an opportunity of showing our love to Jesus. We show our love to Christ when we sing of Him and when we pray to Him; but if there were no sons of need in the world we should lose the sweet privilege of evidencing our love, by ministering in almsgiving to His poorer brethren; He has ordained that thus we should prove that our love standeth not in word only, but in deed and in truth. If we truly love Christ, we shall care for those who are loved by Him. Those who are dear to Him will be dear to us. Let us then look upon it not as a duty but as a privilege to relieve the poor of the Lord’s flock — remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Surely this assurance is sweet enough, and this motive strong enough to lead us to help others with a willing hand and a loving heart — recollecting that all we do for His people is graciously accepted by Christ as done to Himself. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
508:I.
It lieth, gazing on the midnight sky,
Upon the cloudy mountain-peak supine;
Below, far lands are seen tremblingly;
Its horror and its beauty are divine.
Upon its lips and eyelids seems to lie
Loveliness like a shadow, from which shine,
Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath,
The agonies of anguish and of death.

II.
Yet it is less the horror than the grace
Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone,
Whereon the lineaments of that dead face
Are graven, till the characters be grown
Into itself, and thought no more can trace;
Tis the melodious hue of beauty thrown
Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain,
Which humanize and harmonize the strain.

III.
And from its head as from one body grow,
As grass out of a watery rock,
Hairs which are vipers, and they curl and flow
And their long tangles in each other lock,
And with unending involutions show
Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock
The torture and the death within, and saw
The solid air with many a ragged jaw.

IV.
And, from a stone beside, a poisonous eft
Peeps idly into those Gorgonian eyes;
Whilst in the air a ghastly bat, bereft
Of sense, has flitted with a mad surprise
Out of the cave this hideous light had cleft,
And he comes hastening like a moth that hies
After a taper; and the midnight sky
Flares, a light more dread than obscurity.

V.
'Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror;
For from the serpents gleams a brazen glare
Kindled by that inextricable error,
Which makes a thrilling vapour of the air
Become a and ever-shifting mirror
Of all the beauty and the terror there--
A womans countenance, with serpent-locks,
Gazing in death on Heaven from those wet rocks.
Published by Mrs. Shelley, Posthumous Poems, 1824.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, On The Medusa Of Leonardo da Vinci In The Florentine Gallery
,
509:A supreme divine Love is a creative Power and, even though it can exist in itself silent and unchangeable, yet rejoices in external form and expression and is not condemned to be a speechless and bodiless godhead. It has even been said that creation itself was an act of love or at least the building up of a field in which Divine Love could devise its symbols and fulfil itself in act of mutuality and self-giving, and, if not the initial nature of creation, this may well be its ultimate object and motive. It does not so appear now because, even if a Divine Love is there in the world upholding all this evolution of creatures, yet the stuff of life and its action is made up of an egoistic formation, a division, a struggle of life and consciousness to exist and survive in an apparently indifferent, inclement or even hostile world of inanimate and inconscient Matter. In the confusion and obscurity of this struggle all are thrown against each other with a will in each to assert its own existence first and foremost and only secondarily to assert itself in others and very partially for others; for even man's altruism remains essentially egoistic and must be so till the soul finds the secret of the divine Oneness. It is to discover that at its supreme source, to bring it from within and to radiate it out up to the extreme confines of life that is turned the effort of the Yoga. All action, all creation must be turned into a form, a symbol of the cult, the adoration, the sacrifice; it must carry something that makes it bear in it the stamp of a dedication, a reception and translation of the Divine Consciousness, a service of the Beloved, a self-giving, a surrender. This has to be done wherever possible in the outward body and form of the act; it must be done always in its inward emotion and an intentsity that shows it to be an outflow from the soul towards the Eternal.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 2, 164,
510:have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth." Ecclesiastes 10:7 Upstarts frequently usurp the highest places, while the truly great pine in obscurity. This is a riddle in providence whose solution will one day gladden the hearts of the upright; but it is so common a fact, that none of us should murmur if it should fall to our own lot. When our Lord was upon earth, although he is the Prince of the kings of the earth, yet he walked the footpath of weariness and service as the Servant of servants: what wonder is it if his followers, who are princes of the blood, should also be looked down upon as inferior and contemptible persons? The world is upside down, and therefore, the first are last and the last first. See how the servile sons of Satan lord it in the earth! What a high horse they ride! How they lift up their horn on high! Haman is in the court, while Mordecai sits in the gate; David wanders on the mountains, while Saul reigns in state; Elijah is complaining in the cave while Jezebel is boasting in the palace; yet who would wish to take the places of the proud rebels? and who, on the other hand, might not envy the despised saints? When the wheel turns, those who are lowest rise, and the highest sink. Patience, then, believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time. Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and carnal appetites ride in triumph, while our nobler powers walk in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince, and make the members of the body instruments of righteousness. The Holy Spirit loves order, and he therefore sets our powers and faculties in due rank and place, giving the highest room to those spiritual faculties which link us with the great King; let us not disturb the divine arrangement, but ask for grace that we may keep under our body and bring it into subjection. We were not new created to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
511:Centuries of navel-gazing. Millennia of masturbation. Plato to Descartes to Dawkins to Rhanda. Souls and zombie agents and qualia. Kolmogorov complexity. Consciousness as Divine Spark. Consciousness as electromagnetic field. Consciousness as functional cluster.

I explored it all.

Wegner thought it was an executive summary. Penrose heard it in the singing of caged electrons. Nirretranders said it was a fraud; Kazim called it leakage from a parallel universe. Metzinger wouldn't even admit it existed. The AIs claimed to have worked it out, then announced they couldn't explain it to us. Gödel was right after all: no system can fully understand itself.

Not even the synthesists had been able to rotate it down. The load-bearing beams just couldn't take the strain.

All of them, I began to realize, had missed the point. All those theories, all those drugdreams and experiments and models trying to prove what consciousness was: none to explain what it was good for. None needed: obviously, consciousness makes us what we are. It lets us see the beauty and the ugliness. It elevates us into the exalted realm of the spiritual. Oh, a few outsiders—Dawkins, Keogh, the occasional writer of hackwork fiction who barely achieved obscurity—wondered briefly at the why of it: why not soft computers, and no more? Why should nonsentient systems be inherently inferior? But they never really raised their voices above the crowd. The value of what we are was too trivially self-evident to ever call into serious question.

Yet the questions persisted, in the minds of the laureates, in the angst of every horny fifteen-year-old on the planet. Am I nothing but sparking chemistry? Am I a magnet in the ether? I am more than my eyes, my ears, my tongue; I am the little thing behind those things, the thing looking out from inside. But who looks out from its eyes? What does it reduce to? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?

What a stupid fucking question. I could have answered it in a second, if Sarasti hadn't forced me to understand it first. ~ Peter Watts,
512:Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. ~ Carl Sagan,
513:Life is a hospital, in which every patient is possessed by the desire to change his bed. This one would prefer to suffer in front of the stove, and that one believes he would get well if he were placed by the window.

It seems to me that I should always be happier elsewhere than where I happen to be, and this question of moving is one that I am continually talking over with my soul.

"Tell me, my soul, poor chilled soul, what do you say to living in Lisbon? It must be very warm there, and you would bask merrily, like a lizard. It is by the sea; they say that it is built of marble, and that the people have such a horror of vegetation that they uproot all the trees. There is a landscape that would suit you -- made out of light and minerals, with water to reflect them."

My soul does not answer.

"Since you love tranquillity, and the sight of moving things, will you come and live in Holland, that heavenly land? Perhaps you could be happy in that country, for you have often admired pictures of Dutch life. What do you say to Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts, and ships anchored at the doors of houses?"

My soul remains silent.

Perhaps Batavia seems more attractive to you? There we would find the intellect of Europe married to the beauty of the tropics.

Not a word. Can my soul be dead?

"Have you sunk into so deep a stupor that only your own torment gives you pleasure? If that be so, let us flee to those lands constituted in the likeness of Death. I know just the place for us, poor soul! We will leave for Torneo. Or let us go even farther, to the last limits of the Baltic; and if possible, still farther from life. Let us go to the Pole. There the sun obliquely grazes the earth, and the slow alternations of light and obscurity make variety impossible, and increase that monotony which is almost death. There we shall be able to take baths of darkness, and for our diversion, from time to time the Aurora Borealis shall scatter its rosy sheaves before us, like reflections of the fireworks of Hell!"

At last my soul bursts into speech, and wisely cries to me: "Anywhere, anywhere, as long as it be out of this world! ~ Charles Baudelaire,
514:The continuing appeal of Tolkien’s fantasy, completely unexpected and completely unpredictable though it was, cannot then be seen as a mere freak of popular taste, to be dismissed or ignored by those sufficiently well-educated to know better. It deserves an explanation and a defence, which this book tries to supply. In the process, I argue that his continuing appeal rests not on mere charm or strangeness (though both are there and can again to some extent be explained), but on a deeply serious response to what will be seen in the end as the major issues of his century: the origin and nature of evil (an eternal issue, but one in Tolkien’s lifetime terribly re-focused); human existence in Middle-earth, without the support of divine Revelation; cultural relativity; and the corruptions and continuities of language. These are themes which no one can afford to despise, or need be ashamed of studying. It is true that Tolkien’s answers will not appeal to everyone, and are wildly at odds with those given even by many of his contemporaries as listed above. But the first qualification applies to every author who has ever lived, and the second is one of the things that make him distinctive.
However, one of the other things that make him distinctive is his professional authority. On some subjects Tolkien simply knew more, and had thought more deeply, than anyone else in the world. Some have felt (and said) that he should have written his results up in academic treatises instead of fantasy fiction. He might then have been taken more seriously by a limited academic audience. On the other hand, all through his lifetime that academic audience was shrinking, and has now all but vanished. There is an Old English proverb that says (in Old English, and with the usual provocative Old English obscurity), Ciggendra gehwelc wile pœt hine man gehere, ‘Everyone who cries out wants to be heard!’ (Here and in a few places later on, I use the old runic letters þ, ð and 3. The first usually represents ‘th’ as in ‘thin’, the second ‘th’ as in ‘then’. Where the third is used in this book, it represents -3 at the end of a word, -gh- in the middle of one.)
Tolkien wanted to be heard, and he was. But what was it that he had to say? ~ Tom Shippey,
515:From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. ~ Carl Sagan,
516:I should say that it was only for me that Marxism seemed over. Surely, I would tell G. at least once a week, it had to count for something that every single self-described Marxist state had turned into an economically backward dictatorship. Irrelevant, he would reply. The real Marxists weren’t the Leninists and Stalinists and Maoists—or the Trotskyists either, those bloodthirsty romantics—but libertarian anarchist-socialists, people like Anton Pannekoek, Herman Gorter, Karl Korsch, scholarly believers in true workers’ control who had labored in obscurity for most of the twentieth century, enjoyed a late-afternoon moment in the sun after 1968 when they were discovered by the New Left, and had now once again fallen back into the shadows of history, existing mostly as tiny stars in the vast night sky of the Internet, archived on blogs with names like Diary of a Council Communist and Break Their Haughty Power. They were all men. The group itself was mostly men. This was, as Marxists used to say, no accident. There was something about Marxist theory that just did not appeal to women. G. and I spent a lot of time discussing the possible reasons for this. Was it that women don’t allow themselves to engage in abstract speculation, as he thought? That Marxism is incompatible with feminism, as I sometimes suspected? Or perhaps the problem was not Marxism but Marxists: in its heyday men had kept a lock on it as they did on everything they considered important; now, in its decline, Marxism had become one of those obsessive lonely-guy hobbies, like collecting stamps or 78s. Maybe, like collecting, it was related, through subterranean psychological pathways, to sexual perversions, most of which seemed to be male as well. You never hear about a female foot fetishist, or a woman like the high-school history teacher of a friend of mine who kept dated bottles of his own urine on a closet shelf. Perhaps women’s need for speculation is satisfied by the intense curiosity they bring to daily life, the way their collecting masquerades as fashion and domesticity—instead of old records, shoes and ceramic mixing bowls—and their perversity can be satisfied simply by enacting the highly artificial role of Woman, by becoming, as it were, fetishizers of their own feet. ~ Katha Pollitt,
517:Adam's sin would have brought all mankind to eternal death (i.e. damnation), but that God's grace has freed many from it. Sin came from the soul, not from the flesh. Platonists and Manichæans both err in ascribing sin to the nature of the flesh, though Platonists are not so bad as Manichæans. The punishment of all mankind for Adam's sin was just; for, as a result of this sin, man, that might have been spiritual in body, became carnal in mind.10 This leads to a long and minute discussion of sexual lust, to which we are subject as part of our punishment for Adam's sin. This discussion is very important as revealing the psychology of asceticism; we must therefore go into it, although the Saint confesses that the theme is immodest. The theory advanced is as follows. It must be admitted that sexual intercourse in marriage is not sinful, provided the intention is to beget offspring. Yet even in marriage a virtuous man will wish that he could manage without lust. Even in marriage, as the desire for privacy shows, people are ashamed of sexual intercourse, because 'this lawful act of nature is (from our first parents) accompanied with our penal shame'. The cynics thought that one should be without shame, and Diogenes would have none of it, wishing to be in all things like a dog; yet even he, after one attempt, abandoned, in practice, this extreme of shamelessness. What is shameful about lust is its independence of the will. Adam and Eve, before the fall, could have had sexual intercourse without lust, though in fact they did not. Handicraftsmen, in the pursuit of their trade, move their hands without lust; similarly Adam, if only he had kept away from the apple-tree, could have performed the business of sex without the emotions that it now demands. The sexual members, like the rest of the body, would have obeyed the will. The need of lust in sexual intercourse is a punishment for Adam's sin, but for which sex might have been divorced from pleasure. Omitting some physiological details which the translator has very properly left in the decent obscurity of the original Latin, the above is St Augustine's theory as regards sex. It is evident from the above that what makes the ascetic dislike sex is its independence of the will. Virtue, it is held, demands a complete control of the will over the body, but such control does not suffice to make the sexual act possible. The sexual act, therefore, seems inconsistent with a perfectly virtuous life. ~ Anonymous,
518:Jubal shrugged. "Abstract design is all right-for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation. . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce- render emotional-his audience, each time. These ladies who won't deign to do that- and perhaps can't- of course lost the public. If they hadn't lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for 'art' that leaves him unmoved- if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such."

"You know, Jubal, I've always wondered why i didn't give a hoot for paintings or statues- but I thought it was something missing in me, like color blindness."

"Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art, just as you must know French to read a story printed in French. But in general terms it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code like Pepys and his diary. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. Ben, would you call me an artists?”

“Huh? Well, I’ve never thought about it. You write a pretty good stick.”

“Thank you. ‘Artist’ is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called ‘Doctor.’ But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once… and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer… reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror… or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for ‘technique’ or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I’ve reached him- or I don’t want anything. Support for the arts- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore! Damn it, you punched one of my buttons. Let me fill your glass and you tell me what is on your mind. ~ Robert A Heinlein,
519:Blue
The earth again like a ship steams out of the dark sea over
The edge of the blue, and the sun stands up to see us glide
Slowly into another day; slowly the rover
Vessel of darkness takes the rising tide.
I, on the deck, am startled by this dawn confronting
Me who am issued amazed from the darkness, stripped
And quailing here in the sunshine, delivered from haunting
The night unsounded whereon our days are shipped.
Feeling myself undawning, the day’s light playing upon me,
I who am substance of shadow, I all compact
Of the stuff of the night, finding myself all wrongly
Among the crowds of things in the sunshine jostled and racked.
I with the night on my lips, I sigh with the silence of death;
And what do I care though the very stones should cry me unreal, though the
clouds
Shine in conceit of substance upon me, who am less than the rain.
Do I know the darkness within them? What are they but shrouds?
The clouds go down the sky with a wealthy ease
Casting a shadow of scorn upon me for my share in death; but I
Hold my own in the midst of them, darkling, defy
The whole of the day to extinguish the shadow I lift on the breeze.
Yea, though the very clouds have vantage over me,
Enjoying their glancing flight, though my love is dead,
I still am not homeless here, I’ve a tent by day
Of darkness where she sleeps on her perfect bed.
And I know the host, the minute sparkling of darkness
Which vibrates untouched and virile through the grandeur of night,
But which, when dawn crows challenge, assaulting the vivid motes
Of living darkness, bursts fretfully, and is bright:
Runs like a fretted arc-lamp into light,
Stirred by conflict to shining, which else
Were dark and whole with the night.
30
Runs to a fret of speed like a racing wheel,
Which else were aslumber along with the whole
Of the dark, swinging rhythmic instead of a-reel.
Is chafed to anger, bursts into rage like thunder;
Which else were a silent grasp that held the heavens
Arrested, beating thick with wonder.
Leaps like a fountain of blue sparks leaping
In a jet from out of obscurity,
Which erst was darkness sleeping.
Runs into streams of bright blue drops,
Water and stones and stars, and myriads
Of twin-blue eyes, and crops
Of floury grain, and all the hosts of day,
All lovely hosts of ripples caused by fretting
The Darkness into play.
~ David Herbert Lawrence,
520:requirements for the psychic :::
   At a certain stage in the Yoga when the mind is sufficiently quieted and no longer supports itself at every step on the sufficiency of its mental certitudes, when the vital has been steadied and subdued and is no longer constantly insistent on its own rash will, demand and desire, when the physical has been sufficiently altered not to bury altogether the inner flame under the mass of its outwardness, obscurity or inertia, an inmost being hidden within and felt only in its rare influences is able to come forward and illumine the rest and take up the lead of the sadhana. Its character is a one-pointed orientation towards the Divine or the Highest, one-pointed and yet plastic in action and movement; it does not create a rigidity of direction like the one-pointed intellect or a bigotry of the regnant idea or impulse like the one-pointed vital force; it is at every moment and with a supple sureness that it points the way to the Truth, automatically distinguishes the right step from the false, extricates the divine or Godward movement from the clinging mixture of the undivine. Its action is like a searchlight showing up all that has to be changed in the nature; it has in it a flame of will insistent on perfection, on an alchemic transmutation of all the inner and outer existence. It sees the divine essence everywhere but rejects the mere mask and the disguising figure. It insists on Truth, on will and strength and mastery, on Joy and Love and Beauty, but on a Truth of abiding Knowledge that surpasses the mere practical momentary truth of the Ignorance, on an inward joy and not on mere vital pleasure, -- for it prefers rather a purifying suffering and sorrow to degrading satisfactions, -- on love winged upward and not tied to the stake of egoistic craving or with its feet sunk in the mire, on beauty restored to its priesthood of interpretation of the Eternal, on strength and will and mastery as instruments not of the ego but of the Spirit. Its will is for the divinisation of life, the expression through it of a higher Truth, its dedication to the Divine and the Eternal.
   But the most intimate character of the psychic is its pressure towards the Divine through a sacred love, joy and oneness. It is the divine Love that it seeks most, it is the love of the Divine that is its spur, its goal, its star of Truth shining over the luminous cave of the nascent or the still obscure cradle of the new-born godhead within us.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 1,
521:Algebra applies to the clouds, the radiance of the star benefits the rose--no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who could ever calculate the path of a molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand? Who can understand the reciprocal ebb and flow of the infinitely great and the infinitely small, the echoing of causes in the abyss of being and the avalanches of creation? A mite has value; the small is great, the great is small. All is balanced in necessity; frightening vision for the mind. There are marvelous relations between beings and things, in this inexhaustible whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn, each needs the other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor and the tap of a swallow's beak breaking the egg, and it guides the birth of the earthworm, and the advent of Socrates. Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a greater view? Choose. A bit of mold is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an anthill of stars. The same promiscuity, and still more wonderful, between the things of the intellect and material things. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another, to the point that the material world, and the moral world are brought into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually folded back on themselves. In the vast cosmic changes, universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, rolling everything up in the invisible mystery of the emanations, using everything, losing no dream from any single sleep, sowing a microscopic animal here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and gyrating, making a force of light, and an element of thought, disseminated and indivisible dissolving all, that geometric point, the self; reducing everything to the soul-atom; making everything blossom into God; entangling from the highest to the lowest, all activities in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism, linking the flight of an insect to the movement of the earth, subordinating--who knows, if only by the identity of the law--the evolutions of the comet in the firmament to the circling of the protozoa in the drop of water. A machine made of mind. Enormous gearing, whose first motor is the gnat, and whose last is the zodiac. ~ Victor Hugo,
522:The approach to digital culture I abhor would indeed turn all the world's books into one book, just as Kevin (Kelly) suggested. It might start to happen in the next decade or so. Google and other companies are scanning library books into the cloud in a massive Manhattan Project of cultural digitization. What happens next is what's important. If the books in the cloud are accessed via user interfaces that encourage mashups of fragments that obscure the context and authorship of each fragment, there will be only one book. This is what happens today with a lot of content; often you don't know where a quoted fragment from a news story came from, who wrote a comment, or who shot a video. A continuation of the present trend will make us like various medieval religious empires, or like North Korea, a society with a single book.

The Bible can serve as a prototypical example. Like Wikipedia, the Bible's authorship was shared, largely anonymous, and cumulative, and the obscurity of the individual authors served to create an oracle-like ambience for the document as "the literal word of God." If we take a non-metaphysical view of the Bible, it serves as a link to our ancestors, a window. The ethereal, digital replacement technology for the printing press happens to have come of age in a time when the unfortunate ideology I'm criticizing dominates technological culture. Authorship - the very idea of the individual point of view - is not a priority of the new ideology. The digital flattening of expression into a global mush is not presently enforced from the top down, as it is in the case of a North Korean printing press. Instead, the design of software builds the ideology into those actions that are the easiest to perform on the software designs that are becoming ubiquitous. It is true that by using these tools, individuals can author books or blogs or whatever, but people are encouraged by the economics of free content, crowd dynamics, and lord aggregators to serve up fragments instead of considered whole expressions or arguments. The efforts of authors are appreciated in a manner that erases the boundaries between them.

The one collective book will absolutely not be the same thing as the library of books by individuals it is bankrupting. Some believe it will be better; others, including me, believe it will be disastrously worse. As the famous line goes from Inherit the Wind: 'The Bible is a book... but it is not the only book' Any singular, exclusive book, even the collective one accumulating in the cloud, will become a cruel book if it is the only one available. ~ Jaron Lanier,
523:The Mahashakti, the universal Mother, works out whatever is transmitted by her transcendent consciousness from the Supreme and enters into the worlds that she has made; her presence fills and supports them with the divine spirit and the divine all-sustaining force and delight without which they could not exist. That which we call Nature or Prakriti is only her most outward executive aspect; she marshals and arranges the harmony of her forces and processes, impels the operations of Nature and moves among them secret or manifest in all that can be seen or experienced or put into motion of life. Each of the worlds is nothing but one play of the Mahashakti of that system of worlds or universe, who is there as the cosmic Soul and Personality of the transcendent Mother. Each is something that she has seen in her vision, gathered into her heart of beauty and power and created in her Ananda.
   But there are many planes of her creation, many steps of the Divine Shakti. At the summit of this manifestation of which we are a part there are worlds of infinite existence, consciousness, force and bliss over which the Mother stands as the unveiled eternal Power. All beings there live and move in an ineffable completeness and unalterable oneness, because she carries them safe in her arms for ever. Nearer to us are the worlds of a perfect supramental creation in which the Mother is the supramental Mahashakti, a Power of divine omniscient Will and omnipotent Knowledge always apparent in its unfailing works and spontaneously perfect in every process. There all movements are the steps of the Truth; there all beings are souls and powers and bodies of the divine Light; there all experiences are seas and floods and waves of an intense and absolute Ananda. But here where we dwell are the worlds of the Ignorance, worlds of mind and life and body separated in consciousness from their source, of which this earth is a significant centre and its evolution a crucial process. This too with all its obscurity and struggle and imperfection is upheld by the Universal Mother; this too is impelled and guided to its secret aim by the Mahashakti.
   The Mother as the Mahashakti of this triple world of the Ignorance stands in an intermediate plane between the supramental Light, the Truth life, the Truth creation which has to be brought down here and this mounting and descending hierarchy of planes of consciousness that like a double ladder lapse into the nescience of Matter and climb back again through the flowering of life and soul and mind into the infinity of the Spirit. Determining all that shall be in this universe and in the terrestrial evolution by what she sees and feels and pours from her, she stands there... ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
524:Let us remark by the way, that to be blind and to be loved, is, in fact, one of the most strangely exquisite forms of happiness upon this earth, where nothing is complete. To have continually at one's side a woman, a daughter, a sister, a charming being, who is there because you need her and because she cannot do without you; to know that we are indispensable to a person who is necessary to us; to be able to incessantly measure one's affection by the amount of her presence which she bestows on us, and to say to ourselves, "Since she consecrates the whole of her time to me, it is because I possess the whole of her heart"; to behold her thought in lieu of her face; to be able to verify the fidelity of one being amid the eclipse of the world; to regard the rustle of a gown as the sound of wings; to hear her come and go, retire, speak, return, sing, and to think that one is the centre of these steps, of this speech; to manifest at each instant one's personal attraction; to feel one's self all the more powerful because of one's infirmity; to become in one's obscurity, and through one's obscurity, the star around which this angel gravitates,—few felicities equal this. The supreme happiness of life consists in the conviction that one is loved; loved for one's own sake—let us say rather, loved in spite of one's self; this conviction the blind man possesses. To be served in distress is to be caressed. Does he lack anything? No. One does not lose the sight when one has love. And what love! A love wholly constituted of virtue! There is no blindness where there is certainty. Soul seeks soul, gropingly, and finds it. And this soul, found and tested, is a woman. A hand sustains you; it is hers: a mouth lightly touches your brow; it is her mouth: you hear a breath very near you; it is hers. To have everything of her, from her worship to her pity, never to be left, to have that sweet weakness aiding you, to lean upon that immovable reed, to touch Providence with one's hands, and to be able to take it in one's arms,—God made tangible,—what bliss! The heart, that obscure, celestial flower, undergoes a mysterious blossoming. One would not exchange that shadow for all brightness! The angel soul is there, uninterruptedly there; if she departs, it is but to return again; she vanishes like a dream, and reappears like reality. One feels warmth approaching, and behold! she is there. One overflows with serenity, with gayety, with ecstasy; one is a radiance amid the night. And there are a thousand little cares. Nothings, which are enormous in that void. The most ineffable accents of the feminine voice employed to lull you, and supplying the vanished universe to you. One is caressed with the soul. One sees nothing, but one feels that one is adored. It is a paradise of shadows. ~ Victor Hugo,
525:Lord Gareth?" He froze. It was she, staring out at him with an expression of astounded disbelief on her lovely face. Gareth was caught totally unprepared. He knew he must look like an arse because he certainly felt like one. But the comic ridiculousness of the situation suddenly hit him, and his lips began twitching uncontrollably. He gazed up at her with perfect innocence. "Hello, Juliet." A chorus of out-of-tune voices came up from below. "Romeo, O Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?" Gareth flung his crop down at their heads. Cokeham let out a yelp, then fell to laughing. The girl's smooth, high brow pleated in a frown as she took in the scene. Perry down there with the horses. The other Den of Debauchery members all gathered below, beaming stupidly up at her. And Gareth, grinning, sprawled full-length along a tree branch just outside her window. "Just what on earth are you doing, Lord Gareth?" The way she said it made his cheeks warm with embarrassment. So he was a pillock. Who cared? Instead, he gave her his most devastating grin and said with cheerful earnestness, "Why, I have come to rescue you, of course." "Rescue me?" "Surely you didn't think I'd allow Lucien to banish you into obscurity, now, did you?" "Well, I —  The duke didn't ban—"  She gave a disbelieving little laugh and leaned out the window, grasping the blanket tightly at her breasts. Her hair, caught in a long, dark braid, swung tantalizingly out over her bosom. "Really, Lord Gareth. This is ... highly irregular!" "Yes, but the hour is late, and as it took me all day to find you, I was feeling rather impatient. I do hope you'll forgive me for resorting to such desperate measures. May I come in and talk?" "Of course not! I — I cannot have a man in my bedroom!" "Why not, my sweet?" He pushed aside a small, leafy twig in order to see her better and grinned cajolingly up at her. "I had you in mine." She shook her head, torn between what she wanted to do — and what she ought to do. "Really, Lord Gareth ... your brother will never approve of this. You should go home. After all, you're the son of a duke and I'm just a — " " — beautiful young woman with nowhere else to go. A beautiful young woman who should be a part of my family. Now, do collect Charlotte and your things, Miss Paige — I fear we must make haste, if we are to marry before Lucien catches up to us." "Marry?!" she cried, forgetting to whisper. He gazed at her in blank, perfect innocence. "Well, yes, of course," he said, clinging to the branch as it dropped another few inches. "Surely you don't think I'd be hanging out of a tree for anything less, do you?" "But —" "Come now."  He smiled disarmingly. "Surely, you must see there is really no other option for you. And I won't have my niece growing up without a father. What kind of a man do you think I am? Now, gather up Charlotte and get your things, my dear Miss Paige, and come outside. I am growing most uncomfortable." Juliet ~ Danelle Harmon,
526:Que Diras-Tu Ce Soir, Pauvre Âme Solitaire (What Will
You Say Tonight, Poor Solitary Soul)
Que diras-tu ce soir, pauvre âme solitaire,
Que diras-tu, mon coeur, coeur autrefois flétri,
À la très belle, à la très bonne, à la très chère,
Dont le regard divin t'a soudain refleuri?
— Nous mettrons notre orgueil à chanter ses louanges:
Rien ne vaut la douceur de son autorité
Sa chair spirituelle a le parfum des Anges
Et son oeil nous revêt d'un habit de clarté.
Que ce soit dans la nuit et dans la solitude
Que ce soit dans la rue et dans la multitude
Son fantôme dans l'air danse comme un flambeau.
Parfois il parle et dit: «Je suis belle, et j'ordonne
Que pour l'amour de moi vous n'aimiez que le Beau;
Je suis l'Ange gardien, la Muse et la Madone.»
What Will You Say Tonight, Poor Solitary Soul
What will you say tonight, poor solitary soul,
What will you say, my heart, heart once so withered,
To the kindest, dearest, the fairest of women,
Whose divine glance suddenly revived you?
— We shall try our pride in singing her praises:
There is nothing sweeter than to do her bidding;
Her spiritual flesh has the fragrance of Angels,
And when she looks upon us we are clothed with light.
Be it in the darkness of night, in solitude,
Or in the city street among the multitude,
Her image in the air dances like a torch flame.
Sometimes it speaks and says: 'I am fair, I command
That for your love of me you love only Beauty;
I am your guardian Angel, your Muse and Madonna.'
401
— Translated by William Aggeler
What Can You Say, Poor Lonely Soul of Mine
What can you say, poor lonely soul of mine,
Or you, poor heart, so long ago turned sour,
To the best, dearest, loveliest, whose divine
Regard has made you open like a flower?
We'll set our pride to sing her highest praise
Naught to her sweet authority compares:
Her psychic flesh is formed of fragrant airs.
Her glances clothe us in a suit of rays.
Be it in solitude at dead of night,
Or in the crowded streets of glaring light,
Her phantom like a torch before me streams.
It speaks: 'I'm beautiful. These orders take.
Love naught but Beauty, always, for my sake,
Madonna, guardian Angel, Muse of dreams.'
— Translated by Roy Campbell
What Shall You Say Tonight?
What shall you say tonight, poor soul so full of care,
What shall you say, my heart, heart hitherto so sad,
To the most kind, to the most dear, to the most fair,
Whose pure serene regard has made you proud and glad?
— We shall set all our pride to sing her holy praise!
What sweetness to be hers! To live beneath her sight!
Half spirit is her flesh, angelic all her ways;
Her glance alone invests us in a robe of light!
Whether in solitude and deep obscurity,
Whether by day among the moving crowd it be,
Her phantom like a torch in air will dance and run;
402
It speaks: 'Beauty is mine; Authority is mine;
Love only, for my sake, the noble and the fine:
I am thine Angel, Muse, Madonna, all in one.'
— Translated by Edna St. Vincent Millay
~ Charles Baudelaire,
527:There is no invariable rule of such suffering. It is not the soul that suffers; the Self is calm and equal to all things and the only sorrow of the psychic being is the sorrow of the resistance of Nature to the Divine Will or the resistance of things and people to the call of the True, the Good and the Beautiful. What is affected by suffering is the vital nature and the body. When the soul draws towards the Divine, there may be a resistance in the mind and the common form of that is denial and doubt - which may create mental and vital suffering. There may again be a resistance in the vital nature whose principal character is desire and the attachment to the objects of desire, and if in this field there is conflict between the soul and the vital nature, between the Divine Attraction and the pull of the Ignorance, then obviously there may be much suffering of the mind and vital parts. The physical consciousness also may offer a resistance which is usually that of a fundamental inertia, an obscurity in the very stuff of the physical, an incomprehension, an inability to respond to the higher consciousness, a habit of helplessly responding to the lower mechanically, even when it does not want to do so; both vital and physical suffering may be the consequence. There is moreover the resistance of the Universal Nature which does not want the being to escape from the Ignorance into the Light. This may take the form of a vehement insistence on the continuation of the old movements, waves of them thrown on the mind and vital and body so that old ideas, impulses, desires, feelings, responses continue even after they are thrown out and rejected, and can return like an invading army from outside, until the whole nature, given to the Divine, refuses to admit them. This is the subjective form of the universal resistance, but it may also take an objective form - opposition, calumny, attacks, persecution, misfortunes of many kinds, adverse conditions and circumstances, pain, illness, assaults from men or forces. There too the possibility of suffering is evident. There are two ways to meet all that - first that of the Self, calm, equality, a spirit, a will, a mind, a vital, a physical consciousness that remain resolutely turned towards the Divine and unshaken by all suggestion of doubt, desire, attachment, depression, sorrow, pain, inertia. This is possible when the inner being awakens, when one becomes conscious of the Self, of the inner mind, the inner vital, the inner physical, for that can more easily attune itself to the divine Will, and then there is a division in the being as if there were two beings, one within, calm, strong, equal, unperturbed, a channel of the Divine Consciousness and Force, one without, still encroached on by the lower Nature; but then the disturbances of the latter become something superficial which are no more than an outer ripple, - until these under the inner pressure fade and sink away and the outer being too remains calm, concentrated, unattackable. There is also the way of the psychic, - when the psychic being comes out in its inherent power, its consecration, adoration, love of the Divine, self-giving, surrender and imposes these on the mind, vital and physical consciousness and compels them to turn all their movements Godward. If the psychic is strong and master...
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV, Resistances, Sufferings and Falls, 669,
528:
   Sweet Mother, how can one feel the divine Presence constantly?


Why not?

   But how can one do it?

But I am asking why one should not feel it. Instead of asking the question how to feel it, I ask the question: "What do you do that you don't feel it?" There is no reason not to feel the divine Presence. Once you have felt it, even once, you should be capable of feeling it always, for it is there. It is a fact. It is only our ignorance which makes us unaware of it. But if we become conscious, why should we not always be conscious? Why forget something one has learnt? When one has had the experience, why forget it? It is simply a bad habit, that's all.
   You see, there is something which is a fact, that's to say, it is. But we are unaware of it and do not know it. But after we become conscious and know it, why should we still forget it? Does it make sense? It's quite simply because we are not convinced that once one has met the Divine one can't forget Him any more. We are, on the contrary, full of stupid ideas which say, "Oh! Yes, it's very well once like that, but the rest of the time it will be as usual." So there is no reason why it may not begin again.
   But if we know that... we did not know something, we were ignorant, then the moment we have the knowledge... I am sincerely asking how one can manage to forget. One might not know something, that is a fact; there are countless things one doesn't know. But the moment one knows them, the minute one has the experience, how can one manage to forget? Within yourself you have the divine Presence, you know nothing about it - for all kinds of reasons, but still the chief reason is that you are in a state of ignorance. Yet suddenly, by a clicking of circumstances, you become conscious of this divine Presence, that is, you are before a fact - it is not imagination, it is a fact, it's something which exists. Then how do you manage to forget it once you have known it?
   ...
   It is because something in us, through cowardice or defeatism, accepts this. If one did not accept it, it wouldn't happen.
   Even when everything seems to be suddenly darkened, the flame and the Light are always there. And if one doesn't forget them, one has only to put in front of them the part which is dark; there will perhaps be a battle, there will perhaps be a little difficulty, but it will be something quite transitory; never will you lose your footing. That is why it is said - and it is something true - that to sin through ignorance may have fatal consequences, because when one makes mistakes, well, these mistakes have results, that's obvious, and usually external and material results; but that's no great harm, I have already told you this several times. But when one knows what is true, when one has seen and had the experience of the Truth, to accept the sin again, that is, fall back again into ignorance and obscurity - this is indeed an infinitely more serious mistake. It begins to belong to the domain of ill-will. In any case, it is a sign of slackness and weakness. It means that the will is weak.
   So your question is put the other way round. Instead of asking yourself how to keep it, you must ask yourself: how does one not keep it? Not having it, is a state which everybody is in before the moment of knowing; not knowing - one is in that state before knowing. But once one knows one cannot forget. And if one forgets, it means that there is something which consents to the forgetting, it means there is an assent somewhere; otherwise one would not forget.
   ~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1955, 403,405,406,
529:How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.

No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …)

The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful.

Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it.

When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…)

And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we.

And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…)

The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: 'Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away' (Ezechiel 24, 12).

But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind.

He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church. ~ Carlo Carretto,
530:In consequence of the inevitably scattered and fragmentary nature of our thinking, which has been mentioned, and of the mixing together of the most heterogeneous representations thus brought about and inherent even in the noblest human mind, we really possess only *half a consciousness*. With this we grope about in the labyrinth of our life and in the obscurity of our investigations; bright moments illuminate our path like flashes of lighting. But what is to be expected generally from heads of which even the wisest is every night the playground of the strangest and most senseless dreams, and has to take up its meditations again on emerging from these dreams? Obviously a consciousness subject to such great limitations is little fitted to explore and fathom the riddle of the world; and to beings of a higher order, whose intellect did not have time as its form, and whose thinking therefore had true completeness and unity, such an endeavor would necessarily appear strange and pitiable. In fact, it is a wonder that we are not completely confused by the extremely heterogeneous mixture of fragments of representations and of ideas of every kind which are constantly crossing one another in our heads, but that we are always able to find our way again, and to adapt and adjust everything. Obviously there must exist a simple thread on which everything is arranged side by side: but what is this? Memory alone is not enough, since it has essential limitations of which I shall shortly speak; moreover, it is extremely imperfect and treacherous. The *logical ego*, or even the *transcendental synthetic unity of apperception*, are expressions and explanations that will not readily serve to make the matter comprehensible; on the contrary, it will occur to many that

“Your wards are deftly wrought, but drive no bolts asunder.”

Kant’s proposition: “The *I think* must accompany all our representations ,” is insufficient; for the “I” is an unknown quantity, in other words, it is itself a mystery and a secret. What gives unity and sequence to consciousness, since by pervading all the representations of consciousness, it is its substratum, its permanent supporter, cannot itself be conditioned by consciousness, and therefore cannot be a representation. On the contrary, it must be the *prius* of consciousness, and the root of the tree of which consciousness is the fruit. This, I say, is the *will*; it alone is unalterable and absolutely identical, and has brought forth consciousness for its own ends. It is therefore the will that gives unity and holds all its representations and ideas together, accompanying them, as it were, like a continuous ground-bass. Without it the intellect would have no more unity of consciousness than has a mirror, in which now one thing now another presents itself in succession, or at most only as much as a convex mirror has, whose rays converge at an imaginary point behind its surface. But it is *the will* alone that is permanent and unchangeable in consciousness. It is the will that holds all ideas and representations together as means to its ends, tinges them with the colour of its character, its mood, and its interest, commands the attention, and holds the thread of motives in its hand. The influence of these motives ultimately puts into action memory and the association of ideas. Fundamentally it is the will that is spoken of whenever “I” occurs in a judgement. Therefore, the will is the true and ultimate point of unity of consciousness, and the bond of all its functions and acts. It does not, however, itself belong to the intellect, but is only its root, origin, and controller."

—from The World as Will and Representation . Translated from the German by E. F. J. Payne in two volumes: volume II, pp. 139-140 ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
531:My Dear Mrs Winter. (I had half a mind when I dipped my pen in the ink, to address you by your old natural Christian name.)
The snow lies so deep on the Northern Railway, and the Posts have been so interrupted in consequence, that your charming note arrived here only this morning...
I get the heartache again when I read your commission, written in the hand which I find now to be not in the least changed, and yet it is a great pleasure to be entrusted with it, and to have that share in your gentler remembrances which I cannot find it still my privilege to have, without a stirring of the old fancies. ... I am very very sorry you mistrusted me in not writing before your little girl was born; but I hope now you know me better you will teach her, one day, to tell her children, in times to come when they have some interest in wondering about it, that I loved her mother with the most extraordinary earnestness when I was a boy.
I have always believed since, and always shall to the last, that there never was such a faithful and devoted poor fellow as I was. Whatever of fancy, romance, energy, passion, aspiration and determination belong to me, I never have separated and never shall separate from the hard hearted little woman - you - whom it is nothing to say I would have died for, with the greatest alacrity! I never can think, and I never seem to observe, that other young people are in such desperate earnest, or set so much, so long, upon one absorbing hope. It is a matter of perfect certainty to me that I began to fight my way out of poverty and obscurity, with one perpetual idea of you. This is so fixed in my knowledge that to the hour when I opened your letter last Friday night, I have never heard anybody addressed by your name or spoken of by your name, without a start. The sound of it has always filled me with a kind of pity and respect for the deep truth that I had, in my silly hobbledehoyhood, to bestow upon one creature who represented the whole world to me. I have never been so good a man since, as I was when you made me wretchedly happy. I shall never be half so good a fellow any more.
This is all so strange now, both to think of, and to say, after every change that has come about; but I think, when you ask me to write to you, you are not unprepared for what it is so natural to me to recall, and will not be displeased to read it. I fancy, - though you may not have thought in the old time how manfully I loved you - that you may have seen in one of my books a faithful reflection of the passion I had for you, and may have thought that it was something to have been loved so well, and may have seen in little bits of "Dora" touches of your old self sometimes, and a grace here and there that may be revived in your little girls, years hence, for the bewilderment of some other young lover - though he will never be as terribly in earnest as I and David Copperfield were. People used to say to me how pretty all that was, and how fanciful it was, and how elevated it was above the little foolish loves of very young men and women. But they little thought what reason I had to know it was true and nothing more nor less.
These are things that I have locked up in my own breast, and that I never thought to bring out any more. But when I find myself writing to you again "all to your self", how can I forbear to let as much light in upon them as will shew you that they are there still! If the most innocent, the most ardent, and the most disinterested days of my life had you for their Sun - as indeed they had - and if I know that the Dream I lived in did me good, refined my heart, and made me patient and persevering, and if the Dream were all of you - as God knows it was - how can I receive a confidence from you, and return it, and make a feint of blotting all this out! ... ~ Charles Dickens,
532:Old Trails
(WASHINGTON SQUARE)
I met him, as one meets a ghost or two,
Between the gray Arch and the old Hotel.
“King Solomon was right, there’s nothing new,”
Said he. “Behold a ruin who meant well.”
He led me down familiar steps again,
Appealingly, and set me in a chair.
“My dreams have all come true to other men,”
Said he; “God lives, however, and why care?
“An hour among the ghosts will do no harm.”
He laughed, and something glad within me sank.
I may have eyed him with a faint alarm,
For now his laugh was lost in what he drank.
“They chill things here with ice from hell,” he said;
“I might have known it.” And he made a face
That showed again how much of him was dead,
And how much was alive and out of place.
And out of reach. He knew as well as I
That all the words of wise men who are skilled
In using them are not much to defy
What comes when memory meets the unfulfilled.
What evil and infirm perversity
Had been at work with him to bring him back?
Never among the ghosts, assuredly,
Would he originate a new attack;
Never among the ghosts, or anywhere,
Till what was dead of him was put away,
Would he attain to his offended share
Of honor among others of his day.
“You ponder like an owl,” he said at last;
212
“You always did, and here you have a cause.
For I’m a confirmation of the past,
A vengeance, and a flowering of what was.
“Sorry? Of course you are, though you compress,
With even your most impenetrable fears,
A placid and a proper consciousness
Of anxious angels over my arrears.
“I see them there against me in a book
As large as hope, in ink that shines by night
Surely I see; but now I’d rather look
At you, and you are not a pleasant sight.
“Forbear, forgive. Ten years are on my soul,
And on my conscience. I’ve an incubus:
My one distinction, and a parlous toll
To glory; but hope lives on clamorous.
“’Twas hope, though heaven I grant you knows of what—
The kind that blinks and rises when it falls,
Whether it sees a reason why or not—
That heard Broadway’s hard-throated siren-calls;
“’Twas hope that brought me through December storms,
To shores again where I’ll not have to be
A lonely man with only foreign worms
To cheer him in his last obscurity.
“But what it was that hurried me down here
To be among the ghosts, I leave to you.
My thanks are yours, no less, for one thing clear:
Though you are silent, what you say is true.
“There may have been the devil in my feet,
For down I blundered, like a fugitive,
To find the old room in Eleventh Street.
God save us!—I came here again to live.”
We rose at that, and all the ghosts rose then,
And followed us unseen to his old room.
No longer a good place for living men
213
We found it, and we shivered in the gloom.
The goods he took away from there were few,
And soon we found ourselves outside once more,
Where now the lamps along the Avenue
Bloomed white for miles above an iron floor.
“Now lead me to the newest of hotels,”
He said, “and let your spleen be undeceived:
This ruin is not myself, but some one else;
I haven’t failed; I’ve merely not achieved.”
Whether he knew or not, he laughed and dined
With more of an immune regardlessness
Of pits before him and of sands behind
Than many a child at forty would confess;
And after, when the bells in Boris rang
Their tumult at the Metropolitan,
He rocked himself, and I believe he sang.
“God lives,” he crooned aloud, “and I’m the man!”
He was. And even though the creature spoiled
All prophecies, I cherish his acclaim.
Three weeks he fattened; and five years he toiled
In Yonkers,—and then sauntered into fame.
And he may go now to what streets he will—
Eleventh, or the last, and little care;
But he would find the old room very still
Of evenings, and the ghosts would all be there.
I doubt if he goes after them; I doubt
If many of them ever come to him.
His memories are like lamps, and they go out;
Or if they burn, they flicker and are dim.
A light of other gleams he has to-day
And adulations of applauding hosts;
A famous danger, but a safer way
Than growing old alone among the ghosts.
214
But we may still be glad that we were wrong:
He fooled us, and we’d shrivel to deny it;
Though sometimes when old echoes ring too long,
I wish the bells in Boris would be quiet.
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson,
533:Ode To Memory
I.
THOU who stealest fire,
From the fountains of the past,
To glorify the present, oh, haste,
Visit my low desire!
Strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.
II.
Come not as thou camest of late,
Flinging the gloom of yesternight
On the white day, but robed in soften’d light
Of orient state.
Whilome thou camest with the morning mist,
Even as a maid, whose stately brow
The dew-impearled winds of dawn have kiss’d,
When she, as thou,
Stays on her floating locks the lovely freight
Of overflowing blooms, and earliest shoots
Of orient green, giving safe pledge of fruits,
Which in wintertide shall star
The black earth with brilliance rare.
III.
Whilome thou camest with the morning mist,
And with the evening cloud,
Showering thy gleaned wealth into my open breast;
Those peerless flowers which in the rudest wind
Never grow sere,
When rooted in the garden of the mind,
Because they are the earliest of the year.
Nor was the night thy shroud.
In sweet dreams softer than unbroken rest
Thou leddest by the hand thine infant Hope.
The eddying of her garments caught from thee
The light of thy great presence; and the cope
Of the half-attain’d futurity,
Tho’ deep not fathomless,
510
Was cloven with the million stars which tremble
O’er the deep mind of dauntless infancy.
Small thought was there of life’s distress;
For sure she deem’d no mist of earth could dull
Those spirit-thrilling eyes so keen and beautiful;
Sure she was nigher to heaven’s spheres,
Listening the lordly music flowing from
The illimitable years.
O strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.
IV.
Come forth, I charge thee, arise,
Thou of the many tongues, the myriad eyes!
Thou comest not with shows of flaunting vines
Unto mine inner eye,
Divinest Memory!
Thou wert not nursed by the waterfall
Which ever sounds and shines
A pillar of white light upon the wall
Of purple cliffs, aloof descried:
Come from the woods that belt the gray hillside,
The seven elms, the poplars four
That stand beside my father’s door,
And chiefly from the brook that loves
To purl o’er matted cress and ribbed sand,
Or dimple in the dark of rushy coves,
Drawing into his narrow earthen urn,
In every elbow and turn,
The filter’d tribute of the rough woodland;
O! hither lead thy feet!
Pour round mine ears the livelong bleat
Of the thick-fleeced sheep from wattled folds,
Upon the ridged wolds,
When the first matin-song hath waken’d loud
Over the dark dewy earth forlorn,
What time the amber morn
Forth gushes from beneath a low-hung cloud.
V.
Large dowries doth the raptured eye
511
To the young spirit present
When first she is wed,
And like a bride of old,
In triumph led,
With music and sweet showers
Of festal flowers,
Unto the dwelling she must sway.
Well hast thou done, great artist Memory.
In setting round thy first experiment
With royal framework of wrought gold;
Needs must thou dearly love thy first essay,
And foremost in thy various gallery
Place it, where sweetest sunlight falls
Upon the storied walls;
For the discovery
And newness of thine art so pleased thee,
That all which thou hast drawn of fairest
Or boldest since but lightly weighs
With thee unto the love thou bearest
The first-born of thy genius. Artist-like,
Ever retiring thou dost gaze
On the prime labor of thine early days,
No matter what the sketch might be:
Whether the high field on the bushless pike,
Or even a sand-built ridge
Of heaped hills that mound the sea,
Overblown with murmurs harsh,
Or even a lowly cottage whence we see
Stretch’d wide and wild the waste enormous marsh,
Where from the frequent bridge,
Like emblems of infinity,
The trenched waters run from sky to sky;
Or a garden bower’d close
With plaited alleys of the trailing rose,
Long alleys falling down to twilight grots,
Or opening upon level plots
Of crowned lilies, standing near
Purple-spiked lavender:
Whither in after life retired
From brawling storms,
From weary wind,
With youthful fancy re-inspired,
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We may hold converse with all forms
Of the many-sided mind,
And those whom passion hath not blinded,
Subtle-thoughted, myriad-minded.
My friend, with you to live alone
Were how much better than to own
A crown, a sceptre, and a throne!
O strengthen me, englighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
534:Visy Recycling Memorandum, 2003.
(i)
This unwanted cornucopia - nickel-plated pears, bananas, grapes, apples,
kitsch relic from some neo-classical age, saved from Terminator meltdown
its metallic semiotics stalled on the conveyor belts’ rubber-suited fascism.
Universal bowerbird plucked from sexual obscurity - what a piece of work!
(ii)
All labour history is corrupt. Some American Vietnam War text claimed
that no foreign journalist recorded the fall of Saigon; ditto Neil Davis’
footage of the NVA’s T-72 smashing Palace gates was doco-illusionary.
Neil loved the East, Asian women & died in some shitty Thai coup.
(iii)
Next was coughed up a crouching brass cat. Sexless? Time-neutered.
Sleek in its full metal jacket fur. Did someone switch over to dogs?
48
“Bob” (“Gollum”) a famous cricket cat, farm-surrendered, now lives
in the ginger generations doorstop mewling around my mother’s feet.
(iv)
Why try to marry sex & Nazism? Partisans assassinated blond poster
crew-cut boy Heydrich (the original Tommy Finland?) almost botched
it, grenades destroyed his motorcades’ armoured genitals, Third Reich’s
proto-Eminem. How many times can you say ‘motherfucker’ textually?
(v)
The head of a Roman centurion rolled out next. Plaster, nose-smashed
by visygothic policies; modern archaeology’s Liverpool kiss. Transference
of sexual magnetism – Roman army defeats Macedonians at the “Dog’s
Heads”, Thessaly 197 B.C. & the rise of Russell Crowe’s rough trade.
(vi)
49
Then a statue of Dionysus, one horn snapped off, poetry books under arm
mop head beard sadhu fixed to a hard face, sunburn plaster peeling white skin.
His own dishevelled Dionysian nature got him expelled from his gnomeland,
ostracized forever from some Heidelberg courtyard, the tyranny of fallen chic.
(vii)
Murray quoted, “I came from a hard culture”, looking a bit like the jolly
Buddha sculpture that humped down the waste stream, Eastern & Western
burning want - striped woollen jumpers unpicking themselves: get knotted
his thin red line of religion spake: the closer you are to Caesar the greater the
fear.
(viii)
Tyring to explain my personal ontology, the great man tranced through me,
two brothers jumped ship South Brisbane wharves 1886, Baltic, Isle of Reugen.
Dinnies used to be our name but it changed six generations ago, no one knew
50
why but Fredy Murray had been there; more literary Proteus than genealogist.
(ix)
The casualisation of Australia & 2.5 million workers suspicious rockabilly minds.
Strong magnetic fields pull artists into poverty, a labour hire shuffle & sucking
up to team leaders, Herr gruppenfuhrer gave needle-stuck Stacey her marching
orders,
refused to climb down into a pit waist deep in glass; group signatures against
porn.
(x)
On the phone the Manager said to her, “I can picture what you look like naked.”
This, after she’d signed his declaration; harassment is any unwelcome, uninvited
behaviour,
whether verbal, written or physical, against another person. Harassment offends,
humiliates or
intimidates your workmates & colleagues. All faces are the same man, one big
self.
51
(xi)
Then it was my turn down the pit & I knew why Stacey had rebuked her job
satisfaction – part tunnel rat, part miner we dug out wine bottle shrapnel from
sewerage water, Hien, Alfred, Hussan; Vietnamese, German, Turk & Australian
all in the same trench, huddling from wage concussion; post-war economic
boom.
(xii)
Makes one think of Fredy Murray’s artistic dilemma. How he only worked the land
in his head, his hands ploughing with a pen after he’d famously chucked in his
public
service job with the revolutionary decree – I’m going home forever! Who could
blame him?
Canberra in the 70’s - a political climate polluted by staffers dancing on bits of
paper!
(xiii)
52
In 8 Mile, Eminem or ‘Rabbit’ as he’s monikered faces his own art versus
employment
indecision. Garbled American obscenities mask his attempts to break dance on
stubs
of bus tickets, slammin’ at the Shelter, the Nuremberg Rally in his mind
enhanced by
the Detroit car plant’s ubermensch ethos; all rap lyrics are the same song, one
big opera.
(xiv)
Notice to all staff. The Manager called everyone in for a rasp over the knuckles,
man
of few words off the telephone pissed that someone had left a porno mag on top
of a
needle bin, blocking access to the final come down of addiction; casuals poring
over Jill
Kelly’s physical assets than VISY’s on paper profit; imagination lost in the waste
stream.
(xv)
That’s why I collected trophies; cornucopias, statues, sculptures, columns - my
finger on
53
the end game of guilt, lust, greed, consumerism. Someone else’s abject reality
bound for
China’s paper tigers, apathy’s landfill. Davis, Murray, Heydrich & Eminem so
screwed up
by jobs & sex, history’s artery hardening; outside my factory gate work will set
you free.
~ B. R. Dionysius,
535:Hymne À La Beauté (Hymn To Beauty)
Viens-tu du ciel profond ou sors-tu de l'abîme,
O Beauté? ton regard, infernal et divin,
Verse confusément le bienfait et le crime,
Et l'on peut pour cela te comparer au vin.
Tu contiens dans ton oeil le couchant et l'aurore;
Tu répands des parfums comme un soir orageux;
Tes baisers sont un philtre et ta bouche une amphore
Qui font le héros lâche et l'enfant courageux.
Sors-tu du gouffre noir ou descends-tu des astres?
Le Destin charmé suit tes jupons comme un chien;
Tu sèmes au hasard la joie et les désastres,
Et tu gouvernes tout et ne réponds de rien.
Tu marches sur des morts, Beauté, dont tu te moques;
De tes bijoux l'Horreur n'est pas le moins charmant,
Et le Meurtre, parmi tes plus chères breloques,
Sur ton ventre orgueilleux danse amoureusement.
L'éphémère ébloui vole vers toi, chandelle,
Crépite, flambe et dit: Bénissons ce flambeau!
L'amoureux pantelant incliné sur sa belle
A l'air d'un moribond caressant son tombeau.
Que tu viennes du ciel ou de l'enfer, qu'importe,
Ô Beauté! monstre énorme, effrayant, ingénu!
Si ton oeil, ton souris, ton pied, m'ouvrent la porte
D'un Infini que j'aime et n'ai jamais connu?
De Satan ou de Dieu, qu'importe? Ange ou Sirène,
Qu'importe, si tu rends, — fée aux yeux de velours,
Rythme, parfum, lueur, ô mon unique reine! —
L'univers moins hideux et les instants moins lourds?
Hymn to Beauty
Do you come from Heaven or rise from the abyss,
Beauty? Your gaze, divine and infernal,
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Pours out confusedly benevolence and crime,
And one may for that, compare you to wine.
You contain in your eyes the sunset and the dawn;
You scatter perfumes like a stormy night;
Your kisses are a philtre, your mouth an amphora,
Which make the hero weak and the child courageous.
Do you come from the stars or rise from the black pit?
Destiny, bewitched, follows your skirts like a dog;
You sow at random joy and disaster,
And you govern all things but answer for nothing.
You walk upon corpses which you mock, O Beauty!
Of your jewels Horror is not the least charming,
And Murder, among your dearest trinkets,
Dances amorously upon your proud belly.
The dazzled moth flies toward you, O candle!
Crepitates, flames and says: 'Blessed be this flambeau!'
The panting lover bending o'er his fair one
Looks like a dying man caressing his own tomb,
Whether you come from heaven or from hell, who cares,
O Beauty! Huge, fearful, ingenuous monster!
If your regard, your smile, your foot, open for me
An Infinite I love but have not ever known?
From God or Satan, who cares? Angel or Siren,
Who cares, if you make, — fay with the velvet eyes,
Rhythm, perfume, glimmer; my one and only queen!
The world less hideous, the minutes less leaden?
— Translated by William Aggeler
Hymn to Beauty
Did you spring out of heaven or the abyss,
Beauty? Your gaze infernal, yet divine,
Spreads infamy and glory, grief and bliss,
And therefore you can be compared to wine.
194
Your eyes contain both sunset and aurora:
You give off scents, like evenings storm-deflowered:
Your kisses are a philtre: an amphora
Your mouth, that cows the brave, and spurs the coward.
Climb you from gulfs, or from the stars descend?
Fate, like a fawning hound, to heel you've brought;
You scatter joy and ruin without end,
Ruling all things, yet answering for naught.
You trample men to death, and mock their clamour.
Amongst your gauds pale Horror gleams and glances,
And Murder, not the least of them in glamour,
On your proud belly amorously dances.
The dazzled insect seeks your candle-rays,
Crackles, and burns, and seems to bless his doom.
The groom bent o'er his bride as in a daze,
Seems, like a dying man, to stroke his tomb.
What matter if from hell or heaven born,
Tremendous monster, terrible to view?
Your eyes and smile reveal to me, like morn,
The Infinite I love but never knew.
From God or Fiend? Siren or Sylph ? Invidious
The answer — Fay with eyes of velvet, ray,
Rhythm, and perfume! — if you make less hideous
Our universe, less tedious leave our day.
— Translated by Roy Campbell
Hymn to Beauty
Did you fall from high heaven or surge from the abyss,
O Beauty? Your bright gaze, infernal and divine,
Confusedly pours out courage and cowardice,
Or love and crime. Therefore men liken you to wine.
Your eyes hold all the sunset and the dawn, you are
195
As rich in fragrances as a tempestuous night,
Your kisses are a philtre and your mouth a jar
Filling the child with valor and the man with fright.
Did the stars mould you or the pit's obscurity?
You bring at random Paradise or Juggernaut.
Fate sniffs your skirts with a charmed dog's servility,
You govern all and yet are answerable for naught.
Beauty, you walk on corpses of dead men you mock.
Among your store of gems, Horror is not the least;
Murder, amid the dearest trinkets of your stock,
Dances on your proud belly like a ruttish beast.
Candle, the transient moth flies dazzled to your light,
Crackles and flames and says: 'Blessèd this fiery doom!'
The panting lover with his mistress in the night
Looks like a dying man caressing his own tomb.
Are you from heaven or hell, Beauty that we adore?
Who cares? A dreadful, huge, ingenuous monster, you!
So but your glance, your smile, your foot open a door
Upon an Infinite I love but never knew.
From Satan or from God? Who cares? Fierce or serene,
Who cares? Sister to sirens or to seraphim?
So but, dark fey, you shed your perfume, rhythm and sheen
To make the world less hideous and Time less grim.
— Translated by Jacques LeClercq
~ Charles Baudelaire,
536:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto X.
Preludes.
I The Joyful Wisdom
Would Wisdom for herself be woo'd,
And wake the foolish from his dream,
She must be glad as well as good,
And must not only be, but seem.
Beauty and joy are hers by right;
And, knowing this, I wonder less
That she's so scorn'd, when falsely dight
In misery and ugliness.
What's that which Heaven to man endears,
And that which eyes no sooner see
Than the heart says, with floods of tears,
‘Ah, that's the thing which I would be!’
Not childhood, full of frown and fret;
Not youth, impatient to disown
Those visions high, which to forget
Were worse than never to have known;
Not worldlings, in whose fair outside
Nor courtesy nor justice fails,
Thanks to cross-pulling vices tied,
Like Samson's foxes, by the tails;
Not poets; real things are dreams,
When dreams are as realities,
And boasters of celestial gleams
Go stumbling aye for want of eyes;
Not patriots nor people's men,
In whom two worse-match'd evils meet
Than ever sought Adullam's den,
Base conscience and a high conceit;
Not new-made saints, their feelings iced,
Their joy in man and nature gone,
Who sing ‘O easy yoke of Christ!’
But find 'tis hard to get it on;
Not great men, even when they're good;
The good man whom the time makes great,
By some disgrace of chance or blood,
God fails not to humiliate;
105
Not these: but souls, found here and there,
Oases in our waste of sin,
Where everything is well and fair,
And Heav'n remits its discipline;
Whose sweet subdual of the world
The worldling scarce can recognise,
And ridicule, against it hurl'd,
Drops with a broken sting and dies;
Who nobly, if they cannot know
Whether a 'scutcheon's dubious field
Carries a falcon or a crow,
Fancy a falcon on the shield;
Yet, ever careful not to hurt
God's honour, who creates success,
Their praise of even the best desert
Is but to have presumed no less;
Who, should their own life plaudits bring,
Are simply vex'd at heart that such
An easy, yea, delightful thing
Should move the minds of men so much.
They live by law, not like the fool,
But like the bard, who freely sings
In strictest bonds of rhyme and rule,
And finds in them, not bonds, but wings.
Postponing still their private ease
To courtly custom, appetite,
Subjected to observances,
To banquet goes with full delight;
Nay, continence and gratitude
So cleanse their lives from earth's alloy,
They taste, in Nature's common food,
Nothing but spiritual joy.
They shine like Moses in the face,
And teach our hearts, without the rod,
That God's grace is the only grace,
And all grace is the grace of God.
II The Devices
Love, kiss'd by Wisdom, wakes twice Love,
And Wisdom is, thro' loving, wise.
Let Dove and Snake, and Snake and Dove,
This Wisdom's be, that Love's device.
106
Going To Church.
I woke at three; for I was bid
To breakfast with the Dean at nine,
And thence to Church. My curtain slid,
I found the dawning Sunday fine;
And could not rest, so rose. The air
Was dark and sharp; the roosted birds
Cheep'd, ‘Here am I, Sweet; are you there?’
On Avon's misty flats the herds
Expected, comfortless, the day,
Which slowly fired the clouds above;
The cock scream'd, somewhere far away;
In sleep the matrimonial dove
Was crooning; no wind waked the wood,
Nor moved the midnight river-damps,
Nor thrill'd the poplar; quiet stood
The chestnut with its thousand lamps;
The moon shone yet, but weak and drear,
And seem'd to watch, with bated breath,
The landscape, all made sharp and clear
By stillness, as a face by death.
II
My pray'rs for her being done, I took
Occasion by the quiet hour
To find and know, by Rule and Book,
The rights of love's beloved power.
III
Fronting the question without ruth,
Nor ignorant that, evermore,
If men will stoop to kiss the Truth,
She lifts them higher than before,
I, from above, such light required
As now should once for all destroy
The folly which at times desired
A sanction for so great a joy.
107
IV
Thenceforth, and through that pray'r, I trod
A path with no suspicions dim.
I loved her in the name of God,
And for the ray she was of Him;
I ought to admire much more, not less;
Her beauty was a godly grace;
The mystery of loveliness,
Which made an altar of her face,
Was not of the flesh, though that was fair,
But a most pure and living light
Without a name, by which the rare
And virtuous spirit flamed to sight.
If oft, in love, effect lack'd cause
And cause effect, 'twere vain to soar
Reasons to seek for that which was
Reason itself, or something more.
My joy was no idolatry
Upon the ends of the vile earth bent,
For when I loved her most then I
Most yearn'd for more divine content.
That other doubt, which, like a ghost,
In the brain's darkness haunted me,
Was thus resolved: Him loved I most,
But her I loved most sensibly.
Lastly, my giddiest hope allow'd
No selfish thought, or earthly smirch;
And forth I went, in peace, and proud
To take my passion into Church;
Grateful and glad to think that all
Such doubts would seem entirely vain
To her whose nature's lighter fall
Made no divorce of heart from brain.
I found them, with exactest grace
And fresh as Spring, for Spring attired;
And by the radiance in her face
I saw she felt she was admired;
And, through the common luck of love,
A moment's fortunate delay,
To fit the little lilac glove,
108
Gave me her arm; and I and they
(They true to this and every hour,
As if attended on by Time),
Enter'd the Church while yet the tower
Was noisy with the finish'd chime.
VI
Her soft voice, singularly heard
Beside me, in her chant, withstood
The roar of voices, like a bird
Sole warbling in a windy wood;
And, when we knelt, she seem'd to be
An angel teaching me to pray;
And all through the high Liturgy
My spirit rejoiced without allay,
Being, for once, borne clearly above
All banks and bars of ignorance,
By this bright spring-tide of pure love
And floated in a free expanse,
Whence it could see from side to side,
The obscurity from every part
Winnow'd away and purified
By the vibrations of my heart.
~ Coventry Patmore,
537:Merlin
“Gawaine, Gawaine, what look ye for to see,
So far beyond the faint edge of the world?
D’ye look to see the lady Vivian,
Pursued by divers ominous vile demons
That have another king more fierce than ours?
Or think ye that if ye look far enough
And hard enough into the feathery west
Ye’ll have a glimmer of the Grail itself?
And if ye look for neither Grail nor lady,
What look ye for to see, Gawaine, Gawaine?”
So Dagonet, whom Arthur made a knight
Because he loved him as he laughed at him,
Intoned his idle presence on a day
To Gawaine, who had thought himself alone,
Had there been in him thought of anything
Save what was murmured now in Camelot
Of Merlin’s hushed and all but unconfirmed
Appearance out of Brittany. It was heard
At first there was a ghost in Arthur’s palace,
But soon among the scullions and anon
Among the knights a firmer credit held
All tongues from uttering what all glances told—
Though not for long. Gawaine, this afternoon,
Fearing he might say more to Lancelot
Of Merlin’s rumor-laden resurrection
Than Lancelot would have an ear to cherish,
Had sauntered off with his imagination
To Merlin’s Rock, where now there was no Merlin
To meditate upon a whispering town
Below him in the silence.—Once he said
To Gawaine: “You are young; and that being so,
Behold the shining city of our dreams
And of our King.”—“Long live the King,” said Gawaine.—
“Long live the King,” said Merlin after him;
“Better for me that I shall not be King;
Wherefore I say again, Long live the King,
And add, God save him, also, and all kings—
All kings and queens. I speak in general.
184
Kings have I known that were but weary men
With no stout appetite for more than peace
That was not made for them.”—“Nor were they made
For kings,” Gawaine said, laughing.—“You are young,
Gawaine, and you may one day hold the world
Between your fingers, knowing not what it is
That you are holding. Better for you and me,
I think, that we shall not be kings.”
Gawaine,
Remembering Merlin’s words of long ago,
Frowned as he thought, and having frowned again,
He smiled and threw an acorn at a lizard:
“There’s more afoot and in the air to-day
Than what is good for Camelot. Merlin
May or may not know all, but he said well
To say to me that he would not be King.
Nor more would I be King.” Far down he gazed
On Camelot, until he made of it
A phantom town of many stillnesses,
Not reared for men to dwell in, or for kings
To reign in, without omens and obscure
Familiars to bring terror to their days;
For though a knight, and one as hard at arms
As any, save the fate-begotten few
That all acknowledged or in envy loathed,
He felt a foreign sort of creeping up
And down him, as of moist things in the dark,—
When Dagonet, coming on him unawares,
Presuming on his title of Sir Fool,
Addressed him and crooned on till he was done:
“What look ye for to see, Gawaine, Gawaine?”
“Sir Dagonet, you best and wariest
Of all dishonest men, I look through Time,
For sight of what it is that is to be.
I look to see it, though I see it not.
I see a town down there that holds a king,
And over it I see a few small clouds—
Like feathers in the west, as you observe;
And I shall see no more this afternoon
Than what there is around us every day,
185
Unless you have a skill that I have not
To ferret the invisible for rats.”
“If you see what’s around us every day,
You need no other showing to go mad.
Remember that and take it home with you;
And say tonight, ‘I had it of a fool—
With no immediate obliquity
For this one or for that one, or for me.’”
Gawaine, having risen, eyed the fool curiously:
“I’ll not forget I had it of a knight,
Whose only folly is to fool himself;
And as for making other men to laugh,
And so forget their sins and selves a little,
There’s no great folly there. So keep it up,
As long as you’ve a legend or a song,
And have whatever sport of us you like
Till havoc is the word and we fall howling.
For I’ve a guess there may not be so loud
A sound of laughing here in Camelot
When Merlin goes again to his gay grave
In Brittany. To mention lesser terrors,
Men say his beard is gone.”
“Do men say that?”
A twitch of an impatient weariness
Played for a moment over the lean face
Of Dagonet, who reasoned inwardly:
“The friendly zeal of this inquiring knight
Will overtake his tact and leave it squealing,
One of these days.”—Gawaine looked hard at him:
“If I be too familiar with a fool,
I’m on the way to be another fool,”
He mused, and owned a rueful qualm within him:
“Yes, Dagonet,” he ventured, with a laugh,
“Men tell me that his beard has vanished wholly,
And that he shines now as the Lord’s anointed,
And wears the valiance of an ageless youth
Crowned with a glory of eternal peace.”
Dagonet, smiling strangely, shook his head:
“I grant your valiance of a kind of youth
186
To Merlin, but your crown of peace I question;
For, though I know no more than any churl
Who pinches any chambermaid soever
In the King’s palace, I look not to Merlin
For peace, when out of his peculiar tomb
He comes again to Camelot. Time swings
A mighty scythe, and some day all your peace
Goes down before its edge like so much clover.
No, it is not for peace that Merlin comes,
Without a trumpet—and without a beard,
If what you say men say of him be true—
Nor yet for sudden war.”
Gawaine, for a moment,
Met then the ambiguous gaze of Dagonet,
And, making nothing of it, looked abroad
As if at something cheerful on all sides,
And back again to the fool’s unasking eyes:
“Well, Dagonet, if Merlin would have peace,
Let Merlin stay away from Brittany,”
Said he, with admiration for the man
Whom Folly called a fool: “And we have known him;
We knew him once when he knew everything.”
“He knew as much as God would let him know
Until he met the lady Vivian.
I tell you that, for the world knows all that;
Also it knows he told the King one day
That he was to be buried, and alive,
In Brittany; and that the King should see
The face of him no more. Then Merlin sailed
Away to Vivian in Broceliande,
Where now she crowns him and herself with flowers
And feeds him fruits and wines and many foods
Of many savors, and sweet ortolans.
Wise books of every lore of every land
Are there to fill his days, if he require them,
And there are players of all instruments—
Flutes, hautboys, drums, and viols; and she sings
To Merlin, till he trembles in her arms
And there forgets that any town alive
Had ever such a name as Camelot.
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So Vivian holds him with her love, they say,
And he, who has no age, has not grown old.
I swear to nothing, but that’s what they say.
That’s being buried in Broceliande
For too much wisdom and clairvoyancy.
But you and all who live, Gawaine, have heard
This tale, or many like it, more than once;
And you must know that Love, when Love invites
Philosophy to play, plays high and wins,
Or low and loses. And you say to me,
‘If Merlin would have peace, let Merlin stay
Away from Brittany.’ Gawaine, you are young,
And Merlin’s in his grave.”
“Merlin said once
That I was young, and it’s a joy for me
That I am here to listen while you say it.
Young or not young, if that be burial,
May I be buried long before I die.
I might be worse than young; I might be old.”—
Dagonet answered, and without a smile:
“Somehow I fancy Merlin saying that;
A fancy—a mere fancy.” Then he smiled:
“And such a doom as his may be for you,
Gawaine, should your untiring divination
Delve in the veiled eternal mysteries
Too far to be a pleasure for the Lord.
And when you stake your wisdom for a woman,
Compute the woman to be worth a grave,
As Merlin did, and say no more about it.
But Vivian, she played high. Oh, very high!
Flutes, hautboys, drums, and viols,—and her love.
Gawaine, farewell.”
“Farewell, Sir Dagonet,
And may the devil take you presently.”
He followed with a vexed and envious eye,
And with an arid laugh, Sir Dagonet’s
Departure, till his gaunt obscurity
Was cloaked and lost amid the glimmering trees.
“Poor fool!” he murmured. “Or am I the fool?
With all my fast ascendency in arms,
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That ominous clown is nearer to the King
Than I am—yet; and God knows what he knows,
And what his wits infer from what he sees
And feels and hears. I wonder what he knows
Of Lancelot, or what I might know now,
Could I have sunk myself to sound a fool
To springe a friend.… No, I like not this day.
There’s a cloud coming over Camelot
Larger than any that is in the sky,—
Or Merlin would be still in Brittany,
With Vivian and the viols. It’s all too strange.”
And later, when descending to the city,
Through unavailing casements he could hear
The roaring of a mighty voice within,
Confirming fervidly his own conviction:
“It’s all too strange, and half the world’s half crazy!”—
He scowled: “Well, I agree with Lamorak.”
He frowned, and passed: “And I like not this day.”
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson,
538:The Four Seasons Of The Year.
Spring.
Another four I've left yet to bring on,
Of four times four the last Quaternion,
The Winter, Summer, Autumn & the Spring,
In season all these Seasons I shall bring:
Sweet Spring like man in his Minority,
At present claim'd, and had priority.
With smiling face and garments somewhat green,
She trim'd her locks, which late had frosted been,
Nor hot nor cold, she spake, but with a breath,
Fit to revive, the nummed earth from death.
Three months (quoth she) are 'lotted to my share
March, April, May of all the rest most fair.
Tenth of the first, Sol into Aries enters,
And bids defiance to all tedious winters,
Crosseth the Line, and equals night and day,
(Stil adds to th'last til after pleasant May)
And now makes glad the darkned northern wights
Who for some months have seen but starry lights.
Now goes the Plow-man to his merry toyle,
He might unloose his winter locked soyl:
The Seeds-man too, doth lavish out his grain,
In hope the more he casts, the more to gain:
The Gardner now superfluous branches lops,
And poles erects for his young clambring hops.
Now digs then sowes his herbs, his flowers & roots
And carefully manures his trees of fruits.
The Pleiades their influence now give,
And all that seem'd as dead afresh doth live.
The croaking frogs, whom nipping winter kil'd
Like birds now chirp, and hop about the field,
The Nightingale, the black-bird and the Thrush
Now tune their layes, on sprayes of every bush.
The wanton frisking Kid, and soft-fleec'd Lambs
Do jump and play before their feeding Dams,
The tender tops of budding grass they crop,
They joy in what they have, but more in hope:
For though the frost hath lost his binding power,
Yet many a fleece of snow and stormy shower
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Doth darken Sol's bright eye, makes us remember
The pinching North-west wind of cold December.
My second moneth is April, green and fair,
Of longer dayes, and a more temperate Air:
The Sun in Taurus keeps his residence,
And with his warmer beams glanceth from thence
This is the month whose fruitful showrs produces
All set and sown for all delights and uses:
The Pear, the Plum, and Apple-tree now flourish
The grass grows long the hungry beast to nourish.
The Primrose pale, and azure violet
Among the virduous grass hath nature set,
That when the Sun on's Love (the earth) doth shine
These might as lace set out her garment fine.
The fearfull bird his little house now builds
In trees and walls, in Cities and in fields.
The outside strong, the inside warm and neat;
A natural Artificer compleat.
The clocking hen her chirping chickins leads
With wings & beak defends them from the gleads
My next and last is fruitfull pleasant May,
Wherein the earth is clad in rich aray,
The Sun now enters loving Gemini,
And heats us with the glances of his eye,
Our thicker rayment makes us lay aside
Lest by his fervor we be torrifi'd.
All flowers the Sun now with his beams discloses,
Except the double pinks and matchless Roses.
Now swarms the busy, witty, honey-Bee,
VVhose praise deserves a page from more then me
The cleanly Huswifes Dary's now in th'prime,
Her shelves and firkins fill'd for winter time.
The meads with Cowslips, Honey-suckles dight,
One hangs his head, the other stands upright:
But both rejoyce at th'heavens clear smiling face,
More at her showers, which water them a space.
For fruits my Season yields the early Cherry,
The hasty Peas, and wholsome cool Strawberry.
More solid fruits require a longer time,
Each Season hath his fruit, so hath each Clime:
Each man his own peculiar excellence,
But none in all that hath preheminence.
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Sweet fragrant Spring, with thy short pittance fly
Let some describe thee better then can I.
Yet above all this priviledg is thine,
Thy dayes still lengthen without least decline:
Summer.
When Spring had done, the Summer did begin,
With melted tauny face, and garments thin,
Resembling Fire, Choler, and Middle age,
As Spring did Air, Blood, Youth in's equipage.
Wiping the sweat from of her face that ran,
With hair all wet she puffing thus began;
Bright June, July and August hot are mine,
In'th first Sol doth in crabbed Cancer shine.
His progress to the North now's fully done,
Then retrograde must be my burning Sun,
Who to his southward Tropick still is bent,
Yet doth his parching heat but more augment
Though he decline, because his flames so fair,
Have throughly dry'd the earth, and heat the air.
Like as an Oven that long time hath been heat,
Whose vehemency at length doth grow so great,
That if you do withdraw her burning store,
Tis for a time as fervent as before.
Now go those frolick Swains, the Shepherd Lads
To wash the thick cloth'd flocks with pipes full glad
In the cool streams they labour with delight
Rubbing their dirty coats till they look white:
Whose fleece when finely spun and deeply dy'd
With Robes thereof Kings have been dignifi'd.
Blest rustick Swains, your pleasant quiet life,
Hath envy bred in Kings that were at strife,
Careless of worldly wealth you sing and pipe,
Whilst they'r imbroyl'd in wars & troubles rise:
VVhich made great Bajazet cry out in's woes,
Oh happy shepherd which hath not to lose.
Orthobulus, nor yet Sebastia great,
But whist'leth to thy flock in cold and heat.
Viewing the Sun by day, the Moon by night
Endimions, Dianaes dear delight,
Upon the grass resting your healthy limbs,
By purling Brooks looking how fishes swims.
If pride within your lowly Cells ere haunt,
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Of him that was Shepherd then King go vaunt.
This moneth the Roses are distil'd in glasses,
VVhose fragrant smel all made perfumes surpasses
The Cherry, Gooseberry are now in th'prime,
And for all sorts of Pease, this is the time.
July my next, the hott'st in all the year,
The sun through Leo now takes his Career,
VVhose flaming breath doth melt us from afar,
Increased by the star Canicular.
This Month from Julius Cæsar took its name,
By Romans celebrated to his fame.
Now go the Mowers to their slashing toyle,
The Meadowes of their riches to dispoyle,
VVith weary strokes, they take all in their way,
Bearing the burning heat of the long day.
The forks and Rakes do follow them amain,
VVhich makes the aged fields look young again.
The groaning Carts do bear away this prize.
To Stacks and Barns where it for Fodder lyes.
My next and last is August fiery hot
(For much, the Southward Sun abateth not)
This Moneth he keeps with Virgo for a space,
The dryed Earth is parched with his face.
August of great Augustus took its name,
Romes second Emperour of lasting fame,
With sickles now the bending Reapers goe
The russling tress of terra down to mowe;
And bundles up in sheaves, the weighty wheat,
Which after Manchet makes for Kings to eat:
The Barly, Rye and Pease should first had place,
Although their bread have not so white a face.
The Carter leads all home with whistling voyce,
He plow'd with pain, but reaping doth rejoyce;
His sweat, his toyle, his careful wakeful nights,
His fruitful Crop abundantly requites.
Now's ripe the Pear, Pear-plumb, and Apricock,
The prince of plumbs, whose stone's as hard as Rock
The Summer seems but short, the Autumn hasts
To shake his fruits, of most delicious tasts
Like good old Age, whose younger juicy Roots
Hath still ascended, to bear goodly fruits.
Until his head be gray, and strength be gone.
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Yet then appears the worthy deeds he'th done:
To feed his boughs exhausted hath his sap,
Then drops his fruits into the eaters lap.
Autumn.
Of Autumn moneths September is the prime,
Now day and night are equal in each Clime,
The twelfth of this Sol riseth in the Line,
And doth in poizing Libra this month shine.
The vintage now is ripe, the grapes are prest,
Whose lively liquor oft is curs'd and blest:
For nought so good, but it may be abused,
But its a precious juice when well its used.
The raisins now in clusters dryed be,
The Orange, Lemon dangle on the tree:
The Pomegranate, the Fig are ripe also,
And Apples now their yellow sides do show.
Of Almonds, Quinces, Wardens, and of Peach,
The season's now at hand of all and each.
Sure at this time, time first of all began,
And in this moneth was made apostate Man:
For then in Eden was not only seen,
Boughs full of leaves, or fruits unripe or green,
Or withered stocks, which were all dry and dead,
But trees with goodly fruits replenished;
Which shews nor Summer, Winter nor the Spring
Our Grand-Sire was of Paradice made King:
Nor could that temp'rate Clime such difference make,
If scited as the most Judicious take.
October is my next, we hear in this
The Northern winter-blasts begin to hiss.
In Scorpio resideth now the Sun,
And his declining heat is almost done.
The fruitless Trees all withered now do stand,
Whose sapless yellow leavs, by winds are fan'd,
Which notes when youth and strength have past their prime
Decrepit age must also have its time.
The Sap doth slily creep towards the Earth
There rests, until the Sun give it a birth.
So doth old Age still tend unto his grave,
Where also he his winter time must have;
But when the Sun of righteousness draws nigh,
His dead old stock, shall mount again on high.
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November is my last, for Time doth haste,
We now of winters sharpness 'gins to tast.
This moneth the Sun's in Sagitarius,
So farre remote, his glances warm not us.
Almost at shortest is the shorten'd day,
The Northern pole beholdeth not one ray.
Now Greenland, Groanland, Finland, Lapland, see
No Sun, to lighten their obscurity:
Poor wretches that in total darkness lye,
With minds more dark then is the dark'ned Sky.
Beaf, Brawn, and Pork are now in great request,
And solid meats our stomacks can digest.
This time warm cloaths, full diet, and good fires,
Our pinched flesh, and hungry mawes requires:
Old, cold, dry Age and Earth Autumn resembles,
And Melancholy which most of all dissembles.
I must be short, and shorts, the short'ned day,
What winter hath to tell, now let him say.
Winter.
Cold, moist, young flegmy winter now doth lye
In swadling Clouts, like new born Infancy
Bound up with frosts, and furr'd with hail & snows,
And like an Infant, still it taller grows;
December is my first, and now the Sun
To th'Southward Tropick, his swift race doth run:
This moneth he's hous'd in horned Capricorn,
From thence he 'gins to length the shortned morn,
Through Christendome with great Feastivity,
Now's held, (but ghest) for blest Nativity.
Cold frozen January next comes in,
Chilling the blood and shrinking up the skin;
In Aquarius now keeps the long wisht Sun,
And Northward his unwearied Course doth run:
The day much longer then it was before,
The cold not lessened, but augmented more.
Now Toes and Ears, and Fingers often freeze,
And Travellers their noses sometimes leese.
Moist snowie February is my last,
I care not how the winter time doth haste.
In Pisces now the golden Sun doth shine,
And Northward still approaches to the Line,
The Rivers 'gin to ope, the snows to melt,
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And some warm glances from his face are felt;
Which is increased by the lengthen'd day,
Until by's heat, he drive all cold away,
And thus the year in Circle runneth round:
Where first it did begin, in th'end its found.
My Subjects bare, my Brain is bad,
Or better Lines you should have had:
The first fell in so nat'rally,
I knew not how to pass it by;
The last, though bad I could not mend,
Accept therefore of what is pen'd,
And all the faults that you shall spy
Shall at your feet for pardon cry.
~ Anne Bradstreet,
539:La Chevelure (Her Hair)
Ô toison, moutonnant jusque sur l'encolure!
Ô boucles! Ô parfum chargé de nonchaloir!
Extase! Pour peupler ce soir l'alcôve obscure
Des souvenirs dormant dans cette chevelure,
Je la veux agiter dans l'air comme un mouchoir!
La langoureuse Asie et la brûlante Afrique,
Tout un monde lointain, absent, presque défunt,
Vit dans tes profondeurs, forêt aromatique!
Comme d'autres esprits voguent sur la musique,
Le mien, ô mon amour! nage sur ton parfum.
J'irai là-bas où l'arbre et l'homme, pleins de sève,
Se pâment longuement sous l'ardeur des climats;
Fortes tresses, soyez la houle qui m'enlève!
Tu contiens, mer d'ébène, un éblouissant rêve
De voiles, de rameurs, de flammes et de mâts:
Un port retentissant où mon âme peut boire
À grands flots le parfum, le son et la couleur
Où les vaisseaux, glissant dans l'or et dans la moire
Ouvrent leurs vastes bras pour embrasser la gloire
D'un ciel pur où frémit l'éternelle chaleur.
Je plongerai ma tête amoureuse d'ivresse
Dans ce noir océan où l'autre est enfermé;
Et mon esprit subtil que le roulis caresse
Saura vous retrouver, ô féconde paresse,
Infinis bercements du loisir embaumé!
Cheveux bleus, pavillon de ténèbres tendues
Vous me rendez l'azur du ciel immense et rond;
Sur les bords duvetés de vos mèches tordues
Je m'enivre ardemment des senteurs confondues
De l'huile de coco, du musc et du goudron.
Longtemps! toujours! ma main dans ta crinière lourde
Sèmera le rubis, la perle et le saphir,
Afin qu'à mon désir tu ne sois jamais sourde!
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N'es-tu pas l'oasis où je rêve, et la gourde
Où je hume à longs traits le vin du souvenir?
Head of Hair
O fleecy hair, falling in curls to the shoulders!
O black locks! O perfume laden with nonchalance!
Ecstasy! To people the dark alcove tonight
With memories sleeping in that thick head of hair.
I would like to shake it in the air like a scarf!
Sweltering Africa and languorous Asia,
A whole far-away world, absent, almost defunct,
Dwells in your depths, aromatic forest!
While other spirits glide on the wings of music,
Mine, O my love! floats upon your perfume.
I shall go there, where trees and men, full of vigor,
Are plunged in a deep swoon by the heat of the land;
Heady tresses be the billows that carry me away!
Ebony sea, you hold a dazzling dream
Of rigging, of rowers, of pennons and of masts:
A clamorous harbor where my spirit can drink
In great draughts the perfume, the sound and the color;
Where the vessels gliding through the gold and the moire
Open wide their vast arms to embrace the glory
Of a clear sky shimmering with everlasting heat.
I shall bury my head enamored with rapture
In this black sea where the other is imprisoned;
And my subtle spirit caressed by the rolling
Will find you once again, O fruitful indolence,
Endless lulling of sweet-scented leisure!
Blue-black hair, pavilion hung with shadows,
You give back to me the blue of the vast round sky;
In the downy edges of your curling tresses
I ardently get drunk with the mingled odors
Of oil of coconut, of musk and tar.
A long time! Forever! my hand in your thick mane
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Will scatter sapphires, rubies and pearls,
So that you will never be deaf to my desire!
Aren't you the oasis of which I dream, the gourd
From which I drink deeply, the wine of memory?
— Translated by William Aggeler
Her Hair
O fleece that down her nape rolls, plume on plume!
O curls! O scent of nonchalance and ease!
What ecstasy! To populate this room
With memories it harbours in its gloom,
I'd shake it like a banner on the breeze.
Hot Africa and languid Asia play
(An absent world, defunct, and far away)
Within that scented forest, dark and dim.
As other souls on waves of music swim,
Mine on its perfume sails, as on the spray.
I'll journey there, where man and sap-filled tree
Swoon in hot light for hours. Be you my sea,
Strong tresses! Be the breakers and gales
That waft me. Your black river holds, for me,
A dream of masts and rowers, flames and sails.
A port, resounding there, my soul delivers
With long deep draughts of perfumes, scent, and clamour,
Where ships, that glide through gold and purple rivers,
Fling wide their vast arms to embrace the glamour
Of skies wherein the heat forever quivers.
I'll plunge my head in it, half drunk with pleasure —
In this black ocean that engulfs her form.
My soul, caressed with wavelets there may measure
Infinite rocking& in embalmed leisure,
Creative idleness that fears no storm!
Blue tresses, like a shadow-stretching tent,
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You shed the blue of heavens round and far.
Along its downy fringes as I went
I reeled half-drunken to confuse the scent
Of oil of coconuts, with musk and tar.
My hand forever in your mane so dense,
Rubies and pearls and sapphires there will sow,
That you to my desire be never slow —
Oasis of my dreams, and gourd from whence
Deep-draughted wines of memory will flow.
— Translated by Roy Campbell
The Fleece
O shadowy fleece that falls and curls upon those bare
Lithe shoulders! O rich perfume of forgetfulness!
O ecstasy! To loose upon the midnight air
The memories asleep in this tumultuous hair,
I long to rake it in my fingers, tress by tress!
Asia the languorous, the burning solitude
Of Africa — a whole world, distant, all but dead —
Survives in thy profundities, O odorous wood!
My soul, as other souls put forth on the deep flood
Of music, sails away upon thy scent instead.
There where the sap of life mounts hot in man and tree,
And lush desire untamed swoons in the torrid zone,
Undulant tresses, wild strong waves, oh, carry me!
Dream, like a dazzling sun, from out this ebony sea
Rises; and sails and banks of rowers propel me on.
All the confusion, all the mingled colors, cries,
Smells of a busy port, upon my senses beat;
Where smoothly on the golden streakèd ripples flies
The barque, its arms outspread to gather in the skies,
Against whose glory trembles the unabating heat.
In this black ocean where the primal ocean roars,
Drunken, in love with drunkenness, I plunge and drown;
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Over my dubious spirit the rolling tide outpours
Its peace — oh, fruitful indolence, upon thy shores,
Cradled in languor, let me drift and lay me down!
Blue hair, darkness made palpable, like the big tent
Of desert sky all glittering with many a star
Thou coverest me — oh, I am drugged as with the blent
Effluvia of a sleeping caravan, the scent
Of coco oil impregnated with musk and tar.
Fear not! Upon this savage mane for ever thy lord
Will sow pearls, sapphires, rubies, every stone that gleams,
To keep thee faithful! Art not thou the sycamored
Oasis whither my thoughts journey, and the dark gourd
Whereof I drink in long slow draughts the wine of dreams?
— Translated by George Dillon
Of Her Hair
O fleece, billowing on her neck! O ecstasy!
O curls, O perfume rich with nonchalance, O rare!.
Tonight to fill the alcove's warm obscurity,
To make that hair evoke each dormant memory,
I long to wave it like a kerchief in the air.
Africa smoldering and Asia languorous,
A whole far distant world, absent and almost spent,
Dwells in your forest depths, mystic and odorous!
As others lose themselves in the harmonious,
So, love, my heart floats lost upon your haunting scent.
I shall go where both man and tree, albeit strong,
Swoon deep beneath the rays of sunlight's blazing fires.
Thick tresses, be the waves to bear my dreams along!
Ebony sea, your dazzling dream contains a throng
Of sails, of wafts, of oarsmen, and of masts like spires.
A noisy harbor where my thirsty soul may drain
Hues, sounds and fragrances, in draughts heavy and sweet,
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Where vessels gliding down a moiré-and-gold sea lane
Open their vast arms wide to clutch at the domain
Of a pure sky ashimmer with eternal beat.
Deep shall I plunge my head, avid of drunkenness,
In this black sea wherein the other sea lies captured,
And my soul buoyant at its undulant caress
Shall find you once again, O fruitful idleness,
O long lullings of ease, soft, honeyed and enraptured.
O blue-black hair, pennon with sheen and shadow fraught,
You give me back the vast blue skies of dawn and dusk,
As on the downy edges of your tresses, caught
In your soft curls, I grow drunken and hot, distraught
By mingled scents of cocoanut and tar and musk.
Sapphires, rubies, pearls — my hand shall never tire
Of strewing these through your thick mane — how lavishly! —
Lest Life should ever turn you deaf to my desire!
You are the last oasis where I dream, afire,
The gourd whence deep I quaff the wine of memory.
— Translated by Jacques LeClercq
The Head of Hair
O Fleece, foaming to the neck!
O curls! O scent of laziness!
Ecstasy! This evening, to people the dark comers
Of memories that are sleeping in these locks,
I would wave them in the air like a handkerchief!
Languorous Asia and burning Africa,
A whole world, distant, absent, almost extinct,
Lives in the depths of your perfumed jungle;
As other souls sail along on music,
So mine, O my love, swims on your scent.
I shall go over there where trees and men, full of sap,
Faint away slowly in the passionate climate;
O strong locks, be the sea-swell that transports me!
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You keep, O sea of ebony, a dazzling dream
Of sails and sailormen, flames and masts:
A resounding haven where in great waves
My soul can drink the scent, the sound and color;
Where ships, sliding in gold and watered silk,
Part their vast arms to embrace the glory
Of the pure sky shuddering with eternal heat
I shall plunge my head, adoring drunkenness,
Into this black ocean where the other is imprisoned;
And my subtle spirit caressed by the sway
Will know how to find you, O pregnant idleness!
In an infinite cradle of scented leisure!
Blue hair, house of taut darkness,
You make the blue of the sky seem huge and round for me;
On the downy edges of your twisted locks
I hungrily get drunk on the muddled fragrances
Of coconut oil, of musk and tar
For a long time! For ever! Amongst your heavy mane
My hand will strew the ruby, pearl and sapphire
To make you never deaf to my desire!
For are you not the oasis where I dream, the gourd
Where in great draughts I gulp the wine of memory?
— Translated by Geoffrey Wagner
O fleece, that down the neck waves to the nape!
O curls! O perfume nonchalant and rare!
O ecstasy! To fill this alcove shape
With memories that in these tresses sleep,
I would shake them like penions in the air!
Languorous Asia, burning Africa,
And a far world, defunct almost, absent,
Within your aromatic forest stay!
As other souls on music drift away,
Mine, O my love! still floats upon your scent.
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I shall go there where, full of sap, both tree
And man swoon in the heat of the southern climates;
Strong tresses be the swell that carries me!
I dream upon your sea of amber
Of dazzling sails, of oarsmen, masts, and flames:
A sun-drenched and reverberating port,
Where I imbibe colour and sound and scent;
Where vessels, gliding through the gold and moiré,
Open their vast arms as they leave the shore
To clasp the pure and shimmering firmament.
I'll plunge my head, enamored of its pleasure,
In this black ocean where the other hides;
My subtle spirit then will know a measure
Of fertile idleness and fragrant leisure,
Lulled by the infinite rhythm of its tides!
Pavilion, of autumn-shadowed tresses spun,
You give me back the azure from afar;
And where the twisted locks are fringed with down
Lurk mingled odors I grow drunk upon
Of oil of coconut, of musk, and tar.
A long time! always! my hand in your hair
Will sow the stars of sapphire, pearl, ruby,
That you be never deaf to my desire,
My oasis and my gourd whence I aspire
To drink deep of the wine of memory.
Translated by Anonymous
~ Charles Baudelaire,
540:Resignation Pt 2
But what in either sex, beyond
All parts, our glory crowns?
'In ruffling seasons to be calm,
And smile, when fortune frowns.'
Heaven's choice is safer than our own;
Of ages past inquire,
What the most formidable fate?
'To have our own desire.'
If, in your wrath, the worst of foes
You wish extremely ill;
Expose him to the thunder's stroke,
Or that of his own will.
What numbers, rushing down the steep
Of inclination strong,
Have perish'd in their ardent wish!
Wish ardent, ever wrong!
'Tis resignation's full reverse,
Most wrong, as it implies
Error most fatal in our choice,
Detachment from the skies.
By closing with the skies, we make
Omnipotence our own;
That done, how formidable ill's
Whole army is o'erthrown!
No longer impotent, and frail,
Ourselves above we rise:
We scarce believe ourselves below!
We trespass on the skies!
The Lord, the soul, and source of all,
Whilst man enjoys his ease,
Is executing human will,
In earth, and air, and seas;
70
Beyond us, what can angels boast?
Archangels what require?
Whate'er below, above, is done,
Is done as-we desire.
What glory this for man so mean,
Whose life is but a span!
This is meridian majesty!
This, the sublime of man!
Beyond the boast of pagan song
My sacred subject shines!
And for a foil the lustre takes
Of Rome's exalted lines.
'All, that the sun surveys, subdued,
But Cato's mighty mind.'
How grand! most true; yet far beneath
The soul of the resign'd:
To more than kingdoms, more than worlds,
To passion that gives law;
Its matchless empire could have kept
Great Cato's pride in awe;
That fatal pride, whose cruel point
Transfix'd his noble breast;
Far nobler! if his fate sustain'd
And left to heaven the rest;
Then he the palm had borne away,
At distance Caesar thrown;
Put him off cheaply with the world,
And made the skies his own.
What cannot resignation do?
It wonders can perform;
That powerful charm, 'Thy will be done,'
Can lay the loudest storm.
Come, resignation! then, from fields,
71
Where, mounted on the wing,
A wing of flame, blest martyrs' souls
Ascended to their king.
Who is it calls thee? one whose need
Transcends the common size;
Who stands in front against a foe
To which no equal rise:
In front he stands, the brink he treads
Of an eternal state;
How dreadful his appointed post!
How strongly arm'd by fate:
His threatening foe! what shadows deep
O'erwhelm his gloomy brow!
His dart tremendous! -at fourscore
My sole asylum, thou!
Haste, then, O resignation! haste,
'Tis thine to reconcile
My foe, and me; at thy approach
My foe begins to smile:
O! for that summit of my wish,
Whilst here I draw my breath,
That promise of eternal life,
A glorious smile in death:
What sight, heaven's azure arch beneath,
Has most of heaven to boast?
The man resign'd; at once serene,
And giving up the ghost.
At death's arrival they shall smile,
Who, not in life o'er gay,
Serious and frequent thought send out
To meet him on his way:
My gay coevals! (such there are)
If happiness is dear;
Approaching death's alarming day
72
Discreetly let us fear:
The fear of death is truly wise,
Till wisdom can rise higher;
And, arm'd with pious fortitude,
Death dreaded once, desire:
Grand climacteric vanities
The vainest will despise;
Shock'd, when beneath the snow of age
Man immaturely dies:
But am not I myself the man?
No need abroad to roam
In quest of faults to be chastis'd;
What cause to blush at home?
In life's decline, when men relapse
Into the sports of youth,
The second child out-fools the first,
And tempts the lash of truth;
Shall a mere truant from the grave
With rival boys engage?
His trembling voice attempt to sing,
And ape the poet's rage?
Here, madam! let me visit one,
My fault who, partly, shares,
And tell myself, by telling him,
What more becomes our years;
And if your breast with prudent zeal
For resignation glows,
You will not disapprove a just
Resentment at its foes.
In youth, Voltaire! our foibles plead
For some indulgence due;
When heads are white, their thoughts and aims
Should change their colour too:
73
How are you cheated by your wit!
Old age is bound to pay,
By nature's law, a mind discreet,
For joys it takes away;
A mighty change is wrought by years,
Reversing human lot;
In age 'tis honour to lie hid,
'Tis praise to be forgot;
The wise, as flowers, which spread at noon,
And all their charms expose,
When evening damps and shades descend,
Their evolutions close.
What though your muse has nobly soar'd,
Is that our truth sublime?
Ours, hoary friend! is to prefer
Eternity to time:
Why close a life so justly fam'd
With such bold trash as this? (54)
This for renown? yes, such as makes
Obscurity a bliss:
Your trash, with mine, at open war,
Is obstinately bent,(55)
Like wits below, to sow your tares
Of gloom and discontent:
With so much sunshine at command,
Why light with darkness mix?
Why dash with pain our pleasure?
Your Helicon with Styx?
Your works in our divided minds
Repugnant passions raise,
Confound us with a double stroke,
We shudder whilst we praise;
A curious web, as finely wrought
As genius can inspire,
74
From a black bag of poison spun,
With horror we admire.
Mean as it is, if this is read
With a disdainful air,
I can't forgive so great a foe
To my dear friend Voltaire:
Early I knew him, early prais'd,
And long to praise him late;
His genius greatly I admire,
Nor would deplore his fate;
A fate how much to be deplor'd!
At which our nature starts;
Forbear to fall on your own sword.
To perish by your parts:
'But great your name'-To feed on air,
Were then immortals born?
Nothing is great, of which more great,
More glorious is the scorn.
Can fame your carcass from the worm
Which gnaws us in the grave,
Or soul from that which never dies,
Applauding Europe save?
But fame you lose; good sense alone
Your idol, praise, can claim;
When wild wit murders happiness,
It puts to death our fame!
Nor boast your genius, talents bright;
E'en dunces will despise,
If in your western beams is miss'd
A genius for the skies;
Your taste too fails; what most excels
True taste must relish most!
And what, to rival palms above,
Can proudest laurels boast?
75
Sound heads salvation's helmet seek,(56)
Resplendent are its rays,
Let that suffice; it needs no plume,
Of sublunary praise.
May this enable couch'd Voltaire
To see that-'All is right,'(57)
His eye, by flash of wit struck blind,
Restoring to its sight;
If so, all's well: who much have err'd,
That much have been forgiven;
I speak with joy, with joy he'll hear,
'Voltaires are, now, in heaven.'
Nay, such philanthropy divine,
So boundless in degree,
Its marvellous of love extends
(Stoops most profound!) to me:
Let others cruel stars arraign,
Or dwell on their distress;
But let my page, for mercies pour'd,
A grateful heart express:
Walking, the present God was seen,
Of old, in Eden fair;
The God as present, by plain steps
Of providential care,
I behold passing through my life;
His awful voice I hear;
And, conscious of my nakedness,
Would hide myself for fear:
But where the trees, or where the clouds,
Can cover from his sight?
Naked the centre to that eye,
To which the sun is night.
As yonder glittering lamps on high
76
Through night illumin'd roll;
My thoughts of him, by whom they shine,
Chase darkness from my soul;
My soul, which reads his hand as clear
In my minute affairs,
As in his ample manuscript
Of sun, and moon, and stars;
And knows him not more bent aright
To wield that vast machine,
Than to correct one erring thought
In my small world within;
A world, that shall survive the fall
Of all his wonders here;
Survive, when suns ten thousand drop,
And leave a darken'd sphere.
Yon matter gross, how bright it shines!
For time how great his care!
Sure spirit and eternity
Far richer glories share;
Let those our hearts impress, on those
Our contemplation dwell;
On those my thoughts how justly thrown,
By what I now shall tell:
When backward with attentive mind
Life's labyrinth I trace,
I find him far myself beyond
Propitious to my peace:
Through all the crooked paths I trod,
My folly he pursued;
My heart astray to quick return
Importunately woo'd;
Due resignation home to press
On my capricious will,
How many rescues did I meet,
77
Beneath the mask of ill!
How many foes in ambush laid
Beneath my soul's desire!
The deepest penitents are made
By what we most admire.
Have I not sometimes (real good
So little mortals know!)
Mounting the summit of my wish,
Profoundly plung'd in woe?
I rarely plann'd, but cause I found
My plan's defeat to bless:
Oft I lamented an event;
It turn'd to my success.
By sharpen'd appetite to give
To good intense delight,
Through dark and deep perplexities
He led me to the right.
And is not this the gloomy path,
Which you are treading now?
The path most gloomy leads to light,
When our proud passions bow:
When labouring under fancied ill,
My spirits to sustain,
He kindly cur'd with sovereign draughts
Of unimagin'd pain.
Pain'd sense from fancied tyranny
Alone can set us free;
A thousand miseries we feel,
Till sunk in misery.
Cloy'd with a glut of all we wish,
Our wish we relish less;
Success, a sort of suicide,
Is ruin'd by success:
78
Sometimes he led me near to death,
And, pointing to the grave,
Bid terror whisper kind advice;
And taught the tomb to save:
To raise my thoughts beyond where worlds
As spangles o'er us shine,
One day he gave, and bid the next
My soul's delight resign.
We to ourselves, but through the means
Of mirrors, are unknown;
In this my fate can you descry
No features of your own?
And if you can, let that excuse
These self-recording lines;
A record, modesty forbids,
Or to small bound confines:
In grief why deep ingulf'd? You see
You suffer nothing rare;
Uncommon grief for common fate!
That wisdom cannot bear.
When streams flow backward to their source,
And humbled flames descend,
And mountains wing'd shall fly aloft,
Then human sorrows end;
But human prudence too must cease,
When sorrows domineer,
When fortitude has lost its fire,
And freezes into fear:
The pang most poignant of my life
Now heightens my delight;
I see a fair creation rise
From chaos, and old night:
From what seem'd horror, and despair,
The richest harvest rose;
79
And gave me in the nod divine
An absolute repose.
Of all the plunders of mankind,
More gross, or frequent, none,
Than in their grief and joy misplac'd,
Eternally are shown.
But whither points all this parade?
It says, that near you lies
A book, perhaps yet unperus'd,
Which you should greatly prize:
Of self-perusal, science rare!
Few know the mighty gain;
Learn'd prelates, self-unread, may read
Their Bibles o'er in vain:
Self-knowledge, which from heaven itself
(So sages tell us) came,
What is it, but a daughter fair
Of my maternal theme?
Unletter'd and untravel'd men
An oracle might find,
Would they consult their own contents,
The Delphos of the mind.
Enter your bosom; there you'll meet
A revelation new,
A revelation personal;
Which none can read but you.
There will you clearly read reveal'd
In your enlighten'd thought,
By mercies manifold, through life,
To fresh remembrance brought,
A mighty Being! and in him
A complicated friend,
A father, brother, spouse; no dread
Of death, divorce, or end:
80
Who such a matchless friend embrace,
And lodge him in their heart,
Full well, from agonies exempt,
With other friends may part:
As when o'erloaded branches bear
Large clusters big with wine,
We scarce regret one falling leaf
From the luxuriant vine.
My short advice to you may sound
Obscure or somewhat odd,
Though 'tis the best that man can give,'E'en be content with God.'
Through love he gave you the deceas'd,
Through greater took him hence;
This reason fully could evince,
Though murmur'd at by sense.
This friend, far past the kindest kind,
Is past the greatest great;
His greatness let me touch in points
Not foreign to your state;
His eye, this instant, reads your heart;
A truth less obvious hear;
This instant its most secret thoughts
Are sounding in his ear:
Dispute you this? O! stand in awe,
And cease your sorrow; know,
That tears now trickling down, he saw
Ten thousand years ago;
And twice ten thousand hence, if you
Your temper reconcile
To reason's bound, will he behold
Your prudence with a smile;
A smile, which through eternity
81
Diffuses so bright rays,
The dimmest deifies e'en guilt,
If guilt, at last, obeys:
Your guilt (for guilt it is to mourn
When such a sovereign reigns) ,
Your guilt diminish; peace pursue;
How glorious peace in pains!
Here, then, your sorrows cease; if not,
Think how unhappy they,
Who guilt increase by streaming tears,
Which guilt should wash away;
Of tears that gush profuse restrain;
Whence burst those dismal sighs?
They from the throbbing breast of one
(Strange truth!) most happy rise;
Not angels (hear it, and exult!)
Enjoy a larger share
Than is indulg'd to you, and yours,
Of God's impartial care;
Anxious for each, as if on each
His care for all was thrown;
For all his care as absolute,
As all had been but one.
And is he then so near! so kind! How little then, and great,
That riddle, man! O! let me gaze
At wonders in his fate;
His fate, who yesterday did crawl
A worm from darkness deep,
And shall, with brother worms, beneath
A turf, to-morrow sleep;
How mean! -And yet, if well obey'd
His mighty Master's call,
The whole creation for mean man
82
Is deem'd a boon too small:
Too small the whole creation deem'd
For emmets in the dust!
Account amazing! yet most true;
My song is bold, yet just:
Man born for infinite, in whom
Nor period can destroy
The power, in exquisite extremes,
To suffer, or enjoy;
Give him earth's empire (if no more)
He's beggar'd, and undone!
Imprison'd in unbounded space!
Benighted by the sun!
For what the sun's meridian blaze
To the most feeble ray
Which glimmers from the distant dawn
Of uncreated day?
'Tis not the poet's rapture feign'd
Swells here the vain to please;
The mind most sober kindles most
At truths sublime as these;
They warm e'en me.-I dare not say,
Divine ambition strove
Not to bless only, but confound,
Nay, fright us with its love;
And yet so frightful what, or kind,
As that the rending rock,
The darken'd sun, and rising dead,
So formidable spoke?
And are we darker than that sun?
Than rocks more hard, and blind?
We are; -if not to such a God
In agonies resigned.
83
Yes, e'en in agonies forbear
To doubt almighty love;
Whate'er endears eternity,
Is mercy from above;
What most imbitters time, that most
Eternity endears,
And thus, by plunging in distress,
Exalts us to the spheres;
Joy's fountain head! where bliss o'er bliss,
O'er wonders wonders rise,
And an Omnipotence prepares
Its banquet for the wise:
Ambrosial banquet! rich in wines
Nectareous to the soul!
What transports sparkle from the stream,
As angels fill the bowl!
Fountain profuse of every bliss!
Good-will immense prevails;
Man's line can't fathom its profound
An angel's plummet fails.
Thy love and might, by what they know,
Who judge, nor dream of more;
They ask a drop, how deep the sea!
One sand, how wide the shore!
Of thy exuberant good-will,
Offended Deity!
The thousandth part who comprehends,
A deity is he.
How yonder ample azure field
With radiant worlds is sown!
How tubes astonish us with those
More deep in ether thrown!
And those beyond of brighter worlds
Why not a million more? -
84
In lieu of answer, let us all
Fall prostrate, and adore.
Since thou art infinite in power,
Nor thy indulgence less;
Since man, quite impotent and blind,
Oft drops into distress;
Say, what is resignation? 'T is
Man's weakness understood;
And wisdom grasping, with a hand
Far stronger, every good.
Let rash repiners stand appall'd,
In thee who dare not trust;
Whose abject souls, like demons dark,
Are murmuring in the dust;
For man to murmur, or repine
At what by thee is done,
No less absurd, than to complain
Of darkness in the sun.
Who would not, with a heart at ease,
Bright eye, unclouded brow,
Wisdom and goodness at the helm,
The roughest ocean plough?
What, though I'm swallow'd in the deep?
Though mountains o'er me roar?
Jehovah reigns! as Jonah safe,
I'm landed, and adore:
Thy will is welcome, let it wear
Its most tremendous form;
Roar, waves; rage, winds! I know that thou
Canst save me by a storm.
From the immortal spirits born,
To thee, their fountain, flow,
If wise; as curl'd around to theirs
Meandering streams below:
85
Not less compell'd by reason's call,
To thee our souls aspire,
Than to thy skies, by nature's law,
High mounts material fire;
To thee aspiring they exult,
I feel my spirits rise,
I feel myself thy son, and pant
For patrimonial skies;
Since ardent thirst of future good,
And generous sense of past,
To thee man's prudence strongly ties,
And binds affection fast;
Since great thy love, and great our want,
And men the wisest blind,
And bliss our aim; pronounce us all
Distracted, or resigned;
Resign'd through duty, interest, shame;
Deep shame! dare I complain,
When (wondrous truth!) in heaven itself
Joy ow'd its birth to pain?
And pain for me! for me was drain'd
Gall's overflowing bowl;
And shall one dropp to murmur bold
Provoke my guilty soul?
If pardon'd this, what cause, what crime
Can indignation raise?
The sun was lighted up to shine,
And man was born to praise;
And when to praise the man shall cease,
Or sun to strike the view;
A cloud dishonors both; but man's
The blacker of the two:
For oh! ingratitude how black!
86
With most profound amaze
At love, which man belov'd o'erlooks,
Astonish'd angels gaze.
Praise cheers, and warms, like generous wine;
Praise, more divine than prayer;
Prayer points our ready path to heaven;
Praise is already there.
Let plausive resignation rise,
And banish all complaint;
All virtues thronging into one,
It finishes the saint;
Makes the man bless'd, as man can be;
Life's labours renders light;
Darts beams through fate's incumbent gloom,
And lights our sun by night;
'T is nature's brightest ornament,
The richest gift of grace,
Rival of angels, and supreme
Proprietor of peace;
Nay, peace beyond, no small degree
Of rapture 't will impart;
Know, madam! when your heart's in heaven,
'All heaven is in your heart.'
But who to heaven their hearts can raise?
Denied divine support,
All virtue dies; support divine
The wise with ardour court:
When prayer partakes the seraph's fire,
'T is mounted on his wing,
Bursts thro' heaven's crystal gates, and
Sure audience of its king:
The labouring soul from sore distress
That bless'd expedient frees;
I see you far advanc'd in peace;
87
I see you on your knees:
How on that posture has the beam
Divine for ever shone!
An humble heart, God's other seat! (58)
The rival of his throne:
And stoops Omnipotence so low!
And condescends to dwell,
Eternity's inhabitant,
Well pleas'd, in such a cell?
Such honour how shall we repay?
How treat our guest divine?
The sacrifice supreme be slain!
Let self-will die: resign.
Thus far, at large, on our disease;
Now let the cause be shown,
Whence rises, and will ever rise,
The dismal human groan:
What our sole fountain of distress?
Strong passion for this scene;
That trifles make important, things
Of mighty moment mean:
When earth's dark maxims poison shed
On our polluted souls,
Our hearts and interests fly as far
Asunder, as the poles.
Like princes in a cottage nurs'd,
Unknown their royal race,
With abject aims, and sordid joys,
Our grandeur we disgrace;
O! for an Archimedes new,
Of moral powers possess'd,
The world to move, and quite expel
That traitor from the breast.
88
No small advantage may be reap'd
From thought whence we descend;
From weighing well, and prizing weigh'd
Our origin, and end:
From far above the glorious sun
To this dim scene we came:
And may, if wise, for ever bask
In great Jehovah's beam:
Let that bright beam on reason rous'd
In awful lustre rise,
Earth's giant ills are dwarf'd at once,
And all disquiet dies.
Earth's glories too their splendour lose,
Those phantoms charm no more;
Empire's a feather for a fool,
And Indian mines are poor:
Then levell'd quite, whilst yet alive,
The monarch and his slave;
Not wait enlighten'd minds to learn
That lesson from the grave:
A George the Third would then be low
As Lewis in renown,
Could he not boast of glory more
Than sparkles from a crown.
When human glory rises high
As human glory can;
When, though the king is truly great,
Still greater is the man;
The man is dead, where virtue fails;
And though the monarch proud
In grandeur shines, his gorgeous robe
Is but a gaudy shroud.
Wisdom! where art thou? None on earth,
Though grasping wealth, fame, power,
89
But what, O death! through thy approach,
Is wiser every hour;
Approach how swift, how unconfin'd!
Worms feast on viands rare,
Those little epicures have kings
To grace their bill of fare:
From kings what resignation due
To that almighty will,
Which thrones bestows, and, when they fail,
Can throne them higher still!
Who truly great? The good and brave,
The masters of a mind
The will divine to do resolv'd,
To suffer it resign'd.
Madam! if that may give it weight,
The trifle you receive
Is dated from a solemn scene,
The border of the grave;
Where strongly strikes the trembling soul
Eternity's dread power,
As bursting on it through the thin
Partition of an hour;
Hear this, Voltaire! but this, from me,
Runs hazard of your frown;
However, spare it; ere you die,
Such thoughts will be your own.
In mercy to yourself forbear
My notions to chastise,
Lest unawares the gay Voltaire
Should blame Voltaire the wise:
Fame's trumpet rattling in your ear,
Now, makes us disagree;
When a far louder trumpet sounds,
Voltaire will close with me:
90
How shocking is that modesty,
Which keeps some honest men
From urging what their hearts suggest,
When brav'd by folly's pen.
Assaulting truths, of which in all
Is sown the sacred seed!
Our constitution's orthodox,
And closes with our creed:
What then are they, whose proud conceits
Superior wisdom boast?
Wretches, who fight their own belief,
And labour to be lost!
Though vice by no superior joys
Her heroes keeps in pay;
Through pure disinterested love
Of ruin they obey!
Strict their devotion to the wrong,
Though tempted by no prize;
Hard their commandments, and their creed
A magazine of lies
From fancy's forge: gay fancy smiles
At reason plain, and cool;
Fancy, whose curious trade it is
To make the finest fool.
Voltaire! long life's the greatest curse
That mortals can receive,
When they imagine the chief end
Of living is to live;
Quite thoughtless of their day of death,
That birthday of their sorrow!
Knowing, it may be distant far,
Nor crush them till-to-morrow.
These are cold, northern thoughts, conceiv'd
91
Beneath an humble cot;
Not mine, your genius, or your state,
No castle is my lot:(59)
But soon, quite level shall we lie;
And, what pride most bemoans,
Our parts, in rank so distant now,
As level as our bones;
Hear you that sound? Alarming sound!
Prepare to meet your fate!
One, who writes finis to our works,
Is knocking at the gate;
Far other works will soon be weigh'd;
Far other judges sit;
Far other crowns be lost or won,
Than fire ambitious wit:
Their wit far brightest will be prov'd,
Who sunk it in good sense;
And veneration most profound
Of dread omnipotence.
'Tis that alone unlocks the gate
Of blest eternity;
O! mayst thou never, never lose
That more than golden key! (60)
Whate'er may seem too rough excuse,
Your good I have at heart:
Since from my soul I wish you well;
As yet we must not part:
Shall you, and I, in love with life,
Life's future schemes contrive,
The world in wonder not unjust,
That we are still alive?
What have we left? How mean in man
A shadow's shade to crave!
When life, so vain! is vainer still,
92
'Tis time to take your leave:
Happier, than happiest life, is death,
Who, falling in the field
Of conflict with his rebel will,
Writes vici, on his shield;
So falling man, immortal heir
Of an eternal prize;
Undaunted at the gloomy grave,
Descends into the skies.
O! how disorder'd our machine,
When contradictions mix!
When nature strikes no less than twelve,
And folly points at six!
To mend the moments of your heart,
How great is my delight
Gently to wind your morals up,
And set your hand aright!
That hand, which spread your wisdom wide
To poison distant lands:
Repent, recant; the tainted age
Your antidote demands;
To Satan dreadfully resign'd,
Whole herds rush down the steep
Of folly, by lewd wits possess'd,
And perish in the deep.
Men's praise your vanity pursues;
'Tis well, pursue it still;
But let it be of men deceas'd,
And you'll resign the will;
And how superior they to those
At whose applause you aim;
How very far superior they
In number, and in name!
93
~ Edward Young,
541: Love and Death

Love and Death
In woodlands of the bright and early world,
When love was to himself yet new and warm
And stainless, played like morning with a flower
Ruru with his young bride Priyumvada.

Fresh-cheeked and dew-eyed white Priyumvada
Opened her budded heart of crimson bloom
To love, to Ruru; Ruru, a happy flood
Of passion round a lotus dancing thrilled,
Blinded with his soul's waves Priyumvada.

To him the earth was a bed for this sole flower,
To her all the world was filled with his embrace.

Wet with new rains the morning earth, released
From her fierce centuries and burning suns,
Lavished her breath in greenness; poignant flowers
Thronged all her eager breast, and her young arms
Cradled a childlike bounding life that played
And would not cease, nor ever weary grew
Of her bright promise; for all was joy and breeze
And perfume, colour and bloom and ardent rays
Of living, and delight desired the world.

Then Earth was quick and pregnant tamelessly;
A free and unwalled race possessed her plains
Whose hearts uncramped by bonds, whose unspoiled thoughts
At once replied to light. Foisoned the fields;
Lonely and rich the forests and the swaying
Of those unnumbered tops affected men
With thoughts to their vast music kin. Undammed
The virgin rivers moved towards the sea,
And mountains yet unseen and peoples vague
Winged young imagination like an eagle
To strange beauty remote. And Ruru felt
The sweetness of the early earth as sap
All through him, and short life an aeon made
By boundless possibility, and love,

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Sweetest of all unfathomable love,
A glory untired. As a bright bird comes flying
From airy extravagance to his own home,
And breasts his mate, and feels her all his goal,
So from boon sunlight and the fresh chill wave
Which swirled and lapped between the slumbering fields,
From forest pools and wanderings mid leaves
Through emerald ever-new discoveries,
Mysterious hillsides ranged and buoyant-swift
Races with our wild brothers in the meads,
Came Ruru back to the white-bosomed girl,
Strong-winged to pleasure. She all fresh and new
Rose to him, and he plunged into her charm.

For neither to her honey and poignancy
Artlessly interchanged, nor any limit
To the sweet physical delight of her
He found. Her eyes like deep and infinite wells
Lured his attracted soul, and her touch thrilled
Not lightly, though so light; the joy prolonged
And sweetness of the lingering of her lips
Was every time a nectar of surprise
To her lover; her smooth-gleaming shoulder bared
In darkness of her hair showed jasmine-bright,
While her kissed bosom by rich tumults stirred
Was a moved sea that rocked beneath his heart.

Then when her lips had made him blind, soft siege
Of all her unseen body to his rule
Betrayed the ravishing realm of her white limbs,
An empire for the glory of a God.

He knew not whether he loved most her smile,
Her causeless tears or little angers swift,
Whether held wet against him from the bath
Among her kindred lotuses, her cheeks
Soft to his lips and dangerous happy breasts
That vanquished all his strength with their desire,
Meeting his absence with her sudden face,
Or when the leaf-hid bird at night complained

Love and Death
Near their wreathed arbour on the moonlit lake,
Sobbing delight out from her heart of bliss,
Or in his clasp of rapture laughing low
Of his close bosom bridal-glad and pleased
With passion and this fiery play of love,
Or breaking off like one who thinks of grief,
Wonderful melancholy in her eyes
Grown liquid and with wayward sorrow large.

Thus he in her found a warm world of sweets,
And lived of ecstasy secure, nor deemed
Any new hour could match that early bliss.

But Love has joys for spirits born divine
More bleeding-lovely than his thornless rose.

That day he had left, while yet the east was dark,
Rising, her bosom and into the river
Swam out, exulting in the sting and swift
Sharp-edged desire around his limbs, and sprang
Wet to the bank, and streamed into the wood.

As a young horse upon the pastures glad
Feels greensward and the wind along his mane
And arches as he goes his neck, so went
In an immense delight of youth the boy
And shook his locks, joy-crested. Boundlessly
He revelled in swift air of life, a creature
Of wide and vigorous morning. Far he strayed
Tempting for flower and fruit branches in heaven,
And plucked, and flung away, and brighter chose,
Seeking comparisons for her bloom; and followed
New streams, and touched new trees, and felt slow beauty
And leafy secret change; for the damp leaves,
Grey-green at first, grew pallid with the light
And warmed with consciousness of sunshine near;
Then the whole daylight wandered in, and made
Hard tracts of splendour, and enriched all hues.

But when a happy sheltered heat he felt
And heard contented voice of living things
Harmonious with the noon, he turned and swiftly

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Went homeward yearning to Priyumvada,
And near his home emerging from green leaves
He laughed towards the sun: "O father Sun,"
He cried, "how good it is to live, to love!
Surely our joy shall never end, nor we
Grow old, but like bright rivers or pure winds
Sweetly continue, or revive with flowers,
Or live at least as long as senseless trees."
He dreamed, and said with a soft smile: "Lo, she!
And she will turn from me with angry tears
Her delicate face more beautiful than storm
Or rainy moonlight. I will follow her,
And soo the her heart with sovereign flatteries;
Or rather all tyranny exhaust and taste
The beauty of her anger like a fruit,
Vexing her soul with helplessness; then soften
Easily with quiet undenied demand
Of heart insisting upon heart; or else
Will reinvest her beauty bright with flowers,
Or with my hands her little feet persuade.

Then will her face be like a sudden dawn,
And flower compelled into reluctant smiles."
He had not ceased when he beheld her. She,
Tearing a jasmine bloom with waiting hands,
Stood drooping, petulant, but heard at once
His footsteps and before she was aware,
A sudden smile of exquisite delight
Leaped to her mouth, and a great blush of joy
Surprised her cheeks. She for a moment stood
Beautiful with her love before she died;
And he laughed towards her. With a pitiful cry
She paled; moaning, her stricken limbs collapsed.

But petrified, in awful dumb surprise,
He gazed; then waking with a bound was by her,
All panic expectation. As he came,
He saw a brilliant flash of coils evade
The sunlight, and with hateful gorgeous hood

Love and Death
Darted into green safety, hissing, death.

Voiceless he sank beside her and stretched out
His arms and desperately touched her face,
As if to attract her soul to live, and sought
Beseeching with his hands her bosom. O, she
Was warm, and cruel hope pierced him; but pale
As jasmines fading on a girl's sweet breast
Her cheek was, and forgot its perfect rose.

Her eyes that clung to sunlight yet, with pain
Were large and feebly round his neck her arms
She lifted and, desiring his pale cheek
Against her bosom, sobbed out piteously,
"Ah, love!" and stopped heart-broken; then, "O Love!
Alas the green dear home that I must leave
So early! I was so glad of love and kisses,
And thought that centuries would not exhaust
The deep embrace. And I have had so little
Of joy and the wild day and throbbing night,
Laughter, and tenderness, and strife and tears.

I have not numbered half the brilliant birds
In one green forest, nor am familiar grown
With sunrise and the progress of the eves,
Nor have with plaintive cries of birds made friends,
Cuckoo and rainlark and love-speak-to-me.

I have not learned the names of half the flowers
Around me; so few trees know me by my name;
Nor have I seen the stars so very often
That I should die. I feel a dreadful hand
Drawing me from the touch of thy warm limbs
Into some cold vague mist, and all black night
Descends towards me. I no more am thine,
But go I know not where, and see pale shapes
And gloomy countries and that terrible stream.

O Love, O Love, they take me from thee far,
And whether we shall find each other ever
In the wide dreadful territory of death,
I know not. Or thou wilt forget me quite,

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And life compel thee into other arms.

Ah, come with me! I cannot bear to wander
In that cold cruel country all alone,
Helpless and terrified, or sob by streams
Denied sweet sunlight and by thee unloved."
Slower her voice came now, and over her cheek
Death paused; then, sobbing like a little child
Too early from her bounding pleasures called,
The lovely discontented spirit stole
From her warm body white. Over her leaned
Ruru, and waited for dead lips to move.

Still in the greenwood lay Priyumvada,
And Ruru rose not from her, but with eyes
Emptied of glory hung above his dead,
Only, without a word, without a tear.

Then the crowned wives of the great forest came,
They who had fed her from maternal breasts,
And grieved over the lovely body cold,
And bore it from him; nor did he entreat
One last look nor one kiss, nor yet denied
What he had loved so well. They the dead girl
Into some distant greenness bore away.

But Ruru, while the stillness of the place
Remembered her, sat without voice. He heard
Through the great silence that was now his soul,
The forest sounds, a squirrel's leap through leaves,
The cheeping of a bird just overhead,
A peacock with his melancholy cry
Complaining far away, and tossings dim
And slight unnoticeable stir of trees.

But all these were to him like distant things
And he alone in his heart's void. And yet
No thought he had of her so lately lost.

Rather far pictures, trivial incidents
Of that old life before her delicate face
Had lived for him, dumbly distinct like thoughts

Love and Death
Of men that die, kept with long pomps his mind
Excluding the dead girl. So still he was,
The birds flashed by him with their swift small wings,
Fanning him. Then he moved, then rigorous
Memory through all his body shuddering
Awoke, and he looked up and knew the place,
And recognised greenness immutable,
And saw old trees and the same flowers still bloom.

He felt the bright indifference of earth
And all the lonely uselessness of pain.

Then lifting up the beauty of his brow
He spoke, with sorrow pale: "O grim cold Death!
But I will not like ordinary men
Satiate thee with cries, and falsely woo thee,
And make my grief thy theatre, who lie
Prostrate beneath thy thunderbolts and make
Night witness of their moans, shuddering and crying
When sudden memories pierce them like swords,
And often starting up as at a thought
Intolerable, pace a little, then
Sink down exhausted by brief agony.

O secrecy terrific, darkness vast,
At which we shudder! Somewhere, I know not where,
Somehow, I know not how, I shall confront
Thy gloom, tremendous spirit, and seize with hands
And prove what thou art and what man." He said,
And slowly to the forest wandered. There
Long months he travelled between grief and grief,
Reliving thoughts of her with every pace,
Measuring vast pain in his immortal mind.

And his heart cried in him as when a fire
Roars through wide forests and the branches cry
Burning towards heaven in torture glorious.

So burned, immense, his grief within him; he raised
His young pure face all solemnised with pain,
Voiceless. Then Fate was shaken, and the Gods
Grieved for him, of his silence grown afraid.
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Therefore from peaks divine came flashing down
Immortal Agni and to the uswutth-tree
Cried in the Voice that slays the world: "O tree
That liftest thy enormous branches able
To shelter armies, more than armies now
Shelter, be famous, house a brilliant God.

For the grief grows in Ruru's breast up-piled,
As wrestles with its anguished barricades
In silence an impending flood, and Gods
Immortal grow afraid. For earth alarmed
Shudders to bear the curse lest her young life
Pale with eclipse and all-creating love
Be to mere pain condemned. Divert the wrath
Into thy boughs, Uswuttha - thou shalt be
My throne - glorious, though in eternal pangs,
Yet worth much pain to harbour divine fire."
So ended the young pure destroyer's voice,
And the dumb god consented silently.

In the same noon came Ruru; his mind had paused,
Lured for a moment by soft wandering gleams
Into forgetfulness of grief; for thoughts
Gentle and near-eyed whispering memories
So sweetly came, his blind heart dreamed she lived.

Slow the uswuttha-tree bent down its leaves,
And smote his cheek, and touched his heavy hair.

And Ruru turned illumined. For a moment,
One blissful moment he had felt 'twas she.

So had she often stolen up and touched
His curls with her enamoured fingers small,
Lingering, while the wind smote him with her hair
And her quick breath came to him like spring. Then he,
Turning, as one surprised with heaven, saw
Ready to his swift passionate grasp her bosom
And body sweet expecting his embrace.

Oh, now saw her not, but the guilty tree
Shrinking; then grief back with a double crown
Arose and stained his face with agony.
Love and Death
Nor silence he endured, but the dumb force
Ascetic and inherited, by sires
Fierce-musing earned, from the boy's bosom blazed.

"O uswutth-tree, wantonly who hast mocked
My anguish with the wind, but thou no more
Have joy of the cool wind nor green delight,
But live thy guilty leaves in fire, so long
As Aryan wheels by thy doomed shadow vast
Thunder to war, nor bless with cool wide waves
Lyric Saruswathi nations impure."
He spoke, and the vast tree groaned through its leaves,
Recognising its fate; then smouldered; lines
Of living fire rushed up the girth and hissed
Serpentine in the unconsuming leaves;
Last, all Hutashan in his chariot armed
Sprang on the boughs and blazed into the sky,
And wailing all the great tormented creature
Stood wide in agony; one half was green
And earthly, the other a weird brilliance
Filled with the speed and cry of endless flame.

But he, with the fierce rushing-out of power
Shaken and that strong grasp of anguish, flung
His hands out to the sun; "Priyumvada!"
He cried, and at that well-loved sound there dawned
With overwhelming sweetness miserable
Upon his mind the old delightful times
When he had called her by her liquid name,
Where the voice loved to linger. He remembered
The chompuc bushes where she turned away
Half-angered, and his speaking of her name
Masterfully as to a lovely slave
Rebellious who has erred; at that the slow
Yielding of her small head, and after a little
Her sliding towards him and beautiful
Propitiating body as she sank down
With timid graspings deprecatingly
In prostrate warm surrender, her flushed cheeks

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Upon his feet and little touches soft;
Or her long name uttered beseechingly,
And the swift leap of all her body to him,
And eyes of large repentance, and the weight
Of her wild bosom and lips unsatisfied;
Or hourly call for little trivial needs,
Or sweet unneeded wanton summoning,
Daily appeal that never staled nor lost
Its sudden music, and her lovely speed,
Sedulous occupation left, quick-breathing,
With great glad eyes and eager parted lips;
Or in deep quiet moments murmuring
That name like a religion in her ear,
And her calm look compelled to ecstasy;
Or to the river luring her, or breathed
Over her dainty slumber, or secret sweet
Bridal outpantings of her broken name.

All these as rush unintermitting waves
Upon a swimmer overborne, broke on him
Relentless, things too happy to be endured,
Till faint with the recalled felicity
Low he moaned out: "O pale Priyumvada!
O dead fair flower! yet living to my grief!
But I could only slay the innocent tree,
Powerless when power should have been. Not such
Was Bhrigu from whose sacred strength I spring,
Nor Bhrigu's son, my father, when he blazed
Out from Puloma's side, and burning, blind,
Fell like a tree the ravisher unjust.

But I degenerate from such sires. O Death
That showest not thy face beneath the stars,
But comest masked, and on our dear ones seizing
Fearest to wrestle equally with love!
Nor from thy gloomy house any come back
To tell thy way. But O, if any strength
In lover's constancy to torture dwell
Earthward to force a helping god and such

Love and Death
Ascetic force be born of lover's pain,
Let my dumb pangs be heard. Whoe'er thou art,
O thou bright enemy of Death, descend
And lead me to that portal dim. For I
Have burned in fires cruel as the fire
And lain upon a sharper couch than swords."
He ceased, and heaven thrilled, and the far blue
Quivered as with invisible downward wings.

But Ruru passioned on, and came with eve
To secret grass and a green opening moist
In a cool lustre. Leaned upon a tree
That bathed in faery air and saw the sky
Through branches, and a single parrot loud
Screamed from its top, there stood a golden boy,
Half-naked, with bright limbs all beautiful -
Delicate they were, in sweetness absolute:
For every gleam and every soft strong curve
Magically compelled the eye, and smote
The heart to weakness. In his hands he swung
A bow - not such as human archers use:
For the string moved and murmured like many bees,
And nameless fragrance made the casual air
A peril. He on Ruru that fair face
Turned, and his steps with lovely gesture chained.

"Who art thou here, in forests wandering,
And thy young exquisite face is solemnised
With pain? Luxuriously the Gods have tortured
Thy heart to see such dreadful glorious beauty
Agonise in thy lips and brilliant eyes:
As tyrants in the fierceness of others' pangs
Joy and feel strong, clothing with brilliant fire,
Tyrants in Titan lands. Needs must her mouth
Have been pure honey and her bosom a charm,
Whom thou desirest seeing not the green
And common lovely sounds hast quite forgot."
And Ruru, mastered by the God, replied:

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"I know thee by thy cruel beauty bright,
Kama, who makest many worlds one fire.

Ah, wherefore wilt thou ask of her to increase
The passion and regret? Thou knowest, great love!
Thy nymph her mother, if thou truly art he
And not a dream of my disastrous soul."
But with the thrilled eternal smile that makes
The spring, the lover of Rathi golden-limbed
Replied to Ruru, "Mortal, I am he;
I am that Madan who inform the stars
With lustre and on life's wide canvas fill
Pictures of light and shade, of joy and tears,
Make ordinary moments wonderful
And common speech a charm: knit life to life
With interfusions of opposing souls
And sudden meetings and slow sorceries:
Wing the boy bridegroom to that panting breast,
Smite Gods with mortal faces, dreadfully
Among great beautiful kings and watched by eyes
That burn, force on the virgin's fainting limbs
And drive her to the one face never seen,
The one breast meant eternally for her.

By me come wedded sweets, by me the wife's
Busy delight and passionate obedience,
And loving eager service never sated,
And happy lips, and worshipping soft eyes:
And mine the husband's hungry arms and use
Unwearying of old tender words and ways,
Joy of her hair, and silent pleasure felt
Of nearness to one dear familiar shape.

Nor only these, but many affections bright
And soft glad things cluster around my name.

I plant fraternal tender yearnings, make
The sister's sweet attractiveness and leap
Of heart towards imperious kindred blood,
And the young mother's passionate deep look,
Earth's high similitude of One not earth,

Love and Death
Teach filial heart-beats strong. These are my gifts
For which men praise me, these my glories calm:
But fiercer shafts I can, wild storms blown down
Shaking fixed minds and melting marble natures,
Tears and dumb bitterness and pain unpitied,
Racked thirsting jealousy and kind hearts made stone:
And in undisciplined huge souls I sow
Dire vengeance and impossible cruelties,
Cold lusts that linger and fierce fickleness,
The loves close kin to hate, brute violence
And mad insatiable longings pale,
And passion blind as death and deaf as swords.

O mortal, all deep-souled desires and all
Yearnings immense are mine, so much I can."
So as he spoke, his face grew wonderful
With vast suggestion, his human-seeming limbs
Brightened with a soft splendour: luminous hints
Of the concealed divinity transpired.

But soon with a slight discontented frown:
"So much I can, as even the great Gods learn.

Only with death I wrestle in vain, until
My passionate godhead all becomes a doubt.

Mortal, I am the light in stars, of flowers
The bloom, the nameless fragrance that pervades
Creation: but behind me, older than me,
He comes with night and cold tremendous shade.

Hard is the way to him, most hard to find,
Harder to tread, for perishable feet
Almost impossible. Yet, O fair youth,
If thou must needs go down, and thou art strong
In passion and in constancy, nor easy
The soul to slay that has survived such grief -
Steel then thyself to venture, armed by Love.

Yet listen first what heavy trade they drive
Who would win back their dead to human arms."
So much the God; but swift, with eager eyes
And panting bosom and glorious flushed face,

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The lover: "O great Love! O beautiful Love!
But if by strength is possible, of body
Or mind, battle of spirit or moving speech,
Sweet speech that makes even cruelty grow kind,
Or yearning melody - for I have heard
That when Saruswathi in heaven her harp
Has smitten, the cruel sweetness terrible
Coils taking no denial through the soul,
And tears burst from the hearts of Gods - then I,
Making great music, or with perfect words,
Will strive, or staying him with desperate hands
Match human strength 'gainst formidable Death.

But if with price, ah God! what easier! Tears
Dreadful, innumerable I will absolve,
Or pay with anguish through the centuries,
Soul's agony and torture physical,
So her small hands about my face at last
I feel, close real hair sting me with life,
And palpable breathing bosom on me press."
Then with a lenient smile the mighty God:
"O ignorant fond lover, not with tears
Shalt thou persuade immitigable Death.

He will not pity all thy pangs: nor know
His stony eyes with music to grow kind,
Nor lovely words accepts. And how wilt thou
Wrestle with that grim shadow, who canst not save
One bloom from fading? A sole thing the Gods
Demand from all men living, sacrifice:
Nor without this shall any crown be grasped.

Yet many sacrifices are there, oxen,
And prayers, and Soma wine, and pious flowers,
Blood and the fierce expense of mind, and pure
Incense of perfect actions, perfect thoughts,
Or liberality wide as the sun's,
Or ruthless labour or disastrous tears,
Exile or death or pain more hard than death,
Absence, a desert, from the faces loved;

Love and Death
Even sin may be a sumptuous sacrifice
Acceptable for unholy fruits. But none
Of these the inexorable shadow asks:
Alone of gods Death loves not gifts: he visits
The pure heart as the stained. Lo, the just man
Bowed helpless over his dead, nor all his virtues
Shall quicken that cold bosom: near him the wild
Marred face and passionate and will not leave
Kissing dead lips that shall not chide him more.

Life the pale ghost requires: with half thy life
Thou mayst protract the thread too early cut
Of that delightful spirit - half sweet life.

O Ruru, lo, thy frail precarious days,
And yet how sweet they are! simply to breathe
How warm and sweet! And ordinary things
How exquisite, thou then shalt learn when lost,
How luminous the daylight was, mere sleep
How soft and friendly clasping tired limbs,
And the deliciousness of common food.

And things indifferent thou then shalt want,
Regret rejected beauty, brightnesses
Bestowed in vain. Wilt thou yield up, O lover,
Half thy sweet portion of this light and gladness,
Thy little insufficient share, and vainly
Give to another? She is not thyself:
Thou dost not feel the gladness in her bosom,
Nor with the torture of thy body will she
Throb and cry out: at most with tender looks
And pitiful attempt to feel move near thee,
And weep how far she is from what she loves.

Men live like stars that see each other in heaven,
But one knows not the pleasure and the grief
The others feel: he lonely rapture has,
Or bears his incommunicable pain.

O Ruru, there are many beautiful faces,
But one thyself. Think then how thou shalt mourn
When thou hast shortened joy and feelst at last

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The shadow that thou hadst for such sweet store."
He ceased with a strange doubtful look. But swift
Came back the lover's voice, like passionate rain.

"O idle words! For what is mere sunlight?
Who would live on into extreme old age,
Burden the impatient world, a weary old man,
And look back on a selfish time ill-spent
Exacting out of prodigal great life
Small separate pleasures like an usurer,
And no rich sacrifice and no large act
Finding oneself in others, nor the sweet
Expense of Nature in her passionate gusts
Of love and giving, first of the soul's needs?
Who is so coldly wise, and does not feel
How wasted were our grandiose human days
In prudent personal unshared delights?
Why dost thou mock me, friend of all the stars?
How canst thou be love's god and know not this,
That love burns down the body's barriers cold
And laughs at difference - playing with it merely
To make joy sweeter? O too deeply I know,
The lover is not different from the loved,
Nor is their silence dumb to each other. He
Contains her heart and feels her body in his,
He flushes with her heat, chills with her cold.

And when she dies, oh! when she dies, oh me,
The emptiness, the maim! the life no life,
The sweet and passionate oneness lost! And if
By shortening of great grief won back, O price
Easy! O glad briefness, aeons may envy!
For we shall live not fearing death, nor feel
As others yearning over the loved at night
When the lamp flickers, sudden chills of dread
Terrible; nor at short absence agonise,
Wrestling with mad imagination. Us
Serenely when the darkening shadow comes,
One common sob shall end and soul clasp soul,

Love and Death
Leaving the body in a long dim kiss.

Then in the joys of heaven we shall consort,
Amid the gladness often touching hands
To make bliss sure; or in the ghastly stream
If we must anguish, yet it shall not part
Our passionate limbs inextricably locked
By one strong agony, but we shall feel
Hell's pain half joy through sweet companionship.

God Love, I weary of words. O wing me rather
To her, my eloquent princess of the spring,
In whatsoever wintry shores she roam."
He ceased with eager forward eyes; once more
A light of beauty immortal through the limbs
Gleaming of the boy-god and soft sweet face,
Glorifying him, flushed, and he replied:
"Go then, O thou dear youth, and bear this flower
In thy hand warily. For thou shalt come
To that high meeting of the Ganges pure
With vague and violent Ocean. There arise
And loudly appeal my brother, the wild sea."
He spoke and stretched out his immortal hand,
And Ruru's met it. All his young limbs yearned
With dreadful rapture shuddering through them. He
Felt in his fingers subtle uncertain bloom,
A quivering magnificence, half fire,
Whose petals changed like flame, and from them breathed
Dangerous attraction and alarmed delight,
As at a peril near. He raised his eyes,
But the green place was empty of the God.

Only the faery tree looked up at heaven
Through branches, and with recent pleasure shook.

Then over fading earth the night was lord.

But from Shatudru and Bipasha, streams
Once holy, and loved Iravathi and swift
Clear Chandrabhaga and Bitosta's toil
For man, went Ruru to bright sumptuous lands

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By Aryan fathers not yet paced, but wild,
But virgin to our fruitful human toil,
Where Nature lay reclined in dumb delight
Alone with woodlands and the voiceless hills.

He with the widening yellow Ganges came,
Amazed, to trackless countries where few tribes,
Kirath and Poundrian, warred, worshipping trees
And the great serpent. But robust wild earth,
But forests with their splendid life of beasts
Savage mastered those strong inhabitants.

Thither came Ruru. In a thin soft eve
Ganges spread far her multitudinous waves,
A glimmering restlessness with voices large,
And from the forests of that half-seen bank
A boat came heaving over it, white-winged,
With a sole silent helmsman marble-pale.

Then Ruru by his side stepped in; they went
Down the mysterious river and beheld
The great banks widen out of sight. The world
Was water and the skies to water plunged.

All night with a dim motion gliding down
He felt the dark against his eyelids; felt,
As in a dream more real than daylight,
The helmsman with his dumb and marble face
Near him and moving wideness all around,
And that continual gliding dimly on,
As one who on a shoreless water sails
For ever to a port he shall not win.

But when the darkness paled, he heard a moan
Of mightier waves and had the wide great sense
Of ocean and the depths below our feet.

But the boat stopped; the pilot lifted on him
His marble gaze coeval with the stars.

Then in the white-winged boat the boy arose
And saw around him the vast sea all grey
And heaving in the pallid dawning light.

Loud Ruru cried across the murmur: "Hear me,

Love and Death
O inarticulate grey Ocean, hear.

If any cadence in thy infinite
Rumour was caught from lover's moan, O Sea,
Open thy abysses to my mortal tread.

For I would travel to the despairing shades,
The spheres of suffering where entangled dwell
Souls unreleased and the untimely dead
Who weep remembering. Thither, O, guide me,
No despicable wayfarer, but Ruru,
But son of a great Rishi, from all men
On earth selected for peculiar pangs,
Special disaster. Lo, this petalled fire,
How freshly it blooms and lasts with my great pain!"
He held the flower out subtly glimmering.

And like a living thing the huge sea trembled,
Then rose, calling, and filled the sight with waves,
Converging all its giant crests; towards him
Innumerable waters loomed and heaven
Threatened. Horizon on horizon moved
Dreadfully swift; then with a prone wide sound
All Ocean hollowing drew him swiftly in,
Curving with monstrous menace over him.

He down the gulf where the loud waves collapsed
Descending, saw with floating hair arise
The daughters of the sea in pale green light,
A million mystic breasts suddenly bare,
And came beneath the flood and stunned beheld
A mute stupendous march of waters race
To reach some viewless pit beneath the world.

Ganges he saw, as men predestined rush
Upon a fearful doom foreseen, so run,
Alarmed, with anguished speed, the river vast.

Veiled to his eyes the triple goddess rose.

She with a sound of waters cried to him,
A thousand voices moaning with one pain:
"Lover, who fearedst not sunlight to leave,
With me thou mayst behold that helpless spirit

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Lost in the gloom, if still thy burning bosom
Have courage to endure great Nature's night
In the dire lands where I, a goddess, mourn
Hurting my heart with my own cruelty."
She darkened to the ominous descent,
Unwilling, and her once so human waves
Sent forth a cry not meant for living ears.

And Ruru chilled; but terrible strong love
Was like a fiery finger in his breast
Pointing him on; so he through horror went
Conducted by inexorable sound.

For monstrous voices to his ear were close,
And bodiless terrors with their dimness seized him
In an obscurity phantasmal. Thus
With agony of soul to the grey waste
He came, glad of the pain of passage over,
As men who through the storms of anguish strive
Into abiding tranquil dreariness
And draw sad breath assured; to the grey waste,
Hopeless Patala, the immutable
Country, where neither sun nor rain arrives,
Nor happy labour of the human plough
Fruitfully turns the soil, but in vague sands
And indeterminable strange rocks and caverns
That into silent blackness huge recede,
Dwell the great serpent and his hosts, writhed forms,
Sinuous, abhorred, through many horrible leagues
Coiling in a half darkness. Shapes he saw,
And heard the hiss and knew the lambent light
Loathsome, but passed compelling his strong soul.

At last through those six tired hopeless worlds,
Too hopeless far for grief, pale he arrived
Into a nether air by anguish moved,
And heard before him cries that pierced the heart,
Human, not to be borne, and issued shaken
By the great river accursed. Maddened it ran,
Anguished, importunate, and in its waves

Love and Death
The drifting ghosts their agony endured.

There Ruru saw pale faces float of kings
And grandiose victors and revered high priests
And famous women. Now rose from the wave
A golden shuddering arm and now a face.

Torn piteous sides were seen and breasts that quailed.

Over them moaned the penal waters on,
And had no joy of their fierce cruelty.

Then Ruru, his young cheeks with pity wan,
Half moaned: "O miserable race of men,
With violent and passionate souls you come
Foredoomed upon the earth and live brief days
In fear and anguish, catching at stray beams
Of sunlight, little fragrances of flowers;
Then from your spacious earth in a great horror
Descend into this night, and here too soon
Must expiate your few inadequate joys.

O bargain hard! Death helps us not. He leads
Alarmed, all shivering from his chill embrace,
The naked spirit here. O my sweet flower,
Art thou too whelmed in this fierce wailing flood?
Ah me! But I will haste and deeply plunge
Into its hopeless pools and either bring
Thy old warm beauty back beneath the stars,
Or find thee out and clasp thy tortured bosom
And kiss thy sweet wrung lips and hush thy cries.

Love shall draw half thy pain into my limbs;
Then we shall triumph glad of agony."
He ceased and one replied close by his ear:
"O thou who troublest with thy living eyes
Established death, pass on. She whom thou seekest
Rolls not in the accursed tide. For late
I saw her mid those pale inhabitants
Whom bodily anguish visits not, but thoughts
Sorrowful and dumb memories absolve,
And martyrdom of scourged hearts quivering."
He turned and saw astride the dolorous flood

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A mighty bridge paved with mosaic fire,
All restless, and a woman clothed in flame,
With hands calamitous that held a sword,
Stood of the quaking passage sentinel.

Magnificent and dire her burning face.

"Pass on," she said once more, "O Bhrigu's son;
The flower protects thee from my hands." She stretched
One arm towards him and with violence
Majestic over the horrid arch compelled.

Unhurt, though shaking from her touch, alone
He stood upon an inner bank with strange
Black dreary mosses covered and perceived
A dim and level plain without one flower.

Over it paced a multitude immense
With gentle faces occupied by pain;
Strong men were there and grieving mothers, girls
With early beauty in their limbs and young
Sad children of their childlike faces robbed.

Naked they paced with falling hair and gaze
Drooping upon their bosoms, weak as flowers
That die for want of rain unmurmuring.

Always a silence was upon the place.

But Ruru came among them. Suddenly
One felt him there and looked, and as a wind
Moves over a still field of patient corn,
And the ears stir and shudder and look up
And bend innumerably flowing, so
All those dumb spirits stirred and through them passed
One shuddering motion of raised faces; then
They streamed towards him without sound and caught
With desperate hands his robe or touched his hair
Or strove to feel upon them living breath.

Pale girls and quiet children came and knelt
And with large sorrowful eyes into his looked.

Yet with their silent passion the cold hush
Moved not; but Ruru's human heart half burst
With burden of so many sorrows; tears

Love and Death
Welled from him; he with anguish understood
That terrible and wordless sympathy
Of dead souls for the living. Then he turned
His eyes and scanned their lovely faces strange
For that one face and found it not. He paled,
And spoke vain words into the listless air:
"O spirits once joyous, miserable race,
Happier if the old gladness were forgot!
My soul yearns with your sorrow. Yet ah! reveal
If dwell my love in your sad nation lost.

Well may you know her, O wan beautiful spirits!
But she most beautiful of all that died,
By sweetness recognisable. Her name
The sunshine knew." Speaking his tears made way:
But they with dumb lips only looked at him,
A vague and empty mourning in their eyes.

He murmured low: "Ah, folly! were she here,
Would she not first have felt me, first have raised
Her lids and run to me, leaned back her face
Of silent sorrow on my breast and looked
With the old altered eyes into my own
And striven to make my anguish understand?
Oh joy, had she been here! for though her lips
Of their old excellent music quite were robbed,
Yet her dumb passion would have spoken to me;
We should have understood each other and walked
Silently hand in hand, almost content."
He said and passed through those untimely dead.

Speechless they followed him with clinging eyes.

Then to a solemn building weird he came
With grave colossal pillars round. One dome
Roofed the whole brooding edifice, like cloud,
And at the door strange shapes were pacing, armed.

Then from their fear the sweet and mournful dead
Drew back, returning to their wordless grief.

But Ruru to the perilous doorway strode,
And those disastrous shapes upon him raised

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Their bows and aimed; but he held out Love's flower,
And with stern faces checked they let him pass.

He entered and beheld a silent hall
Dim and unbounded; moving then like one
Who up a dismal stair seeks ever light,
Attained a dais brilliant doubtfully
With flaming pediment and round it coiled
Python and Naga monstrous, Joruthcaru,
Tuxuc and Vasuki himself, immense,
Magic Carcotaca all flecked with fire;
And many other prone destroying shapes
Coiled. On the wondrous dais rose a throne,
And he its pedestal whose lotus hood
With ominous beauty crowns his horrible
Sleek folds, great Mahapudma; high displayed
He bears the throne of Death. There sat supreme
With those compassionate and lethal eyes,
Who many names, who many natures holds;
Yama, the strong pure Hades sad and subtle,
Dharma, who keeps the laws of old untouched,
Critanta, who ends all things and at last
Himself shall end. On either side of him
The four-eyed dogs mysterious rested prone,
Watchful, with huge heads on their paws advanced;
And emanations of the godhead dim
Moved near him, shadowy or serpentine,
Vast Time and cold irreparable Death.

Then Ruru came and bowed before the throne;
And swaying all those figures stirred as shapes
Upon a tapestry moved by the wind,
And the sad voice was heard: "What breathing man
Bows at the throne of Hades? By what force,
Spiritual or communicated, troubles
His living beauty the dead grace of Hell?"
And one replied who seemed a neighbouring voice:
"He has the blood of Gods and Titans old.

An Apsara his mother liquid-orbed

Love and Death
Bore to the youthful Chyavan's strong embrace
This passionate face of earth with Eden touched.

Chyavan was Bhrigu's child, Puloma bore,
The Titaness, - Bhrigu, great Brahma's son.

Love gave the flower that helps by anguish; therefore
He chilled not with the breath of Hades, nor
The cry of the infernal stream made stone."
But at the name of Love all hell was moved.

Death's throne half faded into twilight; hissed
The phantoms serpentine as if in pain,
And the dogs raised their dreadful heads. Then spoke
Yama: "And what needs Love in this pale realm,
The warm great Love? All worlds his breath confounds,
Mars solemn order and old steadfastness.

But not in Hell his legates come and go;
His vernal jurisdiction to bare Hell
Extends not. This last world resists his power
Youthful, anarchic. Here will he enlarge
Tumult and wanton joys?" The voice replied:
"Menaca momentary on the earth,
Heaven's Apsara by the fleeting hours beguiled
Played in the happy hidden glens; there bowed
To yoke of swift terrestrial joys she bore,
Immortal, to that fair Gundhurva king
A mortal blossom of delight. That bloom
Young Ruru found and plucked, but her too soon
Thy fatal hooded snake on earth surprised,
And he through gloom now travels armed by Love."
But then all Hades swaying towards him cried:
"O mortal, O misled! But sacrifice
Is stronger, nor may law of Hell or Heaven
Its fierce effectual action supersede.

Thy dead I yield. Yet thou bethink thee, mortal,
Not as a tedious evil nor to be
Lightly rejected gave the gods old age,
But tranquil, but august, but making easy
The steep ascent to God. Therefore must Time

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Still batter down the glory and form of youth
And animal magnificent strong ease,
To warn the earthward man that he is spirit
Dallying with transience, nor by death he ends,
Nor to the dumb warm mother's arms is bound,
But called unborn into the unborn skies.

For body fades with the increasing soul
And wideness of its limit grown intolerant
Replaces life's impetuous joys by peace.

Youth, manhood, ripeness, age, four seasons
Twixt its return and pale departing life
Describes, O mortal, - youth that forward bends
Midst hopes, delights and dreamings; manhood deepens
To passions, toils and thoughts profound; but ripeness
For large reflective gathering-up of these,
As on a lonely slope whence men look back
Down towards the cities and the human fields
Where they too worked and laughed and loved; next age,
Wonderful age with those approaching skies.

That boon wilt thou renounce? Wherefore? To bring
For a few years - how miserably few! -
Her sunward who must after all return.

Ah, son of Rishis, cease. Lo, I remit
Hell's grasp, not oft relinquished, and send back
Thy beautiful life unborrowed to the stars.

Or thou must render to the immutable
Total all thy fruit-bearing years; then she
Reblossoms." But the Shadow antagonist:
"Let him be shown the glory he would renounce."
And over the flaming pediment there moved,
As on a frieze a march of sculptures, carved
By Phidias for the Virgin strong and pure,
Most perfect once of all things seen in earth
Or Heaven, in Athens on the Acropolis,
But now dismembered, now disrupt! or as
In Buddhist cavern or Orissan temple,
Large aspirations architectural,

Love and Death
Warrior and dancing-girl, adept and king,
And conquering pomps and daily peaceful groups
Dream delicately on, softening with beauty
Great Bhuvanayshwar, the Almighty's house,
With sculptural suggestion so were limned
Scenes future on a pediment of fire.

There Ruru saw himself divine with age,
A Rishi to whom infinity is close,
Rejoicing in some green song-haunted glade
Or boundless mountain-top where most we feel
Wideness, not by small happy things disturbed.

Around him, as around an ancient tree
Its seedlings, forms august or flame-like rose;
They grew beneath his hands and were his work;
Great kings were there whom time remembers, fertile
Deep minds and poets with their chanting lips
Whose words were seed of vast philosophies -
These worshipped; above this earth's half-day he saw
Amazed the dawn of that mysterious Face
And all the universe in beauty merge.

Mad the boy thrilled upwards, then spent ebbed back.

Over his mind, as birds across the sky
Sweep and are gone, the vision of those fields
And drooping faces came; almost he heard
The burdened river with human anguish wail.

Then with a sudden fury gathering
His soul he hurled out of it half its life,
And fell, like lightning, prone. Triumphant rose
The Shadow chill and deepened giant night.

Only the dais flickered in the gloom,
And those snake-eyes of cruel fire subdued.

But suddenly a bloom, a fragrance. Hell
Shuddered with bliss: resentful, overborne,
The world-besetting Terror faded back
Like one grown weak by desperate victory,
And a voice cried in Ruru's tired soul:
"Arise! the strife is over, easy now

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The horror that thou hast to face, the burden
Now shared." And with a sudden burst like spring
Life woke in the strong lover over-tried.

He rose and left dim Death. Twelve times he crossed
Boithorini, the river dolorous,
Twelve times resisted Hell and, hurried down
Into the ominous pit where plunges black
The vast stream thundering, saw, led puissantly
From night to unimaginable night, -
As men oppressed in dreams, who cannot wake,
But measure penal visions, - punishments
Whose sight pollutes, unheard-of tortures, pangs
Monstrous, intolerable mute agonies,
Twisted unmoving attitudes of pain,
Like thoughts inhuman in statuary. A fierce
And iron voicelessness had grasped those worlds.

No horror of cries expressed their endless woe,
No saving struggle, no breathings of the soul.

And in the last hell irremediable
Where Ganges clots into that fatal pool,
Appalled he saw her; pallid, listless, bare -
O other than that earthly warmth and grace
In which the happy roses deepened and dimmed
With come-and-go of swift enamoured blood!
Dumb drooped she; round her shapes of anger armed
Stood dark like thunder-clouds. But Ruru sprang
Upon them, burning with the admitted God.

They from his touch like ineffectual fears
Vanished; then sole with her, trembling he cried
The old glad name and crying bent to her
And touched, and at the touch the silent knots
Of Hell were broken and its sombre dream
Of dreadful stately pains at once dispersed.

Then as from one whom a surpassing joy
Has conquered, all the bright surrounding world
Streams swiftly into distance, and he feels
His daily senses slipping from his grasp,

Love and Death
So that unbearable enormous world
Went rolling mighty shades, like the wet mist
From men on mountain-tops; and sleep outstretched
Rising its soft arms towards him and his thoughts,
As on a bed, sank to ascending void.

But when he woke, he heard the kol insist
On sweetness and the voice of happy things
Content with sunlight. The warm sense was round him
Of old essential earth, known hues and custom
Familiar tranquillising body and mind,
As in its natural wave a lotus feels.

He looked and saw all grass and dense green trees,
And sunshine and a single grasshopper
Near him repeated fierily its note.

Thrilling he felt beneath his bosom her;
Oh, warm and breathing were those rescued limbs
Against the greenness, vivid, palpable, white,
With great black hair and real and her cheek's
Old softness and her mouth a dewy rose.

For many moments comforting his soul
With all her jasmine body sun-ensnared
He fed his longing eyes and, half in doubt,
With touches satisfied himself of her.

Hesitating he kissed her eyelids. Sighing
With a slight sob she woke and earthly large
Her eyes looked upward into his. She stretched
Her arms up, yearning, and their souls embraced;
Then twixt brief sobbing laughter and blissful tears,
Clinging with all her limbs to him, "O love,
The green green world! the warm sunlight!" and ceased,
Finding no words; but the earth breathed round them,
Glad of her children, and the kol's voice
Persisted in the morning of the world.
141

A NOTE ON LOVE AND DEATH
The story of Ruru and Pramadvura - I have substituted a name more manageable to the English tongue - her death in the forest by the snake and restoration at the price of half her husband's life is told in the Mahabharata. It is a companion legend to the story of Savitri but not being told with any poetic skill or beauty has remained generally unknown. I have attempted in this poem to bring it out of its obscurity. For full success, however, it should have had a more faithfully Hindu colouring, but it was written a score of years ago when I had not penetrated to the heart of the Indian idea and its traditions, and the shadow of the Greek underworld and Tartarus with the sentiment of life and love and death which hangs about them has got into the legendary framework of the Indian Patala and hells. The central idea of the narrative alone is in the Mahabharata; the meeting with
Kama and the descent into Hell were additions necessitated by the poverty of incident in the original story.

~ Sri Aurobindo, - Love and Death
,
542:1.

Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.
2.

When thou commandest me to sing it seems that my heart would break with pride; and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony - and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.

I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence.

I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing of my song thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself and call thee friend who art my lord.
3.

I know not how thou singest, my master! I ever listen in silent amazement.

The light of thy music illumines the world. The life breath of thy music runs from sky to sky. The holy stream of thy music breaks through all stony obstacles and rushes on.

My heart longs to join in thy song, but vainly struggles for a voice. I would speak, but speech breaks not into song, and I cry out baffled. Ah, thou hast made my heart captive in the endless meshes of thy music, my master!
4.

Life of my life, I shall ever try to keep my body pure, knowing that thy living touch is upon all my limbs.

I shall ever try to keep all untruths out from my thoughts, knowing that thou art that truth which has kindled the light of reason in my mind.

I shall ever try to drive all evils away from my heart and keep my love in flower, knowing that thou hast thy seat in the inmost shrine of my heart.

And it shall be my endeavour to reveal thee in my actions, knowing it is thy power gives me strength to act.
5.

I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side. The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.

Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite, and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.

Today the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.

Now it is time to sit quite, face to face with thee, and to sing dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure.
6.

Pluck this little flower and take it, delay not! I fear lest it droop and drop into the dust.

I may not find a place in thy garland, but honour it with a touch of pain from thy hand and pluck it. I fear lest the day end before I am aware, and the time of offering go by.

Though its colour be not deep and its smell be faint, use this flower in thy service and pluck it while there is time.

7.

My song has put off her adornments. She has no pride of dress and decoration. Ornaments would mar our union; they would come between thee and me; their jingling would drown thy whispers.

My poet's vanity dies in shame before thy sight. O master poet, I have sat down at thy feet. Only let me make my life simple and straight, like a flute of reed for thee to fill with music.
8.

The child who is decked with prince's robes and who has jewelled chains round his neck loses all pleasure in his play; his dress hampers him at every step.

In fear that it may be frayed, or stained with dust he keeps himself from the world, and is afraid even to move.

Mother, it is no gain, thy bondage of finery, if it keeps one shut off from the healthful dust of the earth, if it rob one of the right of entrance to the great fair of common human life.
9.

O Fool, try to carry thyself upon thy own shoulders! O beggar, to come beg at thy own door!

Leave all thy burdens on his hands who can bear all, and never look behind in regret.

Thy desire at once puts out the light from the lamp it touches with its breath. It is unholy - take not thy gifts through its unclean hands. Accept only what is offered by sacred love.
10.

Here is thy footstool and there rest thy feet where live the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.

When I try to bow to thee, my obeisance cannot reach down to the depth where thy feet rest among the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.

Pride can never approach to where thou walkest in the clothes of the humble among the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.

My heart can never find its way to where thou keepest company with the companionless among the poorest, the lowliest, and the lost.
11.

Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!

He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the pathmaker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust. Put of thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil!

Deliverance? Where is this deliverance to be found? Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation; he is bound with us all for ever.

Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense! What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained? Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow.
12.

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.

I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.

It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself, and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.

The traveller has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said 'Here art thou!'

The question and the cry 'Oh, where?' melt into tears of a thousand streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance 'I am!'
13.

The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day. I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument.

The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set; only there is the agony of wishing in my heart.

The blossom has not opened; only the wind is sighing by. I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice; only I have heard his gentle footsteps from the road before my house.

The livelong day has passed in spreading his seat on the floor; but the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house.

I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet.
14.

My desires are many and my cry is pitiful, but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals; and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life through and through.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple, great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked - this sky and the light, this body and the life and the mind - saving me from perils of overmuch desire.

There are times when I languidly linger and times when I awaken and hurry in search of my goal; but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before me.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of thy full acceptance by refusing me ever and anon, saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.
15.

I am here to sing thee songs. In this hall of thine I have a corner seat.

In thy world I have no work to do; my useless life can only break out in tunes without a purpose.

When the hour strikes for thy silent worship at the dark temple of midnight, command me, my master, to stand before thee to sing.

When in the morning air the golden harp is tuned, honour me, commanding my presence.
16.

I have had my invitation to this world's festival, and thus my life has been blessed. My eyes have seen and my ears have heard.

It was my part at this feast to play upon my instrument, and I have done all I could.

Now, I ask, has the time come at last when I may go in and see thy face and offer thee my silent salutation?
17.

I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands. That is why it is so late and why I have been guilty of such omissions.

They come with their laws and their codes to bind me fast; but I evade them ever, for I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.

People blame me and call me heedless; I doubt not they are right in their blame.

The market day is over and work is all done for the busy. Those who came to call me in vain have gone back in anger. I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.
18.

Clouds heap upon clouds and it darkens. Ah, love, why dost thou let me wait outside at the door all alone?

In the busy moments of the noontide work I am with the crowd, but on this dark lonely day it is only for thee that I hope.

If thou showest me not thy face, if thou leavest me wholly aside, I know not how I am to pass these long, rainy hours.

I keep gazing on the far-away gloom of the sky, and my heart wanders wailing with the restless wind.
19.

If thou speakest not I will fill my heart with thy silence and endure it. I will keep still and wait like the night with starry vigil and its head bent low with patience.

The morning will surely come, the darkness will vanish, and thy voice pour down in golden streams breaking through the sky.

Then thy words will take wing in songs from every one of my birds' nests, and thy melodies will break forth in flowers in all my forest groves.
20.

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.
21.

I must launch out my boat. The languid hours pass by on the shore - Alas for me!

The spring has done its flowering and taken leave. And now with the burden of faded futile flowers I wait and linger.

The waves have become clamorous, and upon the bank in the shady lane the yellow leaves flutter and fall.

What emptiness do you gaze upon! Do you not feel a thrill passing through the air with the notes of the far-away song floating from the other shore?
22.

In the deep shadows of the rainy July, with secret steps, thou walkest, silent as night, eluding all watchers.

Today the morning has closed its eyes, heedless of the insistent calls of the loud east wind, and a thick veil has been drawn over the ever-wakeful blue sky.

The woodlands have hushed their songs, and doors are all shut at every house. Thou art the solitary wayfarer in this deserted street. Oh my only friend, my best beloved, the gates are open in my house - do not pass by like a dream.
23.

Art thou abroad on this stormy night on thy journey of love, my friend? The sky groans like one in despair.

I have no sleep tonight. Ever and again I open my door and look out on the darkness, my friend!

I can see nothing before me. I wonder where lies thy path!

By what dim shore of the ink-black river, by what far edge of the frowning forest, through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading thy course to come to me, my friend?
24.

If the day is done, if birds sing no more, if the wind has flagged tired, then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me, even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.

From the traveller, whose sack of provisions is empty before the voyage is ended, whose garment is torn and dustladen, whose strength is exhausted, remove shame and poverty, and renew his life like a flower under the cover of thy kindly night.
25.

In the night of weariness let me give myself up to sleep without struggle, resting my trust upon thee.

Let me not force my flagging spirit into a poor preparation for thy worship.

It is thou who drawest the veil of night upon the tired eyes of the day to renew its sight in a fresher gladness of awakening.

26.

He came and sat by my side but I woke not. What a cursed sleep it was, O miserable me!

He came when the night was still; he had his harp in his hands, and my dreams became resonant with its melodies.

Alas, why are my nights all thus lost? Ah, why do I ever miss his sight whose breath touches my sleep?
27.

Light, oh where is the light? Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!

There is the lamp but never a flicker of a flame - is such thy fate, my heart? Ah, death were better by far for thee!

Misery knocks at thy door, and her message is that thy lord is wakeful, and he calls thee to the love-tryst through the darkness of night.

The sky is overcast with clouds and the rain is ceaseless. I know not what this is that stirs in me - I know not its meaning.

A moment's flash of lightning drags down a deeper gloom on my sight, and my heart gropes for the path to where the music of the night calls me.

Light, oh where is the light! Kindle it with the burning fire of desire! It thunders and the wind rushes screaming through the void. The night is black as a black stone. Let not the hours pass by in the dark. Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.
28.

Obstinate are the trammels, but my heart aches when I try to break them.

Freedom is all I want, but to hope for it I feel ashamed.

I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee, and that thou art my best friend, but I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel that fills my room.

The shroud that covers me is a shroud of dust and death; I hate it, yet hug it in love.

My debts are large, my failures great, my shame secret and heavy; yet when I come to ask for my good, I quake in fear lest my prayer be granted.
29.

He whom I enclose with my name is weeping in this dungeon. I am ever busy building this wall all around; and as this wall goes up into the sky day by day I lose sight of my true being in its dark shadow.

I take pride in this great wall, and I plaster it with dust and sand lest a least hole should be left in this name; and for all the care I take I lose sight of my true being.
30.

I came out alone on my way to my tryst. But who is this that follows me in the silent dark?

I move aside to avoid his presence but I escape him not.

He makes the dust rise from the earth with his swagger; he adds his loud voice to every word that I utter.

He is my own little self, my lord, he knows no shame; but I am ashamed to come to thy door in his company.
31.

'Prisoner, tell me, who was it that bound you?'

'It was my master,' said the prisoner. 'I thought I could outdo everybody in the world in wealth and power, and I amassed in my own treasure-house the money due to my king. When sleep overcame me I lay upon the bad that was for my lord, and on waking up I found I was a prisoner in my own treasure-house.'

'Prisoner, tell me, who was it that wrought this unbreakable chain?'

'It was I,' said the prisoner, 'who forged this chain very carefully. I thought my invincible power would hold the world captive leaving me in a freedom undisturbed. Thus night and day I worked at the chain with huge fires and cruel hard strokes. When at last the work was done and the links were complete and unbreakable, I found that it held me in its grip.'
32.

By all means they try to hold me secure who love me in this world. But it is otherwise with thy love which is greater than theirs, and thou keepest me free.

Lest I forget them they never venture to leave me alone. But day passes by after day and thou art not seen.

If I call not thee in my prayers, if I keep not thee in my heart, thy love for me still waits for my love.
33.

When it was day they came into my house and said, 'We shall only take the smallest room here.'

They said, 'We shall help you in the worship of your God and humbly accept only our own share in his grace'; and then they took their seat in a corner and they sat quiet and meek.

But in the darkness of night I find they break into my sacred shrine, strong and turbulent, and snatch with unholy greed the offerings from God's altar.
34.

Let only that little be left of me whereby I may name thee my all.

Let only that little be left of my will whereby I may feel thee on every side, and come to thee in everything, and offer to thee my love every moment.

Let only that little be left of me whereby I may never hide thee.

Let only that little of my fetters be left whereby I am bound with thy will, and thy purpose is carried out in my life - and that is the fetter of thy love.
35.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action- Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
36.

This is my prayer to thee, my lord - strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart. Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows. Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service. Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might. Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles. And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.
37.

I thought that my voyage had come to its end at the last limit of my power, - that the path before me was closed, that provisions were exhausted and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity.

But I find that thy will knows no end in me. And when old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders.
38.

That I want thee, only thee - let my heart repeat without end. All desires that distract me, day and night, are false and empty to the core.

As the night keeps hidden in its gloom the petition for light, even thus in the depth of my unconsciousness rings the cry - 'I want thee, only thee'.

As the storm still seeks its end in peace when it strikes against peace with all its might, even thus my rebellion strikes against thy love and still its cry is - 'I want thee, only thee'.
39.

When the heart is hard and parched up, come upon me with a shower of mercy.

When grace is lost from life, come with a burst of song.

When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting me out from beyond, come to me, my lord of silence, with thy peace and rest.

When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner, break open the door, my king, and come with the ceremony of a king.

When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O thou holy one, thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder.
40.

The rain has held back for days and days, my God, in my arid heart. The horizon is fiercely naked - not the thinnest cover of a soft cloud, not the vaguest hint of a distant cool shower.

Send thy angry storm, dark with death, if it is thy wish, and with lashes of lightning startle the sky from end to end.

But call back, my lord, call back this pervading silent heat, still and keen and cruel, burning the heart with dire despair.

Let the cloud of grace bend low from above like the tearful look of the mother on the day of the father's wrath.
41.

Where dost thou stand behind them all, my lover, hiding thyself in the shadows? They push thee and pass thee by on the dusty road, taking thee for naught. I wait here weary hours spreading my offerings for thee, while passers-by come and take my flowers, one by one, and my basket is nearly empty.

The morning time is past, and the noon. In the shade of evening my eyes are drowsy with sleep. Men going home glance at me and smile and fill me with shame. I sit like a beggar maid, drawing my skirt over my face, and when they ask me, what it is I want, I drop my eyes and answer them not.

Oh, how, indeed, could I tell them that for thee I wait, and that thou hast promised to come. How could I utter for shame that I keep for my dowry this poverty. Ah, I hug this pride in the secret of my heart.

I sit on the grass and gaze upon the sky and dream of the sudden splendour of thy coming - all the lights ablaze, golden pennons flying over thy car, and they at the roadside standing agape, when they see thee come down from thy seat to raise me from the dust, and set at thy side this ragged beggar girl a-tremble with shame and pride, like a creeper in a summer breeze.

But time glides on and still no sound of the wheels of thy chariot. Many a procession passes by with noise and shouts and glamour of glory. Is it only thou who wouldst stand in the shadow silent and behind them all? And only I who would wait and weep and wear out my heart in vain longing?
42.

Early in the day it was whispered that we should sail in a boat, only thou and I, and never a soul in the world would know of this our pilgrimage to no country and to no end.

In that shoreless ocean, at thy silently listening smile my songs would swell in melodies, free as waves, free from all bondage of words.

Is the time not come yet? Are there works still to do? Lo, the evening has come down upon the shore and in the fading light the seabirds come flying to their nests.

Who knows when the chains will be off, and the boat, like the last glimmer of sunset, vanish into the night?
43.

The day was when I did not keep myself in readiness for thee; and entering my heart unbidden even as one of the common crowd, unknown to me, my king, thou didst press the signet of eternity upon many a fleeting moment of my life.

And today when by chance I light upon them and see thy signature, I find they have lain scattered in the dust mixed with the memory of joys and sorrows of my trivial days forgotten.

Thou didst not turn in contempt from my childish play among dust, and the steps that I heard in my playroom are the same that are echoing from star to star.
44.

This is my delight, thus to wait and watch at the wayside where shadow chases light and the rain comes in the wake of the summer.

Messengers, with tidings from unknown skies, greet me and speed along the road. My heart is glad within, and the breath of the passing breeze is sweet.

From dawn till dusk I sit here before my door, and I know that of a sudden the happy moment will arrive when I shall see.

In the meanwhile I smile and I sing all alone. In the meanwhile the air is filling with the perfume of promise.
45.

Have you not heard his silent steps? He comes, comes, ever comes.

Every moment and every age, every day and every night he comes, comes, ever comes.

Many a song have I sung in many a mood of mind, but all their notes have always proclaimed, 'He comes, comes, ever comes.'

In the fragrant days of sunny April through the forest path he comes, comes, ever comes.

In the rainy gloom of July nights on the thundering chariot of clouds he comes, comes, ever comes.

In sorrow after sorrow it is his steps that press upon my heart, and it is the golden touch of his feet that makes my joy to shine.

-

46.

I know not from what distant time thou art ever coming nearer to meet me. Thy sun and stars can never keep thee hidden from me for aye.

In many a morning and eve thy footsteps have been heard and thy messenger has come within my heart and called me in secret.

I know not only why today my life is all astir, and a feeling of tremulous joy is passing through my heart.

It is as if the time were come to wind up my work, and I feel in the air a faint smell of thy sweet presence.
47.

The night is nearly spent waiting for him in vain. I fear lest in the morning he suddenly come to my door when I have fallen asleep wearied out. Oh friends, leave the way open to him - forbid him not.

If the sounds of his steps does not wake me, do not try to rouse me, I pray. I wish not to be called from my sleep by the clamorous choir of birds, by the riot of wind at the festival of morning light. Let me sleep undisturbed even if my lord comes of a sudden to my door.

Ah, my sleep, precious sleep, which only waits for his touch to vanish. Ah, my closed eyes that would open their lids only to the light of his smile when he stands before me like a dream emerging from darkness of sleep.

Let him appear before my sight as the first of all lights and all forms. The first thrill of joy to my awakened soul let it come from his glance. And let my return to myself be immediate return to him.
48.

The morning sea of silence broke into ripples of bird songs; and the flowers were all merry by the roadside; and the wealth of gold was scattered through the rift of the clouds while we busily went on our way and paid no heed.

We sang no glad songs nor played; we went not to the village for barter; we spoke not a word nor smiled; we lingered not on the way. We quickened our pave more and more as the time sped by.

The sun rose to the mid sky and doves cooed in the shade. Withered leaves danced and whirled in the hot air of noon. The shepherd boy drowsed and dreamed in the shadow of the banyan tree, and I laid myself down by the water and stretched my tired limbs on the grass.

My companions laughed at me in scorn; they held their heads high and hurried on; they never looked back nor rested; they vanished in the distant blue haze. They crossed many meadows and hills, and passed through strange, far-away countries. All honour to you, heroic host of the interminable path! Mockery and reproach pricked me to rise, but found no response in me. I gave myself up for lost in the depth of a glad humiliation - in the shadow of a dim delight.

The repose of the sun-embroidered green gloom slowly spread over my heart. I forgot for what I had travelled, and I surrendered my mind without struggle to the maze of shadows and songs.

At last, when I woke from my slumber and opened my eyes, I saw thee standing by me, flooding my sleep with thy smile. How I had feared that the path was long and wearisome, and the struggle to reach thee was hard!
49.

You came down from your throne and stood at my cottage door.

I was singing all alone in a corner, and the melody caught your ear. You came down and stood at my cottage door.

Masters are many in your hall, and songs are sung there at all hours. But the simple carol of this novice struck at your love. One plaintive little strain mingled with the great music of the world, and with a flower for a prize you came down and stopped at my cottage door.

50.

I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of all kings!

My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.

The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say 'What hast thou to give to me?'

Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.

But how great my surprise when at the day's end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least little gram of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.
51.

The night darkened. Our day's works had been done. We thought that the last guest had arrived for the night and the doors in the village were all shut. Only some said the king was to come. We laughed and said 'No, it cannot be!'

It seemed there were knocks at the door and we said it was nothing but the wind. We put out the lamps and lay down to sleep. Only some said, 'It is the messenger!' We laughed and said 'No, it must be the wind!'

There came a sound in the dead of the night. We sleepily thought it was the distant thunder. The earth shook, the walls rocked, and it troubled us in our sleep. Only some said it was the sound of wheels. We said in a drowsy murmur, 'No, it must be the rumbling of clouds!'

The night was still dark when the drum sounded. The voice came 'Wake up! delay not!' We pressed our hands on our hearts and shuddered with fear. Some said, 'Lo, there is the king's flag!' We stood up on our feet and cried 'There is no time for delay!'

The king has come - but where are lights, where are wreaths? Where is the throne to seat him? Oh, shame! Oh utter shame! Where is the hall, the decorations? Someone has said, 'Vain is this cry! Greet him with empty hands, lead him into thy rooms all bare!'

Open the doors, let the conch-shells be sounded! in the depth of the night has come the king of our dark, dreary house. The thunder roars in the sky. The darkness shudders with lightning. Bring out thy tattered piece of mat and spread it in the courtyard. With the storm has come of a sudden our king of the fearful night.
52.

I thought I should ask of thee - but I dared not - the rose wreath thou hadst on thy neck. Thus I waited for the morning, when thou didst depart, to find a few fragments on the bed. And like a beggar I searched in the dawn only for a stray petal or two.

Ah me, what is it I find? What token left of thy love? It is no flower, no spices, no vase of perfumed water. It is thy mighty sword, flashing as a flame, heavy as a bolt of thunder. The young light of morning comes through the window and spread itself upon thy bed. The morning bird twitters and asks, 'Woman, what hast thou got?' No, it is no flower, nor spices, nor vase of perfumed water - it is thy dreadful sword.

I sit and muse in wonder, what gift is this of thine. I can find no place to hide it. I am ashamed to wear it, frail as I am, and it hurts me when press it to my bosom. Yet shall I bear in my heart this honour of the burden of pain, this gift of thine.

From now there shall be no fear left for me in this world, and thou shalt be victorious in all my strife. Thou hast left death for my companion and I shall crown him with my life. Thy sword is with me to cut asunder my bonds, and there shall be no fear left for me in the world.

From now I leave off all petty decorations. Lord of my heart, no more shall there be for me waiting and weeping in corners, no more coyness and sweetness of demeanour. Thou hast given me thy sword for adornment. No more doll's decorations for me!
53.

Beautiful is thy wristlet, decked with stars and cunningly wrought in myriad-coloured jewels. But more beautiful to me thy sword with its curve of lightning like the outspread wings of the divine bird of Vishnu, perfectly poised in the angry red light of the sunset.

It quivers like the one last response of life in ecstasy of pain at the final stroke of death; it shines like the pure flame of being burning up earty sense with one fierce flash.

Beautiful is thy wristlet, decked with starry gems; but thy sword, O lord of thunder, is wrought with uttermost beauty, terrible to behold or think of.
54.

I asked nothing from thee; I uttered not my name to thine ear. When thou took'st thy leave I stood silent. I was alone by the well where the shadow of the tree fell aslant, and the women had gone home with their brown earthen pitchers full to the brim. They called me and shouted, 'Come with us, the morning is wearing on to noon.' But I languidly lingered awhile lost in the midst of vague musings.

I heard not thy steps as thou camest. Thine eyes were sad when they fell on me; thy voice was tired as thou spokest low - 'Ah, I am a thirsty traveller.' I started up from my day-dreams and poured water from my jar on thy joined palms. The leaves rustled overhead; the cuckoo sang from the unseen dark, and perfume of babla flowers came from the bend of the road.

I stood speecess with shame when my name thou didst ask. Indeed, what had I done for thee to keep me in remembrance? But the memory that I could give water to thee to allay thy thirst will cling to my heart and enfold it in sweetness. The morning hour is late, the bird sings in weary notes, neem leaves rustle overhead and I sit and think and think.

55.

Languor is upon your heart and the slumber is still on your eyes.

Has not the word come to you that the flower is reigning in splendour among thorns? Wake, oh awaken! let not the time pass in vain!

At the end of the stony path, in the country of virgin solitude, my friend is sitting all alone. Deceive him not. Wake, oh awaken!

What if the sky pants and trembles with the heat of the midday sun - what if the burning sand spreads its mantle of thirst -

Is there no joy in the deep of your heart? At every footfall of yours, will not the harp of the road break out in sweet music of pain?
56.

Thus it is that thy joy in me is so full. Thus it is that thou hast come down to me. O thou lord of all heavens, where would be thy love if I were not?

Thou hast taken me as thy partner of all this wealth. In my heart is the endless play of thy delight. In my life thy will is ever taking shape.

And for this, thou who art the King of kings hast decked thyself in beauty to captivate my heart. And for this thy love loses itself in the love of thy lover, and there art thou seen in the perfect union of two.
57.

Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life; the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love; the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light. Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling, and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling, and gladness without measure. The heaven's river has drowned its banks and the flood of joy is abroad.
58.

Let all the strains of joy mingle in my last song - the joy that makes the earth flow over in the riotous excess of the grass, the joy that sets the twin brothers, life and death, dancing over the wide world, the joy that sweeps in with the tempest, shaking and waking all life with laughter, the joy that sits still with its tears on the open red lotus of pain, and the joy that throws everything it has upon the dust, and knows not a word.
59.

Yes, I know, this is nothing but thy love, O beloved of my heart - this golden light that dances upon the leaves, these idle clouds sailing across the sky, this passing breeze leaving its coolness upon my forehead.

The morning light has flooded my eyes - this is thy message to my heart. Thy face is bent from above, thy eyes look down on my eyes, and my heart has touched thy feet.
60.

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.

They build their houses with sand and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.

They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. they seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.

The sea surges up with laughter and pale gleams the smile of the sea beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby's cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea beach.

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the patess sky, ships get wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.
61.

The sleep that flits on baby's eyes - does anybody know from where it comes? Yes, there is a rumour that it has its dwelling where, in the fairy village among shadows of the forest dimly lit with glow-worms, there hang two timid buds of enchantment. From there it comes to kiss baby's eyes.

The smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps - does anybody know where it was born? Yes, there is a rumour that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud, and there the smile was first born in the dream of a dew-washed morning - the smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps.

The sweet, soft freshness that blooms on baby's limbs - does anybody know where it was hidden so long? Yes, when the mother was a young girl it lay pervading her heart in tender and silent mystery of love - the sweet, soft freshness that has bloomed on baby's limbs.
62.

When I bring to you coloured toys, my child, I understand why there is such a play of colours on clouds, on water, and why flowers are painted in tints - when I give coloured toys to you, my child.

When I sing to make you dance I truly now why there is music in leaves, and why waves send their chorus of voices to the heart of the listening earth - when I sing to make you dance.

When I bring sweet things to your greedy hands I know why there is honey in the cup of the flowers and why fruits are secretly filled with sweet juice - when I bring sweet things to your greedy hands.

When I kiss your face to make you smile, my darling, I surely understand what pleasure streams from the sky in morning light, and what delight that is that is which the summer breeze brings to my body - when I kiss you to make you smile.
63.

Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not. Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own. Thou hast brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger.

I am uneasy at heart when I have to leave my accustomed shelter; I forget that there abides the old in the new, and that there also thou abidest.

Through birth and death, in this world or in others, wherever thou leadest me it is thou, the same, the one companion of my endless life who ever linkest my heart with bonds of joy to the unfamiliar.

When one knows thee, then alien there is none, then no door is shut. Oh, grant me my prayer that I may never lose the bliss of the touch of the one in the play of many.
64.

On the slope of the desolate river among tall grasses I asked her, 'Maiden, where do you go shading your lamp with your mantle? My house is all dark and lonesome - lend me your light!' she raised her dark eyes for a moment and looked at my face through the dusk. 'I have come to the river,' she said, 'to float my lamp on the stream when the daylight wanes in the west.' I stood alone among tall grasses and watched the timid flame of her lamp uselessly drifting in the tide.

In the silence of gathering night I asked her, 'Maiden, your lights are all lit - then where do you go with your lamp? My house is all dark and lonesome - lend me your light.' She raised her dark eyes on my face and stood for a moment doubtful. 'I have come,' she said at last, 'to dedicate my lamp to the sky.' I stood and watched her light uselessly burning in the void.

In the moonless gloom of midnight I ask her, 'Maiden, what is your quest, holding the lamp near your heart? My house is all dark and lonesome- - lend me your light.' She stopped for a minute and thought and gazed at my face in the dark. 'I have brought my light,' she said, 'to join the carnival of lamps.' I stood and watched her little lamp uselessly lost among lights.
65.

What divine drink wouldst thou have, my God, from this overflowing cup of my life?

My poet, is it thy delight to see thy creation through my eyes and to stand at the portals of my ears silently to listen to thine own eternal harmony?

Thy world is weaving words in my mind and thy joy is adding music to them. Thou givest thyself to me in love and then feelest thine own entire sweetness in me.
66.

She who ever had remained in the depth of my being, in the twilight of gleams and of glimpses; she who never opened her veils in the morning light, will be my last gift to thee, my God, folded in my final song.

Words have wooed yet failed to win her; persuasion has stretched to her its eager arms in vain.

I have roamed from country to country keeping her in the core of my heart, and around her have risen and fallen the growth and decay of my life.

Over my thoughts and actions, my slumbers and dreams, she reigned yet dwelled alone and apart.

many a man knocked at my door and asked for her and turned away in despair.

There was none in the world who ever saw her face to face, and she remained in her loneliness waiting for thy recognition.
67.

Thou art the sky and thou art the nest as well.

O thou beautiful, there in the nest is thy love that encloses the soul with colours and sounds and odours.

There comes the morning with the golden basket in her right hand bearing the wreath of beauty, silently to crown the earth.

And there comes the evening over the lonely meadows deserted by herds, through trackless paths, carrying cool draughts of peace in her golden pitcher from the western ocean of rest.

But there, where spreads the infinite sky for the soul to take her flight in, reigns the stainless white radiance. There is no day nor night, nor form nor colour, and never, never a word.
68.

Thy sunbeam comes upon this earth of mine with arms outstretched and stands at my door the livelong day to carry back to thy feet clouds made of my tears and sighs and songs.

With fond delight thou wrappest about thy starry breast that mantle of misty cloud, turning it into numberless shapes and folds and colouring it with hues everchanging.

It is so light and so fleeting, tender and tearful and dark, that is why thou lovest it, O thou spotless and serene. And that is why it may cover thy awful white light with its pathetic shadows.
69.

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.
70.

Is it beyond thee to be glad with the gladness of this rhythm? to be tossed and lost and broken in the whirl of this fearful joy?

All things rush on, they stop not, they look not behind, no power can hold them back, they rush on.

Keeping steps with that restless, rapid music, seasons come dancing and pass away - colours, tunes, and perfumes pour in endless cascades in the abounding joy that scatters and gives up and dies every moment.
71.

That I should make much of myself and turn it on all sides, thus casting coloured shadows on thy radiance - such is thy maya.

Thou settest a barrier in thine own being and then callest thy severed self in myriad notes. This thy self-separation has taken body in me.

The poignant song is echoed through all the sky in many-coloured tears and smiles, alarms and hopes; waves rise up and sink again, dreams break and form. In me is thy own defeat of self.

This screen that thou hast raised is painted with innumerable figures with the brush of the night and the day. Behind it thy seat is woven in wondrous mysteries of curves, casting away all barren lines of straightness.

The great pageant of thee and me has overspread the sky. With the tune of thee and me all the air is vibrant, and all ages pass with the hiding and seeking of thee and me.
72.

He it is, the innermost one, who awakens my being with his deep hidden touches.

He it is who puts his enchantment upon these eyes and joyfully plays on the chords of my heart in varied cadence of pleasure and pain.

He it is who weaves the web of this maya in evanescent hues of gold and silver, blue and green, and lets peep out through the folds his feet, at whose touch I forget myself.

Days come and ages pass, and it is ever he who moves my heart in many a name, in many a guise, in many a rapture of joy and of sorrow.
73.

Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight.

Thou ever pourest for me the fresh draught of thy wine of various colours and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel to the brim.

My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame and place them before the altar of thy temple.

No, I will never shut the doors of my senses. The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy delight.

Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy, and all my desires ripen into fruits of love.
74.

The day is no more, the shadow is upon the earth. It is time that I go to the stream to fill my pitcher.

The evening air is eager with the sad music of the water. Ah, it calls me out into the dusk. In the lonely lane there is no passer-by, the wind is up, the ripples are rampant in the river.

I know not if I shall come back home. I know not whom I shall chance to meet. There at the fording in the little boat the unknown man plays upon his lute.
75.

Thy gifts to us mortals fulfil all our needs and yet run back to thee undiminished.

The river has its everyday work to do and hastens through fields and hamlets; yet its incessant stream winds towards the washing of thy feet.

The flower sweetens the air with its perfume; yet its last service is to offer itself to thee.

Thy worship does not impoverish the world.

From the words of the poet men take what meanings please them; yet their last meaning points to thee.
76.

Day after day, O lord of my life, shall I stand before thee face to face. With folded hands, O lord of all worlds, shall I stand before thee face to face.

Under thy great sky in solitude and silence, with humble heart shall I stand before thee face to face.

In this laborious world of thine, tumultuous with toil and with struggle, among hurrying crowds shall I stand before thee face to face.

And when my work shall be done in this world, O King of kings, alone and speecess shall I stand before thee face to face.
77.

I know thee as my God and stand apart - I do not know thee as my own and come closer. I know thee as my father and bow before thy feet- I do not grasp thy hand as my friend's.

I stand not where thou comest down and ownest thyself as mine, there to clasp thee to my heart and take thee as my comrade.

Thou art the Brother amongst my brothers, but I heed them not, I divide not my earnings with them, thus sharing my all with thee.

In pleasure and in pain I stand not by the side of men, and thus stand by thee. I shrink to give up my life, and thus do not plunge into the great waters of life.
78.

When the creation was new and all the stars shone in their first splendour, the gods held their assembly in the sky and sang 'Oh, the picture of perfection! the joy unalloyed!'

But one cried of a sudden - 'It seems that somewhere there is a break in the chain of light and one of the stars has been lost.'

The golden string of their harp snapped, their song stopped, and they cried in dismay - 'Yes, that lost star was the best, she was the glory of all heavens!'

From that day the search is unceasing for her, and the cry goes on from one to the other that in her the world has lost its one joy!

Only in the deepest silence of night the stars smile and whisper among themselves - 'Vain is this seeking! unbroken perfection is over all!'
79.

If it is not my portion to meet thee in this life then let me ever feel that I have missed thy sight - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.

As my days pass in the crowded market of this world and my hands grow full with the daily profits, let me ever feel that I have gained nothing - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.

When I sit by the roadside, tired and panting, when I spread my bed low in the dust, let me ever feel that the long journey is still before me - let me not forget a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.

When my rooms have been decked out and the flutes sound and the laughter there is loud, let me ever feel that I have not invited thee to my house - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.
80.

I am like a remnant of a cloud of autumn uselessly roaming in the sky, O my sun ever-glorious! Thy touch has not yet melted my vapour, making me one with thy light, and thus I count months and years separated from thee.

If this be thy wish and if this be thy play, then take this fleeting emptiness of mine, paint it with colours, gild it with gold, float it on the wanton wind and spread it in varied wonders.

And again when it shall be thy wish to end this play at night, I shall melt and vanish away in the dark, or it may be in a smile of the white morning, in a coolness of purity transparent.
81.

On many an idle day have I grieved over lost time. But it is never lost, my lord. Thou hast taken every moment of my life in thine own hands.

Hidden in the heart of things thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts, buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness.

I was tired and sleeping on my idle bed and imagined all work had ceased. In the morning I woke up and found my garden full with wonders of flowers.
82.

Time is endless in thy hands, my lord. There is none to count thy minutes.

Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers. Thou knowest how to wait.

Thy centuries follow each other perfecting a small wild flower.

We have no time to lose, and having no time we must scramble for a chances. We are too poor to be late.

And thus it is that time goes by while I give it to every querulous man who claims it, and thine altar is empty of all offerings to the last.

At the end of the day I hasten in fear lest thy gate to be shut; but I find that yet there is time.
83.

Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for thy neck with my tears of sorrow.

The stars have wrought their anklets of light to deck thy feet, but mine will hang upon thy breast.

Wealth and fame come from thee and it is for thee to give or to withhold them. But this my sorrow is absolutely mine own, and when I bring it to thee as my offering thou rewardest me with thy grace.
84.

It is the pang of separation that spreads throughout the world and gives birth to shapes innumerable in the infinite sky.

It is this sorrow of separation that gazes in silence all nights from star to star and becomes lyric among rustling leaves in rainy darkness of July.

It is this overspreading pain that deepens into loves and desires, into sufferings and joy in human homes; and this it is that ever melts and flows in songs through my poet's heart.
85.

When the warriors came out first from their master's hall, where had they hid their power? Where were their armour and their arms?

They looked poor and helpless, and the arrows were showered upon them on the day they came out from their master's hall.

When the warriors marched back again to their master's hall where did they hide their power?

They had dropped the sword and dropped the bow and the arrow; peace was on their foreheads, and they had left the fruits of their life behind them on the day they marched back again to their master's hall.
86.

Death, thy servant, is at my door. He has crossed the unknown sea and brought thy call to my home.

The night is dark and my heart is fearful - yet I will take up the lamp, open my gates and bow to him my welcome. It is thy messenger who stands at my door.

I will worship him placing at his feet the treasure of my heart.

He will go back with his errand done, leaving a dark shadow on my morning; and in my desolate home only my forlorn self will remain as my last offering to thee.

87.

In desperate hope I go and search for her in all the corners of my room; I find her not.

My house is small and what once has gone from it can never be regained.

But infinite is thy mansion, my lord, and seeking her I have to come to thy door.

I stand under the golden canopy of thine evening sky and I lift my eager eyes to thy face.

I have come to the brink of eternity from which nothing can vanish - no hope, no happiness, no vision of a face seen through tears.

Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean, plunge it into the deepest fullness. Let me for once feel that lost sweet touch in the allness of the universe.
88.

Deity of the ruined temple! The broken strings of Vina sing no more your praise. The bells in the evening proclaim not your time of worship. The air is still and silent about you.

In your desolate dwelling comes the vagrant spring breeze. It brings the tidings of flowers - the flowers that for your worship are offered no more.

Your worshipper of old wanders ever longing for favour still refused. In the eventide, when fires and shadows mingle with the gloom of dust, he wearily comes back to the ruined temple with hunger in his heart.

Many a festival day comes to you in silence, deity of the ruined temple. Many a night of worship goes away with lamp unlit.

Many new images are built by masters of cunning art and carried to the holy stream of oblivion when their time is come.

Only the deity of the ruined temple remains unworshipped in deatess neglect.

89.

No more noisy, loud words from me - such is my master's will. Henceforth I deal in whispers. The speech of my heart will be carried on in murmurings of a song.

Men hasten to the King's market. All the buyers and sellers are there. But I have my untimely leave in the middle of the day, in the thick of work.

Let then the flowers come out in my garden, though it is not their time; and let the midday bees strike up their lazy hum.

Full many an hour have I spent in the strife of the good and the evil, but now it is the pleasure of my playmate of the empty days to draw my heart on to him; and I know not why is this sudden call to what useless inconsequence!
90.

On the day when death will knock at thy door what wilt thou offer to him?

Oh, I will set before my guest the full vessel of my life - I will never let him go with empty hands.

All the sweet vintage of all my autumn days and summer nights, all the earnings and gleanings of my busy life will I place before him at the close of my days when death will knock at my door.
91.

O thou the last fulfilment of life, Death, my death, come and whisper to me!

Day after day I have kept watch for thee; for thee have I borne the joys and pangs of life.

All that I am, that I have, that I hope and all my love have ever flowed towards thee in depth of secrecy. One final glance from thine eyes and my life will be ever thine own.

The flowers have been woven and the garland is ready for the bridegroom. After the wedding the bride shall leave her home and meet her lord alone in the solitude of night.
92.

I know that the day will come when my sight of this earth shall be lost, and life will take its leave in silence, drawing the last curtain over my eyes.

Yet stars will watch at night, and morning rise as before, and hours heave like sea waves casting up pleasures and pains.

When I think of this end of my moments, the barrier of the moments breaks and I see by the light of death thy world with its careless treasures. Rare is its lowliest seat, rare is its meanest of lives.

Things that I longed for in vain and things that I got - let them pass. Let me but truly possess the things that I ever spurned and overlooked.
93.

I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers! I bow to you all and take my departure.

Here I give back the keys of my door - and I give up all claims to my house. I only ask for last kind words from you.

We were neighbours for long, but I received more than I could give. Now the day has dawned and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out. A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.
94.

At this time of my parting, wish me good luck, my friends! The sky is flushed with the dawn and my path lies beautiful.

Ask not what I have with me to take there. I start on my journey with empty hands and expectant heart.

I shall put on my wedding garland. Mine is not the red-brown dress of the traveller, and though there are dangers on the way I have no fear in mind.

The evening star will come out when my voyage is done and the plaintive notes of the twilight melodies be struck up from the King's gateway.

95.

I was not aware of the moment when I first crossed the threshold of this life.

What was the power that made me open out into this vast mystery like a bud in the forest at midnight!

When in the morning I looked upon the light I felt in a moment that I was no stranger in this world, that the inscrutable without name and form had taken me in its arms in the form of my own mother.

Even so, in death the same unknown will appear as ever known to me. And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well.

The child cries out when from the right breast the mother takes it away, in the very next moment to find in the left one its consolation.
96.

When I go from hence let this be my parting word, that what I have seen is unsurpassable.

I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus that expands on the ocean of light, and thus am I blessed - let this be my parting word.

In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play and here have I caught sight of him that is formless.

My whole body and my limbs have thrilled with his touch who is beyond touch; and if the end comes here, let it come - let this be my parting word.
97.

When my play was with thee I never questioned who thou wert. I knew nor shyness nor fear, my life was boisterous.

In the early morning thou wouldst call me from my sleep like my own comrade and lead me running from glade to glade.

On those days I never cared to know the meaning of songs thou sangest to me. Only my voice took up the tunes, and my heart danced in their cadence.

Now, when the playtime is over, what is this sudden sight that is come upon me? The world with eyes bent upon thy feet stands in awe with all its silent stars.
98.

I will deck thee with trophies, garlands of my defeat. It is never in my power to escape unconquered.

I surely know my pride will go to the wall, my life will burst its bonds in exceeding pain, and my empty heart will sob out in music like a hollow reed, and the stone will melt in tears.

I surely know the hundred petals of a lotus will not remain closed for ever and the secret recess of its honey will be bared.

From the blue sky an eye shall gaze upon me and summon me in silence. Nothing will be left for me, nothing whatever, and utter death shall I receive at thy feet.
99.

When I give up the helm I know that the time has come for thee to take it. What there is to do will be instantly done. Vain is this struggle.

Then take away your hands and silently put up with your defeat, my heart, and think it your good fortune to sit perfectly still where you are placed.

These my lamps are blown out at every little puff of wind, and trying to light them I forget all else again and again.

But I shall be wise this time and wait in the dark, spreading my mat on the floor; and whenever it is thy pleasure, my lord, come silently and take thy seat here.
100.

I dive down into the depth of the ocean of forms, hoping to gain the perfect pearl of the formless.

No more sailing from harbour to harbour with this my weather-beaten boat. The days are long passed when my sport was to be tossed on waves.

And now I am eager to die into the deatess.

Into the audience hall by the fathomless abyss where swells up the music of toneless strings I shall take this harp of my life.

I shall tune it to the notes of forever, and when it has sobbed out its last utterance, lay down my silent harp at the feet of the silent.
101.

Ever in my life have I sought thee with my songs. It was they who led me from door to door, and with them have I felt about me, searching and touching my world.

It was my songs that taught me all the lessons I ever learnt; they showed me secret paths, they brought before my sight many a star on the horizon of my heart.

They guided me all the day long to the mysteries of the country of pleasure and pain, and, at last, to what palace gate have the brought me in the evening at the end of my journey?
102.

I boasted among men that I had known you. They see your pictures in all works of mine. They come and ask me, 'Who is he?' I know not how to answer them. I say, 'Indeed, I cannot tell.' They blame me and they go away in scorn. And you sit there smiling.

I put my tales of you into lasting songs. The secret gushes out from my heart. They come and ask me, 'Tell me all your meanings.' I know not how to answer them. I say, 'Ah, who knows what they mean!' They smile and go away in utter scorn. And you sit there smiling.
103.

In one salutation to thee, my God, let all my senses spread out and touch this world at thy feet.

Like a rain-cloud of July hung low with its burden of unshed showers let all my mind bend down at thy door in one salutation to thee.

Let all my songs gather together their diverse strains into a single current and flow to a sea of silence in one salutation to thee.

Like a flock of homesick cranes flying night and day back to their mountain nests let all my life take its voyage to its eternal home in one salutation to thee.
In the introduction to Gitanjali, W.B Yeats says of Tagores poetry.

At every moment the heart of this poet flows outward to these without derogation or condescension, for it has known that they will understand; and it has filled itself with the circumstance of their lives.

An innocence, a simplicity that one does not find elsewhere in literature makes the birds and the leaves seem as near to him as they are near to children, and the changes of the seasons great events as before our thoughts had arisen between them and us.
~ Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali
,

IN CHAPTERS [150/337]



  188 Integral Yoga
   19 Christianity
   14 Poetry
   12 Philosophy
   9 Occultism
   6 Fiction
   5 Psychology
   3 Science
   3 Mysticism
   3 Kabbalah
   1 Integral Theory
   1 Hinduism
   1 Education
   1 Alchemy


  130 Sri Aurobindo
   77 The Mother
   58 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   26 Satprem
   7 Plotinus
   6 William Wordsworth
   6 Saint Augustine of Hippo
   6 Carl Jung
   5 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
   5 H P Lovecraft
   3 Rabbi Moses Luzzatto
   3 Paul Richard
   3 James George Frazer
   3 Aleister Crowley
   3 A B Purani
   2 Rabindranath Tagore
   2 Plato


   22 Letters On Yoga IV
   21 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03
   19 The Synthesis Of Yoga
   18 Prayers And Meditations
   15 The Life Divine
   12 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04
   11 Record of Yoga
   8 Letters On Yoga II
   8 Letters On Yoga I
   8 Essays In Philosophy And Yoga
   8 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02
   8 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01
   7 The Mother With Letters On The Mother
   7 Savitri
   7 Questions And Answers 1929-1931
   7 Agenda Vol 02
   6 Wordsworth - Poems
   6 The Secret Of The Veda
   6 Questions And Answers 1950-1951
   6 City of God
   5 On Thoughts And Aphorisms
   5 Lovecraft - Poems
   4 Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness
   4 Questions And Answers 1957-1958
   4 Questions And Answers 1956
   4 Questions And Answers 1953
   4 Plotinus - Complete Works Vol 02
   4 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 05
   4 Agenda Vol 01
   3 The Golden Bough
   3 The Future of Man
   3 Some Answers From The Mother
   3 Mysterium Coniunctionis
   3 Letters On Poetry And Art
   3 Isha Upanishad
   3 General Principles of Kabbalah
   3 Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo
   3 Essays On The Gita
   3 Essays Divine And Human
   3 Agenda Vol 12
   2 Words Of The Mother II
   2 The Practice of Psycho therapy
   2 Tagore - Poems
   2 Questions And Answers 1955
   2 Questions And Answers 1954
   2 On the Way to Supermanhood
   2 Magick Without Tears
   2 Hymns to the Mystic Fire
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07
   2 Agenda Vol 08


00.01 - The Approach to Mysticism, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   A scientist once thought that he had clinched the issue and cut the Gordian knot when he declared triumphantly with reference to spirit sances: "Very significant is the fact that spirits appear only in closed chambers, in half obscurity, to somnolent minds; they are nowhere in the open air, in broad daylight to the wide awake and vigilant intellect!" Well, if the fact is as it is stated, what does it prove? Night alone reveals the stars, during the day they vanish, but that is no proof that stars are not existent. Rather the true scientific spirit should seek to know why (or how) it is so, if it is so, and such a fact would exactly serve as a pointer, a significant starting ground. The attitude of the jesting Pilate is not helpful even to scientific inquiry. This matter of the Spirits we have taken only as an illustration and it must not be understood that this is a domain of high mysticism; rather the contrary. The spiritualists' approach to Mysticism is not the right one and is fraught with not only errors but dangers. For the spiritualists approach their subject with the entire scientific apparatus the only difference being that the scientist does not believe while the spiritualist believes.
   Mystic realities cannot be reached by the scientific consciousness, because they are far more subtle than the subtlest object that science can contemplate. The neutrons and positrons are for science today the finest and profoundest object-forces; they belong, it is said, almost to a borderl and where physics ends. Nor for that reason is a mystic reality something like a mathematical abstraction, -n for example. The mystic reality is subtler than the subtlest of physical things and yet, paradoxical to say, more concrete than the most concrete thing that the senses apprehend.
  --
   There are modes of knowledge that are occultand to that extent mystic and can be mastered by practices in which the heart has no share. But they have not the saving grace that comes by the touch of the Divine. They are not truly mystic the truly mystic belongs to the ultimate realities, the deepest and the highest,they, on the other hand, are transverse and tangential movements belonging to an intermediate region where light and obscurity are mixed up and even for the greater part the light is swallowed up in the obscurity or utilised by it.
   The mystic's knowledge and experience is not only true and real: it is delightful and blissful. It has a supremely healing virtue. It brings a sovereign freedom and ease and peace to the mystic himself, but also to those around him, who come in contact with him. For truth and reality are made up of love and harmony, because truth is, in its essence, unity.

00.05 - A Vedic Conception of the Poet, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   'Kavi' is an invariable epithet of the gods. The Vedas mean by this attribute to bring out a most fundamental character, an inalienable dharma of the heavenly host. All the gods are poets; and a human being can become a poet only in so far as he attains to the nature and status of a god. Who is then a kavi? The Poet is he who by his poetic power raises forms of beauty in heavenkavi kavitv divi rpam sajat.1Thus the essence of poetic power is to fashion divine Beauty, to reveal heavenly forms. What is this Heaven whose forms the Poet discovers and embodies? HeavenDyaushas a very definite connotation in the Veda. It means the luminous or divine Mind 2the mind purified of its obscurity and limitations, due to subjection to the external senses, thus opening to the higher Light, receiving and recording faithfully the deeper and vaster movements and vibrations of the Truth, giving them a form, a perfect body of the right thought and the right word. Indra is the lord of this world and he can be approached only with an enkindled intelligence, ddhay man,3a faultless understanding, sumedh. He is the supreme Artisan of the poetic power,Tash, the maker of perfect forms, surpa ktnum.4 All the gods turn towards Indra and become gods and poets, attain their Great Names of Supreme Beauty.5 Indra is also the master of the senses, indriyas, who are his hosts. It is through this mind and the senses that the poetic creation has to be manifested. The mind spreads out wide the Poet's weaving;6 the poet is the priest who calls down and works out the right thinking in the sacrificial labour of creation.7 But that creation is made in and through the inner mind and the inner senses that are alive to the subtle formation of a vaster knowledge.8 The poet envisages the golden forms fashioned out of the very profundity of the consciousness.9 For the substance, the material on which the Poet works, is Truth. The seat of the Truth the poets guard, they uphold the supreme secret Names.10 The poet has the expressive utterance, the creative word; the poet is a poet by his poetic creation-the shape faultlessly wrought out that unveils and holds the Truth.11The form of beauty is the body of the Truth.
   The poet is a trinity in himself. A triune consciousness forms his personality. First of all, he is the Knower-the Seer of the Truth, kavaya satyadrara. He has the direct vision, the luminous intelligence, the immediate perception.12 A subtle and profound and penetrating consciousness is his,nigam, pracetas; his is the eye of the Sun,srya caku.13 He secures an increased being through his effulgent understanding.14 In the second place, the Poet is not only Seer but Doer; he is knower as well as creator. He has a dynamic knowledge and his vision itself is power, ncak;15 he is the Seer-Will,kavikratu.16 He has the blazing radiance of the Sun and is supremely potent in his self-Iuminousness.17 The Sun is the light and the energy of the Truth. Even like the Sun the Poet gives birth to the Truth, srya satyasava, satyya satyaprasavya. But the Poet as Power is not only the revealer or creator,savit, he is also the builder or fashioner,ta, and he is the organiser,vedh is personality. First of all, he is the Knower-the Seer of the Truth, kavaya satyadrara, of the Truth.18 As Savita he manifests the Truth, as Tashta he gives a perfected body and form to the Truth, and as Vedha he maintains the Truth in its dynamic working. The effective marshalling and organisation of the Truth is what is called Ritam, the Right; it is also called Dharma,19 the Law or the Rhythm, the ordered movement and invincible execution of the Truth. The Poet pursues the Path of the Right;20 it is he who lays out the Path for the march of the Truth, the progress of the Sacrifice.21 He is like a fast steed well-yoked, pressing forward;22 he is the charger that moves straight and unswerving and carries us beyond 23into the world of felicity.

000 - Humans in Universe, #Synergetics - Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking, #R Buckminster Fuller, #Science
  discovery and comprehension of nature is the obscurity of the mathematical
  language of science. Fortunately, however, nature is not using the strictly

0.02 - The Three Steps of Nature, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  If the bodily life is what Nature has firmly evolved for us as her base and first instrument, it is our mental life that she is evolving as her immediate next aim and superior instrument. This in her ordinary exaltations is the lofty preoccupying thought in her; this, except in her periods of exhaustion and recoil into a reposeful and recuperating obscurity, is her constant pursuit wherever she can get free from the trammels of her first vital and physical realisations. For here in man we have a distinction which is of the utmost importance. He has in him not a single mentality, but a double and a triple, the mind material and nervous, the pure intellectual mind which liberates itself from the illusions of the body and the senses, and a divine mind above intellect which in its turn liberates itself from the imperfect modes of the logically discriminative and imaginative reason. Mind in man is first emmeshed in the life of the body, where in the plant it is entirely involved and in animals always imprisoned. It accepts this life as not only the first but the whole condition of its activities and serves its needs as if they were the entire aim of existence. But the bodily life in man is a base, not the aim, his first condition and not his last determinant. In the just idea of the ancients man is essentially the thinker, the Manu, the mental being who leads the life and the body,3 not the animal who is led by them. The true human existence, therefore, only begins when the intellectual mentality emerges out of the material and we begin more and more to live in the mind independent of the nervous and physical obsession and in the measure of that liberty are able to accept rightly and rightly to use the life of the body. For freedom and not a skilful subjection is the true means of mastery. A free, not a compulsory acceptance of the conditions, the enlarged and sublimated conditions of our physical being, is the high human ideal. But beyond this intellectual mentality is the divine.
  The mental life thus evolving in man is not, indeed, a

0.03 - Letters to My little smile, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  Be careful, child, do not open the door to depression, discouragement and revolt - this leads far, far away from consciousness and makes you sink into the depths of obscurity
  where happiness can no longer enter. Your great strength was

0.05 - Letters to a Child, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  No obscurity must be allowed to manifest through you.
  12 April 1934
  --
  the obscurity and illumine it.
  Mother,
  --
  they increase the confusion and obscurity.
  The only remedy lies in opening to the higher forces in

0.06 - Letters to a Young Sadhak, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  Remove from me all obscurity which blinds me, and be
  always with me.

01.01 - The New Humanity, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   This mastery will be effected not merely in will, but in mind and heart also. For the New Man will know not by the intellect which is egocentric and therefore limited, not by ratiocination which is an indirect and doubtful process, but by direct vision, an inner communion, a soul revelation. The new knowledge will be vast and profound and creative, based as it will be upon the reality of things and not upon their shadows. Truth will shine through every experience and every utterance"a truth shall have its seat on our speech and mind and hearing", so have the Vedas said. The mind and intellect will not be active and constructive agents but the luminous channel of a self-luminous knowledge. And the heart too which is now the field of passion and egoism will be cleared of its noise and obscurity; a serener sky will shed its pure warmth and translucent glow. The knot will be rent asunderbhidyate hridaya granthih and the vast and mighty streams of another ocean will flow through. We will love not merely those to whom we are akin but God's creatures, one and all; we will love not with the yearning and hunger of a mortal but with the wide and intense Rasa that lies in the divine identity of souls.
   And the new society will be based not upon competition, nor even upon co-operation. It will not be an open conflict, neither will it be a convenient compromise of rival individual interests. It will be the organic expression of the collective soul of humanity, working and achieving through each and every individual soul its most wide-winging freedom, manifesting the godhead that is, proper to each and every one. It will be an organisation, most delicate and subtle and supple, the members of which will have no need to live upon one another but in and through one another. It will be, if you like, a henotheistic hierarchy in which everyone will be the greatest, since everyone is all and all everyone simultaneously.

01.02 - Natures Own Yoga, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   In the Supermind things exist in their perfect spiritual reality; each is consciously the divine reality in its transcendent essence, its cosmic extension, its, spiritual individuality; the diversity of a manifested existence is there, but the mutually exclusive separativeness has not yet arisen. The ego, the knot of separativity, appears at a later and lower stage of involution; what is here is indivisible nexus of individualising centres of the one eternal truth of being. Where Supermind and Overmind meet, one can see the multiple godheads, each distinct in his own truth and beauty and power and yet all together forming the one supreme consciousness infinitely composite and inalienably integral. But stepping back into Supermind one sees something moreOneness gathering into itself all diversity, not destroying it, but annulling and forbidding the separative consciousness that is the beginning of Ignorance. The first shadow of the Illusory Consciousness, the initial possibility of the movement of Ignorance comes in when the supramental light enters the penumbra of the mental sphere. The movement of Supermind is the movement of light without obscurity, straight, unwavering, unswerving, absolute. The Force here contains and holds in their oneness of Reality the manifold but not separated lines of essential and unalloyed truth: its march is the inevitable progression of each one assured truth entering into and upholding every other and therefore its creation, play or action admits of no trial or stumble or groping or deviation; for each truth rests on all others and on that which harmonises them all and does not act as a Power diverging from and even competing with other Powers of being. In the Overmind commences the play of divergent possibilities the simple, direct, united and absolute certainties of the supramental consciousness retire, as it were, a step behind and begin to work themselves out through the interaction first of separately individualised and then of contrary and contradictory forces. In the Overmind there is a conscious underlying Unity but yet each Power, Truth, Aspect of that Unity is encouraged to work out its possibilities as if it were sufficient to itself and the others are used by it for its own enhancement until in the denser and darker reaches below Overmind this turns out a thing of blind conflict and battle and, as it would appear, of chance survival. Creation or manifestation originally means the concretisation or devolution of the powers of Conscious Being into a play of united diversity; but on the line which ends in Matter it enters into more and more obscure forms and forces and finally the virtual eclipse of the supreme light of the Divine Consciousness. Creation as it descends' towards the Ignorance becomes an involution of the Spirit through Mind and Life into Matter; evolution is a movement backward, a return journey from Matter towards the Spirit: it is the unravelling, the gradual disclosure and deliverance of the Spirit, the ascension and revelation of the involved consciousness through a series of awakeningsMatter awakening into Life, Life awakening into Mind and Mind now seeking to awaken into something beyond the Mind, into a power of conscious Spirit.
   The apparent or actual result of the movement of Nescienceof Involutionhas been an increasing negation of the Spirit, but its hidden purpose is ultimately to embody the Spirit in Matter, to express here below in cosmic Time-Space the splendours of the timeless Reality. The material body came into existence bringing with it inevitably, as it seemed, mortality; it appeared even to be fashioned out of mortality, in order that in this very frame and field of mortality, Immortality, the eternal Spirit Consciousness which is the secret truth and reality in Time itself as well as behind it, might be established and that the Divine might be possessed, or rather, possess itself not in one unvarying mode of the static consciousness, as it does even now behind the cosmic play, but in the play itself and in the multiple mode of the terrestrial existence.
  --
   The first decisive step in Yoga is taken when one becomes conscious of the psychic being, or, looked at from the other side, when the psychic being comes forward and takes possession of the external being, begins to initiate and influence the movements of the mind and life and body and gradually free them from the ordinary round of ignorant nature. The awakening of the psychic being means, as I have said, not only a deepening and heightening of the consciousness and its release from the obscurity and limitation of the inferior Prakriti, confined to the lower threefold status, into what is behind and beyond; it means also a return of the deeper and higher consciousness upon the lower hemisphere and a consequent purification and illumination and regeneration of the latter. Finally, when the psychic being is in full self-possession and power, it can be the vehicle of the direct supramental consciousness which will then be able to act freely and absolutely for the entire transformation of the external nature, its transfiguration into a perfect body of the Truth-consciousness in a word, its divinisation.
   This then is the supreme secret, not the renunciation and annulment, but the transformation of the ordinary human nature : first of all, its psychicisation, that is to say, making it move and live and be in communion and identification with the light of the psychic being, and, secondly, through the soul and the ensouled mind and life and body, to open out into the supramental consciousness and let it come down here below and work and achieve.

01.03 - Mystic Poetry, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   We left out the Metaphysicals, for they can be grouped as a set apart. They are not so much metaphysical as theological, religious. They have a brain-content stirring with theological problems and speculations, replete with scintillating conceits and intricate fancies. Perhaps it is because of this philosophical burden, this intellectual bias that the Metaphysicals went into obscurity for about two centuries and it is precisely because of that that they are slowly coming out to the forefront and assuming a special value with the moderns. For the modern mind is characteristically thoughtful, introspective"introvert"and philosophical; even the exact physical sciences of today are rounded off in the end with metaphysics.
   The growth of a philosophical thought-content in poetry has been inevitable. For man's consciousness in its evolutionary march is driving towards a consummation which includes and presupposes a development along that line. The mot d'ordre in old-world poetry was "fancy", imaginationremember the famous lines of Shakespeare characterising a poet; in modern times it is Thought, even or perhaps particularly abstract metaphysical thought. Perceptions, experiences, realisationsof whatever order or world they may beexpressed in sensitive and aesthetic terms and figures, that is poetry known and appreciated familiarly. But a new turn has been coming on with an increasing insistencea definite time has been given to that, since the Renaissance, it is said: it is the growing importance of Thought or brain-power as a medium or atmosphere in which poetic experiences find a sober and clear articulation, a definite and strong formulation. Rationalisation of all experiences and realisations is the keynote of the modern mentality. Even when it is said that reason and rationality are not ultimate or final or significant realities, that the irrational or the submental plays a greater role in our consciousness and that art and poetry likewise should be the expression of such a mentality, even then, all this is said and done in and through a strong rational and intellectual stress and frame the like of which cannot be found in the old-world frankly non-intellectual creations.

01.04 - The Poetry in the Making, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   I said that the supreme artist is superconscious: his consciousness withdraws from the normal mental consciousness and becomes awake and alive in another order of consciousness. To that superior consciousness the artist's mentalityhis ideas and dispositions, his judgments and valuations and acquisitions, in other words, his normal psychological make-upserves as a channel, an instrument, a medium for transcription. Now, there are two stages, or rather two lines of activity in the processus, for they may be overlapping and practically simultaneous. First, there is the withdrawal and the in-gathering of consciousness and then its reappearance into expression. The consciousness retires into a secret or subtle worldWords-worth's "recollected in tranquillity"and comes back with the riches gathered or transmuted there. But the purity of the gold thus garnered and stalled in the artistry of words and sounds or lines and colours depends altogether upon the purity of the channel through which it has to pass. The mental vehicle receives and records and it can do so to perfection if it is perfectly in tune with what it has to receive and record; otherwise the transcription becomes mixed and blurred, a faint or confused echo, a poor show. The supreme creators are precisely those in whom the receptacle, the instrumental faculties offer the least resistance and record with absolute fidelity the experiences of the over or inner consciousness. In Shakespeare, in Homer, in Valmiki the inflatus of the secret consciousness, the inspiration, as it is usually termed, bears down, sweeps away all obscurity or contrariety in the recording mentality, suffuses it with its own glow and puissance, indeed resolves it into its own substance, as it were. And the difference between the two, the secret norm and the recording form, determines the scale of the artist's creative value. It happens often that the obstruction of a too critically observant and self-conscious brain-mind successfully blocks up the flow of something supremely beautiful that wanted to come down and waited for an opportunity.
   Artists themselves, almost invariably, speak of their inspiration: they look upon themselves more or less as mere instruments of something or some Power that is beyond them, beyond their normal consciousness attached to the brain-mind, that controls them and which they cannot control. This perception has been given shape in myths and legends. Goddess Saraswati or the Muses are, however, for them not a mere metaphor but concrete realities. To what extent a poet may feel himself to be a mere passive, almost inanimate, instrumentnothing more than a mirror or a sensitive photographic plateis illustrated in the famous case of Coleridge. His Kubla Khan, as is well known, he heard in sleep and it was a long poem very distinctly recited to him, but when he woke up and wanted to write it down he could remember only the opening lines, the rest having gone completely out of his memory; in other words, the poem was ready-composed somewhere else, but the transmitting or recording instrument was faulty and failed him. Indeed, it is a common experience to hear in sleep verses or musical tunes and what seem then to be very beautiful things, but which leave no trace on the brain and are not recalled in memory.

0 1958-05-11 - the ship that said OM, #Agenda Vol 01, #unset, #Zen
   Tamas: in Indian psychology, inertia and obscurity.
   The waters off Pondicherry occasionally serve as a port.

0 1958-11-26, #Agenda Vol 01, #unset, #Zen
   That is why the journey is so long, so difficult. For if one would truly consent no longer to be, everything would become so easy, so swift, so luminous, so joyousthough perhaps not in the way men conceive of joy and ease. At heart, there are very few beings who are not enamored of struggle. There are very few who would consent to having no darkness or who can conceive of light as anything other than the opposite of obscurity: Without shadow, there would be no painting. Without struggle, there would be no victory. Without suffering, there would be no joy. That is what they think, and as long as they think like that, they are not yet born to the spirit.
   ***

0 1958 12 - Floor 1, young girl, we shall kill the young princess - black tent, #Agenda Vol 01, #unset, #Zen
   Two or three days after I retired to my room upstairs,1 early in the night I fell into a very heavy sleep and found myself out of the body much more materially than I do usually. This degree of density in which you can see the material surroundings exactly as they are. The part that was out seemed to be under a spell and only half conscious. When I found myself at the first floor where everything was absolutely black, I wanted to go up again, but then I discovered that my hand was held by a young girl whom I could not see in the darkness but whose contact was very familiar. She pulled me by the hand telling me laughingly, No, come, come down with me, we shall kill the young princess. I could not understand what she meant by this young princess and, rather unwillingly, I followed her to see what it was. Arriving in the anteroom which is at the top of the staircase leading to the ground floor, my attention was drawn in the midst of all this total obscurity to the white figure of Kamala2 standing in the middle of the passage between the hall and Sri Aurobindos room. She was as it were in full light while everything else was black. Then I saw on her face such an expression of intense anxiety that to comfort her I said, I am coming back. The sound of my voice shook off from me the semi-trance in which I was before and suddenly I thought, Where am I going? and I pushed away from me the dark figure who was pulling me and in whom, while she was running down the steps, I recognized a young girl who lived with Sri Aurobindo and me for many years and died five years back. This girl during her life was under the most diabolical influence. And then I saw very distinctly (as through the walls of the staircase) down below a small black tent which could scarcely be perceived in the surrounding darkness and standing in the middle of the tent the figure of a man, head and face shaved (like the sannyasin or the Buddhist monks) covered from head to foot with a knitted outfit following tightly the form of his body which was tall and slim. No other cloth or garment could give an indication as to who he could be. He was standing in front of a black pot placed on a dark red fire which was throwing its reddish glow on him. He had his right arm stretched over the pot, holding between two fingers a thin gold chain which looked like one of mine and was unnaturally visible and bright. Shaking gently the chain he was chanting some words which translated in my mind, She must die the young princess, she must pay for all she has done, she must die the young princess.
   Then I suddenly realized that it was I the young Princess and as I burst into laughter, I found myself awake in my bed.

0 1960-09-20, #Agenda Vol 01, #unset, #Zen
   And he isnt aware of this, actually, he isnt aware at all. If he were told, he would absolutely deny it for him, its an opening onto Infinity! But in fact, its always like that, we are always shut in, each of useach one is enclosed inside certain limits which he doesnt feel, for should he feel it, he would get out! Oh, I know this feeling very well, for when I was with Sri Aurobindo I was open in this way (gesture towards the heights), and I always had this feeling of Yes, my child He tolerated me the way I was and waited for it to change. Thats truly how things are, you know. And now I feel my limits, which are the limits of the world as it is at present, but beyond that theres an unmanifested immensity, eternity and infinityto which we are closed. It merely seeps init is not the great opening. What I am trying to bring about is the great opening. Only when it has opened wide will there really be the (how should I put it?) the irreducible thing, and all the worlds resistance, all its inertia, even its obscurity will be unable to swallow it up the determining and transforming thing I dont know when it will come.
   But this experience with X was really interesting. I learned many things that day, many things If you concentrate long enough on any one point, you discover the Infinite (and in his own experience he found the infinite), what could be called your own Infinite. But this is not what WE want, not this; what we want is the direct and integral contact between the manifested universe and the Infinite out of which this universe has emerged. So then it is no longer an individual or personal contact with the Infinite, its a total contact. And Sri Aurobindo insists on this, he says that its absolutely impossible to have the transformation (not the contact, but the supramental transformation) without becoming universalized that is the first condition. You cannot become supramental before being universal. And to be universal means to accept everything, be everything, become everythingreally to accept everything. And as for all those who are shut up in a system, even if it belongs to the highest regions of thought, it is not THAT.

0 1961-02-25, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   This one is the Constant Remembrance of the Divine.1 This is Life Energy2 and Purified Life Energy.3 Then Faithfulness4: the peace of FaithfulnessFaithfulness to the Divine, of course, thats understood! This is Divine Solicitude5; this is the Aspiration for Transformation,6 and the response: see how beautiful it islike velvet! its the Promise of Realization.7 Here is Light Without obscurity,8 and finally Realization9the first flower from the tree at Nanteuil.10
   There you are.

0 1961-04-18, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Yesterday, this ardor of the Flame was thereburning all to offer all. It was absolutely concrete, an intensity of vibrations; I could see the vibrationsall the movements of obscurity and ignorance were cast into that. And I recall a time when I was translating these hymns to Agni with Sri Aurobindo, and Agni was real for me. Well, yesterday it wasnt that, it wasnt the god Agni, it was a STATE OF BEING. It was a state of the Supreme, and as such, it was intimate, clear, intense, vibrant and living.
   (silence)

0 1961-04-25, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Here, this is Grace.5 Here, Balance6 (how lovely!). Here, Light without obscurity.7 And this is purity: an Integral Conversion8 (in the cup of this flower, Mother has placed two other flowers: Service9 and Sri Aurobindos Compassion10), an integral conversion, with Sri Aurobindo, with his compassionhis compassion which gives us the opportunity to serve him.
   Oh, mon petit, we need to say something a bit intelligent, dont you think? Im counting on you.

0 1961-07-18, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Tamas: the principle of inertia and obscurity.
   Pralaya: The destruction of a universe at the end of a cycle. According to Hindu cosmology, the formation of each universe begins with an 'age of truth' (satya-yuga) which slowly degenerates, like the stars, till there is no truth left at all; it becomes a 'dark age'(kali-yuga) like ours, and ends with a cataclysm. Then a new universe is reborn out of this cataclysm and the cycle begins again. There is a correspondence here with a modern cosmological theory according to which a phase of contraction, of galaxies collapsing upon themselves, follows a phase of expansion and precedes a new explosion ('Big Bang') of the 'primal egg'and so on, in a recurring and apparently endless and aimless series of cosmic births which, like our own human births, develop, attain some sort of 'summit,' then collapse, always to begin again. According to Theon, our present universe is the seventh but where is the 'beginning'?

0 1961-08-05, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Tamas: inertia, obscurity.
   February 22, 1914.

0 1961-11-06, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   There is no proof that the Rishis used another method, although, to effect this transformation (if they ever did), they must necessarily have fought their way through the powers of inconscience and obscurity.
   ***

0 1961-11-07, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   It is by rising to the summit of consciousness through a progressive ascent (thats what I meant just now by leaving the body, but without going into details), that one unites with the Supermind. But as soon as the union is achieved, one knows and one sees that the Supermind exists in the heart of the Inconscient as well. When one is in that state, there is neither high nor low. But GENERALLY, (I emphasized this to make it clear that I am not making an absolute assertion) it is by REDESCENDING through the levels of the being with a supramentalized consciousness that one can accomplish the permanent transformation of physical nature. (This can be experienced in all sorts of ways, but what WE want and what Sri Aurobindo spoke of is a change that will never be revoked, that will persist, that will be as durable as the present terrestrial conditions. That is why I put permanent.) There is no proof that the Rishis used another method, although, to effect this transformation (if they ever did) they must necessarily have fought their way through the powers of inconscience and obscurity.
   Yes, the Rishis give an absolutely living description of what you experience and experience continuallyas soon as you descend into the Subconscient: all these battles with the beings who conceal the Light and so on. I experienced these things continually at Tlemcen and again with Sri Aurobindo when we were doing the Workits raging quite merrily even now!

0 1963-06-03, #Agenda Vol 04, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   And there is too an obscure mind of the body, of the very cells, molecules, corpuscles. Haeckel, the German materialist, spoke somewhere of the will in the atom, and recent science, dealing with the incalculable individual variation in the activity of the electrons, comes near to perceiving that this is not a figure but the shadow thrown by a secret reality. This body-mind is a very tangible truth; owing to its obscurity and mechanical clinging to past movements and facile oblivion and rejection of the new, we find in it one of the chief obstacles to permeation by the supermind Force and the transformation of the functioning of the body. On the other hand, once effectively converted, it will be one of the most precious instruments for the stabilisation of the supramental Light and Force in material Nature.
   (XXII.340)

0 1965-05-19, #Agenda Vol 06, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Tamasic: Belonging to inertia or obscurity (tamas).
   ***

0 1967-05-27, #Agenda Vol 08, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Shes left. And this morning, before leaving, she sent me the flower Light without obscurity.1
   ***

0 1967-08-26, #Agenda Vol 08, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Both. There would be a difference. The ignorance and obscurity present in the world are what gives divine Action a distorted appearance; and naturally, that must tend to disappear. But it is also true that there is a way of looking at things which you could say, which gives their appearance another meaning the two are there, like this (intertwined gesture).
   (silence)

0 1969-09-24, #Agenda Vol 10, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   and less receptive; so you cant bring the Ashrams law into that obscurity without causing a disequilibrium; you can only bring part of it, or something that can be adapted to that darkness. Then there is a third, still darker circle, to which its still harder to apply the law of total Harmonyso how to find out what one has to do depending on the particular point? How to know the right law, the total law? He says, I dont want to cause any disequilibrium, I want to obey the Law..
   A. told me you asked to come with him on Saturday?

0 1971-04-17, #Agenda Vol 12, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   His yoga is integral because, instead of confining the quest to the spiritual heights, he has told us repeatedly that our body too must participate and we must bring the Spiritual Truth down into our body and our life. The path of ascent and all the other paths, the other planes of consciousness, are part of an integral development for those who have the time and the special capacities that are required. But it is no longer the time for those excursions, since everything can be found heresince, in fact, Sri Aurobindo and Mother opened the way HERE. Please recall Mothers statement: Sri Aurobindo came to tell us: one need not leave the earth to find the Truth, one need not leave life to find ones soul, one need not abandon the world or have limited beliefs to enter into relation with the Divine. The Divine is everywhere, in everything, and if he is hidden, it is because we do not take the trouble to find him. (Questions and Answers, 8.13.1958) And again this: For many, spiritual life is meditation. As long as that nonsense is not uprooted from human consciousness, the supramental force will always find it very difficult not to be swallowed up in the obscurity of an uncomprehending human mind. (Questions and Answers, 4.17.1957) And if you know how to read Sri Aurobindo and Mother, you will see that they have completely described this road of here and the sunlit pathOn the Way to Supermanhood only puts an intentionally exclusive accent on the here, because there is no time to lose, because everyone does not have the special capacities for making large-scale explorations, and finally because we are at the Hour of Godwe are right there! It has come. Because there really is something different in the world since 1969.
   It is not a change in Sri Aurobindos yoga, it is the flowering of Sri Aurobindos yoga, I dare say. I do not think that the flower of the flame tree contradicts in any way the flame tree.

0 1971-11-27, #Agenda Vol 12, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   The Divine has an equal love for all human beings, but it is the obscurity of consciousness of most men which prevents them from perceiving this divine love.
   I said it, and then the experience came, the experience I just told you:

0 1971-12-18, #Agenda Vol 12, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Perhaps Mother is referring to this text of Sri Aurobindo: "And there is too an obscure mind of the body, of the very cells, molecules, corpuscles. Haeckel, the German materialist, spoke somewhere of the will in the atom, and recent science, dealing with the incalculable individual variation in the activity of the electrons, comes near to perceiving that this is a very tangible truth; owing to its obscurity and mechanical clinging to past movements and facile oblivion and rejection of the new, we find in it one of the chief obstacles to permeation by the supermind Force and the transformation of the functioning of the body. On the other hand, once effectively converted, it will be one of the most precious instruments for the stabilisation of the supramental Light and Force in the material Nature."
   XXII.340

0 1972-01-15, #Agenda Vol 13, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   The obscurity is going out!
   If it were only true.

02.01 - A Vedic Story, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   V) Come, O Agni! Man, the mental being, desires to do the sacrifice, he has made everything ready, and you dwell in obscurity!
   Make easy-going the path that leads to the gods, with a happy mind carry the offering.

02.01 - The World War, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   This is a war to which even spiritual seekers can hardly remain indifferent with impunity. There are spiritual paths, however, that ask to render unto God what is God's and unto Satan what belongs to Satan; in other words, spirituality is kept apart from what is called worldliness, clean and untouched by the dust and murk of IgnoranceMaya. The injunction accordingly is that they who are worldly must remain worldly, they have no business, no right to meddle with spirituality, and they who are spiritual should, on the other hand, remain strictly spiritual, should have nothing to do with worldliness. Because of this complete divorce between the spiritual and the worldly, the world remains worldly even today, continues to be the empire of unspirituality and obscurity, of suffering and grief, it is unable to become a dynamic and living expression and embodiment of the Spirit.
   Not that spiritual men have not served and worked for the welfare of the world; but their work could not be wholly effective, it was mixed, maimed, temporary in effect. This could not be otherwise, for their activity proceeded from inferior and feebler sources of inspiration and consciousness other than those that are purely spiritual. Firstly, little more was possible for them than to exercise an indirect influence; their spiritual realisation could bring into the life of the world only a reminiscence, an echo, just a touch and a ray from another world. Or, secondly, when they did take part in worldly affairs, their activity could not rise much beyond the worldly standard; it remained enclosed within the sphere of the moral and the conventional, took such forms as, for example, charity and service and philanthropy. Nothing higher than ideas and ideals confined to the moral, that is to say, the mental plane, could be brought into play in the world and its practical lifeeven the moral and mental idea itself has often been mistaken for true spirituality. Thus the very ideal of governing or moulding our worldly preoccupations according to a truly spiritual or a supramental or transcendental consciousness was a rare phenomenon and even where the ideal was found, it is doubtful whether the right means and methods were discovered. Yet the sole secret of changing man's destiny and transmuting the world lies in the discovery and application of a supreme spiritual Conscious-Power.

02.02 - Lines of the Descent of Consciousness, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   A further descent into obscurity occurs when consciousness passes from Mind to Life. Darkness is almost visible here: there is a greater withdrawal on the part of each unit from its surrounding reality, a narrower concentration upon one's own separative existenceshades of the prison-house have gathered close around. The light, already dulled and faint in the mind, has become a lurid glare here. Passion has arisen and desire and hunger and battle and combat.
   Here also in the vital three ranges can be distinguished the lower becoming more and more turbid and turbulent and fierce or more and more self-centred and selfish. These levels can best be seen by their impact on our vital being and formations there. The first, the highest one, the meeting or confluence of the Mind and the Vital is the Heart, the centre of emotion, the knot of the external or instrumental vehicle, of the frontal consciousness, behind which is born and hides the true individualised consciousness, the psyche. The mid-region is the Higher Vital consisting of larger (egoistic) dynamisms, such as high ambition, great enterprise, heroic courage, capacity for work, adventure, masterfulness, also such movements as sweeping violences, mighty hungers, and intense arrogances. The physical seat of this movement is, as perhaps the Tantras would say, the domain ranging between the heart and the navel. Lower down ranges the Lower Vital which consists of small desires, petty hankerings, blind cravingsall urges and impulses that are more or less linked up with the body and move to gross physical satisfactions.

02.02 - Rishi Dirghatama, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   I shall speak only of what seems to me probable and believable and likely and it must be this that he passed a long time in darkness, engulfed in obscurity. The legend says that he was in his mother's womb long past the due time and it seems it was of his own will. His mother's name was Mamata and his father was Uchathya. When he came out of the darkness and saw the light, it was a light strangely glimmering with all the vibrations of the long obscurity to which he had been accustomed. It was indeed the Light beyond the confines of all darkness, nescience, and yet carrying a mystic imprint of the mysteries of darkness. So he started his quest with this questioning:
   I am an innocent babe, my ignorant mind knows nothing, who will tell me of the secret seats of the Godheads?2

02.04 - The Kingdoms of the Little Life, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  A quick obscurity, a seeking stir.
  37.2
  --
  He chanced into a grey obscurity
  Teeming with instincts from the mindless gulfs

02.05 - The Godheads of the Little Life, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  To disengage from its surface-clear obscurity
  The Force that moved it and the Idea that made,

02.08 - The World of Falsehood, the Mother of Evil and the Sons of Darkness, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Coiled like a larva in the obscurity
  That keeps it from the spear-points of Heaven's stars.

02.10 - The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Little Mind, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Was born in that luminous obscurity.
  66.17

03.01 - The Malady of the Century, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The ancients, on the contrary, knew not many thingsnot so many as we know; but what they knew they knew well, they were sure of their knowledge. Their creations were not perhaps on the whole as rich and varied and subtleeven in a certain sense as deep as those of modern humanity; but they were finished and completed things, net and clear and full of power. The simple unambiguous virile line that we find in Kalidasa or in the Ajanta, in Homer or in the Par thenon, no longer comes out of the hands of a modern artist. Our delight is in the complexity and turbidity of the composition; we are not satisfied with richness only, we require a certain tortuousness and tangledness in the movement. We love the intermingling of many tints, the play of light dying away into haze and mist and obscurity, of shades that blur the sharpness of the contour. Our preoccupation, in Art, is how to create the impression of the many in its all-round simultaneity of forms and movements. The ancients were more simple and modest; they were satisfied with expressing one thing at a time and that simply done.
   The ancient Rishis were worshippers of the Sun and the Day; they were called Finders of the Day, Discoverers of the Solar World. They knew what they were about and they sought to make their meaning plain to others who cared to go to them. They were clear in their thought, direct in their perception; their feelings, however deep, were never obscure. We meet in their atmosphere and in their creative activity no circum-ambulating chiaroscuro, nothing of the turbid magic that draws us today towards the uncertain, the unexpected and the disconcerting. It is a world of certitude, of solid realityeven if it be on the highest spiritual levels of consciousness presenting a bold and precise and clear outline. When we hear them speak we feel they are uttering self-evident truths; there is no need to pause and question. At least so they were to their contemporaries; but the spokesman of our age must needs be a riddle even to ourselves.

03.03 - The House of the Spirit and the New Creation, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Into earth's passionate obscurity
  To share the labour of an errant Power

03.06 - Here or Otherwhere, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The question naturally turns upon the nature and the kind of workwhe ther there is a choice and selection in it. Gita speaks indeed of all works, ktsna-karmakt, but does that really mean any and every work that an ignorant man, an ordinary man steeped in the three Gunas does or can do? It cannot be so. For, although all activity, all energy has its source and impetus in the higher consciousness of the Divine, it assumes on the lower ranges indirect, diverted or even perverted formulations and expressions, not because of the inherent falsity of these so-called inferior strata, the instruments, but because of their temporary impurity and obscurity. There are evidently activities and impulsions born exclusively of desire, of attachment and egoism. There are habits of the body, urges of the vital, notions of the mind, there are individual and social functions that have no place in the spiritual scheme, they have to be rigorously eschewed and eliminated. Has not the Gita said, this is desire, this is passion born of the quality of Rajas? . . . There is not much meaning in trying to do these works unattached or to turn them towards the Divine. When you are unattached, when you turn to the Divine, these 'Simply drop away of themselves. Yes, there are social duties and activities and relations that inevitably dissolve and disappear as you move into the life divine. Some are perhaps tolerated for a period, some are occasions for the consciousness to battle and surmount, grow strong and pass beyond. You have to learn to go beyond and new-create your environment.
   It was Danton who said, one carries not his country with him at the sole of his shoe. Even so you cannot hope to shift bodily your present social ensemble, place it wholesale in the divine life on the plea that it will be purified and transformed in the process. Purification is there indeed, but one must remember purification literally means burning and not a little of the past and present has to be burnt down to ashes.

03.09 - Sectarianism or Loyalty, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   It is not only bad influences that affect you badly, even good influences do solike medicines that depend upon the particular constitution for their action. In ancient times this was called varasankara or dharmasakara, as for example, when a Kshatriya sought to follow the rule of life of a Brahmin or vice versa. This kind of admixture or msalliance was not favoured, as it was likely to bring about an obscurity in the consciousness and in the end frustration in the spiritual life. That was the original psychological reason why heresy was considered such a dangerous thing in all religions.
   It is not sufficient to say that God is one and therefore wherever He is found and however He is found and whoever finds Him one must implicitly accept and obey and follow. God is one indeed: but it is equally true that he is multiple. God is not a point, but a limitless infinity, so that when one does reach Him one arrives at a particular spot, as it were, enters into only one of his many mansions. Likewise, God's manifestation upon earth has been infinitely diverse, his Vibhutis, Avataras, his prophets and viceregents have been of all sorts and kinds. Precisely because God is at once one and infinitely multiple and because human nature also is likewise, if one in essence, infinitely multiple in expression, each one, while seeing and finding the one God, seeks and finds him in and through a particular formulation. That is the original meaning, the genesis and justification of creeds and dogmas. Only, it must be borne in mind, that one can be faithful even to a particular creed and dogma and yet transcend it, live a particular mode of life and yet possess at the back of it and as its support the very sense and consciousness of infinity itself. Where there is this synthetic and transcendent experience dogmatism has no place, nor conflict between creed and creed.

04.01 - The March of Civilisation, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The Light as it descends from its own home above to the lower levels of our being expresses itself no doubt in one way, but also gets diminished, modified, even deformed in another respect. The work of purification certainly goes on and until that is complete and there comes the fullest expression, it will continue. The action of light on the physical plane, for example, on the body of the Cosmic Being is so blurred and confusing apparently that it looks almost like the action of Darkness. And yet the Dark Night of the soul is not simply the obscurity of Ignorance. It is only the mud that lay diffused or settled in the being which has come up in its gathered mass in the process of churning and cleaning and appears like an obscure screen.
   ***

04.19 - To the Heights-XIX (The March into the Night), #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Ah, Soul, we have indeed progressed into obscurity,
   Into a deeper and deeper gloom have we entered-

04.20 - To the Heights-XX, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   This surface is a veil, a tissue made of obscurity,
   It is a level plain that circumscribes a crawling vision-
  --
   Deep is the obscurity, but there is a light behind,
   Long is the suffering, but there is a supreme joy in which it culminates;

05.01 - At the Origin of Ignorance, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   And yet the result is strange and revolutionary. The game once begun develops its own scheme and pattern and modality. For that crucial step in the movement of freedom, that definite moving away, the assertion of complete independence and isolation immediately brought about a reversal of realities, a complete negation of the original attri butes. Thus Light became obscurity or Inconscience, Life became death, Delight became pain and suffering, Power became incapacity, Knowledge became Ignorance, and Truth became falsehood. In other words, Spirit became forthright Matter.
   What seemed, however, to be nothing more than an accident is pregnant nevertheless with a profound meaning and significance. Indeed God has not created the world in jest. Spirit became Matter, that is to say, an apparent negation of the Spirit, to demonstrate that the negation is a way of affirmation, a more integral way of affirmation of the Spirit. Matter has been brought out to express another poise of the spirit, spirit concretised and embodied.

05.01 - Man and the Gods, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   We have spoken of the stability, the fixity, the rigidity even, of the god type and we contrasted it with the variability, the many-sidedness, the multiple character of the human consciousness. In another view, however, the tables are turned and the opposite appears as the truth. Man, for example., has a physical body and nothing is more definite and fixed and rigid than this material sheath. The gods have no body, but they have a form which is supple and changeful, not hard and crystallised like the human figure. Gods, we said, are cosmic forceslines (or vectors, if we wish to be scientifically precise) of universal forces; this does not mean that they have no shape or form. They too have a form and can be recognised by it even as a human being is recognisable by his body. In spite of variability the form retains its identity. The form changes, for a god has the capacity to act in different contexts at the same time; within his own universe a god is multi-dimensional. The Indian seer and artist often seeks to convey this character of the immortals by giving them a plurality of arms and heads. In modern times the inspiration behind the surrealist movement lies precisely in this attempt to express simultaneity of diverse gestures and activities, a synthetic close-up of succeeding moments and disparate objects or events. But in spite of all changes Proteus remains Proteus and can be recognised as such by the vigilant and careful eye. The human frame, we have said, is more fixed and rigid, being made of the material substance. It has not evidently the variability of the body of a god. And yet there is a deeper mystery: the human body is not or need not be so inflexible as it appears to be or as it usually is. It has considerable plastic capacities. We would say that the human body holds a marvellous juste milieu. By its solid concreteness it acts as a fortress for the inner consciousness to dwell in safe from easy attacks of the hostiles: it acts also as a firm weapon for the same inner consciousness to cut into the material world and indent and impress its pattern of truth upon an otherwise hard and refractory material made of ignorance and obscurity and falsehood. Furthermore, it is supple enough to receive and record into its grain the pattern and substance of the higher reality. The image of the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Christ is symbolic of the alchemy of which the human body is capable when one knows how to treat it in occult knowledge and power. The human body can suffer a sea-change which is not within the reach of the radiant body of an immortal.
   IV

05.02 - Gods Labour, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   It is a long dredging process, tedious and arduous, requiring the utmost patience and perseverance, even to the absolute degree. For Inconscience, in essence, although a contingent reality, local and temporal, and therefore transient, is nonetheless the hardest, most obdurate and resistant reality: it lies thick and heavy upon the human vehicle. It is massed layer upon layer. Its first formation in the higher altitudes of the mind is perhaps like a thin fluid deposit; it begins as anindividualised separative consciousness stressing more and more its exclusiveness. Through the lower ranges of the mind and the vitality it crystallises and condenses gradually; in the worlds of thinking and feeling, enjoying and dynamic activity, it has still a malleable and mixed consistency, but when it reaches and possesses the physical being, it becomes the impervious solid obscurity that Matter presents.
   The root of the Cosmic Evil is in Matter. From there it shoots up and overshadows the upper layers of our being and consciousness. Even if the mind is cleaned, the vital cleared, still if the physical consciousness is not sufficiently probed into, purified and reclaimed, then nothing permanent is done, one would build upon sand. All efforts, spiritual or other, at the regeneration and reformation of mankind and a good many individual endeavours too have come to a sorry end, because the foundation was not laid sufficiently deep and secure. One must dig into Matter as far down as possiblelike Rishi Agastya in the Vedaeven to the other end. For there is another mystery there, perhaps the Mystery of mysteries. The deeper you go down into Matter, as you clear up the jungle and bring in the higher light, you discover and unlock strange and mighty energies of consciousness secreted there, even like the uranium pile in the atomic world. It is revealed to you that Inconscience is not total absence of consciousness, it is simply consciousness asleep, in-gathered, entranced. And this nether consciousness is, after all, one with the supreme Consciousness. It is itself the best weapon to bring about its own transformation. Not only the higher self, but the lower self too must be salvaged and saved by its own selftman tmnam uddharet.

05.06 - The Role of Evil, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Evil is evil, no doubt; it is not divine and it is not an illusion. It is a real blot on the fair face of creation. Its existence cannot be justified in the sense that it is the right thing and has to be welcomed and maintained, since it forms part of the universal symphony. Not even in the sense that it is a test and a trial set by the Divine for the righteous to prove their merit. It has not been put there with a set purpose, but that once given, it has been the occasion of a miracle, it offered the opportunity for the manifestation of something unique, great and grandiose, marvellous and beautiful. The presence of evil moved the DivineGiustizia masse il mio alto Fattorel1and Grace was born. He descended, the Aloof and the Transcendent, in all his love and compassion down into this vale of tears: he descended straight into our midst without halting anywhere in the infinite gradation that marks the distance between the highest and the lowest, he descended from the very highest into the very lowest, demanding nothing, asking for no condition whatsoever from the soul in Ignorance, from the earth under the grip of evil. Thus it was that Life lodged itself in the home of death, Light found its way into the far cavern of obscurity and inconscience, and Delight bloomed in the core of misery. Hope was lit, a flame rising from the nether gloom towards the Dawn. But for the spirit of denial we would not have seen this close and intimate figure of the gracious Mother.
   Justice moved my great maker
   This is the divine miracle that has been vouchsafed to man, the spectacle of the Divine himself becoming an earthly creature, wearing as his own body of flesh and blood this mortal frame of pain and suffering and ignorance, of obscurity and incapacity and falsehood. This is the calvary he has accepted, the sacrifice of his divinity he agreed to in order that the undivine too may gracefully serve the Divine, be taken up and transmuted into the reality from which it fell, of which it is an aberration.
   The glory and beauty of this gesture one would not like not to have witnessed and experienced and shared.

05.11 - The Place of Reason, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   In Sri Aurobindo, Reason and Intuition possess a dual relation of mutual negation and mutual affirmation, of exclusiveness and inclusiveness, as indeed is the relation of Brahman and the World. One negates the other in the sphere of ignorance but in knowledge one affirms the other. That is to say, Reason or mental logic, so long as it is dominated by the senses, by the external impressions from things and by its analytic or exclusively separative method of procedure, is a denial of Intuition and a bar to spiritual experience. But Reason can be purified, relieved of its dross, illumined (sam-buddha)sublimated and uplifted then it comes to its own, becomes what it really is and should bea frame to give body to what is beyond and unembodied, a mirror in conceptual terms to what is supra-conceptual. It loses its hard rigidity and becomes supple, loses its obscurity, density and becomes transparent: it attains a new rhythm and gait and capacity. Many of the Upanishadic mantras, a good part of the Gita, do that. And Sri Aurobindo's own exposition is a miracle in that style. "Reason was a helper, Reason is the bar"and, we can add, Reason will again be an aid. The world, as it is, is anything but Divine; and yet it is nothing but the Divine essentially and fundamentally; it can and will attain the divine figure apparently and externally too. Even so with regard to man's mind and reason and all his other limbs.
   Calcutta Review, January 1949.

05.12 - The Soul and its Journey, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Another tradition gives the Four Supernals as (1) Light or Consciousness, (2) Truth or Knowledge, (3) Life and (4) Love. The tradition also says that the beings representing these four fundamental principles of creation were the first and earliest gods that emanated from the Supreme Divine, and that as they separated themselves from their source and from each other, each followed his own independent line of fulfilment, they lost their divinity and turned into their oppositesLight became obscurity, Consciousness unconsciousness or the inconscient, Truth became falsehood and Knowledge ignorance, Life became death and finally Love and Delight became suffering and hatred. These are the fallen angels, the Asuras that deny their divine essence and now rule the world. They have possessed mankind and are controlling earthly existence. They too have their emanations, forces and beings that are born out of them and serve them in their various degrees of power. Men talk and act inspired and impelled by these beings and when they do so, they lose their humanity and become worse than animals.
   But still the Pure Reality descends undeviated in its own line and man enshrines that within him, the undying fire that will clean him and bear him to the source from where he came. And there are luminous godheads that help him and wish themselves to participate in the terrestrial transformation. There is a pressure from above and there is an urge from below, between these two infinities all is ground and moulded and changed. Even the Lords of Denial will in the end change and learn to affirm, become again what they truly were and are.

05.34 - Light, more Light, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   But where is to be found this inner light? How is it to be recognised? 'Does it truly require no introduction like the outer light? What are its characters and attributes, its signs and signals? The light is in one's own consciousness, one has simply to become aware of it. It is mixed p with darkness, imbedded in obscurity, as diamond or gold lies concealed in its ore. But, as I have said, light carries its own au thenticity. One cannot fail to recognise it, provided and that is the sole arid sufficient provisionone is genuinely willing to recognise. A sincere good-will is all that is required in this apparently arduous labour.
   Here is a significant mystery and of capital importance. We refer to an activity of the consciousness which is not completely .hidden or behind the veil: it appears covered, because we do not care to look at it, because it is likely to be of an uncomfortable kind and that because we feel safe and cosy at the lowest level of our consciousness and to mount and rise or to be vigilant and straight means effort and trouble.

06.02 - The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  He camps in life's half-lit obscurity
  Amid the debris of his thoughts and dreams.
  --
  And plunge into her long obscurity.
  He has broken into the Inconscient's depths

06.07 - Total Transformation Demands Total Rejection, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The remedy is to turn back and hold to the spot of light that is there in the consciousness, the clarity or the aspiration that belongs to the inner and higher being. That has to be used as a torch, as a staff to support and guide you in your periods of darkness and vacillation. That beam of burning light should be thrown, in turn, upon those parts in you that besiege with their obscurity and inconscience, doubt and arrogance, the realisation that comes, the progress on the way. It must be done with firmness, vigilance and perseverance. The mixture has to be sorted out, the dross separated, kept on one side and the pure element on the other: the impurities have to be put under the flame-light to melt, burn away and be eliminated. And this means an ardent sincerity, for that is the tinder which keeps the fire blazing.
   And sincerity demands often a severe dealing with oneself; it involves accepting an inconvenience, inflicting even a painful pressure. One has to be prepared for such a turn, one has to welcome it even at times. The part that is unwilling or refractory has to feel the wrench, if it is to be cleansed and corrected.

06.11 - The Steps of the Soul, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   If you are able to keep such an attitude, if you have this repose and quiet trust in your being and wait for what may be revealed to you, then something like this happens: you are, as it were, in the woods, dark and noiseless; you see in front of you just a sheet of water dark ,and still, hardly visible-a bit of a pond imbedded in the obscurity, and slowly upon it a moonbeam is cast and in the cool dim light emerges the calm liquid surface. That is how your secret truth of being will appear and present itself to you at your first contact with it: there you will see gradually reflected the true qualities of your being, the traits of your divine personality, what you really are and what you are meant to be.
   One who has thus known oneself and possessed oneself conquering all opposition within himself, has by that very fact extended himself and his conquest, making it easier for others to make the same or similar conquest. These are the pioneers or the elite who by their victorious campaign within themselves help others towards their victory.

06.24 - When Imperfection is Greater Than Perfection, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Therefore the Mother says in her Prayers and Meditations that having gone beyond all desires still she had to live in the midst of desires; she had no choice of her own, no preference, no attachment, no need of anything, yet she was put in the conditions of very ordinary life, the normal human life; she had to deal with the common man, handle the small insignificant objects of material existence. In one part of her being she had to identify herself with ignorance and obscurity, so much so that even the distinction between consciousness and unconsciousness the conscient and the inconscientwas for a time obliterated. Naturally, the inmost being in its inner self remained always calm, luminous, inviolable, but it put around itself this body of ordinary nature to meet its ordinary reactions and through them gradually to uplift and train it to manifest and incarnate the inmost divine.
   The gods are perfect; but it is said, they have to become men, come down upon earth and assume human proportions that is, imperfections,if they wish to progress further, attain still higher levels of consciousness. For, the gods are perfect each in his own limited and well-defined and therefore unchangeable type; but man means an aspiring soul, that is to say, infinityhis very imperfection is a sign and symbol of ever greater possibility; the fluidity of his nature means an opportunity.

06.27 - To Learn and to Understand, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Indeed it was not very much necessary for the ancient sages and occultists to try to hide their knowledge in an obscure language, in codes and symbols and ciphers for fear of misuse by the common uninitiate; even if they had expressed their knowledge in ordinary language, ordinary people would not have understood it at all. It would be like my speaking to you in Chinese-, you would not make out anything of it. One comprehends only what one already possesses, that is to say, you must have within you something at least of what you want to know and understand, something corresponding to it, similar in nature and vibration. That is what I mean when I say that you should be open, your mind and consciousness should be turned and attuned to the object it wishes to seize; it must have some light in it in order to receive the light outside and beyond. If it is mere obscurity, the light does not light; even if it manages to come it departs soon or is engulfed in the darkness.
   The human mind can seize things only in three dimensions. A three-dimensional knowledge is its normal possession. But there is a fourth and a fifth dimension (which some intellectuals in Europe have begun to guess at): indeed there are at least as many as twelve dimensions in reference to the present creation. We cannot readily picture a four-dimensional object, a fifth dimension borders on the bizarre and beyond that it is all a blank to the human consciousness. If I spoke of these multi-dimensional experiences, what would you make of them?

06.30 - Sweet Holy Tears, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   It was a banquet I prepared for men. Instead of a life of misery and suffering, of obscurity and ignorance I brought to them a life of light and joy and freedom. I took all the pains the task demanded and when it was ready I offered it to mankind to partake of it. But man in his foolishness and pigheadedness rejected it, did not want it. He preferred to remain in his dark miserable hole. Now, what am I to do with my Feast? I cannot let it go waste, throw it to the winds. So I offered it to my Lord and laid it at his feet. He accepted it. He alone can enjoy it and honour it.
   The Feast is that of Transformation, the Divine Life on earth. Man is not capable of it naturally, cannot attain it by his own effort or personal worth. It is the Divine who is to bring it down Himself. He is to manifest Himself and thus establish His own life here below. Then only will it be possible for the human creature to open to the urgency of the new beauty and offer his surrender.

07.09 - The Symbolic Ignorance, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   How can there be dark spots in the light of the full consciousness (the Mother's consciousness)? The darkness is only relative and depends upon the degree or status of conscious-ness. At the outset, on lower and narrower ranges, the light is dim and hedged in: it is surrounded by a much greater and denser area of darkness. As the consciousness grows, that is to say, manifests itself, as it rises and widens, the obscurity too recedes more and more and slowly fades away. This consciousness is not personal, but something impersonal. In other words, it holds within itself the universe including especially the earth. And earth is a dark object; it is made of ignorance and unconsciousness. The light envelops it and only gradually penetrates and transforms it. The Mother's consciousness is thus the representative consciousness; it represents all that is yet unconscious and striving secretly without knowing towards consciousness; it is also at the same time the light itself that acts and transforms. The divine consciousness embodied acting upon itself thus symbolises and embodies its action upon what would be viewed as others.
   ***

07.12 - This Ugliness in the World, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Everything in the world has at its source a supreme truth, how is it then that the world has become ugly in its expression? Why are things at all ugly? Because there are other things that intervene between the Source and the manifestation. For example, if I asked you: Do you know your true being? what would you say? You do not know; it would be wonderful if you did. It is the same with all beings and things. And yet you are already a sufficiently developed being, a thinking being, and have gone through many stages of refinement; you are not quite the lizard crawling on the wall! Still you cannot tell what is the truth of your being. That is the secret of the deformation in the world. It is because there is all the unconsciousness the Inconscient that has been created by the fact of separation from one's origin. It is this inconscience which prevents the Source from manifesting in its own nature, although it is there always. It is there, therefore that all things exist, the world exists; but in its expression it is deformed, because it has to manifest itself through inconscience, through ignorance and obscurity. But how did it come about? The will to create was originally a will that projected itself towards individual formation; what it arrived at, however, was not the true individual (or individualisation) but a breaking up of the solid unity into infinitesimal fragments. The original indivisible unity became a sum of infinitely divided unities. These unities or units were individualisations of things separate and feeling and acting as such. It is precisely the feeling of separation from others that gives you the impression that you are an individual. Otherwise you would feel that you were only a fluid mass. That is to say, you are no longer conscious simply of your rigid outer form and all that cuts you off from others and makes of you a separate individual, you are conscious of the vital forces that move about everywhere, of the inconscient that is the foundation of all, you have the impression that you are a moving mass with all kinds of contradictory movements in it, which cannot be separated from each other. You would not have the impression that you are an individual being, but that you are something like one note or vibration in a whole complex. The original will was to form individual beings capable of becoming conscious again of their divine origin. This process of individualisation created the necessity that to be an individual one must feel oneself separate: that is why one is cut off from the original consciousness, at least apparently, and is fallen into inconscience. For the Life of life is the Origin alone and if it is separated from that source, consciousness naturally turns into unconsciousness and you lose trace of the truth of your being. That is the process of the creation or formation of the world by which the pure origin does not manifest directly in its essence and purity, but through deformation, that is to say, unconsciousness and ignorance. That is how ugliness came in, death and disease, wickedness and misery and all. It is the movement, I say, brought in by the necessity of individual formation that has produced these things, each and every one of them, that is the one source of the multiple evil in all its modes and vibrations. I do not say this was indispensable that problem I may take up later on. But for the moment I direct you to the source in order to show the remedy. And there is no point in questioning why it is so. As I said, the only way to settle the world problem is to be conscious again, to recover the lost consciousness. Of course, if you say like some religions that good is good and evil is evil and they will always remain so, then there is no longer any problem. An eternal struggle binds the two together and whichever wins for the moment will make the world a little better at one moment and a little worse at another. But the two exist, continue to exist eternally and indissolubly intertwined. But you have seen it is not like that; one can come out of the tangle into the perfect unity of the truth, for it is that which is the only and original source.
   It is this perfect truth, let me repeat, that has scattered itself abroad, into these innumerable little atoms, into these insignificant brain cells which, in spite of all their ignorance, are still moved by a secret stir of consciousness: these little specks of darkness reach out towards light which they can find, for it is within them. They will arrive at what they seek. It may take time more or less, but they will reach in the end. That is then the remedy: it lies in the very heart of evil itself.

07.13 - Divine Justice, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   You must understand once for all that the Divine, when he acts is not moved by human notions. Possibly he does things even without what we call reason. In any case the reasons are not of the human kind; above all, the Divine has not that sense of justice which man has. For example, when you see a man full of greed for money, trying to cheat people just for the sake of getting a few rupees, your idea of justice cries out that such a man should be deprived of all money, he must be reduced to poverty. But actually you find things happening to the contrary. Although that is only the appearance of the situation; behind there is an altogether different picture. The greedy gets the object of his greed, but he has to make an exchange, give up some other possibilities. He gets money but he loses in his consciousness. And then it also happens very often that when he does get what he desired so much, he finds himself not so happy, generally he is even less happy than before: he is tormented by the wealth he has gained. You must not judge things by apparent success or by apparent failure. One can say, on the whole, that the Divine gives what one asks for and that is the best way in which one gets his lesson. If your desire is ignorant, unconscious, obscure, selfish, you increase in yourself ignorance, unconsciousness, obscurity and selfishness, that is to say, you move away more and more from truth and consciousness and happiness, in other words, away from the Divine. For the Divine, however, there is only one thing which is true, the Divine Consciousness, the Divine Union. Each time you put material things in front of you, you become more and more material, you push behind more and more the Divine. To the eye of the ignorant you may have all the appearance of wonderful success, but this success, from the standpoint of truth, is a terrible defeat, you have bartered truth for falsehood.
   To judge by appearances, by apparent success is an act of complete ignorance. Even in the case of a person hardened to the core, who has apparently the utmost success, there is a counterpart: exactly this hardening, this evil that is put up thicker and thicker between the outer consciousness and the inner truth becomes also more and more unbearable. The outer success has to be paid for very dearly. One must be very great, very pure, one must have a very high, very unselfish spiritual consciousness to be able to succeed and yet not be affected. There is nothing so difficult to bear than success. That is the true test in life. When you are not successful, you turn very naturally to yourself, go within you, seek there comfort for the outer failure. And they who have the Flame within them and the Divine helping them truly, that is to say, if they are mature enough to get the help, if they are ready to follow the path, must expect blows coming upon them one after another, because that helps. Indeed that is the most powerful, most direct and most effective help. But if you have 'Success, take care! Ask yourself, at what price you have had it? What is the thing you have paid for the success? Of course, there are people of a different kind. They who have gone beyond, who are conscious of their soul, who are entirely surrender they can succeed and success does not touch them. But one has to rise very high to be able to shoulder the burden of success. It is perhaps the last and final test that the Divine puts to anyone. He says: Now that you are noble and high and unselfish, you belong to Me alone. I shall make you triumph. We shall see if you can bear the blow!

07.14 - The Divine Suffering, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Only you must sincerely wish, you must have the will, to be cured. Everything lies there. Now I always come back to the same theme. You must be sincere. If you want an experience for the sake of the experience and, once you have it, to go back to your ordinary ways, that will not do. You must sincerely will to be curedcured precisely of the ordinary waysyou must have the aspiration, the true aspiration to overcome the obstacle, to mount up and up, above and beyond yourself, so that you may drop all that pulls you back, drags you down, to break all limits, clarify and purify yourself, rid yourself of all that lies in your way. If you have this will, the true intense will not to fall back into past errors, to rise out of obscurity and ignorance towards the light, shorn of all that is human, too humantoo small, too ignorant then that will and that aspiration shall act, act gradually, strongly and effectively bringing you a complete and definitive result. But beware, there must be nothing that clings to the old movements, that does not declare itself but hides its head and when the occasion is opportune puts up its snout.
   So I say you must be truly sincere, very truly. If you discover anything clutching, sticking somewhere in the depths, you must be ready to pluck it out, wholly erase it and see no mark of it is left behind. Yes, sometimes you repeat your mistakes. You repeat till your suffering becomes too acute to bear and compels you to be sincere in spite of yourself as it were. But you need not try that line. It is a method, but a bad method: bad, because it destroys so many things, wastes so much energy, leaves such wrong vibrations. In the intensity of your suffering you do discover the will towards perfect sincerity. But you can be sincere also in less arduous and torturous a way.

07.15 - Divine Disgust, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Naturally, the poison will not have the same effect upon the Divine as upon man. For there is an essential difference between a state of ignorance and a state of knowledge. Something untoward happens to you in your normal state of ignorance, it has a certain character and brings mentally certain results: but the same thing happening to you in a state of knowledge will not carry the same effect. For example, take a very material thing, a blow, a right royal physical blow, well, if you are in a state of inconscience and ignorance, as you usually are, you will have to suffer the full consequence which in its turn depends wholly upon the force of the blow, who or what gave the blow and the helplessness of the object. But the the same blow delivered in the same way by the same agent but upon a being who is conscious and full of knowledge, will produce instantly a reaction reducing the natural consequences to a minimum, even annulling the consequences altogether; for the reaction here is a reaction of knowledge, of light and not that of ignorance, of obscurity. On the moral level the action can be clearly noticed. For example, you can receive an emotional shock, not in egoistic blindness, that is to say, identifying yourself with it or drowned in it; you can hold it away from you, look at it in an objective manner, see what it is, note the nature of its vibration, etc., etc., and then you put the light of your knowledge, the ultra-violet ray, as it were, of truth upon it. As a result, there comes a new disposition, the shock loses its effectivity. Even so, the physical result of a physical blow can be obviated. If that were not possible what would be the utility of the Divine taking upon himself the evil thing. Evil would continue in the same way and the world continue suffering in the same way. Precisely because the obscure vibrations are transformed into vibrations of light in the divine consciousness that the Divine takes upon and within himself all the ills of the world.
   In the case of the physical occurrence, the knowledge I speak of is the inner knowledge of the body cells, their existence, composition, distribution and the knowledge of the consequences of the blow, its natural and expected effects. Also at the same time there should be the knowledge of what the cells should be like, how they ought to react to the blow. And the procedure adopted too is quite different from that of physical Nature which takes hours, days, months to repair a damage; the inner knowledge can do the thing immediately. This inner knowledge can be brought down from its highest source. Instead of the mere psychological knowledge, one can call down the supramental knowledge and focus it upon the part of the body endangered. If the elements of the body, the cells come under the influence of the force of truth and receive it, then there can be an immediate new ordering of the elements according to the higher law. That will bring about not only the cure from the blow received, the mending of the accident, but initiate a big progress in the general consciousness. This power to comm and the consciousness has no limit. If you have committed an error, even a grave error, and if you can yet call upon the consciousness of truth, this power of the supramental and allow it to work, it will give you an occasion to make a formidable progress. In other words, never be discouraged if you have blundered, blundered even more than once. Only you must keep your will firm, and take sometimes the unshakable resolution not to repeat. Rest assured you will in the end triumph over your difficulty.

07.19 - Bad Thought-Formation, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   You go into the very origin of things. Why are there inconscience, ignorance and obscurity? You ask for the why and wherefore of the universe. Why is creation like this and not otherwise? Everyone has explained in his own way. The philosophers have done so, the scientists have done so on different lines. But, none has found the way out. You ask why there is bad will, but the truly interesting and important thing is to find a means whereby there would be no bad will. What is the use of asking why there is pain and suffering and misery, unless it is to find out the remedy? If you look for the why, you may find as many explanations as you like, each may be useful in a way, but none leads you anywhere, except into a blind alley.
   There are many things in the world you do not approve of. Some people who, as they put it, wish to have the knowledge, want to find out why it is so. It is a line of knowledge. But I say it is much more important to find out how to make things otherwise than they are at present. That is exactly the problem Buddha set before himself. He sat under a tree and continued till he found the solution. The solution, however, is not very satisfactory: You say, the world is bad, let us then do away with the world; but to whose profit, as Sri Aurobindo asks very pertinently? The world will no longer be bad, since it will exist no more. The world will have to be rolled back into its origin, the original pure existence or non-existence. Then man will be, in Sri Aurobindo's words, the all-powerful master of something that does not exist, an emperor without an empire, a king without a kingdom. It is a solution. But there are others, which are better. We consider ours to be the best. There are some who say, like the Buddha, evil comes from ignorance, remove the ignorance and evil will disappear. Others say that evil comes from division, from separation; if the universe were not separated from its origin, there would be no evil. Others again declare that it is an evil will that is the cause of all, of separation and ignorance. Then the question is, where does this bad will come from? If it were at the origin of things, it must have been in the origin itself. And then some question the bad will itself,there is no such thing, essentially, fundamentally, it is pure illusion.

07.25 - Prayer and Aspiration, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   There are many kinds of prayers. There is one external and physical, that is to say, simply words learnt by rote and repeated mechanically. It does not mean much. It has usually one result, however, making you quiet. If you go on repeating a few words or sounds for some time, it puts you into a state of calmness in the end. There is another kind which is the natural expression of a wish; you want a particular thing and you express it clearly. You can pray for an, object or for a circumstance, you can pray also for a person or for yourself. There is still another kind in which the prayer borders on aspiration and the two meet: it is the spontaneous formulation of a living experience; it shoots out of the depth of your being, it is the utterance of something lived within: it wants to express gratitude for the experience, asks for its continuation or seeks an explanation. It is then, what I said, almost an aspiration. Aspiration, however, does not necessarily formulate itself in words; if it uses words at all, it makes of them a kind of invocation. Thus, you wish to be in a certain condition. You have, for example, found in you something which is not in harmony with your ideal, a movement of obscurity or ignorance or even bad will. You wish to see it changed. You do not express the thing in so many words, but it rises up in you like a flame, an ardent offering of the experience itself which seeks increase and greatening to be made more clear and precise. It is true all this is capable of being expressed in words, if one tries to recall and note down the experience. But the experience, the aspiration itself is, as I say, like a flame shooting up and contains within it the very thing it asks for. I say asks for, but the movement is not at all that of a desire; it is truly a flame, the flame of purifying will carrying at its centre the very object which it wished to be realised. The discovery of a fault in you impels you to make it an occasion for more progress, for greater self-discipline, for further ascension towards the Divine. It opens out a door upon your future, which you wish to be clearer, truer, intenser; all that gathers in you like a concentrated force and tosses you up in a movement of ascension. It needs no expression in words. It is indeed a flame that leaps up. Such is true aspiration. Prayer usually is something much more external; it is about a very precise object. It is always formulated; for the formulation itself makes what a prayer is. You may have an aspiration and you can transcribe it into a prayer, but the aspiration itself exceeds the prayer. It is something much more intimate, much more self-forgetful, living only in the object it wishes to be or the thing to do, almost identified with it. A prayer can be of a very high quality. Instead of being a request for a fulfilment of your particular desire, it may express your thankfulness and gratefulness for what the Divine has done and is doing for you. You are not busy with your little self and its egoistic interests, you ask for the Divine's ways in you and in the world. This leads you to the border of aspiration. For aspiration too has many degrees and it is expressed on many levels. But the core of aspiration is in the psychic being, it is there at its purest, for there is its origin and source. Prayers come from the other, the lower or secondary levels of being. That is to say, there are physical or material prayers, asking for physical or material things, vital prayers, mental prayers; there are psychic prayers and spiritual prayers too. Each has its own character and its own value. I say again there is a certain type of prayer which is so spontaneous and so disinterested, more like an appeal or a call, generally not for one's own sake, but acting sometimes like an intercession with the Divine on behalf of others. Such a prayer is extremely powerful. I have seen innumerable cases where such a prayer had brought about its immediate fulfilment. It means a great faith, a great fervour, a great sincerity and also a great simplicity of heart, something which does not calculate, which does not bargain or barter, does not give with the idea of receiving. The majority of prayers are precisely made with the idea of giving so that one may receive. But I was speaking of the rarer variety which also does exist, which is a kind of thanksgiving, a canticle or a hymn.
   To sum up then it can be said that a prayer is always formed of words. Words have different values, according to the state of consciousness of the person when he formulates it. But always prayer is a formulated thing. But one can aspire without formulating. And then, prayer needs a person to whom one prays. There is, of course, a certain class of people whose conception of the universe is such that there is no room in it for the Divine (the famous French scientist Laplace, for example). Such people are not likely to favour the existence of any being superior to themselves to whom they can appeal or look up for guidance and help. There is no question of prayer for them. But even they, though they may not pray, may aspire. They may not believe in God, but they may believe, for example, in progress. They may conceive of the world as a progressive movement, that it is becoming better and better, rising higher and higher, growing constantly to a nobler fulfilment. They can ask for, will for, aspire for such progress; they need not look for the Divine. Aspiration requires faith, certainly, but not faith necessarily in a personal God. But prayer is always addressed to a person, a person who hears and grants it. There lies the great difference between the two. Intellectual people admit aspiration, but prayer they consider as something inferior, fit for unintellectual persons. The mystics say, aspiration is quite all right, but if your aspiration is to be heard and fulfilled, you must also pray, know how to pray and to whomwho else but the Divine? The aspiration need not be towards any person; the aspiration is not for a person, but for a state of consciousness, a knowledge, a realisation. Prayer adds to it the relation to a person. Prayer is a personal thing addressed to a person for a thing which he alone can grant.

07.35 - The Force of Body-Consciousness, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   There is a state of consciousness in which you perceive that the effect of things, circumstances, movements, all the activities of life upon yourself depends almost exclusively upon your attitude towards them. You become then conscious, conscious to the extent of realising that things in themselves are neither good nor bad, they are so only in relation to ourselves: their effect, I say, depends entirely upon the way in which we regard these things. If we take, for example, a circumstance as a gift from God, as a divine Grace, as an outcome of the total harmony, it will help us to become more conscious and truer and stronger. The same identical circumstance, if we take it differently, as a blow of Fate, as a bad force wishing us harm, becomes, on the contrary, a damper on our consciousness, it saps our strength, brings obscurity, creates disharmony. And yet in either case it is altogether the same circumstance. I would like you to have the experience and make the experiment. For your ideal is to be master of yourselves. But not that only. You should not only be master of your own selves, but master of the circumstances of your life, the circumstances, at least, that immediately surround you and concern you. You must note further that it is an experience that is not confined to the mind alone: it need not happen in your head only, it may and indeed must continue into the body. Certainly, this is a realisation needing great labour, much concentration and self-mastery: you have to force the consciousness into the body, into dense Matter. It is the attitude of the body that will in the end determine everything: shocks and contacts of the outside world will change its nature according to the way in which they are received by the body. And if you attain perfection in that line, you can become even master of accidents. Such a thing is possible, not only possible, but it is bound to happen, for it is a forward step in man's progress. First of all, you have to realise the power in your mind to the extent that it can act upon circumstances and change their effect upon you. Then the power can descend into Matter, into the substance, the cells of your body and endow the body with this capacity of control over things outside and around you.
   There is nothing impossible in the world. We ourselves put the bar: always we say, this is possible, that is impossible, one can do this, one cannot do that. Sometimes we admit a thing to be possible but ask who would do it, so it is impossible and so on. Like slaves, like prisoners we bind ourselves to our limits. You call it common sense, but it is a stupid, narrow and ignorant sense; it does not truly know the laws of life. The laws of life are not what we think them to be, what our mind or intellect conceives them to be; they are quite otherwise.

07.37 - The Psychic Being, Some Mysteries, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   I did not say it quite like that. The psychic being is not stupid. What happens may be described in this way: for example, suppose the psychic being has had the experience of the life of a writer. The function of the writer is to express himself, his perceptions and observations and judgements in words; he has a certain field, a certain range of associations and circumstances in which to live and move. But there are other fields and ranges beyond and outside of which he has no experience. So he may say to himself: I have lived with my head, I know something of the intellectual reactions to life: now let me live with my heart and experience the reactions of feeling and passion. Indeed, sometimes an overactivity of the intellect impoverishes the capacities of the heart. So the psychic being, in order to have this new kind of experience, abandons his intellectual heights, so to say, and comes down to the vital plane. He is no longer a creative genius, but an ordinary man, but with a heart enriched or enriching itself with its intense or generous movements. (One can remember in this connection the story of Shankaracharya who being a Sannyasi from boyhood has had no experience of love: he entered the body of a king in order to gather this experience.) It is not rare to see psychic beings that have reached the maximum of their growth in certain directions, take up a very modest and ordinary life in some other new direction or for some other purpose. One who was a king, for example, as I already narrated once, who has had the experiences of power and authority and domination, the imperial heights, may choose to descend to ordinary life, to work as an obscure person without being troubled by the pomps of high position; he may choose very bourgeois surroundings, very humdrum conditions among humdrum men and things, to procure, so to say, a kind of incognito so that he may work in peace and quite. Can you say it is a decline and a fall? It is only facing life, meeting its problems from another angle, another point of view. You must know that for consciousness, the true consciousness the consciousness of the psychicglory and obscurity are the same, success and failure are the same. What is important is the growth of consciousness. Certain conditions which to your human eye appear favourable, may in reality be quiet unfavourable for the growth of consciousness. With your ordinary thoughts and your ordinary reactions you judge everything according to success and failure. But that is the very last way of judging, for it is the most artificial, most superficial and absolutely contrary to truth. In human life, as it is organised at present, it is perhaps only once in a million cases, or even less than that, that truth is given the first place; always there is an element of show mixed up. When a man has success, much success, you may be sure there is mixed up with it as much show.
   ***

08.16 - Perfection and Progress, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   For a very long time, perhaps from the very beginning I do not mean from the beginning of human evolution, for there have been earlier periods when, before the true man appeared, intermediate beings at first were tried who were much nearer to the animal; I mean the beginning of a sufficiently developed human form when it became ready to receive something from abovethere have been always and there are still individuals who carry in them this need of the eternal and the absolute. It is only little by little, very gradually, through cycles of enlightenment and obscurity that something like a collective consciousness in humanity awakes to the need of such a higher existence. And today this necessity seems evidently very general, cutting across all turmoils and stupidities of mankind: that shows that the time is near.
   Yes, for a very long time, men were told, "It will be, it will be," were given the promise. It was promised, thousands and thousands of years ago, that a new consciousness, a new world, something of the Divine would manifest itself upon earth; it was always in the future, somewhere in the revolution of the ages. One had not this feeling, this sensation that it is here and now.

08.25 - Meat-Eating, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   But if you wish to move from the ordinary life to a higher life, the problem acquires an interest. And again, for a higher life if you wish to move up still farther and prepare yourself for transformation, then the problem becomes very important. For there are certain foods that help the body to become more refined and others that keep it down to the level of animalhood. But it is only then that the question acquires an importance, not before. Before you come to that point, you have a lot of other things to do. It is certainly better to purify your mind, purify your vital before you think of purifying your body. For even if you take all possible precautions and live physically with every care to eat only the things that help to refine the body, but the mind and the vital remain full of desire and inconscience and obscurity and all the rest, your care will serve no purpose. Your body will become perhaps weak, disharmonious with your inner life and drop off one day.
   You must begin from within. I have said a hundred times, you must begin from above. You must purify first the higher regions and then purify the lower ones. I do not mean by this that you should give yourself up to all the licences that degrade the body. I do not mean that at all. I am not advising you not to control your desires. What I mean is this: do not try to be an angel in the body before you are already something of the kind in your mind and in your vital. For that will bring about a dislocation, a lack of balance. And I have always said that to maintain the balance, all the parts must progress together. In trying to bring light into one part you must not leave another part in darkness. You must not leave any obscure corner anywhere.

08.32 - The Surrender of an Inner Warrior, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   It means the vital when it is converted. The converted vital is for the Divine like a warrior. The vital in man is the region of power and it is that which drives him to fight, to fight and conquer. It is the most difficult element to deal with: for it is this capacity to fight that also produces in the vital the spirit of revolt and independence, the will to follow its own will. But when the vital understands and is converted, if it is truly surrendered to the Divine Will, then its fighting capacity turns against anti-divine forces, the forces of obscurity that prevent the transformation: the powers of the vital are strong enough to conquer the enemies. The anti-divine forces are in the vital world: from there they spread upon the physical. But their own seat is in the vital and it is the converted vital that can effectively deal with them. But the conversion is difficult.
   The higher vital finds it much less difficult to surrender, for it is under the influence of the mind and sometimes even of the psychic; it understands them more easily. It is less difficult than the lower vital, for the latter is essentially the stronghold of desires and blind impulsions. The lower vital, even when it surrenders, when it does what it is asked to do, is not wholly happy, it suffers and only pushes down the impulse to revolt, it obeys unwillingly and does not collaborate. Unless it collaborates in joy and true love, nothing can be done, the transformation cannot come.

09.01 - Prayer and Aspiration, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   You aspire for a certain state of being. You have, for example, discovered within you something which does not agree with your ideal, a movement of obscurity or ignorance, even perhaps a bad will, something which goes against what you want to realise. You do not formulate a vow in words but something rises up in you like a flame, an offering made of a living experience which asks for a greater, larger being, a being more and more clear and precise. The thing can be reproduced in words later on, when one tries to remember and note down the experience.
   Aspiration bursts forth like a mounting flame bearing in itself the thing that one desires to become, to do or to have. I said "desires", but "aspires" is the right word, for it has neither the quality nor the form of a desire. It is truly a great flame of purifying will and it bears in its core what seeks to realise itself.

09.09 - The Origin, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   It is this inconscience that brings it about that you are not aware any longer of the Truth of your being. The secret of all deformation in the world is this inconscience which has been produced by the fact of separation from the Origin. And that explains why there are ugliness, wickedness, illness, suffering and death. It is because of this inconscience that although the Origin is there, it cannot manifest itself. It is there, that is why the world exists, but it is deformed in its expression, because it manifests itself through inconscience, ignorance and obscurity.
   The only way to set everything right is to be conscious again and it is very simple.

10.15 - The Evolution of Language, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   And yet poets, mystic poets have always sought to express themselves, to express something of their experience and illumination through the word, the human tongue. It is extremely interesting to see how a material, constructed or formed to satisfy the requirements of an ordinary physical life is being turned into an instrument for luminous and effective communication and expression of other truths and realities in the hands of these seer-creators (kavi-kratu). They take the materials from ordinary normal life, familiar objects and happenings but use them as images and allegories putting into them a new sense and a new light. Also they give a new, unfamiliar turn to their utterance, a new syntax, sometimes uncommon construction and novel vocabulary to the language itself so that it has even the appearance of something very irregular and twisted and obscure. Indeed obscurity itself in the expression, in the form of the language has often been taken as the very sign of the higher and hidden experience and illumination.
   The Vedic rishis speak of the different levels of speech the human language is only one form of speech, its lowest, in fact the crudest formulation. There are other forms of speech that are subtler and subtler as one rises in the scale of consciousness. The highest formulation of language, the supreme Word vkis 'OM'ndaabda-brahma. That is the supreme speech-vibration, the rhythmic articulation of the Supreme Consciousness Sachchidananda; the expression there is nearest to silence, almost merges into silence.

10.16 - The Relative Best, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Only, in the progressive march, the best can always be bettered and must be bettered. In the earlier stages, when one is in ignorance and darkness lies about, the path is sure to be tortuous with ups and downs, aberrations and retrogressions, but as one advances and the consciousness grows the obscurity dissipates, gradually the path too straightens itself, becomes smooth and kindly. That is how the best at one moment, which may appear to the superficial consciousness, very bad or even the worst, is betteredbetterment means precisely this that one rises into a clearer consciousness, one moves along a straighter path, one takes a shorter and happier course to the Goal. This is true as much of the individual as of the world as a whole, for the world too, like the individual, moves inevitably towards its high destiny the same as or parallel to that of the individual.
   It is the best that happens always for nothing else can happen but it is a relative best, relative to the situation that the consciousness according to its status creates around. As the consciousness advances the nature of the best is also transformed.

10.19 - Short Notes - 2- God Above and God Within, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   God is not only above or beyond the creation. He is also here within the creation. He is not only over our head looking down upon us. He is within our heart inspiring us, enlightening us, loving us. This is the dynamic Divine, the Supreme Consciousness concealed within the apparent inconscience of the material existence. It is that which pushes creation upward in its evolutionary course. It is that which lies behind man's ignorance purifying his obscurity leading him to a more and more luminous revelation.
   In the Vedic image above shines Surya, here below burns Agni. Both are aspects of the same Truth.

1.01 - A NOTE ON PROGRESS, #The Future of Man, #Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, #Christianity
  extend far below him to be lost in the obscurity of the past, he
  again fortifies his spirit with the contemplation and the feeling of a

1.01 - Foreward, #Hymns to the Mystic Fire, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  in part for the obscurity and the rather strange and sometimes
  grotesque jumble which the traditional interpretation offers us.

1.01 - Introduction, #unset, #Anonymous, #Various
  Night, there is none, no night except the veil which we create for ourselves, no other obscurity than the darkness in which our eyes indulge.
  The mind that looks deeply into existence, finds there no shadow but that of appearances, and the most obscure and infinitesimal of these can uncover to its search sovereign realities, once it has accustomed its gaze to the light of the mystery which every appearance conceals. Where the indifferent sees only a valueless object or a fortuitous and unimportant detail, the thinker whom no coverings can deceive, is able to detect one of the signs by which eternal laws yield up their secret. A stone that falls, a ripe fruit that opens, become to his vision initiating symbols, keys to a supreme knowledge. By relativities that all disdain, the Absolute delivers up to him the secrets reserved for the sages.
  --
  All is light, a lustre which blinds instead of enlightening us because it is too puissant for our gaze; for all the veils in which our vision is enveloped, are only veils of dazzlement. There are for our eyes excessive splendours as well as insufficient gleams. The measure of every obscurity is the imperfection of our vision and the night is the symbol of our ignorance.
  But nothing is really hidden; for where shall anything whatsoever dissimulate its presence or its truth in the all that is universally self-evident? The things that are visible to us are those which are in correspondence with the measure of clarity already acquired by our consciousness and our mind.

1.01 - Two Powers Alone, #The Mother With Letters On The Mother, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  13:An inert passivity is constantly confused with the real surrender, but out of an inert passivity nothing true and powerful can come. It is the inert passivity of physical Nature that leaves it at the mercy of every obscure or undivine influence. A glad and strong and helpful submission is demanded to the working of the Divine Force, the obedience of the illumined disciple of the Truth, of the inner Warrior who fights against obscurity and falsehood, of the faithful servant of the Divine.
  14:This is the true attitude and only those who can take and keep it, preserve a faith unshaken by disappointments and difficulties and shall pass through the ordeal to the supreme victory and the great transmutation.

1.02.4.1 - The Worlds - Surya, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Zen
  of perception. There is no night, no obscurity. Neither is there,
  properly speaking, any dominant action of illuminating Surya.
  --
  of its creation. It is liberated from the involution and obscurity
  by delight of being struggling to become conscious of itself in

1.02.4.2 - Action and the Divine Will, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Zen
  tool and instrument. For Matter is the principle of obscurity and
  division, of birth and death, of formation and dissolution. It is

10.24 - Savitri, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Such is the mode of human aspiration. And Ashwapati in his quest begins to explore the world and see what it is, the way it is built up. He observes it rising tier upon tier, level upon level of consciousness. He mounts these stairs, takes cognisance of the modes and functions of each and passes on enriched by the experiences that each contri butes to his developing consciousness. The ascent he finds is from ignorance to knowledge. The human being starts from the darkest bed of ignorance, the solid basis of rock as it were, the body, the material existence. Ignorance here is absolute inconscience. Out of the total absence of consciousness, the being begins to awake and rise to a gradually developingwidening, deepening and heighteningconsciousness. That is how Ashwapati advances, ascends from a purely bodily life and consciousness, to the next rung of the ladder, the first appearance and expression of life-force, the vital consciousness energies and forms of the small lower vital. He moves on, moves upward, there is a growing light in And mixed with the obscurity; ignorance begins to shed its hard and dark coatings one and gives place to directed and motivated energies. He meets beings and creatures appropriate to those levels crawling and stirring and climbing, moved by the laws governing the respective regions. In this way Ashwapati passes on into the higher vital, into the border of the mental.
   Ashwapati now observes with a clear vividness that all these worlds and the beings and forces that inhabit them are stricken as it were with a bar sinister branded upon their bodies. In spite of an inherent urge of ascension the way is not a straight road but devious and crooked breaking into by-lanes and blind alleys. There is a great corruption and perversion of natural movements towards Truth: falsehoods and pretensions, arrogance of blindness reign here in various degrees. Ashwapati sought to know the wherefore of it all. So he goes behind, dives down and comes into a region that seems to be the source and basis of all ignorance and obscurity and falsehood. He comes into the very heart of the Night, the abyss of consciousness. He meets there the Mother of Evil and the sons of darkness. He stands before
   . . the gate of the false Infinite,
  --
   The Divine has lost itself in pulverising itself, scattering itself abroad. Immortality is thus entombed here below in death. The task of the incarnate Supreme Consciousness is to revive the death-bound divinity, to free the human consciousness in its earthly life from the obscurity of the material unconsciousness, re-install it in its original radiant status of the Divine Consciousness.
   Such is Savitri's mission. This mission has two sessions or periods. The first, that of preparation; the second, that of fulfilment. Savitri, the human embodiment was given only twelve months out of her earthly life and in that short space of time she had to do all the preparation. She knew her work from her very birth, she was conscious of her nature and the mission she was entrusted with. Now she is facing the crisis. Death is there standing in front. What is to be done, how is she to proceed? She was told she is to conquer Death, she is to establish immortal life upon mortal earth. The Divine Voice rings out:
  --
   Yes, she is ready to do it, but not for herself, but for her Love, the being who was the life of her life. Savitri is the Divine Consciousness but here in the mortal body' she is clothed in the human consciousness; it is the human consciousness that she is to lead upward and beyond and it is in and through the human consciousness that the Divine Realisation has to be express and established. The human Savitri declares: If Death is conquered, it is for the sake of Satya van living eternally with her. She seems to say: What I wish to see is the living Satyavan and I united with him for ever. I do not need an earthly life without him; with him I prefer to be in another world if necessary away from the obscurity and turmoil of this earth here.
   My strength is taken from me and given to Death,

1.02 - Fire over the Earth, #Hymn of the Universe, #Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, #Christianity
  selves we are but emptiness and obscurity. But you,
  my God, are the inmost depths, the stability of that

1.02 - Isha Analysis, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Zen
  Finally, the result of an ignorant interference with the right manifestation of the One in the multiplicity is declared to be an involution in states of blind obscurity after death. (Verse 3)
  SECOND MOVEMENT

1.02 - Shakti and Personal Effort, #The Mother With Letters On The Mother, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  3.2:rejection of the movements of the lower nature - rejection of the mind's ideas, opinions, preferences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find free room in a silent mind, - rejection of the vital nature's desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, - rejection of the physical nature's stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine;
  3.3:surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the Shakti.

1.02 - The Eternal Law, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  If we leave aside the Scriptures for the human mind is so skillful that it can easily dream up sheep grazing on the Empire State building and if we look at the practical disciplines of India, the contradiction becomes even more striking. Indian psychology is based on the very intelligent observation that all things in the universe, from mineral to man, are made up of three elements or qualities (gunas), which may be called by different names depending on the order of reality one considers: tamas, inertia, obscurity, unconsciousness; rajas,
  movement, struggle, effort, passion, action; sattva, light, harmony,

1.02 - The Human Soul, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
  1.: BEFORE going farther, I wish you to consider the state to which mortal sin16' brings this magnificent and beautiful castle, this pearl of the East, this tree of life, planted beside the living waters of life17 which symbolize God Himself. No night can be so dark, no gloom nor blackness can compare to its obscurity. Suffice it to say that the sun in the centre of the soul, which gave it such splendour and beauty, is totally eclipsed, though the spirit is as fitted to enjoy God's presence as is the crystal to reflect the sun.18
  2.: While the soul is in mortal sin nothing can profit it; none of its good works merit an eternal reward, since they do not proceed from God as their first principle, and by Him alone is our virtue real virtue. The soul separated from Him is no longer pleasing in His eyes, because by committing a mortal sin, instead of seeking to please God, it prefers to gratify the devil, the prince of darkness, and so comes to share his blackness. I knew a person to whom our Lord revealed the result of a mortal sin19' and who said she thought no one who realized its effects could ever commit it, but would suffer unimaginable torments to avoid it. This vision made her very desirous for all to grasp this truth, therefore I beg you, my daughters, to pray fervently to God for sinners, who live in blindness and do deeds of darkness.

1.02 - THE NATURE OF THE GROUND, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
  The simple, absolute and immutable mysteries of divine Truth are hidden in the super-luminous darkness of that silence which revealeth in secret. For this darkness, though of deepest obscurity, is yet radiantly clear; and, though beyond touch and sight, it more than fills our unseeing minds with splendours of transcendent beauty. We long exceedingly to dwell in this translucent darkness and, through not seeing and not knowing, to see Him who is beyond both vision and knowledgeby the very fact of neither seeing Him nor knowing Him. For this is truly to see and to know and, through the abandonment of all things, to praise Him who is beyond and above all things. For this is not unlike the art of those who carve a life-like image from stone; removing from around it all that impedes clear vision of the latent form, revealing its hidden beauty solely by taking away. For it is, as I believe, more fitting to praise Him by taking away than by ascription; for we ascribe attri butes to Him, when we start from universals and come down through the intermediate to the particulars. But here we take away all things from Him going up from particulars to universals, that we may know openly the unknowable, which is hidden in and under all things that may be known. And we behold that darkness beyond being, concealed under all natural light.
  Dionysius the Areopagite

1.03 - Self-Surrender in Works - The Way of The Gita, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The individual soul or the conscious being in a form may identify itself with this experiencing Purusha or with this active Prakriti. If it identifies itself with Prakriti, it is not master, enjoyer and knower, but reflects the modes and workings of Prakriti. It enters by its identification into that subjection and mechanical working which is characteristic of her. And even, by an entire immersion in Prakriti, this soul becomes inconscient or subconscient, asleep in her forms as in the earth and the metal or almost asleep as in plant life. There, in that inconscience, it is subject to the domination of tamas, the principle, the power, the qualitative mode of obscurity and inertia: sattwa and rajas are there, but they are concealed in the thick coating of tamas.
  Emerging into its own proper nature of consciousness but not yet truly conscious, because there is still too great a domination of tamas in the nature, the embodied being becomes more and more subject to rajas, the principle, the power, the qualitative mode of action and passion impelled by desire and instinct. There is then formed and developed the animal nature, narrow in consciousness, rudimentary in intelligence, rajaso-tamasic in vital habit and impulse. Emerging yet farther from the great Inconscience towards a spiritual status the embodied being liberates sattwa, the mode of light, and acquires a relative freedom and mastery and knowledge and with it a qualified and conditioned sense of inner satisfaction and happiness. Man, the mental being in a physical body, should be but is not, except in a few among this multitude of ensouled bodies, of this nature. Ordinarily he has too much in him of the obscure earth-inertia and a troubled ignorant animal life-force to be a soul of light and bliss or even a mind of harmonious will and knowledge. There is here in man an incomplete and still hampered and baffled ascension towards the true character of the Purusha, free, master, knower and enjoyer.

1.04 - The Sacrifice the Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is for this that a surrender and submission to That which is beyond us enabling the full and free working of its Power is indispensable. As that self-giving progresses, the work of the sacrifice becomes easier and more powerful and the prevention of the opposing Forces loses much of its strength, impulsion and substance. Two inner changes help most to convert what now seems difficult or impracticable into a thing possible and even sure. There takes place a coming to the front of some secret inmost soul within which was veiled by the restless activity of the mind, by the turbulence of our vital impulses and by the obscurity of the physical consciousness, the three powers which in their confused combination we now call our self. There will come about as a result a less impeded growth of a Divine Presence at the centre with its liberating Light and effective Force and an irradiation of it into all the conscious and subconscious ranges of our nature. These are the two signs, one marking our completed conversion and consecration to the great Quest, the other the final acceptance by the Divine of our sacrifice.
  ***

1.05 - Adam Kadmon, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
  This apparent obscurity can be clarified considerably. The final He is the Nephesch or subconsciousness. Normally, one's conscious mind, the Vav or Son, is in dire conflict with the subconscious self, and confusion and a disruption of one's total consciousness is the result. One's first object must be to reconcile the conscious ego with the subconscious mind, and set the factor of equilibrium between the two.
  (This idea is splendidly elaborated by Jung in his commen- tary to R. Wilhelm's The Secret of the Golden Flower.) When this usual source of conflict has disappeared (or, as this old symbolism says, when the Vav and He final have married) one is in a position to obtain Understanding, which is

1.05 - Problems of Modern Psycho therapy, #The Practice of Psycho therapy, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
  examination because, owing to the obscurity which still surrounds the
  psyche, they would be of little interest today.

1.05 - The Ascent of the Sacrifice - The Psychic Being, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
     As in the works of knowledge, so in dealing with the workings of the heart, we are obliged to make a preliminary distinction between two categories of movements, those that are either moved by the true soul or aid towards its liberation and rule in the nature and those that are turned to the satisfaction of the unpurified vital nature. But the distinctions ordinarily laid down in this sense are of little use for the deep or spiritual purpose of Yoga. Thus a division can be made between religious emotions and mundane feelings and it can be laid down as a rule of spiritual life that the religious emotions alone should be cultivated and all worldly feelings and passions must be rejected and fall away from our existence. This in practice would mean the religious life of the saint or devotee, alone with the Divine or linked only to others in a common God-love or at the most pouring out the fountains of a sacred, religious or pietistic love on the world outside. But religious emotion itself is too constantly invaded by the turmoil and obscurity of the vital movements and it is often either crude or narrow or fanatical or mixed with movements that are not signs of the spirit's perfection. It is evident besides that even at the best an intense figure of sainthood clamped in rigid hieratic lines is quite other than the wide ideal of an integral Yoga. A larger psychic and emotional relation with God and the world, more deep and plastic in its essence, more wide and embracing in its movements, more capable of taking up in its sweep the whole of life, is imperative.
     A wider formula has been provided by the secular mind of mall of which the basis is the ethical sense; for it distinguishes between the emotions sanctioned by the ethical sense and those that are egoistic and selfishly common and mundane. It is the works of altruism, philanthropy, compassion, benevolence, humanitarianism, service, labour for the well-being of man and all creatures that are to be our Ideal; to shuffle off the coil of egoism and grow into a soul of self-abnegation that lives only or mainly for others or for humanity as a whole is the way of man's inner evolution according to this doctrine. Or if this is too secular and mental to satisfy the whole of our being, since there is a deeper religious and spiritual note there that is left out of account by the humanitarian formula, a religio-ethical foundation can be provided for it -and such was indeed its original basis. To the inner worship of the Divine or the Supreme by the devotion of the heart or to the pursuit of the Ineffable by the seeking of a highest knowledge can be added a worship through altruistic works or a preparation through acts of love, of benevolence, of service to mankind or to those around us. It is indeed by the religio-ethical sense that the law of universal goodwill or universal compassion or of love and service to the neighbour, the Vedantic, the Buddhistic, the Christian ideal, was created; only by a sort of secular refrigeration extinguishing the fervour of the religious element in it could the humanitarian ideal disengage itself and become the highest plane of a secular system of mental and moral ethics. For in the religious system this law of works is a means that ceases when its object is accomplished or a side issue; it is a part of the cult by which one adores and seeks the Divinity or it is a penultimate step of the excision of self in the passage to Nirvana. In the secular ideal it is promoted into an object in itself; it becomes a sign of the moral perfection of the human being, or else it is a condition for a happier state of man upon earth, a better society, a more united life of the race. But none of these things satisfy the demand of the soul that is placed before us by the integral Yoga.
  --
     It is the very nature of the soul or the psychic being to turn towards the Divine Truth as the sunflower to the sun; it accepts and clings to all that is divine or progressing towards divinity and draws back from all that is a perversion or a denial of it, from all that is false and undivine. Yet the soul is at first but a spark and then a little flame of godhead burning in the midst of a great darkness; for the most part it is veiled in its inner sanctum and to reveal itself it has to call on the mind, the life-force and the physical consciousness and persuade them, as best they can, to express it; ordinarily, it succeeds at most in suffusing their outwardness with its inner light and modifying with its purifying fineness their dark obscurities or their coarser mixture. Even when there is a formed psychic being, able to express itself with some directness in life, it is still in all but a few a smaller portion of the being -- "no bigger in the mass of the body than the thumb of a man" was the image used by the ancient seers -- and it is not always able to prevail against the obscurity and ignorant smallness of the physical consciousness, the mistaken surenesses of the mind or the arrogance and vehemence of the vital nature. This soul is obliged to accept the human mental, emotive, sensational life as it is, its relations, its activities, its cherished forms and figures; it has to labour to disengage and increase the divine element in all this relative truth mixed with continual falsifying error, this love turned to the uses of the animal body or the satisfaction of the vital ego, this life of an average manhood shot with rare and pale glimpses of Godhead and the darker luridities of the demon and the brute. Unerring in the essence of its will, it is obliged often under the pressure of its instruments to submit to mistakes of action, wrong placement of feeling, wrong choice of person, errors in the exact form of its will, in the circumstances of its expression of the infallible inner ideal. Yet is there a divination within it which makes it a surer guide than the reason or than even the highest desire, and through apparent errors and stumblings its voice can still lead better than the precise intellect and the considering mental judgment. This voice of the soul is not what we call conscience -- for that is only a mental and often conventional erring substitute; it is a deeper and more seldom heard call; yet to follow it when heard is wisest : even, it is better to wander at the call of one's soul than to go apparently straight with the reason and the outward moral mentor. But It is only when the life turns towards the Divine that the soul can truly come forward and impose its power on the outer members; for, itself a spark of the Divine, to grow in flame towards the Divine is its true life and its very reason of existence.
     At a certain stage in the Yoga when the mind is sufficiently quieted and no longer supports itself at every step on the sufficiency of its mental certitudes, when the vital has been steadied and subdued and is no longer constantly insistent on its own rash will, demand and desire, when the physical has been sufficiently altered not to bury altogether the inner flame under the mass of its outwardness, obscurity or inertia, an inmost being hidden within and felt only in its rare influences is able to come forward and illumine the rest and take up the lead of the sadhana. Its character is a one-pointed orientation towards the Divine or the Highest, one-pointed and yet plastic in action and movement; it does not create a rigidity of direction like the one-pointed intellect or a bigotry of the regnant idea or impulse like the one-pointed vital force; it is at every moment and with a supple sureness that it points the way to the Truth, automatically distinguishes the right step from the false, extricates the divine or Godward movement from the clinging mixture of the undivine. Its action is like a searchlight showing up all that has to be changed in the nature; it has in it a flame of will insistent on perfection, on an alchemic transmutation of all the inner and outer existence. It sees the divine essence everywhere but rejects the mere mask and the disguising figure. It insists on Truth, on will and strength and mastery, on Joy and Love and Beauty, but on a Truth of abiding Knowledge that surpasses the mere practical momentary truth of the Ignorance, on an inward joy and not on mere vital pleasure, -- for it prefers rather a purifying suffering and sorrow to degrading satisfactions, -- on love winged upward and not tied to the stake of egoistic craving or with its feet sunk in the mire, on beauty restored to its priesthood of interpretation of the Eternal, on strength and will and mastery as instruments not of the ego but of the Spirit. Its will is for the divinisation of life, the expression through it of a higher Truth, its dedication to the Divine and the Eternal.
     But the most intimate character of the psychic is its pressure towards the Divine through a sacred love, joy and oneness. It is the divine Love that it seeks most, it is the love of the Divine that is its spur, its goal, its star of Truth shining over the luminous cave of the nascent or the still obscure cradle of the new-born godhead within us. In the first long stage of its growth and immature existence it has leaned on earthly love, affection, tenderness, goodwill, compassion, benevolence, on all beauty and gentleness and fineness and light and strength and courage, on all that can help to refine and purify the grossness and commonness of human nature; but it knows how mixed are these human movements at their best and at their worst how fallen and stamped with the mark of ego and self-deceptive sentimental falsehood and the lower self profiting by the imitation of a soul movement. At once, emerging, it is ready and eager to break all the old ties and imperfect emotional activities and replace them by a greater spiritual Truth of love and oneness. It may still admit the human forms and movements, but on condition that they are turned towards the One alone. It accepts only the ties that are helpful, the heart's reverence for the Guru, the union of the God-seekers, a spiritual compassion for the ignorant human and animal world and its peoples, the joy and happiness and satisfaction of beauty that comes from the perception of the Divine everywhere. It plunges the nature inward towards its meeting with the immanent Divine in the heart's secret centre and, while that call is there, no reproach of egoism, no mere outward summons of altruism or duty or philanthropy or service will deceive or divert it from its sacred longing and its obedience to the attraction of the Divinity within it. It lifts the being towards a transcendent Ecstasy and is ready to shed all the downward pull of the world from its wings in its uprising to reach the One Highest; but it calls down also this transcendent Love and Beatitude to deliver and transform this world of hatred and strife and division and darkness and jarring Ignorance. It opens to a universal Divine Love, a vast compassion, an intense and immense will for the good of all, for the embrace of the World-Mother enveloping or gathering to her her children, the divine Passion that has plunged into the night for the redemption of the world from the universal Ignorance. It is not attracted or misled by mental imitations or any vital misuse of these great deep-seated Truths of existence; it exposes them with its detecting search-ray and calls down the entire truth of divine Love to heal these malformations, to deliver mental, vital, physical love from their insufficiencies or their perversions and reveal to them their abounding share of the intimacy and the oneness and the ascending ecstasy and the descending rapture.

1.05 - The Destiny of the Individual, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  4:So strongly was this truth perceived in the ancient times that the Vedantic Seers, even after they had arrived at the crowning idea, the convincing experience of Sachchidananda as the highest positive expression of the Reality to our consciousness, erected in their speculations or went on in their perceptions to an Asat, a Non-Being beyond, which is not the ultimate existence, the pure consciousness, the infinite bliss of which all our experiences are the expression or the deformation. If at all an existence, a consciousness, a bliss, it is beyond the highest and purest positive form of these things that here we can possess and other therefore than what here we know by these names. Buddhism, somewhat arbitrarily declared by the theologians to be an un-Vedic doctrine because it rejected the authority of the Scriptures, yet goes back to this essentially Vedantic conception. Only, the positive and synthetic teaching of the Upanishads beheld Sat and Asat not as opposites destructive of each other, but as the last antinomy through which we look up to the Unknowable. And in the transactions of our positive consciousness, even Unity has to make its account with Multiplicity; for the Many also are Brahman. It is by Vidya, the Knowledge of the Oneness, that we know God; without it Avidya, the relative and multiple consciousness, is a night of darkness and a disorder of Ignorance. Yet if we exclude the field of that Ignorance, if we get rid of Avidya as if it were a thing non-existent and unreal, then Knowledge itself becomes a sort of obscurity and a source of imperfection. We become as men blinded by a light so that we can no longer see the field which that light illumines.
  5:Such is the teaching, calm, wise and clear, of our most ancient sages. They had the patience and the strength to find and to know; they had also the clarity and humility to admit the limitation of our knowledge. They perceived the borders where it has to pass into something beyond itself. It was a later impatience of heart and mind, vehement attraction to an ultimate bliss or high masterfulness of pure experience and trenchant intelligence which sought the One to deny the Many and because it had received the breath of the heights scorned or recoiled from the secret of the depths. But the steady eye of the ancient wisdom perceived that to know God really, it must know Him everywhere equally and without distinction, considering and valuing but not mastered by the oppositions through which He shines.

1.05 - Vishnu as Brahma creates the world, #Vishnu Purana, #Vyasa, #Hinduism
  Whilst he (Brahmā) formerly, in the beginning of the Kalpas, was. meditating on creation, there appeared a creation beginning with ignorance, and consisting of darkness. From that great being appeared fivefold Ignorance, consisting of obscurity, illusion, extreme illusion, gloom, utter darkness[2]. The creation of the creator thus plunged in abstraction, was the fivefold (immovable) world, without intellect or reflection, void of perception or sensation, incapable of feeling, and destitute of motion[3]. Since immovable things were first created, this is called the first creation. Brahmā, beholding that it was defective, designed another; and whilst he thus meditated, the animal creation was manifested, to the products of which the term Tiryaksrotas is applied, from their nutriment following a winding course[4]. These were called beasts, &c., and their characteristic was the quality of darkness, they being destitute of knowledge, uncontrolled in their conduct, and mistaking error for wisdom; being formed of egotism and self-esteem, labouring under the twenty-eight kinds of imperfection[5], manifesting inward sensations, and associating with each other (according to their kinds).
  Beholding this creation also imperfect, Brahmā again meditated, and a third creation appeared, abounding with the quality of goodness, termed Ūrddhasrotas[6]. The beings thus produced in the Ūrddhasrotas creation were endowed with pleasure and enjoyment, uneñcumbered internally or externally, and luminous within and without. This, termed the creation of immortals, was the third performance of Brahmā, who, although well pleased with it, still found it incompetent to fulfil his end. Continuing therefore his meditations, there sprang, in consequence of his infallible purpose, the creation termed Arvāksrotas, from indiscrete nature. The products of this are termed Arvāksrotasas[7], from the downward current (of their nutriment). They abound with the light of knowledge, but the qualities of darkness and of foulness predominate. Hence they are afflicted by evil, and are repeatedly impelled to action. They have knowledge both externally and internally, and are the instruments (of accomplishing the object of creation, the liberation of soul). These creatures were mankind.

1.06 - Agni and the Truth, #The Secret Of The Veda, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Often the songs of one seer vary in their manner, range from the utmost simplicity to the most curious richness. Or there are risings and fallings in the same hymn; it proceeds from the most ordinary conventions of the general symbol of sacrifice to a movement of packed and complex thought. Some of the Suktas are plain and almost modern in their language; others baffle us at first by their semblance of antique obscurity. But these differences of manner take nothing from the unity of spiritual experience, nor are they complicated by any variation of the fixed terms and the common formulae. In the deep and mystic style of Dirghatamas Auchathya as in the melodious lucidity of
  Medhatithi Kanwa, in the puissant and energetic hymns of Vishwamitra as in Vasishtha's even harmonies we have the same firm foundation of knowledge and the same scrupulous adherence to the sacred conventions of the Initiates.

1.06 - The Ascent of the Sacrifice 2 The Works of Love - The Works of Life, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  A supreme divine Love is a creative Power and, even though it can exist in itself silent and unchangeable, yet rejoices in external form and expression and is not condemned to be a speechless and bodiless godhead. It has even been said that creation itself was an act of love or at least the building up of a field in which Divine Love could devise its symbols and fulfil itself in act of mutuality and self-giving, and, if not the initial nature of creation, this may well be its ultimate object and motive. It does not so appear now because, even if a Divine Love is there in the world upholding all this evolution of creatures, yet the stuff of life and its action is made up of an egoistic formation, a division, a struggle of life and consciousness to exist and survive in an apparently indifferent, inclement or even hostile world of inanimate and inconscient Matter. In the confusion and obscurity of this struggle all are thrown against each other with a will in each to assert its own existence first and foremost and only secondarily to assert itself in others and very partially for others; for even man's altruism remains essentially egoistic and must be so till the soul finds the secret of the divine Oneness.
  It is to discover that at its supreme source, to bring it from within and to radiate it out up to the extreme confines of life that is turned the effort of the Yoga. All action, all creation must be turned into a form, a symbol of the cult, the adoration, the sacrifice; it must carry something that makes it bear in it the stamp of a dedication, a reception and translation of the Divine Consciousness, a service of the Beloved, a self-giving, a surrender. This has to be done wherever possible in the outward body and form of the act; it must be done always in its inward emotion and an intensity that shows it to be an outflow from the soul towards the Eternal.

1.06 - The Four Powers of the Mother, #The Mother With Letters On The Mother, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  4:The Mahashakti, the universal Mother works out whatever is transmitted by her transcendent consciousness from the Supreme and enters into the worlds that she has made; her presence fills and supports them with the divine spirit and the divine all-sustaining force and delight without which they could not exist. That which we call Nature or Prakriti is only her most outward executive aspect; she marshals and arranges the harmony of her forces and processes, impels the operations of Nature and moves among them secret or manifest in all that can be seen or experienced or put into motion of life. Each of the worlds is nothing but one play of the Mahashakti of that system of worlds or universe, who is there as the cosmic Soul and Personality of the transcendent Mother Each is something that she has seen in her vision, gathered into her heart of beauty and power and created in her Ananda. But there are many planes of her creation, many steps of the Divine Shakti. At the summit of this manifestation of which we are a part there are worlds of infinite existence, consciousness, force and bliss over which the Mother stands as the unveiled eternal Power. All beings there live and move in an ineffable completeness and unalterable oneness, because she carries them safe in her arms for ever. Nearer to us are the worlds of a perfect supramental creation in which the Mother is the supramental Mahashakti, a Power of divine omniscient Will and omnipotent Knowledge always apparent in its unfailing works and spontaneously perfect in every process. There all movements are the steps of the Truth; there all beings are souls and powers and bodies of the divine Light; there all experiences are seas and floods and waves of an intense and absolute Ananda. But here where we dwell are the worlds of the Ignorance, worlds of mind and life and body separated in consciousness from their source, of which this earth is a significant centre and its evolution a crucial process. This too with all its obscurity and struggle and imperfection is upheld by the Universal Mother this too is impelled and guided to its secret aim by the Mahashakti.
  5:The Mother as the Mahashakti of this triple world of the Ignorance stands in an intermediate plane between the supramental Light, the Truth life, the Truth creation which has to be brought down here and this mounting and descending hierarchy of planes of consciousness that like a double ladder lapse into the nescience of Matter and climb back again through the flowering of life and soul and mind into the infinity of the Spirit. Determining all that shall be in this universe and in the terrestrial evolution by what she sees and feels and pours from her, she stands there above the Gods and all her Powers and Personalities are put out in front of her for the action and she sends down emanations of them into these lower worlds to intervene, to govern, to battle and conquer, to lead and turn their cycles, to direct the total and the individual lines of their forces. These Emanations are the many divine forms and personalities in which men have worshipped her under different names throughout the ages. But also she prepares and shapes through these Powers and their emanations the minds and bodies of her Vibhutis, even as she prepares and shapes minds and bodies for the Vibhutis of the Ishwara, that she may manifest in the physical world and in the disguise of the human consciousness some ray of her power and quality and presence. All the scenes of the earth-play have been like a drama arranged and planned and staged by her with the cosmic Gods for her assistants and herself as a veiled actor.
  6:The Mother not only governs all from above but she descends into this lesser triple universe. Impersonally, all things here, even the movements of the Ignorance, are herself in veiled power and her creations in diminished substance, her Naturebody and Nature-force, and they exist because, moved by the mysterious fiat of the Supreme to work out something that was there in the possibilities of the Infinite, she has consented to the great sacrifice and has put on like a mask the soul and forms of the Ignorance. But personally too she has stooped to descend here into the Darkness that she may lead it to the Light, into the Falsehood and Error that she may convert it to the Truth, into this Death that she may turn it to godlike Life, into this world-pain and its obstinate sorrow and suffering that she may end it in the transforming ecstasy of her sublime Ananda. In her deep and great love for her children she has consented to put on herself the cloak of this obscurity, condescended to bear the attacks and torturing influences of the powers of the Darkness and the Falsehood, borne to pass through the portals of the birth that is a death, taken upon herself the pangs and sorrows and sufferings of the creation, since it seemed that thus alone could it be lifted to the Light and Joy and Truth and eternal Life. This is the great sacrifice called sometimes the sacrifice of the Purusha, but much more deeply the holocaust of Prakriti, the sacrifice of the Divine Mother
  7:Four great Aspects of the Mother four of her leading Powers and Personalities have stood in front in her guidance of this universe and in her dealings with the terrestrial play. One is her personality of calm wideness and comprehending wisdom and tranquil benignity and inexhaustible compassion and sovereign and surpassing majesty and all-ruling greatness. Another embodies her power of splendid strength and irresistible passion, her warrior mood, her overwhelming will, her impetuous swiftness and world-shaking force. A third is vivid and sweet and wonderful with her deep secret of beauty and harmony and fine rhythm, her intricate and subtle opulence, her compelling attraction and captivating grace. The fourth is equipped with her close and profound capacity of intimate knowledge and careful flawless work and quiet and exact perfection in all things. Wisdom, Strength, Harmony, Perfection are their several attributes and it is these powers that they bring with them into the world, manifest in a human disguise in their Vibhutis and shall found in the divine degree of their ascension in those who can open their earthly nature to the direct and living influence of the Mother To the four we give the four great names, Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati.
  --
  14:If you desire this transformation, put yourself in the hands of the Mother and her Powers without cavil or resistance and let her do unhindered her work within you. Three things you must have, consciousness, plasticity, unreserved surrender. For you must be conscious in your mind and soul and heart and life and the very cells of your body, aware of the Mother and her Powers and their working; for although she can and does work in you even in your obscurity and your unconscious parts and moments, it is not the same thing as when you are in an awakened and living communion with her. All your nature must be plastic to her touch, - not questioning as the self-sufficient ignorant mind questions and doubts and disputes and is the enemy of its enlightenment and change; not insisting on its own movements as the vital in man insists and persistently opposes its refractory desires and ill-will to every divine influence; not obstructing and entrenched in incapacity, inertia and tamas as man's physical consciousness obstructs and clinging to its pleasure in smallness and darkness cries out against each touch that disturbs its soulless routine or its dull sloth or its torpid slumber. The unreserved surrender of your inner and outer being will bring this plasticity into all the parts of your nature; consciousness will awaken everywhere in you by constant openness to the Wisdom and Light, the Force, the Harmony and Beauty, the Perfection that come flowing down from above. Even the body will awake and unite at last its consciousness subliminal no longer to the supramental superconscious Force, feel all her powers permeating from above and below and around it and thrill to a supreme Love and Ananda.
  15:But be on your guard and do not try to understand and judge the Divine Mother by your little earthly mind that loves to subject even the things that are beyond it to its own norms and standards, its narrow reasonings and erring impressions, its bottomless aggressive ignorance and its petty self-confident knowledge. The human mind shut in the prison of its half-lit obscurity cannot follow the many-sided freedom of the steps of the Divine Shakti. The rapidity and complexity of her vision and action outrun its stumbling comprehension; the measures of her movement are not its measures. Bewildered by the swift alternation of her many different personalities, her making of rhythms and her breaking of rhythms, her accelerations of speed and her retardations, her varied ways of dealing with the problem of one and of another, her taking up and dropping now of this line and now of that one and her gathering of them together, it will not recognise the way of the Supreme Power when it is circling and sweeping upwards through the maze of the Ignorance to a supernal Light. Open rather your soul to her and be content to feel her with the psychic nature and see her with the psychic vision that alone make a straight response to the Truth. Then the Mother herself will enlighten by their psychic elements your mind and heart and life and physical consciousness and reveal to them too her ways and her nature.
  16:Avoid also the error of the ignorant mind's demand on the Divine Power to act always according to our crude surface notions of omniscience and omnipotence. For our mind clamours to be impressed at every turn by miraculous power and easy success and dazzling splendour; otherwise it cannot believe that here is the Divine. The Mother is dealing with the Ignorance in the fields of the Ignorance; she has descended there and is not all above. Partly she veils and partly she unveils her knowledge and her power, often holds them back from her instruments and personalities and follows that she may transform them the way of the seeking mind, the way of the aspiring psychic, the way of the battling vital, the way of the imprisoned and suffering physical nature. There are conditions that have been laid down by a Supreme Will, there are many tangled knots that have to be loosened and cannot be cut abruptly asunder. The Asura and Rakshasa hold this evolving earthly nature and have to be met and conquered on their own terms in their own longconquered fief and province; the human in us has to be led and prepared to transcend its limits and is too weak and obscure to be lifted up suddenly to a form far beyond it. The Divine Consciousness and Force are there and do at each moment the thing that is needed in the conditions of the labour, take always the step that is decreed and shape in the midst of imperfection the perfection that is to come. But only when the supermind has descended in you can she deal directly as the supramental Shakti with supramental natures. If you follow your mind, it will not recognise the Mother even when she is manifest before you. Follow your soul and not your mind, your soul that answers to the Truth, not your mind that leaps at appearances; trust the Divine Power and she will free the godlike elements in you and shape all into an expression of Divine Nature.
  17:The supramental change is a thing decreed and inevitable in the evolution of the earth-consciousness; for its upward ascent is not ended and mind is not its last summit. But that the change may arrive, take form and endure, there is needed the call from below with a will to recognise and not deny the Light when it comes, and there is needed the sanction of the Supreme from above. The power that mediates between the sanction and the call is the presence and power of the Divine Mother The Mother s power and not any human endeavour and tapasya can alone rend the lid and tear the covering and shape the vessel and bring down into this world of obscurity and falsehood and death and suffering Truth and Light and Life divine and the immortal's Ananda.

1.06 - The Sign of the Fishes, #Aion, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
  high." This story, despite the obscurity of its origins, points to the antithetical
  nature of Gog and Magog, who thus form a parallel to the Fishes. Augustine

1.07 - Note on the word Go, #Vedic and Philological Studies, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The next passage to which I shall turn is the eighth verse of the eighth hymn, also to Indra, in which occurs the expression , a passage which when taken in the plain and ordinary sense of the epithets sheds a great light on the nature of Mahi. Sunrita means really true and is opposed to anrita, false for in the early Aryan speech su and s would equally signify, well, good, very; and the euphonic n is of a very ancient type of sandhioriginally, it was probably no more than a strong anuswartraces of which can still be found in Tamil; in the case of su this n euphonic seems to have been dropped after the movement of the literary Aryan tongue towards the modern principle of Sandhi,a movement the imperfect progress of which we see in the Vedas; but by that time the form an, composed of privative a and the euphonic n, had become a recognised alternative form to a and the omission of the n would have left the meaning of words very ambiguous; therefore n was preserved in the negative form, omitted from the affirmative where its omission caused no inconvenience,for to write gni instead of anagni would be confusing, but to write svagni instead of sunagni would create no confusion. In the pair sunrita and anrita it is probable that the usage had become so confirmed, so much of an almost technical phraseology, that confirmed habit prevailed over new rule. The second meaning of the word is auspicious, derived from the idea good or beneficent in its regular action. The Vedic scholars give a third sense, quick, active; but this is probably due to confusion with an originally distinct word derived from the root , to move on rapidly, to be strong, swift, active from which we have to dance, & strong and a number of other derivatives, for although ri means to go, it does not appear that rita was used in the sense of motion or swiftness. In any case our choice (apart from unnecessary ingenuities) lies here between auspicious and true. If we take Mahi in the sense of earth, the first is its simplest & most natural significance.We shall have then to translate the earth auspicious (or might it mean true in the sense observing the law of the seasons), wide-watered, full of cows becomes like a ripe branch to the giver. This gives a clear connected sense, although gross and pedestrian and open to the objection that it has no natural and inevitable connection with the preceding verses. My objection is that sunrita and gomati seem to me to have in the Veda a different and deeper sense and that the whole passage becomes not only ennobled in sense, but clearer & more connected in sense if we give them that deeper significance. Gomatir ushasah in Kutsas hymn to the Dawn is certainly the luminous dawns; Saraswati in the third hymn who as chodayitri sunritanam chetanti sumatinam shines pervading all the actions of the understanding, certainly does so because she is the impeller to high truths, the awakener to right thoughts, clear perceptions and not because she is the impeller of things auspiciousa phrase which would have no sense or appropriateness to the context. Mahi is one of the three goddesses Ila, Saraswati and Mahi who are described as tisro devir mayobhuvah, the three goddesses born of delight or Ananda, and her companions being goddesses of knowledge, children of Mahas, she also must be a goddess of knowledge, not the earth; the word mahi also bears the sense of knowledge, intellect, and Mahas undoubtedly refers in many passages to the vijnana or supra-rational level of consciousness, the fourth Vyahriti of the Taittiriya Upanishad. What then prevents us from taking Mahi, here as there, in the sense of the goddess of suprarational knowledge or, if taken objectively, the world of Mahat? Nothing, except a tradition born in classical times when mahi was the earth and the new Nature-worship theory. In this sense I shall take it. I translate the line For thus Mahi the true, manifest in action, luminous becomes like a ripe branch to the giveror, again in better English, For thus Mahi the perfect in truth, manifesting herself in action, full of illumination, becomes as a ripe branch to the giver. For the Yogin again the sense is clear. All things are contained in the Mahat, derived from the Mahat, depend on theMahat, but we here in the movement of the alpam, have not our desire, are blinded & confined, enjoy an imperfect, erroneous & usually baffled & futile activity. It is only when we regain the movement of the Mahat, the large & uncontracted consciousness that comes from rising to the infinite,it is only then that we escape from this limitation. She is perfect in truth, full of illumination; error and ignorance disappear; she manifests herself virapshi in a wide & various activity; our activities are enlarged, our desires are fulfilled. The connection with the preceding stanzas becomes clear. The Vritras, the great obstructors & upholders of limitation, are slain by the help of Indra, by the result of the yajnartham karma, by alliance with the armed gods in mighty internal battle; Indra, the god within our mental force, manifests himself as supreme and full of the nature of ideal truth from which his greatness weaponed with the vajra, vidyut or electric principle, derives (mahitwam astu vajrine). The mind, instinct with amrita, is then full of equality, samata; it drinks in the flood of activity of all kinds as the sea takes in the rivers. For the condition then results in which the ideal consciousness Mahi is like a ripe branch to the giver, when all powers & expansions of being at once (without obstacle as the Vritras are slain) become active in consciousness as masterful and effective knowledge or awareness (chit). This is the process prayed for by the poet. The whole hymn becomes a consecutive & intelligible whole, a single thought worked out logically & coherently and relating with perfect accuracy of ensemble & detail to one of the commonest experiences of Yogic fulfilment. In both these passages the faithful adherence to the intimations of language, Vedantic idea & Yogic experience have shed a flood of light, illuminating the obscurity of the Vedas, bringing coherence into the incoherence of the naturalistic explanation, close & strict logic, great depth of meaning with great simplicity of expression, and, as I shall show when I take up the final interpretation of the separate hymns, a rational meaning & reason of existence in that particular place for each word & phrase and a faultless & inevitable connection with what goes before & with what goes after. It is worth noticing that by the naturalistic interpretation one can indeed generally make out a meaning, often a clear or fluent sense for the separate verses of the Veda, but the ensemble of the hymn has almost always about it an air bizarre, artificial, incoherent, almost purposeless, frequently illogical and self-contradictoryas in Max Mullers translation of the 39th hymn, Kanwas to the Maruts,never straightforward, self-assured & easy. One would expect in these primitive writers,if they are primitive,crudeness of belief perhaps, but still plainness of expression and a simple development of thought. One finds instead everything tortuous, rugged, gnarled, obscure, great emptiness with great pretentiousness of mind, a labour of diction & development which seems to be striving towards great things & effecting a nullity. The Vedic singers, in the modern version, have nothing to say and do not know how to say it. I sacrifice, you drink, you are fine fellows, dont hurt me or let others hurt me, hurt my enemies, make me safe & comfortablethis is practically all that the ten Mandalas have to say to the gods & it is astonishing that they should be utterly at a loss how to say it intelligibly. A system which yields such results must have at its root some radical falsity, some cardinal error.
  I pass now to a third passage, also instructive, also full of that depth and fine knowledge of the movements of the higher consciousness which every Yogin must find in the Veda. It is in the 9th hymn of the Mandala and forms the seventh verse of that hymn. Sam gomad Indra vajavad asme prithu sravo brihat, visvayur dhehi akshitam. The only crucial question in this verse is the signification of sravas.With our modern ideas the sentence seems to us to demand that sravas should be translated here fame. Sravas is undoubtedly the same word as the Greek xo (originally xFo); it means a thing heard, rumour, report, & thence fame. If we take it in that sense, we shall have to translate Arrange for us, O universal life, a luminous and solid, wide & great fame unimpaired. I dismiss at once the idea that go & vaja can here signify cattle and food or wealth. A herded & fooded or wealthy fame to express a fame for wealth of cattle & food is a forceful turn of expression we might expect to find in Aeschylus or in Shakespeare; but I should hesitate, except in case of clear necessity, to admit it in the Veda or in any Sanscrit style of composition; for such expressions have always been alien to the Indian intellect. Our stylistic vagaries have been of another kind. But is luminous & solid fame much better? I shall suggest another meaning for sravas which will give as usual a deeper sense to the whole passage without our needing to depart by a hairs breadth from the etymological significance of the words. Sruti in Sanscrit is a technical term, originally, for the means by which Vedic knowledge is acquired, inspiration in the suprarational mind; srutam is the knowledge of Veda. Similarly, we have in Vedic Sanscrit the forms srut and sravas. I take srut to mean inspired knowledge in the act of reception, sravas the thing acquired by the reception, inspired knowledge. Gomad immediately assumes its usual meaning illuminated, full of illumination. Vaja I take throughout the Veda as a technical Vedic expression for that substantiality of being-consciousness which is the basis of all special manifestation of being & power, all utayah & vibhutayahit means by etymology extended being in force, va or v to exist or move in extension and the vocable j which always gives the idea of force or brilliance or decisiveness in action or manifestation or contact. I shall accept no meaning which is inconsistent with this fundamental significance. Moreover the tendency of the old commentators to make all possible words, vaja, ritam etc mean sacrifice or food, must be rejected,although a justification in etymology might always be made out for the effort. Vaja means substance in being, substance, plenty, strength, solidity, steadfastness. Here it obviously means full of substance, just as gomad full of luminousness,not in the sense arthavat, but with another & psychological connotation. I translate then, O Indra, life of all, order for us an inspired knowledge full of illumination & substance, wide & great and unimpaired. Anyone acquainted with Yoga will at once be struck by the peculiar & exact appropriateness of all these epithets; they will admit him at once by sympathy into the very heart of Madhuchchhandas experience & unite him in soul with that ancient son of Visvamitra. When Mahas, the supra-rational principle, begins with some clearness to work in Yoga, not on its own level, not swe dame, but in the mind, it works at first through the principle of Srutinot Smriti or Drishti, but this Sruti is feeble & limited in its range, it is not prithu; broken & scattered in its working even when the range is wide, not unlimited in continuity, not brihat; not pouring in a flood of light, not gomat, but coming as a flash in the darkness, often with a pale glimmer like the first feebleness of dawn; not supported by a strong steady force & foundation of being, Sat, in manifestation, not vajavad, but working without foundation, in a void, like secondh and glimpses of Sat in nothingness, in vacuum, in Asat; and, therefore, easily impaired, easily lost hold of, easily stolen by the Panis or the Vritras. All these defects Madhuchchhanda has noticed in his own experience; his prayer is for an inspired knowledge which shall be full & free & perfect, not marred even in a small degree by these deficiencies.

1.07 - Standards of Conduct and Spiritual Freedom, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  29:All conduct and action are part of the movement of a Power, a Force infinite and divine in its origin and secret sense and will even though the forms of it we see seem inconscient or ignorant, material, vital, mental, finite, which is working to bring out progressively something of the Divine and Infinite in the obscurity of the individual and collective nature. This power is leading towards the Light, but still through the Ignorance. It leads man first through his needs and desires; it guides him next through enlarged needs and desires modified and enlightened by a mental and moral ideal. It is preparing to lead him to a spiritual realisation that overrides these things and yet fulfils and reconciles them in all that is divinely true in their spirit and purpose. It transforms the needs and desires into a divine Will and Ananda. It transforms the mental and moral aspiration into the powers of Truth and Perfection that are beyond them. It substitutes for the divided straining of the individual nature, for the passion and strife of the separate ego, the calm, profound, harmonious and happy law of the universalised person within us, the central being, the spirit that is a portion of the supreme Spirit. This true Person in us, because it is universal, does not seek its separate gratification but only asks in its outward expression in Nature its growth to its real stature, the expression of its inner divine self, that transcendent spiritual power and presence within it which is one with all and in sympathy with each thing and creature and with all the collective personalities and powers of the divine existence, and yet it transcends them and is not bound by the egoism of any creature or collectivity or limited by the ignorant controls of their lower nature. This is the high realisation in front of all our seeking and striving, and it gives the sure promise of a perfect reconciliation and transmutation of all the elements of our nature. A pure, total and flawless action is possible only when that is effected and we have reached the height of this secret Godhead within us.
  30:The perfect supramental action will not follow any single principle or limited rule. It is not likely to satisfy the standard either of the individual egoist or of any organised group-mind. It will conform to the demand neither of the positive practical man of the world nor of the formal moralist nor of the patriot nor of the sentimental philanthropist nor of the idealising philosopher. It will proceed by a spontaneous outflowing from the summits in the totality of an illumined and uplifted being, will and knowledge and not by the selected, calculated and standardised action which is all that the intellectual reason or ethical will can achieve. Its sole aim will be the expression of the divine in us and the keeping together of the world and its progress towards the Manifestation that is to be. This even will not be so much an aim and purpose as a spontaneous law of the being and an intuitive determination of the action by the Light of the divine Truth and its automatic influence. It will proceed like the action of Nature from a total will and knowledge behind her, but a will and knowledge enlightened in a conscious supreme Nature and no longer obscure in this ignorant Prakriti. It will be an action not bound by the dualities but full and large in the spirit's impartial joy of existence. The happy and inspired movement of a divine Power and Wisdom guiding and impelling us will replace the perplexities and stumblings of the suffering and ignorant ego.

1.08 - The Synthesis of Movement, #unset, #Anonymous, #Various
  After it has tended by a progressive materialisation towards the growing obscurity of the relative, it tends in the forms of physical life to the recovery, by a sort of absolute individualisation, of full activity of mind.
  But does not this individualisation imply the intervention of a new absolute principle? And is it not precisely this that is intended by the religions when they speak of an incarnation of the Divinity in the world?
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  This is why the physical life, the individuals participation in the universal light of consciousness has always been considered by popular intuition no less than by the inspiration of poets and thinkers the supreme and sacred boon and all birth is celebrated as a victory, for it is indeed a victory of life and light over the obscurity of the inconscient.
  So long as that underworld of subconscient forces whose sole issue is the narrow door opened by physical life on this infinite is not exhausted, the creatures first duty of solidarity and of charity to the creature is to awaken it to the plenitude of existence and light, to enlarge the field of this life that liberates.

1.09 - Equality and the Annihilation of Ego, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  14:Immediately he must take the further step of relegating himself to the position of the Witness. Aloof from the Prakriti, impersonal and dispassionate, he must watch the executive Nature-Force at work within him and understand its action; he must learn by this separation to recognise the play of her universal forces, distinguish her interweaving of light and night, the divine and the undivine, and detect her formidable Powers and Beings that use the ignorant human creature. Nature works in us, says the Gita, through the triple quality of Prakriti, the quality of light and good, the quality of passion and desire and the quality of obscurity and inertia. The seeker must learn to distinguish, as an impartial and discerning witness of all that proceeds within this kingdom of his nature, the separate and the combined action of these qualities; he must pursue the workings of the cosmic forces in him through all the labyrinth of their subtle unseen processes and disguises and know every intricacy of the maze. As he proceeds in this knowledge, he will be able to become the giver of the sanction and no longer remain an ignorant tool of Nature. At first he must induce the NatureForce in its action on his instruments to subdue the working of its two lower qualities and bring them into subjection to the quality of light and good and, afterwards, he must persuade that again to offer itself so that all three may be transformed by a higher Power into their divine equivalents, supreme repose and calm, divine illumination and bliss, the eternal divine dynamis, Tapas. The first part of this discipline and change can be firmly done in principle by the will of the mental being in us; but its full execution and the subsequent transformation can be done only when the deeper psychic soul increases its hold on the nature and replaces the mental being as its ruler. When this happens, he will be ready to make, not only with an aspiration and intention and an initial and progressive self-abandonment but with the most intense actuality of dynamic self-giving, the complete renunciation of his works to the Supreme Will. By degrees his mind of an imperfect human intelligence will be replaced by a spiritual and illumined mind and that can in the end enter into the supramental Truth-Light; he will then no longer act from his nature of the Ignorance with its three modes of confused and imperfect activity, but from a diviner nature of spiritual calm, light, power and bliss. He will act not from an amalgam of an ignorant mind and will with the drive of a still more ignorant heart of emotion and the desire of the life-being and the urge and instinct of the flesh, but first from a spiritualised self and nature and, last, from a supramental Truth-consciousness and its divine force of supernature.
  15:Thus are made possible the final steps when the veil of Nature is withdrawn and the seeker is face to face with the Master of all existence and his activities are merged in the action of a supreme Energy which is pure, true, perfect and blissful for ever. Thus can he utterly renounce to the supramental Shakti his works as well as the fruits of his works and act only as the conscious instrument of the eternal Worker. No longer giving the sanction, he will rather receive in his instruments and follow in her hands a divine mandate. No longer doing works, he will accept their execution through him by her unsleeping Force. No longer willing the fulfilment of his own mental constructions and the satisfaction of his own emotional desires, he will obey and participate in an omnipotent Will that is also an omniscient Knowledge and a myterious, magical and unfathomable Love and a vast bottomless sea of the eternal Bliss of Existence.

1.09 - The Greater Self, #On the Way to Supermanhood, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  But the seeker of the new world has not pursued his quest in a straight line; he has not closed his doors, rejected matter, muffled his soul. He has taken his quest along wherever he went, on the boulevards and on the stairways, in the crowd and in the empty obscurity of millions of senseless gestures. He has pervaded all the wastelands with being, kindled his fire in all the vanities, and fed his need on the very inanity that stifled him. He was not a little one-pointed concentration that rose straight up to the heights and then fell asleep in the white peace of the spirit; he was this chaos and turmoil, this wandering back and forth, in nothing. He pulled all into his net the ups and downs, the blacks and less blacks and so-called whites, the falls and setbacks he held everything within his little circumference, with a fire at the center, a need for truth amid this chaos, a cry for help in this nothingness. He was a tangled course, an endless meandering of which he knew nothing, except that he carried his fire there his fire for nothing, for everything. He no longer even expected anything from anything; he was only like a mellowness of burning, as if that fire were the goal in itself, the being amid all this emptiness, the only presence in this enormous absence. It even ended up becoming a sort of quiet love, for nothing, for everything, here and there. And little by little, this nothingness was lit up; this emptiness was set afire by his look; this futility stirred with the same little warmth. And everything began to answer. The world came to life everywhere, but infinitesimal, microscopic: a powdering of little truths dancing here and there, in facts and gestures, in things and meetings it even seems as if they came to meet him. It was a strange multiplication, a kind of golden contagion.
  Gradually, he entered an all, but, oh, quite an odd all, which had nothing to do with a cosmic or transcendent or dazzling consciousness yet which was like a million little bursts of gold, fleeting, elusive, almost mocking. Perhaps we should say a microscopic consciousness? and warm: a sudden sweetness of recognition, an eruption of gratefulness, an incomprehensible flush of tenderness, as if it were living, vibrating, responding in every corner and every direction. Strangely, when a question arose, or a doubt, or an uncertainty about something or someone, a problem about a course of action, an anxiety about what to do or not to do, it seemed as if the answer came to him as living facts not as an illumination or inspiration, a revelation or thought, nothing of that sort: a material answer in external circumstances, as though the earth itself, like itself, supplied the answer. As if the very circumstances came and took his hand and said, Here, you see? And not great circumstances, not sensational flashes: very little facts, while going from one end of the street to the other. All of a sudden the thing came to him, the person or the encounter, the money, the book, or the unexpected development the living answer. Or, on the contrary, when he was so much hoping for certain news (if he had not yet been cured of the disease of hope), when he was looking forward to some arrangement, a peaceful retreat, a clear-cut solution, he was suddenly engulfed in a still greater chaos, as if everything turned against him people, things, circumstances or he fell ill, met with an accident, opened the door to an old weakness and seemed to be treading the old road of suffering again. Then, two hours or two days or two months after, he realized that that adversity was exactly what was needed, which led, by a circuitous route, to a goal larger than he had foreseen; that that illness had purified his substance, cut him off from a wrong course, and brought him back, lighter, onto the sunlit path; that that fall had exposed old hiding places in himself and clarified his heart; that that unfortunate encounter was a perfection of exactness to bring forth a whole new network of possibilities or impossibilities to overcome; and that everything concurred meticulously to prepare his strength, his breadth, his extreme swiftness, through a thousand and one detours the all prepared him for the all. He then begins to experience a succession of unbelievable little miracles, of strange happenings, bewildering coincidences... as if, really, everything knew, each thing knew what it had to do and went straight to its microscopic goal amidst millions of passersby and trifling events. At first, the seeker does not believe it; he shrugs his shoulders and dismisses it, then he opens one eye, then the other, and doubts his own amazement. It is of such microscopic exactness, such fabulously unbelievable precision in the midst of this gigantic crisscrossing of lives and things and circumstances, that it is simply impossible it is like an explosion of total knowledge embracing in one fell swoop this ant walking down Main Street and the thousands of passersby and all their possible itineraries, all their particular circumstances past, present and future to create this unique conjunction, this incredible perfect little second in which everything accords and agrees, is inevitably, and provides the unique answer to a unique question.

11.01 - The Eternal Day The Souls Choice and the Supreme Consummation, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Lurking no more in form's obscurity
  And Nature shall reverse her action's rule,

1.1.02 - Sachchidananda, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   concealed in things so that it has to emerge out of an apparent unconsciousness and organise itself in individual life. But this is only on the surface which is all of which we are aware because we live on the surface of ourselves. This surface (the ordinary waking mind of man) is what we think to be ourselves, the whole of us, because living awake on the surface we are conscious of that only. But within, with a sort of wall of obscurity or oblivion between it and the outer being, there is an inner being, an inner mind, vital, physical and an inmost or psychic being of which we are not aware. We are only aware of what comes up from there to the surface and do not know its source or how it comes. By Yoga the wall is slowly broken down and we become aware of this inner and inmost being - by doing so we build up a new, a Yogic, consciousness which is able to communicate direct with the universal consciousness around and the higher spiritual above.
  As the individual has a consciousness of his own, so too there is a universal consciousness, a cosmic Being, a universal

1.10 - The Three Modes of Nature, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   as obscurity and incapacity and inaction. Ordinarily used for psychological self-analysis, these distinctions are valid also in physical Nature. Each thing and every existence in the lower
  Prakriti contains them and its process and dynamic form are the result of the interaction of these qualitative powers.
  --
  An exclusive resort to sattwa would seem to be the way of escape: but there is this difficulty that no one of the qualities can prevail by itself against its two companions and rivals. If, envisaging the quality of desire and passion as the cause of disturbance, suffering, sin and sorrow, we strain and labour to quell and subdue it, rajas sinks but tamas rises. For, the principle of activity dulled, inertia takes its place. A quiet peace, happiness, knowledge, love, right sentiment can be founded by the principle of light, but, if rajas is absent or completely suppressed, the quiet in the soul tends to become a tranquillity of inaction, not the firm ground of a dynamic change. Ineffectively right-thinking, right-doing, good, mild and even, the nature may become in its dynamic parts sattwa-tamasic, neutral, pale-tinted, uncreative or emptied of power. Mental and moral obscurity may be absent, but so are the intense springs of action, and this is a hampering limitation and another kind of incompetence. For tamas is a double principle; it contradicts rajas by inertia, it contradicts sattwa by narrowness, obscurity and ignorance and, if either is depressed, it pours in to occupy its place.
  If we call in rajas again to correct this error and bid it ally itself to sattwa and by their united agency endeavour to get rid of the dark principle, we find that we have elevated our action, but that there is again subjection to rajasic eagerness, passion, disappointment, suffering, anger. These movements may be more exalted in their scope and spirit and action than before, but they are not the peace, the freedom, the power, the self-mastery
  --
  In this progression the first step is a certain detached superiority to the three modes of Nature. The soul is inwardly separated and free from the lower Prakriti, not involved in its coils, indifferent and glad above it. Nature continues to act in the triple round of her ancient habits, - desire, grief and joy attack the heart, the instruments fall into inaction and obscurity and weariness, light and peace come back into the heart and mind and body; but the soul stands unchanged and untouched by these changes. Observing and unmoved by the grief and desire of the lower members, smiling at their joys and their strainings, regarding and unoverpowered by the failing and the darknesses of the thought and the wildness or the weaknesses of the heart and nerves, uncompelled and unattached to the mind's illuminations and its relief and sense of ease or of power in the return of light and gladness, it throws itself into none of these things, but waits unmoved for the intimations of a higher Will and the intuitions of a greater luminous knowledge. Thus doing always, it becomes eventually free even in its nature parts from the strife of the three modes and their insufficient values and imprisoning limits. For now this lower Prakriti feels progressively a compulsion from a higher Shakti. The old habits to which it
  240
  --
  Here the disharmonies of the triple mode of our inferior existence are overpassed and there begins a greater triple mode of a divine Nature. There is no obscurity of tamas or inertia.
  Tamas is replaced by a divine peace and tranquil eternal repose out of which is released from a supreme matrix of calm concentration the play of action and knowledge. There is no rajasic kinesis, no desire, no joyful and sorrowful striving of action, creation and possession, no fruitful chaos of troubled impulse. Rajas is replaced by a self-possessed power and illimitable act of force, that even in its most violent intensities does not shake the immovable poise of the soul or stain the vast and profound heavens and luminous abysses of its peace. There is no constructing light of mind casting about to seize and imprison the Truth, no insecure or inactive ease. Sattwa is replaced by an illumination and a spiritual bliss identical with the depth and infinite existence of the soul and instinct with a direct and au thentic knowledge that springs straight from the veiled glories of the secret Omniscience.

11.13 - In these Fateful Days, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   A vital force can create, but if it is not supported or inspired by something else, something inner, deeper and higher, the creation can be only an asuric (titanic) or rakshasik (demoniac) or even a pishachic (ghoulish) one, not a thing of light and happiness and harmony, but a thing made of obscurity and perversion, of pain and suffering: we saw in practice something of itfortunately short livedin the Hitlerian or Stalinian regime; a soulless mental or vital or physical being can create but a chaos.
   In the deluge of Doomsday the Lord himself appears and holds aloft safe the supreme Knowledge, the matrix of a new creation the divine Ark. Indeed those alone who have souls, who are made of the soul-consciousness, who are in effect, parts and points, centres of the divine Being, will survive and form the nucleus of the new humanity the rest if they cannot be corrected or converted will naturally be extirpated annihilated or else relegated to a status of barbarism worse than the animal life. But we expect a better fate for mankind.

1.11 - The Second Genesis, #unset, #Anonymous, #Various
  Each ego is in a constant state of resistance to the Infinite, as is each grain of a sandbank to the assault of the Ocean. And although the Absolute is present in it, the effort after the conservation of form and limit, the refusal to be transformed which the resistance of Matter represents, opposes to the Absolute the obstacle of the individual consciousness and the barrier of its categories of Space and Time. But these barriers and obstacles exist only for the individual and in him. It is he alone who, in order to exist, refuses to see in the very obscurity of all these successive and ephemeral forms the ever-present splendour of the Eternal. For the absolute consciousness the relative universe is not distinct from the infinite modes of existence. As the desire which creates it is only one of the numberless possibilities of the infinite, so is it itself in the bosom of the infinite only one of the forms, only one of the movements of the eternal activity.
  Nothing, then, can break the bond of unity which attaches the possibilities of the manifested world in spite of their desire of exclusion to all unmanifested possibilities. And it is precisely because each ego, although indissolubly bound to all other egos, yet wishes to be isolated and thinks itself distinct, that the law of struggle becomes the law of existence; for in this world of desire their very tie of interdependence creates the causes of their hostility. In their attempt at exclusive affirmation inseparable forms become antagonistic, common and mutual needs become rivals and that which is called love takes the form of strife.

1.12 - The Herds of the Dawn, #The Secret Of The Veda, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Truths are won out of the Nights. This is the rising of the Sun which was lost in the obscurity - the familiar figure of the lost sun recovered by the Gods and the Angiras Rishis - the sun of Truth, and it now shoots out its tongue of fire towards the golden Light: - for hiran.ya, gold is the concrete symbol of the higher light, the gold of the Truth, and it is this treasure not golden coin for which the Vedic Rishis pray to the Gods. This great change from the inner obscuration to the illumination is effected by the Ashwins, lords of the joyous upward action of the mind and the vital powers, through the immortal wine of the Ananda poured into mind and body and there drunk by them. They mentalise the expressive Word, they lead us into the heaven of pure mind beyond this darkness and there by the
  Thought they set the powers of the Delight to work. But even over the heavenly waters they cross, for the power of the Soma helps them to dissolve all mental constructions, and they cast aside even this veil; they go beyond Mind and the last attaining is described as the crossing of the rivers, the passage through the heaven of the pure mind, the journey by the path of the Truth to the other side. Not till we reach the highest supreme, parama paravat, do we rest at last from the great human journey.

1.12 - The Superconscient, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  Perhaps It seeks to experience the same Glory and Joy in conditions seemingly contrary to Its own, in a life besieged by death, ignorance, and obscurity, in the multitudinous diversity of the world, instead of in a blank unity. Then this life and this Matter would at least have a meaning; no longer a purgatory or an empty transition to the beyond, but a laboratory where step by step through matter, plants, animals, and then an increasingly conscious human being the Spirit evolves the superman, the god: The soul has not finished what it has to do by merely developing into humanity; it has still to develop that humanity into its higher possibilities. Obviously, the soul that lodges in a Caribbee or an untaught primitive or an Apache of Paris or an American gangster, has not yet exhausted the necessity of human birth, has not developed all its possibilities or the whole meaning of humanity, has not worked out all the sense of Sachchidananda in the universal Man; neither has the soul lodged in a vitalistic European occupied with dynamic production and vital pleasure or in an Asiatic peasant engrossed in the ignorant round of the domestic and economic life. We may reasonably doubt whether even a Plato or a Shankara marks the crown and therefore the end of the outflowering of the spirit in man. We are apt to suppose that these may be the limit, because these and others like them seem to us the highest point which the mind of man can reach, but that may be the illusion of our present possibility. . . . The soul had a prehuman past, it has a superhuman future.
  Sri Aurobindo is not a theoretician of evolution; he is a practitioner of evolution. We have jumped ahead in this discussion merely to shed some light upon his groping process in the Alipore jail. He could see that that cosmic and blissful vastitude was not the place where any work could be done, that one had to come back down into the body, humbly, and search there. Yet, we may ask, if "the transformation" is to take place through a power of consciousness and not by some external machinery, what consciousness higher than the cosmic consciousness can there be? Is that not the top of the ladder and therefore the limit of power? The question is relevant if we wish to understand the practical process of the discovery, and eventually experience it ourselves. We might answer with two observations.

1.13 - Dawn and the Truth, #The Secret Of The Veda, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Veda which would lead us stumbling from pitfall to pitfall in a very night of chaos and obscurity; it opens to us the closed door and admits to the heart of the Vedic knowledge.

1.1.4 - The Physical Mind and Sadhana, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The obscurity of the Physical Mind
  What you felt was the obscurity of the external physical mind and nature (the centre in the throat is the centre of this external mind). So long as that is there the external nature and action remain as they always were and there is no correspondence between it and the inner spiritual consciousness and experience. This cannot disappear by a single experience; a steady will to change is necessary.
  ***
  It means that the outer physical mind has a certain obscurity in it which impedes the knowledge from coming out. This obscurity is universal in the external physical mindyou feel it more just now because it is in the physical consciousness that the opposition is now centred. It will pass as soon as the Force can descend through the mind and vital and act directly on the physical nature.
  ***

1.14 - The Secret, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  Such is the price for transforming life, otherwise we merely poeticize and spiritualize on the peaks, while below the old life keeps bumping along. In practice, the downward movement is never created by an arbitrary mental decision; the less the mind interferes in this, the better. Besides, one wonders how the Mind could ever "descend," comfortably seated, as it is, behind its little desk. It is the awakened and individualized consciousness-force in us that does all the work, automatically. The moment we have attained a certain intensity of consciousness and light, it automatically exerts a pressure on the rest of our nature, which results in corresponding reactions of obscurity or resistance. It is as if an overdose of oxygen were abruptly pumped into the ocean's underworld: the deep-sea creatures would struggle frantically, or even explode. This reversal of consciousness is strange indeed, as if going from a well-lighted room to the same room filled with darkness, or from a joyous room to the same room riddled with pain: everything is the same, and yet everything is changed. As if it were the same force, the same vibratory intensity perhaps even the same vibration but with a minus sign in front of it instead of a plus sign. One can then observe, almost step by step, how love changes into hate, for example, or how the pure becomes impure; everything is the same, only reversed. Yet, as long as our psychological states are merely the reverse of one another, and our good the back side (perhaps we should say the front side?) of evil, life will never change.
  Something radically different is needed another type of consciousness. All the poets and creative geniuses have known these swings of consciousness. Even as he experienced his Illuminations, Rimbaud visited strange realms that struck him with "terror"; he, too, went through the law of dark inversion. But instead of being unconsciously tossed from one extreme to another, of ascending without knowing how and descending against his will, the integral seeker works methodically, consciously, without ever losing his balance, and, above all, with a growing confidence in the Consciousness-Force, which never initiates more resistance than he can meet, and never unveils more light than he can bear. After living long enough from one crisis to the next, we will ultimately discern a pattern in the action of the Force, and will notice that each time we seem to leave the ascending curve or even lose something we had achieved, we ultimately retrieve the same realization, but on a higher, more expanded level, made richer by the part that our "fall" has added; had we not "fallen," this lower part would never have become integrated into our higher ones. Perhaps it was the same collective process that brought about Athens' fall, so that some old barbarians, too, might be exposed to Plato. The integral yoga does not follow a straight line rising higher and higher out of sight, toward a smaller and smaller point, but, according to Sri Aurobindo, a spiral that slowly and methodically annexes all the parts of our being in an ever vaster opening based upon an ever deeper foundation. Not only will we observe a pattern behind this Force, or rather this Consciousness-Force, but also regular cycles and a rhythm as certain as that of the tides and the moons. The more we progress, the wider the cycles, and the closer their relationship with the cosmic movement itself until the day when we can perceive in our own descents the periodical descents of consciousness on earth, and in our own difficulties all the turmoil, resistance and revolt of the earth. Eventually, everything will become so intimately interconnected that we will be able to read in the tiniest things, the most insignificant events of daily life or the objects nearby, the signs of vaster depressions that will sweep over all men and compel their ascent or descent within the same evolutionary wave.

1.14 - The Succesion to the Kingdom in Ancient Latium, #The Golden Bough, #James George Frazer, #Occultism
  with a full sense of the difficulty and obscurity in which the
  subject is involved.

1.14 - The Supermind as Creator, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  5:It is the cryptic verses of the Veda that help us here; for they contain, though concealed, the gospel of the divine and immortal Supermind and through the veil some illumining flashes come to us. We can see through these utterances the conception of this Supermind as a vastness beyond the ordinary firmaments of our consciousness in which truth of being is luminously one with all that expresses it and assures inevitably truth of vision, formulation, arrangement, word, act and movement and therefore truth also of result of movement, result of action and expression, infallible ordinance or law. Vast all-comprehensiveness; luminous truth and harmony of being in that vastness and not a vague chaos or self-lost obscurity; truth of law and act and knowledge expressive of that harmonious truth of being: these seem to be the essential terms of the Vedic description. The Gods, who in their highest secret entity are powers of this Supermind, born of it, seated in it as in their proper home, are in their knowledge "truth-conscious" and in their action possessed of the "seerwill". Their conscious-force turned towards works and creation is possessed and guided by a perfect and direct knowledge of the thing to be done and its essence and its law, - a knowledge which determines a wholly effective will-power that does not deviate or falter in its process or in its result, but expresses and fulfils spontaneously and inevitably in the act that which has been seen in the vision. Light is here one with Force, the vibrations of knowledge with the rhythm of the will and both are one, perfectly and without seeking, groping or effort, with the assured result. The divine Nature has a double power, a spontaneous self-formulation and self-arrangement which wells naturally out of the essence of the thing manifested and expresses its original truth, and a self-force of light inherent in the thing itself and the source of its spontaneous and inevitable self-arrangement.
  6:There are subordinate, but important details. The Vedic seers seem to speak of two primary faculties of the "truthconscious" soul; they are Sight and Hearing, by which is intended direct operations of an inherent Knowledge describable as truth-vision and truth-audition and reflected from far-off in our human mentality by the faculties of revelation and inspiration. Besides, a distinction seems to be made in the operations of the Supermind between knowledge by a comprehending and pervading consciousness which is very near to subjective knowledge by identity and knowledge by a projecting, confronting, apprehending consciousness which is the beginning of objective cognition. These are the Vedic clues. And we may accept from this ancient experience the subsidiary term "truthconsciousness" to delimit the connotation of the more elastic phrase, Supermind.

1.14 - The Victory Over Death, #On the Way to Supermanhood, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  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.44 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.

1.16 - The Suprarational Ultimate of Life, #The Human Cycle, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  No doubt all is still moving, however touched by dim lights from above, on a lower half rational half infrarational level, clumsily, coarsely, in ignorance of itself and as yet with little nobility of motive. All is being worked out very crudely by the confused clash of life-forces and the guidance of ideas that are half-lights of the intellect, and the means proposed are too mechanical and the aims too material; they miss the truth that the outer life-result can only endure if it is founded on inner realities. But so life in the past has moved always and must at first move. For life organises itself at first round the ego-motive and the instinct of ego-expansion is the earliest means by which men have come into contact with each other; the struggle for possession has been the first crude means towards union, the aggressive assertion of the smaller self the first step towards a growth into the larger self. All has been therefore a half-ordered confusion of the struggle for life corrected by the need and instinct of association, a struggle of individuals, clans, tribes, parties, nations, ideas, civilisations, cultures, ideals, religions, each affirming itself, each compelled into contact, association, strife with the others. For while Nature imposes the ego as a veil behind which she labours out the individual manifestation of the spirit, she also puts a compulsion on it to grow in being until it can at last expand or merge into a larger self in which it meets, harmonises with itself, comprehends in its own consciousness, becomes one with the rest of existence. To assist in this growth Life-Nature throws up in itself ego-enlarging, ego-exceeding, even ego-destroying instincts and movements which combat and correct the smaller self-affirming instincts and movements,she enforces on her human instrument impulses of love, sympathy, self-denial, self-effacement, self-sacrifice, altruism, the drive towards universality in mind and heart and life, glimmerings of an obscure unanimism that has not yet found thoroughly its own true light and motive-power. Because of this obscurity these powers, unable to affirm their own absolute, to take the lead or dominate, obliged to compromise with the demands of the ego, even to become themselves a form of egoism, are impotent also to bring harmony and transformation to life. Instead of peace they seem to bring rather a sword; for they increase the number and tension of conflict of the unreconciled forces, ideas, impulses of which the individual human consciousness and the life of the collectivity are the arena. The ideal and practical reason of man labours to find amidst all this the right law of life and action; it strives by a rule of moderation and accommodation, by selection and rejection or by the dominance of some chosen ideas or powers to reduce things to harmony, to do consciously what Nature through natural selection and instinct has achieved in her animal kinds, an automatically ordered and settled form and norm of their existence. But the order, the structure arrived at by the reason is always partial, precarious and temporary. It is disturbed by a pull from below and a pull from above. For these powers that life throws up to help towards the growth into a larger self, a wider being, are already reflections of something that is beyond reason, seeds of the spiritual, the absolute. There is the pressure on human life of an Infinite which will not allow it to rest too long in any formulation,not at least until it has delivered out of itself that which shall be its own self-exceeding and self-fulfilment.
  This process of life through a first obscure and confused effort of self-finding is the inevitable result of its beginnings; for life has begun from an involution of the spiritual truth of things in what seems to be its opposite. Spiritual experience tells us that there is a Reality which supports and pervades all things as the Cosmic Self and Spirit, can be discovered by the individual even here in the terrestrial embodiment as his own self and spirit, and is, at its summits and in its essence, an infinite and eternal self-existent Being, Consciousness and Bliss of existence. But what we seem to see as the source and beginning of the material universe is just the contraryit wears to us the aspect of a Void, an infinite of Non-Existence, an indeterminate Inconscient, an insensitive blissless Zero out of which everything has yet to come. When it begins to move, evolve, create, it puts on the appearance of an inconscient Energy which delivers existence out of the Void in the form of an infinitesimal fragmentation, the electronor perhaps some still more impalpable minute unit, a not yet discovered, hardly discoverable infinitesimal,then the atom, the molecule, and out of this fragmentation builds up a formed and concrete universe in the void of its Infinite. Yet we see that this unconscious Energy does at every step the works of a vast and minute Intelligence fixing and combining every possible device to prepare, manage and work out the paradox and miracle of Matter and the awakening of a life and a spirit in Matter; existence grows out of the Void, consciousness emerges and increases out of the Inconscient, an ascending urge towards pleasure, happiness, delight, divine bliss and ecstasy is inexplicably born out of an insensitive Nihil. These phenomena already betray the truth, which we discover when we grow aware in our depths, that the Inconscient is only a mask and within it is the Upanishads Conscient in unconscious things. In the beginning, says the Veda, was the ocean of inconscience and out of it That One arose into birth by his greatness,by the might of his self-manifesting Energy.

1.17 - DOES MANKIND MOVE BIOLOGICALLY UPON ITSELF?, #The Future of Man, #Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, #Christianity
  a state of even greater obscurity?
  It must be said that appearances (or excuses) are not lacking to

1.17 - The Transformation, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  owing to its obscurity and mechanical clinging to past movements and facile oblivion and rejection of the new, we find in it one of the chief obstacles to permeation by the supermind Force and the transformation of the functioning of the body. On the other hand, once effectively converted, it will be one of the most precious instruments of the stabilisation of the supramental Light and Force in material Nature.370
  This work is so minute that it is hard to describe. The only way of working is not to go into deep meditations, which affect only the summits of our being, or to attain an extraordinary concentration or ecstasies, but to remain right in the midst of things, to work at the level of the body, at the very lowest rungs of the ladder, so to speak,

1.19 - ON THE PROBABLE EXISTENCE AHEAD OF US OF AN ULTRA-HUMAN, #The Future of Man, #Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, #Christianity
  In the first place, there is a wide zone of obscurity at the level
  of the zoological surface of hominization, seemingly impenetrable

12.03 - The Sorrows of God, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The Upanishadic standpoint declares that the being above is a silent witness, inactive, immobile, still. The one below is active and tastes of things both bitter and sweet, in other words, it takes part and is involved in the varied life-experiences. Certain lines of spiritual experience find that the being above is the reality, that the other is only an image, a reflection or illusion; and the image looks like a troubled image because it is, as it were, a reflection in the troubled waters of cosmic ignorance: dispel the ignorance, nothing remains but the transcendent Witness-Being, all alone. Such is the position of myvda or illusionism. But there are other lines of experience giving a different view and a different realisation. Both the transcendent and the immanent are form of the same Reality, with different functions, standing on different levels. Thus, as we say, the one below is not a vain image, or a mere reflection, but a descent here in the manifestation, of the reality above. This is also as real as that, the other, only it functions differently. The descent means two things, a double operation, first, the assumption of ignorance: what was light becomes obscurity, what was vast and infinite becomes small and finite, what was straight becomes crooked, what was delight becomes pain, what was one and united becomes many and disparate, what was whole becomes fragmentary. The descending being in one part or facet turns into the exact opposite of what it was originally, it is a denial of itself; secondly, in another aspect or part of itself, in its essence and profundity, it remains unaltered, intact as it were with no change whatsoever in its nature and character. That is the immanent Godhead, the emanation, the extension or projection of the transcendent into the external material appearance. This immanent Godhead has its own function, it is the initiation of the ascent after the descent, in the vast field of an apparent total ignorance it is as it were the catalytic element introducing a reverse movement upward.
   Left to itself, Nature, the inferior inconscient Nature would admit of no change, it would only repeat the past; it would be a circular or cyclic movement, at the most it would move in a horizontal line; no upward movement would be possible. It is only when the consciousness descends, sends a shaft of light into the dark inert mass below, uses it as a churning rod, that there occurs the stirring of a new creation; a new formation begins, a new content is added and a new disposition built up. To the human consciousness that appears as calamities and catastrophes. It is truly the great sacrificial horse in the Upanishadic image that shakes its limbs and the elements roar and thunder the forward-marching galloping fiery force of a progressing Consciousness.

1.2.04 - Sincerity, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is not sincerity to express only what the adverse forces suggest or what you feel when you are in a bad condition full of obscurity and a wrong outlook. When you are in the Truth, you feel quite the opposite and it is not insincerity to cling to that and recall it. It is only by bringing it back that the Truth can grow in you.
  The trouble in your chest comes only from a vital resistance and it continues because you identify yourself with that resistance. It is only by quietude and opening to the Mother that these things can disappear. There is no other way to progress.

1.2.07 - Surrender, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  You say you are conscious of your ignorance and obscurity.
  If it is only a general consciousness, that is not enough. But if you are conscious of it in the details, in its actual working, then that is sufficient to start with; you have to reject steadfastly the wrong workings of which you are conscious and make your mind and vital a quiet and clear field for the action of the Divine

1.2.08 - Faith, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is quite sufficient if there is the firm and constant will towards faith and self-offering. It is understood that it is not possible for the human nature to be always without movements of doubt, obscurity or things not yet offered until the inner consciousness has sufficiently grown to make these impossible. It is because it is so that the will is necessary so that the Force may work to remove these things with full consent and will of the mind and heart of the sadhak. To try to reject these things and make the will permanent is sufficient, - for it is this effort that brings eventually the permanence.
  It is possible for anyone to attain to a complete and living faith in the Divine if he has the sincere will to do so, even though he may not be sattwic in his nature; but, if he is sattwic, it will be easier for him - he will not be hampered by doubts and revolts such as afflict the rajasic man on his way.
  --
  Mental faith combats doubt and helps to open to the true knowledge; vital faith prevents the attacks of the hostile forces or defeats them and helps to open to the true spiritual will and action; physical faith keeps one firm through all physical obscurity, inertia or suffering and helps to open to the foundation of the true consciousness; psychic faith opens to the direct touch of the Divine and helps to bring union and surrender.
  Faith can be tamasic and ineffective, e.g. "I believe the Mother will do everything, so I will do nothing. When she wants, she will transform me." That is not a dynamic but a static and inert faith.

12.09 - The Story of Dr. Faustus Retold, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   And yet there is a still more mysterious mystery. Satan or his armies do not quite belong to the outside world apart from you, they are within you, at least their foothold is within you. In fact man is a twofold being, one half of him belongs to the Divine, the other half to the un-Divine. His nature is a twofold string, the two inextricably intertwined, there is a luminous ray and there is its shadow, the shadow makes the light unstable, flickering, at times even completely obscures and eclipses it. The Hostile outside gains its strength and its hold upon you because of the obscurity within you; the greater the obscurity within the greater the dimension and power of the force outside. One has to dwell upon the luminous ray insidewhich is what we have termed the soul and slowly, or in proper time dissolve or dissipate the obscurity. In proportion as the obscurity within recedes, the darkness outside also retires and vanishes. And one sees in the end that it was only an illusion that seized us, and it was never there. We were and we are always a glorious sunshine. Only the experience through the Illusion has served to add a new dimension to the original Glory where we return.
   These lines of Marlowe are often quoted by Sri Aurobindo as an example to show the height of poetic beauty which the English language is capable of expressing.

1.2.10 - Opening, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   obstruct its descent or its action by his own mental activities, vital restlessness or physical obscurity and inertia. That is openness to the Divine. Surrender is the best way of opening; but aspiration and quietness can do it up to a certain point so long as there is not the surrender.
  The object of the self-opening is to allow the force of the Divine to flow in bringing light, peace, Ananda etc. and to do the work of transformation. When the being so receives the Divine Shakti and it works in him, produces its results (whether he is entirely conscious of the process or not), then he is said to be open.

1.28 - Supermind, Mind and the Overmind Maya, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  1:ONE POINT remains to be cleared which we have till now left in obscurity, the process of the lapse into the Ignorance; for we have seen that nothing in the original nature of Mind, Life or Matter necessitates a fall from Knowledge. It has been shown indeed that division of consciousness is the basis of the Ignorance, a division of individual consciousness from the cosmic and the transcendent of which yet it is an intimate part, in essence inseparable, a division of Mind from the supramental Truth of which it should be a subordinate action, of Life from the original Force of which it is one energism, of Matter from the original Existence of which it is one form of substance. But it has still to be made clear how this division came about in the Indivisible, by what peculiar self-diminishing or self-effacing action of Consciousness-Force in the Being: for since all is a movement of that Force, only by some such action obscuring its own plenary light and power can there have arisen the dynamic and effective phenomenon of the Ignorance. But this problem can be left over to be treated in a more close examination of the dual phenomenon of Knowledge-Ignorance which makes our consciousness a blend of light and darkness, a half-light between the full day of the supramental Truth and the night of the material Inconscience. All that is necessary to note at present is that it must be in its essential character an exclusive concentration on one movement and status of Conscious Being, which puts all the rest of consciousness and being behind and veils it from that one movement's now partial knowledge.
  2:Still there is one aspect of this problem which must be immediately considered; it is the gulf created between Mind as we know it and the supramental Truth-Consciousness of which we have found Mind in its origin to be a subordinate process. For this gulf is considerable and, if there are no gradations between the two levels of consciousness, a transition from one to the other, either in the descending involution of Spirit into Matter or the corresponding evolution in Matter of the concealed grades leading back to the Spirit, seems in the highest degree improbable, if not impossible. For Mind as we know it is a power of the Ignorance seeking for Truth, groping with difficulty to find it, reaching only mental constructions and representations of it in word and idea, in mind formations, sense formations, - as if bright or shadowy photographs or films of a distant Reality were all that it could achieve. Supermind, on the contrary, is in actual and natural possession of the Truth and its formations are forms of the Reality, not constructions, representations or indicative figures. No doubt, the evolving Mind in us is hampered by its encasement in the obscurity of this life and body, and the original Mind principle in the involutionary descent is a thing of greater power to which we have not fully reached, able to act with freedom in its own sphere or province, to build more revelatory constructions, more minutely inspired formations, more subtle and significant embodiments in which the light of Truth is present and palpable. But still that too is not likely to be essentially different in its characteristic action, for it too is a movement into the Ignorance, not a still unseparated portion of the Truth-Consciousness. There must be somewhere in the descending and ascending scale of Being an intermediate power and plane of consciousness, perhaps something more than that, something with an original creative force, through which the involutionary transition from Mind in the Knowledge to Mind in the Ignorance was effected and through which again the evolutionary reverse transition becomes intelligible and possible. For the involutionary transition this intervention is a logical imperative, for the evolutionary it is a practical necessity. For in the evolution there are indeed radical transitions, from indeterminate Energy to organised Matter, from inanimate Matter to Life, from a subconscious or submental to a perceptive and feeling and acting Life, from primitive animal mentality to conceptive reasoning Mind observing and governing Life and observing itself also, able to act as an independent entity and even to seek consciously for self-transcendence; but these leaps, even when considerable, are to some extent prepared by slow gradations which make them conceivable and feasible. There can be no such immense hiatus as seems to exist between supramental Truth-Consciousness and the Mind in the Ignorance.
  3:But if such intervening gradations exist, it is clear that they must be superconscient to human mind which does not seem to have in its normal state any entry into these higher grades of being. Man is limited in his consciousness by mind and even by a given range or scale of mind: what is below his mind, submental or mental but nether to his scale, readily seems to him subconscious or not distinguishable from complete inconscience; what is above it is to him superconscious and he is almost inclined to regard it as void of awareness, a sort of luminous Inconscience. Just as he is limited to a certain scale of sounds or of colours and what is above or below that scale is to him inaudible and invisible or at least indistinguishable, so is it with his scale of mental consciousness, confined at either extremity by an incapacity which marks his upper and his nether limit. He has no sufficient means of communication even with the animal who is his mental congener, though not his equal, and he is even capable of denying mind or real consciousness to it because its modes are other and narrower than those with which in himself and his kind he is familiar; he can observe submental being from outside but cannot at all communicate with it or enter intimately into its nature. Equally the superconscious is to him a closed book which may well be filled only with empty pages. At first sight, then, it would appear as if he had no means of contact with these higher gradations of consciousness: if so, they cannot act as links or bridges and his evolution must cease with his accomplished mental range and cannot exceed it; Nature in drawing these limits has written finis to his upward endeavour.

13.02 - A Review of Sri Aurobindos Life, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 05, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Next as you all know, he came to Baroda, entered the State serviceas Secretary to the Maharaja and professor of the College. That life was also externally a very normal and ordinary lifean obscure life, so to say, but he preferred obscurity for the sake of his inner development and growth. Still he continued in that obscure position that was practically what we call the life of a clerk. He continued it for sometime, although sometime meant twelve years, the same length as his previous stage. Then a moment came when he changed all that. Another volte-face. If he continued he might have advanced, progressed in his career, that is to say, become Principal of the College, even the Dewan of Baroda, a very lofty position, a very lofty position indeed for an Indian, become another R. C. Dutt. But he threw all that overboard, wiped off the twelve years of his youthful life and came to Bengal as a national leader, a leader of the new movement that wanted freedom for India, freedom from the domination of Britain. He jumped into this dangerous life the uncertain life of a servant of the country, practically without a home, without resources of his own. He ran the risk of being caught by the British, put into prison or shot or hanged even but he chose that life. That was a great decision he took, a turn about entirely changing the whole mode of his life. Eventually as a natural and inevitable result of his political .activities he was arrested by the British and put into prison. He had to pass a whole year in the prison. And this led to another break from the past, ushering in quite another way of life. The course of his life turned inward and moved from depth to depth.
   In the prison one incident happened which is not known to many but extremely important and of great consequence. I have mentioned it in my Reminiscences.2 When we were in prison we thoughtwe were the first batch of political prisoners accused of conspiracy and practically of rebellion against the established governmentso we thought this was the end of our life's journey. One day we will be taken out and shot: court trial and justice was a make-believe and sham. Or if we were lucky enough we would be exiled to the Andamans the notorious kalapani. So a few of our leaders in the prison who were elders to us thought of escape from the prison-make a dash, break out, scale the walls, out in the open. There were plannings with outside helpers. When the plan was a little matured, our elders thought of consulting Sri Aurobindo. Without his Consent naturally nothing could be done. For he was the one leader and guide. So when Sri Aurobindo was informed of the plan he said bluntly: I am not going to do anything of the kind. I stand the trial. As a natural consequence the project fell through and very fortunately for us. It is true he already knew the result of the case, that is that he would be freed and nothing would happen to him. Still at that time there was a suspense and we all were in doubt. This decision of Sri Aurobindo was another, I may say, great turn of his life. If he had accepted the prospect his life and destiny would have been different, we all would have been massacred. In other words he saved his life for his spiritual work.

1.3.5.04 - The Evolution of Consciousness, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  A Consciousness, a Being, a Power, a Joy was here from the beginning darkly imprisoned in this apparent denial of itself, this original night, this obscurity and nescience of material Nature.
  That which is and was for ever, free, perfect, eternal and infinite,

1.35 - The Tao 2, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
  From 1905 to 1918 the Tao Teh King was my continual study. I constantly recommended it to my friends as the supreme masterpiece of initiated wisdom, and I was as constantly disappointed when they declared that it did not impress them, especially as my preliminary descriptions of the book had aroused their keenest interest. I thus came to see that the fault lay with Legge's translation, and I felt myself impelled to undertake the task of presenting Lao Tze in language informed by the sympathetic understanding which initiation and spiritual experience had conferred on me. During my Great Magical Retirement on Aesopus Island in the Hudson River during the summer of 1918, I set myself to this work, but I discovered immediately that I was totally incompetent. I therefore appealed to an Adept named Amalantrah, which whom I was at that time in almost daily communication. He came readily to my aid, and exhibited to me a codex of the original, which conveyed to me with absolute certitude the exact significance of the text. I was able to divine without hesitation or doubt the precise manner in which Legge had been deceived. He had translated the Chinese with singular fidelity, yet in almost every verse the interpretation was altogether misleading. There was no need to refer to the text from the point of view of scholarship. I had merely to paraphrase his translation in the light of actual knowledge of the true significance of the terms employed. Any one who cares to take the trouble to compare the two versions will be astounded to see how slight a remodeling of a paragraph is sufficient to disperse the obstinate obscurity of prejudice, and let loose a fountain and a flood of living light; to kindle the gnarled prose of stolid scholarship into the burgeoning blossom of lyrical flame.
  I completed my translation within three days, but during the last twenty years I have constantly reconsidered every sentence. The manuscript has been lent to a number of friends, scholars who have commended my work, and aspirants who have appreciated its adequacy to present the spirit of the Master's teaching. Those who had been disappointed with Legge's version were enthusiastic about mine. This circumstance is in itself sufficient to assure me that Love's labour has not been lost, and to fill me with enthusiastic confidence that the present publication will abundantly contri bute to the fulfillment of my True Will for which I came to earth. Let us wring from labour and sorrow the utmost of which humanity is capable. Fulfill my Will to open the portals of spiritual attainment to my fellowmen, to bring them to the enjoyment of that realization of Truth, beneath all veils of temporal falsehood, which has enlightened mine eyes and filled my mouth with song.

1.47 - Lityerses, #The Golden Bough, #James George Frazer, #Occultism
  the ancients has already been confessed. But the obscurity which
  thus hangs over the first beginnings of ancient religion is

15.07 - Souls Freedom, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 05, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The Mother not only governs all from above but she descends into this lesser triple universe. Impersonally, all things here, even the movements of the Ignorance, are herself in veiled power and her creations in diminished substance, her Nature-body and Nature-force, and they exist because, moved by the mysterious fiat of the Supreme to work out something that was there in the possibilities of the Infinite, she has consented to the great sacrifice and has put on like a mask the soul and forms of the Ignorance. But personally too she has stooped to descend here into the Darkness that she may lead it to the Light, into the Falsehood and error that she may convert it to the Truth, into this Death that she may turn it to godlike Life, into this world-pain and its obstinate sorrow and suffering that she may end it in the transforming ecstasy of he sublime Ananda. In her deep and great love for her children she has consented to put on herself the cloak of this obscurity, condescended to bear the attacks and torturing influences of the powers of the Darkness and the Falsehood, borne to pass through the portals of the birth that is a death, taken upon herself the pangs and sorrows and sufferings of the creation, since it seemed that thus alone could it be lifted to the Light and Joy and Truth and eternal Life. This is the great sacrifice called sometimes the sacrifice of the Purusha, but much more deeply the holocaust of Prakriti, the sacrifice of the Divine Mother.2
   Rigveda, V, 2.4.

1.50 - A.C. and the Masters; Why they Chose him, etc., #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
  Soror Virakam[96] insisted that I should write this in such language that the charwoman and the chimney-sweeper could understand it easily. She pulled me up at the first hint of obscurity.
  This went well enough for Part I: Yoga. (And, indeed, that part did sell rather well.) But when I had finished Part II, I discovered that not only was the book an exceptionally recondite treatise on obscure technical points, but was not even an exposition of Magick at all!Magick without Tears, indeed!

1.52 - Killing the Divine Animal, #The Golden Bough, #James George Frazer, #Occultism
  meaning of which is somewhat obscure. Nor is the obscurity which
  hangs over the subject entirely dissipated by a later and fuller

17.03 - Agni and the Gods, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 05, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Come, O Agni! Man, the mental being, desires to do the sacrifice, he has made everything ready, and you dwell in obscurity!
   Make easy-going the path that leads to the gods, with a happy mind carry the offering. [5]

18.05 - Ashram Poets, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 05, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   All hint of light vanished in a dead obscurity. . .
   Suddenly quivered overhead the vehement urge

1913 06 18p, #Prayers And Meditations, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   To turn towards Thee, unite with Thee, live in Thee and for Thee, is supreme happiness, unmixed joy, immutable peace; it is to brea the infinity, to soar in eternity, no longer feel ones limits, escape from time and space. Why do men flee from these boons as though they feared them? What a strange thing is ignorance, that source of all suffering! How miserable that obscurity which keeps men away from the very thing which would bring them happiness and subjects them to this painful school of ordinary existence fashioned entirely from struggle and suffering!
   ***

1913 07 23p, #Prayers And Meditations, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   A deep and solemn chant, smiling and subtle, rises from my heart, and I do not know whether this chant goes from me to Thee or comes from Thee to me or whether Thou and I and the entire universe are this marvellous chant of which I have just become conscious. Surely there is no longer any Thou or I or any separate universe; only an immense harmony is there, sublime and infinite, which is all things and of which all things will one day grow aware. It is the harmony of boundless Love, Love victorious over all suffering and all obscurity.
   By this law of Love, Thy law, I want to live more and more integrally; to it unreservedly I give myself.

1913 11 28p, #Prayers And Meditations, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   [O Divine Master, grant that today may bring to us a completer consecration to Thy Will, a more integral gift of ourselves to Thy work, a more total forgetfulness of self, a greater illumination, a purer love. Grant that in a communion growing ever deeper, more constant and entire, we may be united always more and more closely to Thee and become Thy servitors worthy of Thee. Remove from us all egoism, root out all petty vanity, greed and obscurity. May we be all ablaze with Thy divine Love; make us Thy torches in the world.]1
   A silent hymn of praise rises from my heart like the white s