Wednesday, February 27, 2013

VII: 7

Chapter 7, Verse 7

"There is nothing, Arjuna,
More fundamental than me.
Upon me, all worlds
Are held like pearls
Strung on a thread."

Sri Aurobindo:

It is the Supreme Nature of Spirit, the infinite, conscious power of Being, which maintains all these phenomenal existences in relation to each other, penetrates them, abides in and supports them and weaves them into the system of its manifestation.  This one supreme power manifests not only in all as the One, but in each as the Jiva, the individual spiritual presence.  It is inherent, One yet variable, the inner power behind all of these surface variations.

This Supreme Nature is not the working of the three Gunas, which are phenomena of quality and not spiritual essence.  The Supreme Nature, Para Prakriti, is a fundamental truth of the becoming, supporting and giving a spiritual and divine significance to all appearances.  The workings of the Gunas are the superficial, unstable becomings of mind, sense, ego and matter.  The Supreme Nature of Spirit is rather the essential, stable, original, intimate power behind the becoming.  The souls, or Jivas, who are involved in the shackled play of the phenomenal qualities are to extricate themselves by resorting to the pure action of their essential quality of Being, Swabhava, by connecting to that higher law of their own Being in which is discovered the will, the power, the dynamic principle and the highest working of the divine nature.

[Both in our active life and our meditative life, we play a game of hide and seek, forgetting and remembering our divine heritage, remembering and forgetting, losing the thread and finding it anew.  If we could re-experience our lives of a couple or a few years ago, I think we'd discover that we're in the remembering mode more often now and were in the forgetting mode more often then.  At least I hope that would be the case.  It's such a gradual process that daily progress is impossible to measure, but when our aim is pure and our enthusiasm strong, progress becomes a foregone conclusion, slow and painstaking though it may be.

There is a danger in becoming preoccupied with "progress."  Ram Dass addressed it after his stroke:]

I have all kinds of therapies these days: speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and aquatherapy.  All these therapies call upon me as an ego to try harder.  Don't you want to get better?  Exert your will.  I fight that, because it pegs me as an ego.  The stroke became a playing field for a whole new level of achieving.  How much "progress" has there been?  Can you walk yet?  More gold stars to be won.  In spite of this old conditioning, I've found in myself a peaceful surrender to the karmic unfolding in my life, an unfolding that's like a tree growing or a flower blooming.

[Ram Dass captures the fine line to tread between our enthusiasm and vigor to move forward on the path and that "peaceful surrender to the karmic unfolding."  There is the vibrant dynamic of our efforts on the one hand and the grace of God on the other, as we learn how to ride the wave of that primordial power that is our spiritual nature.]

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