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At the Feet of The Mother

A Limited Perfection of Form, pp. 113-114

Opening Remarks
The subtle physical world is a world where there is stress on beauty of form. Though faultless in its lines and curves, it is but a limited perfection.

The form is all
In that fair subtle realm behind our own
The form is all, and physical gods are kings.

The gods of the subtle physical world are beings and forces that build the physical form, thus setting limits and boundaries for the soul to inhabit.

Perfect line and rule
The inspiring Light plays in fine boundaries;
A faultless beauty comes by Nature’s grace;
There liberty is perfection’s guarantee:
Although the absolute Image lacks, the Word
Incarnate, the sheer spiritual ecstasy,
All is a miracle of symmetric charm,
A fantasy of perfect line and rule.

Everything there is in right measure and just proportion. All movements are spontaneously harmonious and perfect and there is a beauty of symmetry of lines. What is however missing is the absolute creative vibration that flows from the Infinite. Therefore is also missing the ecstasy of higher spiritual realms. Yet even within its limits this world is no less than a miracle.

Marvel within limits
There all feel satisfied in themselves and whole,
A rich completeness is by limit made,
Marvel in an utter littleness abounds,
An intricate rapture riots in a small space:
Each rhythm is kin to its environment,
Each line is perfect and inevitable,
Each object faultlessly built for charm and use.

There is richness and completeness in the subtle physical world. There is also rhythm and beauty that gives rapture and charm to every object and movement. However all this perfection is a limited perfection set within fixed boundaries.

Enamoured of its own delight
All is enamoured of its own delight.
Too satisfied with itself, this world and its beings do not feel the need or urge to evolve.

Need of nothing more
Intact it lives of its perfection sure
In a heaven-pleased self-glad immunity;
Content to be, it has need of nothing more.

This contentment with itself and of a limited perfection takes away all urge for progress. It becomes counterproductive of the evolutionary urge. It is not this limited perfection of form and line and rule but the Divine Perfection that is plastic and infinite towards which we must aspire.

Empty of opposition and pain
Here was not futile effort’s broken heart:
Exempt from the ordeal and the test,
Empty of opposition and of pain,
It was a world that could not fear nor grieve.

The typal worlds are fixed in their type, content with themselves and that is why there is no evolution there. But earth being a field of evolution, in fact created with the special purpose of an evolutionary manifestation, must therefore experience a constant breaking of limits. But the human being experiences this as pain since it means an undoing of the past. It is the evolutionary impulsion that creates the law of opposition in our world. The old is  taken away or wars with the emerging future; we are tested and retested until we go past our own limits resulting thereby in momentary periods of grief and the sense of loss and pain.

No power to fail
It had no grace of error or defeat,
It had no room for fault, no power to fail.

Error and failure and defeat are nothing but approximations of effort that prepare for the eventual victory and the guaranteed Perfection. Nothing is self-made here, everything evolves. In this process the past stage appears as an error or a defect but was actually a needed step in our journey.

Form-discoveries of the mute Idea
Out of some packed self-bliss it drew at once
Its form-discoveries of the mute Idea
And the miracle of its rhythmic thoughts and acts,
Its clear technique of firm and rounded lives,
Its gracious people of inanimate shapes
And glory of breathing bodies like our own.

Here, in the subtle physical world, Truth manifests Itself as the perfection of Form. All other aspects are subordinated to the beauty of form alone. Harmony of shape and form is all that counts in that world.

Closing Remarks
Sri Aurobindo contrasts the limited perfection, self-made, self-sure with our own world where everything must evolve and hence create the sense of labour and struggle. But this is in fact a Blessing since thus alone can the total Perfection of the Divine manifest Itself.

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It is not the personality, the character that is of the first importance in rebirth — it is the psychic being who stands behind the evolution of the nature and evolves with it.