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At the Feet of The Mother

Correspondence 1932, February-March

February 1932

… P.S. Colour and light are always close to each other, — colour being more indicative, light more dynamic. Colour incandescent becomes light. Gold-green: gold indicates at its most intense something from the supramental, otherwise overmind truth or intuitive truth drawing ultimately from the supramental truth-consciousness. Green has much to do with the vital and indicates here, I think, the emotional forces in their outpouring. The play of the emotional forces in the divine Truth is, obviously very pertinent to the working of the Krishna light.

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February 25, 1932

If it is a translation of the poem (“Vichitra”) that you want me to correct, then I can easily do it, for that kind of work takes practically no time. Krishnaprem’s affair I have not been able to pursue further, because of the vast amount of current correspondence I have to answer every night. I think the only chance is for me to recast it into a very brief answer — or as brief as the subject will allow — in that way it might be possible to finish it.

It is only at the beginning that concentration is necessary to see these colours, afterwards it comes of itself. There was a long time when I used to see colours spontaneously or wherever I cast my eyes, just as you do now, and at every time of concentrated meditation they used to fill the room. Many, indeed, begin to see them spontaneously without any concentration at all, first with closed eyes, afterwards with the eyes open. Seeing them with the eyes closed happens often enough to people who have never practised or even heard of Yoga; but in such cases it proves that there is some kind of occult vision there very near to the surface.

I do not know why you and Amal find so much difficulty with Yeats’ lines; they seem to me quite clear. “Wintry mould” is the clay of the field in the form it takes in winter. “Blossoms a rose” must mean “blossoms as a rose, in the form of a rose”; the other sense seems to me inadmissible. “A casket for my dreams” can only mean “a casket (meant) to hold my dreams” — at least, for the moment I cannot think of any other sense.

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February 27, 1932

It is the darkest nights that prepare the greatest dawns — and it is so because it is into the deep inconscience of material life that we have to bring, not an intermediate glimmer, but the full glory of the divine Light.

I can take no stock in your friend’s theories — at that rate half the world’s poetry would have to disappear. And what is meant by philosophy — there is none in your poem, there is only vision and emotion of spiritual experience, which is a different thing altogether. Truth and thought and light, cast into forms of beauty cannot be banished in that cavalier way. Music and art and poetry have striven from the beginning to express the vision of the deepest and greatest things and not the things of the surface only, and it will be so as long as there are poetry and art and music.

Three-three are all right as an element, but why impose them to the exclusion of less complete but delicate sound-returns. Such rules are too absolute.

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March 1932?

No, you need not send the review to me — a review of Galsworthy ought to be the most innocuous thing in the world: I shall read it in the facile ease of print. By the way, it is curious but true that one can often get a more final judgment of a thing written when one surveys it in print or even typescript than in manuscript. Perhaps in the letter what is active but irrelevant in the personality of the writer comes in and evokes the personal response of the reader and so prevents detachment?

As they stand, there would be the same objection to the publication of my letters on A. E.’s criticism as to sending them to A. E. But I have cut out or modified the too personal passages and like that they can go. I have also made some verbal alterations; writing hurriedly, as I have always to do now, there were defects in the language or in the expression of the thought which I have tried to correct or smooth over.

I have not forgotten the “positive side” — but I have had no chance recently to do the needful. Krishnaprem has been progressing slowly and by spasms, but is approaching completion — only it is at once too short and too long, too long for your purpose, too short for mine. It ought to be ready before the week is out.

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March 16, 1932

I have read your last and also your positively last translations for your book Anāmī. By coincidence I have given today my last and positively last hammerings to get out from myself the letter about Krishnaprem’s letters and you will have the result, I suppose, some time tomorrow.

Your translations are very good, but much more poetic than the originals: some would consider that a fault, but I do not. The songs of these Bhaktas (Kabir and others) are very much in a manner and style that might be called the “hieratic primitive,” like a picture all in intense lines, but only two or three essential lines at a time; the only colour is the hue of a single and very simple strong spiritual idea or emotion or experience. The Urdu poems are still more so. It is hardly possible to carry that over into modern poetry; the result would probably be instead of the bare sincerity of the original some kind of ostensible artificial artlessness that would not be at all the same thing.

I have no objection to your substituting Krishna for Ram, and if Kabir makes any, which is not likely, you have only to sing to him softly, “Rām Shyām judā mat karo bhai” [Don’t separate Rām and Shyām, O brother] and he will be silenced at once.

The bottom reason for the preference of Krishna or Rama is not sectarian but psychological. The Northerner prefers Rama because the Northerner is the mental, moral and social man in his type, and Rama is a congenial Avatar for that type; the Bengali, emotional and intuitive, finds all that very dry and plumps for Krishna. I suspect that is the whole mystery of the choice. Apart from these temperamental preferences and turning to essentials, one might say that Rama is the Divine accepting and glorifying a mould of the human mental, while Krishna seems rather to break the human moulds in order to create others from the higher planes; for he comes down direct from the Overmind and hammers with its forces on the mind and vital and heart of man to change and liberate and divinise them. At least that is one way of looking at their difference.

By the way, why should the joy of creation be unyogic? Every creator feels the joy of creation — including the Divine Creator.

The music is not on the 28th — it is on the 27th, Easter Sunday.

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