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At the Feet of The Mother

The Closing Arc of the Curve of Reason, pp. 253-254

Opening Remarks
Reason builds systems of knowledge based on its observation, analysis and inference. But sooner or later a new discovery is made that completely upsets what it had known turning it all into a fresh ignorance.

Matter as sole reality
Our thoughts are parts of the immense machine,
Our ponderings but a freak of Matter’s law,
The mystic’s lore was a fancy or a blind;
Of soul or spirit we have now no need:
Matter is the admirable Reality,
The patent unescapable miracle,
The hard truth of things, simple, eternal, sole.

Inverting cause and effect it believes that all is some mechanical working of an immense machine, without a maker and a guide! Our thoughts, ponderings, philosophy and science itself are freak products of mechanical and material energies and processes. All else is discarded as fancy not even worth an investigative inquiry. In its growing arrogance it declares mysticism, soul, God all as needless constructs and belief systems that must be discarded in the dust bin of Matter from which all has emerged, by which all is temporarily sustained and into which all collapses. The only object worth studying is hard Matter and its laws which alone are true and real.

Self-disintegrating force
A suicidal rash expenditure
Creating the world by a mystery of self-loss
Has poured its scattered works on empty Space;
Late shall the self-disintegrating Force
Contract the immense expansion it has made:
Then ends this mighty and unmeaning toil,
The Void is left bare, vacant as before.

At most it admits an equally blind and mechanical / material energy that expends itself by building forms. Thus are Space and Time created and the laws that came into existence by this self-disintegrating Force. It makes the universe contract and expand for a while until one day this meaningless toil will cease and the world will collapse and all this material universe will change back into energy leaving the universe bare and empty and cold as before.

The new grand Thought
Thus vindicated, crowned, the grand new Thought
Explained the world and mastered all its laws,
Touched the dumb roots, woke veiled tremendous powers;
It bound to service the unconscious djinns
That sleep unused in Matter’s ignorant trance.

This is the new thought worn as a crown by modern scientific man as a crown. Explaining the world as a rigid mechanical scheme without a cause it has dug into matter to discover its bound djinns and put them to service for his comfort and use.

Precise, rigid, indubitable
All was precise, rigid, indubitable.

The world and men were an exact machine, precise and bound by rigid unchanging laws. Or so it thought.

The formless Power behind form
But when on Matter’s rock of ages based
A whole stood up firm and clear-cut and safe,
All staggered back into a sea of doubt;
This solid scheme melted in endless flux:
She had met the formless Power inventor of forms;
Suddenly she stumbled upon things unseen:
A lightning from the undiscovered Truth
Startled her eyes with its perplexing glare
And dug a gulf between the Real and Known
Till all her knowledge seemed an ignorance.

Thus it kept digging until it confronted the formless power on and by which Matter stood. This depth upset all its clarity and rigid scheme of things. All its knowledge of fixed laws collapsed into a fresh ignorance. Its certainty of truth ended into doubt as it entered the threshold of occult unseen energies. As sudden lightning from above illumines the field this new discovery startled Science and Reason and left it wondering what is Real and true. Its old system of knowledge had collapsed with this discovery of a new quantum world lurking below and behind the solid face of the universe.

Closing remarks
Sri Aurobindo traces the full curve through which Science and Reason have moved and how they have entered into inexplicable paradoxes and domains of knowledge that are upsetting their theories of old and leading to fresh insights that were hitherto considered impossible.

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