Thursday, August 7, 2008


Instead of beginning with a quote, this whole entry (just about) will be a quote. A few weeks ago someone kindly offered me a stash of books that his mother had left behind when she died, mostly books on Indian and Buddhist spirituality, including a dozen or so volumes of Sri Aurobindo, among them The Synthesis of Yoga which is had been reading last time at Shaitnvanam. Just in the first three chapters I am again startled to find how much resonance there is with Bede Griffiths thought on spirit, soul and boyd, which Aurbindo calls bodily or material, mental and spiritual. But this bleow especially struck me yesterday, reading it on the feast of the transfiguration. (What is yet to discovered is how much Aurobindo himself, on the other hand, was influenced by Christianity.)

The goal of evolution is also its cause,
it is that which is immanent in its elements and out of them is liberated.
But the liberation is surely imperfect if it is only an escape and there is not return upon the containing substance and activities to exalt and transform them.
The immanence itself would have no credible reason for being
if it did not end in such a transfiguration.

But if human mind can become capable of the glories of the Divine Light,
human emotion and sensibility can be transformed into the mould
and assume the measure and movement of the supreme Bliss,
human action not only represent but feel itself to be th motion of divine and non-egoistic Force
and the physical substance of our being sufficiently partake of the purity of supernal essence,
sufficiently unify plasticity and durable constancy to support
and prolong these highest experiences and agencies,
then all the long labour of Nature will end in a crowning justification
and her evolution reveal their profound significance.
So dazzling is even a glimpse of this supreme existence
and so absorbing its attraction that, once seen,
we feel readily justified in neglecting all else for its pursuit.

Integral yoga* is that which, having found the Transcendent,
can return upon the universe and possess it,
retaining the power freely to descend as well as ascend the great stair of existence.. For if the eternal Wisdom exists at all,
the faculty of the mind also must have some high use and destiny.
That use must depend on its place in the ascent
and in that return and that destiny must be fulfillment and transfiguration,
not a rooting out and an annulling.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, p. 18-19

*Might I have said here "integral spirituality"?

Or as St Paul might say:
We are waiting for our Savior,
our Lord Jesus Christ
Who will transfigure our lowly bodies
into glorious copies of his.