Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lovely reading in short spurts, but rather forbidding as a whole

These worlds could feel God’s breath visiting their tops; Some glimmer of the Transcendent’s hem was there.
—Sri Aurobindo, Savitri

You might call Aurobindo one of the fathers of New Age thought, in that his influences and background stem from both Western and Eastern sources. He was born in India, educated at Cambridge, a very smart guy; the principle that drives his writings is the belief in an impending spiritual revolution by which mankind will catapault itself into a higher plane of existence, becoming collective entities of pure energy and infinite joy, existing outside the influence of time or space, not unlike all those interstellar beings one runs into all the time on Star Trek.

Savitri is his masterpiece, a thousand-page epic poem, heavily influenced both by John Milton and the Vedic poems, retelling the classic hindu love story of Satyavan and Savitri in the form of an incredibly convoluted, near-impenetrable spiritual allegory. Lovely reading in short spurts, but rather forbidding as a whole. Which attributes suggest to me it would make fine fodder for an I Ching style astrological die roll randomization game.

Were I to interpret the above excerpt in that spirit, I’d say the message is that we are always at the hem of the transcendent, always climbing, never getting to the seam. Which I don’t read as discouraging—merely humbling. We’re human. We’ll transcend when we transcend; it won’t be me that tips the scales. posted by mjd in Reading, Religion, Transcendentalism

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