Book 3 Canto 1 - The Book of the Divine Mother - The Pursuit of the Unknowable
All is too little that the world can give:
Its power and knowledge are the gifts of Time
And cannot fill the spirit's sacred thirst.
Although of One these forms of greatness are
And by its breath of grace our lives abide,
Although more near to us than nearness' self,
It is some utter truth of what we are;
Hidden by its own works, it seemed far-off,
Impenetrable, occult, voiceless, obscure.
The Presence was lost by which all things have charm,
The Glory lacked of which they are dim signs.
The world lived on made empty of its Cause,
Like love when the beloved's face is gone.
The labour to know seemed a vain strife of Mind;
All knowledge ended in the Unknowable:
The effort to rule seemed a vain pride of Will;
A trivial achievement scorned by Time,
All power retired into the Omnipotent.
A cave of darkness guards the eternal Light.
A silence settled on his striving heart;
Absolved from the voices of the world's desire,
He turned to the Ineffable's timeless call.
A Being intimate and unnameable,
A wide compelling ecstasy and peace
Felt in himself and all and yet ungrasped,
Approached and faded from his soul's pursuit
As if for ever luring him beyond.
Near, it retreated; far, it called him still.
Nothing could satisfy but its delight:
Its absence left the greatest actions dull,
Its presence made the smallest seem divine.
When it was there, the heart's abyss was filled;
But when the uplifting Deity withdrew,
Existence lost its aim in the Inane.
The order of the immemorial planes,
The godlike fullness of the instruments
Were turned to props for an impermanent scene.
But who that mightiness was he knew not yet.
Impalpable, yet filling all that is,
It made and blotted out a million worlds
And took and lost a thousand shapes and names.
It wore the guise of an indiscernible Vast,
Or was a subtle kernel in the soul:
A distant greatness left it huge and dim,
A mystic closeness shut it sweetly in:
It seemed sometimes a figment or a robe
And seemed sometimes his own colossal shade.
A giant doubt overshadowed his advance.
Across a neutral all-supporting Void
Whose blankness nursed his lone immortal spirit,
Allured towards some recondite Supreme,
Aided, coerced by enigmatic Powers,
Aspiring and half-sinking and upborne,
Invincibly he ascended without pause.
Always a signless vague Immensity
Brooded, without approach, beyond response,
Condemning finite things to nothingness,
Fronting him with the incommensurable.
Then to the ascent there came a mighty term.
A height was reached where nothing made could live,
A line where every hope and search must cease
Neared some intolerant bare Reality,
A zero formed pregnant with boundless change.
On a dizzy verge where all disguises fail
And human mind must abdicate in Light
Or die like a moth in the naked blaze of Truth,
He stood compelled to a tremendous choice.
All he had been and all towards which he grew
Must now be left behind or else transform
Into a self of That which has no name.
Alone and fronting an intangible Force
Which offered nothing to the grasp of Thought,
His spirit faced the adventure of the Inane.
Abandoned by the worlds of Form he strove.
A fruitful world-wide Ignorance foundered here;
Thought's long far-circling journey touched its close
And ineffective paused the actor Will.
The symbol modes of being helped no more,
The structures Nescience builds collapsing failed,
And even the spirit that holds the universe
Fainted in luminous insufficiency.
In an abysmal lapse of all things built
Transcending every perishable support
And joining at last its mighty origin,
The separate self must melt or be reborn
Into a Truth beyond the mind's appeal.
All glory of outline, sweetness of harmony,
Rejected like a grace of trivial notes,
Expunged from Being's silence nude, austere,
Died into a fine and blissful Nothingness.
The Demiurges lost their names and forms,
The great schemed worlds that they had planned and wrought
Passed, taken and abolished one by one.
The universe removed its coloured veil,
And at the unimaginable end
Of the huge riddle of created things
Appeared the far-seen Godhead of the whole,
His feet firm-based on Life's stupendous wings,
Omnipotent, a lonely seer of Time,
Inward, inscrutable, with diamond gaze.
Attracted by the unfathomable regard
The unsolved slow cycles to their fount returned
To rise again from that invisible sea.
All from his puissance born was now undone;
Nothing remained the cosmic Mind conceives.
Eternity prepared to fade and seemed
A hue and imposition on the Void,
Space was the fluttering of a dream that sank
Before its ending into Nothing's deeps.
The spirit that dies not and the Godhead's self
Seemed myths projected from the Unknowable;
From It all sprang, in It is called to cease.
But what That was, no thought nor sight could tell.
Only a formless Form of self was left,
A tenuous ghost of something that had been,
The last experience of a lapsing wave
Before it sinks into a bourneless sea,--
As if it kept even on the brink of Nought
Its bare feeling of the ocean whence it came.
A Vastness brooded free from sense of Space,
An Everlastingness cut off from Time;
A strange sublime inalterable Peace
Silent rejected from it world and soul.
A stark companionless Reality
Answered at last to his soul's passionate search:
Passionless, wordless, absorbed in its fathomless hush,
Keeping the mystery none would ever pierce,
It brooded inscrutable and intangible
Facing him with its dumb tremendous calm.
It had no kinship with the universe:
There was no act, no movement in its Vast:
Life's question met by its silence died on her lips,
The world's effort ceased convicted of ignorance
Finding no sanction of supernal Light:
There was no mind there with its need to know,
There was no heart there with its need to love.
All person perished in its namelessness.
There was no second, it had no partner or peer;
Only itself was real to itself.
A pure existence safe from thought and mood,
A consciousness of unshared immortal bliss,
It dwelt aloof in its bare infinite,
One and unique, unutterably sole.
A Being formless, featureless and mute
That knew itself by its own timeless self,
Aware for ever in its motionless depths,
Uncreating, uncreated and unborn,
The One by whom all live, who lives by none,
An immeasurable luminous secrecy
Guarded by the veils of the Unmanifest,
Above the changing cosmic interlude
Abode supreme, immutably the same,
A silent Cause occult, impenetrable,--
Infinite, eternal, unthinkable, alone.
Book1 Canto1 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Symbol Dawn
Book1 Canto2 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Issue
Book1 Canto3 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Soul's Release
Book1 Canto4 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Secret Knowledge
Book1 Canto5 - The Book Of Beginnings - The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Spirit's Freedom and Greatness
Book2 Canto1 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The World-Stair
Book2 Canto2 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdom of Subtle Matter
Book2 Canto3 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Glory and the Fall of Life
Book2 Canto4 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms of the Little Life
Book2 Canto5 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Godheads of the Little Life
Book2 Canto6 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Life
Book2 Canto7 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Descent into Night
Book2 Canto8 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The World of Falsehood, the Mother of Evil
Book2 Canto9 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Paradise of the Life-Gods
Book2 Canto10 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Little Mind
Book2 Canto11 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Mind
Book2 Canto12 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Heavens of the Ideal
Book2 Canto13 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - In the Self of Mind
Book2 Canto14 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The World-Soul
Book2 Canto15 - The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds - The Kingdoms of the Greater Knowledge
Book3 Canto1 - The Book of the Divine Mother - The Pursuit of the Unknowable
Book3 Canto2 - The Book of the Divine Mother - The Adoration of the Divine Mother
Book3 Canto3 - The Book of the Divine Mother - The House of the Spirit and the New Creation
Book3 Canto4 - The Book of the Divine Mother - The Vision and the Boon
Book4 Canto1 - The Book of Birth and Quest - The Birth and Childhood of the Flame
Book4 Canto2 - The Book of Birth and Quest - The Growth of the Flame
Book4 Canto3 - The Book of Birth and Quest - The Call to the Quest
Book4 Canto4 - The Book of Birth and Quest - The Quest
Book5 Canto1 - The Book of Love - The Destined Meeting-Place
Book5 Canto2 - The Book of Love - Satyavan
Book5 Canto3 - The Book of Love - Satyavan and Savitri
Book6 Canto1 - The Book of Fate - The Word of Fate
Book6 Canto2 - The Book of Fate - The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain
Book7 Canto1 - The Book of Yoga - The Joy of Union; the Ordeal of the Foreknowledge of Death and the Heart's Grief and Pain
Book7 Canto2 - The Book of Yoga - The Parable of the Search for the Soul
Book7 Canto3 - The Book of Yoga - The Entry into the Inner Countries
Book7 Canto4 - The Book of Yoga - The Triple Soul-Forces
Book7 Canto5 - The Book of Yoga - The Finding of the Soul
Book7 Canto6 - The Book of Yoga - Nirvana and the Discovery of the All-Negating Absolute
Book7 Canto7 - The Book of Yoga - The Discovery of the Cosmic Spirit and the Cosmic Consciousness
Book9 Canto1 - The Book of Eternal Night -
Book9 Canto2 - The Book of Eternal Night -
Book10 Canto1 - The Book of the Double Twilight - Death in the Forest*
Book10 Canto2 - The Book of the Double Twilight - Towards the Black Void
Book10 Canto3 - The Book of the Double Twilight - The Journey in Eternal Night and the Voice of the Darkness
Book10 Canto4 - The Book of the Double Twilight - The Dream Twilight of the Ideal
Book11 Canto1 - The Book of Everlasting Day - The Gospel of Death and Vanity of the Ideal
Book12 Canto1 - Epilogue - The Debate of Love and Death