The Emerging Cosmos
by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
[A paper prepared by Thea for a symposium on THE HUMAN CONDITION;
New Delhi, Dec.1986, and published in The Vishaal Newsletter in May 1987.]
'At present mankind is undergoing an evolutionary crisis
in which is concealed a choice of its destiny.'
˗ Sri Aurobindo
The malaise of our civilisation is not an inchoate
or unpredictable development. Rather, it is the logical, foreseeable result
of thousands of years of partial and ineffective spiritual visions and
incomplete philosophical systems. These have always been the driving force
behind the evolution of higher mental forms. Therefore, if our civilisation
stands at a critical juncture at present, it is not in the secular and
scientific domain that we must search for the cause of the decay. We must
discover what has been lacking in the dimension of existence that moulds
the more external and material patterns which condition life on this planet.
Once the root of the problem is located in its true
area of causation, necessarily a change must be introduced in that sphere before the more external levels can be influenced. Thus if we can locate
the root cause of the decay in that more essential domain, our task of
bringing about a change in the individual and in society and of establishing
a new world order on Earth is greatly facilitated.
Indeed, the crux of the problem lies here: for thousands
of years sages, saints, yogis, philosophers, and men and women of wisdom
have described the purpose of birth on this planet as simply a passage
to a reality beyond not only our planetary home but entirely out
of the cosmic dimension. The course our civilisation has taken can therefore
be directly connected to this factor. The influence a vision of this nature
has wielded has been devastating--for it has carried the planet and its
multiple societies to the brink of total annihilation.
We may call this development a conspiracy of the spiritual
elite which gradually influenced the whole tenure of life on Earth, spreading
its tentacles of influence through religions and philosophical systems
during the past several thousands of years, but now through scientific,
political and socioeconomic systems. The latter can invariably trace their
inspiration to some spiritual or philosophical source. For even our most
material ideologies that apparently deny the higher realities of existence
and focus entirely on the physical dimension, have done so by virtue of
a reaction to those more metaphysical postulations.
Many profound thinkers throughout the world have perceived
that it is only a spiritual renaissance that can save our civilisation.
Only if we attain a different consciousness, rooted in some higher seeing,
can there be any real change, they feel. This may well be true, but what
is not appreciated is that the present chaos is a direct outcome of our
past mystic and spiritual perceptions. There are two aspects to this development.
One is the course spirituality took in the West, which founded itself on
a certain form of negation of life; and the other is the Eastern orientation,
in its own way equally a denial of life.
In the West, out of denial and suffering there developed
a certain strength. Believers had been encouraged to accept suffering as
a way to God and the means to attain a heaven beyond this life. Indeed,
life on Earth came to be considered a prison and the fall of the soul.
Salvation, through negation of life, could only come in a beyond, namely
in some transcendent Heaven. The final outcome of this negation has been
the materialistic philosophies and political ideologies which the West
has given to the world. Presently there is a clear dichotomy on the planet,
whereby western civilisation has aligned itself clearly and decisively
with what has come to be called in spiritual circles the 'materialistic
However, in the East we find a similar denial of life,
also as an outcome of its spirituality. Interestingly, this negation took
hold of the consciousness of eastern wisemen at about the same time that
a similar denial caught hold of their western counterparts. About the end
of the first millennium Indian spirituality veered fully toward a quest
for otherworldliness: the philosophies of the day made the conclusive proclamation
that all creation in matter was an 'illusion', a deceptive veil that seekers
of Truth must tear through in order to reach the immutable, immobile, transcosmic
and static Brahman; or a Self devoid of all relations in this material
web of time and space.
Thus at approximately the same period in history, the
stamp of otherworldliness and denial of life and the planet's own truth
of being and purpose as a home of an evolving species, became firm pillars
of our civilisation. This conditioned everything. This denial coloured
all our perceptions and gradually moulded every pattern we evolved for
the regulation of our individual and collective life. And what we are faced
with today is simply the ultimate display of that denial and negation of
life. The human being has carried the formula of this negation to its fullest
extremes: What was seen as the highest spiritual poise has been
carried over to the material realm, or the stage upon which all the ideals
and more ethereal concepts of humankind are played out; with the predictable
result that now science has furnished the race with the ultimate powers
for its own destruction. If the only purpose of life on this planet is
to escape it somehow, never more to return, then we are wholly justified
in seeking means to destroy this springboard base as the ultimate and conclusive
It is important to see clearly that the root of this
problem is directly connected to the religious dogmas and spiritual visions
that have conditioned our living since time immemorial. Spirituality is
not a static expression. It has evolved pari passu with the material evolution.
In fact, there is only ONE evolution, one principle evolving through the
myriad forms that constitute our world. This 'consciousness' has two facets,
material and spiritual. But both respond to the same underlying
energy and drive.
Consequently, to posit the ultimate solution in either
the spirituality we know today or in materialism, with its own brand of
denial of life, is inadequate. Indeed, such attempts have consistently
failed. Spirituality can only offer old solutions which were themselves
largely the causes of the decay. Likewise, materialistic answers are prisoners
of the same insufficiencies; and continuing as we are, they will drive
us to a total destruction in order to play out the drama of denial of life
that spirituality has constantly espoused in one form or another, under
one disguise or another.
To accurately assess the situation it is required that
we examine the problem deeply, in an effort to reach the core of the matter
and discover the fount from which both science and spirituality receive
their driving force. Therefore, it is necessary to perceive what stands
behind the play of forces; and to do so we must come to a more enlightened
understanding of the evolutionary process itself. This will provide us
with a more holistic assessment of the condition of the highest instrument
nature makes use of for the purpose of the evolution of the species, in
order to effect this upward march to ever better forms of consciousness
and life: the mental human being.
For this is the self-evident purpose of evolution.
It is to bring forth evermore perfect forms in order to create more complex
and sophisticated networks or patterns of structured energy that can express
more harmonious states of consciousness-being. Our present stage is merely
one step along the evolutionary way, albeit a decisive one. We have reached
a major evolutionary turning point. There is a choice: Before us lies a
totally new way of life and by consequence a new world order. For this,
a finer, more refined instrument has to manifest. And this is the major
focus of the present crisis. We are in the process of evolving a human
instrument capable of sustaining the greater cosmic forces at play through
life and matter on this planet, without experiencing destructive collapse
of energies or succumbing to the old ways of escape through outdated solutions
and methods the world has known until now.
The human instrument as it is presently constituted
pivots a void. At its centre lies a 'black hole' into which energies collapse,
cave in, dissolve; resulting ultimately in decay and death. And out of
this condition of the instrument ,through which the human consciousness
perceives the reality beyond, came the projection of a world in chaos and
collapse and hence the perception that salvation, of whatever order and
under whatever guise, lay beyond this material universe and, above all,
away from this woeful planet Earth. The demon of the drama was seen to
be the senses, which wisemen understood to be the limiting factor which
distorts a reality that somehow could be disconnected from the body and
experienced separately, free from our physical organs of perception and
hence disengaged from the world of material creation, out of which and
within which these senses have evolved. Thus, ways were devised to liberate
the seeker from the physical, sensual instrument, limited by its own apparently
To be more specific, such projections and perceptions
of our condition are the logical outcomes of a species ill-poised,
but for reasons quite different than those given in current religious,
mystic and spiritual explanations. The human being has an off-centre pivot
of his bodily instrument, which results in a distorted perception of our
world; but which is, paradoxically, caused by the perception itself.
Consequently, to alter that perception it is required that concurrently
we shift this axis of being--in the species--and allow evolution to carry
us to a new and higher destiny.
The human instrument, an intrinsic part of the solar
system and the universal harmony, is structured energy just as any other
microcosmic or macrocosmic body. The human being has its 'axis' also, around
which the individual frame is organised and because of which a separate
entity can come into existence and sustain itself without dispersion, adding
to this magnificent display of multiplicity within unity, which is the
key feature of our material world. But because we are as yet merely a transitional
species, albeit evolving to a higher form, the present 'axis' and its location
within the body, which has come into being in accordance with certain evolutionary
laws, encourages atavism as the single most important driving force of
Over the ages, wisemen, philosophers, seers, mystics,
have sought through various means to alter this condition. In place of
the inertia of atavism they have sought to install a higher purpose. But
the inadequate condition of the instrument through which perception is
made, provided only a partial understanding of the problem; and hence the
techniques which were devised in order to help the human being to find
release from this limiting function were in themselves inconclusive and
did nothing to alter in any way conditions on the planet. Matters progressively
worsened, until finally, seeing the gravity of the situation, all those
who in some way have been concerned with this problem, came to a dramatic
impasse. Finding that it was apparently impossible to change this evolutionary
determinism, all spiritual and religious paths proffered methods of escape
from the 'coils of this corruptible flesh' as the only way to salvation,
and to seek dissolution of the consciousness in a transcendent Beyond or
a nirvanic Void. Not only has this done nothing to change conditions on
Earth, it has complicated the task of discovering the solution. And finally
we find ourselves, as a species, facing possible annihilation.
Let us demonstrate the subtle ways in which this notion
of irredeemability has penetrated the thinking of even those philosophers
whom one would expect to perceive the position differently, primarily because
they are indefatigably engaged in the task of instructing men and women
the world over on the ways to a better life. But a better life where? If
it is here, on this planet, then the flaws that emerge in these
teachings must be pointed out, which will serve to expose the fact that
on the basis of just such erroneous visions the human condition is what
it is and cannot hope to change. Rather, the condition becomes compounded.
To illustrate, we may quote a statement of one of the
most eminent thinkers of our times, the late J. Krishnamurti:
'Truth cannot be exact. What can be measured is not
truth.' (Krishnamurti's Notebook, Harper & Row, 1976, p.24.)
This declaration is sure to appeal to all those who
have become disenchanted with life in the body and in the material universe
of which measure is the salient feature, and who have subsequently
posited the goal of their quests in some extra-cosmic heaven or transcendent
Beyond. For, what is Krishnamurti really stating?
It is simply this: the higher reality is not of this
world, measurable in time and space, and any such attempt to find truth
within this material (measurable) universe is futile. Hence this statement
is a denial of life and fosters a totally divisive consciousness (certainly
not the aim of his teaching efforts on the surface), whereby truth is OUTSIDE
of time and space and hence beyond our world. God, the supreme Reality,
or Truth is not, according to Krishnamurti, found in what is measurable.
It is this sort of postulation that has carried us
to the point of such a tremendous evolutionary crisis. And lamentably,
it is men and women concerned preeminently with the spiritual well-being
of humankind who have contributed most to this situation, either by encouraging
the faithful to live rightly and morally--but only for the purpose of reaching
'heaven' after death; or else by subtly and more often unknowingly, as
in the case of Krishnamurti, consolidating the perception of an untransformable,
irredeemable material creation, into which the soul and spirit of the human
being has fallen and out of which some form of escape must be found in
order to know truth in its transcendent, pristine and uncontaminated purity.
Krishnamurti, provides us with another example of the
way in which this vision has permeated the intelligentsia, in quarters
that one could not have anticipated. Of late two books have appeared with
transcripts of his conversations with the physicist David Bohm. It is interesting
to observe that Krishnamurti succeeds in carrying Bohm, a physicist and
hence a person supremely trained in the art of Measure, into his vision
of a featureless void, in which time is an illusion and there is no becoming.
A portion of their conversation will suffice to illustrate the nature of
JK: I am asking you as a physicist, is this universe
based on time?
DB: I would say no, but you see, the general way...
JK: That is all I want. You say no! And can the brain,
which has evolved in time ... ?
DB: Well, has it evolved in time? Rather, it has become
entangled in time. Because the brain is part of the universe, which we
say is not based on time.
JK: I agree.
DB: Thought has entangled the brain in time.
JK: All right. Can that entanglement be unraveled,
freed, so that the universe is the mind? You follow? If the universe is
not of time, can the mind, which has been entangled in time, unravel itself
and so be the universe?
And further on, Krishnamurti makes this revealing statement:
'...to be free of becoming? That is the root of it.
To end becoming...Of course, there is only complete security in nothingness!'
(The Ending of Time, Harper & Row, 1985.)
This clearly, is the perception that must change if
at all a new species and a new world order can safely take their place
upon the planet for which they are destined. This calls for a complete
readjustment in the 'lens of our seeing', precisely our 'instrument of
measure', whereby the Earth comes into focus not as some eternal, irredeemable
Hell that a chastising Creator has condemned us to, but rather the planet
that serves a noble purpose in the cosmic order. This purpose is to evolve
continuously higher and better forms of life. At present the human being
is in transition toward a new condition. The breakdown we witness about
us, inclusive of the marvels of technology that the human mind has brought
into being, is an indication of that new order that is arising. The axis
of the human instrument is being encouraged to shift to a higher pivot,
whereby the present atavism is no longer a rigid cross to which we are
nailed as a race. Rather, the new species is liberated from this compelling
drive and begins then a more conscious participation in this grand act
of Becoming through which a new instrument is being wrought. But for this
to occur, the orientation of our quest and its consequent goal, based on
a truly new perception of the higher reality of existence, must
shift. The direction must cease to be otherworldly, no matter how camouflaged
this may be, as noted by the example furnished above. The answer lies here,
on Earth, in the body--but transformed by the power of a new seeing.
How is this achieved? The new axis is not metaphysical.
It is a pivot that comes into being in accordance with precise evolutionary
laws involving time. By working with time in a particular manner, it is
possible to restructure the consciousness, and ultimately the physical
being, around a higher pivot. This cannot be accomplished while religions
and the old spirituality block the process by emphasis on a metaphysical
experience that disengages the human being from any spiritually and materially
meaningful contact with the physical world, and consequently absolves him
from any responsibility therein. According to these now outdated ways,
the purpose of life was to somehow find escape from it, to either expiate
one's sins and reach heaven, or to work out a karma and thereby become
freed from taking birth again on this woeful planet. In the midst of such
a conditioning, it was not possible to alter the evolutionary pattern,
insofar as the means to do so, in particular a conscious work with time,
were denied their truth and the part they played to attain a higher reality.
The new world is a world in which both the being and
the becoming are harmonised in the vision. Therefore Sri Aurobindo describes
the choice of destiny that faces mankind at this crisis point as an accepting
and embracing precisely of the becoming, as the means to attain
the ultimate apotheosis, an evolutionary leap to a totally new status:
The significance of our existence here determines our
destiny: that destiny is something that already exists in us as a necessity
and a potentiality, the necessity of our being's secret and emergent reality,
a truth of its potentialities that is being worked out; both, though not
yet realised, are even now implied in what has been already manifested.If
there is a Being that is becoming, a Reality of existence that is unrolling
itself in Time, what that being, that reality secretly is is what we have
to become, and so to become is our life's significance. (The Life Divine,
While the old degenerates into chaos and begins its
collapse, there is simultaneously a work in progress to evolve a new species.
The process entails, however, a laying of correct foundations. That is,
a new 'blueprint' is being evolved, the lines of which are drawn by time,
the power of evolution for the gestation of any new form.
The new 'blueprint' being established at present is
a pattern of harmony. Indeed, its inspirer is the closest, most complete
pattern of harmony that we can observe and of which we are an intrinsic
part. It is the solar system--seen with a new eye and an entirely new and
different instrument of perception and measurement. This blueprint of a
new consciousness-being will provide the basis for a new world order. The
outcome is a planetary society, inspired in its governance by the very
harmonics of our System and in particular founded upon a vision that sees
and accepts the Earth as the place where upon this progression is destined
But foremost in this evolutionary leap is the question
of the purpose of evolution; and by consequence the purpose of our
planetary home within the scheme of the cosmic order. It is clear that
while we continue to turn to the old spirituality for solutions to our
present state of collapse, we are only compounding that collapse, insofar
as all spirituality considers life in this cosmos to be a fall and posits
salvation in some form of a Beyond, unevolving and static. The dramatic
shift that is required is then the complete refocusing of the lens we are
provided with for evolution on Earth, and the resultant consciousness that
introduces an entirely new direction in our perceiving. We cease to deny
life and material creation as channels for expression of the highest truth
principle. Rather, we see these as instruments on Earth of what Sri Aurobindo
has called, the 'life divine'.
There is a tested method to establish this new blueprint.
It utilises time as the creative power for this revolutionary activity.
By a specific knowledge of the mechanics of our solar system and the relation
of the planetary harmony to time, as experienced on Earth and in the human
body, a shift is brought about in the consciousness-being of the individual
practitioner, whereby a new pivot is established in the body, no longer
prisoner of atavistic drives but responsive to a higher purpose. On that
basis a truly new harmony establishes itself within the individual and
his society. There is no longer a collapse of energies but rather a sort
of mini-solar system manifests as a nuclear compound from where new influences
emerge. Gradually these accumulate and extend and eventually draw into
the orbit of the new System an increasingly wider sphere; until finally
the entire planet becomes the home of this higher planetary society.
What evolves is therefore neither a new spirituality
nor a new science or material ideology. It is something beyond all these
known methods but that miraculously harmonises and integrates all
the expressions of mind, life, and matter in a splendid act of synthesis.
The truth of our world is a magnificent manifoldness, expressing an exquisite
diversity. But-this multiple diversity is upheld and sustained by a power
of integration and arises in a field of oneness, --just as our solar system
is an expression of a superb manifold harmony within an integrating oneness.
This is an evolutionary process which respects the
being as well as the becoming. Hence it does not seek to obliterate the
cosmic harmony which is rooted in time and is the instrument for the Becoming.
Rather, it evolves by the aid of those laws. Thus we can applaud Ilya Prigogine
when he declares, 'I want to feel the evolution of things. I don't believe
in transcending, but in being embedded in a reality that is temporal.'
(OMNI, May, 1983.)
The critical crossroad we have reached is mirrored
in the expansion of this very solar system to the observing eye of humankind.
During the past several hundred years we have seen the System increase
by three planets. While over this same period, pari passu with this expansion,
the consciousness of the species and the condition of our civilisation
have also undergone singular alterations. An acceleration in the evolution
of consciousness never before witnessed has set in during this period,
particularly heightened in our century. But what is required now, that
'choice of destiny', as Sri Aurobindo has called it, is a conscious collaboration with this process. Prior to this critical juncture the human
being was carried along on the crests of the evolutionary wave in an unconscious
fashion. But now, with the birth of a new consciousness and species, poised
differently, centred on the higher axis of being, the possibility arises
that we may collaborate consciously, guided by the harmonics of the very
cosmos we inhabit and stand in awe of: an applied cosmology, not
another speculative theory.
In the midst of the chaos we see about us a sublime
cosmos emerges. Its life does not depend upon the old in the midst of which
it stands. It emerges as the old crumbles, uncontaminated by the morose
suggestions of purposelessness that vitiate the atmosphere of this dying
world. It emerges because the conditions for it are determined by higher
evolutionary laws, and is hence a thing inevitable in the history of our
planet's time; even as the present mental being was an unavoidable and
necessary circumstance, a step along the way but nothing more, and nobly
played its role in the evolution of consciousness. The foundations of this
new and higher species are solidly laid in the stratum that is indestructible.
But not disengaged from material creation. Rather, these new foundations
are rooted in matter and they form the basis for a new species and society.
© Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet 1986