Preparing for the Miraculous
Preparing for the Miraculous is a series of ten talks given by Georges Van Vrekhem in Auroville in 2010 covering a wide range of subjects, examined from the Aurobindonian viewpoint. The book explores timeless questions in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary concept and casts a refreshing new look on issues that have been the lasting preoccupation of seekers throughout the ages. In these talks, Georges discusses such questions as:
- What is the meaning of our existence in the cosmic scheme?
- Is there a divine purpose in life or is it merely the mechanical playing-out of competing “greedy genes”?
- Do we live in a blind universe aimlessly running its course from Big Bang to Big Crunch or is there a higher purpose in evolution?
- If there is a conscious guiding intent, why does it allow evil to exist?
- How do we transcend the limits of a blind “scientism” locking itself out of a vaster understanding by refusing to admit the existence of any factors outside of its self-imposed limits of “scientific” verifiability? Can these questions be tackled without landing in the other extreme of religious dogma?
- Is our planet Earth special in the universe?
- Do we human beings have a special role in evolution?
- Adam Kadmon and the Evolution;
- The Development of Sri Aurobindo’s Thought;
- Preparing for the Miraculous;
- What Arjuna Saw: the Dark Side of the Force;
- 2012 and 1956: Doomsday?
- Being Human and the Copernican Evolution;
- Bridges across the Afterlife;
- Sri Aurobindo’s Descent into Death;
- Sri Aurobindo and the Big Bang;
- Theodicy: “Nature Makes no Mistakes;”
- The Kalki Avatar.
Preparing for the Miraculous
Adam Kadmon and the Evolution
The Cosmic Purusha
The Mother has told several times of a very old tradition at the origin of the Vedic and the Chaldean branches of wisdom and spirituality. According to this tradition, the One, wanting to know himself, manifested as the Great Mother and thus became two. And the Great Mother, in her turn, manifested the attributes of the One – Truth, Light or Consciousness, Life, and Ananda or Bliss – as the main elements of the manifestation. But, relates the tradition, a crucial mistake happened which made Truth turn into falsehood, Light into darkness and ignorance, Bliss into suffering, and Life into death.
“The Creative Power implored the Supreme Origin, asking for a special intervention which could save this corrupted universe; and in reply to this prayer there was emanated from the Supreme Origin a special Entity of love and consciousness, who cast himself directly into the most inconscient matter to begin there the work of awakening. In the old narratives this Being is described as stretched out in a deep sleep at the bottom of a very dark cave.”
This very old story about an accident on the threshold of creation, for which the Great Mother was held responsible, is also the foundation story of all schools of Gnosticism; according to the gnostic myths, souls (sparks of the Divine) get lost in the world of the Ignorance and can only be saved by a redeemer who reminds them of their origin. In the Bible, Satan (originally the Angel of Light) revolts against God and becomes the devil. The Mother herself has more than once told the same story in its complete form: the four attributes of the Divine – truth, light, life and bliss – in their boundless egoistic pride deemed themselves equal to be the very Divine and therefore turned into the great Asuras: the Lords of Falsehood, Darkness, Suffering and Death. (In one of his sonnets Sri Aurobindo called them “the iron Dictators”. They are also known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.)
The “special Entity,” emanated by the Divine to save the world, is described in the narratives of the old traditions “as stretched out in a deep sleep at the bottom of a very dark cave, and in his sleep prismatic rays of light irradiate from him and gradually penetrate in all the elements of the Inconscient.” Without this direct divine permeation the world of Ignorance and Darkness could never have evolved back towards its Origin.
During her second visit to Tlemcen, in 1907, when working with Max Théon, the Mother descended in trance into the “total Inconscient” at the bottom of the manifestation. Suddenly she found herself in front of a cave in which there was that special Entity, “a Being of iridescent light, lying on one side and with its head resting in its hand.” She had trained herself to talk in trance, and when she reported to Théon what she saw, he replied that it was “the immanent Divine at the bottom of the Inconscient.” But then something remarkable happened: the Being opened its eyes, thereby indicating that the time of wakeful, conscious action had come.
While still at Tlemcen, the Mother had another, related experience which she narrated many years later, in 1961. She had learned to leave the successive sheaths of the body “with great dexterity… I could halt on any plane, do what I had to do there, move around freely, see, observe, and then speak about what I had seen.” Once, having left behind the most subtle body sheath, she passed “beyond all possible forms, even all thought forms,” in a domain where one experienced total unity – unity in “something that was the essence of Love.” Quite unexpected, and to her amazement, she there found herself “in the presence of the principle, the principle of the human form. … It was an upright form, standing just on the border between the world of forms and the Formless” like a kind of norm, model or archetype. “At that time nobody had ever spoken to me about it,” for no one she knew had ever seen anything like it. But she felt at once the special importance of her experience. “Afterwards [at least thirteen years later], when I met Sri Aurobindo and talked to him about it, he told me: ‘It is surely the prototype of the supramental form.’ I saw it several times again, later on, and this proved to be true.”
We remember that the Mother said that the story about what she usually called “the accident,” the fall into the Inconscient, was under different names known in the ancient wisdom traditions. “In every country, every tradition, the event has been presented in a special way, with different limitations, different details or particular features, but, truly speaking, the origin of all these stories is the same.” It is the gnostic story, rediscovered and revived in the great periods of the history of humankind (as we shall see). And we remember that, at the beginning of the evolution as well as at its end, there is a divine archetype determining the development of Life on Earth.