Sunday, December 21, 2014

Epilogue: The Matrimandir and the Poise of Truth-Consciousness

(From June 2004 Matrimandir Action Committee published updates with new revelations and information relevant to the Mother’s Vision and its activities with reference to the CHRONICLES OF THE INNER CHAMBER, as posted earlier on this blog:  Introduction', 'Manifesto',  Part I - PrefacePart II, Part III, Part IV, Part V Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX Part X, Part XI and Part XII. Link to Update 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9)  


All truth passes through three stages:
First it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as self-evident!

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
Remarkable things are happening in the world. We might call this moment a time of convergence – i.e., when events and the people through whom they unfold are brought identifiably within the scope of a supramental framework in the form of what is called a model of the universe. But this would not be discernible if we did not have certain tools of Knowledge which allow us to bring the multiple dimensions of our world of time and space into focus in this model.
As these Chronicles and Updates have proven, the Mother’s original design and plan of the Inner Chamber conform to Sri Aurobindo’s description of the contents of the soul, - the Chamber ‘closed and mute’ of his epic poem, Savitri. The Mother simply penetrated that sacred precinct to provide humanity with this special and unique model of the Cosmic Truth. For it is in the inner depths, the cave in the heart where Guha stands that the truth foundation of the universe is discovered. Veil after veil is removed as one plunges within to the core of material creation, and not to the Beyond, because the soul is only experienced in material creation – this universe of 9.
            The Mother defined that number-power to the author/convenor as ‘creation in matter’. And it is with this clue which she provided in 1971, the clue that revealed the more arcane mysteries of the 9, that the door was unlocked and one could enter the chamber of the soul.
            The Mother bequeathed to humanity a Soul in the form of an architectural masterpiece. But as we know, the building she set on its way in Auroville did not live up to this sublime truth. In every way it was disfigured. Thus today in place of this greatest of all architectural revelations, we have a faithful reproduction of the ego and not the soul.
            Energies continue to be poured into that endeavour by the community and its faithful followers. One wonders what purpose is served. How and why is it that a choice can be made consciously to put this shadow in place of the Mother’s revelation? Further, the question that arises is why this aberration came to pass at all? How is it that the Mother did not draw to her side the genial architect, Christopher Alexander, for example, instead of what we have had to contend with? For we have his own words to describe the aspects of human nature that interfere with the descent of a building which in his vision embodies a ‘living centre’. 

  ‘It is very hard to allow the wholeness to unfold. To do it, we must pay attention, all the time, only to the wholeness, which exists in what we are doing. That is hard, very hard. If we allow ourselves the luxury of paying attention to our own ideas, we shall certainly fail… The things which can and do most easily get in the way, are my own idea, my thoughts about what to do, my desires about what the building “ought” to be, or “might” be, my striving to make it great, my concern with my own thoughts about it, my exaggerated attention to others people’s thoughts. All this can damage the building, because it replaces the wholeness which actually exists at any given stage with some “idea” of what it ought to be.
  ‘The reason why I must try and make the building as a gift to God is that this state of mind is the only one which reliably keeps me concentrated on what is, and keeps me away from my own vainglorious and foolish thoughts.’ (The Nature of Order, Book 4, p.304) 

            We know that the architects and the community involved with the Matrimandir were not in the poise Christopher Alexander describes during the execution of the construction. Alexander states that it is hard to hold on to this ‘state of mind’. But isn’t that what could and should have been done when these instruments were given this unique gift by the Mother? Christopher Alexander emphasises time and again in the last Book of his magnum opus, The Nature of Order, that the builder must execute in this poise: ‘The core of this necessary state of mind is that you make each building in a way which is a gift to God. It belongs to God. It does not belong to you. It is made to serve God, to glorify God. It is not made to glorify you…’ (Ibid, p. 304)
           This was not written by a yogi or a follower of any known path, much less the Mother’s. It is based on his own experience, his discoveries of the true nature of architecture and the poise the builder must maintain for something divine to imbue the creation. Throughout his writings one hears echoes of the Vedic Age. His description of those centres as ‘blazing ones’, ‘blazing furnaces’ is a purely Vedic seeing. This western architect, with no connection to the Mother or Sri Aurobindo, has experienced the essence of the Vedic Agni, not as a concept or a philosophical formulation, but as a living truth. He is not Indian and therefore cannot be said to be mouthing a tradition he has inherited but not earned. Yet this western professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley has lived the Vedic experience.
            The question one may legitimately ask is why the Mother did not draw into her entourage such a person? After all, it was in the 1970s and 80s that most of his philosophy of architecture was formulated – the very time that the new cosmology took shape which provided the keys of Knowledge to understand the Mother’s creation. And let us not forget that those were the years when a ‘distilling’ process was in effect to ‘sort out the people’ who could build her temple, once her entourage had refused to comply. Surely Christopher Alexander was feeling the effects of that specialised action of the Supramental Shakti precisely in his field of endeavour, though unbeknown to him.

            But in India this was not meant to be; her action was deflected. Instead we had to bear time and again mocking, scoffing, ridicule, and bad will, on the part of those handling Matrimandir matters;
only to discover now, in this time of convergence, that there is at least one architect in the world who can perhaps understand.
            Christopher Alexander writes about the effects of a wrong poise in a manner that closely resembles our own experience regarding the Matrimandir: ‘All of this might make me famous as an architect, but it damages the building. It will make me replace care and humble concern for doing just what is required with a frame of mind which wants to shout, just slightly, at each moment, while the design is unfolding. This problem potentially affects every single one of the 100,000 steps which I go through to make the building. So it will infect it very deeply, change its character not in a subtle way, but altogether…’ (Ibid, p.304-5)
            The Matrimandir Action Committee, particularly this author and convenor, were continuously criticised and maligned (CIC 4, for example) for insisting that every detail of the Mother’s plan must be respected in the interests of its unity – what Alexander calls ‘wholeness’. When this is contravened he writes, ‘The effect is tiny, but its impact is enormous.’ (Ibid, p.305)
            What would Christopher Alexander have to say about the not-so-tiny alterations in the Mother’s design, about what the totally altered ‘stand’ introduced; or the transparent ‘crystal’ in lieu of a translucent globe; or the 23m diameter instead of 24, as she requested time and again; or the altered entrance from a 15-step rise into the Chamber to two doors piercing the walls? One after another the builders imposed their ‘ideas’ and brought into the design not only ‘tiny’ deviations from the true inspiration that Christopher Alexander describes, but major, fundamental changes while all the time knowing that the Mother insisted there should be ‘no changes’.
            What is far worse – and which certainly an architect of Christopher Alexander’s calibre could never fathom – is that the builders and administration insisted throughout the construction process that what they were building was ‘the Mother’s original’. This, by far, is the truly unbelievable aspect of the saga. In view of what MAC has brought to light, would there be any legitimate reason to continue pouring energy and money into that shadow building? Ignorance of the facts can no longer be claimed.
            Be that as it may, the question that remains is why the Mother would not draw into the endeavour an architect such as Alexander with whom no such problems would have arisen, as was the case when she constructed the Ashram guest house, Golconde. In Update 9 this question was partially answered. Indeed, the distortions and unpleasantness that resulted provided the right field to bring down the Knowledge and to thus allow the Third in the Solar Line to fulfil her role of ‘bridge builder’ between the old and the new.
            The Mother never explained how her architectural plan could further the ‘future realisation’ – nor did anyone ask; after the 18-day confrontation, she dropped the matter. It was clear that another way would have to be found, beyond the confines of that old creation, - indeed, a new way.
            And thus it came to pass that with the Mother’s inspired and unique legacy in hand all the contours of the New Way were revealed. This is the work of the third stage of the Descent, without which we would be left with nothing but shadows in place of light.

Inadequacy of the Old Responses
It would be simplistic to reply that ‘the world was not ready’ for the Mother’s creation to take its place in Auroville. This explanation would be part and parcel of the old way.
In the new creation each thing is in its proper place within the whole. Above all, both positive and negative serve the purposes of the One, that ‘blazing furnace’ of Christopher Alexander’s experience. The truth be told, it is precisely because the world WAS ready that everything unfolded as it did: the old consciousness served the One in equal measure as the new; but by negation which created the required conditions: a field for the third stage to begin and the task to be completed. This, and no other, has been the purpose behind such an obvious, and otherwise incomprehensible, defiance. 

  ‘If we are willing to recognise the ground [the underlying unity], whether we call it God or something else, and recognise that this light is behind all things which are at one with themselves, then we may say simply, that a thing is beautiful to the extent that it reveals this one.
  ‘A massive building or a small one…has life, is deep, affects us, moves us to tears, to awe, exactly to the extent that it is a picture of that God behind all things. If you see the watery pale yellow sunlight shining behind dark grey clouds…and you see in that light, the original light of the universe – then you may say, in still different terms, that sometimes, very occasionally, an artist who weaves a carpet, or who shapes a beautiful building, or who paints a tile, manages to make something which has this same light in it, where this same self is shining out… he has made something as close to a picture of God or self as it can be… (Ibid, p.316.) 

            In the just published Volume 3 of the series, The New Way, written 22 years ago, the poise is described that the artist of the new creation must attain if s/he is to be an instrument in the unfolding of superior forms of beauty and light. The following portion is taken from Chapter 17, page 234, entitled, Creativity and the Gnostic Being: 

  ‘Thus we come to an aspect of this study which deals with the creation of new art forms, new methods of communication, new cultural and technological expressions which evolve from an individual whose consciousness-being is poised in an axial balance and therefore who does not create in the midst of the turbulence that the lower levels of consciousness throw up when inspiration descends into these inferior and hitherto unillumined planes of consciousness.  The first prerequisite therefore is a realisation of one’s core, one’s true stable constant, one’s inner Chamber, - even as in the Mother’s Temple the inner Room holds that core from which the lines of a perfect equilibrium are extended to the outer form via Time and Space fields.
   ‘Admittedly this is a complex and difficult process. It is the goal of the integral yoga, - the harmonisation of all parts of the being, of all four planes of existence. It is the acquisition of a true centre, a real and not an illusory inner luminary around which the individual finds his or her balance and participates in the evolutionary movement nourished by this truth-conscious source and thus serving in the establishment of a society of gnosis. He remains no longer a tool for the perpetuation of the old mental creation that orbits the ego. Therefore the way in which to engage in the creative process in the effort to establish a new order is the one described throughout this volume: the [centre] of each individual must be found, which permits the aspirant to locate his or her place in the larger framework of the gnostic society, - on the basis of true collaboration and harmonious participation, adding to the community the light of a real inner worth and the power to give expression in life to this luminous soul-power.

    ‘The supreme difficulty lies in the fact that the human race, as a whole, orbits a void in the centre of its collective consciousness, which in turn is representative of the void in the consciousness-being of each individual. Energies collapse into this void at a certain point in the march of Time…which is the real dilemma of the human race, the crux of the problem of karma, for this collapse and subsequent compression defies change.
  ‘The void that is then unveiled in the ordinary human being cannot sustain the subsequent journey through Time in order to complete the Circle, or to experience whole time. Thus this precious energy of Time which is released either in death, or sex, or whatever, simply falls into this void, collapses like a mighty star in the heavens. It then compresses itself into a knot, a virtual black hole, and gradually defies all effort to become unravelled. After numerous passages through the Circle, after countless completions of the 9-cycle, this central Knot is so tight, so fixed that it cannot be undone in this lifetime with the eye of awareness awake in this physical universe. It draws upon itself all the areas of the being and finally succumbs to death. But this death is proper to all four planes of existence. Each part of the being experiences the collapse of energies, has its own knot, as it were. Thus, for a new society to emerge we see very clearly that the individual members must know the means by which this void in consciousness is replaced by a fecund, creative womb. This means, first and foremost, that creation itself must be accepted, this Body of the Absolute. Next, it must be accepted that the purpose of incarnation is to live the experience of the Absolute in creation and that the human being can and will serve as the channel for this truth-conscious experience of God in material creation.
  ‘The artist of the new society is one therefore who creates on the basis of a fecund womb in the centre of his or her being. Thus it is understood that the realisation of one’s Godhead is fundamental if new forms are to manifest. Indeed, a member of the society becomes a vehicle through whom the Creator creates and each artistic expression is reflective of this process, the same as the creation itself which is simply an unfolding from within, from the Seed, and a constant flowering from this luminous Bija in an act of utter spontaneity.
  ‘In the ideal society the multiple aspect of creation is gloriously expressed in the varied manifestations of the community’s cultural, artistic and intellectual products. But this means that such creations come into being from the core of psychic plenitude and not the void we now know. At present only rarely is this the basis of any artistic and intellectual expression. Indeed, it is safe to say that we have not known this pure source as the fount of inspiration at all. In these volumes we have used the Mother’s Chamber as an example of such an act of creation from a fecund central womb of consciousness in order to offer the student a concrete example of the emergence of a pure element from the plane of truth seen in the light of the soul; and how, when the consciousness is not disturbed by vital and mental turbulence, the result is a true and faithful reproduction of that element in our physical world. The Mother’s consciousness, being perfectly poised, did not throw up stormy currents in the act of seeing and subsequent translation of the object seen into the measure of our universe and our solar system. But in this example we do see how the architects obscured the creation by their own waves of unconsciousness. And we also see that in order to appreciate the true nature and worth of the Mother’s creative act, a consciousness free from turbulence is also needed. Both artist and observer must be poised in the stable core; the observed and the observer merge in the experience of fulfilling Oneness…’ (The New Way, Volume 3, Chapter 17, ‘Descent of Divinity and the Flowering of Godhead’). 

We must close this series with a paradox. To attempt to unravel its complex sense we shall use the descent of the Mother’s Chamber as the experimental field where we may test our understanding, insofar as it is ‘the symbol of the future realisation’ and must therefore hold the light that we need to illumine what may be obscure for the present.
            It is disturbing for some residents of Auroville and the Ashram, particularly for those involved in the construction of Matrimandir, to read these Chronicles. They pretend that MAC has had no impact on their work ‘for the Mother’, and they therefore continue unperturbed, as if nothing had transpired to cause any doubt in themselves or in the community regarding their activities. Time and again MAC has stated that, apart from all else, the really unacceptable aspect to these thirty years of involvement with the Mother’s temple has been the deception surrounding the execution. To date there is no attempt to clear the air and seek a way to rectify at least this aspect of the problem. In normal society, given the fact that public funds are involved, this would be the least one would expect. But not so with a community that pretends to have attained great spiritual heights. Arrogance appears to reign supreme; and that alone would preclude any possibility of those involved to be or to have been channels for the creative process described above. There was not only turbulence caused by this arrogance; it was a veritable tsunami! In such a circumstance, naturally the Mother’s vision suffered the fate of a total distortion.
            But, as stated above, the true creative process in the Gnostic Being is one that involves both observer and observed. This means that just to appreciate the higher aspects of the Chamber, if they had been incorporated in the Auroville construction, that observer would have to be poised in the right consciousness as well. In this lies the experience of oneness.
            The matter becomes more complex, however, in terms of a descent where an entirely new Model of the Universe is to be the beacon light for the future. When Christopher Alexander laments that physics and its resultant cosmology, developed over the past 300 years, has brought the human being to accept a purposeless mechanistic view of the world, he is absolutely correct. And further, when he, like other perceptive seekers, insists that a new cosmology is demanded in order to rectify this wrong direction imposed by physicists and cosmologists whose models do nothing to heal the separative consciousness and offer a vision of oneness in the place of the disunity we now know, he is once again perfectly in tune with the New Way.
            But where we part ways is in the model he offers. Interestingly, he is an architect, and the Mother’s vision with its accompanying new cosmological formula, is precisely in the form of AN ARCHITECTURAL MODEL. Thus Alexander can appreciate its value given his approach to both architecture and cosmology. And this brings us back to the paradox.
            Totally lacking in Alexander’s latest model (2004) is TIME. Thus, when he writes of ‘living centres’ and a dynamic model, and yet makes no mention of the Time Factor and does not seek to integrate that into his model, we cannot see how this would help change matters effectively to alter our perception of the world. However, the Mother’s model does precisely that: She reveals the means by which time and space are harmonised and become equal and complementary parts in this revolutionary and unique model.

            But the matter is not so simple. For the paradox lies in the fact that if Time is to be incorporated then precision of measurement is indispensable: without that precision – which the Mother again and again insisted upon – Time is nowhere in the building. And for measurements to be ‘precise’ in this new way, which alone among all cosmological models integrates Time, knowledge is the first and most essential ingredient. Precision does not arise ‘spontaneously’, contrary to Satprem’s explanation in a letter to the builders, simply by their dedication and bhakti, or their poise of consciousness while building (see CIC 2).  Such a structure can only come into being in full knowledge and with total awareness of exactly what one is constructing – because that is the meaning of the next stage for the evolving human consciousness, the Gnosis of the Supramental. If this were not the case we could not call the Mother’s revolutionary Model of the Universe the symbol of the FUTURE realisation.
            To approximate this state while building, Hindu tradition does seek to make Knowledge the foundation of the builder’s approach by providing elaborate shastras or scriptures to the Stapaththi (the architect) which seek to capture the higher essence. But it goes no further; it does not demand that the builder himself reach that higher state of consciousness. Indeed, he is not allowed to interfere with the vision of the Seer by interjecting his own ideas without that same foundation of a yogic realisation and its accompanying knowledge. However, in this case involving a creation descending from the truth-consciousness planes, more is demanded. Observer and observed must partake in equal measure of the experience. We have in this example a means to understand the difference between the old and the new, - the new way of the Supermind where observer and observed are one.
            Knowledge is the foundation of the Gnostic Being. Knowledge, full and complete, was demanded in order to be able to implement the measurements the Mother gave; and then only is the indispensable TIME FACTOR brought into being in a physical structure on Earth to make the model dynamic.
To sum up, the time factor (which alone makes the Mother’s plan that new model of the universe at the heart of the new cosmology), demands precise measurements; precise measurements come into being only when Gnosis exists, which therefore allows the essential unity and wholeness to descend. We were naïve to have expected the architects and builders of Matrimandir to have lived this special process without proper guidance. But it needs to be stated that they were offered the Knowledge, which the Mother provided through those channels she had ‘sorted out’; but not only did they refuse to accept the offering, their answer was mockery and ridicule. It is hard to understand how this poise can usher in the new world.
            Finally, in view of this resistance, their only contribution was to provide the conditions in the field that would force the descent of, precisely, that special Gnosis. And this did come to pass.
            That unique model of the universe, with its revolutionary cosmology, now stands at the heart of the Mother’s new creation. It is the eternal Source, replenishing members of the gnostic society whenever contact is made with that pool of Light. For those with ‘eyes to see’, the quality and level of the Knowledge it provides is unmistakable. But for those who have not attained such levels, it continues to mean nothing; it is irrelevant to their day-to-day living which goes on in accordance with their level of consciousness within the boundaries of the old creation.
            Now, after the activities of the Matrimandir Action Committee, there can be no misjudging of one for the other. This in itself reveals the sacred nature of both offerings, negative and positive. Through their negation humanity has been brought one step closer to the experience of seeing, it is being uplifted and finally those former boundaries with their inherent limitations will be expanded to eventually encompass the new Gnosis, just as the Mother intended, by Supramental processes where observer and observed live the experience of Oneness. This is the legacy she bequeathed to us in her original vision and architectural plan of the Inner Chamber. 

The Convenor,
Matrimandir Action Committee
22 December 2005,

The Solstice and true Makar Sankranti

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