Book Ten

Savitri In-Between

Book Ten: The Book of the Double Twilight

Canto I: The Dream Twilight of the Ideal

And the sin last, greatest, the spiritual pride …
Its scorn of the work writhing in the mud

A Truth occult has made this mighty world

The Inconscient is the Superconscient’s sleep

Death is a stair, a door, a stumbling stride
The soul must take to cross from birth to birth

… the phantom of an aureate Sun
Whose orb pupilled the eye of Nothingness

A golden fire came in and burnt Night’s heart

The dreaming deities look beyond the seen
And fashion in their thoughts the ideal worlds
Sprung from a limitless moment of desire

Vague fields wre there, vague pastures gleaned, vague trees
Vague scenes dim-hearted in a drifting haze
Vague cattle white roamed glimmering through the mist
Vague spirits wandered with a bodiless cry
Vague melodies touched the soul and fled pursued

… steps of reverie on sweet memory’s ground

A ripple of gleaming wings crossed the far sky
Birds like pale-bosomed imaginations flew
With low disturbing voices of desire
And half-heard lowings drew the listening ear
As if the Sun-god’s brilliant kine were there
Hidden in mist and passing towards the sun

These only touch a golden hem of bliss
The gleaming shoulder of some godlike hope
The flying feet of exquisite desires

Pain grew a trembling undertone of bliss
And transience immortality’s floating hem

Canto II: The Gospel of Death and Vanity of the Ideal

That lovely world swam thin and frail, most like
Some pearly evanescent farewell gleam
On the faint verge of dusk in moonless eves

Prophesying glories it shall never see
It labours delicately among its dreams

Hope chants to hope a bright immortal choir

The ideal dwells not in heaven, nor on the earth
A bright delirium of man’s ardour of hope
Drunk with the wine of its own phantasy

This angel in thy body thou callst love
Who shapes his wings from thy emotion’s hues

In the Alone there is no room for love

A fire flaming low in Nature’s grate

What is this love thy thought has deified
This sacred legend and immortal myth
It is a conscious yearning of thy flesh
It is a glorious burning of thy nerves
A rose of dream-splendour petalling thy mind
A great red rapture and torture of thy heart …
A ravishing edge of sweetness and of pain
A thrill in its yearning makes it seem divine
A golden bridge across the roar of the years
A cord tying thee to eternity
And yet how brief and frail! how soon is spent
This treasure washed by the gods on man
This happy closeness as of soul to soul
This honey of the body’s companionship
This heightened joy, this ecstasy in the veins
This strange illumination of the sense

… worlds broke forth like clusters of fire-flowers

… I forbid thy voice to slay my soul

Did he not dawn on me in other stars?

How has he through the thickets of the world
Pursued me like a lion in the night
And come upon me suddenly in the ways
And seized me with his glorious golden leap

I cherish God the Fire, not God the Dream

But Death once more inflicted on her heart
The majesty of his calm and dreadful voice

Thou sendest eagle-poised to meet the sun
Words winged with the red splendour of thy heart

Artificer of Ideal and Idea
Mind, child of Matter in the womb of Life
To higher levels persuades his parents’ steps
Inapt, they follow ill the daring guide
But Mind, a glorious traveller in the sky
Walks lamely on the earth with footsteps slow
Hardly he can mould the life’s rebellious stuff
Hardly can he hold the galloping hooves of sense
His thoughts look straight into the very heavens
They draw their gold from a celestial mine
His acts work painfully a common ore
All thy high dreams were made by Matter’s mind
To solace its dull work in Matter’s jail

It tethers mind to the tent-posts of sense
To a leaden grey routine clamps Life’s caprice

A trickle dotting the emptiness of Space

Nothing is there but aspects limned by Chance
And seeming shapes of seeming Energy

An extract pressed from hard experience
Man’s knowledge casked in the barrels of Memory
Has the harsh savour of a mortal draught

Even Matter vanishes into Energy’s vague
And Energy is a motion of old Nought

How shall the Ideal’s unsubstantial hues
Be painted stiff on earth’s vermilion blur
A dream within a dream come doubly true?

Canto III: The Debate of Love and Death

O dark-browed sophist of the universe
Who veilst the Real with its own Idea

O Death, thou speakest Truth but Truth that slays
I answer to thee with the Truth that saves

Infinity wore a boundless zero’s form

In inert Matter breathed a slumbering Life
In a subconscient Life Mind lay asleep
In waking Life it stretched its giant limbs
To shake from it the torpor of its drowse
A senseless substance quivered into sense
The world’s heart commenced to beat, its eyes to see
In the crowded dumb vibrations of a brain
Thought fumbled in a ring to find itself
Discovered speech and fed the new-born Word
That bridged with spans of light the world’s ignorance
In waking Mind, the Thinker built his house
A reasoning animal willed and planned and sought
He stood erect among his brute compeers
He built life new, measured the universe
Opposed his fate and wrestled with unseen Powers
Conquered and used the laws that rule the world
And hoped to ride the heavens and reach the stars
A master of his huge environment
Now through Mind’s windows stares the demi-god
Hidden behind the curtains of man’s soul
He has seen the Unknown, looked on Truth’s veiless face
A ray has touched him from the eternal Sun
Motionless, voiceless in foreseeing depths
He stands awake in Supernature’s light
And sees a glory of arisen wings
And sees the vast descending might of God

How shall the child already be the man
Because he is infant, shall he never grow?
Because he is ignorant, shall he never learn?

In a small fragile seed a great tree lurks
In a tiny gene a thinking being is shut
A little element in a little sperm
It grows and is a conqueror and a sage

The body is the chrysalis of a soul

A glory is the gold and glimmering moon
A glory is his dream of purple sky

His laughter of beauty breaks out in green trees
His moments of beauty triumph in a flower
The blue sea’s chant, the rivulet’s wandering voice
Are murmurs falling from the Eternal’s harp
This world is God fulfilled in outwardness

His forms he has massed from infinitesimal dust

Above her is the vigil of the stars

A thousand aspects point back to the One

This tangle dance of passionate contraries
Locking like lovers in a forbidden embrace
The quarrel of their lost identity

Lost is the pilgrim’s wallet and the scrip
She fails to read the map and watch the star

On the ocean surface of vast Consciousnes
Small thoughts in shoals are fished up into a net
But the great truths escape her narrow cast
Guarded from vision by creation’s depths
Obscure they swim in blind enormous gulfs
Safe from the little sounding leads of mind
Too far for the puny diver’s shallow plunge

As knowledge grows Light flames up from within
It is a shining warrior in the mind
An eagle of dreams in the divining heart
An armour in the fight, a bow of God

… Science tears out Nature’s occult powers
Enormous jinns who serve a dwarf’s small needs

A lightning flash of visionary sight

It drinks from the naked breasts of glorious Truth

In earth’s anomalous and tragic field
Carried in its aimless journey by the sun
Mid the forced marches of the great dumb stars

Only through her creative slumber flit
Frail memories of the joy and beauty meant
Under the sky’s blue laugh mid green-scarfed trees
And happy squanderings of scents and hues
In the field of the golden promenade of the sun
And the vigil of the dream-light of the stars
Amid high meditating heads of hills
On the bosom of voluptuous rain-kissed earth
And by the sapphire tumblings of the sea

Our nature twisted by the abortive birth
Returns wry answers to life’s questioning shocks
An acrid relish finds in the world’s pangs
Drinks the sharp wine of grief’s perversity

Delight, God’s sweetest sign and Beauty’s twin

… every creature hunts for happiness
Buys with harsh pangs or tears by violence
From the dull breast of the inanimate globe
Some fragment or some broken shard of bliss

… for joy and not for sorrow earth was made

All grew a play of Chance simulating Fate

A secret air of pure felicity
Deep like a sapphire heaven our spirits breathe
Our hearts and bodies feel its obscure call
Our senses grope for it and touch and lose
If this withdrew, the world would sink in the Void
If this were not, nothing could move or live
A hidden Bliss is at the root of things

This universe an old enchantment guards
Its objects are carved cups of World-Delight
Whose charmed wine is some deep soul’s rapture-drink
The All-Wonderful has packed heaven with his dreams
He has made blank ancient Space his marvel-house
He spilled his spirit into Matter’s signs
His fires of grandeur burn in the great sun
He glides through heaven shimmering in the moon
He is beauty carolling in the fields of sound
He chants the stanzas of the odes of Wind
He is silence watching in the stars at night
He wakes at dawn and calls from every bough
Lies stunned in the stone and dreams in flower and tree

There is a joy in all that meets the sense
A joy in all experience of the soul
A joy in evil and a joy in good
A joy in virtue and a joy in sin
Indifferent to the threat of karmic law
Joy dares to grow upon forbidden soil

Abandoning speech and the name-determined realms
Through a gleaming far-seen sky of wordless thought
Through naked thought-free heavens of absolute sight
She climbs to the summits where the unborn Idea
Remembering the future that must be
Looks down upon the works of labouring Force
Immutable above the world it made

In the vast golden laughter of Truth’s sun
Like a great heaven-bird on a motionless sea
Is poised her winged ardour of creative joy
On the still deep of the Eternal’s peace

… Love that was once an animal’s desire
Then a sweet madness in the rapturous heart
An ardent comradeship in the happy mind
Becomes a wide spiritual yearning’s space

A Lover leaning from his cloister’s door
Gathers the whole world into his single breast

Love must not cease to live upon the earth
For Love is the bright link twixt earth and heaven
Love is the far Transcendent’s angel here
Love is man’s lien on the Absolute

Thus wilt thou hire the glorious charlatan Mind
To weave from his Ideal’s gossamer air
A fine raiment for thy body’s nude desires

Thy words are large murmurs in a mystic dream

I am his conquering and unslayable will

In me all take refuge, for I, Death, am God

Show me thy strength and freedom from my laws

All is a single plan; each wayside act
Deepens the soul’s response, brings nearer the goal

Bright noons I give thee and unwounded dawns

… grief dies soon in the tired human heart
Soon other guests the empty chambers fill

The deep eternal truth in transient things

For who, being mortal, can dwell glad alone

Are we not they who bore vast solitude
Seated upon the hills alone with God

Earth saw my struggle, heaven my victory

Ocean’s dim fields delivered to the moon

The twilight trembled like a bursting veil

A heaven bird upon jewelled wings of wind
Borne like a coloured and embosomed fire
By spirits carried in a pearl-hued cave

Canto IV: The Dream Twilight of the Earthly Real

A grey dissatisfied rumour like a ghost
Of the moaning of a loud unquiet sea

As when pale lightnings tear a tortured sky

Ascetic voices called of lonely seers
On mountain summits or on river banks
Or from the desolate heart of forest glades

His mind is pent in circling boundaries
For mind is man, beyond thought he cannot soar
If he could leave his limits he would be safe
He sees but cannot mount to his greater heavens
Even winged, he sinks back to his native soil
He is a captive in his net of mind
And beats soul-wings against the walls of life

The saviour creeds that cannot save themselves
But perish in the strangling hands of the years …
Philosophies that strip all problems bare
But nothing ever have solved since earth began

… fissured houses, palace at once and jail

These wars, carnage triumphant, ruin gone mad
The work of centuries vanishing in an hour
The blood of the vanquished and the victor’s crown
Which men to be born must pay for with their pain
The hero’s face divine on satyr’s limbs
The demon’s grandeur mixed with the demi-god’s
The glory and the beasthood and the shame
Why is it all, the labour and the din
The transient joys, the timeless sea of tears
The longing and the hoping and the cry
The battle and the victory and the fall
The aimless journey that can never pause
The waking toil, the incoherent sleep

… nothing is there but only a Mind that dreams
The world is a myth that happened to come true
A legend told to itself by conscious Mind
Imaged and played on a feigned Matter’s ground

… Mind is Nature’s marriage of covenance
Between truth and falsehood, between joy and pain
This struggling pair no court can separate

Each thought is a gold coin with bright alloy
And error and truth are its obverse and reverse
This is the imperial mintage of the brain
And of this kind is all its currency

Truth comes not there but only the thought of Truth
God is not there but only the name of God

If thou desirest truth then still thy mind

… how shall I seek rest in endless peace
Who house the mighty Mother’s violent force
Her vision turned to read the enigmaed world
Her will tempered in the blaze of Wisdom’s sun
And the flaming silence of her heart of love

The world is a spiritual paradox
Invented by a need in the Unseen
A poor translation to the creature’s sense
Of That which for ever exceeds idea and speech
A symbol of what can never be symbolised
A language mispronounced, misspelt, yet true
Its powers have come from the eternal heights
And plunged into the inconscient dim Abyss
And risen from it to do their marvellous work

The soul is a figure of the Unmanifest
The mind labours to think the Unthinkable
The life to call the Immortal into birth
The body to enshrine the Illimitable

In vain thou hast dug the dark unbridgeable gulf
In vain thou has built the blind and doorless wall

My mind is a torch lit from the eternal sun
My life a breath drawn by the immortal Guest
My mortal body is the Eternal’s house
Already the torch becomes the undying ray
Already the life is the Immortal’s force
The house grows of the householder part and one

If green delight break into emerald leaves
And its laughter of beauty blossom in the flower
If sense could wake in tissue, nerve and cell …
How shall the nameless light not leap on men
And unknown powers emerge from Nature’s sleep

Even now hints of a luminous Truth like stars
Arise in the mind-mooned splendour of Ignorance

Because the dark atheist body knows him not
Must the sage deny the Light, the seer his soul

The Ineffable is now my household mate

A heart that has grown one with every heart
I am a deputy of the aspiring world
My spirit’s liberty I ask for all

Our transient effort at eternity

It is the storm bird of an anarch Power
That would upheave the world and tear from it
The indecipherable scroll of Fate

The wise are tranquil; silent the great hills
Rise ceaselessly towards their unreached sky
Seated on their unchanging base, their heads
Dreamless in heaven’s immutable domain

Vain the soul’s hope if changeless Law is all

I trample on thy law with living feet
For to arise in freedom I was born

Easy the heavens were to build for God
Earth was his difficult matter, earth the glory

Thy heart’s ephemeral passion cannot break
The iron rampart of accomplished things

The Person is a bubble on Time’s sea

… what is Truth and who can find her form
Amid the specious images of sense
Amid the crowding guesses of the mind
And the dark ambiguities of a world
Peopled with the incertitudes of Thought

The heart’s wish donning knowledge as its robe

The white head and black tail of the mystic drake
The swift and the lame foot, wing strong, wing broken …
A great surreal dragon in the skies

Against human reason this is his offence
Being known to be for ever unknowable

A still deep sea, he laughs in rolling waves

Ingenious notes plugged into a motived score
These million discords dot the harmonious theme
Of the evolution’s huge orchestral dance

A Truth supreme has forced the world to be
It has wrapped itself in Matter as in a shroud
A shroud of Death, a shroud of Ignorance

It compelled the suns to burn through silent Space
Flame-signs of its uncomprehended Thought
In a wide brooding ether’s formless muse
It made of Knowledge a veiled and struggling light
Of Being a substance nescient, dense and dumb
Of Bliss the beauty of an insentient world

In finite things the conscious Infinite dwells
Involved it sleeps in Matter’s helpless trance …
Dreaming it throws out mind and heart and soul …
Its gleaming shards are Wisdom’s diamond thoughts

A pack of feelings obscure, a dot of sense
Survives awhile answering the shocks of life
Then crushed or, its force spent, leaves the dead form
Leaves the huge universe in which it lived
An insignificant unconsidered guest
But the soul grows concealed within its house

He pores upon life’s book with student eyes

On summit Mind are radiant altitudes
Exposed to the lustre of Infinity

Oceans of an immortal luminousness
Flame-hills assaulting heaven with their peaks
There dwelling all becomes a blaze of sight
A burning head of vision leads the mind …
And sense is kindled into identity

Thought crowds in masses seized by one regard
All Time is one body, Space a single look

Fencing eternity from the toil of Time

Above the stretch and blaze of cosmic Sight
Above the silence of the wordless Thought
Formless creator of immortal forms
Nameless, investitured with the name divine
Transcending Time’s hours, transcending Timelessness
The Mighty Mother sits in lucent calm
And holds the eternal Child upon her knees
Attending the day when he shall speak to Fate

A Spirit who is no one and innumerable
The one mystic infinite Person of his world
Multiplies his myriad personality
On all his bodies seals his divinity’s stamp
And sits in each immortal and unique

The Timeless looks out from the travelling hours
The Ineffable puts on a robe of speech
Where all its words are woven like magic threads

O Death, if thou couldst touch the Truth supreme
Thou wouldst grow suddenly wise and cease to be

If our souls could see and love and clasp God’s Truth
Its infinite radiance would seize our hearts
Our being in Go’s image be remade
And earthly life become the life divine

And persuade to tread the harsh globe with wounded feet

… truth and knowledge are an idle gleam
If Knowledge brings not power to change the world

Let deathless eyes look into the eyes of Death
An imperishable Force touching brute things
Transform earth’s death into immortal life

In a flaming moment of apocalypse
The Incarnation thrust aside its veil

Her eyes were two stars that watched the universe

On the body’s longings grew heaven-rapture’s flower
And made desire a pure celestial flame

Hunger that gnawest at the universe
Consuming the cold remnants of the suns

Relieve the radiant god from thy black mask
Release the soul of the world called Satyavan
Freed from thy clutch of pain and ignorance
That he may stand master of life and fate
Man’s representative in the house of God
The mate of Wisdom and the spouse of Light
The eternal bridegroom of the eternal bride

Light like a burning tongue licked up his thoughts
Light was a luminous torture in his heart
Light coursed, a splendid agony, through his nerves

As if by himself to swallow up himself

His body was eaten by light, his spirit devouvered

Book Eleven


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