(S 1)
A consciousness lit by a Truth above
Was felt; it saw the light but not the Truth:
It caught the Idea and built from it a world;
It made an Image there and called it God.
(S 2)
370 Yet something true and inward harboured there.
(S 3)
The beings of that world of greater life,
Tenants of a larger air and freer space,
Live not by the body or in outward things:
A deeper living was their seat of self.
(S 4)
375 In that intense domain of intimacy
Objects dwell as companions of the soul;
The body’s actions are a minor script,
The surface rendering of a life within.
(S 5)
All forces are Life’s retinue in that world
380 And thought and body as her handmaids move.
(S 6)
The universal widenesses give her room:
All feel the cosmic movement in their acts
And are the instruments of her cosmic might.
(S 7)
Or their own self they make their universe.
(S 8)
385 In all who have risen to a greater Life,
A voice of unborn things whispers to the ear,
To their eyes visited by some high sunlight
Aspiration shows the image of a crown:
To work out a seed that she has thrown within,
390 To achieve her power in them her creatures live.
(S 9)
Each is a greatness growing towards the heights
Or from his inner centre oceans out;
In circling ripples of concentric power
They swallow, glutted, their environment.
(S 10)
395 Even of that largeness many a cabin make;
In narrower breadths and briefer vistas pent
They live content with some small greatness won.
(S 11)
To rule the little empire of themselves,
To be a figure in their private world
400 And make the milieu’s joys and griefs their own
And satisfy their life-motives and life-wants
Is charge enough and office for this strength,
A steward of the Person and his fate.
(S 12)
This was transition-line and starting-point,
405 A first immigration into heavenliness,
For all who cross into that brilliant sphere:
These are the kinsmen of our earthly race;
This region borders on our mortal state.
(S 13)
This wider world our greater movements gives,
410 Its strong formations build our growing selves;
Its creatures are our brighter replicas,
Complete the types we only initiate
And are securely what we strive to be.
(S 14)
As if thought-out eternal characters,
415 Entire, not pulled as we by contrary tides,
They follow the unseen leader in the heart,
Their lives obey the inner nature’s law.
(S 15)
There is kept grandeur’s store, the hero’s mould;
The soul is the watchful builder of its fate;
420 None is a spirit indifferent and inert;
They choose their side, they see the god they adore.
(S 16)
A battle is joined between the true and false,
A pilgrimage sets out to the divine Light.
(S 17)
For even Ignorance there aspires to know
425 And shines with the lustre of a distant star;
There is a knowledge in the heart of sleep
And Nature comes to them as a conscious force.
(S 18)
An ideal is their leader and their king:
Aspiring to the monarchy of the sun
430 They call in Truth for their high government,
Hold her incarnate in their daily acts
And fill their thoughts with her inspired voice
And shape their lives into her breathing form,
Till in her sun-gold godhead they too share.
(S 19)
435 Or to the truth of Darkness they subscribe;
Whether for Heaven or Hell they must wage war:
Warriors of Good, they serve a shining cause
Or are Evil’s soldiers in the pay of Sin.
(S 20)
For evil and good an equal tenure keep
440 Wherever Knowledge is Ignorance’s twin.
(S 21)
All powers of Life towards their godhead tend
In the wideness and the daring of that air,
Each builds its temple and expands its cult,
And Sin too there is a divinity.
(S 22)
445 Affirming the beauty and splendour of her law
She claims life as her natural domain,
Assumes the world’s throne or dons the papal robe:
Her worshippers proclaim her sacred right.
(S 23)
A red-tiaraed Falsehood they revere,
450 Worship the shadow of a crooked God,
Admit the black Idea that twists the brain
Or lie with the harlot Power that slays the soul.
(S 24)
A mastering virtue statuesques the pose,
Or a Titan passion goads to a proud unrest:
455 At Wisdom’s altar they are kings and priests
Or their life a sacrifice to an idol of Power.
(S 25)
Or Beauty shines on them like a wandering star;
Too far to reach, passionate they follow her light;
In Art and life they catch the All-Beautiful’s ray
460 And make the world their radiant treasure house:
Even common figures are with marvel robed;
A charm and greatness locked in every hour
Awakes the joy which sleeps in all things made.
(S 26)
A mighty victory or a mighty fall,
465 A throne in heaven or a pit in hell,
The dual Energy they have justified
And marked their souls with her tremendous seal:
Whatever Fate may do to them they have earned;
Something they have done, something they have been, they live.
(S 27)
470 There Matter is soul’s result and not its cause.
(S 28)
In a contrary balance to earth’s truth of things
The gross weighs less, the subtle counts for more;
On inner values hangs the outer plan.
(S 29)
As quivers with the thought the expressive word,
475 As yearns the act with the passion of the soul
This world’s apparent sensible design
Looks vibrant back to some interior might.
(S 30)
A Mind not limited by external sense
Gave figures to the spirit’s imponderables,
480 The world’s impacts without channels registered
And turned into the body’s concrete thrill
The vivid workings of a bodiless Force;
Powers here subliminal that act unseen
Or in ambush crouch waiting behind the wall
485 Came out in front uncovering their face.
(S 31)
The occult grew there overt, the obvious kept
A covert turn and shouldered the unknown;
The unseen was felt and jostled visible shapes.
(S 32)
In the communion of two meeting minds
490 Thought looked at thought and had no need of speech;
Emotion clasped emotion in two hearts,
They felt each other’s thrill in the flesh and nerves
Or melted each in each and grew immense
As when two houses burn and fire joins fire:
495 Hate grappled hate and love broke in on love,
Will wrestled with will on mind’s invisible ground;
Others’ sensations passing through like waves
Left quivering the subtle body’s frame,
Their anger rushed galloping in brute attack,
500 A charge of trampling hooves on shaken soil;
One felt another’s grief invade the breast,
Another’s joy exulting ran through the blood:
Hearts could draw close through distance, voices near
That spoke upon the shore of alien seas.
(S 33)
505 There beat a throb of living interchange:
Being felt being even when afar
And consciousness replied to consciousness.
(S 34)
And yet the ultimate oneness was not there.
(S 35)
There was a separateness of soul from soul:
510 An inner wall of silence could be built,
An armour of conscious might protect and shield;
The being could be closed in and solitary;
One could remain apart in self, alone.
(S 36)
Identity was not yet nor union’s peace.
(S 37)
515 All was imperfect still, half-known, half-done:
The miracle of Inconscience overpassed,
The miracle of the Superconscient still,
Unknown, self-wrapped, unfelt, unknowable,
Looked down on them, origin of all they were.
(S 38)
520 As forms they came of the formless Infinite,
As names lived of a nameless Eternity.
(S 39)
The beginning and the end were there occult;
A middle term worked unexplained, abrupt:
They were words that spoke to a vast wordless Truth,
525 They were figures crowding an unfinished sum.
(S 40)
None truly knew himself or knew the world
Or the Reality living there enshrined:
Only they knew what Mind could take and build
Out of the secret Supermind’s huge store.
(S 41)
530 A darkness under them, a bright Void above,
Uncertain they lived in a great climbing Space;
By mysteries they explained a Mystery,
A riddling answer met the riddle of things.
(S 42)
As he moved in this ether of ambiguous life,
535 Himself was soon a riddle to himself;
As symbols he saw all and sought their sense.