L’Action de Sri Aurobindo continue…

(Traduction française de l’article précédent, ‘Sri Aurobindo’s Continued Action’)

Carte-Message de l’Ashram pour ce Jour de Darshan commémorant le décès de Sri Aurobindo le 5 Décembre 1950 (plus traduction):

‘In absolute silence sleeps an absolute Power.’/ “Dans l’absolu silence dort un Pouvoir absolu”.

Savitri

Sri Aurobindo

De retour en Inde en 1893 en tant que jeune adulte déterminé à libérer son pays du Joug britannique, après une douzaine d’années d’un engagement politique intensément actif et dangereux, lorsqu’un Ordre Intérieur du Divin lui fit savoir que sa véritable Mission était bien d’être un Combattant pour la Liberté, certes, mais d’une manière encore bien plus vaste, car c’était pour libérer l’Humanité tout entière du Joug du Pouvoir Mental, Aurobindo Ghose se donna avec la même fervente intensité à l’énorme nouvelle Tâche qui lui était présentée.

Se tournant complètement vers ce but spirituel de trouver la Nouvelle Voie de Yoga qui constituerait un Pas Nouveau de l’Évolution ici sur Terre, au lieu de l’habituelle Échappée loin de la vie terrestre qu’était la spiritualité traditionnelle, l’homme ardent qui s’appelait maintenant Sri Aurobindo prit refuge en 1910 dans l’enclave alors française de Pondichéry, un reclus spirituel parmi quelques compagnons du Bengale qui s’étaient exilés pour le suivre. Avec la venue en 1914 de cette Française de haut niveau spirituel en qui il reconnut “La Mère”, son alter ego spiritual et sa collaboratrice pour  faire avancer l’Évolution sur Terre, et après son retour défintif en 1920, dès 1926 il remporta une Victoire intériere majeure: la Descente de Sri Krishna dans le Physique, le 24 Novembre. Ce jour marqua le début d’un changement important: Sri Aurobindo demanda à la Mère de s’occuper entièrement des disciples de plus en plus nombreux autour d’eux (ainsi naquit l’Ashram) tandis que lui se retirait dans sa chambre pour une durée indéterminée.

Il ne faut pas s’y tromper: Sri Aurobindo ne s’était pas retiré pour ne rien faire, loin de là: dans d’autres articles sur ce Blog a été décrite la nouvelle Tâche énorme, surhumaine qu’il lui fallut entreprendre alors: faire descendre la Conscience-Force Supramentale depuis les hauteurs de son propre Royaume jusqu’à ce Royaume de Matière, où elle pourrait activer le même Pouvoir Supramental qui y dormait encore, et ainsi démarrer sur Terre cette nouvelle Ère Évolutive devenue si urgente, qui rendrait l’Humanité capable de dépasser l’Ère Mentale présente et de ne plus y être emprisonnée.

Si bien que Sri Aurobindo tout comme Mère ont été pleinement occupés après 1926, c’est le moins qu’on en puisse dire !!!

Et pourtant dans un article récent à l’occasion du 11.11 2018, pour la Célébration  Internationale de l’Armistice qui mit fin à la Première Guerre Mondiale, j’ai évoqué la  formidable Action invisible que Sri Aurobindo et la Mère décidèrent tous les deux d’avoir, d’abord pendant la Première, puis la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, au moment  crucial où cette Aide devint absolument nécessaire, et avec autant de puissance que possible, pour que les Alliés for the Allies vainquent la terrible menace du Nazisme Hitlérien, en train de conquérir et d’asservir le monde entier. (https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/11-11-2018-centenary-of-the-armistice/?fbclid=IwAR3MbKhVh7flMAaVeP91xiEJFD8WBpbH9AxQ4uiM9YcVJefkYyHzpOkWh78).

Dans cet article-là c’était l’un des livres de Maggi Lidchi-Grassi que je recommandais hautement, comme un inestimable document “interne”, pour ainsi dire, sur toute cette période si dangereuse pour la Terre et pour le Nouveau Pas évolutif véritablement  prévu: basé en fait sur l’Amour Divin – exactement le contraire de l’horrible version déformée qu’Hitler faisait de son mieux pour produire…

Aujourd’hui c’est un autre encore des magnifiques livres de Maggi Lidchi-Grassi que j’ai juste fini de relire:  concernant à nouveau la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, mais nous racontant cette fois entièrement l’histoire vraie, incroyable, absolument prenante, de ce soldat Irlandais-Américain, John Kelly, histoire dont seuls des passages étaient donnés dans l’autre livre..

Déjà depuis l’enfance il était en termes très amicaux avec deux Êtres merveilleux, qu’il appelait “le Grand Être” et “la Dame Céleste”. Jeune adulte appelé sous les drapeaux pendant la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, il participa à la terrible Bataille de la Sarre, dans l’Est de la France… et c’est là qu’encore et encore ces deux mêmes Ëtres vinrent à son secours et à celui de ses compagnons les autres soldats, les sauvant chaque fois, de la manière la plus incroyable, du danger et de la mort, par leurs avertissements, ou leurs conseils stratégiques, ou même tout bonnement une protecion miraculeuse.  Le livre entier, ”Great Sir and the Heaven Lady”, est basé très fidèlement sur le témoignage direct de ce soldat en personne, qui finalement, après la Guerre, découvrit l’identité physique de ses merveilleux Amis et Bienfaiteurs, et en suivit la trace jusqu’à Pondichéry, à temps pour rencontrer la Mère pendant qu’elle était encore dans son corps physique.

Une histoire vraie, des plus émouvantes et belles, qui nous fait nous rendre compte à quel point Sri Aurobindo et Mère ont été actifs, non seulement, ainsi que l’autre livre en fait surtout état, en influençant et guidant intérieurement les Dirigeants Alliés, mais aussi en plein sur les chanps de bataille, pour sauver les troupes elles-mêmes, durant cette Seconde Guerre Mondiale (et la Première aussi, mais cela sera pour un autre article…).

À vrai dire, même la mort de Sri Aurobindo a été une Action majeure de plus de sa part: ainsi que je l’ai dit dans certains de mes articles précédents, c’est délibérément qu’il a laissé le Plan Physique, par un sacrifice de son corps physique déjà à moitié transformé,  afin de finir suffisamment vite, dans les autres dimensions, ce Travail de faire descendre le Supramental, qu’il avait dû interrompre pour stopper Hitler et ses troupes – car cela était devenu à un certain point la priorité absolue.

En 1949 pourtant, encore une autre Guerre Mondiale menaçant à nouveau fit que la priorité absolue retourna à la Descente du Supramental:  il n’y avait que cela qui pourrait amener irrévocablement ici sur la Terre et dans la Matière terrestre ce Pouvoir Supramental seul capable de remporter la victoire sur les Forces d’Obscurité amenant chaque fois ces énormes Guerres dans leurs tentatives furieusement désespérées d’empêcher tout pas nouveau de l’Évolution sur Terre…

Le sacrifice de Sri Aurobindo pour l’Humanité le 5 décembre 1950 – l’éénemnt-même que nous commémorons aujourd’hui – ne fut pas en vain: le 29 Février 1956 la Jonction se fit, perçue tout de suite intérieurement par la Mère, avec des résultats immédiats sur son propre corps physique, alors que pour la Terre dans son ensemble elle vit que les effets seraient retardés par la sombre couche d’Inconscience tout autour de la planète. Mais à peine quatre années plus tard, au début des Années Soixante, quand elle vit tous les changements se produisant en Occident à travers le Flower Power etc, Mère salua joyeusement ces premiers résultats planétaires visibles de ce qu’elle avait appelé en 1956 la “Manifestaton Supramentale”.

C’est pendant cette période du début des Années Soixante, le 14 Février 1961, qu’elle écrivit le Message immensément illuminateur que je reproduis ci-dessous, écrit de sa main:

Image result for Sri Aurobindo... an Action straight from the Supreme (The Mother)

(“Ce que Sri Aurobindo représente dans l’histoire du monde n’est pas un enseignement, ni même une révélation; c’est une action décisive venue tout droit du Suprême.”)

Durant toutes les années qui ont suivi, qui virent l’enregistrement par Satprem de tout ce document évolutif si précieux qu’est “L’Agenda de Mère”, les treize volumes sont pleins, parmi d’autres remarques cruciales de Mère, de commentaires attestant de l’Action de Sri Aurobindo comme se continuant de plus belle, affectant de manière souvent très importante les évènements terrestres, sur une grande ou petite échelle.

Après la “mort” de Mère elle-même le 17 Novembre 1973 (voir, grâce à l’encadré “Search” en haut, les nombreux articles que j’ai écrits sur ce sujet capital) il n’y a plus aucun accompte “officiel” de l’Action de Sri Aurobindo en ce monde-ci.

Mais à en juger par l’expérience personnelle que j’en ai, et celle d’un grand nombre d’autres personnes – pour ne parler que de celles que je connais, ici à Auroville, ou ailleurs – il y a tout plein d’exemples montrant que l’Action de Sri Aurobindo parmi nous ne fait qu’augmenter!… Pour ma part, je me rappelle une remarquable expérience, directement au niveau cellulaire, pour ce même Jour de Darshan du 5 Décembre, il y a seulement quelques années, que je vais probablement finir par relater ici dans quelque nouvel article, quand le temps sera mûr pour cela…

Aujourd’hui, je vais simplement terminer en affirmant avec pleine force que ce Jour de Darshan (comme tous les autres) n’est pas simplement une Commémoration d’un évènement passé – en l’occurrence ce qui est arrivé en 1950. C’est chaque fois aussi une occasion très réelle pour une Action renouvelée de Sri Aurobindo (ou Mère) dans notre propre être également – si nous nous gardons toujours ouverts à cette Possibilité…  et reconnaissants ensuite, pour quoi que ce soit qui ait pu se produire, dont nous n’ayons pas eu conscience ou appréciation suffisantes sur le moment, mais qui se développera peut-être plus tard, à partir de ce qui aura été fait pour nous par Eux en tel ou tel Jour de Darshan !…

Sri Aurobindo’s Continued Action

The Ashram’s Card Message for this Darshan Day commemorating Sri Aurobondo’s passing away on December 5th, 1950:

‘In absolute silence sleeps an absolute Power.’

Savitri

Sri Aurobindo

Back in India in 1893 as a young adult determined to free his country from the British Rule, after a dozen years of intensely active and dangerous political engagement, when the Inner Command from the Divine came that his true Mission was to be a Freedom Fighter indeed, but in an even much vaster way, as it was to free Humanity as a whole from the Mental Power’s Rule, Aurobindo Ghose dedicated himself with the same fervent intensity to the huge New Task presented to him.

Turning entirely to this spiritual goal of finding the New Way of Yoga that would bring about a further Step in Evolution right here on Earth, instead of the usual Escape from earthly life that traditional spirituality was, the ardent man who was now Sri Aurobindo took refuge in 1910 in the then French enclave of Pondichéry, a spiritual recluse among a few companions from Bengale self-exiled to follow him. With the coming In 1914 of the French spiritual lady that he recognized inwardly as ‘The Mother’, his spiritual alter ego and his co-worker for Evolution on Earth, and her return for good in 1920, by 1926 a major inner Victory was won by him: the Descent of Sri Krishna in the Physical, on November 24th. From that day on, he asked the Mother to take full charge of the disciples who had flocked around them (thus was the Ashram created), while he withdrew in his room for an indefinite length of time.

No one should be mistaken, though: Sri Aurobindo hadn’t withdrawn for idle leisure, far from that: in other posts on this blog has been described the immense, superhuman next Task he had had to undertake then: to bring the Supramental Consciousness-Force from its own high Realm down to this Realm of Matter, where it would activate the same Supramental Power dormant there, for that alone could start upon Earth the badly needed new Evolutive Era allowing Humanity to overgrow the present Mental Era and not be limited by it any more.

So both he and the Mother had been quite fully occupied from 1926 on, to say the least!!!

And yet in a recent post on the occasion of 11.11 2018, for the International Celebration of the Armistice ending WWI, I have evoked the tremendous invisible Action that both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother decided to have, first during WWI, and then during WWII also, at the crucial time when that Help became absolutely needed, and as powerfully as possible, for the Allies to win over the terrible threat of Hitler’s Nazism, about to conquer and enslave the entire world. (https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/11-11-2018-centenary-of-the-armistice/?fbclid=IwAR3MbKhVh7flMAaVeP91xiEJFD8WBpbH9AxQ4uiM9YcVJefkYyHzpOkWh78).

In that post it was one great book by Maggi Lidchi-Grassi that I was highly recommending as an invaluable insider’s document, so to say, about that whole period so dangerous for the Earth and for its truly intended New Step in Human Evolution: one based actually on Divine Love  – just the contrary of the horribly distorted version of it that Hitler was trying to make happen…

Today it is yet another magnificent book by Maggi Lidchi-Grassi that I just finished re-reading: still about WWII, but telling us this time the incredible, totally gripping, real story of an Irish-American soldier, John Kelly.

Already since childhood he was inwardly in very friendly contact with two wonderful Beings, whom he called ‘Great Sir’ and ‘the Heaven Lady’. As a young adult drafted during WWII, he participated in the terrible Battle of the Sarre, in the East of France… during which again and again the same Two Beings came to his help and that of his fellow soldiers, rescuing them quite amazingly every time from danger and death by their warnings or tactical advice, or even sheer miraculous protection. The whole book, titled ”Great Sir and the Heaven Lady’, is based quite faithfully on the direct testimony from that soldier himself, who finally, after the War, found the physical identity of his wonderful Friends and Benefactors, and traced them to Pondicherry, in time to meet the Mother while she was still in her physical body.

A most moving and beautiful true Story that makes us realize again to which amazing extent Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have been active, not only, as told in the other book, in influencing and guiding inwardly the Allies’ Leaders, but even right on the battlefields, to save the troops themselves, during this Second World War (and the First One too, but that is for another post…).

Well, even Sri Aurobindo’s death has been another major Action on his part: as told in various previous posts of mine, it has been actually a deliberate leaving of the Physical Plane, and a sacrificing of his own already half transformed physical body, in order to  complete fast enough the bringing down of the Supramental that he had had to interrupt for stopping Hitler and his troops – for that had become at some point such an emergency as to become the top priority above everything else.

In 1949 though, yet another World War threatening again to erupt made the top priority return to the Supramental Activation:  only that would irrevocably bring right here on Earth and in Terrestrial Matter this Supramental Power which alone was capable of winning over the Dark Forces bringing up every time those huge Wars in their furiously desperate attempts to stop any further Evolution upon Earth.

Sri Aurobindo’s self-sacrifice for the sake of Humanity on December 5th, 1950 – the very Event commemorated today – wasn’t in vain: on February 29th 1956 the Junction happened, perceived at once inwardly by the Mother, with immediate starting effects on her own body, while for the Earth at large she saw  the effects would be delayed by the dark layer of Unconsciousness around the planet. But hardly four years later, in the early Sixties, when she saw all the changes that started to happen in the West through the Flower Power etc,, Mother recognized joyfully the first visible planetary results of what she had called in 1956 the ‘Supramental Manifestation’.

It is during that period of the Early Sixties, on February 14th, 1961, that she wrote the powerful Message I am copying down below in her own handwriting:

Image result for Sri Aurobindo... an Action straight from the Supreme (The Mother)

During all the following years that saw the recording by Satprem of this so invaluable  Evolutive Document which ‘Mother’s Agenda’ is, all the thirteen big volumes of it are full, among other crucial  remarks by Mother, of many attesting to the continued Action of Sri Aurobindo affecting often quite decisively terrestrial events on a grand or small scale.

After the Mother’s own ‘death’ on November 17th, 1973 (please see, through the ‘Search’ box above, the many posts I have written here about this), there is no more ‘official’ record of Sri Aurobindo’s Action in this world.

But judging from my own personal experience of it, and that of quite a few other people as well – to speak only of those I happen to know, here in Auroville or elsewhere – there are plenty of examples showing that Sri Aurobindo’s Action among us is, if anything, on the increase!… I, for one, remember one remarkable experience, straight at the cellular level, on this very same Darshan Day of December 5th, only some years ago, that I will probably end up relating here in yet another post, when the time will be ripe for that…

Today, I will simply end with stating most forcefully that this Darshan Day (like all the others too) is not just a commemorative one, in this case of what happened in 1950. It is every time an effective opportunity for an ever renewed Action of Sri Aurobindo (or Mother) in our own beings as well – if we keep ourselves ever open for that Possibility… and grateful, afterwards, for whatever may have happened, that we may not have noticed or appreciated enough at the time, but which may develop later on from what was done for us by Them on such or such Darshan Day!…

18.11.1973: Getting a Double Darshan from the Divine Mother

Of course, like probably every disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, on every November 17th for the full day I keep my inner focus, in utter gratitude, on Her who left her physical body on that day, after giving all of us on Earth so much.

For me personally, though, the real Darshan Day isn’t the 17th, but the 18th November of each year – because of the incredible, tremendous Gift I received from the Mother on that day in 1973, just the morning after She passed away.

Having come to Auroville in August 1972, already practicing the Integral Yoga, but being totally new to India, not used to the demonstrations of Devotion by disciples in any Indian ashram, I had been quite shocked by the adoring behavior of the disciples in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. For this and other reasons, by my own negligence I had missed the opportunity I had had to meet the Mother for my first birthday… but having realized at once my deep mistake, I was counting eagerly on my next chance, when February 23rd would come again, in 1974.

What actually happened is quite an incredible story, which I have already told, as it had been two successive Darshans, in two successive previous articles (the links to both can be found in this one: https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/my-double-darshan-of-the-divine-mother-on-18-11-73/), so there is no need to repeat that story as such in yet another article now.

But today, as I celebrate once again what has been for me the most wonderful Darshan Day in my life, I feel like adding to that story the telling of the equally incredible results that this Double Darshan has since then proven to have produced in my being:  those results, totally unexpected by me at the time, have been as momentous as the Double Event that gave birth to them, and the very fact that they happened in me – and in some others as well – brings out a meaning to it all that has deep significance for Humanity as a whole, so I’ll try now to explain why:

I had always kept the story of those big inner events to myself, of course, when a few years later, in 1976, as I was reading the third and last volume of Satprem’s Trilogy on Mother’s life (that last one titled ‘Mother or the Mutation of Death’), I reached the final pages where he relates how he himself reacted to the terrible news of Mother’s passing, I had the immense and joyful surprise to find, at the very end, his description of a huge experience he too had had on that morning of 18th November, 1973: it was amazingly similar to my own experience on the very same morning!…

As Satprem told that experience again, in a slightly different way, at the end of ‘Mother’s Agenda’ (in the last pages of the last volume), and as this source is easier to find for people interested, it is this later version that I am quoting down below:

Image result for Satprem

“Mother, what do you have to say to this human offspring?

On that November 18, 1973, she said something. I was stunned, aching from head to toe amid those hundreds and thousands staring at a “dead body”. The fans were droning, the neon lights were glaring; there was a scent of incense and jasmine in the air; they were making her coffin with all dispatch. But my heart was filled with such an enormous “This-is-not-possible”, as if the entire earth and all the sorrowful men of this earth were crying out in my heart. So then, this was the “end”, as it always was – as at Thebes and Babylon and Buchenwald. It was the end. And we start all over again. It was so overwhelmingly not-possible. Never, ever will I go through it again. Never, ever will there be “another time” with its sorrows and prayers and fruitless pain of being. There were a thousand men in my heart, all alike, who had waited and waited for THAT MOMENT. And there was no moment. We will have to come again in another life and learn again about Euclid and the law of gravity, and sorrow and “happiness”  – and end up in a hole again? I was so broken, shattered on that November 18 – there was only a splitting headache and a blank look staring and staring at that procession of dead people. But, suddenly, I had the most stupendous experience in my life. I who had so much complained to Mother of never having any “experience”! I was in no condition to have an experience, or concentrate, or pray, or will anything – I was nothing but a headache, an aching body,  a kind of frightful nonentity staring at a small white form. An intelligible masquerade. It was false, screamingly false. A dream. Not real.

All of life was not-real.

Then she lifted me in her arms. She lifted me above my headache, lifted me above that crowd, above all those meaningless little bodies. And I was in a sound-burst. I entered a stupendous peal of bells – vast as the universe, exceeding all the universes, all lives, all bodies, and yet WITHIN – a colossal ringing that swept away the worlds, swept away the pains, swept away the whys and the hows; I was one with that formidable SOUND ringing over the universe:

NO OBSTACLE, NOTHING WILL STOP

NO OBSTACLE, NOTHING WILL STOP

NO OBSTACLE, NOTHING WILL STOP…

… ringing and ringing. The whole world was ringing in a torrent of rapturous, irresistible, triumphant joy. NOTHING WILL STOP…

It was the inevitable new world.

Here.

Done.

My whole body was trembling.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes when reading this amazing experience, on top of it so strikingly similar to the one I had had on the very same morning of 1973. It reassured me, as a powerful confirmation that my own experience had really not been crazy at all.

On the other hand this testimony by none other than Satprem himself left me quite puzzled:

It was very understandable that he, a major disciple, Mother’s own trusted confident, who had recorded the whole of her ‘Agenda’ over twenty years of meetings with her, would have such a tremendous experience when she left her body.

But me?!?…

How was it possible that such a newbie as I still was then to both the Integral Yoga and to Auroville, someone who had even deliberately missed her chance, on her birthday, to see Mother, how was it possible that I too had been given such an unbelievable Gift as my own Cosmic Darshan of the Mother? Plus, if that was not enough, a Darshan also of the true Reality behind the dead body that photographs could show?

When later in 1976, I had the shock of becoming aware of my body-cells for the first time, and two years later the even greater shock of seeing them turn towards the Divine, it didn’t occur to me that it was related to what had happened between Mother, her body and me on that fateful November 18, 1973.

But now that forty years have elapsed since then, with this cellular consciousness developing on its own ever more, in myself and quite a few others (to speak only of those I know of), here is what has become my understanding of all this:

After Satprem, who was already able and didn’t need any further ‘contagion’ to follow Mother on the new Adventure that had started in her body – what she called ‘the Yoga of the Cells’ -, some beginning of generalization of that new, cellular evolutive process needed to happen also in the bodies of more ordinary persons, adapting itself to the whole diversity of individual capacities and ways of being required for this new process to spread as widely and as quickly as possible – the undeniable and irresisible result in Humanity as a whole of the evolutive victories won for us all by the two heroic Pioneers who made it all possible…

This is why, in my specific case, although there was somehow the indispensable receptivity in the soul and body, the wall of the skeptical mind had had to be blasted out of the way by those two powerful Darshans, one straight after the other: then, once the mental wall had been shattered to pieces, and the emotions pacified, the necessary Contagion from Mother’s body had been at last able to do its work in my body… with those so utterly shocking results later on!

Such a sweet, immense gratitude fills now my being while remembering that Day in 1973, where all of it has been done for me by the Divine Grace of the Mother…

 

 

1914-18 Film by Peter Jackson: “They Shall Not Grow Old” (Review by The Guardian)

They Shall Not Grow Old review – an utterly breathtaking journey into the trenches

Peter Jackson and team’s painstaking restoration of first world war footage is a cinematic triumph that all but brings young British soldiers back to life

5 / 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars.

A scene from They Shall Not Grow Old.
‘Stepping through the looking glass’: They Shall Not Grow Old. Photograph: BBC/Wingnut Films/IWM

There’s a familiar mantra that computers have somehow taken the humanity out of cinema. In an age when it’s possible to conjure spectacular action from digital effects, many modern movies have developed a sense of weightlessness – the inconsequentiality of artifice. Along with Avatar director James Cameron, New Zealand film-maker Peter Jackson has been at the forefront of the digital revolution, with his twin Tolkien trilogies (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) pushing the boundaries of computer-generated entertainment.

Yet with his latest project, a revivification of the Imperial War Museum’s archive of first world war footage, Jackson has done something quite remarkable: using 21st-century technology to put the humanity back into old movie stock. The result is utterly breathtaking.

Commissioned for the Armistice centenary by IWM and 14-18 NOW in association with the BBC, They Shall Not Grow Old is not a document of the world at war. Rather, it is an arresting snapshot of the lives of British soldiers who went to fight in Europe, many of them having lied about their tender ages to enlist. There are no historians, narrators or political commentators to guide us; the voices we hear are those of veterans, many gathered by the BBC during the making of its 1964 documentary series The Great War.

As we watch a line of soldiers marching through mud towards the front, something extraordinary happens. The film seems almost miraculously to change from silent black-and-white footage to colour film with sound, as though 100 years of film history had been suddenly telescoped into a single moment. Stepping through the looking glass, we find ourselves right there in the trenches, surrounded by young men whose faces are as close and clear as those of people we would pass in the street. I’ve often argued that cinema is a time machine, but rarely has that seemed so true.

They Shall Not Grow Old .
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Photograph: BBC/Wingnut Films/IWM

The challenges involved in achieving this miracle are manifold. Most obviously, the digital restoration and colourisation of the original films has been painstakingly carried out with meticulous attention to detail, rendering everything from skin tones to scenery in impressively natural hues. (For theatrical presentation, a moderate 3D enhancement has also been applied.)

More complex is the correction of the film’s pace. The century-old footage with which Jackson was working was shot at anything from 10 to 18 frames per second, with the rate often changing within a single reel. We’ve all seen old movies projected at the modern speed of 24fps, creating that skittering, agitated effect that fixes such footage in the dim and distant past. Here, Jackson and his team have used computers to build interstitial frames that recapture the rhythms of real life, tuning into the music of the soldiers’ movements, breathing intimate life into their smallest gestures. The process may sound nerdily technical but the effect is powerfully emotional. It’s as if the technology had somehow pierced the surface of the film, causing (virtual?) memories to come pouring out.

While a rich tapestry of background sound effects transports the viewer from training camps to battlefields, actors provide regionally authentic dialogue based on forensic lip-reading of the silent footage. “Hello Mum!” chirrups one private as he marches past the camera. Later, we see and hear an officer issuing instructions for the forthcoming attack.

They Shall Not Grow Old.
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Photograph: BBC/Wingnut Films/IWM

Amid such artifice, the true archive voices of soldiers who were “scared that the war would be over before we got out to it” strike a vibrant chord. While the unspeakable horrors of conflict are everywhere in evidence, Jackson’s film still finds unexpected life and laughter in the company of those who walked in the shadow of death. One veteran remembers the trenches as “a sort of outdoor camping holiday with the boys, with a slight spice of danger to make it interesting”. Another recalls the “terrific lot of kindness” at the front, a camaraderie perhaps lacking from life at home.

Should They Shall Not Grow Old be considered a documentary or a work of art? Debates about authenticity versus invention date back to the 1916 production of The Battle of the Somme, and Jackson’s creative interventions here will doubtless keep such arguments alive. Yet watching a technologically enhanced sequence in which a first world war soldier playfully juggles a beer bottle, then strums it like a guitar, all I could think was how real, how immediate, how profoundly truthful it all felt.

As the titular (mis)quotation from Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen suggests, Jackson has attempted to take ageing footage and make it young again – to bring history, and those who lived it, into the present. It is an endeavour in which he has succeeded superbly.

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Watch a trailer for They Shall Not Grow Old.

They Shall Not Grow Old is in cinemas today, on BBC Two at 9.30pm this evening and on iPlayer for a week.


My personal Homage to JRR Tolkien and Peter Jackson:

I am thinking with emotion that Tolkien too was among those British soldiers… And as I like so much the two trilogies that Peter Jackson made out of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’, I am particularly glad that Sir Peter has been the one selected to do this very special movie too, and that he pulled it off so remarkably well… Thank you once again, dear Sir Peter!…

Credit and congratulations for this  great article go to its author, and to The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/nov/11/they-shall-not-grow-old-peter-jackson-review-first-world-war-footage

11.11.2018: Centenary of the Armistice

Synchronicities of all kinds in my life have been pointing recently towards the need to underline the importance of celebrating today emphatically enough the Centenary of 11.11.1918, the Armistice that marked the end of the First World War.

WWI was the war that was supposed to end all wars. Yet, as we all know, the actual result has been quite the contrary: it was followed twenty years later by the Second World War, again starting in Europe and again leading to the involvement of the whole world on one side or the other of the conflict.

But to choose the truer one between the two sides did matter a lot in both those cases, to the point that in WWII only the side of the Allies – however imperfect it was itself, no doubt – still would at least leave open the way for the next step of Evolution upon Earth that Sri Aurobndo and the Mother had been working for since decades, while behind the other side were powerful invisible Beings, opposing with all their considerable, supernatural might any such further Evolution, as it would put an end to their age-old rule over humanity.

For that was actually what the conflict was about, in both those two World Wars, and it showed immediately: it is hardly a few months after Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had met in Pondichéry and recognized each other not only as doing the same evolutive work but also as being meant to do it together, that in August 1914, WWI started. Still they did begin to publish the magazine ‘Arya’ on August 15th, Sri Aurobindo’s birthday, just as planned. Sri Aurobindo’s Vision of the Future did pour out onto the world in that form for the next seven years, but already in early 1915, because of the War,  the Mother had had to leave, and it is only in 1920 that she was able to return.

This was the first attack on their common work for humanity’s evolution, just as WWII would be the second one, still more horrendous and dangerous for humanity at large. It is rather important for us to discern clearly this real cause, if we want at all to avoid a Third World War of even greater magnitude and even worse results.

The superficial causes, the economic and socialo-politic ones, have been long studied and analyzed by all the experts, but not many people know yet of the hidden, deepest cause behind those two recent, major conflagrations of our human world: they originated in fact from dimensions of Reality that are usually not known, as they are invisible to our ordinary senses and most of us are almost entirely unaware of their existence –  and constant influence on ours.

Those invisible but, for some of them, extremely powerful beings from the Mental and Vital Planes were quite well-known, though, to spiritual giants like Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, for those dangerous beings, called in India ‘Asuras’, have been the ones secretly ruling the world until now from behind the scenes, invading our consciousness and our thoughts as they will and making us angry, jealous, ambitious or fearful – or much worse – , using us as their mere puppets on the big Scene of Terrestrial Life. These asuric beings were now the direct inspiration and driving force possessing Hitler and giving him his extraordinary power on masses, especially at night.

The real Program was, through the most cruel psychological and physical means imaginable, to sub-humanize the many into a population of abject slaves, while at the same time to de-humanize a chosen few as an elite to be forged into those Asuras own abominably perverted and darkened version of the New Human: the Overlords .

It is that Program that explains the unsuspected horrors that the Allies in the end discovered had happened in the dreadful Concentration Camps: it is that deliberate Program that had been already applied and so, horribly exemplified there, for all to see and be warned.

Here is how the Mother described all this later, on April 9th, 1951, speaking of Nazism:

“… the children born now will not even know if this was true, all these horrors which are related to them. What happened in the conquered countries – in Czechoslovakia, in Poland, in France – the frightful things, unbelievable, unthinkable, which took place – unless one has been very close by, has seen, one cannot believe it. It was… I was saying the other day that the vital world is a world of horrors; well, all the horrors of the vital world had descended upon earth, and upon earth they are still more horrible than in the vital world…

Naturally, men are always very anxious to forget. There are already those who have begun to say: ‘Are you quite sure that it was like that?’ But those who have gone through that do not want it to be forgotten, so the places of torture, massacres – hideous places which go beyond all the worst that human imagination can conceive – some of these places have been preserved. You can go and visit the torture-chambers the German Nazis had built in Paris, and they will never be destroyed, I hope, so that those who come and say’ Oh, you know, these things have been exaggerated’ (for one doesn’t like to know that such frightful things have happened) could be taken by the hand and told, ‘Come and see, if you are not afraid.’

This forms character. If it is taken in the right way (and I think there are people who have taken it in the right way), this may lead you straight to Yoga, straight. That is, one feels such a deep detachment for all things in the world, such a great need to find something else, an imperious need to find something truly beautiful, truly fresh, truly good… then, quite naturally, this brings you to a spiritual aspiration. “

It is well known that from Pondichéry Sri Aurobindo and Mother made repeatedly public in India their full support of the Allies, explaining again and again patiently but strongly that this war wasn’t a usual one at all, and all anger and resentment against the British, as well as all other ordinary human concerns, had to be temporarily put aside in front of the much greater danger a victory of Nazism was.

What wasn’t revealed then, and what Mother doesn’t reveal either in the 1951 text above, is that in May 1940, when Hitler was winning on all fronts and looked unstoppable, when all seemed to be already lost, Sri Aurobindo and herself decided to intervene directly themselves. Interrupting even the so important bringing down of the Supramental Consciousness-Force towards the Earth for the next step of its Evolution, they both put their entire spiritual power into the balance, in active inner help to the Allies, in order to deal as decisively as they could with what was an even more urgent task: to stop Hitler and the formidable beings behind him from conquering the entire world.

In the following, Sri Aurobindo speaks of himself in the third person:

‘Inwardly, he put his spiritual force behind the Allies from the moment of Dunkirk, when everybody was expecting the immediate fall of England and the definite triumph of Hitler, and he had the satisfaction of seeing the rush of German victory almost immediately arrested and the tide of war begin to turn in the opposite direction.’

The two texts quoted above, other astonishing quotes from Sri Aurobindo and Mother, as well as many other such documents on this so crucial period of our World History, have all been researched and put together in a book I cannot recommend highly enough:

Image result for "The Light that Shone into the Dark Abyss"

‘The Light that Shone into the Dark Abyss’,

by Maggi Lidchi-Grassi, a long time, remarkable disciple especially close to the Mother, who wanted to bring out all these unknown facts so that people all over the world could understand better what had actually happened in the first two World Wars, and how to avoid a third one.

Being a researcher myself too, I had dug out already some of those facts, but when that  book came out in 1993, I found in it such a wealth of new and vaster information that I rely since then entirely on it for spreading that so enlightening knowledge also among the people who come to study such things with me.

(https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-That-Shone-into-Abyss/dp/8170583802)

In dear Maggi’s wonderful book, one source of information that I recognized with intense joy has been ‘Le Matin des Magiciens’ (The Morning of the Magicians) by well known French authors Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, a great book that I had read with total awe in the Sixties, my first exposure to the occult, a few years before discovering Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and through them true Spirituality, for a true and joyful New Step in Terrestrial Evolution…

It has been such a pleasure for me to discover through Maggi’s book more of the huge role that, among others, Churchill particularly has been able to play for saving us all during WWII, not only thanks to his well-known personality as a leader (including his wit and irony!), but also to the amazing receptivity he had to the infallible inner advice he felt he was constantly receiving from some unknown spiritual source… Details about this, and his clear if unconscious inner connection with Sri Aurobindo, abound in this book, to the sheer delight of the reader.

Tolkien isn’t mentioned, but I mention him here, for I happen to know that not only he was among those who fought in the deadly trenches of France during WWI, but later on, when Hitler came to power, he immediately discerned which kind of Dark Power was behind him. With an inner perception almost as keen as that of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, he also was very aware, and warned his compatriots, of the dangerous facility these forces have to invade the people of any country, not just this Germany that had been their main host that time…  His ‘Lord of the Rings’ was written mostly before WWII, yet astonishingly prophetic of it in its so accurate description of the occult dimension behind the War of the Ring just as behind WWII – and WWI before it.

May this Centenary of the 1918 Armistice (there is no such celebration for the end of WWII, so let this one stand for both World Wars) be the occasion for all of us to see more fully and clearly what the Divine Grace has helped us barely escape then, and to pledge our lives with all the more determination to the true, beautiful evolutive Future of Humanity, where Strength and Power will reunite at last with Compassion and Fraternity to become again the real, full truth of Love: the Divine Love we came here to embody.

Lettre à un ami plus jeune, pour sa Fête

Cher toi,

bien que nos choix respectifs de vie nous aient séparés physiquement depuis longtemps, nous avons plaisir à communiquer parfois sur Facebook et son Messenger, surtout au moment de nos anniversaires à l’un et à l’autre.

Aujourd’hui c’est le tien. Mais comme ce que je vais te dire sera valable et, qui sait, intéressant, aussi pour d’autres, aujourd’hui je te l’écris à travers ce nouvel article à mettre sur mon Blog de Recherche, que tu connais un peu, sans pour autant le lire régulièrement.

Grâce à nos petits échanges sur Messenger, j’ai appris il y a déjà un an que tu te posais en fait des questions sur la Vie, du point de vue métaphysique mais avec aussi une exigence scientifique. Tu m’as même envoyé le lien vers le séminaire audio conçu et présenté par Stephen XXX, qui semble t’avoir plu.

Il se trouve que j’ai moi aussi depuis toujours la même approche à la fois spirituelle et scientifique. Ne vivant pas ici à Auroville, tu ne peux pas te rendre compte de ce en quoi mon travail ici – très officiel depuis 1984, mais déjà aussi ma passion et ma raison de vivre depuis 1971 – ,consiste véritablement. En vérité, le “Laboratoire de l’Évolution” en question existe principalement “in vivo”, et cela, tout d’abord en moi-même, plus quelques autres personnes, d’Auroville et d’ailleurs, qui font un travail similaire et ont choisi de le faire en collaboration avec moi, car elles me considèrent comme à la pointe de la recherche dans ce domaine de l’Évolution Consciente non seulement à Auroville mais dans le reste du monde aussi. Je sais bien, on a toujours l’air de se vanter, mais enfin il faut tout de même que tu le saches, sinon tu continueras toujours à me voir comme la personne “ordinaire” que tu as connue autrefois, au lieu de la “spécialiste” que de manière bien inattendue je suis devenue dans ce domaine, y compris la Conscience Cellulaire, avec sa partie la plus avancée: le Yoga des Cellules.

Je t’explique tout cela parce que ce sont justement mes cellules, en pleine évolution spirituelle depuis 1978, qui ce matin au réveil ont écrit pour toi le petit poème suivant:

Nous les cellules, nous apprenons

Comment rester jeunes à jamais

Et devenir, d’un corps-prison,

Corps de Délice, vivant Palais

Pour l’Esprit, pleinement conscient

En Soi, et aussi en ce corps

Explorant l’Éternel Présent,

Mais devenu Délice d’Or…

Tout EST, dans ce Spacieux Présent,

Tout EST d’avance – en Potentiel,

Pour que nous, en le choisissant,

À chaque instant rendions RÉEL

Le chemin, tracé par nos choix,

D’une aventure (ou promenade!)

Vécue à la manière d’un Roi,

D’un esclave, ou d’une Ménade,

Selon ce qu’il nous plaît de vivre

En notre exploration joyeuse

De tout l’Infini des Possibles:

Tout attire nos Âmes rieuses!

Jusqu’à ce qu’elles aient eu leur content

De vies de Malheur et Douleur,

Pour, ayant goûté ce Piment,

Mieux savourer la Vie Bonheur…

Ce corps en tous cas a sa dose

De tout ce Piment trop brûlant

Trop présent en bien trop de choses.

Mais ce n’est pas en s’en allant

Qu’il veut résoudre ce problème:

Délice d’Or il deviendra!

Alors l’Abbaye de Thélème

Sera vraie: “Fais ce que voudras”…

Car la Matière sera Reine

Autant que l’Esprit sera Roi,

La Vie ici sera sereine

Et la Terre, un autre “Chez moi”

Pour nos esprits explorateurs

Aux corps enfin invulnérables

Et donc eux aussi amateurs

De la Vie Vraie, impérissable…

Évoluer rend cela possible:

La Vraie Victoire, bien matérielle!

Qui de vous la prendra pour Cible

Et ainsi la rendra RÉELLE?

Voilà donc ce qu’elles m’ont dicté à ton intention ce matin, pour t’aider (je suppose) à comprendre un peu mieux la Vie, et nous-mêmes, y compris nos corps et leurs cellules. en ce grand tournant évolutif terrestre que nos vivons en ce moment.

J’espère que tu apprécieras leur petit cadeau. Elles m’étonnent constamment par leur simplicité, leur sagesse, et aussi leur courage. Leur vie en ce corps a tout à fait changé depuis qu’elles ont découvert avec émerveillement le Divin et sa Lumière d’Amour. Elles me font tout à fait penser aux Hobbits!!!

images

Et on s’aime tant réciproquement… C’est une pure grâce de se connaître!

Alors BONNE FÊTE, donc, avec tous mes meilleurs voeux à moi aussi, pour toi et tes propres cellules!…

De tout coeur,

Bhaga

 

 

 

 

Feminism in our New Evolutive Step

From the Sunday Express Magazine of May 27, 2018, here in India, a comic strip that says it all about how most men are now completely confused:

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Yes, dear visitors here who happen to be men in this lifetime, but who are somehow progressists, and so are honestly trying, like the man above, in spite of your naturally male mentality, to nevertheless understand what women mean by “FEMINISM”,  I do agree with his – and your – bewilderment!…

It is true that it can all be quite confusing, if the word “FEMINISM” is taken only as it usually is: a social equality to be reached between the two genders, at last giving women access to the same advantages as men, like for example… well, all the things enumerated by the brave man trying to understand his wife in the comic strip above; all the things that this Meghan Markle, now of Royal Wedding fame, had on her own already conquered for herself in her social life, and that she indeed had to give up in order to marry Prince Harry, a member of the British Royal Family.

THAT, the loss of such social advantages, must be what his wife is tearing up about, the man reasons in earnest, and then expresses to her with real compassion…

But to the utter surprise and dismay of this poor husband of good will, his guess is totally wrong, and his well intended words only make his wife furious: with his stupid comments bringing up such unimportant, materialistic details, he is destroying… what exactly?… Well, the only thing that really matters, deep down in any woman: that wonderful feeling that Love, yes, LOVE, can accomplish anything, even the normally most socially impossible marriage!…

Just like in Fairy-Tales: the one truly magic ingredient in Fairy-Tales is actually LOVE. It is that miraculous feeling of all-conquering LOVE, blissfully shared (thanks to the TV) with the happy newly-weds in London, that his wife was really all tearing up about, a soft little cushion pressed against her heart!

Now all this apparently just mushy stuff would be all right in women magazines, but what place does it have here, in this Research Blog about Conscious Evolution ???

Some of you may wonder if my being myself a woman in this lifetime is perhaps obscuring my judgement, making me indulge in my feminity and include into this Blog mushy topics like this one, that have nothing to do with the real, utterly serious subject that Conscious Evolution is.

Please be reassured that it is not at all the case. It is on the contrary very consciously and deliberately that I am including all this here, as my entire research work of forty-five long years in Sri Aurobindo and Mother’s writings have shown me without the slightest doubt how supremely important True LOVE is, for All That Is:

LOVE is quite simply the eternal and constantly most important single divine Power for achieving, little by little but irresistibly, this huge, immense Process of Reunion that Evolution actually is, between all the numberless fragments of the Divine, within the One Divine Being Who Is – that One whose eternal divine nature is so wonderfully described in India as ‘Satchitananda’: ‘ExistenceConsciousnessBliss’.

In Satchitananda all potentialities are there, manifesting themselves first as all the Pairs, the Dualities, those apparent Opposites that are in fact Complementaries and must re-join each other in the True Reality to be achieved also here. Those Dualities are all aspects of the main Duality, the one called Yin-Yang in Chinese Wisdom, that can be said to be the Masculine and the Feminine, but never fully exclusive of each other, as is shown in th Yin-Yang Symbol.

It so happens that this Power of Love, in its inherent Sweetness, is more part of the  Feminine Aspect of the Divine, while Love’s also inherent Strength is more part of the Masculine Aspect of the Divine. Separated, neither of them is True Love. Only put together again in the right balance do they express again authentic LOVE.

There has been until now a heavy unbalance towards the expression of the Masculine, leading to most of the violence of all kinds we are witnessing in our human world, including the violence and cruelty towards the other beings upon this planet, and against the planet itself.

With the activation here at last of the Supramental Consciousness-Force, brought down by Sri Aurobindo,, those two Polarities are presently re-balancing themselves, allowing the Feminine, with the Sweetness of its Love, to heal the wounds caused for so long by the Strength that became Violence, precisely because of its lacking the Sweetness needed to temper it. Not that the Masculine must be eliminated or reduced to too little: that would only be the Pendulum swinging to the other extreme, with no better results.

Now men just as women must become balanced within their own being, both genders allowing themselves to express the qualities of both the Masculine and the Feminine aspects of their secret divine nature, which in this way will manifest fully, for the benefit not only of themselves but also of this whole world.

This is why LOVE is so important a topic nowadays, for all of us – and why FEMINISM, understood in that vaster, evolutive way, must become something that not only women, but men too, insist on determinedly for the happy Future of the Earth:

It is in all of us, whatever the external gender, that the Reunion of the Two Aspects must happen, so that the FEMINISM can stop having to be a battle of the women against the men – a self-defeating situation in itself, obviously, for it forces the women to diminish the natural feminity in themselves and use too much of their own masculine strength, in order simply to overcome the resistance of the men, when the latter remain obstinately and blindly bent on preserving the claimed superiority of their supposedly exclusive masculinity.

Well, I hope this distinctly FEMINIST write-up, explained in this clearly evolutive way, will help all men of good will – including the one in the comic strip above!… – to stop being confused, and to resolutely and gladly join their wife and other women in the Re-Balancing Feminism now needed from all of us… and that will result in more True LOVE between all of us!

With my smiling thanks to Arun Ramkumar for his so funny but so true visual rendition of both points of view, the Masculine and the Feminine, when the Masculine doesn’t yet understand what true FEMINISM is all about, nor why he too could join in…

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