Descent – A Planetary Hope
Will we destroy ourselves in ecological catastrophe, human misery, and war, or will we be transformed in a great quantum leap of consciousness? This, I believe, is the ultimate question before humanity today.
Near the beginning of the 20th century the great Indian freedom fighter and yogi-sage, Sri Aurobindo, began to express a truth which had not been expressed before. In his high states of divine union he saw that the time had come for a new stage in the evolution of mankind. He saw that the divine was to manifest right here on earth and that the time for this divine emergence into earth life was now. He spoke of heaven descending to earth, even as earth experienced a breakdown due to the intrinsic resistance held within her material body towards this “descent”.
Sri Aurobindo was joined in Pondicherry, India, by a French mystic, Mirra Alfassa, who later became known as the Mother. Together they embarked on a journey of intensive cellular transformation that is very relevant to the colossal uncertainties we face today.
Sri Aurobindo saw that the divine force permeates all matter, and that all matter therefore has a force of consciousness. The process of the divine spirit descending down into matter is called involution. The process by which the divine ascends back upwards out of matter is called evolution. According to Sri Aurobindo, humanity has reached a stage where these two events are occuring simultaneously, and in his inner visions, he foresaw that we would soon be experiencing a descent of what he called “supramental (or monadic) consciousness” that would entirely change everything on Earth.
Man’s greatness is not in what he is, says Sri Aurobindo, but in what he makes possible. An immortal soul is somewhere within him, even if seldom active in most people, while an eternal spirit overshadows him, even if obstructed from descent by the hard lid of his constructed personality. There is a great divine plan in motion, even if the evidence of the outer senses seems to contradict it.
Sri Aurobindo recognized that humankind is going through an evolutionary crisis. A stage has been reached in which the human mind has made tremendous strides on the one hand, but is left hopelessly inadequate to prevent its own extinction as a species. Meanwhile, as the Mother testified before her death in 1973, a consciousness higher than the human rational mind, what may be termed the Supermind, has recently been established in the fields of the Earth, and is active there. Our task now is to bring it down into cellular consciousness.
Evolution took a great leap forward with the origins of Life, and later with the emergence of Mind. We are now at the threshold of another leap forward, even more momentous, as we prepare for the emergence of the Supermind. Sri Aurobindo speaks about four stages of human evolution, which we will soon be starting to experience concurrently upon Earth. The first is “animal human”, our current species, a rational being possessing an individualized soul, but largely obstructed from contacting and merging with it.
Next is the “human human”, a species that is spontaneously coming to birth under the influence of an ever-expanding supramental field, a being that is largely able to merge and live from soul-consciousness rather than mind-consciousness. Is the current generation of “Indigo Children” the first representatives of this root race?
Thirdly is the ”Overman”, who will still inhabit a dense physical body, but will be in possession of the Mind of Light, which is supramental consciousness that has begun to merge with cellular consciousness. Are the “Violet” or “Crystal Children” being born today the precursors of this root race?
Finally, our ultimate goal as a species, is the “Supramental Being”, divinity incarnated fully within the subtle realms of matter. This will be a race of what we could call “Descended Masters”. In this species, the unity of matter and spirit would be fully realized upon Earth .
The great work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother was in bringing supramental consciousness down into the cellular consciousness of their own bodies. Since this is a unified consciousness, this meant that the supramental consciousness was simultaneously being brought into the consciousness fields of the Earth, awaiting the moment when it would flower into its full manifestation in collective matter.
Whenever there is a “descent” there is corresponding resistance. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother speak of their experience with the four “Asuras”, essentially anti-divine forces, at work in the world today. There is the Asura of Darkness, the Asura of Suffering, The Asura of Falsehood, and the Asura of Death. These are the forces that are so outwardly apparent, and which seem to be in control of current global events. Interestingly, they spoke of the Asura of Falsehood “channeling” through Hitler during World War II, and of their own intensive inner work in countering his influence. It would not be difficult to see how this same Asura may be influencing other political leaders in the post-911 era.
With the descent of this new vibratory consciousness all our old obsolete human structures will be demolished. However, Sri Aurobindo emphasized that although the changes will be enormous they would not be necessarily catastrophic. The power of Truth automatically erases Falsehood, and our world for the most part consists of Falsehood. Yet, the Supramental, he maintained, carried a power of harmonization which could overcome this resistance by means other than dramatic struggle and violence. The Asuras will eventually be absorbed into their original emanations of Light, Life, Beauty and Truth. It may be interesting to speculate, with all the violence in the world today, the destruction we might have experienced if not for this power of harmonization!
When does all this happen? Sri Aurobindo and the Mother believed that the world stage was set for this quantum descent, and that it was quite imminent now. The Mother said in 1968 that the supramental transformation was a certainty now, and that it would come about with a minimum of destruction, ‘although this minimum is still considerable’. She said that the year 2000 would be a turning point.
Sri Aurobindo, before his death in 1950, gave five indications that would precede the dawning of the New Era. To summarize them briefly, the knowledge of the physical world would increase exponentially, people would start becoming more psychic, there would be a concerted effort from the dark forces to maintain control, the world would move towards increasing unification through technology, and finally, many would rise up such as Hitler with the power to influence large numbers of people.
When I confront the ecological and political realities of our modern world, I realize that our 3rd dimensional problems cannot be solved through 3rd dimensional means. I find myself greatly comforted by spiritual researchers like Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, whose visions and understandings derived from a direct experience of a more expanded cosmic paradigm.
We cannot remain in denial about the ecological and political realities on our planet. However, the pathway to the Age of Light is in affirming the new realities that are emerging among us. Somewhere between an ungrounded spiritual escapism based on denial, and a narcissistic preoccupation with gloom and doom, we can choose to intentionally and purposefully envision a brave new world based on the deepest truth of our being. In order to do this we must consciously face our own shadows, seek a genuine hope, commit to rebirth, and open to the light of our guiding truth.
We can only go as high as we are willing to go deep, and it is often in the very depths that we find the greatest light. This is where we find the power and the hope to sustain us. For it is only as we are willing to see and to embrace all of our deeply human fragmented realities that the light of grace can shine upon us.
As we enter a new spiral of time, I feel that we will be seeing increasingly rapid expansions of consciousness on our planet, accompanied by correspondingly stronger resistance. As I connect with my deepest truth, I know that we will make the Shift, although there could also be many who choose to leave. The emerging consciousness may trigger the last dance of a polarized worldview, but we will override the third-dimensional ecological and political realities on our planet.
The “Great Purification,” the Hopis say, will bring wars, hunger, disease, and Earth changes. These have already begun. We have transmuted much, however, and the transition is likely to be gentler than previously expected. This is a time when we will experience a great transformation of Spirit. Vast numbers of people will choose to awaken into their spiritual mastery, and merge with their lightbodies. Healing gifts will awaken. We will learn to walk between worlds. As we move through these times, let us keep our eyes fixed beyond the appearances to what is real. The pathway through the valley of fear is in embracing a larger planetary and cosmic perspective. “Lead us from the unreal to the real,” said the ancient Hindu sages, “Lead us from darkness to light. Lead us from death to immortality!”
The nature of most spiritual initiations is the experience of a gradual ascent of consciousness followed by a quantum leap. It is like the phase shift that takes place as water slowly heats up and suddenly becomes steam. When the time is right, the Shift could take place “in the twinkling of an eye”. This is becoming extremely likely now as we align with the galactic center, and enter the birth canal of a new Earth.
The realities portrayed by our news media are becoming increasingly fearful. When rightly understood and attuned, however, these same events can be cause for great celebration! I have spoken often about averting the earth changes through our collective intentions and prayers. While I believe this perspective has validity, we cannot pretend to understand what evolutionary transformation must look like. There are certain cycles of death and rebirth that serve our evolutionary growth, and this next cycle of evolution may be accompanied by a massive dissolution and restructuring of our planetary realities.
The easiest way to make the transition is to understand it from an evolutionary perspective, so that we can choose to joyfully align with the process, rather than resist in fear and contraction. With all the apparent realities of terrorism, war, and tyranny in the world today, it is yet possible to live with increasing fearlessness, joy, and excitement. My hope for the world comes from a place deep within me that understands fear and denial, yet no longer lives there. As long as we are in denial we are not going to want to see either the darkness or the light, and I see that many of us are on a journey of embracing our fears fully so that we can let go of the illusions.
Once we understand the nature of illusion we realize that anything we perceive as a “threat” from the outside, whether it is earth changes, terrorism, political repression, or war, is ultimately about our own unowned shadows being reflected back. Once that understanding comes, we can choose with the enormous power of the newly emerging “world soul” to co-create a new unified reality! Beyond any outer appearances, even beyond any cosmic or planetary cycles, we are each responding to the Supramental Descent, the In-breath of God, the return of all things back into Oneness.
The Maya say that the last four world ages ended in fire, wind, ice, and water. The current world age will end in ‘olin’, which could be translated as ‘the great shift’. It could refer to a magnetic pole shift, or a geographical pole shift. It could be tectonic plate shifts. It could be a shift in consciousness, or all of the above. It could even be a dimensional shift. Whichever way we look at it, we stand at the threshold of a massive shift -- a shift of the ages. Beyond this Age, ending in 2011 or 2012, nothing is known. It is a blank slate and we hold the chalk in our hands.
Something very spectacular is happening on the Earth today. The Supramental Transformation is imminent. Will the human race as a collective rise up together into the supramental level? This seemed unlikely to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, who saw this as an achievement of a few beings initiating a new order of things, while the majority would be passed by. Perhaps this is so, and perhaps we will find ourselves separating into multiple timelines in Earth’s future. I speak of this further in later chapters. But first, who are these children newly arriving on Earth?