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From the arts we can learn the true secrets of life; the subtle principles of existence that have enabled great success and vast tragedies. We can begin by seeing the process of life response in action in various stories so that we can learn to change the outer existence from within ourselves, leading to infinite abundance and joy.

Language and Writing

Renown Literature and Film

 


LANGUAGE AND WRITING
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Definitions, Origins, Purpose of Language | Techniques of Writing | Higher Expressions of Language

Imagination in Writing | Great Writing that Captures the Times of Society

Language, Writing Expands as the Society Expands/Changes | The Power of One's Mother Tongue

Spirituality that Perfects, Elevates and Writing | Spirit-Based Literature | Other

 

Definitions, Origins, Purpose of Language

Definition of Language
Language is a mental organisation in vital life. (MSS)

What Language Communicates; Its Energy
-Being is the body, Consciousness is feeling as well as thought. Ananda is Joy.

-Language essentially communicates thoughts and feelings.

-The energy behind language is the energy of aspiration to relate by communication. (MSS)

Energy of Language from Social Aspiration to Relate to One Another
The energy for the creation of the language and its growth directly issues out of the social aspiration to relate with each other.
(MSS)

Emergence of Language
In language there are words that are accepted and used. How do new words come into existence? To answer that we must come up with a formula, which is this: Language has developed each word at the stage where the collective sensitivity can recognize individual sensibility. I.e. where society is in touch with the individual's experience that reflects in new words in language, that word is adapted by society.
(MSS)

Language as Organization
To know language as an ORGANISATION as it exists today and how it grew to create great poets is our own field. Knowing this that well and seeing the structural adjustments in our physiognomy and anatomy is to be comprehensive and integral. (MSS)

Article:  Various Levels of Organisation in Language (MSS)

Language Used for Further Evolutionary Development of Planes
All the developmental accomplishments of the world are physical. Earning enormous wealth is the vital culmination of a mental idea. Language can offer that result at the lower end of the vital or the higher end of the mind or take the endeavour to its spiritual supramental super excellence. (MSS)

Definition of a Story
A story is an imaginative piece of fiction around a plot, enacted by several major and minor characters, at several locations, in a social context, where the interchange between characters enables them to express their characters in terms of their relationship with others and the existing circumstances. (MSS)

 



 

 

Techniques of Writing

Definitions of Aspects of Writing (culled from various public sources)

LINGUISTICS:
-The science of languages, or of the origin, signification, and application of words.
-The study of the nature, structure, and variation of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics.

SEMANTICS/MEANING:
-The study or science of meaning in language.
-The meaning or the interpretation of a word, sentence, or other language form.
-The meaning of a string in some language, as opposed to syntax which describes how symbols may be combined independent of their meaning.

DICTION:
-Choice and use of words in speech or writing.
-Choice of words for the expression of ideas; the construction, disposition, and application of words in discourse, with regard to clearness, accuracy, variety, etc.

GRAMMAR/SYNTAX:
-The study of how words and their component parts combine to form sentences.
-The study of structural relationships in language or in a language, sometimes including pronunciation, meaning, and linguistic history.
-The system of inflections, syntax, and word formation of a language.
-The system of rules implicit in a language, viewed as a mechanism for generating all sentences possible in that language.

IDIOM/STYLE:
-An expression conforming or appropriate to the peculiar structural form of a language; in extend use, an expression sanctioned by usage, having a sense peculiar to itself and not agreeing with the logical sense of its structural form; also, the phrase forms peculiar to a particular author.
-A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements, as in keep tabs on.
-A style of artistic expression characteristic of a particular individual, school, period, or medium: the idiom of the French impressionists; the punk rock idiom.
-The specific grammatical, syntactic, and structural character of a given language.
-A manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language.
-Regional speech or dialect.
-A specialized vocabulary used by a group of people; jargon: legal idiom.
-The usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people.
-A style or manner of expression peculiar to a given people.

TONE:
-Manner of expression in speech or writing: took an angry tone with the reporters.
-The quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author

On Writing
-Writing is a creative activity that can expand in all directions. It clarifies many things previously addressed, even as it brings out new concepts and issues that themselves require clarification. ["writing maketh a perfect man" (MSS)]
-Thus creative writing, i.e. writing that allows for creativity, raises as many issues as it solves. [Organisation is to avail of the right side, contain the other side. (MSS] This is stimulating to the writer who wants to learn more, go further in his pursuits in that or related areas. It is one form of the Delight.
-Writing is thus an instructional and learning activity ... for the writer!
-Writing still does require at various points a rededication to one's conception (conceiving possibilities), limitation (choosing from amongst the lot of possibilities to hone in on), and absorption (focus on what's been chosen), as part of the process of accomplishment.
-Insights derived from this process can eventually become a settled, established, knowledge or skill that is integrated in the body.
-Insights of knowledge can be transferred to others through education so it spreads to the collective for the betterment of society. A book or curriculum can be a first step in that spreading of a new subject.

Physical, Vital, Mental, and Spiritual Efficiency in Writing
We can develop physical, vital, mental, and spiritual efficiency in writing.
-Physical efficiency -- shortening the length

-Vital efficiency -- avoid being verbose

-Mental efficiency --  acquire diction; i.e. choosing the right words.
-Also, write in the proper idiom.

-Spiritual Efficiency -- Consecrate your deficiencies (based on above), and watch as skills and talents replace them. If there are still errors, correcting them will enable perfect perfection. (Paraphrase of MSS)

Distinguishing Among the Physical, Vital, and Mental-Based Language
It is a study by itself to learn to distinguish between the language of the body, vital and mind. It will be a great exercise to learn to write one in terms of the other. As this is the area of our present concern as well as knowing how writers take the language to greater flights as evidenced in their writings, it is worthwhile carrying on our study in this area.
(MSS)

Expression of Terms of Language at Different Planes
Take any term and you will see that it expresses differently at different planes of consciousness, from the lowest, the physical upward to the vital to the mental to the spiritual levels. E.g. "Love" at the physical level is attachment and sensation; at the vital is emotion of feeling; at the mental is high regard of principle; and at the spiritual is unqualified self-giving. Or take "Silence." It is absence of sound at the physical, but is a profound inner stillness at the spiritual.

In this way we can reformulate language, or at least understand terms in their many dimensions. In the ascent we see higher and higher expressions of the term. In the descent we see how a universal principle gets degraded as it is captured by the forms of the universe, i.e. us. An evolutionary challenge for us is to live each term of language as it is expressed at its highest level. (MSS)

Condense & Expand
Mastery of language can be arrived at in several ways. One of them is to condense the thought to a minimum size as well as expanding it to the maximum length. (MSS)

Power of an Analogy
Mother said to offer an analogy is to mentalise an issue. (MSS)

Perfect Perfection in the First Round
I recall A's statement that one can create perfect perfection even in the first round [i.e. draft]. If the ideas are clear, and their illustrations are very real to one's experience, then it is just a matter of accessing one's imagination and practicing one's skill, making the entire effort effortless and supremely enjoyable. It's a distant vision that is just beginning to become real to me.

Process of Creation of a Work of Non-Fiction
Organizing a book of non-fiction or similar work and its subcomponents (i.e. chapters, etc.) by first conceiving coherent ideas, then developing the logic of the arguments for those ideas, then coming up with appropriate illustrations to express the arguments, and then developing a concise, yet dynamic and creative presentation of the subject matter is to follow the essential process of creation and accomplishment in life (which itself mirrors the process of creation of the universe from a Divine source).

Process of Creation in Writing
The processes of creation are three -- self-conception, limitation, and absorption. It can be applied to writing. E.g. -

We conceive a para or idea to write. I.e. Self-conception. We focus on it and work on that task. We write it out, giving it the necessary wideness and scope, yet confine our thought to that inspiration.  I.e. Self-limitation.  We then tighten it up, bringing out the essentials; moving it to perfection. I.e. Self-absorption, in that we are able to get to the heart matter while excluding all other secondary details and influences. We remove the superfluous except for what is absolutely necessary for its expressiveness, beauty and perfection.

On Writing about Life Response
Life response is non-fiction that can be expressed with the energies of the great story telling of fiction, because it involves stories.

 



 

 

Higher Expressions of Language

Immortal Literature
Poets who create out of their rich imagination create immortal literature. (MSS) [e.g. Valmiki, Homer, etc. -editor]

Expressions of Language from Vulgar to Sublime

·        One characteristic of language is its capacity to lend itself to any version of its use.

·         Confining them to our purpose and not extending it to the psychological potentials of the user, language that expresses the same event can be the lisp of the child, the shout of the dumb, the simple expression of the fact, its sense impression, its selfish distortion, its wide impersonal generosity, its capacity to describe the personality of the event, etc.

·         Each of them can be literal, metaphoric, figurative, simple unembellished fact, conversational, colloquial, slang, dialect, wrong emphasis on one aspect, false, true, casual, serious, etc. (MSS)

Overcoming Physical Consciousness in Language
The physical man WORKS, moving the body. His language will be confined to objects and HARD, crude, brutal movements. House, tree, water, stone are objects. Come, go, push, get out, strike are expressive of movements. It is natural that this man thinks with his body. It is equally natural that in the writings of modern man this element lingers. It happens when an idea or emotion is expressed as a fact or by its factual part. No linguistic progress can ever be made if in one's language this element persists. (MSS)

Moving Away from Lower Expression of Language that Enabled Great Writing; Origins of Grammar
Language moved from being a dialect to slang to good conversation and written language before becoming excellent in its idiom. The great writers have employed various ways by which they utterly weaned themselves from the above two aspects of the language. Thus grammar was born. Hence the importance of grammar. In any work like this where we seek growth at the higher end to express perfect ideas -- Real-Idea -- the very first necessity in a finished document is its flawlessness. (MSS)

Greatness of Language Amongst Great Writers
Jane Austen writes fiction. Her language has the benefit of the human emotion to elevate itself. Churchill's is history where he finds occasions to make his language expressive by his own eloquence. Martin tries neither but concentrates on facts. Mathew Arnold speaks of national glow of thought bringing in the brilliance of mental growth in the life of the collective. Shakespeare makes the language speak by making the personal experience a universal expression, putting the human phenomenon into the divine context, speaking the wonder of the individual elegance in the negative terms of the otherwise dull phenomenon of life or giving a humourous turn to human cupidity. Language has divine universality as well as Supreme infinite scope to render the commonplace event a sparkling miraculous moment. Here as elsewhere language has infinite scope, endless brilliance, and boundless energy. The secret lies in expressing the infinity of expressiveness in the finite garb. Picking out the greatness in these words is highlighted when we consider side by side what the normal expression is. (MSS)

Perfection of Language Seen in the Tone
Perfection in language is indicated by the tone that tunes in. It may be high or low but there must be harmony in the tone. (MSS)

Making the Language Creatively Expressive
One who tries to raise his thoughts by means of language makes the language expressively creative. All great writers resort to it. To collect such expressions and study the process it has gone through and compare it with the commonplace version will be of interest. (MSS)

Language that Stirs
Conceptual thought of theory is dry. Language that stirs from inside language or her words enliven the dry words with divine thinking. (MSS)

Poetry of Language Beyond Thought that Stirs
We may say that what cannot be reached by the logic of thought can be reached by the poetry of language. (MSS)

Holding the Reader's Attention in Fiction is Paramount
In fiction holding the readers' interest has to be the first and foremost objective. Educative or informative value has to be in that context unless the readers come to the book intentionally for knowledge rather than entertainment. (MSS)

 



 

Experience that Enlivens Language
The life of the inner accumulating creative energy of the enlivening language should be saturated with lived experience. Normally in great minds this is over a lifetime. Centred in Mother, it can be less. (MSS)

Mantra as Highest Expression of Language
Mantra is the highest expression of language because it expresses spiritual power. (MSS)

Condensing, Expanding the Thought to Master Language
Mastery of language can be arrived at in several ways. One of them is to condense the thought to a minimum size as well as expanding it to the maximum length. Doing it in both ways, not only the thought is mastered but language has infinite scope to blend itself with thought. (MSS)

Expanding on the Concept to Create Great Linguistic Expression
What is the key to great writing? It is to know at each point the concept, the idea, the truth that is emerging, and to convey that concept in an expansive language that is creative. So for any writer we suggest that you review a point, extract the concept, write it or rewrite it based on the inner vision of the concept, with language appropriate for its expression. It will have a power that is enlivening, penetrating, rooted in its deepest purport and meaning. This process will enable the greatest linguistic expression. (MSS)

Symbolism Appreciated in India's Ancient Literature
In India, symbolism* has been developed as a major vehicle of communication. Our ancient literature is full of it.

Intellectuals are annoyed if an example is offered, as it is, at least in their opinion, an affront to their comprehension. Indians enjoy listening to an analogy. (MSS)

[*particularly in their epics, and often addressing the meaning of life & spirit -- editor]

Language Changes, Man Remains the Same
'Personal Agenda' is a phrase of the present time. Vested interests, wheels within wheels, axe to grind are earlier versions of the same idea. Language changes for the better, becomes picturesque, captivating, but MAN remains the same in essentials.  (MSS)

Experienced Perception of the Idea
One can write with greater intensity and insight on an idea, when there is perception (experience of the idea) beyond just mind's conception.

Our Experience of Acts
The best of these comments can only comes as a result of our involvement in experienced acts in life.

Writing from One's Experience, Realization
It is more enjoyable to write of a truth when it comes from experience. When it comes from realization it becomes a principle of life.

Writing that Attracts the Audience
-Clarity, fluency, utility, and emotion of thought attract positive life response from the reader. Interested individuals appear in droves from seemingly out of nowhere.

-Thoughts that relate to the emerging aspirations of the audience attract abundantly.

Expanding on the Concept to Create Great Linguistic Expression
What is the key to great writing? It is to know at each point the concept, the idea, the truth that is emerging, and to convey that concept in an expansive language that is creative. So for any writer we suggest that you review a point, extract the concept, write it or rewrite it based on the inner vision of the concept, with language appropriate for its expression. It will have a power that is enlivening, penetrating, rooted in its deepest purport and meaning. This process will enable the greatest linguistic expression.

Shakespeare's Writing
Shakespeare has written emotional ideas of life (adapted from MSS)

Expressively Expanding On the Concept
The faculty of dwelling on the concept behind the expression, expanding it in enjoyable amplitude is a linguistic faculty of mental imagination. (MSS)

First Principles as Basis of Dynamic Expression
Underlying "first principles." Right philosophy, metaphysics, etc. are not dead expressions; but the foundation of dynamic new possibilities that are truly alive and creatively helpful.

Energizing the Writing of Principles
It is relatively easy to energize stories, but to energize principles is another thing. Maybe we can say that fact is one dimension, emotion is the second, and emotion in the fact is the Third Dimension; i.e. the resolution.

On Visual Representations
A visual representation of ideas can make it more real than the ideas as thought. And yet the reverse is also true, when we are better able to understand a thing through language, which unlike the visual does not entice the sense nor block the thought.

On Paraphrasing Another's Insights
To paraphrase another's insight enables joy of further understanding and a small degree of creativity, as well as a kind of subtle pleasure derived from the humility of recognizing one's own ignorance.

Thoughts to Ideas to Wisdom of Great Minds
At a ripe old age, one sees that he [of great mind] does not fumble for words. They flow into his speech as if preordained. Examining the writings of a great author over a long period, one sees the evolution of thought. Along with that appear elegant phrases exactly expressing the ideas. Sri Aurobindo says histories and biographies are great instruments of education. A scholar collects valuable facts. A thinker follows the lines of development of thought in the course of history.

Wise men begin their lives where thoughts give way to ideas and ideas yield place to wisdom. In a great mind like Socrates or Ramana Maharshi, the collective wisdom climbs to greater heights or a finer perfection. In all minds, such a process is in evidence. (MSS)

The Future Power of Language
Language does not strike the ordinary researcher as Internet does; Internet is still in the physical material plane as it works in electronic space. Language exists in the subtle physical plane. It is a far greater field. The miracles occurring in the field of language are greater than in the Internet. We know Internet does not create information, at least we believe so. We just do not see how Internet bringing miraculously to us the information the world has, creates NEW possibilities. The creativity of the Internet is not in the creation of information but in the creation of new organisations. In language it is easy to see MAN is constantly creative. He is creative at his own level. He, who speaks fluently, creates more of fluent speech where creative value is universally missed. Going further even in the plane of language there are creative and non-creative productive parts. What comes into our minds as new speech is new to us, but is drawn from the stored speech of the world in the subtle plane. We are oblivious of that. Our creativity in that plane is what we miss. (MSS)

Article:  The Personality of the Writer (MSS)

Article:  Highest Approach to Reading and Writing Books  (MSS)

Sri Aurobindo's 'The Future Poetry'
To understand what enables the greatest of poetry, even a future spirit-based poetry, it would be helpful to read Sri Aurobindo's essays called 'The Future Poetry.'

 

Imagination in Writing

Fiction and Imagination
Fiction is a product of imagination. (MSS)

Imagination and Surprise in Writing
Characters in the novels of this period use 'absolutely' in its most appropriate sense where it expresses what no other synonym of the word is capable of expressing. Surprise made Darcy immovable at the sight of Miss Bennet on the grounds of Pemberley. The author's observation is more comprehensive and notices his moveless state in the context of his surprise. Writers can see surprise and resort to their own imagination to describe it. (MSS)

True Stories & Imagination
The true stories will not be so inspiring as the one created in imagination.

Creative of Eye of Fancy
Jane Austin used the expression "creative of eye of fancy," which is in essence a description of imagination.

Also See Thoughts on Imagination

 

Great Writing that Captures the Times of Society

How Great Writers Immerse Themselves in the Society Around Them
Great writers dissolve their personalities in the social life and their writing is instinct with the culture of that society. When their language blends with the culture of that society, they become truly great.
(MSS)

Great Writers Lasting Works Have Life Knowledge
One becomes a great writer and his works come to stay because he has life knowledge. (MSS)

The Age is Captured in the Great Phrases of the Writer
A Russian writer said that an author is made in the crucible of life. An age lives its experience in the writings of a perceptive author. A whole population undergoes an intense experience of love for centuries, which, in the process, gets crystallised and condensed into a phrase, 'love is blind'.

A great mind expresses it. He is the pioneer of thought. (MSS)

The Age is Captured in the Great Phrases of the Writer
A Russian writer said that an author is made in the crucible of life. An age lives its experience in the writings of a perceptive author. A whole population undergoes an intense experience of love for centuries, which, in the process, gets crystallised and condensed into a phrase, 'love is blind'.

A great mind expresses it. He is the pioneer of thought. (MSS)

Hugo and Social Vision
I am reading Les Miserables side-by-side with the writing and marvel at the depth of his penetration and his capacity to integrate his story with the evolving social life of the nation and the wider character of life. No English novel can compare with Hugo for depth of penetration and Dumas for vitality. Hugo has a vision of social evolution derived from his lived experience in 19th Century France which is fully consistent with Appa's theory and anchors his story in an ocean of life. (MSS)



Language, Writing Expands as the Society Expands/Changes

Development of Prose and the Development of Society
-
Prose develops when life develops. Life did not develop [in South India] until the end of the war and for 30 years after independence. Any hope for the development of prose in Tamil lies in the future. I do not subscribe to the view that Tamil is dying a slow death. Expressive phrases simple or complex are born in intense social situations that arise in a nation whose daily life goes through waves of throbbing intensity.

-The context of life, when it is intense or important or both, is an occasion for an idiom to spring up.
-As social, commercial life develops and spreads, PROSE takes shape and acquires refinement. (MSS)

After 1500 European Prose Take Shape & Proliferate
It was after 1500 that Europe came to life and emerged out of the Dark Ages. As social, commercial life develops and spreads, PROSE takes shape and acquires refinement. This was true of all European nations. During this period, Italy produced an epic, England threw up Milton and Shakespeare, France fashioned the French language as an intellectual tool, German became an expressive language of scientific thought. Russia gave us Tolstoy and Pushkin. (MSS)


The Power of One's Mother Tongue

Limits of Learning a Foreign Language
A child learns her language through physical influence and through the subtle atmosphere. One who learns a foreign language misses the subtle part. He can draw upon the subtle part of his own language if he is perceptive. (MSS)

Inspiration Comes from Mother Tongue
Inspiration for writing cannot come in a foreign language, especially when works of classical nature are to be brought out. It has to emerge in the mother tongue.

 

Spirituality that Perfects, Elevates Writing

Enabling Great Writing Qualities through Consecrated Effort
-The harmony with grammar, diction, idiom, thought, tone, etc. goes with the tonality, massiveness, richness, fullness, figurative pithiness, impersonal weight and poetic universality.

-Consecration at this level is able to give us these skills as our own and will take them to the final level of talent. As the consecration possesses you, you will find your writing falling into this rhythm by itself.

-Should one see this and avail of it, he reaches or out reaches the level of masters in the field.

-It is obvious this is NOT an effort in writing. By this fullness of endeavour, our work moves from life to yoga.

-To be able to write an idea of several aspects from each aspect comprehensively may be called integral capacity of writing. (MSS)

Physical, Vital, Mental, and Spiritual Efficiency in Writing
We can develop physical, vital, mental, and spiritual efficiency in writing.
-Physical efficiency -- shortening the length

-Vital efficiency -- avoid being verbose

-Mental efficiency --  acquire diction; i.e. choosing the right words.
-Also, write in the proper idiom.

-Spiritual Efficiency -- Consecrate your deficiencies (based on above), and watch as skills and talents replace them. If there are still errors, correcting them will enable perfect perfection. (Paraphrase of MSS)

Experience that Enlivens Language
The life of the inner accumulating creative energy of the enlivening language should be saturated with lived experience. Normally in great minds this is over a lifetime. Centred in Mother, it can be less. (MSS)

Subconscious Presentation of Life Response that Can Be Conscious

"Life Response" is a startling phenomenon in which an instance of sudden good fortune is precipitated by taking to a higher level of consciousness, such as shedding a negative attitude, or having a focused aspiration to accomplish something, or engaging in an act of self-givingness. Life quickly responds to such reversals of consciousness and quickly returns the favor to that individual in the form of a life response event. It is miraculous thing to experience.

One interesting aspect of life response is that it is occurring all the time, but we do not have the subtle sense to perceive it. I.e. when good fortune happens to us, we arent aware of the shift in consciousness on our part that precipitated it. While true in real life, we also see this dynamic at work in works of literature and film. Instances of life response are constantly being presented there by the author in these stories, but we dont recognize the effect, let alone the inner cause.

Another interesting point is that though the writer readily presents life response incidents in his work, he is unaware that he is demonstrating this miraculous-like phenomenon. Then how does it come to be written? The answer is that it comes from the author's subconscious. While the author has a conscious sense of the flow of events and character movements, the inner truths and subtle life principles of life he has revealed are subconscious to him.

Then where does the subconscious knowledge come from? It is there in his inner being, in a buried knowledge passed on through generations that the writer subconsciously taps onto. It is also there in the atmosphere of life that the author becomes an instrument of.

It turns out that all great writers present life response in one form or another, as they are more attuned to the intricacies of human relationships and character, even as they are unconscious and unaware of the subtle life principles at work. For example, if you watch closely, you will notice a startling array of life response incidents in the works of Jane Austin; particularly in her great novel Pride and Prejudice. There if one pays close attention one can easily trace the change in consciousness that precipitate sudden good fortune for an individual. E.g. when heroine Eliza Bennett gives up her hostile feelings towards Darcy when visiting his enormous Pemberley estate, he immediately appears out of nowhere (when he wasn't expected for weeks), which has the effect of kindling their romance, directly leading to their great happiness and marriage. Life has responded in her favor to her shift away from hostility to greater understanding, appreciation, and good-will. There are at least two dozen major life response incidents, and dozens of minor ones that I and my colleagues have traced in the story.

As I mentioned, it is there in all the great authors works -- from Shakespeare's plays, to Valmiki epic Mahabharata. It is even there in the most mundane and banal soap operas, or in more serious tv and film fare. Here is an example:

The other day a friend and I were watching the TV series The Good Wife. At one point I asked her to temporarily pause the on-demand presentation. I then turned to her and mentioned that one of the three principles in the law firm in the show had just made a decisive shift in attitude, and as a result somewhere soon life would respond in her favor.  When we resumed watching the episode that is precisely what happened soon after.

Which brings up an interesting question: what if an author or writer was conscious of the phenomenon of Life Response, and had the capacity to subtly show how the inner behavior of the characters precipitated sudden good fortune in the outer events? How would that work out?

It turns out that an associate of mine Garry Jacobs has written a fascinating work of fiction called The Book. It is in essence a 500 page mystery-story that is filled with the most profound secrets of the workings of life. Included in it throughout is the phenomenon of Life Response. Not only do the characters experience sudden good fortune in a variety of astonishing ways, but several of them become aware of their ability to evoke it, which they do on a regular basis!

Garry has thus written a novel that not only includes a plethora of life response, which is a result of his conscious awareness of the phenomenon, but also has his characters aware of its workings. This is so because Garry has studied the phenomenon from all angles for thirty five years, and is able to incorporate it in a spiritual-oriented adventure story of unprecedented depth and power.

Likewise, each of us can become aware of instances of life response in our own lives. Better still, we can come to understand the changes in consciousness on our part that precipitate these startling outcomes. Best of all, we can constantly be aware of, and then consciously make the effort to raise level our consciousness relative to given circumstance -- e.g. by practicing non-reaction to another's intensity, by holding back from expressing our thoughts (silent will), by opening to the spiritual Force before engaging in actions, etc. -- which will quickly evoke luck from life.

In that way, not only are we conscious of the life response phenomenon itself, but use it to attract a continuous stream of good fortune into our lives.

 



Spirit-Based Literature

Sri Aurobindo's 'Savitri'
'Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol' is Sri Aurobindo's epic poem of 12 books, 20000+ lines about an individual who overcomes the Ignorance, suffering, and death in the world through Her spiritual quest, setting the stage for the emergence of a new, Divine life on earth. It is loosely based on the ancient Indian tale of 'Savitri and Satyavan' from the Mahabharata.

Sri Aurobindo's 'Savitri'
-Sri Aurobindo attempted and succeeded in expressing the Spirit in the 1000 page poem Savitri.
-Many of the hundreds, even thousands experiences expressed there were his experiences
-His expression came from the silent Mind, and above that from the realm of intuition and revelations of creativity and truth. 

An Analysis of Sri Aurobindo's Savitri


 

Other

Excesses in Language
In linguistic zeal, excesses create clichés, platitudes or forms without content. (MSS)

Language of Gentlemanly Aristocracy
The English aristocracy has developed out of its sense of gentlemanly propriety a language that suited table manners as well as drawing room conversation. To a large extent, in true sincere contexts that language shone like a bright jewel in the last century. (MSS)

Right Language for Book on Internet
In the book on Internet we do need a logical, reasonable language but NOT philosophical. It should be a language suited to those who can take interest in a book on the Internet. (MSS)

English
English is neither a spiritual language nor a classical one. It was developed by trade and parliamentary democracy. (MSS)

Plus and Minuses of Visual Representations of Ideas
A visual representation of ideas can make it more real than the ideas as thought. And yet the reverse is also true, when we are better able to understand a thing through language, which unlike the visual does not entice the sense nor block the thought. (MSS)

My Aspiration for Great Expression of Language
Can we marry these thought we are explaining to a language of poetry and beauty?

MSS Articles on Language, Writing
Various Levels of Organisation in Language
Reading and Writing 

 



RENOWN LITERATURE AND FILM

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General | Shakespeare | Jane Austin | Hugo, Dumas | Ayn Rand | Other

 

General
(main)

On Literature
Literature is the form that contains all the force of life which is the universe. Shakespeare lives forever as he knew this spiritual secret. So do all the great poets of the world. (MSS)

Levels of Greatness of Literature and the Character of Life
Entertaining literature enthralls us with suspense, humor and the intense action of an engaging plot. Superior literature transcends mere action. It presents to the reader the author's insights into human character and reveals the complex ways in which character and action interrelate to generate chains of consequences and results. Still finer literature reveals the complex interactions between action, individual character and the evolving character of the society in which the action takes place. The greatest literature goes still further. It reveals not only insights of individual and social character but of the character of life itself. (MSS)

Advantage of Literature to Help Us See the Deepest Truths of Life
Literature provides an easier and more revealing medium, for it represents a detailed, often minutely detailed, record of a particular set of events. While in life, we can at best have access to our own inner workings and perhaps those of our closest confidants; in literature, we are often privy to the inner feelings, attitudes and opinions of several characters. In a story, the action usually spans an interval from the beginning to the end of a set of important events ending in accomplishment or failure, though we may not have access to all relevant information about antecedent conditions in the lives of the characters or the society. Because this record is written, we have the opportunity to review it over and over again, weighing each word and event, looking for correspondences and interrelationships that occur very frequently in life but are often overlooked in the whirl of the moment and soon buried in subsequent events. For these reasons, literature provides a very powerful medium for reflecting and discovering truths of life. (MSS)

Truths Portrayed Independent of Writers Intent
The writer, even the writer of fiction, is portraying realities of life that possess a truth of their own, independent of the ideas and intentions of the writer. (MSS)

Greatest Writers
Sri Aurobindo has rated the Shakespeare, Homer, and Valmiki (author of the Ramayana) at the top of the pantheon of the greatest writers of all time.

Greatest Poets
Sri Aurobindo has said that the greatest poets were Shakespeare, Homer, and Valmiki. To truly understand their meaning and beauty of language the first requires a bit of understanding of an older English, the second of classical Greek, and the third of the Ramayana's use of Sanskrit.

Poetry
Poetry is the emotion of pure thought. (MSS)

Superstitious Disapproval of Poets
Poets are always known to be visionaries. The superstitious world has always disapproved of their visionary dreams. (MSS)

Great Literature
Great literature educates by entertaining without appearing to instruct. (MSS)

Great Literature Written in Mother Tongue
The mother tongue is buried in the subconscious. The subconscious is saturated with the mother tongue. One hears it all the time. Great literature usually emerges in poetry. It does so even in prose to a lesser extent. Such literature represents the fullness of the writer's personality. It does not issue from the surface mind. What is true of literature is true of music also. Children can speak many languages. It will be useful. But it all emanates from the surface mind, which is shallow.

There is no evidence of great literature in prose or poetry written in a language which is not the writer's mother tongue. (MSS)

Fiction and Imagination
Fiction is a product of imagination. (MSS)

Literature & Imagination
It is a truth in literature that there is greater life in what issues out of imagination than a historically true event, as one is in the subtle plane and the other is in the gross physical plane. (MSS)

Great Literature & Imagination
Literature is the cream of life created in the imagination of a poet or a writer whose personality has outgrown the social limits and extended itself into the domain of impersonal consciousness. The individual we are is the social expression of the human being whose real existence transcends the social consciousness. Great poets and writers create in their imagination that Real Man and make him play a limited social role where he often peeps out of his social personality into his universal individuality. It is this extra dimension of those characters that is fascinating to us and renders them immortal characters. We see that the immortality of a character is his innate universality. (MSS)

Fiction Writing & Imagination
Fiction writing is the will of the imagination in the mind.

On Filmaking, Creativity, and Imagination
Filmmaking and the organisation it needs is my topic, but I would like to mention the other social virtues of filmmaking.

-It is entirely an art, a creative art, creative in many or most respects of it.

-It belongs to the creativity of imagination. (MSS)

French vs. English Novels
No comparison between the English novels and the French. The French novels are full of vitality, ideas, ideals and aspirations. The English are flat and physical. They live in the physical, though at that level their values of integrity are extremely high. (MSS)
 

 

Shakespeare
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One of the Greatest Writers

Greatest Writers
[The Indian sage and seer] Sri Aurobindo has rated the Shakespeare, Homer, and Valmiki (author of the Ramayana) at the top of the pantheon of the greatest writers of all time.

Greatest Poets
Sri Aurobindo has said that the greatest poets were Shakespeare, Homer, and Valmiki.
(To truly understand their meaning and beauty of language the first requirement is a bit of understanding of an older English, the second of classical Greek, and the third of the Ramayana's use of Sanskrit.)

 

Portrays the Character of Life

Shakespeare Spoke the Eternal Truths of Life in Immortal Statements
Shakespeare's
words have become household words today because he spoke the eternal truths of life in immortal phrases, as 'Whoever loved that loved not at first sight'. Nothing that Shakespeare wrote was not found in proverbs, fiction and the wisdom of the culture. He brought those truths to life in ordinary conversation in unforgettable words that made them live forever. The word has a form and emerges in sound. The form blending with sound acquiring perfection gives birth to a melody which the human ear, having heard once, does not forget. It makes an indelible impression. To be able to write from Parabrahman [the Ultimate Reality] in such a way that the Parabrahman in the reader will emerge on the surface to receive it is great writing. All great poets are of that mould. (MSS)

Shakespeare and the Character of Life
'
Shakespeare's genius lay not merely in his profound insight into the workings of human character and nature, but perhaps even more in his perception of the character of life. (MSS)

Shakespeare's Intuitive Insight into the Character of Life
The pattern of interaction between character, action, and the results of action reveals the importance of a crucial indeterminant which is variously called providence, chance, fate, etc. What appears as chance at the level of physical action is an expression of another dimension of causality in the plane of life. Shakespeare possessed an intuitive insight into this realm and into the role of individual character and social consciousness as points of expression of the wider character of life.

Shakespeare's Writing
Shakespeare has written emotional ideas of life (adapted from MSS)

Shakespeare's Perception of Action and Consequence
Every successful farmer, business leader, politician and statesman -- all those whose primary objective is accomplishment in social life, rather than being confined to work on material substances or mental formulations -- intuitively discover these truths [of action and consequence]. Great writers of fiction, of whom Shakespeare is the pre-eminent example, intuitively reflect them in the words and actions of their characters and the consequences of those actions. (MSS)

Shakespeare's Many Sided Vision
Shakespeare supramental-like [i.e. all truths integrated simultaneously] portrayed in his plays the varying sides of the situation through a myriad of characters establishing the multi-sided truth of the life he was addressing. And he did so poetically. There lies his organizational and creative genius.

The Character of Life in Literature (as related to Shakespeare)

Article on the Character of Life
 

 

Universalizes Human Character

Universal Traits Portrayed through the Individual's Stories in Shakespeare
Shakespeare portrayed universal traits through the individuals in his stories. Shakespeare had the creative organization in the subtle universal plane. (MSS)

Shakespeare Makes Personal Experience a Universal Expression
Shakespeare makes the language speak by making the personal experience a universal expression, putting the human phenomenon into the divine context, speaking the wonder of the individual elegance in the negative terms of the otherwise dull phenomenon of life or giving a humorous turn to human cupidity. (MSS)

Shakespeare as Chronicler of Human Character
It has recently been suggested that William Shakespeare was the first writer (at least in the Western world) to chronicle human character. Thorough extraordinary comedies, tragedies, histories, and poems he delved into the inner character of the individual, and showed how that character was inextricably linked with the circumstances and outcomes of events and circumstances around them. (MSS)

Shakespeare's Perception of Action and Consequence
Every successful farmer, business leader, politician and statesman -- all those whose primary objective is accomplishment in social life, rather than being confined to work on material substances or mental formulations -- intuitively discover these truths [of action and consequence]. Great writers of fiction, of whom Shakespeare is the pre-eminent example, intuitively reflect them in the words and actions of their characters and the consequences of those actions. (MSS)

 

Portrayal through Tragedy

Comedy and Tragedy of Shakespeare
Through comedy and tragedy Shakespeare reveals the vast expanses and profound depths of the character of life. For him they are not separate worlds of drama and romance, but poles of a continuum. Helene Gardner writes, 'Generalization about the essential distinction between tragedy and comedy is called in question, when we turn to Shakespeare, by the inclusiveness of his vision of life.' Though the characters differ in stature and power, and the events vary in weight and significance, the movements of life in all Shakespeare's plays are governed by the same universal principles which move events in our own lives. Through myriad images Shakespeare portrays not only the character of man and society but the character of life itself. A.C. Bradley observes that 'Shakespeare almost alone among the poets seems to create in somewhat the same manner as Nature.' His portrayal of the minutest details of human character and life is true to life 'and it is just because he is truthful in these smaller things that in greater things we trust him absolutely never to pervert the truth for the sake of some doctrine or purpose of his own.' (MSS)

The Negative Life that Has Now Become Potential Positive Can Be Invoked through Spirit
Life was NEGATIVE in Shakespeare's time. Therefore, his best works were tragedies. After 1956 when the Supramental Force has descended into the subtle atmosphere of the earth, life has become positive in potential. The positive nature of life is not there on its surface as a Power of Life for us to readily draw upon. One who invokes the Spirit converts the potential into actual power. (MSS, slight modification)

Life Revealed Itself through Tragedies for Shakespeare
Shakespeare wrote 400 years ago. He wrote several comedies. The life realities he wanted to give the world came out as his four tragedies. (MSS)

Tragedy of Past for Individual Choice
2000 years ago life was murky, there was little opportunity for individual choice. When Jesus chose the life of Love, he and his fellow saints were destroyed. In Greece, where democracy was born, in Socrates we see the mind of the individual was developed. He chose to express himself. He was killed. The mind of the collective was developed in the 16th century, as represented by Hamlet. The social life was dark and cruel. Shakespeare's wrote of these times in his tragedies. E.g. Hamlet lived in these times, and expressing his will died with six others in a tragedy. (MSS)

Progress without Tragedy
Shakespeare could only depict as tragedy w
hat now can be depicted as comedy or happy consummation. Now, however, man has risen from his lower physical and vital nature, and has begun to become mental, which enables him to learn from life, without undergoing the torture of tragedy. Further still, if we are open to it, the Force has come to help us escape from the torture, darkness, pain and tragedy of mental life into a life of light and knowledge and joy. (MSS)

The Tragedies of Shakespeare's Characters Mirror our Own Limitations
Shakespeare documented the causes of tragedy in many of his plays. He chronicled the effect that an individual's character had in one's life, and portrayed how a great character flaw was the cause of the individual's undoing.

There are so many corresponding points in our character that lead to our small or large tragedies. Whether it be indecisiveness (Hamlet), over-attachment to a sibling (Lear), unbridled vital desire for another (Romeo and Juliet), or weakness (Desdemona's in Othello), Shakespeare reveals many, if not all, of the major character flaws in human beings. Even qualities we consider "good" in, may not be good at all.

Tragedies in Literature
King Lear's tragedy was
due to the fact that he was attached to his one daughter. It led to his madness. Hamlet's tragedy was that he could not make a decision when he knew the truth. It led to other's deaths, as well as his own. Othello's tragedy was due to his relentless, unbridled passion. It led to his mate's death. Romeo and Juliet's tragedy is that they were in the crosscurrents of social conflict. It led to both their deaths. Attachment, indecisiveness, physical passion, and the effect of society are a but few of the factors that spawn tragedy in human life.

The Social Atmosphere as Cause of Othello's Tragedy, and Achieving in Life
Othello's tragedy is due to the negative social atmosphere that came after his elopement of a black man to a white daughter of a senator. The social forces far outweigh the good qualities of Othello and Desdemona. Thus the tragedy. It is an indicator of what one is up against when one wants to achieve.

 

Other

Shakespeare and Accomplishment
We can learn much about our ability to accomplish in literature and in the other arts. Shakespeare for one is a gold mine for viewing a variety of situations and circumstances in which humans try to accomplish. (MSS)

Shakespeare vs. Pride and Prejudice
Pride & Prejudice
does not attempt to penetrate beyond the boundaries of society and human nature to reflect the greater powers or realities of the cosmic order that we find in the greatest of Shakespeare's works. There is no supernatural element here, no perplexing confrontation with the mysteries of darkness or evil, no overriding sense of fate moving the action to an inescapable conclusion. Although we have attempted to point out the deeper truths of life observable in the story, we do not imply that the author was in any way conscious or intending to present them. What she expresses is the keen observation and intuitive insight of a creative writer who is in tune with the realities of life at the level she depicts it. (MSS)

Shakespeare and Sri Aurobindo
-When asked if he was Sri Aurobindo in a previous birth, Sri Aurobindo did not reply.

-Shakespeare's later plays were primarily in blank verse [unrhymed verse that maintains a rhythm]. Sri Aurobindo's Savitri was completely in  blank verse.

-If Sri Aurobindo was Shakespeare in a previous birth, then [Sri Aurobindo's] Savitri expresses the Bard's next step up, i.e. poetry of the Spiritual Mind and beyond to the Overmind.

Shakespeare and Mahabharata
There are many facets of human life which Shakespeare portrayed in all his plays. Mahabharata presented them in all details. They remain unexplained.

 

Jane Austin
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Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice
At the age of 19, Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice, a novel where the Pride of a wealthy aristocrat clashes with the Prejudice of young Elizabeth, whose fine eyes he was unable to resist. The original was written before the dawn of the 19th century, though it was published in the early years of that century.

Some ten years ago, BBC presented that story as a TV serial and the public still received it very well. The producer of that film said that she had read the book several times, but each time the turn of events held her attention with eager suspense. It is the stamp of a writing that arises out of true inspiration. Her story is true to life at all times, especially at the time of writing.

Those were days when women were not supposed to be authors. Women writing under disguise was a known phenomenon then. It is a simple story of five sisters without dowry longing for marital status, ardently supported by a mother whose one ambition was that.

Jane Austen was born on December 16th in a pastor's family. The heroine of that story, Elizabeth, was cast in the very mould of the author in every human detail. She remained unmarried. She had an elder sister just like Miss Jane Bennet of the story to whom she was devoted. Elizabeth's courage in facing the formidable Lady Catherine has been an inspiration to many timid girls of the present day.

Timidity cannot conceive of bold, courageous, ready answers to the irrational tirade of a powerful titled lady. Mr. Collins' proposal to Elizabeth has stayed in the annals of literary criticism as a model of exuberant stupidity in its enthusiastic outpourings. There is none to equal its genius of construction.

Austen's other novels do not carry the power of atmosphere. Pride and Prejudice itself was conceived and written in the wake of the French Revolution. As England had undergone her Revolution in 1688, the nation had no impulse to follow the 1789 upheaval on the continent.

Darcy's falling in love with Elizabeth was the aristocracy's compromise to condescend, perhaps to mitigate the revolutionary urge that was below the surface. The Prince Regent could read the book sixteen times because the fervour of the revolutionary impulse was just below the surface. Even Disraeli read it as many times.

Jane Austen reconciled the Pride of Darcy and the Prejudice of Elizabeth at the altar of true unselfish love and thus sublimated the bloodthirsty French serfs who guillotined the members of the noble families. Life becomes literature in the genius whose perception of the world is wider than humanity.

Such a universal perception of a writer becomes an immortal work of Art. Pride and Prejudice is one such eminently. (MSS)

Mr. Darcy's 180 Degree Change
Those who are dedicated to personal growth develop an aspiration to bring about significant change in their lives. That is one level of progress. There is an even greater one. Those who commit themselves to personal evolution and transformation have accepted the possibility of reversing their nature 180 degrees from its current status. It is such a stupendous undertaking -- it may even seem impossible to the uninitiated --  that it can only occur by connecting with and making use of the spiritual powers of life. In fact, developing a spirit-based super-Nature is that individual's ultimate purpose and goal in life.

As a result of this staggering commitment, that person may change a dozen plus major character flaws; uplift and perfect all aspect of his physical, vital, psychological, and mental being; overcome a number of fixed habits that drag on him; shed wanting attitudes that demean him, and give up false opinions that limit him -- infusing all parts of his being, and every activity he engages with the Spirit. In the end, that individual comes to surrender his very life and purpose to the Divine Will and Intent. It is a stupendous effort for which he will be rewarded with ultimate pleasure, bliss, and delight (i.e. ''Ananda" in the East); an astonishing power over every aspect of life; and the peace and serenity of Eternity.

Against this experiment in transformative living is the life of the normal modern-day individual. If we examine his life, we will see that if he changes but one single fixed habit or one virulent attitude, it is considered a significant achievement. In one sense, it is quite significant. And yet, it still isn't 1/100th, or even 1/1000th of what the transformed individual will come to realize in the course of his life. Such is the low expectations we have for people to change.

And yet, on occasion there are individuals who make a significant inner change that far surpass the norm. For example, when we examine the literature and film of the world, we often see how the plot turns at the point where a person overcomes a critical limiting personal quality -- such as a wanting attitude, or a falsely held belief. As a result, life not only changes for the better for that person, but others are deeply affected as well. That transition and change in that individual's life invariably attract instances of sudden good fortune, bringing the story to a happy and satisfying resolution. It is a mini-episode and instance of human progress.

Perhaps one of the reasons such works kindle our interest is that we subconsciously perceive the need to make related changes. Unfortunately, we are not prone to take up that challenge and effort, mainly because (1) we are not conscious of our defects, and (2) we are in the habit of enjoying who we are.

In Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice, we see a dramatic exception to this rule in the person of Mr. Darcy. At first arrogant and filled with pride, by the end of the story he overcomes his limitations of character in full. It is an astonishing and rare change for any individual! As a result, life responds with overwhelming good fortune, as he wins over the woman of his dreams -- Miss Eliza Bennet. We see how life conspires with his efforts. Through a conscious decision to change an egregious part of his nature, he attracts the right circumstances that afford him an opportunity to save Eliza's family from scandal. As a result, he is able to show her his true, noble character, which in the end wins her over, and culminates in their happy marriage. Actually, it leads to much more, as that marriage forges a new powerful alliance between the aristocratic and the gentleman-farmer classes of rural England; where earlier they were in an indifferent, if not contentious relationship. In other words, Darcy's inner-psychological adjustment is so substantial that life not only responds and uplifts his own personal fortunes, but also those of the wider society around him.

Darcy's formidable change is a distant echo of the ultimate transformative changes made by those who take to conscious evolution -- i.e. yoga. In one sense, both reverse themselves 180 degrees. The difference is that those who take to transformation will attempt to change every conceivable part of their nature -- physical, vital, mental, and spiritual, whereas Darcy has overcome but one or two major character flaws. And yet, what Darcy has achieved is still formidable for one who is essentially a non-seeker.

His overpowering internal change is also something that we can try to emulate. If Darcy can make such a great internal adjustment and then attract stupendous rewards from life, then we too can try to overcome at least one or two limitations in our own character. It is the minimum that life asks of us. Anything less and we are merely taking up space.

As a result of making that relatively modest effort, life will respond out of all proportion, as we will attract our hearts desire in no time -- whether through the sudden blossoming of our careers, or through a kindled romance (as was in the case with Darcy), or through some other area of our lives that Nature deems worth uplifting.

The question then is whether we are sincerely interested in such change, and if so, what part of being needs changing. If we take up that effort, life will certainly respond. Darcy took to overcoming wanting aspects of his character and attracted the woman of his dreams -- even as it influenced the course of society's development. The modern, integral yogi seeks to change every part of his nature so he can attain a super-nature, becoming a harbinger of a new, spirit-oriented way of life. What wanting qualities do we seek to change in ourselves, and what efforts will we undertake to make that happen?

Darcy Becomes the True Individual
While the story is rich with insights into life and human nature, the most striking theme is the subconscious transformation of Darcy from a social character into a psychological individual. Darcy makes a progress in consciousness at the psychological level akin to that achieved in yoga at the spiritual level. He renounces the false or artificial sense of self-importance he derives from his social position and seeks to become a true, generous and self-giving person worthy of Elizabeth's personal admiration. He gives up social values in favor of human values. Darcy becomes a true psychological individual in the sense that he no longer relies or depends on society to define what is good or reputable. He not only changes his behavior, giving up that which was offensive to Elizabeth, but goes to the other extreme of completely reversing it by embracing that which was previously repulsive to him. So real and great is his change of consciousness, that he acquires the magnanimity to accept a vulgar Mrs. Bennet, a wanton Lydia and a rogue Wickham as his own relatives and refuses to acknowledge, even to himself, their past sins or present unworthiness.

Darcy's individual transformation becomes a catalyst for social evolution in England. By his own life and actions, he bridges the gap between the classes that was bridged only by the guillotine in revolutionary France. He is a representative pioneer whose actions usher in a future of greater freedom and equality for his countrymen. (MSS)

The Pride and Prejudice Project  Featured
In the last few years Growth Online in collaboration with its sister organization Mother's Service Society have launched an initiative to understand the deeper meanings of Jane Austin's novel Pride and Prejudice. The purpose of the project is to bring out the underlying principles of personal, social, and spiritual growth, development, and evolution that can be found hidden between the lines of this great novel. Visit

Life Response in Jane Austin's Emma
I watched the 1996 film version of Jane Austin's Emma. One thought I had immediately thereafter was that Howard Roark [of the Fountainhead] was a man true to Himself which attracted life to him. Emma's meddlesomeness created an endless series of disasters (i.e. negative life responses, observable even at the gross/material level, that had the character of returning the opposite of her intention, leading to her own confusion and severe anguish. In this way Emma is the inverse of Roark. She is not self, venturing out to try to influence other selves, when her own being is incomplete.

However, through a series of blows -- where every scheme, arrangement, and strongly held perception of reality proves to be false, coming back to haunt her as lovers come together in their own pattern, not as she intended -- she comes to see her own false ways. Her change in attitude and consciousness enables her to shed her interfering nature, attracting the very man, Mr. Knightley, who repeatedly warned her about the merit of her false intentions and actions. It is he, her best friend, whom she in the end falls in love with and marries.

Love itself is a life response to her shedding of her need to help others find love and husbands. It takes the form of Emma's sudden and unexpected love for Knightley, and his sudden revelation of love for her. (It was subconscious for both all along.) Knightley's unexpected love coming to her is the response of the reversal of her meddlesomeness towards others. When she saw the falsehood of and shed the latter, the former came.

One must find love in one's self before one can find love for others.

At the end, her priorities were in the right order.

Still one wonders if her qualities would rise again later on in this marriage. Fortunately she has a husband who is strong, at least in his willingness to bring her faults out into the open, which could keep her the marriage in order. If not, it could fall back to friendship or worse. These are mere speculations.

I found this to be a very enjoyable story. Very humorous. I thought this work of Austin was exceptionally sharp and brilliant. A great character study.

I related very much to the idea that close friendship could blossom into love and marriage. It seems rare and precious. Perhaps, as this episode indicates, it requires a real change for one or both parties. Then it can move to the next level.

The Pride and Prejudice Project
 

 

Hugo, Dumas
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Hugo and Social Vision
I am reading Les Miserables side-by-side with the writing and marvel at the depth of his penetration and his capacity to integrate his story with the evolving social life of the nation and the wider character of life. No English novel can compare with Hugo for depth of penetration and Dumas for vitality. Hugo has a vision of social evolution derived from his lived experience in 19th Century France which is fully consistent with Appa's theory and anchors his story in an ocean of life. (MSS)

The Growth of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables
It is the story of a pure (but positive) physical man evolving to vitality. He does it on a grand scale with total sincerity. He saves Marius for Cosette even though he would prefer to possess her for himself. He forces himself to overcome the selfish impulse no matter how painful it is. The narrative of his travel to Arras for the trial in the book is a masterpiece of literature. (MSS)

The Journey of the Soul

The spiritual tradition tells us the soul chooses to be born in a particular set of conditions in order to make progress during that person's lifetime. After the lesson has been learned, the soul leaves the body to assimilate its experience and then reincarnates in a new life to make further progress.

For example, in Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy, though a very wealthy man with a polished exterior, presents a haughty and arrogant disposition on occasion. And yet when he meets Eliza Bennet, he is overcome by his feelings for her, struck by the light in her eyes. Yet to win her over, he realizes he has to change his nature, which he does, leading to a critical event in the story where he is able to demonstrate his dramatically improved character. As a result, Eliza responds very favorably, culminating in their happy marriage. In essence, Darcy has made a powerful progress in life; precisely what his soul had sought when it entered his being at birth.

Over a decade ago, an individual I know of went through an intense change of his own. Not so much a shift from lower to higher character, or wanting attitudes to a higher deposition, but a powerful psychological and spiritual transformation that took shape through months of intense fear. So great were the 3-6 hour daily onslaught of causeless terror that during that he had to constantly remain in a state of immovable meditation, calling peace and calm to prevent that person from going mad. Along the way, he came to understand that this was what his soul sanctioned in order to move to the next stage of his life. In fact, from that day on, he embarked on a profound personal and spiritual journey that included a new career as a thinker and writer. Because of that cathartic episode, he was reborn into a new life, enabling his soul to make a great progress.

As it turns out, there are also uncommon individuals who actually make several such changes in a single lifetime. These rare souls go through consecutive stages of transformation that give sustenance to their souls in its journey through time. One such individual is Jean Valjean, the main character of Victor Hugo's nineteenth century masterpiece, Les Miserables. In fact, Valjean passes through four distinct life-changing stages that enable him to grow from a husk of a man to a veritable saint.

Jean Valjean's first transformation took place in prison, where he spent 19 years for the petty offense of stealing a loaf of bread. There he not only developed a new level of physical strength, but a new emotional intensity through his newfound cause of social justice. Because of the harsh abuse he suffered, he committed himself to overcoming similar abuses in society. As a result, Valjean had changed from an individual who hardly spoke or looked at anybody, to one dedicated to overcoming injustices in the world.

However, Jean Valjean's soul was ready for more growth. And so in his second incarnation, he came to know a humble bishop who showed him the power of selfless and self-givingness.  When the bishop saved him from the authorities after escaping from prison, Valjean came to deeply admire his goodness, goodwill, and generosity. It was a spiritual like perception for Valjean, as he now saw the brute, husk of the man he was, and the self-giving man he could become if he emulated the bishop's behavior. And so from that day on, he dedicated himself to a life of self-givingness.

And yet Jean Valjean's being was ready for more change. As long as the soul aspires for progress, life will continue to present challenges that compel its further evolution. In the years that followed Valjean was able to realize his aspirations of self-givingness by becoming a beloved and prosperous businessperson. However, one day Valjean learned that someone named Jean Valjean had been convicted of a crime. He knew that this was not the case because he was the person with that name.  After wrestling with his conscience, he went to the court in Arras and revealed that he was the real Jean Valjean, thereby freeing the accused. However, by doing so, the authorities learn that he was an escaped convict; forcing Valjean was once again to be a fugitive from the law. It would mean that he would have to up all that he had built up in his professional life. What actually occurred was that life tested his full commitment to his personal ideal of self-givingness. By acceded to a level of psychological purity, by doing what was right and true, Valjean had made the third great growth and progress of his life.

Though his mind and life found great emotional satisfaction in his new solitary existence, his soul aspired for more growth and adventure. That would come in the form of his relationship with his beloved adopted daughter Cossette. Though he rescued her as a child from the clutches of evil, and poured his love into her in the years that followed, Cossette blossomed into a young woman and found herself in love with Marius, a self-giving, young idealist.

Upon learning of the romance, Valjean through a great psychological and spiritual-like effort withdrew his possessiveness toward Cossette, retreating to his home so that she could exercise her freedom and pursue her own deep love for Marius. As a result, over time, he became weary, fell ill, and began to wither him away. However, as a result of that self-restraining effort, life responded in overwhelming fashion when near the end, Marius and Cossette arrived at his deathbed, confessing their deep love and appreciation for all he had done in lives, including saving Marius' life at the barricades.  Most telling, when Cossette confessed her deep love for Valjean, all that he aspired for in his life was fulfilled, enabling him to die a happy man. That giving up of attachment to the one person he so dearly love din the name of Cossette's best interest was Valjean's final effort of self-givingness in life. He had now reached the heights of spiritual purity, of selfless love through non-attachment. As a result, he had now completed his multi-birth journey of the soul in a single lifetime.

A soul is born in each of us in order to derive one essential progress. Just as we are evolving, so is the soul through in its own cosmic journey. But the soul will only find fulfillment in us if we rise to a higher level of consciousness. The soul of Mr. Darcy was fulfilled when he made the psychological adjustment and changed a central part of his nature, winning over the woman he loved. Jean Valjean went steps beyond and evolved his being four times in a single lifetime, an almost unprecedented event that is indicative of a very rare soul.

This being the case, then what is life asking of us? What does our soul seek through change in our own being? Or to another way, how can we improve ourselves in a way that gives sustenance to our soul?

In the end, we not here merely to exist, or even to love and achieve, but to make one essential progress in our lifetime. But do we know what that is, and if so, do we understand what needs is to be done to make it happen? If we can identify those parts of our being that need change, then we will move in harmony with our soul's aspiration. If we then go a step further and make that change, not only will we progress and evolve, but so will our soul in its journey through space and time.

On Victor Hugo
Romantic drama, in Hugo and in others, takes hold of life, strings together its unusual effects and labours to make it out of the way, brilliant, coloured, conspicuous. (Sri Aurobindo)

French vs. English Novels
No comparison between the English novels and the French. The French novels are full of vitality, ideas, ideals and aspirations. The English are flat and physical. They live in the physical, though at that level their values of integrity are extremely high. (MSS)

 

Ayn Rand
(main)

The Fountainhead
Growth Online and MSS Notes on the meaning of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Spiritual Quality of Howard Roark in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead
Howard Roark (the hero) of The Fountainhead is spiritual in the following senses:

  1. He tells the absolute truth.

  2. He never reacts to anything.

  3. He never seeks anyone or any work or anything. He lets things come to him. (MSS)

 

Other
(main)

Literature

A Supramental Perception in Hesse's Siddhartha
Siddhartha's revelation [in Hermann Hesse's book Siddhartha] that in every truth the opposite is equally true is a supramental perception. (MSS)

Thoughts from MSS on Siddhartha

Literary Criticism on Literature at Mother's Service Society
Review profound literary criticism on famous plays, novels, and films including King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and many others. Visit at:
http://www.motherservice.org/contents.htm

MSS Literary Criticism on Literature
An Ideal Husband (Trollope) (MSS site)
The Count of Monte Cristo
Jane Eyre  (MSS site)
Pride and Prejudice Project
The Three Musketeers (MSS site)
Warden and Barchester Towers (Trollope)
"Siddhartha"

(MSS site)

The Character of Life and Shakespeare:
As You Like It
Hamlet
King Lear
Macbeth
Othello

Film

Human Science Film Analysis & Commentary (based on the Character of Life)  featured

Life Response Examples from Film, TV

Life Response in The Verdict
I saw the film The Verdict again. I saw something new. At one point his partner says that things looked hopeless -- and indeed -- they did at one point. He also suggested that there would be other cases in the future. Frank insisted that no, THIS was the case. THIS was the case, he repeated over and over. The power of intention was so great that shortly thereafter he discovered the missing witness in the form of the former nurse that would win him the case. Also, the betrayal by the woman who was his lover was suddenly revealed. It was double good fortune for Frank. I.e it was life responding to the release of these powerful inner energies of Will. His power of intention was so great that it overwhelmed all else. His whole existence which till that point had been a failure in his mind was behind that staggering last-gap intention. He then attracted Truth to his side, that nearly everyone recognized, even, in the end, the crooked judge.

Thoughts from MSS on the Film 'The Verdict'

On Indian Film "Lagaan"
Energy and inner light triumphant is demonstrated in the Indian film
Lagaan.

Light is there in the bodies of the rural people of India.

Energy and skill wins in a match of two teams or adversaries. Energy can win even without skill if the energy is great in abundance. The energy can come from physical energy or from a sense of outrage. (Paraphrase of MSS)

Overcoming Indian Untouchability Energizes Victory in "Lagaan"

That which divided the castes - untouchability - is overcome by the persuasive arguments of the hero of "Lagaan." As a result, tremendous energy is released thereafter that unites them all for an eventual victory over their oppressors, the British team.

Out of this movement of a negative turning positive (of the shedding of caste) vast energy is released that enables victory in another problem area -- the match between the Indians and the British, that if the latter win will trigger huge, unfair taxes on the poor who are suffering under drought conditions.

We see here how Nature works on multiple problems simultaneously -- overcoming the internal caste system of the Indians, and overcoming the external oppression of the British.

The scene where the hero allows the deformed member of the untouchable caste to pitch in the cricket match -- changing the fortunes of the Indian team -- is the defining moment of the story.

Overwhelming Success that Presages Emergences in Society
We see how an individual's pioneering effort brings out an emerging element of the society that is subconscious to that society at the time. The vast success of Darwin's book Origin of the Species (sold out on the first day) lead the society out of parts of its folly, ignorance, and falsehood. Margaret Mitchell's enormous success with Gone with the Wind's in which the heroine is a difficult, though liberated woman presages the vast emergence of woman in 20th century. And Tom Peters enormous, unexpected success in In Search of Excellence helped accelerate the liberation and freedom of the individual in the workplace, an echo of the hippy phenomenon a few years earlier. Each was an overwhelming success, presaging the corresponding new emerging element in society.

If an individual can catch the wave of the emerging element in society -- there is always one or more -- he will have an overwhelming success in his work as these individuals did.

Yes, Minister
Yes, Minister
is the English [TV} comedy about an easily manipulated good man who is constantly undoing his goodness through the scheming of bad men. And yet he eventually rises to the prime ministership, a product of society's stupidity, and his inner goodness and positive intent that the society subconsciously appreciates and rewards.

Good Out of Evil; Evil Out of Good

[re Lost tv series episode: 'Across the Sea']

This episode (near the finale of the 120-hour continuous epic tv show) showed one of the great precepts of ancient and modern spiritual thought: that Good Comes out of Evil, and Evil out of Good. Evil Out of Good: The Man in Black became what he was (evil) because of the doings of 'Good' people (his adopted Mother and Jacob's harmful deeds). Similarly, the Third Reich came to be what it was because the great depression spurred by Western greed destabilized Germany, paving the way for the Fuehrer. Thus, evil coming out of (apparent) good. A true "Good" by the way does not necessitate evil; i.e. does not precipitate a dark shadow; but such a true Good is very rare. It is a spiritual quality that awaits the future in humanity.

An example of Good coming out of Evil is when the EU was formed after WWII. If fascism and 70 million dead had not come about, the UN, EU, and other forms of global alliances might not have formed for hundreds of years, if ever. In the story, good comes out of evil because all of the Losties on the island are forced to come to terms with their lower nature and grow as people through all of the difficult circumstance they are subject to by dark forces, including the Man in Black.

 

TO BE CATEGORIZED

 

Literature, Film

The Book by Garry Jacobs

My colleague Garry Jacobs has just released a powerful new 500 page novel -- The Book --, perhaps the finest work of spirit-oriented fiction of the new century. It is filled with spiritual truths, and breakthrough insights into the nature of consciousness, reality, and the character of life. And yet this is also a magnificent story about how four very different and fascinating individuals work their way through a startling set of circumstance on their way to great accomplishment and profound inner awareness. The ad for the novel says:

"The Book is a spiritual thriller, a journey to self-discovery, an adventure of consciousness, a revelation of occult truths, and a practical guide for highest accomplishment. This novel presents basic principles of Sri Aurobindo's 'The Life Divine', the character of life, and human accomplishment.

Four technocrats armed with a mysterious manuscript, a secret formula and a radically new computer program battle a conspiracy of entrenched reactionary forces in a global struggle to determine humanity's future." (2009-2011 Q1)

 

Obscurity of Sri Aurobindo and the Life Divine

It is remarkable that perhaps the greatest sage and seer to have ever walked this earth, Sri Aurobindo; and the most profound work about the nature of existence, The Life Divine, are hardly known to the world. (2009-2011 Q1)

 


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