Thought the Paraclete is a more complicated poem by Sri Aurobindo. A pre-independence poem written in 1934. The title is metaphoric and the whole poem is mystical. It lends itself to a several interpretations and poses a new meaning at every sitting, sometimes sounds philosophical, sometimes intellectual and mystical sometimes.
THOUGHT THE PARACLETE
As some bright archangel in vision flies
Plunged in dream-caught spirit immensities,
Past the long green crests of the seas of life,
Past the orange skies of the mystic mind
Flew my thought self-lost in the vasts of God.
Sleepless wide great glimmering wings of wind
Bore the gold-red seeking of feet that trod
Space and Time’s mute vanishing ends. The face
Lustred, pale-blue-lined of the hippogriff,
Eremite, sole, daring the bourneless ways,
Over world-bare summits of timeless being
Gleamed; the deep twilights of the world-abyss
Failed below. Sun-realms of supernal seeing,
Crimson-white mooned oceans of pauseless bliss
Drew its vague heart-yearning with voice sweet.
Hungering, large-souled to surprise the unconned
Secrets white-fire-veiled of the last Beyond,
Crossing power-swept silences rapture-stunned
Climbing high far ethers eternal-sunned,
Thought the great-winged wanderer Paraclete
Disappeared slow-singing a flame-word rune.
Self was left, lone, limitless, nude, immune.
THOUGHT THE PARACLETE SUMMARY
Lines 1 to 6
‘Thought the Paraclete’ is a mystic poem in which the thought or vision of the poet ascends through the spiritual plane into the vasts of God. After travelling through various chambers, it ends in the realisation of infinite self.
The poem has its origin in the spiritual experience of the poet’s thought or vision. His vision ascends past ‘the long green crests of the seas of life’, proceeds further over ‘the orange skies of the mystic mind’ and descends self-lost into the vasts of God leaving the earth behind. Usually the sky is blue. But the poet describes the sky is orange which symbolises the Divinity. Therefore the line illustrates the union of the poet’s vision with divine.
There are four movements of the mind as described in the poem. In the first movement, the thought is self-lost in the vasts of God. The Higher mind moves to Illumined mind. The glimmering wings of wind carry the spirit which is restless in its quest for spiritual aspiration. This is the second movement, the next stage in the upward progress of consciousness, where the Higher mind moves to Overmind.
Lines 7 to 12
The thought or vision is persistently strolling; seeking to reach out its goal breaking the limitations of time and space. The corresponding illumination from above at every stage stimulates the next stage. Now the limitations of time and space have gone out of sight. The face here denotes the face of the spirit which is comparable to the face of Ermite, a lone hermit who dares to dig out the unexplored -the bourneless ways- in order to enter the visionary realms. Hippogriff is a horse-headed mythical being with the wings of Griffin.
The significance of the mention of Hippogriff is to symbolise brightness and splendor of the winged thought. When the second stage of the mind is complete, the world below is an abyss to it.
Lines 13 to 18
The next stage of the mind is from Intuition to Overmind. The light of intuition pushes the thought further in the progress when the thought looses its consciousness to reach out next stage. The vague aspirations of the spirit are drawn upwards to the sun-realms of supernal seeing i.e., to the Illumined level which now acknowledges the presence of divine consciousness, the pauseless bliss. Crimson-white signifies the divine consciousness.
The Divine descends continuously into the lower levels of consciousness. Thought makes a daring attempt to surprise the unconned, white-fire veiled secrets crossing an overwhelmingly silent region swept away by the divine power.
Lines 19 to 22
The Paraclete now has reached the highest levels of consciousness, the realisation of infinite self. It is now completely merged and identified with the divine. The great-winged wanderer has finally finished all the way around and his self is lost.