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From the Editors
Vol. 47, No. 1
Crisis and Emergence
HOW FOUNDATIONAL IS LIGHT! In our world of duality, light comes arm in arm with the dark times and forces—but thankfully, it comes. In the northern hemisphere the green planet is emerging from the dark and cold of winter to the eruption of life and renewal. Our theme in this issue, “Crisis and Emergence,” bundles the dark crises of life and society in essay, image, and poetry together with startling eruptions of light in many dimensions.
Poetry from Sri Aurobindo such as “The Pilgrim of the Night” excavates and vibrates with deep and difficult sides of our existence, while “The Vedantin’s Prayer” bears the personal anguish and obstacles of the poet but ends in a cry for the joy of release. In “Harmony and Crises,” Seabury Gould reflects on the interplay between the musician’s constant search for harmony and a yogic response to the larger physical and social crises of our times. Martha Orton’s compact poem “Propelled” discovers the point of light in the chaos that brings guidance and deeper knowledge. In Sri Aurobindo’s stunning sonnets “Light” and “The Golden Light,” the miraculous particle/wave mystery rides like lightning from transcendent to visceral and cosmic to personal in epiphanies of joy.
“Towards the Great Turning Point,” by C.V. Devan Nair, is the latest in our “Gems from the Collaboration Archive” series. In this talk, Devan lays before us the supreme personal turning point—at the feet of the Mother—of a lifetime of revolution, action, and accomplishment on the world stage. “The Mother on Crisis and Emergence” brings a vast and universal vision to the material world and widespread destruction of the Great War, which had just begun.
This issue of Collaboration also features three powerful essays. “The Time Has Come,” by professor and sculptor Patrick M. Beldio, is the latest in our Collaboration Journal Special Features series. The title of this essay implies a question—the time for what?—and an answer: It is time for the promised leap beyond the dual reality of our times: dissolution and progress, annihilation and new creation. The recipe is before us now, Patrick argues, if we understand Mother’s acknowledgment of the value of hostile forces and employ her flower-based method of evoking the life-changing power of aspiration.
The other two essays investigate Dr. Pravir Malik’s paradigm-challenging cosmology of light, which proposes that light is the foundation of the cosmos itself. In “A Journey to Mathematize the Power of Light,” Pravir tells us stories and highlights of his unexpected 20-year personal journey to the cosmology of light, from San Francisco to Pondicherry to Cape Town.
“The Cosmology of Light: Bridging Science and Spirituality,” coauthored with Dr. Bahman A.K. Shirazi, suggests the scope of this work. In the first part of the essay, Bahman reviews the centrality of light in religious and spiritual traditions for thousands of years, with special emphasis on the role of light in Integral Yoga. In the second part, Pravir summarizes how he connects the story of light with the latest discoveries in science. Hold your hats! Pravir and Bahman write: “We propose that the mystical quest for unity in consciousness and the current scientific search for a unified theory of reality have a common origin in the mysteries of light.” Both articles are beautifully illustrated with art from Margaret Astrid Phanes.
The issue concludes with a surprise discovery on “the last tremendous brow” of a long climb in Sri Aurobindo’s poem “One Day,” displayed on the back cover.—John Robert Cornell and Bahman A.K. Shirazi, editors