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Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

II. Sonnets

Discoveries of Science III1

Our science is an abstract cold and brief

That cuts in formulas the living whole.

It has a brain and head but not a soul:

It sees all things in outward carved relief.

But how without its depths can the world be known?

The visible has its roots in the unseen

And each invisible hides what it can mean

In a yet deeper invisible, unshown.

The objects that you probe are not their form.

Each is a mass of forces thrown in shape.

The forces caught, their inner lines escape

In a fathomless consciousness beyond mind’s norm.

Probe it and you shall meet a Being2 still

Infinite, nameless, mute, unknowable.


Later edition of this work: The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo.- Set in 37 volumes.- Volume 2.- Collected Poems.- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2009.- 751 p.

1 2009 ed. CWSA, vol.2: Science and the Unknowable

The version of 2009 edition is so much differs, that we placed it here in full length:

In occult depths grow Natureís roots unshown;

Each visible hides its base in the unseen,

Even the invisible guards what it can mean

In a yet deeper invisible, unknown.

Manís science builds abstractions cold and bare

And carves to formulas the living whole;

It is a brain and hand without a soul,

A piercing eye behind our outward stare.

The objects that we see are not their form,

A mass of forces is the apparent shape;

Pursued and seized, their inner lines escape

In a vast consciousness beyond our norm.

Follow and you shall meet abysses still,

Infinite, wayless, mute, unknowable.


2 abysses