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What Darcy and Elizabeth did to Lydia


May 31, 2007

The problem was created and precipitated by Lydia for which Wickham was a willing accomplice. It is a problem for the entire family of which she was oblivious. Wickham himself was obliviously insensitive and callous as to her future and how it would affect the family. Though there is no malice or venom involved in it, it is a self-centred selfishness to ruin a girl and through her a family for a short-lived satisfaction for him.  On his part it was a conscious crime. On her part it was unconscious. It was an unconscious urge taking initiative. It will be really comprehensive if you deal with everyone's attitude and the social magnitude of the calamity. Incidentally Bennet said he was not worried about it because these things would pass away after some time. It only means that he was sure of finding Lydia married and the scandal would be only the elopement prior to the marriage. His mind did not go to the possibility of Wickham not marrying her, and the whole family being ruined because of that. It may be a credit to his indolence, but it was his contribution to restoration.

When Elizabeth points out that danger to Jane, to whom it has not occurred, by not thinking negatively, even if it is out of her ignorance, she has prevented that possibility from precipitating. The mind of Elizabeth is too quick not to see that. Indolence contributes by inaction. Insight contributes by transformation.   On finishing Jane's letter, she impetuously runs to the door calling for her uncle. Darcy comes. He was astonished to the point of shedding his politeness and being natural. The reality of the situation fully dawns on her. Her knees tremble. [1]

 Trembling knees means fear from the mind reaching the physical. In other words, the reality of the lowness of her family becomes a knowledge in her body. Darcy loses his formality. Instead of maintaining the poise of a gentleman in honouring Elizabeth's privacy, he takes the lover's position of sharing her grief which he has seen but not understood. This was the first moment the lovers met or their love met. It is this attitude of his that made her come out and share her misery with him in spite of the fact that he is the one stranger from whom it should be kept.


It was impossible for Darcy to leave her or refrain from speaking in a tone of gentleness and commiseration, as he wanted to give her some present relief. They have emotionally met. He was anxious that there was nothing wrong with her. She told him there was nothing wrong with her. That relieved him, being a very selfish man. It is a crucial moment in her life. The initiative Shaw says women take, she takes in the subconscious plane. She understood at that moment that all interest of Darcy in her was over. She tries to renew it by appealing to his pity.  What she could not accept from love of pride, she now appeals from pity. She takes the extraordinary step, after a few minutes of silence, to enlist his sympathy for her position. He was observing her in compassionate silence.

Silence itself can be a cure and compassion can dissolve distress.

  It is something that cannot be concealed from anyone. Her youngest sister has left all her friends, has eloped, has thrown herself into the power of Mr. Wickham. He knew Wickham too well to doubt the rest. Lydia has no money, no connections, nothing can tempt him. She is lost forever.

  Elizabeth is brutally frank and concretely feminine in practical terms, confirming every accusation of his about her family by giving live evidence. Her subconscious motive was to create sympathy or at least pity so that he may not desert her.   It is the genius of Jane Austen to have made it so real.

Darcy was fixed in astonishment. She continues the appeal in her own fashion that she might have prevented it, she who knew what Wickham was if she had only explained some part of it (suppressing the part of Georgiana) to her own family. Had his character been known, this could not have happened. It is all too late now.  She has taken him into confidence so that he might not give her up. It is not as if Darcy got up and walked away on hearing the information. What she planned for worked. He was grieved, shocked.  Meaning, he participates in her distress. She has enlisted his sympathy. It has worked.  He asks what has been done to recover them. That clearly shows he did not want to desert Elizabeth even after hearing the information. He has not put up the attitude of dropping her totally on hearing the information, which she rightly assumed. His grief and shock is not just of a third person but of one who shares her emotions. She explains their intention to go to Scotland, her father going to London, and exclaims, Nothing can be done.  She knew very well nothing could be done. How is such a man to be worked on? How are they even to be discovered? She did not have the smallest hope. It was in every way horrible.  Neither she nor he considered the elopement as a private matter. The wall of privacy between them had fallen. By her intensity, she is pleading to him not to desert her. But she had no hope.

Darcy shook his head in silent acquiescence. There was no sign of disapproval or disgust or detachment in him.   Made bold by his attitude, , her eyes were opened to his real character. She was afraid of doing too much. Wretched, wretched mistake. She knew subconsciously he would do anything for her and therefore takes the entire blame on herself. It is from a hope that he would not desert her because of this. This is a subconscious opening that complements his subconscious readiness not to give her up.

Darcy made no answer, scarcely heard her, walked up and down the room in earnest meditation, his brow contracted, his air gloomy.  Jane Austen says, Elizabeth soon observed and instantly understood.   Elizabeth understood, apart from the realities of the situation that Darcy's manner indicated his giving her up totally.  Austen continues to say, Elizabeth's power was sinking. Everything must sink under such a proof of family weakness. It was such an assurance of deepest disgrace. Elizabeth could neither wonder nor condemn. But her belief of his self-conquest brought nothing conciliatory to her bosom, afforded no palliation to her distress.  Darcy, like a man who would accomplish, does not speak out. Perhaps she expected him to extend help. She sank because her power gave way, meaning the shock has touched the physical consciousness.  


Elizabeth had never so honestly felt she could have loved him. And now all love must be in vain.  When Mother says all sincere prayers are answered, She means when the whole being calls for the help.  Elizabeth's call is from her physical consciousness. It was successful in fact, not in her understanding.  The humiliation, the misery Lydia brought on them all soon swallowed up every private care. She would not allow her Self to intrude.  Meaning, she was so engrossed that she could not think of her private misery of loss of chance for marriage. There was a pause of several minutes and it was he who first spoke.  His breaking the silence is his subtle initiative in the mind not to desert her. He speaks normally, that he might offer consolation to such distress.  In his mind, it would be to ask for her thanks. He has decided to help her by finding Lydia using his resources but does not want to express it. He is in his depths an organised, selfish person and he shamelessly says, that unfortunate affair would prevent his sister from having the pleasure of seeing Elizabeth at Pemberly.

Now both of them try to assume a formal relationship.  She asks him to conceal the unhappy truth as long as possible.  It is directly going back to her appeal to him to recognise the confidence she reposes in him. Neither of them know the other to warrant this amount of confidence. It is her opening her private affairs again more fully to his participation.

He wished for a happier conclusion of the misadventure and left his compliments for her relations. With one serious, parting look, he went away.  It was his silent promise that he would not give Elizabeth up, Lydia or no Lydia. My own understanding is, he would have married her and allowed Bingley to marry Jane even if Lydia had not been traced. I say it from two points of view. That is the strength of his attachment to her. And he is such a proud, selfish man who could not take a no from anyone. He would rather humble himself to succeed in a humiliating game than lose what he was after.

Elizabeth felt how improbable it was that they should ever see each other again on such terms of cordiality as had marked their several meetings in Derbyshire. And as she threw a retrospective glance over the whole of their acquaintance, so full of contradictions and varieties, she sighed at the perverseness of those feelings, which would now have promoted its continuance and would formerly have rejoiced in its termination.  This description of Elizabeth makes the reader understand that she recognised the perverseness of her feelings. It was her partial attempt at transformation.

Jane Austen says gratitude and esteem are good foundations of affection. Elizabeth's change of sentiment is neither improbable nor faulty. Austen asks whether the regard springing from such sources is unreasonable or unnatural.  Austen is aware that the character is making a supreme effort ,even at the point of being accused of unreasonableness and unnaturalness, to feel gratitude and esteem for him so that affection might be born.

False Step

Man face to face with the Absolute feels the Absolute cannot determine. That Sri Aurobindo says is man projecting his inability to the Absolute.  This argument of the False Step is given in three or four ways about the Absolute in a number of places. I wish to take up that False Step in life.

An uninformed man believes his cataract is a result of his karma and it cannot be cured. This happened in a Tanjore village for five people in the same family. If you analyse the logic of the false step. It is taken by the self-willed intellect. The intellect knows something which it insists on. This man knows cataract is by his karma and he believes that. Thereby he rules out a cure by operation. He may look very superstitious and foolish in our eyes. But when you see your life coming face to face where you think something is not possible, you consider it is not possible. Mother's yoga requires in life not to take that false step, not to believe it is impossible, but also believe what is not possible for me is possible for the Absolute. That is what the Secret advocates about the Universe. What looks to be so simple in this context is really a profound philosophical attitude expressed in life which no system of philosophy prior to Sri Aurobindo enunciated. It is not just saying that our prayer can be answered either by God or by the Universe. That is by faith or hope. They do not know this philosophy. The power of having a clear, theoretical knowledge of a process is far more powerful than getting the results. The same difference is there between a mechanic and an engineer or a mechanic and an originally designing engineer. Better still, an engineer with theoretical knowledge of the particular repair.  Here I am talking about the original theoretical knowledge which the individual himself has discovered. In our case, we borrow the knowledge from Sri Aurobindo. You may by now know that to borrow something from Sri Aurobindo and apply it in life, there must be some originality. Let us see how the characters in P&P do not take that false step.

Mrs. Bennet:  She has no vital capacity to think that she would ever fail. She lives in a world of her imagination. She can only think of her imaginations coming true. So when that receives a blow, she collapses at that point. Not even fear or fearful thoughts enter her mind. It is a negative cooperation she gives.

Mr. Bennet:  Already we commented about his indolent attitude. A lazy man is capable of wishful thinking, not that he is unaware of the consequences of her running away. But he thinks it will pass away soon.

Jane:  She is so naïve, stupid, unthinking, not negative that it never occurs to her that Lydia's elopement will harm the family.

Elizabeth:  She knows all the possible consequences, not like the other members of the family. Her mind opens up to all those dimensions. Such an opening up makes possible for transformation. If no transformation is made, what she negatively believes will become true. In this story a small effect of transformation is there. It is not only that Lydia is saved by marriage, it leads to other marriages.

Darcy: He was grieved and shocked by Lydia's elopement, but his attachment to Elizabeth is so great that he was not willing to give her up even after that. He has enough information to trace Wickham and believes in his capacity to restore Lydia to respectability.

Each character in the story for various reasons refuses to take that false step.  In our case, when we refuse to take that false step, we don't stop there. We take the right step to cross the boundaries of the world's knowledge. That takes us beyond the mind into the realms of the Supermind.

At Rosings Elizabeth tells Fitzwilliams that she would not be intimidated by any threat, but she says her courage increases when the threat increases.  That is the attitude necessary not to take the false step but take the right step.

The method gives results according to the level of one's understanding. The understanding of Mr. Bennet and Jane is minimal. That of Darcy and Elizabeth is more which is reflected in the results. The same method with a full knowledge of The Absolute will give the result of supramental transformation.

[1] The words in italics are from the text.

story | by Dr. Radut