Tusar Nath Mohapatra

Brian Swimme, Thomas Berry, & Sri Aurobindo

Posted on: January 5, 2009

The Cosmology of the Integral Yoga


This paper contextualizes the need for holding a cosmological worldview, using the works of Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry as a foundation, then explores detailed and specific connections to the cosmology presented by Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga as an illuminative example. […]

Although Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry have identified the need for such a new cosmology, their approach still holds over many central presuppositions of the old cosmology – assumptions which may not be required, even if we are to keep the benefits and knowledge of science as an integral part of the new cosmology.  This very dilemma is actually already present in Swimme and Berry’s work, as indicated in the way they use language to describe the new story, as noted above. 

I propose, however, that the cosmology developed primarily by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, called the Integral Yoga, provides significant elements to the new story which can educate, heal, and guide us, while at the same time enjoying significant compatibility with the useful empirical elements of the old cosmology which should be carried forward.  Whereas Swimme’s cosmology provides a necessary recontextualization of the contemporary scientific worldview, it is not enough by itself, nor is it ultimately satisfactory for meeting Berry’s description for what the new story should look like. 

Aurobindo’s cosmology, on the other hand, incorporates an evolutionary perspective into a larger framework of cosmic development that includes a much more vast view of the potentiality of human consciousness and its relation to the universe and its Divine nature.  Just as much as Swimme’s cosmology deals directly with the details of material evolution, Aurobindo’s cosmology deals with the details of spiritual evolution.  Yet these two approaches, although seemingly on opposite sides, are not incompatible or mutually exclusive. 

In fact, Aurobindo’s cosmology provides a larger framework within which the best elements of the scientific cosmology can find a meaningful home, while the scientific cosmology provides detail of outer evolution lacking in the spiritually-oriented cosmology of the Integral Yoga.  Let us take a look at the basic details of Aurobindo’s Integral cosmology, so that we might better understand the extent and nature of this compatibility more thoroughly.

The Elements as an Archetype of Transformation: An Exploration of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire

Master’s Thesis, Consciousness Studies, JFK University, 2008

I propose that the alchemical cycle of the four elements Earth, Water, Air and Fire provides a useful and exact analogue for the processes of transformation of a wide variety of types, and as such can be considered an archetype.  The elemental cycle is a potent symbol for a transformative, qualitative language (logos) which has the potential to guide human consciousness towards lawful, holistic engagement with essentially any phenomenon.  When worked consistently, the elemental cycle leads us beyond ‘everyday’ modes of cognition to what could be called Imaginative, Inspirative, and Intuitive modes cognition.  In these modes, thinking no longer takes place ‘about’ a phenomenon, but ‘with’, ‘through’, and ‘within’ phenomena.  The elemental cycle provides a content, a method, and self-regulating feedback mechanisms for working with transformation, and can help engender a consciousness that can fruitfully dialogue with the interiority of the world by making it explicit.  Its power lies in its ability to act as a template and guide for the structuring of human consciousness; it is a tool which makes available a coherent, archetypal patterning which can help guide and transform a human consciousness in healthy and practical ways.  By making available new modes of consciousness, it helps us learn to see ourselves and the world in ways that allow for greater creativity and flexibility when faced with difficult or problematic situations. At the same time it illuminates and connects us with phenomena – both outer and inner – that might otherwise pass our notice.

This essay comprises a detailed study of the nature of the elements and the elemental cycle, through which it is hoped the reader may gain a solid enough foundation to work experimentally with the elemental cycle independently if desired.  Therefore, the cycle is introduced via a brief phenomenology of the individual elements, which are then connected, compared, and brought together to form a complete picture of the cycle.  The breadth of applicability of the cycle is then explored through a series of specific instances that also serve to illuminate the qualities of the cycle itself.  A report on third-party work with the elemental cycle provides complementary and contrasting experiences, while an in-depth review and application of the cycle to the nature of images opens up the complexities and demonstrates the recursive, self-generating quality of the cycle.  Lastly, an introductory series of practical steps and specific exercises, advice, and questions for each elemental stage is provided to help the reader use the cycle independently. Top | Next: Table of  

© 2008 Seth Miller | Design by Seth Miller | Alchemical.org


2 Responses to "Brian Swimme, Thomas Berry, & Sri Aurobindo"

[…] Brian Swimme, Thomas Berry, & Sri Aurobindo […]

There is no need to speculate on the nature of Sri Aurobindo’s Cosmology. It is Vedic through and through. He discusses all this in his “Secret of the Veda”. The New Model of the Cosmos as we might call it, is fully expressed in the Mother’s original plan of the Inner Chamber of Her temple. IT, the Mother tells us, is the “Symbol of the Future Realization”. The full cosmological content of the Mother’s Inner Chamber has been revealed by “Thea” Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet in her book, “The New Way”. In her epic work, Thea explains the mysteries of Supramental Time and illustrates how it is the basis of a New Sadhana that leads us to the realization of “SWAR”, the Vedic Truth Consciousness.
RE Wilkinson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tusar N. Mohapatra

Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum
SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad - 201014 (UP) India + 91 96500-65636
Aadhaar No. 3628 2075 7337
SELF posits a model of counselling and communicative action as an instrument in order to stimulate the public sphere. The model aims at supplementing the individual’s struggle for a successful social adjustment with more aspirational inputs so as to help one take an informed and balanced attitude towards life as well as society.
Savitri Era of those who adore,
Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

Blog Stats

  • 11,108 hits
%d bloggers like this: