Archive for June 2012
Will, knowledge and love are the three divine powers in human nature and the life of man, and they point to the three paths by which the human soul rises to the divine. The integrality of them, the union of man with God in all the three, must therefore, as we have seen, be the foundation of an integral Yoga.
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We tend to believe that Mind is insignificant in relation to the vast, overwhelming material and vital forces that embody the universal existence. We therefore also tend to underestimate the power of the evolutionary forces of consciousness as they begin to manifest because they seem so small and weak.
Sri Aurobindo makes it clear that by adjusting our viewpoint on this matter, we can see the ever increasing manifested power that accompanies ever increasing knowledge, in this case, the development of the gnostic consciousness, based in the Knowledge, and its power of effectuation in relation to the material, vital and mental world which is based in the Inconscient or the Ignorance.
“The Inconscient there is the original, potent and automatically effective Force, the conscious mind is only a small labouring agent; but that is because the conscious mind in us has a limited individual action and the Inconscient is an…
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As long as we remain rooted in the primarily vital and material action of Nature, we feel that we are unable to control the larger forces at work in our lives. We feel in many instances helpless and swept away by those forces. Even as we develop the powers of the Mind, we still very much experience the subjection to the vital and physical world and its actions.
Sri Aurobindo points out however that this is not an unalterable condition of our evolving being and consciousness: “A certain fundamental subjection of Mind to Life and Matter and an acceptance of this subjection, an inability to make the law of Mind directly dominant and modify by its powers the blinder law and operations of these inferior forces of being, remains even in the midst of our greatest mental mastery over self and things; but this limitation is not insuperable.”
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The mental consciousness suffers from limitations of knowledge, limitations of power and disharmony between knowledge and effective action. As a result of the underlying foundation of Ignorance and the process that the mental consciousness needs to use to “build up” what it knows from fragments and pieces, the mental consciousness has no ability to discover or hold any kind of absolute truth, much less implement what it “knows” in a comprehensive and effective manner.
The gnostic consciousness does not suffer from these limitations as Sri Aurobindo describes: “An innate character of the gnostic consciousness and the instrumentation of Supernature is a wholeness of sight and action, a unity of knowledge with knowledge, a reconciliation of identify of Knowledge and Will acting as a single power in perfect unison with the truth of things; this inbord character of Supernature is the foundation of the perfect unity, mutuality, harmoniy of its action.”
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There are various views about the meaning and purpose of our lives. For those who believe that we are trapped in our imperfect nature and that we cannot develop beyond the limitations of the body, life and mind into something that has the character of Knowledge rather than Ignorance, there is no use or hope in striving to achieve the kind of spiritual, supramental evolutionary development that Sri Aurobindo envisions. Similarly there are those who believe that other results beyond the current limitations we experience are possible, but not here and now, in this life; rather, only in some “beyond” whether it is another world, or a heaven after death.
Sri Aurobindo takes issue with both of these views. He sees life and its striving as expression of an evolutionary development, and our current limitations as a stage through which we must pass, but to which we are not, in…
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The mental consciousness, when it tries to create a society that is functional and harmonious, works to standarise, regiment and control the individual members through rules, laws, or common forms of thought, action and expression. In its extreme it can lead to fundamentalism that becomes intolerant of viewpoints or expressions of others, either members of the group or society, or else, of those outside. The result is a stifling of individual creative expression and attempts to purge or suppress anyone that does not follow the doctrine so developed.
Sri Aurobindo makes it clear that such a structured formation based on the mental rule-making tendency is not the way that the gnostic society would develop or work. On the contrary, there would be considerable diversity, variance and differences of expression, both by individuals within the community, and between one gnostic community and another, in keeping with the wideness and variability of…
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The mental/vital/physical manifestation is characterised by a clash of opposing forces and egos. There is a fight for pre-eminence, control and domination. One idea or belief system is set against another idea and belief system. The ego believes it is “right” and the other belief is “wrong” and feels it must compete to achieve control and dominance for its ideas or desires.
The gnostic individual, on the contrary, knows the Truth of his role in the manifestation and feels no desire nor need to clash against others in order to affirm that Truth. Sri Aurobindo describes it thus: “The gnostic being woudl feel a single consonant Force of Supernature acting in all: he would accept its formation in himself and obey or use the knowledge and power it gave him for the divine work, but he would be under no urge or compulsion to set the power and knowledge in…
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