Tusar Nath Mohapatra

Unity, Mutuality and Harmony: The Principles of Gnostic Society

Posted on: June 26, 2012

Sri Aurobindo Studies

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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1 Response to "Unity, Mutuality and Harmony: The Principles of Gnostic Society"

When Aurobindo uses the term “gnostic community” he means it not in a weak general sense, but in a very specific sense: He’s talking about a group of individuals who share the vision of living together in a shared living community and sharing all aspects of their lives with the goal of leaving behind ego-consciousness and awakening together into what he calls “common self consciousness” or “mutual consciousness”: the shared consciousness that all beings are individualized aspects of the one Divine Self. He says in the latter part of the “Divine Life” chapter:
“The inner change [of awakened common self consciousness] can begin to take shape in a collective form only if the gnostic individual finds others who have the same kind of inner life as himself and can form with them a group with its own autonomous existence or else a separate community or order of being with its own inner law of life. . . At a certain stage it might be necessary to follow the age-long device of the separate community, but with a double purpose, first to provide a secure atmosphere, a place and life apart, in which the consciousness of the individual might concentrate on its evolution in surroundings where all was turned and centred towards the one endeavour and, next, when things were ready, to formulate and develop the new life in those surroundings and in this prepared spiritual atmosphere.”

Clearly his vision is that as more and more of these small shared living common-self-dedicated communities form, they can join together on the material level to facilitate their joining together into a common consciousness that will ultimately include all of humanity. He says: ” It might not be necessary for [a gnostic community] to be entirely separate; it might establish itself in so many islets and from there spread through the old life, throwing out upon it its own influences and filtrations, gaining upon it, bringing to it a help and illumination which a new aspiration in mankind might after a time begin to understand and welcome.”

In other words, he’s talking about living together in a shared living community as a new kind of collective yoga designed to awaken all of humanity to the supramental common self consciousness of our shared Divinity. It seems to me that it’s high time for those of us fired by Aurobindo’s vision of the common self consciousness of humanity, to band together to create gnostic communities that are actual shared living communities dedicated to this vision. If anyone is interested, please contact me (Samat) at samatman@earthling.net.

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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.

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