INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRAL YOGA PSYCHOLOGY

(a project of Mirravision Trust, Financed by Auroshakti Foundation)

 
Chapters
Chapter I
Chapter II - Part 1
Chapter II - Part 2
Chapter II - Part 3
Chapter II - Part 4
Chapter III - Part 1
Chapter III - Part 2
Chapter III - Part 3
Chapter III - Part 4
Chapter III - Part 5
Chapter III - Part 6
Chapter IV - Part 1
Chapter IV - Part 2
Chapter IV - Part 3
Chapter IV - Part 4
Chapter V-Part 1
Chapter V - Part 2
Chapter V - Part 3
Chapter V - Part 4
Chapter V - Part 5
Chapter VI - Part 1
Chapter VI - Part 2
Chapter VI - Part 3
Chapter VI - Part 4
Chapter VI - Part 5
Chapter VII - Part 1
Chapter VII - Part 2
Chapter VII - Part 3
Chapter VII - Part 4
Chapter VII - Part 5
Chapter VIII - Part 1
Chapter VIII - Part 2
Chapter VIII - Part 3
Chapter VIII - Part 4
Chapter IX - Part 1
Chapter IX - Part 2
Chapter X - Part 1
Chapter X - Part 2
Chapter X - Part 3
Chapter X - Part 4
Chapter X - Part 5
Chapter X - Part 6
Chapter XI - Part 1
Chapter XI - Part 2
Chapter XI - Part 3
Chapter XI - Part 4
Chapter XII - Part 1
Chapter XII - Part 2
Chapter XII - Part 3
Chapter XII - Part 4
Chapter XII - Part 5
Chapter XIII - Part 1
Chapter XIII - Part 2
Chapter XIV - Part 1
Chapter XIV - Part 2
Chapter XIV - Part 3
Chapter XIV - Part 4
Chapter XIV - Part 5
Chapter XV - Part 1
Chapter XV - Part 2
Chapter XV - Part 3
Chapter XV - Part 4
Chapter XV - Part 5
Chapter XV - Part 6
Chapter XV - Part 7
Chapter XV - Part 8
Chapter XV - Part 9
Chapter XVI - Part 1
Chapter XVI - Part 2
Chapter XVI - Part 3
Chapter XVI - Part 4
Chapter XVI - Part 5
Chapter XVI - Part 6
Chapter XVI - Part 7
Chapter XVI - Part 8
Chapter XVI - Part 9
Chapter XVI - Part 10
Chapter XVI - Part 11
Chapter XVI - Part 12
Chapter XVI - Part 13
Chapter XVII - Part 1
Chapter XVII - Part 2
Chapter XVII - Part 3
Chapter XVII - Part 4
Chapter XVIII - Part 1
Chapter XVIII - Part 2
Chapter XVIII - Part 3
Chapter XVIII - Part 4
Chapter XVIII - Part 5
Chapter XVIII - Part 6
Chapter XVIII - Part 7
Chapter XVIII - Part 8
Chapter XVIII - Part 9
Chapter XVIII - Part 10
Chapter XIX - Part 1
Chapter XIX - Part 2
Chapter XIX - Part 3
Chapter XIX - Part 4
Chapter XIX - Part 5
Chapter XIX - Part 6
Chapter XIX - Part 7
Chapter XX - Part 1
 

A Psychological Approach to Sri Aurobindo's

The Life Divine

 
Chapter III - Part 5:

The TRANSCENDENCE

We have seen that an extension of the individual consciousness leads to a cosmic or universal consciousness, a fact that is being increasingly acknowledged in the new orientations of psychology (viz. transpersonal psychology). The hallmark of cosmic consciousness is that one has to exceed one’s ego-sense to experientially perceive and ‘live’ it.

The cosmic consciousness by itself is not the most perfect poise of Consciousness as it holds contradictory movements of Truth and Falsehood, forces that can rule or ruin; forces of stabilization and destabilization. It is a complex matrix where the individual is just a formation, a castaway

"… tossed along the gulfs of Circumstance,
A creature born to bend beneath the yoke,
A chattel and a plaything of Time’s lords,
Or one more pawn who comes destined to be pushed
One slow move forward on a measureless board
In the chess-play of the earth-soul with Doom, -
Such is the human figure drawn by Time."

(Savitri, pg. 17-18)

The question naturally arises: Is there something beyond both the cosmic consciousness and the individual?

Sri Aurobindo asserts:
'AND STILL THERE IS A BEYOND. 

For on the other side of the cosmic consciousness there is, attainable to us, a consciousness yet more transcendent, - transcendent not only of the ego, but of the Cosmos itself, - against which the universe seems to stand out like a petty picture against an immeasurable background. That supports the universal activity, - or perhaps only tolerates it; It embraces Life with Its vastness, - or else rejects it from its infinitude'

(The Life Divine, Pg 22)

That is the Transcendence. An experiential contact with it leads the seer-poet to exclaim:

‘I HAVE DRUNK THE INFINITE LIKE A GIANT’S WINE
TIME IS MY DRAMA OR MY PAGEANT DREAM’

(Sri Aurobindo Collected Poems, Pg.133)

THE SYMBOLISATION OF THE TRANSCENDENT 

The Transcendent is symbolized by a perfect ONENESS that potentially contains the DUALITY of both the unity and the multiplicity, the Infinite and the Finite, the Timelessness and the Time. THAT THE TRANSCENDENT IS SIMULTENOUSLY ONE AND TWO (OR DUAL) AT THE SAME TIME was always known in spiritual traditions. The Mother explains that this was the original meaning of the Cross in Christianity.

(The Mother, Collected Works Vol. 4, pg. 393)

In fact, The Mother who gave names to flowers in accordance with their hidden psychological significances and symbolisms chose the ‘Cork-oak of India (Milling tonia hortensis) to symbolize “transformation”. This flower has four petals. The petal at the top represents the ‘transcendent’, the two on each side represent the ‘universal’ and the one at the bottom represents the ‘individual’.

These four petals are arranged like a cross, and The Mother points out that as a symbol, this petal-arrangement is more perfect than the Cross. Because the Transcendent is one and two (dual) at the same time, the petal at the top is divided into two. What a wonderful symbol!

Transformation (name given by the Mother to the flower of Cork-oak of India) Cork-oak of India (Millingtonia hortensis)

Different Poises of Consciousness

In fact, one needs to reemphasize that the Transcendent, the Universal and the Individual are different poises of Consciousness that COEXIST AT THE SAME TIME. The Transcendence of course is beyond the creation and independent of creation and therefore exceeds the ‘transitory’ status of the creation which includes the cosmos and the individual - - transitory because the solar systems can collapse and the individual can perish while the status of the Transcendence remains unaffected. ‘We speak as though things had unfolded in time at a date which could be fixed: the first of January 0000, for the beginning of the world, but it is not quite like that! There is constantly a transcendent, constantly a universal, constantly an individual, and the transcendent, universal and individual are co-existent. That is, if you enter into a certain state of consciousness, you can at any moment be in contact with the transcendent…., and you can also, with another movement, be in contact with the universal…, and be in contact with the individual…., and all this simultaneously – that does not unfold itself in time, it is we who move in time as we speak, otherwise we cannot express ourselves.’ (The Mother, Ibid, pg. 393).

In fact, it is the linear thinking with which we are ordinarily accustomed that cannot conceive the simultaneity in Reality. ‘The mind thinks about things in succession. But beyond and above, everything exists at the same time. The One is both one and two: the manifested and the unmanifested, everything exists at the same time. When it is objectivised in the creation, in the manifestation, there is a succession: one, two…But this is only a way of speaking. There is no succession, no beginning. Beyond, in the perfect Oneness, everything exists at the same time, simultaneously. This cannot be understood, it must be experienced; one can have the experience of it’.(The Mother, Collected Works, Vol. 16, pg 374-375)

'TRANSCENDENCE' AND 'GOD' 

Actually, the Transcendent is called God in different religions. Major religions in the world consider the ‘Transcendent’ to be the only Reality making actually ‘God’ more extra cosmic than supra cosmic. The World or the Universe as well as the Individual are secondary or subservient to God in the Semitic traditions.

In the Indian tradition, the supreme consciousness or God is equally represented in the Transcendental, Universal and Individual poises. Yet an experience of the Transcendent can suddenly give a sense of ‘unreality’ to the world. It is an overpowering experience that influences ascetism to reject the drama of life. Thus, the creation (comprising the universe and the individual) is considered to be either as secondary, subservient to the Transcendence (as in the Semitic traditions) or unreal (as in the Monist & Buddhist traditions).

 But Sri Aurobindo prefers a wider synthesis where the Transcendent, the Universal and the Individual - all have their proper representations. He expresses this triune status of the Divine movingly in his sonnet, ‘The Indwelling Universal’:

The Indwelling Universal

I contain the wide world in my soul’s embrace:
In me Arcturus and Belphegor burn.
To whatsoever living form I turn
I see my own body with another face.

All eyes that look on me are my sole eyes;
The one heart that beats within all breasts is mine.
The world’s happiness flows through me like wine,
Its million sorrows are my agonies.

Yet all its acts are only waves that pass
Upon my surface; inly for ever still,
Unborn I sit, timeless, intangible;
All things are shadows in my tranquil glass.

My vast transcendence holds the cosmic whirl;
I am hid in it as in the sea a pearl.

(Sri Aurobindo Collected Poem,pg.142)

 

 

Date of Update: 18-Nov-11 

- By Dr. Soumitra Basu

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