Thus, at the level of the physical reality, the link between ‘consciousness’ and ‘force’ remains hidden, implicit, inconscient. The electrons rotate in predetermined orbits, the solar systems move in pre-programmed trajectories, the cells perform automatically pre-designated functions – the matter/energy interface is regulated by a hidden ‘knowledge’ working out its goal through the medium of an ‘energy’ that executes its action with geometrical precision. It is because of this principle of ‘Knowledge-Will’ that creation is not haphazard and scientists can unravel laws of the universe with consistency and exactitude enabling even conquest of space and prediction of natural events.
With the emergence of the life-principle in evolution, the ‘Knowledge-Will’, even though enmeshed in the Inconscience, churns itself so as to facilitate the growth of the stem towards light, flowers to bloom in accordance with ‘biological clocks’ and nature to work out the intricacies of genes, chromosomes, cells, tissues and organs to weave the rich matrix of creation.
With the emergence of the mind-principle in the evolutionary scheme, the ‘Knowledge-Will’ rises to the surface cognition but in a de-linked way. We have ‘knowledge’ of events, even foreknowledge at times, but that does not necessarily guarantee the ‘will’ for execution, action or correction. The economist may have brilliant theories for social prosperity but the political machinery may not have the necessary will to execute the ideas. The fundamentalist has a lot of will-power, even to execute a suicide mission but has a world-view that is not supported by an all-embracing knowledge. It is this divergence between knowledge and will which is the incipient cause of the disharmony prevalent in individual and collective life.
The Conscious-Force of Sachchidananda is manifested as Knowledge-Will in the matrix of space and time through a graded hierarchy of poises:
- The poise of the Absolute Unity in Sachchidananda where Existence—Consciousness-Force—Bliss are linked in an undifferentiated and inalienable way.
- The poise of the Comprehensive or Primary Supermind where the idea of creation exists as an in-built program. Here Sachchidananda is still a Oneness but carries in its bosom the idea of differentiation. Here the all is still One, not manifested as the Many.
- The poise of the Secondary or Apprehending Supermind where the in-built program of creation initiates its self-propelled movement through differentiation of Chit-Shakti or Consciousness-Force into a pure power that carries the twin aspects of knowledge and will. This by itself is not enough as the complex of knowledge and will needs a matrix for manifestation. This is provided by the emergence of space and time from a non-spatial and non-temporal mode. Here the Many are in the One and the One is in the Many.
- The poise of the Tertiary Supermind that develops the principle of the diversified individuality. Here dualism exists in unity without being subordinated to it.
- The poise of the actual creation or manifestation where the Unitary poise of Reality is totally lost and Knowledge and Will are de-linked or lost in the abyss of the Inconscience.
Now metaphysicians, mystics and yogis might experientially perceive any one of these poises exclusively and build up schools that clash between them. Sri Aurobindo synthesizes all these partial realizations to construct an all-embracing trajectory of the creative movement:
‘It is indeed only when our human mentality lays an exclusive emphasis on one side of spiritual experience, affirms that to be the sole eternal truth and states it in the terms of our all-dividing mental logic that the necessity for mutually destructive schools of philosophy arises. Thus, emphasizing the sole truth of the unitarian consciousness, we observe the play of the divine unity, erroneously rendered by our mentality into the terms of real difference, but, not satisfied with correcting this error of the mind by the truth of a higher principle, we assert that the play itself is an illusion. Or, emphasizing the play of the One in the Many, we declare a qualified unity and regard the individual soul as a soul-form of the Supreme, but would assert the eternity of this qualified existence and deny altogether the experience of a pure consciousness in a unqualified oneness. Or, again, emphasizing the play of difference, we assert that the Supreme and the human soul are eternally different and reject the validity of an experience which exceeds and seems to abolish that difference. But the position that we have now firmly taken absolves us from the necessity of these negations and exclusions: we see that there is a truth behind all these affirmations, but at the same time an excess which leads to an ill-founded negation. Affirming, as we have done, the absolute absoluteness of That, not limited by our ideas of unity, not limited by our ideas of multiplicity, affirming the unity as a basis for the manifestation of the multiplicity and the multiplicity as the basis for the return to oneness and the enjoyment of unity in the divine manifestation, we need not burden our present statement with these discussions or undertake the vain labour of enslaving to our mental distinctions and definitions the absolute freedom of the Divine Infinite’.(The Life Divine, pg 161-162)
A Veda-knower of the unwritten book
Perusing the mystic scripture of her forms,
He had caught her hierophant significances...
(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, pg 393)
Date of Update:
- By Dr. Soumitra Basu