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

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
Chapter XX - Part 2
Chapter XX - Part 3
Chapter XX - Part 4
Chapter XX - Part 4
Chapter XXI - Part 1
Chapter XXI - Part 2
Chapter XXI - Part 3
Chapter XXI - Part 4
Chapter XXII - Part 1
Chapter XXII - Part 2
Chapter XXII - Part 3
Chapter XXII - Part 4
Chapter XXII - Part 5
Chapter XXII - Part 6
Chapter XXIII Part 1
Chapter XXIII Part 2
Chapter XXIII Part 3
Chapter XXIII Part 4
Chapter XXIII Part 5
Chapter XXIII Part 6
Chapter XXIII Part 7
Chapter XXIV Part 1
Chapter XXIV Part 2
Chapter XXIV Part 3
Chapter XXIV Part 4
Chapter XXIV Part 5
Chapter XXV Part 1
Chapter XXV Part 2
Chapter XXV Part 3
Chapter XXVI Part 1
Chapter XXVI Part 2
Chapter XXVI Part 3
Chapter XXVII Part 1
Chapter XXVII Part 2
Chapter XXVII Part 3
Chapter XXVIII Part 1
Chapter XXVIII Part 2
Chapter XXVIII Part 3
Chapter XXVIII Part 4
Chapter XXVIII Part 5
Chapter XXVIII Part 6
Chapter XXVIII Part 7
Chapter XXVIII Part 8
Book II, Chapter 1, Part I
Book II, Chapter 1, Part II
Book II, Chapter 1, Part III
Book II, Chapter 1, Part IV
Book II, Chapter 1, Part V
Book II, Chapter 2, Part I
Book II, Chapter 2, Part II
Book II, Chapter 2, Part III
Book II, Chapter 2, Part IV
Book II, Chapter 2, Part V
Book II, Chapter 2, Part VI
Book II, Chapter 2, Part VII
Book II, Chapter 2, Part VIII
Book II, Chapter 3, Part I
Book II, Chapter 3, Part II
Book II, Chapter 3, Part III
Book II, Chapter 3, Part IV
Book II, Chapter 3, Part V
Book II, Chapter 4, Part I
Book II, Chapter 4, Part II
Book II, Chapter 4, Part III
Book II, Chapter 5, Part I
Book II, Chapter 5, Part II
Book II, Chapter 5, Part III
Book II, Chapter 6, Part I
Book II, Chapter 6, Part II

A Psychological Approach to Sri Aurobindo's

The Life Divine

Chapter XXII Part 5

The Problem of Life

Consciousness and Force: Dissonance between and within each plane of manifestation

The dissonance between Consciousness and Force not only results in an ignorance of the inner being and an ignorance of the universal consciousness; it also results in a disharmony between different parts of the being. This disharmony is apparent at two distinct levels within our being:

(a) A disharmony between the different planes of consciousness is the norm for the Mind, Life and Body are usually at variance with one another. This disharmony is inevitable as it ‘has been created by the evolution itself in its three successive formations of Matter, Life and Mind, each with its own law of working’ (The Life Divine, pg.228). The Mind might demand a greater support from Life but Life might not be able to supply the requisite vitality or can be constrained by limitations imposed by the Body. It is just like that one fine day a subject might be inspired to work for a long time but the Body can rebel with a headache or a subject who is in deep emotional bondage with another may have mental doubts about the relation. Or that one wanted to spend a jolly evening with friends and music but the Mind had inhibitions with some of the guests or that the Body could not support the vitality. The Mind might impose physical austerities and restrict life’s cravings to enforce an ascetic discipline but Life can also rebel with an upsurge of its vital demands. ‘The Mind is at war with both (Life & Body): sometimes it helps the Life against the Body, sometimes restrains the vital urge and seeks to protect the corporeal frame from life’s desires, passions and over-driving energies; it also seeks to possess the Life and turn its energy to the mind’s own ends, to the utmost joys of the mind’s own activity, to the satisfaction of mental, aesthetic, emotional aims and their fulfilment in human existence; and the Life too finds itself enslaved and misused and is in frequent insurrection against the ignorant half-wise tyrant seated above it. This is the war of our members which the mind cannot satisfactorily resolve…’ (Ibid, pg.228-229).

The perpetual war between Life, Mind and Body gets accentuated because the mental ego who tries to mediate between the three is skewed in its action and cannot effectuate a harmony, it can only effectuate adjustments and compromises or else get out of the problem by favoring an ascetic solution. It is impossible for the limited mental ego to deal with the unlimited demands of the being. The Mind finds that it can never cope with the aspiration for immortality in a mortal life and body. The true solution is beyond the ambit of the Mind – it lies in finding ‘the principle beyond Mind of which Immortality is the law and in conquering by it the mortality of our existence’ (Ibid, pg.229)

(b) There is a more fundamental disharmony which is that each plane of consciousness has an in-built contradiction within itself, each is divided within itself. ‘Not only is there a division between the mental, the vital and the physical being, but each of them is also divided against itself (Ibid). Each embodied plane of consciousness is projected in the manifestation by a soul-principle or Purusha proper to that plane. The soul-principle itself is a delegate from eternity and as such has a source beyond the manifestation but the projected plane lies in the manifestation limited by space and time. Thus the unlimited capacity of the soul-principle cannot be reflected or pursued by the embodied plane that is limited in the manifestation. The physical plane which is projected by the physical Purusha (Annamaya Purusha) always falls short of its expectations. It is likewise with the Vital Purusha (Pranamoya Purusha) and the Mental Purusha (Manomoya Purusha). ‘For the soul is the inner consciousness which aspires to its own complete self-realisation and therefore always exceeds the individual formation of the moment, and the Force which has taken its poise in the formation is always pushed by its soul to that which is abnormal to the poise, transcendent of it; thus constantly pushed it has much trouble in answering’ (Ibid).

The external being thus finds it strenuous to meet the demands of the triple soul. As a result it becomes ‘distracted and driven to set instinct against instinct, impulse against impulse, emotion against emotion, idea against idea , satisfying this, denying that, then repenting and returning on what it has done, adjusting, compensating, readjusting ad infinitum, but not arriving at any principle of unity’ (Ibid, pg.229-230).

Things are complicated by the fact that even in the projected mental plane, there is no consonance between knowledge and will. One may have a theoretical knowledge but lack the effectuating power. Or else a strong will power may not be backed by a sound wisdom. It is only in the Supermind that there is a conscious unity of all diversities; ‘there alone will and knowledge are equal and in perfect harmony; there alone Consciousness and Force arrive at their divine equation’ (

Date of Update: 20-Dec-18

- By Dr. Soumitra Basu


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