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
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
 

A Psychological Approach to Sri Aurobindo's

The Life Divine

 
Book II, Chapter 1, Part II


Book II

The Knowledge and the Ignorance-The Spiritual Evolution

Chapter 1, Part II

Indeterminates, Cosmic Determinations and the Indeterminable

The necessity of the Inconscience

Nothing can evolve from zero. All that evolves must logically be involved as dormant potentialities in ground zero from where evolution is initiated. This is the great featureless and blank Inconscience - a complete denial of Consciousness. Sri Aurobindo describes that without such a phenomenon, the process of involvement of potentials and powers which he describes as "involution" would be incomplete. If the Inconscience instead of being blank and featureless was teeming with features and powers, there would be resistance to powers and potentials descending from the Superconscious. Rather the blank and featureless Infinite provides the perfect matrix where the involutionary elements, primal and without distortion, can become concealed and dormant, waiting for evolutionary release. The forms of these potentialities (like Light, Love, Knowledge, Joy) would be the "basic general or fundamental determinates" which would express through "particular determinates" (like the physical, vital or mental principles). (L.D, pg.318)

One could interpret the flowering of a plethora of particular determinates from the Inconscience where everything is concealed as the proof of an inconscient Chance acting through the principle of free variations of possibilities. Or else the fact that the basic dormant and concealed principles have to be expressed through determinative principles like body, vital or mind with unique characteristics demonstrates the rationale of a "mechanical Necessity" in Nature. But in both the theoretical constructs, the concept of Chance and mechanical Necessity arise because the Inconscience is a phenomenal and not a fundamental appearance. What we ascribe to Chance or deem to be a mechanical fulfillment can only be speculated as the Inconscience is itself a great veiled phenomenon and whatever would evolve is programmed to do so with mathematical precision - "a constant experimental skill and an automatism of purpose". (Ibid) "The appearance of consciousness out of an apparent Inconscience would also be no longer inexplicable". (Ibid)

Qualia from Non-Qualia

One of the main hurdles faced by consciousness researchers is the inexplicable phenomenon of qualia arising from non-qualia. Sri Aurobindo alone solves that dilemma by positing that the Inconscience is phenomenal and not fundamental; it contains in dormant form all potentialities destined to evolve. And all these potentialities that manifest as substance that is not isolated but implicit in Energy have been programmed in the creative Supramental Consciousness as "Real-Ideas" - totipotent ideas that are self-manifesting.

To trace the full trajectory, the Supreme Reality is a triune principle of Sachchidananda or Sat - Chit-Shakti---Ananda; Existence, Consciousness-Force and Bliss. These principles are not additive but the same Reality in different poises. Thus, Sat or the existential aspect is inherent in Chit-Shakti or Consciousness-Force. Similarly, substance which is a secret derivative of Sat or Existence and Energy which is a derivative or manifestation of Consciousness-Force (and hence a conscious Energy) are implicit in each other.

But the substance that is a derivative of Sat is a spiritual substance that is not discernible by our outer senses until the Energy produces forms of Matter from that spiritual substance. This is how qualia emerges from an apparent non-qualia:

(a) Consciousness-Force or Chit-Shakti is represented in Matter by the terms of "quality and property";

(b) Sat or the Existential aspect is represented in substance that becomes Matter through "design, quantity and number".

All this entire manifestation out of the Unmanifest is programmed in the Supermind or Supreme creative consciousness where potentialities and principles are implicit in creative totipotent ideas called Real-Ideas. It is this Real-Idea, pre-programmed before the manifestation that manifests in forms which are not isolated freaks but exist in matrices of Energy that allows the substance comprising forms to fulfill its trajectory. This is how the idea of a tree is carried in a seed and character-traits can be transmitted through hereditary material trapped in the zygote - the human seed:

"The growth of the tree out of the seed would be accounted for, like all other similar phenomena, by the indwelling presence of what we have called the Real- Idea; the Infinite's self-perception of the significant form , the living body of its power of existence that has to emerge from its own self-compression in energy-substance, would be carried internally in the form of the seed, carried in the occult consciousness involved in that form, and would naturally evolve out of it. There would be no difficulty either in understanding on this principle how infinitesimals of a material character like the gene and the chromosome can carry in them psychological elements to be transmitted to the physical form that has to emerge from the human seed.." (Ibid. pg.319)

Is that a preposterous concept?

Psychoanalytic theories have shown that the subconscious (what Sri Aurobindo describes as the subconscious is what Freud described as the unconscious) sends repressed material to influence the mind. Sri Aurobindo says that if one acknowledged the origin of "subjective experience" from the "subconscient physical" to explain the emergence of certain aspects of human behaviour, there is no reason that one could not accept the emergence of "the objectivity of Matter" from the trapped potentialities released from the Real-Idea residing in the Supermind at a pole diametrically opposite to the subconscious and the Inconscience. (Ibid)

Mind and Body

It is the same "secretly conscious Energy" (Ibid) that organizes itself in different denouements to become the mind at one end and the body at another. This makes for a two way movement for the mind can influence the body and the physiological functions of the body can determine the psychological actions of the mind. Therefore if stress causes an increase in acid secretion, hyperthyroidism can present with anxiety and carcinoma of the pancreas can initially present with a clinical picture of depression. This mind-body interaction is at the basis of psychosomatic diseases.

Even though mind and body are unique formations of the same Energy, it is not clear how they can meaningfully interact unless we conceive an evolving Conscious Being which through a creative alchemy can manifest its own ideas and will into "a physical manifestation of itself in Matter". (Ibid, pg.320) In other words, if the mind and will of the human being in time and space are actually the projections of the mind and will of a Conscious Being, the same projections reshape the mind formations into physical formulations. That Conscious Being is actually "a spiritual entity ensouling the substance that veils it" and "is the original determinant of both mind and body". (Ibid)

And though in reality it is the mind that dominates the body, the body also in many instances appears to dominate the mind. The body carries a "subconscient" physical consciousness which stores all habits and maladaptive responses that can surge up any time to cause relapses of illness and repetitions of undesirable behaviours that count "in our total self-expression" (Ibid) giving an impression that the body determines the mind.

On the other hand the mind with its ideas and will-power can not only transmit "ideas and commands" to the body, the transmission can be so overwhelming that even if the mind does not intervene after reaching an optimal point, the body with a sort of "physical instinct" can go on automatically executing habitual movements. (Ibid) More ever, the mind can make the body perform feats that override the body's "normal law or conditions of action" (Ibid) producing extraordinary prowess as in the case of Hatha Yogis, athletes, mountaineers and deep-sea divers! This relation between the body and its mightier companion, the mind is understandable

"for it is the secret consciousness in the living matter that that receives from its greater companion; it is this in the body that in its own involved and occult fashion perceives or feels the demand on it and obeys the emerged or evolved consciousness which presides over the body". (Ibid)

Finally, if mind and body as we perceive are projections of the mind and will of a Conscious Being (the individual poise of Reality), then a higher projection of a divine Mind and Will (of a universal Being) that creates the cosmos becomes justifiable. And that also justifies the journey of consciousness through a slow but difficult evolution to the higher Reality. (Ibid, g.320)

Date of Update: 16-Aug-21

- By Dr. Soumitra Basu

 

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