In an integral vision, the impersonal and personal truth of things can be reconciled if the Supreme Reality is conceived in its biune aspect of Self and Self-Power. The Supreme Person is then actually a dual Person -"Ishwara-Shakti, the Divine Self and Creator and the Divine Mother and Creatrix of the universe". (Ibid, 356) This is the foundation of "the masculine and feminine cosmic Principles whose play and interaction are necessary for all creation". (Ibid)
Does this duality represent an opposition between Ishwara and Shakti? Sri Aurobindo explains that in the Superconscient poise of Reality, they are fused and involved in each other and are indistinguishable. However, "in the spiritual-pragmatic truth of the dynamism of the universe, they emerge and become active". (Ibid)
As a result, "the Divine Mother-Energy as the universal Creatrix, Maya, Para-Prakriti, Chit-Shakti, manifests the cosmic Self and Ishwara and her own self-power as a dual principle; it is through her that the Being, the Self, the Ishwara, acts and he does nothing except by her; though his Will is implicit in her, it is she who works out all as the supreme Consciousness-Force who holds all souls and beings within her and as executive Nature". (Ibid)
This realization leads to two spiritual possibilities. We can withdraw from all activities in Nature to a quiescence but actually we can do that only as it is the Divine Mother-principle who gives her consent for that withdrawal. Or we can "affirm our independence of Nature". (Ibid) But in that case we cannot remain in the ego-bound lower Nature but have to arise into the ego-surpassing Higher Nature with the Shakti of the Divine Mother. And this Higher Nature itself has gradations for there is a yet higher formulation of the Shakti in the poise of Supramental Shakti which can transform the present mentality in her terms. (Ibid, 357)
Thus Existence can be conceived in three aspects or three modes of Dynamis who do not contradict each other. It is the One Being who becomes biune so that we have three poises of the same Reality. "One Being, one Reality as Self bases, supports, informs, as Purusha or Conscious Being experiences, as Ishwara wills, governs and possesses its world of manifestation created and kept in motion and action by its own Consciousness-Force or Self-Power, Maya, Prakriti, Shakti". (Ibid)
However these metaphysical abstractions have to be supplemented by dynamic experiential realizations that are neither rational nor intellectual but essentially spiritual and mystical. "The mystery of things is the true truth of things; the intellectual presentation is only truth in representation, in abstract symbols, as if in a cubist art of thought-speech, in geometric figure." Yet, Sri Aurobindo admits that an intellectual representation also has its value if it is based on a concrete experience and expressed through a "more living and full-bodied language". This also indicates that the Truth needs to be presented in different ways in accordance to the Time-Spirit.
The Many and the One
In the light of the One Divine Being becoming a dual being, the relation between the Many and the One becomes a bit different from the conventional theistic conception where the Many represent a secondary phenomenon created by the primary Being or God just as vessels made by a potter. (Ibid, 358) However equations change in the integral view:
1. In the larger and more comprehensive vision, "the Many are themselves the Divine One in their inmost reality". (Ibid) The Many are thus equally eternal as the Supreme and each integer of the Many is supported by the soul which is an immortal projection of Divinity.
2. As the ultimate essence of Reality is an Oneness, "the Many exist by the One and there is therefore an entire dependence of the manifested being on the Ishwara". (Ibid) In other words, the One and Many are not parallel dimensions but are dependent and interspersed in one another in the matrix of an integral Oneness.
In practical life, the essential equation between the One and the Many cannot be assessed because of the presence of the "separative ignorance of the ego". (Ibid) We have in us an inmost self that surpasses ego. But the inmost self cannot be assertive in that poise of cosmic Nature which being ego-bound, belongs to the lower Nature. One can be independent of the lower Nature by being dependent on a higher poise of cosmic Nature where we have to proceed by surpassing the ego and surrendering our dependence to the Divine Being.
It is this dependence on the Divine Being leads to the Identity with the Divine Being. It therefore opens up the possibility of myriad relations between the Many and the One , "among which the realisation of oneness by the mind, the presence of oneness in the heart, the existence of oneness in all the members is a highest peak, and yet it does not annul but confirms all the other personal relations and gives them their fullness, their complete delight, their entire significance. This too is magic, but also the logic of the Infinite". (Ibid,358-359)
Date of Update:
- By Dr. Soumitra Basu