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
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
 

A Psychological Approach to Sri Aurobindo's

The Life Divine

 
Book II, Chapter 3, Part V


Book II

The Knowledge and the Ignorance-The Spiritual Evolution

Chapter 3

The Eternal and the Individual

Part V

Can Time reconcile contradictions?

If we view Time as a trajectory of successions then we err in oversimplification. An impression has been created that at a certain point in time, the Infinite became finite and the One became Many while at a certain another point in time there can be a reversal when the finite disappears into the Infinite and the Many disappears into the One. Sri Aurobindo explains the integralism of Reality wherein the Infinite and the finite, the One and the Many always exist side by side, albeit, they "co-exist and exist in and by each other". (SABCL 18, pg.384) If perchance in accordance with the old belief the Many would seem to disappear, the One would not only remain but support the re-emergence of the Many. Time does not reconcile contradictions but supports them and at best surpasses them in the matrix of timelessness or eternity. "The first source and the primary relations lie beyond our mental divisions of Time, in the divine timelessness or else in the indivisible or eternal Time of which our divisions and successions are only figures in a mental experience." (Ibid)

This integralist view of Reality has important connotations. The finite is as persistent as the Infinite, the Many is as relevant as the One. Though there is an underlying unity that binds these apparently irreconcilable principles, this unity is free and flexible. It is not an exclusive unity which rules out the simultaneous presence of contradictory terms. Actually these apparently irreconcilable principles appear so as they are the working out of realities of existence in different degree of relativities ("secondary, tertiary or yet lower relativities"). (Ibid) What we consider as oppositions are only "conveniences of our mental consciousness". (Ibid, pg.385) Sri Aurobindo points out that both the scientific mind-set and the metaphysical mind-set have made the same mistake in considering their realizations to be exclusive. As regards spiritual experiences, it is not unusual for different seers presenting different and apparently contradictory realizations which we fail to grasp holistically because it is difficult for the mind to judge supra-cognitive terms. We err when "we intellectualise them into sole truths, --as when we assert that the Impersonal must be the one ultimate realisation and the rest creation of Maya or declare the Saguna, the Divine in its qualities, to be that and thrust away the impersonality from our spiritual experience. We have to see that both these realisations of the great spiritual seekers are equally valid in themselves, equally invalid against each other; they are one and the same Reality experienced on two sides which are both necessary for the full knowledge and experience of each other and of that which they both are." (Ibid)

The three terms of the one existence

Sri Aurobindo explains that existence is expressed through three poises of the same Reality: Transcendent, Universal and Individual. They are equally valid and simultaneous terms and each does not belittle the others. Rather, "each of these always contains secretly or overtly the two others". (Ibid, pg.385=386) The Transcendent embraces the other two and controls them so as to use them to express its temporal possibilities. If these possibilities were not expressed, the manifestation would be meaningless.

The most interesting aspect of this integral outlook is Sri Aurobindo's consideration of the Individual at equal par with the Transcendent and the Universal for they represent the same Reality in three poises. So long, the spiritual tradition in India considered the Individual to be subordinate to the Transcendent and the Universal and coursing mechanically through cycles of birth and death with only a few escaping from the bondage to the Ignorance. Sri Aurobindo gives a special leverage to the Individual as the pivotal point through which Consciousness which had become involved and dormant in the Ignorance gets to evolve to express the potentialities of the Universal and the Transcendent.

"The power of the individual to possess in his consciousness by self-knowledge his unity with the Transcendent and the universal, with the One being and all beings and to live in that knowledge and transform his life by it, is that which makes the working out of the divine self-manifestation through the individual possible...We might be compelled to hold that ruthless and disastrous view of God's working if man had no power of self-transcendence...In that power lies the justification of individual existence; the individual and the universal unfolding in themselves the divine light, power, joy of transcendent Sachchidananda always manifest above them, always secret behind their surface appearances, this is the secret intention, the ultimate significance of the divine play, the Lila". (Ibid, pg.386)

It is not in self-annihilation of the Individual but in the evolutionary transformation of the Individual that lies the key of the Divine's unfolding.

Date of Update: 22-Dec-22

- By Dr. Soumitra Basu

 

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