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
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
Book II, Chapter 6, Part III
Book II, Chapter 7, Part I
Book II, Chapter 7, Part II
Book II, Chapter 8, Part I
Book II, Chapter 8, Part II
Book II, Chapter 9, Part I
 

A Psychological Approach to Sri Aurobindo's

The Life Divine

 
Book II, Chapter 8, Part I


Book II

The Knowledge and the Ignorance-The Spiritual Evolution

Chapter 8

Memory, Self-Consciousness and the Ignorance

Part I

Memory is one of the workings of Consciousness

We have a "dual character of our consciousness" (SABCL 18, pg.501), a superconscious (which holds the complete self-knowledge and all-knowledge) and the complete Inconscience. The mediator between the two is a partial awareness of self and things which is constituted by certain processes of which memory seems to be foremost. It has been even speculated that memory is the main thing that constitutes our personality for it links our experiences and relates them to our being. But memory is only one of many processes; "it is simply one of the workings of consciousness as radiation is one of the workings of Light." (Ibid, pg.502) Sri Aurobindo explains, "The real truth of things lies not in their process; not in effectuation so much as in the Will or Power that effects, and not so much in Will or Power as in the Consciousness of which Will is the dynamic form and in the Being of which Power is the dynamic value." (Ibid)

Memory in Ignorance

Of the two aspects of Consciousness, the Superconscious and the Inconscience, Sri Aurobindo approaches the subject of memory from Ignorance which is the hallmark of Inconscience. He finds that there are two applications of the process of memory (Ibid):

(a) Memory of self

(b) Memory of experience.

First, it applies memory to our being in Time : "I am now, I was in the past, I shall therefore be in the future, it is the same I in all the three ever unstable divisions of Time." (Ibid) However this feeling seems to be a fact but is not proven to be true and one is not sure of the eternity of conscious being. Mind can know something of the past by memory, by direct self-awareness the present and it can infer from these experiences something about the future but it cannot fix the extent of the past and future. It knows it existed in an infant state though it does not remember if it existed before physical birth and of the future it knows nothing at all except apprehending a probability and it does not know if physical death is the end of conscious being.

Conviction of Eternity

"Yet it has this sense of a persistent continuity which easily extends itself into a conviction of eternity." (Ibid, pg.503) This conviction may be the result of an endless past of which something is retained as a formless impression. Or it might be some shadow of a self-knowledge from higher or deeper planes of the being. Or it might be a hallucination or a generalization of the eternity of the universe that is falsely transferred to human life. However we cannot experience death and intellectualize it and yet cherish a prevision of the continued existence in a physical body as well as that of a conscious eternity!

These issues cannot be tackled and give rise to endless speculations. "The belief in our immortality is only a faith, the belief in our mortality is only a faith." (Ibid, pg.504) It is impossible to prove that our consciousness ends with death; there is no proof that conscious self survives physical dissolution. If somehow the survival of the body by the human personality is proved one day, it would indicate a greater continuity and not the eternity of conscious being.

A Supramental experience

Time presents us an enigma. On one hand the linear time we follow as past, present and future appears oversimplified and present as continuous succession of moments. On the other hand the mind does not have proof that eternal Time really exists. It is difficult to believe that Time is the conscious Being's way of looking at eternity which it conceives through "successions and simultaneities of experiences" (Ibid) through which that existence is represented. "If there is an eternal Existence which is a conscious being, it must be beyond Time which it contains, timeless as we may say; it must be the Eternal of the Vedanta who, we may then conjecture, use Time only as a conceptual perspective for His view of His self-manifestation". (Ibid) The problem is that this timeless self-knowledge of the Eternal lies beyond mind --it is a supramental experience superconscient to us where one has to cross a passage of Silence into the consciousness of eternity.

Date of Update: 22-Dec-23

- By Dr. Soumitra Basu

 

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