Integral Consciousness

If we focus on any one aspect of consciousness, we tend to overlook the equally valid principles outside that aspect. Thus, those who focus on the impersonal silence of the Self, tend to overlook or deny the reality of the dynamic manifestation of the Lord of Creation, the Ishwara. Or if we concentrate on the dynamic side, we overlook the static. We concentrate on the opposites, but miss their unity. Sri Aurobindo illustrates with another famous story: “In considering the action of the Infinite we have to avoid the error of the disciple who thought of himself as the Brahman, refused to obey the warning of the elephant-driver to budge from the narrow path and was taken up by the elephant’s trunk and removed out of the way; “You are no doubt the Brahman,” said the master to his bewildered disciple, “but why did you not obey the driver Brahman and get out of the path of the elephant Brahman?”

In Savitri, the crucified savior cries out “I, I am God” and the reply is “yes, all is God”. The Truth of the Brahman, the Truth that “I am That”, the Truth that “All is That”, all of these Truths are true at the same time and must be accepted at the same time, balancing one another if we are to have any hope of comprehending the ultimate Truth of Existence.

“In our own principle of conduct, if we sought to act in this greater Truth, it would be equally an error to insist on our self alone or to insist on other selves alone; it is the Self of all on which we have to found a unity of action and a total, infinitely plastic yet harmonious diversity of action; for that is the nature of the working of the Infinite.”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 2, Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara–Maya, Prakriti, Shakti, pp. 332-333

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