One Without A Second

As we explore the relationship between God and the World, we find that once we have accepted an Omnipresent Divinity, we have to then acknowledge the proposition that This Omnipresent Divinity has ordered and created the universe in a way that is consistent with His Infinite Knowledge and Power. Sri Aurobindo describes the apparent difficulty that arises in our human view of the matter: “on the other hand, the actual process of things, the actual relations which we see are, as presented to our human consciousness, relations of imperfection, of limitation; there appears a disharmony, even a perversion, something that is the contrary of our conception of the Divine Existence, a very apparent denial or at least a disfigurement or disguise of the Divine Presence.”

This brings us to a third affirmation that finds that God and the World are therefore “different” and that to reach one, the other must be left behind or abandoned. How else to resolve the apparent contradiction between the Divine perfection, and the life we see in the world with all its disharmonies and imperfections?

There are different formulations of this separation, such as a Divine Creator separate and different from His creation, or a silent Witness Consciousness, observing but not interfering with the works of Nature. Or two forms of Godhead, a witness and an active creator God. Whichever formulation we choose, however, we find that we are simply creating a world of duality which in fact cannot possibly be the solution to the matter. Sri Aurobindo explains “for there can be no independent power, no Nature not derived from the original and eternal Self-Existence.” The Upanishadic statement “one without a second”, along with “all this is the Brahman” captures the essence.

While there is a truth of spiritual experience that we can attain a status of silence and peace of the Infinite, this is not an ultimate statement of Reality, but a status that is one experience in the long process of unfoldment and evolution into the awareness of the omnipresent Reality.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 4, The Divine and the Undivine, 398-400

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