Individualisation and Cosmic Action

Sri Aurobindo makes the point that even if we are able to achieve knowledge by identity and thereby identify ourselves with the cosmic consciousness with respect to our awareness, the active energies of life still will have the character of individualisation given the basic fundamental nature and function of the manifestation of the individual in the world.

He explains: “but although the knowledge is then more complete, the dynamisation of this knowledge can only be partial; for while a fundamental or static unification with the cosmic self is possible, the active dynamic unification with cosmic Nature must be incomplete. On the level of mind and life, even with the loss of the sense of a separate self-existence, the energisms must be in their very nature a selection through individualisation; the action is that of the cosmic Energy, but the individual formation of it in the living dynamo remains the method of its working. For the very use of the dynamo of individuality is to select, to concentrate and formulated selected energies and throw them out in formed and canalised currents: the flow of a total energy would mean that this dynamo had no further use, could be abolished or put out of action; instead of an activity of individual mind, life, body there would be only an individual but impersonal centre or channel through which the universal forces would flow unimpeded and unselective.”

While further spiritual evolution might make such a result possible, that is clearly not the immediate stage of spiritual development within human reach. Sri Aurobindo thus concludes: “the dynamisation of that knowledge would not go farther than a translation of this sense of identity into a greater power and intimacy of direct contact of consciousness with all, a greater, more intimate, more powerful and efficient impact of the force of consciousness on things and persons, a capacity too of an effective inclusion and penetration, of a dynamised intimate vision and feeling and other powers of cognition and action proper to this larger nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 10, Knowledge by Identity and Separative Knowledge, pp. 543-544

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