Ignorance of Space and the Extension of Our Being

Sri Aurobindo widens the definition of our Ignorance by bringing in the aspect of our limitation of space: “As we are ignorant of our existence in Time except the small hour which we remember, so we are ignorant of ourselves in Space except the small span of which we are mentally and sensationally conscious, the single body that moves there and the mind and life which are identified with it, and we regard the environment as not-self we have to deal with and use: it is this identification and this conception that form the life of the ego.” Sri Aurobindo takes us far beyond the mental concepts that underpin our “environmental movement” by pointing out that we ARE the environment; it is not something external and different that we manipulate, use and abuse, but it is our own wider self, of which we can become conscious as we expand our conscious awareness.

He continues with the implications of this recognition: “Yet we cannot really know our own mentality without knowing the one Mind, our own vitality without knowing the one Life, our own body without knowing the one Matter; for not only is their nature determined by the nature of that, but by that their activities are at every moment being influenced and determined. But, with all this sea of being flowing in on us, we do not participate in this consciousness, but know if it only so much as can be brought into the surface of our minds and co-ordinated there. The world lives in us, thinks in us, forms itself in us; but we imagine that it is we who live, think, become separately by ourselves and for ourselves. As we are ignorant of our timeless, of our superconscient, of our subliminal and subconscient selves, so are we ignorant of our universal self.”

This represents yet another layer of ignorance that must be overcome and addressed in order to achieve true and complete self-knowledge, and “an integral consciousness and an integral Knowledge.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 11, The Boundaries of the Ignorance, pp. 564-565

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