Moving From Division to Unity of Consciousness

Sri Aurobindo shows us the steps toward unification of consciousness starting from the material basis: “Body is the outward sign and lowest basis of the apparent division which Nature plunging into ignorance and self-nescience makes the starting-point for the recovery of unity by the individual soul, unity even in the midst of the most exaggerated forms of her multiple consciousness. Bodies cannot communicate with each other except by external means and through a gulf of externality; cannot benetrate each other except by division of the penetrated body or by taking advantage of some gap in it, some pre-existent division; cannot unite except by a breaking up and devouring, a swallowing and absorption and so an assimilation, or at most a fusion in which both forms disappear. Mind too, when identified with body, is hampered by its limitations; but in itself it is more subtle and two minds can penetrate each other without hurt or division, can interchange their substance without mutual injury, can in a way become parts of each other: still mind too has its own form which is separative of it from other minds and is apt to take its stand on this separateness. When we get back to soul-consciousness, the obstacles to unity lessen and finally cease to exist altogether. The soul can in its consciousness identify itself with other souls, can contain them and enter into and be contained by them, can realise its unity with them; and this can take place, not in a featureless and indistinguishable sleep, not in a Nirvana in which all distinctions and individualities of soul and mind and body are lost, but in a perfect waking which observes and takes account of all dinstinctions but exceeds them.”

We have here, then, an overview of the process of moving from total fragmentation to a state of unity of consciousness which clearly shows the increasing level of universality and integration possible as we move our standpoint to higher expressions of conscious Nature.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 12, The Origin of the Ignorance

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