Exclusive Concentration In the Inconscience of Matter

Armed with our sense of how the exclusive concentration can work in the human consciousness, we can now follow Sri Aurobindo’s exploration of the process on the level of the universal manifestation. While in humans, the exclusive concentration has its limits, as we return eventually to our normal individual awareness from the focused state we enter to undertake some task of concentration, whether of intellect, emotion or feeling, at the universal level, we can follow this exclusive concentration further into what we have called the universal Inconscience of Matter.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “This inconscience is no more real than the ignorance of exclusive concentration in our temporary being which limits the waking consciousness of man; for as in us, so in the atom, the metal, the plant, in every form of material Nature, in every energy of material Nature, there is, we know, a secret soul, a secret will, a secret intelligence at work, other than the mute self-oblivious form, the Conscient,–conscient even in unconscious things,–of the Upanishad, without whose presence and informing Conscious-Force or Tapas no work of Nature could be done.”

The executive force of Nature, Prakriti, is inconscient in operation, as it “becomes unaware of Purusha, the Conscious Being, holds him hidden within herself and becomes again slowly aware only with the emergence of consciousness from this swoon of the Inconscience. Purusha indeed consents to assume the apparent form of itself which Prakriti constructs for it; it seems to become the Inconscient, the physical being, the vital being, the mental being: but in all these it remains still in reality itself; the light of the secret conscious Being supports and informs the action of the inconscient or emergingly conscious energy of Nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 13, Exclusive concentration of Consciousness-Force and the Ignorance

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