Integral Consciousness

Sri Aurobindo reminds us that the apparent separation of consciousness evidenced by the exclusive concentration that takes place at the level of material Nature is nevertheless not actually separated from the unity of consciousness. Rather, the exclusive concentration is a partial action and focus that nevertheless relies on the occult support and action of the wider consciousness held behind the veil. Eventually, a reverse “integrating” movement of consciousness brings about a renewed attention to and awareness of this inner complete consciousness, and the surface being begins to become aware of and consciously integrate the inner, wider conscious-force into a now more comprehensive movement of consciousness, incorporating both the surface awareness and the inner unified consciousness. During the process of the reintegration of the consciousness, many seekers find that they have to exclusively concentrate on this inner reality to the exclusion of the outer life and surface being, but this is not necessary nor need it be permanent. Eventually it is possible to integrate the surface and the inner consciousness such that neither one acts exclusive of the other. Sri Aurobindo explains: “it can resume its integral consciousness or a global consciousness which includes both being of Purusha and action of Prakriti, the soul and its instruments, the Self and the dynamism of the Self-Power, atma-shakti: it can then embrace its manifestation with a larger consciousness free from the previous limitation, free from the results of Nature’s forgetfulness of the indwelling Spirit. Or it may quiet the whole working it has manifested, concentrate on a higher level of Self and Nature, raise the being to it and bring down the powers of the higher level to transform the previous manifestation: all that is so transformed is still included, but as a part of the higher dynamism and its higher values, in a new and greater self-creation. This is what can happen when the Consciousness-Force in our being decides to raise its evolution from the mental to the supramental level.”

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

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