Resolving the Divided Consciousness: Steps on the Way

Having come to the conclusion that the divided consciousness must be eventually overcome in order to achieve the true spiritual oneness that is the foundation of a true way of seeing, acting and living; and thereby to provide a solution to the issues of falsehood, error and evil, Sri Aurobindo now evaluates the different mechanisms available to us to begin this process. “To develop the sattwic part of our nature, a nature of light, understanding, balance, harmony, sympathy, good-will, kindness, fellow-feeling, self-control, rightly ordered and harmonised action, is the best we can do in the limits of the mental formation, but it is a stage and not the goal of our growth of being. These are solutions by the way, palliatives, necessary means for a partial dealing with this root difficulty, provisional standards and devices given us as a temporary help and guidance because the true and total solution is beyond our present capacity and can only come when we have sufficiently evolved to see it and make it our main endeavor.”

“The true solution can intervene only when by our spiritual growth we can become one self with all beings, know them as part of our self, deal with them as if they were our other selves; for then the division is healed, the law of separate self-affirmation leading by itself to affirmation against or at the expense of others is enlarged and liberated by adding to it the law of our self-affirmation for others and our self-finding in their self-finding and self-realisation.”

This solution is not the same as the much more limited ethical, moral or religious precepts such as “love thy neighbor as thyself” or “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These precepts fall into the realm of the palliative measures that start us in the right direction, but they do not go far enough.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 14, The Origin and Remedy of Falsehood, Error, Wrong and Evil

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