Integral Knowledge

Sri Aurobindo avoids the temptation to define knowledge as a specific limited formulation based on one aspect or tendency which we can recognise in our conscious awareness. He accepts that each major line of development, each major philosophical statement of truth is in fact speaking to one part or focus of our being, but needs to be reconciled, balanced, harmonised and related to the others. Truth is not opposed to truth; rather truth expands to include all aspects of truth. His goal is not to achieve a victory in a battle of ideas, but to find how to reconcile seemingly opposite formulations of truth in an all-encompassing, all-embracing view.

“An integral knowledge then must be a knowledge of the truth of all sides of existence both separately and in the relation of each to all and the relation of all to the truth of the Spirit. Our present state is an Ignorance and a many-sided seeking; it seeks for the truth of all things but,– as is evident from the insistence and the variety of the human mind’s speculations as to the fundamental Truth which explains all others, the Reality at the basis of all things,– the fundamental truth of things, their basic reality must be found in some at once fundamental and universal Real; it is that which, once discovered, must embrace and expalin all,–for “That being known all will be known”: the fundamental Real must necessarily be and contain the truth of all existence, the truth of the individual, the truth of the universe, the truth of all that is beyond the universe.”

The mind’s seeking in each individual direction has its value and becomes a basis for a more comprehensive knowledge when we can finally fit together each of these “truths” into that one all-comprehending Truth that forms the Integral Knowledge.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 15, Reality and the Integral Knowledge