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, pg. 653


1 thought on “Integral Knowledge

  1. That fundamental and universal Real, which, once discovered, embraces and explains all things is TIME. It is the Supreme Spiritual Mystery and the apex in the formidable pyramid constituted of the seemingly unending experiences that throughout the ages seekers have had of God.

    In his commentaries on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Sri Aurobindo discusses the occult imagery associated with the Ordering Power of Time:

    ” … The [image of the] horse is a physical figure representing like an algebraical symbol, an unknown quantity of force and speed. (Time is its breath, the year is its body, the seasons its limbs, the months and the fortnights its joints, the days and nights its feet.) From the imagery it is evident that this force, this speed, is something universal. Time in its period is the Self of the Horse Sacrificial, so not Matter but Time, is the body of this force of the material universe… Space then, is the flesh constituting materially this body of Time which the sage attributes to his Horse of the worlds, by movement in Space its periods are shaped and determined. Hence the real power, the fundamental greatness of the Horse is not the material world, not the magnitudes of Space, but the magnitudes of Time… for Time is that mysterious condition of universal mind which alone makes the ordering of the universe in Space possible.”
    Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads; ‘The Great Aranyaka’, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, 1971

    In their written works both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother acknowledge that, ‘a few shall see what the many could not understand’. What those ‘few’ see that the others do not are the mysteries of Supramental Time written into the Inner Chamber of the Mother’s Original Temple plan.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.