The Seven Forms of Knowledge

Sri Aurobindo concludes that once we have defined the seven forms of Ignorance, our aim and goal in our human lives must be to successively overcome the Ignorance through the development of the sevenfold forms of knowledge. Each aspect of the knowledge we develop addresses one of the already defined seven forms of the Ignorance.

“It will mean the knowledge of the Absolute as the origin of all things; the knowledge of the Self, the Spirit, the Being and of the cosmos as the Self’s becoming, the becoming of the Being, a manifestation of the Spirit; the knowledge of the world as one with us in the consciousness of our true self, thus cancelling our division from it by the separative idea and life of ego; the knowledge of our psychic entity and its immortal persistence in Time beyond death and earth-existence; the knowledge of our greater and inner existence behind the surface; the knowledge of our mind, life and body in its true relation to the self within and the superconscient spiritual and supramental being above them; the knowledge, finally, of the true harmony and true use of our thought, will and action and a change of all our nature into a conscious expression of the truth of the Spirit, the Self, the Divinity, the integral spiritual Reality.

Sri Aurobindo cautions us that this is not an intellectual knowledge…”it must be an experience, a becoming, a change of consciousness, a change of being. This brings in the evolutionary character of the Becoming and the fact that our mental ignorance is only a stage in our evolution. The integral knowledge, then, can only come by an evolution of our being and our nature, and that would seem to signify a slow process in Time such as has accompanied the other evolutionary transformations.”

“The integral knowledge, since it must result from a change of consciousness, can be gained by a process in which our will and endeavor have a part, in which they can discover and apply their own steps and method: its growth in us can proceed by a conscious self-transformation.”

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

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