Symphonic Action of the Gnostic Consciousness

When we live in the limited, separated human mentality, we see others and the forces they manifest as existing in opposition to our own action, in a world of conflict and struggle for supremacy. Sri Aurobindo describes it thus: “A world full of conflict, a conflict in ourselves, a conflict of the individual with the world around him are normal and inevitable features of the separatiave consciousness of the Ignorance and our ill-harmonised existence.”

Sri Aurobindo contrasts this state of affairs with the gnostic consciousness which expresses the Truth of the individual, not in conflict with others or the cosmic All, but in supreme harmony as each uniquely expresses and carries out his role in the totality, while recognising and supporting the action of the gnostic consciousness as it manifests in each and in all. “The freedom of the gnostic individual is the freedom of his spirit to fulfil dynamically the truth of his being and the power of his energies in life; but this is synonymous with an entire obedience of his nature to the truth of Self manifested in his existence and to the will of the Divine in him and all. This All-Will is one in each gnostic individual and in many gnostic individuals and in the conscious All which holds and contains them in itself; it is conscious of itself in each gnostic being and is there one with his own will, and at the same time he is conscious of the same Will, the same Self and Energy variously active in all.”

One may find the concept easier to understand if one looks at the principle of a symphony orchestra. Each individual plays his part and his own instrument under the harmony of an entire programme that blends together the individual instruments, sounds and notes to create a whole that expresses a larger truth.

In the gnostic consciousness and manifestation therefore the conflict cannot exist. “In the gnostic life, therefore, there is an entire accord between the free self-expression of the being and his automatic obedience to the inherent law of the supreme and universal Truth of things. These are to him interconnected sides of the one Truth; it is his own supreme truth of being which works itself out in the whole united truth of himself and things in one Supernature. There is also an entire accord between all the many and different powers of the being and their action; for even those that are contradictory in their apparent motion and seem in our mental experience of them to enter into conflict, fit themselves and their action naturally into each other, because each has its self-truth and its truth of relation to the others and this is self-found and self-formed in the gnostic Supernature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 27, “The Gnostic Being”