The Free Self-Determination of the Spiritual Being

As mental beings, humans are bound to the limitations of the mental consciousness, which sets up rules, principles, standards, ethical frameworks, laws & rigid social definitions within which it then organises the life of the individual and the society. Virtually every relationship is bound and fixed within this framework. Eventually we also organise the cosmic framework by defining a law of karma which governs the response that comes back to any output of energy.

While these rules are needed for the evolution out of the impulsive desire-based energy of the life-force, the evolution beyond the mind into the gnostic consciousness overcomes this rigid and fixed mental framework. Sri Aurobindo discusses this issue as follows: “In the supramental gnostic nature there will therefore be no need of the mental rigid way and hard style of order, a limiting standardisation, an imposition of a fixed set of principles, the compulsion of life into one system or pattern which is alone valid because it is envisaged by mind as the one right truth of being and conduct. For such a standard cannot include and such a structure cannot take up into itself the whole of life, nor can it adapt itself freely to the pressure of the All-life or to the needs of the evolutionary Force; it has to escape from itself or to escape from its self-constructed limits by its own death, by disintegration or by an intense conflict and revolutionary disturbance.”

Sri Aurobindo continues: “The knowledge and action of the gnostic being would have the wideness and plasticity of an infinite freedom.” “The entire activity also would be unbound by an obligation of unelastic rule or by the obligation of a past state or action or by its compelling consequence, Karma; it would have the sequent but self-guided and self-evolving plasticity of the Infinite acting directly upon its own finites. This movement will not create a flux or chaos, but a liberated and harmonic Truth-expression; there would be a free self-determination of the spiritual being in a plastic entirely conscious nature.”

This is not a prescription for wilful disregard of the established order by an individual wishing to throw off the yoke of all laws and rules. It is a recognition of the higher established order of universal Oneness by the spiritual individual which acts at all times in harmony with the larger universal movement and evolutinoary direction.

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