From Automatic Action of Nature to Free Self-Expression of Spirit

If we look at the evolving universe and the manifestation of consciousness within it, we see the expression of consciousness take on different forms. In the depths of material existence, in the very processes of Matter and Energy, we see an intensely controlled, automatic process of action that nevertheless exhibits a precise and highly organised Intelligence. The construction of the atoms and of Matter, the processes of Energy all show us a pattern that is detailed and which is carried out systematically.

With the advent of mental consciousness, we see modifications of the “rules” that govern material nature through increasing adaptation; but nevertheless still based on the development of what we may now see as standards of conduct, rules of action, ethics, morality, law, process of relation.

Eventually, with the manifestation of the gnostic being, with its inherent self-knowledge and universal knowledge, we see the liberation from the mental rule structure to allow the being to freely express the greater rules of spiritual Oneness in manifestation.

Sri Aurobindo describes this process of development: “In the passage to the spiritual life the supreme ideal held up is, …, not law, but liberty in the Spirit; the Spirit breaks through all formulas to find its self and, if it has still to be concerned with expression, it must arrive at the liberty of a free and true instead of an artificial expression, a true and spontaneous spiritual order. “Abandon all dharmas, all standards and rules of being and action, and take refuge in Me alone”, is the summit rule of the highest existence held up by the Divine Being to the seeker.”

The development of this free self-expression of the spirit is and can be progressive as the evolving individual takes on more and more the consciousness of the gnostic being. “But the supramental gnostic being stands in a consciousness in which knowledge is self-existent and manifests itself according to the order self-determined by the Will of the Infinite in the Supernature. This self-determination according to a self-existent knowledge replaces the automatism of Nature and the standards of Mind by the spontaneity of a Truth self-aware and self-active in the very grain of the existence.”

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