Harmonising the Principles of Freedom and Order

The mental consciousness finds a conflict, a variance between “freedom” and “order”. In an attempt to exert its freedom, the mind and will of man will deny the right of law, principle or standard to restrict its action; or in the attempt to bring about some harmony of the individual within the framework of society, a series of rules and standards will be developed that restrict the individual’s freedom.

The gnostic being, however, incorporates both principles together on the basis of knowledge. “In him Knowledge and Will become one and cannot be in conflict; Truth of spirit and life become one and cannot be at variance: in the self-effectuation of his being there can be no strife or disparity or divergence between the spirit and the members.”

“this is so because both [freedom and order] are inseparable aspects of the inner spiritual truth and therefore their determinations are one; they are inherent in each other, for they arise from an identity and therefore in action coincide in their natural identity. The gnostic being does not in any way or degree feel his liberty infringed by the imperative order of his thoughts or actions, because that order is intrinsic and spontaneous; he feels both his liberty and the order of his liberty to be one truth of his being.”

The gnostic being, not subject to the limitations of the mental consciousness, which after all has its foundation in the Ignorance, does not need to cast around through trial and error nor subject itself to a divergence between his knowledge and his action. “His liberty of action is not a license to act upon wrong will or the impulsions of the Ignorance….”

The gnostic being incorporates the Oneness of the individual with the universal development and thus can harmonise the principle of freedom, which is a force for systematic unfolding and development, with the equally essential principle of order, which is a force for stablising and solidifying the development.

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