Existence, Consciousness and Delight of the Spirit

“To be and to be fully is Nature’s aim in us…” Sri Aurobindo points out however, that focusing on the “pure Existent” without incorporating Consciousness, Force and Delight of Existence is an incomplete formulation of “being”. The formulation Sat-Chit-Ananda is intended to incorporate all of these terms. “Chit” or “consciousness” has actually been expanded by Sri Aurobindo to also incorporate “shakti” or force in his term “chit-shakti”.

Sri Aurobindo explains the necessity of this more complete formulation as follows: “unconsciousness, half consciousness or deficient consciousness is a state of being not in possession of itself; it is existence, but not fullness of being. To be aware wholly and integrally of oneself and of all the truth of one’s being is the necessary condition of true possession of existence.”

“But also, since consciousness carries in itself the force of existence, to be fully is to have the intrinsic and integral force of one’s being; it is to come into possession of all one’s force of self and of all its use. To be merely, without possessing the force of one’s being or with a half-force or deficient force of it, is a mutilated or diminished existence; it is to exist, but it is not fullness of being.”

“But as the spiritual consciousness is intrinsic and self-existent, so too this force of our spiritual being must be intrinsic, automatic in action, self-existent and self-fulfilling.”

“Lastly, to be fully is to have the full delight of being. Being without delight of being, without an entire delight of itself and all things is something neutral or diminished; it is existence, but it is not fullness of being. This delight too must be inrinsic, self-existent, automatic; it cannot be dependent on things outside itself: whatever it delights in, it makes part of itself, has the joy of it as part of its universality. All undelight, all pain and suffering are a sign of imperfection, of incompleteness; they arise from a division of being, an incompleteness of consciousness of being, an incompleteness of the force of being. To become complete it being, in consciousness of being, in force of being, in delight of being and to live in this integrated completeness is the divine living.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 28, “The Divine Life”