Mastering the Powers of Life and Matter

As long as we remain rooted in the primarily vital and material action of Nature, we feel that we are unable to control the larger forces at work in our lives. We feel in many instances helpless and swept away by those forces. Even as we develop the powers of the Mind, we still very much experience the subjection to the vital and physical world and its actions.

Sri Aurobindo points out however that this is not an unalterable condition of our evolving being and consciousness: “A certain fundamental subjection of Mind to Life and Matter and an acceptance of this subjection, an inability to make the law of Mind directly dominant and modify by its powers the blinder law and operations of these inferior forces of being, remains even in the midst of our greatest mental mastery over self and things; but this limitation is not insuperable.”

Sri Aurobindo points out: “The greatest, most momentous natural discovery that man can make is this that Mind, and still more the force of the Spirit, can in many tried and yet untried ways and in all directions,–by its own nature and direct power and not only be devices and contrivances such as the superior material instrumentation discovered by physical Science,–overcome and control Life and Matter.”

The gnostic being, with the greater force of consciousness that he would possess, has also necessarily powers of action and mastery far beyond those at the disposal of the purely mental being. The gnostic being would have “a clear and complete knowledge of self, a direct knowledge of others, a direct knowledge of hidden forces, a direct knowledge of the occult mechanism of Mind and Life and Matter, which are beyond our present attainment. This new knowledge and action of knowledge would be based on an immediate intuitive consciousness of things and an immediate intuitive control of things; an operative insight, now supernormal to us, would be the normal functioning of this consciousness, and an integral assured effectivity both in the mass of action and in its detail would be the outcome of the change.”

“Acting in the light and power of the supramental knowledge, the evolving gnostic being would be more and more master of himself, master of the forces of consciousness, master of the energies of Nature, master of his instrumentation of Life and Matter.”

As we ascend toward the gnostic consciousness, this new knowledge and force would become ever more active and effective.

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

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