Ascending the Ladder of Consciousness From Matter To Spirit

Sri Aurobindo describes an interesting corollary between the involution and evolution of Consciousness in the universe, and the process that one undergoes internally in the development of consciousness as described by Kundalini Yoga. Essentially this internal process mirrors the universal process.

“There is a parallel in the Yogic experience of the Kundalini, eternal Force coiled up in the bottom root vessel or chamber, muladhara, pedestal, earth-centre of the physical nervous system. There she slumbers coiled up there like a Python and filled full of all that she holds gathered in her being, but when she is struck by the freely coursing breath, by the current of Life which enters in to search for her, she awakes and rises flaming up the ladder of the spinal chord and forces open centre after centre of the involved dynamic secrets of consciousness till at the summit she finds, joins and becomes one with the spirit.”

The powers of consciousness are “involved” in Matter, represented by the root chakra, and as they begin to evolve, they open up ever higher centres of energy, known as “chakras”. Each chakra represents another rung on the ladder of consciousness, the “life-energy” centers, the higher “life-energy” centers (such as emotions), the basic mental powers, the higher mental powers, the spiritual capacities which unfold as the crown chakra is reached and the energy involved therein is manifested.

“At the highest summit she rises into the self-knowledge of the spirit which informed her action, but because of its involution or concealment in the forms of its workings could not be known in the greatness of its reality. Spirit and Nature discovering the secret of her energies become one at the top of the spiritual evolution by a soul in Nature which awakens to the significance of its own being in the liberation of the highest truth: it comes to know that its births were the births, the assumptions of form of an eternal Spirit, to know itself as that and not a creature of Nature and rises to the possession of the revealed, full and highest power of its own real and spiritual nature. That liberation, because liberation is self-possession, comes to us as the crown of a spiritual evolution.”

Sri Aurobindo,

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