The Soul’s Assent and Mastery Over Nature and Karma

As long as we remain rooted in the surface consciousness, including body, life and mind, we are essentially the puppets of Nature and under subjection to the law of Karma. In order to achieve liberation from the bondage of Karma, it is essential that we find and establish our standpoint in the witness consciousness. Sri Aurobindo describes the separation of Purusha and Prakriti. This becomes more and more possible as we achieve higher expressions of consciousness in the evolution from Matter, to Life and then to Mind. “But thinking man who experiences increasingly from generation to generation and from life to life the nature of things and develops reflective knowledge and the sense of his soul in Nature, delivers in her a power of initiating will. He is not bound to her set actualities; he can refuse assent, and the thing inNature to which it is refused goes on indeed for a time and produces its results by impetus of Karma, but as it runs, it loses power and falls into impotence and desuetude. He can do more, he can command a new action and orientation of his nature. The assent was a manifestation of the power of the soul as giver of the sanction, anumanta, but this is a power of the soul as active lord of the nature, isvara.

There is an interim period while the soul establishes its poise as master of the Nature that the old actions continue or try to reassert themselves, but eventually they must give way to the new direction and impetus provided by the soul. “The mental being in us can be a learner in the school of freedom, not a perfect adept. A real freedom comes when we get away from the mind into the life of the spirit, from personality o the Person, from Nature to the lord of Nature.”

“But if man would have too a freedom of power, of participation, of companionship as the son of God in a greater divine control, he must then not only get back from mind, but must stand, in his thought and will even, above the levels of mentality and find there a station of leverage… whence he can sovereignly move the world of his being. Such a station of consciousness there is in the supramental ranges. When the soul is one with the Supreme and with the universal not only in essence of consciousness and spiritual truth of being, but in expressive act too of consciousness and being, when it enjoys an initiating and relating truth of spiritual will and knowledge and the soul’s overflowing delight in God and existence, when it is admitted to the spirit’s fullness of asset to self and its creative liberty, its strain of an eternal joy in self-existence ad self-manifestation, Karma itself becomes a rhythm of freedom and birth a strain of immortality.”

Sri Aurobindo,Rebirth and Karma, Section I, Chapter 9, Karma and Freedom, pp. 85-86,