As we have determined in our review thus far, the material world is not the origin of existence, but the result of the Spirit’s involution of consciousness. It is not a mechanical world absent any deeper significance, but rather, all Matter is instinct with consciousness–there is a precise, highly-organized and intelligent order to Matter and Life. The systematic development of Life out of Matter and Mind out of Life is an unfolding of the Consciousness contained secretly therein. It is with this understanding that we begin to look at the relationship of Will, Karma and consequence in this new chapter.
Sri Aurobindo introduces the subject with a defining statement: “Will, Karma and consequence are the three steps of the Energy which moves the universe. But Karma and consequence are only the outcome of will or even its forms; will gives them their value and without it they would be nothing, nothing at least to man the thinking and growing soul and nothing, it may be hazarded, to the Spirit of which he is a flame and power as well as a creature.”
Sri Aurobindo points out that the meaning of this entire existence comes from the will of the Spirit: “But by itself and without the light of an inhabiting will this working is only a huge soulless mechanism, a loud rattling of crank and pulley, a monstrous pounding of spring and piston. It is the presence of the spirit and its will that gives a meaning to the action and it is the value of the result to the soul that gives its profound importance to all great or little consequence.”
“Spirit and consciousness and power of the spirit and Ananda are the meaning of existence. Take away this spiritual significance and this world of energy becomes a mechanical fortuity or a blind and rigid Maya.”
Sri Aurobindo,Rebirth and Karma, Section I, Chapter 10, Karma, Will and Consequence, pg. 87,