A Complex Interaction of Energies

The complex nature of the lines of Karma is in part due to the fact that there are numerous different forms and types of energy at work which each have their own separate working, impulsion and direction. These different forms of energy interact with one another and modify the pure action of the others so that the eventual result is mixed and diluted.

Sri Aurobindo describes the different types of energies: “There is in the world of birth an energy of physical being and nature, arising out of the physical an energy of vital being and nature, arising out of the vital an energy of mental being and nature, arising out of the mental an energy of spiritual or supramental being and nature. And each of these forms of energy has a law of its own, lines of its own action, a right to its own manner or operation and existence, because each is fundamental to some necessity of the whole. And we see accordingly that each in its impulse follows its own lines regardless of the rest, each in the combination imposes as much of its domination as it can on the others.”

Within each type of energy, too, there are sub-types. “The mental being is itself a most complex thing and has several forms of energy, an intellectual, a moral, an emotional, a hedonistic energy of mental nature, and the will in each is in itself absolute for its own rule and is yet forced to be modified in action by the running into it and across it of the other strands.”

The interaction and inter-relationship of all these different forms of energy creates a complex web of action that cannot be fully defined by any one specific term. We must be able to take account of vital attraction, physical action, as well as intellectual and emotional drives when we try to understand the full working of the law of “cause and effect”. It would only be from a consciousness that views and reconciles the entire complexity of the creation that we could hope to develop a complete understanding. Until that time, we must appreciate the fact that no one drive or impulsion can act uninfluenced and unimpeded by other drives, influences or powers of action.

Sri Aurobindo,Rebirth and Karma, Section II, Chapter 13, The Foundation, pp. 113-114,

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