The mental, vital and physical levels of consciousness are fundamentally limited by their basis in division and fragmentation. They see and categorize their understanding in a way that emphasizes the separateness of the forces at work and the consequences. This makes it impossible to understand the action of Karma in any comprehensive way, as such an understanding requires an integrating vision that can both see the parts and the whole of which they are elements.
Sri Aurobindo elucidates this point: “The secret reason of man’s failure to rise truly beyond himself is a fundamental incapacity in the mind, the life and the body to organise the highest integral truth and power of the spirit. And this incapacity exists because mind and life and matter are in their nature depressed and imperfect powers of the Infinite that need to be transformed into something greater than themselves before they can escape from their depression and imperfection; in their very nature they are a system of partial and separated values and cannot adequately express or embody the integral and the one, a movement of many divergent and mutually non-understanding or misunderstanding lines they cannot arrive of themselves at any but a provisional limited and imperfect harmony and order.”
To the extent that we can develop any kind of harmony of interaction, it is based on the action of the secret influence of the higher supramental consciousness which holds the whole in its vision while simultaneously recognising the role and place for each of the disparate parts. “That force and knowledge is the self-possessed supramental power and will and the perfect and untrammelled supramental gnosis of the Infinite. It is that which has fixed the precise measures of Matter, regulates the motive instincts and impulsions of Life, holds together the myriad seekings of Mind; but none of these things are that power and gnosis and nothing therefore mental, vital or physical is final or can even find its own integral truth and harmony nor all these together their reconciliation until they are taken up and transformed in a supramental manifestation. For this supermind or gnosis is the entire organising will and knowledge of the spiritual, it is the Truth Consciousness, the Truth Force, the organic instrumentation of divine Law, the all-seeing eye of the divine Vision, the freely selecting and generating harmony of the eternal Ananda.”
And it is from this standpoint that the entire process of rebirth, and the action of Karma can finally be integrated and understood, both in the individual lines of action of each level of consciousness and in the complex interaction that provides the framework for the evolutionary journey of the soul through time, space and circumstance in the manifestation of the secret meaning of existence.
Sri Aurobindo, Rebirth and Karma, Appendix 1, The Tangle of Karma, pp. 158-159, http://www.lotuspress.com/item.php?item=990117
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