The Oneness of God, Nature and Individual Soul

The habitual patterns of the mind tell us that the individual soul is separate from and different from the Divine. We then create any number of explanations such as an external Creator who fashions the world, and ourselves, something like an artist creating a sculpture! The operative principle is one of separation and division. Similarly, we look at Nature and see a type of mechanism that has no obvious consciousness, and we see Nature as separate and different from God as well. The Divine Teacher, in attempting to shift the human seeker to a new standpoint, must address these concerns.

Sri Aurobindo takes up this question: “Nature has been represented as the mechanical bondage of the Gunas, the soul as the egoistic being subject to that bondage. But if that be all their truth, they are not and cannot be divine. Nature, ignorant and mechanical cannot be a power of God; for divine Power must be free in its workings, spiritual in its origin, spiritual in its greatness. The soul bound and egoistic in Nature, mental, vital, physical only, cannot be a portion of the Divine and itself a divine being; for such a divine being must be itself of the very nature of the Divine, free, spiritual, self-developing, self-existent, superior to mind, life and body.”

The solution proposed by the Gita is that there is a higher form and a lower form, and they are all one Being. “Mechanical nature is only a lower truth; it is the formula of an inferior phenomenal action. There is a higher which is the spiritual and that is the nature of our spiritual personality, our true person.” The creation is not outside of or different from the creator. The impersonal consciousness permeates through all the manifested universe and exceeds it. The Upanishad phrases the truth thus: “The spirit who is there in man, and the spirit who is there in the sun, it is one spirit and there is no other.”

“Brahman is all this that is, says the Upanishad, for Brahman is one self which sees itself in four successive positions of consciousness….He is the Brahman, consciously supports and originates all from his higher spiritual nature, consciously here becomes all things in a nature of intelligence, mind, life and sense and objective phenomenon of material existence. The Jiva is he in that spiritual nature of the Eternal, his eternal multiplicity, his self-vision from many centres of conscious self-power. God, Nature and Jiva are the three terms of existence, and these three are one being.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 4, The Secret of Secrets, pp. 293-294