The Role of Faith In the Divine Transformation of Consciousness

In order to effect the change in standpoint and transformation of consciousness described by the Gita, the seeker must be able to move beyond the framework and limitations of the mental consciousness which characterizes the human condition. This consciousness operates under strict limits of an analytical viewpoint which tries to frame everything according to a factual basis of the material senses and the habitual patterns that have developed. This consciousness tends to be highly skeptical and cynical about any possibilities that are unseen or unknown or not yet patently obvious to our material senses. It is this consciousness which has denied, delayed and avoided innumerable truths which have later become evident. The history of science and religion shows us the opposition between what is seen as “reason” versus what is called “faith”. In reality, any progress, even in the material world, on a scientific basis, requires extending the field of action and knowledge into the unknown, and to do this, a form of faith is required. This faith represents a truth, not yet obvious to our senses, but felt and understood inwardly as exceeding the frame and limits of the mental structures we have built. There were those who had faith that mankind could find a way to fly through the air or explore the solar system; and with that faith, they set about to move beyond the limitations of the mind of the time. Similarly, there were those who had faith that the world was not flat and could be circumnavigated. It is such a faith, when applied to the development of the new, wider, inclusive, and global form of understanding and consciousness, that is required to exceed the mental frame that denies the possibility, just as it denied so many other possibilities of growth of knowledge, awareness and power of action throughout the entire history of mankind.

Sri Aurobindo points out: “The soul that fails to get faith in the higher truth and law must return into the path of ordinary mortal living subject to death and error and evil: it cannot grow into the Godhead which it denies. For this is a truth which has to be lived,–and lived in the soul’s growing light, not argued out in the mind’s darkness. One has to grow into it, one has to become it,–that is the only way to verify it. It is only by an exceeding of the lower self that one can become the real divine self and live the truth of our spiritual existence.”

“But to grow thus into the freedom of the divine Nature one must accept and believe in the Godhead secret within our present limited nature.”

“What with entire faith and without egoism we believe in and impelled by him will to be, the God within will surely accomplish.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 4, The Secret of Secrets, pp. 295-296

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