And Words Turn Back Without Attaining

We run the risk, or rather the certainty, that whenever we begin to try to define the Supreme, even by the most expansive terms we can conceive of, that we are misrepresenting and distorting the reality. This is a limitation of the mental formations and the language that we use, and we therefore are constantly urged by the sages and seers to not allow ourselves to be tied up in the knots of language or the processes of our logical intellect, but to recognize at all times that these symbolic representations cannot encompass the Truth of existence. The truth must be experienced in consciousness, not defined in words or concepts.

Sri Aurobindo explores the limits of our definitions: “And even to say of him that all exists in him is not the whole truth of the matter, not the entirely real relation: for it is to speak of him with the idea of space, and the Divine is spaceless and timeless. Space and time, immanence and pervasion and exceeding are all of them terms and images of his consciousness.”

“…he is at once one with all that is and yet exceeds it; but he is other also than this self or extended infinity of spiritual being which contains and exceeds the universe. All exists here in his world-conscious infinite, but that again is upheld as a self-conception by the supracosmic reality of the Godhead which exceeds all our terms of world and being and consciousness. This is the mystery of his being that he is supracosmic, yet not in any exclusive sense extracosmic. For he pervades it all as its self; there is a luminous uninvolved presence of the self-being of God…which is in constant relation with the becoming and brings all its existences into manifestation by his simple presence. Therefore it is that we have these terms of Being and becoming, existence in itself, atman, and existences dependent upon it, bhutani, mutable beings and immutable being.”

“But the highest truth of these two relations and the resolution of the antinomy must be found in that which exceeds it; it is the supreme Godhead who manifests both containing self and its contained phenomena by the power of his spiritual consciousness,yogamaya. And it is only through union with him in our spiritual consciousness that we can arrive at our real relations with his being.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 5, The Divine Truth and Way, pp. 298-299