The Divine Soul In All Existence

There is a proverb that illustrates the principle that exclusive concentration on details does not allow us to see the larger sense: “Cannot see the forest for the trees.” Similarly, the soul living in the world of manifestation sees all the different forms and does not see or recognize the divine Spirit that has entered into all of them, created them, and joined them together in Oneness.

A first step is to begin to recognize that the entire manifestation is bound together and each element depends on the others. We see that changes in climate affect various forms of life, and that disruption in one area harms another. Predators, for instance, depend for their health and survival on a healthy and abundant population of their prey. A change in sea temperature that kills off the plankton, for instance, would have a cascading effect on the food chain in the oceans. We see plants that only survive due to pollination of a particular type of butterfly. Everywhere the “eye that sees” can identify the inherent Oneness of the creation. This vision prepares us then for the next step, to recognize the Divine Spirit inherent in the entire creation and One beyond the individual “details”.

Sri Aurobindo discusses the issue: “But the identity of the Lord and the soul in mutable Nature is hidden from us by outward appearance and lost in the crowding mobile deceptions of that Nature. And those who allow themselves to be governed by the figures of Nature, the figure of humanity or any other form, will never see it, but will ignore and despise the Divine lodged in the human body. Their ignorance cannot perceive him in his coming in and his going forth or in his staying and enjoying and assumption of quality, but sees only what is there visible to the mind and senses, not the greater truth which can only be glimpsed by the eye of knowledge. Never can they have sight of him, even if they strive to do so, until they learn to put away the limitations of the outward consciousness and build in themselves their spiritual being, create for it, as it were, a form in their nature.”

“It is the Divine who has entered into this form of earth and is the spirit of its material force and sustains by his might these multitudes.”

“In other words, the Divine is at once the Soul of matter and the Soul of life and the Soul of mind as well as the Soul of the supramental light that is beyond mind and its limited reasoning intelligence.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 15, The Three Purushas, pp. 431-432