To Become the Divine
Sri Aurobindo took exception to the conclusion that the individual’s faith or will, creating his karma, determines what he is. While certainly true from a certain point of view, there are still other factors to be considered in order to truly understand the process of evolutionary development of the individual. Sri Aurobindo discusses the issue: “Truth is not merely whatever our own personality is or creates; that is only the truth of our becoming, one point or line of emphasis in a movement of widest volume.”
The individual manifestation still needs to interact with and relate to the universal and the transcendent aspects. “Beyond our personality there is, first, a universal being as well as a universal becoming of which ours is a little movement; and beyond that too there is the eternal Being out of which all becoming derives and to which it owes its potentialities, elements, original and final motives.”
There are those in fact who hold that the only reality is the Eternal and that the entire Becoming is an illusion created by the power of the Supreme; thus negating the validity of the individual role entirely, except for the practical need of the individual to negotiate through the illusory reality of the world! The Gita takes a somewhat different view however: “But for the Gita absolute Brahman is also supreme Purusha, and Purusha is always conscious Soul, though its highest consciousness, its superconsciousness, if we will,–as, one may add, its lowest which we call the Inconscient,–is something very different from our mind consciousness to which alone we are accustomed to give the name.”
The supreme Purusha has his own supreme Nature and the fact that we are a manifestation of that Supreme Truth raises for us the possibility of attaining to that consciousness and nature. “That eternal way of existence and divine manner of being exists already in the eternity of the Purushottama, but we are attempting to create it here too in our becoming by Yoga; our endeavor is to become the Divine, to be as He, madbhava. That also depends on sraddha. It is by an act of our conscious substance and a belief in its truth, an inmost will to live it or be it that we come to it; but this does not mean that it does not already exist beyond us. Though it may not exist for our outward mind until we see and create ourselves anew into it, it is still there in the Eternal and we may say even that it is already there in our own secret self; for in us also, in our depths the Purushottama always is.
We can conceive in the possibility, and grow into the possibility because we already are a creation that partakes of that larger reality and we thus, have the potentiality within us as the oak tree has its potentiality already contained within the acorn. The inner faith that we hold is an affirmation of the secret truth of our future possibilities.
Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 18, The Gunas, Faith and Works, pp. 466-467