The Integral Reality

Some claim that there is no divine reality, and that those who seek it are following an illusion; similarly, there are those who claim that the world manifestation is an illusion and only the divine reality is truly real. Sri Aurobindo points out that these each represent an aspect of reality, and that in fact, both aspects are real. The spiritual truth is not to be gained by argument or debate, but through experience of integration.

The Upanishads point the way with their insistence that “All this is the Brahman” as well as “One without a second.” These two statements are intended to complement, not contradict one another.

“It is not by insisting on this or that side only of the truth that you can practice this Yoga. The Divine whom you have to seek, the Self whom you have to discover, the supreme Soul of whom your soul is an eternal portion, is simultaneously all these things; you have to know them simultaneously in a supreme oneness, enter into all of them at once and in all states and all things see Him alone. If he were solely the Spirit mutable in Nature, there would be only an eternal and universal becoming. If you limit your faith and knowledge to that one aspect, you will never go beyond your personality and its constant changeful figures; on such a foundation you would be bound altogether in the revolutions of Nature. But you are not merely a succession of soul moments in Time. There is an impersonal self in you which supports the stream of your personality and is one with God’s vast and impersonal spirit. And incalculable beyond this impersonality and personality, dominating these two constant poles of what you are here, you are eternal and transcendent in the Eternal Transcendence.”

The integral reality then includes the personal side, changing and mutable in the manifestation of forms and forces in Time; the impersonal side, aloof and immutable, separated from the changing manifestation, and a transcendent Eternal which incorporates both of these aspects while not being bound within the framework of either of them, or even of both of them.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 24, The Message of the Gita, pp. 557-558

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