The Unity of the Soul and Nature

The apparent duality and opposition of soul and nature actually hides the deeper reality of their unity. Purusha, the witness Soul provides the support and sanction for the action of Prakriti, the active Nature. The idea that one can abandon Nature in order to achieve soul-unification is based on a false premise of opposition and difference. The Soul-consciousness and the executive Nature represent the two poles of existence, but they remain connected and indispensable to one another. Sri Aurobindo points out “This Duality, in aspect separate, is inseparable. Wherever there is Prakriti, there is Purusha; wherever there is Purusha, there is Prakriti.”

The force of action of Nature remains latent in the inactivity of the Soul. The consciousness of the Witness, the Purusha, remains behind all the action of Nature, even when it is not apparently visible.

There is a practical benefit to the apparent opposition: “Here too he finds that the separative aspect is liberative; for it releases him from the bondage of identification with the inadequate workings of Nature in the Ignorance.”

There is also, however, a benefit to the recognition of their unity: “The unitive aspect is dynamic and effective; for it enables him to arrive at mastery and perfection; while rejecting what is less divine or seemingly undivine in her, he can rebuild her forms and movements in himself according to a nobler pattern and the law and rhythm of a greater existence. At a certain spiritual and supramental level the Duality becomes still more perfectly Two-in-one, the Master Soul with the Conscious Force within it, and its potentiality disowns all barriers and breaks through every limit. Thus this once separate, now biune Duality of Purusha-Prakriti is revealed to him in all its truth as the second great instrumental and effective aspect of the Soul of all souls, the Master of existence, the Lord of the Sacrifice.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 4, The Sacrifice, The Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice, pp. 114-115