Integrating the Consciousness in the Unity of Ishwara and Shakti

The human mental consciousness has a strong bias towards seeing things as duality, enhancing the separation and differences, rather than focusing on the unifying factors. It is thus possible, even in the experience of the Supreme Lord of Creation and the Divine Shakti, for the seeker to latch onto one side or another of these dual aspects and either see an outright bifurcation of the two, or see one as superior and the other inferior.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “At one pole of it the seeker may be conscious only of the Master of Existence putting forth on him His energies of knowledge, power and bliss to liberate and divinise; the Shakti may appear to him only an impersonal Force expressive of these things or an attribute of the Ishwara. At the other pole he may encounter the World-Mother, creatrix of the universe, putting forth the gods and the worlds and all things and existences out of her spirit-substance.”

“Or even if he sees both aspects, it may be with an unequal separating vision, subordinating one to the other, regarding the Shakti only as a means for approaching the Ishwara. There results a one-sided tendency or a lack of balance, a power of effectuation not perfectly supported or a light of revelation not perfectly dynamic.”

The highest, integral vision brings these two together as but two aspects of the same Reality. “it is when a complete union of the two sides of the Duality is effected and rules his consciousness that he begins to open to a fuller power that will draw him altogether out of the confused clash of ideas and Forces here into a higher Truth and enable the descent of that Truth to illumine and deliver and act sovereignly upon this world of Ignorance.”

When the mental tendency of fragmentation is finally overcome in the consciousness of the seeker, the ability to see the whole in an integral and integrated manner finally becomes real to him. This is the basis of the highest spiritual experience of Oneness and is the knowledge which can eliminate the confusion and chaos that arises in the maelstrom of the mental process. “He has begun to lay his hand on the integral secret which in its fullness can be grasped only when he overpasses the double term that reigns here of Knowledge inextricably intertwined with an original Ignorance and crosses the border where spiritual mind disappears into supramental Gnosis.”

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, pg. 117