The Spiritual Experience of the Personal Aspect of the Divine

It is also possible to view the Reality from the opposite pole, the aspect of the manifested universe. From this standpoint, the creation takes on a reality which we know intuitively to be real and essential. The world impinges on the seeker in a way that makes itself felt as an undeniable fact. While the standpoint of the Impersonal provides a liberating effect to the consciousness, the standpoint of the Personal immerses the seeker in the details and activities of the creation.

Sri Aurobindo describes this view: “…another line of experience appears which justifies an intuition deeply-seated behind the heart and in our very life-force, that personality, like consciousness, life, soul, is not a brief-lived stranger in an impersonal Eternity, but contains the very meaning of existence. This fine flower of the cosmic Energy carries in it a forecast of the aim and a hint of the very motive of the universal labour. As an occult vision opens in him, he becomes aware of worlds behind in which consciousness and personality hold an enormous place and assume a premier value; even here in the material world to this occult vision the inconscience of Matter fills with a secret pervading consciousness, its inanimation harbours a vibrant life, its mechanism is the device of an indwelling Intellience, God and soul are everywhere. Above all stands an infinite conscious Being who is variously self-expressed in all these worlds; impersonality is only a first means of that expression.”

“A multiple innumerable personality expressing that One is the very sense and central aim of the manifestation and if now personality seems to be narrow, fragmentary, restrictive, it is only because it has not opened to its source or flowered into its own divine truth and fullness packing itself with the universal and the infinite. Thus the world-creation is no more an illusion, a fortuitous mechanism, a play that need not have happened, a flux without consequence; it is an intimate dynamism of the conscious and living Eternal.”

The idea that the world is an illusion, Maya, unreal, something to be put aside or abandoned in order to attain to the status of the Impersonal, the unmoving, the infinite and timeless, is a reflection of the limitations of the human mode of awareness. The unification of the Impersonal and the Personal, and a real meaning for the entire manifestation as an expression of the One Being, is the aim of our seeking and the solution to the riddle of our existence.

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. 118-119