Cultivating a Spiritual Aspiration, Vision and Interpreting Experience

In the integral Yoga, it is the role of the seeker to expand his seeking for knowledge, not only in the classical sense of the spiritual traditions, the Absolute, but also in terms of the practical understanding of the manifestation that the Divine is unfolding and how to support and act with insight and power in helping to bring it about. Further, the seeker may expand his ability to understand and interpret the experience with knowledge of the various interpretive arts, such as poetry, painting, sculpture, music etc. Art and Science therefore are important aspects of the spiritual seeker’s quest for knowledge.

Sri Aurobindo discusses this issue: “The Yogin’s aim in the sciences that make for knowledge should be to discover and understand the workings of the Divine Consciousness-Puissance in man and creatures and things and forces, her creative significances, her execution of the mysteries, the symbols in which she arranges the manifestation.”

“The Yogin’s aim in the practical sciences, whether mental and physical or occult and psychic, should be to enter into the ways of the Divine and his processes, to know the materials and means for the work given to us so that we may use that knowledge for a conscious and faultless expression of the spirit’s mastery, joy and self-fulfilment.”

“The Yogin’s aim in the Arts should not be a mere aesthetic, mental or vital gratification, but, seeing the Divine everywhere, worshipping it with a revelation of the meaning of its works, to express that One Divine in gods and men and creatures and objects.”

“The Yogin’s distinction from other men is this that he lives in a higher and vaster spiritual consciousness; all his work of knowledge or creation must then spring from there: it must not be made in the mind,–for it is a greater truth and vision than mental man’s that he has to express or rather that presses to express itself through him and mould his works, not for his personal satisfaction, but for a divine purpose.”

This requires a wideness of vision, and an aspiration that sees the Divine in all things, and all things in the Divine, with this representing the motive force behind all knowledge, will and action.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 5, The Ascent of the Sacrifice-1, The Works of Knowledge–The Psychic Being, pp. 133-134


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