The Qualities of Mental Consciousness and the Divine Spirit

The mind characteristically operates as an analytical tool, fragmenting reality into compartments and classifications, and treating and acting upon these parts as if they are independent of the Oneness of the Divine. The mind works in an “either-or” condition and does not easily embrace the approach of integration that holds both options together as aspects of the higher truth in an omnipresent, integral Reality. Even when it seeks for or imagines a unity, it is something built up from the parts rather than something that is in and of itself a unified whole.

Sri Aurobindo describes the operation of mind thus: “For Mind is Maya, sat-asat: there is a field of embrace of the true and the false, the existent and the non-existent, and it is in that ambiguous field that Mind seems to reign; but even in its own reign it is in truth a diminished consciousness, it is not part of the original and supremely originating power of the Eternal. Even if Mind is able to reflect some image of essential Truth in its substance, yet the dynamic force and action of Truth appears in it always broken and divided. All Mind can do is to piece together the fragments or deduce a unity; truth of Mind is only a half-truth or a portion of a puzzle. Mental knowledge is always relative, partial and inconclusive, and its outgoing action and creation come out still more confused in its steps or precise only in narrow limits and by imperfect piecings together.”

To be sure, the Divine manifests in Mind, as also in Life and Body “…but not here is his full dynamic revelation, not here the perfect identities of the Eternal. Only when we cross the border into a larger luminous consciousness and self-aware substance where divine Truth is a native and not a stranger, will there be revealed to us the Master of our existence in the imperishable integral truth of his being and his powers and his workings. Only there, too, will his works in us assume the flawless movement of his unfailing supramental purpose.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 11, The Master of the Work, pg. 248

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