The Inner and Integral Experience of God

The seeker in Yoga does not and cannot rest content with an intellectual belief in God, or even a dedication through faith in God, although these stages may occur along the way. The Yogi seeks union with the Divine, and this means, the experience in his own being of the Divine consciousness. Sri Aurobindo advises: “This inner vision is one form of psychological experience; but the inner experience is not confined to that seeing; vision only opens, it does not embrace. Just as the eye, though it is alone adequate to bring the first sense of realisation, has to call in the aid of experience by the touch and other organs of sense before there is an embracing knowledge, so the vision of the self ought to be completed by an experience of it in all our members. Our whole being ought to demand God and not only our illumined eye of knowledge.”

Each aspect of our being represents some principle of the Divine manifestation, and thus, each has its own type of fulfillment and the realisation that accompanies it: “We can have a mental experience of the Self and seize as concrete realities all those apparently abstract things that to the mind constitute existence–consciousness, force, delight and their manifold forms and workings: thus the mind is satisfied of God. We can have an emotional experience of the Self through Love and through emotional delight, love and delight of the Self in us, of the Self in the universal and of the Self in all with whom we have relations: thus the heart is satisfied of God. We can have an aesthetic experience of the Self in beauty, a delight-perception and taste of the absolute reality all-beautiful in everything whether created by ourselves or Nature in its appeal to the aesthetic mind and the senses; thus the sense is satisfied of God. We can have even the vital, nervous experience and practically the physical sense of the Self in all life and formation and in all workings of power, forces, energies that operate through us or others or in the world: thus the life and the body are satisfied of God.”

The fullness of the Yoga comes when all the parts and aspects of the being are able to experience the reality of the omnipresent Reality, unmanifest and manifested, impersonal and personal, transitory and eternal, in limited forms and in the Absolute. This represents a shift of the awareness, of the entire consciousness from the human standpoint of limitation and separation to the divine standpoint of unity and Oneness.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 2, The Status of Knowledge, pp. 291-292

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