Starting from the mental framework, the seeker is faced with the difficulty of how to actually embody the unity of the Self in its highest formulation and expression, transcendent, universal and individual. The mind, in its native status, acts to separate, divide, fragment and analyse. It creates irreconcilable opposition between forms, forces, ideas and manifestations which in reality are part of a greater whole of Oneness. The mind, therefore, is not the instrument of knowledge which can actually perceive or experience the higher forms of truth based on this Oneness.
Sri Aurobindo explains: But rightly to know and express the Highest is not easy for man the mental being because the highest Truth and therefore the highest modes of existence are supramental. They repose on the essential unity of what seem to the intellect and mind and are to our mental experience of the world opposite poles of existence and idea and therefore irreconcilable opposites and contradictions, but to the supramental experience are complementary aspects of the same Truth.”
The individual is that Divine, even as the collectivity of the beings within which the individual exists is also that Divine, and beyond all these manifested forms there is the Transcendent which exceeds, even while it contains and forms all that is.
True self knowledge can only come when we know ourselves as the Divine. Similarly true knowledge of the world only comes when we know the world as the Divine. “Until we have transformed the habits of our mentality so that it shall live entirely in this knowledge reconciling all differences in the One, we do not live in the real Truth, because we do not live in the real Unity. The accomplished sense of Unity is not that in which all are regarded as parts of one whole, waves of one sea, but that in which each as well as the All is regarded wholly as the Divine, wholly as our Self in a supreme identity.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 11, The Modes of the Self, pg. 359