Knowledge By Identity Is the Goal of the Yoga of Knowledge

As mental beings, we believe that knowledge is something that can be defined, described and explained. The Yogi practicing the Yoga of knowledge, however, looks at knowledge as totally separate from the “knowings” of the mental consciousness. Recognizing that the Supreme cannot be defined, limited or circumscribed, the sage cries out “Not this, not that.” At the same time, he says that the Divine is all that exists. This is not intended as a contradiction, or even a paradox, but as a way to bring the mind to a natural recognition that it is not the true instrument of knowing. It cannot comprehend the vastness or the apparent contradictions of the divine Reality.

Knowledge, therefore, is developed through identification of the consciousness of the Yogi with the Supreme. What we cannot know through mental process can be known through the experience of Oneness with the Divine. As this takes place, we find that we begin to embody the experience of the unmoving consciousness beyond the entire manifestation, while at the same time partaking of the divine reality of the manifestation itself.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “The Supreme pours Himself out of an eternal peace, poise and silence into an eternal activity, free and infinite, freely fixing for itself its self-determinations, using infinite quality to shape out of it varied combination of quality. We have to go back to that peace, poise and silence and act out of it with the divine freedom from the bondage of qualities but still using qualities even the most opposite largely and flexibly for the divine work in the world. Only, while the Lord acts out of the centre of all things, we have to act by transmission of His will and power and self-knowledge through the individual centre, the soul-form of Him which we are. The Lord is subject to nothing; the individual soul-form is subject to its own highest Self and the greater and more absolute is that subjection the greater becomes its sense of absolute force and freedom.”

The mystic reality of Oneness implies that to the extent the individual can shift his standpoint outside of the mental framework and identify with the Divine standpoint, he attains to both the knowledge and the power inherent to the Divine.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 11, The Modes of the Self, pg. 364

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