The Mind Divides the Absolute

The basic characteristic of the mind follows the seeker into the realms of spiritual experience. Intellectually the seeker may acknowledge the unity of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss) but in practical terms, the mind will tend to fixate on one aspect exclusively and put the others in the background or disregard them almost entirely. Sri Aurobindo observes: “…in approaching Sachchidananda it will dwell on its aspect of the pure existence, Sat, and consciousness and bliss are compelled then to lose themselves or remain quiescent in the experience of pure, infinite being which leads to the realisation of the quietistic Monist. Or it will dwell on the aspect of consciousness, Chit, and existence and bliss become then dependent on the experience of an infinite transcendent Power and Conscious-Force, which leads to the realisation of the Tantric worshipper of Energy. Or it will dwell on the aspect of delight, Ananda, and existence and consciousness then seem to disappear into a bliss without basis of self-possessing awareness or constituent being, which leads to the realisation of the Buddhistic seeker of Nirvana. Or it will dwell on some aspect of Sachchidananda which comes to the mind from the supramental Knowledge, Will or Love, and then the infinite impersonal aspect of Sachchidananda is almost or quite lost in the experience of the Deity which leads to the realisations of the various religions and to the possession of some supernal world or divine status of the human soul in relation to God.”

For those who seek a solution to the riddle of existence through escape, Sri Aurobindo points out that any of these realisations will accomplish what is sought; yet for the seeker of the integral Yoga, this type of walled-off realisation based on an exclusive focus or concentration on one aspect or another, is clearly insufficient.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 13, The Difficulties of the Mental Being, pg. 382


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