The Need and Methods For Attaining the Cosmic Consciousness

In the ordinary course, the human individual identifies himself with the ego-consciousness. He feels that he is a separate individual, utilizing a mind-life-body nexus for his experience of and in the world. This ego consciousness holds itself in opposition to all the other ego-personalities and experiences the entire world-action as a play of separated forms, forces and individuals with which the ego must then engage and find a way to survive and thrive.

For those who attain to the status of the pure Existence, the ego-personality is transcended and minimized. At the same time, this status tends to abandon the active life of the world-manifestation and resides in unity with the passive Brahman. The attempt to unify with the active Brahman has, as previously noted, the difficulty of a relapse into the ego-consciousness, given the long and habitual pattern of its action in the world.

The solution to the problem of action lies in being able to undertake action in the world in unity with the active Brahman, the creative Force in manifestation, and not be limited or circumscribed by the action of the ego. This leads to the realization of the cosmic consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo notes there are two primary methods for attaining to this status of consciousness: “But between the movement of universal Nature and this transcendent Existence, possessor of the one and cosmic self of the other, is the cosmic consciousness, the universal Purusha of whom all Nature is the Prakriti or active conscious Force. We can arrive at that, become that whether by breaking the walls of the ego laterally, as it were, identifying oneself with all existences in the One, or else from above by realising the pure Self or absolute Existence in its outgoing, immanent, all-embracing, all-constituting self-knowledge and self-creative power.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 15, The Cosmic Consciousness, pg. 392

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