The Soul’s Poise As Active Sanctioner of Nature

As the witness consciousness takes on the role of acknowledging and upholding Nature’s action, the first poise may be one of passivity whereby the soul recognizes that it is supporting the action of Nature, but still recognizes that the original impulsion and intention comes from “elsewhere”. Sri Aurobindo describes it thus: “In the attitude of the Witness there is also a kind of sanction, but it is passive, inert and has no kind of absoluteness about it; but if he consents entirely to uphold, the sanction has become active, even though the soul may do no more than consent to reflect, uphold and thereby maintain in action all the energies of Prakriti, not determining, not selecting, believing that it is God or Force itself or some Knowledge-Will that selects and determines, and the soul only a witness and upholder and thereby giver of the sanction, anumanta, but not the possessor and the director of the knowledge and the will, jnana ishvarah.”

From this status, however, the next step is for the soul to actively choose and act to determine the movement of the Force in Nature. “But if it habitually selects and rejects in what is offered to it, it determines; the relatively passive has become an entirely active sanction and is on the way to be an active control.”

Because the soul can identify with the Brahman, it is not restricted to the “either/or” logic of the human standpoint which forces a choice of abandoning the world of manifestation to rest in the higher consciousness, or rejecting the higher for the lower manifestation and being fully involved in the world. Sri Aurobindo clarifies that the soul may participate actively in the determination of the manifestation of Nature when it is unified with the Divine and thus, transcending the ego-personality, is One with the Lord of creation.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 17, The Soul and Nature, pp. 414-415

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