The Dominant Organizing Principle of the Gnostic Consciousness

With reflection, the seeker can begin to see the pattern of organization behind the various planes pf consciousness that make up the creation. When we examine the physical world closely, for instance, we find that it is incredibly tightly organized, both in terms of the atomic structure and makeup of matter, and in terms of the interaction of the various parts of the physical world to create one inter-related and inter-dependent structure of existence. Similar review of the vital plane of consciousness yields similar results, except this time the dominant organizing principle is the life-energy instead of physical matter. For the mental level, it is the mind’s action that provides the lynch-pin for understanding and acting.

Sri Aurobindo describes this action for the mental being: “…mind-sense or intelligence is the original and dominant principle. The mental being in the mind-world where he is native is in his central and determining nature intelligence; he is a centre of intelligence, a massed movement of intelligence, a receptive and radiating action of intelligence. He has the intelligent sense of his own existence, the intelligent sense of other existence than his own, the intelligent sense of his own nature and activities and the activities of others, the intelligent sense of the nature of things and persons and their relations with himself and each other. That makes up his experience of existence. He has no other knowledge of existence, no knowledge of life and matter except as they make themselves sensible to him and capable of being seized by his mental intelligence; what he does not sense and conceive, is to him practically non-existent, or at least alien to his world and his nature.”

Similarly, when the focus moves to the plane of action of the Gnosis, there is a dominant principle of action that functions at that level and acts as the organizing principle around which everything on that plane revolves. “Knowledge is the first principle of the Vijnana, but knowledge is not its only power. The Truth-consciousness, like every other plane, founds itself upon that particular principle which is naturally the key of all its motions; but it is not limited by it, it contains all the other powers of existence. Only the character and working of these other powers is modified and moulded into conformity with its own original and dominant law; intelligence, life, body, will, consciousness, bliss are all luminous, awake, instinct with divine knowledge.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 23, The Conditions of Attainment to the Gnosis, pg. 468

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