The Need to Integrate the Truths of the Intellect With the Truths of the Heart and Life

The human mind naturally moves towards an “either/or” paradigm. This means essentially that if one particular thing is considered true, the opposite must be considered false. While this works for the logical intellect within certain fixed limits within the world of forms and forces, it clearly is unable to encompass the diversity, complexity and immensity of the universal creation or the process or origin of its creation.

It is also possible to take one side of the argument while someone else equally supports the other side, and each of them relies on certain aspects of the truth of things to support their opposing positions.

In The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo explores the dichotomy between the view of the “materialist” and that of the “ascetic”. Each one relies on certain facts to bolster their individual viewpoints; yet there is a larger synthesis or harmony possible that recognizes the truth that supports both of these apparently contradictory, but in reality complementary, positions. This is “reality omnipresent” which accepts both the Impersonal and the Personal as equally real and equally an aspect of the Divine.

“Both the ideas of the intellect, its discriminations, and the aspirations of the heart and life, their approximations, have behind them realities at which they are the means of arriving. Both are justified by spiritual experience; both arrive at the divine absolute of that which they are seeking. But still each tends, if too exclusively indulged, to be hampered by the limitations of its innate quality and its characteristic means. We see that in our earthly living where the heart and life followed exclusively failed to lead to any luminous issue, while an exclusive intellectuality becomes either remote, abstract and impotent or a sterile critic or dry mechanist. Their sufficient harmony and just reconciliation is one of the great problems of our psychology and our action.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 5, The Divine Personality, pg. 555

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