Love and the Experience of the Impersonal Divine

When we consider love as a motive force or an experience, we associate it with an object and with a personal relationship. Thus, we tend to disregard the idea that love can be active in relation to the Impersonal Brahman, and we tend to treat the seeking after the Impersonal as the province solely of the Yoga of knowledge, with an austere seeking that avoids the implications of the emotions or feelings of love.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “…for in the current forms of Yoga it is supposed that the Impersonal can only be sought for a complete unity in which God and our own person disappear and there is none to adore or to be adored; only the delight of the experience of oneness and infinity remains.”

Looked at from the viewpoint of our mental logic, therefore, there is no place for devotion in that path. Sri Aurobindo reminds us however that spiritual experience exceeds the mental conceptions and limitations. “But in truth the miracles of spiritual consciousness are not to be subjected to so rigid a logic. When we first come to feel the presence of the infinite, as it is the finite personality in us which is touched by it, that may well answer to the touch and call with a sort of adoration. Secondly, we may regard the Infinite not so much as a spiritual status of oneness and bliss. or that only as its mould and medium of being, bur rather as the presence of the ineffable Godhead to our consciousness, and then too love and adoration find their place. And even when our personality seems to disappear into unity with it, it may still be–and really is–the individual divine who is melting to the universal or the supreme by a union in which love and lover and loved are forgotten in a fusing experience of ecstasy, but are still there latent in the oneness and subconsciently persisting in it. All union of the self by love must necessarily be of this nature. We may even say, in a sense, that it is to have this joy of union as the ultimate crown of all the varied experiences of spiritual relation between the individual soul and God that the One became many in the universe.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 8, The Mystery of Love, pg. 573


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