Unravelling the Knot of Life’s Difficulty

The integral Yoga is based on the standpoint of the divine consciousness, and therefore takes a different view of human life and development than the ideals of perfection that start from the individual human standpoint. The ideal of the integral Yoga is to effect a transformation of being from human to divine. Sri Aurobindo notes: “Essentially then this divine self-perfection is a conversion of the human into a likeness of and a fundamental oneness with the divine nature, a rapid shaping of the image of God in man and filling in of its ideal outlines.”

The difficulty comes when the human seeker attempts to understand and implement a process to effect this conversion of the consciousness and the actions of life. Sri Aurobindo addresses this issue by suggesting that it is essential for us to gain a somewhat detailed understanding of the complex mechanisms of mind, life and body and their interaction within the functioning of the human being. “To perceive and have a right view of our way to such a transformation we must form some sufficient working idea of the complex thing that this human nature at present is in the confused interminglings of its various principles, so that we may see the precise nature of the conversion each part of it must undergo and the most effective means for the conversion.”

In essence, the steps from “here” to “there” are the real basic issue for the seeker to resolve: “How to disengage from this knot of thinking mortal matter the Immortal it contains, from this mentalised vital animal man the happy fullness of his submerged hints of Godhead, is the real problem of a human being and living. Life develops many first hints of the divinity without completely disengaging them; Yoga is the unravelling of teh knot of Life’s difficulty.”

The human being has been called a “transitional being” by Sri Aurobindo. The consciousness has evolved sufficiently to allow for self-aware and self-directed action. This is what in fact makes a conscious process of Yoga possible rather than the slow, meandering steps taken in the “Yoga of Nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 3, The Psychology of Self-Perfection, pg. 597