Nature Is Power of the Spirit

As a practical matter, Sri Aurobindo notes: “…we have to perceive that the Spirit has based all its workings upon two twin aspects of its being, Soul and Nature, Purusha and Prakriti. We have to treat them as different and diverse in power,–for in practice of consciousness this difference is valid,–although they are only two sides of the same reality, pole and pole of the one conscious being.”

Nature is the aspect which puts Existence, Consciousness and Bliss into forms and acts. “Nature is power of the spirit, and she is too working and process of its power formulating name and form of being, developing action of consciousness and knowledge, throwing itself up in will and impulsion, force and energy, fulfilling itself in enjoyment. Nature is Prakriti, Maya, Shakti.”

To gain a deeper understanding of the action and power of Nature, Sri Aurobindo reviews both the external and the internal forms and experience of Nature: “If we look at her on her most external side where she seems the opposite of Purusha, she is Prakriti, an inert and mechanical self-driven operation, inconscient or conscient only by the light of Purusha, elevated by various degrees, vital, mental, supramental, of his soul-illumination of her workings. If we look at her on her other internal side where she moves nearer to unity with Purusha, she is Maya, will of being and becoming or of cessation from being and becoming with all their results, apparent to the consciousness, of involution and evolution, existing and non-existing, self-concealment of spirit and self-discovery of spirit. Both are sides of one and the same thing, Shakti, power of being of the spirit which operates, whether superconsciously or consciously or subconsciously in a seeming inconscience,–in fact all these motions co-exist at the same time and in the same soul,–as the spirit’s power of knowledge, power of will, power of process and action…. By this power the spirit creates all things in itself, hides and discovers all itself in the form and behind the veil of its manifestation.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 3, The Psychology of Self-Perfection, pp. 600-601

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