Applying the Freedom and Power of the Witness Consciousness of the Purusha

The achievement of the stance of witness, abstracted from the action of the nature, provides a form of relative freedom and power of action to the Purusha that it does not experience when fully involved in the actions of nature. There are several different directions that the Soul may take from this point forward. Essentially, there may be a focus on enhancing the power and results on the mental level, but without any higher aspirations. There may be a focus on achieving oneness with Brahman through a rejection of the activities of the mind and life. There may be an attempt to achieve a higher spiritual realisation within the framework of the universal manifestation.

Sri Aurobindo describes these various options: “It is possible for the Purusha to use it on the mental plane itself for a constant self-observation, self-development, self-modification, to sanction, reject, alter, bring out new formulations of the nature and establish a calm and disinterested action, a high and pure sattwic balance and rhythm of its energy, a personality perfected in the sattwic principle. This may amount only to a highly mentalised perfection of our present intelligence and the ethical and the psychic being or else, aware of the greater self in us it may impersonalise, universalise, spiritualise its self-conscious existence and the action of its nature and arrive either at a large quietude or a large perfection of the spiritualised mental energy of its being.”

“It is possible aain for the Purusha to stand back entirely and by a refusal of sanction allow the whole normal action of the mind to exhaust itself, run down, spend its remaining impetus of habitual action and fall into silence. Or else this silence may be imposed on the mental energy by rejection of its action and a constant command to quietude. The soul may through the confirmation of this quietude and mental silence pass into some ineffable tranquility of the spirit and vast cessation of the activities of Nature.”

“But it is also possible to make this silence of the mind and ability to suspend the habits of the lower nature a first step towards the discovery of a superior formulation, a higher grade of the status and energy of our being and pass by an ascent and transformation into the supramental power of the spirit.”

The realisation sought by the integral Yoga would encourage the shifting of the standpoint from the mental to the supramental level of consciousness, as that is where the entire action of mind, life and body actually originates. “For the supermind is the divine mind and it is on the supramental plane that the individual arrives at his right, integral, luminous and perfect relation with the supreme and universal Purusha and the supreme and universal Para Prakriti.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 16, The Divine Shakti, pp. 730-731

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