The Dissolution of the Ego and the Action of the Individual Absent the Ego, Part 2

In the early years of the 20th century, physicists had a problem.  They determined at some point that the same “event” (in their sense of the term) had properties of a wave and properties of a particle, depending on the state of observation.  The fact of observation collapsed the wave into a fixed point in time and space.  Similarly, until observation, an atomic particle maintained infinite possibilities for its location, but once observed its position became “fixed”.  The development of the entire field of quantum mechanics arose from the dual-state nature of physical reality.  This created considerable consternation for physical scientists who expected to be able to apply the mind’s “either/or” paradigm to something as simple as material substance!

A somewhat analogous situation takes place with the question of Impersonal and Personal in the universal manifestation.  In principle, and in an undefined state, the universe can be seen as Impersonal.  However, as specific forms, beings and functions take place, they take on a Personal note to that form or being and thus, the indefinite “collapses” upon observation into the definite.

In both quantum mechanics and in the omnipresent Reality itself, both aspects co-exist at all times in both a potential form and in an actual formation.

The ego, as a formation of the lower being, simply appropriates separateness and fragmented existence to a form or being that is in actuality an expression of the larger universal creation, and thus, it has been considered to be an “illusion”.  Without the aggrandising function of the ego, the quantum process, if you will, of the personality of the manifested being still takes place, co-existent with the impersonal out of which it arises and by which it is constituted, and into which it sinks again upon dissolution.  The problem lies not in the universe, but in our ability to comprehend it with our mental apparatus.

Sri Aurobindo notes in The Life Divine:  “This reality is not the ego but the being, who is impersonal and universal in his stuff of nature, but forms out of it an expressive personality which is his form of self in the changes of Nature.”

“The Divine, the Eternal, expresses himself as existence, consciousness, bliss, wisdom, knowledge, love, beauty, and we can think of him as these impersonal and universal powers of himself, regard them as the nature of the Divine and Eternal; we can say that God is Love, God is Wisdom, God is Truth or Righteousness: but he is not himself an impersonal state or abstract of states or qualities; he is the Being, at once absolute, universal and individual.  If we look at it from this basis, there is, very clearly, no opposition, no incompatibility, no impossibility of a co-existence or one-existence of the Impersonal and the Person; they are each other, live in one another, melt into each other, and yet in a way can appear as if different ends, sides,obverse and reverse of the same Reality.  The gnostic being is of the nature of the Divine and therefore repeats in himself this natural mystery of existence.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Eight, The Gnostic Being, pp. 113-114

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