The Varying Responses of the Egoistic Individual and the Gnostic Being to the Issues of Freedom and Order

We can see around us in our lives, in the society and the world at large, the consequences of the egoistic standpoint leading to actions that assume individual total freedom without an appreciation of the interconnected relationship of each to all, and the consequent responsibility that is the flip-side of freedom.  Each asserts himself without regard for consequences and this leads to conflict, hostility, disharmony, and destruction of the balance of the eco-sphere within which we all live.  Clearly, the evidence shows us that this standpoint is a falsehood and cannot be the solution to human interaction and life.

At the same time, there are those who have an insight into the working of Nature, whether from a scientific, an observational or from a religious or philosophical view.  While we see interactions of conflict in Nature, which is to be expected in the world of separateness and fragmentation, we also can see that everything is connected and responds and reacts to other beings and external world-forces.  There is an underlying harmony that speaks to a larger unity.

The mental framework, based in separateness and fragmentation, cannot resolve the balance between freedom and order, between the independence of the individual and the interconnected relationship of each to all.  A new consciousness of unity and harmony is needed to bridge the gaps, and this is the development of the supramental, gnostic consciousness which Sri Aurobindo has identifed and described.

Sri Aurobindo observes in The Life Divine:  “A separate self-existent being could be at odds with other separate beings, at variance with the universal All in which they co-exist, in a state of contradiction with any supreme Truth that was willing its self-expression in the universe; this is what happens to the individual in the Ignorance, because he takes his stand on the consciousness of a separate individuality.  There can be a similar conflict, discord, disparity between the truths, the energies, qualities, powers, modes of being that act as separate forces in the individual and in the universe.  A world full of conflict, a conflict in ourselves, a conflict of the individual with the world around him are normal and inevitable features of the separative consciousness of the Ignorance and our ill-harmonised existence.  But this cannot happen in the gnostic consciousness because there each finds his complete self and all find their own truth and the harmony of their different motions in that which exceeds them and of which they are the expression.  In the gnostic life, therefore, there is an entire accord between the free self-expression of the being and his automatic obedience to the inherent law of the supreme and universal Truth of things.  These are to him interconnected sides of the one Truth; it is his own supreme truth of being which works itself out in the whole united truth of himself and things in one Supernature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Eight, The Gnostic Being, pg. 116

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