Yet is all ignorance and all perversity only the distortion of the truth and right of things and not the play of an absolute falsehood. It is the result of Mind viewing things in the division it makes, avidyayam antare, instead of viewing itself and its divisions as instrumentation and phenomenon of the play of the truth of Sachchidananda. If it gets back to the truth from which it fell, it becomes again the final action of the Truth-consciousness in its apprehensive operation, and the relations it helps to create in that light and power will be relations of the Truth and not of the perversity. They will be the straight things and not the crooked, to use the expressive distinction of the Vedic Rishis, —Truths, that is to say, of divine being with its self-possessive consciousness, will and delight moving harmoniously in itself.
The ignorance and the perversity we see in this phenomenal world is not the play of an absolute falsehood. It is only the distortion of the truth and right of things. It is the result of Mind viewing things in the division it makes. Sri Aurobindo describes it as avidyayam antare (Katha Upanishad, 1.2.5) meaning, living within the Ignorance. Instead of viewing itself and its divisions as the instrumentation and play of the truth of Sachchidananda it views everything in the division it makes.
What the Mind must do? It must get back to the truth from which it fell. Then, it becomes again the final action of the Truth-consciousness in its apprehensive operation. The relations it helps to create in that light and power will be relations of the Truth. They will not be relations of perversity.
They will be Truths of divine being with its self-possessive consciousness, will and delight moving harmoniously in itself. They will be straight things. They will not be crooked.
Now we have rather the warped and zigzag movement of mind and life, the contortions created by the struggle of the soul once grown oblivious of its true being to find itself again, to resolve back all error into the truth which both our truth and our error, our right and our wrong limit or distort, all incapacity into the strength which both our power and our weakness are a struggle of force to grasp, all suffering into the delight which both our joy and our pain are a convulsive effort of sensation to realise, all death into the immortality to which both our life and our death are a constant effort of being to return.
Now we have rather the warped and zigzag movement of mind and life. These are created by the struggle of the soul to find its true being again amidst its ignorance. It tries to resolve back all error into truth which both our truth and our error, our right and our wrong limit or distort. It tries to resolve back all incapacity into strength which both our power and our weakness are a struggle of force to grasp. It tries to resolve all suffering into the delight which both our joy and our pain are a convulsive (violent and sudden) effort of sensation to realise. It tries to resolve all death into the immortality to which both our life and our death are a constant effort of being to return.
GITA – XVIII – 61
(Essays on Gita – Ch 20-p.518 Sri Aurobindo)
A Godhead is seated in the heart of every man and is the Lord of this mysterious action of Nature. And though this Spirit of the universe, this One who is all, seems to be turning us on the wheel of the world as if mounted on a machine by the force of Maya, shaping us in our ignorance as the potter shapes a pot, as the weaver a fabric, by some skilful mechanical principle, yet is this spirit our own greatest self and it is according to the real idea, the truth of ourselves, that which is growing in us and finding always new and more adequate forms in birth after birth, in our animal and human and divine life, in that which we were, that which we are, that which we shall be,—it is in accordance with this inner soul-truth that, as our opened eyes will discover, we are progressively shaped by this spirit within us in its all-wise omnipotence. This machinery of ego, this tangled complexity of the three gunas, mind, body, life, emotion, desire, struggle, thought, aspiration, endeavour, this locked interaction of pain and pleasure, sin and virtue, striving and success and failure, soul and environment, myself and others, is only the outward imperfect form taken by a higher spiritual Force in me which pursues through its vicissitudes the progressive self-expression of the divine reality and greatness I am secretly in spirit and shall overtly become in nature. This action contains in itself the principle of its own success, the principle of the Swabhava and Swadharma.
– We are moved like puppets by the force of Maya in our actions in the world by the Spirit of the universe.
– Yet, a Godhead seated in the heart of every man is the Lord of his actions.
– He shapes us in our ignorance, Maya, like a potter shapes a pot.
– This spirit within is our own greatest self. It is according to the real idea, the truth of ourselves (Truth-consciousness) which grows in us birth after birth, finds always new and more adequate forms.
– It is in accordance with our inner soul- truth we are progressively shaped by this spirit within us.
– All our struggles in three gunas, the machinery of our ego, our body, mind and life are only the imperfect form taken by the higher spiritual Force.
– They progressively reveal the divine reality and greatness I am secretly in spirit and shall eventually express in my outer nature.
– This action fulfils in success the principle of the Swabhava & Swadharma.
- Supramental life seems to be a state of consciousness, a state of active relation and mutual enjoyment possessed by the souls without body, experienced in a world without physical forms. Whereas, we live in a world of mind, life and body. Hence, we may doubt whether divine life would be possible on earth.
- We have not studied the connections of the four divine terms – Existence, Consciousness-Force, Bliss (Sat-chit-ananda) and the divine Maya- the Truth-consciousness with our body, mind and life. We have not studied this apparently undivine Maya (the world of our body, mind and life) which is the root of our struggle and suffering and how it develops out of the divine Maya. Till we tie the missing knots of connection, the world will remain unexplained to us and we may think we cannot attain to the Divine Life while living in our body, mind and life. It means the perfection of humanity exists elsewhere than in the humanity itself and the summit of the earthly evolution can only lead to dissolving mentality.
- In fact, what we call undivine in our world can only an action of the four divine principles. Such an action was necessary in the creation of world of forms. Those forms were created in the existence, consciousness and bliss and not outside of it. They are in fact subordinate activities of Truth-Consciousness itself.
- In their evolutionary journey our body, life and mind are moving towards perfection. They are separated in consciousness from their source, the Truth-consciousness. But by the expanding energy of the Divine in humanity this separation can be put to an end. Then their present functioning can be converted by a supreme evolution into the purer working of Truth-consciousness.
- Mind is a consciousness which measures, limits, cuts out forms of things from the indivisible whole. Mind deals with the parts separately; not as aspects of a whole and subjects them to its own characteristic activity – division and analysis. It deals with the whole that form part of a greater whole. Mind again breaks this subordinate whole into further parts and so on.
- If mind goes beyond and tries to conceive a real whole it will lose itself in a foreign element, into the ocean of the intangible. Mind cannot possess the infinite. Mind can get the knowledge of the infinite only by a passive submission to the descending messages of the Truth-conscious Reality.
- This functional role of the Mind is assigned to it by the Divine Maya. The role of the Mind is always to translate infinite in terms of the finite; to measure off, to limit and to depiece. Mind does this limitation in our consciousness to the exclusion of all true sense of the infinite. It is the centre of the great Ignorance.
- There is a subordinate process of delimitation without that the world would not have been created. This subordinate process may be called the divine Mind which is subordinate of the Supermind. The apprehending consciousness called the Prajnana makes the fundamental division of Purusha and the Prakriti. The conscious extension of Purusha in each form is the last action of the apprehending consciousness. The Purushas delimit themselves in each soul-form.
- The limiting of infinite into finite ‘depiecing’ is already there in this world. The relation of form with form has been founded as if they were separate beings, forces and consciousness. This separation is not real. Even in the appearance of separation, the divine soul in each form keeps hold of its existence in the reality of being and unity.
- Avidya is the self-ignoring faculty that separates the action of the mind from the action of the supermind. The separated Mind perceives only the particular and not the universal and not the both together.
- Mind being an action of the Infinite depieces as well as aggregates endlessly. Mind cuts the being into wholes, into smaller wholes, into atoms and into primal atoms. But the Mind cannot end up in creating nothingness because of the saving action of Supermind. The consciousness proceeds by way of infinite division or by way of infinite enlargement. In either way it arrives only at itself, at its own infinite unity. The division is a subordinate appearance of the whole process necessary for their spatial and temporal play.
- The fall of mind starts from the individual soul viewing everything from its own stand point by an exclusive concentration of consciousness in one particular moment of time, in one particular point in space, in one particular form. Whatever thus it has lost it then tries to recover by linking together the pieces.
- Rigidity and fixity mark the operations of the Mind. It bases everything on the apparent stabilities of force and consciousness. In reality there are no fixed forms. Everything is in state of movement and change. What is constant is the eternal Real-Idea.
- Identification with our body further contributes to the ignorance of mind. All the time we are concerned with what the physical senses tell us. Yet there is a life mind which does not end with the death of the body. Only the physical or corporeal mind is identified with the body and not the whole mental being.
- The corporeal mind, which is our surface mind in the front, undergoes all physical experience. Behind our surface mind there is subconscious or subliminal part which knows itself as more than the body. This part is responsible for our larger, deeper and more forceful dynamic action of our surface mind and for our first realisation of a soul or inner being, Pranamaya Purusha.
- The life mentality may be free from the error of body but not from the error of the mind. It is still subject to original act of ignorance of the individualised soul regarding everything from its own limited standpoint of view and sees itself separate from others. It is limited by the illusion of life. Here also the meeting-place of mind and supermind has not been reached.
- Behind this life mind there is a pure mind, the clearer and reflective mentality. It is free from absorption into life. It is the source of the pure thinker, the mental being, the manomaya purusha which we sometimes mistake for the pure spirit. This higher mind deals with other souls as other forms of its pure self and communicates with them purely by mental impacts.
- Still this pure mind is not free from the original error of mind because it is still its separate mental self. It acts as the judge, witness and centre of the universe. It views all others as “others” grouped to it around itself. Unless it separates itself from body, mind and life it cannot feel the unity. There is still the veil created by Avidya between the mental and Supramental action.
- When the veil that is separating the mind from the supermind is removed and is made passive and silent to a supramental action and then the mind becomes instrumental to the divine Real-Idea. We know ourselves in others, as others and others as ourselves. We lose the rigidity which is the source of all limitation and error. We perceive the Truth behind all distortions. We still perceive the division yet we do not lose sight of the Oneness. Mind’s actions are governed by the universal Eye and Will.
- The fall from self-knowledge is the fundamental error of the Mind by which the individual soul conceives of its individuality as a separate fact instead of as a form of Oneness. It knows itself as the centre of its own universe instead of as one concentration of the universal. This is the original error. From this all its particular ignorances and limitations are contingent results.
- Either the knowledge of the whole or the knowledge of the essence is essential for the right knowledge of the part. Hence there is an element of error in human knowledge which knows only the part. Our will is ignorant of the rest of all-will, our soul’s self-delight and delight of things is ignorant of the all-bliss. Self-ignorance is the root of all the perversity of our existence which is strengthened in the self-limitation, the egoism.
- The ignorance and the perversity we see in this world are not the play of an absolute falsehood but only the distortion of the truth and right of things. It is the result of Mind viewing things in the division it makes. Mind must return to the truth from which it fell to become again the final action of the Truth-consciousness in its apprehensive operation.
- Now we have rather the warped and zigzag movement of mind and life created by the struggle of the soul to find its true being again amidst its ignorance. It tries to resolve back all error into truth from the dualities of truth and error, all incapacity into strength from the dualities of power and weakness, all suffering into the delight from the dualities of joy and pain and all death into the immortality from the dualities of our life and our death.