(posted by alan kazlev) Posted in Integral Spirituality December 18th, 2006
The following passage by Sri Aurobindo (from The Life Divine Book 2, ch.19 “Out Of the Sevenfold Ignorance to the Sevenfold Knowledge”), was posted by Tusar on his Savitri Era Open Forum blog. It may be pertinent to the current discussion of what the Integral Movement stands for and what its goals are. Please note that I have added the italics to highlight what I consider points of relevance to the present discussion; they aren’t in the original.
This evolution, this process of heightening and widening and integralisation, is in its nature a growth and an ascent out of the sevenfold ignorance into the integral knowledge...
Wilberians and postmodernists may take exception to the metaphysical language. In that case you need only replace the words used here with terms you feel more appropriate, e.g. you can replace “material plane” with “gross realm”, it amounts to the same thing.
The concept of the “materialised mental intelligence” and the self-limitation of being though infatuation with the mental sphere and the material world is however an important one. Elsewhere (e.g. in Letters on Yoga) Sri Aurobindo refers to this as the “physical mind”. It is the sceptical intellect that can only accept what is seen and proven empirically, and has difficulty with or rejects concepts pertaining to larger realities. It is necessary to overcome this limited outlook, and it doesn’t matter whether it is done intellectually through being receptive to esoteric writings and concepts, intuitively through contemplation of the Self and development of insight, dialectically through Nagarjuna or Derrida, yogically through meditation or devotional aspiration (bhakti), or integrally through a heightening or widening of the entire being, because all these practices have a role to play.
As the quoted passage shows, at issue is growing and evolving beyond self-imposed boundaries to a greater knowledge, power, and wholeness. In this paragraph, Sri Aurobindo incorporates and integrates the mystic and the evolutionary, the traditional yogas and the modern conception of progress.