July 09, 2015

Replacing the falsehood, ugliness, or evil

We frequently hear the refrain, particularly in cultures such as the United States, that “I am free and can do whatever I like” in response to dealing with concerns or regulations imposed by society or government. This popular notion of “free will”, that one is able to act as an independent actor without reference to any other person, power, or consideration is an extreme manifestation of the egoism that characterises the development of the individual as he forms a personality and mental character. It must be noted, however, that “free will” is never, and can never be, entirely independent of any relation to the rest of the universe and the trannscendent consciousness beyond the manifested universe.
The human being, no matter how highly developed, remains a product of the universal creation and lives and dies in dependence on that creation. Free will that does not take this relationship into account winds up rebounding on the person who tries to exercise it in contradiction to the needs of the larger framework, whether you are dealing with society, environment, or manifested universe.
It is this attempt to impose “free will” that in fact leads to destruction of the very conditions of maintaining and developing life when taken to its extreme in terms of impact on the environment. We see around us today, all over the world, the effect of the denial of responsibility for the eco-sphere because of our alleged “free will”.
It is only by recognition that the sense of an independent free will is properly related to a growth and widening of the power and awareness of the individual that comes about as a result of the spiritual growth that breaks down the barrier between individual and cosmos, and between individual and transcendent, that we can put the concept of free will in its proper perspective, and the individual be seen as a nexus or locus of the action of the cosmic force. Free will in its true sense is an increasing freedom from the limitations imposed by physical Nature, due to the “submission to a greater conscious Power or an acquiescent unity of the individual being with its intention and movement in his own and in the world’s existence.” Posted on February 28, 2012

Under normal circumstances the human being, operating on the level of mental, vital and physical action, is actually impelled by mechanical forces or universal energies working through these gradations of consciousness. Even when we believe we are acting “freely”, the action is conditioned by the force and patterns of habit that characterise life in the world. In order to gain any freer power of initiation, it is necessary for the human instrument to become an instrument of the higher powers of consciousness. 
The individual, as the consciousness expands and contact is made with the spiritual and overmental/supramental ranges, can transfer its action from one that is strictly circumscribed to one that has freedom and expanded scope due to the identification with the higher powers which then use the individual as a type of “nexus” of action to express that higher consciousness. This converts the entire meaning of the individual life and action away from that of the human personality to a conscious instrument of the higher nature that is evolving. Posted on March 1, 2012

Because it is implicitly involved in material Nature, the supramental consciousness creates a harmony in the sphere of material energy. If we look closely and deeply at the operation of the world of matter, we see a marvelous and completely ordered mechanism that creates atoms, molecules, material substance, and eventually worlds, suns & stars, galaxies and universes. All of these have their own law of action and manifestation that can be seen to function in an order far beyond that which the human mind is capable either of creating or fully understanding.
As the evolution proceeds into the realm of life-energy, and then into the realm of mental-energy, we see the emergence of other principles, the principle of desire and repulsion, the principle of mental organisation and the contrasting dualities with which our mind is always engaged, and this can look like a confused middle ground that has left the security and organisation found in the purely material creation. Eventually however, the evolution continues to a new level of consciousness that has the harmony and order of Knowledge rather than the mechanistic order of Ignorance found in the material manifestation. Posted on March 2, 2012

Sri Aurobindo points out that it is not sufficient for the enlightened mind and will to adopt a spiritual focus and aspiration. The entire lower Nature must be taken up systematically, must be willing and able to respond to the higher impulsions, and must be willing to give up the old habits and ingrained laws of the lower Nature. The Purusha may agree, but it is not until the Prakriti consents that this integral change can truly take place.
This is not an easy or quick process. Each part of the being has its own resistance levels and obstacles to be seen, understood and overcome. We can appreciate the difficulty of this effort if we try to resist even one small habit of action in our lives…and follow the process through to a successful conclusion while observing how the impulse or drive comes, how it tries to justify itself, how it impinges on the conscious awareness, until it is satisfied. Posted on March 3, 2012

As we reviewed in the previous chapter, The Triple Transformation, there are 3 stages required to effect the complete and integral change that is the next major goal of the spiritual evolution in the material world. The first, the psychic transformation, and the second, the spiritual transformation, are essentially prerequisites for the third, the supramental transformation to take place. But it is not sufficient to have just a spiritual or psychic influence on the life or the mind; rather, it is necessary to systematically uproot the habitual working and patterns of mind, life and even the physical body in order to accomodate them to the radical change in working that is brought about by the active influx of the supramental consciousness and force.
The change required is generally one of difficult effort, concentration and focus, tapasya. Posted on March 3, 2012

Just as the mind needs to revise its method of working to accomodate the higher consciousness and force, so also the vital and physical need to be ready, willing and able to change their habitual patterns.
The vital nature in its normal functioning alternates between the impulsion of desire / greed and aversion / fear. The cravings generated by the desire movement all basically seek for expansion, aggrandisement, fulfillment, whether for power, mastery, control, domination, self-aggrandisement of fame or name, or for more circumscribed but nevertheless extremely powerful drives such as greed for food, sex, wealth, etc. This outward expansive movement is checked by the opposing movement based on fear, which includes avoidance of penalty, injury or death.
We remain fully subjected to this alternation between desire and fear until we are able to act from the desireless, powerful state of oneness with the universal force of the Divine Nature, or embody the force of a higher consciousness without reference to personal gain. This change is virtually impossible for the vital nature to conceive of until it gets a real taste of the higher energy at work, given how radically different it is from our normal habitual patterns.
All of humanity, functioning within the framework of the physical mind, finds it virtually impossible to conceive a different system of organisation for the physical life and its principles. This builds enormous resistance to change into the system. We have such an ingrained attachment to the status quo that anyone who experiences something other or different is generally disbelieved and considered psychologically unstable or insane in some manner. But to obtain the operation of a higher force for transforming nature into supernature, it is obvious that fixed principles of action which we regard as inevitable and immutable must be eventualy discarded or totally revised. Posted on March 5, 2012 - ← Previous - Next - Sri Aurobindo Studies

If we ask one of our fingers, or a toe, to communicate its experience, it may feel that it is an independent actor, making its own decisions and determinations, and fighting for its existence against the opposition of the rest of the body to which it belongs, where each part or organ tries to acquire sustenance and power at the expense of other parts. There are times when that finger or toe would also experience that energy is being withheld from it unfairly by other parts of the body, because it does not identify itself as part and parcel of the larger being, but as something separate. This analogy helps to illustrate the human being’s relation to the One, the Supreme, the Lord of existence. We hold ourselves to be separate individuals. We feel like we are in opposition to the other beings and forces and we have to struggle for and conquer our environment.
In our analogy of course, it is easy to see, looking from a higher vantage point that is wider and more inclusive, that the toe or finger is part of a being, that the circulation brings it nourishment and that there is a higher intelligence at work that not only integrates all the parts, but also is able to prioritize where and when energy should flow in order to preserve and carry out the higher purpose of the being.
Similarly, the human being is part of a larger being, and there are times and states of awareness where the individual can enter into a new vantage point to recognize the inherent Oneness of all creation, and that the individual is part and parcel of that Oneness. Further, there is a recognition that the consciousness that moves, directs, guides, creates and informs all of creation is a universal consciousness, and this is the Lord of existence.
The yogic process has as its aim and goal, the achievement of a state of Oneness with this consciousness, both in its transcendent aspect and in its manifest form as a universal being with an interactive nexus of individual points of awareness within the One. Posted on July 12, 2015
Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga has enormous implications for the time we find ourselves in. As we systematically destroy the basis of life on the planet, and wall off one another through ultimate fragmentation, we are left with the stark contrast of choosing between survival and destruction, life and death, growth or decline. Sri Aurobindo recognizes the necessity of the individual within the context of the collectivity, universality and the transcendent consciousness of Oneness. The individual is the nexus or hub of the evolutionary urge, but not separate from nor at the expense of the life of the cosmic whole. FEATURED Posted on August 30, 2009 We also have a daily twitter feed on Sri Aurobindo’s studies at

The Aesthetic Alchemy – M.S. Srinivasan
This brings us to the larger spiritual and evolutionary vision of life. All the ugliness and evil we see around have perhaps a temporary purpose in the evolution of human life towards its spiritual destiny. And the highest spiritual visions of seers have perceived that whatever falsehood, ugliness or evil we see in the world is a distorted expression of a truth, beauty and goodness of the spirit.
This doesn’t mean acceptance of the ugliness around us. The spiritual evolution of human life is moving towards the realisation of universal and eternal truth, beauty and goodness. So whatever possible we must try to replace the false, evil or the ugliness with truth, beauty and goodness. However if we have the inner vision to see the deeper truth and purpose behind the falsehood and the ugliness in the world, we can bring about this change or evolution with a greater knowledge and understanding.
In the integral vision of Sri Aurobindo, we, humans, in our present condition is a half-baked, ignorant, weak and immature creature evolving towards spiritual maturity and perfection, which is within us. Similarly the world in which we live is also an unfinished creation progressing towards a divine goal. All the evil, falsehood and ugliness we see within or around are due to this weakness, imperfection and ignorance, further complicated or magnified by the dark forces of the world. But this is only a temporary phase and not a permanent feature of human life or the world; it is like a dark or tragic interlude in a long movie, which ultimately ends in light and joy. We and the world are evolving towards a progressive, and ultimately perfect, manifestation of truth, beauty and goodness in our inner being and outer life. Every human individual has or is given the opportunity to consciously participate in this evolution by progressively replacing the falsehood, ugliness or evil within him or her, and wherever possible in the world around, with truth, beauty and goodness.
Those individuals or communities who are able to do this evolutionary work with sincerity, persistence and creativity will be the leaders of the future world. And the mission of art and aesthetics is to lead the world from ugliness and disorder to beauty and harmony. [Kant and Kant]

Sheehan concluded that Heidegger's philosophy centers not on Being but rather on his early insight that our mortality is the source of all meaning. Sheehan explains, "Humans are characterized by the need to interpret everything they meet, and this need arises from our radical finitude, from what Heidegger called 'temporality.'"
In Sheehan's opinion, Heidegger shows us how to live authentically but then stops short. "Now what do I do?" Sheehan asks. "Do I become a Nazi – or read the pre-Socratics? He hasnothing to say about where one might go next. There's no ethics in Heidegger, and no meaningful political philosophy."

No comments:

Post a Comment