The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo: The Destiny of the Individual

This post has my personal notes and reflections of the chapter called The Destiny of the Individual from The Life Divine written  by Sri Aurobindo.

Only One exists. The name that we call This does not matter. Whether we call it God, Divine, Krishna, Omnipresent Reality or Brahman, it does not matter. Brahman is the One besides whom there is nothing existent. Everything that exists is Brahman.

This is however not definable. There is no experience that can limit it, no conception that can define it. The moment we try to define it, we have corrupted it and have divided the Indivisible. Ominpresence, Omniscience and Omnipotence as well as Non-being; Sat-Chit-Ananda as well as Asat is all That. Both Vidya and Avidya are Brahman. We do not reject anything. If we think that Avidya is the field and Vidya is the torchlight and we get rid of Avidya, we have become blinded by the torchlight and hence cannot see the field anymore.

To know God really, it must know Him everywhere equally and without distinction, considering and valuing but not mastered by the oppositions through which He shines.

We do not accept that the One is the reality and the Many is illusion. We accept that both the One and the Many is the reality and the aim is see One in Many and see how the Many is still the One. We do not accept any limiting view of what is Truth and what is Falsehood, for everything is Truth. However we accept that Form and Matter and for that matter, anything that exists are not self-existent realities separate from the Divine.

The aim is to fulfil God in life. Not by rejecting anything but by transforming everything into Divine. The physical, the  mental and the spiritual all have to be accepted if we want to fulfil the Divine integrally and satisfy the Divine fully.

Not to abandon the lower to itself, but to transfigure it in the light of the higher to which we have attained, is true divinity of nature. Brahman is integral and unifies many states of consciousness at a time; we also, manifesting the nature of Brahman, should become integral and all-embracing.

Life is the relation between three forms of consciousness: the individual, the universal and the transcendental. The transcendental is what we call as God. Many times we think that the Transcendental is what is True and the aim to get away from the individual life and the universe and merge into the Transcendental.

What we need to realise is that the individual is a centre of the universal and the universal is a form of the Divine and the Divine manifests through the individual and the universal. If this is the Truth, then the illumined individual in an illumined world is the goal and not the escape from a world of darkness, death and suffering as propounded by many religions.

We must accept the many-sidedness of the manifestation while asserting the unity of the manifested. The Divine in this world becomes the subconscious, conscious and superconscious. The subconscious is not aware of the oneness, the conscient can become aware of the oneness, the oneness with the universal and the oneness with the Transcendent. The point at which the ego becomes aware of the Oneness is the turning point where the Divine become manifested in the Many. The perception of unity is not only with the Transcendent but also with other points in the Multiplicity. Therefore when One becomes liberated, this becomes contagious and cannot stop until everyone is liberated. Was this what Buddha was referring to when he said: never to make the irrevocable crossing so long as there was a single being upon earth undelivered from the knot of the suffering, from the bondage of the ego?

Liberty pursued by exclusion of the thing exceeded leads along the path of negation to the refusal of that which God has accepted. Activity pursued by absorption in the act and the energy leads to an inferior affirmation and the denial of the Highest. While God combines and synthesises, why should we not do the same?

Through the Multiplicity we have to attain to the Unity and then express that Unity again in the Multiplicity. We invade mortality with the immortal beatitude and become luminous centres of its conscious self-expression in humanity.