Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation

Track Running Geography of the Spirit

Geography of the Spirit

The in most being that is the psychic being; then the spiritual the higher; that is Purusha–Prakriti, Brahman–Maya, Ishwara–Shakti, the highest Purushottama: Supermind. In this geography of the spirit there are three more details to be filled up. When we have experience of Purusha–Prakriti, Prakriti is experienced as separate from Purusha, and Prakriti is seen to be characterised by three Gunas: sattwa, rajas and tamas, or it is characterised by three instruments: body, life and mind. When Brahman–Maya experience is obtained then Maya and all the movement is found to be proceeding from the Brahman, and that which proceeds is largely experienced as consisting of sattwa, rajas, tamas, body, life and mind. But not merely that there is found to be in this Maya the origin of sattwa, rajas and tamas, something more than sattwa, rajas, and tamas, something divine in character, not merely sattwa, rajas and tamas, not merely body, life and mind but something more than that. It may also be called the divine Maya. When we come to Ishwara–Shakti, then this Shakti is experienced not only as sattwa, rajas and tamas, body, life and mind, not only as something divine but much more clearly as consisting of higher degrees of mental consciousness, something which is not confined merely to sattwa, rajas and taynas. Certain greater domains of Shakti become manifest, we begin to approach what may be called Para Prakriti. Sri Krishna says, in the seventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: "I have two natures, Apara Prakriti and Para Prakriti, I have lower nature which consists of the three Gunas but I have also the higher nature" This higher nature begins to become more and more manifest. In the realm of Shaktis there are innumerable powers which are not confined to the narrowness of sattwa, rajas and tamas or of body, life and mind. There are higher degrees of powers, energies, effectivities which are to be found. Sri Aurobindo distinguishes four of these levels of powers: Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive mind and Overmind. Each one has a specific kind of capacity and power not confined to the limits of mind, of the ordinary mind of which we are aware. And when we come to experience Purushottama – Supermind, then this Shakti reveals its topmost power of the Supermind, which is above the Overmind. Supermind is Shakti but not overmental, it is supramental Shakti, There is a distinction between the Overmind and Supermind, we shall have some chance of looking at this later on, at the moment we only see that there is a distinction between Overmind and Supermind. This is one important element which I wanted to fill in, in this picture of the totality of our existence.

There is another detail. This is a detail which becomes more manifest when we experience Ishwara–Shakti. This does not become manifest when we have the mere experience of Purusha or Brahman, it becomes manifest when we have Ishwara–Shakti experience. This is the experience of Jivatman. In Purusha consciousness you are not aware of Jivatman as a child of God, even when in Purusha consciousness you know yourself as individual, you recognise yourself only as an individual witness of Prakriti but not as a child or portion of the Divine, Supreme Divine, Ishwara or Shakti. In Brahman–Maya, there is only the experience of the Self which is All and All that is Self and the Self that is above All. There is no experience of the Jivatman, of the individual self. But when you experience the Ishwara–Shakti you have this deeper perception, you discover that what you call yourself is actually something quite different from the body, life and mind, something quite different from what you call yourself as ego. You find yourself to be a finite but not egoistic. There is a difference between the Jivatman which is finite and individual, and the ego which is also finite and individual. The ego is a finite which regards itself to be independent of everything. It regards itself to be self existent, although it is not so. Because it is not so and yet it regards itself, we call it a false ego consciousness. All ego consciousness is a false consciousness because although it believes it is independent of everything, it is not independent of everything. In the case of Jivatman, it is a finite which knows itself to be completely dependent upon Ishwara and Shakti, not independent but completely dependent. That is why when you realise the Jivatman, the egoistic consciousness which was false is destroyed, it cannot survive. Every mistake when it is recognised as a mistake is cancelled out. This is the nature of every mistake. The moment you recognise a mistake as a mistake, it is annulled, it cannot remain there. So the moment the individual recognises that it is not independent, it is not self existent, but it is entirely dependent upon Ishwara–Shakti and it knows itself, it realises itself to be the child of the Divine father and the Divine mother, when this recognition comes then egoism is destroyed. A continuous dependence upon Ishwara–Shakti is a constant experience of Jivatman.

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