Philosophy and Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and other Essays

YOGA, CONSCIOUSNESS AND HUMAN FULFILMENT

I

Man has been in search of himself through the  ages, and yet, he remains a mystery. But among all the elements of his mystery, the most conspicuous is the phenomenon of his consciousness. What is, after all, consciousness? In this immense universe of Matter, which is or which appears to be unconscious, how does this consciousness emerge? Is consciousness entirely alien to Matter? Are they in any way related to each other? Is that relation merely external? Or is it internal? Again, is consciousness identical with what we mean by Mind? Or, is Mind itself a certain degree or kind of consciousness? And, as we begin to examine closely our own being, we are baffled by the interaction between the body and the mind, between the unconscious and the conscious. And still further, as we fathom into the possibilities of the extension of consciousness, the immensities and heights of the planes and levels of our being overwhelm us. We begin to ask, What is man's beginning and what is his end?' Indeed, the mystery of Man seems essentially to be the mystery of consciousness.

Philosophers and psychologists have attempted to pierce through this mystery, and we have before us several speculations, hypotheses, conclusions, several claims, dogmas, faiths, and several doubts, disbeliefs and denials. To the seeker of knowledge, to the scientists of the unknown, to the worshippers of light, all these are of immense

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