Changing Dimensions of Consciousness

  • In reading The Life Divine, we know it is best understood when read from a consciousness meant for it.

  • What is that consciousness? How can we describe it?

  • The Mother said in The Agenda that the transformation of the physical substance in Her made Her feel like howling all the time. Therefore, She said She would not recommend this yoga to anyone. When Her physical consciousness was being transformed, She said She was on fire all the time. She then understood that Sri Aurobindo was in that terrible state all the time while he was alive but never spoke of it. Mother said tears came to Her eyes thinking of it.

  • The physical transformation necessarily needs illness.

  • Now, at least, we know what it is at the physical level.

  • Let us conceive what it will he like at the vital, mental level.

  • We know social consciousness and physiological consciousness also are to be overcome or transformed. Presently they are not more than mental concepts. It is helpful to know how the emotions and sensations of those concepts feel inside us.

  • We know how parents in the USA now respond to the freedom in their children. What they felt in 1960 was a very mild example of changing social consciousness.

  • In a period 100 years apart, we can imagine the trauma of parents. Suppose a hundred years ago parents met with the present behaviour of children or husbands their wives’ attitudes, what amount of mental turmoil would have been there is possible to guess.

  • Mother who asked for the abolition of property, inheritance and marriage would want us sadhaks to accept it mentally and vitally.

  • Even in the mind today it is a revolution that all cannot easily endorse. Extend it to the vital, if not the physical. It is quite a change.

  • Inside a company, a family, with a spouse we see how our self-interest is a close preserve. Imagine the employer who enjoys the higher commissions his sales people receive out of higher sales. That employer who really feels the joy of his men earning more does cross the usual selfish dimension of emotion not into selflessness but steps out of his crude blind selfishness.

  • Below is a list of ordinary human attitudes and the corresponding attitudes of Mother.

    • Man wants to earn more without his salesmen getting higher commission.
      Mother would expect him to enjoy the higher income of his sales people.

    • Competition with colleagues, brothers and sisters, etc.
      Genuine happy co-operation with all of them.

    • Resort to lies, or at least dubious statements at times of crisis.
      Utter truthfulness.

    • Man shrinks at others’ prosperity.
      Man flowers at others’ prosperity or works for it.

    • Shrinking from work.
      Loves work, work energises.

    • Suspicions of others’ motives.
      Unsuspecting trust.

    • Trusts one’s own understanding.
      Trusts everyone who needs to be trusted.

    • Speak or think meanly of others.
      Think highly of others and speak it out.

    To someone who tries a little here or completes the list to be followed, The Life Divine will be less difficult.

  • Yoga will be complete when the physical consciousness and physical substance are transformed. That is not where we are.

  • What is relevant to us is where we are.

  • Social consciousness, ethical consciousness, moral consciousness, and particularly ego consciousness are what matters to us.

  • Another thing that touches us is personal consciousness.

  • Let us consider a few practical instances to make these changes more real to us.

  • The style of dress changes from ordinary trousers to one with pleats. Most people switch over to the new style, some do not. Here there is no legal pressure or even social pressure. But there is an inner urge to conform. He is one who is weak in his social consciousness who would feel comfortable only when he is with the majority.

  • In India, a boy or girl is under real social pressure to marry, as well as take employment. He may have no inclination to marry, but to withstand the pressure of society to marry is not possible for all. A person may have enough income and may need no employment. But the pressure of society is real. To such a person ‘contradictions are complements’ will always remain a riddle. He will have no intellectual ability to understand such an idea until the society accepts it. He has the social consciousness and its understanding, irrespective of his own native intelligence. Neither the logic of the infinite nor quantity is an illusion will sufficiently explain to him. To him a rich man will be a wise man or even a good man as society finds him so.

  • The Life Divine does not cater to social intelligence or to moral intelligence, but it does so to pure intelligence unencumbered by such fetters. Academic intelligence is made free from these inhibitions.

  • Indians believe in Karma, Christians in heaven and hell. Apart from the religious training there is the moral, ethical consciousness in man which has responded to such religious training. Such a person abhors evil. When Sri Aurobindo says that the dominant instinct of the vital is to reject pain, the idea does not communicate to him, as his own ethical consciousness stands in the way.

  • In order to see the value of self-education outside the educational system, one should have overcome social consciousness.

  • To see a cat destroying its weak offspring will jar on his moral sensitivity. For him to conceive that one whose soul has outlived the usefulness of its body at a young age has decided to leave is an outrage on his physical sensitivity. His very body will react and copiously release physical emotions of violent sorrow.

  • To look at the ideas of The Life Divine that defy our understanding and discover which consciousness in us and which sensitivity in our own psychology is offended is a fruitful exercise in comprehension.

  • Sri Aurobindo says consciousness will yield the answer we fail to get from intellect. To a sentimental intellect, this will make no sense and be a blank.

  • Sri Aurobindo adores the feet of the criminal and harlot. Not only to moral sensitivity but to psychological consciousness this will be revolting. Revolting or not, the concept will elude them.

  • That the infinite is undiminishing is not a reality people with practical minds will bring to experience. When they does so, what gives way is the materiality in their consciousness.

  • Face to face with these statements, one has a rich field of consciousness inquiry which when undertaken successfully will help reverse one’s consciousness, thus opening new dimensions of comprehension.

Some Landmarks in the BOOK.

  1. Taste of Ignorance is over.
    The best of men cannot see the reality of this statement in his emotional comprehension, leave alone in his physical sensation, as man is unconscious of his existence or its taste.

  2. ‘Spirit will move Matter’ remains incomprehensible. Spirit to us is an idea. The Spirit that moves Matter is the physical substance, the inversion of Sat. Man is in the mind, often in the vital. This statement is far from real.

  3. Shifting to the inner leads to instantaneous miraculousness. Here one shifts from Time to Simultaneity. Man is inside Time, dominated by Time consciousness.

  4. Simultaneous integrality of Time-eternity and Timeless eternity can reveal itself only when one begins to be outside Time. We are now inside Time, as we are dominated by ego consciousness.

  5. Maya declares ‘Let it be so’ and it comes to pass. This is pure miracle. Man is unwilling to give credence to it. It will be clear to him when the occult process reveals to him.

  6. Desire is incapacity. Man sees his desire as his capacity.

  7. Divine body. Man who concedes Divine Mind is chagrined by the very concept of a Divine body. Sri Aurobindo modifies the phrase to divinised body and pleads for an extension of the concept from mind to the body.

  8. As gods are lost in their splendours and animals are satisfied with a modicum, Man is saturated with the enjoyment of what he has.

  9. The subliminal compels the surface to seek what the surface loathes as it is what the subliminal enjoys. This is like our seeing the Sun going round the earth.

  10. Real-Idea is a vibration of the Being, by which Supermind creates. Real-Idea combined knowledge and will in a state of fusion. Our mind where they are separate must appreciate their fusion.