Sri Aurobindo cites the Vedic Rishi of Mandala X, Canto 129, verses 1-5 at the beginning of Chapter 25 of The Life Divine, titled The Knot of Matter: “Then existence was not nor non-existence, the mid-world was not nor the Ether nor what is beyond. What covered all? where was it? in whose refuge? what was that ocean dense and deep? Death was not nor immortality nor the knowledge of day and night. That One lived without breath by his self-law, there was nothing else nor aught beyond it. In the beginning Darkness was hidden by darkness, all this was an ocean of inconscience. When universal being was concealed by fragmentation, then by the greatness of its energy That One was born. That moved at first as desire within, which was the primal seed of mind. The seers of Truth discovered the building of being in non-being by will in the heart and by the thought; their ray was extended horizontally; but what was there below, what was there above? There were Casters of the seed, there were Greatnesses; there was self-law below, there was Will above.”

The Oneness of the creation is true, both in the vast material universe of space, and stars and planets, albeit in a state of unconsciousness, as well as in the awakened spiritual consciousness that encompasses the entire creation with full awareness. We see in the manifestation an evolution of consciousness out of the inconscience of the material universe to a status of differentiation of forms and the development of planes and layers of consciousness as the awareness grows and develops. The human stage is an intermediary one between ‘the first status of oneness which is unconscious, and the latter status of oneness which is full aware and conscious. This human stage embodies the sense of a multiplicity of forms and separation or fragmentation of consciousness into separate vessels of awareness. The oneness remains behind but is veiled by this sense of separateness, until such time as the being moves to a subsequent stage where the oneness and the multiplicity can coexist in awareness at the same time.

The Mother observes: “Indeed, the source was One, you see, and creation had to be manifold. And it must have represented quite a considerable labour to make this multiplicity conscious of being multiple.”

“And if one observes very attentively, if creation had kept the memory of its origin, it would perhaps never have become a diverse multiplicity. There would have been at the centre of each being the sense of perfect unity, and the diversity would — perhaps — never have been expressed.”

“Through the loss of memory of this unity began the possibility of becoming conscious of differences; and when one goes into the inconscient, at the other end, one falls back into a sort of unity that’s unconscious of itself, in which the diversity is as unexpressed as it is in the origin.”

“At both ends there is the same absence of diversity. In one case it is through a supreme consciousness of unity, in the other through a perfect unconsciousness of unity.”

“The fixity of form is the means by which individuality can be formed.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Chapter 6, Some Answers and Explanations, pg. 158

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 19 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.