When we look at existence from the individual standpoint, we see a number of solid forms interacting with one another. We do not see how they came into existence (other than the physical, material, practical methodology we can observe, which fails to give us the causative factors or significance.) We do not see the forces that play through each of these forms, and we experience most of our life as originating within each form ‘somehow’. This view is unfortunately so limited and framed as to prevent us from gaining a complete or true understanding of existence.

In the Taittiriya Upanishad, a young seeker was instructed to practice concentration of thought. He began with the idea of the material, physical nature being the basis of things, but as he carried out his concentration, he eventually recognised that Matter is dependent on Prana, or the Life-Force, for its existence, and in turn, the Life-Force is dependent on Mind, and then in turn, comes the “causal plane” of existence, which itself eventuates from the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss in an ultimate realisation.

Western science has been following a similar curve of enlightenment. Scientists now recognise that Matter is a condensed form of energy. All forms are developed through some intelligence that utilizes certain principles and rules to create and operate the interaction of all physical forms and forces. Now scientists, as they push into the quantum world, are beginning to recognise that there is consciousness that stands behind and acts as the original power that develops all the forces and forms of mind, life and the physical reality of the universe. The forms are created through various expressions of what we call ‘radiation”, the streaming of energy, which is identified as a wave-form until it is actually ‘observed’ at which time it is perceived as a ‘point’. Thus, everything in the universe is apparently capable of being seen both as a wave and as a particle.

While it is easiest for us to observe these things at the physical level, it is also true that a similar process works on the vital, mental and spiritual levels of existence. The more subtle levels tend to be closer to the causative plane, while the denser levels are the result of that causative action.

Turning then to the individual forms and beings in the world, we begin to appreciate that they are the result, not the cause, and that they are reception and transmission points, a nexus, for the movement and expression of these waves of consciousness and the creative energy that arises from that consciousness to create the universe and its virtually endless forms and interactions.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “… they [cosmic forces] move in masses, waves, currents constantly constituting and reconstituting beings and objects, movements and happenings, entering into them, passing through them, forming themselves in them, throwing themselves out from them on other beings and objects. Each natural individual is a receptacle of these cosmic forces and a dynamo for their propagation; there passes from each to each a constant stream of mental and vital energies, and these run too in cosmic waves and currents no less than the forces of physical Nature. All this action is veiled from our surface mind’s direct sense and knowledge, but it is known and felt by the inner being, though only through a direct contact; when the being enters into the cosmic consciousness, it is still more widely, inclusively, intimately aware of this play of cosmic forces.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 4 Cosmic and Universal Forces, pg. 82

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast located at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky
He is author of 20 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.
Video presentations, interviews and podcast episodes are all available on the YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/@santoshkrinsky871
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at www.aurobindo.net
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press www.lotuspress.com