Cultural values tend to vary across countries, civilizations and time. This frequently creates confusion as to which actions are spiritual in nature. Those who are raised in traditional societies prefer to conform to some ancient norms while those who are raised in secular societies tend to propound a freewheeling lifestyle. Furthermore, in the frenetic pace of life, it is difficult to distinguish the activities which please the surface personality from the activities which bring deeper joy to the soul. Which movies to watch? Which music to listen to? Which books to read? Which friends are better? The discernment required to choose correctly is often lacking because that discernment itself may not develop until one has advanced in Yoga. Often, it takes an epiphany to awaken and correct oneself after having gone down some wrong path.
The ordinary human mind has a propensity for exaggerating one side of the Truth and ignoring the other. Those who are benevolent by nature tend to prescribe compassion to solve every problem while those who are endowed with dynamism advocate taking action in every instance. Likewise, some theorize aiding the businessmen and letting the poor uplift themselves while others suggest helping the poor and letting the businessmen take care of themselves. One of the pleasures of reading Sri Aurobindo’s works is that such contradictions do not exist because he traces every contradiction to its Divine origin and reconciles it as part of a larger Truth. He explicates how every principle has it’s play in a certain context but if we over-generalize , then it loses its value. This article outlines some oppositions resolved by Sri Aurobindo. Continue reading
Sri Aurobindo identified three trajectories of the higher mind (Buddhi) – ethical, logical and aesthetic. The ethical mind is concerned with distinguishing right and good, the logical mind seen in scientists is concerned with reasoning while the aesthetic mind seen in artists is in pursuit of beauty in nature. This is a short note on the origin, perfection and conflicts created by these three trajectories of the mind.