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Document Details :
Title: Becoming what we Know - Dynamics of Integral Transformation in the Spirituality of Sri Aurobindo
Author(s): EDWARDS, Felicity
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 13 Date: 2003
One of the key questions in the study of spirituality is, ‘How do we become what we know?’ This paper presents some aspects of the answer given by Sri Aurobindo, onetime freedom fighter, who pioneered, described and mapped the dynamics of spiritual transformation as he experienced it. His spirituality is integral in that it involves the whole of life and in that one of its central principles is the integration of the lower in the higher in the process of the transformation of all levels of the person, including the body, to their highest divine-human potential. He speaks of the unfolding and development of integral spiritual consciousness through what he calls ‘the triple Transformation’.
The breakthrough in transformation beyond cognitive, theoretical formulations is related ontologically to the nature of reality as it is, in all its parts and planes. Certain aspects of the interpretation of contemporary quantum physics may be seen to coincide with aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s findings. Transformation depends on the descent of the Divine and requires of us effort, faith and ever increasingly complete surrender to God. The central section of the paper relates Sri Aurobindo’s four main types of experience of God to his knowledge of the Divine as transcendent, cosmic and personal, and to the dynamics of transformation. The last section looks at some aspects of the interrelationships between ontology, epistemology and transformation – in Sri Aurobindo’s words, ‘the method of God in the world’.