A four-day online workshop was organised by NAMAH, The Journal of Integral Health, Sri Aurobindo Society from 11th to 14th December 2023 with an aspiration to explore the multiplicity of one’s personality by acknowledging and working through the complexity of human personality and recognising the clutches of ego-identification and bridging the totality of the being as an integral offering to the Inner Divinity.
The first session titled, ‘Acknowledging the Complexity of Human Nature’ opened with an exposition on the multiple identities of an individual and the role of effort and observation in dealing with the different aspects and developing ways to connect with the core. The need for balance between the past and the future by being rooted in the present was highlighted by the speaker and a great emphasis was laid on becoming aware of the forces behind the movements of the surface nature as we can get lost in the many complexities of the many forces at play, every force is an individual entity and has a certain characteristic which needs examination with the right attitude and respecting the pace of time. The space for expression through all the parts has its place. It is the misplacement that causes a lot of contradictions in an individual. The totality of the being is a divine formation beautifully designed for experience and expression; it is truly a beautiful arrangement. The session ended with an activity called the ‘whiteboard exercise’, where the participants were asked to visualise a board and work through the complexity of their nature by projecting it on the board and a short Q&A session.
The second session titled, ‘Appreciating the Purpose of Multiplicity’ opened with seeding the aspiration to connect with the harmony, mutuality, and collaboration in the experience and expression of multiplicity. The urge for progress and the need for a framework became the central theme of the session. The speaker also talked about the ‘interactive environment’ an individual experiences daily and how it holds so many multitudes. There are many interactions, collaborations, and exchanges that happen and many mini sub-frameworks are active simultaneously which need attention and purification for an integral development of the being. The session then proceeded with the speaker offering the participants a reflective space to contemplate on the story of their life and the narrative they hold. To live without a surface narrative requires a lot of Faith, certitude, and a constant connection with the Divine. One must aspire to put in the effort to learn to be empty and full simultaneously; empty of preferences and full of Divinity and constantly work on developing an Integral Lens to view the world. The session further went into the exploration of the nature of conflicts within the being and ways to handle them. In the end, a short reflection was done on a quote by Sri Aurobindo on Being and Becoming.
The third session titled, ‘Addressing the Need for Oneness’ focused on the importance of silence and the need to connect with the essence of one’s core. The essence is held by the Force, and the intention is carried in the Force, as the form also collaborates, it is touched by the richness of the deeper experience of the Force and is guided in its action. The speaker shared various practices one can follow to connect with the inner being and the need and importance of collaboration of all the parts of the being to reach the oneness within. Understanding one’s surface nature and preparing it to turn inwards is a journey in itself and as one keeps moving dynamically from the inside to the outside and back in, one begins to experience a conscious sense of the simultaneity coming into existence. As the central point of the being can come forward and guide the effort more, the elements of knowledge, emotions, life force, and the physical contribute more and grow in their abilities and fulfilment. The session proceeded with a guided mediation and an activity; ‘A Roughly Constituted Chaos’ where the participants were asked to reflect on the shared keywords and design their path to reach the sense of oneness they experienced within. The session ended with a reflection on a few quotes by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and a round of Q&A session.
The fourth session titled, ‘Action Plan: The Journey Ahead’ started with a visualising exercise where the various complexities of the being were seen as steps leading to the Divine. Integral Yoga, as the Yoga of the future was discussed and how the journey within has an inherent sense of movement; always towards the Goal, always marching ahead. One needs to keep offering whatever one is experiencing simultaneously at different levels of the being. The speaker emphasised on the need to develop an integral toolbox on the path of self-discovery, which has tools in alignment with one’s nature and enables the progressive collaboration of all parts of the being in working towards discovering the oneness within. Keeping one’s receptors for progress in good shape; and nurturing them on the journey to collaborate in the deeper domains, in the subjective realms, for the higher inspirations requires a lot of inner work. In silence, one begins to understand and appreciate the action in the subjective domain and as one grows in the quality and understanding of the inner mechanisms, one is also able to breeze through the world as the Light within holds and guides the action more and more comprehensively. The speaker then further elaborated on the need and importance of conscious engagement with the world and developing a deeper experiential understanding of the graph of human existence which has its highs and lows, but it’s the joy of becoming in the Divine Light that keeps one going. The session ended with a collective meditation on a few quotes and the poem titled The Little Ego by Sri Aurobindo.
This four-day exploration created a space of a subjective exploration for the participants, to take a deep dive into their own being and examine their old narrative in the light of newness. To develop in oneself a capacity of sincere effort to connect with the force behind every experience and align more and more with the innate sense of Oneness. Respecting the progressive unfolding of the Light within through the collaborative effort of the surface nature in alignment with the pace of time was the underlying theme of all the sessions.
Multiplicity is unity extended in its possibility;
unity is multiplicity self-gathered into its essence.
-- Sri Aurobindo
“Thank you Aditi and James for such invaluable insights. This workshop has definitely illuminated my understanding, bringing a profound sense of clarity.
“What I take back is how I can work on collaboration of the different parts of my being instead of rejecting it.
“Also would really appreciate if we can have follow-up sessions/workshop in future.”
“Articulation of inner experiences was done in a very relatable way.