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infinite but of the finite: not of the Eternal but of the transitory. Thus, the soul, instead of realizing the Over-soul, gets itself involved in the cosmic illusion, and hence, though really Infinite, it comes to experience itself as finite. In other words, when the soul develops consciousness, it does not become conscious of its own true nature but of the phenomenal world which is its own shadow.

 

The Organic Evolution and Degrees of Consciousness:

 

In order to become conscious of the phenomenal world, the soul must assume some form (as its medium) for experiencing the world; and the degree and the kind of consciousness are determined by the nature of the form which is used as a medium. The soul first becomes conscious of the gross world by assuming a gross body. The consciousness of the gross world which it has in the beginning is of the most partial and rudimentary type; and correspondingly, the soul assumes the most undeveloped form (e.g., that of stone), with which evolution begins. The driving force of evolution is constituted by the momentum which consciousness receives owing to the conservations of the impressions (sanskaras) left by diverse desires or conations. Thus the sanskaras cultivated in a particular form have to be worked out and fulfilled through the medium of a higher form and a correspondingly more developed consciousness of the gross world; and the soul, therefore, has to assume higher and higher forms (like metal, vegetable, worm, fish, bird and animal) until at last it assumes a human form, in which it develops FULL CONSCIOUSNESS (i.e., all the aspects of knowing, feeling and willing) of the gross world.

 

The Driving Force of Evolution:

 

The manner in which sanskaras result in the evolution of consciousness and the corresponding form has a useful analogy in ordinary experience. If a man has the desire to act the part of a king on the stage, he can only experience it by actually putting on the garb of a king and going to the stage. The same is the case with other aspirations and desires, which can only be worked out and fulfilled by bringing about an actual change in the entire situation and the medium, through which the situation can be adequately experienced. The function of the sanskaras in bringing about the evolution of consciousness and its corresponding form is not conscious as

 

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