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29

 

in the above analogy; but the parallel will be very suggestive in understanding the driving force of evolution, which is not mechanical but teleological.

 

IDENTIFICATION WITH THE FORM:

 

The sanskaras are not only responsible for the evolution of the form (body) and the kind of consciousness connected with it, but they are also responsible for the riveting of consciousness to the phenomenal world. They make emancipation of consciousness (i.e., the withdrawal of consciousness from the phenomenal world to the soul itself) impossible at the sub-human stage and difficult at the human level. Since consciousness clings to the previous sanskaras, and since experience of the phenomenal world is conditioned by the use of an adequate form (body) as a medium, the soul, at eve ry stage of evolution, comes to identify itself with the form (for example, stone, metal, vegetable, animal, etc.). Thus the soul, which is, in reality, Infinite and Formless, comes to experience itself as finite, that is, thinks of itself as being a stone, or a metal or a vegetable, a worm or a fish, a bird or an animal. according to the degree of the development of consciousness; and finally, while experiencing the gross world through the human form, the soul thinks that it is a human being.

 

Re-incarnation and the Law of Karma:

 

The soul develops FULL consciousness in the human form, and therefore, there is no need for any further evolution of the gross form (body). The evolution of forms, therefore, comes to an end with the attainment of the human form; and to experience the sanskaras cultivated in the human form, the soul has to re-incarnate again and again in the human forms. The innumerable human forms, through which the soul has to pass, are determined by the Law of Karma, or the nature of its previous sanskaras, (i.e., according as the sanskaras are of virtue or vice, happiness or misery, etc.); and thus, while experiencing the gross world, the soul identifies itself with the gross body which is destructible, although, in reality, it (soul) is itself Eternal.

 

The Subtle and Mental Bodies:

 

While developing full consciousness of the gross world in the human form, the soul simultaneously develops the subtle and the mental bodies; but as long as its consciousness is confined to the gross world alone, it cannot

 

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