Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12

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So let us read.

 “When we withdraw our gaze from its egoistic preoccupation with limited and fleeting interests and look upon the world with dispassionate and curious eyes that search only for the Truth, our first result is the perception of a boundless energy of infinite existence, infinite movement, infinite activity pouring itself out in limitless Space, in eternal Time, an existence that surpasses infinitely our ego or any ego or any collectivity of egos, in whose balance the grandiose products of aeons are but the dust of a moment and in whose incalculable sum numberless myriads count only as a petty swarm. We instinctively act and feel and weave our life thoughts as if this stupendous world movement were at work around us as centre and for our benefit, for our help or harm, or as if the justification of our egoistic cravings, emotions, ideas, standards were its proper business even as they are our own chief concern. When we begin to see, we perceive that it exists for itself, not for us, has its own gigantic aims, its own complex and boundless idea, its own vast desire or delight that it seeks to fulfil, its own immense and formidable standards which look down as if with an indulgent and ironic smile at the pettiness of ours. And yet let us not swing over to the other extreme and form too positive an idea of our own insignificance. That too would be an act of ignorance and the shutting of our eyes to the great facts of the universe.

For this boundless Movement does not regard us as unimportant to it. Science reveals to us how minute is the care, how cunning the device, how intense the absorption it bestows upon the smallest of its works even as on the largest. This mighty energy is an equal and impartial mother, samam brahma, in the great term of the Gita, and its intensity and force of movement is the same in the formation and upholding of a system of suns and the organisation of the life of an ant–hill. It is the illusion of size, of quantity that induces us to look on the one as great, the other as petty. If we look, on the contrary, not at mass of quantity but force of quality, we shall say that the ant is greater than the solar system it inhabits and man greater than all inanimate Nature put together. But this again is the illusion of quality. When we go behind and examine only the intensity of the movement of which quality and quantity are aspects, we realise that this Brahman dwells equally in all existences. Equally partaken of by all in its being, we are tempted to say, equally distributed to all in its energy. But this too is an illusion of quantity. Brahman dwells in all, indivisible, yet as if divided and distributed. If we look again with an observing perception not dominated by intellectual concepts, but informed by intuition and culminating in knowledge by identity, we shall see that the consciousness of this infinite Energy is other than our mental consciousness, that it is indivisible and gives, not an equal part of itself, but its whole self at one and the same time to the solar system and to the ant–hill. To Brahman there are no whole and parts, but each thing is all itself and benefits by the whole of Brahman. Quality and quantity differ, the self is equal. The form and manner and result of the force of action vary infinitely, but the eternal, primal, infinite energy is the same in all. The force of strength that goes to make the strong man is no whit greater than the force of weakness that goes to make the weak. The energy spent is as great in repression as in expression, in negation as in affirmation, in silence as in sound.”

As I told you when you were discussing the question of time, we say first of all, time appears to us be succession of moments. Succession of moments implies before and after. All succession means that there was one moment which was before and the other moment which was after, therefore, there is a division between the before and the after. So succession of moments seems to us to be a movement of division. Then we saw that behind it there is duration which is in itself not divided. A duration is not something which is itself divided because it includes both present, past and future – all these three movements but it is capable of being divided according to convenience of our consciousness. Now, when we say it is convenience to our consciousness, it means it is not really divided. It depends on the convenience, so therefore, although it is in itself undivided, it is capable of being divided according to our convenience and even when you divide it, it is not really divided. When I say this happened before and this happened after, it is your convenience of consciousness. As you I told you, if you take a historical view, then this lecture which is going on is in one continuous present. If you take 50 years to be one division of time and all that happens in 50 years is one moment, is all present, therefore, in itself the time is not divided. According to convenience it is distributed and then we went beyond the duration and we said that there is a Reality which is beyond time; there the question of division does not arise at all. Now that which is not at all capable of being divided is the real Reality. It is the ground of all this, therefore, it indivisible in itself, which creates a ground of  duration, which you can divide according to your convenience but therefore it is not divided in itself, it appears to be distributed but not divided.

Question: The thing that there is really no past, present, and future in one can go back by way of consciousness. By way of consciousness one remembers the past, so that means past at least exists so far as consciousness is there. It means that it is still there, it is not past. It is one moment.”

Answer: Absolutely, it is one moment. There is a perception in which you call past is not past. It is present. That is what Rishi’s consciousness says, nothing is lost. There was a very interesting statement of the Mother… These powers of consciousness are infinite and you can even relive the past, you can even change the past which has already occurred. If time is ever–present moment effect can also be changed.

So in any case, then time looks from this point of view to be an ever new moment. An expression which Sri Aurobindo used in this very chapter is an ever new moment, a duration which is an ever new moment so that is an expression we shall come to later on.

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