Sri Aurobindo's - 'The Life Divine' - The Human Aspiration - Chapter I

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 206

You know, there is a story of Sri Ramakrishna. He wanted to have a real perception of Divine Mother, of Kali, and he was making a lot of effort, but he was not succeeding. So one day he decided and told Kali: "If you do not appear before me, I shall cut off my head." Such a tremendous revolution in his being! "Why should I not see Kali? If she is there I should be able to see her!" Now this is a revolutionary individual effort. Not to be recommended, but sometimes desperation is so great, if your aspiration is so great that you can say: "All right now, do or die! Either I have it or I don't want to exist. What is all this." Then a revolution comes into your being and by revolutionary effort you may have this experience. Or else, by evolutionary general progression of mankind. Grow gradually, as humanity develops more and more, we should also benefit from it gradually and have this experience more easily. So these are the two methods by which you can have this experience.

So now let us repeat the whole argument: These persistent ideals are a contradiction of our ordinary experience, but they are affirmation of higher experiences, deeper experiences which can come to you either by revolutionary individual effort or by evolutionary general progression of mankind. It is a very simple statement. These ideals are a contradiction if you are only looking at ordinary experience, if these are your only data, then from those data you will say: All this is nonsense, talking of God or Light. Show me where is He? So we agree that if you limit yourself only to your present blindness, then you will contradict what I am saying that there are ideals of God, Light, Freedom, Immortality. But against it I give another argument, that they are affirmed at another level of deeper experiences. So something which is affirmed at one level, something else that is affirmed at another level and when you put them side by side it is called a dialectical argument. Something that is stated at one level and something that is stated at another level and you compare them by relationship of negation and affirmation is called a dialectical argument. That is to say, if you want to examine it very logically, the usual form of a dialectical argument is the following: if you limit yourself to ordinary experience the conclusion is denial of these ideals of God, Light, Freedom, Immortality. This is the first statement, if you limit yourself. It starts with if. All dialectical arguments can more easily to be seen to be dialectical if you put in this form. If you limit yourself to the ordinary level of experience, then the experience of God, Light, Freedom and Immortality will be contradictory – negation. If you enter into deeper and higher experiences, then the conclusion is you will affirm God, Light, Freedom and Immortality. You have as a result, if you start with one proposition, one consequence, if you start with another proposition you will arrive at another proposition, and both of them will be contradictory of each other.

One of the very simple dialectical arguments is: "If reality is one, it cannot be many. If reality is many it cannot be one." A proposition from which you derive a thesis, another proposition from which you derive antithesis. You are able to derive a thesis and an antithesis which impels you to find something which will synthesise. So, thesis, antithesis and synthesis, any argument which takes this form is called a dialectical argument. Normally you will find in human thought whenever it examines data, there is a tendency to arrive at a thesis, to contrast it with antithesis and then to be impelled to derive a synthesis. This is one of the best ways of educating young people. If you want to develop the thought power of individuals always give them statements from where they will derive a conclusion, then give another statement so they will derive another conclusion, then you will find that both are opposed to each other and you ask how to synthesise. This whole paragraph is actually a dialectical argument. We have read only the four lines, but if read in detail, the whole paragraph is a dialectical argument.

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