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

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 303

And when in 1917 (or even before in 1905) the Russian Revolution broke out and Lenin emerged as a great leader of this revolution, this was the ideal. It was the proletariat revolting against the capitalists, against the bourgeoisie, throwing down the bourgeoisie, including the Tsar who was at that time ruling Russia. All were thrown out and the proletariat became the masters. Lenin represented the proletariat and became the ruler. It was the rule in the name of the proletariat. And the idea was, that soon a time would come when equality would be achieved everywhere, class struggle would cease. There would be synthesis. There would be no class struggle, all would be equal and the State would wither away. Now this was the vision put forward when the Russian Revolution broke out. It is that vision which inspired many many people all over the world. That was the real appeal to common people who wanted to see that they are not trampled under the feet of the capitalists. And they were waiting for that bright day when the State would wither away.

But in 1990 it was found that this was not happening and this will not happen. You have heard the name of Gorbachev. He was at that time the President of Soviet Union and he, as it were, pulled back. It became clear that the State instead of withering away had become even stronger. The heavy hand of the State became so strong that the freedom of individuals was strangulated thoroughly, and when individual freedom is strangulated the motive to work becomes extremely feeble, and if you don't have motive to work who will produce? And when there is not enough production, then people begin to rise in revolt. And that is what happened in Soviet Union, the entire state, which had become very powerful, began to be dismantled. Even in the Soviet Union, the whole Union broke down.

So the idea of thesis, antithesis entering into a synthesis did not work out. Of course, there are many thinkers who believe that the present stage is only a stage, the dream is not to be given up, a time will come again when the state will wither away. But what are the condition under which the state can wither away really, that is a very big question mark in the history of mankind today. This is one of the reasons why the theory of the dialectical movement has been questioned.

Dialectical movement as described by Hegel and by Marx in such neat terms – thesis, antithesis, synthesis – does not seem to work out thoroughly well. And yet it is to be admitted, there is something like a dialectical movement. It may not be as neat as described by Hegel and Marx but there is something in the world, in the movement of the world, there is such a movement that would answer to the dialectical movement. What is its truth? What is that truth which answers to this idea of dialectical, even though the dialectical idea may not has been fully manifested – even if you find that it does not follow that rhythm all the time – there is something in the world which answers to it.

It is when you read this paragraph – this was the introduction to the second paragraph – when you read the second paragraph of the first chapter of The Life Divine, that you begin to hear what the real truth is behind the dialectical movement. Somehow the world itself as it has manifested seems to have taken a decision to move in a particular rhythm. You know in India we have a concept of the world as a dance of Shiva. Every dance has a rhythm, so if you know that rhythm you can predict as to what will be the next step of the dance. In India it was found that this world follows the rhythm of the dance of Shiva. That rhythm could have been different also, it is not that this it the only rhythm possible. According to the Indian concept Shiva is not so limited that he must dance only in one way and there are no other ways of dancing. While starting this particular dance of which we are a part, this dance has taken a special kind of rhythm, out of many kinds of rhythms. That rhythm is that Shiva himself, the Supreme Himself – the Real, the Concrete, in the terms of Hegel –, decided that his very first rhythm would be to manifest his exact opposite. This is the decision taken by Shiva, in this particular dance movement; the first step of manifestation of the dance will be his exact opposite. If it is a thesis the next step will be the antithesis. Because of this decision, in the whole world movement you find an answer to the idea of dialectic. If this decision was not taken by Shiva there would be no dialectic at all. It could have been another method of dancing. But in this particular dance a decision has been taken that the very first movement will be exactly the opposite.

So if the reality is superconscient then the next step will be inconscient. And this is what has happened in this world. Now, that being the fact, our human mind follows the same kind of rhythm. Because human mind is nothing but the movement of the dance of Shiva. If you conceive a huge dance of Shiva then all our minds are actually rhythms of the mind of Shiva. Our minds also move in the same way. That is why our human reason follows the dialectical movement. And what happens? Our thinking is of such a nature, it dwells upon one set of facts. That is we might say the decision of the movement of the dance, that your mind will set itself upon one set of facts. It is very difficult for the human mind to see everything in a global manner. Whenever it starts thinking, it starts thinking by concentrating upon one set of facts and it dwells upon it tremendously, first. It is with difficulty that you draw out of it and make it aware of another set. And when it sees the other set it moves just to the opposite. That is why our human mind has a dialectical movement. We are not able to see all the facts at once; if we could then dialectical movement will not be necessary. Philosophy takes birth in this movement of mind. If our mind were not of this kind, philosophy would not arise at all. We would see everything at once and there would be no need of argument, no need of dialectical, nothing at all. We would see all the things at once. Our human mind is capable at a given time to see only one set of facts and yet it stirs. In its very stirring there is something by which it opens little by little to another set of facts. And when you see another set of facts you become so much blinded by these facts that you begin to reject the first ones. You will find many human beings holding one view today and surprisingly after a few years when you see them they speak exactly the opposite of what they are speaking today. Watch many people, I don't say this about everybody, but many human beings begin to advocate one view today and after sometimes they begin to advocate the exact opposite view.

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