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

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 405

Sri Aurobindo says that if you win a debate you have actually lost a chance, because in a debate you can win only when your point of view succeeds and the opponent's point of view is defeated. This can happen only when the opposition's point of view is thrown out. You have not learnt out of it. If you learn out of it nobody is defeated, everybody succeeds. If you win a debate it means that the opposition's point of view is not grasped, you have not undertaken a sufficient enquiry to see where the Truth lies in the opposition. And once you bring it out even the opposition is your friend. It is no more the opposition. Sri Aurobindo says in the same vein: "Who is your enemy? The one who takes you to the embrace of the beloved." If you want a complete embrace with the beloved remember that there is an enemy who will take you to him. Sri Aurobindo was taken to the prison by the British, as their enemy, but when he went to the jail, even though Sri Aurobindo initially asked: "Hast thou forsaken me? What is it? You had promise me that you will protect me, and yet you take me to the jail?" But it was in the jail that Sri Aurobindo had one of his greatest realisations. He embraced the Supreme Lord in the jail.

This is the method of Nature. And Sri Aurobindo says merely because the real and the ideal are in contradiction with each other, don't pronounce that the ideal is unreal. It is the method of Nature. Once you know Nature's method this argument will have no basis. This way of arguing against materialism is a novel way of argument. In the history of the world, I tell you, I have not come across a method by which materialism is rejected or is thrown out of the court. This is a new forum, that if you understand Nature's method, there is a meaning in it. And that meaning is to work by opposition. To hide everything and to manifest only a little, so that what is hidden and what is manifested look very opposite to each other. Completely opposed to each other. But that is a sign that you have to look deeper. It is the profoundest method of Nature and her completest seal of sanction. It is certain. When you want something very deeply… (You make an experiment.) What you need the most and you make a demand to Nature; you will find there is no answer at first. In the present system of Nature, as we are now – when Supermind will manifest fully it will not be so –, but at present, as long as there is this: Nature hiding the Truth, you go to the topmost of your aspiration and you will find that in its present method, Nature's first answer is NO.

In Savitri, Aswhapati moved upwards and even when he reached the Supreme Mother and asked for the boon The Mother said: "Why do you want it? Everything will be transformed in its own time." So there was a refusal, even there, there was a refusal. It is only when he insisted: "But I want it." The insistence was there and there was a boon, there was a response. Therefore if somebody says: No do not take it for granted, Nature does not want, God does not want, don't accept that at all. Everything has to be examine very profoundly, make yourself sure that what you are demanding is really your sincere demand. Make sure of that. And if the answer is no, persist still. The method of Nature,is that it always says no at first and then gradually by the pressure of your demand, your sincerity, what is hidden is broken and what is unrealised is realised. So this last line is one of the most important arguments in the history of philosophy. And I have not found this kind of an argument formulated so far except in 'The Life Divine'.

"But if we take a more deliberate view of the world's workings…" as I told you it is a purely philosophical argument which looks for meaning. If you take meaning as a criterion of philosophical thinking then this is that kind of statement which embodies that movement of argument. "But if we take a more deliberate view of the world's workings, that direct opposition appears rather as part of Nature's profoundest method and the seal of her completest sanction."

In the next paragraph Sri Aurobindo gives examples of this and the series of examples that Sri Aurobindo gives is prefaced by a most wonderful sentence, one of the most memorable sentences in 'The Life Divine' where Sri Aurobindo says: "For all problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony."

We all admit that there are problems in the world and Sri Aurobindo says if there are problems there must be a meaning as to why there are problems. Again it is a philosophical argument. Any argument which looks for meaning is a quintessential philosophical argument. If there are problems – which nobody refuses, everybody admits the existence of problems – you ask why problems exist at all? Sri Aurobindo says, they exist because there is a search for harmony and a real possibility of harmony and inevitability of harmony. It is only for this reason that problems exist. That is why Sri Aurobindo does not ask anyone to run away from the problem. If problems exist, the problems are meant to be resolved. Because it is in the problems that the secret of harmony is contained. So, if there is a contradiction between the realised facts and the unrealised facts it is a problem; and we must treat it as a problem, not run away from it. Try to ask why there is this contradiction.

We use cookies in this webiste to support its technical features, analyze its performance and enhance your user experience. To find out more please read our privacy policy.