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

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 407

"…all Nature seeks a harmony." By Nature we mean first of all three terms: Matter, Life and Mind. In all Nature, whether it is Material Nature or Vital Nature or Mental Nature is a constant seeking for harmony. As far as mind is concerned it is very easy for us to see because we just have to look at our minds. The mind can never remain content when it perceives two contradictory ideas sitting in it at the same time. When two statements which are contradictory of each other are settled in your mind you won't get sleep. It will constantly works until the contradiction is resolved. This is a psychological fact, a natural fact. It is why Sri Aurobindo says, "…all Nature seeks a harmony."

Even in perceptions: you go to an exhibition and see so many things and supposing somebody asks you what you saw in the exhibition? Immediately your mind will start arranging all your observations, all your impressions. If you simply say, "I saw this and I saw that" you will not feel satisfied – you will feel that I am just giving an idiotic description of what I have seen. If I really want to give a description of what I have seen I should organised my perceptions, put them in some kind of categories, that I perceived pictures of beauty, pictures of meaning, I saw pictures of puzzles. You will categorize them and put them in one basket, all of them harmonious with each other.

There are many ways of organizing. There is a school of psychology which is called Gestalt psychology. It is a psychological method which tells you how you observe things, how you act. If I want to go out now in my movements from here to there, a lot of organisation will take place. I will not go in that direction, I will go in this direction. There is already organisation. If I go out and my car is not in this direction I will not go in this direction. Even in ordinary movements my movements will be harmonious. My movements are harmonious with the end which I have in view. To harmonise my movements with a purpose, with an end is automatic. We are able to see a film even when we know that each image in the film is divided by small intervals. But we are able to see it because our tendency is to harmonise. Because our perceptual faculty is such that one image is harmonised by our own faculty of perception with the next image. Because of this psychological fact we are able to see a film. If we were unable to do this exercise we should seen only slides. Slides we see them as one divided from the other because the distance between one and the other is so great our perceptual faculty is not able to join them together. The natural tendency of the eye is to try as much as possible to bridge the gap, automatically whenever there is a gap. If you show one curve which is half here and another curve which is half on that side you will try to bring these two together. Automatically. This is called gestalt. Gestalt means that which constitutes a form, a harmonious form. This is true of all psychological operations basically. As I told you if there is a contradiction in your mind you will not rest until the contradiction is resolved. When five thoughts are given and they look separate from each other you try to combine them and see what are the differences between the five, what is the harmony between them.

So, all Nature is a movement towards harmony whether it is in Matter or in Life or in Mind. What we spoke of Mind, which is easier for us to observe, is also true of Matter. We now see that in Matter evidently as we go into the quantum a tremendous organisation. Small nucleus and something revolving round and round and round. What a tremendous organisation! And if you break this organisation as in the atomic bomb – immense energy comes out, as it were, in revolt. But again, even in that energy movement the same rotation is manifested. In every organic movement you will find the same kind of organisation, the same movement towards harmony. The tree – the whole law of the tree: the trunk and the roots and the branchings and the flowering and the fruition. There is a tremendous harmony in the whole movement and there is a rhythm. If you break it the whole organisation is lost. And you try somewhere else and again the same rhythm begins to manifest itself.

Now comes Sri Aurobindo's very important sentence: "The greater the apparent disorder of the materials offered or the apparent disparateness, even to irreconcilable opposition, of the elements that have to be utilised, the stronger is the spur, and it drives towards a more subtle and puissant order than can normally be the result of a less difficult endeavour." The greater the discord presented to you the greater is the spur to arrive at a harmony. Whatever elements are offered it worth you and if there is a great disorder you will find while to go about the whole task of putting everything in order. A slight disorder you can even ignore. You enter into a room and everything is at sixes and sevens your spur to put everything in order will be greater than if the thing were not in disorder. The greater the discord that you perceive, the greater is the impulse in you to put thing into order. And you will find that when natural disorder is presented to you there are so many elements in the discord that when you try to bring them out into order, the ultimate result would be something unimaginable. The kind of harmony, the kind of design that you will see will be tremendously different from what you have even conceived earlier.

This argument is very important. The greater the contradiction between Matter and Spirit, the greater the contradiction between the realised facts and the unrealised ideal, the greater the opposition between the two, the greater is the spur. Therefore greater is the certainty that there is a very great design which is being worked out. Some unimaginable perfection is being worked out. This is to answer to the question with which we started. Material intellect says that because there is a contradiction between the realised facts and the unrealised ideal therefore the unrealised ideal is invalid. Sri Aurobindo answers, that if there is a contradiction, and the contradiction is very sharp, then instead of saying it is invalid there is a greater harmony which is in view and it invites you to work very hard to find it out. If you find that an invisible reality is presented to you which contradicts what is visible to you don't refuse to go forward, find out how to reconcile the visible and the invisible. Don't refuse as Bertrand Russell. As I told you he says: "We refuse to accept that there is any other way of knowing than the way of science and intellect." There could be many other ways.

This is only the elucidation of that sentence. If you look into the methods of Nature deliberately then you find that this opposition is the very method of Nature. Sri Aurobindo now gives examples.– 

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