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

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 502

So, Sri Aurobindo says that matter is such a thing that the very condition of its activity is inertia. Even if you do not accept Newton's idea that first motion is given by God, even if you maintain that matter is always in motion, then Sri Aurobindo says, that the very motion is of such a nature that it is always inert. By itself it cannot stop, by itself it cannot change its direction. Atomic energy constantly revolves on and on for million of years without stop – that is called the law of inertia.

It is in that matter whose very activity is a condition of inertia, that life, whose very nature is self–propelling force, self–directing force, is planted. The tree moves automatically towards the sunlight from within. It cannot change its direction. That is a specialty of all organic life. There is a self propelling force to determine that direction. So Sri Aurobindo uses the word, the adjective is very important, he says the accordance of active life, this word active is very important. The accordance of active life, that is to say life whose very nature is activity, not inertia but activity. "The accordance of active life with a material of form in which the condition of activity itself seems to be inertia..." The opposition is between the activity of life and the inertia of matter. These two opposites Nature has already put before you. The contradiction is resolved. The argument: if one is true the other must be false is no more true, the argument is gone by the very fact that you see this. Sri Aurobindo says this is one of the contradictions, one of the problems that nature has already resolved with harmony. This is an example of the very first sentence: "All problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony." How to bring inactivity and activity into harmony is a problem, that problem Nature has already resolved. Sri Aurobindo says: It has resolved considerably. Not yet fully, because Sri Aurobindo goes on in the next sentence to say: "If we are to look for a complete solution, a complete harmony then a greater result has still to come". The work which has been done so far is not yet complete. We are still in the incomplete scenario of a film. The film is still to unfold further.

What is that complete solution? His perfect solution would be "The material immortality of a fully organized mind–supporting animal body". Now you see how many elements are put forward. The present limitation of organic life is that although activity of Life is reconciled with inertia of Matter it is but temporarily. Everything that is organic in the world dies. Therefore the problem is not fully resolved yet. Can you permanently plant Life into Matter? That problem Nature has not yet solved. Every human being dies. There is a law of death as it were, as if it is a permanent law. Nature has not yet evolved such a body which can go on living on and on and on.

Of course there are many trees which live for thousand years or even more. But even they ultimately decay; even they become hollow after some time. Even after a thousand years. So the other question is: Is it possible to create a body which is organic, which is not only organic like this but which also has a further capacity of locomotion? The tree cannot move with its roots from here to another place, whereas you and I can move from one place to the other. So we are animal bodies which have a further capacity of locomotion. You can move from one locus to the other. From one locality to the other you can walk. This is a specialty of the animal body. Both are organic: plant is organic, animal also is organic. But the difference between the two is that plant cannot have locomotion, the animal has locomotion.

Sri Aurobindo says that first of all you should have a body which is capable not only of organism but also have the capacity of locomotion. Then it should be able to support Mind. This is a very important condition. Mind coming into the body and sustaining the body for a long time is a very big problem. If you examine the history of mankind, this is called anthropological study. Anthropology means study of man, basically ancient man – logy means study, anthropo means man. If you study man you find that the original man had greater capacities than you and I possess today. Even if you go to primitive people their physical strength is very great. There are many animals such as the elephant and lion that have tremendous capacities compared to the human body. When Mind comes into the picture some of the physical capacities diminish. An ape can jump, you and I cannot jump so easily, we have to be trained, and even then it takes a long time to be a champion in jumping and that too for a short time of your life. You cannot be a champion all your life. The moment Mind comes into the body some of its capacities are diminished. You will find that sometimes when you think of a problem and your mind is exercised tremendously, it affect your health, physical health. In any case if people worry a lot, not only thinking, but if they worry a lot the body is affected. And very often the human mind has a tendency to worry, for many reasons. Mind is a worrying mind normally, as soon as it starts working it begins to worry. And worry has a great effect, an adverse effect, upon the health of the body.

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