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

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 604

In other words there is an opposition between Matter and Life and this opposition has been resolved by Nature by planting Life into Matter. Although Matter and Life are opposed to each other when Life is planting into Matter, Life is not denied, it is not rejected. Matter has absorbed the planting of Life into it. The two opposites have met together in a plant. Every plant is an example of a contradiction which has been resolved, of an opposition which has been resolved. Matter and Life have been opposite of each other and they have met together. Therefore Sri Aurobindo says, it is the first example of how Nature has harmonized or synthesized Matter and Life. Sri Aurobindo has explained how Matter and Life are opposed to each other. What is the character of Matter and what is the character of Life? Matter is inert and Life is active. The accordance of active Life with Matter which is inert, or even if there is activity in Matter the very nature of that activity is inert.

There is a second example of opposition that Sri Aurobindo gives. There is an opposition between Life and Mind. Why? Because Life in its present nature has something which is not present in the Mind or Mind has something which is not in the Life. Which is that characteristic? Just as we found in Matter there is inertia, in Life there is activity, dynamism, therefore they were opposite, here what is the opposition? There is opposition between consciousness and unconsciousness or subconsciousness. Life is only unconscious or sub–conscious; in any case it is not self–conscious, whereas Mind is self–conscious. Not only conscious but also self–conscious. Therefore there is an opposition.

You find that wherever there is Mind there is Life. This is also a very important statement. In our present composition you cannot think if you are not breathing. Life manifests itself with breath. Breathing is the first sign of Life according to us at present. You try now; if you don't breathe, it will affect your thinking. The minimum condition of thinking is Life, is breathing. That is why those who want to make their mind very quiet do pranayama. They want to stop breathing, at least for a short time. It helps a great deal in quieting the mind. But normally, where there is no breathing, thinking does not occur. Therefore Sri Aurobindo says, there is an opposition between Life which is unconscious or subconscious and Mind which is conscious, but Nature has solved the problem of according them together in such a way that in that sub–conscious or in that unconscious movement of Life, conscious activity has been planted. The opposition between consciousness and the unconscious has been resolved by Nature by planting consciousness in a field where there is vibration but there is no consciousness or only sub–consciousness. This is the opposition and Nature has already resolved this problem. So these are two examples Sri Aurobindo gives. One is the example of accordance of active Life in Matter which is inert. That is the first opposition which nature has resolved – not fully – but has resolved physically and it still working to resolve better and better in the future. Then the second, is accordance of conscious Mind in a form of Life which is not self–conscious. That is another opposition which Nature has resolved. We now have two examples in which two oppositions have been resolved by Nature, at least in principal, if not fully.

There is now a third proposition. "…for there her ultimate miracle would be an animal consciousness no longer seeking but possessed of Truth and Light, with the practical omnipotence which would result from the possession of a direct and perfected knowledge." The third opposition is that the present Mind, is a Mind which labors to find out the Truth, which seeks to find out the Truth. This is the present condition of the Mind. In that consciousness, Nature wants to plant another kind of consciousness which does not seek the Truth but which is possessed of the Truth and Light automatically, possesses it within itself. So, if Nature has resolved already two oppositions it looks rational that this third will also be accomplished. Sri Aurobindo uses the word rational, isn't it? Logical and rational. This also gives an example of what is rational and what is logical.

The whole argument is described by Sri Aurobindo as logical and rational. Here now, is another form of argument – the earlier one's seen are the logical argument, historical argument, dialectical argument, quintessential metaphysical argument – now we have here, a whole paragraph which presents a logical and rational argument. What is the form of this argument? If you find in some cases a certain kind of a pattern, then you can also imagine, it will be rational to argue that here also there is the same kind of pattern. It is like Sherlock Holmes who finds a pattern in the way in which somebody has stealthily entered into the room. He has discovered that pattern, he can then say this is the pattern which has been followed. In the next step also the one who has entered into the room stealthily has followed a similar pattern. This kind of argument is a rational argument. You cannot say it is irrational, it is a rational argument. If one pattern has been followed up to a certain point and if you say therefore in the next step also the same pattern has been followed, it will be a rational argument. But it is as yet not a conclusive argument. Because it may be argued that: Alright as far these two patterns are concerned, I agree. This also may be, it is rational it is not irrational to suppose, but there may equally be another pattern. It is not conclusive, it is not inevitable. All rational arguments are not conclusive. They are rational; they only propose that what you are saying is not irrational. That is all. All rational arguments are not necessarily true. Therefore having shown this is rational, in the next paragraph Sri Aurobindo takes us to another realm of argument.

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