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

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 705

It is for this reason that we are aspiring. Aspiration is nothing but an urge to break the veil and to uncover what is inside. Therefore it comes out whenever there is the thinning down of our veil. Whenever! The urge to manifest what is inside moves out, manifests, particularly when you are in a great difficulty, when you don't find any means of solution this urge manifests very powerfully. You want to break down the obstruction.

Sri Aurobindo says: "In that case the unconquerable impulse of man towards God, Light, Bliss, Freedom, Immortality presents itself in its right place in the chain as simply the imperative impulse by which Nature is seeking to evolve beyond Mind and this impulse appears to be as natural true and just as the impulse towards Life which she has planted in certain forms of Matter or the impulse towards Mind which she has planted in certain forms of Life."

According to the theory of evolution everything in the world is striving. This is the discovery of the theory of evolution: everything in the world is striving. The theory of evolution is not entirely new, in the Veda the theory of evolution is underlined, in the Upanishads the theory of evolution is underlined, in the Sankhya, in the Vedanta, the theory of evolution is underlined. In the West also, the theory of evolution was known and Anaximander, before Socrates, spoke of evolution. But it is only in recent times in the Nineteenth Century, Darwin worked very heavily, studiously, in detail and he put forward the theory that the whole world is a gradual movement of evolutionary force, there is a striving in everything – he has even given the name struggle for existence – everything in the world is struggling.

Take for example a small little worm, with very few senses excepting touch, it moves and crawls and only when touching an obstruction it finds there is something here and turns away. According to the theory of evolution the worm feels as it were an urge to develop a capacity by which it can add to the sense of touch. There is a feeling that: "why should I be able to find out there is an obstruction only when I come near it and touch it? Is it not possible to have communication from the obstruction from far, even if I do not touched it as yet?" This is an urge as it were. Not that the worm knows this question and puts this question, it is a blind feeling, an urge, and then gradually it goes on making an effort, tremendous effort until by sharpening, sharpening the organs, the Eye is born. What we call eyes. If you look at the evolutionary movement, eye is not the first to be found. Among many many creatures, worms and insects and so on, there is no eye. Gradually a remarkable thing such as an eye is produced; it is not an ordinary thing. If you examine how an eye is formed, it is a miracle you cannot ordinarily explain.

If you go to any medical man, for instance there is Alexis Carel who wrote a book, Man the Unknown, a very interesting book. The man who is not known. Although we think we know man very well because we also are human beings, he points out how much we are ignorant of ourselves, and one of the things he remarks is, you do not know what the eye is. What a miracle the eye is, how the eye is formed. Out of the physical sense, physicality, the lens is formed – imagine –, that it is purely material, pure matter, the coarse matter is rubbed to such an extent the lens is produced and connected with the retina. Now connection of the retina and the lens and the capacity of the lens to capture light and images and the comprehension of the image, all is a miracle. Unless there is a consciousness behind, you cannot imagine this birth of an eye. Similarly, of all the senses, actually every sense is a miracle.

This struggle is a struggle for what? It is the striving. According to Darwin the struggle is to survive. You may agree or not agree with this theory as a whole but it is a fact that there is struggle, of that there is no question. And one of the aspects of the struggle is certainly a struggle to survive. It is as if the whole world is a kind of obstruction. How often children feel they are not free? Parents are constantly saying, do this, don't do that, the whole world comes as a kind an opposition. Every child strives to oppose it, so that the control goes away and one feels free. It is also a striving, striving to be free of control, from obstructions. And you want to be free because you want to be what you are. There is a struggle, struggle to survive, to be. So that you remain what you are or you become more and more. This is the discovery of Darwin.

But he does not explain why. Why should there be this striving? Who is striving? Darwin that question does not answer. Simply there is a striving. That is why Sri Aurobindo, who accepts the theory of evolution, goes into the depth of the whole process of evolution and then discovers that behind all the striving there is consciousness. And this Consciousness which has become veiled is sought to be broken. The consciousness which is veiled is constantly to be striven against, so that the veils can break and the full consciousness becomes manifest. But there are stages; it is not as it were in one go. The consciousness which is in us is so deep, so deep. Sri Aurobindo says it is not one inch deep. If it were one inch deep you could cross the one inch very easily. The Consciousness, even in the human being is very very deeply involved, veiled. It is a huge veil behind which our consciousness is resting in sleep. We need to make a tremendous effort to rend the veil and the bring it out.

Now the argument begins to be very easy and simple.

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