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

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 802

In this paragraph, such as argument is presented to us. Just as in the development of Life in Matter and of Mind in Life – this is one chain – similarly, Supermind in Mind is another chain. The comparison is between these two sets of phenomena. Development of life in matter and mind in life is one set of phenomena. Our argument is that just as Life has evolved in Matter and Mind in Life, similarly Supermind will manifest in Mind. This is the argument.

Sri Aurobindo wants to show how this argument is a strong argument. We have to show the characteristics of this set of events and characteristics in the other set of events. This is the exercise I shall do with you. You write down on one side of your paper: "Evolution of Life in matter and evolution of Mind in Life" this is one line of argument, one chain of events. Now on the other side you write down: "Evolution of Supermind in Mind" Now you read and let us write down "As there, so here, the impulse exists more or less obscurely in her different vessels with an ever ascending series in the power of its will to be…" This is a long sentence and a difficult sentence but we shall divide it into two or three parts so that it becomes easier to understand. "As there so here" that is to say as there this side of your paper, so here on the other side. What exists commonly? In both cases, "…the impulse exists more or less obscurely in her different vessels with an ever ascending series in the power of its will to be…" The difficult words are "different vessels".

The word vessel means receptacle. A glass is a vessel, a pot is a vessel, a utensil is a vessel, and various kinds of forms are all vessels. In that sense we may say – an ocean is a vessel, a pebble is a vessel, a mountain is a vessel, a diamond is a vessel, a tree is a vessel, a worm is a vessel, a fish is a vessel, mammals of various kind are vessels, human beings are also vessels. We are all vessels.

The word vessel refers to all kinds of forms. Sri Aurobindo says that in all these forms, whether you look in this series or the other series – in both cases examine the vessels of different forms – you will find that all these forms can be arranged in an ascending series.

Matter, Life and Mind is one series. On the other side is a series of Mind to Supermind. These are the two columns. All these forms can be arranged in such a way that you see an ascending series. That is to say, as we move higher and higher, you find more complex forms, greater and greater consciousness manifesting greater and greater external impulses to move forward.

If you go to purely material forms like a mountain, or a stone, or an ocean, you don't find a very evident impulse to move forward. Everything seems to be dull, inert, and mechanical. But even there, examine more and more deeply. I don't know if you have seen crystals? Crystals are formed with such beautiful forms, such transparent forms. If you have to make a comparison between a simple stone and a crystal, and I ask you the question: Is the stone more manifest or is the crystal more manifest? Your answer will be: the crystal is more manifest. It has a purity of form, a beauty of form; the formation has its own harmony. An ordinary piece of clod or a piece of earth does not have this kind of harmony. Therefore, you can say that if you are given so many materials to put in an ascending series, you will put the crystal higher than the stone.

Sri Aurobindo says, just see Matter, Life and Mind and you will see so many forms, you will be able to arrange them in such a way that the one higher has in it a greater will–to–be. What is "will–to be"? You know, if you have twenty students in a class, and you want to arrange them in an ascending series. How will you arrange them in an ascending series? You only have to ask the question: Who has the highest will–to–be? Those who do would be on the top. Then lesser and lesser, those who want to be quite nice. Finally you come to: "Oh! I don't want bother, who wants to make an effort, it is very difficult, I give up." They will be the lowest rank of will–to–be.

You know, I was very pleased when I interviewed you before I left last month. What I found was, each one of you had a will–to–be, and I examined each one from this point of view. You wanted to move forward. And that was a very pleasant experience. I said to Deepti: "All passed". You all had reached a point where you had will–to–be. Somebody wanted to be a musician, and I was extremely pleased. Already clear in his mind. Somebody else wanted to be a good artist and specialise in art. Some of you want to read The Life Divine. Now at this young age to be able to feel that I must read this great book requires a great will–to–be.If I am asked to examine the students of India and put them in an ascending series, I think you will come on a very high level of will–to–be in such an ascending series.

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