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

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 804

What is a mark of the development of a faculty? When can you say that a faculty is developed? A faculty is supposed to be developed when the activity of that faculty becomes automatic. It's a mark. When that faculty is not developed you have to make a big effort. Supposing you want to develop the faculty of memory. When it is not developed, you have to remind yourself again and again and again and yet again.

Mother had once told me that children need to be told repeatedly. Adults do not understand this. Adults think that I have told this child once, so it is understood. But no! Children need to be told again and again. And don't be tired. Tell again and again. Only when the faculty develops it becomes automatic. Some people even have a photographic memory. They just read a page of this book and they remember exactly where that particular word is located, in what form it is written, at the bottom of the page or the front of the page or whatever. That is a real developed faculty.

So, you can see amongst human beings there is an ascending series of will–to–be and also an ascending series of acquired capacities. When faculties develop, when they function automatically, there is no effort in them. To arrive at an effortless result of its operation is the mark of a developed faculty.

Somebody can ride a horse without any difficulty. You just mount on the horse and the horse begins to gallop at the first stroke. If you have a great control – it is a faculty. By repeated exercise you can attain to this faculty. Some people can drive a car very smoothly. Their reflexes are so developed. Some people don't have these reflexes developed, they cannot drive. Similarly, at higher and higher levels when somebody has told you read this book within ten days, if your faculties are not developed this is a tremendous burden. How can you read this book in ten days time? But if your faculties are developed you can read it in four days, maybe. It is quite possible. So it depends on the exercise you have been given. When Supermind will develop, there will be other faculties which you cannot even imagine.

We cannot imagine, for example, at our present level, as to how Shakespeare could have written plays, dramatic poetry of which Deepti was speaking yesterday. We had a seminar yesterday and she had read out the dramatic poetry of Shakespeare. We are also human beings; Shakespeare is also a human being. But he wrote dramatic poetry easily. Comfortably. Effortless. If we are to write even five sentences of that type, perhaps we may require ten to fifteen years of practice. But we can do it. It is only a question of development, our will–to–be. You aspire to develop a faculty and the power will flow.

So the argument is very simple now. "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; as there, so here, it is gradually evolving and bound fully to evolve the necessary organs and faculties." From both the points of view, the analogy is perfect.

Now we can conclude. "As the impulse towards Mind ranges from the more sensitive reactions of Life in the metal and the plants up to its full organization in man, so in man himself there is the same ascending series, the preparation, if nothing more, of a higher and divine life." This is Sri Aurobindo's example of there and here. Just as in Matter, in Life too there is an impulse towards Mind; "as the impulse towards Mind ranges from the more sensitive reactions of Life in the metal and the plants up to its full organization in man", this has been achieved already.

How do you distinguish between an animal and man? How do you distinguish between an animal and a plant? How do you distinguish between a plant and metal? The more organisation you find in sensitivity of the reactions, the greater is the ascending movement.

What is the difference between an idiot and an intelligent man? In Sanskrit there is a verse which says: "The sun's rays fall equally upon a piece of clod and upon the diamond" the same sun ray falls upon both. The reaction that comes from a piece of clod is nil. But the reaction that comes from a diamond is dazzling! So, the difference of reaction that comes indicates whether something is at a lower level or at a higher level.

You will find that in an intelligent man, if he is sensitive, one word will vibrate so powerfully, that in one second he becomes transformed. A word coming from somebody whom you love very deeply and who says: "You did this? How could you do it!" and the next moment your character is changed. You are so sensitive, you want appreciation of someone you love and, if in the eyes of someone you love, you fall, you cannot bear it. You are so sensitive, you want to rise immediately to the top, you will be transformed in one second. That is a mark of your ascending series, of your will–to be. Other people might require ten or twenty times punishment, etc, and nothing will happen or very little will happen. There is no sensitivity.

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