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

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 1202

Question: Why do the religions regard the manifestation of Supermind as perverse?

All religions may not, or all religious people may not. But there is a religionist perception. In all religions there is a religionist perception. There is a difference between religion and religionism. Religion may be an open gate to spirituality, in which case it is not religionism. But those who believe that religion is the highest and you cannot go beyond it; that religion is the top, then that is called religionism. Religionism maintains that there is a vast gulf between man and God. A gulf, God is somewhere there and man is so low. It is a gulf between the two. As a result the highest that man can do is always to keep that gulf, – because there is always a gulf –, so you should reconcile with that gulf. And if you say I want to be God, I want to be one with God, if you say that – you are perverse. Something has gone wrong with your mind. You have become too presumptuous, too proud. You want to be like God? You want to be one with God? That is impossible! The gulf between man and God will always remain. And keep that gulf, don't try to jump. And all your desire to jump is presumptuous, perverse.

There is a very interesting sentence in the Bible – it is a sentence which I have discussed with many many Christians – " Be Thou as perfect as thy father in heaven is perfect." It is a saying of Christ. And I have spoken with many Christians, what about this sentence? You should understand, they answer me: "It is in a certain context. It only means, be as far as possible like God. Don't say be as perfect. They want to minimize. You can never be like Him. Try as much as possible." But I tell them: "Look, Christ has not said be as far as possible, his statement is very clear, categorical."

Question: I have put to the Christians the following question: It is said in the Bible "And God created man in His own image". And this is exactly what you are saying.

But still this sentence can be: Image is not the same as the original. It is still an image. So you can say there is a gulf. But this sentence of Christ is categorical. "Be Thou as perfect as thy father in heaven is perfect." It is very clear, there is no compromise in it.

Question: What is perfection in this context?

There are three concepts of perfection.

One is the maximum possible. When you reach the maximum – it is now perfect.

The second is a state of equilibrium.

And the third is when all are perfectly mutual.

You can take any one of these three meanings, as you like.

Question: What is causality?

Very good question. This the one question which I have not answered throughout my lectures. I answered indirectly but never defined.

Causality is not only a connection between cause and effect, but a necessary connection between cause and effect. This word "necessary" is the heart of causality.

This necessity implies that when cause exists, effect must necessarily come about. You cannot escape it. That is causality. Merely connection between antecedent and consequent – this is first and then another comes afterward – is not enough to say it is causality. The connection must be such that if this happens that must happen. Necessary connection.

So causality is not only a connection between cause and effect, but a necessary connection between cause and effect.

Question: What are the four aspects of causality?

Material cause, efficient cause, formal cause and final cause. Four aspects of causality, of causation.

The material cause, if you take the example of the seed and the tree, then seed is the material cause of the tree. The formal cause is the form of the tree. Efficient cause is the farmer who goes on pouring water on the seed and supplying all the fertilizers and the final cause is the purpose for which the tree is grown.

Question: What is the condition of today's humanity for you?

There is one sentence Sri Aurobindo has written in the very first paragraph of The Life Divine: " … today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings." That is the condition of humanity.

So there are three things. Today's humanity has been analyzing the externalities of Nature that is the first point. Nature has many aspects: outer and inner. And today's humanity is not very much concerned with the inside of Nature. It is concerned mainly with the outside of Nature. That is the first condition. It means that today science is nothing but analysis of externalities of Nature. So today, humanity is busy looking at Nature, analyzing the outside of Nature. All that we called science is this. Now it has been done so much, so much, that humanity has become satiated. I told you what is satiation is at one time. When are you satiated? When somebody goes on giving you sweets and another sweet, and another sweet, and another sweet what happens to your mouth? You don't want anymore, you are satiated. But it does not mean that you are satisfied. You may still be hungry. If something else is given, a savory is given to you, you can still have it. But as far the sweet is concerned, finished! No more! Please don't give me anymore. That is called satiation.

Today's humanity has analysed Nature so much, so much that it is satiated, but not satisfied. Therefore the third thing that it is happening is: it is preparing to return to its primeval longings. It remembers now the long forgotten taste of God and wants to return to the original breath: God, Light, Freedom and Immortality. That is today's humanity.

Question: Regarding the definition of evolution you said "gradual developments". I have a problem with this word gradual, because sometimes if you observe Nature, minerals and all which is Matter, and then you go to Life, a quantum jump takes place. So can we call it gradual development?

That is to say, even if it comes as a jump, it is preceded by very gradual movement. It may take a little jump somewhere but this is prepared by gradual developments. It is not all the time happening like jumps. Graduallity is necessary. You know there are children who develop, conscious children, and they jump, but even then they gradually develop. For two days, three days they remain at the same stage and then they make a further progression. This dwelling is very important. At any given stage you dwell for sometimes. Then you move forward.

Question: What is Satkaryavada and Asatkaryavada?

When the effect is present in the cause that theory is called Satkaryavada. When that effect is not present in the cause it is called Asatkaryavada

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