And Sri Aurobindo says read the Veda, the earliest preoccupation of man, highest there in earliest time, amrittatwai gatum, it is the path to immortality that was sought after in the Veda, read the Veda. Its proved right from that time even today, now we try to have longevity, why do we have so many drugs, why so much of enquiry into surgery of various kinds? Longevity, it’s the search for immortality. So Sri Aurobindo says that the human aspiration of mankind can be termed as a divination of Godhead, as a search after Truth, unmixed Bliss and a sense of secret immortality. Now Sri Aurobindo says, “The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration;(this is the argument, a kind of an evidence, an evidence is put forward that this aspiration was also the earliest, which is also now). So he says: The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration (that is why Sri Aurobindo begins with these two statements from Rig Veda, if you read the Rig Veda and you see the aspiration that is described in the Rig Veda is this aspiration. Today, now if you see the present day, right from that day to today) today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. We are returning again to the same, same constant search of man and therefore Sri Aurobindo says: “The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last, — God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.”
So you might say that you can close the book now, this is all that Sri Aurobindo wants to say in the whole book that mankind’s aspiration is God, Light, Freedom, Immortality. And that this aspiration is philosophically the only proposition that can be justified, ontological argument is also given. So the whole argument of the book is completed in the very first paragraph, this is called the massive argument in which the whole mass is presented in a few words with premise, argumentation, conclusion, everything is given, complete.
Now if you want to read however if you have time, leisure, we shall read further. I have got leisure but we shall have leisure, no doubt. At least one full chapter I want to read with you because it will give a complete idea, the briefest idea of what the whole book contains. After having stated this… you know when you create a symphony; the mark of a symphony is in the very first movement it is complete. At the end of its completion something still can stir, a few tunes are allowed to stir and out of that a new harmony begins to be built up and again comes to an end, out of which a third harmony starts. This is the great artistic experience of a musician, also the artistic experience of a painter, it’s the same thing. All visions of artists have a massiveness of a kind in which a figure appears which contains everything. Even a dot indicates a whole, similarly having said all that is to be said in the very first paragraph, now the new strains of thought begin to arise out of it. If somebody were a musician and he were to put the first chapter into a kind of a harmony, he would have a great theme here, the first dong and then out of that strains of musical tunes coming out of it and then a new harmony being established. In a way you might say The Life Divine is one of the greatest artistic expressions of philosophical thought. It’s not only a philosophical work; it’s also a great artistic work. Sri Aurobindo was supreme artist basically, as he says, ‘I am fundamentally a poet,’ he says, ‘I am not a philosopher, I am a poet’. And a poet is a supreme artist and therefore the whole work The Life Divine is an artistic presentation of a philosophical thought. Now you see here, how you enjoy the movement of thought. Having stated this he summarises – God, Light, Freedom, Immortality as these great ideals. These are the ideals. This very definition of ideals is important. Sri Aurobindo recognises that although these have been the aspirations, these aspirations can be described as ideals. Ideals in the sense that these are beckoning luminary stars somewhere high, they are the magnets of mankind towards which mankind is driven irresistibly, so these ideals….
Now comes what I call dialectical reasoning. I spoke of historical argument, ontological argument, now comes the dialectical argument. What is a dialectical argument? A dialectical argument is the statement of facts which are set in terms of comparison, contrast, thesis, antithesis, the contrast between truth and falsehood, contrast between validity and invalidity and out of that deriving a conclusion; this is a dialectical reasoning.
Now comes in the next paragraph is a statement of a dialectical reasoning. These great ideals, these are facts, man has aspired for it but they are in direct contradiction of actualities. The actualities are in diametrical opposition to the ideals. And out of that diametrical opposition what conclusion can we derive and is that conclusion a valid conclusion, and if not, why not? This is the substance of the second paragraph. The dialectical reasoning which contrasts the ideals with the actualities derives a conclusion, questions that conclusion and arrives at a final conclusion. This is dialectical movement of the second paragraph, let me read out.
“These persistent ideals of the race are at once the contradiction of its normal experience and the affirmation of higher and deeper experiences which are abnormal to humanity and only to be attained, in their organised entirety, by a revolutionary individual effort or an evolutionary general progression.” You see the dialectical movement, the ideal and the actual are contrasted and yet the ideal is therefore not immediately defeated because that ideal is realisable. Many individuals in the history have revolutionised themselves and in spite of all the contradictions of the actualities, by that effort that has been sustained. Now what is that contrast, ideal and the actual? These four lines which are given are the summary of the acutest contrast in the world, the most quintessential contrast, contradiction that you find in the world is now stated here. “To know, possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic consciousness, to convert our twilit or obscure physical mentality into the plenary supramental illumination, to build peace and a self–existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering, to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical necessities, to discover and realise the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant mutation,—this is offered to us as the manifestation of God in Matter and the goal of Nature in her terrestrial evolution.”
These are the great contrasting facts, to know, to possess and to be, this is the highest urge of man. To know, to possess and to be, there is no greater satisfaction that man wants excepting this. He does not know where he can get. But his present actual condition is quite different; this is something that cannot be, this to know, to possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic consciousness. As long as we remain ego, we cannot know, we cannot possess, we cannot be, it’s an impossibility. And yet this is where we are and this is all the time constantly seeking for, the two contrasting facts. The most contrasting facts in the world is that this egoistic consciousness which can never be, it is that which aspires to be. Then to convert our twilight or obscure physical mentality into plenary supramental illumination, our present mentality is a physical mentality, it is twilight mentality, it is Sandhya, it is neither complete darkness, nor a complete knowledge, it’s a twilight. In that twilight and even obscure consciousness, we want to have complete knowledge, that is the whole search of man to be completely illumined, without any doubt, shadow of doubt that knowledge he wants to possess, to build peace and self–existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering this is the description of our own being, emotional suffering, besieged constantly by physical pain and even when the pleasure is there is only transitory, transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering in that temple of poverty we want to build peace and self–existent bliss to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical necessities, the world is a world of mechanical necessities.
There are laws made in the world, mechanical necessities are built up, VIP car cannot be over–crossed, it’s a mechanical necessity and if you cross it the human aspiration will fly against you and will say you are breaking my right, inherent right of freedom and this is the law of freedom that establishes itself as a great revolt against mechanical necessities and it is everywhere the whole world is up against mechanical necessities, we are suffering under those mechanical necessities, we are there bound, we ourselves create those necessities, we want to be bound by them. We revolt against their revolts and yet we are revolting against those revolts, why because we are seeking infinite freedom. This is our seeking, we are seeking infinite freedom, we are the children of freedom – amritasya putrah, so to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical necessities, to discover and realise the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant mutation. We know that we are going to die and yet we don’t want it, we want to have immortality…. to discover and realise immortal life in a body subject to death and constant mutation this is offered to us as a manifestation of God in Matter and the goal of Nature in a terrestrial evolution.