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Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 805

Now what is the argument of materialism in regard to pleasure, this is the argument. From dust everybody arises, to dust you return. It is only during a small brief period between dust to dust that we have the consciousness. In this consciousness there are two great phenomena of pleasure and pain, where pleasure is pleasant, agreeable, desirable, which you automatically desire then it follows that if you have to choose in between pleasure and pain, why should you not choose pleasure. Because whether you choose pleasure and pain the ultimate result is dust, therefore why should you not choose pleasure, therefore choose pleasure. This is the argument of the materialist, if the choice between pleasure and pain were to make a difference afterwards, instead of becoming dust you have to become something else then one can have an argument that yes, you choose pain between pleasure and pain. But in either case ultimate result is only matter, dust then why should you not during this brief period that is given to you. Why should you choose pain at all? Reject pain all together, or reduce it if you can’t reject all together. Reduce it to the minimum, maximise is as much pleasure as possible, snatch as much pleasure as possible from this brief period, why not because it’s so pleasant. Now this is a great companion of materialism. Mind you logically, you could also argue that ultimately if you have choice between pleasure and pain and both are to reduce into dust, there is nothing illogical if you choose pain. If somebody says that ultimately even by pain I will go to dust, by pleasure I will go to dust it is true I like pleasure very much but what is illogical about choosing pain, nothing is illogical both are equally possible, both can be chosen. In either case you will go to dust, so why not to choose pain also. One can argue that way also, but it doesn’t please human beings. It’s a question of being having pleasure in it; therefore you can say that a human being is attracted towards materialism. Therefore, there is an automatic choice in favour of materialism because of this reason. Not necessarily logical, but which is not illogical either. Therefore, this companion of materialism has a great hold upon humanity today. Now this hold has become much greater because of another reason that the methods of seeking pleasure in today’s world have become much easier than they were in the previous times. The duration of pleasure today can be made as long as you like as never before. This is a special time in which we are living and therefore the hold of materialism being so strong. You just enter into a room and you can switch on a television. It is so easy as that and have any kind of pleasant scenario as you like. You can choose it. The whole night you can watch it. No problem. You are no more dependent upon the visit of a dancer to your house she has to return, not at all Akbar never this kind of pleasure in spite of being the emperor of this great country. As a domestic servant today, who can switch on the television for the whole night and watch it and there is no problem at all, so the method of seeking pleasure today are so easy and the duration can be as long as you want, within only a few limitation. Because of these two reason materialism has become very powerful.

There is a second reason materialism is very easy to prove. You don’t need to go through a great exercise of the kind that you are going through. What a difficult exercise that we had to go through, to watch the whole world to reduce it to space and time, which is successive then to see non–successive then to see the pure existent, to see the paradoxes and then to reconcile them and then to see the wonder of it. All these are very difficult procedures.

Materialism is as easy as kicking a football. Who can deny the reality of a foot ball when you kick it? You can just kick it and show look this is matter. If you want to show pure existent which is spaceless and timeless can you show it like a foot ball? Whereas matter can be shown as easily as you can show a foot ball, by kicking it. It is so easy to prove materialism, as Sri Aurobindo says the materialist has an easier field and its success is immediate. You can just show the successful, argument of materialism – what is it? You open your eyes and you see matter everywhere. So, when materialism is philosophically so easy to prove, when materialism is so pleasant because it gives justification for seeking pleasures which are now so easy to obtain and the duration of which can be very wrong. These two companions of materialism reinforce materialism. Reinforce those two arguments which I have given you − that consciousness emerges nearest to physical organs and secondly that matter is ultimate reality therefore consciousness is derivable from matter,− these two arguments. Now in this scenario, if somebody wants to even argue with a materialist, materialist simply says why do you trouble me I have just now told you my argument I also advice you to enjoy the world, why so you bother about anything else. Therefore, any kind argumentation with materialist becomes difficult. He has no time for it because he feels impatient, I have told you to prove the existence of matter is as easy as kicking a foot ball. If you go further I have also shown you that all consciousness of which we are talking is nothing but nearest to physical organs and they are physical in character so consciousness is nothing but generated from the physical organs. Having done this why do you take away my time in discussing anything further.