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Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 806

Against this position, now Sri Aurobindo says that materialist is committing a rustic error. Mark the words that Sri Aurobindo used “materialist is committing a rustic error”. Rustic is one who is a villager, uncultured and who is easily tired when you want him to do some difficult work. Rustic normally does not want to do much work, much labour who is easily tired. Rustic is normally a tamasic. Imagine a rustic being brought to a railway station where he see a huge train at the top of which is an engine and he goes watching at the engine and he finds that when the piston moves the steam is coming out and seeing this again and again he proclaims that the cause of the steam is the piston. When the piston moves the steam comes out, the piston stops there is no steam coming out. Now if you had to tell him look my friend this is not true, piston is not the cause of the steam, steam is the cause of a piston. He will simply laugh at you and say my dear friend this is not true don’t you see when the piston moves, the steam comes out and when the piston does not move there is no steam, what is the cause of the steam. Then you can tell him look my dear friend there are deeper things, but the rustic says, look I have no time for all these deeper things. I have seen very clearly here, I have shown you this is what is happening, what are deeper things? Besides train is so beautiful, engine is so beautiful, ride is so beautiful. Why do you want to take me away from all this pleasure and engage me in a kind of conversational dialogue where you say the deeper things − such is the condition of materialistic. He is a rustic who sees a phenomenon which you cannot deny, which is so convincing. It is near the physical organ when they move consciousness emerges. It’s a fact. now if you tell him look my dear friend it is other way round. It is the consciousness which moves the physical organ not the other way round. He says it’s not true. You close all your physical organ is that consciousness? Nothing. You go to sleep there is no consciousness. All the organs are finished, so where is the question there is no argument possible. Now if you say go behind, go inward, there are deeper things. Your intention is very good. You want rustic to be educated, you want him to learn that there is a whole mechanics behind it that there is first of all the huge store of coal that you have to fill up, in the engine. Huge store of water that you will have to fill up in it then the water has to be boiled to a very high degree, then the steam comes out of it and that steam forces the piston to move up and down. Now all these are deeper things which you have to explain, but that takes time, but if you are searching for the truth and nothing but the truth then ultimately you have got to prevail upon the materialist that he has got to find time to go deeper. And you must make this effort because both you and he are going to ultimately gain out of it. If it was only a kind of a dialogue which had not much meaning then it’s a different matter.

If you can go really deeper and arrive at quite a different conclusion then bigger consequences are going to follow may be that after seeking for pleasure you are at present think that you are going to rust. May be that ultimately as a result of deeper enquiry after having pleasure, after bearing the pain, you may be able to arrive at greater ecstasy which you will miss out completely, if you don’t take this trouble that there is possibility of greater ecstasy which you can never have if you really remain only at this point standing on the platform and watching that the piston is the steam and not taking the trouble of going into the engine and seeing the inner mechanism. If you don’t take the trouble then the ultimate result is that you will miss out the great ecstasy which is awaiting every one of us, so the question whether you want ecstasy or whether you want dust after having all the pleasure that you can have. You can have ecstasy here, you can ecstasy after, both. This is the choice and since this choice is much better, if you can ultimately show it, then this whole effort is worth doing it. This is the point which has to be made to the materialist. It is only then that the materialist might even give a kind of a hearing to you. That is basically a kind of refusal, even to hear you because of the argument that I have just now advanced. Therefore, Sri Aurobindo has spoken of the denial of the materialist. The materialist simply denies, there is an automatic refusal to listen to you and we need to prove that there is greater thing to be achieved. If you can show that there is not matter as ultimate reality but consciousness is ultimate, and that consciousness is capable of infinities of intensities and with these infinities of intensities you can have correspondingly infinities of delight. That is in the Tattiriya Upanishad we have a description of delight. There is one full section on delight and says what kind of delight the Brahman, the pure existent possesses, immeasurable delight that is the great contribution of the Upanishad it has described that delight. One day when we shall have time we should refer this section of delight in the Tattiriya Upanishad. It is at this point that we have to have a dialogue with the materialist. Now it is this dialogue we shall have next time, It’s a long dialogue. If it was a short dialogue I would have finished by now, but I want to do in detain because this is one of the major problems of the world today and this dialogue is very important. Every step of the dialogue is very interesting, so we have to take this dialogue very seriously. It will require one hour by itself, so we shall take it up next time.