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Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 1001

We know we were talking last time of the dialogue with the materialist and I suggested that there are two more dialogues apart from the dialogue that I had last time, so I shall first deal with these two dialogues. The first of these two dialogues does not put forward materialism openly as the basic argument. It simply says look at the world and look what is happening in the world. Things happen pell–mell. A freak of will of somebody changes a course of history, if a certain king had not to go for a walk on a particular day history would have been quite different a simple things like this creates lots of events which are great and by taking examples of history it concludes that the world is a matter of chance. This is a theory of chance. Things are happening in the world by means of no design. Infact there is nothing like design at all in this world, but if you point out that there are so many things which are happening in the world which have an order – the sun rises in the morning in the east, the planets move in a particular direction, in a particular speed. So that you can predict the exact time when eclipse for example can take place, in advance, many, many years in advance. Therefore to say that the world is merely a world of chance is not true, so the chances modify their position and he says of course basically it is chance but it is self–organizing chance. It’s a new word,− self– organizing chance. The whole world is nothing but a self organizing chance. He admits that there is paradox. Chance and self–organisation do not go together because of the very fact of organizing. Organisation means order, regularity, predictability. He admits it is true but he says even that has happened by chance. Why does sun rise in the east every day, by chance. It so happens. Chance is like that that every day it happens by chance. Now this theory has behind it actually materialism because only if the ultimate reality is matter which is unconscious that it can produce a world of chance. Only if ultimate reality is unconscious that that can be freak of will and unpredictable things, but there are two facts, which this theory cannot answer. If everything is by chance how is it that in the process of evolution at a certain stage the unconscious has given rise to consciousness. The human beings have come into the existence much after the birth of matter and life. The birth of mind is much later. This is one fact which it is not able to answer. How could unconsciousness produce consciousness? Secondly, how easy that the consciousness which is born in the form of the mind always tends to order its own ideas. Whenever mind begins to work it immediately tries to organize its perceptions, its ideas and wants to organize things in a certain sense of unity. Why is it that chance being the parent, the child is opposed to chance. The child does not like to follow the method of chance in all its operation, it follows the methods of design. These two questions, the chance’s theory is not able to answer, but he still  says all this is by chance. Every easy statement all this is by chance. Even that production of consciousness out of unconscious is by chance. Even the production of the mind which imposes its design in the world is by chance; therefore the last answer that we can give to the theory of chance is that even that if it is right, even if this theory is right, it will be right only by chance. If everything is chance then its theory also can be right only by means of chance, not necessarily a right theory. This is the only answer that can really defeat this position that if it happens to be right it will not be right because it is really right but only because of chance it is right and that which is right by chance is not really right, so this is one special theory of materialism.

Now we come to the last theory of materialism. Now this theory also follows basically theory of chance but in a more sophisticated manner. It says that the world consists of events and the only statement you can make which is indubitable is that there are events, only one statement. Nobody can refute this statement that there are events. Now events have no intrinsic relationship with each other according to the theory which regards consciousness as the root of the universe. The relationship between the one event and the other is determined by underlying unity because there is a kind of a design and all design implies the unity, therefore everything that happens to the world has an internal relationship with the other event. No event occurs without having an intrinsic relationship with any other event, but this theory maintained that every event has no relationship with any other event. Every event is independent of the other. Between one event and the other there is a gap, a vacuum.

Now this is the theory which was advanced basically to support materialism because according to materialism there is no conscious design and conscious design and conscious design implies unity. Unity means inter–relationship which is intrinsic, therefore to oppose this theory, this theory has been put forward that all events in the world happen without any relationship with the other. It may not use the word chance but actually it comes through the same theory that every event if it happens without any connection with another event, it is by chance. It may not use the word chance but it is another version of the same theory but with this sophistication of the idea of relationship that the relationship according to this theory is external not internal. The relationship between one event and the other is not intrinsic but external. It is simply superimposed upon it by our thinking. In itself one event has no connection with another event. Every event is atomistic. According to this theory time for example consists of moments and each moment is like a drop. Between one moment and the other there is no interval as such. There is no interval of time. Between one event and the other there is an interval but the interval is a vacuum. There is nothing between two. This theory maintains that between one event and the other there is no duration. Every event occurs by itself. It’s like a drop suddenly, a drop and event takes place and nothing happens for sometime suddenly something happens another event take place, so according to this theory time is not a succession of moments. It is simply a moment followed by vacuum, followed by another moment, so between one moment and the other there is no relationship. This is also called the atomic theories of events. Every event is atomic. It has no connection with the other.