Life Divine Chapter I & II (Dec 1996) - Track 105

That these are the ideals which are contradicted by our ordinary experience, in ordinary experience you have no God, you have no Light, you have no Immortality and no Freedom. So if you are to go only by ordinary experience then you have to say that although man aspires for these things they will not be justified, if you go only by ordinary experience because ordinary experience contradicts them.  These four goals or five goals, whatever you experience around in the world there is no God anywhere you see in the world normally, don’t experience ordinarily. You don’t experience immortality anywhere, you don’t experience light everywhere, you don’t experience freedom everywhere in ordinary experience these are contradictory, absolutely missing. So if you are to go only by ordinary experience then you will never be able to justify these aspirations, attaining them. But is this contradiction of the ordinary experience the final judge? No.

So Sri Aurobindo says that if you really examine the way in which Nature has been developing (this is from the cosmological argument) if you look at the way in which the cosmos is developing you will find a method in it, which you can observe. What is that method? That which Nature wants to affirm ultimately is first negated and then gradually that negation is negated, so that you affirm it, this is the method of Nature. So if today we say that ordinary experience contradicts God, we should not feel hesitant in aspiring for God, why? Because Nature’s method is first to present such an experience which will deny you that which is ultimately going to come about in the future, the very method of Nature is first denial and then affirmation. Is that really so? This the question further asked, is that really the method?

So in the third paragraph Sri Aurobindo gives examples and says: Look, first there was at one time only Matter on this earth and if at that time if somebody had to say that in this black unconscious regime of hard granite there will bubble out a living organism, people would have said: it is impossible. This Matter is a denial, a complete contradiction of all the possibility of life. Life is dynamic and pulsating, Matter is inert and no locomotion by itself, therefore when Life bubbled out of Matter you could then be convinced that Nature has a method that which is its opposite is brought out of its first principle in which that opposition was laid.

Similarly Life and Mind are quite opposite to each other, life is blind, life is irrational, life is wild, life is unorganised but mind is conscious, organised, it always pursues arrangement, it rejects all irrationality, it rejects all wildness and yet it is this mind which came out in the field of Life, so here was the question of opposites, – Life and Mind are opposite of each other and yet it’s the Life in which the Mind came out. Similarly, it would therefore not be impossible for us to conclude that that which is opposite to the Mind will come out of the Mind, that which is half-blind (mind is half-blind) it is half consciousness, half unconsciousness, out of that will emerge fully conscious Supramental, not mental but supramental. So out of half-blindness will emerge full light that fits in with the whole logical chain, as Sri Aurobindo says: All problems of existence are problems of harmony? Everything in the world tends towards harmonisation, harmonisation of opposites. Therefore if ordinary experience contradicts these higher ideals then that contradiction should be taken as a sign that this will be harmonised, these three paragraphs complete one set of arguments.

Now starts the fourth paragraph with a new argument but supporting all that has gone before and here Sri Aurobindo now brings out more prominently the theory of evolution. He says that the modern science, modern knowledge has put forward the idea of evolution. This idea says that life emerges in matter, and mind emerges in life, – this is the theory of evolution. But Sri Aurobindo adds but modern science does not ask the question, why should life emerge in matter and why should mind emerge in life? It only describes this fact but it does not raise the more fundamental question, why should it so happen? Why should life emerge in matter and why should mind emerge in life? Can life emerge in matter if life was not at all present in matter? It was within it. Could mind have emerged in life, if mind was not present in life? So he says, therefore we may say that matter itself is veiled life, its life but veiled, life is veiled mind.  Similarly now we can say that mind also is a veiled supermind. Therefore Sri Aurobindo says that it is in this logical chain of evolutionary process we can say that mind contains within itself the supermind. So man he says is the laboratory, just as the animal was the laboratory in which man was worked out, similarly man is a laboratory in which superman is being worked out, this is the end of the fourth paragraph.

Then comes the last paragraph, where having shown all this Sri Aurobindo says: that the modern mind today stands at a very important stage in which it is inclined to negate the possibility of the Supermind. Modern mind is today raising the most difficult obstacles; these two obstacles particularly are to be noted. One is the obstacle of the rationalist, materialist or even rationalists. The one is obstacle of the rationalist the other is the obstacle of the religionist. These two words are important in this paragraph. The rationalist says that Reason is the highest and there can be nothing higher than Reason, so it puts an obstacle. Rationalist says that there can be nothing higher than Reason. Religionists says that man can worship God but for man to become divine himself, is not possible. If you examine the religionist, not religion but religionists' ideal, those who want to erect religion as a last and highest pedestal which denies anything more than religion, their only idea is that you can only worship but you cannot become but these two stands in the way. Therefore Sri Aurobindo says if you examine matter very impartially, objectively, taking into account all the facts of the universe, you can conclude particularly when you take into account the experience of some exceptional individuals in the history of the world then you can be quite convinced that we should not fear to aspire. The aspiration that has been there throughout the history is fully justified. This is the last paragraph that even though these two obstacles are there these two obstacles can be rejected in the light of the experience of some of the exceptional individuals in the history of the world.

Sri Aurobindo gives the analogy of the Northern Lights. If you go to the North Pole, suddenly you will find even in darkest night, effulgence of light. Why because there is a huge light behind the darkness which sometime appears like a miracle. But that is not really a miracle because the light exists, sometimes through the darkness it appears. Similarly in the case of the human mind which is a veil through that veil sometimes exceptional individuals bring the higher light, therefore if you make a systematic effort the veil can be broken and the highest light can be made manifest fully. Therefore the human aspiration of God, Light, Light, Freedom, Immortality is justified, this is the conclusion of the first chapter. In fact the entire book is contained in this very first chapter. The whole theme of the whole book is given in the very first chapter and the basic argument is also given in the first chapter.