Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 5

When you read these chapters, you will find how rigorously the entire statement is made so that when you read them, at the end your mind must be able to say that is it necessarily true or there can be no other conclusion. When this is so then intellectually in your mind no doubts remains. So this is the condition, but to be able to understand this whole process, I have to introduce a further complexity.  

First, about the data as I said there can be no philosophy if there are no data; there must be some data, before a philosophical study can begin. Secondly, we must try to give as many data as possible. Whatever is available, the larger the data that you have at your command, the greater will be the authenticity and certainty of your conclusions in regard to the data, which are still not known. 

What are the data that Sri Aurobindo presents in these four chapters? Evidently, there are data which are available in physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, but more than that, Sri Aurobindo also brings in the data which are available to human consciousness, when he practices yoga and brings those data also into the picture. But because the present mankind does not easily admit these data of yoga, Sri Aurobindo while admitting those data and presenting those data shows his cognizance of the problem for the present humanity and therefore, in the argument there are three aspects. While he admits the data from yoga, he shows that the present data without the yogic experiences are such and such. There are some other data, which are available from yoga and you may have hesitations in accepting them but he shows, why you should not have hesitation. There is an argument such that you are able to bridge yourself from the data which are available and which humanity can access more easily to the data which are available but not easily acceptable to the modern humanity. This is the first task of the whole structure of his argument.

Secondly, he shows that if you do not accept these data from yoga then it would be impossible for you to arrive at any certain conclusion. And if you so prefer you remain in the realm of uncertainty, but if you admit this data, then your conclusions will be certain and the both the possibilities are clearly mentioned. And thirdly in deriving the conclusions, there is a strict rigour in which conclusions are shown to be necessarily implied or most probably implied. You will notice when you read these four chapters, you will find actually this true of the whole book. But in these four chapters particularly, you will find this illustrated most conspicuously. I did not speak of all this while dealing with the chapter on The Triple Transformation and The Ascent towards Supermind because those two chapters particularly are related to the statement of yogic data that there data available in the modern sciences are not so relevant but here they are very relevant. Therefore, the data available from modern science and the data available from yoga are both presented but presented in a particular need form. So woven together that every strand of the argument is clear and the alternative conclusions are clear, when all the data which are presented then the conclusions driven seems to be necessarily true or most probably true. In doing this the law of identity, the law of contradiction, the law of excluded middle; you will see are rigorously followed. 

Many people believe that logic consists of nothing but these three laws, study of these three laws, but all logicians do not agree with that view for a long time. In the history of thought there was a view that logic consists only of the study of these three laws – law of identity, law of contradiction, law of excluded middle, which are actually one law, you get it from three different points of view.

But there was a great logician, a great mathematician and a great metaphysician in modern times called Leibniz. He challenged the view that there are only three laws of logic. He introduced a fourth law in logic. What is that fourth law? He called it the law of sufficient reason. Let us again go back to an example to understand this fourth law.

When Tushar was a very young boy, he asked his mother a question, – ‘Why is it raining’? She said it rains sometimes. He said but why must it rain, and why must it rain sometimes, why not all the time? This is a question. So she said look before rain comes there must be clouds in the sky, when there are clouds it rains. And Tushar was for sometime satisfied.

You know logic is also supposed to be a science which tells you, by what reasoning human mind can be satisfied. What is that kind of reasoning which when given satisfies the human mind. The human mind says alright, now I am satisfied. So, here is your answer Tushar, when there are clouds, it rains. Then he went out of the room and saw the clouds, but it was not raining, so he came back and said, ‘there is cloud but it is not raining’. His mother was obliged to say that it is not that whenever there is a cloud that it must necessarily rain. 

You see here in the reasoning in previous example, when it was gold it must not necessarily be black, when it was black it was not necessarily gold. But now you are saying that when there is a cloud, it does not necessarily follow that it must rain. The first answer was alright. Why does it rain, because there is cloud? But when there is cloud, now here was an example, it was not raining. Tushar has an upper point now and he says that there is cloud but it’s not raining. So you are answering that it is not a necessary law that whenever there is cloud it must rain. Then he has a further question, why is it that does not necessarily follow, if rain is always dependent upon the clouds then why is it that when there is a cloud it does not necessarily follow that there must be rain. For rain, cloud is necessity, but for the cloud rain is not necessary.

Based upon this fact Leibniz said that the world is not a world merely of necessity. If this world were ruled only by the law of identity, only by the law of contradiction, only by the law of excluded middle, then relationship of necessity would be reciprocal. But he says it is not so the consequence depends upon an antecedent, but antecedent does not necessarily imply a consequent. Therefore, he said this world does not operate only on the law of necessity. There are certain things which are necessary, but everything in the world is not necessary.