Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 301

As we were trying to understand existence and we said that existence is not a predicate. We shall continue from there onwards and try to see wherever we find existence or wherever we feel there is existence and try to examine, what it is. The most convincing experience of existence is your inner feeling of your existence. Everyone feels that one exists. It’s a direct experience of existence. It is true that while you look out you feel the whole vast world also is there but even that vast world seems to us to be only around you and our normal experience of our self is that each individual feels that he is the center, and the whole world is a kind of a surrounding. The world is experienced by us as our own surrounding. We even sometimes feel that the world is meant for us, not only that it surrounds us but world is meant for us as if the circumstances are meant for you. True, sometimes you feel that the world is hostile that also is an experience but the very idea of its hostility is because you want it to be favourable to you. Your expectation from the world is that the world should be favourable to you, but as you begin to look at the world outside and expand yourself you begin to have an opposite idea. In fact this kind of perception is extremely useful, if you want to come out of your small little world.

At one time Mother has said that if you really want to be free from your immediate conditions then think of your immediate surroundings, it will be certainly vaster than yourself. Whatever surrounding you have it is always vaster than yourself and then that surrounding is a part of a larger surrounding and then enter into a larger surrounding, the locality, the village, the town, the city, the district, the region, the state, the country and the vaster parts of the world and the whole earth and then imagine the earth spinning round the sun and then look at the huge astronomical world of stars and galaxies and imagine now what modern astronomy tells us, all the stars and everything that we see is only three galaxies at the most, where as there are one thousand million galaxies, according to modern astronomy. There are one thousand million galaxies in the world and each galaxy consists of at least ten thousand millions stars. This is the modern knowledge of astronomy, which tells us and we are a part of one galaxy, out of one thousand million galaxies and in this galaxy our star, our sun is only a little thing, quite distant from its own center. Every galaxy has its own nucleus as it were and in that, around that small star, all the planets are moving round of which our earth is a little dust particle as it were. In that dust particle where do we stand?  Then if you look at it from the point of view of time, it seems according to modern speculation of big-bang theory that it was fifteen to twenty thousand billion years ago and our solar system came to an existence about four thousand million years, and then out of the solar system our earth began to spin some time later and then millions of years have gone since the earth began to evolve. First only matter began to form crystals and various kinds of objects and then the little viruses began to take form in water and then bacteria and then amoeba of various kinds and then thousands of species of all of them and the fungi for example, there are seven thousand of species of fungi alone and out of these small little things, the cellular bodies of various organisms came into existence and then small cellular objects came in the water then came the amphibians that could be both in the water and on the earth. And various kinds of evolutes including birds and mammals and so on until in the evolution after thousands and thousands of species many of which have come into being and many of them have perished; this little species, called human being is surviving and struggling of which we are a member. How many years old in the vast vision of time and space?

You know the very first paragraph that Sri Aurobindo has written in chapter 9 is extremely instructive. I will read out to you the first paragraph of chapter 9. Whenever you feel compressed in this world you read this first paragraph and our tensions will immediately begin to melt away.

“When we withdraw our gaze from its egoistic preoccupation with limited and fleeting interests and look upon the world with dispassionate and curious eyes that search only for the Truth, our first result is the perception of a boundless energy of infinite existence, infinite movement, infinite activity, pouring itself out in limitless Space, in eternal Time, an existence that surpasses infinitely our ego or any ego or any collectivity of egos, in whose balance the grandiose products of aeons are but the dust of a moment and in whose incalculable sum numberless myriads count only as a petty swarm.”

 It’s a huge vision of the world; grandiose products of aeons are but the dust of a moment. All that we count as galaxies and millions of galaxies are but a dust of a moment and in whose incalculable sum numberless myriads count only as a petty swarm, this is the big observation that you need to make, if you want to understand what is existence. At the same time Sri Aurobindo points out that this vision needs to be enriched or even corrected by putting the right placement of ourselves in this vast universe. Compared to that vast universe, it is true that we are less than even dust and yet are we entirely unimportant? We may be a dust of dust and if you examine nature very closely, you’ll find that nature spends a same kind of energy in spinning Jupiter in the hemispheres as in curling, as in fashioning a curl of the hair of the child. It is extremely careful about each and every little thing. If you look at the strength of the strong and weakness of the weak, we feel that weakness is the absence of strength without realizing that if the energy which is at work is a mighty energy, how can there be absence of energy? Therefore, to produce weakness, a mighty energy is needed to produce weakness. To withdraw for example, if there is a wild horse on which you are mounted, it’s a tremendous energy of the horse. If you want to restrain that horse, how much energy you need to restrain that horse? To make that horse slightly weaker than what it is because of its wildness, you require tremendous power to restrain it. Similarly, to create weakness in the world where there is a tremendous tide of energy, energy must be spending so much of energy to restrain it so that weakness can be produced. Weakness is not actually absence of strength, it is the restraint of strength and that restraint requires as much energy as is required for the spending of energy − to make the strong, strong and the weak, weak − energy spent is equal in both the cases.