Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 801

You know last time we spoke of force into which multiplicity of objects in the  world can be reduced and I said that Sankhyan philosophy had made this great contribution in showing that all the multiplicity of objects in the world are nothing but manifestation of one single force. It is a kind of Advaita not the ultimate Advaita but Advaita at least of objects of the world. So how matter that we see can be reduced to water, how water can be reduced to fire, how fire can be reduced to air and how air can be reduced to ether or akasha or space and how that can be reduced to the original force. A force which can remain in two conditions either at rest or in movement, but the same force. Having reached this point a question can be asked as to whether force itself can be reduced to anything else. If matter, water, fire, air sky or space can be all reduced to one force, can force be reduced to anything farther and actually we had seen already earlier in the earlier chapter that all force which is in movement can be reduced to pure Existent and we can repeat that argument so that the argument is settled once again more properly. How movement can be reduced to the pure Existent. We had said that all movement of force is reducible to time and space. Now all time and space is successive according to our ordinary experience. All time experience is successive – past, present and future are distinguishable in the movement of time, but all succession implies a very curious kind of paradox. There is an element of continuity in succession and there is an element of discontinuity, element of division. The very word succession implies a division. Distinction between that which has gone, that which is now and that will be in the future, that division is implied in the concept of succession and yet there is something like a continuity. If somebody pinches me here just for a little while it makes not much effect on me, but if it continues on and on and on the pinch gets intensified. Now in this movement there is continuity because of continuity that pinch becomes intensive. If it was only discontinuous then the pressure of the pinch of one minute is gone then the pressure of a second pinch will start afresh then the intensity will not increase. It is because although there is succession there is a continuity. So all succession implies a paradox of discontinuity and continuity. Now how can we explain this paradox? How can be there such a thing which is discontinuous and yet continuous, you might say it’s a miracle. How can this be possible? Is there something behind it which can explain this. You are obliged to look behind only when there is a problem. If there is no problem you never look behind because successive movement implies this kind of a problem which would reconcile continuity and non-continuity, so you are obliged to look behind it. Then you observe that there is something like non-successive extension that is to say that you realize that there is an extension which is not successive. I have given the example of a small insect walking on the branch of a tree. Now to that little thing crossing from one point to the other is a long process, a successive long movement, but to our consciousness which is larger, which can take the whole branch into one whole there is no succession, there is extension but there is no succession in it. You can look at the whole thing, whole segment at one stroke as it were, so there is something like a non-successive extension on the basis of which you can then explain the successive movement, so you therefore realize that there is a kind of non-successive space and non-successive time behind successive movement of time and space and then we had gone farther. All extension implies a ground and that ground must be beyond extension. If it is only itself an extension then that extension requires a further ground, therefore that which is a ground must be beyond extension. That which is beyond extension which is non-successive is the pure Existent. The ground of non-successive extension is the pure existent. All extension is nothing but a moment of force, so we have three steps of the argument – successive space and time, non-successive space and time and spaceless and timeless pure Existent. All space and time disappear. Now the force that is active is therefore reducible to that pure Existent. First is the successive time and space, behind it is non-successive time and space and behind it is a timeless and spaceless pure Existent.

In the ninth chapter we had these three main steps of the argument. This does not mean that the pure existent is opposed to force. It does not mean that the timeless and spaceless is opposed to space and time. It only means that that which is spaceless and timeless is capable of space and time. The pure Existent is a potent self existent, not impotent self existent. It is existent which is capable of force, if it was impotent it would have been incapable of a force. It would mean as if a God who is impotent. It is by the virtue of the force that God’s potency is regarded is potent. God is capable, God has a potency. Now this question of pure existent which is also force or which contains force seems to minimize as self-contradiction, a pure existent which is timeless and spaceless and a force which moves in time and space − non-successive or successive. How can there be a pure existent which is also force at the same time. This is the question which is often raised. There is a Vedic concept of adhbhuta, adhbhuta means wonderful. In the Veda it is said that the reality is adhbhuta, is wonderful.