Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 804

You don’t ask the question why does it move out or why does it not move out, both are unconscious, therefore why there should be a movement or there should not be a movement, this question has a relevance only if there is consciousness in the pure existent and therefore also in the force, which is one with it and which is inherent in it. We can therefore put this question only first of all, if you prove that it is conscious. So, before answering the question why, we are now obliged to face a more fundamental question. Is pure existent, is a force which is acting, Is it conscious? It is only that if we can prove it is that we can then ask the question why does it move, or does it go into rest, so let us now concentrate upon this question. Is this pure existent and the force which is inherent in it and one with it, is it conscious? Infact, this whole chapter is written for concentrating upon this question. All that we have said so far is a preliminary. We have now come to the real issue of this chapter. You will see that the title of the chapter is ‘Conscious Force’, so the whole theme of this chapter is to discuss whether the force which is acting and which is under the control of the pure existent − is it conscious or unconscious?

Now let us therefore pause a little and look at the world once again and if you look at the world you find that the large portion of the world or in fact overwhelming the large portion of the world is unconscious. If you look at the whole universe, at least to our experience we find all the heavenly bodies moving on and on and on, we see the whole earth spinning fast and we see the lands which are stretching out on the earth, the waters which are rolling in this world, the air that is blowing, in all this phenomena there is a mute, blind, uncommunicative, simple unconsciousness, only in one corner, the human corner in this vast universe we are a small corner. Our humanity is only a little speck. In that little speck we find the bubbling of consciousness. It is true there is a phenomenon called consciousness, it is true. You cannot deny it. To deny it would require consciousness. You can deny the presence of consciousness only through an act of consciousness, therefore the presence of consciousness is undeniable, so if anybody says there is no consciousness at all, he is saying something which he does not know what he is saying. It makes no meaning because even when he says it, he says it with the help of consciousness, he can’t say it without help of consciousness. So that there is consciousness is a fact, but there is only one corner. Then the question arises − what is the nature of this consciousness? Now on this question there has been lot of debate. The Sankhya philosophy of what we spoke earlier asked this question what is consciousness? It tried its utmost to reduce this consciousness to unconscious movement of force. It tried its best to show that this consciousness is nothing but translation of something that is in unconscious matter or unconscious prakriti, but could not do it. Sankhya could not reduce consciousness to an origin which is unconscious. Now modern materialism studying the same problem is struggling to prove that consciousness is nothing but a development of matter, which is unconscious. What Sankhyan in the ancient time in India tried to do and failed the modern materialism is once again trying the same thing, trying to show that consciousness is nothing but a development of unconscious matter. One cannot say whether materialism has succeeded or not succeeded. We might say it is struggling, although it speaks the language of as if, it has solved the problem although it is struggling to answer the question. It normally speaks a language as if it has found the answer by saying that consciousness is nothing but a development of matter.

Now how does it try to show that consciousness is nothing but a development of matter? It does it by two important methods. First argument is look where is the phenomenon of consciousness? Just see more closely to consciousness and you will find it is nearest to physical organs. When the physical organs are in operation, consciousness is generated; therefore consciousness is the result of the movement of the physical organs. This is the first argument. The second argument is ultimate reality is matter; therefore, everything in the world must be derived from ultimate Reality. Since consciousness is there in the world it must be ultimately derivable from matter. Let us repeat these two arguments. If you look at the phenomenon of consciousness from the closest quarters, you find that all consciousness is operating nearest to the physical organs, not only nearest but seems to be generated from the physical organs. This is the first argument. Second argument is that ultimate reality is matter, therefore anything in the world must be derivable from the ultimate reality, therefore if consciousness is the phenomenon in the world it must be derived from matter. These are the two arguments on which the whole case of materialism rests. Now these two arguments are very important because today a large portion of humanity holds materialist philosophy in one way or the other. There is a big wave of materialistic thought in the world and this wave has two very important companions – one is that under this philosophy it is very easy to advocate the aim of life which seeks only pleasure. Since pleasure is very pleasant and seeking of pleasure and justification for seeking for pleasure is very pleasant. There is an immediate attraction towards materialism. If you can justify the seeking of pleasure under the basis of materialism then materialism becomes a very pleasant theory. This is a big attraction of materialism in the world.