This seems to be the outward machinery of evolution. It is even argued that all the creatures of the world are in a state of struggle against the outer forces of nature. According to one description, the nature is hostile to the creatures of the world. The winds, waters, fires of various kinds and the earth even; they are all hostile to the development of creatures and creatures are constantly striving, struggling and in this struggle they try to survive.
This was the famous doctrine of Darwin; who spoke of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. And he pointed out that evolution consists of development of physical organs, development of physical form in such a way that it becomes more and more fitted to survive. The creatures which failed to develop; they are extinguished, thrown out, only those which are able to sustain the battle they remain.
This theory seems to be quite valid, when we look at the basic phenomenon of nature all over the world. There is an element of struggle in this world this is unquestionable. It is also true that every one struggles to survive, that also is a fact. But whether nature is hostile or not that may be questioned, but it appears to be so to a great extent that also cannot be questioned. Whether ultimately the struggle succeeds in surviving by development of physical organs or not that may be questioned, but very largely it seems to be indisputable. But these two questions still remain, although largely they can be supported by many phenomena that we see all over in the world, whether nature is hostile, really hostile and whether the development of physical organs is a key to survival of the creatures. For that reason we need to go into a deeper understanding of the process of evolution.
If nature was really hostile to the creatures, nature itself would not have in the first place formed the creatures because after all, all the creatures are formations of nature. Secondly, this was the argument of one of the famous philosophers of the West called Bergson. He said if survival of the fittest was the only thing in the world then mountains are the fittest and having formed mountains nothing more could have been necessary to manifest. Rocks can survive for thousands of years, what is the need of any further evolution at all. The most surviving elements have been created already. He said that there must be some other driving force of evolution, not the survival of the fittest, but the joy of creating newer and newer forms,– that was his theory. A nature is a kind of a dancer and wants to manifest its joy by manifesting various kinds of forms.
The delight of nature is that of novelty, you create one form, create another and create still another, – newer and newer forms. The joy of movement of dynamism, growth, what he called in French, (because he was a French philosopher) – ‘Elan Vital’; Elan means the push, the joy of the push, Vital of the vital force. There is a life force which wants to manifest because of the rigour, the vigour which is unbounded and which wants to flow on and on and on. It is like a fountain of water, it gushes out and moves upwards and the joy of this movement is itself the justification of all evolution. All the different species that are seen in the world are so many toys made by nature to enjoy itself and the only restrictive force in this joy of movement is Matter.
Everyone is as it were in a prison and the joy of life is restricted because of the limitations of the body. The body has so much of inertia, resistance, need of sleep, need to sustain itself physically. It is subject to disease, sickness, old age, infirmities of various kinds. The joy of life is very much restricted because of this resistance of matter.
According to him, matter is not the first thing to evolve. The first thing to evolve is life force. It is the life force which is evolving and in the bursting of joy, the backlash of the movement of the force of the vital being creates the imprisonment of matter. Again to go back to the analogy of the fountain, you can see that the fountain expresses the upward movement of the water, after reaching the certain height there is a fall backwards, and as it falls backwards, it also pushes backwards the force of the movement of water. This backward movement of vital force, which resists the upward movement of the vital force is what is called matter, − according to him.
After Bergson there came so many others, who examined the theory of evolution and found that mere development of matter or life as explained by Darwin, or by Bergson does not really explain the phenomenon of the world. There is some truth in that theory, some truth in this theory, but these theories do not fully explain all that is there in the world.
According to some there is some kind of a miracle in the development of evolution. Oxygen and hydrogen, we say create water, which has neither the character of oxygen nor of the other. It’s something new, from where has this new thing arrived. It is believed that when certain things are combined together there is an emergence of something new and from what thing, what thing will come out, we do not know, somehow it happens.