You know we are about to start a new series. We began with a very important series, ‘The Triple Transformation’ and we are halfway in that series. We finished two chapters in that series, the third chapter you are reading yourself and the fourth chapter we shall do a little later when you have finished the third chapter. In the meantime it was suggested that we can have another plunge into ‘The Life Divine’ from another side.
‘The Life Divine’, is like a huge palace in which there are so many halls, rooms, balconies, towers, corridors and sub-corridors of various kinds and if you start somewhere you can go on, and on, and on and see the whole palace by entering into any part of the palace. All of them are interconnected but you can also enter from one side, go upto certain point and again come out and go into another corridor and enter another big hall, so this is another kind of a gallery through which we are entering into a huge hall with a tremendous dome. This consists of chapter number nine, ten, eleven, twelve and before we launch upon this big voyage into these four chapters let me explain the background of these four chapters.
The Life Divine as a whole is regarded as the greatest philosophical book of our times. When you call it a philosophical book, we must understand why it is called a philosophical book. It is not a book of yoga such as The Synthesis of Yoga. It is not a book of poetry like ‘Savitri’. It is not a scientific book such as we find a book on chemistry, physics or biology. It is not a book of mathematics. So we must know what exactly is the meaning of Philosophy and having known that meaning we can apply it to this book and say this is a philosophical book.
What is philosophy? You might say that philosophy is an intellectual pursuit. Philosophy is basically an intellectual pursuit, but so is science, so is mathematics, but while science, mathematics are also intellectual, philosophy is intellectual in a very specific manner. Its mode of intellectuality is somewhat different from the mode of intellectuality that we find in science or mathematics. All sciences ask one basic question—what is the nature of the object that is before us? And very often in answering this question two more questions are raised. Why is an object what it is? And how has an object become what it is? So what is the nature of the object? How has that object come about? And why has it come about? These three questions are raised by every science.
Secondly every science normally limits itself to one kind of object. Physics for example concentrates only upon all objects which are material in character. Biology is a science; it concentrates upon all life organisms. Psychology is a science; it concentrates upon only those objects which are mental in character. The study of material objects and nature of matter is the study of physics. Study of life forms, organisms is the subject matter of biology. The study of mind is the subject matter of psychology and all these sciences ask distinct questions. Physics asks the question: what is the nature of matter? Why is the nature of matter, what it is and how has matter come into being. These three questions are asked by physics, similarly biology asks these questions: what are life organisms? How is life different from matter? How is life different from mind? How has life come into existence? And why has it come into existence? Similarly psychology asks the same questions in regard to the mind.
A question may be asked: can there be a science which does not limit itself only to one kind of object? Can there be science which deals with three questions at the same time; what is matter? What is life? What is mind? Is there a science which asks the question why is there matter, life and mind at all? A science, which asks the question that how is it that matter, life and mind have come to be, what they are? There is nothing impossible in having such a science. There can be such a science.
Until now, in the history of thought such a science has not yet come into existence. But it is not an intellectual science, for example, there is what you call Yoga, which is also a science and which raises a question which is comprehensive—what is matter, what is life, what is mind? How are they related to each other, why are they what they are, how are they what they are? Not only that they ask the question about everything that is in existence, not only matter, life and mind. It also raises a question as to what else is there apart from matter, life and mind. But this science which has developed right from the time of the Veda to the present day is not intellectual in character. As far as the intellectual history of the world is concerned, scientists so far have limited themselves, each one of them, only to one category of existence. It does not mean that in the future there cannot be a full science covering all the data of existence. There can be such a science in the future. But there is one difficulty in conceiving such a science. If the method is to be intellectual then intellect should be capable of knowing all the facts of the universe at one stroke as it were, in one vision. If intellect is capable of arriving at the knowledge of all the data of the universe then such a science becomes possible. But so far it has been found that intellect is not capable of arriving at that vast vision. Intellect is by nature piecemeal, it takes one subject into hand, deals with it properly, then it takes up another subject, deals with it properly and can take up a third subject and take it up properly but when it tries to correlate all the three, intellect finds it very difficult. Certain data which are necessary for taking complete view of things, those data escape the grasp of the intellect or it is found that those data require a long time to be collected so that we can have a total vision of ourselves. In the future there could be one day, when all the data of the universe could be assembled together and we could have one intellectual science of all the domains of existence, such that it can be a future programme but so far such a thing has not happened.
In the meantime however, if you really want to know even before this enquiry is over or can be undertaken; if you want to know intellectually, the totality, can it be known? This is the question, even before you can collect all the data of the universe, without collecting all the data is it possible to deal with all the data. Is such an endeavor possible? It is here that philosophy comes into the picture. Philosophy is a study of all the available data, not all the data, but of all the available data belonging to all the present sciences and applied to the available data such an instrument that can give you the answers, intellectual answers as to what can be imagined about all the data. You take all the available data, think about all this data together and then imagine what all the data would be like. So, you might say that philosophy is a kind of an exercise in imagination. It is somewhat like poetry.
Poetry also is a subject of imagination from a few data, which are presented to the mind, poetry imagines and arrives at a perception. Art is also a matter of imagination. Music also is a matter of imagination. Philosophy is also a matter of imagination, but there is a difference between other imaginations and the imagination that is in philosophy. In the other domains of art, music, poetry, you are allowed to have fancy, not only imagination but also a fancy, even a fantasy, but in philosophy while imagination is allowed, the imagination is not allowed to be fanciful. It is not allowed to be a fantasy; it is not allowed to be fictitious. Fiction, fancy, fantasy are not allowed then what kind of imagination is allowed? A rigorous imagination, there is in philosophy a rigour; this rigour consists of the notion of necessity.
What is the nature of necessity in philosophy? Let me explain this concept of necessity—when I imagine that the moon is like the face of my mother, I am not required to prove it necessarily, that the face of the moon is like the face of my mother. It may not be so, but in my experience I feel it to be so. I don’t need to prove it to others, look it is necessarily so. It is a matter of imagination, a matter of my personal experience. When I am in the upper hemisphere of the earth, when there is total darkness and I am walking in that wilderness in the upper hemisphere, my experience is that wherever I turn there is darkness. So I would say all this is dark. Then I may even go forward and say in imagination that even though I have walked on all the paths of this upper hemisphere, I believe that everything is dark. Although I might not even know what is happening in the southern hemisphere, where there will be daylight, in my experience it may seem that everywhere there must be darkness, as much dark as it’s here in my experience. I might even announce that everything is dark, all over is dark. In poetry, if therefore a poet says all is dark, we will not demand from the poet a proof; prove that everywhere, wherever you have not gone, it must be darkness. There must necessarily be darkness. You don’t ask the poet to prove this question. In poetry you allow this kind of imagination which is true to your personal subjective experience. Where, even what you think is probable is allowed to be said as if it is true.
But in philosophy if you make a statement by imagination, you must be in a position to say that that imagination necessarily follows from all the data that are available to you. That is to say, you are able to imagine about other data which are not before you. On the basis of the data which are available to you, but your intellectual argument must be such that would necessarily show that the other data which are not seen by you, not experienced by anybody so far, must be like this.
You must have read some of the detective stories in which this kind of matter is very often found to be very useful and very much applicable. Theft has taken place in a house and you don’t know who the thief is. There could have been many alternative answers to this question. On the basis of the data which are available, where you find that the whole house is actually intact, even the door is locked, almirahs are locked, everything is in perfect order, only in one small box you had the most precious jewel, which is missing. Therefore the question that is put before you is only this ‘who could have stolen this jewel?’ The data are that the house is intact, all the almirahs are perfectly locked, the rooms are locked; all the members of the family had gone out. Naturally you have two or three probable answers to this question; that before all the members of the family went out, one of the members, who had access to the keys had very quietly taken out the jewel and it was safely deposited elsewhere. So even now, if you search everybody, nobody can be found to be guilty. That is one possibility. The second is that during your absence, somebody, who has got duplicate keys made in advance, who knows your programme of going out, who knows exactly where the jewel lies and by opening with the duplicate keys very safely and without disturbing anything else, had gone straight to the jewel and taken it out, this is the second alternative. Or there could be another also, which you can imagine. Out of these two or three alternatives, all of them are probable; all of them are imaginations because all of them are likely, until you come to what is called a crucial fact. You will not be able to decide what necessarily must have happened. Usually the detectives have one task of finding out such facts, which will necessarily prove that this alone must have happened and not anything else.
Similar is the method in philosophical reasoning. In the imagination that is allowed in philosophy, you have to rigorously follow a process in which the data which are available; from among those data you have to find some such data which will conclusively and necessarily show that other data which are not known must be of that nature. This is the law of necessity in philosophical reasoning.
Philosophy arises at a time when certain data are available about a large number of subjects in the world, not merely one. On the basis of those data a question is raised about the nature of all the data of the universe and you are asked to answer the question as to what must necessarily be true of all the data, not probably true, but necessarily true. Or else, if you can’t find an answer in terms of rigorous necessity you shall be able to answer with utmost probability regarding all the data. So two kinds of answers are available at this stage in enquiry, the enquiry must be about all the possible data, that is what distinguishes philosophy from science.
At present science deals with only subject matters of one domain or the other. Philosophy deals with all the data of the entire universe and secondly it takes into account all the known data; and on the basis of the known data, an effort is made to imagine as to what must be the nature of all the other data which are not known. Or secondly what most probably must be the nature of the data which are not known.
This process is what is called the logical process, as distinguished from the processes of imagination of poetry or of art or music or any other. This process of deriving necessary conclusions, or most probable conclusions, is called a logical process. You might say that the difference between poetry, music and art on the one hand and philosophy on the other is that the imagination that is allowed in philosophy has to follow a logical process. In poetry, music and art, the logical process is not necessary. You can deviate from the logical process. There can be illogical process, or logical with some license or supra-logical, these are the methods of poetry, music and art. Illogical, logical with some licenses and supra-logical, but in philosophy the processes are supposed to be exclusively logical.
The Life Divine is called a book of philosophy because it deals with all the known data of physics, chemistry, biology and all, whatever is known, all the data which are known and which are useful in deriving the knowledge about the unknown data. All this data are to be found in this book, that’s the first reason why it is a philosophical book. But not merely that, on the basis of this data a logical process has been employed to infer, what must necessarily be the nature of all the data which are known or unknown and a systematic, consistent picture of the whole is attempted to be presented. There is a rigour of logic; there are imaginations or inferences which are vigorously following a logical process. And the ultimate picture that emerges is that of the totality, so that you can be intellectually quite sure that even though sciences have not yet found out all the data, in advance of the scientific discoveries you are absolutely sure by this process, as to what is the nature of the totality of reality. This is the special merit of philosophy that even before science makes full progress in arriving at the knowledge of the totality; philosophy is like a fore-runner. And says that even with regard to whatever is available on that very basis, I will be able to tell you with certainty as to what must be the nature of the totality or if not absolute certainty, with the highest degree of probability, I will tell you whatever is the ultimate total picture of the reality. This is the great work that is contained in the whole of The Life Divine, in the whole book.
You must have seen that in this whole argument one word, which I have used becomes central, and that is the word ‘logic’. You take out the word ‘logic’ and all that I have said falls down. The most important question is what is the meaning of logic? This is a question which has been asked for thousands of years. What is logic? And even today the question is being asked and while there are different answers to this question; there is a need to think on this question with a fresh mind.
Normally it takes about several years to study logic and I don’t want that we should waste so many years studying that subject. Within a short time we may make an effort to get to the essence of the matter, so that we can go ahead with our main enquiry. I shall tell you very briefly, what logic is. Let me take two examples to indicate to you what logic is,—If I ask Tushar: ‘what is the colour of this statue here before me? He will say, ‘it is black and gold, part of it is golden, part of it is black’. Then I will ask him, ‘Is it both black and gold?’ Then he will clarify and say -‘that where it is golden it is not black, where it is black, it is not golden’. Then I will ask him the question, ‘why is it so? Why is it that what is golden is not black and what is black is not golden?’ If he has not studied logic he will simply say, ‘it is so.’ Then I will ask him a further question, ‘it is all right, it is so but is it necessarily so’ that will be my further question, ‘is it necessarily so?’ In other words the question would be, is it necessary that what is golden can never be black and what is black, can never be golden. ‘Is it necessarily so?’
We come to a little more complex statement. I am showing you all this because these chapters 9, 10, 11, 12 are great examples of the presentation of data which are known and presentation of that which is not known. They are presented in such a way that the conclusion seems to be necessarily true or most probably true because the structure of the argument is of this. Then he might scratch his head, it’s a new question. So he might say ultimately that it is necessarily so. If you put gold on black, maybe some other colour might come up, or vice versa. Therefore, he will tell me, it is necessarily so that what is black is black, what is gold is gold. Having said this Tushar may derive a conclusion that logically it is impossible for black to be gold and for gold to be black. But you must see that he has actually said on the basis of experience. He has tried to make gold-black or black-gold but he failed to do so, therefore he concluded that it is logically impossible. What is black is black and what is gold is gold and the two are opposite of each other. Now he has become a good logician in the meantime. He will answer my question that gold and black are contradictory to each other and two contradictions cannot be true of an object. An object cannot be such that it is what it is and it is opposite of it. If somebody says, I am riding a horse and I am not riding a horse at the same time, in the same place, in the same state of consciousness. I may be riding in my dream while I am lying on my bed. That is possible. In the same state of consciousness I am riding and not riding is not possible. The two are contradictory to each other; therefore logically it is impossible that the same object can be having two contradictory predicates.
This is what is normally called a basic principle of logic. Let me state it in a classical form, logic is a science which tells you that when certain data are presented to you and you derive from those data a certain imaginative conclusion and if your conclusion is true then what has happened in your thinking by which your conclusion has been found to be true?
I will show him a diamond and ask him a question: is it also a pearl? And by this time he has learnt logic, so he says diamond is a diamond and pearl is pearl. What is a diamond cannot be a pearl and a pearl cannot be a diamond. The two are contradictory of each other or contrary of each other, therefore either the object is a diamond or it cannot be a pearl, necessarily it will not be a pearl. He has applied what is called the law of contradiction and this is the basic law of logic.
The entire logic says nothing but this basically that when certain data are given to you and you are required to derive some other data which are not known to you. When you can go from this to that provided you follow and apply the law of contradiction. When you apply this law of contradiction then you can be sure that your conclusion is not a pure fiction, is not fancy, is not fantasy. Even if it is imagination it will be necessarily true. This law of contradiction is also called the law of identity. It’s very easy to see why the law of contradiction is also called the law of identity. Law of identity says that a black cat is necessarily black; a black cat is necessarily black. Black is identical with black, therefore this statement must be true. There is no contradiction involved in this sentence. Therefore the sentence must be true, why, because, I am repeating an identity. A black cat is black; therefore, this statement is true, since it involves no contradiction. You don’t need to look at the cat again and verify whether it is true or not. A black cat is black. If I tell you just like that you will not need to go to black cat and find out that this statement is true or not. It is necessarily true, why, because no contradiction arises or there is no possibility of raising any contradiction.
Whenever you state an identity, the possibility of contradiction ceases, therefore the law of identity is just the other way of stating the law of contradictions because in identities there are no possibilities of contradictions. Therefore, the other side of the law of contradiction is the law of identity. What is free from contradiction is necessarily true and what states identity is necessarily true, so both the stations are basically identical.
There is also the third law of logic, which is another form of stating the law of identity or the law of contradiction. And what is that, it is called the law of excluded middle. When there are two contradictions regarding any object, one must be true, another must be false. The middle course is excluded. If there are two contradictions about any object then you are sure that one of them must be true and another one must be false, therefore, it is called the law of excluded middle. Law of contradiction supports the law of excluded middle and vice versa and the law of contradiction is basically the law of identity. You can apply all the three laws whenever you like or you can say, I am applying the law of excluded middle, it is all the same thing.
Logic has only one law fundamentally, when you can show that the data which are before you and the data which are not known to you are basically identical in character; then you are certain that your conclusion is valid. When the known data are shown to be identical with the data which are not known but by some method, if you can show that they are identical then you can be sure that your conclusion must be true. This is called the rigour of logic and the rigour of argument. Your argument must be such that from the known data the conclusion that you are deriving is fundamentally identical. That is why you must have seen in mathematics, you have got identities. Most important part of mathematics consists of identities. The full chapter of identities is only this; complete proof in mathematics is based upon identity. You are sure that this is exactly identical with this then your proof is conclusive. That is why mathematics is also called logic and logic is called mathematics. Mathematics also is the science of identities. Logic tells you that all reasonings are valid when you can show identities. So far everything seems to be quite simple.
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 doubt 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 is no data; there must be some data before a philosophical study can begin. Secondly, we must try to give as much 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 is some other data, which is 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 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 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 where 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 some time satisfied.
You know logic is also supposed to be a science which tells you, by what reasoning the 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 the 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 a cloud? But when there was a cloud, now here was an example: it was not raining. Tushar has an upper point now and he says that there is a cloud but it’s not raining. So you are answering that it is not a necessary law that whenever there is a cloud it must rain. Then he has a further question, why is it that it 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, a cloud is a necessity, but for the cloud rain is not a 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 the 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.
But how will you explain to the child, you had first said that it rains because there was a cloud. Now he has an example, where there is a cloud but there is no rain. How will the child be explained? You will tell the child that: look apart from the cloud something else also must exist before the rain comes, merely cloud does not mean rain. Something else also must happen; if that something else also happens then rain will come. Father decides in the home what would be the arrangement of income and expenditure. The child wants to buy a thing and the child asks the mother, I want to buy this and the mother says that when the money comes, I will buy it for you. Money comes and you buy for the child, therefore the child thinks that whenever money comes, things can be bought. A relationship is established between money and buying. Next time he wants to buy, there is money also and the mother says no—we won’t buy this. So the child is puzzled and the child asks the mother, why? Then the mother says that the father has decided that we have to buy a few things and not what you want. You get the permission of your father and you will get it. Father has made a rule that in this house this thing will not be bought. The child goes to the father and the father says, ‘I don’t want it. In my house this won’t be allowed’. Then the child argues and then he says, ‘alright have it’. The child concludes that apart from money something else is needed for getting the things that he wants to buy. What is something else? It is the father’s will. Is father’s will something which is rigid or is it flexible? In his experience he found that it is flexible. If you argue and argue the father will say, ‘alright have it’. Next time, when the child wants to buy something, the mother says, ‘no, it can’t be bought’. Money is there but it can’t be bought and the child will understand, he will be satisfied that mother is not able to buy because the father must have put some restrictions on it, so he tries the previous example—going to the father and persuading him to buy it and ultimately having it again. So he derives a conclusion, a logical conclusion, a law of logic. Money is not the cause of buying, if it is a cause, it is necessary. If a seed is a cause of a tree then the seed must produce the tree, therefore his conclusion is that money is not the cause of buying. Apart from money there must be a permission of the father and permission of the father is simply a free will of the father. Simply he has to take a decision, ‘yes or no’ and immediately the money will trigger and the thing will be bought and father’s will is free. Sometimes he persuades the father, sometimes he cannot persuade the father and the father's will is free. From this he derives the following law: a thing is possible depending upon another thing. Buying of X is possible if money is present, so this X is a possibility if money is present but money by itself is not sufficient to produce the buying. It’s a possibility but not a necessity. This possibility is produced from this object called money, if above that there is a will of the father, which is free is exercised then there is a pressure on this and the thing will be bought. So the relationship between money and the object to be bought is not that of a cause and effect. Cause and effect is a relationship in which cause necessarily produces an effect.
The relationship is that of what is called reason. Money is the reason for buying a thing but not the cause of it. Why is it a reason? Reason is opposed to impossibility, improbability. When something is possible then that on which the possibility exists is called reason as opposed to improbability or impossibility. That reason triggers the result only if a free will is exercised. Not only the reason should be present but there should be sufficiency applied to that reason. The decision of a father is a sufficiency imposed upon the reason which produces the result. Therefore Leibniz called this law—‘The Law of Sufficient Reason’ that the world consists of two kinds of events according to Leibniz, events which are necessarily caused by causes and events which are only possible depending upon the reasons which when they become sufficient then they produce the concerned events.
This was a great revolution in the thought of the world when Leibniz introduced this fourth law and he proved that this is true in this world. We gave the example of rain—even if the cloud is present it does not necessarily follow that there must be rain. There must be some other thing on the basis of which it becomes sufficient so as to produce a consequence.
This law is also found to be present in the exposition that Sri Aurobindo has made the law of sufficient reason is also applied. There is a further point in the structure of the argument. We argued in the beginning that diamond is a diamond and a pearl is a pearl and we say it is necessarily true. Why is it necessarily true because in experience we find that where there is gold you can’t put black on it? The two are contradictory of each other. Therefore, we say it is necessarily true that gold is not black and black is not gold. Diamonds and pearls are opposite of each other. The same object cannot be both. It is a law; we say it is necessarily true that two motor cars cannot run on the same ground. It is necessarily so.
All this is true as far as the physical world is concerned. The question is,—is it true also where physical reality is not in question? In the human mind two ideas, or five ideas or ten ideas can stand exactly at the same time. Two motor cars cannot move on the same ground that is physically true but in the mind plane that is not true. Ten ideas can run at the same time on the same terrain in the mind. So what is necessarily true in the physical plane is not necessarily true at the higher plane. Therefore, while you apply the laws of logic you must be very careful as to on what plane you are applying a particular law. Very often this is missed and many debates in the arguments arise because this fundamental point is missed.
There are lots of controversies in the world because in the thought clarity is so missing that while arguing of one plane, we also argue as if it is true also on the other plane. It is true that when the train is moving, it is not stationary. It is very obvious; therefore you can say that what is stationary is not moving. If I can show to a child that look this train is stationary then I can tell the child that look it is not moving even if you are seeing it to be moving, sometimes it does seem to be so. Isn’t it, when you are in the moving train and the other train is stationary, you think that the train is also moving but you can prove that if it is stationary, it cannot move, therefore its not moving, necessarily so. But it is a fact that psychologically you can be at once very quiet and very dynamic. On the contrary the more quiet you are the greater is the force of your dynamism. We always say to the archer to remain absolutely motionless and the greater the motionlessness of the archer, the greater is the force with which he can release his arrow and strike the target.
So you find that it is only when motion arises from motionlessness that the motion is most effective. So there must be simultaneity of motionlessness and motion. Therefore, if you argue that because it is motionless there cannot be a motion, is true only on the physical plane. It is not true of the higher planes. Therefore, the logic which is true of the physical plane is not true of the logic of the higher plane. Logic is always a statement of the relationships which are found in the world of experience. When you find these relationships to be invariable you say they are necessary relationships. Uncle cannot exist without a nephew; nephew cannot exist without an uncle. These are necessary relationships but all relationships are not necessary relationships. They are probable relationships. What is north is not necessarily north, what is north is not necessarily north, north is north necessarily only from the point of the south, north is not necessarily north only from the point of the south but from the point of the east it’s no more north. Therefore relationships change, when you change your position of asking a question, therefore to say that everything in the world is necessarily so is not true. Therefore, a logical argument, when you demand only necessary consequences itself is not logical from a given point of view. If you can show that from this point of view this is so and it need not necessarily be so from another point of view. If you can show this, then this also can be called logical. If you can show that two contradictory things, which are impossible to exist together in the physical plane but which can co-exist on the higher plane, there is nothing illogical about it. You have only to find out whether it actually obtains or not? Therefore, merely applying what is called the law of contradiction, and therefore throwing out the argument is not itself logical. If somebody says, that diamond is a pearl and a pearl is a diamond, this statement can be quite true at the level of matter. At the level of diamond and the level of pearl it is true that the two cannot be together but both of them are basically manifestations of material energy, so material energy is both a diamond and a pearl, basically. Therefore to say that material energy is at once diamond and pearl—is a true statement. Now this kind of subtlety of the argument is also to be observed in these four chapters. When you examine the whole structure of the argument in these four chapters, you will find and this conclusion I am deriving that these are data presented, these data consist of two domains, of physical sciences and data obtained from the yogic sciences with the full cognizance that modern humanity is reluctant to accept the data from the yogic science.
These four chapters present data obtained from physical sciences and the data obtained from the yogic sciences with the full cognizance that modern humanity is reluctant to admit the data from yogic sciences. Therefore, in the structure of the argument whenever Sri Aurobindo wants to present the data from yogic sciences he shows how modern humanity would be benefited rightly if those data are admitted of the yogic sciences. And how modern humanity should necessarily admit those phenomena in order to be impartial, in order to be as comprehensive as possible and if this is not done, how you are left with questions which you cannot answer. There is nothing wrong about remaining uncertain about certain things, but if by the help of certain other data if your answers can be more definitive then what is the harm in admitting those phenomena by means of which you can be more certain than before. Then on the basis of this data conclusions are derived with regard to those where the data are not immediately available, or immediately available to the intellectual domain although available in the yogic plane. Even when they are available in yogic plane how they can be intellectually admitted in the intellectual level and then how the conclusions which are derived are necessarily true or most probably true, and which can be seen by the application of the Law of identity, Law of contradiction, Law of excluded middle, the Law of sufficient reason and even by admitting that the laws which are applicable at the physical plane, may not be applicable at the higher plane and where other laws would be applicable, finding out those laws showing that on the basis of those laws certain conclusions can be derived.
This is the full structure of the argument that you find throughout the whole of The Life Divine, but these four chapters particularly give a conspicuous example of the structure of the argument. So far I have spoken only of the structure of the argument; I have not spoken of the substance of the argument. But I will be explaining the structure first because what is so important in this philosophy is a structure by which you really establish your position. Structurally you’re building up, your edifice must be perfect and this is one great perfection that you find in these four chapters or in the whole of The Life Divine. Whatever I have told you, apply these propositions throughout the whole book and you will find that at every step this is the structure of the argument and it is perfectly, rigorously followed.
Now is the question of the substance of the argument. This substance is a very vast subject and while it will take us three, four sessions of this kind, I will just mention only two small things, just to sum up the substance of the argument. Sri Aurobindo says in the eighth chapter, not in the ninth chapter because ninth chapter is a sequel to eighth chapter. In the eighth chapter Sri Aurobindo has mentioned two things, we see always with two eyes, the eye of the idea and the eye of the fact. It is only when what is seen with the eye of the idea is corroborated by the eye of the fact that there is a full satisfaction in our sight. Somebody tells you that Bombay is full of skyscrapers, it’s an idea. It is only when you go to Bombay and see with your eyes as a matter of fact that you are convinced. The full conviction comes. Taking a clue from this Sri Aurobindo says that God is an idea. However that idea may be presented to you may seem very great, wonderful, perfect, you will never be satisfied unless you can say, or unless you can see with our own eyes—God.
First of all, Sri Aurobindo says that God means such and such idea. In other words, Sri Aurobindo in these four chapters describes the idea of God and then he says that this idea of God can also be seen to be experiential Reality. A reality which you can experience, you can see God, corresponding to the idea that is presented so that you have full satisfaction. Secondly, Sri Aurobindo says in the eighth chapter that this idea, this God when experienced, is experienced as Sachchidananda that which exists, that which is conscious and that which is full of delight. He says such was the experience of the Vedic and the Upanishadic Rishis, it was seen by them as such.
What is the meaning of existence, what is the meaning of consciousness, what is the meaning of delight and how this concept which is derived by the experience of Sachchidananda can explain the universe that if God is such and such, the world must be such and such. If the world is such and such, God must be such and such. This is the substance of the argument of these four chapters. In other words, the entire Life Divine has one message namely that human life can become divine life. Human life can be lived in God and the human life which we see today full of troubles can be transformed and can become divine.
What does it mean? First of all there is a need to say, what is divine and what is human? What is life and what is divine? There is a need to give a total picture of human life and a total picture of the divine.
Normally the divine is not a data of our ordinary experience. In our ordinary experience we only see matter, life and mind, therefore the divine is a matter to be inferred, to be imagined, but to be imagined by the process which we have described earlier. Can we show intellectually that God exists? In fact this is one of the most important questions, which is being asked by all human beings who have passed through an intellectual process. At one time or the other, human beings do ask this question: can it be true that God exists? Can you intellectually prove that God exists? And if you can prove that God exists, how can you explain this miserable world? If God really exists, can the world be like what it is; can you derive this world from God? If God is Sachchidananda and the world is full of misery and death, how can you derive this from there? Either the world exists, but God does not exist or if God exists then the world does not exist but the world exists therefore, God must not be existing. If God does not exist then the divine life is an impossibility. But if the whole argument of the book is that divine life is not only a possibility but inevitability, then it is necessary to show to the reader that God is not a contradiction of the world and the world is not a contradiction of God and there are some missing points because of which this contradictions appears to be so.
What are those missing points? How do these missing points come about? And what is the nature of God because even about God there are many concepts. So, Sri Aurobindo says that if you define God properly, both from the point of view of the idea and from the point of the fact. Whatever concept of God you derive must be idealistically perfect, sound, clear, without confusion and it must correspond to the fact of experience of God. So let us first of all paint the picture of God then let us draw the picture of the world accurately without exaggeration and then try to see how the two stand together in relationship. If you can then show that the present world as it is can be derived from God and because the present world is, what it is and because God is what God is, therefore this world can be transformed into divine life, divine world. If this can be shown very neatly and clearly then only our case is established. This fundamental work is the task of these four chapters. This is the substance of these four chapters. Does God exist? Can He be proved both from the point of view of the idea and from the point of view of the fact. What is the correct concept of God from both these points of view? What is the accurate picture of the world and can this world be derived from God and from that derivation can we further derive that this world can be transformed into divine life? This is the basic argument of these four chapters. Next time we shall take up these arguments and the substance of these arguments.