Evolution - A Metaphysical Discussion Chapter XIV of "Narad's Arrival at Madra", SAICE, 2006.
By R.Y. Deshpande
Man was born, and he stood erect; soon he started acquiring power over his surroundings which itself, over a period of sixty million years, contributed to the development of his brain that made him a "thinking being in an unthinking world," as we have in Savitri. He began to "laugh and weep," though Plato never did in the whole of his 81-year life, nor perhaps Kant. Man became the Protagorean measure of all things. He climbed noble peaks in the domain of science and philosophy and mathematics, even as he soared with tireless wings in the sky of religion and art and poetry. Yet, despite all the achievements of quantum mechanics, there looms over his head the ambiguous cloud of Uncertainty in the helplessness of this multidimensional world. Henri Poincare states that for mathematics "there is no such thing as a solved problem, there are only problems more or less solved." However, knowing well that there is so much of Ã peu pres in the entire approach, one begins to wonder whether this bears any satisfying conviction.
It seems that in this epoch of spiritual malady, the Heideggerian angst has taken possession of the minds of men. Modern man is verily in a state of utter alienation. He has lost faith; he has lost belief in himself; he has even lent himself to the Marxian sun under which there can exist no God. But then this is essentially an evolutionary problem and unless, a la Sri Aurobindo, we take evolution as the evolution of consciousness there cannot be any solution to it. The glorious "divine humanism" held in front of us by him is a possibility that can materialise soon with the conscious participation of man himself. It is the great spiritual Ascent of Man which no Bronowski can visualise.
Sri Aurobindo's vision of the destiny of man is based on direct spiritual experience and has authenticity of one who has meticulously tested the thousand aspects and modes of nature in her evolutionary enterprise. In it is the indisputable basis of empiricism that goes far beyond even the hardest methodology of science. The conclusion is that man is after all a mediator divinity and the real evolution, rather the evolution in reality, is to start from this point onward. One could hence call it infinite progress. It is in this context that we should see the issues related to physical transformation and the work carried out by the Mother deep into the cellular regions. From man human to man divine there doesn't seem to be a direct leap or transition possible and there is the necessity for the "intermediate" man to arrive.
Sri Aurobindo's philosophy of integral non-dualism, as propounded by him in his magnum opus The Life Divine, is a landmark event regarding our view of reality. What we clearly see in it is that the a priori and unconditional application of the laws of formal logic, namely, Identity, Contradiction and Excluded Middle to propositions which express the nature of reality, is logically unwarranted and unjustified. When abstract or formal reason has to deny the reality of one or the other aspect of the Absolute in order to make it consistent with the laws of formal logic, laws which are empty of content and do not present a picture of reality, we have to go beyond reason or formal logic. There has to be the Logic of the Infinite. Sri Aurobindo's Logic of the Infinite is founded on integral knowledge. Indeed that knowledge, and not of formal logic, alone can be the true ground for the activity of dynamic consciousness itself. The system thus offered carries on it the stamp of the knowledge of a spiritual seer; it is advaita-vedanta with the infallibility of some higher truth of the Self expressing itself in revelatory words. Metaphysically speaking, we have in it three elements: Omnipresent Reality as the creator of all that is and that could be more, the Logic of the Infinite governing the process, and Integral Knowledge as the basis of its action. Behind all this is of course the creative Delight itself.
This theory is a multi-stranded theory with the urge to grow from below and with the constant pressure of the higher levels bringing their potentialities and powers into the lower. Evolution is not a monochord. There is a double process in it, with Avatarhood as one significant aspect. This evolution is finally to effect the establishment of a race whose governing consciousness-force shall be the creative truth operating in the freedom of progressive delight. There will be the race of gnostic beings. posted by Debashish on Fri 10 Nov 2006 09:39 AM PST Permanent Link