Friday, June 22, 2007

The ancient quarrel

Re: 15: He saw a world that is from a world to be by RY Deshpande on Thu 21 Jun 2007 04:35 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link The Two Negations
If spirit is the storehouse of possibilities, possibilities in their moving dynamism, and matter is all locked in its modes of expression, it admitting no change, then this situation will imply a fundamental incompatibility between the two, incompatibility even to the extent of they becoming antagonistic to each other. One is freedom and the other fixity, freedom for growth, expansion, and fixity to give stability to what is, support that things do not collapse.
The Cartesian dichotomy thus gets badly hardened in our mental formulations. Even as form had to endure itself against the great onslaught of the all-swallowing void from which it came, this mind of matter had to see that it is not destroyed by the invading powers of the spirit. Even as the spirit found it more and more difficult to enter into the forms of matter, it started disclaiming it as incapable of holding what it was bringing.
The opposition between the two is not just in the mind, at the mental level, of an abstract kind, it is not just a cerebral-conceptual formulation; the battle is in the deep occult. Thus when Life entered into Matter, she was stunned by Death and decay-disintegration-death became her law of existence. Such helplessness happens at every stage, whenever the higher tries to enter into the lower.
The problem is, because of the very nature of things as they are, inherently as they are. From a philosophical point of view the situation is well summed as two negations in The Life Divine, the materialist denial and the refusal of the ascetic. It has to be first recognised that any talk about the divine life upon earth, of the immortal sense in mortal existence, can have no contents until the inhabiting Spirit accepts Matter as something worthy for its dwelling, that Matter too is Brahman, and Matter knows that the prospects of its own growth are in the Spirit, in the Truth-substance from which it came. God or Nature—it is in that cleft we are caught. If we assert only pure Spirit, the inevitable end will be that we shall either deny God or else turn away from Nature. Based on the premises of physical senses Matter alone will prevail; based on the incapacity of Matter to respond to the call of the Spirit the conclusion will be either it is an illusion or else incapable of change and the only way out will be to escape from its hold.
“The touch of Earth is always reinvigorating to the son of Earth,” explains The Life Divine the two positions we encounter, “even when he seeks a supraphysical Knowledge. It may even be said that the supraphysical can only be really mastered in its fullness—to its heights we can always reach—when we keep our feet firmly on the physical. ‘Earth is His footing’, says the Upanishad whenever it images the Self that manifests in the universe. And it is certainly the fact that the wider we extend and the surer we make our knowledge of the physical world, the wider and surer becomes our foundation for the higher knowledge, even for the highest, even for the Brahmavidya.”
And then: “And still there is a beyond.” It is that which supports the universal activity. The Sannyasin, enamoured of that Beyond, justifies pure Spirit as the sole reality, free from change, birth, death. There is content in the findings of the supraphysical realities, they having discovered the working of the subtle senses which indeed do exist.
In this difficult state only by an extension of the field of our consciousness or an unhoped-for increase in our instruments of knowledge can the ancient quarrel be decided. This must necessarily be an inner enlargement from the individual into the cosmic existence… It is the conscious Being which is the truth of the infinite supermind, more than the universe and which lives independently in Its own inexpressible infinity as well as in the cosmic harmonies. World lives by That; That does not live by the world... RYD

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