PARAGRAPH 14 Contd…,
But the Absolute, obviously, finds no difficulty in world-manifestation and no difficulty either in a simultaneous transcendence of world-manifestation; the difficulty exists only for our mental limitations which prevent us from grasping the supramental rationality of the coexistence of the infinite and the finite or seizing the nodus of the unconditioned with the conditioned. For our intellectual rationality these are opposites; for the absolute reason they are interrelated and not essentially conflicting expressions of one and the same reality.
But the Absolute does not find any difficulty in its world- manifestation. Nor does it have any difficulty in its transcendence (remaining above) of the world-manifestation simultaneously. The difficulty arises because of our mental limitations.
Our mind cannot grasp the co-existence of the infinite and the finite which is perfectly rational for the supermind. Our mind cannot seize the link between the unconditioned (Absolute) and the conditioned (relative). Our intellect sees them as opposites.
But for the absolute reason (not the mental reason) such opposites are interrelated; they are expressions of one and the same reality not essentially conflicting with each other.
The consciousness of infinite Existence is other than our mind-consciousness and sense-consciousness, greater and more capacious, for it includes them as minor terms of its workings, and the logic of infinite Existence is other than our intellectual logic. It reconciles in its great primal facts of being what to our mental view, concerned as it is with words and ideas derived from secondary facts, are irreconcilable contraries.
The consciousness of infinite Existence is other than our mind-consciousness and sense-consciousness. It is greater and more capacious. Our mind and senses are included as minor terms of the working of the infinite consciousness. The logic of the infinite Existence is other than the logic of our intellect.
Our mind is concerned with words and ideas derived from secondary facts gathered through our senses. The logic of the infinite reconciles in its great primal facts of being (fundamental truths of Existence) what appears to our mind as irreconcilable contraries.
Our mistake is that in trying to define the indefinable we think we have succeeded when we have described by an all exclusive negation this Absolute which we are yet compelled to conceive of as a supreme positive and the cause of all positives. It is not surprising that so many acute thinkers, with their eye on the facts of being and not on verbal distinctions, should be driven to infer that the Absolute is a fiction of the intelligence, an idea born of words and verbal dialectics, a zero, non-existent, and to conclude that an eternal Becoming is the only truth of our existence.
The Absolute is a supreme positive in the sense that it is the supreme Reality. It is the cause of all realities in the universe. Yet we commit the mistake of describing this Absolute by an all exclusive negation. That is, we exclude all that is relative in the universe as the negation (opposite) of the Absolute. We reject the world in order to describe the Absolute, the Divine. Here, in the process of trying to define the indefinable, what is really done is an exclusion, because by any means, the Absolute cannot be described in words.
As a result of this approach, there is another school of thinkers, who were driven to the conclusion that the Absolute is a fiction of the intelligence; an idea formed by mere words and verbal discourse; a non-existent, zero (Nihil); an eternal becoming is the only truth of existence.
(We have only these two alternatives, either an indefinable pure existence or an indefinable energy in action and, if the latter alone is true, without any stable base or cause, then the energy is a result and phenomenon generated by the action, the movement which alone is. We have then no Existence, or we have the Nihil of the Buddhists with existence as only an attribute of an eternal phenomenon, of Action, of Karma, of Movement – The Life Divine- Ch IX, p.82)
The ancient sages spoke indeed of Brahman negatively,—they said of it, neti neti, it is not this, it is not that,—but they took care also to speak of it positively; they said of it too, it is this, it is that, it is all: for they saw that to limit it either by positive or negative definitions was to fall away from its truth. Brahman, they said, is Matter, is Life, is Mind, is Supermind, is cosmic Delight, is Sachchidananda; yet it cannot really be defined by any of these things, not even by our largest conception of Sachchidananda.
The Vedic Rishis though spoke of Brahman negatively, neti, neti yet they took care to speak of it positively also, iti, iti (it is this, it is that, it is all). To limit the Brahman either by positive or negative definitions was to fall away from its truth. Brahman is Matter, is Life, is Mind, is Supermind, is cosmic Delight, is Sachchidananda and yet it cannot be defined by any of these things.
In the world as we see it, for our mental consciousness however high we carry it, we find that to every positive there is a negative. But the negative is not a zero,—indeed whatever appears to us a zero is packed with force, teeming with power of existence, full of actual or potential contents. Neither does the existence of the negative make its corresponding positive non-existent or an unreality; it only makes the positive an incomplete statement of the truth of things and even,we may say, of the positive’s own truth.
We live in a divided mental consciousness. As long as we live in our mental consciousness, even if we live in its heights, the perception of dualities is inevitable. That is why we find that to every positive there is a negative.
This negative is not a zero, a nothing. In fact what appears to us a zero is packed with force, with power of existence. It is full of actual or potential contents.
This existence of negative does not make its corresponding positive a non-existent or an unreality. It only signifies that the positive alone is not a complete state of the truth of things; nor is it the positive’s own truth.
Where zero held infinity in its sum
And All and Nothing were a single term,
An eternal negative, a matrix Nought: (Savitri: Book II, Canto I, p.100)
There is a zero sign of the Supreme;
Nature left nude and still uncovers God.
But in her grandiose nothingness all is there:
When her strong garbs are torn away from us,
The soul’s ignorance is slain but not the soul:
The zero covers an immortal face. (Savitri: Book III – Canto II, p. 311)
For the positive and the negative exist not only side by side, but in relation to each other and by each other; they complete and would to the all-view, which a limited mind cannot reach, explain one another. Each by itself is not really known; we only begin to know it in its deeper truth when we can read into it the suggestions of its apparent opposite. It is through such a profounder catholic intuition and not by exclusive logical oppositions that our intelligence ought to approach the Absolute.
The positive and the negative are not separate, existing side by side. They exist in relation to each other; they exist by each other. The negative and the positive complete each other. The negative explains the positive and the positive explains the negative. A wholistic view is presented which a limited mind cannot reach.
Neither positive alone, nor the negative alone can reveal the full truth. The deeper truth is known to us only by reading into the suggestions of the apparent opposite.
The Absolute must be approached by our intelligence only by such profounder catholic (all-embracing) intuition and not by exclusive logical oppositions.