Chapter XXII Synopsis

Study Notes

                                                                    Chapter XXII
                                                             The Problem of Life

  • The divided action of an undivided Force results in dualities, oppositions which seem to be the apparent denials of Sachchidananda appearing to our mind as realities. Hence this world presents the appearance of clash of opposing truths each trying to fulfil itself, each trying to establish its right of fulfilment.
  • The solution has to be sought not by the Mind alone but a solution both in Consciousness-Force and Consciousness. We know that it is the Consciousness-Force that creates the world movement and its problems. Therefore, it is the consciousness as Force has to solve the problems it has created.
  • Life has taken three successive appearances. In the first stage the consciousness in submerged in Matter and hidden behind the superficial action. Delivered out of matter, Life features vital power, growth, activity and in the second stage.
  • The third is the mental appearance. A consciousness which has emerged reflects the facts of life as mental sense and responsive perception and idea. The mental consciousness in man is divided from the oneness of Sachchidananda. Because of his deficiency, he is unable to deal with life in general and with his own life. He cannot have an effective and victorious movement of mastery over life.
  • Man wants to be the master of himself and the world by knowing himself and the world. This impulse is driven by Existence (Sat) in him, the necessity of the Consciousness (Chit) that he is, the impulsion of Force (Chit-shakti) that is his life. Therefore, potentiality thus contained in our human existence is Sachchidananda realising Himself. Man giving place to Superman is a logical necessity.
  • The nature of life depends on the fundamental status of its own constituting consciousness. Life is the manifestation of Conscious-Force. Therefore, as the Consciousness is, so will be the Force and the resultant life. The Consciousness can be infinite, one and transcendent (beyond) of its acts and forms like the consciousness of Sachchidananda. Consequently, the Force also will be infinite in its scope, one in its works and transcendent in its power and self -knowledge.
  • The Consciousness can be that of material Nature. It can be submerged, self-oblivious (not knowing itself) driven by its own Force without seeming to know it. Consequently, the Force also becomes a monstrous movement of the inert and inconscient.
  • The Consciousness can be divided in itself as in Mind. It limits itself in various centres. Each centre tries to fulfil itself in complete ignorance of what is in other centres and of its relation to others. Consequently, the Force also will be like that. Here each individual seeks for its own self-fulfilment without taking into account the other lives. There will be conflict of divided and opposing forces.
  • The Consciousness can be in possession of both the diversity and unity. The unity contains and governs the diversity. Here the One knows itself as Many and the Many know themselves as One. Consequently, the Force also becomes of the same nature. The life obeys the law of unity and each fulfil itself in diversity according to its proper rule and function. All individuals at once live in themselves and in each other.
  • The first position is the consciousness of Sachchidananda. It is the status of unity and is the source of progressive relation between Consciousness and Force. The second status refers to material nature. In material Nature there is the great denial of Sachchidananda by Himself. Here there is total separation of Consciousness and Force. Here the Inconscient becomes the all-governing principle.
  • The third relation refers to the status of Mind and Life. Life emerges out of the Inconscient. Man faces innumerable problems in Life caused by dualities. Though he is not succumbing to them, yet he is unable to find a victorious solution.
  • The fourth relation is the status of Supermind. Here there is fulfilled existence. All the complex problems created by the partial affirmation of Life in its emergence from Matter are eventually solved. There is complete affirmation of all that is hidden behind in the course of evolution in this fourth relation.
  • There is imperfect poise of Consciousness and Force in man in his present status of mind and life. Therefore, there are principally three difficulties that arise in man. He is aware of only his surface life, surface mentality and his surface physical part. In fact, he does not know even all of that.
  • Below his surface-self there is an occult powerful upward movement of his subconscious and subliminal mind; his subconscious and subliminal life-impulses; his subconscious bodily functions. These constitute a large part of himself which he does not know and cannot govern. Rather, this subliminal and subconscious part knows him and governs him.
  • The more we are conscious of our parts of being, the more control we can have. The larger and more powerful part of ourselves must govern and determine the smaller and less powerful parts. Therefore, we are governed by the subconscient and subliminal even in our conscious existence.
  • Man can become master of his movements only by unity with the Lord established only by going within us; or by ascending towards the Supermind which is superconscient to us. In Supermind there is higher or divine Maya. In divine Maya, in its law and truth there is conscious knowledge of that works in the subconscient.
  • The second difficulty is that we live as separate individuals from the Universal. We are separated in our body, mind and life from others. Therefore, we neither know ourselves fully nor know our fellow human beings fully. We know others only by our inferences, theories, observations and an imperfect capacity of sympathy.
  • True knowledge can come only by conscious identity in the universal consciousness. This is the direct means of getting knowledge. If we get knowledge through indirect means (by our superficial sensory perception) such knowledge will be indirect and imperfect. Though practically useful such knowledge may bring an imperfect and insecure harmony of our relations with others.
  • Our sympathy created by love or understanding created by mental knowledge with others will be imperfect, subject to denial and frustration from the unmastered and unknown reactions from the subconscient and subliminal parts in them and us.
  • The third difficulty is the division between the force and consciousness in the evolutionary existence. There is division created by the evolution itself in body (matter), mind and life. Each has its own law of working. Life is at war with the body. Life forces body to satisfy its vital desires, impulses and satisfactions. The body is being made a slave of Life, subjected to its tyranny and undergoes suffering. It revolts against Life.
  • The Mind is at war with both Life and Body. Sometimes it helps the Life against Body. Sometimes it restraints the vital urge of Life and protects the body from Life’s desires and passions. Sometimes it uses Life to its own ends. Life too finds itself being made a slave and misused and is in revolt against the half-wise tyrant (Mind) seated above it. Mind cannot satisfactorily solve the war between our Body, Mind and Life. Mind can only arrive at a long succession of compromises.
  • The original cause of this incapacity of our body, mind and life to cope with the demands of each other, is the fundamental division within between force of Nature (Prakriti) and the conscious being (Purusha). The body’s capacity is less than the capacity of the conscious soul (physical purusha) within it. The capacity of the vital force is less than the capacity of the vital conscious being (vital purusha) within it. The capacity of the mental energy is less than the mental Purusha within it.
  • The soul is the inner consciousness which always aspires for its own complete self-realisation and exceeds its present formation. The Force which has taken its poise in the formation is always pushed by its soul. The force is trying to fulfil the demands of this triple soul. While doing so, it is distracted and driven to set instinct against instinct, emotion against emotion, idea against idea, satisfy one and deny the other.
  • As man grows and becomes a self-conscious, thinking being, he seeks to arrive at harmony of his body, life and mind. In this process he arrives at a workable compromise which brings with it a relative peace. It gives only a temporary solution which offers a resting-place for the soul in its journey of self-enlargement and ascent. A perfect harmony would demand a perfect mentality, a perfect play of vital force, a perfect physical existence as necessary condition.
  • The principle and power of perfection are there in the subconscient. But it is covered up by the lower Maya and emerging as an unrealised ideal. In the superconscient they await open and eternally realised. There also it is veiled from us by our self-ignorance. Therefore, we must seek for the reconciling power and knowledge in Supermind above, not in our present state nor in the state below (subconscient) us.
  • The original force of movement which has carried the evolving soul upward to the type of our humanity moving is not moving towards the Godhead concealed in the inconscient ocean wrapped within darkness but it is moving towards the Godhead seated in the sea of eternal light.
  • Mankind has to aspire to this ascent towards Supermind, described as fourth status of Life. This ascent has to be led through love, mental illumination and the vital urge to possession and self-giving. Human race has no other option. Either it has to aspire towards this ascent or fall by the way side and leave the victory to other creations of the Mother Nature.