As the Mother explains:
“If the Divine
had not conceived His creation as progressive, there could have been
from the beginning a beatific, immobile and unchangeable condition.
But the minute …. How shall I explain it, I don’t know. Just because
the universe had to be progressive, perfect identity, the bliss of
this identity, the full consciousness of this identity had
necessarily to be veiled otherwise nothing would have ever stirred.
universe may be conceived. One could conceive of something which is
“all at one and the same time”: that there is no time, only a kind
of objectivisation - but not an unfolding in which things manifest
progressively one after another, according to a special rhythm; that
they are all manifested at the same time, all at once. Then all
would be in a blissful state and there would be no universe as we
see it, the element of unfolding would be missing, which
constitutes… well, what we live in at present.
But once we
admit this principle that the universe is progressive, the unfolding
progressive, that instead of seeing everything together and all at
once, our perception is progressive, then everything takes its right
place within it. And inevitably, the future perfection must be felt
as something higher than what was there before. The realisation
towards which we are moving must necessarily seem superior to the
one which was accomplished before.
And this opens
the door to everything - to all possibilities.
often said this: what appeared beautiful, good, even perfect, and
marvellous and divine at a given moment in the universe, can no
longer appear so now. And what now seems to us beautiful, marvellous,
divine and perfect, will be an obscurity after some time. And in the
same way, the gods who were all-powerful at a certain period belong
to a lower reality than the gods who will manifest tomorrow. And
that is a sign that the universe is progressive.” (The Mother,
Collected Works, Vol8, pg233, Conversation on 18 July 1956)
unmanifested mode beyond Time and Space enters the manifested mode
within Time and Space- the principle of Error appears. What was
Unitarian; indivisible becomes divided, unequal, distributed so that
a variegated multiplicity develops. The ‘perfectly perfect’ becomes
imperfect, partial, skewed. What was gathered in a concentrated form
in an eternal poise becomes diffuse, scattered, and distributed
ephemerally in Time and Space.
consequence is that no one theory of life, matter, physical science,
psychology, social science, religion, metaphysics, and philosophy
can be perfect. Each such theory represents a partial truth equally
important as other partial truths. That is why Freud alone cannot be
complete, Einstein alone cannot be perfect, Communism alone cannot
be the most ideal, a particular religion cannot be the last word,
and a particular prophet or saint cannot be the only Divine
messenger. The exaggerations of all these partial truths are a
result of the ‘error- principle’ introduced by Time and Space.
explains Sri Aurobindo’s aphorisms and this clarifies our
“79 - God is
infinite possibility. Therefore Truth is never at rest; also, Error
is justified of her children.
80 - To
listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never
laughs; Heine was nearer the mark when he found in Him the divine
Yes, he means that what is true at one time is no longer true at
another. And this is why “Error is justified of her children.”
means that there is no error.
Yes, it is the same thing, another way of saying the same thing.
That is to say, what we call Error was Truth at a certain time.
Error is a
concept in time.
may really appear to be errors.
For a moment.
is this: all our judgments are momentary. They are: one moment, it
is like this; the next moment, it is no longer like this. And for us
they are errors, because we see things one after another. But
to the Divine they cannot appear like this, because everything is
Now just try
to imagine that you are the Divine, for a moment! Everything is
within you; you simply amuse yourself by bringing it out in a
certain order. But for you, in your consciousness, everything is
there at the same time: there is no time - neither past nor future
nor present- everything is together. And every possible combination.
He amuses Himself by bringing out first one thing and then another,
like that. So the poor fellows down below who can see only a tiny
part- they can see only so much of it - say, “Oh, that is an
error!” In what way is it an error? Simply because they can only see
a tiny part.
This is clear,
isn’t it? It is easy to understand. This concept of error is a
concept that belongs to time and space.
It is like the
feeling that something cannot be and not be at the
same time. And yet this is true, it is and it is not. It is
the concept of time which introduces the concept of error- of time
What do you
mean, that a thing is and is not at the same time? How is that?
It is, and at
the same time there is its opposite. So, for us, it cannot be yes
and no at the same time. But for the Lord it is all the time
yes and no at the same time.
It is, like our
concept of space; we say, “I am here, therefore you are not here.”
But I am here, you are here and everything is here! (Mother
laughs.) Only you must be able to leave the concept of space and
time behind in order to understand.
something that can be felt very concretely, but not with our way of
of these aphorisms were written at the point where the higher mind
suddenly emerges into the Supermind. It has not yet forgotten how it
is in the ordinary way, but it also sees how it is in the
supramental way. And so the result is this kind of thing, this
paradoxical form. Because the one is not forgotten and the other is
And yet if one
looks attentively, one has to think that the Lord is staging a
fantastic play for Himself! That the Manifestation is a play which
He is acting for Himself and with Himself.
He has taken the stand of the spectator and He looks at Himself.
And so in order to look at Himself, He must accept the concept of
time and space, otherwise He
cannot!”(Ibid,Vol.10,Pp147-148,Conversation on 12 October 1962)
The Transcendental Consciousness beyond Time and Space is
indivisible- it cannot even create. If one has an experiential
realisation of that state, then ‘creation’ ceases to have any value
to the psyche of the Yogi. What does that translate to the Yogi? It
means one has come into contact with the unitary consciousness where
division and therefore error is transcended. One transcends the
errors of time and space. One transcends the world of dualities- of
suffering, falsehood, ignorance and death. This can be regarded as a
‘perfectly perfect’ state - i.e. to say perfectly error-free,
“That is why if
one enters the state in which everything, as it is, appears
perfectly divine, one necessarily goes out of the universal movement
at the same time. This is what people like Buddha or Shankara had
understood. They expressed in their own way that if you could
realise the state in which everything appears to you perfectly
divine or perfectly perfect, you necessarily go out of the universal
movement and enter the Unmanifest.
correct. It is like that.
sufficiently dissatisfied with life as it was and had very little
hope that it could become better; so for them this was the ideal
solution. I call it escaping, but still… It is not so easy ! But for
them it was the ideal solution- up to a certain point, for….there is
perhaps one more step to take.
But it is a
fact. If one wants to remain in the universe, one must admit the
principle of progress, for this is a progressive universe. If you
want to realise a static perfection, well, you will inevitably be
thrown out of the universe, for you will no longer belong to its
It is a choice.”(Ibid,Vol.8,pg234, Conversation on 18 July,1956)
Sri Aurobindo’s solution belongs to another perspective: He accepts
the fact that the hiatus between the Spaceless and Timeless
Transcendent and the Creation within Time and Space has never been
resolved satisfactorily. This is of course a credit to the Indian
tradition that it did not opt for a simplified solution. Instead it
brought in the concept of Maya that only emphasized the difficulty
in resolution. This is because the ‘Oneness’ of the Transcendent
Infinite belongs to a different perspective then the cosmic unity or
even the summation or substrate of all that has been manifested.
True, science seeks a substrate- unity in the fact that the basic
building block of matter (the atom) is same throughout or the basic
unit of life (the cell) is common in animate world. But the atoms
and the molecules belong to the same perspective just as the zygote
and the embryos also belong to a particular perspective. The
‘Oneness’ of the Transcendent that is beyond Time and Space and the
‘Multiplicity’ of creation within the matrix of Time and Space
belong to two entirely different and distinct perspectives that
cannot be equated, compared or made interchangeable with each other.
In fact, the Transcendent, being beyond Time and Space and being
indivisible, cannot even ‘create’!
approached this problem by positing the ‘Supermind’ as a status of
Creative Consciousness situated between the Transcendent and the
Creation. It conceives, carries and executes the creative idea with
an ‘ordering’ Self-Knowledge. It subserves the knowledge of the
unitary principle as well as the knowledge of the multiplicity
without losing hold of the unity. It is the ‘Creator’, the ‘Master
Artist’ that has projected this world. Unfortunately, the manifested
world lost all contact with the creative source. This was however
inevitable as this allowed each element of the multiplicity to
develop itself to its fullest potential.
assures us that by a process of evolutionary growth in
consciousness, the human being can ascend to the Creative
Consciousness and make the Supermind an operative- principle in this
imperfect world of dualities. The unity-principle can then be
reconstructed in this world of dualities without rejecting the
multiplicity (Buddha and Shankara opted for the same unity
-principle but by rejecting the multiplicity). This is a concept
that was not forwarded earlier and hence a victory that has yet to
be achieved for humanity. Sri Aurobindo and The Mother by their
yogic endeavor have however fixed the possibility and potentiality
of this victory in the earth consciousness.
Transcendental Infinite and world of dualities exist simultaneously.
We ordinarily cannot perceive this because we follow movements
one after another. In the Supermind cognition, both the unmanifested
and manifested modes of consciousness are present as a ‘PERMANANENT
AND SIMULTANEOUS DUALITY’ though ‘it is the same thing, one single
thing in two opposite aspects.’
‘When it is
within, it can be simultaneous, for it is unmanifest, so all is in
an eternity outside Time and Space -immobile, inexistent. In
the opposite direction, everything becomes and so there is a
continuity of perceptions which follow one after another and spread
out in Space and Time.’
pg.110, Conversation on 11 April 1956).
I pass beyond
Time and life on measureless wings,
am one with born and unborn things. (Sri Aurobindo, Collected
Date of Update:
- By Dr. Soumitra Basu