Mind and Supermind
The dissolution of the aggregate
Avidya, the self-ignoring faculty allows the unity permeating all creation to be broken up ad infinitum. Science starts to understand the spectrum of Reality by building up a superstructure by starting from the smallest divisible unit - the subatomic particle. Metaphysically, such an attempt would get inevitably limited if it is a fact that there is a unity that underlies, supports and permeates all multiplicity. This is exactly what happens in the realms of science. It has now been realized that subatomic particles like leptons and quarks cannot be divided any further because they lapse into formlessness. The whole edifice of the building-up approach in science tumbles. It is as if Science has to admit that everything lapses into some ethereal substance akin to the Brahman of the Indian tradition or into infinite nothingness as described by votaries of the Void. If that is so, then, instead of trying to build a model of Reality from below, it would be more logical and judicious to understand how does everything manifest in the ethereal Brahman (or from the ethereal Brahman) or in the Void. It seems that Science has to admit the concept of the primal unity behind all multiplicity which was always perceived by seers and mystics. Going one step ahead, a time may be foreseen when both the unity and the multiplicity can be traced to the creative Supramental consciousness which Sri Aurobindo so exhaustively described.
Indeed Sri Aurobindo emphasizes that the dividing action of Avidya has to get limited at one time or other because of the of ‘the saving knowledge of the supramental which knows every whole, every atom to be only a concentration of all-force, of all-consciousness, of all-being into phenomenal forms of itself. The dissolution of the aggregate into an infinite nothingness at which Mind seems to arrive, is to the Supermind only the return of the self-concentrating conscious-being out of its phenomenon into its infinite existence. Whichever way its consciousness proceeds, by the way of infinite division or by the way of infinite enlargement, it arrives only at itself, at its own infinite unity and eternal being. And when the action of the mind is consciously subordinate to this knowledge of the Supermind, the truth of the process is known to it also and not at all ignored; there is no real division but only an infinitely multiple concentration into forms of being and into arrangements of the relations of those forms of being to each other in which division is a subordinate appearance of the whole process necessary to their spatial and temporal play. For divide as you will, get down to the most infinitesimal atom or form the most monstrous possible aggregate of worlds and systems, you cannot get by either process to a thing-in-itself while the rest are real only as self-imagings or manifesting self-forms of the eternal Force-Consciousness’ (The Life Divine, pg 180).
It is as if Sri Aurobindo pre-visioned the scientists dilemma that would occur a century after he wrote this passage.
Date of Update:
- By Dr. Soumitra Basu