(a project of Mirravision Trust, Financed by Auroshakti Foundation)

Chapter I
Chapter II - Part 1
Chapter II - Part 2
Chapter II - Part 3
Chapter II - Part 4
Chapter III - Part 1
Chapter III - Part 2
Chapter III - Part 3
Chapter III - Part 4
Chapter III - Part 5
Chapter III - Part 6
Chapter IV - Part 1
Chapter IV - Part 2
Chapter IV - Part 3
Chapter IV - Part 4
Chapter V-Part 1
Chapter V - Part 2
Chapter V - Part 3
Chapter V - Part 4
Chapter V - Part 5
Chapter VI - Part 1
Chapter VI - Part 2
Chapter VI - Part 3
Chapter VI - Part 4
Chapter VI - Part 5
Chapter VII - Part 1
Chapter VII - Part 2
Chapter VII - Part 3
Chapter VII - Part 4
Chapter VII - Part 5
Chapter VIII - Part 1
Chapter VIII - Part 2
Chapter VIII - Part 3
Chapter VIII - Part 4
Chapter IX - Part 1
Chapter IX - Part 2
Chapter X - Part 1
Chapter X - Part 2
Chapter X - Part 3
Chapter X - Part 4
Chapter X - Part 5
Chapter X - Part 6
Chapter XI - Part 1
Chapter XI - Part 2
Chapter XI - Part 3
Chapter XI - Part 4
Chapter XII - Part 1
Chapter XII - Part 2
Chapter XII - Part 3
Chapter XII - Part 4
Chapter XII - Part 5
Chapter XIII - Part 1
Chapter XIII - Part 2
Chapter XIV - Part 1
Chapter XIV - Part 2
Chapter XIV - Part 3
Chapter XIV - Part 4
Chapter XIV - Part 5
Chapter XV - Part 1
Chapter XV - Part 2
Chapter XV - Part 3
Chapter XV - Part 4
Chapter XV - Part 5
Chapter XV - Part 6
Chapter XV - Part 7
Chapter XV - Part 8
Chapter XV - Part 9
Chapter XVI - Part 1
Chapter XVI - Part 2
Chapter XVI - Part 3
Chapter XVI - Part 4
Chapter XVI - Part 5
Chapter XVI - Part 6
Chapter XVI - Part 7
Chapter XVI - Part 8
Chapter XVI - Part 9
Chapter XVI - Part 10
Chapter XVI - Part 11
Chapter XVI - Part 12
Chapter XVI - Part 13
Chapter XVII - Part 1
Chapter XVII - Part 2
Chapter XVII - Part 3
Chapter XVII - Part 4
Chapter XVIII - Part 1
Chapter XVIII - Part 2
Chapter XVIII - Part 3
Chapter XVIII - Part 4
Chapter XVIII - Part 5
Chapter XVIII - Part 6
Chapter XVIII - Part 7
Chapter XVIII - Part 8
Chapter XVIII - Part 9
Chapter XVIII - Part 10
Chapter XIX - Part 1
Chapter XIX - Part 2
Chapter XIX - Part 3
Chapter XIX - Part 4
Chapter XIX - Part 5
Chapter XIX - Part 6
Chapter XIX - Part 7
Chapter XX - Part 1
Chapter XX - Part 2
Chapter XX - Part 3
Chapter XX - Part 4
Chapter XX - Part 4
Chapter XXI - Part 1
Chapter XXI - Part 2
Chapter XXI - Part 3
Chapter XXI - Part 4
Chapter XXII - Part 1
Chapter XXII - Part 2
Chapter XXII - Part 3
Chapter XXII - Part 4
Chapter XXII - Part 5
Chapter XXII - Part 6
Chapter XXIII Part 1
Chapter XXIII Part 2
Chapter XXIII Part 3
Chapter XXIII Part 4
Chapter XXIII Part 5
Chapter XXIII Part 6
Chapter XXIII Part 7
Chapter XXIV Part 1
Chapter XXIV Part 2
Chapter XXIV Part 3
Chapter XXIV Part 4
Chapter XXIV Part 5
Chapter XXV Part 1
Chapter XXV Part 2
Chapter XXV Part 3
Chapter XXVI Part 1
Chapter XXVI Part 2
Chapter XXVI Part 3
Chapter XXVII Part 1
Chapter XXVII Part 2
Chapter XXVII Part 3
Chapter XXVIII Part 1
Chapter XXVIII Part 2
Chapter XXVIII Part 3
Chapter XXVIII Part 4
Chapter XXVIII Part 5
Chapter XXVIII Part 6
Chapter XXVIII Part 7
Chapter XXVIII Part 8
Book II, Chapter 1, Part I
Book II, Chapter 1, Part II
Book II, Chapter 1, Part III
Book II, Chapter 1, Part IV
Book II, Chapter 1, Part V
Book II, Chapter 2, Part I
Book II, Chapter 2, Part II
Book II, Chapter 2, Part III
Book II, Chapter 2, Part IV
Book II, Chapter 2, Part V
Book II, Chapter 2, Part VI
Book II, Chapter 2, Part VII
Book II, Chapter 2, Part VIII
Book II, Chapter 3, Part I
Book II, Chapter 3, Part II
Book II, Chapter 3, Part III
Book II, Chapter 3, Part IV
Book II, Chapter 3, Part V
Book II, Chapter 4, Part I
Book II, Chapter 4, Part II
Book II, Chapter 4, Part III
Book II, Chapter 5, Part I
Book II, Chapter 5, Part II
Book II, Chapter 5, Part III
Book II, Chapter 6, Part I
Book II, Chapter 6, Part II
Book II, Chapter 6, Part III
Book II, Chapter 7, Part I
Book II, Chapter 7, Part II

A Psychological Approach to Sri Aurobindo's

The Life Divine

Book II, Chapter 5, Part I

Book II

The Knowledge and the Ignorance-The Spiritual Evolution

Chapter 5

The Cosmic Illusion; Mind, Dream and Hallucination

Part I

The world as an illusion

Our nature starts from all that it takes as real and eventually ends in questioning everything. The result is that that there is no experience "that cannot be affirmed, none that cannot be negated". (The Life Divine, Centenary Edition, pg.412)

The human being begins the journey of life with the physical mind. This mind perceives the objective world and accepts it as a fact and self-evident truth. Whatever is subjective is accepted in its entirety if it can become a physical fact. "Physical science is a vast expansion of this mentality: it corrects the errors of the sense and pushes beyond the first limitations of the sense-mind by discovering means of bringing facts and objects not seizable by our corporeal organs into the field of objectivity; but it has the same standard of reality, the objective, the physical actuality." (Ibid, pg.413)

But the human being has a life-mind, a vital mentality that is an instrument of desire and runs after unrealized possibilities. "It is not satisfied with the physical and objective only, but seeks too a subjective, an imaginative, a purely emotive satisfaction and pleasure." (Ibid, pg.414)This is unique for if this factor was not there, the physical mind would have reigned supreme. This vital mind demands always more and has an incessant drive towards surpassing the bounds of existence.

Adding to this vital unrest is the thinking mind which questions everything, deconstructs all evidence of the senses and builds up a rational anti-thesis corresponding to every thesis. This process is continued always "in the same spirals enlarged perhaps but following the same or constantly similar curves of direction". (Ibid)

This constant unrest continues till the physical mind, losing its objective conviction, turns towards agnosticism. The vital mind finds that it so long hunted after an illusion or Maya. The thinking mind discovers that all its constructions can be deconstructed or else the only reality is something not constructed -something Absolute or Eternal while all else is relative -a dream, a hallucination or delirium, an immense cosmic illusion. "Thence arise the great world-negating religions and philosophies; thence too a recoil of the life-motive from itself and a seeking after a life elsewhere flawless and eternal or a will to annul life itself in an immobile Reality or an original Non-Existence". (Ibid, pg.415)

In India the theory of world-negation has been given great importance by two of her greatest thinkers, Buddha and Shankara, one leading to "a universal illusionism, the other to a universal Realism, -- an unreal or real-unreal universe reposing on a transcendent Reality or a real universe reposing on a Reality at once universal and transcendent or absolute". (Ibid, pg.416) The spirit of these two remarkable philosophies has left the "impress of the three great formulas, the chain of Karma, escape from the wheel of rebirth, Maya". (Ibid)

The aversion of the vital being and "the life-mind's recoil from life" (Ibid) cannot be conclusive and yet carries a certain validity for all things of life, human, social and political seem to lead to nowhere and end up in an illusion. "Altruism, philanthropy and service, Christian love or Buddhist compassion have not made the world a whit happier, they only give infinitesimal bits of momentary relief here and there, throw drops on the fire of the world's suffering."(Ibid, pg.416-417) While ignorance, frustration and suffering seem to dominate over knowledge, perfection, happiness or success, it would appear that the manifestation is the work of an inconscient Energy leading to a world of ordeal and failure, "the issue being not here but elsewhere" or a "vast and aimless cosmic illusion". (Ibid, pg.417)

The elsewhere, perhaps a heaven where all things are perfect is a chimera! Perhaps this state of affairs persist as the "mysterious will of an arbitrary Creator, --if there was a choice by immortal spirits to try the adventure of the Ignorance and a necessity for them to learn the nature of a world of Ignorance in order that they might reject it". (Ibid, pg.417-418) But this motive would be out of tune with the vast complexity of the world. It could hold some fort if this world is an outcome of a greater creative motive, if this world is a field of Divine Truth where the "initiating Ignorance" (Ibid, pg.418) intervenes as a necessary factor as there lies a compulsion of Ignorance to move towards Knowledge, of imperfection to grow towards perfection, of suffering to progress towards divine Delight . In that case, all the ordeal would be justified experience of the soul to grow into the "full light of a spiritual perfected being". (Ibid)

But the philosophy of world-negation stands on a higher mental and spiritual foundation. That philosophy contends the illusory nature of the world for "there is only one Reality, the transcendent, the supracosmic". (Ibid) The Brahman alone is true and nothing exists or matters except the transcendent and immutable Absolute. If this alone is the Truth, then everything else is false or something not real but imposed for the time on the Reality and this everything includes "the victory of the soul in Matter, its mastery over existence, the divine life in Nature". (Ibid, pg.419)

Date of Update: 27-Apr-23

- By Dr. Soumitra Basu


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