November 08, 2005

The logic of the Infinite

The limitations of a neat, linear progressive mental approach can be illustrated by contrasting mental logic with spiritual reality, with what Sri Aurobindo terms the logic of the Infinite.

  • Mental logic states that the whole is equal to or greater than the sum of its parts. Spiritual logic states that even the smallest part can be greater than the whole because each part is a manifestation of the Infinite. Each finite is itself the whole Infinite.
  • Mental logic states that the whole or higher holon is more inclusive and more powerful than the part or lower holon. Spiritual logic states that even the smallest part can change the nature of the whole. Therefore, one Gorbachev can change the whole world.
  • Mental logic states that there is a hierarchy from lower to higher planes of consciousness. Spiritual logic states that the highest manifestation occurs in what is now the lowest plane. Matter is the lowest wrung on the ladder of consciousness, but matter divinized becomes the highest.

The limitations of Ken Wilber's approach will be evident not just for those seeking a roadmap for spiritual experience, but even more so for those seeking guidance for the understanding and resolution of life problems. Though he may describe and explain historical trends such as the role of women, the model provides little insight applicable to issues facing humanity—abolition of war and poverty, stagnation in Japan, chaos in Russia, barbarism in Yugoslavia, the future of science, challenges facing business, potentials for Indian development, etc. It fails equally when applied to the life of the individual in family or in work. It fails because it is not a real representation of life or reality but only a mental model. Garry Jacobs

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