November 11, 2006

Sri Aurobindo and the 20th Century

by rjon on Sat 29 Apr 2006 08:58 PM PDT Permanent Link Sri Aurobindo’s Vision and the 20th Century:Physics and the Philosophy of Evolution Rod Hemsell 4/06
Perhaps what this means is that the next quantum leap in consciousness, one foreseen by Sri Aurobindo as necessary in order to resolve the dilemmas of matter and mind, will be an even more disturbing paradigm shift than the ones already brought about by the new physics of the 20th Century. In Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation of the Vedic cosmology, everything in the universe, from the physical to the mental plane, is an expression of the will-force of consciousness. Therefore it is possible that the non-computational interface between the quantum world and cellular structures theorized by Penrose, which brings about the “objective reduction” of quantum reality to the real-time world of phenomena that we know, is one level where consciousness-will can indeed be found. Penrose’s intuition is that the phenomenon of objective reduction will be related to gravity; though the phenomenon must be a Force, it is likely to be one that is as yet unknown to science. To observe this phenomenon will require a movement of consciousness toward such an understanding, which is not currently a movement characteristic of science.
At the beginning of his discussion of this possibility of scientific knowledge, Sri Aurobindo said, “If modern Materialism were simply an unintelligent acquiescence in the material life, the advance might be indefinitely delayed. But since its very soul is the search for Knowledge, it will be unable to cry a halt; as it reaches the barriers of sense knowledge and of the reasoning from sense knowledge, its very rush will carry it beyond and the rapidity and sureness with which it has embraced the visible universe is only an earnest in the conquest of what lies beyond, once the stride is taken that crosses the barrier.”^21...
During the brief period of historical time known as the 20th Century, as the discoveries of the new physics were taking place, and Sri Aurobindo’s discovery of the supermind was being formulated, in the forefront of the “human sciences” also many barriers of consciousness were ceding: Husserl wrote The Idea of Phenomenology in 1907 and The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology in 1933. Freud published his theory of the three-fold structure of mind in 1923, Heidegger published Being and Time in 1927, Whitehead’s Process and Reality was published in 1929. And one could go on: Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception in 1945, Jean Gebser’s The Ever-Present Origin in 1949/53, Sri Aurobindo’s later works,1940-50, Heidegger’s writings on technology and language,1950-60, to the newer physics of the 1960s, the post-structural philosophies of the 1970s, the quantum biology of the 1980s, and the super-technology of the 1990s.
As we shall perhaps see, if we explore in greater detail the explosion of ideas that characterized this epoch in the development of thought, within the context of the century’s equally dramatic “outer” developments, the arc of the entire project of human consciousness throughout may appear to have been delimited inspired by one evolutionary formula for human advancement: to reconcile Spirit and Matter. To achieve the realization of their unity; to consciously perceive the stillness and force that combined constitute the essence of the infinite energy of existence; and to know directly by a “supramental consciousness” - one with the world it perceives - that unity and diversity, identity and difference are the principles of all Being in Time, could be the outcome of the pursuit of Knowledge, as Sri Aurobindo indicated.
But for it to be so, he said, the human mind “must traverse the degrees which our inner consciousness imposes on us and, whether by objective method of analysis applied to Life and Mind as to Matter or by subjective synthesis and illumination, arrive at the repose of the ultimate unity without denying the energy of the expressive multiplicity.”^23 A study of the 20th Century in relation to the vision of Sri Aurobindo should reveal the progress made along this arc of potential human development, and also give us a clear indication of the distance still to be traversed if we are to complete the journey.

No comments:

Post a Comment