March 15, 2009

Sri Aurobindo's philosophy of a new and higher consciousness

THE SPEAKING TREE Evolutionary Ideas Of Aurobindo
TOI, 10 Sep 2004, 0000 hrs IST, Kishore Gandhi

Sri Aurobindo's insight and analysis of evolution are now part of the scientific and cultural landscape. But few scientists and artists know his evolutionary theories that are being proved true by modern science. While probing frontiers of science, physicists have discovered the limitation of the Newtonian mechanistic model at the level of galaxies and electrons. These discoveries have no doubt given the first glimmering of the new paradigm that matter and consciousness are the primary forces in the universe.

The theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, Heisenberg's principles of uncertainty, Bohr's laws, Schrodinger's resolution of particle/wave paradox, Prigogine's discovery of dissipative structures based on self-organising and self-transcendent systems, Roger Sperry's researches in the right and left implications of hemispheric brain processes, Ervin Laszlo's Psi hypothesis have all brought about major breakthroughs that have profound philosophical implications for science as a whole. This development marked a major shift from the clockwork paradigm to an uncertainty paradigm, from the absolute to the relative. The new model looks upon matter as being in some way a graded manifestation of consciousness. So increasingly, the West has been showing an increasing interest in Eastern thought, particularly in Buddhism and Vedanta.

The Isa Upanishad says, "Everything that exists in the cosmos, living or non-living, is the habitation of the divine". The Mundaka Upanishad says that one perceives "Brahmn verily in this resplendent cosmos, in front and behind, above and below, in the right and to the left. The universe is indeed all manifestation of the Brahmn". These mystical insights are being significantly recognised by physicists as a more accurate expression of the real structure of the universe than many of the classical theories of science. The dance of Shiva is inspiring physicists as a new reference point in explaining the creation of this world in terms of a unified field theory.

The double crises of civilisation and evolution today is the product of the human mind. I see through the eye, not with it, said William Blake. He also said that "if the doors of perception were cleansed, we would see the world as it is, infinite". Quite clearly, the human mind which imagines, reasons and creates is dynamically active, and is playing a critical role in the process of its own evolution and also in the survival and evolution of all living things. The future of our evolutionary course will be in the realm of psychic deve-lopment, and the new potentialities will make us surpass ourselves. The development of transdisciplinary approaches to knowledge corresponding to the creative manifestations of life is our model for tomorrow.

Aurobindo's philosophy of a new and higher consciousness for the future provides a convincing and viable alternative to a bewildered humanity that is living under the spell of multiple fears. The discoveries of modern science have no doubt given their own verdict of opposing alternatives — of either the Buddha or the bomb, for instance — and it is up to each one of us to decide which path to follow. To save history from being reduced to a tragedy of successive civilisations, we need to promote the Oneness Principle. Global consciousness is the only way out. [Sri Aurobindo: Evolutionary Ideas Of Sri Aurobindo] [Daily Excelsior... Editorial]

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