Brahmasrii Dr K C Varadachari
Earlier epochs have perhaps witnessed the glorious manifestation of religious and mythical structures and sculptures and brought out what goes by the name of spiritual architecture and culture But it is well known that round the world we can perceive the derelict remnants of religious art and culture from Maya and Aztecs to Bali and Angkor vat not to speak of the demise of culture in the most civilized belts of humanity in Asia and Europe. A peep into the past may provide a depressing sensation albeit not meaningless. Mankind unconscious and conscious has seized this failure and today has brought into being an atomic age or Nuclear age and with its global pervasion and industry has
provided a new environment that challenges the laws of the past cycles and recurrences. Today nothing is just recurrence of the past. The masks are different indeed. But even here one may see how freedom has forged the weapons of freedom for freedom of the spirit bringing out the need for real creative peace and a new consciousness which is unlike the frog-in-the well consciousness with its limited sovereign domains.
It is to this new possibility of consciousness working on cosmic scale and power that Sri Aurobindo calls attention. Instead of this age being called a nuclear one it is also psychically a supramental one. The supermind is not represented in any one single avatara as in the past but in each and every one striving for real concrete freedom of the world and oneself.
There have been undoubtedly some who have felt that history is meaningless and man must learn to get out of this meaninglessness. Some apophatic theologians think so, and Berdyeav includes Indian philosophers with their entire lack of interest in history among them. They consider that this is a maya (an
illusion). Berdyeav himself considers that history has meaning as a tragedy of humanity except for the Supreme historical event of the Crucifixion of Jesus which alone can make man transcend the historical. But these are perhaps to peg spiritual form to a single event which because of its significance beyond all space and time, has meaning to such as feel the triumph of the spirit over time or history. However all these attempts reveal the fact that whether the Spirit pushes humanity towards to itself in all its significance or pulls humanity towards itself in order to grant it significance in its struggle and satisfaction in the attainment, it is to a factor beyond and in history that they call attention. Whether it occurs only once or many times depends very much an the weakening of the spiritual force and the necessity to lift up the movement out of its routine orbit to one that lists a higher value for the sake of whirls the lower is willing to die and die once for all.
A study of history from on integral point of view has been developed in another place1. The meaning of progress has also been developed by me in another
1 A Critique of the Philosophies of History
series of lectures2. Here I am showing or rather attempt to show how we can look at history both as significant and spiritual and show also how the spiritual and the material-biological work in unison for the constant production or creative result of unending experienced of saccidananda: Existence – Reality, intelligence – Idea and Bliss-fulfilment in freedom for each and for all.
2 Human Progress
PHILOSOPHY AND LIFE-I
There is a growing realization amongst philosophers that Philosophy and Life at the present day are somehow divorced from one another and the main drift of late has been in the director of drifting way from one another. We have known at this end of India that Universities even and Governments have been giving left-handed treatment of Philosophical studies. It is said that ‘Philosophy has divorced man from life’s pursuits and has depleted the vitality and energy of individuals from the promotion of human welfare’. This attitude has not a little to do with the anti-intellectualist bias of political theories and also philosophies of the Bergsonian school. In the name of realism there has been an attempt going along to put down the study of philosophy. That Philosophy has not made for the betterment of the state or country, and that it has acted as a lure to mere word-quibbling and slovenliness of
action is a criticism that has been made through out the past few years with a constancy and perseverance that even philosophers believe that there is much truth in that criticism, and the weak amongst us have already succumbed to this slogan. What is wrong with Philosophy that it should have shrunk to this measure of contempt, repression and ridicule? In what has it failed? It is up to Philosophers to discover the underlying causes of this great and pathetic fall.
We have Philosophers anxious undoubtedly to contribute to world-thought, but who have somehow contrived to get it into their heads the notion that it must be a restatement of past philosophies. This is important, for whilst a restatement of Philosophy in terms of ancient thought to which all the people have accustomed for centuries has the initial advantage of appeal, it need not because of that turn out to be truth. All the same, the failure of Philosophy to encourage an indigenous and fundamentally agreeable doctrine to the mass of people will lead to its own debacle. The failure of Modern Philosophy in India has been not a little due to the strangeness of the doctrines and to the novelty of
the contents, however much comparative religion and philosophy might seek to discover correlations. Thus Indian Philosophy has to go to its own ancient roots if it has to succeed at the present time, and yet it does not succeed. The reason is the failure that it has registered in the course of life of Man in our country. Thus a paradoxical situation has arisen. “By the fruits shall a tree be judged”.
Thus we find that Philosophy if it has to be loyal to the cultural situation cannot but refer to its own ancestry. And if it did, it will only meet with the disaster that will overtake it despite this incidence of alien cultures and ideas. The position is one of unrelieved gloom. Just as it is with political renaissance and resurgence, so it becomes imperative that there should happen an incarnation of an adequate genius to the new situation, who would synthesise in himself both the ancient and the eternal, and the temporal and the present.
We would have to state our problems of Philosophy with sincerity and clarity. What are the problems of Philosophy and what relevancy have they
to the immediate and remote problems of life? Philosophy aims at a world-view, and unless this world view taken in the abstract and the most universal eternal manner it cannot be adequately representative of the truth. But then this world-view need not be the welterchanuung, a life-view. Unless they synchronize, or unless the one follows logically from the other, there is only a remote chance of philosophy governing the life and conduct of people. It is true that without intelligence and planning, life must find its end sooner or later. Either we plan our civilization or we shall perish. But this planning must proceed from the most adequate view of reality and influence the relationships so that they could be ordered logically and successfully. A Philosophy that does not aim at bringing about a synthetic view or organic view of the entire factors of the world, which does not guide us in conduct and which engages itself in querulous and garrulous discussions as to the most unimportant aspects of reality courts an early demise. The fact is that without a logical system of ordered thought, no action can successfully be performed, but whether this logical ordering can be called truth is a different matter. For
we can, as Bertrand Russell claimed, have logical groupings of facts or fictions as many in number as we will, but none of them need be truth, that is, none of them need be the most exact and correct logical theory of Reality. The political theories of Marx and Hitler are logical theories put into practice with ruthlessness and consistency, but they are not because of their expediency or efficacy as such truth. Indeed the psychological factors which Hitler has put into execution with remarkable success show that we can by constant and consistent effort condition a people in their thought and behaviour so as to make it impossible for them to think otherwise or see otherwise. This is the psychological influence of Philosophy on Life. The world is mostly governed by these pageantry of thought and behaviour, because they are conditioned by these for a considerable time, intensely and uniformly and consistently.
But this effective doctrine of conditioned reflex, despite its utility, is not at any rate what a philosopher really bent upon knowing the real constitution of the world can permit himself to exploit or to submit to.
doctrines of realism and idealism have had changing fortunes but they have not ceased to take interest in the specific problems of how we know and what we know and how we know and what we know. The nature of mind, the nature of matter, the nature of relations, the nature of the content of knowledge, the knowing, the positive evidence of growth and progress, the end of man and his life, the rules governing his moral life and social life and religious life, all these fall into the purview of Philosophy. All these have to proceed from the ideal conception of their relationships or integral unity of these relations, so as to yield deductions as to conduct. The truth about the Kantian theory lies in the postulate of the need for deduction from apriori synthetic Judgments of the three kinds, according as they fall within the Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason and the Critique of Judgment. This is because the Reality from which all activity, of cognitive, conative or moral and religious life and aesthetic enjoyment proceed from the Unity of it. This Unity is important, for without this world-view of Philosophy or true view, that does not undergo deformation in consequence of temporal conditioning, because it is uniquely implied in
the structure and nature of the Integral Truth-view, there can possibly be no activity, no progress.
The application of the Integral eye-piece, so to speak, to the problems of the immediate situation is what is demanded from us in our moral life as well as in our social and political existence. The idea of a fluxional system of change without consistency, of chance that cannot be explained in any manner except through the cry of ignorance, the non-mathematical view so to call this, is utterly un-satisfactory and cannot be a profitable role for Philosophy. Indeed if Philosophy undertook this role it would be acting as a fifth-columnist. Romanticism in Philosophy, Utilitarianism in ethics, and mysticism in psychology are all such efforts which make Philosophy discreditable. Philosophy cannot and must not forsake the realm of rationalism, and logical unity, but this unity of logical understanding must be forced to undertake the effort of deducing all facts from the nature of the totality of life and being. Can Philosophy ever gain this force of pure Existence on the plane of life that surges with emotions? Is it not a far cry to seek to govern all life from the basis of this
abstract life and being? Life and vitality are not seen to flow from this abstraction.
PHILOSOPHY AND LIFE - II
Writing in the latest number of the Philosophy1, Dr C.E.M. Joad pleaded for the return to the classical tradition in philosophy. The classical tradition according to him lies in the application of the principles of philosophy to life, even as Plato and Aristotle did. The fact that their theories may not have been true did not make them forbear from applying the principles of which they were convinced to the conduct of life itself. In other words, their ethical interest in life was greater than their purely metaphysical interest. It is all right to speak about the need for knowledge for knowledge's sake, but it is imperative in knowledge itself to get its sanctions and embodiment in the living tissue of civilization. Thus politico-ethical interest dominated their thought. If we further enquire into this tendency to apply the discoveries of thought to the plane of action,
1 October 1940.
we find that it has been the one surest knowledge, knowledge that has arrived at that certainty of a workable proposition, knowledge which cannot but seek its realization in the concrete world of human experience. It is only the abstract and theoretical interest in discovering the unities and constancies in the changing and fluctuating phenomena of the outer world and human life that precluded any application of these discovered principles to the ordinary conduct of the world. As a matter of fact, this abstract tendency of the theoretical interest went so far as to urge a complete separation from the application of those theories to practical conduct that has led to an anti-podal movement in both. It is true that disinterested discovery of principles is and should continue to be the fundamental purpose of philosophy and science, but it is equally urgent that these principles should be obliged to render account to the phenomena of life and conduct so that they should not lose sight of their matrix of expression and loyalty to the earth.
It is a pity that the cooperation between the ideal and actual has been wanting, as we can witness in the constant opposition raised between the two. The earth
and our life refuse to be moulded in the pattern of our interests. They reject the claims of thought to dictate to the world. This is a important fact, and reveals the impossibility of applying the ideals of philosophy to fact. If the ideals of philosophy are not other than the ideals of science, which is pure and disinterested knowledge verifiable by experience, then science which has at present landed us through its discoveries in the present age of scientific self-slaughter, and philosophy which is unable to stem the tide of the progressive applied science, cannot be helped. On the contrary, it is very well recognized that philosophy and science are different, though they both seek knowledge, the one of the terrestrial and the other of the eternal which includes the terrestrial. The ideals of philosophy then embrace the ethical and the religious and cultural values more than the mere science, and thus grant a direction to the discoveries and inventions. The power of knowledge is granted by science as method, as Yoga is said to have done. But it is quite different when the ends are not the ends of wisdom. Yoga even might go astray, might lead to chaos in conduct and to reaction in social action. Thus mere knowledge that is not
governed by knowledge of the fundamental unity of all life under the life of spiritual values is a foundation concept with which we have to begin to apply ourselves to the task of restoring the classical tradition in philosophy.
It is no less true of all true religious and mystical consciousness that the enlightenment or revelation or vision leads immediately to the fulfilment in conduct of that which that vision imports. The command of God or the Vision to execute in the temporal context the intuited truths of the supramental vision is an imperative, a sacred calling which the mystic or the religious seer cannot even think of disobeying.
It is said of Buddha that at the moment after his enlightenment, he was tempted to give up all contact with the world, and escape into his own supreme Nirvana.
"Once, Ananda, I was staying at Uruvela on the strand of the river Neranjara under the ayapala fig-tree, immediately after I had attained the highest insight (sambodhi). Then, O Ananda, Mara the evil one came where I was; he stepped
forward to my side and standing by my side, Mara the evil one said to me: Into Nirvana shall now, Lord, the holy one enter, into Nirvana the blessed one; now, Lord, it is time far the holy one to enter into Nirvana."
"After that speech, O Ananda, I said to Mara, the evil one, as follows: 'I shall not go into Nirvana, thou evil one, before I have monks as hearers, wise, disciplined, experienced, well-informed, who possess the doctrine of salvation, who have the calm corresponding to the doctrine of salvation not until these themselves, after commencing their teaching office, impart, proclaim, teach, determine, explain, expound, correct: not until they have suppressed the protests of others which can be suppressed by the aid of the doctrine of salvation..!
This is so even in the case of those who have affirmed that to live here is living death, is illusion which must be got rid of. This is a precious inconsistency, precious because without it the knowledge of the superterrestrial cannot even filter into our consciousness, and form the basic foundation of our abstract speculation on the eternal as contra-distinct from the temporal and the phenomenal.
Such indeed is the vitality of the mystic vision that cannot but be the voice of the eternal, a voice not in the wilderness but a voice which is capable enough and profound enough to find resonance and acceptance in the minds and conduct of the living mass of humanity.
The only question is whether we can speak of applying the results of philosophy to the conditions of our life-time and thus influence a radical departure from its set and slavish habit. If it were so what are the discoveries which we have made which can in some measure he made to so influence the direction and end of the human existence and culture. Are we sure that we have arrived at a workable unity in our knowledge of philosophical problems? What with the babel of tongues in philosophy, with its ‘multifariousness of opinion' about problems, of subject, object, substance-attribute, the nature of the subject and the nature of the object, the knowledge of other minds, whether viewed from the pluralistic or the monistic or realistic or idealistic or organistic or evolutionary standpoint or the pragmatic or humanistic standpoint? Our problems having received diverse opinions, our attitude being undetermined and
confused, thanks to the marvellous changes in the knowledge of the external universe, and the continued apprehension that they are not capable of giving us any final truths even regarding the nature of the physical world, we are in the words of Sir S. Radhakrishnan "hastening confusedly to unknown ends."
The counsel of Dr. Joad that it is better to apply certain principles assured to us and then to seek to find out the deficiencies even as the a priori thinker of the type of Plato did, is no better than the pragmatic claim to put into execution hypothesis based undoubtedly on axioms of supreme certitude. Indeed it is perhaps worse. We find that the theory of aristocratic difference between the ordinary man and the philosopher who alone must be made to govern the country or the state is not acceptable to the democratically minded. And in a democracy then the race-aristocrat, or intelligence aristocrat or the expert has no chance of being heard. Nor are the methods pursued by these thinkers likely to bear a fruitful result. The total regimentation of consciousness of all individuals their lives and their bodies, to a set routine of emotional unity, however efficient in itself, is not going to make for the liberation
of intelligence from its own fugitive and insular and isolated condition, which at least is the agreed goal of all philosophers. Nazism and communism have striven to implement the psychological truth in the method of conditioned reflex just as much as the ancient Manu and the law-givers of India are alleged to have done with such conspicuous success in regard to the homogeneous unity of culture called Hinduism. That it is necessary to condition the consciousness of the individuals all through the world by a systematic, consistent, and uniform method of substitution of universal ends in place of the narrow parochial and patriotic motives must be conceded if life should evolve to a better order and plane. Can these be done by pure persuasion all the time? Should not the means be of the same order as the end mystics of all ages have affirmed. Sattvatas. Buddha and Gandhi for instance? The essential trouble is distrust of human motives and the configuration of these known as the personality-factor. Psychology is going to govern mankind more than philosophy. The Mein Kampf is a closely reasoned study of the psychology of the crowd. Nothing less than the application of the truths of psychology to
the conditions of the human situation is needed at the present moment. The science gives us laws, but not the ends. The ends may be anything. As Professor Watson declared, we can make a child either an idiot or a genius, by applying the different environmental conditions. This is the trust of Plato, Nietzsche, Manu, Buddha, Hitler and Lenin too among our foremost thinkers. In the ends have these people differed, not in the means. The greatness of the prophets lay in the ideal trend of their psychological applications, the philosopher and seer in them has shown the movement of the inner purpose of mankind.
The philosopher, however, finds it difficult to admit the absolute truth or ideal construction and application of these ideals to the conduct of life even during temporary periods. The philosopher has to bend the world and its forces to the ideal of his thoughts and visions. He cannot step down truth to the level of compromise which really surrenders the ideal. The implacable intolerance of the Jesuits, much admired by many, the unbending pursuit of the truth of the sastras on the part of the orthodox, the belief that cannot put up with any diminution in its strength, have always gained
admiration and then approval. The psychology of admiration has always been based on the strength and uniformity of pursuit on the part of the follower which despite ridicule and repression has won at long last respect and a place under the sun. Compromise is impossible on the plane of universal values of human life, and these may be not what we are agreed upon. Liberty, in mind and body and movement in speech all these may be greatly needed for development of the personality. But are we certain about the modicum of liberty which whilst pursuing its helpfulness to personality does not infringe upon the total social context? In the excellent book Civilization by Clive Bell, he declares "Superstitious ages are inevitably cruel: one of their superstitions being, invariably, that pain is good as a means, a doctrine which commends itself especially to those who are ashamed to confess that they deem it good as an end. After all, the sadism of civilized eccentrics may be nothing more than a relic of barbarism" (p. 118 Pelican ed). There are two kinds of superstition, perhaps a natural biological pre-rational state when the superstition was a normal device of the mind to escape from the collapse of its action, and the
other and second kind of the modern dictators which is an attempt to bring back to the rational mind, in its confused state the solace of the superstitions of the former age. The effective advertisement of the ancient superstition engenders unconscious vibrations, and loyalties spring up to this root-reaction of atavistic behaviour. The patriotic impulse which is sought to be awakened by theories of race, of culture, of religion all betray this appeal to the pre-rational unity of the consciousness, which has long since, lain dormant and hidden under the fine manners and platitudinous exterior of our rationality. Thus it is impossible to create myths and manners and mysteries as of old, nor even to appeal to the past in the same wav as is being done by dictatorial psychology. To succumb to this pseudo-philosophical jargon of patriotism and other isms is to forsake the firmest foundations of our life. An accurate and piercing analysis of the triple ends of life shows that some kind of adjustment is constantly needed between the forces of freedom, equality and brotherhood of man, on the plane of reason and not on the plane of mere emotional life or instinctive ends. "Common sense and a respect for realities are not less graces of the spirit
than more zeal", says Professor T. H. Tawney (p.249 Religion and Rise of Capitalism. Pelican ed). But this respect for realities is not to be confused with the compromise formulas. There need be no betrayal of the rights of reason whilst we accept to apply the eternal principles in the conditions of the temporal. The philosophic dichotomy so constantly praised and pursued between the eternal and the temporal requires a firm and complete repudiation. Pluralism is the life and function of reason, but it is not certainly separativism or isolationism. Our realistic outlook tolerates and worships difference in functions as enriching the unity of its structural pattern, but it does not permit the isolated existence of any fact whatever without explanation. The unity that is striven after is at the basis of our interrelations, perhaps in the form of a inchoate organic unity, not indeed in the form and structure of the actual typical organism which we know, but the archetypal foundational plan of a unity. But to make it real and expressive of the dynamic, it can never be the permanent static concept of the Absolute, which knows no progress and permits none. The individuals should seek to rediscover on the plane not of myths
and mysteries and superstitions of patriotic unity and identity and relationships, but on the broad and universal basis of equality and freedom of life of reason, the unity of the Organic. There is no compromise if reason is that which pleads; there is always a faulty compromise when the terms are those which belong to two different planes. Compromise must be such that it never surrenders to specious pleas. Thus it is that we find that religious seers have always surrendered or compromised with what apparently are to us serious lapses, but have refused to yield on points which to us appear as unimportant and not fundamental. This apparent inconsistency in their activities and decisions, has not a little provoked uncomfortable feelings on the part of their disciples. Philosophers if they would but conjure up such a vivid sense of the important and the essential, will undoubtedly be able to carry their ideals into practice and execute their dreams on the canvass of the temporal. But such a faculty or ability or purposiveness is incident on the fundamental quality of intellectual sympathy with the real and the objective situations in the light of their possibilities. The eternal possibilities in the womb of the present may be indeed
possibilities that have been engendered by the past of our life on the terrestrial plane, but it is the something more, the dire alternative of skipping back to the ancient and the atavistic behaviour that more often than expected has assailed mankind after every huge and terrific effort to jump it over. The alternatives which psyche-analysis has promised have not the power to shew us anything that might be profitable to human evolution or shew the possibility of the ingression into the terrestrial scheme of the ideals which have been struggling for an embodiment. The theory of emergent evolution with its unpredictable emergence of novel and the unexpected has not been able to even make guesses at the future. What with the demolition of the logic of causality with its strict predictable future, there has come into being chaos or novelty. The giving up of the concept of finality has added to our troubles. We have now to restate our principles of causal continuity. Can we? The doctrine of suddenness has not been altogether sanctioned by the study of our pioneers in spiritual and prophetic consciousness. The study of the mystical consciousness shews nothing more than the feeling of peace, a transformation of the consciousness
and the attitude to life as a whole, novel in itself but not capable of giving us a new philosophy. The cultural patterns of their environment have afflicted their rational cosmology, and we find them to be purely speculative if not merely unnecessary for the growth and development of human life. What to them is fundamental is the feeling and realization of oneness of all life, the togetherness of their existence which is ultimate and inexplicable by any human terms or logical terms. The aesthetic feeling or reaction of total pleasure or essence of pleasure, rasa, this is the summit of their consciousness. Thus we find that whilst there exist great divergencies in their cosmological theories, on one point, namely the relationship of the individual to the total All, (God), there is no divergence whatsoever. There is a functional and foundational unity, a unity that realises even an identity at some points of deepest intuition, so much so one is enabled to speak those wonderful words "So hamasmi" "Tat-tvam-asi". "There is nothing else." Does this peak of intuitive realization bear the existence of the world, can it render itself in the figures of the objective? Can we ever project this inward and interior vision, non-sensuous and ecstatic
into the temporal and the manifold changing, transient, clash of colour, race, interests and instincts? The application of the philosophical principles must be then realistic and not idealistic, for to speak of the idealistic trend of life might be right but not the idealistic application. No doubt "the practical man" with his business habits ingrained in him, counting his shillings and pence and looking eagerly at the market conditions does not represent our ideal of turning philosophers into practical men. In the words of G. K. Chesterton "A man must have his head in the clouds and his wits wool gathering in the fairyland." whilst he applies himself to the task of extricating the world from its barren practical mindedness, for the practical man is a creature of the circumstances and creatures of the mere animal desires cannot be expected to take an idealistic view which demands competent execution. The lunacy of the practical and the economic is too much with us. It is undoubtedly high time that utopians take their turn. It is always the impractical man who has made the impossible possible. Thus the unpredicted comes into actual operation due to the faith in his vision of that one man. Laugh the world may its fullest. But the man with
his faith in his wonderland has made the impossible, the unpredictable came into existence. Because verily he is the master of that secret unity of the vision and the real here, the vision that is an impossibility far the ordinary man with his practical-mindedness with his mind enclosed within the particular facts incompletely linked together without that saving knowledge of the progressive movement inherent within them requiring just that amount of faith to stimulate the achievement of result. This saving knowledge is the vision, the imperative of the prophetic insight, that promises despite all calculations to the contrary, the realization of it in terms of the temporal which according to definition is ruled out. The vision is never wrong, it is the definition of the relationship between the temporal and the spiritual and the eternal that is verily wrong and requires a recasting. When therefore the emergent evolutionists, moral evolutionists, creative evolutionists speak about the unpredictable nature of the creative activity, it is perhaps true of the lower species, but looked at from the point of view of the prophet and the seer here too we have the predictive possibility. It is the two-fold instruction of the path of prophetic insight that it
points out only two ways, the way of death and the way of light, the one pointing out the summit in clearest language and the other showing the results of defeat of light, and the peril our consciousness is in. Is all this untrue even from the philosophical standpoint? Not so if we view the dialectic of Hegel from the standpoint of the realist or the evolutionist. It was Sir Radhakrishnan who beautifully said that the "evolution happened in the animal, it has to be willed in the human." Moral responsibility to choose the good, the religious responsibility to be dependent on the Highest Ideal or God we know who albeit may be conceived even in the manner of Ahura-Mazda as fighting for the restoration of the Good, the mystical responsibility not to yield to the lower and the comfortable path of mere acceptance of the present conditions, all these show that man cannot, must not keep quiet--He must take sides in this activity of life for the sake of the triumph of the vision, which he has been vouchsafed. It was said: "If thou canst not be a saint of knowledge, be thou at least its warrior" and aptly. The Philosopher cannot now refuse to choose to act. It is perhaps to instruct this great truth the Lord in the Bhagavad Gita says "even a little of this
knowledge makes you cross over great fear." svalpamapyasya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat.
Thus we find that whilst the application of the finding of philosophy to current problems of the world cannot by any means be final, yet to start on this work is all to the good and indeed imperative. The laws discovered by the sciences have a neutral or ambivalent nature capable of being used or misused. Thirdly we cannot speak about the unpredictability of the future with any sense, as that is to lose sight of the ability of the saving knowledge achieved by mystic and religious and philosophic insight to plan and save humanity and lift it up to the higher levels of consciousness. The fundamental vision must be there to be dynamic and imperative in a total sense, than the mere economic imperative, or emotional imperative or geographical or racial imperative or moral imperative even. It is the total-imperative of the knowledge of Organic Unity of Spirit that can further life's progress and achieve it. The faith in the Purna the fullest, in the All, the sarva, in the Ekam, the Unity of all, in the Light and transcendent Reason, it is that which makes the philosophic utopian, the most practical. The failure of
Plato, Socrates and others is grand. It is immortal. It is their faith that must find a dynamic content for it is that lack which made their failure possible. Reason is and must be enthroned. But greater than reason is the Life of Spirit, that fundamental solace of human relationships in the universe. Thus we return to the beginning. Philosophy must be rescued from airy nothings. Its most abstract truths must be and perhaps are truer than the less abstract which are untrue alike to truth and to abstractness. The gain that we have registered in philosophy so far has been negative, critical. It has not yet found the positive, the constructive. Even the so-called constructions have an air of mechanical patched-up affairs. There is no life or movement possible nor could life and movement be breathed into them, as Christ is said to have done in regard to the birds he made of mud.
A synthetic or organistic standpoint, or rather a total stand-point of the Spiritual which embraces ail the terrestrial and the cosmic, temporal and the fluxional must be our one aim. In which case action is implicit in that dynamic totality, and life becomes an emergence out of this totality in complete harmony with its total
nature. Life then becomes transformed, even divine in the true sense of the term. It would be perfect action, spontaneous, and self-fulfilling or rather self-manifesting in the whole as also in parts. The specious doctrine that the imperfection of the parts is consistent with the perfection of the whole will not find a place in it. Is this a possibility at all, it may be asked? Let our seers answer.
MESSIAH AND THE MONK
In a thought provoking book entitled OBJECTIVE SOCIETY, Everett Knight has posed a problem of great interest in typology and its consequences to social understanding. His concern has been the extraordinary situation to which academicians have arrived having built themselves a way of looking at Society objectively that is to say detachedly. The scientific out look has been to look at the world contra-subjectively and this has led to the hypostatising of categories galore which have hardly objective existence though they have all been invented or discovered in the course of the necessity for assuming or presuming an objective world independent of the subject or his experience. This detachment from subjectivity and attachment to objective reality as if it has nothing directly bearing on the life of the individual or his ethic or politics or in one word, his religion, has been a phenomenon which
should make one shudder about the future of man. This tendency of the mind to cloister itself and build up an ivory tower is the essential characteristic of the monk. Sri Aurobindo called it the ‘ascetic’ detached from the world and away from the world in all ways except perhaps in the forced prison of the world and all its tormenting changes that change nothing at all. That this monk cult should have invaded the scientific mind and the academies is the one distressing factor even when such men do indulge in the study of society and so on.
The Messianic type of person however there is in this world: he perceives the world to be the object of his work and needing change according to his pattern of thinking or planning or reasoning. He sees that the world as he lives is an ethical field for his struggle and conquest for reality. The unreal world of the past is to be replaced with the dynamic reality of the future. Always we have had men who saw that the world requires to be changed and shaped according to great ideals. He is no pessimist who knows that the world needs change but is ineffective to do it as he knows not the know how of things. The know-why of things needs to be necessary for the know-how and since the know
why is beyond his rationality and perceptions, the know how is delayed and thus the pessimist is the arrested messiah. Ideological messianism we have always had and utopian messianism is also what we have had. Science however has been able to promise messianism its help but what with the indeterminacy and the threat to human life itself not to speak of its being incapable of integration with values ethical and religious it appears that messianism is bound to find itself in difficulty. Further both monk and messiah are anti-rationalistic and emotional or sentimental. Thus these two are said to be antithetical to the rational spirit which smothers all action.
The struggle today is not between the Monk (the otherworldly human) and the Messiah (the this-worldly futurist) but between thought and action. Thought has been said to be the cause of action, and a rational or thoughtful person always plans his action and then acts. The intellectual in being truly intellectual is at the arrested level of objective knowing rather than getting involved in action. His Olympian attitude is of course much appreciated though it is exasperating to find one whose doubt is so omni pervasive an element of his
existence that his existence itself requires to be questioned. Of course the doubter must exist according to Des Cartes for his thinking is nothing but doubting, However it is to the credit of those who have seen through the flaw in this ‘detachment’ and pre-planned activity of as Bergson says of perception this ‘virtual action’ itself is said to be action, a sort of behaviour and reckoned even by psychologists as such, to claim that action there is which verifies the rightness of the thought or the doubt and such action is of course cooperating in the field of real knowledge. We always find this integration of thought and activity in the very process of cognitivity, and the arbitrary division of thought from activity in cognitivity itself not to speak of life is an abstraction of the most disastrous order which has led to the present stalemate in philosophy as well as politics and other areas of human existence. Pragmatism was right in insisting that knowledge is or becomes truly knowledge when it is acted and action is the test of the rightness of knowledge. This was the truth insisted upon by the Indian Realistic logicians and organists and personalities that action is what is intended in all knowledge and the verification of this
intention is indeed itself knowledge-acting towards truth and reality.
The present tendency in university education is precisely to debar this and develop an objective outlook that is arrested at perception what does not develop into perception at all for perception requires an perceptive mass of activity and knowledge which is excluded in the temples learning.
Om Tat Sat