Metaphysics is branch of philosophy that concerns with ultimate reality sustaining the apparent world of flux in which life and matter have become cosharers in the space-time continum. Mind is consciousness of life and matter, availing both in the terrestrial process. The space-time continum rolls on these two actualities of life and matter. HENRY BERGSON, in his “Creative Evolution“, accepts this dualism of life and matter. In BERGSON’s philosophy, the world “is divided into two disparate portions, on the one hand life; on the other hand, that inert something which the intellect views as matter. The whole universe is the clash and conflict of two opposite motions; life which climbs upward, and matter, which falls downward. Life is one great force, one vast vital impulse, given once for all from the beginning of the world, meeting the resistance of matter, straggling to break a way through matter, learning gradually to use matter by means of organization; divided by the obstacles, it encounters into diverging currents, like the wind at a street comer; partly subdued by matter through the very adaptations which matter forces upon it; retaining always its capacity for free activity, straggling always to find new outlets, seeking always for grater liberty of movement a mid the opposing walls of matter. The question is two-fold one : one, the process how and second, the principle why life should seek to break through the matter. The chemical evolution has taken water to be the primal matter which the life, at its inception, has broken through. The chemical evolution conceives life as a singular, continuous, uniform phenomenon, though compounds of creation have shared it on gradually ascending orders, having made provision for due completion among the preceding orders. The difference in biological or psychological levels among classes of created beings, is an upgrading of life on planes one higher than the other. Each power order is an incentive for onward progression which marks that there has been continuous stream of life in an uprising course. The natural selection or the survival of the fittest bespeaks of the progression of the simple compounds of the elements of nature into the creation of organic compounds. The data collected by the chemical evolution theory is a recorder of the strides taken by life for its emancipation from the initial appetitive stage for an elevation to the meditative stage.
The origin of life, in the chemical evolution theory, has been traced to the alchemy of lighter compounds, diffused freely in nature, in the substantive forms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, combining with each other and resulting into the formation of the basal compounds of water, ammonia and methane. The trans-combination of these simple compounds went into the formation of more sophisticated compounds like glucose, glycerine and the fatty acids, and the process continued until the creation of virus considered to be the first representative of embodied life. Composed only- of nuclic acid, the virus reacted upon another compound of protein and a combination of the two brought about the origin of the nucleo-protein endowed with the faculty of reproduction. The first step towards evolution of animate existence was the origin of appetitive life, possessing nothing more than the mere appetite of reproduction. The fermentation of life came to soon discover that this very crude appetence could not be sustained without being energized from another material source. The primal life assessed in the chrysalis of a single cell, therefore, aspired to come into contact with a source of energy. The Sun has been the single source of energy in the universe. The cellular life came in communion with the Sun. The Sun is the nucleus of the universe, and since a communion could be possible only from nucleus to nucleus, the cellular life, so far not endowed with a nucleus, had to emerge one for generation into it of a substance known as the chlorophyll, meant as an absorbent of solar energy by use of which the appetitive life evolves into the vegetative life. The Sun as a centre of the universe, became also the sustainer of life. The vedic term “Vishnu” understood as the sustainer of all life on earth, is a synonym of the solar energy. This proves the sustenance of life as a singular, continuous, uniform phenomenon making it possible for the components of creation to share life on unlike but gradually ascending orders. In the ascending order of creation, the vegetative life evolved into the animal or the instinctive life which culminated finally into the meditative life, fee life of fee homo-sapien.
The advent of the horao-sapien is the apex evaluation of life. It is the homosapien which values life most, and the homo-sapien differs from the lower order only in terms of his power of meditation. The emergence of the meditative life is end of alchemy of evolution. Having created in life the requisite consciousness for higher phases of human existence, the biological evolution has culminated its purpose, leaving the species as they are, without resurrection of those which have become extinct in the struggle for existence and without elevation of all total lower species into homo-sapiens. Such arrival of the meditative life, the biological evolution has come to a stand-still and tire evolutionary process has thereafter rested with reproduction of life on the biological level. Evolution advances, thenceforth, in the meditative life of the homo-sapien. Meditation is an order of thought towards progression. The evolution of meditative life aspires for attainment of values to human life. The meditative evolution is a process of regeneration of values. The “upanishad” has summarized this evolutionary process of life in a terse statement that earth is the sap or essence of the elemental forces of nature, that water is the sap of earth; that the sap of human is vegetation; that sap of vegetation is human life; that sap of human life is mediation, which is “vak” or the reflective sense of speech; that the sap of reflective speech is “rik” or recitation, meaning communication, that sap of recitation is the “sam” meaning concord, equilibrium or harmony; and sap of concord is “udgitha” meaning the highest or the plenary existence.
The state of “sam” being the stage of equilibrium, represents the stage of perfect order, which is the consummation of law. The law realizes its purpose in identifying life with the universal order. The stage after “sam ” is the highest state, the “udgitha”, which is stage of oneness with the universal spirit. The meditative life enjoys the highest stage of conscious existence. The law consummates itself in identifying itself with life. The meditative life enjoys the highest stage of conscious existence. The law consummates itself in identifying itself with life. The meditative life evolves to this end, which is the ultimate metaphysical existence having no further state to evolve to. Here rests the finale of meditative life. This conclusion follows from use, in the “upnishad” of the term “udgitha” which is a compound of three symbols of speech, namely “ut” which refers to an upward position; “gi” which denotes movement, and “tha” which means, the station, the sactum or the distinction. Such plenary existence is the vision of existence without limitations. It is the stage of perfection and oneness. The evolutionary process has strived for the culmination of the lower inot the higher orders of one and the same life. The “udgitha” implies the tendency of the higher order yet to culminate into the highest. The lower and the higher are only terms of evolution possible only in the meditative life. The highest reach of the meditative life is final unity which is oneness evincing the one plenary existence from differences and distinctions. Differences and distinctions are deflections from absolute order. The plenary existence knows neither differences nor limitations, and composes the dualism of life and matter. The first life principle does not have here the matter to break through. The meditative life is a rising stream of consciousness for spiritual oneness with the universal principle. The ultimate existence is merger of meditative and spiritual life. Starting from the brute nescience of an appetitive life, the process of evolution culminates in the fullest percipience of the self as an integral part of the cosmic will. This percipience reaches its fullness through the successive ordering of life in conformity with the cosmic purpose. The ordering process finds its tyrst in the non-difference of biological properties with cosmic subleties.
The immense course of life’s venture for its identification with the cosmic design is traversed through innumerable inner and outer disorders. The human insight is indigenous product only of inner compunctions and outer contentions, and intellect is only effervescence of this human insight. It is on account of the exploits of intellect that certain values are premised in life and perpetuated in time. The pragmatic notions are realized and practical scruples reinforced through a synthesis of diverse values. The utility of law consists in its mobilization, and order is perceived in the coordination of values. The values serve as the criteria of an ordered and meaningful life. Life evolves and unfolds its purpose and meets its end through a continuous contention of values, competing and confronting each other. Progress of humanity is perpetually shaped by a constant competition of values. Each higher phase,, composes a lower conflict. Perfection is thereby attained in fragments and law is consummated in phases. The objective of values is discovered in things needed for satisfaction of the self. On the meditative phase, the evolution implies the evolution of the self, tending, like each evolutionary phase, to exhibit some still higher order and the goal is set for attainment of the highest. In the plenitude of the infinite, the finite is indistinct. The finite is capable of description because of its distinctness. The self is finite in its “otherness” from the other selves. When this “otherness” is shed away, the distinctions and the dualities are gone. The diversity is merged in the unity, and the conflicts, lured by diversity are overcome by calmness. The contentions become contentedness. A stage of perfect noise is reached where law has no problem to solve nor any disputes to resolve, and consummates in the infinite, which is external existence. It is to this purpose that life has crossed the stage of the appetitive, the vegetative and the animal lives and tends et to transcend the meditative life for its poise in the infinite, which is not life but merely life principle.
The appetitive phase had given life the value of reproduction. The faculty of procreation in life is the bonus of sex. The animal or the instinctive phase had given life the value of consumption, and satisfaction. In between the two, the vegetative life is only the producer life yielding stuff, the cereal of the “anna”, as named in the “Brihadaranayaka upnishad“, for consumption and sustenance of the animal life. The animal life thrives on vegetative life and derives satisfaction which is perfection only in rudiment. The meditative life chastises the satisfaction and makes pleasure out of it, co-ordinates the pleasures into a scheme of happiness and converts happiness into bliss, in its final identity with the infinite principle. The evolution of life from the appetitive stage to the meditative stage, represents the functional utility of law, that is law at work in the evolution of life. Evolution of life is evolution in accordance with law. inherent in the ultimate reality a an undifferentiated, unbounded, infinite, indeterminate substance from which has flown the duality of life and matter by operation of its law. The course of evolution from the appetitive to the meditative life is fairly apprehensible, but the evolution beyond the meditative stage leading to the oneness with the life principle eludes apprehension. It is not evolution properly speaking, it is rather involution of the meditative existence upon the ultimate existence, that is the first and the final cause of existence. The course of progression in the meditative life is obvious in man’s scientific attainments, his measures for social security, his political stability and economic prosperity, and in all those values for which the self has undergone mighty modifications meant for its expansion into a gradually more perfect order by shedding away, in degrees, the differences and dualities. Starting from the self as a concentric unit, and aspiring yet to identify with the universal fraternity, the human self has been restive for die values yet unattained or to discard those that are anachronistic. Humanity is thoroughly busy in the generation and regeneration of values.
In proportion to the expanse of the self in the outer universe, the values distinctly appear as widening their sphere. The self is no longer an isolated existence but enjoys an existence in one with that of the family, the club, the class or the community, die nation or the common wealth of nations, ail these wholes, in an ascending order, representing an expansion of the self in a graduated hierarchy of existence. The isolation of the self becomes gradually indistinct and is identified with each larger existence in relation to the value motivating most at any given moment. In each case, the self assumes new dimensions of its existence and aspires yet for a stage beyond dimensions. The assault on Moon or the ascent hoped on Mars, are pure endeavours for progressing stages leading to oneness with die infinite. The ultimacy of pure being transcends the cosmos which is an evolute itself and not eternal. The ultimacy of pure beingis a merger of the duality of life and matter. Each new dimension of the self is a state of oneness which is a view of the self in r its possibilities. The family, the state, the world and the universe represent, each, the oneness of the self in a gradually larger magnitude, brought about by the eagerness of the self widening its sphere and seeking to culminate in the final oneness of the infinite. This is how the view of life becomes eventful to the reality. Such a stage, is definite to realize, because law is seen working to that end in order to consummate itself as a metaphysical reality. The consummation of law is final conformity of the being and its law, where freedom and necessity, the liberty and the law, the will and the purpose, become indistinct. The pure being intervolves its law in a liquidated or potential form, to be energized afresh by its inner pull to enter the probes of becoming; first bifurcating itself into two principles of life and matter; and the process of law thenceforth deployed for endurance of the pure being in and through the current of becoming; each prior stage of being moving onward into a higher stage of becoming.
Being and Becoming
The characteristic feature of the state of becoming is its allowance for distinction between existence and experience. Becoming refers to the state of experience. The self experiences the becoming of things. In flux of time, it experiences its own becoming young from a child and old from a youth. The self becomes because it knows that it has become. Becoming to self is a state of mind, for example, becoming angry is not different from the existence of anger. The objects in their state of becoming, instil into self the corresponding empirical states. The becoming of things is simple data for the self to count the reality of change. This inspires the self to discover the principle responsible for this change. This is the point where law becomes metaphysics. The experiencing self itself changes; yet it records the change. The change exists as well as experiences. It is both existence and experience. The distinction is ultimately futile. The change is both subject and object. The finale of all existence is its unity with experience. The unity as a stage of loss of the discriminating faculty, as an existence in void or a thought in the vacuum, something as an admixture of being and non-being, is the conclusion where all absolutistic philosophies concur. Buddha, Shanar, and Hegel do not differ on fundamentals that the ultimate existence of experience is a vacuous state. It is a state better denoted by the term “nescience“.
State of Nescience
State of Nescience is a state without predicates. It is a destiny. It is a law unto itself. The “Nasadiya Sukta” of die “rigveda” stands in assertion of this state of existence. In the ” creative evolution” of Bergson, the faculty represented an intuition is in essence the same nescience. The intuitive and the intellective states in Bergson, correspond respectively to the being and becoming states of existence. Intellect refers only to becoming since it separates in space and fixes in time; it is not made to think evolution but to represent becoming as a series of states. “The intellect is characterized by a natural inability to understand life”. The metaphysics in the “Sankhya” school of Indian philosophy, recognizes nescience as the concentrated creative force in its potential form. The shakti cult of Indian philosophy has denied this creative force in the form of the supreme goddess. “Shakti” literally mean’s force, vitality or energy. The conception of Sri Aurobindo’s Mother is not different in calling it as the “unmainfest mystery of the Supreme”.
The nescient content of this creative force, in the “Markendeya Purana” is Yoga Nidra or the poised slumber. The term “yoga” stands for a concentrational exercise with the aim of becoming one with the universal principle. Tire oneness of the self and the absolute is the central theme of the “vedanta ” philosophy. The “Durga satashati”, part of the “Markandeya purana” opens with an allegoric invocation of primordial nescient state of being as the “yoga nidra”, the word “yoga” denoting equipoise, and “Nidra” which is sleep, is only nescience. The “Kala Ratri” or the eternal night, the “Maha Ratri” or the infinite night, the “Moha Ratri” or the impetuous night, are other synonyms denoting this nescient state. The last nomenclature is indiscreet infatuation. It is nescience in the sense of being non-sentinent. It is infatuation, since it denotes an impulsion, an inner upheaval, an auto-compunction in the nescient state of being, tending to flow in the course of becoming. The state of becoming is a downward flow of the creative of the being. The fall of Adam narrated in the “genesis” in the holy Bible is anthropomorphic allegory of the downward release of the creative force. It is indomitable desire of the creature to know his creative power; it is depicted as fall or lapse, denoting firstly a downward movement, and secondly, a breach or departure from the original state where the fruit of creative energy was forbidden. The forbidden fruit is a stage prior to the desire to know or realize the facultative operation of the creative force. Forbidden means as “not yet tried”, and, therefore, potential in the ultimate existence. That which is forbidden to knowledge, operates as desire to know by a pull of passion.
The Desire to Know
The desire to know is the desire to experience, to realize, to become, or to create, as explained in the first part of “Aitareya Upanishad”. In Bible, the first episode of Adam in tasting the forbidden fruit is an offence attributable to the outburst of the creative force. The divine command was conservation of force, which was condition of being. Ingrained into the fancy for the forbidden, lies the assumed awareness of an ideal, and the impairment of the ideal is actual impulse of the dynamicity concentrated in reality. The awareness of the ideal and the aberration for the breach of it, are the two opposites only of a single structural whole, which is real. The real polarizes itself into the ideal and the actual is quaking motion of it. The actual is a strivance for reversal of the ideal of breach thereof. The breach sustains the actual but sanctifies the ideal. If is the possibility of the breach that sustains the ideal and keeps the actual sustainable. The process of breach implicates both the ideal and the actual. There is a breach because of the ideal. The force or the “shakti” breaks its bounds, and it is through the breach that the force becomes intelligible. The breach is basically a device for vindication of the ideal. The breach is real, because it synthesizes, in a dialectical sense, both the ideal and the actual. Each phase of becoming is revelation of the creative force of being and the scheme of becoming synthesizes the ideal and the actual and points the way in which the force is put to test or becomes tested. The force of “shakti” is inherent limitation of the indefinite. It is with accessories of limitations that the infinite reveals itself and becomes finite. In its revelation alone the infinite is apprehended. The limitations are aids to revelation. The limitation is standardized modality of the finite, since the force persists in the revelation of the infinite through finite means. It is in this revelation that the infinite chooses to put its vitality to test. The entire process is an experiment and the creative force is the tested reality, nay the continual testing of hat which is ultimately real.
The genesis in the bible, is testimony of the elan of creative energy. It is elan vital in Bergson’s terminology. The fall of Adam is rhetoric revolt against dormancy of the creative force. The divine command depicts the poised rectitude of force. The divine is slumbering state of force which transcends the creative process. The fall of Adam furnishes the restive passion for creation. The fruit which is forbidden is humanity prior to procreation. The deep slumbering pose of the infinite is averse to creation. The divine command is the first awareness instilled in the being as readiness for creation. The divine command was Adam’s anthropomorphy of the infinite withholding its creative power. It was a stage of forbearance, a stage where procreation had to be forsaken. It was a pint of transition in the creative force for its transformation into tire procreative power. The fall of Adam is rhapsodic imagery of a discourse between the creator and the creature. The imbroglio of force was premeditated. The creator was aware of the forbidden, and the creature was made aware of that which was forbidden. The difference is not without meaning. The awareness of God was creative energy, that of Adam was procreative power. God is name for creative agency in nature. Adam is creature or product of nature. The character of God or Adam may be legends, and the episode may be phantasy, but the moral is correct to bear evidence that the reality in its mystery of creation carries the burden of some primaeval force. The procreative pleasure of the creature is accountable to a later formality of the operation of this force. It is this force which throughout persists prior to, or even after, the fleeting flux of the world. It is “Lebnitz” knew this by the name of “conatus” the same what Hindus know by the name of “shakti”. The desire to know as well as the knowledge derived, both refer to this force.