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Source of Natural and Positive Law: The devas or gods and asuras or demons, are allegorical terms, the term asura might stand politically for external invaders; historically for aborigines of India whom the Aryan immigrants had to repel!: socially, for the trash and bad characters; and psychologically, for the perverted tendencies in man. The terms devas and asuras stand broadly to denote respectively the good and the evil aspects in man as well as in nature. The mass extermination of the asuras at the hands of the devi or the goddess, is the victory of order over disorder by operation of natural law in the universe and by operation of positive law, in the society, this provides the metaphysical estimate of the idea of law.
The Idea of Law: In the field of natural sciences, die idea of law comes from the invariable sequence of events in future. When the recurrence of days and nights is referred to the diurnal motion of the earth, the law refers to the phenomena of causation. When Corin, the Shepherd, in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” understands what the property of fire is to burn and that of water to wet, his knowledge leads to the discovery of law into the uniform behaviour of substances. The human intelligibility of the uniform behaviour of a mass of matter, body or substance, makes an association of such uniformity with the consistency of a purpose, as when the diurnal motion causes days and nights, or when fire causes burning or water causes wetting, so that an otherwise manipulation with the cause shall require a violation of law, just when the person desiring to avoid the purpose of burning shall devise to quench fire, or when the purpose of dispensing with the phenomena of days and nights shall necessitate a forcible arrest of earth’s motion. The law is a plan inherent in the principle and its utility lies in the unfoldment of the plan.
The plan consists in the realization of some particular nature. The earth realizes its nature in its motion, the fire in burning and the water in wetting. The utility lies in the exploitation of the wealth of a substance, and such exploitation is reconciliation of the nature of the substance. Unrest prevails so long as the purpose is not served, so long as the nature is unrealized. The execution of law is consummation of the purpose. In the consummation of the purpose, the property of a substance is put to test. The law set to realize a given nature abides with its intrinsic purpose.
Random deviation in behaviour of nature is not anigma. The floods, the epidemics, the holocausts, are just aberrations of nature, as if the nature becomes at times mal-charged. But this mal-charged resulting into abrupt deviations forms the normal course of nature, is part of the scheme of law. The idea of law is not without an idea of its breach, though the breaches in the order of nature are rare whereas breaches in the human order are frequent, and this difference owes itself to degree of freedom endowed’ respectively to nature and to men. The process in nature is not, whereas that in human life, is meditative. The universal nature in comparison to human nature is perfect. The greater degree of imperfection in human nature denotes the higher possibility of lapses serving as trials and errors in the meditative life in its onward march for perfection.
The ultimate reality is infinite, and the infinite, by the buoyancy of its law, has to manifest itself and becomes finite. It is by will of its law that the non-self infinite comes down into the multiplicity of finite selves; it is in becoming finite that the infinite realizes its nature. Compelled by its unrest, the infinite releases its wealth and falls into a process. The fall of the perfect entity into a process of imperfection. The operation of law visits the breach of infinite nature by its descent for becoming finite. The function of law is to operate the mechanism of revelation of the infinite through finite means. In becoming finite, the infinite limits itself and this limitation is transference of imperfection in the finite. The finite law carry the philosophy of imperfection on its way to a graduated scheme of perfection. Being perfect, the law of the infinite is immutable. The finite being imperfect, the laws it has, are not immutable.
The finite is the end of the infinite, in one epicycle of law, and the infinite is end of the finite in another epi-cycle. The cyclic order of the ultimate law is from the infinite to the finite and from the finite again to the infinite. From unity to multiplicity and from multiplicity again to unity is the course of law which is eternal will of the reality. The reality is an exemplary identity of being and willing. It is exemplary because it postulates infinite freedom. The infinite will and infinite freedom are one. The freedom of being is freedom of willing. Negation of the freedom of will is negation of being itself.
There is, however, a different between the infinite and the finite wills: –
- The infinite will is an inner pull of its law. But the finite self can mould and determine its will, in more than one way because of its imperfection.
- The will, in the finite, amounts only to voluntariness of action, and implies self-determination.
- The freedom of will of the finite is right of self-vindication or effective manifestation into a desired activity. Manifestation is test of freedom of will. Freedom connotes the willing of anything in any way, and to the extent is possible to separate freedom of activity from freedom of will, any subject finite or infinite, is free to will, meaning thereby that it is free only to will, meaning thereby that it is free only to will.
A finite being may although be bound to do in anyway or any way to be coerced to adopt any particular course yet, the fundamental freedom to will otherwise than what is coerced, cannot be divorced. The freedom to will contrary to the dictates of another vouches for the freedom to will anything. The finite, even when physically enslaved or morally enthralled, is not without the freedom to will against its slavery or in repudiation of its thraldom. The real freedom is only the freedom of leading the will to a course of action. There is either no freedom of will as such, or the freedom of will is the freedom of willing anything.
The commitment to a culture, the adherence to custom, the reverence
for conventions, or the fear of laws, may prevent one from killing another, yet there can be no bar to the very freedom of willing slaughter of another. Hence comes the difference in that a being is free to will from that it is free to will anything. The freedom of will is a teleological concept uniting the self to any target, good or evil. It cannot, yet imply the freedom to will or not to will at all. Willing is essence of being. Whatever be the end of willing, the being cannot but will. That a being can will is the same that it ought to will. In a blast of the wind, it may be possible for its spurt to take any course and there is freedom in the activity of blowing to adopt any direction, yet it is impossible to check its own buoyancy for the blast. In the bloom of the blast, an outburst is inevitable, and the freedom to blow or not to blow is devoid of option. Whatever be the height of a tidal wave, yet it cannot help its inner ooze. The water, finding an outlet, is free to take one and changes to another course with the influence of external pressure, yet, its inner gush is indomitable.
This is rough explanation of the distinction between the infinite and the finite freedoms. The blast of the wind and the gush of the water are basically infinite freedom, but the course the wind or the water would thence take, is subject to outer phenomena. The infinite freedom, when put in a process, becomes finite. There is freedom in the infinite to unleash its energy, but such freedom is determined by its intrinsic law. There is freedom to realize, though no freedom to relinquish the intrinsic nature. The absolute freedoms are self-deterministic. The absolute freedom of will is the pre-determined course of the will. The law of nature is pre-determined course of natural will. To the extent of willing, the infinite is bound by the law of its nature. In the operative process of the law, the identity of willing and being is necessity and the concept of freedom, in the absolute sense, is bom of this necessity.
Law is the premium of infinite freedom of the infinite being for making it manifest in finite forms. The common place notion of freedom of power is of departing from an inner bondage. Freedom is departure from limits. In order to be free, a limit has to be transgressed. Freedom posited in the infinite is accountable to its potential force leaping for exodus from its won bounds necessitating its becoming as finite. The finite is the fruit of the infinite law, a product of the infinite freedom. There is only one way freedom in the infinite. The freedom to will in any and to any extent is just finite freedom. The infinite law brings infinite freedom to finite freedom. It is for this that the infinite becomes finite.
The finite is a limitation of the infinite, and the idea of freedom is meaningful in view of the limitations. The infinite has no limitation. The limitation is just identity of the beings and its law and the aim of limitation is freedom to release its energy for becoming finite. The infinite law is fusion of freedom and necessity. Freedom and necessity become distinct only in the finite. The capacity to transgress is boon of the finite. The finite can transgress to taste forbidden fruits. In its capacity to commit breach or perpetrate lapse or make any deviation, the finite is an oracle of infinite freedom. The will to manifest is the inner unrest of the infinite directed towards redressing its freedom. Transgression is test of freedom. The finite is power of the infinite made manifest for setting limits and probabilising their transgressions. The idea of law is a traffic in transgression.
The transgression of its limit by the infinite is for getting down as finite, whereas the transgression on part of the finite is its urge for infinite freedom. In tasting the forbidden fruit, the finite puts to test the truth of its freedom. In transgressing some minor limits, the finite realises its freedom and enlarges its reach and each reach, in its renewed prospect, is a yet higher limit. A lower limit when overtaken is merged to the higher and the finite, in its march from the lower to the higher, is seen making perceptible progress. The dimension of progress is enlargement of freedom and limitation both. Man is free in transgression but is safe in limitation.
From a lone man to the family, from family to tribe, from tribe to state and from state to a league of states, and so on, there is at each stage, a milestone traversed from one finite limit to a comparative infiniteness, and freedom is gradual realization of the finite partaking, in proportion, in infinity. The law keeps the infinite on its march towards the finite and the finite towards its ascent upto the infinite. The penultimate freedom is the periphery of the finite crossing which it might or must succeed in attaining ultimate and infinite freedom, where there are no barriers, no limitations and nothing forbidden.
Law brings to light the distinction between freedom and necessity and contrives ultimately to mitigate this difference. The distinction between freedom and necessity has meaning only in the meditative life. Conscious of its limitations, the meditative life strives for freedom. The order till the meditative life is one of freedom and necessity reconciled. The evolutionary process is mighty search after the meaning of law. The meditative life is the beginning of such search, and thence onwards, the evolution of life is an evaluation of life in gradually ascending the orders.
Prelude to the Succeeding Title: The law is itself a limitation, a major limitation devised to dissolve minor limitations. The difference of I and you is a limitation. The instrumentality of law is needed to settle differences and eliminate limitations. It embodies the principles how / and you ought to establish an identity by adherence to a uniform behaviour.
The unity of law is faith of the finite that the system outside the self, consisting or relations among selves, has not meaning apart from the self. The law is an awareness that the will to manifest is not outer to the infinite. The law gripping the finite, likewise exhorts that the outer system is an expansion of the self. The larger the need of expansion, the higher is the reach of law. In the higher reach of law, the limitations of the lower order are mitigated, just as in the law of nations, the rules of a club are sunk into insignificance. In the highest reach of the law, there is ultimate oneness, a negation of limitations and the liquidation of the finite into the infinite.
The scandal of law affects the finite side, in creating in the finite the sense of duality. The self-given to law has a divided approach, the subjective and the objective. In the objective approach, the self views the system all in one as a persistent single reality and decides to be law-abiding whereas in the subjective approach, it views the system as other than itself, becomes egoistic and devises’ to escape the rigour of law. On the emotive side, it identifies itself with the system. On the rational side, it becomes positive, self-seeking and latitudinarian. The law has made the finite life a paradox, so that, on occasions when he can defy law, he anticipates, yet, that others must abide by it. Positive law is mostly a concern of the self in a system.