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Rational Approach to Mysticism or Mystic Explanation of Rationality
Man has been searching from the beginning of his existence on earth. What is he searching for? Is it not for freedom from the immediate fetters, is it not for mastery over his environment, is it not for knowledge of events and things? The mystic calls it God; the rationalist calls it knowledge. Can we not go behind these two terms and find a common concept? These two ideas combine in a very simple term of infinity, which, in initial stages, might have meant more of freedom, knowledge and longer life.
Now that man has achieved in the last four or five thousand years material infinity of knowledge and comforts and has conceptually discovered infinity in mathematics and philosophy, we can try to bring them both as more real terms of life in mind and material life.
In other words, the mystic’s quest for God and the rationalist’s search for a final formula for the creation of the world and the universe can be summed up in two statements.
- Life is looking for infinite material creativity and the energy for it, and
- Mind is searching for a knowledge that is power which will give life its material abundance.
From where does the mystic’s quest arise? What helps the rationalist create ideas? The answer for both is MIND. Whether you call it God or Matter, ultimately man has worked out of his mind, because there is no higher faculty than mind in him. Whatever the unknowable is, it is for man his own mental conception. Therefore, Sri Aurobindo said that the universe comes to us as values, and values are the skills of mind.
Sri Aurobindo has constructed The Life Divine on this thought. The infinity physical science looks for in matter does not lie in matter. It lies in mind.The capacity to make mind’s ideas infinitely real lies in matter. It is in this sense that man is the ultimate resource. To discover that man is the ultimate resource, we need a theory of creation, at least a theory of social creation.
A penultimate step to all the above mysteries (*) is to declare to the world that endless resources creating infinite abundance is around the corner.
- God is realizable, not a mere superstition.
- Matter can be declared as the final forum for man’s quest.
- Can earthly paradise be conceived of as a reality?