This post contains my personal notes and reflections of the chapter called The Two Negations: The Materialist Denial from The Life Divine written by Sri Aurobindo.
There is Spirit. There is Matter. Both are Divine. Life, Mind, Supermind and the intermediaries between Mind and Supermind are the links between Spirit and Matter. If we say that Spirit is Divine and Matter is not Divine, then there is no way we can accept both as Truth. We will end up rejecting one and immersing ourselves in the other. We will flee from the material world or reject the spiritual world. The human mind cannot be satisfied by this. Only a complete harmony of the spiritual and the material world can help man discover the central Truth for why he is here and what is the purpose of it all.
Ancient India accepted the spiritual world and rejected the material world – the result was a lot of spiritual treasures but bankruptcy of Life. Europe, as a symbol of the Western world did the opposite and gained material riches but became bankrupt in Spirit. But both of them were necessary. The rationality of Europe sharpened the rational mind so that it does not fall prey to imaginations and fantasies which are thought by some as spiritual. The spirituality of India showed that there exists reality beyond what can be conceived by our five senses and the mind. Both are essential to finding what is really True. Atheism ,Agnosticism and Theism have their own place in finding the Divine. The Divine cannot be known by thought and speech but can be known by the consciousness, the soul if you may call it and knowledge here is by identity than what we generally conceive as knowledge. This requires development of certain faculties which each one of us can develop.
Modern materialism as it continues its progress to greater heights will inevitably reach the edges of what can be known by senses and thought and if it aspires to complete Knowledge, it inevitably will go beyond. Already, a lot of this is happening and if we go to the edges of modern Science we are already speaking of matter and energy as two forms of the same. We will then realize that Mind, Life and Matter are three forms of the one Energy. The purpose of this energy in Man is to gain unending Life, unending Knowledge and unfettered Power. What Materialism is trying to do by all its stupendous inventions and discoveries is just this aspiration of omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience. One cannot but think that VOIP, the web and Google are steps, even though inadequate as they are to achieve this. These are just the start. Ultimately it should be possible for the mind to directly control physical energy and by extrapolation a time will come when the external ego merges into the internal Spirit and everything becomes an instrument of the Divine manifesting its omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience.
Man will have become Divine without rejecting Matter or Spirit. In fact there will be only One, the Divine-Matter, Spirit and everything else. Life would be eternal and we would realized the Divine nature in our human existence. Can we call it human anymore?