An Integral Approach to management and human development based on the spiritual vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother with an emphasis on its application to various domains of knowledge and life.
(The principal of a large school in Bombay gave us a list of frequently asked questions by 13 year old children in her school and asked us whether we can prepare answers in the light of a spiritual perspective. When we looked at the question we found that they are not mere “kid-stuff.” Most of them are either fundamental and existential questions related to world and God or psychological problems faced by most of us. This series is an attempt to answer these questions from the children’s perspective in the light of a spiritual vision of life. We don’t know how far we have succeeded in communicating to the children. Nevertheless, we hope these answer may be of some help to teachers and parents who have to deal with children. There are around thirty questions with answers given in the light of a spiritual vision of life. We will post these questions at regular intervals.)
Is our world non fictional or is it like a story in a book?
Is the world real, made of real people and real events or just a dream or a fiction,as in a story book? Is this your question? A very profound question debated by many great philosophers. Chuang-Tzu makes an amusing observation: “Yesterday I saw a butterfly in my dream. But I am wondering whether this butterfly is a character in my dream or I am a character in the butterfly’s dream.” So are we and the world we live in a dream of a great sleeping god in some heavens, reclining like the God Vishnu in the milky ocean? The world and we could possibly be a dream of God or a story or a drama written in His own mind, with world as the stage and we humans, and all other creatures in it, as characters in the story or drama. Here, I am not talking about some God in heaven, but the God with capital “G”, the ultimate maker of the world and all other gods. And if God is the ultimate Reality or the only Real, then His dream or story or drama must be real, if not to Him, atleast to us who are the characters in His dream, story or drama.
So the world is not fictional but has a reality which comes from God. But the world we humans see or experience may not be entirely real or true. For example if you are a two-dimensional creature, which can see only two dimensions,crawling in the mud in a world created by a four-dimensional being, who can see and create in and from all the four-dimensions, your knowledge of the world cannot be entirely true or complete. You can see only what is therein two dimensions and cannot see things in the third or fourth dimensions. For instance if a six-foot creature stands before you, you can see only the tip of its fingers or at the most the nails on them but not the entire creature. Thus we, humans, can see only three dimensions. But, God, the Creator can see and create in and from many dimensions, we don’t know how many, perhaps twelve. So,when we take God’s creation as a whole our knowledge or vision of the world is like that of a three dimensional creature in a twelve-dimensional world. We cannot see what is there or happening in the other nine dimensions. So an object we see in this world with our three dimensional consciousness, is perhaps only a frontal appearance or a small part of a multi-dimensional reality, which is unknown and invisible to us.
Similarly with the events of the world. The history of the world and the present events may be a story unrolling in the mind of God. Here again we don’t know the whole story which only God knows. The present condition of the world does not give the entire story. We are part of an unfinished world. The world in which we live has a long past and perhaps an equally long future. We are perhaps in the middle of the world-story or God’s story. Our human history, as human beings, is only a very brief episode in the world-story. For example, if you enter into a movie theatre when the film was running in the middle, and after sitting there for a few minutes, you are asked to leave the theatre or thrown out of it, what you can know about the story of film? The present condition of the world,and we in it, are somewhat like this brief episode in a long movie. God’s story which unrolls in the form of history of the world runs through billions of years. But we as human being, the first man,appeared only a few lakhs years ago. And when we appeared, the world has passed through many millions of years of evolution or in other words many million pages of God’s story has passed. At present, we human beings are only a few pages in the story. And we don’t know how many more thousands or million pages are still there in God’s story and what He has written there. So we are still babies in God’s story and do not yet know fully what the story is all about and what is our role in it.
However God has given us a power or faculty which the animal doesn’t have. We have the thinking mind, which can think,guess, and imagine what could be the God’s plan or story. Much of our science and philosophy and written history are the attempt of the human mind to think-out or guess God’s world-story. Some of the most advanced among us have risen beyond the human mind and acquired the ability to identify with God’s mind and perceive or read the God’s story more or less accurately. They are the seers and sages of humanity. One of the great and truer guesses are the concept of evolution which we have discussed in some detail in one of our earlier article. When we put together the insights, perceptions and discoveries of some of the greatest and best minds of humanity on this concept of evolution, we may get some glimpse of God’s story for the world.
The story is somewhat like this: first there was only Matter and then came Life in the plant, followed by the sensational mind of the animal and the thinking Mind of man. The story will proceed further beyond Man and his mind towards the next species with a consciousness above and greater than the human mind. This new species or future humanity will have the faculties to understand correctly the entire truth of the God’s story. As a result, this new humanity will know how to steer the earthly creation exactly according the divine Law and God’s plan and bring the highest fulfillment to human life and our planet earth. This is perhaps the God’s story for us and our planet. If we want to progress or evolve further, individually and collectively, we have to participate consciously in this God’s story with full understanding of its course and the goal and follow the right methods to proceed safely in this higher evolution.