Being and Non-Being

The Truth of Being, Manifestation, Action, “The Word” is often set off against the “opposing” truth of Non-Being, The Unmanifest, Inaction, The Vast Eternal Silence. Because of limitations of human mind and thought, we want to affirm the one versus the other, and stake the reality of the one against the unreality of the other.

However, these two states are not actually in opposition to one another, but mutually supportive and simply different views of the one Brahman, positive and negative poles of the universal creation.

We call the experience of Non-Being in order to affirm the freedom of the One Sole Existent beyond the limits of the manifestation. The Non-Being is like a womb or web that upholds and permits the manifestation of Being.

When we experience the overwhelming force of the Non-Existent, that vast, silent, unmoving, inactive and uninvolved state of pure awareness, we tend to limit the Truth to this experience, when in fact the truth of the manifestation is every bit as real and every bit the Brahman of the negative state.

We see that the realized souls, even those who preach the experience of the uninvolved, the dissolution from the chain of manifestation, have found a way to balance these two states in their own lives and action, and thus we see a Buddha who can have a profound impact on the world, or a Shankara who can actively preach and expound the Truth of the Illusion. These are not contradictions in them, but simply limitations within our own mentality that causes us to raise questions about how Action and Inaction, Being and Non-Being can both exist simultaneously and be mutually supportive rather than exclusive.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 4, Reality Omnipresent

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