The Essential and Infinite Oneness

The crux of the many opposing religions, philosophies and creeds and their invariable opposition can be found in the difficulty of the human mind to understand the logic of the Infinite rather than the logic of the finite. We also set up one truth against another truth; one way of being against another.

We can conceptualize the idea, as Sri Aurobindo describes it, that “the Absolute, the Self, the Divine, the Spirit, the Being is One; the Transcendental is one, the Cosmic is one”.

We see however, “that beings are many and each has a self, a spirit, a like yet different nature.”

We are forced to admit here that the “many must be that One”. This implies somehow that the One has become the many. Our human logic stops us here as we reflect that each human being and each animal and each material object is that One, the Divine Being. If we were dealing with just human logic, we would be faced with an insuperable contradiction. But in the logic of the Infinite, the One transcends, contains and manifests everything that is, and “it is the essential and infinite Oneness which can contain the hundred and the thousand and the million and billion and trillion.” In fact, Sri Aurobindo points out that “It can be said of it that it would not be the infinite Oneness if it were not capable of an infinite multiplicity.” He points out this does not imply pluralism or that the One is simply the “sum of the parts”.

There is “one Soul that dwells as the individual in these many souls and they are ternal in the One and by the one Eternal.”

There is in fact no real opposition, just another limitation of our language and conceptual skills to both ensure that we understand the Infinite transcendence of the One as well as the infinite specific forms that it can and does take in its manifestation of Itself.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 2, Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara–Maya, Prakriti, Shakti, pp. 335-336

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