The Finite and the Infinite Are One

We live in the world as if we are distinct and separate from everyone and everything else. We oppose ourselves to those others and either experience fear or desire in relation to them for the most part. We treat everything as being different and “other” than us.

Sri Aurobindo points out that each finite being, each “individual existence” is actually part of an indivisible One Reality. We are in fact not separate nor distinct from others. When we begin to seriously contemplate this fact of reality, it can radically change the way we see and respond to the world. As some environmentalists have pointed out “there is no “there” there”, in other words, there is nowhere else that the pollution or the refuse goes other than into our unified field of existence. And thus, any destructive forces we put into motion, whether they be environmental toxins or poisons, or simply a creation of imbalances in the harmony of Nature, affect us, even if we naively believe that we can wall ourselves off and protect ourselves from it.

Sri Aurobindo explains “The finite is looked upon as a division of the Indivisible, but there is no such thing: for this division is only apparent; there is a demarcation, but no real separation is possible. When we see with the inner vision and sense and not with the physical eye a tree or other object, what we become aware of is an infinite one Reality constituting the tree or object, pervading its every atom and molecule, forming them out of itself, building the whole nature, process of becoming, operation of indwelling energy; all of these are itself, are this infinite, this Reality: we see it extending indivisibly and uniting all objects so that none is really separate from it or quite separate from other objects. ‘It stands,’ says the Gita, ‘undivided in beings and yet as if divided.’ ”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 2, Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara–Maya, Prakriti, Shakti, pg. 338


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