Overcoming the Law of Contradictions

In the material world we are used to thinking about things as being “either/or”. We have a hard time grasping a reality where two apparently contradictory things can take place at the same time. This is particularly true when we get to the plane of matter. We say that “two objects cannot occupy the same place at the same time.” Another version of this is that “an object cannot be in two places at the same time.” And clearly this is a practical and successful approach for the most part in dealing with things and forces of the physical world. There is in fact a real basis in truth in the material world for such a viewpoint.

What we are just starting to recognize, however, is that as we move to different and more subtle planes of existence, this law, which seems so self-evident and so all-powerful on the physical plane, begins to lose its hold over phenomena, and eventually we begin to understand, as we see taking place in quantum physics, that in fact, there are circumstances and planes of existence where in fact, we can see an object existing in two places at one time; and that two objects can, in various circumstances, occupy the same place at the same time.

Sri Aurobindo discusses this issue: “It represents a formal and strongly dynamic truth of existence in its practical workings which is strongest in the most outward term of things, the material, but becomes less and less rigidly binding as we go upward in the scale, mount on the more subtle rungs of the ladder of being.” and “the distinctions made by the intellect and the classifications and practical experiments of Science, while perfectly valid in their own field and for their own purpose, do not represent the whole or the real truth of things, whether of things in the whole or of the thing by itself which we have classified and set artificially apart, isolated for separate analysis.”

The conclusion is that “Afterwards we find that by getting beyond it we can arrive at a greater truth and a greater effectivity.”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 3, The Eternal and the Individual, pp. 379-380

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