Determining the Source of the Dualities

Sri Aurobindo next takes up a review of the stage of manifestation at which the dualities of good and evil, right and wrong, enter into existence, since they clearly are not evidenced nor required at the pure levels of absolute existence. Do they arise with the development of the mental and /or vital levels, or are they inherent with the development of material existence? The question is of critical importance in determining the extent to which we remain under the influence of or subject to the action of the dualities, as well as the potential mechanism for overcoming their force.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “The question is at what juncture of cosmic manifestation the opposites enter in; for it may be either at some stage of the increasing involution of consciousness in separative mind and life or only after the plunge into inconscience. This resolves itself into the question whether falsehood, error, wrong and evil exist originally in the mental and vital planes and are native to mind and life or are proper only to the material manifestation because inflicted on mind and life there by the obscurity arising from the Inconscience.”

Other potential options include the possibility that even if they exist in the supraphysical planes of mind and life, they may be imposed there based on an extension of the material manifestation; or that they arise in the supraphysical planes of mind and life as part of the condition that gives rise to the material manifestation as a more or less inevitable series of stages towards the complete involution of consciousness in the material forms in what we have called the Inconscience.

We shall take up these various views and questions in subsequent posts.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 14, The Origin and Remedy of Falsehood, Error, Wrong and Evil