What If Matter Were the Original Creative Principle of Manifestation?

Sri Aurobindo takes up next the mechanism of the evolutionary principle of manifestation. “But a sole material universe and an evolution there out of inconscience into spiritual consciousness cannot be the one solitary and limited possibility of manifestation of the All-being. That could only be if Matter were the original power and form of manifested being and the spirit had no other choice, could not manifest except through Inconscience into Matter as a basis.” If such were the case, “everything has evolved here; life, mind, soul have arisen out of the One in the material universe by the force of its hidden being, and everything will fulfil itself here in the material universe. There is then no separate plane of the Superconscience, for the Superconscient is here only, not elsewhere; there are no supraphysical worlds; there is no action of supraphysical principles exterior to Matter, no pressure of an already existent Mind and Life upon the material plane.”

Obviously such a formulation leaves many facts unexplained and many questions unanswered. Modern science has already begun to recognize the limitations of the materialist exclusive viewpoint–and has determined that Matter is Energy, and Energy is Consciousness. In other words, there are higher and more powerful principles that take precedence over Matter.

In the Upanishad, the young seeker is asked to concentrate to find out what is the essential principle of existence, and he too starts with the world of Matter, but deeper reflection and concentration yields ever subtler and higher principles as having priority. In the same way, we must eventually move beyond the formulation that says that everything is created in, by and for the Material world.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 21, The Order of the Worlds


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