The Question of the Existence of Other Worlds than the Material World

Sri Aurobindo begins his discussion of potential worlds existing outside the framework of the Material and the purely Spiritual, worlds of Mind, worlds of Life, that operate on the basic principles of those forces. He points out that modern rationalistic thought has essentially rejected these ideas out of hand as being age-old superstitions, despite the fact that the existence of these Worlds and the ability to interface with and communicate with them is something that has been accepted by humanity throughout history and all around the world, based on experience and insight. Sri Aurobindo challenges whether a review done by a rationalistic form of intelligence basing itself on visible facts in the material world could ever perceive or understand the existence of these other worlds.

There is a serious point to be understood here. If, for example, one judges the entire range of colors by what is visually perceptible by the unaided human eye, one would leave out colors above and below violet and red, including the entire UV and Infrared spectra. The limitation of the instrument does not mean that the other ranges do not exist! Similarly, the limitation of the rational intelligence based on material observation does not mean that other forces, worlds and beings do not exist. As in the case of colors, it is possible that means can be found to interact with and understand worlds and forces outside our normal range and limits.

“Three questions then arise, interrelated or interdependent: whether there is any evidence or any true intimation of the existence of such other worlds; whether, if they exist, they are of the nature we have indicated, arising or descending in the order and within the rationale of a hierarchical series between Matter and Spirit; if that is their scale of being, are they otherwise quite independent and unconnected, or is there a relation and interaction of the higher worlds on the world of Matter?”

We shall take up these questions in the next post.

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