The Astonishment of the Witness of Creation

Our witness to the creation of the universe, having first noted the play of energy and matter to create the physical foundation of existence, next saw the development of Life when he next returned after aeons of time. While this was obviously puzzling enough, let’s fast forward additional millenia and bring the witness to the fore once again. Such a witness would be amazed to see the stirring of animal life, the development of Mind and the eventual appearance of human beings with a far more developed intellectual capacity and the ability to use tools, create art and music, speculate about the meaning of life, and engineer structures out of Matter. Sri Aurobindo captures the reaction of this witness on his return to the scene of this event: ” “Impossible!” he might say, all that has happened is nothing much, a little bubbling of sensitive grey stuff of brain, a queer freak in a bit of inanimate Matter moving about on a small dot in the Universe.” ”

Sri Aurobindo points out that this reaction would be a natural one if the witness had seen the initial inanimate phases of Matter and Energy and could not along the way see any sign of what could come afterwards.
He contrasts this with a “new” witness who would be able to look at the event without the prejudice of the past observations, but had just had the history related to him: ” “Ah, then, this was the intended miracle, the last of many,–the Spirit that was submerged in the Inconscience has broken out from it and now inhabits, unveiled, the form of things whic, veiled, it had created as its dwelling-place and the scene of its emergence.” ”

Sri Aurobindo points out that “a more conscious Witness might have discovered the clue at an early period of the unfolding, even in each step of its process; for at each stage Nature’s mute secrecy, though still there, diminishes; a hint is given of the next step, a more overly significant preparation is visible. Already, in what seems to be inconscient in Life, the signs of sensation coming towards the surface are visible; in moving and breathing Life the emergence of sensitive Mind is apparent and the preparation of thinking Mind is not entirely hidden, while in thinking Mind, when it develops, there appear at an early stage the rudimentary strivings and afterwards the more developed seekings of a spiritual consciousness.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 24, “The Evolution of the Spiritual Man”

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