Oneness and Diversity in the Process of Creation

Western science presents us with the idea that the entire universe was created out of One original source in what is called the “big bang”. From that point forward, we see the systematic development of galaxies, solar systems, suns and planets. Drilling down to the earth, we find a systematic development from the raw elements of physical nature, to the development of life in a diverse and ever-expanding assortment of life-forms and combinations.

Sri Aurobindo correlates the Upanishadic vision to this issue: “One thing more seems now equally certain that not only the seed of all life was one,–again the great intuition of the Upanishads foreruns the conclusions of the physical enquiry, one seed which the universal self-existence by process of force has disposed in many ways, ekam bijam bahudha sakti-yogat,–but even the principle of development is one and the structural ground-plan too as it develops step by step, in spite of all departures to this side or that in the workings of the creative Force or the creative Idea.”

Sri Aurobindo points out that while starting from one uniform starting point, Nature’s process appears to be one that leads to virtually infinite variety as small modifications within a type create enormous diversity. “It almost looks as if in the process of her physical harmonies there was meant to be some formal effect or symbolic reproduction of the truth that all things are originally one being, but a one who insists on his own infinite diversity, and even a suggestion that there is in this eternal unity an eternal pluralism, the Infinite Being self-repeated in an infinite multiplicity of beings each unique and yet each the One.”

Sri Aurobindo,

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