Overcoming the Tendency to Over-Simplification

The mind loves to make distinctions and separate things into categories. This tendency starts with our own individuality as we distinguish between the human being and the world around us. The planet, plants, animals are all treated as something else, something other and we then objectify them and look upon them as if they are created for our individual use and enjoyment. Similarly we extend this view to put our world at the center of universal creation. The suns, planets, stars are thus created just for us. Even if we do not exactly comprehend the purpose behind this massive machinery, we nevertheless tend to treat it as a background or a stage for our lives to unfold.

Even when we recognize the universal existence, it is generally in contra-distinction to the individual life and we then attribute reality to either the one side or the other, and focus our attention either on the universal or the individual.

The result here is that we tend to over-simplify things by focusing on the distinctions rather than the unity that embraces and contains all the diversity and separations. Sri Aurobindo concludes: “Our classifications set up too rigid walls; all borders are borders only and not impassable gulfs. The one infinitely variable Spirit in things carries over all of himself into each form of his omnipresence; the self, the Being is at once unique in each, common in our collectivities and one in all beings. God moves in many ways at once in his own indivisible unity.”

The Reality of existence is comprehensive, encompassing both the individual forms and their inter-relations, as well as the universal and Transcendent that make them all part of one larger Oneness. The truth of the individual cannot truly be understood without taking into account the universal creation. And neither can be fully appreciated without integrating the Transcendent.

Sri Aurobindo,