The Vital Life Energy In Creation Is Non-Moral and Non-Ethical

As we turn our attention from the physical energies of the manifestation to the vital energies of life, it becomes once again quite obvious that there is a law of energy here that has its own rule and precision, but that this is not a “moral” or “ethical” law of action.

Sri Aurobindo reviews the functioning of the life energy: “The fundamental right and justice of life is to follow the curve of the vital energies, to maintain the functions of the life force and to give a return to its own powers. Its function is to survive, to reproduce itself, to grow and possess and enjoy, to prolong and enlarge and assure its action, power, having, pleasure as much as earth will allow. All means are good to life that secure these ends: the rest is a matter of right balance between the vital energy and its physical means, of a putting forth of its powers and the kind of return it gets for those powers.”

The means used by the life energy to effect its ends makes it quite clear that it is not “moral” in the sense that humanity judges that concept: “Death is her second means of self-preservation, destruction her constant instrument for change and renovation and progress, suffering inflicted on oneself or on others oftenest her price for victory and pleasure. All life lives upon other life, makes a place for itself by encroachment and exploitation, possesses by association but even more by struggle. Life acts by mutual shock and mutual use of creatures by each other; but it works only partly by mutual help and very much by a mutual assault and devouring.”

The vital force operates on a different law of action than the physical force of the universe, but it also represents a truth of the manifestation: “…we find in it a mysteriously perfect order, the work of a deep and illimitable intuitive wisdom, an immense Power and will at its perfectly seeing work, a great whole of beauty and harmony built out of what seems to us a system of discords, a might joy of life and creation which no heaviest toll of individual death or suffering can tire or discourage and which, when we enter into oneness with the great Ananda of its movement, these things seem rather to cast into relief and against the hue of its ecstasy these shades not to matter.”

Sri Aurobindo, Rebirth and Karma, Section II, Chapter 14, The Terrestrial Law, pp. 123-124, http://www.lotuspress.com/item.php?item=990117

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