Supreme Life of Our Life, Part 5: Comparing Human and Supreme Life-Force Characteristics

Life-force in the human individual is characterized by the limitations under which it operates.  This turns into an action based on desire, thirst, hunger, greed, lust, seeking after fame, essentially all the terms we have developed for the life-force seeking its own sustenance, aggrandisement and success in a world of limitations and competition.  It is obvious that a universal force of life, a supreme “Life of our life” cannot possibly be subject to these limitations and thus, must operate on a totally different basis.  From the divine standpoint, all the human actions and interactions are merely a particular play of its universal force of creation based on the manifestation of Life in Matter in this particular time, place and circumstance.  The life-force so manifested is a minuscule portion of the divine energy of creation which has no need, therefore, to try to overcome the obstacles or acquire what is “missing”.

Sri Aurobindo explains:  “The characteristics of the Life-force as it manifests itself in us are desire, hunger, an enjoyment which devours the object enjoyed and a sensational movement and activity of response which gropes after possession and seeks to pervade, embrace, take into itself the object of its desire.  It is not in this breath of desire and mortal enjoyment that the true life can consist or the highest, divine energy act, any more than the supreme knowledge can think in the terms of ignorant, groping, limited and divided mind.  As the movements of mind are merely representations in the terms of the duality and the ignorance, reflections of a supreme consciousness and knowledge, so the movements of this life-force can only be similar representations of a supreme energy expressing a higher and truer existence possessed of that consciousness and knowledge and therefore free from desire, hunger, transient enjoyment and hampered activity.  What is desire here must there be self-existent Will or Love; what is enjoyment must there be self-existent delight; what is here a groping action and response, must be there self-possessing and all-possessing energy, — such must be the Life of our life by which this inferior action is sustained and led to its goal.  Brahman does not breathe with the breath, does not live by this Life-force and its dual terms of birth and death.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Kena Upanishad and analysis, pg. 102, 156-160

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