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The Infinite Expressing in the Finite

  • This is an absorbing theme to the thinker, as it finds expression in creation, society and the human body.
  • It will be equally interesting to practical people in the field such as leaders of organisations and members of a family.
  • Sri Aurobindo makes this the central theme for His Theory of creation.
  • For the scholar, the lines of development from the Infinite to the Finite are of interest. For the yogi, the other part, the path of the Finite going back to the Infinite too is of interest.
  • The issue implies several questions that are issues themselves. They all can be summarised into ‘why' and ‘how'.
  • At the level of creation, it can be easily shown that it is self-conception. Though it is the same at the level of society and organisations, the explanation may not be equally explicit.
  • If we base ourselves on Sri Aurobindo, much of the superfluidities can be dispensed with.
  • One explanation of His is the goal of the Infinite is the creation of perfect forms.
  • Before we consider this topic, it will be right for us to look at Infinity from what we know to be the practical physical material plane.
  • What does Infinity mean here?
  • Will the concept of Infinity condescend to come down to practicality?
  • Conception of a concrete idea of the Infinite here is important.
  • In mathematics and metaphysics, the concept is clear.
  • Is it equally clear in the material plane?
  • If so, it needs to be distinguished from the other concept we know - "the boundless finite" or an inexhaustible source.
  • Infinity differs from these other two by its capacity for self-creative action that tends to increase by any attempt at movement.
  • Also, we should distinguish between the infinite that is the opposite of finite and the Self-existing Infinity.
  • As Truth, Goodness, Light, Love, etc. are NOT the opposites of Falsehood, Evil, Darkness, Hatred, etc., because their existence does not depend on their opposite, there is also a Self-existent Infinity. [Shadow depends on light. Light does not depend on shadow].
  • Sri Aurobindo writes, quoting the Upanishads, that at the beginning there was the Infinite and Eternal.
  • He gives them as the basic attributes of the Absolute, though no attribute can be spoken about the Absolute.
  • Absence of Space is Infinity.
  • Absence of Time is Eternity.
  • Infinity expressing in the Finite implies self-absorption and self-limitation.
  • The path necessarily will traverse through Space and Time.
  • There must be an instrument that limits.
  • Finite is Form. To end in Form, one may begin in Formlessness.
  • It is worth remembering that in this transition, there will be a gradation and Sri Aurobindo lists the following: mathematical architecture, design, effective arrangement of numbers, adaptation of means to ends, inexhaustible device and invention, constant experimental skill, automatism of purpose.
  • The principle of free variation natural to the Infinite would explain the aspect of inconscient chance in Nature.
  • The mechanical Necessity in Nature will be explained by the principle of truths and real powers of the Infinite imperatively fulfilling itself.
  • Creation of the Infinite out of itself must be in a material disguise of truths or powers of its own being.
  • The forms or vehicles of these truths would be the basic general or fundamental determinants of Nature.
  • The particular determinates would be the appropriate forms or vehicles of the possibilities that the truths or powers in them bore within them.
  • Depending on the form of the Finite, the path Infinity travelled will explain itself. Whether the form is a tree or a stone or a song decides the path. One will be live, the other inanimate and the third will be sound. (It will be helpful to learn one such conversion He traced in His book and then move to other samples.)
  • Technology is MIND effectively expressing in Matter.
  • A formula, if painstakingly coined, is mind expressing in the vital life where it is used or even material life.
  • An inspired formula is Spirit expressing in Mind and when used in life or work, in the vital or material plane.
  • Infinity is a few planes above intuition that gave the formula and the finite an be anywhere in mind or matter.
  • There are many occasions where we are determined by the environment, but occasions are there when we are determined by our own self - an act of Self-determination.
  • Self-determination is of the Supermind. Wherever there is self-determination there is Supermind, explicit or implicit.
  • The joy that we create in ourselves or others is from our vital.
  • There are desireless movements of impersonal unselfishness or selflessness where we feel a vibration of Ananda. Sometimes we are able to inspire that in others, however transitory it is. It is from the plane of Bliss.
  • To be inwardly conscious of what we are or to evoke that in another is to feel the plane of consciousness in us.
  • Next is the plane of Self-Conscious Being.
  • When we are conscious of our Self and feel NO compelling need to be conscious of it - to be Self without being conscious of it - we are of that plane.
  • The Unmanifest beyond that is the Absolute, which is Free but not even bound by that freedom. It is not bound by any determination, nor compelled to act or not act. In a minor way, there are occasions where we see this Freedom in a limited way. That condition is the condition of the Infinite. It can be raised to its original status. From that status, in some small characteristic way, in a limited fashion, we can try to express the high in the lower plane, which we are doing all the time. The next steps are:
  1. Become conscious of it.
  2. Raise it to its original status or as far as one can.
  3. Consciously express the Infinite in its finite FORM

story | by Dr. Radut