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The common conception is that Reason and Mysticism are antitheses. The venture of writing The Life Divine itself is an attempt to defy this conception. The truth behind it is expressed in His truism that the yogi must be able to turn his hand to any craft. As mind is partial, it is limited. Supermind, being whole, is not vitiated by that limitation. So, the implication is the Supramental reason or rather reason elevated to Supermind must succeed where the human reason failed.

On page 56, Sri Aurobindo uses reason to prove that it is possible for man to overcome suffering and abolish death if only he rises to the occasion of using his innate faculty of Reason.

In the normal social, linguistic usage, reason is understood as a capacity for being polite and sociable. Not ruffling the table manners is understood as being reasonable. Obviously this is not the meaning of the word. Reason is the faculty of the mind that helps avoid bad impressions, social or sensuous, but it is much more. Reason seeks after truth, the ultimate Truth, not the partial truth, however exalted it may be. On page 13 he mentions the process of reasoning from sense knowledge and says that it will not be able to limit the scope of its enquiry to sense data, once it breaks the limitation of the physical barriers.  On page 66, he describes how reason converts itself into intuition.

How can reason overcome sorrow, pain and death? On page 56, he argues that Reason has the essential illumination to seek after the ultimate knowledge. But reason does not have the same essential illumination in pursuit of joy, bliss and immortality. When man comes to endow reason with these illuminations that it now lacks but has the potentials for, reason can abolish death and sorrow. His position is:

  • Reason is innately capable of conquering sorrow and death.
  • Presently it does not have that clarified power.
  • Man should recognize this potential and utilize it to conquer the unconquerables, after first endowing it with these powers.
  • This can be done by a new understanding and a new attitude.

He then explains in this paragraph how it can be done.

How can we do this with regard to world affairs, theory, development, guaranteed employment, world army and so on?

  • We must recognize that world opinion represented by its elite is now polite, not reasonable; it sanctions the views of the establishment and does not seek solutions to the problems.
  • It seeks solutions within the framework of the present world establishment. That is why they seek it in capital or technology.
  • Gorbachev did not seek it that way. He raised his hand to strike down the Establishment of USSR.
  • Not many can take the position that the UN is undemocratic.
  • The elite of the world concede and respect military strength and economic might. Reason will not concede it.
  • The qualifications of accomplishment at the international level can be explained in various ways. One of them is to be reasonable.
  • To be Reasonable means to consider tasks such as world army, abolition of unemployment, and so on, on their own merits, not based on the political status of some country or its economic prowess or the prevailing sentiments of economists or scientists.
  • A reasonable statement of facts, a solution based on them, is a powerful weapon. It can reach the people as information or ideas and can have far reaching consequences.
  • The Force will pass through one who has the clarity to do this.

Science: page 57

Here he says Science is victorious because of its knowledge of the process. Knowledge of the process approaches the issue negatively, that is, to lessen pain, to postpone death, and so on. Knowledge of the essence can help us approach the issue positively, that is, to transform pain into joy, death into immortality. Science does not have this capability now.

Development: The world approaches poverty negatively, that is, it attempts to reduce it. The Theory gives us the essence of development and equips us with the capacity to transform poverty into prosperity. That essential knowledge is broad-based. Partial knowledge wants to uplift the rural poor. Our approach would be from the perspective of the whole nation. When we plan to raise the whole nation, we see the downtrodden coming out of poverty as well as suddenly rising up like shooting stars. In all periods of development, this happens unconsciously or by default. Ours will be a conscious approach and it will aim at transforming the poor into the rich. Our own rural experiment will qualify as an example.

Negative approach aimed at mitigating poverty, builds schools or roads to generate employment. Positive approach to transform poverty into wealth aims at releasing the productive capacities of the poor. When India wanted to raise herself to self-sufficiency in food, the poorest of the poor became affluent. All our schemes will have this basis.

Green Revolution aimed at raising the productive capacity of the land. Now raise the productive capacity  of the farmer and the worker. It will lead to a changed lifestyle, raising the expectations and the only real gateway to prosperity - Development.

story | by Dr. Radut