Dealt with herein are the diverse forces which act on us, determining the course of events, influencing our thoughts, feelings and actions, affecting our moods, health and level of energy, pulling the human being to nether depths or beckoning him towards lofty heights. Spoken of in this book are also the hidden forces behind evolution and beneficient forces which man can learn more and more to draw upon. Many of the passages in the book not only explain the nature of the various forces but also provide practical guidance in relation to both helpful as well as deleterious forces.
A retrospective review of the course of one's life is apt reveal that whereas some events in the past were the Outcome of one's conscious choice and deliberate effort, a good number of incidents, including perhaps some of the most significant happenings that have determined the course of one's life, were unplanned and unforeseen. It is in what are regarded as the major events and milestones If one's life - such as choosing a course of studies or raining after high school, selecting a career, decisions pertaining to marriage, living in a particular city or country, and the like - that personal choice and will are usually seen to have played a determining role. However, on reflection one is likely to discover that even in such major decisions of one's life, a significant part has been played by unforeseen happenings, variously attributed to chance, coincidence, the influence of stars, Karma or providence. One may even perceive that it was some apparently insignificant and chance events - such as meeting somebody, receiving a suggestion from someone or somewhere, coming across a book, visiting a certain place , etc. - that played a crucial role in shaping the course of one's life, though one hardly suspected the import of such seemingly inconsequential events at the time of their happening. "One is apt to realise that life is highly unpredictable and largely mysterious in its course.
A good deal of mystery and unpredictability often surrounds not only the events of our external lives, but also what happens to us internally from day to day, sometimes even from hour to hour - the alternation of our moods, the upsurge of impulses, the kindling of emotions, changes in the state of our physical or psychological well- being, fluctuations in the level of our energy, etc. While some of these subjective changes may to some extent be explicable in terms of known external or internal factors, much of what happens within us is enigmatic.
According to those who can see behind the external appearances of things - mystics, yogis, occultists and the like - the key to such mystery behind the internal as well as external events and vicissitudes of our lives consists in the fact that all life is a play of hidden forces; we live and move in a world of forces of which we are almost totally unaware.
In a sense, all forces are secret, because, as Sri Aurobindo points out, all forces, whether physical or non- physical, are invisible. However, physical forces, such as electricity and magnetism, though invisible, are no longer a total secret to the civilized man as they were to the primitive, for science has discovered something of their nature through their outward manifestations and has therefore been able to harness them. Some of the psycho- logical forces too, such as those attributed to the "unconscious", which were a secret to modern man before the discoveries of Freud and Jung, are now known to us to some extent, enabling us to formulate plausible though tentative hypotheses for the explanation of erstwhile mysterious phenomena such as those of hypnotism, hysteria, clairvoyance, etc. But from the viewpoint of what has been stated in this book regarding the host of forces that operate in the world, we still know little about the secret dynamics of life. Our difficulty in discovering the forces of life is due to the nature of the normal or ordinary consciousness of the human being at the present point of his evolution. For the ordinary consciousness, which is mental, can apprehend things only through the sensorium, that is, the sensory and intellectual apparatus. Consequently, our knowledge of forces is indirect and limited to what the senses can perceive of the outward effects of forces and the intellectual inferences that can be drawn from such sensory perceptions. As Sri Aurobindo explains:
"The ordinary consciousness is that in which one knows things only or mainly by the intellect, the external mind and the senses and knows forces etc. only by their outward manifestations and results and the rest by inferences from these data. There may be some play of mental intuition, deeper psychic seeing or impulsions, spiritual intimations, etc. - but in the ordinary consciousness these are incidental only and do not modify its fundamental character."?
It is when the consciousness develops and becomes more subtle that it comes into a more direct contact with the inner reality of things and gains an awareness of forces. In Sri Aurobindo's words:
"The ordinary man lives in his own personal consciousness knowing things through his mind and senses as they are touched by a world which is outside him, outside his consciousness. When the consciousness subtilises, it begins to come into contact with things in a much more direct way, not only with their forms and outer impacts but with what is inside them, but still the range may be small. But the consciousness can also widen and begin to be first in direct contact with a universe of range of things in the world, then to contain them as it were, - as it is said to see the world in oneself, - and to be in a way identified with it. To see all things in the self and the self in all things - to be aware of one being everywhere, aware directly of the different planes, their forces, their beings - that is universalisation. "
"It [consciousness] begins to know inwardly and directly and not merely by external observation and contact the forces at play in the world, feels their movement, distinguishes their functioning and can operate immediately upon : them as the scientist operates upon physical forces .... "
Such an inward and direct knowledge of things is the basis of what has been stated in the pages of this compilation regarding the hidden forces of life. Dealt with herein are the diverse forces which act on us, determining the course of events, influencing our thoughts, feelings and actions, affecting our moods, health and level of energy, pulling the human being to nether depths or beckoning him towards lofty heights. Spoken of in this book are also the hidden forces behind evolution and beneficent forces which man can learn more and more to draw upon. Many of the passages in the book not only explain the nature of the various forces but also provide practical guidance in relation to both helpful as well as deleterious forces.
The powerful sway of life's hidden forces as described in This book shows that man's sense of possessing a free and dependent will is highly illusory as long as one lives in The ordinary consciousness and is bound by the forces which impinge upon it. As Sri Aurobindo remarks:
"The apparent freedom and self-assertion of our personal being to which we are so profoundly attached, conceal a most pitiable subjection to a thousand suggestions, impulsions, forces which we have made extraneous to our little person. Our ego, boasting of freedom, is at every moment the slave, toy and puppet of countless beings, powers, forces, influences in universal Nature."
However, what emerges from the contents of this compilation is not a gospel of fatalism, for, in the light of re secret dynamics of existence revealed herein, the Forces of life in their overall action tend to subserve man's gradual growth out of the ordinary consciousness into progressively higher and deeper levels of being through the evolutionary process. For evolution, says Sri Aurobindo, consists in the ascent of the Spirit which, at first involved in Matter and inconscience, progressively liberates itself by means of its secret evolutionary force, manifesting increasingly higher levels of its Consciousness. Having so far liberated Life and Mind out of Matter, the evolutionary impulse, says Sri Aurobindo, is already secretly at work here for ushering in the manifestation of what he terms the Supermind - the Truth-Consciousness beyond the level of Mind - thus preparing the dawn of a new world and the appearance of a new race of supra- mental beings. Therefore, though man in his ordinary state is depicted here as a creature who is more or less entirely moved and moulded by forces beyond his ken and control, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have also given herein intimations of a marvellous future human destiny as not only a possibility but a promise.
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