Science & Spirituality|Jan 16, 2010 5:07 AM| by:

A Need of the Times

“Man’s science builds its abstracts cold and brief
And cuts to formulas the living whole.
It is a brain and hand without a soul,
An eye that tests the outward carved relief,
Blind to the depths, the occult roots unshown.
The visible hides its base in the unseen;
The invisible guards the truth its symbols mean
In a yet deeper invisible’s unknown.”(1)

Sri Aurobindo’s poem beautifully brings out the need for holism in science. For what else is science but a seeking after truth in human ways? The reach of science cannot yet grasp the full extent of human consciousness. Our knowledge and action are still determined by the limits of our consciousness. Even the technology we use is only its extension.

The real limits are therefore not outside but within us. And when all the textbooks of knowledge have been written, read, memorised and forgotten, there will still be a beyond. For the known is only a drop in the infinite ocean of the unknown.

True holism therefore requires that, as human beings and healers, we enter into a holistic consciousness. We normally live as mental beings and the mind works by analysis, comparison and contrast. Holism, on a mental level, means a summing up of all parts. The mind understands the whole on the basis of its constituent parts. However, a holistic consciousness understands the part on the basis of the whole! This totality is not normally accessible to man and requires a methodised effort of self-discipline or sadhana.

Thus, to a holistic consciousness, individual diseases are not isolated entities, but only an outwardly visible epiphenomenon simultaneously taking place at many levels in the universe. Organ-diseases are therefore a spill-over of a deeper malady in the Consciousness. So too, the diseases that afflict mankind are a spill-over of a larger pathology existing on a cosmic level with its roots lying in Ignorance. To cure organ-diseases, to find remedies for human ills, to even discover ways and means of coming out of Ignorance are therefore only partial cures. They may be useful in their own time and place, but do not take us far nor effect a total cure. These Inconscient roots throw up their shoots again and again, life after life, age after age, in one form and name or another. To eradicate all illness therefore, which is indeed the dream of mankind, we need to discover the universal problem of man and life. That cure lies in discovering and opening ourselves to the holistic consciousness within us. That is the psychic principle or evolving soul. This exists above and beyond man, as well as before him, at the origin of the universe in the seed of all things. Therefore, if we are to eradicate disease and disharmony from the face of the earth, we need to discover and apply the consciousness of Supreme ease and perfection—the harmony that resides hidden in the earth itself—unseen by the most powerful micro-scopes, unfelt by the subtlest senses and ungrasped by the swiftest mind. This is the most natural and most real ‘Thing’, our truest and inmost core, our Highest Self. It is this remedy which works through all the struggles and sufferings; it is this elixir of life we seek, through the pain of life and sting of death; it is this bliss of harmony we need, towards which all illness is but a crude pointer and each disease a spur.

To evolve beyond our limitations and struggles towards oneness and harmony is the final remedy. To evolve beyond our present narrow shadowy self towards a true figure of the Highest Self that we are is the permanent cure.


1. Sri Aurobindo. Collected Poems. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1972, p. 139.






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