Home Page | Works | Letters of Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo

Letters of Sri Aurobindo

Volume I - Part 5

Fragment ID: 10782

But that [the idea of reincarnation] is just what is disputed by the Western scientific mind or was up till yesterday and is still considered as unverifiable today. It is contended that the idea of self is an illusion – apart from the body. It is the experiences of the body that create the idea of a self and the desire to live prolongs itself illusorily in the notion that the self outlasts the body. The West is accustomed besides to the Christian idea that the self is created with the body – an idea which the Christians took over from the Jews who believed in God but not in immortality – so the Western mind is dead set against any idea of reincarnation. Even the religious used to believe that the soul was born in the body, God first making the body then breathing the soul into it (Prana?). It is difficult for Europeans to get over this past mental inheritance.