Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
The Complete Set
Take S's case – what suffering she went through for the Divine. Left Tier home, husband, etc. and still other sides show up. What human elements are we made of!
Both J and S are made up of disparate elements which are not at all in harmony with each other – so are many others, it is a common case. Nothing to be surprised at in that, the man harmonised round something central in him is a rarity.
Now about predestination and chance. The ultimate responsibility then lies with this “Something” on which the play of forces is dependent and with those, for instance, who have gone away from here due to hostile influence – it was possible because this Something gave its sanction? No chance exists then and no free will. This free will of ours is nothing but being an instrument in the hands of forces while we think we are enjoying great freedom. And this play is again guided by Something?
There is no question of responsibility. The “Something” does not act arbitrarily, paying no heed to the play of forces or the man's nature. “Selects” does not mean “selects at random.” If a man puts himself on the side of or into the hands of the hostile influences and says “This way I will go and no other. I want my ego, my greatness, my field of power and action” – has not the Something the right to say “I agree. Go and find it – if you can”? On the other, if the balance of forces is otherwise, less on one side, the selection may be the other way, the saving element being present, and determine another orientation. But to understand the working of this Cosmic Something one must see not only the few outward factors observed by the human eye, but the whole working with all its multitudinous details – that one cannot do unless one is oneself in the cosmic consciousness and with some opening at least to the Overmind.
There is no such thing as “free” will, but there is the power of the Purusha to say “yes” or “no” to any particular pressure of Prakriti and there is the power of the mind, vital etc. to echo feebly or strongly the Purusha's “yes” or “no” or to resist it. A constant (not a momentary) Yes or No has its effect in the play of the forces and the selection by the Something.