For a long time we have been asked not to believe in these things, to put our trust only in the measuring rods of science and its calculations and crucibles, to accept only what is materially ascertainable and measurable.
But these measurements are those of something that is limited — how can we ascertain by it whether there is or is not the illimitable? The instruments by which we question nature in order to find out what is ascertainable have been proved to give only the results which are already contained in the question or in the questioner. Science gives us the measures and process of things within the physical limit, but it has failed to tell us what things are, their final origin or their reason of existence.
In all this questioning by one end or the other we cannot get beyond ourselves and it is better then to look into the inner side of ourselves — why should we limit ourselves only to our responses to an outer evidence? Let us explore ourselves and not only our sense or perception of what is around us. And in ourselves let us look not only at our surfaces but at the inner and the inmost of our being and nature.
This self-knowledge pursued far enough shows us a deeper than the surface mind and a deeper than the physical sense, a profounder than the outward life. It shows us also a Beyond-Mind and Beyond-Sense, a Beyond-Life; the limited passes into the illimitable. If there were not this capacity of research, we would have to be content with an unsatisfied agnosticism; but the means is there by which we can know ourselves and this Alpha and X and Omega of things or if not absolutely It at any rate its status and its dynamic, the law of its being and the law of its nature quite as deeply and more deeply than Science can show us the law and process of the physical universe.
For the moment let us affirm only this result that this spiritual search and knowledge leads us beyond the phenomenon which apparently contradicts it to that which beyond the phenomenon brings us to the divine eternal and infinite.
The rooted and fundamental conception of Vedanta is that there exists somewhere, could we but find it, available to experience or self-revelation, if denied to intellectual research, a single truth comprehensive and universal in the light of which the whole of existence would stand revealed and explained both in its nature and its end.
This universal existence, for all its multitude of objects and its diversity of faces, is one in substance and origin; and there is an unknown quantity, X or Brahman to which it can be reduced, for from that it started and in and by that it still exists.
Brahman is that which was before the beginning and will be after the end of things. In the beginning, says the Upanishad, Self was, Being was or Non-Being was; that saw world-creation in itself or from that Non-Being or eternal Being temporal existence was born.
What prevents the timeless eternal from conceiving time in himself and ceasing from the conception? But the very idea supposes time.
Excerpt from the book Essays Divine and Human by Sri Aurobindo