The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo: The Human Aspiration

This post contains my personal notes and reflections of the chapter called The Human Aspiration from The Life Divine written  by Sri Aurobindo.

Man wants to progress. He wants to become perfect. He wants to know and realize the ultimate Truth behind all things. He wants to experience pure and constant happiness, joy and bliss. He wants to live forever. These goals have been written by those who the world calls as sages, those who write as if they have achieved these things. Man has progressed a lot. We know a lot about the external world and how it works and quite a bit about the workings of the internal world, our mind and to a lesser extent, what is beyond mind. But when we look at our lives and the world we have not achieved these things. We are far from perfect, our knowledge is imperfect, our happiness is more often transient pleasure and everyone’s body dies. So we are not satisfied. Should we be satisfied? Should we accept that this is the human condition? Or should we try to progress further?

The question is whether man is just man, or man is essentially Divine who needs to fully evolve to manifest the Divine in its fullness. Not for a short time when we meditate, not for some rare people who have managed to divinise themselves. But for everyone who is human and wants to manifest the Divine in its fullness. To be immortal, to be supremely illumines, to be constantly in peace and bliss, to be actually free. Is this what God made us for?

If we look at the world today, we are bound to say that this is fantasy, this is not impossible. But look at the physical world we live in. We have so many things that we would have said was a fantasy, an impossibility just 50 years back. For example, e-mail, going to space, the internet, seeing somebody who is 1000 miles away through a camera on a computer instantaneously. Are such things not possible in the mental world or in the world beyond the mind?

If we can do things which were considered impossible 50 years back, is there not a chance that we can do things which are considered impossible today? All problems of existence are problems of harmony. The human mind might be satisfied with disharmony, but the Divine which exists in us will not be satisfied. It will continue to work and evolve till harmony is achieved. And what is harmony? It would be an immortal body with a consciousness filled with Truth, Knowledge and Bliss and thereby making what we call man today into an omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient being. Am I saying then, that man becomes the Divine. Man becomes God. We have to ask ourselves what is God, what is our relationship to Him and what is the culmination of that relationship. Can only certain being divinise themselves? Why? Who makes that decision?

If we look at what science has to say, science says that there was evolution. Life came from matter. Life evolved from matter. Mind evolved from life. Consciousness in life evolves. If this is true, then there is nothing to stop mind from evolving into higher levels of consciousness. The ultimate destination then has to be the Divine-Truth, Light, Bliss and Knowledge. Man evolves from the animal. Can not man evolve into superman? Irrespective of what traditional religions say about this or what the rational mind says about this, if Spirit is involved in Matter and Spirit has evolved from matter to man, the logical conclusion is that man is not the final destination. What we call the final destination is less important than what are the characteristics of that final destination: Truth, Love, Bliss, Immortality, Knowledge. Is this not what we call as the Divine? Is this not what we call as God?

It is easy to say that these so called fantasies are of no use in daily life and that you should concern yourself with the day to day practical and immediate problems. But don’t we still yearn for a perfect existence? Is the fact that we yearn for such an existence mean that such an existence is possible? Is that the meaning of all the progress that we make and all the difficulties we face when we try to make progress?

If the goal of this manifestation on the earth is to evolve towards the highest perfection, the Divine, then just as life came out of matter, mind and consciousness from life, just as evolution progressed through fish, reptile, bird, mammal and man then evolution has to progress beyond man as man is obviously not the perfect being filled with eternal life, consciousness and bliss. Nature has progressed her evolution so far and even though progress might be difficult and was probably difficult when life came out of matter, She will progress through man. The human aspiration towards such a goal is what will make us Divine.

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