This post has my personal notes and reflections of the chapter called Man in the Universe from The Life Divine written by Sri Aurobindo.
The meaning of the universe is to progressively realise the Divine in the various aspects of life. It is to understand that the goal does not lie beyond this Earth but lies in the full realisation of the Divine in all of our life within and without. This ascent to the Divine Life is the human journey, our real business in the world and the real justification for our existence. Becoming Bliss-Existence-Consciousness(Sat-Chit-Ananda) in body, mind and life is the reason we exist. This Bliss-Existence-Consciousness exists independently but when it expresses itself in the worlds that we can perceive, it has achieved the goal of existence. This Bliss-Existence and Consciousness is what we all seek, even when we seek for lesser things.
The Divine descends into the universe and the individual. Matter ascends into life. Life ascends into mind. Mind cannot stop at being mind. It has to ascend into something higher. This something higher is what we call as supermind. As we ascend into supermind we realise the Divine more fully and mind, life and matter become Divine and fill it with peace, bliss and eternal presence and consciousness.
The Divine exists in the universe everywhere. The Divine exists in the individual in a single point. As the individual progressively becomes Divine, he has to realise himself as the universe which is Divine. At the same time he has to keep the individual Divine. Man cannot be satisfied like the animal with minimal necessities, nor can he be content like gods. His discontent is what makes him aspire to the Divine. He cannot be content with Life(like the animal) or with mind(like the man). He aspires to something superior than either of these and once find it infuse that into Mind and Life so that Mind and Life do not stay the same but get transformed into that superior thing.
When man starts his ascent and realises a bit of the Divine, he calls it by various names, Infinity, God, Omnipotence, etc. But his mind says that there is something beyond this. Therefore he feels as if the Divine that he can perceive, exists between the Non-perceivable Divine and the material world which seems to him impermanent. He negates God for the material world and the Non-perceivable Divine. He does not know the Non-perceivable Divine as well as the material death. We start thinking that these are illusions, they do not affirm God.
These things occur because we do not know what the true relation of the individual is to the universe, Nature and the Divine. If the non perceivable Divine were an ineffable bliss and the impermanent world was the Divine, then the true relation would be to realise that everything is Divine and we act, live and think divinely in a world that is transformed to Divine.
We have to go beyond and realise what the Buddhists call as Nirvana and at the same time go down to the depths of our consciousness and find the Divine in that also.