The impulsion of Consciousness in man is to “know himself” in order to gain mastery over life. We research matter to try to understand the material world. We explore the vital force of life awakened out of matter to try to understand the forces that create and move us. We study the mind to understand this new power of reason and intelligence that begins to liberate us from the binding limitations of life manifesting in matter.
We see here the Divine Will in this consistent and never ending search for knowledge and mastery over life. As we develop more and more the power of the intellect, of reason, of mental overview and separation from the impulsions of life and matter, we begin to recognize that the mind is clearly not capable of breaking free entirely nor of comprehending entirely. We see the Universe around us with its vastness far beyond anything that the mind can embrace and comprehend. As we delve into matter we see organization at the atomic level and enormous power far beyond anything the mind can grasp or truly control. We view the vital world and see complexity of forces clashing, changing, growing and dying far beyond what the mind can control. We recognize these things, and our own limitations in the face of them, and begin to recognize that there are other and higher powers of Consciousness at work in the manifestation of the Universe that create that power, that organisation, that complexity and that overview that we can only grasp for and glimpse as from a distance. As humans we continually strive therefore to exceed these limitations and achieve that next level of conscious awareness, and that is the uniquely human striving that characterizes our existence.
If we were able to deal with the complexity, the vastness, the power of consciousness, we would have mastery and overcome the human limitations. This would be the resolution of the problem of life and the meaning of our existence. The ultimate issue resides in the question of whether mankind can exceed its own limitations and embody these higher forms of Consciousness, or whether a new species founded in that Unity and that Consciousness-Force as its basis has to arise and embody that result.
reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 22, The Problem of Life