Unraveling the Knot Of Material Existence

Spiritual seekers from all over the world, from just about every background, have confronted the difficulties posed by material existence by trying to find a way to escape the difficulty and “cut through” the knot, rather than patiently work out by “untying” the knot. They have almost invariably chosen to take the “short cut” of abandoning life in the world in order to follow the spiritual path before them. Sri Aurobindo points out however that taking a “short cut” does not actually solve the issue presented by life manifesting in a world of material existence.

“Still, there, in Matter undoubtedly lies the crux; that raises the obstacle; for because of Matter Life is gross and limited and stricken with death and pain, because of Matter Mind is more than half blind, its wings clipped, its feed tied to a narrow perch and held back from the vastness and freedom above of which it is conscious.”

This is the rationale by which the spiritual seeker tries to justify the abandonment of matter and life to achieve spiritual realisation and spiritual salvation. Why be tied down by Matter and the needs of Life, when the goal is a pure blissful melding into the Oneness of the Infinite, a spiritual transfiguration into Existence beyond the material world?

Sri Aurobindo’s viewpoint however is to try to understand the meaning of the manifestation and find a way to untangle the “knot” of Matter and solve the riddle, rather than impatiently or violently just chop through it by denying any ultimate meaning to the material existence.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 25, The Knot of Matter

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