Original Sin?

As we explore the rationale behind why there is imperfection, suffering and pain, we have also concluded that there is a reason and purpose behind this manifestation and that treating all of this as in illusion to be dismissed and denied is not the ultimate intent. While in a sense these things can indeed be called unreal or illusory because they represent the manifestation but do not embody the entire All-Knowledge of the Eternal, they still must be accepted as real and a true representation of the evolutionary process chosen by the All-Knowledge to sequentially evolve through Time.

If we accept the meaning of this imperfection and suffering, we then have to determine if it is a fixed and unalterable state inextricably tied to our human existence, or whether it is subject to change and transformation through our activity. If we are inextricably tied to suffering in human life, then the only escape is to leave the world and human existence behind, whether we call this Heaven, or, as Sri Aurobindo describes it, “the pure ineffability of the Absolute.” The refusal of the ascetic in fact is based on the idea that there is no solution within human existence, and the only choice is to abandon this life for a pure, silent, ineffable Absolute; and this refusal is echoed in a similar way by those who believe there is a heaven of salvation beyond, and that this life is solely a life of sin, suffering and torment.

This viewpoint condemns human life to being an “undivine manifestation in the Divine Existence. The soul by taking on manhood, perhaps by the very fact of birth itself, has fallen from the Divine, has committed an original sin or error which it must be man’s spiritual aim, as soon as he is enlightened, thoroughly to cancel, unflinchingly to eliminate.”

While Sri Aurobindo does not accept such a premise, it is clear that in one form or another, this philosophy guides large numbers of people in their spiritual and religious beliefs. We shall continue this discussion in the next post.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 4, The Divine and the Undivine, pp. 407-408

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