Is there any Meaning to Our Existence?

Based on the vital mind’s sense of frustration and disappointment, eventually the sense of the illusory nature of existence becomes overwhelming as we have already discussed. There are several potential “outcomes” that need to then be reviewed. Sri Aurobindo begins the discussion “…if it is true that the fundamental laws and values of terrestrial existence are fixed or that it must always turn in repeated cycles,–and this has been for long a very prevalent notion,–then this view of things in the end is hardly escapable.” “If this state of things is not a motion towards a greater fulfilment, if this is the permanent character of the world-order, then it is hard to avoid the conclusion that all here is either the creation of an inconscient Energy, which would account for the incapacity of an apparent consciousness to arrive at anything, or intentionally a world of ordeal and failure, the issue being not here but elsewhere, or even a vast and aimless cosmic Illusion.”

As we can see from the 3 potential outcomes described, there is not a lot of “hope” here for any meaningful sense to life in the world if we once deny the evolutionary potential as the significance. The first outcome leads to almost an existence based on random chance with no higher meaning. The second relies on some “other” world to provide meaning to our existence, although there is no necessary connection nor factual evidence of that; and the third brings us to the idea that it is all an illusion and thus, we must simply escape into the Vast, the Void, Nirvana, or Oneness with the Nameless Absolute.

The solution proposed by Sri Aurobindo avoids all of these “failed” outcomes by showing that in fact, the manifestation has meaning, our existence has significance, and that the systematic development of an evolutionary outflowering of Consciousness toward the manifestation of a perfected spiritual being is the true meaning that can explain the struggle, the effort and the joys and suffering along the way.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 5, The Cosmic Illusion; Mind, Dream and Hallucination, pp. 416-419


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