Sri Aurobindo takes up sequentially these four theories of existence, starting with the supracosmic view. This viewpoint essentially treats the entire world in which we think, live and act to be illusory, unreal or at least not ultimately Real. In this view, the goal is to find a way to escape the delusion of reality within which we normally act and unify ourselves with the supreme Absolute, or abolish our personality into the unchanging, eternal transcendent and ineffable sole Reality.
“In the extreme forms of its world-vision human existence has no real meaning; it is a mistake of the soul or a delirium of the will to live, an error or ignorance which somehow overcasts the absolute Reality. The only true truth is the supracosmic; or, in any case, the Absolute, the Parabrahman is the origin and goal of all existence, all else is an interlude without any abiding significance. If so, it would follow that the one thing to be done, the one wise and needful way of our being is to get away from all living, whether terrestrial or celestial, as soon as our inner evolution or some hidden law of the spirit makes that possible.”
Regardless of how “real” the world and our pursuits in it seem, this viewpoint basically holds that we are trapped within a dream or illusory web and thus, our goal is to abandon that dream and escape that web.
“This ideal of self-extinction which is boldly and clearly proclaimed by the Buddhists, is in Vedantic thought a self-finding: but the self-finding of the individual by his growth into his true being in the Absolute would only be possible if both are interrelated realities; it could not apply to the final world-abolishing self-affirmation of the Absolute in an unreal or temporary individual by the annulment of the false personal being and by the destruction of all individual and cosmic existence for that individual consciousness,–however much these errors may go on, helplessly inevitable, in the world of Ignorance permitted by the Absolute, in a universal, eternal and indestructible Avidya.”
In the next post we shall take up some reconciling concepts to escape these extreme conclusions and find a meaning that can both accept supracosmic views as well as accept a reality for the life in the world.
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 16, The Integral Knowledge and the Aim of Life; Four Theories of Existence