Cosmic Terrestrial Aim of Life: Individual and Collective

Sri Aurobindo points out that if one is to accept the cosmic-terrestrial view of life, there are two basic directions for the goal of life to be found. One of these is individual fulfillment. However, the individual is transient and temporary in the extreme. Therefore, many attribute the goal to humanity as a whole, and the role of the individual to providing another step in the long march of human evolutionary progress. “Humanity and its welfare and progress during its persistence on earth provide the largest field and the natural limits for the terrestrial aim of our being; the superior persistence of the race and the greatness and importance of the collective life should determine the nature and scope of our ideals.”

Of course, some will hold that the destiny of the human race is really not our business or concern, or as something unreal. In that case, “the individual is there; to achieve his greatest possible perfection or make the most of his life in whatever way his nature demands will then be life’s significance.”

At the end, the cosmic-terrestrial viewpoint has the limitations that the obvious transience of the individual, and even of humanity as a whole in the vast spans of time, and space and circumstance, make it clear that this cannot be the entire focus, goal, purpose or aim for the development of Matter, Life and Mind in the Universe.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 16, The Integral Knowledge and the Aim of Life; Four Theories of Existence

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