The Greatest Quest: Seeking for God

Sri Aurobindo provides us with incredible insight to the history of the quest for God, starting from its earliest intimations and intuitions, where the mystery and wonder of Nature were understood to be the expression of God, and where man strove to contact God and influence the relationship with God; through the systematic seeking we call science, through religious and philosophical methods, and concluding in the all-embracing Unity that sees the individual Soul, Nature and God as One.

“The quest of man for God, which becomes in the end the most ardent and enthralling of all his quests, begins with his first vague questionings of Nature and a sense of something unseen both in himself and her. Eve if, as modern Science insists, religion started from animism, spirit-worship, demon-worship, and the deification of natural forces, these first forms only embody in primitive figures a veiled intuition in the subconscient, an obscure and ignorant feeling of hidden influences and incalculable forces, or a vague sense of being, will, intelligence in what seems to us inconscient, of the invisible behind the visible, of the secretly conscious spirit in things distributing itself in every working of energy. The obscurity and primitive inadequacy of the first perceptions do not detract from the value or the truth of this great quest of the human heart and mind, since all our seekings,–including Science itself,–must start from an obscure and ignorant perception of hidden realities and proceed to the more and more luminous vision of the Truth which at first comes to us masked, draped, veiled by the mists of the Ignorance.”

In the end, all the seekings for God, the most sophisticated and the most primitive alike, contain a recognition that “his being and the Being are one, that this is a partial reflection of That, and that to find his greater Self everywhere is to find God and to come near to the Reality in things, the Reality of all existence.”

It is in this unity of God, Nature and Man that we can find the solution and goal of our seeking, and at that moment we see God in Nature, God in the human Soul, and everything unified in one embracing all-Reality.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 17, The Progress to Knowledge–God, Man and Nature”