Resolving the Conflict Between Individual and Cosmic Existence

Sri Aurobindo points out that one of the major issues the individual faces is what his role in the larger universal manifestation is, and how to act in the light of the larger world-forces and movements, which we do not understand fully due to our fragmented, limited view and understanding. This leads to a psychological conflict where the individual tries to overcome opposing forces to affirm himself and his existence in the world; including various methods of self-aggrandisement at the expense of others. Disharmony, pain and suffering tend to result from this action, for oneself and for others. At some point we come to the conclusion that the only solution is to “cut the knot” and escape from the entire round of life into some ineffable transcendent awareness.

Sri Aurobindo guides us to a different solution to this conflict: “But for the supramental being living in a cosmic consciousness the difficulty would not exist, since he has no ego; his cosmic individuality would know the cosmic forces and their movement and their significance as part of himself, and the Truth-Consciousness in him would see the right relation at each step and find the dynamic right expression of that relation.”

“For in fact both individual and universe are simultaneous and interrelated exprssions of the same transcendent Being; even though in the Ignorance and under its law there is mal-adjustment and conflict, yet there must be a right relation, an equation to which all arrives but which is missed by our blindness of ego, our attempt to affirm the ego and not the Self one in all. The supramental consciousness has that truth of relation in itself as its natural right and privilege, since it is the Supermind that determines the cosmic relations and the relations of the individual with the universe, determines them freely and sovereignly as a power of the Transcendence.”

the result: “A large universality of self-expression, a large harmonic universality of world-being would be the very sign of the supramental Person in his gnostic nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 27, “The Gnostic Being”