Supreme Life of Our Life, Part 6: True Existence and Immortality

When we reflect on human life, the focus is almost entirely on the period between birth and death of an individual and the wants, needs and actions undertaken in that intervening period.  Our mortality turns into a major concern and driving issue in our beliefs and actions.  This limited focus is both a distortion and a cause of untold suffering.  From the divine standpoint, life is not limited to one individual existence as if it is separated from the rest of creation.  There is an interconnection and interdependence of these fragmented forms.  Life does not end with the death of the individual.  Life does not begin with the birth of the individual.  The individual does not exist in a vacuum separated from the rest of existence.  It is from this standpoint that we can begin to appreciate what the greater “Life of our life” is and what the meaning of immortality actually turns out to be.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “What then is this Life of our life?  It is the supreme Energy which is nothing but the infinite force in action of the supreme conscious Being in His own illlumined self.  The Self-existent is luminously aware of Himself and full of His own delight; and that self-awareness is a timeless self-possession which in action reveals itself as a force of infinite consciousness omnipotent as well as omniscient; for it exists between two poles, one of eternal stillness and pure identity, the other of eternal energy and identity of All with itself, the stillness eternally supporting the energy.  That is the true existence, the Life from which our life proceeds; that is the immortality, while what we cling to as life is ‘hunger that is death’.  Therefore the object of the wise must be to pass in their illumined consciousness beyond the false and phenomenal terms of life and death to this immortality.”

“Yet is this Life-force, however inferior in its workings, instinct with the being, will, light of that which it represents, of that which transcends it; by That it is ‘led forward’ on its paths to a goal which its own existence implies by the very imperfection of its movements and renderings.  This death called life is not only a dark figure of that light, but it is a passage by which we pass through transmutation of our being from the death-sleep of Matter into the spirit’s infinite immortality.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Kena Upanishad and analysis, pg. 102, 156-160