The idea that the world is illusory, not real, a dreamlike state, Maya, has a long history throughout many traditions of the world, and in modern-day technological society, there are corresponding concepts of humanity living in a “plugged in” status that makes a reality appear before us, within which we live and act, but ultimately, it is not the actual reality. Similarly, some believe we are living in a hologram. The persistent nature of these conceptions of a world of illusion from which we must escape or awake, speaks, not necessarily to the world being an illusion, but to the limitations of our mental ability to embrace and understand the divine Reality. It may be useful, to break free from the fixation on the outer life, to utilize this viewpoint, but it cannot be the final status to carry out the intention of the divine manifestation in the world.
The other side of this limitation is the corresponding inability of those who are immersed in the actions of the world to recognise and incorporate the universal and transcendent aspects of the Divine in their world view. Sri Aurobindo calls this “the materialist denial” in The Life Divine.
Both of these are not limits to the divine omnipresent Reality, but limits of the mind’s capabilities. With the evolution of the Supermind, a new standpoint can arise which resolves the framework limits of the mental vision and allows these two apparent contradictions to reside together as viewpoints or aspects of the Reality, which exceeds each of them. In that case, we can recognise that there is no need to escape the world in order to transcend it.
Sri Aurobindo notes: “Thus the integral Divine is there in the Supermind and no theory of illusion or self-contradictory Maya need be thrust in to justify its way of existence. It will be obvious that an escape from life is not necessary for the Divine to find itself or its reality; it possesses that always whether in cosmic life or in its transcendent existence. The divine life cannot be a contradiction of the Divine or of the supreme reality; it is part of that reality, an aspect or expression of it and it can be nothing else. In life on the supramental plane all the Divine is possessed, and when the Supermind descends on earth, it must bring the Divine with it and make that full possession possible here.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light, Supermind and the Life Divine, pg. 67