If we recognize that the two extremes, matter and spirit, despite their apparent and irreconcilable opposition, both speak to some deep seated truth within the human sense, then we can begin to accept the idea that this is not a matter of one being “true” and the other being “false”, but rather, that each of these extremes actually manifests an important principle of existence and its significance.

Human beings try to approach opposites with the idea of compromise, but compromise tends to water down and does not capture the entire essence of the truth. It generally satisfies neither viewpoint and does not resolve the issues, which again reassert themselves eventually.

What is needed here is a method that achieves reconciliation rather than compromise. This cannot be done at the level of these two extremes, but only through achieving a new standpoint wherein both of these elements are seen as complementary and supportive, and where their integration achieves a new synthesis that does not deny the truth underlying either one.

This is the vision and standpoint that can begin to give us the opportunity to see life as an opportunity to manifest divinity, for matter to become conscious, to embody spirit.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 4, Reality Omnipresent

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 17 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.