We struggle with finding meaning in our lives.  There is so much strife, so much confusion, so many issues that threaten our very existence as a species.  We view enormous changes to the environment, the ever-dwindling supply of fresh water, the imminent collapse of the ocean fisheries, increasing pollution, the sixth planetary species die-off, the clear-cutting of forests and the inexorable warming of the planet, with all the follow on effects that these things have, including income inequality, unequal access to the world’s resources, and the consequence of war, famine, mass migration, etc.  Many believe we have entered the ‘end times’ as a result.

It is easy to simply despair and give up, to immerse ourselves in entertainment, physical enjoyments and superficial relationships, but, in the end, deep within ourselves, we know that this cannot be “all” that life is about.

We come then to what the great sage Sri Aurobindo suggested, which is to turn our attention to the core problem of our existence, and undertake what he called ‘the adventure of consciousness.’   We have tried to find the answers of life everywhere but within ourselves, within our consciousness.  While we search the world for answers, Sri Aurobindo proposed that these answers lie within.

Back in 1971, I had a personal epiphany, a dramatic change in my life that led me to search for meaning and begin to explore new directions that I had never considered.  In fact, I had a near death experience that led me to challenge all the assumptions of education, career and family life that I had previously held.  I wound up abandoning all those ideas and plans, and, after dropping out of college, I went to Europe and took up the study and practice of yoga.  It was there that I was introduced to Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine and it immediately resonated with me as providing some light in what had been for me a dark tunnel that apparently had no way out.  There was a war raging in Vietnam, the country was torn apart, people were beginning to raise serious concern about the impact we as a species were having on the environment, the pollution, the climate change, and all the other effects.  People were adamantly opposed to one another with no one having a solution that would solve the problems that humanity had created for itself.  Anger, hatred, invective were the order of the day in our societal life.  The threat of nuclear disaster hung over everything else as a doomsday that awaited us if we failed to work out some form of positive resolution.

The key to Sri Aurobindo’s guidance was that these problems arise because we are evolutionary beings, and our development is not yet completed.  Out of matter, life evolved.  Out of life and matter, mind evolved.  We are in the midst of a transition as further forces of consciousness evolve, with new powers of understanding, action and harmony, that can help us navigate the many issues that cannot be solved with our present limitations.

Some 50+ years have gone by since that fateful decision to take my life in an entirely new direction.  In the interim, I have lived an isolated life for part of the time, have travelled to many parts of the world, have examined many spiritual, philosophical and scientific paths, and undertaken the commitment to turn my own life into that ‘adventure of consciousness’ that Sri Aurobindo described.  I have taken up business, publishing and got married and raised our children.  I have spent some years reflecting on all the various aspects of human development and come to conclude that if we are to survive this existential crisis, humanity must move beyond the limitations of the body, life and mind that lead us to our own self-destructive actions, through our egoistic attachment to satisfying our desires, even at the expense of the greater whole of which we are a part.  The evolution of consciousness continues, and we have the opportunity to support this process consciously and thereby speed up the development of the new powers of unity, oneness, harmony, love and mutual respect that are so much needed in today’s world.

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 located at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky. He is author of 20 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.
Video presentations, interviews and podcast episodes are all available on the YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/@santoshkrinsky871

More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at www.aurobindo.net
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press www.lotuspress.com