The Future Evolution of Man
Man today is becoming poignantly aware of his power to influence for good or evil his own destiny. At this critical moment when he questions his future, we believe it important to present to the public the most significant passages from those books of Sri Aurobindo which deal with this problem, the future evolution of humanity.
Compiler: Pavitra (P.B. Saint-Hilaire)
Author: Sri Aurobindo
Print Length: 160
Publisher: Auro e-Books
Submitted by: Krishna
Book format: Pdf, ePub, mobi (Kindle)
- 1. The Human Aspiration
- 2. The Place of Man in Evolution
- 3. The Present Evolutionary Crisis
- 4. Standards of Conduct and Spiritual Freedom
- 5. The Development of The Spiritual Man
- 6. The Triple Transformation
- 7. The Ascent Towards Supermind
- 8. The Gnostic Being
- 9. The Divine Life Upon Earth
The Future Evolution of Man
The Human Aspiration
Man’s highest aspiration – his seeking for perfection,
his longing for freedom and mastery, his search after
pure truth and unmixed delight – is in flagrant contradiction
with his present existence and normal experience.
The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation, – for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns after every banishment, – is also the highest which his thought can evisage. It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality. The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last, – God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.
These persistent ideals of the race are at once the contradiction of its normal experience and the affirmation of higher and deeper experiences which are abnormal to humanity and only to be attained in their organized entirety, by a revolutionary individual effort or an evolutionary general progression. To know, possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic consciousness, to convert our twilit or obscure physical mentality into the plenary supramental illumination, to build peace and a self-existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering, to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical necessities, to discover and realize the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant mutation, – this is offered to us as the manifestation of God in Matter and the goal of Nature in her terrestrial evolution. To the ordinary material intellect which takes its present organization of consciousness for the limit of its possibilities, the direct contradiction of the unrealized ideals with the realized fact is a final argument against their validity. But if we take a more deliberate view of the world’s workings, that direct opposition appears rather as part of Nature’s profoundest method and the seal of her completest sanction.
Such contradiction is part of Nature’s general method;
it is a sign that she is working towards a greater harmony.
The reconciliation is achieved by an evolutionary progress.
For all problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony. They arise from the perception of an unsolved discord and the instinct of an undiscovered agreement or unity. To rest content with an unsolved discord is possible for the practical and more animal part of man, but impossible for his fully awakened mind, and usually even his practical parts only escape from the general necessity either by shutting out the problem or by accepting a rough, utilitarian and unillumined compromise. For essentially, all Nature seeks a harmony, life and matter in their own sphere as much as mind in the arrangement of its perceptions. The greater the apparent disorder of the materials offered or the apparent disparateness, even to irreconcilable opposition, of the elements that have to be utilized, the stronger is the spur, and it drives towards a more subtle and puissant order than can normally be the result of a less difficult endeavour. The accordance of active Life with a material of form in which the condition of activity itself seems to be inertia, is one problem of opposites that Nature has solved and seeks always to solve better with greater complexities; for its perfect solution would be the material immortality of a fully organized mind-supporting animal body.
The accordance of conscious mind and conscious will with a form and a life in themselves not overtly self-conscious and capable at best of a mechanical or subconscious will is another problem of opposites in which she has produced astonishing results and aims always at higher marvels; for there her ultimate miracle would be an animal consciousness no longer seeking but possessed of Truth and Light, with the practical omnipotence which would result from the possesssion of a direct and perfected knowledge. Not only, then, is the upward impulse of man towards the accordance of yet higher opposites in itself, but it is the only logical completion of a rule and an effort that seem to be a fundamental method of Nature and the very sense of her universal strivings.