Introduction to Sri Aurobindo’s The Ideal of Human Unity

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The Ideal of Human Unity was written by Sri Aurobindo serially during the period from 1915 through 1918, essentially while the world was struggling with the “war to end all wars”, World War I.  Interestingly, he undertook to update the text in the 1930’s during the run up to World War II, and then put a brief update and postscript on it after the conclusion of the second World War.  This subject was therefore of continual focus and interest for Sri Aurobindo.

Some may wonder what relationship the social and political framework of human civilisation has to do with the practice of Yoga.  Sri Aurobindo recognized and described in The Life Divine an “omnipresent reality” that incorporated the individual, the universal and the transcendent aspects of existence.  All existence represents the manifestation of the Divine Will through Time, Space and Circumstance, and thus, the principle of Oneness holds that the individual is not separate from the universal and the universal is not separate from the transcendent.

In The Synthesis of Yoga he described the universal “Yoga of Nature” that systematically evolves levels of consciousness from the involved inconscient of Matter to the highest supramental realms of total awareness of the Divine knowledge and will.  He also described the interchange and interaction between the universal and the individual and the role of each.  The universal play of forces has a constant impact on the spiritual development of any individual and thus, cannot be dismissed.

It is within this general context that the question of human unity arises.  The boundaries set up by the physical manifestation, the aggressive self-aggrandisement of the vital consciousness, and the fragmented view of the mental level ensure that there will be a struggle and disharmony until such time as an integrated, higher perspective can put everything into a coherent whole of mutual interchange.  For the practitioner of Yoga, therefore, working on the inner self-development, at a certain stage, requires the seeker to address the larger questions of harmony and oneness.

In The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo indicates that “…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.”  and he goes on to state “The greater the apparent disorder of the materials offered or the apparent disparateness, even to irreconcilable opposition, of the elements that have to be utilised, 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.”  (Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 1, pg. 5)

We can see all around us the difficulty of achieving human unity and resolving the apparent contradictions of physical, vital and mental demands and desires.  It may also be seen that the larger concerns of all humanity, as one universal being, such as the integrity of the environment that sustains us, puts added pressure on our attempt to achieve human unity.

It is with this background that we take up the subject of human unity in the systematic way that Sri Aurobindo has viewed it.  It is not isolated from the practice of Yoga, but an essential element of the yogic process.

All chapter numbers and titles are from Sri Aurobindo’s The Ideal of Human Unity.  All individual post titles are independently developed for these posts.  Page numbers referenced are from the USA editions of Sri Aurobindo’s major writings, published by Lotus Press.

 

 

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity

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Sri Aurobindo’s and Related Writings on Apple iTunes for IPhone and IPad:

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Sri Aurobindo’s and Related Writings on Apple iTunes for IPhone and IPad:

We continue to add more titles to this list on an ongoing basis, so please check back regularly for additional titles.  We also supply a large number of titles for Amazon Kindle and Google Play which are listed separately.  Below find the links to the e-book versions available at this time on Apple iTunes:

By Sri Aurobindo:

Bases of Yoga                                      Bases of Yoga

 Essays on the Gita                              Essays on the Gita

 The Mother                                        The Mother

 Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol         Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol

 By The Mother:

 Commentaries on the Dhammapada  Commentaries on the Dhammapada

 By Sri M. P. Pandit:

 An Early Chapter in The Mother’s Life   Early Chapter in The Mother’s Life

 Art of Living                                        Art of Living

 Bases of Tantra Sadhana                   Bases of Tantra Sadhana

 Commentaries on Sri Aurobindo’s Thought, V. 1  Commentaries Sri Aurobindo’s Thought, V. 1

 Dhyana                                               Dhyana

 Heart of Sadhana                               Heart of Sadhana

 How Do I Proceed?                             How Do I Proceed?

 Introducing The Life Divine               Introducing The Life Divine

 Introducing Savitri                             Introducing Savitri

 Japa                                                    Japa

Kundalini Yoga                                   Kundalini Yoga

Readings in Savitri, V. 1                     Readings in Savitri, V. 1

 Readings in Savitri, V. 2                     Readings in Savitri, V. 2

 Readings in Savitri, V. 3                     Readings in Savitri, V. 3

 Readings in Savitri, V. 4                     Readings in Savitri, V. 4

 Readings in Savitri, V. 5                     Readings in Savitri, V. 5

 Readings in Savitri, V. 7                     Readings in Savitri, V. 7

 Readings in Savitri, V. 8                     Readings in Savitri, V. 8

Readings in Savitri, V. 9                     Readings in Savitri, V. 9

 Sri Aurobindo and His Yoga               Sri Aurobindo and His Yoga

 A Summary of Savitri                         A Summary of Savitri

 Talks on The Life Divine, V. 1             Talks on The Life Divine, V. 1

 Teachings of Sri Aurobindo               Teachings of Sri Aurobindo

Thoughts on the Gita                         Thoughts on the Gita

 By Santosh Krinsky:

Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine, Vol. 1  Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Life Divine,V. 1

Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine, Vol. 2 Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Life Divine, V. 2

Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine, Vol. 3 Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Life Divine, V. 3

Readings in The Mother by Sri Aurobindo:               Readings in The Mother by Sri Aurobindo

Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Rebirth and Karma:   Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Rebirth &  Karma

Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Gita,V.1 Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Gita, V.1

Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Gita, V. 2 Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Gita, V.2

Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s The Synthesis of Yoga, V. 1  Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Synthesis of Yoga, V. 1

Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s The Synthesis of Yoga, V. 2  Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Synthesis of Yoga, V. 2

Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s The Synthesis of Yoga, V. 3  Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Synthesis of Yoga, V. 3

 By Rand Hicks:

A Savitri Dictionary                            A Savitri Dictionary

Rev. 6/11/17

Sri Aurobindo’s Writings Available as E-Books for Amazon Kindle Readers or App

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The Amazon Kindle is perhaps the most popular e-book reader in the world, and the APP works on desktop computers, laptops, android phones, tablets etc. The APP can be downloaded free from Amazon.com We are systematically making Sri Aurobindo’s writings available for the Kindle App and Readers. Here are a few of them, with more links to be provided soon:

Bhagavad Gita and Its Message Bhagavad Gita and Its Message
Dictionary of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga (compiled by M P Pandit) Dictionary of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga
Essays on the Gita Essays on the Gita
The Future Evolution of Man The Future Evolution of Man
Hidden Forces of Life (compiled by AS Dalal from writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Hidden Forces of Life
The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development
The Ideal of Human Unity The Ideal of Human Unity
Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice Integral Yoga
The Life Divine The Life Divine
Looking from Within (compiled by AS Dalal from writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Looking from Within
The Mind of Light The Mind of Light (The Supramental Manifestation on Earth)
The Mother The Mother
Our Many Selves (compiled by AS Dalal from writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Our Many Selves
Powers Within (compiled by AS Dalal from writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Powers Within
The Psychic Being (compiled by AS Dalal from writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Psychic Being
Rebirth and Karma Rebirth and Karma
Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol
Secret of the Veda Secret of the Veda
Sri Aurobindo on the Tantra (compiled by M P Pandit) Sri Aurobindo on the Tantra
The Synthesis of Yoga The Synthesis of Yoga
The Upanishads The Upanishads
Vedic Symbolism (compiled by M P Pandit) Vedic Symbolism
Yoga of Sleep and Dreams (compiled by AS Dalal from writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Yoga of Sleep and Dreams

By Sri M P Pandit:
Sri Aurobindo and His Yoga Sri Aurobindo and His Yoga
Teaching of Sri Aurobindo Teaching of Sri Aurobindo

SRI AUROBINDO’S BOOKS NOW AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE PLAY AS E-BOOKS:

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The Mother THE MOTHER
Bases of Yoga BASES OF YOGA
Essays on the Gita ESSAYS ON THE GITA
The Human Cycle: Psychology of Social Development The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development
Ideal of Human Unity IDEAL OF HUMAN UNITY
The Life Divine THE LIFE DIVINE
The Mind of Light THE MIND OF LIGHT
Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol  Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol
Sri Aurobindo on the Tantra SRI AUROBINDO ON THE TANTRA
The Synthesis of Yoga THE SYNTHESIS OF YOGA

For Android Phones, Tablets, and E-Readers

Sri Aurobindo Studies

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Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga has enormous implications for the time we find ourselves in.  As we systematically destroy the basis of life on the planet, and wall off one another through ultimate fragmentation, we are left with the stark contrast of choosing between survival and destruction, life and death, growth or decline.  Sri Aurobindo recognizes the necessity of the individual within the context of the collectivity, universality and the transcendent consciousness of Oneness.  The individual is the nexus or hub of the evolutionary urge, but not separate from nor at the expense of the life of the cosmic whole.

We also have a daily twitter feed on Sri Aurobindo’s studies at www.twitter.com/santoshk1

We have systematically worked our way through The Life Divine as well as The Mother , Essays on the Gita and Rebirth and Karma.  The newest posts appear near the top.  If you want to start at the beginning, go to the oldest post and roll forward until you reach the final posts in July 2012.

Another option is to “search” for the chapter you would like to study and see all posts relating to that chapter. You may have to ask for “older posts” once you have the search results if you are looking for one of the earlier chapters.

We have separated the posts relating to each book into their own folder as an additional organisational tool.

Similarly you can use the search box to find specific concepts, terms or issues you are interested in. The results will show all posts that address those concepts or terms. You may have to click on “older posts” to find all the references here as well.

The next book we are taking up is The Synthesis of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo, following a similar format to that we have utilised for The Life Divine , The Mother, Essays on the Gita and Rebirth and Karma.

You may also want to visit our information site for Sri Aurobindo at Sri-Aurobindo.Com

Sri Aurobindo’s major writings are published in the US by Lotus Press.

The systematic studies on this blog have also been published as self-standing books by Lotus Press and are available in both printed formats and as e-books. There are 3 volumes encompassing Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine, 2 volumes encompassing Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Gita, as well as 1 volume for Readings in The Mother by Sri Aurobindo, and Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Rebirth and Karma., and 1 volume currently for the first section of The Synthesis of Yoga titled Readings In Sri Aurobindo’s The Synthesis of Yoga, Vol. 1 Introduction and Yoga of Divine Works

Many of the major writings of Sri Aurobindo are now also accessible on the Amazon Kindle Platform as well as Apple itunes, google play, kobo, and Barnes & Noble nook as well.  Kindle e-book reader program is also available for PC, Laptop, iPad, Blackberry, Android, iPhone and many other platforms from Amazon without charge. You can find the current list of titles available by going to http://www.amazon.com , go to the “kindle store” and type in “Aurobindo” New titles are being added as they can be made ready. Many of the major books are already accessible by the Kindle Reader.  You can follow a similar procedure for the other platforms we now support for Sri Aurobindo’s writings, I-tunes, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and KOBO.

Addressing Centrifugal Forces Impacting the Direction and Drive Towards Human Unity

There are centripetal forces which are bringing humanity closer together and beginning to forge the concept of the oneness of the human race as a unifying factor of all peoples and nationalities.  At the same time, there are the centrifugal forces which tend to pull apart the bonds that hold humanity together as one–forces that include various forms of self-interest, as well as differences of language, culture, tradition, religion, economic system, geographical divisions etc.  A unity founded on the amalgamation of these outer differences into a patchwork whole of some sort is bound to be faced by stresses that will tend to dissolve those bonds over time as circumstances change or arise.  The “glue” in the movement towards human unity has to be the recognition that despite all superficial differences, all human beings are one, are bound together into a complex biosphere and ecosphere, and must find common solutions to what are now global issues.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “…since this is a much looser unity, what would prevent the spirit of separativeness and the causes of clash and difference from surviving in so powerful a form as to endanger the endurance of the larger principle of oneness, — even if that spirit and those causes at all allowed it to reach some kind of sufficient fulfilment?  The unitarian ideal, on the contrary, seeks to efface these opposite tendencies in their forms and even in their root cause and by so doing would seem to ensure an enduring union.  But it may be pointed out in answer that, if it is by political ideas and machinery, under the pressure of the political and economic spirit that the unity is brought about, that is to say, by the idea and experience of the material advantages, conveniences, well-being secured by unification, then the unitarian system also could not be sure of durability.  For in the constant mutability of the human mind and earthly circumstances, as long as life is active, new ideas and changes are inevitable.  The suppressed desire to recover the lost element of variability, separateness, independent living might well take advantage of them for what would then be considered as a wholesome and necessary reaction.  The lifeless unity accomplished would dissolve from the pressure of the need of life within, as the Roman unity dissolved by its lifelessness in helpless response to a pressure from without, and once again local, regional, national egoism would reconstitute for itself fresh forms and new centres.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 31, The Conditions of a Free World-Union, pp. 276-277

Possible Forms of a World Government: Advantages and Disadvantages

When we try to obtain guidance from the past as to potential forms that a unification of humanity into a world-government could take, we find several models that have been tried, to greater or less success, at the nation level of organisation.  There is the parliamentary model, to some degree the basis for the General Assembly of the United Nations, or there might be a federal approach, whereby there are quasi-independent states welded together under a federal umbrella.  Both of these models are familiar to us, but they each have certain limitations and disadvantages for the vision presented by Sri Aurobindo.

“The idea of a world-parliament is attractive at first sight, because the parliamentary form is that to which our minds are accustomed; but an assembly of the present unitarian national type could not be the proper instrument of a free world-union of this large and complex kind; it could only be the instrument of a unitarian World-State.  The idea of a world-federation, if by that be understood the Germanic or American form, would be equally inappropriate to the greater diversity and freedom of national development which this type of world-union would hold as one of its cardinal principles.  Rather some kind of confederation of the peoples for common human ends, for the removal of all causes of strife and difference, for interrelation and the regulation of mutual aid and interchange, yet leaving to each unit a full internal freedom and power of self-determination, would be the right principle of this unity.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 31, The Conditions of a Free World-Union, pp. 275-276

An Alternative Vision for Human Unity to the Imperialistic Model of Unification

Humanity tends to fixate its attention on the way things have been done in the past.  Change, however, can only take place when humanity breaks out of the ruts of the past and attempts some new direction.   Historically, human groupings have taken on new size and complexity through local competition and cooperation, and in the larger groupings very much as a result of conquest and imperial development.  The largest groupings, spanning a number of different nations, peoples and cultures, were the result of empire-building, whether it was that of Alexander and his Macedonians consolidating the lands of Persia and the Middle East all the way up to India; or the Roman Empire consolidating peoples across Europe and the Middle East; or more recently the Moghul Empire which conquered much of India, the Russian Empire which consolidated northern Europe and northern Asia in one immense entity, or the British Empire and its world-wide control of colonies through the power of her navy.  It is thus not simple to imagine that larger consolidation of humanity into a unified whole can take place through a process other than imperialistic domination and control.

Sri Aurobindo brings us another vision.  It is said that the vision is the precursor of the act.  Thus, humanity has the opportunity to adopt a more harmonious and positive way forward that relies on the higher capacities of humanity rather than on brute force.  Some pressure of imperialistic action may be present at various stages, but eventually they must give way.

“For the final end is a common world-culture in which each national culture should be, not merged into or fused with some other culture differing from it in principle or temperament, but evolved to its full power and could then profit to that end by all the others as as give its gains and influences to them, all serving by their separateness and their interaction the common aim and idea of human perfection.  This would best be served, not by separateness and isolation, of which there would be no danger, but yet by a certain distinctness and independence of life not subordinated to the mechanising force of an artificial unity.  Even within the independent nation itself, there might be with advantage a tendency towards greater local freedom of development and variation, a sort of return to the vivid local and regional life of ancient Greece and India and mediaeval Italy; for the disadvantages of strife, political weakness and precariousness of the nation’s independence would no longer exist in a condition of things from which the old terms of physical conflict had been excluded, while all the cultural and psychological advantages might be recovered.  A world secure of its peace and freedom might freely devote itself to the intensification of its real human powers of life by the full encouragement and flowering of the individual, local, regional, national mind and power in the firm frame of a united humanity.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 31, The Conditions of a Free World-Union, pg. 275

The Attempted Justification of Domination by One Culture over Another Based on Eventual Benefit

There has been a debate, throughout human history as to whether the means to an end, no matter how oppressive or even horrific, can be justified by an eventual benefit of some sort.  One can hear this debate in the question of whether torture should be condoned under any condition, if it “produces results” and one can hear this debate in the apologies made for Adolf Hitler that he modernized Germany and put a despondent and unemployed people back to work, as if that can justify the holocaust which he perpetrated on the world.  The imperial powers have historically tried to justify their actions of colonizing and exploiting populations of people by the “development”, “cultural benefits” and “modern technology” that they bring to those countries.  Philosophers and sages have argued against the idea that “the end justifies the means” yet those in power consistently try to make their case that in their case, the end does justify the means.

Sri Aurobindo explains their rationale as follows:  “Still it may be said that, if the old principle of the association was wrong, yet the association itself leads eventually to a good result.  If Ireland has lost for the most part its old national speech and Wales has ceased to have a living literature, yet as a large compensation the Celtic spirit is now reviving and putting its stamp on the English tongue spoken by millions throughout the world, and the inclusion of the Celtic countries in the British Empire may lead to the development of an Anglo-Celtic life and culture better for the world than the separate development of the two elements.  India by the partial possession of the English language has been able to link herself to the life of the modern world and to reshape her literature, life and culture on a larger basis and, now that she is reviving her own spirit and ideals in a new mould, is producing an effect on the thought of the West; a perpetual union of the two countries and a constant mutual interaction of their culture by this close association would be more advantageous to them and to the world than their cultural isolation from each other in a separate existence.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 31, The Conditions of a Free World-Union, pp. 274-275

The Attempt to Justify Domination by One Culture over Another Based on Superiority Is Flawed

Humanity has seen, repeated throughout the world, the justification for invading, dominating and controlling another society or culture based on some alleged benefit of superiority that will be transmitted to the subjugated society.  Under the guise of this “benefit” Western civilisation, and its Christian basis, have inserted themselves into the lives, religious traditions, cultures and life-ways of vast numbers of people.  Families have been torn apart, languages have been suppressed, religions have been denigrated and stamped out, ways of life have been destroyed.  As part of this process there has been an arrogant feeling of superiority by the dominating culture which was communicated through hostile and ill-treatment of those people who were supposed to be inferior because of the cultural or religious differences, economic or technological backwardness (based on the European model and its standard), or even just the color of people’s skin.  The First Nations people in North America were particularly impacted, children were forcibly withdrawn from their families, traditional folkways were destroyed, languages were suppressed, and cultural background was minimized.  In the process many hundreds of thousands of First Nations people died off.  Similar events occurred in Australia, Africa and Asia; they even took place in Europe with respect to smaller or weaker cultural groups.

Sri Aurobindo notes:  “The British domination in India was justified by the priceless gift of British civilisation and British ideals, to say nothing of the one and only true religion, Christianity, to a heathen, orientally benighted and semi-barbarous nation.  All this is now an exploded myth.  We can see clearly enough that the long suppression of the Celtic spirit and Celtic culture, superior in spirituality if inferior in certain practical directions to the Latin and Teutonic, was a loss not only to the Celtic peoples, but to the world.  India has vehemently rejected the pretensions to superiority of British civilisation, culture and religion, while still admitting, not so much the British, as the modern ideals and methods in politics and in the trend to a greater social equality; and it is becoming clear now, even to the more well-informed European minds that the Anglicisation of India would have been a wrong not only to India itself but to humanity.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 31, The Conditions of a Free World-Union, pp. 273-274

The Need for a Diverse, Vibrant and Living Unity of Humanity

The materialistic advances of humanity over the last several hundred years have resulted in bringing the world closer together in a certain sense.  There is world-wide instant communication, news and fast international travel.  Certain dominant cultural trends that have accompanied the rise of broadcast radio and television and the rise of the digital era, however, have begun to create a type of outward uniformity that we see in the shape of outward trends toward uniformity of entertainment, material goods and expectations about what is important in the outer life.  To some degree, even a great degree in many places, traditional cultures and values are being swept aside or minimized under the pressure of the influence of mass culture.  The material culture itself thrives and drives towards more efficiency through creation of uniformity, and thus, the administrative pressures towards a uniform culture continue to increase, even as the world moves to confront the unintended consequences of our industrial and technological revolution with its resource depletion, imbalance in access to education and resources between “haves” and “have nots”, exploitation of the environment and the decimation of the biosphere through increase of pollution and waste products which are harming the land, the oceans and the air, and thereby the ability of life to sustain itself on the planet over time.  In addition to this, the speed of interaction between different cultures, religions, and traditions has not been without a significant increase in tensions which are exacerbated through attempts at domination or exploitation by one group over another and by the need to access scarce resources.

Sri Aurobindo makes the point that the unity of humanity is an urgent need in today’s world to address these issues, but not the unity brought about by regimentation and uniformity, but a living, vibrant, diverse and joyful unity with the play of diversity:

“At present, the first great need of the psychological life of humanity is the growth towards a greater unity; but its need is that of a living unity, not in the externals of civilisation, in dress, manners, habits of life, details of political, social and economic order, not a uniformity, which is the unity towards which the mechanical age of civilisation has been driving, but a free development everywhere with a constant friendly interchange, a close understanding, a feeling of our common humanity, its great common ideals and the truths towards which it is driving and a certain unity and correlation of effort in the united human advance.  At present it may seem that this is better helped and advanced by many different nations and cultures living together in one political State-union than by their political separateness.  Temporarily, this may be true to a certain extent, but let us see within what limits.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 31, The Conditions of a Free World-Union, pg. 273

Economic Cooperation Is the Third Key Condition of a Free World-Union

Human society, as currently organised, encourages competition rather than cooperation.  There is an egoistic nationalism that builds upon individual egoism to try to optimize one’s own advantage at the expense of anyone or anything else.  The competitive marketplace energizes the vital forces of the society and has brought about both focus and results in terms of economic development, yet at an enormous cost in terms of  unequal access to resources and basic life requirements, the destruction of the environment through callous disregard and through the creation of pollution, and the negative impacts of techniques used to create artificial demand, planned obsolescence, and preference of one form of activity over another.

In a world-union built upon the basis of free self-determination and free association, the world can be seen as a unified whole and the pressures of competition at the expense of every other value or need can be eliminated.  By retaining a diversity within this world-union, there is obviously less efficiency than a top-down organized economic order.  Yet, the advantage of free self-determination cannot be overlooked.  If the central governing authority, however, looks upon itself as a coordinating factor rather than a determining factor in the economic life of society, there could remain substantial diversity of effort, based on traditional skill sets, educational focus, technological development, physical conditions and vital interest, while reducing or eliminating the raw aggressive competition that leads to corruption, domination and warfare.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “…it is likely that once the element of struggle were removed from the political field, the stress of the same struggle in the economic field would greatly decrease.  The advantages of self-sufficiency and predominance, to which political rivalry and struggle and the possibility of hostile relations now give an enormous importance, would lose much of their stringency and the advantages of a freer give and take would become more easily visible.  It is obvious, for example, that an independent Finland would profit much more by encouraging the passage of Russian commerce through Finnish ports or an Italian Trieste by encouraging the passage of commerce of the present Austrian provinces than by setting up a barrier between itself and its natural feeders. … Throughout the world, the idea and fact of union once definitely prevailing, unity of interests would be more clearly seen and the greater advantage of agreement and mutual participation in a naturally harmonised life over the feverish artificial prosperity created by a stressing of separative barriers.  That stressing is inevitable in an order of struggle and international competition; it would be seen to be prejudicial in an order of peace and union which would make for mutual accommodation.  The principle of a free world-union being that of the settlement of common affairs by common agreement, this could not be confined to the removal of political differences and the arrangement of political relations alone, but must naturally extend to economic differences and economic relations as well.  To the removal of war and the recognition of the right of self-determination of the peoples the arrangement of the economic life of the world in its new order by mutual and common agreement would have to be added as the third condition of a free union.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 31, The Conditions of a Free World-Union, pp. 272-273