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.

The Nation Is the Current Focus of Nature’s Evolutionary Pressure for Societal Unities

Over the long progression of human history, people have joined together into a series of collective social groupings, from the family, to the clan, the tribe, the town or village, the city, and the state.  Eventually the nation developed which had the size, the “critical mass” so to speak, to provide for the citizens effectively in their basic needs and general safety requirements, while also having sufficient homogeneity to hold together under pressure.  (note: these statements are intended as generalities and are not intended to speak to every conceivable case or circumstance throughout history).  Larger groupings have, of course, been attempted, such as empires, or religious spheres of influence, yet they have generally weakened over time and dissolved back to the stable nation basis.  When we look to the idea of the unity of the entire human race, it is essential that we take note of the natural and solid foundation provided by the nation form, even as we look toward the development of potentially larger organic unities in the future.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “Thus the nation is a persistent psychological unit which Nature has been busy developing throughout the world in the most various forms and educating into physical and political unity.  Political unity is not the essential factor; it may not yet be realised and yet the nation persists and moves inevitably towards its realisation; it may be destroyed and yet the nation persists and travails and suffers but refuses to be annihilated.”

“All modern attempts to destroy by force or break up a nation are foolish and futile, because they ignore this law of the natural evolution.  Empires are still perishable political units; the nation is immortal.  And so it will remain until a greater living unit can be found into which the nation idea can merge in obedience to a superior attraction.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 5, Nation and Empire: Real and Political Unities, pp. 39-40

Nature’s Use of Foreign Dominating Power to Awaken or Solidify National Unity

It has been frequently noted throughout history that the imposition of a foreign threat or foreign rule on a people has led to the solidification of the national identity and spirit.  Frequently we have seen those that are closest to one another in terms of culture, background, language or religious tenets dispute with one another vociferously on what can, from the standpoint of history, be seen as relatively minor differences.  In many cases this has prevented a national unity from arising spontaneously, and it has only been the imposition of a foreign yoke or domination that has caused these people to recognize their oneness and join forces to defeat, or in some cases assimilate, the common enemy.

History is replete with examples, as Sri Aurobindo notes:  “There is none of the modern nations in Europe which has not had to pass through a phase more or less prolonged, more or less complete, of foreign domination in order to realise its nationality.  In Russia and England it was the domination of a foreign conquering race which rapidly became a ruling caste and was in the end assimilated and absorbed, in Spain the succession of the Roman, Goth and Moor, in Italy the overlordship of the Austrian, in the Balkans the long suzerainty of the Turk, in Germany the transient yoke of Napoleon.  But in all cases the essential has been a shock or a pressure which would either waken a loose psychological unity to the necessity of organising itself from within or would crush out, dispirit or deprive of power, vitality and reality the more obstinate factors of disunion.  In some cases even an entire change of name, culture and civilisation has been necessary, as well as a more or less profound modification of the race.  Notably this has happened in the formation of French nationality.  The ancient Gallic people, in spite of or perhaps because of its Druidic civilisation and early greatness, was more incapable of organising a firm political unity than even the ancient Greeks or the old Indian kingdoms and republics.  It needed the Roman rule and Latin culture, the superimposition of a Teutonic ruling caste and finally the shock of the temporary and partial English conquest to found the unequalled unity of modern France.  Yet though name, civilisation and all else seem to have changed, the French nation of today is still and has always remained the old Gallic nation with its Basque, Gaelic, Armorican and other ancient elements modified by the Frank and Latin admixture.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 5, Nation and Empire: Real and Political Unities, pp. 38-39

The Example of India

When we read the Ramayana or the Mahabharata we get the sense that although there were many independent states or kingdoms in the Indian subcontinent, there was both a general commonality of understanding and a number of attempts to cobble them together into a wider national or imperial form.  Various empires rose, and fell, during the long historical record of the Indian subcontinent, including both internally developed and externally enforced empires, the last being the long rule of the British Raj which ended with India’s independence in 1947.  We observe many forces trying to divide and pull apart the various attempts at the wider unity, but each time we see that a new unity arises that speaks to the inner, psychological oneness that underlies all the superficial differences.  Sri Aurobindo uses India as an illustration of the process that leads to wider unity, despite outer obstacles, when there is that inner oneness operating behind the scenes.

“Nowhere else have the centrifugal forces been so strong, numerous, complex, obstinate.  The mere time taken by the evolution has been prodigious; the disastrous vicissitudes through which it has had to work itself out have been appalling.  And yet through it all the inevitable tendency has worked constantly, pertinaciously, with the dull, obscure, indomitable, relentless obstinacy of Nature when she is opposed in her instinctive purposes by man, and finally, after a struggle enduring through millenniums, has triumphed.  And, as usually happens when she is thus opposed by her own mental and human material, it is the most adverse circumstances that the subconscious worker has turned into her most successful instruments.”

“…it is a significant circumstance that the more foreign the rule, the greater has been its force for the unification of the subject people.  This is always a sure sign that the essential nation-unit is already there and that there is an indissoluble national vitality necessitating the inevitable emergence of the organised nation.  In this instance, we see that the conversion of the psychological unity on which nationhood is based into the external organised unity by which it is perfectly realised, has taken a period of more than two thousand years and is not yet complete. (n.b. Sri Aurobindo wrote this between 1914 and 1920, before the 1947 independence of India)   And yet, since the essentiality of the thing was there, not even the most formidable difficulties and delays, not even the most persistent incapacity for union in the people, not even the most disintegrating shocks from outside have prevailed against the obstinate subconscious necessity.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 5, Nation and Empire: Real and Political Unities, pp. 37-38

The Importance of the Distinction Between Real and Political Unity

Sri Aurobindo poses the question as to the importance of distinguishing real internal unity of a societal formation from one that is purely based on some external form cobbled together either for a temporary economic or political convenience, or through the exercise of some kind of force.  The answer lies in the internal coherence and consistency found in the real unity, which tends to keep the people joined together, as opposed to the political unity with little commonality among the disparate parts, which will tend to disintegrate or drift apart when the force that is acting to hold it together weakens.

We can see a similar reality in the world of science and chemistry, with strong atomic bonds holding together while weak atomic bonds are subject to being broken apart, and the elements dispersed or joined elsewhere.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  The distinction “…must be made because it is of the greatest utility to a true and profound political science and involves the most important consequences.  When an empire like Austria, a non-national empire, is broken to pieces, it perishes for good; there is no innate tendency to recover the outward unity, because there is no real inner oneness; there is only a politically manufactured aggregate.  On the other hand, a real national unity broken up by circumstances will always preserve a tendency to recover and reassert its oneness.  The Greek Empire has gone the way of all empires, but the Greek nation, after many centuries of political non-existence, again possesses its separate body, because it has preserved its separate ego and therefore really existed under the covering rule of the Turk.”

“This truth of a real unity is so strong that even nations which never in the past realised an outward unification, to which Fate and circumstance and their own selves have been adverse, nations which have been full of centrifugal forces and easily overpowered by foreign intrusions, have yet always developed a centripetal force as well and arrived inevitably at organised oneness.”

There are a number of examples that illustrate this principle, including the Greek nation and the development of the Germanic nation.  “In both of these historic instances, as in so many others, the unification of Saxon England, mediaeval France, the formation of the United States of America, it was a real unity, a psychologically distinct unit which tended at first ignorantly by the subconscious necessity of its being and afterwards with a sudden or gradual awakening to the sense of political oneness, towards an inevitable external unification.  It is a distinct group-soul which is driven by inward necessity and uses outward circumstances to constitute for itself an organised body.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 5, Nation and Empire: Real and Political Unities, pp. 35-37

Distinguishing Between Political and Real Units of Human Collectivities

When we look at the units of societal organisation, we can see a difference between the nation state, which is the predominant form that maintains internal consistency today, and the multi-national empire, which exists, not because of internal consistency necessarily, but because of the use of some form of external force or power to hold disparate national units together in a larger unity.  The national unit tends to maintain a cultural homogeneity within its borders, and is, for the most part, held together by common language, culture, religion or economic and political systems within its borders. The result is that imperial units tend to be less stable and are subject to dissolution when the central force holding them together weakens enough to allow the nation units contained within to spin off.

This is an issue that impacts the development of larger formations as it is the core of agreement within the nation state that makes it a much more stable form than the empire.

Sri Aurobindo, writing in the period between 1914 and 1920, commented on this issue:  “At the present stage of human progress the nation is the living collective unit of humanity.  Empires exist, but they are as yet only political and not real units; they haev no life from within and owe their continuance to a force imposed on their constituent elements or else to a political convenience felt or acquiesced in by the constituents and favoured by the world outside.”

When the British Empire eventually dissolved, it morphed into the British Commonwealth of Nations, a looser confederacy based on the independent nation states developing certain cooperative, primarily economic, relations among and between each other.  The key concept emphasized by Sri Aurobindo is the internal unity of the people and culture which binds them together into a stronger unit than a purely external political, economic or mechanical form of unification.  The political unit is clearly a less favored form for developing true human unity than the development of a real sense of oneness, based on the spiritual development of humanity, among all beings regardless of culture, race, language, religion or other secondary characteristics.

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 5, Nation and Empire: Real and Political Unities, pp. 34-35

Three Difficulties for the Unification of Mankind

When we reflect on the question of human unity, we can recognize that there is no simple or perfect solution yet visible to us.  We view the existing forms of collectivity, and see both the benefits and the limitations of each successively larger formation.  In today’s world, we see the political and economic life of humanity managed through a series of interacting nations.  Within each nation there are smaller, more local forms of collectivity–states, counties, districts, municipalities, precincts, etc.  In many cases, these nations consist of a relatively uniform citizenry of homogeneous cultural or ethnic groups, although there are clearly examples where a heterogeneous citizenry is in evidence.  Taking this complexity as the basis, Sri Aurobindo identifies three issues that must be resolved in order to achieve the eventual unification of the largest grouping, the unity of all of humanity.

Sri Aurobindo first observes:  “There is the doubt whether the collective egoisms of humanity can at this time be sufficiently modified or abolished and whether even an external unity in some effective form can be securely established.  And there is the doubt whether, even if any such external unity can be established, it will not be at the price of crushing both the free life of the individual and the free play of the various collective units already created in which there is a real and active life and substituting a State organisation which will mechanise human existence.  Apart from these two uncertainties there is a third doubt whether a really living unity can be achieved by a mere economic, political and administrative unification and whether it ought not to be preceded by at least the strong beginnings of a moral and spiritual oneness.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 5, Nation and Empire: Real and Political Unities, pg. 34

The Need for Humanity to Unify in its Inner Soul Not Just its Outward Life and Body

Throughout history, mankind has attempted to create larger socio-economic units with external means, whether through conquest, economic domination or through some type of political system or form of amalgamation derived through mutual consent of some sort.  Such formations, however, have, at some point, broken down and disintegrated.  The experiment gave humanity the opportunity to test various forms of unity and discover both their strengths and their weaknesses.  One of the more recent experiments, that of the formation of the United States, has had its serious limitations.  The attempt was made to develop a Constitution that would provide checks and balances to prevent one small group from gaining absolute power and thereby re-creating the form of monarchy or empire, both of which the founders were trying to avoid.  After a little more than 200 years, however, the changes wrought by technology, economic changes, and external pressures in the world have brought the governmental system devised by the founders to a state of near paralysis in many ways, and the advent of mass media and corporatism have subverted the checks and balances.  We may learn from this the lesson that attempting to bring about human unity through external political, economic and military means, is likely doomed to failure, and even if such a unity were to arise, it would tend to suppress individual growth, lead to stagnation and eventual collapse under its own weight.

Sri Aurobindo elaborates:  “It is therefore quite improbable that in the present conditions of the race a healthy unity of mankind can be brought about by State machinery, whether it be by a grouping of powerful and organised States enjoying carefully regulated and legalised relations with each other or by the substitution of a single World-State for the present half chaotic half ordered comity of nations,– be the form of that World-State a single empire like the Roman or a federated unity.  Such an external or administrative unity may be intended in the near future of mankind in order to accustom the race to the idea of a common life, to its habit, to its possibility, but it cannot be really healthy, durable or beneficial over all the true line of human destiny unless something be developed more profound, internal and real.  Otherwise the experience of the ancient world will be repeated on a larger scale and in other circumstances.  The experiment will break down and give place to a new reconstructive age of confusion and anarchy.  Perhaps this experience also is necessary for mankind; yet it ought to be possible for us now to avoid it by subordinating mechanical means to our true development through a moralised and even a spiritualised humanity united in its inner soul and not only in its outward life and body.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 4, The Inadequacy of the State Idea, pp. 32-33