Humanity Striving for Greater Heights of Consciousness

Sri Aurobindo describes the unique turn that the evolution of consciousness takes upon reaching the level of humanity. Whereas in the animal, we see a consciousness essentially self-satisfied with its action, focused entirely on fulfillment at its own level, in mankind we see the gaze turned, not just to material and vital fulfillment, and not even just intellectual fulfillment of the mental level, but eventually upwards toward heights of consciousness not yet attained, and inwards to seek out the occult ranges of awareness hidden beneath our surface being. “To climb to higher altitudes, to get a greater scope, to transform his lower nature, this is always a natural impulse of man as soon as he has made his place for himself in the physical and vital world of earth and has a little leisure to consider his farther possibilities.”

“It is in his human nature, in all human nature, to exceed itself by conscious evolution, to climb beyond what he is. Not individuals only, but in time the race also, in a general rule of being and living if not in all its members, can have the hope, if it develops a sufficient will, to rise beyond the imperfections of our present very undivine nature and to ascend at least to a superior humanity, to rise nearer, even if it cannot absolutely reach, to a divine manhood or supermanhood. At any rate, it is the compulsion of evolutionary Nature in him to strive to develop upward, to erect the ideal, to make the endeavor.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 18, The Evolutionary Process — Ascent and Integration