If we survey where we are today in the development of human evolutionary potential, it is very easy to note certain primary tendencies that have taken hold since the early dawn of man’s religious and mystical awareness and seekings developed the primary religious experiences that we have inherited. Sri Aurobindo describes the process: “But as the mental and life development increased,–for that is Nature’s first preoccupation in man and she does not hesitate to push it forward at the cost of other elements that will need to be taken up fully hereafter,–there is a tendency towards intellectualisation, and the first necessary intuitive, instinctive and subliminal formations are overlaid with the structures erected by a growing force of reason and mental intelligence. As man discovers the secrets and processes of physical Nature, he moves more and more away from his early recourse to occultism and magic; the presence and felt influence of gods and invisible powers recedes as more and more is explained by natural workings, the mechanical procedure of Nature: but he still feels the need of a spiritual element and spiritual factors in his life and therefore keeps for a time the two activities running together. But the occult elements of religion, though still held as beliefs or preserved but also buried in rites and myths, lose their significance and diminish and the intellectual element increases; finally, where and when the intellectualising tendency becomes too strong, there is a movement to cut out everything but creed, institution, formal practice and ethicsw. Even the element of spiritual experience dwindles and it is considered sufficient to rely only on faith, emotional fervour and moral conduct; the first amalgam of religion, occultims and mystic experience is disrupted, and there is a tendency, not by any means universal or complete but still pronounced or visible, for each of these powers to follow its own way to its own goal in its own separate and free character. A complete denial of religion, occultism and all that is supraphysical is the last outcome of this stage, a hard dry paroxysm of the superficial intellect hacking away the sheltering structures that are refuges for the deeper parts of our nature.”
We can see this situation in today’s world very clearly and we are clearly reaching the pendulum swing towards intellect where we can begin to see a return in the other direction to re-integrate and explore the other and hidden parts of our nature, as well as our future evolutionary growth through integration of new types and gradations of consciousness.
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 24, “The Evolution of the Spiritual Man”