Spiritual Evolution of Nature Is Still Incomplete

The lack of a concrete result of spiritual effort on the collective life of humanity is another objection that is raised against the results thus far of the spiritual focus. Sri Aurobindo points out that “The spiritual evolution of Nature is still in process and incomplete…” The first focus of this effort as it integrates the spiritual consciousness into the existing foundation of body-life-mind is to establish a framework for its action and influence in the individual, and it is only from that basis that eventual change of the social framework can actually take place. “For till then the individual must be preoccupied with his own problem of entirely changing his mind and life into conformity with the truth of the spirit which he is achieving or has achieved in his inner being and knowledge. Any premature attempt at a large-scale collective spiritual life is exposed to vitiation by some incompleteness of the spiritual knowledge on its dynamic side, by the imperfections of the individual seekers and by the invasion of the ordinary mind and vital and physical consciousness taking hold of the truth and mechanising, obscuring or corrupting it.”

The action of the mind, even when it is influenced by the spiritual consciousness, is unable to effect a wholesale transformation of life on its own. And spirituality is limited in its ability to effect change so long as it is forced to channel its action through the platform of mind, life and body rather than acting directly and sovereignly in its own right. “spirituality liberates and illumines the inner being, it helps mind to communicate with what is higher than itself, to escape even from itself, it can purify and uplift by the inner influence the outward nature of individual human beings: but so long as it has to work in the human mass through mind as the instrument, it can exercise an influence on the earth-life but not bring about a transformation of that life. For this reason there has been a prevalent tendency in the spiritual mind to be satisfied with such an influence and in the main to seek fulfilment in other-life elsewhere or to abandon altogether any outward-going endeavor and concentrate solely on an individual spiritual salvation or perfection. A higher instrumental dynamis than mind is needed to transform totally a nature created by the Ignorance.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 24, “The Evolution of the Spiritual Man”