When we look at the development of human civilisation through the lens of time, we are able to spot trends and distinct evolutionary progressions that have occurred or are even still in the process of taking place. Sri Aurobindo points out that one obvious trend that is taking place represents the broad-based integration of the power of mind and the development of intellect throughout all of humanity, through such activities as increasingly universal education, the development of cultural and societal support for expanded educational opportunities, the development of a societal framework that actually demands a certain amount of intellectual capacity in order to function. Add to this the modern telecommunication and information transmission capabilities, and the globalisation of issues which brings enormous numbers of people into direct contact with ideas, issues, concerns and opportunities for interchange and intellectual give and take, and we can see that today’s modern world has clearly demonstrated Nature’s intention of integrating the mental capacity fully into human life.
The entire development of a firm basis and platform of a material life that frees large numbers of people from the necessity of long hours of manual labor, while providing nourishment and leisure time to pursue intellectual interests, represents a further indication of Nature’s intention to support the development of the intellect on a widespread basis. Obviously this process is not completed nor equally distributed across the planet at this time, but the trend is there and in comparison to even 100 years ago, the progress is visible and substantial.
Sri Aurobindo points out: “The right or at least the ultimate means may not always be employed, but their aim is the right preliminary aim,–a sound individual and social body and the satisfaction of the legitimate needs and demands of the material mind, sufficient ease, leisure, equal opportunity, so that the whole of mankind and no longer only the favoured race, class or individual may be free to develop the emotional and intellectual being to its full capacity. At present the material and economic aim may predominate, but always, behind, there works or there waits in reserve the higher and major impulse.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Introduction: The Conditions of the Synthesis, Chapter 2, The Three Steps of Nature, pp. 10-11