Individual Action and the Development of a Divine Collectivity

To accomplish the transition from what may be called “normal human life” to the kind of supramental perfect action in the world which Sri Aurobindo has described, it becomes essential to look at the transitional steps and how they might be brought about.

Inasmuch as progress occurs first at the individual level, there must be some amount of activity by specific individuals to move beyond the framework of the mental, vital and physical limitations inherent within the normal realm of activity.

This progress will take place within a social framework that necessarily remains rooted in the normal standards and forms of action that prevail on earth, and thus, will have to account for the interaction between the individual and that society during this transitional phase.

The next step thereafter would be the joining together of such individuals to create communities that can live and act from this new standpoint creating enclaves of the change and reinforcing the efforts of the individuals.

These enclaves, as they expand and interact, can begin to wield a wider influence on the social structure of civilisation as a whole over time.

Sri Aurobindo discusses the subject: “…it is the individual who must climb to this height as a pioneer and precursor. His isolation will necessarily give determination and a form to his outward activities that must be quite other than those of a consciously divine collective action. The inner state, the root of his acts, will be the same; but the acts themselves may be very different from what they would be on an earth liberated from ignorance. Nevertheless his consciousness and the divine mechanism of his conduct, if such a word can be used of so free a thing, would be such as has been described, free from that subjection to vital impurity and desire and wrong impulse which we call sin, unbound by that rule of prescribed moral formulas which we call virtue, spontaneously sure and pure and perfect in a greater consciousness than the mind’s, governed in all steps by the light and truth of the Spirit.” To be clear, while this implies actions not bound by the concepts of “sin” and “virtue”, it does not imply the kind of wild abandon or license that the human mind and vital nature, liberated from the strictures of the moral code, would imagine it to be!

Turning to the next phase: “But if a collectivity or group could be formed of those who have reached the supramental perfection, there indeed some divine creation could take shape; a new earth could descend that would be a new heaven, a world of supramental light could be created here amidst the receding darkness of this terrestrial ignorance.”

The same Indian tradition that speaks of the cycles or ages, and which posited an ancient golden age, also holds that the current age, the Kali Yuga, will give way to a rebirth of the golden era when the force of its darkness and perversity has been expended and the light is renewed.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 7, Standards of Conduct and Spiritual Freedom, pp. 195-196