While the material circumstances may create a need and pressure for human unity, this external impetus may not find a willing receptivity in the heart and mind of mankind, or it may not lead to a true, long-term solution. The physical demands of climate change, resource depletion, pollution, and the impact of communication and transportation technology to make the entire world accessible and an immediate presence for people everywhere, certainly provide the necessary impetus in a way that has not been seen in the historical past. Yet we find that humanity is, to a great degree, acting from older instincts and habits of competition and aggression, rather than overcoming superficial differences to achieve the unified effort needed to effectuate true human unity and thereby address the crises of the present time.
Sri Aurobindo notes: “But this very commodity of the material circumstances may bring about the failure of the ideal; for when material circumstances favour a great change, but the heart and mind of the race are not really ready–especially the heart–failure may be predicted, unless indeed men are wise in time and accept the inner change along with the external readjustment. But at present the human intellect has been so much mechanised by physical Science that it is likely to attempt the revolution it is beginning to envisage principally or solely through mechanical means, through social and political adjustments. Now it is not by social and political devices, or at any rate not by thee chiefly or only, that the unity of the human race can be enduringly or fruitfully accomplished.”
This is not to say that the aspiration and the attempt should be written off in advance: it is the process of Nature to create circumstances to further an advance, to gauge how far it can succeed and what limits there are to the success at that time, and then to circle back again later when circumstances arise again, and use the past failure as the stepping-stone to a future successful result. Even our failures teach us something along the way, and make a more comprehensive result possible at the right time in the future.
Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 1, The Turn towards Unity: Its Necessity and Dangers, pg. 11