Understanding the Psychological Motives Behind the Initial Development of Human Groupings

Internationalism cannot take hold of humanity in a real and substantive way until it is able to insinuate itself into the human psychology as a real and immediate psychological necessity.  By observation of the currently central values and ideas that govern the thoughts and actions of mankind, as well as those that held sway in the past, we can identify some central characteristics that make an idea a core need of humanity.

Sri Aurobindo notes:  “The great necessity, then, and the great difficulty is to help this idea of humanity which is already at work upon our minds and has even begun in a very slight degree to influence from above our actions, and turn it into something more than an idea, however strong, to make it a central motive and a fixed part of our nature.  Its satisfaction must become a necessity of our psychological being, just as the family idea or the national idea has become each a psychological motive with its own need of satisfaction.”

“The family idea had the advantage of growing out of a primary vital need in our being and therefore it had not the least difficulty in becoming a psychological motive and need; for our readiest and strongest mental motives and psychological needs are those which grow out of our vital necessities and instincts.  The clan and the tribe idea had a similar origin, less primary and compelling, and therefore looser and more dissoluble; but still they arose from the vital necessity in human nature for aggregation and the ready basis given to it by the inevitable physical growth of the family into clan or tribe.  These were natural aggregations, evolutionary forms already prepared on the animal level.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 33, Internationalism and Human Unity, pg. 284