Evolutionary Pressures for the Development of Human Unity

The last century has witnessed enormous changes in the international landscape of nation with nation.  The advent of global communications, broadcast radio and television, the internet, fast global air travel connections and an economic system that now ties each country into a global framework all have worked to build the pressure for the development of a world union in some form.  Sri Aurobindo pointed out the need to find ways to avoid global warfare.  In today’s world, this remains an urgent necessity, but it is compounded by the development and existence of biological, chemical and nuclear weaponry that could destroy life as we know it.  More insidious we have the less visible, but every bit as real issues of global climate change, pollution, and over-stressing of the resources of the planet due to vast expansion of the human population, unequal distribution and control of resources and their distribution, and factors such as the lengthening of average lifespan around the world and the aspirations of people to attain a higher standard of living as they observe in Europe and America, as well as developed countries on each continent.  This has not yet created a sufficient psychological framework for world unity, but the expanding issues and crises are forcing the world to seek solutions that in fact can only be found in some form of unity and cooperation.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “If there is any strong need, it may be described — if such an epithet can be applied to a thing in the present and the future — as a historical necessity, that is, a need which has arisen as the result of certain actual circumstances that have grown up in the evolution of international relations.  And that need is economic, political, mechanical, likely under certain circumstances to create some tentative or preliminary framework, but not at first a psychological reality which will vivify the frame.  Moreover, it is not yet sufficiently vital to be precisely a necessity; for it amounts mainly to a need for the removal of certain perils and inconveniences, such as the constant danger of war, and at most to the strong desirability of a better international coordination.  But by itself this creates only a possibility, not even a moral certainty, of a first vague sketch and loose framework of unity which may or may not lead to something more close and real.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 33, Internationalism and Human Unity, pg. 286