The Ultimate Aim of the Religion of Humanity

If human unity is to become a reality, the underlying psychological unity must develop, and it is the ultimate aim of the religion of humanity to bring about the conditions upon which such a psychological unity must be founded.  At each successive development of human groupings, we see the expansion of the circle of inclusion and the corresponding loosening of the egoistic bonds of the prior stage.  The individual must give up some of his egoistic fulfilment in order to bond into a family.  Similarly, the family into the clan, the clan into the tribe, the tribe into the community, the community into the state, the state into the nation.

Sri Aurobindo describes this process as well as the focus of the religion of humanity: “But still in order to accomplish all its future this idea and religion of humanity has to make itself more explicit, insistent and categorically imperative.  For otherwise it can only work with clarity in the minds of the few and with the mass it will be only a modifying influence, but will not be the rule of human life.  And so long as that is so, it cannot entirely prevail over its own principal enemy.  That enemy, the enemy of all real religion, is human egoism, the egoism of the individual, the egoism of class and nation.  These it could for a time soften, modify, force to curb their more arrogant, open and brutal expressions, oblige to adopt better institutions, but not to give place to the love of mankind, not to recognise a real unity between man and man.  For that essentially must be the aim of the religion of humanity, as it must be the earthly aim of all human religion, love, mutual recognition of human brotherhood, a living sense of human oneness and practice of human oneness in thought, feeling and life, the ideal which was expressed first some thousands of years ago in the ancient Vedic hymn and must always remain the highest injunction of the Spirit within us to human life on earth.  Till that is brought about, the religion of humanity remains unaccomplished.  With that done, the one necessary psychological change will have been effected without which no formal and mechanical, no political and administrative unity can be real and secure.  If it is done, that outward unification may not even be indispensable or, if indispensable, it will come about naturally, not, as now it seems likely to be, by catastrophic means, but by the demand of the human mind, and will be held secure by an essential need of our perfected and developed human nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 34, The Religion of Humanity, pg. 297-298

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