Factors Tending to Development of a Subjective Age Rather than a New Conventionalism

If we were to follow the trend-line of the individualistic age as it has developed thus far, we could easily wind up with the result that Sri Aurobindo described in the prior post; namely, that increasing reliance on the findings of physical Science and the universal principles and laws that it exposes would inevitably lead toward some kind of State Socialism that would suppress individual freedom and creativity and eventually fail due to stagnation.  Sri Aurobindo, however, points to some incipient trends which could result in a radically different outcome, and lead to the development of a Subjective Age of humanity.

“On the other hand, there are in operation forces which seem likely to frustrate or modify this development before it can reach its menaced consummation.  In the first place, rationalistic and physical Science has overpassed itself and must before long be overtaken by a mounting flood of psychological and psychic knowledge which cannot fail to compel quite a new view of the human being and open a new vista before mankind.  At the same time the Age of Reason is visibly drawing to an end; novel ideas are sweeping over the world and are being accepted with a significant rapidity, ideas inevitably subversive of any premature typal order of economic rationalism, dynamic ideas such as Nietzsche’s Will-to-live, Bergson’s exaltation of Intuition above intellect or the latest German philosophical tendency to acknowledge a suprarational faculty and a suprarational order of truths.  Already another mental poise is beginning to settle and conceptions are on the way to apply themselves in the field of practice which promise to give the succession of the individualistic age of society not to a new typal order, but to a subjective age which may well be a great and momentous passage to a very different goal.  It may be doubted whether we are not already in the morning twilight of a new period of the human cycle.”


Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 2, the Age of Individualism and Reason, pp. 22-23