Understanding the Present Age of Mankind in the Evolutionary Progression of the Race

We live in a time of constant, intense and radical change.  Technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, and it changes the way people interact with one another.  We have been rather suddenly thrust into a world of instantaneous, global information flow and interaction.  Speed has forced people to adapt and respond at a pace never seen before.  At the same time, we see a tremendous increase in awareness and mental development, as well as a vast broadening of mental action through universal educational programs around the world.  All of this implies that the intelligence is trying to gain ascendancy over the vital, infrarational stage of human development as it attempts to usher in an age of reason.  In addition, we find that along the way traditional ways of life, traditional social norms, traditional world-views are being challenged and disrupted, put to the test and in many cases, people are being left with no solid basis of understanding what their lives are about within all the flux and change they experience.  There is a tremendous clash of ideas and world-views which further increases the tensions of our modern day world.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “The present age of mankind may be characterised from this point of view of a graded psychological evolution of the race as a more and more rapidly accelerated attempt to discover and work out the right principle and secure foundations of a rational system of society.  It has been an age of progress; but progress is of two kinds, adaptive, with a secure basis in an unalterable social principle and constant change only in the circumstances and machinery of its application to suit fresh ideas and fresh needs, or else radical, with no long-secure basis, but instead a constant root questioning of the practical foundations and even the central principle of the established society.  The modern age has resolved itself into a constant series of radical progressions.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 19, The Curve of the Rational Age, pg. 192