The Spiritual Transformation and Human Society

As we reflect on the implications of a spiritual transformation and its impact on individuals and the society, several questions arise.  What is the process by which such a transformation of society can actually take place, and in what steps, stages or time-frames can it occur?  Does all of humanity participate in the transformation, and if not, what is the relationship between those who have been part of the transformation and those who have not?  How does the society function in the case of a less than total transformation?  Is this the end-goal of human development, or does this represent another stage in an unending progression?

Sri Aurobindo raises these issues and comments on them briefly:  “This endeavour will be a supreme and difficult labour even for the individual, but much more for the race.  It may well be that, once started, it may not advance rapidly even to its first decisive stage; it may be that it will take long centuries of effort to come into some kind of permanent birth.  But that is not altogether inevitable, for the principle of such changes in Nature seems to be a long obscure preparation followed by a swift gathering up and precipitation of the elements into the new birth, a rapid conversion, a transformation that in its luminous moments figures like a miracle.  Even when the first decisive change is reached, it is certain that all humanity will not be able to rise to that level.  There cannot fail to be a division into those who are able to live on the spiritual level and those who are only able to live in the light that descends from it into the mental level.  And below these too there might still be a great mass influenced from above but not yet ready for the light.  But even that would be a transformation and a beginning far beyond anything yet attained.  This hierarchy would not mean as in our present vital living an egoistic domination of the underdeveloped by the more developed, but a guidance of the younger by the elder brothers of the race and a constant working to lift them up to a greater spiritual level and wider horizons.”

“And for the leaders too this ascent to the first spiritual levels would not be the end of the divine march, a culmination that left nothing more to be achieved on earth.  For there would be still yet higher levels within the supramental realm, as the old Vedic poets knew when they spoke of the spiritual life as a constant ascent … But once the foundation has been secured, the rest develops by a progressive self-unfolding and the soul is sure of its way…. ”

Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 24, The Advent and Progress of the Spiritual Age, pp. 267-268

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