Three Steps Needed for Development of a Divine Life on Earth

The history of spiritual development, regardless of the specific methodology, ideology or religious background involved, has been predominantly one in which the focus is on the individual’s realisation, salvation or transcendence of the limits of the human ego-personality.  This is because of the “ego-centric” basis of the human condition.  Thus, people think about their liberation, their heavenly reward, their spiritual fulfillment.  Emphasis is generally placed primarily on the transcendent aspects of the development rather than on the perfection of the individual’s being and action in this world.

Sri Aurobindo takes a wider view of the issue and shows that the individual liberation is part of a much more comprehensive process that includes freedom from the strictures of the ego-consciousness, development of the perfected powers of action of the individual instrument, a universalisation of the consciousness through a conscious oneness with the entire manifestation, and eventually the collaboration of gnostic individuals to create a new gnostic society that resolves the issues created by our vital and mental limitations which create so many unintended consequences when we try to organize the functioning of a society and manage the physical and vital systems to support the society.

Initially any gnostic society will certainly need to be separate outposts or communities, eventually supporting and linking with others around the world.  These will hopefully act as a focus and opportunity to explore new ways of addressing the needs of humanity and dealing with the eco-sphere and bio-sphere of the planet, and thereby have a positive developmental influence on the main societal organizations that represent the much larger groupings of humanity based on the physical, vital and mental levels of development.  Just as the mind has influenced through its efforts the physical and vital functioning of the planet, one would expect the gnostic society to exercise its ability to ameliorate many of the unintended consequences of the current organization of society, and the economy of the world.

Sri Aurobindo observes in The Life Divine:  “it is, then, this spiritual fulfilment of the urge to individual perfection and an inner completeness of being that we mean first when we speak of a divine life.  It is the first essential condition of a perfected life on earth, and we are therefore right in making the utmost possible individual perfection our first supreme business.  The perfection of the spiritual and pragmatic relation of the individual with all around him is our second preoccupation; the solution of this second desideratum lies in a complete universality and oneness with all life upon earth which is the other concomitant result of an evolution into the gnostic consciousness and nature.  But there still remains the third desideratum, a new world, a change in the total life of humanity or, at the least, a new perfected collective life in the earth-nature.  This calls for the appearance not only of isolated evolved individuals acting in the unevolved mass, but of many gnostic individuals forming a new kind of beings and a new common life superior to the present individual and common existence.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Nine, The Divine Life Upon Earth, pg. 126

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