Spiritual development in the past has primarily been focused on individual salvation or realisation. The evolutionary development of the supramental consciousness, however, does not follow the traditional line of spiritual development, as it represents a next stage in the progression of consciousness on earth, as a continuation of the progression from Matter to Life, and from Life to Mind. Thus, we can assume that, one way or the other, the impact of the advent of Supermind will be widespread and make itself felt throughout the entire earthly life.
If we review the development of the mental capacities, as an example of the method of Nature in the evolution, we can see that humanity generally has gained a basic capability in the use of mind, with gradations appearing that represent different stages or phases of the mental development. Should the supramental manifestation take a similar approach, we would see a basic capability for its primary functional powers take root throughout humanity, again with gradations based on receptivity, readiness and preparedness within individuals. Human mental evolution has tended to progress first among specific individuals as they blossomed in their mental powers, and later, these powers began to generalize and spread horizontally across the rest of the human race. The phenomenon of forerunners developing a power and then it quickly proliferating across a species has been called the “hundredth monkey”: phenomenon by researchers in behavior among primates generally.
It is of course also possible that the supramental development does not generalize across all of humanity but targets individuals who have developed to a specific stage of readiness and receptivity, and thus, we could see emerging a new species, while the gradations of the mental development remained in place, albeit influenced by and guided by the vision, knowledge and power that comes with the supramental manifestation. Readiness does not necessarily imply high mental development or training, as in many cases, the highly developed mind may actually resist the necessary changes needed to manifest an entirely different mode of knowing and responding.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “This change might happen not only in the few, but extend and generalise itself in the race. This possibility, if fulfilled, would mean that the human dream of perfection, perfection of itself, of its purified and enlightened nature, of all its ways of action and living, would be no longer a dream but a truth that could be made real and humanity lifted out of the hold on it of inconscience and ignorance. The life of the mental being could be harmonised with the life of the Supermind which will then be the highest order above it, and become even an extension and annexe of the truth-consciousness, a part and province of the divine life. It is obvious that if the Supermind is there and an order of supramental being is established as the leading principle in earth-nature, as mind is now the leading principle, but with a sureness, a complete government of the earthly existence, a capacity of transformation of all upon their level and within their natural boundaries of which the mind in its imperfection was not capable, an immense change of human life, even if it did not extend to transformation, would be inevitable.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light, Supermind and the Life Divine, pg. 70