Is it our destiny to create a divine life on earth? When we look around at the world today, we see innumerable problems, crises and contradictions that provoke many to feel utterly hopeless. Everywhere people have experienced the pain, the challenges, the aggressive opposition of ideas, ideologies, religions, creeds, movements and expressions. Some have given up and determined to simply live for today, “eat, drink and be merry” they say, as they abandon the thought that there is any purpose to their existence or to the universal existence itself. Others believe that this world is simply a world of trial and that our true destiny lies in some heaven, or hell, after we die. We have competing political systems, competing economic systems, competing religious beliefs, and within all of this, there lies the promptings of desire and the conflict over resources, their allocation and use, and the consequences of their use, or misuse in relation to the environment and the planet. Scientists now tell us we are in the midst of the sixth species extinction event, an event on such a scale as it dwarfs those that came before it. Meanwhile we are actively polluting the environment and changing the climate with consequences that we are beginning to see, but have not yet fully comprehended or begun to act seriously upon. Our physical, vital and mental standpoint does not give us any realistic way out of this crisis and we see therefore only recriminations, gridlock and the inevitable consequences of suffering, war, pestilence, mass migrations and related consequences.
Sri Aurobindo, however, sees a deeper significance, a thread of meaning that weaves through all these issues and events and provides a meaning to existence, a significance to our lives and a context for the disruptions we see all around us. This significance is an evolution of consciousness that, over a vast scale of Time, has brought forth Life from what appeared to be dead, inconscient Matter, and eventually brought forth Mind from what appeared to be the pure reactions of desire and fear that govern the lower animal existence. He sees that this evolution of consciousness is not yet completed and that the limitations and weaknesses of Matter, Life and Mind lead to the type of confusion and chaos that reigns in our world today. He recognises that in fact it is a basic principle of Nature that evolutionary transitions are fraught with crises as a new principle is born to help resolve the crisis existing at the prior level.
All of these evolutionary changes take time. What is different today is that through our application of the limited vision and understanding of the Mind, we are not only becoming more self-aware, but we are also manipulating Matter and Life in ways that are disastrous and wholly destructive. We do not appear to have the time needed for the full emergence of the supramental consciousness that marks the transition to the next full phase of the evolutionary cycle. This is where the advent of transitional gradations, such as the mind of Light come into play. Even a relatively small modicum of the Light and Knowledge and Power of the supramental consciousness can help us achieve sufficient balance in our existence and with our environment to overcome the worst dangers of the current planetary existential crisis. The mind of Light occupies a position that is achievable for humanity in the relative near term to provide us a new standpoint which will ameliorate the most serious of the existential concerns, and thus provide the time for the evolution of the next full evolutionary stage of the Supermind.
Humanity tends to only make substantive changes under the pressure of crisis and extremity. We thus can both seek, and find, that there is a powerful movement toward spiritual growth, widening of consciousness, awakening of a sense of our oneness and interdependence with the rest of the beings that share the environment with us. We also see an increasing awareness of the galaxies and universes beyond us, and we see an awakening to the universal creation and its apparent significance. Thus, we stand on the brink of an emergence of a new phase in our conscious existence, this time aided by our self-awareness and our deep inner aspiration to achieve meaning in our lives.
Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light, Summary and Conclusions