Anywhere we go in the world, and with whomever we speak, we hear that the state of humanity is difficult and there is a lot of suffering that results from various issues, imbalances or problems. Some analyze these issues and determine that a new economic order, or a new political fix is required. Some prescribe more adherence to the principles of their religion, and some want to convert everyone to their religion. Others counsel more compassion and human kindness, and others bemoan the amount of greed, lust and anger that we manifest. As we go deeper in our search, we find that some identify the problem with the human mind and its thought process itself. We become fixated on limited views of problems and their solutions and close our eyes to the integrality and complexity of the issues involved. We also fail to take an evolutionary standpoint, so we find some saying that we should simply go back to a life of animal simplicity and abandon too much thinking, planning or reasoning — just live for today.
What each of the approaches misses is the inner drive that creates the mind in the first place, and that is pushing us to both understand its powers and implement them, while also going further to find the ultimate sense and intention as a framework for finding the proper balanced and harmonious role of the mind.
Sri Aurobindo provides insight to this by pointing out that man is a transitional being, and the difficulties of integrating the mind into the vital and physical life that preceded its emergence are directly related to our not yet fully recognizing the transitional nature of this process and the evolutionary intention that drives us ever-upwards. He also points to “the human aspiration” (as he calls it in the first chapter of The Life Divine) as an indicator of the deeper drives that point to our future destiny as spiritual beings. Just as every tree grows from embedded coding in it seed, there is an embedded coding in the core of humanity that takes us through stages of growth and development until we become fully mature in our true role in Nature.
This leads to Sri Aurobindo’s examination in The Human Cycle of the various stages of human and societal development and his view that we are entering a subjective age of humanity. In a subjective age, we loosen the hold that outer habit, creed and dogma hold on our minds and begin to experience and explore the profound and unplumbed depths of human potentiality. We seek inner solutions which lead us inevitably to the “adventure of consciousness”.
We see around us an ever-deepening crisis for humanity. We are out of balance with our own inner psychology, with others, with our society, with our environment and with the other beings who share the environment with us in a symbiotic manner. Humanity literally faces a threat of extinction as hundreds of thousands of other species on the planet go extinct. At the same time, we see more and more people who seek solutions through yoga, through inner contemplation and meditation, through conscious inner growth and development, through finding new ways to relate that flow from the new inner realisations. It is a method employed by Nature to confront us with challenges and provide us with the opportunity and the tools to overcome those challenges.
The door of the subjective age stands open and this appear to be the way to find the harmony and balance between ourselves and our environment that humanity so desperately requires. It is up to each one to decide to consciously walk through that door and take up those challenges.
Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Conclusions