The recent developments leading to the present condition of the world may be looked upon as the speeding up of the process of the breaking-up of the past which is indispensable to the manifestation of the “new world” that was born with the Supramental Manifestation which took place in 1956. All the religions, socioeconomic systems, political “isms” and dogmas seem to be loosing their hold over the progressive human mind which seems now to have become plastic and volatile to an extent that could not have been imagined even a few years ago. The recognition that the old remedies are of no avail, that the lights that have guided man so far are failing him seems now to be fairly widespread. It is becoming obvious that a mere change in the form of government or even in the social or economic system is not going to help man in any way. The proposition that our problems spring basically from the present state of our consciousness has begun to receive recognition in recent years. For example, Ervin Laszlo writes in his book, The Inner Limits of Mankind: “There are hardly any world problems that cannot be traced to human agency and which could not be overcome by appropriate changes in human behaviour. The root cause even of physical and ecological problems are the inner constraints on our Vision and Values…….. We contemplate changing almost anything on this earth but ourselves.”
The awareness that what is required is not a surface sentimental, moral, religious or idealistic tinkering with the nature of man but a fundamental change in it is also gaining ground. But such a thing can be accomplished only by an ascension to a higher level of consciousness and that may look like an endeavour too high and for man as he is at present, too difficult and distant. However, as Sri Aurobindo tells us, no matter how difficult and distant it may appear, it still remains the sole possibility for a true resolution of all our problems. Moreover, with the Supramental Manifestation in the terrestrial nature, the task has become much less troublesome and distant. As Sri Aurobindo says, “As far as I can see, once the supramental is established in Matter, the transformation will be possible under much less troublesome conditions than now are there. These bad conditions are due to the fact that the Ignorance is in possession and the hostile Powers an established authority, as it were, who do not care to give up their hold and there is no full force of Light established in the earth-consciousness which would not only meet but outweigh their full force of darkness.” The Supramental Manifestation has changed this equation.
The terrestrial evolution has so far proceeded under the pressure of nature without any conscious participation of the beings drawn along this evolution. But man has now attained a position of full responsibility and can consciously collaborate with nature. The next step would therefore be conscious and deliberate and may be relatively swift, for a new being will be evolved in man, rather than out of man.
“Therefore the individuals who will most help the future of humanity in the new age will be those who will recognise a spiritual evolution as the destiny and therefore the great need of the human being. Even as the animal man has been largely converted into a mentalised and at the top a highly mentalised humanity, so too now or in the future an evolution or conversion — it does not greatly matter which figure we use or what theory we adopt to support it — of the present type of humanity into a spiritualised humanity is the need of the race and surely the intention of Nature; that evolution or conversion will be their ideal and endeavour.”
All our problems are essentially problems of consciousness. This evolutionary world seems to be so planned as to have a built-in incentive for rising into ever higher and higher levels of consciousness. The problems, difficulties or just the limitations at any given level of consciousness — and they are different at different levels – can be really solved only at a higher level. One’s state of consciousness determines the limitations or conditions in which one lives. One can rise above them only by ascending to a higher level of consciousness.
“The conditions in which men live on earth are the result of their state of consciousness. To seek to change these conditions without changing the consciousness is a vain chimera. Those who have been able to perceive what could and ought to be done to improve the situation in the various domains of human life — economic, political, social, financial, educational and sanitary — are individuals who have, to a greater or lesser extent, developed their consciousness in an exceptional way and put themselves in contact with higher planes of consciousness. But their ideas have remained more or less theoretical or, if an attempt has been made to realise them practically, it has always failed lamentably after a certain period of time; for no human organisation can change radically unless human consciousness itself changes. Prophets of a new humanity have followed one another; religions, spiritual or social, have been created; their beginnings have sometimes been promising, but as humanity has not been fundamentally transformed, the old errors arising from human nature itself have gradually reappeared and after some time we find ourselves almost back at the point we had started from with so much hope and enthusiasm. Also, in this effort to improve human conditions, there have always been two tendencies, which seem to be contrary but which ought to complement each other so that progress may be achieved. The first advocates a collective reorganisation, something which could lead to the effective unity of mankind. The other declares that all progress is made first by the individual and insists that the individual should be given the conditions in which he can progress freely. Both are equally true and necessary, and our effort should be directed along both these lines at once. For collective progress and individual progress are interdependent. Before the individual can take a leap forward, at least a little of the preceding progress must have been realised in the collectivity. A way must therefore be found so that these two types of progress may proceed side by side.
It is in answer to this urgent need that Sri Aurobindo conceived the scheme of his international university, in order to prepare the human elite who will be able to work for the progressive unification of mankind and be ready at the same time to embody the new force which is descending to transform the earth.”
The Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education at Pondicherry came into being on 6th January 1952 and has been doing pioneering work ever since. It has been the beacon of light for all those who aspire for a divine life for humanity. We feel that the time has come for this light to spread and grow so that the future humanity may be prepared to embody the integral spiritual ideal.