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At the Feet of The Mother

Is There Any Hope for Humanity?

It is true that humanity tends to slide back after a strong evolutionary wave has passed over it lifting it up beyond itself. Yet all is not lost. The sliding back is never a return to the same point. It is a notch above. Besides it gains from the experience of the rise and the fall and returns back faster and even a step higher than the point from where it fell. It is the story of evolution written all over the earth and in the history of man and his progress itself. It is as through the waves of rise and fall humanity gains a certain momentum that eventually helps it to take an evolutionary leap. The preparation is longer for man because of the inherent complexity of nature. It is a recognition of this return after a collapse that is behind the doctrine of rebirth and pralaya. However, the return is invariably a step forward because something in us recognises the reasons for the collapse and rebuilds keeping this memory behind in some inner or inmost mind so that the point where the evolutionary impulse broke down is rectified to the extent it can. The divine forces working behind creation are thorough and eventually in the end neglect nothing or rather use everything, including failure and fall for perfecting creation still further in every detail. In addition, we have in the Indian conception the story of the Avatar or the Divine descent that comes at critical junctures of humanity to help it steer through the passage.

Whether we believe in the doctrine of Avatar or not, we can take either of the two positions. Either there is Nothing and creation is nothing but a random play of Nature or whatever else we may choose to call it. This position of course creates serious difficulty and raises many questions than we can answer, for example what is Nature, how do forces of nature come together to create something out of nothing, how does consciousness emerge out of an original unconsciousness, how is aspiration for higher and more beautiful things born despite the experience of collapses. So on and so forth, the list is endless and it does rob us of wonder and hope. The other position is that there is indeed a Vast Cosmic Intelligence one with Infinite Power at work behind creation and is very much at the heart of everything. If this be so then future will always hold promise and hope regardless of what we see and experience in a narrow strip of time. The only question needed to be answered would be what really is this Cosmic Consciousness? The answer to that is one of the grand purposes of yoga.

As for the collapse, well this is one of the things that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother gave the deepest consideration. The collapse, according to them is because of the gravitational pull of the Inconscient that tends to draw back everything towards the state of primal ignorance from where the journey of evolution started. But then they also saw that the Inconscient is nothing else but the self-concealment of the Superconscient which is hidden within it. It is because of this hidden or involved Superconscient or the Supermind that the Inconscient itself is impelled to create out of an unconscious state and some sort of order emerges out of a state of Indeterminate Chaos. If the order seems to break down again and again it is because new rhythms have to emerge in the cosmic play. These emergence of new rhythms after the break down or a state of crisis in the old order or the established balance of created things is the secret cause of evolution. The same law holds true of humanity. the break down, the degradation after a few centuries or millenniums is because the time has come for a new order to emerge, a new order that is eventually higher than the old though during the transition it seems to be an initial chaos and confusion.

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother did not want any further collapse. They had stepped into the Inconscient and seen its workings as well as the Supermind hidden within it. This involved Supermind can lead man towards the state of divine perfection and a divine harmony within and without. It is also the next inevitable emergence in the logic of creation. This does not mean that all human beings would suddenly leap from the animal humanity to the divine superhumanity. Nor is it needed for if it were to happen the evolutionary link would be lost. It is enough if a sufficient number of human beings reach a certain tipping point and can then jump across to the next species more compassionate, more wide, more intuitive, conscious of the divinity within them and driven by the Divine Will. Once this happens, which is what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother foresaw and worked for, then future evolution and the world and humanity at large will be secured against collapse and the earth we inhabit become progressively divine.

All that is needed is a handful (given the large number of human beings upon earth) who have the needed courage and faith and are ready and willing to give themselves wholeheartedly to this new possibility. The Mother put it powerfully with almost a sense of urgency during one of her conversations with which we can close.

“After all, the whole problem is to know whether humanity has reached the state of pure gold or whether it still needs to be tested in the crucible.

One thing is evident, humanity has not become pure gold; that is visible and certain.

But something has happened in the world’s history which allows us to hope that a selected few in humanity, a small number of beings, perhaps, are ready to be transformed into pure gold and that they will be able to manifest strength without violence, heroism without destruction and courage without catastrophe.

But in the very next paragraph Sri Aurobindo gives the answer: “If man could once consent to be spiritualised.” If only the individual could consent to be spiritualised… could consent.

Something in him asks for it, aspires, and all the rest refuses, wants to continue to be what it is: the mixed ore which needs to be cast into the furnace.

At the moment we are at a decisive turning-point in the history of the earth, once again. From every side I am asked, “What is going to happen?” Everywhere there is anguish, expectation, fear. “What is going to happen?…” There is only one reply: “If only man could consent to be spiritualised.”

And perhaps it would be enough if some individuals became pure gold, for this would be enough to change the course of events…. We are faced with this necessity in a very urgent way.

This courage, this heroism which the Divine wants of us, why not use it to fight against one’s own difficulties, one’s own imperfections, one’s own obscurities? Why not heroically face the furnace of inner purification so that it does not become necessary to pass once more through one of those terrible, gigantic destructions which plunge an entire civilisation into darkness?

This is the problem before us. It is for each one to solve it in his own way.

This evening I am answering the questions I have been asked, and my reply is that of Sri Aurobindo: If man could once consent to be spiritualised….

And I add: Time presses… from the human point of view.”  

The Mother
[27 March 1957, CWM 09: 74-75]


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To be spontaneous means not to think, organise, decide and make an effort to realise with the personal will.