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At the Feet of The Mother

The New Humanity (HH 107)

Nolini da (Shri Nolini Kanta Gupta) ranks among the foremost disciples of Sri Aurobindo. He had the rarest privilege to have been with Sri Aurobindo right from the revolutionary days, accompanied Him into the solitary confinement of the Alipore Jail and eventually followed Him soon thereafter to Pondicherry. On this day we take up one of his essays on the New Humanity, of which he was surely one.


“The New Humanity” by Nolini Kanta Gupta 

 

THE world is in the throes of a new creation and the pangs of that new birth have made mother Earth restless. It is no longer a far-off ideal that our imagination struggles to visualise, nor a prophecy that yet remains to be fulfilled. It is Here and Now.

Although we may not know it, the New Man-the divine race of humanity is already among us. It may be in our next neighbour, in our nearest brother, even in myself. Only a thin veil covers it. It marches just behind the line. It waits for an occasion to throw off the veil and place itself in the forefront. We are living in stenuous times in which age-long institutions are going down and new -forces rearing their heads, old habits are being cast off and new impulsions acquired. In every sphere of life, we see the urgent demand for a recasting, a fresh valuation of things. From the base to the summit, from the economic and political life to the artistic and spiritual, humanity is being shaken to bring out a new expression and articulation. There is the hidden surge of a Power, the secret stress of a Spirit that can no longer suffer to remain in the shade and behind the mask, but wills to come out in the broad daylight and be recognised in its plenary virtues.

That Power, that Spirit has been growing and gathering its strength during all the millenniums that humanity has lived through. On the momentous day when man appeared on earth, the Higher Man also took his birth. Since the hour the Spirit refused to be imprisoned in its animal sheath and came out as man, it approached by that very uplift a greater freedom and a vaster movement. It was the crest of that underground wave which peered over the surface from age to age, from clime to clime through the experiences of poets and prophets and sages – the Head of the Sacrificial Horse galloping towards the Dawn. And now the days of captivity or rather of inner preparation are at an end. The voice in the wilderness was necessary, for it was a call and a communion in the silence of the soul. Today the silence seeks utterance. Today the shell is ripe enough to break and to bring out the mature and full-grown being. The king that was in hiding comes in glory and triumph, in his complete regalia.

Another humanity is rising out of the present human species. The beings of the new order are everywhere and it is they who will soon hold sway over earth, be the head and front of the terrestrial evolution in the cycle that is approaching as it was with man in the cycle that is passing away. What will this new order of being be like? It will be what man is not, also what man is. It will not be man, because it will overstep the limitations and incapacities inherent in man; and it will be man by the realisation of those fundamental aspirations and yearnings that have troubled and consoled the deeper strata-the soul-in him throughout the varied experiences of his terrestrial life.

The New Man will be Master-and not slave. He will be master, first, of himself and then of the world. Man as he actually is, is but a slave. He has no personal voice or choice; the determining soul, the Ishwara, in him is sleep-bound and hushed. He is a mere plaything in the hands of nature and circumstances. Therefore it is that Science has become his supreme Dharmashastra; for science seeks to teach us the moods of Nature and the methods of propitiating her. Our actual ideal of man is that of the cleverest slave. But the New Man will have found himself and by and according to his inner will, mould and create his world. He will not be in awe of Nature and in an attitude of perpetual apprehension. and hesitation, but will ground himself on a secret harmony and union that will declare him as the lord. We will recognise the New Man by his very gait and manner, by a certain kingly ease and dominion in every shade of his expression.

Not that this sovereign power will have anything to do. with aggression or over-bearingness. It will not be a power that feels itself only by creating an eternal opponent-Erbfeind – by coming in constant clash with a rival that seeks to gain victory by subjugating. It will not be Nietzschean “will to power,” which is, at best, a supreme Asuric power. It will rather be a Divine Power, for the strength it will exert and the victory it will achieve will not come from the ego-it is the ego which requires an object outside and against to feel and affirm itself but it will come from a higher personal self which is one with the cosmic soul and therefore with other personal souls. The Asura, in spite of, or rather, because of his aggressive vehemence betrays a lack of the sovereign power that is calm and at ease and self-sufficient. The Devic power does not assert hut simply accomplishes; the forces of the world act not as its opponent but as its instrument. Thus the New Man shall affirm his individual sovereignty and do so to perfection by expressing through it his unity with the cosmic powers, with the infinite godhead. And by being Swarat, Self-Master, he will become Samrat, world-master.

This mastery will be effected not merely in will, but in mind and heart also. For the New Man will know not by the intellect which is egocentric and therefore limited, not by ratiocination which is an indirect and doubtful process, but by direct vision, an inner communion, a soul revelation. The new knowledge will be vast and profound and creative, based as it will be upon the reality of things and not upon their shadows. Truth will shine through every experience and every utterance – “a truth shall have its seat on our speech and mind’ and hearing”, so have the Vedas said. The mind and intellect will not be active and constructive agents but the luminous channel of a self-luminous knowledge. And the heart too which is now the field of passion and egoism will be cleared of its noise and obscurity; a serener sky will shed its pure warmth and translucent glow. The knot will be rent asunder-bhidyate hridaya granthih – andthe vast and mighty streams of another ocean will flow through. We will love not merely those to whom we are akin but God’s creatures, one and all; we will love not with the yearning and hunger of a mortal but with the wide and intense Rasa that lies in the divine identity of souls.

And the new society will be based not upon competition, nor even upon co-operation. It will not be an open conflict, neither will it be a convenient compromise of rival individual interests. It will be the organic expression of the collective soul of humanity, working and achieving through each and every individual soul its most wide-winging freedom, manifesting the godhead that is, proper to each and every one. It will be an organisation, most delicate and subtle and supple, the members of which will have no need to live upon one another but in and through one another. It will be, if you like, a henotheistic hierarchy in which everyone will be the greatest, since everyone is all and all everyone simultaneously.

The New Humanity will be something in the mould that we give to the gods. It will supply the link that we see missing between gods and men; it will be the race of embodied gods. Man will attain that thing which has been his first desire and earliest dream, for which he coveted the gods – Immortality, amritatwam. The mortalities that cut and divide, limit and bind man make him the sorrowful being he is. These are due to his ignorance and weakness and egoism. These are due to his soul itself. It is the soul that requires change, a new birth, as Christ demanded. Ours is a little soul that has severed itself from the larger and mightier self that it is. And therefore does it die every moment and even while living is afraid to live and so lives poorly and miserably. But the age is now upon us when the god-like soul anointed with its immortal royalties is ready to emerge and claim our salutation.

The breath and the surge of the new creation cannot be mistaken. The question that confronts us today is no longer whether the New Man, the Super-humanity, will come or if at all, when; but the question we have to answer is who among us are ready to be its receptacle, its instrument and embodiment.

Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta, Vol. 1

 

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