Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Man's True Destiny


Let us therefore embark with Sri Aurobindo and Mother, leaving all our reasonable baggage behind. A new species on earth is not something reasonable. And why not? Are we so foolish to envision a being after man? Has not Darwin shown that species evolve, that one species is born from another? Why should it be different for man?

(Sri Aurobindo:) Because man is a mental being, he naturally imagines that mind is the one great leader and actor and creator or the indispensable agent in the universe. But this is an error; even for knowledge mind is not the only or the greatest possible instrument, the one aspirant and discoverer. Mind is a clumsy interlude between Nature's vast and precise subconscient action and the vaster infallible superconscient action of the Godhead. There is nothing mind can do that cannot be better done in the mind's immobility and thought-free stillness. (17:11)

The truth is that man is nothing, or not much, but he can become -- a great destiny is his if he only consents to have a fairer idea of himself and of the true place he occupies in the universe.

(Sri Aurobindo:) Man in himself is little more than an ambitious nothing. He is a littleness that reaches to a wideness and a grandeur that are beyond him, a dwarf enamoured of the heights. His mind is a dark ray in the splendours of the universal Mind. His life is a striving, exulting, suffering, an eager passion-tossed and sorrow-stricken or a blindly and dumbly longing petty moment of the universal Life. His body is a labouring perishable speck in the material universe. This cannot be the end of the mysterious upward surge of Nature. There is something beyond, something that mankind shall be; it is seen now only in broken glimpses through rifts in the great wall of limitations that deny its possibility and existence. An immortal soul is somewhere within him and gives out some sparks of its presence; above an eternal spirit overshadows him and upholds the soul-continuity of his nature. But this greater spirit is obstructed from descent by the hard lid of his constructed personality; and that inner luminous soul is wrapped, stifled, oppressed in dense outer coatings. . . .

Man's greatness is not in what he is, but in what he makes possible. His glory is that he is the closed space and secret workshop of a living labour in which supermanhood is being made ready by a divine Craftsman. But he is admitted too to a yet greater greatness and it is this that, allowed to be unlike the lower creation, he is partly an artisan of this divine change; his conscious assent, his consecrated will and participation are needed that into his body may descend the glory that will replace him. (17:8)

And Sri Aurobindo adds:

Man is a transitional being; he is not final. . . . The step from man to superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth's evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner Spirit and the logic of Nature's process. (17:7)

(From Satprem's "Life without Death")

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