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War, Peace And Sri Aurobindo

A defining feature of the humans is that they kill their fellow members of the species through highly abstracted motivations and efficiently institutionalised mechanisms. From the projectiles of the humanoids, we have graduated to intercontinental ballistic missiles. Just the cost of building two small sized nuclear-powered submarines can provide electrification for entire Africa.

This is not simply a statement of rhetoric. This is about how we prioritise our resources as species. We employ our most precious, most scarce resources as well as the best brains of our species to kill fellow members of our own species.

What is our way out?

The immediate answer is pacifism. But one nation’s pacifist, either intentionally or unwittingly, becomes the antagonistic nation’s agent of subversion. Today this has become a strategy. During the Cold War, the USSR built an entire industry of subversion from the idealistic peace movement in the USA. After the collapse of the USSR, the USA, too, has made use of the righteous indignation we have for ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in the hands of fanatical dictators, to justify invasion of Iraq and, in the process, creating many crony contract winners for oil business.

The real answer then must exist in understanding the evolutionary nature of our species.

A seer who saw human history in the vast canvas of the evolutionary history of the planet was Sri Aurobindo. While the West too has produced evolutionary philosophers who viewed human evolution either in terms of social Darwinism or Marxism, Sri Aurobindo approached evolution with primacy of consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo saw the planet itself flowering into self-consciousness and then becoming a receptacle to supramental consciousness through human evolution. The human evolution itself, to him, becomes qualitatively different from the previous forms of evolution. The thrust of his argument has been that humans are a transitional species. They are the springboards to leap into higher evolution. But the jumps from the springboards can also become falls into abyss.

The collective near-suicidal tendency towards war can be explained by the unconscious realisation of our species of it being a transitional form that wants to evolve but knows not how. This is because the path of evolution itself has undergone a radical qualitative change with the arrival of the manifest individual consciousness as in humans.

While his conceptual and visionary sweep runs into thousands of years in the past and millennia into the future, his own life as an individual witnessed some very crucial and defining events – Indian freedom struggle in its nascent nebulous form with revolutionary activities, the two World Wars and then the Independence as well as the partition of India. From the cosmic epiphany of the Vedic seers to the horrors of the Second World War to the continuing and pestering pain of the Partition, he saw in his own life the way humanity struggled.

Hence understanding how Sri Aurobindo comprehended all these world events through his own vision of evolution will help us understand what is happening to our species – whether it is in Ukraine or Afghanistan.

During that nebulous phase of the freedom struggle, a very important geopolitical event happened at the international level.

Read More at https://swarajyamag.com/culture/war-peace-and-sri-aurobindo

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