Our Evolutionary Task
In the light of the foregoing, man can be conceived as a laboratory of evolution in which Nature is experimenting to bring about his mutation. But man is a conscious being with a conscious will and instrumentation of deliberate action. The evolutionary force of Nature and man's will can therefore act and react upon each other, and the entire human drama can be seen as an enactment of this action and reaction.
If the consciousness of man can be widened, intensified and heightened, it can learn the laws and processes of evolution and master the art of engineering the evolutionary movement, and it can, by voluntary co-operation with the evolutionary will, accelerate and effectuate the highest possible transumtation of himself. Man can, in other words, universalize himself, exceed himself, and fashion from his stuff and spirit a new being, a superman.
But there are several past and present concepts of the superman. Supermanhood in the ordinary idea consists of a surpassing of the normal human level, not in kind but in degree of the same kind, by an enlarged personality, a magnified and exaggerated ego, an increased power of mind, an increased power of vital force, a refined or tense and massive exaggeration of the forces of the human ignorance.
There is also implied in it the idea of a forceful domination over humanity by the superman. This is the concept of supermanhood that we find in Nietzsche. The Nietzschean type of superman really signifies what is contained in the Indian concepts of the Rakshasa or Asura. The Rakshasa and the Asura symbolize a tense effort of humanity to surpass and transcend itself, but in the wrong direction.
In India, a specific distinction is made between the Rakshasa and the Asura. The Rakshasa is centred in the violence and turbulence of the exaggerated vital ego satisfying itself with the supreme tyrannical or anarchic strength of self-fulfilment;