Sri Aurobindo made a study and he pointed out that physical development is dependent upon psychological development. This is the new thing that Sri Aurobindo has presented. Slowly there is a development of consciousness. Behind the physical development there is a push, there is a force of consciousness. He has given a beautiful example of a steam engine. You know the engine of a train. There is a piston and there is a movement coming out as steam. If you are an outsider, you look at the engine and you see that when there is a piston moving like this, on the top steam comes out. So you see that the steam coming out is dependent upon the piston movement. But if you are inside the engine, you find that you need to produce steam first, for the movement of the piston. Piston will not move if there is no steam at all. So then you discover that the piston’s movement is itself dependent upon the movement of steam, the creation of steam, there must be steam first. Similarly, if you look from outside, you feel that consciousness is produced by physical organs, but when you go inside you find that physical organs develop, work, function, because consciousness is moving them. So Sri Aurobindo made a tremendous study of evolutionary processes and came to this conclusion. Now in a sense this idea was already present in the Veda and Upanishads. So ancient. There was an idea of evolution. But what Sri Aurobindo has presented is a completely comprehensive view of this evolution and much of The Life Divine is written to explain this psychological evolution, as against physical evolution.
Now having said this (I am saying it very rapidly because to do full justice to what Sri Aurobindo said one has to give so many lectures on this subject itself, but that we shall do later on after five, six years, not immediately.)… But immediately you can see Sri Aurobindo has made a study of this and he came to the conclusion that the human species... you know the meaning of species? A species is a group of creatures of organisms and the distinction of that group is the fact that its progeny is similar to its parents. That is the mark of a species. The young of the cow is a cow. The young of the human being is a human being. So cow is a species, human beings are a species. A species is a group of creatures whose progeny is similar to the parents. You know there are many kind of species in this world. Even flowers have species, plants are species, trees are species. Any living organism produces its own similar. But at a certain time, there is a sudden change and that changed group or changed organism produces something quite different from its parents. And then again it goes on producing similar, so a new species is created. Now Sri Aurobindo pointed out that humanity is a species and it has been struggling and developing, (there is no doubt, there is a law of struggle) but that struggle is not merely the development of the physical organs. This species has shown that there is so much psychological stress. Human beings are distinguishable from other species in that human beings are aware of psychological stress, psychological struggle. Even a small child has a psychological struggle to make. Even in a classroom the child is supposed to remember and if he doesn’t recite the remembered poem, he fails. The struggle for existence implies a psychological struggle as it were. So human beings are in a psychological condition of a struggle. Now this struggle has been going on for thousands of years. And that is why we need to study history. To understand what is this struggle of mankind? What is the psychological struggle?
After studying the whole history of mankind, Sri Aurobindo has thrown a light upon the present struggle of mankind. What is the nature of this struggle of human beings today? And his conclusion is: The brain is not sufficient. According to Darwin the brain is the most important organ, no doubt about it. Sri Aurobindo grants that brain is most important, no doubt, but brain is not the summit. All that we human beings can do with the powers of the brain, human beings have done. It is a tremendous assertion to say this very confidently, that all the brain can do, mankind has done. And mankind can go on doing this, on and on, and on, if it remains only that. But at every movement of going round about, there will be a greater psychological stress. So there is today a psychological stress in mankind which is unprecedented, because all that you could do with the brain power you have done, and you are only repeating that stress again and again, and again, it is a stage of suffocation. You are able to see today, very rapidly, what mankind has done and that is your advantage here, because you can study this history very rapidly as Sri Aurobindo has done this study, and we are beneficiaries of that study. I will talk to you one day about this in a large way, only this subject: what has mankind done? Why do we say that all that brainpower can do has been done? And having done this, you have seen that mankind is not satisfied. If this was the highest that you could do, you would be satisfied. You have done your highest, your best. But having done your best, mankind is still not satisfied. And that is the problem of today. With whatever brainpower you have, you do your best, and yet you find a problem which you cannot solve, and what do you do? This is the critical moment. Yesterday I told you what is a critical moment. You must find a solution: a problem is presented, and that problem has to be resolved, and must be resolved — not only has to be resolved but must be resolved, and yet you find it very difficult to resolve, that is a crisis. And Sri Aurobindo said: Today we have reached a point of a critical moment of evolution. We have been evolving, we have done our very best, and having done our best, the problem still confronts us, and we are not able to solve it. And we go round and round and we find that we cannot solve the problem. So, we discover a moment of criticality.