The “master race”, the “white man’s burden”, “white supremacy”, “manifest destiny”, the “superman” of Nietzsche all represent past attempts of the mind to translate the urge to transcend the limits of the human mind-life-body and assert power and control over the society through what may be termed a “brute force” method. “Might makes right” has been the watchword. “Survival of the fittest” has been interpreted as justifying this brute forth method, as if brute force represents the “fittest”. This approach separates those who are allegedly members of the “ruling” group from those who are not fit to rule, not fit to share equitably int he society and are looked on in many cases as uncivilized or sub-human. All of this represents, not the progress of humanity towards a higher status of being, but an affirmation of old habits in what may be termed the “law of the jungle”. Arrogant and dictatorial urges that assume primacy to one individual or group and force everyone else to submit to their whim is a vestige of the past, not a harbinger of the future.

The evolutionary urge now is to surpass these habitual responses based on the vital-mental approach to existence in what appears to be a fragmented and isolated existence fighting for survival against all other beings. With the shift to the supramental consciousness, based in oneness, a new harmony in interaction must result, with an emphasis on mutuality, diversity and cooperation.

Sri Aurobindo writes in The Life Divine: “But earth has had enough of this kind in her past and its repetition can only prolong the old lines; she can get no true profit for her future, no power of self-exceeding, from the Titan, the Asura: even a great or supernormal power in it could only carry her on larger circles of her old orbit. But what has to emerge is something much more difficult and much more simple; it is a self-realised being, a building of the spiritual self, an intensity and urge of the soul and the deliverance and sovereignty of its light and power and beauty, — not an egoistic supermanhood seizing on a mental and vital domination over humanity, but the sovereignty of the Spirit over its own instruments, see its possession of itself and its possession of life in the power of the spirit, a new consciousness in which humanity itself shall find its own self-exceeding and self-fulfilment by the revelation of the divinity that is striving for birth within it. This is the sole true supermanhood and the one real possibility of a step forward in evolutionary Nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Nine, The Divine Life Upon Earth, pg. 132

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 17 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.