It is not only the human race that has evolved as time has passed, age after age, but an individual also evolves in his lifetime. In
other words, humanity evolves gradually during a world’s lifetime, while an individual, if he evolves at all, does so during his
life. It is possible that the human race may take an opposite course; instead of evolving it may go back, and so it is with
But a person who is really evolving will not go back. If he did go back some steps he would feel uneasy and
discontented, and he would go forward again. Perhaps he will go back a hundred times, but then a hundred times he will go
forward again, for a person who has once experienced the joy and happiness of evolution will not be content with going back;
feeling the discomfort of it he will go on.
No doubt the rhythm of every person’s evolution is different. One can read in the Vadan that one soul creeps, another soul
walks, another soul runs, and another soul flies; and yet they live on the same earth, under the same sun, and they are all called
human beings. How strange it is that at the present time a new spirit has awakened in humanity, and one does not recognize the
evolution of personality any loner!
What one does distinguish is the nationality; whatever country one enters the first thing they ask for is one’s passport. It does not matter what evolution one has, and it does not matter what one’s soul is experiencing; aslong as one has a passport which distinguishes one as the subject of this or that country, that is the important thing. And very often people make a great virtue of saying, “I am as good as you.” But imagine the insolence of it! The better one is the less one considers oneself to be. The one who is really better could not say, “I am as good as you.’ This means that the consciousness of the present-day man is inferior; he says, “I am as good as you,’ because unconsciously he feels inferior in his mind.
Whose fault is it? One might say it is the fault of nations, of races, of education, and one might give many other excuses. But it
is the times, it is the spirit of the times. It is no one’s fault; yet at the same time it is not necessary to go through a condition in a
kind of intoxication; it is better to awaken to the knowledge of that condition. It is better to become acquainted with the real
condition of humanity today. When we study human nature from a metaphysical point of view, we shall see that the origin of
human nature is the same as the origin of all other things; and the central theme of that origin is intolerance. Without reason,
man’s first feeling is that another must not exist. Later that feeling becomes modified, and man becomes more sympathetic,
more harmonious and considerate; but the first feeling he has is that another should not exist.
Where does this feeling come from? In reality there is one life and there is one being; this world of variety is made of one being;
it is the manifestation of the One. But at the same time in this world of variety, in this manifestation, the one Being loses that
consciousness of being one, and there arises the consciousness of being many; in that way one being comes to stand against
another being. Friendship, sympathy, harmony, attachment, devotion, all these come afterwards as man evolves, but they are
not his first tendencies. The first tendency is a kind of jarring influence. For instance, how happy one feels when one is sitting in
the train alone; but as soon as another person enters, one thinks that this is a great crime! One would rather he had gone to the
other compartment and left one alone. It is a natural feeling when in a restaurant one is eating at a table alone, and a stranger
comes to sit at the same table; he may be an angelic person, but as soon as he comes, one thinks, ‘Why? Have they not got
any more tables?’ And this feeling comes even to harmonious people; I am not speaking of the inharmonious ones.
Is there then anything to be surprised at if in the history of the world there have been so many wars and battles? And for what?
For nothing. Man is more fond of war than of peace. He likes peace after a war, but if he had loved peace before the war
there would never have been a war.