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In his chapter "The Coming of the Subjective Age" in The Human Cycle, I believe Sri Aurobindo is talking about the present time. He refers to many areas of life, including philosophy, psychology, art, and poetry, and goes on to tentatively suggest politics and economics; in each of these areas he identifies the signs of the dawning of a subjective age.
What I understand by "subjective" is the beginning of a real awareness and willingness to explore the subliminal -- the subtle physical, the inner vital and mental; the beginning of an understanding of the meaning of the universal vital and mental; perhaps vague glimpses of the significance if not the experience of the psychic; and an understanding of a mental faculty beyond the intellect, namely, the higher mind.
Here are some relevant passages from Sri Aurobindo.
The first essential sign [of the subjective age] must be the growth of the subjective idea of life, -- the idea of the soul, the inner being, its powers, its possibilities, its growth, its expression and the creation of a true, beautiful and helpful environment for it as the one thing of first and last importance. The signals must be there that are precursors of a subjective age in humanity's thought and social endeavor.here are many individuals, psychologists, psychiatrists, philosophers, physicists, biologists, economists, painters, and composers today who are explicitly exploring and articulating what I believe Sri Aurobindo portrays as manifestations of the subjective age.
The fact that Nobel laureates in neuroscience and cognitive science correspond on the Journal of Consciousness Studies online group, and the number of them who at least privately cite Krishnamurti, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharsi, and others as inspiration, may further confirm that the signs of the subjective age are present.
When mainstream physicists form an organization for the exploration of subtle energies -- naming, among others, Taoist Alchemy, Sri Aurobindo, Siberian Shamanic traditions, and so on as sources of information for the scientific exploration of the subliminal;
When Duane Elgin writes Voluntary Simplicity (about spiritual economics) and Jon Kabat Zinn writes Full Catastrophe Living (about applying a meditative perspective to the management of physical pain;
When Charlene Spretnak writes States of Grace (about spiritual politics) and Roger Walsh writes Paths beyond Ego (a psychiatrist writing about spiritual psychology);
And when Alan Wallace writes Choosing Reality (about understanding how a close examination of the metaphysical assumptions underlying science inevitably lead to an elimination of the materialistic perspective and the opening to a spiritual perspective);
... it seems to me they are doing exactly what Sri Aurobindo is pointing to in the above passages.
Can anyone explain to me why this is or isn't so?
-- Don Salmon, email@example.com