The three essays collected in this book were originally published in the monthly review Arya between April and August 1915. In the title essay Sri Aurobindo examines the ideal of the superman and defines it as a “certain divine and harmonious absolute of all that is essential in man”. The other essays are an exploration of the concepts of fate and free-will and their impact on a man’s temperament and inner being, and a meditation on the way to achieve “the delight of works” through self-knowledge and self-offering.
“The ideal of the Superman has been brought recently into much notice, some not very fruitful discussion and a good deal of obloquy. It is apt to be resented by average humanity because men are told or have a lurking consciousness that here is a claim of the few to ascend to heights of which the many are not capable, to concentrate moral and spiritual privileges and enjoy a domination, powers and immunities hurtful to a diffused dignity and freedom in mankind. So considered, supermanhood is nothing more important than a deification of the rare or solitary ego that has out-topped others in the force of our common human qualities. But this presentation is narrow and a travesty. The gospel of true supermanhood gives us a generous ideal for the progressive human race and should not be turned into an arrogant claim for a class or individuals. It is a call to man to do what no species has yet done or aspired to do in terrestrial history, evolve itself consciously into the next superior type already half foreseen by the continual cyclic development of the world-idea in Nature’s fruitful musings. And when we so envisage it, this conception ranks surely as one of the most potent seeds that can be cast by thought into the soil of our human growth.”
-Sri Aurobindo, The Superman
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