Societies and human groupings can be seen from the perspective of consciousness.
Social groupings can be centred around the vital physical, largely surface life of man. This life caters primarily to the bodily existence and vital pleasures and comforts. Most modern cities are built around these. They are filled with eating places, Malls and places providing entertainment whereas the main hubs are the money generating units. Spas and Hospitality industry are meant to provide some resting ground for the bodily life that takes a toll due to the feverish haste. While hospitals cater to the natural offshoot of illnesses due to an increasingly unhealthy lifestyle, some traditional temples and churches are supposed to give some solace to the vexations and troubles of a humanity running blindly in a race for material wealth and outer enjoyments through parties and club houses. It is a largely Rajasic Society that hardly has either the time or an inclination to discover any higher or deeper goals. Of course here as elsewhere there are always few individuals who are different and, perhaps due to the dizzying pace and the hollowness around and within they seek something higher rather than fill the empty spaces of their heart and mind with benumbing drugs, alcohol and the likes. Needless to say that such a society is heading towards collapse through the fast track. It is conducive to crime and psychological disorders, anomy and anomalies. It is haunted by a sense of loneliness in the crowd which people try to fill with artificial scentless flowers. Or else they assuage their fractured morality with social activism and philanthropy which, though a saving Grace like a candle flare in the dense night is hardly enough to save mankind from its predicament of doom and disaster. Unfortunately it is labelled as modern though it is nothing but an ever changing fashion that colours the surfaces while leaving the insides of man untouched. Though it is called progressive there is hardly any true change or inner progress nor is there much time and opportunities to pursue it.
In contrast there are the now fast-dwindling village life and its societies centred around the old traditional ways. It is rooted in the past customs and traditions. The pace of life is too slow and a conservative mindset abhors change as an audacious sin. It is a tamasic society where there are few ills but also few avenues for progress. It seeks security and comfort in perpetuating the old social ways of thought and life. If the Rajasic Society as we find in the cities allows individual ego and desire self to have its full and free play, the conservative tamasic societies discourage any kind of individuality. Fixed norms, rigid practices, a narrow dogmatic movement of thought and life, a formal religion are all it can provide to the expanding soul of man. The Time Spirit has largely discarded it as it slows down the evolutionary impulse and rather insists on preservation of the past. Yet its ghost continues in a modified form in the modern cities to preserve a sweet remembrance of the past. This society is soon becoming a museum specimen and its disappearance is inevitable.
The next logical step would be the emergence of a society centred around the intellectual and spiritual life of man. It would be Sattwic in nature and centred around a higher thought, with new creative impulsions that can enrich not only man’s outer but also his inner life, nourish not only man’s vital physical existence but also his intellectual and spiritual side. Such a society alone can be truly progressive and provide an ideal ground for humanity’s social and individual evolution. But for this to come man must be ready and awake to his higher and deeper needs. As more and more individuals develop these yet under developed aspects of existence these new groupings would naturally spring up as a vital-centred human individuals will evolve into the intellectual and subsequently strive towards the spiritual type of humanity.
Though we have put the higher intellectual and spiritual as closely allied, yet the spiritual life which is the inevitable future of humanity may develop through other means as well. It is good to remember the distinction between the intellectual life and the spiritual. Out of a hundred roads that the human intellect can take in its expansion there is mainly one that is ready for the spiritual ascension. Paradoxical as it may seem it is when man realised the insufficiency of the intellect and seeks something higher and greater than what the mind and senses can provide that his intellect begins to open to higher possibilities and starts journeying towards spiritual heights. As yet such individuals are not many, not yet enough to organise a collective life around the spiritual Self and its evolutionary emergence in man. No doubt efforts are being made but there are still gaps in the formation of such social groups. These are the attempts towards evolving islets of spiritual communes. While the attempt is needed and even laudable, spiritual communes tend to lose their force when either the Founder or the core disciples who had gathered around Him withdraw. The commune then tends to change into an institution or worse still an organised religion in which ambition, politics and money start entering spoiling its spiritual matrix. The hope for such spiritual communes lies in the sincerity and conversion of its individuals into the spiritual type. Still the existence of such communes inspires and lays the foundations and sows the seeds of an ideal human group life organised around the light and aspiration of his soul. The coming up of such groups, however small and imperfect for the moment is the sign of the new impulsion in humanity towards his next phase of spiritual evolution which is our inevitable destiny.