If you could trace out the intricate ramifications of the effects of all your actions, you would find that the good ones were eventually shadowed by evil, and the evil ones brightened by good. This idea may seem strange when first heard of, and may require some analysis to make it seem plausible. But if you ponder on it, you will begin to understand why modern European thinkers like Schopenhauer and Spengler and modern Hindu seers like Atmananda and Vivekananda reject the belief that the world's evil is growing less as much as they reject the assertion that it is growing more. If we compare the general moral level of different centuries, some sort of a balance between the good and evil can be seen. If we are to look for any striking advance in the good, we shall have to look for it not in the masses but in single individuals who are seeking and nearing the Overself. This is because our planet is like a class at school where the average standard remains not too widely different. The progress and deterioration which appear at times do not alter this fact, since they appear within these maximum and minimum levels and shift about from one part of the planet to another. There is no room here for undue optimism but neither is there any for undue pessimism. The savage of low degree may be taught the tricks of science until he can shoot from atomic artillery instead of from stringed bows, but he still remains a savage. Recent history has shown this plainly and revealed civilization as a fact in technics only and as a myth in morals.
-- Notebooks Category 11: The Negatives > Chapter 3: Their Presence in The World > # 21