Methodology to Overcome Self-Deception of Surface Being

Sri Aurobindo’s exposition of the inner psychology and its functioning, and our ability to utilize this knowledge to gain self-mastery, is an important advance in the field. We shall focus the next few posts on this important segment as it can provide some real leverage for anyone attempting to take conscious control of their spiritual evolutionary destiny. Sri Aurobindo starts by describing the inner life: “For a larger mental being is there within us, a larger inner vital being, even a larger inner subtle-physical being other than our surface body-consciousness, and by entering into this or becoming it, identifying ourselves with it, we can observe the springs of our thoughts and feelings, the sources and motives of our action, the operative energies that build up our surface personality. For we discover and can know the inner being that secretly thinks and perceives in us, the vital being that secretly feels and acts upon life through us, the subtle-physical being that secretly receives and responds to the contacts of things through our body and its organs. Our surface thought, feeling, emotion is a complexity and confusion of impulsions from within and impacts from outside us; our reason, our organising intelligence can impose on it only an imperfect order: but here within we find the separate sources of our mental, our vital and our physical energisms and can see clearly the pure operations, the distinct powers, the composing elements of each and their interplay in a clear light of self-vision. We find that the contradictions and the struggles of our surface consciousness are largely due to the contrary or mutually discordant tendencies of our mental, vital and physical parts opposing and unreconciled with each other and these again to the discord of many different inner possibilities of our being and even of different personalities on each level in us which are behind the intermixed disposition and differing tendencies of our surface nature.”

This analysis sets the stage for the type of inner clarity and action that can be developed to disentangle the confused skeins and gain some insight and control or mastery over the thoughts, feelings, actions and perceptions of the composite surface being.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 10, Knowledge by Identity and Separative Knowledge, 533-534

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