Psychological Self-Examination of Our Consciousness

Sri Aurobindo encourages us to explore our psychological makeup, as a methodology of the practice of yoga, and the development of a conscious ladder of spiritual development within ourselves. “A superficial observation of our waking consciousness shows us that of a great part of our individual being and becoming we are quite ignorant; it is to us the Inconscient, just as much as the life of the plant, the metal, the earth, the elements. But if we carry our knowledge farther, pushing psychological experiment and observation beyond their normal bounds, we find how vast is the sphere of this supposed Inconscient or this subconscient in our total existence,–the subconscient, so seeming and so called by us because it is a concealed consciousness,–and what a small and fragmentary portion of our being is covered by our waking mind and ego are only a superimposition upon a submerged, a subliminal self,–for so that self appears to us,–or, more accurately, an inner being, with a much vaster capacity of experience; our mind and ego are like the crown and dome of a temple jutting out from the waves while the great body of the building is submerged under the surface of the waters.”

It is clear therefore, that to truly understand our lives, and take stock of our entire self and being, we need to undertake what may be called “psychological self-examination” and thereby explore the operations of the surface awareness, as well as determine what lies within, below and above our surface formation, and to what extent these hidden subliminal forces actually direct, influence or control our waking self and our actions.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 11, The Boundaries of the Ignorance, pp. 555-556


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