The Spiritual Person and the Soul of Personality

Sri Aurobindo distinguishes between the eternal Spiritual Person, and the personality born into a human birth and subject to modifications and development in the evolving manifestation, the Soul of Personality. “The human birth in this world is on its spiritual side a complex of two elements, a spiritual Person and a soul of personality; the former is man’s eternal being, the latter is his cosmic and mutable being. As the spiritual impersonal person he is one in his nature adn being with the freedom of Sachchidananda who has here consented to or willed his involution in the Nescience for a certain round of soul-experience, impossible otherwise, and presides secretly over its evolution. As the soul of personality he is himself part of that long development of the soul-experience in the forms of Nature; his own evolution must follow the laws and the lines of the universal evolutino. As a spirit he is one with the Transcendence which is immanent in the world and comprehensive of it; as a soul he is at once one with and part of the universality of Sachchidananda self-expressed in the world: his self-expression must go through the stages of the cosmic expression, his soul-experience follow the revolutions of the wheel of Brahman in the universe.”

We can see in the Christian teachings some corollary to this line of understanding. The “Father” is the Eternal Spiritual Person. His “Son” takes birth within the human birth and must carry out his spiritual mission following the forms of the evolution, and within the framework of the human body, life and existence. Jesus was considered to be both One with the Father, and at the same time, the son of the earth, having to take on the suffering of the world for its own salvation. There is a strong hint here of the type of spiritual understanding that Sri Aurobindo has so clearly brought to the human situation, and with some effort, this hint could be widened and expanded and related to every individual human soul born and evolving in the manifested universe.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 20, The Philosophy of Rebirth