Soul-Personality and the Process of Rebirth

Sri Aurobindo describes the conditions required for persistence after the dissolution and death of the physical body. “It is the soul-person, the psychic being, that survives and carries mind and life with it on its journey, and it is in the subtle body that it passes out of its material lodging; both then must be sufficiently developed for the transit.

If there is going to be a sojourn in a plane of Mind or of Life, the respective sheaths must be also sufficiently developed in their own right in order to have sufficient coherence and organisation to survive the dissolution of the material frame, and make the transference to the relevant worlds. Obviously this is not something that every soul undertakes to do, nor can we expect every soul to have a sufficiently well-organised Mind or Vital being to accomplish this.

It is also the case that the evolutionary process that the soul is undergoing does not actually benefit, in the main, from having a Mind or Life so well organised that it survives and coheres in its own right. The soul must be able to move beyond the past formulations of Mind and Life to take on and develop new frames of action in future lifetimes. “There must be an individuation of the psychic person itself sufficient for it not to depend on its past mind and life formations any more than on its past body, but to shed them too in time and proceed to a new formation for new experience.”

“For this discarding of the old and preparation of new forms the soul must dwell for some time between two births somewhere else than on the entirely material plane in which we now move; for here there would be no abiding place for a disembodied spirit.”

“A survival of the material body by the personality implies a supraphysical existence, and this can only be in some plane of being proper to the evolutionary stage of the consciousness or, if there is no evolution, in a temporary second home of the spirit which would be its natural place of sojourn between life and life,–unless indeed it is its original world from which it does not return into material Nature.”

We shall explore these questions further in the next post.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 22, Rebirth and Other Worlds; Karma, the Soul and Immortality

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