The Emergence of the Spiritual Consciousness

Spirituality eventually begins to express itself in human nature in its own right, as opposed to simply casting a light or influence on the natural actions of the mind, life and body. “When spirituality disengages itself in the consciousness and puts on its distinctive character, it is only at first a small kernel, a growing tendency, an exceptional light of experience amidst the great mass of normal unenlightened human mind, vitality, physicality which forms the outer self and engrosses our natural preoccupation.”

This seed of spiritual consciousness takes shape and begins to exercise real control over the actions of the individual subject to the spiritual change that is occurring. The first inklings in the form of a religious turn to the nature are actually the mind or life beginning to express themselves in the spiritual direction. This is distinguished by the attempt to utilise the spiritual energy to carry out the ideas or values held by that individual, or to support his interests. Next we see the emergence of a spiritualisation of each aspect of the life in its turn. “a spiritualised turn of thought with uplifting illuminations, or a spiritualised turn of the emotional or the aesthetic being, a spiritualised ethical formation in the character, a spiritualised urge in some life-action or other dynamic vital movement of the nature. An awareness comes perhaps of an inner light, of a guidance or a communion, of a greater Control than the mind and will to which something in us obeys; but all is not yet recast in the mould of that experience. But when these intuitions and illuminations grow in insistence and canalise themselves, make a strong inner formation and claim to govern the whole life and take over the nature, then there begins the spiritual formation of the being; there emerges the saint, the devotee, the spiritual sage, the seer, the prophet, the servant of God, the soldier of the spirit.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 24, “The Evolution of the Spiritual Man”