Evolution of the Soul’s Manifestation

Sri Aurobindo describes the process whereby the soul begins to manifest itself. The soul is not fully manifested and control in the beginning, but rather, evolves in its expression and ability to influence the surface personality. In the beginning this influence and its ability to communicate with the outer being is tenuous and weak. The process of Nature is a long, slow effort until such time as the human being actually can participate actively and consciously in this process, thereby speeding it up substantially.

Sri Aurobindo discusses the issues surrounding the soul’s evolutionary process: “it is only when man awakes to the knowledge of the soul and feels a need to bring it to the front and make it the master of his life and action that a quicker conscious method of evolution intervenes and a psychic transformation becomes possible.”

Until that time, as the soul-power germinates and begins to grow in Nature, we find it initially incomplete, weak and not totally master of the situation. Through its attempt to widen its expression, it relies for a long time on imperfect influence on the outer body, life and mind, leading to defects along the way: “In these conditions it cannot prevent the true psychic light from being diminished or distorted in the mind into a mere idea or opinion, the psychic feeling in the heart into a fallible emotion or mere sentiment, the psychic will to action in the life-parts into a blind vital enthusiasm or a fervid excitement: it even accepts these mistranslations for want of something better and tries to fulfil itself through them. For it is part of the work of the soul to influence mind and heart and vital being and turn their ideas, feelings, enthusiasms, dynamisms in the direction of what is divine an; butd luminous; but this has to be done at first imperfectly, slowly and with a mixture. As the psychic personality grows stronger, it begins to increase its communion with the psychic entity behind it and improve its communications with the surface: it can transmit its intimations to the mind and heart and life with a greater purity and force; for it is more able to exercise a strong control and react against false mixtures; now more and more it makes itself distinctly felt as a power in the nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 25, “The Triple Transformation”

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