Necessity of the Spiritual Transformation

An inner movement of consciousness, and the eventual psychic transformation leading to the soul’s emergence is, however, incapable of completing the change required for a complete transformation of the expressions of this consciousness in life. This is because the instruments of mind, life and body, while uplifted and widened to their furthest capacities by the action of the soul, remain nevertheless instruments of ignorance and limitation. It must be remembered that they represent only a very specific and limited formulation of the power of consciousness, and just as there is a subconscient below, there remains a superconscient above.

“A highest spiritual transformation must intervene on the psychic or psycho-spiritual change; the psychic movement inward to the inner being, the Self or Divinity within us, must be completed by an opening upward to a supreme spiritual status or a higher existence. This can be done by our opening into what is above us, by an ascent of consciousness into the ranges of overmind and supramental nature in which the sense of Self and Spirit is ever unveiled and permanent and in which the self-luminous instrumentation of the Self and Spirit is not restricted or divided as in our mind-nature, life-nature, body-nature.”

The psychic change facilitates this upward movement; for not only does it open us to the inner realms but also to the cosmic consciousness and to the superconscient levels. The process involves breaking through the limiting lid of mind. The Isha Upanishad refers to to the light of truth being covered by a brilliant golden lid. It is this which prevents free interchange with the superconscient levels and it is this which must eventually give way.

This aspect of the transformation does not need to wait for the completion of the psychic transformation. An aspiration for access to higher levels of consciousness, or even just some inner readiness of the nature, can effectuate an opening. As with each step, there are also some dangers involved if the psychic transformation has not been fully completed, as the enhanced powers of consciousness can lead to an upsurge of egoistic pride and misuse of the knowledge given. One way or the other however, this change will and must proceed.

“The choice, however, does not always rest with our will, for the operations of the spiritual evolution in us are very various, and according to the ilne it has followed will be the turn taken at any critical phase by the action of the Consciousness-Force in its urge towards a higher self-manifestation and formation of our existence.”

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

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Necessity of the Complete Psycho-Spiritual Emergence

Spiritual experiences that are not based on the complete emergence of the soul may be mixed with inner mental, vital or physical movements that can vitiate the purity of the experience and in fact, lead to imperfect or misguided results. “there could be an emergence not only of the subliminal knowledge but of the subliminal ignorance.” Sri Aurobindo points out these dangers: “In the absence of any or of a complete psychic emergence, experiences of certain kinds, experiences of greater knowledge and force, a surpassing of the ordinary limits, might lead to a magnified ego and even bring about instead of an out-flowering of what is divine or spiritual an uprush of the titanic or demoniac, or might call in agencies and powers which, though not of this disastrous type, are of a powerful but inferior cosmic character.”

When something of this type occurs, one can find individuals who seem “larger than life” with tremendous force of will or action, but who create potentially disastrous results for themselves and others; while on a smaller scale one can find individuals who begin to believe that their spiritual experiences mean that they are a great avatar or incarnation or guru, and who, thus deceived, begin to misuse the force given to them for personal aggrandisement and manipulation of situations to enjoy the fruits of desire fulfilled.

The solution to this problem lies in the soul’s true emergence: “But the rule and guidance of the soul brings into all experience the tendency of light, of integration, of harmony and intimate rightness which is native to the psychic essence. A psychic or, more widely speaking, a psycho-spiritual transformation of this kind would be already a vast change of our mental human nature.”

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