Opening of the Inner Being and Its Centres of Action

Struggling with the resistance of the various parts of the outer being is a thankless task when attempted by using the powers of the outer being itself to effect changes. Overcoming the force of habit, cravings, desires, physical resistance, laziness, illness, and the limited and one-sided, extreme views taken by the outer mind is not something that can be accomplished while fully enmeshed in the action of these forces. Sri Aurobindo points out: “An indispensable step towards overcoming this difficulty is the opening up of the inner being and its centres of action; for there the task that the surface mind could not achieve begins to be more possible. The inner mind, the inner life-consciousness and life-mind, the subtle-physical consciousness and its subtle-physical mentality, once liberated into action, create a larger, finer, greater mediating awareness able to communicate with the universal and with what is above them, able also to bring to bear their power on the whole range of the being, on the submental, on the subconscient mind, on the subconscient life, even on the sunconscience of the body: they can, though not wholly enlighten, yet to some extent open, penetrate, work upon the fundamental Inconscience. The spiritual Light, Power, Knowledge, Delight from above can then descend beyond the mind and heart, which are always the easiest to reach and illumine; occupying the whole nature from top to bottom, they can pervade more fully the life and the body and by a still profounder impact shake the foundations of the Inconscience.”

While this action does not have the complete transformative power, it is a major step towards bringing the outer being to its required readiness for the greater power of the supramental force acting directly on the nature to complete the transformation.

It should be noted that during the process of yogic development, these inner forces can become active. Many paths of yoga discuss the “opening of the chakras”. While they make this out to be something sensationalistic, in reality the “opening of the chakras” is creating the capacity to receive, hold, and utilise the higher forces that become active at each level of the being. Each of the chakras corresponds to a nexus or focus of energy in the inner being related to the respective powers that act on the physical, vital, emotional, and mental levels. As the chakras open in the lower strata, the force can penetrate and act upon these lower levels, normally subject to the subconscient or the inconscient, to begin their change.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 26, “The Ascent Towards Supermind”

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