Extending Spiritual Transformation to the External World

We are in constant interaction with the world around us. Teilhard de Chardin described a “noosphere”, a sheath that ties all of us into one web of consciousness. Modern scientists speak of a biosphere that ties all life together into one larger interactive life. Similarly the concept of ecosphere has arisen to designate one system shared by all and which influences each. Each individual, each spiritual seeker eventually has to address the fact of the unity of all life and consciousness that these concepts imply. Some spiritual paths try to simplify the transformational issues raised by this reality by creating an isolation or separation of consciousness, focusing on the individual development and avoiding the issues and difficulties that must be confronted if the world-consciousness is recognised and addressed. Sri Aurobindo embraces the unity and the wider reality as part of the transformational process that takes place, thereby increasing both the apparent difficulty and the opportunity. “It is … always easier to spiritualise the inner self-sufficient parts than to transform the outer action; a perfection of introspective, indwelling or subjective spirituality aloof from the world or self-protected against it is easier than a perfection of the whole nature in a dynamic, kinetic spirituality objectivised in the life, embracing the world, master of its environment, sovereign in its commerce with world-nature. But since the integral transformation must embrace fully the dynamic being and take up into it the life of action and the world-self outside us, this completer change is demanded of the evolving nature.”

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