The Spiritual Stage of Evolution

Based in a mental viewpoint, we tend to give most credence and reality to the external world and its powes and actions; and to provide a lesser reality and substance to the inner, spiritual essence of existence. This is opposite to the reality that the spiritual essence is primary and creates the outer manifestation. Sri Aurobindo explains it thus: “The tendency of man’s physical mind is to see otherwise and to turn the true method of of things upside down, because it takes as essential or fundamental the surface forces or appearances of Nature; it accepts her creation by a visible or exterior process as the essence of her action and does not see that it is only a secondary appearance and covers a greater secret process: for Nature’s occult process is to reveal the being through the bringing out of its powers and forms, her external pressure is only a means of awakening the involved being to the need of this evolution, of this self-formation.”

As we develop into the next stage of the evolution of consciousness, we go beyond the mental to the spiritual stage. This entails a reversal of our normal viewpoint and a focus on the inner, essential, spiritual change which then brings about the outer development in its wake. “When the spiritual stage of her evolution is reached, this occult process must become the whole process; to get through the veil of forces and get at their secret mainspring, which is the Spirit itself, is of cardinal importance. To become ourselves is the one thing to be done; but the true ourselves is that which is within us, and to exceed our outer self of body, life and mind is the condition for this highest being, which is our true and divine being, to become self-revealed and active. It is only by growing within and living within that we can find it; once that is done, to create from there the spiritual or divine mind, life body and through this instrumentation to arrive at the creation of a world which shall be the true environment of a divine living,–this is the final object that Force of Nature has set before us.”

In summary, “This then is the first necessity, that the individual, each individual, shall discover the Spirit, the divine reality within him and express that in all his being and living. A divine life must be first and foremost an inner life; for since the outward must be the expression of what is within, there can be no divinity in the outer existence if there is not the divinisation of the inner being. The Divinity in man dwells veiled in his spiritual centre; there can be no such thing as self-exceeding for man or a higher issue for his existence if there is not in him the reality of an eternal Self and Spirit.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 28, “The Divine Life”