Turning the Vision Inward

The surface person is normally categorised by modern psychology as either an extrovert or an introvert. Some people confuse the introvert with the concept of living within that is the first necessity of the spiritual transformation. However, whether one lives externally as the extrovert, or internally as the introvert, both of them are focused on and deal with the surface nature, the constructed ego, not the deep spiritual movement of the soul within.

For those who are destined to follow a spiritual path the first experience is frequently one of a vast silence, a darkness, an undifferentiated wideness. This zone of silence and darkness is interpreted by the surface consciousness as a danger to its existence and fear frequently arises when one first confronts this seeming void.

Sri Aurobindo sees the movement inward quite differently: “But to those into whose composition there has entered the power of a more inner living, the movement of going within and living within brings not a darkness or dull emptiness but an enlargement, a rush of new experience, a greater vision, a larger capacity, an extended life infinitely more real and various than the first pettiness of the life constructed for itself by our normal physical humanity, a joy of being which is larger and richer than any delight in existence that the outer vital man or the surface mental man can gain by their dynamic vital force and activity or subtlety and expansin of the mental existence. A silence, an entry into a wide or even immense or infinite emptiness is part of the inner spiritual experience; of this silence and void the physical mind has a certain fear, the small superficially active thinking or vital mind a shrinking from it or dislike,–for it confuses the silence with mental and vital incapacity and the void with cessation or non-existence: but this silence is the silence of the Spirit which is the condition of a greater knowledge, power and bliss, and this emptiness is the emptying of the cup of our natural being, a liberation of it from its turbid contents so that it may be filled with the wine of God; it is the passage not into non-existence but to a greater existence. Even when the being turns towards cessation, it is a cessation not in non-existence but into some vast ineffable of spiritual being or the plunge into the incommunicable superconscience of the Absolute.”

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