Transcending the Vital Life Nature

With the advent of mentality in our lives, we begin to devise strategies to deal with the issues raised by the vital nature. We remain, for the most part, under the control of the impulses of the vital nature, under the control of desire in all its forms. Some seek for security through attempting a path through life that understands the framework of the vital force and tries to stay within its limits; however, most of us are primarily driven by the need to expand, to grow, to exceed prior limits and this obviously increases both the opportunities and the risks of the lives we lead.

Sri Aurobindo discusses this issue: “He is avid of experience, of the unmeasured and unknown in power and experience and enjoyment as of the common and known and safe, of the perilous extremes as of the sane averages. He must sound all life’s possibilities, test the wrong as well as the right use of her energies, pay his toll of suffering and get his prize of more splendid victories.”

The mind’s role in all of this drama of the life force has been to aid in both the drive towards stability and security and to assist in the drive toward expansion and new experience. The primary goal has been driven by the vital force’s impulsion.

It is possible, however, as the mental force becomes more certain in its manifestation, that a new balance can be reached where the mind actual begins to uplift and guide, and to provide new direction, control and motives for the vital energy. “It is only by a transformation of our inner life that we can get beyond the magnified, mentalised, reasoning and consciously willing animal that for the most part the greater number of us are and only by raising it up to unity with some spiritual power we have not yet reached that we can hope to transform vital nature and make her a free instrument of the higher spirit. Then man may be really what he strives to be, master of his life, in control of vital and physical Nature.”

“Meanwhile it is through an inward turn of his mind that he gets to something like a transcendence, a living not for life but for truth, for beauty, for power of the soul, for good and right, love, justice. It is this endeavour that brings down ito the lower rounds of energy the powers of a higher circle, something of a mental and a truly moral tending at its end to become a spiritual law of action and the fruits of action of Karma.”

Sri Aurobindo, Rebirth and Karma, Section II, Chapter 14, The Terrestrial Law, pp. 125-126,