The complexity of the human being, with all our diverse drives, forces and aspects, makes it unrealistic that we can simply accept the central principle of the Yoga and then find ourselves instantly transformed. A process is required and there must be a power of action applied to bring about this process. Normally most of us are driven primarily by the force of desire at the vital level. This desire may take the form of physical needs or vital impulsions, even coloring the mental activity of the physical mind that busies itself with the life in the outer world.
Sri Aurobindo reminds us therefore, that in order to effect the transformation required, we need to use the leverage of the highest aspects of our being, and instead of allowing the vital desires to hold sway, we need to moderate, guide and uplift the energies that we express in our lives.
“As he can use his thinking mind and will to restrain and correct his life impulses, so too he can bring in the action of a still higher luminous mentality aided by the deeper soul in him, the psychic being, and supersede by these greater and purer motive-powers the domination of the vital and sensational force that we call desire. He can entire master or persuade it and offer it up for transformation to its divine Master. This higher mentality and this deeper soul, the psychic element in man, are the two grappling hooks by which the Divine can lay hold upon his nature.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 2, Self Consecration, pp. 72-73