The process of transformation of consciousness is one that is long, slow and laborious, due to the requirement to address each aspect, level, force and movement of consciousness and bring it into alignment with the change in standpoint and the corresponding modification to outer action and reaction. Add to this the continual pressure from the universal manifestation to reinstate these untransformed thoughts, feelings and movements, and one can see the rationale for the struggle that is involved.
Sri Aurobindo describes the issue: “Even when centrally fitted, prepared, open already, it will still be long before all our movements of mind, life and body, all the multiple and conflicting members and elements of our personality consent or, consenting, are able to bear the difficult and exacting process of the transformation. And hardest of all, even if all in us is willing, is the struggle we shall have to carry through against the universal forces attached to the present unstable creation when we seek to make the final supramental conversion and reversal of consciousness by which the Divine Truth must be established in us in its plenitude and not merely what they would more readily permit, an illumined Ignorance.”
It is this process and this difficulty that sets the requirement for the complete surrender, the totality of the sacrifice, the absolute giving up of the human in order to achieve the divine standpoint. “It is for this that a surrender and submission to That which is beyond us enabling the full and free working of its Power is indispensable. As that self-giving progresses, the work of the sacrifice becomes easier and more powerful and the prevention of the opposing Forces loses much of its strength, impulsion and substance.”
There are two signs identified by Sri Aurobindo that show the process at work: “There takes place a coming to the front of some secret inmost soul within which was veiled by the restless activity of the mind, by the turbulence of our vital impulses and by the obscurity of the physical consciousness, the three powers which in their confused combination we now call our self. There will come about as a result a less impeded growth of a Divine Presence at the centre with its liberating Light and effective Force and an irradiation of it into all the conscious and subconscious ranges of our nature. These are the two signs, one marking our completed conversion and consecration to the great Quest, the other the final acceptance by the Divine of our sacrifice.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 4, The Sacrifice, The Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice, pg. 124