Further Considerations For Transitioning to a Spiritualised Life

There have been many strategies for those following a spiritual path to find an accommodation or methodology for relating to the life of the world. Many of them may have relevance as transitional strategies, but eventually the complete spiritualisation of the outer life remains the goal of the integral Yoga, and this step comes about through integration of a fully spiritualised consciousness into all the levels of the being. The transitional strategies, whether they rely on a leading role of the mind, the emotions or the vital force, all have their limitations and eventually have to give way for something greater and more comprehensive, as Sri Aurobindo has pointed out:

One of these strategies involves creating an ethical or moral regime by which to guide the outer actions. “…for an ethical rule merely puts a bit in the mouth of the wild horses of Nature and exercises over them a difficult and partial control, but it has no power to transform Nature so that she may move in a secure freedom fulfilling the intuitions that proceed from a divine self-knowledge. At best its method is to lay down limits, to coerce the devil, to put the wall of a relative and very doubtful safety around us. This or some similar device of self-protection may be necessary for a time whether in ordinary life or in Yoga; but in Yoga it can only be the mark of a transition. A fundamental transformation and a pure wideness of spiritual life are the aim before us and, if we are to reach it, we must find a deeper solution, a surer supra-ethical dynamic principle. To be spiritual within, ethical in the outer life, this is the ordinary religious solution but it is a compromise; the spiritualisation of both the inward being and the outward life and not a compromise between life and the spirit is the goal of which we are the seekers.”

“It is equally impossible to accept the gospel that makes life the one aim, takes its elements fundamentally as they are and only calls in a half-spiritual or pseudo-spiritual light to flush and embellish it.”

“Inadequate too is the very frequent attempt at a misalliance between the vital and the spiritual, a mystic experience within with an aestheticised intellectual and sensuous Paganism or exalted hedonism outside leaning upon it and satisfying itself in the glow of a spiritual sanction; for this too is a precarious and never successful compromise and it is as far from the divine Truth and its integrality as the puritanic opposite.”

“These are all stumbling solutions of the fallible human mind groping for a transaction between the high spiritual summits and the lower pitch of the ordinary mind-motives and life-motives. Whatever partial truth may be hidden behind them, that truth can only be accepted when it has been raised to the spiritual level, tested in the supreme Truth-consciousness and extricated from the soil and error of the Ignorance.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 5, The Ascent of the Sacrifice-1, The Works of Knowledge–The Psychic Being, pp. 127-128

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