Mental rules or solutions cannot accomplish the conversion of consciousness, inward and outward, that leads to a total transformation of both the inner and the outer life. All of the various transitional strategies, such as the attempt to abandon the outer life, or the attempt to hedge it with ethical or moral strictures or limit it to specific types of work that are considered more pure, basically break down and do not reach the ultimate goal of the spiritualisation of life. The descent and integration of a higher consciousness into the individual turns out to be the required action, but achieving this, starting from the human mental limited standpoint is not simple, to a great degree because human beings are easily led astray by their desires, and by the limitations of their knowledge.
Sri Aurobindo discusses the inherent problems of this transformation: “In sum, it may be safely affirmed that no solution offered can be anything but provisional until a supramental Truth-Consciousness is reached by which the appearances of things are put in their place and their essence revealed and that in them which derives straight from the spiritual essence. In the meanwhile our only safety is to find a guiding law of spiritual experience–or else to liberate a light within that can lead us on the way until that greater direct Truth-Consciousness is reached above us or born within us.”
“The guiding law of spiritual experience can only come by an opening of human consciousness to the Divine Consciousness; there must be the power to receive in us the working and command and dynamic presence of the Divine Shakti and surrender ourselves to her control; it is that surrender and that control which bring the guidance.”
The question then is what formation is there within us that can actually relate to, accept and respond to this Divine Consciousness. The human ego, the vital desire-soul and the human mind are easily misled and carried away. “This danger can only be countered by the opening of a now nine-tenths concealed inmost soul or psychic being that is already there but not commonly active within us. That is the inner light we must liberate; for the light of this inmost soul is our one sure illumination so long as we walk still amidst the siege of the Ignorance and the Truth-Consciousness has not taken up the entire control of our Godward endeavor.”
There are various stages that can occur as this process becomes ever more comprehensive and integral within us: “In the transition there may well be a period in which we take up all life and action and offer them to the Divine for purification, change and deliverance of the truth within them, another period in which we draw back and build a spiritual wall around us admitting through its gates only such activities as consent to undergo the law of the spiritual transformation, a third in which a free and all-embracing action, but with new forms fit for the utter truth of the Spirit, can again be made possible. These things, however, will be decided by no mental rule but in the light of the soul within us and by the ordaining force and progressive guidance of the Divine Power that secretly or overtly first impels, then begins clearly to control and order and finally takes up the whole burden of the Yoga.”
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. 128-130