The Need to Expand the Limited Range of Normal Human Awareness

The ego-personality lives in a type of self-contained bubble, fragmented and separated from others and the larger forces in the world, but also, to a very great degree, from the action of the other powers and planes of existence that impinge upon the physical life, but act from other platforms of action. It is thus that most people try to dismiss the reality of these subtle or occult forces in their lives. For those who take up the practice of Yoga or any other form of inner growth, however, the greater reality soon becomes readily apparent.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “It is because we use, normally, only our corporeal senses and live almost wholly in the body and the physical vitality and the physical mind, and it is not directly through these that the life-world enters into relations with us. That is done through other sheaths of our being,–so they are termed in the Upanishads,–other bodies, as they are called in a later terminology, the mental sheath or subtle body in which our true mental being lives and the life sheath or vital body which is more closely connected with the physical or food-sheath and forms with it the gross body of our complex existence. These possess powers, senses, capacities which are always secretly acting in us, are connected with and impinge upon our physical organs and the plexuses of our physical life and mentality. By self-development we can become aware of them, possess our life in them, get through them into conscious relation with the life-world and other worlds and use them also for a more subtle experience and more intimate knowledge of the truths, facts and happenings of even the material world itself. We can by this self-development live more or less fully on planes of our existence other than the material which is now all in all to us.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 19, The Planes of Our Existence, pg. 435


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