Bliss and the Vital Consciousness

The force of the divine Ananda can manifest directly through the vital consciousness, without the individual first being raised up to the native plane of the bliss experience. This experience can be similar to an intoxication of the vital nature. Sri Aurobindo explains: “The result is either a profound state of sheer self-oblivion or else an action driven irresponsibly by the life nature, an exalted enthusiasm of self-abandonment to the great world-energy in its vitalistic dance. The outer being lives in a God-possessed frenzy careless of itself and the world…, or with an entire disregard whether of the conventions and proprieties of fitting human action or of the harmony and rhythms of a greater Truth. It acts as the unbound vital being…, the divine maniac or else the divine demoniac.”

The vital force expresses itself with the joy of its own existence and action, and is fully absorbed in that energetic expression. “Here too there is no mastery or supreme sublimation of nature. There is only a joyful static possession by the Self within us and an unregulated dynamic possession by the physical and the vital Nature without us.”

“The life-soul and life-consciousness in man, pranamaya purusha, can … directly reflect and enter into the self of Sachchidananda by a large and splendid and blissful reflection of the Soul in universal Life or by losing its separate sense of life and existence in the vast Self within or without it.”

The solid foundation of knowledge and will that occurs when the consciousness transitions to the native plane of Sat-Chit-Ananda is missing and the vital energy just joys in its own expression, for good or for ill.

In the yogic literature, there is extensive discussion of the physical, vital and mental preparation needed to hold the divine energy without “spilling” it. This preparation is considered to be essential as the force of the divine energy, the divine bliss, when it descends into the human instrument, overwhelms the foundation and can be easily spilled. the physical preparation is the strengthening of the physical body and the nerves to hold a tremendous inrush of energy. The vital preparation is to practice what are known as the 10 restraints, yama and niyama so that the vital being does not become intoxicated and simply go out of control. The mental preparation is to create a quiet and calm oversight that does not get misled or carried away by the force of the energy that flows.

The expression of the Ananda directly into the vital being, without this kind of preparation, can lead to the results described by Sri Aurobindo, and can easily create the divine madman or the megalomaniac.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 24, Gnosis and Ananda, pg. 479

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