Aspects of the Integral View of Self-Perfection

The seeker on the path of the integral Yoga looks upon the ideal of self-perfection somewhat differently than either the secular or the religious viewpoints. For the integral Yoga, each of these lines of approach contains a seed of the deeper truth of existence; and thus, both of them have to be validated to that extent,–widened and integrated into a harmonious and complete whole, in order to fulfill the integral ideal.

As Sri Aurobindo observes “All life is a secret Yoga, an obscure growth of Nature towards the discovery and fulfilment of the divine principle hidden in her which becomes progressively less obscure, more self-conscient and luminous, more self-possessed in the human being by the opening of all his instruments of knowledge, will, action, life to the Spirit within him and in the world. Mind, life, body, all the forms of our nature are the means of this growth, but they find their last perfection only by opening out to something beyond them, first, because they are not the whole of what man is, secondly, because that other something which he is, is the key of his completeness and brings a light which discovers to him the whole high and large reality of his being.”

From this viewpoint, all the faculties of the human being have been developed and should be utilized, and perfected in their function, as part of the evolutionary expression of the divine manifestation in the universe. At the same time, there is a truth from the standpoint of religion and spirituality that the life in the world is not the sole or complete meaning or framework of existence or of the divine, and thus, developing our relationship to the Transcendent Divine, and exceeding thereby the limiting functions of mind, life and body, is also an essential part of the complete integral transformation and self-perfection for the seeker.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 2, The Integral Perfection, pg. 591