The tension between the higher aspirations of man and the vital nature that seems to be so opposed to those higher developments, mired in desire, greed, seeking or power, wealth and sex, and creature comforts, is one which has led seekers and evolved souls to attempt to disassociate themselves from the vital movements, through suppression or avoidance. Yet the vital force is an essential aspect of life, and thus, holds within itself some divine impulses. We can see that not all is bleak in the vital nature. Courage, love, self-sacrifice, honor, nobility of purpose, all are outgrowths of the vital nature and show us that it is capable of higher movement. The question then is how to develop the vital nature such that it can manifest its secret divine nature.
Sri Aurobindo notes: “These ideals of which the poets have sung so persistently, are not a mere glamour and illusion, however the egoisms and discords of our instinctive, infrarational way of living may seem to contradict them. Always crossed by imperfection or opposite vital movements, they are still divine possibilities and can be made a first means of our growth into a spiritual unity of being with being. Certain religious disciplines have understood this truth, have taken up these relations boldly and applied them to our soul’s communion with God; and by a converse process they can, lifted out of their present social and physical formulas, become for us, not the poor earthly things they are now, but deep and beautiful and wonderful movements of God in man fulfilling himself in life.”
“All this great vital, political, economic life of man with its two powers of competition and cooperation is stumbling blindly forward towards some realisation of power and unity, — in two divine directions, therefore. For the Divine in life is Power possessed of self-mastery, but also of mastery of His world, and man and mankind too move towards conquest of their world, their environment. And again the Divine in fulfilment here is nd must be oneness, and the ideal of human unity however dim and far off is coming slowly into sight. The competitive nation-units are feeling, at times, however feebly as yet, the call to cast themselves into a greater unified cooperative life of the human race.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 16, The Suprarational Ultimate of Life, pp. 165-167