The Perfection of the Spiritual Life

The evolution of the self-aware mental consciousness in man has disturbed the balance and the functioning perfection of the material and vital life.  Plants and animals operate under the impulsion of what we call instinct, which is essentially a pattern of living and being that is encoded into them and which creates a fixed round of action and reaction based on that encoded response information.  When we observe the life of man, it is easy to recognise that a new power has developed and that this power disrupts the instinctive pattern and functioning of not only humanity, but of all life with which we interact.  The limitations of the mental consciousness make it certain that exclusive focus in one direction or another will lead to imbalances and this leads to further attempts at course corrections.  We then tend to swing from one extreme to another in our attempt to re-establish our balance.

The evolution of the spiritual consciousness brings with it the cure for the imbalances and disharmonies caused by the intervention of the mental consciousness in the automatic actions of the physical-vital level of existence.  Spiritual consciousness does not rely on artificial patterns or restrictions, but on conscious, self-aware responsive creativity to changing circumstances and complexity in life.

Sri Aurobindo explains:  “The higher perfection of the spiritual life will come by a spontaneous obedience of spiritualised man to the truth of his own realised being, when he has become himself, when he has found his own real nature.  For this spontaneity will not be instinctive and subconscient, it will be intuitive and fully, integrally conscious.  It will be a glad obedience to a spontaneous principle of spiritual light, to the force of a unified and integralised highest truth, largest beauty, good, power, joy, love, oneness.  The object of this force acting in life will and must be as in all life growth, possession, enjoyment, but a growth which is a divine manifestation, a possession and enjoyment spiritual and of the spirit in things, — an enjoyment that will use, but will not depend on the mental, vital and physical symbols of our living.  Therefore this will not be a limited perfection of arrested development dependent on the repetition of the same forms and the same round of actions, any departure from which becomes a peril and a disturbance.  It will be an illimitable perfect capable of endless variation in its forms, — for the ways of the Spirit are countless and endless, — but securely the same in all variations, one but multitudinously infinite.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 22, The Necessity of the Spiritual Transformation, pg. 243