Taking Up the Task of Transforming All Human Life and Activities

The complexity of human life, with all the different levels, functions, drives and needs that interact and create the human being make the issue of transformation that life extraordinarily complex.  Human society, made up of all of the individuals, gains an even greater level of complexity with respect to accomplishing real tranformative change.  Anyone who has tried to actually live out the truths of their religious beliefs, practices or philosophy can testify to the difficulty.  In the Old Testament of the Bible the Ten Commandments set forth a specific set of guidelines for living, yet it may be virtually impossible to identify any individual who can live his life according to these great rules.  Christianity has brought forth the idea of the “Golden Rule” to treat others as one would like to be treated oneself, but even this ‘simple’ concept has failed to transform human life.  Past attempts have tried to “cut the knot” of the difficulty when it could not be easily ‘untied’, by abandoning the active side of life and retreating to a spiritual seclusion to practice and achieve the realisation.  Sri Aurobindo sets before us the challenge to actually solve these issues, meet the difficulties head on, and address every aspect of life without retreating from their reason, purpose and unique powers of action.

“For every part of human life has to be taken up by the spiritual, — not only the intellectual, the aesthetic, the ethical, but the dynamic, the vital, the physical; therefore for none of these things or the activities that spring from them will they have contempt or aversion, however they may insist on a change of the spirit and a transmutation of the form.  In each power of our nature they will seek for its own proper means of conversion; knowing that the Divine is concealed in all, they will hold that all can be made the spirit’s means of self-finding and all can be converted into its instruments of divine living.  And they will see that the great necessity is the conversion of the normal into the spiritual mind and the opening of that mind again into its own higher reaches and more and more integral movement.  For before the decisive change can be made, the stumbling intellectual reason has to be converted into the precise and luminous intuitive, until that again can rise into higher ranges to overmind and supermind or gnosis. … All our other members have to pass through a similar conversion under the compelling force and light from above.   The leaders of the spiritual march will start from and use the knowledge and the means that past effort has developed in this direction, but they will not take them as they are without any deep necessary change or limit themselves by what is now known or cleave only to fixed and stereotyped systems or given groupings of results, but will follow the method of the Spirit in Nature.  A constant rediscovery and a new formulation and larger synthesis in the mind, a mighty remoulding in its deeper parts because of a greater enlarging Truth not discovered or not well fixed before, is that Spirit’s way with our past achievement when he moves to the greatnesses of the future.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 24, The Advent and Progress of the Spiritual Age, pp. 266-267

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