Searching for the Levers of Change for the Transformation of Human Life and Physical Nature

Sri Aurobindo raises the question of the process and mechanisms that can lead to the type of transformational change in human life and even the physical body which he has outlined as the next phase of our evolutionary development. There must be some mechanisms, perhaps not yet fully revealed or developed within us, that can prepare us for these changes and lay the foundation for the manifestation of the next evolutionary stage and the knowledge and powers that accompany that stage.

The Chakras are subtle energy centers that are aligned within us in an ascending series. They channel and direct certain energies that can aid in our inner and outer growth, or, if only partially available or distorted in their action, can retard or interfere in our growth. For most of us, the energy channeled through the chakras is limited and some of the chakras remain closed or only slightly open, thus, capping or restraining the action. The energy flow, in principle, can be observed in the growth of the infant to child, child to teenage years, and then to a mature adult stage.

Both Western and Eastern scientists, philosophers and psychologists chart various stages in human life that focus on, initially, physical growth and needs, then the development of the individuality and will, later on emotional development, expression and will. These developments correspond with a maturation process of partial opening of the relevant chakras. Yet there is much more potential at each level than we normally see, and for exceptional cases, where we see a greater opening of one or more of the subtle energy centres, we identify an individual as expressing greater powers than we normally expect in our human existence. This may be greater energy and endurance, a wider, more embracing expression of love and compassion, a power of communication, or a power of concentration and will that we find extraordinary. Those who have studied these things indicate that what we have heretofore seen is a small representation of the greater powers of knowledge and action available when the chakras actually open fully.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “What agency could we find which we could make the means of this all-important liberation and change? Something there is in us or something has to be developed, perhaps a central and still occult part of our being containing forces whose powers in our actual and present make-up are only a fraction of what could be, but if they became complete and dominant would be truly able to bring about with the help of the light and force of the soul and the supramental truth-consciousness the necessary physical transformation and its consequences.”

“This might be found in the system of the Chakras revealed by Tantric knowledge and accept in the systems of Yoga, conscious centres and sources of all the dynamic powers of our being organising their action through the plexuses and arranged in an ascending series from the lowest physical to the highest mind centre and spiritual centre called the thousand-petalled lotus where ascending Nature, the Serpent Power of the Tantrics, meets the Brahman and its liberated into the Divine Being. These centres are closed or half-closed within us and have to be opened before their full potentiality can be manifested in our physical nature: but once they are opened and completely active, no limit can easily be set to the development of their potencies and the total transformation to be possible.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light, The Divine Body, pp. 56-57

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