We do not consider, for the most part, the reliance we have for all things in our lives in the world, upon invisible forces that are at work. We basically take these things for granted, give them names and treat them as a reality that we do not have to think about or reflect upon. No one can “see” gravity. It is an invisible force in the physical world, but we utilize this force and respond to this force and its effects. Similarly with electricity, we cannot see it, but we can see its effects when we flip the switch and the lights go on. We take for granted nowadays the use of cell phones for wireless communication through use of invisible forces.
At the level of our vital nature, there are invisible vibrations that move from one being to another. We sometimes feel some response to an environment or another being that is the work of an invisible vibration that acts upon us. Thus, we can feel a sense of peace or joy or devotion in certain circumstances or locations that arise without any observable cause. Similarly, there are times when we experience fear or trepidation and even have the hair on the back of our necks stand up. People frequently report feeling that someone is “observing” them, although they have not at that moment seen the individual. There are documented cases of people feeling vital vibrations in an atmosphere that convey anger or rage, such as in a mob of people, and again, this is due to invisible forces that move between people. At the mental level, as well, there are thought-forms that communicate between people and lead to people suddenly thinking about or knowing something that they were not consciously trying to think about. Teilhard de Chardin spoke of a “noosphere”, a belt of mental vibrations in the world that would be similar to the physical ionosphere or the vital atmosphere that encircles the world.
At the spiritual level, there are also invisible forces at work. Many people report on entering a spiritual location, whether a temple or an Ashram, and feeling a sense of deep peace and abiding joy. These feelings are due to the invisible forces that permeate those places.
For the most part these forces work without the conscious knowledge of the individual. It is possible however, particularly if one is actively seeking to understand how the occult powers and forces of the world act, to become conscious and thereby experience the impact of these forces as they impinge upon the consciousness and attempt to drive an action forward. This allows the seeker to either accept the action, direct its action, or reject it outright if it is not useful to the purpose of the seeker at that time.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “Anyone with some intelligence and power of observation who lives more in an inward consciousness can see the play of invisible forces at every step which act on men and bring about events without their knowing about the instrumentation. The difference created by yoga or by an inner consciousness — for there are people like Socrates who develop or have some inner consciousness without yoga — is that one becomes conscious of these invisible forces and can also consciously profit by them or use and direct them. That is all.”
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 4 Invisible Forces and the Divine Force, The Gods pp. 85-87