The Necessity of the Psychic Transformation

Sri Aurobindo emphasizes the need for the psychic transformation, which is the coming forward of the soul or psychic being in man to provide the central focus, and overcome the promptings of the ego-consciousness as it normally acts in the mind, life and body. Spiritual experiences, on their own, are possible in any part of the being, but they have their limitations if the ego-personality is still active and uses them for its own purposes and for self-aggrandisement. The fire of aspiration, the kindling of the soul’s flame, the mystic fire hidden deep within the secret heart, is the force that can overcome the drag of the ego and the limitations set by the outer personality and the surface being. It is this flame which maintains the devotion, the dedication, the one-pointed aim that can overcome all obstacles and bring about the advent and action of the higher powers which alone can transform human nature.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “The soul, the psychic being is in direct touch with the divine Truth, but it is hidden in man by the mind, the vital being and the physical nature. One may practice yoga and get illuminations in the mind and the reason; one may conquer power and luxuriate in all kinds of experiences in the vital; one may establish even surprising physical Siddhis; but if the true soul-power behind does not manifest, if the psychic nature does not come into the front, nothing genuine has been done. In this yoga the psychic being is that which opens the rest of the nature to the true supramental light and finally to the supreme Ananda. Mind can open by itself to its own higher reaches; it can still itself and widen into the Impersonal; it may too spiritualise itself in some kind of static liberation or Nirvana; but the supramental cannot find a sufficient base in a spiritualised mind alone. If the inmost soul is awakened, if there is a new birth out of the mere mental, vital and physical into the psychic consciousness, then this yoga can be done; otherwise (by the sole power of the mind or any other part) it is impossible…. If there is a refusal of the psychic new birth, a refusal to become the child new born from the Mother, owing to attachment to intellectual knowledge or mental ideas or to some vital desire, then there will be a failure in the sadhana.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 8, The Triple Transformation: Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental, The Psychic Transformation, pp. 203-209

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