Each aspect of the human instrumentality provides its own characteristic forms of resistance when a new, higher evolutionary force tries to engage them and redirect them along the lines it proposes. The underlying issues relate to the action of Tamas in the physical level, Rajas in the vital level, and Tamas again in the mental level. It is also likely that the mind is influenced by the vital to create mental arguments that support the vital desires. Every form of resistance leads to conflict and internal suffering as the aspiration wants to guide the being in a new direction, and faces the resistance of the mind, the opposition of the vital and its desires, and the lack of motivation and will to change in the very physical substance. Each of these needs to be addressed along the way. If the mind can be cleared of its doubts and confusion, it can become a supporter to aid in managing the vital and the desire-soul. Together, if a converted mind and vital being act upon the physical, a certain amount can be done there as well, although the opposition tends to be so dense at that level, that a more direct action of the higher force will eventually be needed.
When people take up yogic practice, they are not generally cognizant of the struggles that will wind up taking place internally as these various forms of opposition arise and try to carry out their heretofore normal and usual pathways of understanding and action despite the pressure from above. The seeker feels like he is being torn in different directions by these conflicting forces, and there is usually no clear or instant path through this, other than to continue to aspire, call on the higher force and open up the receptivity to accept and follow the higher guidance, come what may.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “When the soul draws towards the Divine, there may be a resistance in the mind and the common form of that is denial and doubt — which may create mental and vital suffering. There may again be a resistance in the vital nature whose principal character is desire and the attachment to the objects of desire, and if in this field there is conflict between the soul and the vital nature, between the Divine Attraction and the pull of the Ignorance, then obviously there may be much suffering of the mind and vital parts. The physical consciousness also may offer a resistance which is usually that of a fundamental inertia, an obscurity in the very stuff of the physical, an incomprehension, an inability to respond to the higher consciousness, a habit of helplessly responding to the lower mechanically, even when it does not want to do so; both vital and physical suffering may be the consequence.”
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 10, Difficulties in Transforming the Nature, The Resistance of the Nature, pp. 271-273
Pingback: The Nature of the Resistance of the Mind-Life-Body to the Pressure of the Divine Force — Sri Aurobindo Studies | IMAGINA QUE ESCRIBES