Observing the Inherited and Environmental Influences on One’s Character from the Standpoint of the Psychic Being

When the individual is able to shift out of the standpoint of the ego-personality to that of the soul, the psychic being, he is able to observe and trace the influences of inherited tendencies or environmental pressures that bubble up from the subconscient and try to gain admittance and acceptance into his active outer nature. The tendencies are as clearly defined as when one sees a physical resemblance between a mother and a daughter or father and son! The individual can see more than physical characteristics, however, including vital responses, habits of emotion, habits of speech, and habits of mind. The individual can also trace out the sources of other influences that come from family, friends, relations, as well as the community, the educational system and the very force of the time and its wider pressures.

The psychic being also has the ability to attract to it the needed circumstances for the soul’s purpose in this lifetime to be fulfilled. People speak of coincidence. When the soul is active, the coincidence, the synchronicity, are part of a process of the soul bringing to itself those energies and events that it needs in order to develop. Sometimes these things may even appear to be negative events if the outer personality is stuck, while the soul demands change…..

The soul can see patterns, relationships, and active forces from this new light and does not take things personally as the ego-personality tends to do. Life, seen from this standpoint, is a miraculous concatenation of energies moving towards a sense of universal oneness and inclusion. The individual no longer is oppressed by the old habits, traditions and ways of doing things, but is liberated through this knowledge. Those things that are useful can be kept and modified; those that are obsolete or counter-productive can be eliminated.

The Mother observes: “If you have within you a psychic being sufficiently awake to watch over you, to prepare your path, it can draw towards you things which help you, draw people, books, circumstances, all sorts of little coincidences which come to you as though brought by some benevolent will and give you an indication, a help, a support to take decisions and turn you in the right direction. But once you have taken this decision, once you have decided to find the truth of your being, once you start sincerely on the road, then everything seems to conspire to help you to advance, and if you observe carefully, you see gradually the source of your difficulties: ‘Ah! wait a minute, this failing was in my father; oh! this habit was my mother’s; oh! my grandmother was like this, my grandfather was like that’ or it could well be the nurse who took care of you when you were small, or brothers and sisters who played with you, the little friends you met, and you will find that all this was there, in this person or that or the other. But if you continue to be sincere, you find you can cross all this quite calmly, and after a time you cut all the moorings with which you were born, break the chains and go freely on the path.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Disturbances of the Subconscient, Collective Subconscious Influences, pp. 111-118

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