A Sudden and Decisive Spiritual Opening Transforms the Individual’s Life When It Takes Place

Sometimes the spiritual opening comes in what appears to be a miraculous fashion and the direction of the individual’s life takes a major turn. This goes beyond a brief glimpse of the spiritual truth which can fade and require renewal in order for it to stabilise and solidify the direction. Such a sudden opening may come with a near-death experience, as there are many instances where an individual awakes and knows that he needs to focus on the spiritual aspect of life. It may of course happen through other means. In each case, it is clear that much preparation has taken place behind the scenes, either in the current lifetime or in past lifetimes, so that the way forward is obvious. Obstacles may arise, but they become part of the process of working through the limitations of the body-life-mind complex and moving the spiritual development forward to a new level of realisation.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “If the change comes suddenly and decisively by an overpowering influence, there is no further essential or lasting difficulty. The choice follows upon the thought, or is simultaneous with it, and the self-consecration follows upon the choice. The feet are already set upon the path, even if they seem at first to wander uncertainly and even though the path itself may be only obscurely seen and the knowledge of the goal may be imperfect. The secret Teacher, the inner Guide is already at work, though he may not yet manifest himself or may not yet appear in the person of his human representative. Whatever difficulties and hesitations may ensue, they cannot eventually prevail against the power of the experience that has turned the current of the life. The call, once decisive, stands; the thing that has been born cannot eventually be stifled. Even if the force of circumstances prevents a regular pursuit or a full practical self-consecration from the first, still the mind has taken its bent and persists and returns with an ever-increasing effect upon its leading preoccupation. There is an ineluctable persistence of the inner being, and against it, circumstances are in the end powerless, and no weakness in the nature can for long be an obstacle.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter II Awakening of Consciousness, pg. 18


6 thoughts on “A Sudden and Decisive Spiritual Opening Transforms the Individual’s Life When It Takes Place

  1. I am sure we all have a switch installed somewhere inside us to light our inside sun but most of us will die before locating it, despite spending our entire lives trying. It’s not too different from the stock market.
    The person who sells the stock and the one who buys from him have both concluded the price of the stock is wrong or they wouldn’t trade it. The seller’s bet is the current price is too high and the buyer’s bet is, the price deserves to be higher. Yet, only one of them, never both, will profit from the trade. Warren Buffett keeps on saying everyday to anyone who will listen to him, how to become rich in the stock market, yet 99% lose money believing him. In a rather similar way, Sri Aurobindo keeps on telling us how to elevate ourselves and win, but it takes more than simple obedience. Without the sprinkling of grace, most will not reach, at least not easily. As I grow older, I am beginning to believe that spirituality like the stock exchange doesn’t work for most, most of the time.

    • of course, the stock market is not always “win-lose”. sometimes people sell for reasons solely other than that they believe the price is topped out; and sometimes people buy for reasons other than expecting the price to rise. For instance, someone has invested in the stock market and decides it is time to buy a house. They may liquidate the investment in order to change their living circumstances regardless of the expectation for the future price of the stock. And someone may buy into the stock market to try to support a particular company or to provide a gift for someone in a future generation, or to achieve steady dividend income, regardless again of the way the stock price may move. similarly, in the spiritual path, there is a long preparation that takes place (subject of the next post by the way), and when things are ready they manifest. Elsewhere, Sri Aurobindo describes the “all or nothing” phenomenon requiring a triggering amount of energy to observe light, for instance. The Grace of course is necessary and it is the corollary to the preparation and aspiration. Spirituality in that sense ALWAYS works, but given the individual’s location on the evolutionary path, it may not openly manifest or be obviously visible. No effort is actually “lost” but the grasping for the fruit may not be satisfied at any particular point in time.

      • The “triggering amount of energy” that you allude to makes sense. It is akin to an Olympian practicing the same dive everyday for 10 years without getting bored and then wining the gold medal at the end of it. Yet, it’s relatively an easy situation because the dive gets continually and mechanically perfected over time because its improvement is supervised by body parts that we recognize and whose levers we control, albeit the role of the mind is also important and cannot be underestimated. But practicing Yoga is far more difficult and complex endeavor. It asks us to perfect our ethereal portions whose existence within ourselves ordinary men are not often even aware of, for they are not palpable like the tissue or the bone. The fixed world that we are born and raised in, takes pains to set our mind within its boundaries, leaving us completely undefined to what is outside that trammel.

        Sri Aurobindo had a very high IQ and seer-seeing, which made it easy for him to jump in and out of the physical plane, observe what exists outside and then come back and tell us about it. I have never had difficulty in accepting him. My faith in his sincerity and superior arguments reimburses my doubts enough to stay on the path, but to break into his ideals completely is what contradicts men surrounded by circumstances, which is any of us. Despite Integral Yoga’s ask to practice it inside the living world, the obstacles of body, job and family, make it easily harder to deliver upon for ordinary men.

        The faith is in the hope to keep accumulating the TAPAS, and one day hopefully reach enough critical mass to trigger into the victory of an Olympic dive and come unstuck from the tethers of the world that weaken the Sadhana.

    • Sri Aurobindo can be very cerebral in his way. So, I hope, I am understanding a bit about your core concern as I humbly submit these thoughts.

      Intellectual in his approach, yet I appreciate Aurobindo’s teachings for many reasons. After decades of learning by way of many, varied sources and, eventually, the advent of Grace, Aurobindo’s work now is most useful as a way of framing or reframing my experiences.

      It’s been said that one’s advancement (spiritual enlightenment, higher consciousness, etc.,) is guaranteed to any who seek this ‘condition’ as their most urgent reason for being. I see no reason to doubt this…

      You and I may not be able to do anything about another’s ‘making it or not’. Nor do I believe we should concern ourselves with trying to affect, directly, another’s path. But we can keep to our task and live each day what we have learned…what we are learning. Others may benefit from our way of living (being), but ‘to benefit others’ is, to me, not one’s highest (conscious) objective.

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