As long as the mental consciousness remains insulated within its own range of awareness, it believes it has a power of knowledge and action that can be made practically infallible. Even when its shortcomings are made patently obvious, it believes that an improvement in its processes, or the input of new facts available to it now or in the future, will lead to the desired result. It thus believes itself to be self-sufficient and thus, is self-satisfied. It has not cause to look outside of its own functionality to resolve any pending concerns.
There are several ways that this walled fortress of the mental consciousness can be breached and a path of growth in consciousness effected. One of these ways is a more or less complete breakdown of the mental arrogance through overwhelming pressure that shows it simply is unable to find and implement any meaningful solutions. We appear to be reaching such a tipping point today in the world as we face existential problems and wind up unable to act because different people see various aspects and differing ways of addressing the problems, and all are unwilling, or unable, to see things in a more comprehensive manner that would address the different views and provide real solutions.
Another way is for the individual to actually experience a new consciousness which takes him out of the mental framework and shows a way for solution to the intractable issues faced at the mental level. The spiritual consciousness is itself so clear and self-evident that it makes the mental consciousness understand the incontrovertible truth it is confronted with when the experience occurs.
The Mother observes: “When the spiritual force is able to act, when it begins to have an influence, it jolts the mind’s self-satisfaction and, by continuous pressure, begins to make it feel that beyond it there is something higher and truer; then a little of its characteristic vanity gives way under this influence and as soon as it realises that it is limited, ignorant, incapable of reaching the true truth, liberation begins with the possibility of opening to something beyond. But it must feel the power, the beauty, the force of this beyond to be able to surrender. It must be able to perceive its incapacity and its limitations in the presence of something higher than itself, otherwise how could it ever feel its own weakness!”
“Sometimes one single contact is enough, something that makes a little rent in that self-satisfaction; then the yearning to go beyond, the need for a purer light awaken, and with this awakening comes the aspiration to win them, and with the aspiration liberation begins, and one day, breaking all limits, one blossoms in the infinite Light. … If there were not this constant Pressure, simultaneously from within and without, from above and from the profoundest depths, nothing would ever change. … Even with that, how much time is required for things to change! What obstinate resistance in this lower nature, what blind and stupid attachment to the animal ways of the being, what a refusal to liberate oneself!…”
“When you open to the Spirit within you it brings you a first foretaste of that higher life which alone is worth living, then comes the will to rise to that, the hope of reaching it, the certitude that this is possible, and finally the strength to make the necessary effort and the resolution to go to the very end. … First one must wake up, then one can conquer.”
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter II Awakening of Consciousness, pp. 29-30
“…and the resolution to go to the very end.”
What is the very end?
the “very end” simply means, in relative terms, not to give up before the spiritual consciousness is fully integrated and permanently fixed as the basis in the life and awareness, in this context. the question is how to go about moving from the mental to the spiritual consciousness and it is a long, arduous transition process…. it is not an “ultimate” end being referred to here, but the specific end about which this discussion is taking place…. hope that helps.
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