The attempt to change human nature using the powers of consciousness and tools of action developed within the framework of current human evolutionary development winds up having limits set by that very framework. Albert Einstein once famously stated that it requires a new way of thinking to solve problems. By accepting the limits and methods of the existing human consciousness, we prevent a new solution, based in another form or power of awareness from providing us the resolution needed. We continue to go round and round without achieving any breakthrough. Thus, when we have reached the limits of the physical, vital and mental capacities, we must be prepared to open up to as yet unmanifested levels of consciousness which are available to us, but beyond our ‘event horizon’ at the moment. This requires something of a ‘leap of faith’ when we find we cannot go any farther in the old ways of response. All kinds of rules, customs, mores, mental ideas and resolutions have failed to change human nature, precisely because they are based in that framework. The evolutionary pressure of a new consciousness, beyond the mental level, provides the direction for solving this issue.
The Mother observes: “You must become more and more conscious. You must observe how the thing happens, by what road the danger approaches, and stand in the way before it can take hold of you. If you want to cure yourself of a defect or a difficulty, there is but one method: to be perfectly vigilant, to have a very alert and vigilant consciousness. First you must see very clearly what you want to do. You must not hesitate, be full of doubt and say, ‘Is it good to do this or not, does this come into the synthesis or should it not come in?’ You will see that if you trust your mind, it will always shuttle back and forth: it vacillates all the time. If you take a decision it will put before you all the arguments to show you that your decision is not good, and you will be tossed between the ‘yes’ and ‘no’, the black and white, and will arrive at nothing. Hence, first, you must know exactly what you want — know, not mentally, but through concentration, through aspiration and a very conscious will. That is the important point. Afterwards, gradually, by observation, by a sustained vigilance, you must realise a sort of method which will be personal to you — it is useless to convince others to adopt the same method as yours, for that won’t succeed. Everyone must find his own method, everyone must have his own method, and to the extent you put into practice your method, it will become clearer and clearer, more and more precise. You can correct a certain point, make clear another, etc. So, you start working…. For a while, all will go well. Then, one day, you will find yourself facing an insurmountable difficulty and will tell yourself, ‘I have done all that and here is everything as bad as before!’ Then, in this case, you must, through a yet more sustained concentration, open an inner door in you and bring into this movement a force which was not there formerly, a state of consciousness which was not there before. And there, there will be a power, when your own personal power will be exhausted and no longer effective. When the personal power runs out ordinary people say, ‘That’s good, I can no longer do anything, it is finished.’ But I tell you that when you find yourself before this wall, it is the beginning of something new. By an obstinate concentration, you must pass over to the other side of the wall and there you will find a new knowledge, a new force, a new power, a new help, and you will be able to work out a new system, a new method which surely will take you very far.”
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter VI Growth of Consciousness, Difficulties and Pitfalls, pp. 115-116