PARAGRAPH 10 (Contd..)
On the contrary, where the psychic personality is weak, crude or ill-developed, the finer parts and movements in us are lacking or poor in character and power, even though the mind may be forceful and brilliant, the heart of vital emotions hard and strong and masterful, the life-force dominant and successful, the bodily existence rich and fortunate and an apparent lord and victor. It is then the outer desire-soul, the pseudo-psychic entity, that reigns and we mis- take its misinterpretations of psychic suggestion and aspiration, its ideas and ideals, its desires and yearnings for true soul-stuff and wealth of spiritual experience.7* If the secret psychic Person can come forward into the front and, replacing the desire-soul, govern overtly and entirely and not only partially and from behind the veil this outer nature of mind, life and body, then these can be cast into soul images of what is true, right and beautiful and in the end the whole nature can be turned towards the real aim of life, the supreme victory, the ascent into spiritual existence.
7* The word “psychic” in our ordinary parlance is more often used in reference to this desire-soul than to the true psychic. It is used still more loosely of psychological and other phenomena of an abnormal or supernormal character which are really connected with the inner mind, inner vital, subtle physical being subliminal in us and are not at all direct operations of the psyche. Even such phenomena as materialisation and dematerialisation are included, though, if established, they evidently are not soul-action and would not shed any light upon the nature or existence of the psychic entity, but would rather be an abnormal action of an occult subtle physical energy intervening in the ordinary status of the gross body of things, reducing it to its own subtle condition and again reconstituting it in the terms of gross matter.
The mind may be forceful and brilliant. The heart of vital emotions may be strong and masterful. The life-force in man may be dominant and successful. The bodily existence may be rich and fortunate and an apparent lord and victor. Yet the psychic personality in man may be weak, crude or ill-developed. The finer parts and movements in man may be lacking or poor in character and power.
It means that we are governed by our outer desire-soul or false-psychic entity. The desire- soul misinterprets the psychic suggestion and aspiration; it has its own ideas and ideals, its desires and yearnings. We mistake the wrong promptings of our desire soul for the true soul-stuff.
Sri Aurobindo says that the secret psychic Person must come forward into the front instead of governing the outer nature of body, mind and life partially and from behind the veil. It should replace the desire soul. Only then our surface perceptions can be turned into soul images of what is true, right and beautiful. In the end the whole nature can be turned towards the real aim of life, the supreme victory, the ascent into spiritual existence.
But it might seem then that by bringing this psychic entity, this true soul in us, into the front and giving it there the lead and rule we shall gain all the fulfilment of our natural being that we can seek for and open also the gates of the kingdom of the Spirit. And it might well be reasoned that there is no need for any intervention of a superior Truth-Consciousness or principle of Supermind to help us to attain to the divine status or the divine perfection. Yet, although the psychic transformation is one necessary condition of the total transformation of our existence, it is not all that is needed for the largest spiritual change. In the first place, since this is the individual soul in Nature, it can open to the hidden diviner ranges of our being and receive and reflect their light and power and experience, but another, a spiritual transformation from above is needed for us to possess our self in its universality and transcendence.
It may seem that by bringing forward this psychic being in us and making it lead and rule us, we can attain fulfilment of our natural being (body, mind and life) we are seeking for. Our body, mind and life become purified. It always makes us do the right things. Also, we can open the gates of the kingdom of the Spirit (Self). Having satisfied with that we may think that there is no need of a superior Truth-Consciousness or principle of Supermind to help us attain the divine status or divine perfection.
It is true that psychic transformation (meaning- bringing our body, mind and life under the total influence of our psychic being) is one necessary condition in the total transformation of our being. But we cannot stop with that if want the largest spiritual change (divinisation of matter)
In the first place, our psychic being is the individual soul in Nature. Therefore, it can open to the hidden diviner ranges of our being. It can reflect their light and power and experience. It does not possess them. But this is not enough. We need a spiritual transformation from above. Only then can we possess our self in its universality and transcendence. Because our Self is one with then Cosmic-Self and the Transcendent-Self.
By itself the psychic being at a certain stage might be content to create a formation of truth, good and beauty and make that its station; at a farther stage it might become passively subject to the world-self, a mirror of the universal existence, consciousness, power, delight, but not their full participant or possessor. Although more nearly and thrillingly united to the cosmic consciousness in knowledge, emotion and even appreciation through the senses, it might become purely recipient and passive, remote from mastery and action in the world; or, one with the static self behind the cosmos, but separate inwardly from the world-movement, losing its individuality in its Source, it might return to that Source and have neither the will nor the power any further for that which was its ultimate mission here, to lead the nature also towards its divine realisation.
The psychic being, by itself might be content to create a formation of truth, good and beauty at a certain stage. It makes that formation as its place. Going farther in its stage, it might become passively subject to the world-self. It acts only as a mirror of the universal existence, consciousness, power and delight. But it is not their full participant or possessor.
The psychic being is more nearly and blissfully united to the cosmic consciousness in knowledge, emotion and even appreciation through the senses (even our senses would participate in this experience). Here it becomes purely recipient and passive. It has no mastery and action in the world. It is not able to use its knowledge and power in the physical world.
Or it may be one with the static self behind the cosmos. It may remain separate inwardly from the world-movement. It may lose its individuality in its Source (Self above). Or it might return to that Source. It might not have will or the power any further to achieve its ultimate mission in the world. That is to lead the nature (Prakriti) also towards its divine realisation
For the psychic being came into Nature from the Self, the Divine, and it can turn back from Nature to the silent Divine through the silence of the Self and a supreme spiritual immobility. Again, an eternal portion of the Divine,8* this part is by the law of the Infinite inseparable from its Divine Whole, this part is indeed itself that Whole, except in its frontal appearance, its frontal separative self-experience; it may awaken to that reality and plunge into it to the apparent extinction or at least the merging of the individual existence. A small nucleus here in the mass of our ignorant Nature, so that it is described in the Upanishad as no bigger than a man’s thumb, it can by the spiritual influx enlarge itself and embrace the whole world with the heart and mind in an intimate communion or oneness. Or it may become aware of its eternal Companion and elect to live for ever in His presence, in an imperishable union and oneness as the eternal lover with the eternal Beloved, which of all spiritual experiences is the most intense in beauty and rapture. All these are great and splendid achievements of our spiritual self-finding, but they are not necessarily the last end and entire consummation; more is possible.
8* Gita, XV.7. (The embodied souls in this material world are My eternal fragmental parts. But bound by material nature, they are struggling with the six senses including the mind.)
The psychic being came into Nature from the Self, the Divine. It can turn back from Nature to the silent Divine through silence of the Self and a supreme spiritual immobility.
It is an eternal portion of the Divine. It is inseparable from its Divine Whole by the law of the Infinite. Being the portion of the Divine, it is indeed itself that Whole, though it appears in the front (in body, mind and life) and has a separate self-experience in the front. Therefore, while awaking to that reality it may plunge into the Whole in an apparent extinction of itself (by disappearance of ego) or at least merging its individual existence (total disappearance of individuality as in Buddhist tradition).
It is described in the Upanishad as no bigger than a man’s thumb and is present as a small nucleus here in the mass of our ignorant nature. Yet by the spiritual inpouring it can enlarge itself and embrace the whole world with the heart and mind in an intimate oneness.
It may become aware of its eternal Companion (the Divine) and choose to live forever in His presence. It would form an imperishable union and oneness with Him as the eternal lover with the Beloved. That is the most intense of all spiritual experiences in beauty and rapture with the eternal Beloved.
All these are great and splendid achievements of our spiritual self-finding. But Sri Aurobindo says they are not necessarily the last end and entire consummation (fulfilment). Still more is possible.
(Realising our psychic being leads to what is called psychisation of nature. Now a question may be asked: this is good enough, it gives you a spiritual realisation, you become a saint and you can live a godly life. …Sri Aurobindo points out that the psychic is highly individual, it is the individual divine, it gives you the individual realisation of the Divine. The realisation of the cosmic Divine is still to be achieved. Further, there is the transcendent Divine of which both the universal and individual are terms of manifestation. Psychic realisation alone is not enough to achieve the next step in evolution which is to go beyond the mind and naturalise in ourselves the powers, the faculties that are above the mind leading up to the Truth-Consciousness. – Shri M.P.Pandit – Talks on the Life Divine, p. 15)