The methodology for the mastery and transformation of the external nature of the individual essentially comes down to a shift in standpoint to the psychic being, which is the soul-element in the being, and then, a systematic review and management of the external nature and its various parts, drives and directions to conform with the direction that the psychic being is focused on taking. The Mother outlines this second aspect in the implementation of what she calls the ‘psychic mirror’, which essentially is a technique to identify fully with the psychic being, and then place each feeling, emotion, urge, drive, thought and exercise of will in proximity to the psychic being’s direction and see the variance. At that point, the individual is asked to choose those movements that support the psychic being’s development and reject or transform those that vary or even oppose.

The guidance the Mother provides for how to distinguish the truth of each of these movements in light of the psychic being is clear and easily applied, if the seeker is acting with sincerity and not trying to hide or justify some movement or other of the external nature.

The power of clear-sighted observation and insight based on the use of the ‘psychic mirror’ is one that is recognised in both psychology and quantum physics; namely, the act of observation changes what is being observed, by the very fact of the observation. Of course, there are specific methodologies that then come into play to actually carry out specific acts of rejection or transformation that involve a more active role in the change-process rather than the essential passive (but nevertheless extremely powerful) observational role.

The Mother writes: “There is but one remedy: that signpost must always be there, a mirror well placed in one’s feelings, impulses, all one’s sensations. One sees them in this mirror. There are some which are not very beautiful, pleasant to look at; there are others which are beautiful, pleasant, and must be kept. This one does a hundred times a day if necessary. And it is very interesting. One draws a kind of big circle around the psychic mirror and arranges all the elements around it. If there is something that is not all right, it casts a sort of grey shadow upon the mirror: this element must be shifted, organised. It must be spoken to, made to understand, one must come out of that darkness. If you do that, you never get bored. When people are not kind, when one has a cold in the head, when one doesn’t know one’s lessons, and so on, one begins to look into this mirror. It is very interesting, one sees the canker. ‘I thought I was sincere!’ — not at all.”

“Not a thing happens in life which is not interesting. This mirror is very, very well made. Do that for two years, three, four years, at times one must do it for twenty years. Then at the end of a few years, look back, turn your gaze upon what you were three years ago: ‘How have I changed!… Was I like that?…’ It is very entertaining.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Chapter 5, Organisation, Harmonisation, Unification, pp. 137-138

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 19 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.