The Mother advises that the way to establish unity in the being is to treat the psychic being or the central aspiration as the guiding principle, and then observe and manage the mind, the life-energy and the body to conform to the intentions expressed by that central guiding principle. It is interesting to note that when the seeker finds a movement in the external being that does not meet this criteria, he is asked to treat the “recalcitrant parts as disobedient children.”

It is obvious that this calls into question the manner of dealing with recalcitrant children! Many people, particularly in cultures that have a long history of strict authoritarian control over children during their growth and education process, this might mean utilizing harsh methods such as whipping, withholding food or putting the child into isolation. It is interesting to note that the Mother does not recommend these harsh methods, but rather focuses on how to “convince them of their error”. This implies the use of a patient and collaborative process to help the child grow and mature, rather than trying to suppress or beat the child into submission through brute force or other forms of coercion.

A disciple asks: “What is the way to establish unity and homogeneity in our being?”

The Mother observes: “Keep the will firm. Treat the recalcitrant parts as disobedient children. Act upon them constantly and patiently. Convince them of their error.”

“In the depths of your consciousness is the psychic being, the temple of the Divine within you. This is the centre round which should come about the unification of all these divergent parts, all these contradictory movements of your being. Once you have got the consciousness of the psychic being and its aspiration, these doubts and difficulties can be destroyed. It takes more or less time, but you will surely succeed in the end. Once you have turned to the Divine, saying, ‘I want to be yours’, and the Divine has said, ‘Yes’, the whole world cannot keep you from it. When the central being has made its surrender, the chief difficulty has disappeared. The outer being is like a crust. In ordinary people the crust is so hard and thick that they are not conscious of the Divine within them. If once, even for a moment only, the inner being has said, ‘I am here and I am yours’, then it is as though a bridge has been built and little by little the crust becomes thinner and thinner until the two parts are wholly joined and the inner and the outer become one.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Chapter 5, Organisation, Harmonisation, Unification, pp. 135-136

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.