Each new evolutionary stage of consciousness takes place within the framework of the previously evolved stages and over a course of time as adaptation of that framework must occur to ‘prepare the ground’ for the new action of consciousness. For example, physical matter, rock, ocean, volcanic action, wind and lightning, etc. are, in their original state, not able to take on and manifest the life energy. As matter adapts and becomes more capable of holding and manifesting a new phase, it becomes possible for the life-force to make itself known and create plants and eventually animals, living forms of matter. Similarly, as mind struggles to manifest, there need to be corresponding changes in matter and in the life-energy in order to prepare for mind’s advent and to create a suitable container or substrate that can handle and respond to the mental energy. We may expect the same thing to occur as the next higher evolutionary stages begin to manifest. There must be adaptations to matter, life and mind.

The emergence of the psychic being is a first transformation needed to bring about the ultimate manifestation of the supramental consciousness. This stage, as the earlier stages, needs to prepare the ground so that body, life and mind are able to respond to and express the psychic being’s force and respond to the higher energies as they respond in the being.

The process can be aided through the conscious participation of the practitioner of yoga, and thereby the long, slow evolutionary development of nature can be speeded up. The first step for the practitioner is to actively seek to bring forward the psychic being, the true soul, to guide and direct the being, to begin to make adaptations in the ways of body, life and mind, and to bring the higher energies to bear on the being as it gains the capacity to stay in contact and to manifest those energies.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “The psychic being emerges slowly in most men, even after taking up sadhana. There is so much in the mind and vital that has to change and readjust itself before the psychic can be entirely free. One has to wait till the necessary process has gone far enough before it can burst its agelong veil and come in front to control the nature. It is true that nothing can give so much inner happiness and joy — though peace can come by the mental and vital liberation or through the growth of a strong samata in the being.”

“The psychic being is in the heart centre in the middle of the chest (not in the physical heart, for all the centres are in the middle of the body), but it is deep behind. When one is going away from the vital into the psychic, it is felt as if one is going deep down till one reaches that central place of the psychic. The surface of the heart centre is the place of the emotional being; from there one goes deep to find the psychic. The more one goes, the more intense becomes the psychic happiness which you describe.” Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 8, The Triple Transformation: Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental, The Psychic Transformation, pp. 203-209

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 16 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.