The mind, vital, and physical body tend to pull one in different directions, based on their differing needs, wants or desires, and propensities. This creates a tension in the being when the pulls from these aspects come into conflict with one another. For instance, someone has the desire to become a proficient athlete and this requires a strict discipline as to diet and training; at the same time, certain foods are desired, or the being wants to simply relax and enjoy the day. The mind may want to undertake a deep and intensive focus for some research, but the vital wants to go out and party, or the body is clamoring for its needs being met. As long as we remain fixed in the external being and the interplay of these different parts of the being, there is no solution and the conflict continues, in one form or another.

There are hints towards unifying the consciousness that can be garnered from the review of an intense mental or vital focus, as the other parts of the being tend to take a secondary role during periods of concentration; however, this is both a temporary and unstable unification as it is subject to being easily disrupted when the other parts of the being come to the fore. The mind-life-body complex is so tightly integrated that focus on any one of them inevitably brings the needs, desires, weaknesses and strengths of each of them to the issue.

The Mother provides another solution, one that takes us out of the fixation on the mind-life-body complex entirely and works to find and implement another unifying principle entirely, that of the psychic being deep with that provides direction and purpose for the entire surface being when it acts as the central organizing principle.

A disciple inquires: “Sweet Mother, how can one unify one’s being?”

The Mother notes: “The first step is to find, deep within oneself, behind the desires and impulses, a luminous consciousness which is always present and manifests the physical being.”

“Ordinarily, one becomes aware of the presence of this consciousness only when one has to face some danger or an unexpected event or a great sorrow.”

“One has, then, to come into conscious contact with that and learn to do so at will. The rest will follow.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Chapter 5, Organisation, Harmonisation, Unification, pg. 131

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 17 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.