We become so used to all of the dark tendencies, hurtful energies and bad faith displayed throughout the world that we sometimes believe that this is the unchanging way that life is meant to be. What we often do not see is the secret evolutionary development of the soul, through time and circumstance, as it weaves its way through its various lifetimes of growth and development, and the interactions that occur with those who are at different stages in their own evolutionary progression, all of which, together, creates the mixed energetic reality that we see around us. Sometimes we believe that what we see around us, the way people act and respond, the terrible energetic relationships of jealousy, envy, hatred, lust, greed, misogyny, racism, bullying, lying, self-dealing are simply the way to act and respond when confronted with difficult situations.

Yet, for those who have begin the spiritual quest, it soon becomes clear that such actions and reactions are temporary, transitory phenomena of a stage of evolution through which humanity collectively is passing, and that just as there are people who embody these tendencies, there are also those who are advancing and moving beyond the framework within which these things occur. The choice for the spiritual seeker who does not want to interact in these ways comes down to either avoidance through withdrawal from the world, or conscious adoption of new ways of relating to society and the world at large. In the past, spiritual aspirants have frequently chosen the path of withdrawal from the world to further their individual spiritual liberation. Many of them have found solace, while others have recognized that they continue to carry the world with them wherever they go, until they work through and change the thoughts, emotions, vital responses, habits, reactions that occur within their all-too-human frame.

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother focus on the view that in the evolutionary cycle, the transition to a higher spiritual energetic status can and does come about as the seeker turns his focus towards the expressions of the higher forces that manifest as light, harmony, joy, goodwill, compassion, etc. These expressions are the essential response of the psychic being, the soul that carries out the evolution of consciousness through time and across multiple lifetimes. As the soul increases in its ability to manage the mind-life-body complex and make its natural choices for the higher energies that are available to counteract the darkness, it begins to take a lead role in working to change the heretofore ‘standard’ human nature into what we may call the ‘divine nature.’

Sri Aurobindo observes: “It is the soul in us which turns always towards Truth, Good and Beauty, because it is by these things that it itself grows in stature; the rest, their opposites, are a necessary part of experience, but have to be outgrown in the spiritual increase of the being. The fundamental psychic entity in us has the delight of life and all experience as part of the progressive manifestation of the spirit, but the very principle of its delight of life is to gather out of all contacts and happenings their secret divine sense and essence, a divine use and purpose so that by experience our mind and life may grow out of the Inconscience towards a supreme consciousness, out of the divisions of the Ignorance towards an integralising consciousness and knowledge. It is there for that and it pursues from life to life its ever-increasing upward tendency and insistence; the growth of the soul is a growth out of darkness into light, out of falsehood into truth, out of suffering into its own supreme and universal Ananda.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter VIII The Psychic Being and Inner Growth, pg. 148

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 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.