When we reflect on the difficulty of changing basic human nature, and overcoming the general habits and patterns of universal nature expressing itself in us, we may easily recognise that none of the characteristic powers of mind, life or body will be sufficient to accomplish real and lasting change. The question arises as to whether real change can be effected. If we look at the real changes that took place when life manifested in matter, and when mind manifested in life, it becomes obvious that the evolutionary cycle will eventually bring forth the next power of consciousness which indeed has the capacity to effectuate real change. The next question then is how we go about preparing ourselves, as conscious participants in a speeded up evolutionary process, to aid in this manifestation. Sri Aurobindo describes two methods that can aid in this endeavour.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “There are two ways to meet all that — first that of the Self, calm, equality, a spirit, a will, a mind, a vital, a physical consciousness that remain resolutely turned towards the Divine and unshaken by all suggestion of doubt, desire, attachment, depression, sorrow, pain, inertia. This is possible when the inner being awakens, when one becomes conscious of the Self, of the inner Mind, the inner Vital, the inner Physical, for that can more easily attune itself to the divine Will, and then there is a division in the being as if there were two beings, one within, calm, strong, equal, unperturbed, a channel of the Divine Consciousness and Force, one without still encroached on by the lower Nature; but then the disturbances of the latter become something superficial which are no more than an outer ripple, — until these under the inner pressure fade and sink away and the outer being too remains calm, concentrated, unattackable. There is also the way of the psychic, — when the psychic being comes out in its inherent power, its consecration, adoration, love of the Divine, self-giving, surrender and imposes these on the mind, vital and physical consciousness and compels them to turn all their movements Godward. If the psychic is strong and master throughout, then there is no or little subjective suffering and the objective cannot affect either the soul or the other parts of the consciousness — the way is sunlit and a great joy and sweetness are the note of the whole sadhana. As for the outer attacks and adverse circumstances, that depends on the action of the Force transforming the relations of the being with the outer Nature; as the victory of the Force proceeds, they will be eliminated; but however long they last, they cannot impede the sadhana, for then even adverse things and happenings become a means for its advance and for the growth of the spirit.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 10, Difficulties in Transforming the Nature, The Resistance of the Nature, pp. 271-273

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.