Psychic transformation

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(Sri Aurobindo:) “There are three stages of the sadhana, psychic change, transition to the higher levels of consciousness — with a descent of their conscious forces — the supramental.”[1]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “The psychic being stands behind the heart supporting the mind, life and body. In the psychic transformation there are three main elements: (1) the opening of the occult inner mind, inner vital, inner physical, so that one becomes aware of all that lies behind the surface mind, life and body; (2) the opening of the psychic being or soul by which it comes forward and governs the mind, life and body turning all to the Divine; (3) the opening of the whole lower being to the spiritual truth — this last may be called the psycho-spiritual part of the change. It is quite possible for the psychic transformation to take one beyond the individual into the cosmic. Even the occult opening establishes a connection with the cosmic mind, cosmic vital, cosmic physical. The psychic realises the contact with all existence, the oneness of the Self, the universal love and other realisations which lead to the cosmic consciousness.
         But all that is a result of the opening to the spiritual above and it comes by an infiltration or reflection of the spiritual light and truth in mind, life and body. The spiritual transformation proper begins or becomes possible when one rises above the mind and lives there governing all from above. Even in the psychic transformation one can rise above by a sort of going above of the mental, vital, physical being and a return, but one does not yet live above in the summit consciousness where Overmind has its seat with the other planes that are above the human Mind.
         The supramental transformation can only come when the lid between the lower and higher hemispheres or halves of existence is removed and the Supermind instead of the Overmind becomes the governing power of the existence — but of that nothing can be spoken now.”[2]

(Mother:) “When the psychic being comes in front and dominates all the actions, be it outward or inward, then begins the reversal of consciousness and all is an expression of the Divine, of that which exists in the depths. All the actions, all the sentiments, all the emotions undergo a transmutation – and a new vision, a new sensation and a new hearing open, and we do not see or hear anymore in the ordinary way or feel the earthly type of pain and suffering. An inner vision, a more subtle and profound hearing, a more true and exact sensation awaken in us, and we begin to have an experience by identity; and we no longer see the exterior as it is, but we see the truth behind things, and the misery, the obscurity, this slavery to ignorance disappear. There, everything is hushed and we feel the perfect silence, and all things communicate in silence. It is not necessary to express in words in order to understand; but in another kind of language, with brief and clear vibrations, we understand spontaneously, instantaneously that which would take hours to express in our ordinary language. All the senses are transmuted and we experience the felicity behind things – the truth they contain. We are moved about, as if on a string, in regions where all is beautiful, where harmony is found, where truth predominates.
         And always we ask within, as if to get the answer: “Is it this that you want, Mother? Is it this that you ask? Is this verily the experience that leads me to you?” And there is always an answer from within: “Yes,” if it is positive. “Yes, it is like this, it is correct. It is all right. Continue.” The answer rises, very short, very brief, positive; or if it is negative, then with a twitch, it will tell you spontaneously what is to be done, what is to be followed. And always it is an absolutely correct advice. In this way we converse all the time, converse with the psychic to receive the true direction to decide things, to be sure that the next step is positive.
         And then we are open to so many things, so many unknown worlds: we hear sometimes the power of vibration of the harmonies that constitute music, the vibrations of the subtle worlds, the nuances and the combinations of the vibrations which transmute matter. We feel the joy and the beatitude being transmitted in the cells, in the body. We begin to see the celestial beauty by the fusion of colors and the liberty of expression, unparalleled, without compare, which we never see on earth. We smell a heavenly perfume everywhere in nature as when we water the plants or the celestial aroma when it rains. Even in the taste there is a transformation, and constantly we rejoice in the joy of tasting nectar, as in His divine expression, in the multiplicity of His forms. In the largeness of His élan, in the purity of His manifestation, there exists a Presence.
         Then, in this state, the psychic flame governs all actions, but without constraint, without forcing, without compelling, and we feel a perfect liberty, as of a flight into unknown spheres, but marvellously close to us, very near to us. That which guides now is no longer a flame but the psychic being, a being that directs everything but never commands; instead, it suggests very gently, very sweetly, very discreetly, almost in a whisper, hardly audible, with an incomparable tenderness and benignity; truly, it is as if to advise us to follow the truth that He projects the thing that would be the best and without doubt the most preferable, the most exact and indispensable for the progress, conceived by the One who guides. He gives you the indications, He puts you on the path, He gives you the choice to follow this call which comes from the psychic being. But it is deliberate, with a puissance and a formidable power of execution, without being authoritative, and yet it is veiled and never imposes itself. It acts by an influence, by sending its feelers, or else spreading its antennas to receive the vibrations, the true vibrations, from the part that collaborates and works in unison with the perfect harmony, to be in agreement with it and to be guided by it.
         The work of the psychic being is very subtle, very plastic, as if unexpected and unnoticed; it is as if all the parts of the being merge and dissolve in the beatitude of its presence, in the immutable truth that it represents. And then, in this state, there is no division in the parts of the being: everything obeys a central law, it is that of the psychic being. It is then that the psychic being comes in front and governs the person or the personality which is united in his psychic. By the inner contact the whole aspect of life changes, and his attitude towards himself and all those around him is a perpetual understanding in a harmony and a collaboration without restraint and without clashes or constraint because he knows already what the others want and ask for.”[3]

(Mother:) “When we say that the psychic comes in front it means that first of all it arranges all the parts of the bing – the inner mind, the inner vital and the inner physical – and the activities of their outward manifestation around the psychic being, harmonises them, coordinates them, classifies them, and to each part delegates its work and its mode of execution and controls all the activities by its influence. Or we may say that it infuses or infiltrates its consciousness into the mental to make it act as it should, into the vital as if to persuade it to obey what the psychic instructs and directs; it consoles the physical and renders it conscious by its intimacy and its zeal which vibrates with joy and penetrates the cells and releases them from inertia and ignorance. As soon as it is infused by the enthusiasm which it had never felt before, the physical becomes the greatest collaborator under the command of the psychic being. It is then that all moves according to a call that comes from the central being.
         When we are equipped with this direct functioning which comes straight from the psychic being, then the outer things and circumstances arrange themselves and we go where we should, where the means are given for a perfect meeting, we speak what we should and what is necessary so that the consciousness rises towards the heights, towards that beautiful and that which enlightens by a knowledge which is an intuition. We act by a will which is all-powerful, and we are led as if by an invisible Hand which renders the work as perfect as possible. We are moved by a power before which we feel ourselves as conscious puppets and seem to be guided by an infallible Will.
         At each moment we are as if surrounded or engulfed by a Presence which arranges everything discreetly and accomplishes the miracle of our existence.”[4]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “It might seem then that by bringing this psychic entity, this true soul in us, into the front and giving it there the lead and rule we shall gain all the fulfilment of our natural being that we can seek for and open also the gates of the kingdom of the Spirit. And it might well be reasoned that there is no need for any intervention of a superior Truth-Consciousness or principle of Supermind to help us to attain to the divine status or the divine perfection. Yet, although the psychic transformation is one necessary condition of the total transformation of our existence, it is not all that is needed for the largest spiritual change. In the first place, since this is the individual soul in Nature, it can open to the hidden diviner ranges of our being and receive and reflect their light and power and experience, but another, a spiritual transformation from above is needed for us to possess our self in its universality and transcendence. By itself the psychic being at a certain stage might be content to create a formation of truth, good and beauty and make that its station; at a farther stage it might become passively subject to the world-self, a mirror of the universal existence, consciousness, power, delight, but not their full participant or possessor. Although more nearly and thrillingly united to the cosmic consciousness in knowledge, emotion and even appreciation through the senses, it might become purely recipient and passive, remote from mastery and action in the world; or, one with the static self behind the cosmos, but separate inwardly from the world-movement, losing its individuality in its Source, it might return to that Source and have neither the will nor the power any further for that which was its ultimate mission here, to lead the nature also towards its divine realisation.”[5]

  1. Letters on Yoga – III, p.331
  2. Ibid., p.332
  3. Blessings of the Grace: Conversations with the Mother Recollected by Mona Sarkar and Some of Her Written Answers, p.162
  4. Ibid., p.163
  5. The Life Divine, p.240

See also