How to awaken the soul (psychic being)?

The psychic being(soul) in us is the portion of the Divine which  sits behind the heart and guides individual evolution over incarnations.  It’s presence is palpable in the innocence and spontaneity of the child but gradually it becomes camouflaged by the carefully cultivated self-image of the adult.   It is an important step in Integral Yoga when this psychic being is unveiled because it has the capacity to accelerate the spiritual transformation (in conventional Yoga, this unveiling is symbolized by the opening of the heart Chakra).  One has to replace in oneself, the craftiness of the adult with the joyful innocence of the child but this must be done without losing the wisdom and maturity one  has gained.

How can we consciously aid the awakening of the psychic being?  In the following passages, Kireet Joshi, a direct disciple of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother, discusses four types of activities which speed the psychic transformation.

Psychic being.  Image by Loci Lenar via Flickr (Creative Commons).  Click image for source

(Excerpts from a talk by Kireet Joshi, with a few edits, highlights and reformatting)

There is an entity within us, the psychic being, which is spontaneous in character, spontaneous towards truth, beauty and goodness. It is as spontaneous as the body is spontaneous, as spontaneous as the vital is spontaneous. But the body and vital are not spontaneous towards truth, beauty and goodness, whereas the psychic being moves towards truth, beauty and goodness. In the vital being or in the physical being all our instincts are spontaneous, and most of us live a physical and vital life by instincts and impulses which are spontaneous; you do not need to train them. Hunger for example, physical hunger, appetite is spontaneous and one wants to eat food, one likes to eat food, enjoys food; it is instinctive, spontaneous. Similarly, there is spontaneity in the soul but its real food is goodness, its food is beauty, its food is truth. It is a natural spontaneous turning towards truth, beauty and goodness, it is the first mark of the distinct nature of the soul.  Now all human beings, since they have got the presence of the soul in them, they sometimes feel the presence of it.  At times they do feel this spontaneous turning towards truth, beauty and goodness. You witness a heroic action of somebody and you admire it; it is a psychic response, it is a soul response. You find somebody uttering the truth and you feel greatly uplifted; it is a soul response. You do not even reason why he is good or bad or anything; simply because of the truth force there is a spontaneous reaction to it. You may see a beautiful sunrise and you feel admiration for it, you feel the whole world quickened, everything marvellous and the whole scene turning into a kind of experience of beauty: it is a soul response.  And such experiences we all have from time to time, without recognising that the source of it is in the soul.

But when these responses of the soul begin to infiltrate more and more into mind, life and body, they constitute some kind of an influence. That is how we are as it were turned to the soul, but not being aware of it even mentally. Very often it remains for most of us in the whole life a mere influence and nothing more than that, we are not profited by it very much, we turn back immediately to our mental, vital and physical activities. But if the impulse towards truth which comes from the soul becomes very powerful then we become seekers of the truth. Even mentally we become great thinkers and our personality of the mind becomes very powerful. If the impulse towards beauty becomes powerful we begin to become artists. Similarly if our impulse towards good becomes powerful we become heroic, we become ethical, we become good, like a sage, saintly. Such personalities begin to develop in us. And then we remain confined only again to the outer personality of the mind.  Although this root is in the soul, we have taken a little advantage of it, we have dug out a little and then given a shape to it through our mind, and to some extent we allow these influences to go in the vital and the body also. If I have become very artistic, my dresses begin to undergo a change. My physical perfection also I begin to seek, my body I try to make as balanced as possible. Even my vital impulses I express them beautifully, I begin to write good poetry, poetry of romance, poetry of adoration, of beauty on various forms, and so on. So this has an effect upon the mind, vital and physical.

It is only when our mind begins to become clear about the presence of the soul which is distinct from itself, that a more fundamental change occurs in us. From influence which was coming to us from the higher realm of the soul, we begin to be attracted towards it and begin to live in it. In this process even the mind’s clarity about the soul becomes very helpful. For example the kind of description that is being given here can be a good help; if there is a clarity about it then the mind becomes more aware of it and then begins to look for it and while looking for it, you may touch it and you may begin to dwell in it. In other words you shift from preoccupations of the mind, of the vital, of the body to the preoccupations of the spontaneous aspiration for truth, beauty and goodness.  This shift is a very important stage in human development. This is what I called the change.  The first psychic change occurs when instead of being preoccupied only with the mind, life and body, we begin to be preoccupied with the spontaneous movement towards truth, beauty and goodness.

Aspiration (Artist : Priti Ghosh@Sri Aurobindo Ashram).  Click image for artist homepage

The soul is compared with a king who is screened and exiled by the ministers. Body, life and mind are compared with ministers. It is as if the whole kingdom which really belongs to the soul is used up by the ministers: body, life and mind and these have exiled the soul and screened him very tightly. A veil has been put between the soul and the body, life and mind. And then the ministers are ruling the government on their own according to their own wishes. Now the soul which is behind the screen goes on radiating its light on the screen and if the screen becomes quite transparent then the presence of the soul will be seen by everybody concerned.  How to make the screen transparent is the first question. Now the first way of doing it is that the mind, life and body in their own development, in their own experience arrive at a point when they find themselves inadequate and they themselves begin to polish the screen, then that is one method. If consciously body, life and mind, try to knock at the veil then this veil may become thin.  The other method is that in the surroundings of the body, life and mind if truth, beauty and goodness are presented, then the soul gets a kind of a magnetic pull and if it radiates very powerfully because of this magnetic pull, then the screen becomes thin and a transparency can come about. Now both these methods are admissible and can be tried according to the needs.  According to the evolution of each individual, both the methods can be tried.

When this outflow begins to take place, in the first place a formation of the soul begins to peep out of the screen.Now this formation is what is called the psychic personality, and this formation looks first of all like a very small little thing in a big ocean of body, life and mind.  Therefore  the Katha Upanishad calls it not bigger than a thumb, angushtha matra. This personality is so small in the beginning that it looks like a small little cork floating on the ocean thrust by waves of the body, life and mind. This formation gradually becomes stronger. Then this, what is the size of a thumb, becomes bigger and a bigger psychic personality is formed. Now what is the method by which this personality can become much more developed? The first method is the consent of the body, life and mind to allow this element to be their ruler because he is the real king and they are only the ministers. The ministers have to give a consent now and they have to allow the real king to come forward and take charge. But this is a very difficult task because body, life and mind are tuned to their own rule and they do not normally accept to consent; it is like an abdication actually, and abdication is very difficult. But if that happens it will be a tremendous outflowering, immediately the soul can become strongly powerful and a great psychic personality can develop very quickly, rapidly.

Psychic Transformation.  Image by Karolik via Flickr (Creative Commons).  Click on image for source.

A beautiful harmonious personality begins to grow, and this is quite possible if you know the science of it.  But when the science is not known and when the things are allowed to develop pell-mell, then what happens is that this little formation, a small psychic personality not bigger than the thumb is invaded by these three ministers in different proportions depending upon which one of them is more powerful among them. Viziers of Sultan, have a rivalry among them and try to use up even this fragrant presence of the soul and then take advantage and profit from the presence of the soul. They exploit even whatever knowledge, whatever fragrance they get from the soul. They might grant some kind of obedience to the soul but then only to be able to profit from its presence. If a luminous idea has come from the soul, the mind says it is my own idea and it does not admit that the idea has come from the soul. Or if the vital is very powerful, it makes an exclusive possession of that idea and forces it upon everybody as if it is its own kingdom in which mind is not allowed any kind of play. So there is a great tug of war which takes place. It is for this reason that a very sound education is to be proposed, because if that is done consciously then many of these problems can be resolved much more easily. It is only a question of awareness.

Now between this formation and the soul which is behind, of which it is a formation, there is still the screen. Therefore whatever comes from the soul only with a very great difficulty infiltrates into the personality. The wires of communication are cut, obstructed, disturbed. Even the right impulse, when it comes out here becomes twisted by the vital, by the physical, by the mental.  The strength and luminosity of what comes from the soul is polluted over here, therefore the need of purification.  If the body, life and mind are more and more purified, then these obstructions will be much less obstructive, communication will be much more clear and this implies a process of yoga. By yoga we mean basically only three things: the process of concentration, the process of renunciation and the process of purification. If you can concentrate upon the soul, if you can renounce all that is not emerging from the soul and if you can purify the mixtures of various kinds then that constitutes the process of yoga and then the soul can flower much more easily; the screen becomes more and more transparent and ultimately the screen can be completely removed even; or at least for the time being, it can be removed. And even when it falls again, the memory of that experience is so vivid in the outer mind, life and body that a great attraction remains in the body, life and mind to return back to that experience. A great aspiration — inextinguishable aspiration — begins to burn in our outer being i.e. body, life and mind. And these three processes of concentration, purification and renunciation are aided by three processes: the process of jnanayoga, of bhaktiyoga and karmayoga. All these three processes basically are processes of purification, renunciation and concentration. And if that happens very successfully, then the psychic personality becomes very powerful. The body, life and mind consent and invite the soul. That is the meaning of agnimire. I worship the soul. When the body, life and mind begin to say agnimire, I’m worshipping the soul, when this repeats itself then the soul personality becomes very powerful, and the activities of the soul begin to multiply in the outer being. It may use body, life and mind as instruments, as real ministers but the real king really begins to govern and the real royal activities begin to take place, not only ministerial activities, but the real royal activities begin to operate.

These are four activities which are distinctly activities of the royal soul, the real governor of the soul.

  • First is the activity of wisdom; and wisdom consists of seeing the invisible, knowing the unknowable. When this begins to take place then wisdom begins to grow.  The ordinary mind only tries to see what is visible, tries to know what is knowable, but the mark of wisdom is that it tries to see the invisible and it knows the unknowable.  That is the mark of the soul activity.
  • The second is the activity of heroism. A spontaneous revolt against evil —spontaneous revolt — with a luminous idea of the truth.  It is the second activity of the soul.
  • The third is the activity of love which makes no demand from the loved, no merchandise in love. The true soul loves for the sake of love and makes no demand at all of return of any kind. It loves because it wants to love, it pours love for the sake of love, for the sake of joy. So it is distinguished from another kind of love. The other kind of love is what you might call the red love, this is the white love. The red love is what demands, you give a little love and then you demand a lot out of it, but this white love is simply a giver. (See also Four Stages of Human Love)
  • And the fourth is development of spontaneous skills.  You just take up a thing, you want to learn something and if the soul is developed then all the skills come automatically to you. You want to learn sitar for example, within a month you begin to learn it because the skill comes automatically to you. It is a special power of the soul, the secret of all skills is in the soul actually. In the outer body, life and mind it is a laborious movement; by tremendous repetition you get a skill. But the same thing if done by the soul personality, the skills becomes so easy, there is an out-flowering of skills.  Saraswati(Goddess of inspiration) begins to play a full role and develops all the skills of personality. A great harmony is spontaneously manifesting when the soul begins to act. These are all activities of the soul.

And what is the distinctive experience of the psychic? Just as the mind has a distinctive activity mainly of conceiving — to develop concept is a specific activity of the mind, to have a drive and energy, enthusiasm is a vital capacity, is the activity of the vital, a distinctive characteristic. To provide a stable base for anything is the activity of the body. Similarly what is the specific activity, experience of the soul? It is to experience the sweetness of Divine Presence.It is the specific experience of the soul, automatic, it has to make no effort at all to feel the sweetness of the Divine Presence. If the soul is really developed then this experience becomes automatic, ever present. So those four activities of which I spoke: wisdom, heroism, love which demands nothing and skills and this specific experience of the sweetness of the Presence of the Divine — actually in the Katha Upanishad there is a word called madhvadaha, one who eats the honey — the soul is the eater of honey, that is its specific experience — when these activities flood our being, the mind, life and body are so surcharged, they vibrate with this constantly, then starts the process of psychic transformation.

Further reading

This post is based on the talk on Triple Transformation (pp 17-19) by Kireet Joshi.  His other talks are available on his web page.

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41 thoughts on “How to awaken the soul (psychic being)?

  1. Pingback: Syncretism in Sri Aurobindo’s thought – part 2 « Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  2. Sandeep Post author

    Most of our life is wasted in securing our egoistic desires and accommodating our ambition against social constraints; it is those rare spontaneous moments when we act from the soul that count for our psychic growth and contain the potential to alter the course of our life.

    In the context of the four activities (compassion, heroism, wisdom, spontaneous skills) mentioned above which can awaken the soul, here is an apposite example of a chef, Narayanan Krishnan (see Akshaya Trust), who left a well-paying job to feed the downtrodden because his compassion was awakened by the sight of a poor man. It reminds us of the story of St Francis of Assisi who began nursing lepers.

    Madurai, India (CNN) — Narayanan Krishnan was a bright, young, award-winning chef with a five-star hotel group, short-listed for an elite job in Switzerland. But a quick family visit home before heading to Europe changed everything.

    “I saw a very old man eating his own human waste for food,” Krishnan said. “It really hurt me so much. I was literally shocked for a second. After that, I started feeding that man and decided this is what I should do the rest of my lifetime.”

    Krishnan was visiting a temple in the south Indian city of Madurai in 2002 when he saw the man under a bridge. Haunted by the image, Krishnan quit his job within the week and returned home for good, convinced of his new destiny.

    “That spark and that inspiration is a driving force still inside me as a flame — to serve all the mentally ill destitutes and people who cannot take care of themselves,” Krishnan said.
    Read the rest of the story @ CNN : Once a rising star, chef now feeds hungry

    Reply
  3. H. ACHARYA

    I just chanced upon this article. I would like to be informed, when new articles are added. Thanks and Love.

    Reply
  4. mike

    “The psychic being(soul) in us is the portion of the Divine which sits behind the heart and guides individual evolution over incarnations. It’s presence is palpable in the innocence and spontaneity of the child”

    l thought SA said somewhere that the ‘innocence’ and ‘spontaneity’ of the child is more to do with the vital than the psychic.

    Has Mother said anything anout mother theresa, who would also fall into this category?

    l remember a passage bt the Mother about making contact with the Psychic Being which involved going through several doors and finally a Bronze Door which led to a Dazzling White Light, Does anyone know where that is, l can’t seem to locate it?

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      I am not aware of SA associating innocence with the vital or any remarks made by the Mother about Mother Theresa.

      l remember a passage bt the Mother about making contact with the Psychic Being which involved going through several doors and finally a Bronze Door which led to a Dazzling White Light, Does anyone know where that is, l can’t seem to locate it?

      The door is just an image that she used. Each may find his or her own unique description of the psychic opening. This is described in Collected Works, vol. 7, p 266 (17 Aug 1955)

      Question: What does the liberation of the psychic being mean?

      Because one has the feeling—this is a feeling one very often has in the beginning of the sadhana—that the psychic being is as though shut up in a kind of hard shell, a prison, and that this is what prevents it from manifesting outwardly and
      entering into a conscious and constant relation with the outer consciousness, the outer being. One has altogether the feeling that it is as though enclosed in a box or in a prison with walls which must be broken or a door which must be forced in order to be able to enter. So naturally if one can break the walls, open the door, it liberates the psychic being which was shut in and which can now manifest externally. All these are images. But each person, naturally, has his own personal image, his personal method, with small modifications.

      Some of these images are very common to all those who have had the experience. For example, when one goes down into the depths of one’s being to find the psychic right at the bottom of one’s consciousness, there is this image of descending into a deep well, going down deeper and deeper, descending, and it is as though one were truly sinking into a well.

      Naturally all these are analogies; but they are associations with the experience of impressions which give a great deal of force and concrete reality to the experience.

      […]

      To sit in meditation before a closed door, as though it were a heavy door of bronze—and one sits in front of it with the
      will that it may open—and to pass to the other side; and so the whole concentration, the whole aspiration is gathered into a beam and pushes, pushes, pushes against this door, and pushes more and more with an increasing energy until all of a sudden it bursts open and one enters. It makes a very powerful impression. And so one is as though plunged into the light and then one has the full enjoyment of a sudden and radical change of consciousness, with an illumination that captures one entirely, and the feeling that one is becoming another person. And this is a very concrete and very powerful way of entering into contact with one’s psychic being.

      The Mother, Questions and Answers (1955): 17 August 1955

      There are also references to the mystic door in Prayers and Meditations (Collected Works, vol. 1)

      Prayers and Meditations: November 29, 1913: When will they find time to sit quietly and go within, to recollect themselves and open that inner door which screens from them Thy priceless treasures, Thy infinite boons?

      Prayers and Meditations: April 20, 1914: The sublime door has closed again and I find myself still on the threshold of the sanctuary without being able to enter within.

      Prayers and Meditations: August 8, 1914: I know this is not altogether true; but there is a resistance still in the being which refuses to yield, there is a door which remains closed, a certain door of luminous intelligence which no effort has been able till now to open, and this terribly impoverishes Thy manifestation.

      Prayers and Meditations: March 27, 1917: (Communication in dialogue received during meditation) “Knock at the door of consciousness and the door will be opened to thee.”

      Reply
  5. mike

    Thanks for those quotes sandeep. There is another one about ‘doors’ which l think was the Mother’s own experience of the Psychic Realisation and She describes it as a ‘Dazzling’ experience.

    l think l might have confused the ‘vital in the child’ with the convewrsation below from the evening talks:

    “Disciple: Nobility of soul, must it not express itself in physical beauty?

    Sri Aurobindo: That is what should be; but it is not so always in life. A man’s soul may be as noble as that of Socrates and he may be as ugly!

    Disciple: Children are all and always beautiful.

    Sri Aurobindo: In them it is the vital glow.”

    Reply
  6. Pingback: The elusive touch of the psychic being | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  7. Sandeep Post author

    Satire from the Onion

    Christ Reluctantly Enters Area Man’s Heart

    The Lamb of God, who admitted He was “not particularly thrilled” at having to deliver Moehr from suffering and bondage, said that He wavered before entering the suburban father’s heart, reportedly giving serious consideration to whether or not to allow him to continue languishing in darkness. However, after taking a moment to compose Himself, Christ said He took a deep breath, gritted His teeth, and allowed His divine love to wash over the Kansas City–area resident.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/christ-reluctantly-enters-area-mans-heart,33848/

    Reply
  8. Al

    This article simply entertains the essence of yoga, or, more importantly the tremendous need for it.

    For the paramount question that arises, perhaps innocently at first is this: Why, on earth, the Psychic Being has not been always, and it is not still, in charge of the life?
    Ponder carefully about that. What constructs, what forces, are there since time immemorial that confabulate against the manifestation of the glory of the Psychic Being? What makes such a powerful agent, a puppet worthy of derision, most often than not? Finally…who is in charge?

    Something, some process is in charge other than the Psychic Being, for Sri Aurobindo to warn us thus in the way this article begins, quoting again:

    “The psychic being(soul) in us is the portion of the Divine which sits behind the heart and guides individual evolution over incarnations. It’s presence is palpable in the innocence and spontaneity of the child but gradually it becomes camouflaged by the carefully cultivated self-image of the adult. It is an important step in Integral Yoga when this psychic being is unveiled because it has the capacity to accelerate the spiritual transformation…”

    It must be “unveiled”, it is “camouflaged”, it has to be brought to the forefront, it has to take the reins of the being, because “it seats BEHIND the heart”, finally it has to be in charge to advance in the yoga. Without it, we cannot advance spiritually, but the guy is mostly a wimp, we soon find out.

    Sandeep wrote above: “Most of our life is wasted in securing our egoistic desires and accommodating our ambition against social constraints; it is those rare spontaneous moments when we act from the soul that count for our psychic growth and contain the potential to alter the course of our life.”

    Great “description”. So what do we do? What a surprise when the Psychic Being realizes that it is controlled by the psychic adjuncts, which it should be controlling. This must be the beginning of wisdom. To notice that the life force, the kundalini, supports the psychic adjuncts every time against the wimpy Psychic Being, hell bent on the procreation of the species, and to start manipulating, canalizing, this force to conform to spiritual growth is called Kundalini Yoga. Whether Tantrically from below to above, and Aurobindoneally from above to below, Yoga remains the empowering of the Psychic Being.

    Reply
    1. Prarthana

      Well said. That was my first thought as well. Why / how does this powerful presence get lost in the first place. Also what agency would be responsible for unveiling the psyhic being (even in yoga) when each ‘adjunct’ is merely interested in establishing itself. Who is it that does the yoga or pursues it? Is it where this aspiration lies? Where does this aspiration live then?

      Reply
      1. Sandeep Post author

        Why / how does this powerful presence get lost in the first place.

        It gets lost during the process of spiritual evolution/reincarnation. The doors of the senses open outwards.

        Also what agency would be responsible for unveiling the psyhic being (even in yoga) when each ‘adjunct’ is merely interested in establishing itself. Who is it that does the yoga or pursues it? Is it where this aspiration lies? Where does this aspiration live then?

        Your questions are best answered by reading and meditating over the cryptic replies given by Ramana Maharshi.

        The psychic being can unveil itself briefly causing the initial turn to Yoga. The ego retains the memory of that event and drives the Yoga forward (initially for selfish needs) until the ego also ceases to exist at a later point.

      2. amsha

        Actually it is always in us as an inner center of our being but unless you take care to find your psychic soul and sustain its aspirations towards higher things this is veiled by energies of surface mind, life and physical being and you lost in the maze of Ignorance relative to your inner light and truth. Practical urge for it is aspiration.

      3. mike

        l think ‘Evolution’ is the key word here. lt’s not possible for the Psychic Being to be in front dominating the personal self in the beginning of it’s evolutionary journey – there would be no need for growth or evolution in that case. Anyway, there is only a kind of Psychic Presence in the beginning and not a fully formed Psychic Being. So, at the outset there would only be a minimal influence. When fully developed, l believe it totally controls and manipulates our lives (still behind a veil until the Psychic Union takes place). The Mother has said that the developed or mature Psychic will guide our every step (or at least the major steps). Like in a major catastrophe the ppl involved have a kind of collective karma, but someone with a developed Psychic will be directly protected by his Psychic Being in some way (which might seem miraculous to others)..

  9. Mires

    “An inner law of beauty shapes our lives;
    Our words become the natural speech of Truth,
    Each thought is a ripple on a sea of Light.
    Then sin and virtue leave the cosmic lists;
    They struggle no more in our delivered hearts:
    Our acts chime with God’s simple natural good
    Or serve the rule of a supernal Right.”

    Sri Aurobindo, Savitri – II: The Finding of the Soul

    Reply
  10. mike

    Also, with reference to Kundalini in relation to the Psychic Being. This has also been said in another area of the blog –

    ‘With regard to other aspects of classical Tantra, it is important to note that SriAurobindo and the Mother did not recommend raising the kundalini shakti (force or power) from below, because doing so can lead to a variety of psychological disturbances acknowledged by transpersonal psychology (Scotton, Chinen, &Battista, 1996, pp. 261–270). Instead, IYP proceeds by bringing forward the psychic being and infusing the psychic into the entire inner being first, and then the outer being, as well. The advantage of this method is that by virtue of its inherent contact with the Divine, the psychic being can gently open the chakras and canalize the kundalini power without danger of inducing what transpersonal psychologists now call ‘‘spiritual emergencies’’’.

    Reply
  11. mike

    This is just something l read today.

    “Satprem: First of all, in the ‘Questions and Answers’ you speak of the ‘reversal of consciousness’. Is this
    synonymous with the psychic realization? Because in one Conversation you connect the two things:
    the reversal of consciousness and the discovery of the psychic being.’

    M: It’s the result of this discovery. In fact, it’s the result of union with the psychic being.”.

    Reply
  12. arpanrox

    Does the following aphorism by Patanjali refer to Psychic Being mentionrd by SA ?(ws reading an article from a series on Patanjali’s aphorisms in a magazine by All World Gayatri Parivar, claimed it does):
    Hridaye Chittasamvit(3/34).
    “by Samyam on the heart knowledge of Chitta arises”.
    They say “chittasamvit”is same as SA’s psychic being. Even if we take “samvit” to mean “knowledge of the chitta” (I took the most oft repeated meaning from internet) , this does seem related to Psychic Being. The effects of this samyam(mentioned by them) too are strkingly similar to Psychic Transformation.

    Reply
  13. mike

    lt certainly sounds like it.

    Ramana was asked about it:

    “Mr. Sitaramiah, a visitor: What does Samyamana mean in Patanjali Yoga Sutra?

    Maharshi: One pointedness of mind.

    Devotee: By such samyamana in the Heart, chitta samvit is said to result.
    What does it mean?

    Maharshi: Chitta samvit is Atma Jnana. i.e. Knowledge of the Self.”

    Although, SA would differentiate between the Self and Psychic being l believe.
    He also said that Ramana had the Psychic Realization not Self-Realization.

    Reply
    1. arpanrox

      Wherefrom do you dig all this out!
      …..
      Can’t find the comment…but somewhere on you had asked if the Witness purush mentioned by SA is the psychic being and Sandeep had quoted a text by SA supporting you. But it also said tht it is the Transcendent Self.
      What I fail to understand is, that Jnana Yofa and paths similar to it advocate this Witness Method/silencing the mind and arrive at the Transcendent Self..even SA did under Lele’s guidance. While the same method is recommended in IY for Psychic Transformation.
      Whereas the descriptions of experience of Trancendent Self/Silent Brahman and Psychic Being seem to be quite distinct.
      I, personally feel something closer to the Silent Brahman(as if tht wud be the end if i continue) whn i meditate via witness method and very rarely I get upsurges of joy(akin to psychic experience).

      Reply
  14. mike

    ” While the same method is recommended in IY for Psychic Transformation.
    Whereas the descriptions of experience of Trancendent Self/Silent Brahman and Psychic Being seem to be quite distinct.”

    Yes, arpanrox, l think your probably right about the distinction. According to SA’s statement below, the Psychic doesn’t act like a witness. lt is a Purusha – the Purusha in the Heart or Chaitya Purusha, but as you say, it’s not the Silent Witness Purusha which stands behind the mental being. Yes, it’s all very confusing from the intellectual standpoint lol. These things need to be directly experienced..

    From:
    Letters on Yoga
    Part 1 – Section 5

    Planes and Parts of the Being

    Subsection 5: The Central Being
    (2) Psychic Being or Soul

    “The mental being within watches, observes and passes judgment on all that happens in you. The psychic does not watch and observe in this way like a witness, but it feels and knows spontaneously in a much more direct and luminous way, by the very purity of its own nature and the divine instinct within it, and so, whenever it comes to the front it reveals at once what are the right and what the wrong movements in your nature.
    The being of man is composed of these elements – the psychic behind supporting all, the inner mental, vital and physical, and the outer, quite external nature of mind, life and body which is their instrument of expression. But above all is the central being (Jivatma) which uses them all for its manifestation: it is a portion of the Divine Self; but this reality of himself is hidden from the external man who replaces this inmost self and soul of him by the mental and vital ego. It is only those who have begun to know themselves that become aware of their true central being; but still it is always there standing behind the action of mind, life and body and is most directly represented by the psychic which is itself a spark of the Divine. It is by the growth of the psychic element in one’s nature that one begins to come into conscious touch with one’s central being above.
    When that happens and the central being uses a conscious will to control and organize the movements of the nature, it is then that one has a real, a spiritual as opposed to a partial and merely mental or moral self-mastery.”

    Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga – I: Planes and Parts of the Being – V

    “I, personally feel something closer to the Silent Brahman(as if tht wud be the end if i continue) whn i meditate via witness method and very rarely I get upsurges of joy(akin to psychic experience).”

    Yes, except that as M says below, we will have to go down to realize the Psychic after that. Of course, as you say, SA attained the Silent Mind first, whilst M seemed to have had the Psychic first [She was given the Silent Mind later by SA]. Both are needed, obviously..

    Question : Mother, why is it better to concentrate in the heart?

    Answer : He says here that it is easier. For some people it is more difficult, it depends on one’s nature. But it is better because if you concentrate there, deeply enough, it is there that you enter into contact with the psychic for the first time; while if you concentrate in the head you have to pass later from the head to the heart to be able to identify yourself with the psychic being. And if you concentrate by gathering the energies, it is better to gather them here, because it is in this centre, in this region of the being that you find the will to progress, the force of purification, and the most intense and effective aspiration. The aspiration that comes from the heart is much more effective than that from the head.

    The Mother, Questions and Answers (1954): 3 November 1954

    Reply
    1. arpanrox

      I personally don’t see much dichotomy between the psychic way of feeling and witness attitude. In my practice I myself move closer to “feeling”the various movements within me when I overcome the mental “vibration” of Witness. The “vibration” I talk about is:

      Certainly, the vital cannot take an interest in a blank condition. If you depend on your vital you cannot prolong it. It is the spirit that feels a release in the silence empty of all mental or other activities, for in that silence it becomes self-aware. For the blankness to be real one must have got into the Purusha or Witness consciousness. If you are looking at it with your mind or vital, then there is not blankness, — for even if there are no distinct thoughts then there must be a mental attitude or mental vibrations — e.g. the not feeling interest.
      – SA LoY 3
      ——————
      “Yes, arpanrox, l think your probably right about the distinction. According to SA’s statement below, the Psychic doesn’t act like a witness. lt is a Purusha – the Purusha in the Heart or Chaitya Purusha, but as you say, it’s not the Silent Witness Purusha which stands behind the mental being.”

      I am not saying that it is not the purush behind the mental being. SA hinself says tht it is, in various places. In the post about Cultivating Witness Consciousness Sandeep mentions of how it unveils the psychic. Satprem in his Adventure of Consc. clsims that too.
      ——————-
      A personal doubt:
      A few days ago I heard an emotionally disturbing news that gave me a sudden strong feeling if helplessness. I am a rather dry person in general, however when I went into meditation lying down at night(witness method) I found myself feeling waves of calm confidence and a strong upsurge of love totally alien to my temperament. The feeling, though lessened in intensity but remained throughout the next day, giving a vivid “assuredness” that I would easily help that person(an elder relative) and no harm would befall him in my presence. Also, am not atall of the sweet/harmonious kinds(except a little train of introverted bhakti nd patriotism). But the whole of next day I felt a gladness suffusing in my being making my palns and soles literally warm..I gave up my reserve while interacting with people(still keeping the inner poise needed for yoga)which surprised them. Right words in right tone seem to automatically fall from my mouth and I did chores at home unasked. Felt like a krishna lol. Is this feeling the precursor of Mahalaxmi bhaav ?(forgive me if am transgressing on smthing great lol) I felt many other harmonious feelings like tht of organizing my stuff etc(not atall my habit) tht my father regularly tells me to improve as acc to traditional wisdom it displeases lakshmi. Also, is this a glimple of psychic influence ? For the first time i felt a calm loving force of will in me rather than gritty one. However the feelings hv largely subsided.

      ——————–

      Also, I wanted to know if Psychic transformation is also a sort of liberation ?

      Reply
  15. S

    Mike / Sandeep

    Quoting Mike’s comments :
    “l think ‘Evolution’ is the key word here. lt’s not possible for the Psychic Being to be in front dominating the personal self in the beginning of it’s evolutionary journey – there would be no need for growth or evolution in that case.”

    Yes, the psychic being, being in the front from the very beginning would defeat the purpose of evolution. But why is it this way? Decided by the Supreme Will I guess – by His design? His whim? His wish? But why? Why couldn’t all of us simply have the psychic being in the front always from the beginning itself? Why put everyone through the prolonged and tedious process of evolution? Why didn’t He just simplify things for Himself and for all of us?
    Also, what is the purpose of creation?

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      The Divine wishes to experience itself through evolution. It scatters itself into multiple beings and evolves through them to experience the joy of finding itself. This seems painful right now when considered from our perspective but once you experience the psychic joy, once you feel your consciousness stretched out in the Infinite Consciousness, it might make sense.

      Reply
  16. S

    “Christ Reluctantly Enters Area Man’s Heart ”

    Is that for real? I am not sure I understood this properly. ‘The Lamb of God, who admitted He was “not particularly thrilled” at having to deliver Moehr from suffering and bondage’ means what? I mean, Christ consciousness is in tune with the Divine consciousness …. then what is this hesitation to purify the heart of a human?
    I clicked on the link a couple of times, but it doesn’t seem to be yielding anything.

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      The Onion is a well-known American satirical magazine. In this article, it pokes fun at religious fundamentalists who believe they are close to Jesus

      Reply
  17. john

    “Is that for real? I am not sure I understood this properly.”

    S, lt’s the ‘Onion’ – just satire.
    The link works for me.

    Reply
  18. Arpan

    I am here writing a process. Anyone kindly tell me if it is the correct way to go about for psychic opening as well as Descent of Force:

    I keep a sense of the Divine grace(which is all these for me: light, love, bliss, knowledge, strength, purity etc) descending on my head. I sometimes imagine it to descend only on my head, and sometimes throughout the body via the spinal channel.I sometimes also feel my “inner diivinity” respond to this divine contact with love [would this be good for the “aspiration” part of the Triple effort ?]

    If I feel any undivine rajasik or tamasik movement in my vital/physical/mental nature, I “offer” it to the Divine for transformation(often see it as Divine grace pouring melting it aaay or transforming it like Anger into powerful an calm vitality, dullness into a luminous self-possessed stillness etc).[would this be good for the “Rejection” part of the Triple effort ?]

    As part of above 2 I naturally have a sense of giving up any ‘contraction’ in my being and relaxing, secure in presence of Divine.[would this be good for the “Surrender” part of the Triple effort ?]

    The above imagery is used here to convey the inner sense. Imagery can be modified sometimes depending on what my mood is at that time(though rarely). Eg sometimes I imagine a Krishna/Rama/Seeta(for the mother aspect) and his divine effulgence permeating my being or he keeping his palm on my head and his blessing flowing.

    If I sit in meditative stillness(not performing any imaginative kriya) these days, a part of the gentle joy I feel in the above process does arise in mind.

    Reply
  19. john

    Personally, l find it easier to just call for the Peace and Calm or Force, and then just wait patiently for the Descent [everyone to their own method, though]..they can manifest at anytime after the ‘call’ – even when being very active.
    When these things descend there’ll be no doubt.

    Reply
    1. Arpan

      I do that at times too. As i said, mental method I use depends on the mood and intensity of aspiration. I just wish to confirm if what i do is “right” and I am not missing something fundamental.

      Reply
      1. Sandeep Post author

        Imagine a Light or Fire in the heart and same above the head. Aspire that they join each other.

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