The red-glowing mass of him is seen: a great god has been delivered out of the darkness
– (Rig Veda V.1.2) describing the psychic birth.
Description of psychic being
Indicators of the unveiling of the psychic being
The following signs indicate the unveiling of the psychic being in the heart
- Dream showing the blossoming of flowers.
- Dream of a burning fire in the heart. This is the psychic fire.
- Dream where one feels oneself emerging from a deep well.
- Dream of a dog symbolizing fidelity to the Divine.
- Dream of a newborn child indicating spiritual rebirth.
- Lastly, it awakens a memory of past incarnations coupled with a feeling that one has always existed in the past.
References from the original works on the remarks seen above
Flowers indicate a blossoming in the consciousness, sometimes with special reference to the psychic or the psychicised vital, mental and physical consciousness. (SABCL 23:970)
The fire of course is the psychic fire which wells up from the veiled psychic source. The bird is the soul and the flower is the rose of love and surrender. (SABCL 23:987)
It is usually when the psychic is active that this seeing of flowers becomes abundant. (SABCL 23:970)
The dog usually indicates fidelity and as it is yellow, it would be fidelity in the mind to the Divine – but the other black and white one is difficult to interpret – it is something in the vital, but the meaning of the black spots is not clear. (SABCL, 23:974)
A dream like this of a child – especially a new-born child – usually signifies the birth (or the awakening) of the soul or psychic being in the outward nature. (SABCL, 23:980)
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. (CWMCE 7:267)
Effect of psychic transformation
The psychic transformation brings the following change in our being:
- Automatic perception of the true and false in everything in around us – a kind of hidden intuition.
- A loosening of all ego-knots. There is something in the heart which begins to sense defects in our own nature and turns us away from them.
- Falling away of all emotionalism and sentimentalism. It gives just the right touch to each emotion. No excess.
- Integration of the various parts of our personality around the psychic.
- A general feeling of universal love.
Letters from Sri Aurobindo
It is one of the decisive moments of the integral Yoga when this psychic being, liberated, brought out from the veil to the front, can pour the full flood of its divinations, seeings and impulsions on the mind, life and body of man and begins to prepare the upbuilding of divinity in the earthly nature…..
At a certain stage in the Yoga when the mind is sufficiently quieted and no longer supports itself at every step on the sufficiency of its mental certitudes, when the vital has been steadied and subdued and is no longer constantly insistent on its own rash will, demand and desire, when the physical has been sufficiently altered not to bury altogether the inner flame under the mass of its outwardness, obscurity or inertia, an inmost being, long hidden within and felt only in its rare influences, is able to come forward and illumine the rest and take up the lead of the Sadhana. Its character is a one-pointed orientation towards the Divine or the Highest, one-pointed and yet plastic in action and movement; it does not create a rigidity of direction like the one-pointed intellect or a bigotry of the regnant idea or impulse like the one-pointed vital force; it is at every moment and with a supple sureness that it points the way to the Truth, automatically distinguishes the right step from the false, extricates the divine or Godward movement from the clinging mixture of the undivine. Its action is like a searchlight showing up all that has to be changed in the nature; it has in it a flame of will insistent on perfection, on an alchemic transmutation of all the inner and outer existence…..
(Sri Aurobindo. Synthesis of Yoga, Ascent of sacrifice – 1)
It was certainly an experience of great value, a psychic experience par excellence. “A feeling of velvety softness within – an ineffable plasticity within” is a psychic experience and can be nothing else. It means a modification of the substance of the consciousness especially in the vital-emotional part, and such a modification prolonged or repeated till it became permanent would mean a great step in what I call the psychic transformation of the being. It is just these modifications in the inner substance that make transformation possible.
…Love and devotion to the Divine is the central feeling of the psychic nature and that is growing in you towards the Mother, pervading your being. A psychic love towards all is also emerging; this love is a thing inward and does not seek to express itself outwardly like the vital love which men usually have. The psychic and spiritual attitude is also not dependent on the good and bad in beings, but is self-existent regarding them as souls who carry the Divine in them however thickly concealed and are children of the Mother.
(Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga, Triple transformation)
Experiences of Pavitra and Amal Kiran (disciples)
Amal Kiran: In the course of a talk on his early life, he (Pavitra aka Philippe Barbier Saint-Hilaire ) answered to a question of mine about a certain period of it in France: “I can’t recall anything. A complete blank has come over it as a result of Yoga.” I was set wondering how such a thing could happen. But I understood it some years later during a visit to the Ashram from Bombay. My sadhana (practice) was passing through a phase in which the psyche had suddenly burst to the surface and covered the whole consciousness for days on end, a great warmth of aspiration and love for the Divine blazing out through the heart- centre and surrounding the body and leaping upward from the head toward unknown immensities. I felt cut off from all that had been connected with my ordinary life. The most astonishing result was that, try as I might, I could not visualise in the least the face of my wife Sehra who was in Bombay! After a week or so, the memory came back in a tentative fashion, but I had caughta glimpse of the tremendous life-revolutionising power possessed by the psychic being.
(Amal Kiran . Our light and delight)
Sri Aurobindo also commented on loss of memory he experienced: “It is curious certain things drop out of the memory completely once you disconnect yourself from the past personality.”
(Unpublished talk of 27th Feb, 1939)
Another disciple experiences loss of memory
Nagin: My mind has almost lost its power of memory. Cant remember anything. One minute after reading even your answers to my letters I forget all about them!
Sri Aurobindo: There is very often a complaint of this kind made during the course of the sadhana. I suppose that the usual action of memory is for a time suspended by the mental silence or else by the physical tamas.
Nagin: How then is life to be carried on? The Mother’s Force reminds me of what is to be done at the right time.
Sri Aurobindo: That happens. The memory comes back in another way of action.
(Nagin Doshi. Guidance from Sri Aurobindo, vol. 2, p 222)
Loss of Memory due to psychic transformation
Why did Amal Kiran’s and Pavitra’s memories of early life get erased (as seen in the previous passage)?Because the Samskaras (subconscious memories) which reside within the mental sheath (pictured here) are purged after the psychic transformation. It is equivalent to what Patanjali states in the Yoga Sutras 4.30 – “tatha klesha karma nivritti” which means that the colorings (kleshas) in the mind (chitta) are purged.
Sri Aurobindo alludes to this loss of memory briefly in The Life Divine:
…And there is possible too a state of consciousness in which, although there is no gap of memory, yet by a rapid development the whole being feels itself changed in every mental circumstance and the man feels born into a new personality, so that, if it were not for the co-ordinating mind, he would not at all accept his past as belonging to the person he now is, although he remembers perfectly well that it was in the same form of body and same field of mind-substance that it occurred.
(The Life Divine, Memory, Ego and Self-Experience, p 539)
As when a timeless Eye annuls the hours
Abolishing the agent and the act,
So now his spirit shone out wide, blank, pure:
His wakened mind became an empty slate
On which the Universal and Sole could write.
All that represses our fallen consciousness
Was taken from him like a forgotten load:
A fire that seemed the body of a god
Consumed the limiting figures of the past
And made large room for a new self to live.
(Savitri, Book I, Canto V)
- The elusive touch of the psychic being
- The psychic joy derived from a selfless act
- The Nachiketa fire sacrifice
- How to awaken the soul (psychic being)?