Sri Aurobindo's Light
Sri Aurobindo's Light

Psychic Education

“There is an ascending evolution in nature which goes from the stone to the plant, from the plant to the animal, from the animal to man. Because man is, for the moment, the last rung at the summit of the ascending evolution, he considers himself as the final stage in this ascension and believes there can be nothing on earth superior to him. In that he is mistaken.... Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to teach this truth to men. He told them that man is only a transitional being living in a mental consciousness, but with the possibility of acquiring a new consciousness, the Truth-consciousness, and capable of living a life perfectly harmonious, good and beautiful, happy and fully conscious.”

— THE MOTHER

 Introduction

 

“Essentially there is but one single true reason for living: it is to know oneself. We are here to learn—to learn what we are, why we are here, and what we have to do. And if we don’t know that, our life is altogether empty—for ourselves and for others.” 

— THE MOTHER

In one of her classes at the Ashram Playground The Mother said, These powerful words of The Mother say it all. But what does she really mean when she says that the reason for living is “to know oneself”? Does it mean that one knows oneself when one has found out that one has a beautiful voice and likes to sing or that one dislikes mathematics? These things are knowledge about our surface nature, but the true knowledge about ourselves is an inner knowledge of our true eternal self. What The Mother means is that, if we really want to know ourselves and learn why we are here, we have to come in conscious contact with our soul. Why? The soul is a spark of the Divine himself. It is our inmost self. Only the soul in us knows the truth and can help us to take decisions that are based on truth. Our outer being (which is made up of our mind, our emotions and personality, and our body) is meant to give expression not only to the qualities of the soul but also to the decisions made by the soul. The outer being should not be the decision taker, because it cannot see the truth. That is so because of the process of evolution. In the evolution God first created out of himself matter. But in matter his consciousness is hidden so completely that it appears to be without consciousness; it is called inconscient. Rocks belong to this most inconscient layer of the creation. Since it was God’s wish to reveal himself more, plants evolved. This process went on and he unveiled himself even more in the form of animals. And then man, the thinking animal was created. Though man is the highest form of evolution till now, his body, vital and mental have still a lot of the original ignorance of the matter in them. That is why these parts of ourselves cannot take the best decisions. It is only when we learn to listen to our divine center, our psychic, that we can take decisions in harmony with our highest aim. When we are in contact with our psychic center we experience the world in a different way: everything becomes more beautiful, we stop making judgments, we see the deep harmony that exists in spite of outer appearances and we spread loving goodwill and harmony ourselves. We realize that it is important to make our body, vital and mind strong and pure, supple and open, so that they can express the psychic element in us as perfectly as possible, without distortions.

But one does not find the soul just like that. Usually a long preparation is necessary. To prepare ourselves for the discovery of the psychic  being is a beautiful journey, but it does need effort and determination on our part. We have to make a repeated effort to start living within and to create inside ourselves an environment where the psychic can come to the front. We need determination because our mind, our vital and our body have formed habits and preferences that they will not give up easily. God does not impose himself, but is ever presently and ever ready to help us. Similarly the psychic, our divine center, does not impose itself. It has to be invited constantly. We invite it by sincerely wanting to know its truth, by becoming quiet and pure enough to hear its silent voice and by choosing to follow it. Besides the fact that only the soul in us can know the truth and guide us, there is one more good reason to start our inner journey. “We are on earth to progress,” says The Mother. This is the reason for taking birth after birth, because our psychic can only make progress here on earth when it takes on a human body. Today the importance of making progress has a new dimension thanks to the marvelous work done by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

Sri Aurobindo has said that in the next step of the evolution the Supramental consciousness will reign on earth. The Supramental consciousness is also called the Truth consciousness. To be able to be part of the Supramental creation our psychic being will have to be continuously in front. The Mother and Sri Aurobindo devoted their whole life to bring this new consciousness down into the earth's atmosphere. On 29th February 1956 it came down. Years later The Mother declared that the Supramental consciousness was sufficiently established on earth and that the New World that would be able to express this consciousness was born. She invited everybody who wanted to become part of this new creation to prepare themselves for it in all sincerity. Knowing this, you can understand how important it is for students who have a whole new life in front of them, that teachers are able to make them aware of the existence of the world within themselves and that we help them to discover and remain in contact with their psychic being. Is this not giving an added meaning and a new

urgency for going on an inner quest ourselves? We can only help our students, our children well, if we ourselves have consciously begun and experienced the search for our psychic center. This search and discovery will give true meaning to our lives. It is the task of teachers in integral schools to create an environment

that helps students to find the deeper aim of their lives. When we started ourselves to look and live within we discover a new dimension in our life that extends itself to our work and makes it more beautiful. Real integral education is to create a classroom environment where concern for the deepest, truest part in the students is consciously integrated in every aspect of the teaching-learning process that we facilitate.

 

THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY

In the whole manifestation there is an infinite Grace constantly at work to bring the world out of the misery, the obscurity and the stupidity in which it lies. From all time this Grace has been at work, unremitting in its effort, and how any thousands of years were necessary for this world to awaken to the need for something greater, truer, more beautiful.” 

— THE MOTHER

People sleep, they forget, they take life easy—they forget, forget all the time....But if we could remember...that we are at an exceptional hour, a unique time, that we have this immense good fortune, this invaluable privilege of being present at the birth of a new world, we could easily get rid of everything that impedes and hinders our progress. So, the most important thing, it seems, is to remember this fact; even when one doesn’t have the tangible experience, to have the certainty of it and faith in it; to remember always, to recall it constantly, to go to sleep with this idea, to wake up with this perception; to do all that one does with this great truth as the background, as a constant support, this great truth that we are witnessing the birth if a new world. We can participate in it, we can become this new world. And truly, when one has such a marvelous opportunity, one should be ready to give up everything for its sake.”

                                                                                            — THE MOTHER

 

 

 

 

The Great Discovery

 

The first work to be done is to have a closer look at ourselves. We

live day in and day out, but how well do we know who we are?

Does this seem to be a strange question to you? Probably yes, at

least if you define yourself only by the body you live in, the relationships

you have, the work you do. But what is meant here is your

real, inner self—your psychic being, the divine in you. We talked

about “the ignorance” in the previous chapter. It is due to this ignorance

in our surface awareness that the psychic is hidden from us.

So it takes effort to become really aware of the psychic being, it takes

effort to regularly look for it inside ourselves, it takes effort to live

within constantly. This chapter is written to help you decide if you

really want to start this effort of preparing yourself for the psychic

discovery .

“Is it then really so important to go in search of my psychic?”

you may ask. Here is, in short, a description of the different parts of

our being. It may help you to look at yourself with more clarity.

There are three main parts: each human being has an outer

nature, an inner nature and an innermost core. The outer nature

is made up of the physical, the vital and the mental nature. It is

everything in you that is visible on the surface for others. Through

your outer nature you deal with your surroundings. All that you

see, hear, taste, smell, touch comes to you through the outer nature.

All your actions, your interactions and communications with

others belong to it. Reading this book, cooking a nice dish, having

a good conversation with a few friends, it all belongs to, is

done by your outer nature.

Next comes the inner nature. It is everything in you that is

going on behind the scene, that is not visible to others and often

not even to yourself. Here also there are three main parts. There

is an inner mental, inner vital and inner physical. For example, a

noble character typically comes from special qualities in the inner

vital. Some people are afraid of dogs, others love them. The

outer vital being notices and expresses the fear or love for dogs,

but this fear has its origin in the inner nature; you do not exactly

know why it is so that you love or fear them.

Lastly, there is our core, our central being. This has two main

parts: the Self and the soul. The Self, also called Atman, is immortal

and remains the same through all our lives. You can contact

it just above the head. Then there is the psychic which you

can find behind the heart. The Mother mentions in one of her

Playground talks that each human being is unique and that each

one has a role to fulfil. The uniqueness is in our psychic being

and it can express itself in the world through some special qualities

of our inner and outer nature. These qualities may change or

may be perfected from birth to birth, but our essence remains

always the same.

The psychic is often called the soul; it is your divine centre.

The psychic is constantly in touch with the Divine. It is the portion

in you that remains permanent and comes down again and

again in a human body. From life to life the psychic can grow

from a small presence behind the veil into a fully developed psychic

being. You can help it grow. It does so every time you put in

the effort to allow it to develop and manifest itself. This effort has many facets but we can give it the common name “self-preparation”.

 


 

The psychic being

 

 

 

Because this book is about psychic education here follows a more

 

detailed description of the psychic being. Each one of us has at

 

the centre of our being a spark of the Divine Consciousness; this

 

is what is called the soul. This core is permanent, it generally

 

enters the body at birth. After it has entered the body it gathers

 

around itself elements for the development of a psychic consciousness.

 

In this way, slowly, around the soul, grows a psychic presence.

 

This presence is the beginning of a psychic individuality.

 

Over many lives this psychic presence can grow into a psychic

 

being. There comes a moment when the psychic being is so well

 

formed that it expresses an individual and independent Divine

 

Consciousness. Thus each psychic being is unique and expresses

 

a unique part of the individual Divine. Another way to put this is

 

to say, that the psychic being is the part in you that expresses the

 

Divine Truth in a unique way.

 

The role of the psychic being is to support the evolution or

 

the unveiling of the Divine Consciousness on earth, so that one

 

day there will be a Divine Life possible right here on earth. The

 

psychic being is the link between your outer nature, (mind, vital

 

and physical) and your highest Self or Atman. The psychic aspires

 

that the inner and outer nature may open themselves to the

 

Divine so that they can express the divine will here on earth. The

 

outer nature which is full of ignorance has to be prepared for

 

this, and this process is called purification. Sri Aurobindo in his

 

letters to sadhaks and The Mother in her Playground Talks have

 

often spoken about purification. You will read more about it in

 

the two chapters about Purification . The psychic aspires to feel the presence and power of the Divine

 

within the heart, it really wills that your whole being becomes

 

one with the Divine. It aspires for contact with the higher

 

consciousness so that this may penetrate your outer and inner

 

nature. This process is called unification, and this is discussed in

 

the chapter called Unification .

 

Then there is what Sri Aurobindo calls the transformation of

 

your mind, life and body. This individual psychic being is able to

 

make a beginning with the transformation of your outer mental,

 

outer vital and outer physical nature into divine mental, divine

 

vital and divine physical nature. This divine nature will become

 

an instrument for expression in the world. The full transformation

 

can happen only after the psychic being is fully developed.

 

 

 

The psychic influence

 

 

 

When the psychic is in the foreground you will always act from

 

your highest truth, the divine truth. This will not make you unconcerned

 

about the miseries of human life, but you will not be

 

effected by them. So, if you feel that life is often painful and hurtful,

 

because of the surface ignorance, there is a noble way to come

 

to terms with this: to go in search of your psychic being. If you

 

yearn to become (more) perfect in all your actions, if you want to

 

grow in divine consciousness, the mind and the vital will not take

 

you far. It is the psychic influence that creates perfection.

 

There is still more: if there is an urge in you to help in establishing

 

a divine life on earth—the new world of which The Mother

 

speaks—then the best and most effective way to help is to start

 

living within, to aspire to find your psychic and to aspire for its

 

development, so that it becomes a full being. Remember: the innermost

 

centre, the soul, remains the same through all your lives, but

 

the psychic being grows around this from a small presence to a real

 

being over many lives. A fully developed psychic being is a conscious

 

instrument of the Divine Will, says The Mother. It is in direct

 

touch with the Divine Truth. Naturally, this is needed to live a divine

 

life on earth.

 

For parents and teachers there is another important reason to go

 

in search of the soul. Very young children often have a natural contact

 

with their soul. If you want to help growing children remain in

 

contact with their psychic being or to find it back when they have

 

lost it, it will be of great help if you have gone through this process

 

consciously yourself. This conscious experience will enable you to

 

be a true helper and guide: only if you have had contact with your

 

psychic consciousness can you be sensitive to it in others. Psychic

 

education and psychic parenting have to start with yourself.

 

 

 

Time for reflection

 

 

 

The first step is to intensely want to find your true self.

 

To come to know your true self asks for effort and perseverance

 

on your part. It needs a strong motivation to keep up this

 

commitment, because in the inner worlds you will have to travel

 

all by yourself. Before starting, it may be good to ask yourself if

 

you are ready to make daily an effort to set time apart for this

 

self-discovery and self-preparation, so that the psychic presence

 

can become stronger in you. If the answer is “yes” the rest of the

 

book is there to support you in this process.



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