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object:1.07 - The Psychic Center
book class:Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness
author class:Satprem
subject class:Integral Yoga

We are not the mind, since all our thoughts come from a universal Mind vaster than ours; we are not the vital, or our feelings or actions,
since all our impulses come from a universal Vital larger than ours;
and we are not this body either, for its parts are made of Matter, which obeys universal laws greater than ours. What, then, is the element in us that is not our environment, not our family, not our traditions or marriage or job, that is not the play of universal Nature in us or of circumstances, yet gives us a sense of self, even if everything else collapses and especially when everything else has collapsed, at our hour of truth?
In the course of our exploration, we have encountered various centers or levels of consciousness, and we have seen that a consciousness-force was alive behind each of these centers,
connecting our various states of being (the prime result of mental silence and of quieting the vital has even been to separate this consciousness-force from the mental and vital activities in which it is usually embroiled), and we have felt this current of force, or consciousness, as the fundamental reality of our being behind our various states. But this consciousness-force must be the consciousness of someone. Who or what is conscious in us? Where is the center, the master? Are we merely the puppets of some universal Being, who is our true center, since all the mental, vital and physical activities are in fact universal ones? The truth is twofold, but in no way are we puppets, except when we insist on mistaking the frontal being for our self, for it is a puppet. We do have an individual center, which Sri Aurobindo calls the psychic being, and a cosmic center or central being. Step by step, we must recover the one and the other, and become Master of all our states. For the moment, we will try to discover our individual center, the psychic being, which others call the soul.
It is at once the simplest thing in the world and the most difficult.

The simplest, because a child understands it, or rather lives it,
spontaneously; he is a king, he is on top of the world! He lives in his psychic being.77 The most difficult, because this spontaneity is soon covered by all sorts of ideas and feelings; we start speaking of "soul,"
which means we've lost it. All the pain of adolescence is but the story of a slow imprisonment of the psychic being. We speak of "growing pains," but perhaps there are only choking pains, maturity being achieved when suffocation has become a natural state. All the seeker's difficulties, then, are the mental and vital admixtures. But, as we will see, it is not really a reversal; one never goes backward, and the psychic child one uncovers at the end of the journey (an end that is always a beginning) is not a momentary caprice but a conscious royalty. The psychic is a being; it grows. It is the miracle of eternal childhood in an ever vaster kingdom. It is "within as a child to be born," says the Rig Veda (IX.83.3).

The Psychic Birth The first signs of psychic opening are love and joy a joy that may be extremely intense and powerful, but without any exaltation and without object, as calm and deep as the sea. Psychic joy does not need anything in order to be; it just is; even in a prison it cannot help being,
for it is not a feeling but a state, like a river sparkling wherever it flows, whether over mud or rocks, across plains or mountains. It is a love that is not the opposite of hate, and it needs nothing to sustain itself; it simply is, burning steadily regardless of what it encounters, in all it sees and all it touches, simply because it cannot help loving, for that is its nature. Nothing is low for it, or high, or pure, or impure;
neither its flame nor its joy can be tarnished. Other signs may also reveal its presence: It is light, nothing is a burden to it, as if the whole world were its playground; it is invulnerable, nothing can touch it, as if it were forever beyond all tragedies, already saved from all accidents; it is a seer, it sees; it is calm, so calm, a tiny breath in the depths of the being; and vast, as vast as the eternal sea itself. Indeed, it is eternal. And it is free; nothing can entrap it, neither life nor men,

There are exceptions and degrees, almost visible to the naked eye.

nor ideas, nor doctrines, nor countries it is beyond, forever beyond,
and yet innumerably present in the heart of everything, as if it were one with all, for it is God within us.
To a seeing eye, this is how the psychic being appears: When you look at someone who is conscious of his soul and lives in his soul, says Mother, you feel you are going deep, deep down into the person, far,
very far within. While generally, when you look into people's eyes (there are eyes you cannot go into, they are like closed doors, but some eyes are open, and you can enter), well, very close to the surface, you encounter something that vibrates, and sometimes shines and sparkles. You may misidentify this and say to yourself, "Oh, he has a living soul!" but that's not it. It is his vital. To find the soul you must withdraw from the surface, withdraw deep inside, enter far within, go deep, deep down, into a very deep, silent, and still cavity;
and there is something warm, quiet, of a rich substance, very still and very full, and exceedingly soft that is the soul. If you insist and are conscious yourself, you experience a feeling of plenitude and fullness,
something with unfathomable depths. You feel that if you entered there, many secrets would be revealed; it's like the reflection of something eternal upon a calm, peaceful surface of water. Time ceases to exist. You feel you have always been and will be for all eternity.
But these are only signs, an external translation of something that exists in itself, and that we would like to experience for ourselves.
How does one open the doors of the psychic being, for it is well hidden? It is primarily hidden by our ideas and feelings, which steal from it and imitate it shamelessly; we have so many ideas about what is high or low, pure or impure, divine or undivine; we are locked in so many sentimental stereotypes about what is lovable or unlovable that the poor psychic being does not have much chance to manifest itself,
since the place is already filled with clutter. The moment it appears, it is instantly snatched up by the vital, which uses it for its own brilliant flights of exaltation, its own "divine" and tumultuous emotions, its possessive loves, its calculated generosities or gaudy aesthetics; or it is corralled by the mind, which uses it for its own exclusive ideas, its infallible philanthropic schemes, its straitjacketed moralities not to

mention churches, countless churches, which systematize it in articles of faith and dogma. Where is the psychic being in all that? It is there,
nonetheless, divine, patient, striving to pierce through each and every crust and actually making use of everything that is given to it or imposed upon it. It "makes do" with what it has, so to speak. Yet that is precisely the problem: when it comes out of hiding, if even for a second, it casts such a glory upon everything it touches that we tend to mistake the circumstances of the revelations for its luminous truth.
Someone who experiences the revelation of his psychic being while listening to Beethoven might say: "Music, nothing but music is true and divine on this earth"; another, who feels his soul in the middle of the ocean's immensity, may make a religion of the open seas; still another will swear by his own prophet, his church, or his gospel. Each one builds his own structure around his own particular nugget of experience. But the psychic being is free, marvelously free of everything! It needs nothing to exist; it is Freedom incarnate, and it uses each of our greater or lesser pieces of music, our sublime or less sublime scriptures, simply to bore a hole in our armor in order to emerge into the open. It lends its power and its love, its joy, its light,
and its irresistible open Truth to all our ideas, all our feelings and doctrines, because this is its only chance to manifest openly, its only means of expression. In return, these emotions, ideas and doctrines derive from it their self-assurance; they appropriate and enshroud it,
drawing from this element of pure Truth their indisputable assertions,
their exclusive depths, their one-way universalities, such that the very strength of the element of truth increases the strength of the element of error.78 Ultimately, the psychic becomes so thoroughly entangled and mixed in with the rest that we can no longer tell the difference and remove the counterfeit without destroying the very fabric of truth itself. Thus the world goes on, burdened with half-truths far heavier than falsehoods. Indeed, the real difficulty may not be to free ourselves from evil, which we can recognize easily enough if we are a bit sincere, but to free ourselves from that good which is the other side of evil yet has always annexed a partial element of truth.
If we want to experience the psychic being directly, in its so 78

Essays on the Gita, 193

marvelously fresh and crystalline purity, as it exists irresistibly outside all the traps we set for it, outside all our ideas, feelings, and pronouncements, we must create a transparency within ourselves.
Beethoven, the sea, or our churches were only instruments for achieving that transparency. Because it is always the same: the moment we are clear. Truth, vision, joy emerge spontaneously; it is all there without the least effort, because Truth is the most natural thing in the world; it's the rest that clouds everything the mind and vital with their unruly vibrations and erudite complications. All spiritual disciplines worthy of the name, all tapasya, must ultimately tend toward that completely natural point where no effort is necessary; for effort is yet another clouding, another layer of complication. So the seeker will not attempt to enter the muddle of the moral mind, or try the impossible task of sorting out good from evil in order to bring the psychic to light, for, actually, the purpose of good and evil is intimately linked to their mutual harmfulness. (My lover took away my robe of sin and I let it fall, rejoicing; then he plucked at my robe of virtue, but I was ashamed and alarmed and prevented him. It was not till he wrested it from me by force that I saw how my soul had been hidden from me79 .) He will simply try to let everything settle in the silence, for silence is clean in itself; it is lustral water. "Do not try to wash off one by one the stains on the robe," a very ancient Chaldean tradition exhorts, "change it altogether." This is what Sri Aurobindo calls a change of consciousness. In that transparency, the old habits of the being will indeed quietly lose their hold, and we will feel a new poise of consciousness within ourselves not an intellectual poise, but a new center of gravity. At heart level, but deeper than the vital center of the heart (which covers and imitates the psychic), we will feel a region of concentration more intense than the others, as if they had all converged there; this is the psychic center. We had already felt the onset of a current of consciousness-force within us, taking on a life of its own, moving in the body, and becoming increasingly intense as it gradually freed itself from its mental and vital activities. Now,
simultaneously something akin to a fire breaks out at the center
Agni. This is the true self in us. We say that we "need to know," "need to love," but who in us really needs? To be sure, not the small ego, so 79

Thoughts and Aphorisms, 17:138

satisfied with itself, nor the mental chap who turns in circles, nor the vital chap who only wants to take and take. But in the background there is this undying fire; this is what needs, because it remembers something else. People speak of a "presence," but it is more like a poignant absence, like a living hole within us that grows hot and blazes up and presses more and more, until it becomes a reality the only reality in a world where one wonders if people are alive or just pretending to be. This is the self of fire, the one true self in the world,
the only thing that does not fail us: "A conscious being is at the center of the self, who rules past and future; he is like a fire without smoke. . . . That, one must disengage with patience from one's own body," says the Upanishad.80 It is "the child suppressed in the secret cavern" of the Rig Veda (V.2.1), "the son of heaven by the body of the earth" (III.25.1), "he that is awake in those who sleep" (Katha Upanishad V.8). "He is there in the middle of the house" (Rig Veda I.70.2); "He is like the life and the breath of our existence, he is like our eternal child" (I.66.1); he is "the shining King who was hidden from us" (I.23.14). This is the Center, the Master, the place where everything communicates:
The sunlit space where all is for ever known.81
If, even for one second in a lifetime, we have felt this Sun within, this flame, this living life for there are so many dead lives then everything changes for us; all memories pale before that memory. It is the Memory. If we are faithful to this burning Agni, it will grow ever stronger, like a living being in our flesh, like a relentless need. It will feel increasingly compact within us, pressing, poignant, like something that cannot burst out: A terrible sensation that something restricts your sight and your movements; you try to force the passage,
but to no avail, says Mother. Then, one day, through sheer need, sheer resolve, or sheer agony of feeling that imprisonment, the psychic tension will reach its breaking point, and we will have the experience:
The pressure becomes so great, the intensity of the question so strong 80

Katha Upanishad IV.12, 13; VI.17.
Savitri, 28:74

that something in the consciousness shifts. Instead of being outside looking in, you are inside; and the moment you are inside, absolutely everything changes completely. All that used to appear true, natural,
normal, real, tangible, at once appears totally grotesque, funny,
unreal, and absurd. You have touched something supremely true and eternally beautiful; and this, you will never again lose. "O Fire, when thou art well borne by us thou becomest the supreme growth and expansion of our being, all glory and beauty are in thy desirable hue and thy perfect vision. O Vastness, thou art the plenitude that carries us to the end of our way; thou art a multitude of riches spread out on every side." (Rig Veda III.1.12) True life awakens as if we had never seen the light of day before: Place the prism on one side, says Mother,
and the light is white; turn it over, and the light is broken up. Well,
this is exactly what happens; you restore the white. In the ordinary consciousness everything is broken up, and now you restore the white.
Mother also described the experience this way: You are seated before a closed door, as it were, a heavy bronze door, and you are there wishing it would open to let you pass to the other side. So all your concentration, all your aspiration is gathered up in a single beam,
which begins to push and push against that door, to push harder and harder, with increasing energy, until suddenly the door gives way.
And you enter, as if thrust into the light.
Then one is truly born.

Psychic Growth Of all the feelings one experiences when the psychic door opens, the most immediate and irresistible is that of having always existed and of existing forever. We emerge into another dimension in which we see we are as old as the world, and eternally young this life being one experience, one link in an unbroken chain of experiences that stretches far back into the past and loses itself in the future. Everything expands to the scale of the earth. What individual have we not been? What fault have we not borne? All values are turned upside down; which among these instances of pettiness, or greatness, is not a part of us?
Where is the stranger? The traitor? The enemy? O divine

understanding, absolute compassion! And everything becomes lighter,
as if we had moved from life in a cave to life in high altitudes;
everything comes together and dovetails, as if the old riddle were dissolved in a breath of light. Death is no more; only the ignorant can die. How could there be death for that which is conscious? Whether I
live or die, I am always. 82 "Old and outworn, he grows young again and again," says the Rig Veda (II.4.5). "It is not born nor dies," says the Bhagavad Gita, "nor is it that having been it will not be again. It is unborn, ancient, everlasting; it is not slain with the slaying of the body. As a man casts from him his worn-out garments and takes others that are new, so the embodied being casts off its bodies and joins itself to others that are new. Certain is the death of that which is born and certain is the birth of that which dies."83
What is ordinarily known as reincarnation is not unique to Sri Aurobindo's teaching; all the ancient wisdoms have spoken of it, from the Far East to Egypt to the Neo-Platonists, 84 but Sri Aurobindo gives it a new meaning. From the moment we emerge beyond the narrow momentary vision of a single life cut short by death, two attitudes are possible: either we agree with the exclusive spiritualists that all these lives are but a painful and futile chain from which we had better free ourselves as soon as possible in order to rest in God, in Brahman, or in some Nirvana; or we believe with Sri Aurobindo a belief founded upon experience that the sum of all these lives points to a growth of consciousness that culminates in a fulfillment upon the earth. In other words, there is evolution, an evolution of consciousness behind the evolution of the species, and this spiritual evolution is destined to result in an individual and collective realization upon the earth. One may ask why the traditional spiritualists, enlightened as they are, have not foreseen this earthly realization. First of all, the oversight concerns only the relatively modern spiritualists; it does not apply to the Veda (whose secret Sri Aurobindo rediscovered) and perhaps to other, still misunderstood traditions. In fact, it would be appropriate to say that the spirituality of our modern era is marked by a dimming of 82

Thoughts and Aphorisms, 17:124
Bhagavad Gita II. 18, 20, 22, 27.
Interestingly, the Fathers of the Church had also discussed the possibility of accepting reincarnation at the Alexandrian Council.

consciousness commensurate with its mental development.
Furthermore, the spiritualists could hardly have reached a conclusion different in nature from their premises. Having started from the idea that the earthly world is an illusion, or an intermediate realm more or less surrendered to the flesh and the devil, they could only arrive where their premises took them: they typically sought liberation and salvation outside the world. Instead of patiently exploring all the human resources mental, vital, physical, and psychic to free them from their sclerosis and to widen them, that is, divinize them as the Vedic sages had done (perhaps also the sages of the ancient Mysteries,
not to mention Sri Aurobindo), they rejected everything and sought to shoot at once from pure mind to pure spirit. 85 So naturally they could not see what they would not see. The materialists, too, are guilty of evasion, but in a reverse way: they have explored a speck of physical reality and rejected everything else; starting from the idea that matter alone is real and the rest is hallucination, they, too, could only end up where their premises took them. However, if we start in all simplicity,
without prejudices, as Sri Aurobindo did, armed with an open truth and total confidence in the integral possibilities of man, we may achieve an integral knowledge, and therefore an integral life.
Seen from the viewpoint of an evolution of consciousness,
reincarnation ceases to be the futile round some have seen in it, or the delirious fantasy other have painted. With typical Western clarity, Sri Aurobindo rids us of the spiritual fairy tale, as Mother calls it, into which much serious knowledge has degenerated since the end of the Age of Mysteries; and he invites us to a clear-sighted, rather than clairvoyant, experimentation. The point is not to "believe" in reincarnation but to experience it, and first of all to understand the conditions in which the experience is possible. This is a practical question that concerns our integral development through time.
Actually, it is not the small frontal personality that reincarnates, even if this comes as a disappointment to those who picture themselves as eternally the same Mr. Smith, in a Saxon tunic, then in velvet breeches, and finally in synthetic jogging pants, not to mention how boring this would be. The meaning of reincarnation is both deeper and 85

The Synthesis of Yoga, 20:353

vaster. At the time of death, the whole external frontal being disintegrates; the array of mental vibrations that clustered around us through habitual repetition and formed our mental ego, or mental body, disintegrates and returns to the universal Mind; similarly, the vital vibrations that made up our vital ego, or vital body, disintegrate in the universal Vital, just as the physical body disintegrates into its natural constituents in universal Matter. Only the psychic remains; it is eternal, as we have seen. Experiencing reincarnation, therefore, will depend on our discovering the Center, the psychic Master that carries its memories from one life to another, and on the degree of our psychic development. If our psychic has remained buried all our life beneath our mental, vital, and physical activities, it has no memories whatsoever to take with it; it returns to earth again and again, in order precisely to break out on the surface of our being and to become openly conscious. To remember, we first have to stop being amnesiac,
obviously. It is therefore hardly possible to speak of reincarnation below a certain stage of development, for what is the use of knowing that the psychic has reincarnated if it is not conscious? To become conscious is the very meaning of evolution.
Life after life, the psychic silently grows behind the frontal being,
through the thousand sensations of our body, the thousand stimuli of our feelings, the countless thoughts that stir within us. It grows as we rise and it grows as we fall, through our sufferings and our joys, our good and our evil; these are its antennas for experiencing the world.
When all this external machinery dissolves, it retains only the essence of its experiences, the personality's broad tendencies which constitute the first embryo of a psychic personality behind the frontal being;86 it takes with it certain consequences from the life just lived, for each of our actions has a dynamism that tends to perpetuate itself (what is called karma in India); certain imprints will translate in another life 86

The psychic personality, or true personality, expresses each person's unique destiny (perhaps we should say his unique angle) beneath his cultural, social, and religious layers. Thus, a person might be successively a navigator, a musician, a revolutionary, a Christian, a Moslem, and an atheist; yet through each life he would express the same angle of love, say, or of conquering energy, or joy, or purity, which would impart a unique nuance to everything he undertook. From lifetime to lifetime this particular angle would become more prominent, refined, and extensive.

into particular talents, special problems, innate affinities, inexplicable anxieties, irresistible attractions, and sometimes even particular circumstances that repeat themselves almost mechanically, as if to confront us with the same, unresolved problem. Each life, then,
represents one type of experience (we may think we have many experiences, but it is always the same one), and through the accumulation of many types of experiences the psychic being gradually acquires an individuality, increasingly strong and conscious and vast, as if it really began to exist only after going through a whole range of human experiences. The more it grows, the more individualized the consciousness-force in us becomes, and the more the psychic tension will increase and push, until the day it no longer needs its frontal chrysalis, and it breaks out into the open. At that point, the psychic becomes directly aware of the world around it; it becomes the master of the nature instead of being its sleeping prisoner; consciousness becomes the master of its force instead of remaining embroiled in the force. Yoga is in fact that point of our development when we move from the endless meanderings of natural evolution to a self-conscious and controlled evolution; it is a process of concentrated evolution.
As we see, there are many degrees of development, from the ordinary man in whom the psychic is merely a latent possibility, to the fully awakened being. Without reincarnation, it would be hard to account for the dramatic difference of degrees among souls for example, between that of a pimp and that of Dante or Francis of Assisi, or simply between that of a man who searches and an economic philistine, as Sri Aurobindo put it unless one believes that spiritual development is merely a matter of education, environment, or heredity (which is obviously not the case, since this would imply that only the offspring of "respectable" families would have souls, while three-fourths of an "unenlightened" humanity would be doomed to eternal damnation). The very nature of our humanity, says Sri Aurobindo, supposes a varying constituent past for the soul as well as a resultant [earthly] future.87 And if, despite the evidence, we persist in thinking that man has only one life at his disposal, we encounter an 87

The Problem of Rebirth, 16:111

absurdity: Plato and the Hottentot, the fortunate child of saints or Rishis88 and the born and trained criminal plunged from beginning to end in the lowest fetid corruption of a great modern city have equally to create by the action or belief of this one unequal life all their eternal future. This is a paradox which offends both the soul and the reason, and ethical sense and the spiritual intuition. 89 But even among awakened beings, there are vast differences. Some souls, some consciousness-forces have just been born, while others have already acquired quite distinct individualities; some souls are in the midst of their first radiant self-discoveries, but they do not know much outside their own resplendent joys (they do not even have any precise memory of their past, nor are they aware of the worlds they carry within),
while other, rare souls seem replete with a consciousness as vast as the earth. Indeed, a man can be a luminous yogi or a saint living in his soul, yet still possess a crude mind, a repressed vital, a body he ignores or crassly mistreats, and a completely virgin superconscient.
"Salvation" may be achieved, but not the fullness of an integral life.
The discovery of the psychic must therefore be followed by what could be called figuratively "a psychic colonization," or, more soberly,
a psychic integration. Contemporary psychology also uses the word integration, but around what is that "integration" supposed to take place? Integrating requires a center. Do they propose to integrate around the turmoil of the mental or vital ego? One might as well try to moor a boat by fastening it to the tail of an eel. Having discovered the psychic kingdom within, we must patiently, gradually colonize and adjoin the outer kingdom to it. If we are interested in a realization here on earth, all our mental and vital activities, and, as we will see, even our entire physical nature, must be integrated around the new center. It is on this condition that they will survive: only those activities that are "psychicized" will participate in the psychic immortality. Anything that takes place outside the psychic being, in effect, takes place outside us and does not last beyond the life of our bodies. There are lives in which "nobody" is there. The psychic center needs to partake in our external activities in order to be able to remember external 88

Sages of the Vedic Age, at once seers and poets, who composed the Veda.
The Problem of Rebirth, 16:110

things; otherwise, it is like a blind king. Then, and only then, can we begin to speak of reincarnation and memories of past lives, which will not necessarily be memories of garish or glorious deeds (how many Napoleons and Caesars there have been if we believe the scribblers of reincarnation!), but memories of soul-moments,90 because for the psychic nothing is glorious or inglorious, high or low; the conquest of Mount Everest is no greater than the daily walk to the subway, if it is done consciously. The psychic is glory itself.
These "soul-moments" can retain the imprint of the physical circumstances that accompanied them. We might remember a setting,
a place, a garment we were wearing at the time, some insignificant detail that becomes imbued with eternity, as it were, at the same time as the inner revelation occurs. We have all known, in this very life,
moments of pure transparency or of a sudden blossoming, and twenty or forty years later that picture is still alive, along with the exact hue of the sky, the stone along the path, or the insignificant gesture enacted on that day, as if all that had now become eternal. It is not even "as if"; it is eternal. These are the only moments we have lived,
the only moments when a real "I" has broken through to the surface in thousands of hours of nonexistence. In tragic circumstances, also, the psychic can emerge, when the whole being is gathered up in such a poignant intensity that something in us is suddenly rent asunder; then we sense something like a presence behind, which makes us do things we would normally be incapable of doing. For this is the other face of the psychic: not only is it joy and sweetness, but also quiet strength, as if it were forever above every possible tragedy an invulnerable master. In this case, too, the details of a scene can be indelibly engraved. But what passes on to the next life is not so much the details as the essence of the scene: we will be struck by certain repetitive patterns of events or deadlocked situations that have an air of dj vu and seem surrounded by an aura of fatality for what has not been overcome in the past returns again and again, each time with a slightly different appearance, but basically always identical, until we confront the old knot and untie it. Such is the law of inner progress.
Generally, however, the memory of actual physical circumstances 90

The Synthesis of Yoga, 20:294

does not remain, because, although our small surface consciousness makes much of them, they are, after all, of little significance. There is even a spontaneous mechanism that erases the profusion of useless past memories, just as those of the present life soon become eradicated. If we glance behind us, without thinking, what is actually left of our present life? A nebulous mass with perhaps two or three outstanding images; all the rest is blotted out. This is likewise the case for the soul and its past lives. The sifting process is quite extensive.
Furthermore, this mechanism of oblivion is very wise indeed, because if we were to recall our former lives prematurely, chances are we would be constantly hobbled by these past memories. Our present life is already teeming with so many useless memories that stand in the way of our progress, because they fixate us in the same inner attitude,
the same contraction, the same refusal or revolt, the same tendency.
To grow we need to forget. If, in our hopelessly childish outer consciousness, we were to remember having once been a virtuous banker, for example, while we now find ourselves in the skin of an adept crook, we would be understandably confused! Perhaps we are still too young to understand that our soul needed to experience the opposite of virtue or, rather, that the abscess our virtue was concealing had to be punctured. Evolution has nothing to do with becoming more saintly or intelligent; it has to do with becoming more conscious. It takes a great many ages for one to be able to fruitfully bear the truth of past lives.
Everything, then, depends upon the degree of our development and the extent to which our psychic being has participated in our outer life;
the more we have "colonized" the outside, the more memories we take with us. Unfortunately, we are often content to have a so-called inner life, while we live outer life in any old way, without paying much attention to it but this is the opposite of an integral yoga. If,
however, from the very beginning, we embrace everything in our search, all the levels of our being, all of life, instead of rejecting worldly activities for an exclusive quest of the soul, then we will achieve an integral and integrated life in which we are the same outside and inside. On the other hand, if we exclude everything to arrive at so-called spiritual goals, it becomes very difficult afterward to retrace our steps, to descend from our fragile heights, to widen and

universalize the mind, to liberate and universalize the vital, to clean the subconscient and finally to labor in the physical grime in order to divinize it; we are far too comfortable above to stir up all that mud,
and, in truth, we can no longer do it. In fact, we do not even contemplate it, for how could we even imagine undertaking such an enormous task if, from the start, we consider the mind, the vital and the body perishable, and aim only at escaping from life or gaining a celestial salvation?
The psychic realization or discovery of the soul is therefore not the end of the road for the seeker, but the beginning of another journey,
traveled consciously instead of ignorantly, in an ever wider consciousness, for the more the psychic being grows and participates in our worldly activities, the more clear, precise and continuous from life to life its mental, vital and physical memories become, and the more concerted, self-willed, and effective its births become; we then really begin to understand what immortality means. We are free; we are forever awake. Death is no longer a grimacing mask reminding us that we have not found ourselves, but a calm transition from one mode of experience to another. Once and for all we have seized the thread of consciousness, and we move here or there as one crosses a border between two countries, and back again to the old earth, until the day when, as Sri Aurobindo announced it, we may have developed enough, not only to ensure the continuity of our mental and vital existence, but also to infuse enough consciousness into the body so that it, too, participates in the psychic immortality. For, with respect to our mental, vital, and physical life, as well as our sleep, our death, and our immortality, everything is always a matter of consciousness.
Consciousness is the means, consciousness is the key, and consciousness is the goal.

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1.07 - The Psychic Center
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   1 Integral Yoga

1.07_-_The_Psychic_Center, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  object:1.07 - The Psychic Center

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