Guiding Light of The Month

In this immense heroic struggle, in this sublime struggle of love against hatred, of justice against injustice, of obedience to Thy supreme law against revolt, may I gradually be able to make humanity worthy of a still sublimer peace in which, all internal dissensions having ceased, the whole effort of man may be united for the attainment of a more and more perfect and integral realisation of Thy divine Will and Thy progressive ideal. - The Mother

The Mother, on Psychic Education

When the best has been achieved through physical, vital and mental education, there will be a cardinal insufficiency still: for, firstly, they cannot by themselves be integrated, and, secondly, even their sum will only be a frustrating incompleteness. It is psychic education alone that can team the other three purposively together, and also link them to the creative centre. Unfortunately, current educational systems have no idea of psychic education - thus tragi-comically playing Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark.

In their early years, children do have intimations of a higher consciousness which may puzzle or even startle their parents and elders.

As Wordsworth reminiscentially sang:

There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,
The earth and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream...
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy...

Yet the Boy beholds the Light however fitfully, and even the Youth is by the “vision splendid” attended on his way. “Every human being carries hidden within him the possibility of a greater consciousness” wrote the Mother; “a good many children are under its influence”. The crux of the educational problem is therefore to safeguard this light of consciousness, and make it illumine all thoughts, all actions, all feelings and give a new direction and a new tone to our entire life. Hence the paramount need for psychic education:

“With psychic education we come to the problem of the true motive of existence, the purpose of life on earth, the discovery to which this life must lead and the result of that discovery: the consecration of the individual to his eternal principle.”

Whether this awakening comes as the result of a mystic break-through, or of a spurt of intense religious feeling, or yet as the culmination of a course Of philosophical inquiry, “the important thing is to live the experience”.

On the one hand, unlike the body, the vital and the mind, of which we are almost constantly aware, the psychic being or soul seems generally to elude us. On the other hand, sooner or later we are driven to realise that this elusive thing is verily the deeper reality about ourselves, and it profits us little to have gained the many mansions of aparavidya or phenomenal knowledge if we have not also won the key to the psychic presence or the soul within.

But, then, how does one set upon this adventure of consciousness, this pursuit of the psychic being? The Mother talks to us directly, and the winged words go home:

“The starting-point is to seek in yourself that which is independent of the body and the circumstances of life, which is not born of the mental formation that you have been given, the language you speak, the habits and customs of the environment in which you live, the country where you are born or the age to which you belong. You must find, in the depths of your being, that which carries in it a sense of universality, limitless expansion, unbroken continuity. Then you decentralise, extend and widen yourself; you begin to live in all things and in all beings; the barriers separating individuals from each other break down. You think in their thoughts, vibrate in their sensations, feel in their feelings, live in the life of all. What seemed inert suddenly becomes full of life, stones quicken, plants feel and will and suffer, animals speak in a language more or less inarticulate, but clear and expressive; everything is animated by a marvellous consciousness without time or limit. And this is only one aspect of the psychic realisation; there are others, many others. All help you to go beyond the barriers of your egoism, the walls of your external personality, the impotence of your reactions and the incapacity of your will.”

In another essay also, ‘Transformation’, the Mother seems to refer to the awakening of the psychic consciousness. Though the preparation may have been long and slow there is “a revolution in the basic poise... like turning a ball inside out... the ordinary consciousness... ignorant of what things are in reality... sees only their shell. But the true consciousness is at the centre, at the heart of reality and has the direct vision of the origin of all movements.... Something opens within you and all at once you find yourself in a new world.” But, she cautions, “what is needed is to express it gradually in the details of practical life”.

Wonders are many, there have been great discoveries, but nothing is more wonderful, or is a greater discovery, than the soul. It is not the super-subtle or marvellously resilient mind that can run the quarry of the psychic being to its lair, it is not vital determination or physical agility that can encompass the desired catch; “the supreme value of the discovery lies in its spontaneity, its ingeniousness and that escapes all ordinary mental laws.”  But one ceaselessly hankers after, and one waits with infinite patience; one avoids all fever and fret, all anxiety and apprehension; one tries to find joy in all things, one tries to cultivate equality in the face of life's phantasmagoria; one shuns the criteria of the market weights and measures, one walks on the steep and narrow path without sense of time or assurance of success; and one longs and waits - waits on the Invisible - hearkening to steps unheard, turning to the unstruck melodies till at last “an inner door will suddenly open and you will emerge into a dazzling splendour that will bring you the certitude of immortality.... Then you will stand erect, freed from all chains... you will be able to walk on straight and firm, conscious of your destiny, master of your life.”

(‘On The Mother’, Chapter 37 – “Mother on Education”, K.R. SrinivasaIyengar, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry)

Sri Aurobindo Says: "It is the psychic fire kindled in the heart. The psychic being is described by the Upanishads as of the size of a thumb angushthamatrah purusho’ntaratma — it may manifest first as this psychic flame."

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