We recognise that there are ocean currents which circulate ocean water world wide and regulate the climate. We also recognise that there are air currents which we can partially observe through the soaring of birds who let the air currents carry them along, and experience directly if we are participating in the sport of hang gliding, or operating an air balloon or small airplane. Meteorologists refer to the jet stream and the movement of air in consistent patterns is a well-known and accept phenomenon, on which we rely and which we utilize constantly. There are also currents internal to the earth with the flow of molten magma which over time can change the speed of the spin of the world in space and shift the magnetic orientation of the planet as well. We recognise the movement of streams of energy from the sun and other sources of radiation in the universe.

A similar process of the movement of currents occurs at the vital and the mental levels of energy. We marvel at the synchronized flight of birds or swimming of schools of fish. In these cases, it is a vital force that connects all of them and they respond instantaneously, together, to create the mass movement patterns about which we marvel when we observe them.

When we stop to reflect we can observe the symbiotic vital existence between plants and trees and animals and humans. We breathe regularly and as we do so, we are taking in the elements of the air excreted by the plant kingdom, and in turn, they take in the elements excreted by us. We are thus all part of one large vital existence. Sometimes when we enter an old growth forest, we can feel a change in the energetic nature of the life that surrounds us and we may experience a feeling of awe, or consecration or deep peace that comes over us. There are also vital energies that circulate among human beings, which can create various emotional or vital states such as devotion, love, fear, hatred, consecration etc.

On the mental plane, similarly, there are patterns of thought that move as waves or currents and which thereby tend to influence and develop in the individuals who come in contact with them. We can experience this sometimes in a highly concentrated mental atmosphere such as in a library or research laboratory.

Once we recognise these patterns, we can systematically work to open ourselves to those we seek to bring into our lives. Certain practitioners of yoga, for instance, practice various forms of breath control, called pranayama, whereby they focus their state of awareness on the movement of the vital energies that they bring in and circulate within themselves and thereby can influence the thoughts, emotions, feelings and physical status. Special practices of this sort are not, however, absolutely necessary to draw upon the vital force; rather, a sense of openness and receptivity can provide the opportunity needed for these forces to act within one consciously, while it must be recognised that they are active all the time, at some level, whether we are consciously aware of it or not.

A disciple asks: “Sweet Mother, how can one draw on ‘the universal vital Force’? “

The Mother responds: “One can do it in many ways. First of all, you must know that it exists and that one can enter into contact with it. Secondly, you must try to make this contact, to feel it circulating everywhere, through everything, in all persons and all circumstances; to have this experience, for example, when you are in the countryside among trees, to see it circulating in the whole of Nature, in trees and things, and then commune with it, feel yourself close to it, and each time you want to deal with it, recall that impression you had and try to enter into contact.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 4 Cosmic and Universal Forces, pg. 90

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast located at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky
He is author of 20 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.
Video presentations, interviews and podcast episodes are all available on the YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/@santoshkrinsky871
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at www.aurobindo.net
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press www.lotuspress.com