When the astronauts left the planet and were able to look back at Earth from outside, it radically changed their viewpoint. It represented a visceral shock that forced them to see things in an entirely new way from a new perspective.

Analogously, when the shift of standpoint occurs for the individual from the ego-standpoint to an independent one outside the mind-life-body complex, the experience is transformative and undeniable. The experience may come through some unknown cause, or may be purely serendipitous for the individual who is otherwise prepared and ready to experience it. Initially the experience is usually of short duration and then departs, leaving behind the impact on the person’s psychology. It may however open up a pathway such that the individual can more easily shift his standpoint until he potentially can take his primary or even permanent station there.

The Taittiriya Upanishad provides a sequence of systematic concentration of conscious force, the act of tapasya, that brings the seeker from his external standpoint based in the consciousness and awareness of the body, to the life-force, to the mind, beyond the mind to the knowledge level, and finally to the state of bliss, which represents the true spiritual consciousness of Sat-Chit-Ananda. 

However it comes, the realisation moves the individual outside of the ego-standpoint and he gains an understanding and appreciation of the oneness of all existence, similar to that of the astronauts who recognised the oneness of all life on earth by viewing it from a standpoint outside their normal frame of reference.

The Mother writes: ”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.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Chapter 6, Some Answers and Explanations, pg.228

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 at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 19 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.
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at http://www.sri-aurobindo.com
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at http://www.lotuspress.com