Our educational systems focus on training of the body, the life-force and the mind, essentially fixating the individual on the life in the external world and his role in that world. He is trained on social expectations and customs, and the use of the tools of mind, life and body in the pursuit of the successful achievement of the goals that the society presents to its members. Very little, if any, attention is paid to helping the individual to understand any deeper significance to his life, to find out why he even exists, what his deeper purpose may be and how to understand the larger universe in which we live. Life is left as a mystery, and only in some religious or philosophical directions are these issues even addressed. Those who take up this seeking are frequently looked at as outside the mainstream of society, whether as monks or nuns, yogis, or anchorites who have essentially abandoned society in order to pursue what appears to be a meaningless and thankless quest.

Of course, taking the “road less travelled” may actually lead the seeker to knowledge and insights that escape the mass of individuals busy following the glittering signs of the popular way. We see that over time, it is just these individuals who provide a way forward, guidance and meaning for others and who are the leading lights of human development.

We see the world undergoing the sixth mass extinction and we find that the ways of humanity have been terribly imbalanced and one-sided in the pursuit of gain, fame, pleasure and personal power. The missing element in all of this imbalance is guidance for a deeper and truer significance to life that would help people redirect their focus and achieve a more balanced perspective on how to live life, how to interact with others, how to treat the environment and the other beings who share the planet with us. It is just these things that a deep and true psychic education can help to remedy.

The Mother notes: ”It is through this psychic presence that the truth of an individual being comes into contact with him and the circumstances of his life. In most cases the presence acts, so to say, from behind the veil, unrecognised and unknown; but in some, it is perceptible and its action recognisable and even, in a very few, the presence becomes tangible and its action fully effective. These go forward in life with an assurance and a certitude all their own; they are masters of their destiny. It is for the purpose of obtaining this mastery and becoming conscious of the psychic presence that psychic education should be practiced. But for that there is need of a special factor, the personal will. For till now, the discovery of the psychic being and identification with it have not been among the recognised subjects of education, and although one can find in special treatises useful and practical hints on the subject, and although in exceptional cases one may have the good fortune of meeting someone who is capable of showing the way and giving the help that is needed to follow it, most often the attempt is left to one’s own personal initiative. The discovery is a personal matter and a great determination, a strong will and an untiring perseverance are indispensable to reach the goal. Each one must, so to say, trace out his own path through his own difficulties. The goal is known to some extent, for most of those who have reached it have described it more or less clearly. But the supreme value of the discovery lies in its spontaneity, its ingenuousness, and that escapes all ordinary mental laws. And that is why anyone wanting to take up the adventure usually first seeks out some person who has successfully undertaken and is able to sustain him and enlighten him on his way. Yet there are some solitary travellers and for them a few general indications may be useful.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Chapter 6, Some Answers and Explanations, pp. 227-228

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