As long as we recognise the body-life-mind complex and identify with it through the development of and focus on a specific ego-standpoint, we are able to function in the world, and carry out the basics of existence. Yet, as we easily can appreciate, we do not know the meaning or purpose of our lives. Many feel like it is just meaningless and we should just find ways to enjoy our lives, taking advantage of material, vital and mental powers that help us aggrandise that external personality. Others believe this is a training ground for us to learn how to follow specific moral rules or religious conceptions so that we may enjoy an eternity of heaven, and avoid an eternity of hell, after we die. Still others accept the teachings of a religion or philosophy and try to carry out their implications in their lives, accepting that perhaps there is something true that their leaders know, but which they do not know.  In the end, most people have to admit that they are not sure of anything and they simply hope for the best.

There remains however a much smaller segment of humanity that has had actual experience and interaction with yet another aspect of the being, which ‘Sri Aurobindo and the Mother call the psychic being, the soul entity in the evolutionary world within which we exist. This soul-entity is connected to the true Self of the universal creation and thus, knows, without the use of the powers of the mind, the life-force or the body, the deeper significance and meaning of life, and what role they have to play in the divine manifestation. When an individual has the direct experience of and connection to the soul, he loses all doubt, all fear, and all uncertainty as the experience is self-evident and provides an answer to his deepest parts for what life is all about.

The Mother writes: ”Every human being carries hidden within him the possibility of a greater consciousness which goes beyond the bounds of his present life and enables him to share in a higher and a vaster life. Indeed, in all exceptional beings it is always this consciousness that governs their lives and organises both the circumstances of their existence and their individual reaction to these circumstances. What the human mental consciousness does not know and cannot do, this consciousness knows and does. It is like a light that shines at the centre of the being, radiating through the thick coverings of the external consciousness. Some have a vague intimation of its presence; a good many children are under its influence, which shows itself very distinctly at times in their spontaneous actions and even in their words. Unfortunately, since parents most often do not know what it is and do not understand what is happening in their child, their reaction to these phenomena is not a good one and all their education consists in making the child as unconscious as possible in this domain and concentrating all his attention on external things, thus accustoming him to think that they are the only ones that matter. It is true that this concentration on external things is very useful, provided that it is done in the proper way. The three lines of education — physical, vital and mental — deal with that and could be defined as the means of building up the personality, raising the individual out of the amorphous subconscious mass and making him a well-defined self-conscious entity. 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. Normally this discovery is associated with a mystic feeling, a religious life, because it is mainly the religions that have concerned themselves with this aspect of life. But it need not necessarily be so: the mystic notion of God may be replaced by the more philosophical notion of truth and still the discovery will remain essentially the same, but the road leading to it may be taken even by the most intransigent positivist. For mental notions and ideas have only a very secondary importance in preparing one for the psychic life.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Chapter 6, Some Answers and Explanations, pp. 224-226

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at 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
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