According to sages and rishis who have investigated the issue deeply, the earth, the material manifested world we live in, is the place where evolution of consciousness takes place, and thus, where the psychic being develops to carry the progress in this evolution at the individual level through from lifetime to lifetime. It is said that even the gods need to take birth in this world in order to progress. Otherwise, they are what we may call ‘static’ beings with a fixed place in the hierarchy of the manifestation.

This brings us then to the interaction between beings who are native to one of the vital domains but which interact with beings on the earth-plane. Thee vital beings are themselves static, non-evolutionary beings, and they thus do not possess a soul or psychic being. Their interactions are based on the fixed propensities and built-in needs and desires that they harbour. In some cases they feed off of the energies produced by their action. In other cases, they find enjoyment in the reactions they elicit.

Many human beings treat animals as a source of food, and they also control and train animals in many cases as a source of entertainment. We can see something analogous with respect to vital beings that invade the human domain for sustenance or enjoyment.

In the case of full-scale possession, they essentially take over the instrumentation of the body-life-mind complex but eliminate the psychic being and its evolutionary purpose. They want to use and eventually discard the frame without concern for any evolutionary purpose. In that instance, the body-life-mind that they occupy is no longer an evolutionary being but a static formation taking a physical shape in the material world. Identifying these circumstances however is not easy and requires considerable study and investigation in most cases, other than the most extreme, such as we saw with the situation of Hitler, who was clearly possessed and controlled by a vital entity.

A disciple asks: “Have these vital beings a psychic being?”

The Mother answers: “No, I said that the first thing they have to do to incarnate is to drive away the psychic being of the person whom they possess. That may happen from the very birth. There are children who are almost still-born; they are taken to be dead and suddenly they revive — this means that a vital being has incarnated in them. I have known such cases. This may happen also in the course of an illness: someone is very ill and gradually he lets go the contact with the psychic being, then, in a swoon or some other similar state, he cuts the contact entirely and the vital being rushes into the body. I have known cases of this kind also. Or it may be a slow action: the vital being enters into the atmosphere of the person, goes on influencing him and finally brings about illness, attacks, specially mental illness; then a time comes when the connection with the psychic being is entirely cut and the vital being takes possession of the body. There are cases of people falling very ill and coming out of the illness altogether different from what they were. Very often it is this that happens.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 5 Occult Forces, pp. 114-115

Author's Bio: 

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