Emergence of The Psychic (Governance of Life by The Soul)

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Item Code: NAK634
Author: A.S. Dalal
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
Language: English
Edition: 2003
ISBN: 9788170586883
Pages: 168
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.0 inch x 4.5 inch
Weight 180 gm
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Book Description



The two basic concepts of the Vedanta are the all-pervasive Divine the Brahman and the spark or reflection of this Divine within each being, specially human beings the Atman, and joining these two Yoga is the well established methodology to be found in our scriptures and in the teachings of realised seers and saints down through the millennia. Within this broad Brahman-Atman Yoga framework, there are an infinite number of possibilities, theories and practices flowing from the essential pluralistic nature of Hinduism which accepts multiple paths to the Divine ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti as the Rigveda has it. Down through the ages, our sacred texts have been reinterpreted and rearticulated by a whole series of self-realised souls.


In the 20th century itself, which has just drawn to a close, we have had outstanding figures such as Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Sri Krishna Prem and a number of other men and women who, through the dint of their sadhana and realisation have reilluminated the path to the Divine. Sri Aurobindo in particular, with his outstanding intellect, magnificent power of expression and deep yogic attainments, has in his voluminous writings thrown tremendous light upon the whole process of spiritual development.


We speak rather loosely of the 'soul', but Sri Aurobindo has clearly explored and articulated for us the various levels or degrees of inner consciousness, and the methodologies whereby we can grow towards the Divine. In his formulation, the key concept is of what he calls the 'Psychic Being'.


As he defines it:

What is meant in the terminology of the yoga by the psychic is the soul element in the nature, the pure psychic or divine nucleus which stands behind mind, life and body (it is not the ego) but of which we are only dimly aware. It is a portion of the Divine and permanent from life to life, taking the experience of life through its outer instruments. As this experience grows it manifests a developing psychic personality which insisting always on the good, true and beautiful, finally becomes ready and strong enough to turn the nature towards the Divine. It can then come entirely forward, breaking through the mental, vital and physical screen, govern the instincts and transform the nature. Nature no longer imposes itself on the soul, but the soul, the Purusha, imposes its dictates on the nature.


He also adds:

The psychic being is quite different from the mind or vital; it stands behind them where they meet in the heart. Its central place is there, but behind the heart rather than in the heart; for what men call usually the heart is the seat of emotion, and human emotions are mental-vital impulses, not ordinarily psychic in their nature. This mostly secret power behind, other than the mind and the life force, is the true soul, the psychic being in us. The power of the psychic, however, can act upon the mind and vital and body, purifying thought and perception and emotion (which then becomes psychic feeling) and sensation and action and everything else in us and preparing them to be divine movements.


Shri A.S. Dalal has, over the last several years, produced a series of excellent selections from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on a whole variety of spiritual concepts. In this book Emergence of the Psychic he has once again produced for us an excellent selection of writings by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on this whole concept of the psychic being, its emergence from the mass of inertia under which it lies buried, and its ultimate role as the direct link with the Divine. This flows from Sri Aurobindo's remarkable theory of spiritual evolution, according to which, although every individual has a spark of the Divine, it is only when the spark becomes individualised that it emerges as the Psychic Being which then, if recognized and accepted by our physical, emotional and mental consciousness, evolves into a direct contact with the Godhead. As the Mother writes:


It is this spark that is permanent and gathers round itself all sorts of elements for the formation of that individuality; the true psychic being is formed only when the psychic personality is fully grown, fully built up, round the eternal divine spark; it attains its culmination, its total fulfilment if and when it unites with a being or personality from above.


What is particularly interesting is the way in which the Mother amplifies and explains in simpler language the great concepts articulated by Sri Aurobindo, which in turn flow from his exalted spiritual stature. Spiritual seekers around the world, whether or not they are formally following Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga, will find this selection of great value in their quest. I myself have benefited greatly from Shri Dalal's earlier selections, and warmly commend the valuable service that he is rendering to genuine seekers for the Divine.




This book aims at three main objectives. First, it is meant to help one in becoming more conscious of what most human beings are almost entirely unconscious, namely, the action and influence of the soul in one's life.


Secondly, the book seeks to describe and clarify various states of consciousness that pertain to experiences of the soul. These include the influence of the psychic, coming in contact or being in touch with the psychic, discovery of, identification with or awakening of the psychic, and the opening, coming forward or emergence of the psychic. Such a clarification provides a mental understanding that can be helpful not only in conceiving and distinguishing the various experiences of the psychic but also in becoming aware more readily of the moments when one is or is not under the influence of the psychic or in contact with it. By learning to recognise the presence or absence of the psychic consciousness, one is apt to grow more conscious of the factors which are helpful and those which are harmful in fostering the awareness of one's soul. This, in turn, enables one to adopt attitudes and make choices in one's life that are more conducive to the consciousness of the psychic.


Thirdly, and most importantly, the book aims at kindling an aspiration for a spiritual goal which goes beyond the discovery and freedom of the soul one which envisages the governance of life and the transformation of one's outer being by the soul.


This book is in a way an expansion on a previous compilation, The Psychic Being Soul: Its Nature, Mission and Evolution, which dealt with the basic theoretical and pr cal aspects of the subject. The present compilation deals r more extensively with the practical aspects. In order the book can be read independently, it does include a few sages that can be found also in the earlier book.


Some of the ideas contained in this book have bee spiringly expressed in various passages of Sri Aurobindo’s epic, Savitri. Such passages will be found in the Appendix at the end of the book.


I wish to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Karan Singh for his kind Foreword in which he has so effectively introduced Sri Aurobindo's paramount but relatively less far concept of the psychic being.




One of the most inspiring and ennobling concepts in the spiritual lore of the world is that of the psychic being. It provides a major key for understanding the significance and process of the evolution of consciousness, and offers a potent tool for the transformation of consciousness. The concept of the psychic thus ranks among the outstanding contributions made by yogic experience to psychological thought and spiritual practice.


What is the Psychic?


Sri Aurobindo, who uses the term "psychic" for what is popularly and often vaguely called the soul, distinguishes between the psychic principle, which is present in all things and creatures, and the psychic personality which is characteristic of the human state of development. The psychic principle, also referred to variously as psychic essence, psychic existence, soul element, soul-spark, psychic entity or the psyche, is a non-individualised portion of the Divine Consciousness that descends into the evolution "to support the evolution of the individual out of the Ignorance into the Light".' It is "the nucleus pregnant with divine possibilities that supports this lower triple manifestation of mind, life and body."? In the course of evolution, the psychic principle develops in the human being a psychic personality or soul individuality which is called the psychic being. Whereas the psychic principle is immutable and fundamentally always the same, the psychic being is progressive; it grows from life to life, using mind, vital and body as its instruments.'


"The psychic being at its origin is only a spark of the divine consciousness and it is through successive lives that it builds up a conscious individuality. It is a progress similar to that of a growing child. It is a thing in the making. For a long time, in most human beings the psychic is a being in the making. It is not a fully individualised, fully conscious being and master of itself and it needs all its rebirths, one after another, in order to build itself and become fully conscious." (p. 63)


The term "soul" as used in this book generally refers to the non-individualised psychic essence, but sometimes also to the soul individuality or psychic being. Similarly "the psychic" usually means the psychic being but sometimes refers to the psychic essence.


The significance of the psychic being in the evolution of consciousness lies in the fact that the psychic being is "a projection of the divine Consciousness into Matter to awaken Matter out of its inertia so that it takes the path back to the Divine." (p. 11)


The psychic is the psychological centre of our being because it is the inmost part of our being, supporting all other parts-mental, vital, physical. Though in theory the psychic is the true master of the being who puts forth and uses the instruments of mind, life and body, in actuality in most human beings the psychic is entirely veiled and overshadowed by its mental, vital and physical instruments. The outer consciousness of the human being "lives amongst all the external noises and movements in what it sees, what it does, what it says, instead of looking within, into the depths of the being and listening to the inner inspirations" (p. 42). So the psychic being remains behind the outer consciousness as a "secret witness", "a secluded King in a screened chamber", and only a "constitutional ruler who allows his ministers to rule for him, delegates to them his empire, silently assents to their decisions and only now and then puts in a word which they can at any moment override and act otherwise." (p. 81)


"For the psychic part within is there to support the natural evolution, and the first natural evolution must be the development of body, life and mind, successively, and these must act each in its own kind or together in their ill-assorted partnership in order to grow and have experience and evolve. The soul gathers the essence of all our mental, vital and bodily experience and assimilates it for the farther evolution of our existence in Nature; but this action is occult and not obtruded on the surface." (p. 3)


In most human beings, generally the actual governor or leader who drives one is the vital, for "man usually lives in his vital and the body is its instrument and the mind its counsellor and minister (except for the few mental men who live mostly for the things of the mind, but even they are in subjection to the vital in their ordinary movements)." (p. 88)


Because of the fact that the psychic is veiled by and identified with its instruments, most human beings are almost totally unconscious of their psychic being.


"In the ordinary life there's not one person in a million who has a conscious contact with his psychic being, even momentarily. The psychic being may work from within, but so invisibly and unconsciously for the outer being that it is as though it did not exist. And in most cases, the immense majority, almost the totality of cases, it's as though it were asleep, not at all active, in a kind of torpor." (p. 48)


Therefore, in most human beings the psychic being acts as an unconscious influence rather than as a conscious Presence.


However, though covered over and dominated by mind, vital and physical, the psychic fire is never extinguished by them, for the' psychic being is the eternal self "that carries the consciousness from life to life" (p. 16). It is the true and persistent individual whereas our normal self made up of mind, vital and body is only a passing shadow of the true individual.


Nor is the psychic being tarnished by the defects and impurities of the mental, the vital and the physical. For


"It is an ever-pure flame of the divinity in things and nothing that comes to it, nothing that enters into our experience can pollute its purity or extinguish the flame. This spiritual stuff is immaculate and luminous and, because it is perfectly luminous, it is immediately, intimately, directly aware of truth of being and truth of nature; it is deeply conscious of truth and good and beauty because truth and good and beauty are akin to its own native character, forms of something that is inherent in its own substance." (p. 2)


What gets mixed with and contaminated by the mental, vital and physical defects is not the psychic being itself but the action of the psychic being as it comes up from the depths to the surface of the being. It is only as the psychic being emerges more and more in front that it gets clear of the distorting mental, vital and physical mixture.




Foreword by Dr. Karan Singh






Section One


The Psychic Being-Its Nature and Function


Section Two


Action and Influence of the Psychic Being


Section Three


Contact with the Psychic Being


Section Four


Growth of the Psychic Being


Section Five


Emergence of the Psychic Being


Section Six


Psychic Transformation











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