January 28, 2016

Quiet inner voice is urging us towards greater compassion

Sri Aurobindo | Ross Bishop › blog › 2016/01/27 ›
Aurobindo is not an easy read. He was an incredibly bright and gifted intellectual, and his writing can sometimes be dense. Aurobindo was also a Hindu, and the Hindu view of life and spirituality is somewhat different from ours, so one has to sometimes do a little fancy footwork to comprehend exactly what he was saying.
Aurobindo divides all living things into two complimentary structures – an internal and external or subjective and objective. The goal of life is the reconciliation of those seeming opposites to the divine.
He defines humans as having mental, physical and vital realms, each of which has an internal and an external component. The external realms are controlled by the ego, which is based in fear. In the undeveloped state it dominates the person. Its outlook is necessarily rigid. There can be no compromise to fear.
Living from the ego leads to an unsatisfying life, filled with emotion and conflict. And because the ego cannot lead to peace of mind, following it can only lead to frustration and anger from efforting through a process that has no chance of succeeding.
While all this ego noise is going on in the external, there is a small, quiet inner voice at the center (the psychic being) urging us towards greater compassion. Overwhelmed at first by the incredible chaos of the ego, the psychic being is overwhelmed. But when when resignation comes at the failure of the ego and the individual begins to quiet the mind, the small, persistent voice of the psychic being can then begin to be heard.
Realizing that there really was nothing to fear in the first place, the individual then turns more and more to the guidance of the psychic being and thus moves closer to the light. This is the process we know as life.

Wisdom of compassion | The Asian Age › Life and Style › Ideas - Sri Aurobindo talks of a compassion which sees, understands and accepts the burden of others and is strong to help  ...

The Apparent Subjection of the Soul to Nature Modern man, looking at the world and his life with the eyes of a materialist influence, focuses his entire attention on how to deal with the world, and gai...
Modern man, looking at the world and his life with the eyes of a materialist influence, focuses his entire attention on how to deal with the world, and gain some measure of control and order in what otherwise seems to be either a totally mechanical universe or one that is somehow dangerous and hostile to his survival. The spiritual traditions of India frequently reference the machinery of Nature and go so far as to say that all actions of mind, life and body are caused by this machinery of Nature operating through the three Gunas, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas which are always in flux. While the pure materialist may not acknowledge or recognize a separate entity such as a Soul, that is able to differentiate itself from this machinery, Vedantic thought has developed a number of explanations as to the relation between this mechanism of Nature and the freedom and independence of the Soul.

Sri Aurobindo observes: Involved in mind, possessed by the ordinary phenomenon of mental thought, sensation, emotion, reception of the vital and physical impacts of the world and mechanical reaction to them, the soul is subject to Nature. Even its will and intelligence are determined by its mental nature, determined even more largely by the mental nature of the environment which acts upon, subtly as well as overtly, and overcomes the individual mentality; thus its attempt to regulate, to control, to determine its own experience and action is pursued by an element of illusion, since when it thinks it is acting, it is really Nature that is acting and determining all it thinks, wills and does.”

What the materialist tends to overlook is what Sri Aurobindo elsewhere calls “the human aspiration”. There is within each individual, however well-concealed under layers of this element of confusion, an inner certainty, a deeper knowledge, if you will, that allows the individual to believe that there is a way to achieve freedom and mastery over his life–that he is not just a collection of thoughts, habits, and physical reactions, but that there is something more to his life, something that will give it meaning. “If there were not this constant knowledge in it that it is, that it exists in itself, is not the body or life but something other which at least receives and accepts the cosmic experience if it does not determine it, it would be compelled in the end to suppose that Nature is all and the soul an illusion.” There are of course those who adopt this proposed solution, and either go to the extremes of the materialist approach, or take up the extreme spiritual approach that denies reality to the world and treats the spiritual consciousness as the sole reality.

When the individual recognizes the deeper aspiration, however, eventually a solution must present itself that validates both the spiritual and the material reality as one omnipresent reality. Sri Aurobindo discusses these approaches and their limitation: 

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

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