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Psycho-Spiritual Transformation

The Psychic (Soul) and Spiritual/"Atmic" Transformation

As an intermediate phase in the Transformation, there follows or occurs alongside Psychicisation an associated Spiritual Transformation. Here "Spirit", "Spiritual Transformation" or "Spiritualisation" means what is conventionally called the "Atman", Shunyata, Buddha-Nature, and other references to experience of the Absolute. This, the so-called "psycho-spiritual transformation", is lucidly described in the later chapters of The Life Divine (I find these later chapters of Sri Aurobindo among his best, although perhaps that simply reflects my own interests), as follows:

"This is the first result, but the second is a free inflow of all kinds of spiritual experience, experience of the Self, experience of the Ishwara and the Divine Shakti, experience of cosmic consciousness, a direct touch with cosmic forces and with the occult movements of universal Nature, a psychic sympathy and unity and inner communication and interchanges of all kinds with other beings and with Nature, illuminations of the mind by knowledge, illuminations of the heart by love and devotion and spiritual joy and ecstasy, illuminations of the sense and the body by higher experience, illuminations of dynamic action in the truth and largeness of a purified mind and heart and soul, the certitudes of the divine light and guidance, the joy and power of the divine force working in the will and the conduct. These experiences are the result of an opening outward of the inner and inmost being and nature; for then there comes into play the soul's power of unerring inherent consciousness, its vision, its touch on things which is superior to any mental cognition; there is there, native to the psychic consciousness in its pure working, an immediate sense of the world and its beings, a direct inner contact with them and a direct contact with the Self and with the Divine, - a direct knowledge, a direct sight of Truth and of all truths, a direct penetrating spiritual emotion and feeling, a direct intuition of right will and right action, a power to rule and to create an order of the being not by the gropings of the superficial self, but from within, from the inner truth of self and things and the occult realities of Nature.

Some of these experiences can come by an opening of the inner mental and vital being, the inner and larger and subtler mind and heart and life within us, without any full emergence of the Soul...(which) might lead to a magnified ego (or) in agencies and powers...of a powerful but inferior cosmic character. But the rule and guidance of the soul brings into all experience the tendency of light, of integration, of harmony and intimate rightness which is native to the psychic essence. A psychic or, more widely speaking, a psycho-spiritual transformation of this kind would be already a vast change of our mental human nature."
The Life Divine (10th ed.), pp.908-909

The Psycho-Spiritual Transformation is followed or enhanced by Spiritualisation, which further enhances the spiritual Transformation.

Comparison with other systems of thought

Sri Aurobindo's stage of Psycho-Spiritual Transformation would seem to correspond very well with Sufism...

still under construction
need to add stuff here

These experiences may also be matched (at least in part) with what Ken Wilber calls the Subtle level, provided we take care not to be overenthusiastic about generalisations. Although not all the experiuiences and correspondences Wilber puts under this heading necessary pertain here, it would seem many do (and not with the Illumined or Intuitive Mind as he assumes). We see here the beginning of an Integral Psychology, and integral Soteriology (doctrine of Liberation), and a mapping out of the various successive stages and degrees of spiritual transformation.

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
Text by Sri Aurobindo © Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1977
page uploaded 19 July 2004, last modified 21 July