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Growth Online
The Makeup of the Individual Human
Knowledge Base
by Roy Posner and MSS


 


 

INTRODUCTION
(top)

 

In this section of the Growth Online Knowledge Base, we present our original thoughts, as well as links to our original articles on the Personal Growth topic of "The Makeup of the Individual Human." (If you wish, you can see our other Personal Growth categories.)

 



THE VERTICAL SCALE OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS
(from matter to spiritual mind to the spirit)
(top)

Overview | Physical | Vital | Mental | Spiritual Mind

 


Overview
(top)

Evolution of the Human
Life in the universe began as physical matter, evolved to the vital animus of life, and evolved further to mind. The individual human embodies the matter of the universe as his physical body, experiences the vital animus of life as his vital life force, energy, emotions, and feelings, and he is the highest embodiment of the plane of mind.

Human as Life Form
The human is a form of life, a formulation of energy, of force that includes physical, vital, mental, and spiritual parts. 

Untitled
We consist of the physical, the vital/emotional, and the mental plane; and potentially the spiritual.

ARTICLE and Diagram on the Vertical Scale of Human Consciousness

ARTICLE: Makeup And Evolution Of The Human Being


Vertical & Horizontal Scales of Human Consciousness and Human Evolution
The human can be viewed across two scales of being. The first, a vertical scale originates in our physical/material being, which has evolved to our vital/emotional being, which has risen further still to our mental being, and culminates in various planes of a spiritualized mental being and a pure spiritual being. The second, in a horizontal scale ranges from surface living and existence to a deeper existence within. The deeper existence originates at first at planes of unconsciousness (inconscience) and subconsciousness (the subconscient) within, but deeper still is a higher subliminal (inner) physical, vital, and mental being that sends up positive faculties to our normal surface living, and within this a True Self, a psychic being, the personal evolving soul. In the course of evolution man (a) rises higher along the vertical scale, from vital to mind to spirit, even as their is a descent of higher consciousness perfecting the lower planes; and (b) moves from the outer consciousness to the inner consciousness, penetrating the lower consciousness inconscient and subconscient plane and coming in contact with the higher subliminal parts and eventually to the True Self and personal evolving soul within. (The latter is aided when the superconscient spirit evolves the subconscious dullness within.)

 

Evolution on the Vertical Scale
Spirit
^
Spiritual Mind
^
Mind
^
Vital/emotional
^
Physical (the body)

 

Evolution Along the Horizontal Scale
Evolving Soul < Subliminal < Subconscient < Inconscience < (Depths) <
Surface/Outer Consciousness

 

Evolving Among the Planes of Consciousness
The planes that go from matter to vital to mind to spiritual mind to supermind is the vertical scale of consciousness. The movement from the surface of life to the depths of life within culminating in connection to the psychic being, the persona
l soul is the horizontal scale of consciousness. When we evolve, we move up among the planes in the vertical scale and move deeper within on the horizontal scale. The future evolutionary spiritual being will have reached and embodied the greatest heights of the vertical, and the greatest depths of the horizontal.

Vertical Scale of Consciousness (1-9 levels)
The vertical scale of consciousness spans upward from the physical to the vital to the mental. We have also identified sublevels within these three planes, for a total of 9 levels of the human consciousness; three within each plane. Almost all aspects of life can be traced along these nine levels, from the densest matter of our bodies at level 9 to the pure mind of logic and conceptual thought at level 1. (Beyond that are the spiritual levels of mind, and pure spirit levels above that.)

Vertical Scale in Terms of Consciousness and Substance; then Surface & Depths
Each of the four planes of the individual --  of Spirit, mind, vital and physical --  divide it into consciousness and substance.  Spirit is highest  in consciousness and substance; i.e. it has the highest consciousness, and greatest subtlety and power of substance. Furthermore, consciousness and substance subdivide into surface and depth. (paraphrase of MSS)

Levels of Existence
We can view our existence from unconscious matter to sensation to emotion to thought to sentiment and value to pure thought to non-thought spiritual knowledge and truth to Bliss to pure Consciousness to pure Spirit.

Example of Ascent that Enables a Descent Among Planes
We know that existence began as matter, emerged as animus of life, and developed to the plane of mind. For the human individual it manifests as the body and emerges as the vital/emotional consciousness culminating in the mental and spiritual domains. Thus we see a rise upward, which we can accelerate through our initiative of higher consciousness. Yet these are not only successive planes, as when (e.g.) vital/life is followed by mind. There is also a descent as a result of the ascent. E.g. when an individual develops a brilliant idea -- a development upward in the plane of mind -- he, as a result, might create a great software company of several billion dollars; a descending movement back from mind into the plane of life, which is thus elevated. Thus, we see that for each ascent to a higher plane or subplane, there is a corresponding descent downwards of progress and development at a lower plane or level.



Functionings of the Physical, Vital, and Mental
The Physical plane of a human consists of the subconscious awareness and impulses of the body expressed in animal instincts, basic drives of human nature, and inherited character traits. The primary drives of the physical are for self-preservation and reproduction. The Vital/Emotional plane consists of the semi-conscious sensations, urges, desires, feelings and emotions. The vital plane provides the energy for human action and expresses itself through attraction, liking, desire and enthusiasm. The Mental consists of the thoughts, opinions, beliefs, ideas and values that guide our conscious thinking, conceptualizing and
decision-making processes.
 

The Interconnectivity of Physical, Vital, Mental
Although the Physical, Vital, and Mental are distinct and different planes of existence with their own distinct forms and forces, they do not exist in isolation from each other. All three are in constant contact and interaction. All matter is instinct with life and mentality. All life is encased in a material substance and has at least a rudimentary consciousness. All mentality manifests in life in a material body. 

Not only are the three in active relation, they are also in some way involved, interlaced and interwoven, each within the other. It is not enough to say they are integrated, which implies the weaving together of separate strands. It would be more appropriate to say that while each has distinct properties, they are somehow also parts or aspects of each other. It is not only the mind that "thinks", the vital that "feels" or the body that "acts", all three exhibit each of these capacities in different ways. Along with a thinking mind that deals in abstract concepts, there is a vital component to the human mind which is imbued with feeling and is the source of idealist's sentiments, the poet's emotional idealism, the artist's insights into life and reality. There is also a physical in the mind grounded in sensation that gives us the capacity to understand and organize physical objects and activities, to plan and strategize, to translate abstract theory into practical technology, capacities well developed in the scientist and engineer. So too, there is a mental component in the physical responsible for the body's capacity to "learn" complex physical skills such as typing, computer game reflexes and piano playing. There is also a mental component in the vital, most pronounced in active social leaders such as the politician and entrepreneur who possess a direct intuitive perceptive of vital-emotional forces in other people and life around them. These complex interrelationships and their expressions are a fruitful area for scientific research.  

Utility of Perceiving Things as Physical, Vital, Mental, and Spiritual

When you examine aspects of life, it is very helpful to see it in terms of each of the Physical, Vital, and Mental planes. It brings greater clarity, perception, and understanding of the thing under consideration. Sri Aurobindo and Sri Karmayogi have gone to great lengths to bring out these distinctions in life and advises us to do the same. Some examples:

-When I am creating this entry, I am using my hands to type (physical), my will to want to accomplish it (vital), and my mind to express the idea.

-When you meet a particular person, you can see that he is a physical-oriented person (likes to engage in sports all of the time), is often emotional (vital), and has little interest in expressing ideas (mental). Another individual has an entirely different combination.

-Man has emerged from a predominantly physical existence of hunter gatherer and agriculture to a more interconnected existence through trade and communications (vital), and has now entered a mental age where he uses his mind to a much greater extend to accomplish.

-An individual is very upset (vital), but then catches himself through the knowledge that he could pay a heavy price behaving this way (mental).

Look around and you will see that you can readily identify what is physical, vital, and mental. It gives you an entirely new perspective of how life functions, including insights into your own nature.

Finally, it is also possible to see the spiritual dimension at work, especially when you perceive any of its attributes -- including peace, harmony, oneness, goodness, knowledge, truth, beauty, love, delight, timelessness, and infinity at work.

 

Planes of Being of the Individual

Expressions and Needs at Each Plane

Humans are physical, vital, mental, and spiritual beings. We are comprised of these in varying degrees. We have a physical body, including its bones, organs, muscles, tissue, fluids, etc. at the physical plane. We have sensations, needs, feelings, emotions, attitudes, interrelations with others at the vital plane. We have thoughts, ideas, beliefs, engage in rational/logical thinking at the mental plane. And we are capable of experiencing peace, harmony, love, and blissful transcendence, amongst others at the spiritual plane. We are all of these things and more, as the planes interact as one thing; as we are one being.

We also have needs at each of these levels, with the most basic and essential ones being at the physical plane, with gradually decreasing imperative necessities fulfilled at progressively higher levels, i.e. vital, mental, and spiritual. Most essentially, we need to function and be fulfilled at the physical level -- in terms of our health and well-being, proper nourishment, security and safety, and others. At the vital level, we require friendship love, family relations, emotionally fulfilling work, etc. At the mental level, we have the need to understand, to be conscious and put into effect the things we believe in, to organize our existence, to conceive of achievable goals, and the ability to think logically and rationally, amongst others. At the spiritual level, we seek and aspire to be fulfilled in terms of peace, harmony, truth, wisdom, goodness creativity, love, delight, timelessness, infinity, and other higher consciousness qualities.

Evolution Upward and Descent Among Planes

As we move up the scale of planes, there are a decreasing number of individuals who are realized there. E.g. there are far fewer mental individuals than vital-centered ones. And yet in the course of human evolution, we are increasingly evolving upward amongst these planes (actually their subplanes, e.g. from fact processing to true rational thinking of mind) in terms of our needs and nature. That is, we have evolved from essentially physical beings focused on survival and the material necessities of existence, to vital beings who seek to fufill themselves, engage one another though social intercourse, and so forth. Now in the last several centuries, and especially the last fifty years, our mental capacities are accelerating. We are emerging as true mental-oriented beings.

As we evolve upward amongst the planes (and subplanes) as a society and individually, we may also notice corresponding descent that complements the process of ascent. For example, if I develop new mental capacities that I never had before, there will be the tendency to practice what I have learned ay a plane below it. Thus, if I want to understand why I have certain physical ailments, and gain that knowledge, I can then turn around and implement it at the physical level -- i.e. a lower plane, so that I can now fully overcome my illness. In this way, the process of progress contain these loops of ascent to a higher plane and a descent into lower planes for its implementation. Overall though, there is still a movement upward.

Scale of Progress Among Planes

Also keep in mind that we can progress to different degrees; in an ascending scale of "development, evolution, and transformation." For example, if I change an attitude, I make a certain progress in life at the vital-mental subplane. This is development. If however, I change my vital nature from being coarse to something more refined in my vital interactions with others, I have evolved at that plane. Transformation is the complete perfection of that plane. E.g. I become a self-giving, calm, serene, and fully positive individual at the vital plane. Thus at each plane I can develop, evolve, and be transformed. I can also do the same for my entire nature; i.e. I can become a completely, integrally transformed being.

Types of Individuals (as Expression of Planes)

Using this approach we also recognize different types of people from amongst physical, vital/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Though people draws from each of these planes to lesser or greater degrees, one plane usually stand out in that person's nature. For example, one individual is highly focused on his using his mind (such as a programmer, scientist, or philosopher), and is therefore of a mental bent; while another person is centered in his emotions, and is therefore predominantly vital in nature. Then there is physical person who does physical oriented activities, has simple tastes and wants, with his mental life mostly undeveloped.

What we call a "ripe soul" or "realized individual" has a spiritual center and orientation. His nature is to seek out and practice those methods and means that bring spiritual-like results -- such as meditation that creates quietude, self-givingness that enables harmony and love, or the experience of the transcendent divine within, which creates ultimate Delight and Bliss.

Perceiving How Life Presents Itself Among the Planes

It is also helpful to take any situation, circumstance, aspect, thing, and evaluate it in terms of the plane or planes involved -- physical, vital, mental, or spiritual; or any combination. This will give the observer more penetrating insights into that object of inquiry. For example, when trying to come up with a solution to a conflict between two parties, we may notice that one person is more emotional and vital, and the other more mental. In that way, we can appeal to the first person's emotions, or better yet come to work with them through a calmer basis, while we confront the mental person through the realm of ideas, though his better understanding of the situation. In this same way we can evaluate, groups of people, communities, nations, speeches, developments in the world, technologies, and so forth. we will automatically then have a leg up on understanding the issues, giving us great insight for decision making, actions, and so forth.

We garner a tremendous power of observation and insight when we see the world and the unfolding of life through these four planes of existence. Perceiving the physical/material, vital/emotional, mental, and spiritual planes of being is one of mind's great tools to make deep sense out of the world around us.

Levels of Love at Four Planes
Every idea expresses through related ideas that offer shadings of it at the physical, vital, mental, and spiritual levels. Take the notion of love. At the physical level it is pure attachment. At the vital level it is intensity of need and desire. At the mental level it is admiration for another's character or ideal. At the spiritual level, it is pure self-givingness. As we see when we move up the scale there is a reversal from taking to giving.

Positive and Negative Human Traits

Recently, a fellow subscriber to the Karmayogi.net forum asked why does hate, anger, love, curiosity, admiration, etc. exist in the world. It was a very innocent yet important question that I would like to address.

Seekers of the Spirit throughout time have noticed that the Divine Reality expresses in various ways, including Peace, Oneness, Wisdom, Knowledge, Creativity, Beauty, Goodness, Love, Delight, Power, Timelessness, and Infinity. These are also qualities that the Supreme seeks to manifest in the forms of creation. We humans are the means by which they take shape on earth.

Interestingly, though the Intent of the Supreme was/is to spread these spiritual aspects throughout the cosmos, they initially took shape in their opposite form, as an inversion. I.e. life first emerged in the universe as unconscious physical matter; and only after, emerged higher, more conscious forms.

Thus, life, and indeed we humans have roots in unconsciousness mixed with the consciousness. And we have come to embody them in the form of both positive and negative character traits -- expressing the physical, vital, and mental levels.

An obvious question is why would a Divine Reality allow for both formations of darkness and light? Why not just manifest Its own, infinitely positive spiritual attributes? The answer is that it did so to enable the greatest variety, multiplicity, and possibility of experience. If there were only good traits, the diversity and depth of our life experiences would be limited.

Thus, over time, a vast array of positive, neutral, and negative physical, vital, and mental traits came to be. For example, feelings like fear, anger, hatred, are negative expressions that originate in the vital plane of our being. (The vital is the dimension of sensation, desire, emotion, feeling, attitude, and social interaction.)

It turns out that not only are these negative expressions inversions of their positive spiritual counterpart of Oneness, Power, Love, etc., but inversions of our own positive human traits. For example, people who hate, secretly harbor love, but through circumstance inner and outer, have inverted to its darker side. A child might hate a parent because of their abuse, but secretly harbored intense love that reversed itself. In fact, the more intense the hate, the greater the possibility of love when the obstacles are overcome.

In humanity's evolution we emerged from physical existence where our physical traits predominated, such as hunting and other survival skills, to the development of more complex vital feelings and relationships, such as trade, cooperation, and affinity toward marriage, to sophisticated traits of the mind, such as analyzing, synthesizing, calculating, rational thinking, etc. These are positive or neutral characteristics developed over the course of human evolution.

And yet there are also negative qualities that developed, such as mental ignorance and falsehood. At the vital and physical levels there are far more and more virulent forms of negative character traits because as you go lower in human consciousness, the wanting characteristics tend to appear. Anger, hate, intense desire, lust, jealousy, et al are negative vital traits; while domination, tendency to violence, et al are examples of negative physical characteristics.

And so we see how life evolved both a plethora of qualities in the human, both positive and negative, to enable the greatest variety of experience, from which we can evolve our nature and through that discovery experience delight.

There are hundreds of human qualities that express at the physical, vital, and mental level; often centrally in one, though with a slight shading of another. E.g. attitudes are vital, but they have a slight mental aspect to them. Personal values and beliefs are predominantly mental, but also have a vital component in that there is a willful aspect.

If traits of human consciousness express positively and negatively, then we can take inventory of all of them, and determine where we are lacking. If we then make the sincere effort to strengthen the positive or overcome negative, we grow as individuals; plus it is highly likely that life will quickly respond in our favor to our efforts.

We also see several general wanting propensities in our nature. For one, many of our negative traits at the physical, vital, and mental level have at their root human Ego. It is the self-absorption and separativeness of our being that has at its very root the fact that we identify with our own separate bodies and self at the expense of others. The ego expresses as different levels, corresponding to the dimensions of our being -- physical vital, and mental. For example, the need to dominate another is an expression of the physical ego. Hate and anger are expressions of the vital ego that has been bruised.

Many negative human traits are due to another overriding factor; our essential Ignorance born of creation. Our Ignorance has its roots in the unconsciousness and non-knowledge of our physical body, which is an expression of the dumb, material matter that it is based on. Stupidity, ignorance, falsehood, folly, error-proneness, , poor decision making capacity, et al are examples of these.

In conclusion, the human individual is made up of hundreds if not thousands of traits that express positively and negatively. They are expressions of Divine Will that seeks multiplicity of expression in the universe to allow for infinite diversity, and therefore infinite variety of consciousness and bliss as each of us discover our Higher Nature.


See List of Human Personality Traits, Expressed Positively and Negatively

Moving from the Part to the Whole
We perceive life as a part, not as a whole, in an endless variety of ways. For example, we readily accept life in the form of matter -- as material formations such as the earth and our bodies -- but we tend to close ourselves off from the non-material existence, including the subtle and the spiritual. On the other hand, there are spiritual aspirants and seekers who live a cloistered existence and commune with a Higher Reality, but are unable to integrate their experiences into normal, everyday life -- i.e. in the world of matter.

And yet we are fully capable of bringing the parts together and living the life of the Whole -- of an integral existence; of full knowledge that when applied tends to attract vast success and individual fulfillment. For example, in the example above, if I were to connect with spirit, and then bring that truth and power into my work, I would accomplish it much more quickly, and far more effectively. When we embrace all sides of a matter or subject or aspect of life, we have far greater insight and knowledge, and are therefore able to produce infinite-like results. On the other hand, when we embrace only the part -- i.e. the limited view -- we constrict life; we reduce our effectiveness, blocking true insight that can breed abundant success.

We can see this principle at work in many areas of life. For example, at the level of society, we value progress -- in particular, economic progress and development that brings material well-being. We -- especially Americans and Westerners -- like anything that speeds up that process; while disdaining things that slow it down. Thus, we rush to market an ever-growing array of products and services. This acceleration is a fine development at the material level, but it embraces only the Part. The Whole includes consideration of the effect of that process on the well-being of Man. E.g., when we bring products to market rapid fire, we would also consider whether the workers are being treated right; whether the products safe; whether the environment is maintained or degraded; whether it is creating disruptions and displacements in society; whether it meets the real needs and aspirations of the people; whether it reflect important individual and social values, and so forth.

The Whole then addresses not only material, but the psychological and social factors as well. It considers and embraces all sides, all interests, all concerns -- not just the limited things we are aware of, or are overly attached to. It in essence includes the gamut of human values -- from the material to the spiritual. Interestingly, when we widen ourselves and embrace the multiplicity of truths related to a matter, we not only understand it better, but when we act from that knowledge, what we produce is of a far superior quality. In addition, negative outcomes are avoided.

Here's another example. America is a great country with powerful material values. Through those values, she has brought out the infinite in matter, and enjoys unprecedented economic success. It is also, however, an example of the limitations of the part. As a result of focusing on the material alone, she struggles at the non-material level -- including the psychological, the social, and the political. Her limited view not only creates harmful side effects such as pollution and proliferation of weaponry, but psychological instability as well. If she were to embrace the full spectrum of values beyond the material, she would not only expand on her physical abundance up to infinity, but would enjoy profound social harmony and deep psychological fulfillment.

To see the Whole is the integrative view of life. It creates the most benefit with the least negative effect. If this is so, then why are we not able to embrace this many-sided, integrative view of life? It is because we are limited in consciousness. Driven by our negative or false attitudes and beliefs; by our ego that creates rampant selfishness; by our preoccupation with the surface of things, we are cut off from the many-sided view of life. We miss the variety of truths that surround any subject or matter that are essential for integral, moment-to-moment comprehension.

The truth is that we like what we know, and are indifferent to or reject what we don't know. As a result, we live in ignorance and falsehood. I.e. we have an exceedingly limited understanding of a matter, which limits our scope for success, while also attracting unintended negative consequences. (One principle of life is that when we embrace the part instead of the whole, the parts we overlook manifest as negative outcomes.)

One way out of this conundrum, is to step back and look at any endeavor or matter, and consider it in terms of four essential aspects -- the material, the vital, the mental, and the spiritual. Doing so will tell us if we are embracing the whole or just the limited part. Let's define each and see how they serve our purpose.

By the material, I mean matter -- i.e. the physical component, in any subject or undertaking. The Vital is the movement of life, including the effects on our emotions and feelings; our desires and needs; as well as our associations and interactions with others and the world around us. The mental is knowledge and understanding; our ability to comprehend; the thoughts and ideas we have; the values we cherish and the goals we subscribe, to name several. The Spiritual is beyond all of these. It is a subtle power that permeates all the other planes, and can be experienced as Oneness and Unity with environment; as feelings of Love towards our others; as creations and expressions of Beauty; as utter Delight in being alive; and as Timelessness, Infinity, Silence, and Goodness.

Let's say that I am embarking on a project. At various points, I decide to evaluate the undertaking from each of the four planes. For example, I have obtained all the material resources required to get the work done - including machinery, funding, etc. Thus, the material view of things is in good order. However, when I consider the work from the vital standpoint, I realize that I have been unwilling to listen to others; that I guard my own entrenched view of things feverishly; and, in general, I am not very communicative. In addition, when I consider the social aspect, I realize that I have didn't really consider the impact of the project on the people who were working on it. These are additional vital aspects or parts at the social plane that haven't received proper attention.

Then I consider the next plane up -- the mental. I wonder if the essential assumptions I have made about the phases of the project are accurate; or whether the completion date is reasonable; or whether its achievement will truly meet the goals and values of the company. Finally, there are the spiritual aspects to consider. For example, I wonder if I have been self-giving on the project; and whether I have demonstrated a level of gratitude towards others for the work they have done; and whether I have been calm and equal when big changes come, or when difficult situations arise.

As I consider my reality from each of these planes -- material, vital, meant, and spiritual -- I begin to move out of the limited part view, and embrace the whole. Along the way, I even come to perceive the true Essence of the matter - including the true purpose of my undertaking has served; what it indicates for the future; even what it has brought out about my own character and what that means in terms of my future progress.

As a result of making this effort, I acquire a more integral view of the things I am engaged in. Through my comprehensive understanding and knowledge, I become more aware of the multiplicity of truths I am grappling with, of the variety of factors that are at play in any given situation. This in turn gives me the knowledge power to make the right decisions that lead to powerful positive results.

As I follow this thread and seek out the multiple dimensions of any matter, I begin to truly value the power of the Whole. Also, as I obtain vast positive results by acting on that knowledge, I feel a deep sense of fulfillment and joy in life. As a result, I am energized to no end, and eagerly look forward to the next challenge.

Untitled
There is matter. Then there is animus of life that uses matter as its substance for motion and limited consciousness. Then there is mind which can control vital life and its subordinate matter. Finally, there is spirit through which silence and illumination and intuition of thought can bring about great understanding that can be used to control life that utilizes matter for action and results.

Each Plane Limited by Previous One
Each plane (physical, vital, and mental) is limited by the limitations of the previous levels. E.g. Mind has a partial view because it is rooted in the ego sense of the vital, with its separateness and attachment to one thing over another. 

Ultimately our limitations at each level are rooted in the very inconscience of our being which we inherit as beings in the universe. 

Quality of Energy at Different Levels
The quality of our energy rises ever higher from our physical to our vital/emotional to our mental to our spiritual consciousness. Physical energy expresses as urge. Vital energy is dynamism. Mental energy is curiosity. Higher mental energy is Silent understanding. Illumined mental energy is vision. The Intuitive mental energy has four subdivisions. 1. Suggestive energy. 2. Discriminatory insight. 3. Inspirational urge. 4. Revelatory call.  Overmental energy follows an issue to its uttermost possibility. Supramental energy is harmony that achieves transformation through descent on the parts of being that offer surrender. (MSS)

ARTICLE on the planes and Sublevels that Makeup the Individual

Wizard of Oz Symbolism in Terms of Personal Growth
The human individual consists of a body, a vital/emotional dimension, and a mind. Some would argue the person also can have access to the spirit. So there are four dimensions of the human.

In the Wizard of Oz we can see how these are each represented. The physical (body) is represented by the cowardly lion, who needs to overcome his fear and develop strength of being; the vital/emotional center is represented by the tin man, who comes to discover heart and feeling; and the straw man represents the mind (i.e. the desire for intelligence). The wizard himself is the spirit. (He is a phony on one sense, yet is truly wise in that he is able to give fulfillment to all of the others (e.g. he gives feeling to the tin man).

Dorothy represents the individual in life trying to raise and integrate all these elements of one's consciousness (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual), enabling wholeness and fulfillment in life. These individuals she meets along the way are the steps in that process. When she returns home she realizes that her (semi-conscious) quest to integrate her person has been achieved, and that in fact she could have (ironically) fulfilled them at home in the first place if she knew how. I.e. if one is conscious, there is no place to go to find the fulfillment of these elements on the outside because all of them can be found where one already is from within from a status of higher consciousness.

It is also interesting to note that she discovers these elements of her being through her quest, which is initiated by a series of negative situations and circumstance, which mirrors how often in life we are moved to a higher level of awareness through life's painful and difficult situations and events.

Essential to Know Physical, Vital, Mental
Understanding physical, vital, and mental planes is an essential knowledge of Sri Aurobindo's that can put everything in the right framework.  [MSS comments: Worth writing in GOLD]

How the Physical, the Vital, and the Mental Know
The physical knows through reception of sense data, sensations, that arise from within the body, are generated by our thought processes, or impinge on us from outside. The vital knows through direct, subconscious perception of vital energies that arise from the body or the mind or impinge on us from outside, such as the subtle sensibility that people may refer to as a hunch or gut feeling. So too, the mind knows through formulation of thoughts, reception of thoughts arising from the subconscious physical and vital, descending from higher levels, or impinging on us from outside.

The physical and vital "know" things directly as a recognized contact with vibratory energy, without need for the intermediacy of thought. But for mental knowledge, the vibratory impact needs normally to be translated into thought forms intelligible to the mental understanding. (MSS)

MSS Articles on Makeup of the Individual

Nine Levels
Levels of Personality One to Nine
Planes and Parts of the Being

Thoughts on the Ways We Express Our Negativity

Power of M, V, P Classification

I recall in reading 'Adventure of Consciousness' by Satprem how impressed I was by the simple classification of mental, vital, physical. We take it for granted but it is a very powerful analytic tool. (MSS)

 


Physical (Body)
(top)


Definition and Purpose of the Physical

Definition and Functioning of the Physical Plane of the Individual
Definition
:
The subconscious awareness and impulses of the body expressed in animal instincts, basic drives of human nature, and inherited character traits. The primary drives of the physical are for self-preservation and reproduction. 

Functioning: It is (1) that which gives us material form, our raw physical existence, consisting of matter; (2) it is where our movements originate; (3) it is the seat of our physical urges and sensations, and (4) it is where the body learns how to act, i.e. where it learns the primary skills needed for existence.
 

Nature of the Physical

The Physical Consciousness
The physical [consciousness, plane, aspect represented in us as our physical bodies] is normally obscure, inert, impervious to the Light. It is a thing of habits, very largely a slave of the subconscient and its mechanical reactions. (Sri Aurobindo)

Instincts of Material Existence
-The predominant instincts of material existence are self-preservation, self-repetition, and self-multiplication.
-The bodily life wants to persist, not progress, repeat not enlarge. (Paraphrase of Sri Aurobindo)

Going Beyond the Physical's Need to Repeat
The physical can repeat, only repeat. Does anyone want things to be repeated? Not only in Life Divine, is it possible in innovation, creativity, or in new computer programmes?

  • The physical's birthright is repetition.
  • Evolution's prerogative is NOT to repeat once.
  • But the luminous Imperative REPEATS to conquer the dark imperative. (pg. 962, The Life Divine)  (MSS)

 

Physical-Orientation

Physicality is in one sense a belief only in the material and seen, not the subtle and the unseen. Hence we are attracted to physical interactions with others (and the world) through our senses, through mental activity (thought), and through speech; instead of an inward-oriented beingness that includes silence at the physical, vital, and mental levels. Naturally, life experienced from the subtle plane attracts far more positive results.

The Relationship of Body and Mind
-
The body obeys the mind automatically in those things in which it is formed or trained to obey it, but the relation of the body to the mind is not in all things that of an automatic instrument. The body also has a consciousness of its own and, though it is a submental instrument o servant consciousness, it can disobey or fail to obey as well. In many things in matters of health and illness for instance, in all automatic functionings, the body acts on its own and is not the servant of mind's will. It can cloud the mind with tamas, inertia, dullness, fumes of the subconscient so that the mind cannot act.

-When you first ask the body to draw a straight line or to play music, it can't do it and won't do it. It has to be schooled, trained, taught, and afterwards it does automatically what is required of it. All this proves that there is a body-consciousness which can do things at the mind's order, but has to be awakened, trained, made a good and conscious instrument. (Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga)

When the Body Acts it Acts Perfectly
The body refuses to begin unless it understands fully. When it understands fully, it does not wait for a minute and its execution is flawless. In that sense, the body is real, and body alone is real. Mind thinks of alternatives, weighs the consequences, chooses and acts. Choosing arises as the knowledge has two alternatives before it. Choosing one, one chooses a part. A part is always partial. Its result too is partial. The body does not choose one out of the two alternatives. Its knowledge is total. It awaits for total knowledge, refusing to act till then. It acts when the total knowledge arises. Its results are total. Not three out of five are right; the five are right.

The experienced shop assistant weighing a kilo of sugar does not adjust the quantity of sugar in the balance. He takes the weight once. It is exactly a kilo. The cook taking a quantity of salt for sambar finds his hand taking the exact quantity.

We see an experienced typist not looking at the keys while typing. That happens when his mental understanding sinks deeper down and reaches the very cells of the body. (MSS, rearranged)

When the Body Acts
Mother says body understands at the moment when it is ready for action. Till every cell acquires the knowledge the body does not understand. The moment the last cell completes receiving the knowledge, body acts instantaneously. (MSS)

Thoughts on the Limiting Aspects of our Habitual Nature

 

Individual Planes of the Physical Body

Planes of the Physical (Body) from Highest to Lowest
Mental in Physical -- This is the consciousness of the body, where it learns how to act, where it learns the primary skills needed for existence and action from movement. It is the center of our physical skills.

Vital in Physical -- This is the seat of our physical urges and sensations. It is where nervous sensation, pain, physical urge, hunger, lust, craving, physical possessiveness, and territoriality are rooted.

Pure Physical -- This is the pure physical, the body itself, our raw physical existence, consisting of matter. It is also where our movements originate.

ARTICLE and Diagram that Includes the Physical Planes on the Vertical Scale of Human Consciousness

Inner Physical on the Horizontal Scale
Whereas there is expression of the being on the vertical scale of consciousness. There is also the expression of the physical in the horizontal scale of consciousness.

The Inner Physical (of the Subliminal) on the Horizontal Scale of Consciousness
 

 

Breaking the Reigns of the Physical Consciousness

The Physical Consciousness

Evolution of Man of Planes of Consciousness
In the evolution of man he has evolved from the physical to the vital to the mental consciousness. The spiritual lies beyond.

Physical Consciousness
Man's lowest consciousness is expressed in his physical consciousness, aka his "physicality." That physicality expresses not only as brutality, but as unconsciousness, inertia, unwillingness to change, anachronistic tendencies, inflexibility, lack of tolerance and openness, a material only view of the world, expression of ego, ritualistic religion, etc.

The Physical Consciousness
The physical consciousness of that of habits, repetition, unwillingness to changed, fixed -- like matter itself.

The Physical Consciousness
The physical consciousness is fixed, rigid, unwilling to change, unfeeling, unthinking.

Our Physical Consciousness
The unconsciousness, the inconscience in matter reflected in our bodies indicates our physical consciousness that is of an unchanging, resisting nature.

Physical-Orientation

Physicality is in one sense a belief only in the material and seen, not the subtle and the unseen. Hence we are attracted to physical interactions with others (and the world) through our senses, through mental activity (thought), and through speech; instead of an inward-oriented beingness that includes silence at the physical, vital, and mental levels. Naturally, life experienced from the subtle plane attracts far more positive results.

 

Human Physicality

"Human physicality" in its various forms include the limits of habit, our attachment to place, learning only through experience not ideas, sees physical/material explanations not the subtle, attachment to physical pleasure and convenience, impulsive, lack of organization, physical attachment to loved ones, action/not thought-oriented, possessive, only sees one's own perspective, gluttony, fixed attitudes and understanding, acts without thought, limited understanding of money and its use, is oblivious to others, let alone subtle things around them , has fixed view of cause and effect, doesn't think before speaking, has fixed view of the world, etc. etc.

It also indicates the vast scope we have for practicing Yoga (i.e. conscious evolution), that if practiced would undo our physicality and other limiting parts of our nature, opening the door to a new type of humanity culminating in supramental existence.

 

Positive Way Out of Our Physicality
A positive way out of our physicality is worth finding.

The Physical Consciousness
The physical [consciousness, plane, aspect represented in us as our physical bodies] is normally obscure, inert, impervious to the Light. It is a thing of habits, very largely a slave of the subconscient and its mechanical reactions. (Sri Aurobindo)

We say habits are rooted in our physical consciousness because physical things tend not to want to change; just go on and repeat ad infinitum, as in a habit.

Physical consciousness, Subconscient Effect, Transformation

The physical consciousness and the subconscient try to bring us down when we try to rise up. Ultimately we must go within to the Subliminal, which opens to the Superconscient reality to tame and transform the subconscient. Then, when we make the effort to move up, we will stay up.

 

Overcoming the Flatness in the Lives of Devotees 

Q: Why after a while or from time to time do we feel so uninspired, so listless, without any passion anymore to rise, to achieve our goals, even though we are on the spiritual path through Mother and have frequently seen and experienced Her Grace in our lives

A: The subconscious carries over the knowledge and memory of the pralayas of all difficulties of humanity. It is dark, pessimistic, and also reinforces illness. It influences us at the surface and pulls us down to its level. In making the evolutionary change, it is one of the fiercest things to overcome. Mother said it was the great obstacle to the transformation. 

Another aspect is that in sadhana we readily fall into the physical consciousness, which makes life feel humdrum and boring. We are uninspired. Sri Aurobindo in 'Letters on Yoga' says it is a natural part of sadhana and when it occurs we should remain calm, patient, and try to maintain the inner aspiration and flame for progress, for Mother. That blandness will then give way, and the natural joyousness of being a devotee of Them returns. 

These episodes of emptiness, non-inspiration, pessimism, et all occur periodically. When the subconscious and its limitations are overcome, then these will occur less often. When we Surrender to Her on a regular basis that is made possible. 

We can also make our dreams more conscious which is also held sway by the subconscious. We can empty our thoughts before sleeping and surrender to Mother, and drift into sleep. When there is dreamless sleep, and we touch Sat-chit-ananda, we wake up refreshed. This is yet another aspect of the subconscious that can be overcome.

The key is maintaining that Inner Flame of Aspiration, for a better, higher, deeper life, filled with Her attributes, from love to peace, to harmony and joy.

This yoga is for those who are serious, and it is a difficult yoga. It is a radical change at all planes mental, vital, and physical. It also requires the subconscious change so feelings of pessimism, non-inspiration, non-motivation, purposelessness, helplessness, flatness, and boredom can change to their opposite.

Mother is that opposite pole. Our intense aspiration to reach it, to connect with Her makes the sadhana, the yogic journey that much easier.

 

 

Signs of Physicality

Signs of non-physicality

1.       Functioning out of fixed habits even if the habits are no longer relevant to the situation.

1.       The person is able to function according to the needs of the situation and not from habit.

2.       Strong attachment to where one is born and lives and consequent inability to go away from that place.

2.       The person can go to any place required for purposes of work and function from there as well.

3.       Insistence on eating only the food one is used to.

3.       The person can eat different type of food if it is necessary as he is away from home.

4.       Demands physical proof for higher non-physical entities.

4.       He can accept the existence of higher entities on their terms.

5.       Sees money as a physical entity and treats money in the same way.

5.       He understands money to be an idea and social organization and relates to it in that way.

6.       Learns anything by experience only which often takes a long time and effort.

6.       He learns more from understanding than from experience and therefore spends less time and effort.

7.       There is more faith in money, property,   qualifications, power and influence etc than on mental resources and divine grace. In other words values form more than content.

7.       The person places more faith on his or her mental resources and the power of divine grace than on money and power etc. In other words values content more than form.

8.       Seeks physical explanations for achievements as well as failures.                  

8.       Physical factors are secondary and psychological and spiritual factors are more important for the person in understanding success as well as failure.

9.       Physical convenience is given a great importance.

9.       Physical convenience is made secondary and work requirements are given more importance.

10.   Photos, flowers, pooja room and offerings are real to the person in relating to Mother.

10.   He can relate to Mother inside without the help of photos, flowers and offerings etc.

11.   The person functions on the basis of impulses with little planning or forethought.

11.   The person functions not on the basis of impulses, but with definite plans and aims in mind.

12.   He can sense affection and love only when it is physically demonstrated through physical attention and gifts and appreciation.

12.   He can receive affection and love just by silent exchange of vibrations in the absence of visible demonstrations.

13.   He sees everything from only his point of view and is oblivious to the requirements of the others in the picture.

13.   He can see the situation from other's point of view as well and can change his attitudes and demands to suit the requirements of others.

14.   Food is always on the mind of the person and eats more for taste than for satisfying hunger.

14.   Food does not enter his mind except when it is time for eating.

15.   The person becomes totally dysfunctional when the body becomes ill and sick.

15.   Illness does not incapacitate the person totally and he can keep functioning despite the illness.

16.   Cannot stand physical separation from loved ones for long.

16.   Can withstand physical separation for long if work requires it.

17.   The  person learns to correct his mistakes only after suffering hardships, losses and humiliation etc.

17.   The person can understand that a certain way of functioning is wrong on the basis of explanations only without undergoing the hardships and losses.

18.   The person is more action-oriented than thought-oriented.

18.   The person exhibits more capacity for thinking than for external action.

19.   The person cannot share his valuables with others or lend them to others. They have to be in his control all the time.

19.   If work requires that his valuables be lent to others the person can happily share them and lend them to others so that the work is carried on.

20.   Sees everything and assesses everything by the amount of monetary expenses involved.

20.   He can evaluate the worth of something on its own merits and not in terms of the expenses involved.  (N. Ashokan MSS)

Also See Thoughts on the Physical-Oriented Individual

Also See Thoughts on Habituality, Fixidity, Rigidity

 

Breaking Down the Physical Consciousness

Becoming Conscious by Pulverizing the Physical Consciousness

People don't normally become more conscious directly, but are first physically and psychologically pulverized by life.

Breaking Down the Physical Consciousness
The part of us that is most resistant to change, that expresses the harshest physical consciousness of force and ego is pulverized by life until it breaks down.

How the Physical Consciousness Breaks Down
The harsh physical consciousness breaks down through accident, illness, and disease.

 

Transforming the Limits of Physical Consciousness

The limits of the physical consciousness requires the working of the Divine Force to transform it. Our own will, even spiritual aspiration will be hard pressed to change it. The Force has to penetrate its limitations, including the Subconscious that is behind it; that is the source of rigidity, fixidity, and intransigence. This requires sincere sadhana through yogic commitment. Short of that we can call in Her Force as much as possible to change our habits. Garry Sir asks us to take the smallest habit and try to do it in a different way, which energizes the being and evokes response.

 

The Return of the Physical Consciousness That Temporarily Halts Our Progress

The physical consciousness is that of the body and the subconscious that is resistant to change, that is fixed, pessimistic, and not open to the light. When an individual has a breakthrough in consciousness invariably after a while the physical will pull him back down to his old nature. It may last for days, weeks, even months. It is marked by dullness, a feeling that nothing has changed, and a general return to the old way of being. However, one should not be alarmed or disappointed, and realize that it is but a step along the way that will soon clear, allowing one to return to the path and the new way of being.

To facilitate the removal of that detour so that we can resume our ascent, an attitude of cheerfulness and faith is helpful during this lull in the old consciousness. Eventually it will relent and our movement upward can continue. This return to the Physical will occur intermittently, often after a big growth in inner development has been achieved.

This being said, is there a way to overcome the down pull of the wanting physical consciousness in general? After all it does not just appear after stages of considerable growth one's growth, but is part and parcel of our daily existence, as it pulls one down easily into a state of dullness, pessimism, depression, and lack of hope.

The answer is that such a change would be very difficult undertaking, as that realm of the Physical and the subconscient behind it is deeply rooted in the fundamental unconsciousness of matter.  It is there in the consciousness of our bodies, settled deep in our subconscious with its memory of past pralayas - catastrophes, failures, sufferings, death, etc. of the world -- carried forward in the being of every individual through countless generations. Our own will, even spiritual aspiration will be hard pressed to change its fixidity and downward pull.

Thus, to be able to transform the physical consciousness requires the working of the Divine Force. The supramental power of the Mother has to penetrate the limitations of the Physical, including the subconscious that is behind it; that is the source of rigidity, fixidity, and intransigence. This requires sincere and dedicated sadhana (spiritual practice) through long-term yogic commitment. Short of that we can call in Her Force as much as possible to change our ways, including our own fixed habits.

One practical approach is to take the smallest habit of ours and try to do it in a different way, which will energize us at that level, and even evoke a positive response.  Also by being aware of our own particular current deadening habits and making the commitment and effort to discard them will be helpful.  

The physical consciousness wants to repeat; in this case to repeat the old patterns one has begun to outgrow in our emerging new consciousness. Thus, if we commit to overcome several outworn ones, it will clear the way for our being to be more receptive to the Force, allowing for a more balanced and consistent upward progress.

The Physical Consciousness and the Individual
The individual and the various forms of the collective express consciousness from lowest to highest. The lowest is the physical consciousness, which is the expression of inertia, unwillingness to change, brutality, attachment to falsehood, religious and social dogma, anachronistic tendencies, etc. Nature expresses itself to overcome that physical consciousness through natural disasters and calamities, by being attacked in war, and in other forms, down to the individual expression who experiences it through anger, irritation, and annoyance. There are various gradations for the collective and the individual.

Moving Beyond the Limits of Our Physical Consciousness

Born and raised in a Jewish family and environment I experienced various facets of physicality. For example, because of the insecurity of my people, there is an intense reliance on maintaining the family -- above all things, and at all costs. There is also a deep fear that expresses as insecurity, both financially and emotionally; hence a preoccupation with money and material things, including their acquisition and maintenance.

Then there is a certain segment of Jewish people have an absolute "faith" in the material world, and perceive spirit nowhere. For instance, one friend of mine who is otherwise very rational and open-minded, cannot see beyond the physical, material world, as he is a creator and inventor at that level alone. Moreover, the beliefs of his spiritual-oriented spouse baffles him completely!

Then there is the opposite side of the coin in relation for the Jewish people. Many are very rational and open-minded to new ideas; to the many-sided truth of things, and have thus excelled in fields requiring such capacities. This is mentality beyond physicality. At a higher level still, there are Jews who have transcended the mere material, and even the rational-mental, for the spiritually rational. Einstein and his intuitive capacity to garner knowledge of the truth of things is an example. A surprising number of Jews have also taken to a variety of modern spiritual teachings.

To overcome physicality, one must change the framework of one's consciousness. From the depths, one is less immune to the input of the senses, particular the visual; one perceives truths of life beyond the material; and one is less inclined to repeat, be fixed and habitual. From the depths one is open to all things, all possibilities, instead of the mere material real.

Interestingly, Sri Aurobindo indicates that what sense picks up and that we are preoccupied with and attached to is not the "Illusion" of the Indian tradition and elsewhere, but rather is Ignorance. It is man's tendency to perceive only a small part of the truth of a thing under consideration. When I observe an event in front of me through my eyes, I tend to make a judgment that is error-prone and false. It IS however a real experience in of itself, even as it fails to take into account the multiplicity of truths beyond what my senses perceive through sight or the auditory. Yet when we live in the depths of our being instead of the surface of life, this is more readily overcome.

Overcoming attachment to money, property, security, et al is further made possible when we perceive higher personal values. Moreover, reorienting our thinking requires an ability to examine life straight on, and see it for what it is; not what others believe it is or should be. This involves conscious thinking, and is an expression of True Individuality.

So physicality can be overcome by moving to a deeper center, not by living on the surface through sense; by perceiving the many sided truth of things, which comes from the depths and by taking another's point of view; by being conscious of the subtle principles of life, including life response phenomena; and  by expressing our True Individuality. All of these are heightened by opening to the Mother, to the spiritual Force that is available at any moment. Life thereby cooperates, we are startled into a new perception of things, and the root of our absorption at the psychical plane -- to materiality, fixidity, security, attachment, dependence, sense-based error and Ignorance, etc. -- begins to wane.

Nature Purges Man's Physicality
Man's lowest consciousness is expressed in his physical consciousness, aka his "physicality." That physicality expresses not only as brutality, but as unconsciousness, inertia, unwillingness to change, anachronistic tendencies, inflexibility, lack of tolerance and openness, a material only view of the world, expression of ego, ritualistic religion, etc. Nature breaks the physicality of nations when those peoples experience natural disaster, when the nation is attacked by another, and in other ways. Nature, as an instrument of a Higher Consciousness (the Spirit), enables that people to progress to a higher consciousness through such negative means. The same occurs for individuals, through the difficulties of life. A higher approach to progress is through conscious self-awareness, through rationality and spirit. the progress of man through Soul instead of the difficult path of Nature is the future that awaits man.

Limitation of Physical Consciousness
The force of habit blocks movements within, and opening to the Force. It is the unconsciousness, the inconscience in matter reflected in our bodies as a physical consciousness of an unchanging, resisting nature. Even this unevolved bedrock of limitation can be overcome as a logical outcome of our ascent, progress, evolution, and transformation.

Physical-Orientation

Physicality is in one sense a belief only in the material and seen, not the subtle and the unseen. Hence we are attracted to physical interactions with others (and the world) through our senses, through mental activity (thought), and through speech; instead of an inward-oriented beingness that includes silence at the physical, vital, and mental levels. Naturally, life experienced from the subtle plane attracts far more positive results.

Also see thoughts on how Nature overcomes the Physical consciousness of Man

Also See Thoughts on War and Other Disasters that Purges Low Physical Consciousness

Immortality of the Physical Body

Click here to see entries

 


Vital
(top)

It's Nature, Purpose, and Planes

Definition of the Vital
The vital is the Life-nature made up of the desires, sensations, feelings, passions, energies of action, will of desire, reactions of the desire soul in man and of all that play of possessive and other related instincts, anger, fear, greed, lust, etc. that belongs to the field of nature. 
(Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga)

Definition and Functioning of the Vital Plane of the Individual
Definition: T
he semi-conscious sensations, urges, desires, feelings, emotions, and attitudes. The vital provides the energy for human action and expresses itself through attraction, liking, desire and enthusiasm.

Functioning: It (1) is where we experience the vital sensation of the central nervous system, our primal urges, desires, and fears; (2) where we experience our feelings, emotions, and passions of life; and (3) is where the emotions are processed into emotional thought, i.e. into the emotions' perception of knowledge, and it is where our attitudes, our life intelligence, and higher emotions reside.

Planes of the Vital from Highest to Lowest in the Vertical Scale
Mental in Vital --
This is where emotions (of the next level) are processed into emotional thought, the emotions' perception of knowledge. It is where our attitudes, life intelligence, and higher emotions lie. It is the center of our vital skills.

Pure Vital -- This is where our feelings, emotions, passion, enthusiasm reside.

Physical in Vital -- This is where we experience the vital sensation of the nerves, the central nervous system, where we experience urge, desire, and fear.

Nature of the Vital
The sensations, desires, wants, feelings, emotions, and attitudes are part of the vital nature.

Vital in Terms of Physical and Mental Nature
The vital nature evolved out of the physical nature, and evolved into the mental nature.

Physical Vital Evolves to Vital Proper

The urge to interact with others beyond one's self moved the vital consciousness of the human from its physical basis to the vital proper. (Paraphrase of Sri Aurobindo)

Vital Man in Action
The vital man expresses his emotions, his frustrations, and his wants and desires, oblivious to the facts.  

Emotion is Born in the Human
Sensation is primary, is of the animal. Emotion is of the heart, is born only in the human being. (MSS)

ARTICLE and Diagram that Includes the Vital Planes on the Vertical Scale of Human Consciousness

 


The Vital Nature

The Vital Nature
-
The vital nature can express positively or negatively, and shades in between.
-An individual is an amalgam of positive and vital propensities.
-Through personal growth, evolution, and transformation one grows out of the vital negative into positive expressions of the vital.

Lower vs. Higher Vital Nature
We can think of the lower vital nature vs. a harmonious pure vital. The former is of desire, wants, attachments, the latter is of higher emotion, goodness, and sensitivity. The former is born of our animal nature, the latter is an effluence of a nascent spiritual nature. (This is not along the vertical scale of the vital, but on a non-harmonious vs. harmonious vital nature overall.)

Man's Mentality
Man's mentality is mostly a slave to his lower vital and physical nature. It is not pure mentality.

Thought is Superior to Emotion
Emotions are rich. Their reason is flawless, unerring. Some people speak of their emotional intuition which never fails. Still, Mind is superior to the emotions, but has no unfailing perception of men or events.

In a group of emotional men, one who thinks, who is clear-headed, will be suspect. He will never be in favour. This is because emotions are understandable by others, while thought or ideas are not. Also, emotions cannot be insincere while Mind can be insincere.

Therefore, emotions are always valued, valued more than thoughts, in spite of the mind's superiority. A mental man never expresses his emotions, always keeps them under control. When he is moved by emotion, it is a great moment in his life. On the other hand, there are uneducated, unformed people who are incapable of thought.

You cannot hold a serious discussion with them. If they do not understand, they will fly into a rage or if they are weak, they will break down. They too are emotional.

The certitude that the South had in the Civil War in their cause of defending slavery matured into an emotional faith, almost into a physical passion. They believed they would certainly win, [even though the North was superior in every economic measure, and in numbers]. How on earth MAN can ever arrive at such a conclusion, only their emotions know. Their conviction was absolute. Their defeat too was absolute.

When we are faced with a situation that demands reason, we can see that our emotions egg us on to a certitude. We must listen to Reason, and go beyond even that to the Spirit. (MSS, somewhat modified)

The Vital Being and Spiritual Growth
Re: the
nature of the vital in spiritual development:

The vital contains much that is helpful, as well as that which is wanting. The goal is to reinforce the positive, while holding down the negative. For example, in the higher aspect of the vital, which is really associated with the domain of the heart, we express goodness, including the ability to be self-giving. This emotional will of harmony and love with others is always worth enhancing. It is a spiritual connection through the vital-related heart center.

Another aspect of the vital that is worth enhancing is our level of psychological strength, which includes courage, toughness, and the ability to stand up for what is right, not be dominated by others, to face life and its conditions square on, etc. Self-givingness and strength are thus two powerful vital-related qualities worth enhancing.

Finally, it is always worth maintaining a positive attitude, and a degree of cheerfulness and optimism. These are positive emotions that support spiritual progress.

On the other hand, there is the negative side of the vital, including its mindless craving, desire, and attachment. Buddha explains these very well. There is also the poor attitudes of the vital (toward others, self, life, and work) that need to be controlled if one is on the spiritual path. This is very important. Our wanting attitudes as they rise is the one thing to be continuously rejected when one is on the spiritual path.

There is also the will or need or want of the vital. This is neutral. It depends on what we aspire for. If it is positive, such as the need to improve a poor living condition or job position, then the energy of the vital can bring us important successes, which is very useful for spiritual growth. There can also be that which is detrimental to our spiritual progress, such as the need to possess or dominate; or those life urges which depletes our energies. In the end, it depends on the person. For example, some individuals need to make much more money, while others are obsessed by money and should stop thinking about it. The same approach relates to success, accomplishment, romance, and other vital oriented dimensions of life.

A vital that is strong, positive, optimistic, cheerful, free of possessiveness, dominance, and unbridled desire is certainly welcome support for those on the spiritual path. On the other hand, vigilance against the rise of negative vital propensities -- especially in our wanting attitudes -- is certainly helpful for those seeking the spirit.

Controlling, Changing the Vital through Constant Consecration

[In response to discussion on how we can practice non-reaction to others' and life intensities by changing our vital nature through consecration.]

Our consciousness is not settled in the depths of being, let alone at the level of psychic and soul. It is too great an undertaking for our limited consciousness to establish a poise there, which would give us the settled peace from which we would not react to outside stimuli.

So we are given help, a shortcut, a power to control the vital, which is the Divine, the Divine Mother. I.e. by consecrating our vital movements and limitations, we not only gain vital control in that instance and in ensuing ones, but over time Her power descends in such a way that a settled peace takes shape in the inner parts of our being, such that whenever an intense stimuli occurs outside, there will be no reaction on our part. (The Divine has lodged in the vital, with all of Its positive attributes from stillness to sweetness.)

In other words, through consecration, concentration in the depths progressively develops through which we become Silent witness to the world, maintaining peace, calm, equality, detachment, and restraint in any and all circumstance.

In that way, the Divine Mother is doing our conscious evolution (yoga) for us. Or, rather She is the instrument for our transmutation, including our vital being. In addition, through that process of self-offering and inner change, we are continuously attracting a stream of good fortune.

See Entries for a Variety of Negative Human Expressions (which are Mostly Vital)
 

 

(The Vital on the Horizontal Scale)

The Inner Mind and Vital
The realms of the inner mind and the inner vital that make up the subliminal have a larger, subtler, freer consciousness than the outer mental and vital nature that we normally experience. When we experience life on the surface, the inner mind and vital have a deeper perception of what is going on at that moment. It sends these messages to our surface consciousness, which we can utilize for right understanding, perception, insight, and decision making.

The Inner Vital (of the Subliminal) on the Horizontal Scale of Consciousness


Mental (Mind)
(top)

The Nature of Mind

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The Planes of Mind

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Spiritual Mind
(top)

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THE HORIZONTAL SCALE OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS
(from the surface to the depths within)
(top)


Overview | The Inconscient (Unconsciousness) | The Subconscient (Subconsciousness)

The Inner/Subliminal Being | The Personal Evolving Soul (the Psychic Being)

 

Overview
(main)

Horizontal and Vertical Scale of Human Makeup
Individual progress can be measured in the vertical scale of consciousness that ascends upward from matter to life to mind to spiritual mind to supermind and to Divine; as well as on the horizontal scale that moves inward from a surface relationship to life to the depths within, including the subliminal inside us, in the heart of which is the psychic being, the evolving personal soul and guide.

Vertical & Horizontal Scales of Human Consciousness and Human Evolution
The human can be viewed across two scales of being. The first, a vertical scale originates in our physical/material being, which has evolved to our vital/emotional being, which has risen further still to our mental being, and culminates in various planes of a spiritualized mental being and a pure spiritual being. The second, in a horizontal scale ranges from surface living and existence to a deeper existence within. The deeper existence originates at first at planes of unconsciousness (inconscience) and subconsciousness (the subconscient) within, but deeper still is a higher subliminal (inner) physical, vital, and mental being that sends up positive faculties to our normal surface living, and within this a True Self, a psychic being, the personal evolving soul. In the course of evolution man (a) rises higher along the vertical scale, from vital to mind to spirit, even as their is a descent of higher consciousness perfecting the lower planes; and (b) moves from the outer consciousness to the inner consciousness, penetrating the lower consciousness inconscient and subconscient plane and coming in contact with the higher subliminal parts and eventually to the True Self and personal evolving soul within. (The latter is aided when the superconscient spirit evolves the subconscious dullness within.)

Evolution on the Vertical Scale
Spirit
^
Spiritual Mind
^
Mind
^
Vital/emotional
^
Physical (the body)

 

Evolution Along the Horizontal Scale
Evolving Soul < Subliminal < Subconscient < Inconscience < (Depths) <
Surface/Outer Consciousness

 

Horizontal/Concentric Scale of Individual Being
There is a plane of being that extends from outside of ourselves to within ourselves symbolically though of as concentric rings that surround ourselves perpendicular to us. The outer ring is our limited, surface consciousness; the surface physical, vital, and mental consciousness. Within in the depths within, i.e. in the inner most rings, lies the mostly negative subconscious (i.e. subconscient; known as the unconscious in the West), upon which lies the very conscious subliminal consisting of an inner physical, vital, and mental being and he subtle positive influences it sends to the surface, in which inmost lies our personal evolving soul, our True Self, and the most profound element in our being. We can call this arrangement a horizontal scale of our being or a concentric scale of being.

The Horizontal Scale of Human Consciousness
It is then not too difficult to comprehend that we essentially consist of distinct aspects or centers of consciousness; a physical, a vital, a mental, and a spiritual plane. We can call this grouping the "vertical scale of human consciousness." However, there is another scale of human consciousness that is also part of our human makeup, though it is far less understood or even perceived as real. This other scale ranges from our outer surface consciousness to an inner consciousness in the depths of our being. One way to imagine this is a series of concentric circles expanding out from the center of our being to the outer surface. The outer circle would be the surface of life we experience at the most material level, the inner circle would be our deepest parts within. We can choose to live on the surface of life or be centered in the depths of our being. The more we are influenced by the positive elements of the depths there are also negative elements), the higher our consciousness; the more we live on he surface, i.e. the outer rings, the less conscious we are of the world. As we bring the higher consciousness of the depths to our surface life, replacing the current surface occupations of the outer material world experienced through our sense, the more we evolve. This movement is a  key to our future growth and development as a species.

The inner consciousness (or being) consists of unconscious parts and very conscious parts. The unconscious parts include the inconscient and the subconscient (subconscious), while the conscious parts consist of the subliminal, or subtle physical, vital, and mental parts, and more conscious still, the personal evolving soul, the True Self behind the subliminal being.

As we move our consciousness away from the surface of life and more towards the inner positive Subliminal being and even greater still to the Personal Evolving Soul (the Psychic Being) we break the bonds of our limited nature. We begin to come in contact with greater forces and powers within, which enable us to have greater control of the outer live; which breaks down our limiting, separative ego-sense, which overcomes our fundamental Ignorance which prevents us from having true, integral Knowledge, open us up to universal forces and powers, and enables us to experience the greatest Delight of existence.

Let's consider the limited and greater parts of our inner being. The bedrock of all matter in the universe is unconsciousness, which we can call the Inconscient realm. That unconsciousness, inconscience of matter lives inside the human in the mostly negative Subconscient realm within. However, sitting atop the Subconscient is the very positive Subliminal, which throws up positive influences to our surface being. Within the Subliminal is the Personal Evolving Soul (the Psychic Being), which is the great aspect of our being that enables us to discover our true evolutionary nature. As we make contact with the Subliminal and Psychic Being, we evolve. We begin to do this in life by moving from living on the surface of life to moving into these depths. Ultimately we must also evolve the unevolved subconscient realms within, which we do by opening to the Superconscient realm, which is essentially the spiritual domain. When the spiritual domain evolves the subconscient, and we are firmly living in the depths of our being in the Subliminal and Personal Evolving Soul, the human individual will have begun the process of being transformed into his ultimate evolutionary possibility.

ARTICLE & Diagram of the Horizontal Scale of Human Consciousness

Growth and Evolution on The Vertical and Horizontal Scale
An individual can grow, develop,
or evolve in two directions; a movement upward along the vertical scale of consciousness from physical to vital to metal to spiritual, or along the horizontal scale, from living on the surface of life to living in the depths of one's being. Vertical progress is an ascent; horizontal progress is a movement within. For example, in the vertical scale if one makes improvements in one attitudes (at level 4 of the vital of that scale), one becomes purified at that level. Or if one changes from an emotional person to more of a mental person, one's center of consciousness would tend to embrace more of the mental planes. (This indeed would be a substantial growth for the individual.) One can also move deeper within in the horizontal scale, away from the surface of life to a deeper center within. This would likewise be a spiritual development within.

One can make a spiritual development either by rising to the planes above mind to spiritual mind, such as when we have more continuous descents of illuminations and intuitions of knowledge, or we can develop spiritually by moving within to the deeper parts of our being, i.e. to the subliminal mind, and further still to the personal evolving soul within, i.e. the psychic being.

One also develops spiritually through an interaction of the vertical and horizontal planes. For example, as one moves more often to the depths of one's being, one begins to have experiences of spiritual mind, including illuminations, and revelations of knowledge, and even descents of the entire object of knowledge as intuitions devoid of thought. In other words as one goes deeper within, there is a movement up into spiritual mind (or perhaps we can say that spiritual mind descends into the person.)

Our Inner is Crudely Developed as Primitive Man's Outer is Crude
The average human being even now is in his inward existence as crude and undeveloped as was the bygone primitive man in his outward life. But as soon as we go deep within ourselves, we find ourselves subjectively, as man in his growth has found himself objectively, surrounded by a whole complex world which we have to know and to conquer.
(Sri Aurobindo, from The Synthesis of Yoga, p.75)

 

The Inconscient (Unconsciousness)
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The Original Inconscience of the Universe
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When forms and matter originally took shape in the universe, they were devoid of the consciousness of their Divine Source. Thus they were unconscious, i.e. inconscient.

(-It was the Divine indent to create inconscient forms so that the life forms that would emerge -- i.e us -- would have delight in the discovery of our higher nature.)

The Inconscient
-It is the original unconsciousness of creation.
-It is unconscious bedrock of matter, that is there in our physical bodies.
-In the creation the consciousness of the Creator became the Inconscient of Matter in the Universe.
-The inconscient can change when the evolving subconscient evolves.



Inconscience of Matter
In creation, matter is devoid of all consciousness. It is inconscient.

From Inconscience to Superconscience
In the involution
from out of a Conscious Source of the Spirit emerged inconscience, beginning with matter. In the evolution life and we humans emerge out of that inconscience, into greater consciousness, eventually emerging into Superconscience.

The Subconscient in Man
The original basis of consciousness in man is inconscient. However, within it and overcoming out it man contains lies the subconscient (subconscious), the inner, subliminal being, and the evolving soul (i.e. the psychic being).

 

See a Diagram that Contains the Inconscient in Man

 

The Subconscient (Subconsciousness)
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Click here to see entries

 

On Sleep & Dreaming/Dreams

On Sleep

On Sleeping

Sleep is the period where our surface consciousness is at rest, and our inner, subliminal being is awake.

We sleep in order to put our consciousness back in line with stillness, silence, and being, which refreshes all aspects of being on awakening. It enables us to replenish our various energies -- physical, vital, and mental; even spiritual.

However, we are not normally conscious enough to have this experience, thus we fall back into the unconsciousness of our inconscient being, born of matter. It causes disturbance in sleep and we wake up exhausted.

We can enable restful sleep if we concentrate a moment before sleeping and aspire that our energies are restored. We can do the same by stilling the mind of all thoughts. Finally, we can also call Peace into our being; even imagining a cocoon of peace is surrounding us. This will enable us to move toward the subliminal and the stillness, silence, and being of Satchitananda, giving dreamless, restful sleep.

We can gain full control of our nights, creating restful sleep, energizing us to no end, while solving important problems and having helpful, wonderful experiences.

True Reason for Sleep
Sri Aurobindo said that the true or yogic reason for sleep is to put the consciousness back into contact with Sat-Chit-Ananda. (The Mother)

Reaching Peace of Satchitananda in Sleep
Sri Aurobindo indeed has said that the purpose of sleep is to put us in touch with Satchitananda. I.e. pure being of stillness and bliss.

How then can we reach Satchitananda in sleep?

In The Agenda, Mother has given us a method to reach Satchitananda in sleep. She says lay out flat, and imagine a cocoon of light and peace surrounding and enveloping our being. Now become like a dish rag, limp without thought, and gently drift into sleep. Nightmares are eliminated, as are the draining, pessimistic pull of the subconscient. After practicing this technique for a while, we come to experience Satchitananda (stillness of pure being of consciousness as bliss). A moment of it completely refreshes the body and mind. On waking up we feel as if we are coming out of dhyana (meditation). It then continues to affect our waking life.

Our Conscious and Unconscious Parts and Sleep
In sleep, people touch Satchitananda and replenish their energy. If one is unconscious, he touches the Inconscient and wakes up exhausted. Sleep is the period when the surface being is at rest and subliminal at work. In the parts we are asleep, Mother is awake at night. To understand this passage, we need to understand SLEEP. The analogy of 24 hours of service by the railways, airlines, fire department, etc. is good, but is inadequate. Mother is conscious in the parts we are unconscious. The conscious part rests, does not sleep. The unconscious parts need sleep. (MSS)

Sleep that Renews
Before you go to sleep, concentrate a few seconds in the aspiration that the sleep may restore your fatigued nerves, bring calm and quietness to your brain so that on waking you may, with renewed vigour, begin again your journey on the path of the great discovery. (The Mother)

Enabling Restful Sleep
Before going to bed aspire for a restful, calm sleep. Also call Peace into your being before you drift off into asleep. You are more likely to have a restful, calm, refreshing sleep.

Quality of Sleep
Getting the proper hours of rest, i.e. sleep, is important. Just as important is the quality of the sleep; i.e. its true restfulness. One can go into dreamless sleep of pure consciousness if one silences the mind, and calls in peace before sleeping. We can also learn from our sleep. Most dreams are mish mashes that don't mean much of anything, though there are instances where we can learn from the dreams. The overwhelming majority of nightmares are not premonitions of some sort. Very infrequently they are however. It depends on the inner capacities of the individual.

Enabling Dreamless Sleep of Pure Consciousness
One can go into dreamless sleep of pure consciousness if one silences the mind, and calls in peace before sleeping. We can also learn from our sleep. Most dreams are mish mashes that don't mean much of anything, though there are instances where we can learn from the dreams. The overwhelming majority of nightmares are not premonitions of some sort. Very infrequently they are however. It depends on the inner capacities of the individual.

Ultimate Sleep
First you must stretch out flat and relax all your muscles, all your nerves - you can learn this easily - become like a 'dishrag' on the bed, as I call it; there should be nothing left. And if you can also do that with the mind, you get rid of a lot of idiotic dreams that make you more tired when you wake up than when you went to bed; they are the result of the cellular activity of the brain going on uncontrollably, which is very tiring. Therefore, relax fully, bring everything to a complete, tensionless calm in which everything has stopped. But this is only the beginning.

It's tamas that gives you a bad sleep. There are two kinds of bad sleep - that which makes you heavy and leaden, as if the result of all your effort the day before were wasted, and that which exhausts you, as if you had spent the whole time fighting. And I've observed that if you cut your sleep up into sections (it becomes a habit), the nights get better. In other words, you must be able to come back to your normal consciousness and your normal aspiration at certain intervals, come back to the call of your consciousness ... But you must not use an alarm clock. When in trance, it's not good to be jolted.

... Just as you are drifting off, you can make a formation and say, 'I shall wake up at such-and-such time' (children do it very easily).

You should count on at least three hours for the first part of your sleep; for the last part, one hour is enough. But the first should be a minimum of three hours. In fact, it is best to remain in bed for at least seven hours. (The Mother)

The Subconscious Can Wake Us Exactly at a Particular Time
An individual who wants to get up at 5 am the next day goes to bed, having thought that. He wakes up and sees the arms of the clock exactly at 5 on the dot. It is the subconscious waking him up. (MSS, modified)

The subconscious is deep within us. A deep decision touches the subconscious, to which the entire environment reveals. As the individual's decision is of the subconscious, the subconscious wakes him up at the exact time.

On Sleep
The Ananda of creative thought pushes the body away from sleep. If only this could remain a permanent condition for the body. For this to occur more than Mind will have to dominate our lives.

Unconscious Sleep
W
hen we sleep and wake up tired and exhausted in the morning as a result of incessant, draining dreams, we know we have spent time travelling in this unconscious realm.

Making My Nights More Conscious

Last night I dreamt that I was sleeping, then awoke, and saw the Mother sitting on the edge of my bed gazing out silently without looking at me or saying a word. I understood it was her instruction to remain still in verbal expression, in thought, and in emotion, which would establish the conditions for things to work out best.

Thinking about the matter further I also see this outcome as a step in my attempt to make my nights more conscious. That means by having the aspiration to do so, and by evoking Her Force my nights will-

-be filled with dreamless sleep

-leave me untired on awakening

-evolve the subconscious through the spiritual Force which weighs down the conscious being when we are awake

-break the hold of the pessimism of the subconscious on the conscious, awakened life

-solve my life problems when they arise in dreams

-see the avatars and teachers like Sri Aurobindo, The Mother, and Sri Karmayogi in dreams

-feel serene in my sleep and upon waking

-loosen the hold of physical consciousness of blahness and dreariness in daily life which has its roots in the subconscious which is accessed in sleep, etc.

-loosen and conquer the tendency of the subconscious to reinforce physical illness

-Bring the superconsciousness into the subconscious in sleep or when awake.

Already I have seen some interesting developments. E.g. a friend of mine is now solving problems in HER dreams by calling Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in the dream itself.  This is a brand new development that occurs spontaneously on its own in the dreams. It may be a contagion of my aspiration to make my nights more conscious.

This is an ongoing process. The Mother said she spent nearly a lifetime trying to make her nights conscious. Her main objective was to transform the subconscious so she would not be dragged down by its lower nature so she could make the physical transformation into the supramental being. She said it was the Single Key to the changing of the programming of the cells of Her body that could lead to a state of Willed Immortality.

 

On Dreaming

On Dreaming

Dreams are the real life that exists in the subtle, invisible plane. They reveal themselves during the time we sleep.

When we are unable to come to certain truths in our waking observations, it can be revealed at night in the subtle plane in our dreams; originating in the subliminal being. E.g. a scientist may have a revelation of truth there that he remembers upon waking.

Dreams also express our unfulfilled aspiration of our waking hours, things that concern and bother us during the day, of what we are grappling and trying to understand, of ill will of our own or others, etc.

Dreams are often a jumble of thoughts and images, hiding important aspects of our being.

Dreams can reveal the future, what is in store for us and the world. One man experienced the next day's events every night for six months. It can reveal literally, figuratively, round about, and symbolically.

Dreams often express symbolically. E.g. water means emotion. Peacock is victory. Rain is grace. Lion is courage. Flying in the air is ambition in life. Etc. Deciphering their meaning, reveals profound insight into our consciousness, aspirations, even our future.

We can gain full control of our nights, creating restful sleep, energizing us to no end, while solving important problems and having helpful, wonderful experiences.

 

Source of Dreaming

The source of dreaming is the inconscient. [When we wake up exhausted from dreams it is because we have "battled" in the subconscient, where the dreams are difficult, straining, etc.] In dreamless sleep we enter into the Inner Being and consciousness, the Subliminal. In absolute dreamless sleep we touch the universal consciousness. There we can even come in contact with beings who arose when the involution began, as well as the various worlds of the evolution. (Paraphrase from Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine)

 

On Dreaming

Dreams are the life in the subtle plane which readily reveals in the sleeping hours.

What truth escapes our waking observation, the dream-self reveals at night in the subtle plane. Scientists have had intuitive guidance in dreams. A disciple was initiated into sannyasa by Ramana Maharshi in his dream.

Great seekers in all fields have had substantial guidance from their dreams.

There are great achievers who have succeeded far more than their compeers. Sometimes the crown is offered to them but slips. It may happen several times too. Such men need psychological guidance.

It comes to them in their dreams, even in their daydreams. To see the guidance in it, accept it and act upon it, one should be lucky.

As ants sense the rain coming a day later, our dreams reveal what is in store for us, if we have an eye for that. (MSS)

 

Dreams

Dreams take away a good deal of energy. Sleeping without dreams is restful. Dreams of the subconscious are a horror, those of the subliminal indicate the future. Such dreams go on building on each previous dream. Dreams are in the subtle planes sometimes covering very long periods in very short moments. Tradition says early morning dreams come true. One type of dream, according to Hindu tradition, indicates the very opposite of it.

There are people who often dream of some particular person attacking them. Mother says it is one of the mechanisms of the opposite symbolism. If I am angry at a person and have ill-will for him, in the dream I see him attacking me. This is a self-protective mechanism. The truth is I never want to think ill of myself and always want to think well of myself. So I present my ill-will towards another person as ill-will towards me. To those who are working towards self-awareness, this is a pointer. Self-awareness is the basic support of calling in the Spirit.

Symbolism and dreams, though separate subjects, go together. In the dream, water means emotion. Peacock is victory. Rain is grace. Lion is courage. Flying in the air is ambition in life. The same flying, for one in spirit, in fast movement of consciousness. Train, bus, etc. too indicate fast progress of consciousness. One who often dreams of hoards attacking him has anti-social opinions because of his upbringing. To see Mother in the dream is darsan in the subtle plane.

Those who have nightmares can call Mother in the dream and to their surprise will see the nightmare vanishing. It is Her protection even in the dream. Not all people can call Mother in the dream or remember to call Her. It is a spiritual privilege. (MSS)

 

Subliminal Based Dreams of a Higher Order

A higher form of dreaming can originate in the subliminal part of the being, where dream becomes a series of thoughts, where problems are solved where our waking consciousness could not solve, there can be warnings, premonitions, indications of the future, and the emergence of symbol-images which can reveal a profound significance of things We can also experience there happenings and experiences of other planes of our being, or of the universal being we enter. (Paraphrase of Sri Aurobindo)

 

Enabling Dreamless Sleep of Pure Consciousness

One can go into dreamless sleep of pure consciousness if one silences the mind, and calls in peace before sleeping. We can also learn from our sleep. Most dreams are mish mashes that don't mean much of anything, though there are instances where we can learn from the dreams. The overwhelming majority of nightmares are not premonitions of some sort. Very infrequently they are however. It depends on the inner capacities of the individual.

Systematic Study of Dreams
Dreams that interest all should one day become a field of systematic study. (MSS)

Being-Attacked Dreams
There are people who often dream of some particular person attacking them. Mother says it is one of the mechanisms of the opposite symbolism. If I am angry at a person and have ill-will for him, in the dream I see him attacking me. (MSS)

Prescience in Dreams

About a decade ago I went through a period of around six months where I experienced in my dreams the very things that would happen in the news, in my life the next day when I awoke - i.e. either symbolically, very close to, or literally what would transpire. At the time, I often commented to a friend that I was "reading the morning paper" the night before in my dreams. Sometimes it had that level of accuracy. Many times, it was simply closely related; other times symbolically closely connected.

 

Prescience in Sleep
"
I went into the link you provided, and decided to read a number of the case studies since they always help me. I read through all the ones regarding Expressions of Intention. I wrote down a thought for my own business - to have "a deep aspiration and yearning to be directly involved" in bringing a product I am marketing to the travelling public. I don't quite know the best way to do it, but I wrote it down.

Then, I scrolled down to the section entitled "Overcoming Attitudes, Opinions, Habits, Limits" since this is something I need to work on a lot. I began at the top - "Captain's change of heart." What I read caused me to write to you now.

Last night, I awoke in the middle of the night - and for some strange reason, the movie "Master and Commander"came to mind. As I lay awake - THE VERY SCENE YOU DESCRIBE IN THE FIRST ENTRY "Captain's Change of Heart" WAS RUNNING THROUGH MY MIND. First, I had thought briefly of the scene where the doctor had to take the arm of the young boy, and wondered at the special effects necessary to ensure that it really looked as though the boy had lost his arm - and then, the scene where the doctor tried so hard to make the Captain see the danger in pursuing the other ship also ran through my mind - as did the ensuing scenes on the Galapagos. Roy, this is not a joke. There was absolutely NO REASON for me to start thinking of that movie - and in particular that very scene - in the middle of the night, just hours ago." (K)

[Growth Online response: "About 7 years or so ago I went through a period of around six months where I experienced in my dreams the very things that would happen during the day after I awoke - i.e. either symbolically, close to, or literally what would transpire. Your experience could be of that sort. Also, in the story the Captain is able to succeed because he gave in to the doctor's suggestion; who then saw the opposing ship which they then defeated, accomplishing their mission. Thus it was a change in attitude that enabled him to succeed in his work. You may be subconsciously sensing that a change in your own attitude will accomplish an important work as well. "]

 

Interpretation of Dreams
Many individuals over the years have attempted to interpret dreams -- from Freud and other members of the psychology community to the oracles of the ancient past. Some have even had the inner, spiritual insight to understand the relationship between the symbolic world of dreams and the real one. Carl Jung was one. Sri Aurobindo, the Indian sage and seer took it to a completely new level.

Recently a friend of mine had a fascinating dream, which I would like to share with you. I would also like to tell you about what happened after she forwarded her experience to me, and my attempt to understand its true meaning. Here it is:

'I had a most interesting dream this morning. You and I were walking up a paved road on a hill in the country and we came across a group of people who were looking and pointing across a grassy field to a tall bare tree. At first, we didn't know what was going on, so we both looked in the direction that the people were pointing at. Sitting at the top of the bare tree was a very big bird. It looked like a very light brown eagle about three feet tall. So I took out my camera to zoom in and take a photo and noticed you took out a camera also. As I aimed the camera toward the bird, it took off flying towards us. I felt that I did manage to take a few pictures of the bird as it flew overhead. As the eagle flew above, it turned in the sky right over our heads, and as it passed us, a couple of feathers fell from it. One was very small that moved away from us to the left, and the other came down just at my feet. As I picked it up, I saw it was a tail feather about 7 inches long and it had the same striped colouring as the eagle. I then said to you 'wow, I feel blessed!' Then I woke up.'

A little while later, my friend added the following: 'What was interesting was that the smaller feather blew away from me, but the large tail feather fell right at my feet!  I remember in the dream that when I picked the feather up I looked at you and you had the most beautiful smile on your face, like you knew that I had been blessed by having the feather land directly at my feet!'

After reading her wonderful experience, I wanted to understand the dream from a deeper perspective. Then a moment later, I thought of Sri Aurobindo and his work Letters on Yoga. There in three volumes of ~1000 pages each, he describes in hundreds of letters to his disciples the various approaches and methods of his Integral Yoga - i.e. his path of conscious evolution and transformation. I recalled that in one of the books there is a section of his interpretations of visions and symbols, including dreams.

When I went into my closet where my personal books are stored, I immediately saw the three volumes. I then wondered which one to select, for I had forgotten which one had the section on visions and symbols. I then arbitrarily picked one of the three books. I then opened it at random, and opened right to the section of letters on Visions and Symbols! Then I started scanning the page that I opened, and realized that I had come right to several of the Master's comments on the meaning of trees in dreams -- the very topic my friend had written me about! Then I looked at the very next sentence and it was on birds! In particular, large birds! Then on the very next line, there was a comment on the interpretation of a dream involving both birds and trees! It was too much to believe.

Somehow, I had found the precise entry I was looking for across three volumes, dozens of sections, and thousands of entries in that one split second when I opened that volume at random.

I then sent that last comment of Sri Aurobindo's to my friend. It read as follows: 'A bird is a very frequent symbol of the soul, and the tree is the standing image of the universe  - The Tree of Life.'

The next day after this episode, my friend was rummaging through one of her storage closets, and found an old feather she had collected several years ago. It turned out to be almost exactly like the feather in her dream -- in both size and color.

It was another indomitable moment in a series of extraordinary experiences related to her dream. The one parting thought I had was this: Her dream was so powerful that it resonated with that place in Sri Aurobindo's letters where it was interpreted, which I was able to instantaneously connect with through my aspiration to understand. I was also reminded of Sri Aurobindo's extraordinary insight into every dimension of the psychological and spiritual life, including the subtlest interpretations of every form of human vision and dream.

 

The Inner/Subliminal Being (The Inner Mind, Vital, Physical)
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The Inner Mind and Vital of the Subliminal Being
Sitting at the surface of the unevolved, dark subconscient is the "subliminal being," also called the "inner being." Like the subconscient we are continually feeling the influence of the subliminal in our thoughts and feelings. And like the subconscient we are pretty much unaware of the influence on us. The difference between the two is that the subliminal's affect on us is quite positive. The realms of the inner mind and the inner vital that make up the subliminal have a larger, subtler, freer consciousness than the outer mental and vital nature that we normally experience. When we experience life on the surface, the inner mind and vital have a deeper perception of what is going on at that moment. It sends these messages to our surface consciousness, which we can utilize for right understanding, perception, insight, and decision making.

Inner, Subliminal Being
There is an inner being, more subtle being than the outer being of 1-9 levels [physical to vital to mental]. There is an inner physical, vital, and mental. The inner being consists of the subliminal being, which sends us subtle, often positive influences to our surface consciousness. These influences are more evolved, because they are connected to our inner spiritual essence, and which extends to the universal consciousness of the cosmos. As we live more in the depths, as we come more in touch with the subliminal, we evolve.

The True (Inner) Physical, Vital, and Mental
There is behind all the vital nature in man his true vital being concealed and immobile which is quite different from the surface vital nature.  The surface vital is narrow, ignorant, limited, full of obscure desires, passions, cravings, revolts, pleasures and pains, transient joys and griefs, exultations and depressions.  The true vital being, on the contrary, is wide, vast, calm, strong, without limitations, firm and immovable, capable of all power, all knowledge, all Ananda.  It is moreover without ego, for it knows itself to be a projection and instrument of the Divine: it is the divine Warrior, pure and perfect; in it is an instrumental Force for all divine realisations.  It is the true vital being that has become awake and come in front within you.  In the same wav there is too a true mental being, a true physical being.  When these are manifest, then you are aware of a double existence in you: that behind is always calm and strong, that on the surface alone is troubled and obscure.  But if the true being behind remains stable and you live in it, then the trouble and obscurity remain only on the surface; in this condition the exterior parts can be dealt with more potently and they are also made free and perfect. (Sri Aurobindo)

Moving to Depths Within Enables Subliminal Mental and Vital Influences in our Lives
A
s we rise in consciousness, i.e. as we consciously make movements to center our consciousness more in the depths of our being, we begin to recognize these subtle influences more often. We recognize the subtle signals that rise up from the depths, allowing them to guide us in what to do and what not to do; in how to act and what to avoid, enabling us to have more penetrating understanding and insight, leading to right behaviors, right decisions, and perfect outcomes to our actions. In that sense the subliminal is continually influencing us to move in the right direction, in the direction of our greatest possibilities and potentials. If we can learn to clear the pathways of this influence, we can begin
to truly manifest our infinite potential.

The Subliminal Influence that Checks Irritation

How often in the course of our days are we irritated by the smallest of things. The average person will allow the irritant to play out in his mind, if not outside himself in his actions. While it is true that we have the ability to control our behavior in these situations, yet we persist and simmer inside.

There does not seem to be an obvious mechanism to catch our sudden irritated outburst -- whether caused by reading something we do not agree with, or when someone makes an offensive comment that does not meet with our approval. The need to respond in a reflexive manner -- whether in our minds, or by shouting out at the TV screen, or by sending an email, or through other forms of crude behavior -- invariably plays out uncontrolled.

But what if there was an inner power that could control our irritation. What if we could discover a deeper consciousness, which would establish the poise by which we could widen our perceptions and relationships with life, thereby controlling the need to react to that which strains our nerves?

As we take to this inner orientation, we develop a "witness consciousness" that silently observes the world from within. From these silent depths, our nature is softer, is steady and calm, and is more embracing of the myriad conditions of life. From that poise, we are less likely to react to circumstance; rather we instead embrace all things that pass our way as the natural order of things; that flow towards a logical outcome.

In addition, from this poise, we experience sweet, positive intimations rising from the depths of our being, providing guidance on what to do and what to avoid; constantly reminding us to remain steady and understanding no matter what the prevailing conditions. This then becomes the decisive antidotes to the persistent bothers and irritations we experience in the course of our lives.

In addition, through that right poise and right reaction, we are far more likely to attract instances of sudden good fortune. E.g., by not reacting to a potentially irritating quarrel occurring nearby, the person in line ahead of us suddenly informs us of a very important upcoming event that we will prove very important to us. By not reacting in these situations, we have set in motion events that align with our own interests and intent.

When we discover our deeper nature, our True Selves within, we establish the calm and steady poise by which we become one with life's conditions instead of recoiling from it in irritation and anguish. It is a sign one has made significant progress along the spiritual path.

 

Subconscious and Subliminal Influence on Mind, and Effect on Our Energies

As Sri Aurobindo and Karmayogi have explained, the subconscious is filled with the inertia, pessimism, fear, carried over from thousands of generation of human life, including pain, difficulty, and death. It is also a carryover of our animal nature. I.e. survival instinct, primal fear, etc. It takes various mental forms as well, as in this need to review conditions, which is based on an inner insecurity and pessimism.

Also the subconscious is the center of our fixed, habitual nature. It has a power over the physical to repeat, which expresses through mind's tendency to continually think about things.

By the way, the subconscious also has a positive side, called the Subliminal, from which positive instincts rise to the surface. It does so because it is in touch with superconscious forces. Taking to Mother as you did in this situation can be thought of as a subliminal mental guidance rising from the depths to the conscious mind that was able to block the awareness of running thoughts.

The end result is the preservation and expansion of our mental energies.

 

"This Morning I Awoke with the Entire Solution in My Mind"

Normally, we have to exercise our mind to understand a thing or to come up with an answer to a problem. It involves the hard churning of thought. There is also a more refined mind where we are able to know a thing with less or even no thought. They come through sudden illuminations of understanding -- as in Archimedes famous statement: "Eureka, I've got it!"

Beyond these are even higher forms of mental perception of pure intuition and revelation, where knowledge simply enters our mind without any thought at all. In these cases, you simply know a thing directly without rational or logical thinking. It is a direct opening to the truth of a  matter, which comes in a flash; simply appearing in the mind as a formed knowledge.

Imagine if you could have such revelations all the time. It would enable an ultimately efficiency in knowing, and would propel that person to the heights. It is in fact the very quality that enables human genius.

Where do such intuitions and revelations of knowledge of a matter come from? They originate in the universal plane; in a Cosmic Mind that has the complete knowledge of any object of inquiry. Through that universal mind, the object of inquiry in its fullness exists, and we have the ability to come in contact with it. When we do, that wave of knowledge pours into our own mind as a complete thought that is perfect.

We also have direct intuitions from within; at points inside ourselves we are connected with that cosmic plane. Where do they exist? There is a subliminal being inside each of us that is in touch with the superconscience. Like the experience of pure intuition that enters from the universal Mind, suggestions percolate up from this subliminal part within, providing intimations of truth, including what to do and what to avoid. It is in essence our Inner Guide that reveals itself through intuitions of truth.

These intimations from within also reveal themselves in sleep. Thus, we may wake up in the middle of the night or after a night's rest, and have the complete understanding or solution to a matter. Almost every one of us have had that experience at one time or another.

As we develop a greater inner life, the tendency to have direct intuitions of the object of knowledge intensifies. As we open to our deeper consciousness, we expand upward to the universal/spiritual planes of mind and inward to the subliminal being, which intensifies intuitions and revelations of truth. As it does, we move from being limited mental beings who have to think all of the time to get at the answer to any matter, to spiritual beings, who have access to all truths of existence in a flash.

It is a harbinger of the next stage of human evolution; tomorrow's way of understanding that is available to us today.

Subliminal and Inner Being
The subconscious is below our normal state of awareness. The same is true of the subliminal which contains the inner mind, vital, and body, which themselves are tied to the universal planes of life. Within the subliminal, "behind the heart, and the size of a thumb,"  lies the psychic being, the inner personal soul, which is the doorway to our passage to a new evolutionary status.

Subliminal Based Dreams of a Higher Order

A higher form of dreaming can originate in the subliminal part of the being, where dream becomes a series of thoughts, where problems are solved where our waking consciousness could not solve, there can be warnings, premonitions, indications of the future, and the emergence of symbol-images which can reveal a profound significance of things We can also experience there happenings and experiences of other planes of our being, or of the universal being we enter. (Paraphrase of Sri Aurobindo)

 

Consecration that Connects Us to the "Inner Voice"

[Note: This was written in response to the issue of how we can develop the subtle sense that guides us to take right actions that enable life to respond.]

Sri Aurobindo and Karmayogi constantly speak of the Inner Being. There we find the subconscient, the subliminal, and the psychic. They are all subconscious to us.

The subconscient is mostly negative in that it is the source of human pessimism, feeling of the inevitability of disease and death, bad dreams, etc. Yet it can evolve. In fact, both Sri Aurobindo and Mother indicate its transformation is the key to enabling the supramental transformation, particularly at the cellular level as Mother experimented with.

The subliminal sits astride the subconscient and is very positive. It receives positive vibrations from the superconscient (essentially the transcendent Divine). I believe it is the basis for which the subconscient can be transformed.

The Psychic is beyond (or deeper still). It is the evolving soul and is the ultimate personal spark of the spirit within us. It is evolving, hoping to derive the essence of our experience. It has travelled through many lives, including ours in its own evolution.

For the purpose of the "Inner Voice," the positive Subliminal can serve a vital role. It is always sending positive messages to the surface of our being, giving subtle, right Guidance. Our experiences indicate this. It is, as I mentioned, in touch with the universal and transcendent influences (superconscient). It is subtly informing us of what is right and what isn't; of what to do and what not to do. The more we are in touch with it, the better.

We can be more connected with it when our orientation is inner; i.e. in a poise of the depths of our being. How to move to the depths is a profound yogic issue. For we who are only on the edge of yoga (conscious evolution), constant consecration forges a connection to those depths, including the Subliminal and its positive influences. In other words, the more we consecrate -- open to the spiritual Force, to Mother -- the more we come in touch with the Inner Voice.

So the simple solution to subtle based decision-making -- i.e. "hearing" and acting on the Inner Voice -- is constant consecration. Doing so shifts us away from the surface consciousness to the depths where the inner voice is always at our disposal to guide us. The Psychic Being is the Ultimate Guide -- at each of the mental, vital, and physical levels. It requires great yogic effort for us to penetrate it. Sri Aurobindo succeeded and said it was his greatest discovery.

Thus positive influences come from above -- e.g. intuition and supramental -- as well as below (subliminal and psychic). To be in touch with both strengthens the Inner Voice that can give us the knowledge to act rightly, have life respond, and thereby begin to build a new spirit-based life on earth.

The Subliminal is where the Superconscient Meets the Subconscious
The subliminal is a plane that emerges where the superconscient meets the subconscient. The subliminal is universal. One in the subliminal mind can know, when he chooses, what happens in any part of the world. (MSS)

Making the Subcosncious More Conscious

To evolve the subconscious would be very helpful in the evolution. To overcome its negative propensities as well as become more aware of its conscious propensities that even the conscious does not have is a key part of the yogic effort to evolve the individual to the higher consciousness who would be a harbinger of an evolved human species.

Since the subliminal being sits at the edge of the subconscious and it is in touch with the superconscient, the subconscious can evolve by strengthening or our being in closer contact with the subliminal.

We can be more in touch with the subliminal and therefore evolve the subconscious through constant consecration, taking the other person's point of view, etc. which moves us to the depths where the subliminal influence is, creating a greater influence of the superconscient, strengthening the subliminal and thereby evolving the subconscious.

Connection to the Psychic Being which is deeper still than the subliminal goes further still in this process.

 

Making the Subconscious Negative Positive

A key is to evolve the negative part of the subconscious to be positive, which would help in our evolution, as its negative influence would be overcome.

 

Subliminal and Subconscious Becoming Conscious

It is in the subliminal that the subconscious becomes conscious. (Sri Karmayogi)

The Inner Mind
Inner Mind is that which lies behind the surface mental level (our ordinary mentality) and can only be directly experienced (apart from its vrttis in the surface mind such as philosophy, poetry, idealism, etc.) by spiritual development, by breaking down the habit of being on the surface and by going deeper within.
(Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga)

The Nature of the Subliminal
-It is situated on the surface of Subconscient
-We are not conscious of its workings.
-It is positive.
-It sends up positive influences to our surface consciousness, which we are unconscious of.
-It is continually impacted by the Superconscient (the forces and powers of universal, spiritual planes).
-When we move within to the depths of our being, we move into this region, become more conscious of its working, enabling greater powers over life.

-We need to move within into this region to truly grow, develop, and evolve.
-When we go here, it also enables the negative Subconscient to evolve, since the Subliminal sits on top of the Subconscient. (Thus through our connection within we can transform the negative influences of the Subconscient.)

The Surface Vital vs. the Inner Vital
The surface vital is narrow, ignorant, limited, full of obscure desire, passions, cravings, revolts, pleasures and pains, transient joys and griefs, exultations and depressions. The true vital being [the inner vital], on the contrary, is wide, vast, calm, string, without limitations, firm and immovable, capable of all power, all knowledge, all Ananda. It is moreover without ego, for it knows itself to be the projection and instrument of the Divine: it is the Divine Warrior, pure and perfect. (Sri Aurobindo)

The Process of Connecting to Planes above Mind Proper
Above mind is spiritual mind; (Higher, Illumined, Intuitive) and further to Overmind, and Supermind. (Original thinking is an intuitive element of spiritual mind.) We can get in touch with these higher ranges above and below mind through two movements. First a movement within into the inner being, the subliminal all the way to the psychic being, personal soul, which also enables one to open to universal forces, to Cosmic Mind. (Genius in the individual is born of the connection to Cosmic Mind.) This is followed by the spiritual opening above mind proper to the planes above mind proper. (Paraphrase of Sri Aurobindo)

[-A full implementation of this would enable the psychic and then the spiritual transformation, which are the two forerunners of the ultimate supramental transformation. Together these makeup the Triple Transformation to become the ultimate evolutionary being.

-Note: The movement within to the inner being, including the inner mind and the personal evolving soul, enables us to move to the spiritual planes of mind above mind in the vertical scale of consciousness i.e. higher, illumined, and intuitive mind. -editor]

Why By Going Within to the Subliminal We Can Move Outer Matter
This is one explanation of how the inner moves the outer; i.e. inner-outer correspondence:

Thoughts originating from the subliminal mind within will move the outer matter.  Why from there will it move matter?  The subliminal is there on the surface of the subconscient where connect with the Superconscient forces and powers of the universe. The subconscience is the evolving aspect of the Inconscient (which is Matter). As the subliminal is Matter in touch with the Superconscient's forces and powers, when we move to that realm and aspire we are able to move matter outside us.

See a Diagram that Contains the Subliminal in Man

Subliminal Based Dreams of a Higher Order
A higher form of dreaming can originate in the subliminal part of the being, where dream becomes a series of thoughts, where problems are solved where our waking consciousness could not solve, there can be warnings, premonitions, indications of the future, and the emergence of symbol-images which can reveal a profound significance of things We can also experience there happenings and experiences of other planes of our being, or of the universal being we enter. (paraphrase of Sri Aurobindo)

Also see thoughts specific to the Subliminal Mind (the Inner Mind)

Also see: Moving to the Depths Within

 

To Be Categorized

 

Where the Subliminal Is

The subliminal is created by the meeting of the subconscient and the descending Superconscient.

Near the surface lies an obscure subconscious below which exists the subliminal.

The Psychic Being dwells in the subliminal cave. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Subliminal Moves the Surface

The first realisation is to know the subliminal moves the surface.

To know the subliminal moves the surface is to be awake in the subliminal.   The subliminal is moved by the Shakti.

All decisions are taken in the subliminal. Life is lived on the surface. It is smooth in the measure the surface does not interfere with the subliminal. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Reversal from Surface to Subliminal

The reversal of the surface opens the subliminal. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Subliminal and Subconscious Becoming Conscious

It is in the subliminal that the subconscious becomes conscious. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Time and Space Overcome in Subliminal

The Mind collects patiently over a lifetime; the subliminal reveals all at once.

The subtle plane crosses distances; the subliminal overcomes Time. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Universal Perspective of Subliminal

The subliminal has the universal perspective, not the surface. Intuition and identity can raise it to cosmic as well as transcendent perspective.

The subliminal is wide and can reach the dimensions of the universe.

Below our surface mind is the Inner Mind that is in Timelessness and beyond it is the subliminal Mind that spreads all over the universe and beyond. It is a plane of Mind where the Superconscient and the subconscient meet.

Intellect gives way to intuition which means the salesman in dealing with a customer knows all that he needs to know by speaking to the customer. The subliminal intuition gives the knowledge of the entire market through one customer. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Subliminal and the Psychic

The Psychic Being dwells in the subliminal cave. His yoga is one by the Psychic Being in the subliminal mind.

The Eternal, the Transcendent Purusha is inside in the subliminal, in the simultaneous Time. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Non-Action is Subliminal Preparation

When nothing is happening we feel it is loss of time. Instead the action moves from the surface to the subliminal and is preparing there. Non action is subliminal action in preparation.  (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Subliminal Thinking in Silence

Subliminal thinks in SILENCE, may be subliminal silence.

The Subliminal Silence makes for Inner Self-Awareness. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Subliminal is Pleased, Not Mind

Mind is often frustrated and is rarely pleased by what life presents. The subliminal is always pleased. Yoga or evolution is the subliminal fullness coming to the surface.   To be able to see subliminal fullness on the surface is to see the link between mind and Supermind.  

The subliminal is eternally in delight. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

Subliminal Registers Life

The subliminal registers all that happens around it. (Sri Karmayogi)

 

To Be Categorized

Immediately when his personality sheds the ego, the scope widens ten times, the result rises beyond that. He is subliminally conscious.

 

 

The Personal Evolving Soul (the Psychic Being)
(main)

Click Here to See Thoughts

 


 

TYPES OF INDIVIDUALS
(physical, vital, and mental individuals)

(top)

Overview | Physical | Vital | Mental | Spiritual
 

Overview

Physical, Vital, Mental-Centered Individuals
Some people are physical in their consciousness, while others are emotional/vital, and others are mental. Most of us live at the vital level. Much fewer still are centered predominantly at the mental consciousness; though it is increasingly so as individuals are educated and we continue to emerge in this more mental age of humanity.

 

The Physical, Vital, and Mental Individual

Sri Aurobindo tells us there are three essential types of persons: the physical, the vital, and the mental.

He says that the physical type person the body dominates mind, will, and action. This person is mainly occupied with his corporeal needs, impulses, life-habits, mind-habits, and body-habits.

The vital type person on the other hand is concerned with self-affirmation, self-aggrandizement, enlargement of being, satisfaction of ambition, passion, impulse, desire, the claims of ego, domination, power, excitement, battle, struggle, adventure. His nature is more active, stronger, mobile, turbulent, chaotic, but also kinetic, creative than the physical man.

Finally, the mental type person subordinates to his mental self-expressions, aims, interests, ideas, or ideals. 

 

Focus of Individuals in Particular Plane
Though people live in all the planes of their being -- physical, vital, mental, and even spiritual -- individuals tend to be centered in one more that the other. Thus some people are more physical, while others are more vital or mental centered.  Most predominate in one of these or between any two.

Most people are centered at the level of the vital; i.e. of the emotions, feelings, needs, wants, attachments; and their social relations Fewer still are centered at the level of the mind; of sentiments, values, ideals, reason, new ideals, and self-conception. Very few are centered in the spiritual mind, where one experiences knowledge in silence, light, illuminations, vision, and intuitions of the complete object of knowledge within us. The supramental plane of complete oneness and identity lies beyond and is our ultimate possibility. Perhaps only literally a handful have ever lived there.

Types of Individuals
Some people are physical in their consciousness, while others are emotional/vital, and others are mental. Most are centered in the vital level. A very few are centered in the mental consciousness; though more and more will be so in the coming years.

 

Physical, Vital, Mental, and Spiritual Individuals
We can identify several types or levels of predominant expression of individuals. A mental individuals uses his mind, including utilization of logic and rationality. He tends to make the right decisions and take measured, correct actions. A vital person is moved by his emotions, feelings, and attitudes. His ability to take right actions are thus limited to these energies, which can express positively and negatively. A physical person is devoid of mind and acts without thought. He tends to act blindly based on self, and takes wrong, harmful, even destructive actions. Dictators are often physical, as are religious fundamentalists of all stripes. So too are certain common individuals as depicted by the character of Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, who is self-centered, oblivious, and boorish.

Physical people are changed only through hard blows or even violence until the, low consciousness is knocked out of them. An example have been the Russians who suffered many causalities in WWII, a sign of their attraction of forces to overcome their own violent physical nature (as seen in the violence instead of the ideals of the Russian revolution) of last century. Most individuals are vital, with a touch of the mental. I.e. their mentality is limited to be aware of things only through the inputs of the five senses. I.e. we live on the surface of life, not in the depths where we mentally perceive the true truths emerging around us. We are moving towards becoming more mental personalities. The spiritual emerges in the higher realms of mind of silence, illumination, and intuitions of knowledge. Discovering our higher mentality and our spirituality above this is indicative of our evolutionary potential. I.e. our ultimate evolutionary potential is to become spiritual beings, above the mental-centered existence which we are currently in at the lower levels of sense-based, surface perceptions..

Traits of Four Types of Individuals

Individuals can be classified as predominantly physical, vital, mental, and even spiritual. We are normally a combination of the four, though one or two tend to predominate in our nature. Here are some example traits at each of these four types:

 

PHYSICAL:

-Generally lives through force

-Consciousness is limited

-Acts without thinking

-Single-minded, fixated, never changes

-Can't grasp subtle situations

-Can be oblivious towards others

-Values self above others

-Confronts

-Can be brutish

-Doesn't learn

-Creature of habit

-Repeats mindlessly

-Physically adventurous

-Takes what he wants

-Works at material plane mainly

-Dominated by sense input

-Lives through sensation

-Can be very materialistic

-Attached

 

VITAL:

-Of emotions; of social relations

-Vitally adventurous

-Needs

-Wants

-Feels

-Vital, social interaction stimulates

-Is ruled by his emotions

-Takes the side that he enjoys

-Moved to act by feelings; acts when emotionally moved

-Passionate, deep feelings

-Very changeable, mercurial

-Often experiences letdown, disappointment

-Can be very social

-Emotional ups and downs

-Like physical person can be dominated, ruled by sense input.

-At heart level can become spiritual

 

MENTAL:

-Often thinks before acting

-Tends toward rationality and logic

-Thoughtful

-Analyzes situation, conditions

-Learns; Willing to learn

-Moved by, enjoys ideas

-Plans and self-conceives future

-Is organized

-Acts when something is understood

-Looks to underlying causes

-Begins to see behind the surface

-Compromises

-Is generally open to more than one view

-Can be argumentative

-Has more developed values

-Handles problems more methodically

-Can be fixated on one line of thought

-Makes more thoughtful decisions

-Is a problem solver

-Can move to spirit through light and intuition of ideas without thought.

 

 

Spiritual:

-Seeks Harmony

-Centered in calm and peace

-Self-giving

-Cares about status of others

-Responds calmly to difficulties

-Senses Soul within, Presence, Transcendence

-Seeks Truth in all its dimensions

-Perceives power over life from within

-Empathetic, appreciative, attention giving

-Keeps to the positive; maintains cheerfulness

-Feels, perceives oneness with others and life

Current State of Human Evolution
At this point in human evolution most individual's lives are primarily focused and centered primarily at the vital
plane (of desire, wants, feelings, which fall within levels 6, 5, and 4 - in 9 level system), with a degree of touching on the mental plane. A significant but smaller group of humans also live at the mental level. For most of these individuals the development is predominantly in the lower parts of the mental plane as opposed to the higher. The focus is on processing information and thought gathering rather than the pure thinking, reasoning, and conceptualizing new ideas and possibilities (as in level 1). Only a small number of individuals live at this higher level of conceptual mind (level 1) of pure, rational thinking. Finally, only a very few also live at the higher planes of life, spiritualized mind where one is able to perceive information in silence, illumination, intuition; gaining more of, the full essence of the integral, perfect truth in the pursuit of the object of knowledge

Mental Man Seeks Cooperation Instead of Brutality of Physical Man
The physical man is a brute. To him, might is right. His dharma is to crush the other person, as he is taken as a rival or enemy. The mental man certainly does not resort to liquidating the other, though he too may view him as a rival. He seeks the cooperation of the rival, tries to be rational, works towards a compromise. That way, humanity becomes civilized. That is the path to enjoy greater comforts. Moving from the physical to the mental, man becomes vastly more productive and consequently affluent.

The principle behind this fact is harmony is productive and disharmony is destructive. Harmony is desirable on any showing. (MSS, extracted)

 



 

How Physical, Vital, Mental Persons Learn
The physical person starts from the end of the process. He has sensation, but not conception and perception. He learns by doing, not by first having the consciousness of knowing. The problem with this approach is that it could take a lifetime to learn even a few ideas since we would have to wait for him to first experience it in his life.

Physical, Vital, Mental Learner
The physical person does not want to learn. The emotional, vital person learns only when he wants to. The mental person is always willing to learn.

Considering the Plane from which We Act

Any action taken in life can be done with the physical, vital, mental, or spiritual plane of our being leading. The uncontrolled urge to move is physical, the will and drive to take action is vital, the thought-filled analysis of the situation before moving is mental. Opening to the Higher Power or taking to silence before doing anything is spiritual.

Where our center of consciousness resides when we engage in acts determines not only its immediate outcome, but the psychological and physical baggage we accumulate over time. If it is performed at one plane when we are capable of doing it at a higher one, we break down in various ways. E.g. if you are compelled to merely act (i.e. physically without thought), though you are capable of considering the matter beforehand (mental), then you will tend to attract physical problems, such as illness.

It is therefore always worth considering the determining plane you are at before taking any action in work, play, etc., see where you can improve, and act from that new poise. Doing so will not only enable you to avoid accumulating negative propensities and wanting energies, but will tend to quickly attract very positive conditions thereafter.

Over time you can evolve your entire being upward to the point where your central personality is poised in that higher plane. It would be a vast growth: in essence, personal evolution in a single lifetime.

Individual Nature at Four Levels
I spoke of four levels, two on the surface and two in the depth. They can be called levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 for convenience. Those persons in level 1 are in the surface of the surface mind, those in 2 are in the depth of the surface, those in 3 are in the shallow depth or the surface of the depth and those in 4 are in the depth of the deep-seated Mind.

Eternal Romance resides in the 4th stage. People of that level are very serious, of immense Patience and unshakeable calm. Life never troubles them. No trouble troubles them. Their very calm calms the opposing disturbances. Wherever they are, they make their mark unmistakably. [This is similar to a high mental or even spiritual-type person. -editor)

Those in 3 are unshaken by anything that upsets people in 1 and 2. If they are upset, the disturbance will, of course, be serious, as people say, "Anyone will be disturbed by this." They are the second level leadership in any institution they serve. They rarely rise to the top, unless experience is rewarded. [This is similar to a mental-type person. -editor)

Most of us belong to level 2. We are not disturbed ordinarily, but disturbance worth its name does disturb us. We say, "I am like this. I see all of us are like this." Mostly we weather our storms by painstaking effort, often with success, often otherwise. [This is similar to a vital-type person. -editor)

Those in level 1 are silly, shabby, shallow characters that are totally upset by any small disturbance. When people take to Mother, they observe that they automatically move up one level for the better. If they persist and are desirous of building up their inner worth, they can move up to any extent, an opportunity not available in life. [This is similar to a physical-type person. -editor) (MSS)

Uniqueness Belongs to a Type
It is true some men are unique, and many things are unique. Its opposite also is true. Nothing can ever be unique. ... The truth is uniqueness belongs to a type. (MSS, extracted)

 

Physical-Type Individual

The Physical-Type Human
The physical man is limited, irrational, and conservative; follows customary routine and institutions, inherited and habitual forms of thought. (Paraphrase of Sri Aurobindo)

Mental Man Seeks Cooperation Instead of Brutality of Physical Man
The physical man is a brute. To him, might is right. His dharma is to crush the other person, as he is taken as a rival or enemy. The mental man certainly does not resort to liquidating the other, though he too may view him as a rival. He seeks the cooperation of the rival, tries to be rational, works towards a compromise. That way, humanity becomes civilised. That is the path to enjoy greater comforts. Moving from the physical to the mental, man becomes vastly more productive and consequently affluent.

The principle behind this fact is harmony is productive and disharmony is destructive. Harmony is desirable on any showing. (MSS, extracted)

 

The Physical Consciousness

Expressions of our "physical consciousness" is to be fixed, attached to our habits, rejecting the knowledge and advice of others. It is to act without thought. To do first and think later, if at all. To consider only ourselves instead of others. To act forcefully, even brutishly, at the expense of the truth.

Nations express their physicality through brutish behavior, towards their own or their neighbors.

Life invariably catches up to our physical consciousness with difficult or very hard blows, enabling us to shed our physicality in part or all in one swoop. It happens to individuals, as well as collectives, such as nations.

 

Traits of Four Types of Individuals

Individuals can be classified as predominantly physical, vital, mental, and even spiritual. We are normally a combination of the four, though one or two tend to predominate in our nature. Here are some example traits at the physical type:

 

-Generally lives through force

-Consciousness is limited

-Acts without thinking

-Single-minded, fixated, never changes

-Can't grasp subtle situations

-Can be oblivious towards others

-Values self above others

-Confronts

-Can be brutish

-Doesn't learn

-Creature of habit

-Repeats mindlessly

-Physically adventurous

-Takes what he wants

-Works at material plane mainly

-Dominated by sense input

-Lives through sensation

-Can be very materialistic

-Attached

The Physical Man
To the physical consciousness oriented man, worship, rituals, ceremonies are real; not philosophy, theory or Ideas. (Paraphrase of MSS)

Human Physicality

"Human physicality" in its various forms include the limits of habit, our attachment to place, learning only through experience not ideas, sees physical/material explanations not the subtle, attachment to physical pleasure and convenience, impulsive, lack of organization, physical attachment to loved ones, action/not thought-oriented, possessive, only sees one's own perspective, gluttony, fixed attitudes and understanding, acts without thought, limited understanding of money and its use, is oblivious to others, let alone subtle things around them , has fixed view of cause and effect, doesn't think before speaking, has fixed view of the world, etc. etc.

It also indicates the vast scope we have for practicing Yoga (i.e. conscious evolution), that if practiced would undo our physicality and other limiting parts of our nature, opening the door to a new type of humanity culminating in supramental existence.

Physical-Orientation

Physicality is in one sense a belief only in the material and seen, not the subtle and the unseen. Hence we are attracted to physical interactions with others (and the world) through our senses, through mental activity (thought), and through speech; instead of an inward-oriented beingness that includes silence at the physical, vital, and mental levels. Naturally, life experienced from the subtle plane attracts far more positive results.

  

When Man is Forced to Change

Man does not change unless he is shaken to the core out of his inertia, ignorance, and unconsciousness. Or put another way, life intensely forces Man to change, as he is unwilling to do it himself. 

 

Mental Man Seeks Cooperation Instead of Brutality of Physical Man
The physical man is a brute. To him, might is right. His dharma is to crush the other person, as he is taken as a rival or enemy. The mental man certainly does not resort to liquidating the other, though he too may view him as a rival. He seeks the cooperation of the rival, tries to be rational, works towards a compromise. That way, humanity becomes civilised. That is the path to enjoy greater comforts. Moving from the physical to the mental, man becomes vastly more productive and consequently affluent.

The principle behind this fact is harmony is productive and disharmony is destructive. Harmony is desirable on any showing. (MSS, extracted)

The Physical Person
The physical person does not want to learn.

Going Beyond the Physical's Need to Repeat
The physical can repeat, only repeat. Does anyone want things to be repeated? Not only in Life Divine, is it possible in innovation, creativity, or in new computer programmes?

  • The physical's birthright is repetition.
  • Evolution's prerogative is NOT to repeat once.
  • But the luminous Imperative REPEATS to conquer the dark imperative. (pg. 962, The Life Divine)  (MSS)

 

Signs of Physicality

Signs of non-physicality

1.       Functioning out of fixed habits even if the habits are no longer relevant to the situation.

1.       The person is able to function according to the needs of the situation and not from habit.

2.       Strong attachment to where one is born and lives and consequent inability to go away from that place.

2.       The person can go to any place required for purposes of work and function from there as well.

3.       Insistence on eating only the food one is used to.

3.       The person can eat different type of food if it is necessary as he is away from home.

4.       Demands physical proof for higher non-physical entities.

4.       He can accept the existence of higher entities on their terms.

5.       Sees money as a physical entity and treats money in the same way.

5.       He understands money to be an idea and social organization and relates to it in that way.

6.       Learns anything by experience only which often takes a long time and effort.

6.       He learns more from understanding than from experience and therefore spends less time and effort.

7.       There is more faith in money, property,   qualifications, power and influence etc than on mental resources and divine grace. In other words values form more than content.

7.       The person places more faith on his or her mental resources and the power of divine grace than on money and power etc. In other words values content more than form.

8.       Seeks physical explanations for achievements as well as failures.                  

8.       Physical factors are secondary and psychological and spiritual factors are more important for the person in understanding success as well as failure.

9.       Physical convenience is given a great importance.

9.       Physical convenience is made secondary and work requirements are given more importance.

10.   Photos, flowers, pooja room and offerings are real to the person in relating to Mother.

10.   He can relate to Mother inside without the help of photos, flowers and offerings etc.

11.   The person functions on the basis of impulses with little planning or forethought.

11.   The person functions not on the basis of impulses, but with definite plans and aims in mind.

12.   He can sense affection and love only when it is physically demonstrated through physical attention and gifts and appreciation.

12.   He can receive affection and love just by silent exchange of vibrations in the absence of visible demonstrations.

13.   He sees everything from only his point of view and is oblivious to the requirements of the others in the picture.

13.   He can see the situation from other's point of view as well and can change his attitudes and demands to suit the requirements of others.

14.   Food is always on the mind of the person and eats more for taste than for satisfying hunger.

14.   Food does not enter his mind except when it is time for eating.

15.   The person becomes totally dysfunctional when the body becomes ill and sick.

15.   Illness does not incapacitate the person totally and he can keep functioning despite the illness.

16.   Cannot stand physical separation from loved ones for long.

16.   Can withstand physical separation for long if work requires it.

17.   The  person learns to correct his mistakes only after suffering hardships, losses and humiliation etc.

17.   The person can understand that a certain way of functioning is wrong on the basis of explanations only without undergoing the hardships and losses.

18.   The person is more action-oriented than thought-oriented.

18.   The person exhibits more capacity for thinking than for external action.

19.   The person cannot share his valuables with others or lend them to others. They have to be in his control all the time.

19.   If work requires that his valuables be lent to others the person can happily share them and lend them to others so that the work is carried on.

20.   Sees everything and assesses everything by the amount of monetary expenses involved.

20.   He can evaluate the worth of something on its own merits and not in terms of the expenses involved. (N. Ashokan MSS)

 

Signs of Physicality


Though our personality is composed of spiritual, mental. Vital and physical parts not all people have these different parts combined in equal measure. Many are mainly physical with the mental and vital and Spiritual parts playing only secondary roles. Integral yoga calls for shifting to the spiritual part of our personality and using that as our main center of functioning. If so, those who are mainly physical need to do something to shift from there to the other higher levels in successive steps. That is they need to first move to their vital center, then their mental center and finally to their spiritual center. As such it will be helpful to know how physical we are. Here are some signs of physicality.

1. A great attachment to habitual and routine way of functioning and great difficulty in freeing oneself from the hold of habits. Refusal to change one's way of functioning and values and attitudes even when these are proved to be wrong and false and hurtful etc.

2. Understanding the world and the people and events around us by sensory impressions instead of using our powers of reason.

3. Demanding physical and visible proofs for realities that are above the physical level. For example demanding to see God in a human visible form.

4. Accepting the truth and value of any accomplishment only after seeing a demonstration of it in the life of a person and not doing anything first by oneself on the basis of theoretical validity alone.

5. Excessive concern and preoccupation with comforts of the body and total inability to function even in a minimum capacity if some illness affects the body such as fever and cold and body pain etc.

6. Preference for all external forms of relationship with Mother such as keeping photos in shelves and pooja rooms, blessings packets in one's pocket, doing pushpanjali and doing prayer at fixed hours and giving cash offerings etc and only secondary importance to such things as surrender, consecration and inner remembrance while doing work.

7. Feeling secure and happy only when there is a steady income, own house and stable job and friendly people around and feeling highly insecure when these are not permanent.

8. Learning to refrain from committing errors only when life severely punishes the person and refusing to see on the basis of mental understanding alone that something is wrong and will hurt physically, emotionally and financially if done and insisted upon.

9. Relying on memory power rather than on proper understanding when studying for exams .

10. Giving enormous importance to physical outward activity and minimizing the importance of mental understanding and emotional factors and spiritual factors for accomplishing anything.

11. Respecting a person mainly for his money, income and authority and post and paying no importance to the value of his personality if these things are absent.

12. Putting up good behavior only out of fear of physical and other forms of punishment and incapable of proper behavior under own self-discipline.

Let us not worry if we exhibit a good number of these above-said signs of physicality. Those who want to free themselves of their physicality can always. (N. Asokan, MSS)

Also See Thoughts on Breaking the Reigns of Our Physical Consciousness

Vital-Type Individual

Untitled
Most people are centered at the level of the vital; i.e. of the emotions, feelings, needs, wants, attachments.

Limitations of Being Vital-Centere
Many people are centered in their lower vital consciousness of need and desires and attachments; of strong opinions, judgments, and negative attitudes. When we think from such a poise, we are filtering out many of the objectives facts that don't meet these vital standards, or we are twisting the incoming information to suit our ego-centered, prejudiced outlook.

Vital Man in Action
The vital man expresses his emotions, his frustrations, and his wants and desires, oblivious to the facts.  

Overcome Wanting Aspects of Ourselves
We can examine all of our traits across the three planes of human makeup (physical, vital, and mental) and see which are positive and negative. We could then make the concerted effort as self-conscious beings to overcome the negative traits, enabling us to further evolve. That is the process of personal growth and development.

Untitled
The
vital tends toward mindless passion, desire, ego, and not thinking.

Untitled
The emotional, vital person learns only when he wants to.

Traits of Four Types of Individuals

Individuals can be classified as predominantly physical, vital, mental, and even spiritual. We are normally a combination of the four, though one or two tend to predominate in our nature. Here are some example traits at the vital type:

-Of emotions; of social relations

-Vitally adventurous

-Needs

-Wants

-Feels

-Vital, social interaction stimulates

-Is ruled by his emotions

-Takes the side that he enjoys

-Moved to act by feelings; acts when emotionally moved

-Passionate, deep feelings

-Very changeable, mercurial

-Often experiences letdown, disappointment

-Can be very social

-Emotional ups and downs

-Like physical person can be dominated, ruled by sense input.

-At heart level can become spiritual

 

 

Mental-Type Individual

Ranges of Mind of Various Individuals

There are different orientations of mentality amongst people. There are those who are physically oriented, around the input of the senses in their understanding. There are those who are of a mental bent, yet have prejudiced views. There are others still who are more rational and tend to be open to more sides of the truth of things. And there are those who have spiritual openings of the mind through light, illumination, and intuition. Most of us are some combination of all of these, tending more to the lower ends. 

 

Man is (Qualified) Mental

Man is mostly a mental; being, though his mentality is dominated by the needs of his physical and vital nature.

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The mental type person
tends more towards rationality, logic, and common sense than the vital and especially the mental individual. Still he might not be fully rational as he is the victim of the limitations of mind's own limitations.

Untitled
Fewer still are centered at the level of the mind; of sentiments, values, ideals, reason, new ideals, and self-conception.

Traits of Four Types of Individuals

Individuals can be classified as predominantly physical, vital, mental, and even spiritual. We are normally a combination of the four, though one or two tend to predominate in our nature. Here are some example traits at the mental type:

-Often thinks before acting

-Tends toward rationality and logic

-Thoughtful

-Analyzes situation, conditions

-Learns; Willing to learn

-Moved by, enjoys ideas

-Plans and self-conceives future

-Is organized

-Acts when something is understood

-Looks to underlying causes

-Begins to see behind the surface

-Compromises

-Is generally open to more than one view

-Can be argumentative

-Has more developed values

-Handles problems more methodically

-Can be fixated on one line of thought

-Makes more thoughtful decisions

-Is a problem solver

-Can move to spirit through light and intuition of ideas without thought.

 

Untitled
The mental person is always willing to learn.

Mental Person Learns Quickly
The mental person is the fastest and most dedicated learner, and absorber of facts and ideas. Thus he is at the forefront of our evolution. [He also has the most long term impact on the development of society.]

The emotional person will learn, think, but only if he feels like it or he is energized to want to take in ideas. A feeling person is totally unpredictable. His abilities to accomplish are also severely limited because he is restricted by his unpredictable emotions, though he is not as hopeless a case as the physical man.

The mental person has the ability to grasp ideas before he has experienced them. He can know the idea as a conceptual thought. By developing so many ideas he has a far vaster ability to take his conceptual understanding to experience as perception and sensation. He has a much greater ability to truly know the true truths of life, and therefore to accomplish and succeed in life.

Mental Man Seeks Cooperation Instead of Brutality of Physical Man
The physical man is a brute. To him, might is right. His dharma is to crush the other person, as he is taken as a rival or enemy. The mental man certainly does not resort to liquidating the other, though he too may view him as a rival. He seeks the cooperation of the rival, tries to be rational, works towards a compromise. That way, humanity becomes civilised. That is the path to enjoy greater comforts. Moving from the physical to the mental, man becomes vastly more productive and consequently affluent.

The principle behind this fact is harmony is productive and disharmony is destructive. Harmony is desirable on any showing. (MSS, extracted)

 


Spiritual-Type Individual

Traits of Four Types of Individuals

Individuals can be classified as predominantly physical, vital, mental, and even spiritual. We are normally a combination of the four, though one or two tend to predominate in our nature. Here are some example traits at the spiritual type:

-Seeks Harmony

-Centered in calm and peace

-Self-giving

-Cares about status of others

-Responds calmly to difficulties

-Senses Soul within, Presence, Transcendence

-Seeks Truth in all its dimensions

-Perceives power over life from within

-Empathetic, appreciative, attention giving

-Keeps to the positive; maintains cheerfulness

-Feels, perceives oneness with others and life

See Additional Thoughts on the Spiritual Individual


MANNERS, BEHAVIOR, CHARACTER, PERSONALITY, SPIRITUAL INDIVIDUALITY
(top)

 

Overview
(main topic)

Continuum of Being from One's Manners to the True Individual Being
We can know ourselves on a continuum from the outer social person to the innermost True Individual being of the person. The most outer social aspect of the person is his manners. A level deeper is the behavior of the person, which is the observation of the social person that there is a truth in manners. Deeper still is the person's character, which reflects the combination of predominant human traits he expresses. The person tends to be born with such a character, and it is unlikely to change much in the course of his life. Deeper still is the less organized personality of the person, which forms in times of new challenging situations in one's life. Deeper still is the Individuality of the person (capital I), which is the person's ability to touch his inner, psychic being, his personal soul that has attached to his particular body.

Manners, Behavior, Character, Personality
Manners are what I put up for another person. They can be developed into behaviour by values. Behaviour is what I believe I should put up. It is changeable, not organised. It can be developed into character by commitment. Character is structured. Man can change his behaviour, not his character. Character means the emotions have accepted an idea from the mind. They won't change after that. Personality is beyond the character.
(MSS)

Character to Personality to True Individuality
Character is a fixed and limiting structure that generates consistency but prevents creativity. Beyond organized character lies the unformed, unorganized field of personality and the deeper plane of true individuality from which all fresh, creative initiatives originate. (MSS)

Human Personality from Surface to Inner Depths
Human personality can be viewed as an onion skin of many layers from surface behavior to inner depths -- including Manners -- Behavior -- Character -- Personality -- Individuality

Depth refers to the degree to which these deeper layers are formed in the person.

  • Manners -- Superficial, external forms of formalized response, a subset of social or interpersonal skills.
  • Behavior -- The capacity of a person for directed activities based on conscious understanding and intensity.
  • Character -- The fixed attributes reflecting values that have become fully organized, internalized, fixed and subconscious.
  • Personality -- The capacity for expansive or creative initiative that transcend the limitations imposed by character, society or personal experience.
  • Individuality -- A center of uniqueness, quite independent of social conditioning, personal experience and character.

Manners, Behavior, Character, Personality, Individuality
Human personality is like an  onion. It consists of multiple layers that become denser as you go deeper within. Manners are a thin veneer on the surface, a set of formalized patterns of action and response demanded of each of us by the society we live in, regardless of how we actually feel inside, which is often very different from the outward manners we exhibit. Though manners are superficial, perfect conduct even at this level is extremely difficult. We may exhibit good manners on important occasions or with important people, but few are capable of maintaining perfect conduct all the waking hours with close friends, intimate family members, work colleagues, casual acquaintances, servants, etc. The world worships appearances and gives utmost value to good manners, even when they conceal the very opposite inner disposition. Self-restraint, soft speech, humble considerate behavior towards all, thoughtful gestures are extremely difficult to maintain as unvarying conduct. One who is a perfect master of good manners can by virtue of that endowment alone secure international fame and recognition.

Manners are on the surface. Behavior is on the depth of the surface. Whereas manners reflect conduct that the world expects or demands of us, behavior is conduct expressive of our inner attitudes and beliefs. What the society demands as manners develops into genuine behavior in the individual. Friendly manners may disguise inner anger or anguish because society frowns on their _expression, whereas cheerful, warm behavior expresses genuine happy, positive attitudes towards oneself and others.

Character is behavior that one has accepted in the very depths of his being, in the substance, and allowed to take root there. The attitudes that express outwardly as behavior can change in an instant or over time, but the formed traits that constitute our character are lasting and extremely resistant to change, regardless of the circumstance. A fair weather friend behaves well in good circumstances, but a person of good character is incapable of conduct that is contrary to his deep-seated convictions. Character is Swabhava, the power and nature of the form, Swarupa. As manners can disguise our real attitudes, outer behavior can either reflect or veil our true character, i.e. what we really are inside. Character expresses most clearly in times of crisis or opportunity, when the surface veneer of manners and superficial behavior is swept aside by an external pressure or lure.

Character is largely inherited from family, community and the nation. It is worthwhile examining oneself in terms of our national character to see to what extent one's own nature is representative of the collective. The American character is one that seeks a larger rhythm, rises to meet any challenge and perseveres until the work is done. In India, character is generally misunderstood to mean honesty or in a narrower sense reliability in conduct with women. It is used to refer to a person's social or individual value, rather than to the entire layer of human nature that is deeply rooted and fixed behind our behavior.

Character is associated with capacity. One who accomplishes at any level or in any field relies on a stable capacity for effective action that is an expression of character. Character may express as professional ability in a given field, in which case the endowment is narrowly limited or fixed so that it cannot be transferred to any other field of accomplishment. But the skills and capacities that constitute the essence of character lie at a deeper level in the plane of personality. Endowments at the level of personality are not fixed and can be transferred from one field to another. The IAS officer exhibits an administrative personality capable of managing any type of assignment given to him. The able politician who rises to rule a nation often exhibits the political personality of administration.

Manners, behavior, character and personality are attributes one acquires from society, the external environment, what is philosophically referred to as Nature. Nature is the Becoming of the Being that is Purusha. Nature is force and therefore is fixed. It is ruled by karma. Manners, behavior, character and personality are attributes developed from below drawing their energy from Nature. Its acme is Personality. Personality can also be shaped from above, by the Being. That personality which is energized by the Purusha or the Being from above is the Individuality of Man. At the spiritual level it is called the Individual Divine, Jivatma. At the level of mind and vital, it is known as Individuality. For citizens to acquire individuality in a society, that society should function in freedom. True individuality cannot be inhibited by religion, social norms, or family. The awakened soul acts in utter freedom. In the absence of freedom it does not awake. In the West, individuality is formed in a pronounced measure, especially in the USA.

Personality drawing its energy from the spirit and expressing the evolutionary energy is Individuality. Freedom, self-reliance and the value of the individual are the urge of the evolutionary energy in our times. One reason why the Americans lead the world today is that their national culture embraces and expresses these values in such great measure, even though it is at the merest physical level.

As the Spirit is fully developed in India, developing spiritual individuality is possible for the awakened Indian, awakened in his soul. Should the Indians awake in their souls and espouse Truth in their lives, they will emerge as spiritual individuals. That is the goal of the 21st Century.  (MSS)

 

Levels of Depth of Being of the Individual

If we examine any typical group of individuals, we will see that they demonstrate a wide variety and broad range of personal qualities; from the indistinguishable and shallow, to those who are deep and individualistic. Based on the insights of Sri Aurobindo, spiritual philosopher and yogi Sri Karmayogi has developed a scale of five levels -- from the surface to the depths -- indicating the development and formed nature of individuals.

Manners

The shallowest and most unformed person is one who acts at the level of Manners. It is automatic, rote behavior that mimics others or the customs of society. If you look around, you may notice certain individuals who have no particular or solidly formed attitudes, opinions, values, or beliefs. They just imitate what others do; what society dictates. Theirs is a life of the surface personality and being. They may be good people, like a Jane Bennett and Mr. Bingley of Pride and Prejudice, but they take their cues from what is expected of them, by how society expects them to behave. Theirs is not a developed character and being, as there is little sense of Self.

Manners then is a set of formalized patterns of expression, action and response demanded of each of us by the society we live in, regardless of how we actually feel inside, which is often very different from the outward manners we exhibit.

Behavior

At a somewhat level higher/deeper is the person who asserts his opinions, attitudes, desires, values, etc. even as they may not exactly be their own. Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is constantly expressing her opinions of things, to the constant detriment of others. Likewise, she expresses no higher or deeper values and beliefs, as her nature is pure spontaneous expression of her wants and desires. She does not quite mimic others as in the lower of form of Manners; nor does she express a higher, more developed Character.

A large number of people fall into this category. If you ever see a friend who constantly expresses behaviors without a sense of what others think, they are essentially at the level of Behavior. They just do, and act, and behave, and do not know and do not ask why. They have more of a conscience than the person of Manners, but there is still an unformed character and sense of Self.

Character

Above Manners and Behavior is Character. Character is expressed by the individual who has a more fully developed sense of Self. His or her ways follow recognizable patterns of being, in which a more fully formed nature has emerged. Others recognize their distinct character, and they perceive their own uniqueness and sense of self as well.  For example, in Pride and Prejudice both Darcy and Eliza have developed Characters. They have recognizable qualities of being that repeat, demonstrating essential personal attitudes and values that they subscribe to. Their sense of self, their consciousness of self has emerged.

If you look around you will notice several of your friend, relatives, and associates have established a unique, recognizable, repeating set of qualities that clearly identify that person. It is a formed character; a more developed sense of consciousness and being than those who without thought or reason express their Behavior, or unconsciously mimic others through Mannered thoughts and actions.

Character then refers to the fixed, repetitive, organized psychological formations determined by the person's values which find expression in and through the surface manners and behavior but cannot be altered by conscious effort.

Personality

And yet if we examine the difference between Darcy and Eliza, two developed, formed Characters, it is only Eliza who also has a degree of development of Personality. What is Personality? It is the formed Character that also expresses one's Individuality in various facets of one's being and through life experiences. Darcy and Eliza may both demonstrate distinct, recognizable, repeating qualities of Being; have distinguishable character and natures that others and they themselves are aware of; but it is only Eliza that is her own true person. She takes her cues not from others perceptions of what is occurring or what things mean, but from her own unique, individualistic vantage point and view of things. She is able to do this because she has a native intelligence that is married to a set of personal values that give her an added sense of the truth of things. She thinks, behaves, and acts from her individualism underpinned by a greater knowledge, a deeper insight, born of a unique set of values, unencumbered and untarnished by the position of others and the herd mentality of society. Thus, she is able to break out beyond her formed Character and when circumstance demand it, express unique, individualistic, values-oriented approaches and responses to life. She tends to see a spade for a spade; has deeper insight into things; and acts in ways that go beyond the norms, the accepted and taboo.

When Michael Gorbachev decided to take a different approach and bring down the Soviet Empire from within, it was an expression of Personality. Though right in the heart of an anachronistic and decaying system, he had the keen insight and high values to express his individualistic view of the dire conditions, and had the strength of conviction to bring it about. Einstein also had that power of Personality into an entirely different field. In fact, Einstein might have been a more developed Personality still; not only in his unique, individualistic insights in his field of science which often came through an intuitive sense, but in the creative, dynamic, unconventional ways he conducted his Life.

Thus, we can see different degree by which one expresses his individuality, conviction, personal values, and strength amongst individuals of Personality. And yet it is also the case that few individuals have any formed Personality, as their being struggles to even have a developed Character.  

As MSS says, "Personality represents the capacity for expansive or creative initiative that transcends the limitations imposed by character, society or personal experience. It has the capacity to respond freshly to a situation, to attempt what has not yet been done before, to transfer formed capacities from one field of activity to another."

True, Spiritual Individuality

Then there are the exceeding rare individuals who are not only formed Characters; are not only Personalities who express their Individuality through unfettered, keen, bold, dynamic thought and action, but who take their cues from the influence of the deepest Self and Soul being. For example, an Einstein may express a highly individualized Personality by imagining the unimaginable and expressing his unique points of view in related fields of life, but it is another thing to express the Individuality of One's Soul.  Let me explain:

Every person has a True Self and being; an evolving soul within. It has taken birth in ourselves in order to learn from our experience in Its journey through time. It continues on through multiple births until its unique mission is complete. An evolved individual is one who has made contact with his Soul and being; who perceives its purpose, and therefore his own life's purpose. When he then acts from that Soul being, he is expressing ultimate Individuality, taking cues from Its Essence and Insights into Nature and Life. They are far more perceptive, penetrating, and powerful than anything one could have developed through one's normal mental perceptions and unique experiences in life.

When one garners insight and influence that emanates from one's evolving Soul being, you perceive ultimate, individualized approaches for dealing with life's circumstance. It is a step beyond the creative, perceptive, daring, values-driven individuality of Personality, to the continued spiritual, cosmic influence and guidance of the evolving Soul and True Self within. It is the expression of individuality of the Evolving Soul that is in touch with forces -- earthly, universal, and transcendent -- that give continuous, dynamic, right direction and Guidance from the very source and Truth of things.

Examples of such Spiritualized Personalities are rare in the extreme. The Great Indian sage and seer Sri Aurobindo is an example of one, as he garnered his extremely unique and individualistic perceptions and the Life Power he garnered as a result by connecting to the Psychic, Soul Being within. In fact, he used it to change the nature of reality around him, including the history of the world from within. Likewise, his spiritual partner, The Mother, did the same. They were/are True Spiritual Individuals who take their cues from their Soul being.

---

So we see the scope of the levels of Being of who we are and what we can become. It ranges from surface to depth; from mindless manners to soul-based influence and individuality. While most people in the world function from the level of Behavior, not demonstrating a distinct, repeating, recognizable formed character, there is a also a considerable number of individuals who have a formed Character, demonstrating a sense of repeating distinctness and limited self-awareness. On the other hand, very few have that developed, formed Personality, where one acts from deeper conviction and values expressing their individuality; and only a handful still function as True, Spiritual Individuals where the Soul guides us and offers individualized suggestion and influences on how to act and what to avoid.

One question then is how we can rise within this scale of being; whether to the next highest level of Self, or a fuller formation at that plane.

Assuming that readers here have at least a somewhat developed sense of Self, of developed Character, then how can we begin to emerge into a more formed individualistic Personality. Or to put it another way, how can we evolved from the fixed, identifiable Character of a Darcy to the more open, individualistic dynamic character of an Eliza Bennet or an Elizabeth I, or an Einstein, or a Churchill, or a Gorbachev, or a Steve Jobs?

To do that we must overcome our fixed nature, not be determined by the influences of the herd. In other words, become our own person. And do so at every level, psychologically, emotionally, even physically. If we begin to get our cues from the deeper parts of ourselves, from our highest aspirations and deepest values, expressing them in ways in which we are True to ourselves and our Individuality, then we will be making the great transition from formed Character to formed Personality. This is the evolution of consciousness that Sri Aurobindo has explained in The Life Divine, and which Karmayogi has taken up and explained in great detail.

Then there are the very, very few, who can begin to find their True Self and Soul, experience all of its spiritual values, like Peace, Wisdom, Truth, Goodness, Power, Creativity, Beauty, Love, Delight, Timelessness, and Infinity, and express their nature from there. This is the ultimate possibility and potential of human consciousness and awareness that Sri Aurobindo has offered the world.

Manners, Behavior, Character, Personality
Manners are outer behaviour which may not reflect what one feels inside. Manners that truly reflect what one feels is behaviour. Manners are outward and behaviour is inner, but both issue from the surface of one's being. Faced with weighty issues, neither can be of true help. The organised character lies deeper. Character represents strength, capacity, tenacity, endurance, etc. All these are organised at various levels of intensity. Deeper than the fabric of character lies the unorganised ENERGY of man ready to face fresh issues when character too fails.

One can go deeper to the regions of Personality and call the Spirit from there. Personality rises to the occasion of surmounting problems when character feels helpless. Calling the Spirit from there will solve any problem, whether we know it or not. (MSS)

Darcy Goes Beyond Character in Pride and Prejudice
Man
is not limited to character. Beyond the formed character lies the unformed personality and the individuality of each which determines our behavior is completely new, creative, fresh situations. That does not readily lend itself to perception even by the subtle perception.

One does not need subtle perception to know that Darcy is proud, arrogant and coarse. Subtle perception can reveal that beneath this surface behavior he is true and good. But even a subtle perception may not reveal that he is capable of throwing over all the norms of society and going to the rescue of Lydia and embracing Wickham as a brother-in-law for the sake of his love of Elizabeth. (MSS)

Wickham in Pride and Prejudice
Wickham in Pride and Prejudice has impeccable manners, behaved irresponsibly, and showed an utter wanting character.

 

Character
(main topic)

On Character
Beyond manners and behavior is man's essential temperament; the kind of man he is. It expresses through innumerable traits inherited from family, community, and nation. The person's character can be seen when that person is at home in in close relationship with the individual. One's character  is structured, but also fixed and unchanging, preventing creativity and resistant to change.

The Nature of an Individual's Character
-Character mainly denotes one's temperament, preference, the type of man one is.

-Man's character is the psychological organisation by which he functions.

-The person's character reflects the combination of predominant human traits he expresses.

-Character represents strength, capacity, tenacity, endurance, etc. All these are organised at various levels of intensity.

-Character is largely inherited from family, community and the nation.

-Character is what you see of that person's essential nature if you are in close quarters with him.

-Character is seen at home and in close relationships, while our nature is kept to ourselves.

-Character is fixed, rigid, unyielding, incapable of change and is rooted in the substance of the physical and is monitored by the genetic code.

-A person tends to be born with such a character, and it is unlikely to change much in the course of his life.

-Character is structured. It does not change. Character means the emotions have accepted an idea from the mind. They won't change after that.

-Character is a fixed and limiting structure that generates consistency but prevents creativity.

-The formed traits that constitute our character are lasting and extremely resistant to change, regardless of the circumstance.

-Character expresses most clearly in times of crisis or opportunity, when the surface veneer of manners and superficial behavior is swept aside by an external pressure or lure. (MSS, various extracted)

Character & Accomplishment
-
Character is an efficient mental organism functioning within the social fabric of accomplished levels.

-Character comes from the mind and enables the person to carry out a task with self-direction.

-When a person has developed character, he can accomplish something by himself.

-Character is necessary to achieve something in society, but when something has to be created anew, personality is needed.

-A person with character can establish his own business, raise a family, and accomplish a substantial work in the society. These are all things that many people have done.

-A person with character can accomplish and do what has already been done before. [To accomplish more, one needs personality] (MSS, various extracted)

Character and Accomplishment
When a person has developed character, he can accomplish something by himself. Character is organized in the mind. It has a memory and never forgets. When the essence of the vital experience which is behavior is received in the mind and organized well so that the mind accepts that as its central direction, then it becomes character.

A man with character fits into that level of society to which his character has risen. If he has a noble character or a weighty character, he may be a philanthropist or a CEO. If he has a character but his nature is small, he can organize and raise a family successfully. A person with character can establish his own business, raise a family, and accomplish a substantial work in the society. These are all things that many people have done. There are already a thousand businesses; one more will be established. A person with character can accomplish and do what has already been done before. (MSS)

Ancestors, Formative Qualities as  Determinants of Our Character
We believe that we are consciously determining our lives without much prior influence, but that is not the case. For our character and motives are often determined by the genetic propensities we acquire from ancestors one or two generations back, or by significant events or compulsions in our early lives. E.g. in the former case, one individual inherits the fear of a grandfather he rarely saw; whereas in the latter case, an ultra billionaire's success was driven by a deep fear of death, while his associate's life was largely determined by his upbringing as an orphan. Knowing such aspects in our own lives will help us understand who we have become, and if necessary, what we need to change.

Character
Character is the formed structure of the personality built up by knowledge, will and values to generate, release and convert raw human energy into personal intensity. (MSS paraphrased)

On Character
-Man is his character, Swabhava.

-Character is the greatest possession in life. (MSS, extracted)

Character Expressing in Dualistic Situations
Character expresses in dualistic situations and circumstance, as in courage vs. fear, strength vs. weakness, endurance vs. non-endurance, etc. (MSS)

Character Expressing in Times of Crisis, Opportunities
Character expresses most clearly in times of crisis or opportunity, when the surface veneer of manners and superficial behavior is swept aside by an external pressure or lure.

Expression of Character in Pride and Prejudice
We see character at work in Pride and Prejudice, such as when Eliza trudges through the mud to find out sister Jane's condition, when Darcy seeks to resolve the elopement episode, and many others.


Character Expressing in Life

-Character does not surface in daily work. Only we see manners then. In critical moments only character emerges.

-Character shines through wisdom; not less so through folly or indiscretion.

-Character persists whether it is in politics, or profession or faith. A rebel always takes the side of a rebel. (MSS, extracted)

Character in Terms of Society
Character is the psychological organisation (in the individual) of the society in the individual. (MSS)

Character's Not Studied in Terms of Psychological Composition
Character has been studied exhaustively not from its psychological composition as a trait or power but as an expression of human character through literary characters. (MSS)

 

Personality and the Spiritual Individual (i.e. the true personality)
(main topic)

Personality

On Personality
Beyond one's character is the realm of personality. Whereas one's character is formed, personality is unformed or partially so. Whereas character is generally fixed and unchanging, personality is subject to change, even great change. It is a realm of being open to the new, to the challenges of life, where we can express ourselves to create something new, original, accomplishing on one's own through independent initiative.

Personality indicates the strength of the person and his values. It is also an expression of a relationship with the Source and Being of all in creation.

Personality is Beyond Character
-Personality is beyond the fixed traits of character.

-Personality is the subtle character.

-Personality must include the capacities of character and not be limited by them.

Personality and Spiritual Individual
Personality and true individuality go together. Spiritual individuality, taking cues from Within is a step beyond.

On Personality
Personality
is not an endowment like intelligence of the mind or a skill of the body. It is the endowment of the entire Being, still not fully formed, but ready to take shape when it is challenged by a situation character cannot handle.

Personality
The strength of the person and his values are called Personality or Strength of Personality. (MSS)

Personality Beyond Character
The
overall character does not change. It remains the same, fixed. There is however an unformed part of our being called the Person, or the personality, that is open to the new experiences of life. It is that part of the being that can expand into new realms, that enjoys  the adventure of the new. Here we can make great strides in our being. Here we can go far beyond our basic character, and become and achieve far more.

One Becomes Creative When One is Unique
Writers, artists, musicians and poets are unique expressions of human Personality. If they are proud of anything, it is their creativity. One becomes creative when he is unique. (MSS)

Our Own Creativity is Ultimately the Creativity of the Divine
Creative personalities create unique products, but their theme is social, what all society happily receives and endorses. A writer feels that what he writes is his OWN thought. Yoga says thoughts are not ours, they are universal and they pass through our minds. (MSS)

Personality that Creates the New  KEY
-
Personality is the unformed, unstructured human energy that loves the challenge of life, is curious to know and has an urge to act.

-Personality is that ability which combines the strength of character and energies of the being to new-create.

-The will of the person is strong enough to compel his character etc to subserve the fresh need he faces. That Person, we say, has a Personality.

-Personality is that trait that can harness the unorganised energies in a new situation and act appropriately in disregard of behaviour and defiance of character.

-It is the Personality of MAN which new-creates and expands endlessly.

-Character is necessary to achieve something in society, but when something has to be created anew, personality is needed.

-Personality can accomplish something original, whatever the field is.

-Personality does not care whether anyone else has attempted a certain work before. It has the initiative to start a fresh work in a new field.

-What personality requires is pure understanding, independent of a second person.

-Only personality will let you go beyond your father's achievement.

-Personality is an energy which comes from the Being, able to understand on its own, be enthusiastic on its own and be a trail blazer for the society.

-Character that can readily allow itself to be fed by the energies of the being and that submits itself to the work on hand, generates personality.

-Churchill, Roosevelt, Gorbachev are characters who rose to their own level of personality and have become Personalities.
-
That which makes the choice is the personality in life and nature.  (mostly MSS; miscellaneous extracted)

Hippies as Emergence of the Individual
The hippy movement originated in the USA as a revolt against the establishment. It was the distance beginning of the emerging individual. Though they were absorbed by the society later, the spirit of their revolt is still alive.

The Stages of Personality
Social, moral, ethical, psychological, spiritual are stages of [the development of] personality. (MSS)

Darcy Goes Beyond Character in Pride and Prejudice
Man
is not limited to character. Beyond the formed character lies the unformed personality and the individuality of each which determines our behavior is completely new, creative, fresh situations. That does not readily lend itself to perception even by the subtle perception.

One does not need subtle perception to know that Darcy is proud, arrogant and coarse. Subtle perception can reveal that beneath this surface behavior he is true and good. But even a subtle perception may not reveal that he is capable of throwing over all the norms of society and going to the rescue of Lydia and embracing Wickham as a brother-in-law for the sake of his love of Elizabeth. (MSS)

Also See Thoughts on the True Individual

See Entries on the True Individual Emerging in Society

 


The Spiritual Individual (the true personality)

The True Psychological Individual and the True Spiritual Individual
Man is becoming more individual; less influenced by the herd. The individual who is his own person is a Personality and True Psychological Individual. The individual who takes cues from the Spirit within and without is the True Spiritual Individual, a step beyond the psychological.

The True Personality
Above Personality is the Spiritual Individual; the True Personality.

21st Century and Spiritually Free Individual
The 20th Century was called the century of the common man. The 21st Century will be the century of the spiritually free individual. (MSS)

Spiritual Personality that Overcomes Limitations of your Social & Psychological Personality
We have several personalities lying in layers inside us. The social personality acts according to circumstances. Here the reward [and response, positive or negative] is for your social standing, not for your capacity. Deeper than that is the personality of psychology. Life rewards [and responds positively or negatively] here for your motive, disregarding capacity. Deepest is the Spiritual Personality which seeks spiritual experience. There, only GOOD exists. It is above life. Ability to invoke our inner Spiritual Personality overcomes our social circumstances, our motives and even our capacities. Here rewards [including positive-only life response] arise according to what you are inwardly, not what you do. (MSS, with slight additions)

Personality that is Energized by the Spirit
Personality can be shaped from above, by the Being. That personality which is energized by the Purusha [Spirit/Soul of Nature -editor] or the Being from above is the Individuality of Man. (MSS)

Personality and Spiritual Individual
Personality and true individuality go together. Spiritual individuality, taking cues from Within is a step beyond.

The True Spiritual Individual
What emerges in the Individual is the Spirit of the person or the Spirit of the capacity of the person. (MSS)

Hallmark of True Individuality is Non-Reacting Quality
He who does not react is one who rises above the Mind, as reaction is a characteristic of Mind. Individuality is precious. Non-reacting equality is its hallmark. Roark in the Fountainhead had this capacity. (MSS, with additional)

The Spiritual Individual is Beyond the Past
The spiritual individual is not limited by the formulas or realizations of the past but is moved by an original inspiration from the soul. (MSS-GJ)

Inner Personality
Th
e strength of inner Personality is spiritual. One can acquire it by patience. (MSS, extracted and edited)

Creative Power of True Individuality
The deeper plane of True Individuality is where all fresh, creative initiatives originate. (Paraphrase of MSS)

Personality vs. Individuality (of the Spirit)
Personality can also be shaped from above, by the Being. That personality which is energized by the Purusha or the Being from above is the Individuality of Man. At the spiritual level it is called the Individual Divine, Jivatma. At the level of mind and vital, it is known as Individuality. For citizens to acquire individuality in a society, that society should function in freedom. True individuality cannot be inhibited by religion, social norms, or family. The awakened soul acts in utter freedom. In the absence of freedom it does not awake. In the West, individuality is formed in a pronounced measure, especially in the USA.

Personality drawing its energy from the spirit and expressing the evolutionary energy is Individuality. Freedom, self-reliance and the value of the individual are the urge of the evolutionary energy in our times. One reason why the Americans lead the world today is that their national culture embraces and expresses these values in such great measure, even though it is at the merest physical level.

As the Spirit is fully developed in India, developing spiritual individuality is possible for the awakened Indian, awakened in his soul. Should the Indians awake in their souls and espouse Truth in their lives, they will emerge as spiritual individuals. That is the goal of the 21st Century.

Personality's Reflection of the True Self
At times of crisis, where life gives you half a minute to decide, we do readily decide and act. It may be a sudden great offer of high position, or a robber who points his gun at you demanding the key to your vault. We know the decision was quickly made. Surely it was not made according to rational thoughts that we have cultivated over the years. Nor was it according to what is good or right for us. The decision was not taken consciously, but it was taken instantaneously.

He who took the decision is your own true Self. [We call this the individual Personality.] It may not be the Spiritual Self [i.e. the Personal Evolving Soul], but it is the true self beyond the conscious thought or cherished emotions. One reaches that Self under the extreme pressure of external development, mostly as a result of danger and occasionally as a result of luck. To go to that depth consciously in thought or meditation and then invoke the Spirit from there will be an effective invocation, as it is the True "Me".
(MSS)

Discovering the Personality through Nature, the Spiritual Personality (the Person) through Yoga
Discovering the Personality is a psychological product of Nature - not that of divine consciousness - whose outer structure is social and inner composition is psychological. Yoga needs its dissolution, as it is the base of support of the ego. Success in life needs its development, the less egoistic the better. Development of personality devoid of ego is the discovery of the Person behind who is the Purusha. (MSS)

Life Presenting Moments of Truth
In anyone's life, a Moment arrives, when his own innate goodness surfaces, and life offers all the circumstances he needs to flower into a full-blown Personality. ... Those who invoke the Spirit have witnessed that such moments often occur in their lives. (MSS)

Spiritual Personality that Overcomes Limitations of your Social & Psychological Personality
We have several personalities lying in layers inside us. The social personality acts according to circumstances. Here the reward [and response, positive or negative] is for your social standing, not for your capacity. Deeper than that is the personality of psychology. Life rewards [and responds positively or negatively] here for your motive, disregarding capacity. Deepest is the Spiritual Personality which seeks spiritual experience. There, only GOOD exists. It is above life. Ability to invoke our inner Spiritual Personality overcomes our social circumstances, our motives and even our capacities. Here rewards [including positive-only life response] arise according to what you are inwardly, not what you do. (MSS. with slight additions)

Raising the Strength of Personality
One who is devoted to Mother can hope to raise the strength of his personality. Suppose a man of strong true love endowed with a personality whose strength is insufficient to consummate it calls Mother into his personality, She raises his personality to the required strength and accomplishes his goal. She acts thus - completing the incomplete - in any walk of life. She, being infinite, will be able to fill up any gap or want in any field. She acts according to the character of our call.

Her atmosphere, the benefit of it, is available to all. The more one knows of Her, the greater is the result. Even if a man knows more of himself, Her effectivity is greater. Called in, She strengthens our otherwise weak personality to the extent of our being able to complete the work on hand.
(MSS)

Choice Builds Personality
There is no field of life in which there is no gradation. At any one moment, you are presented with all the gradations. How you respond determines your future course. It also depends on all the choices you make before you reach your goal. That which makes the choice is the personality in life and nature. In the soul, the psychic makes the choice. The psychic is the soul in nature.

Making a choice helps to build personality. (MSS)

Various Levels of Response to Another's Refractory Behavior
To put up with another's refractory behaviour is excellent manners; not to be disturbed inwardly by such behaviour is a noble expression of character; to be able to smile at another's lack of culture is strength of personality, all of which will yield good, desirable, social GOOD of domestic peace each at its own level. To conceive the other person's substandard behaviour as a true reflection of what one is inside [one's own self] is a spiritual realisation of rare strength. By invoking the Spirit from such an inner poise, one will be uplifted into Peace ... which will abide with him forever. (MSS)

From Personality to Light
The Personality must move downwards to create light. The values of personality are seeds of light. He who has light in the body can recognize the objects as Brahman. Brahman is organised as consciousness progresses through organisation. E.g. the Westerners body has no light, but he has Personality. He can take this approach to light. (MSS, modified) 

See Additional Thoughts on the Spiritual Individual

See Entries on the True Individual Emerging in Society

The Limitations of Western Individuality

 


MISCELLANEOUS
(top)

On Sleep
In sleep, people can touch Satchitananda and replenish their energy. If one is unconscious, he touches the Inconscient and wakes up exhausted. Sleep is the period when the surface being is at rest and the subliminal is at work. (paraphrase of MSS)

Hunger
Hunger is semi-conscious desire of semi-conscious forms to continue their existence.

The Storage of Our Thoughts
Q: Where are thoughts "stored;" in the brain or in a universal mind that we somehow share, or elsewhere. A: I do not know the location in the brain. In the consciousness, thoughts are stored in the gross layer of consciousness. (MSS) There is also the subtle and causal layer of consciousness.

To Do in the Ascent, To Be in the Descent
We discover ever higher ways of doing in life, starting with the body's instinct, and rising to the mind's wisdom, and the spirit's truth. To do then is in the ascent (i.e. from matter to spirit); whereas to be begins in the Spirit, the Being, and comes down to our minds and to our bodies in the descent.

The Sexes
Why were the sexes created? One answer may lie on the fact that the universe was created in division and duality, to enable the greatest possibility for Delight in its discovery of its highest nature.

Traits of Succeeding Generations
Biological and psychological rules about the succeeding generations are worth considering in our context to know where we have fallen into their trap.

  • Traits become more pronounced in the next generation.

  • They reverse as a subconscious complex.

  • The next generation sticks to the same trait in a sublimated fashion under the impression of having given it up.

  • They follow the earlier generation in another walk of life.

  • The truth is the succeeding generation can change ONLY to the extent the society has changed.

When moving from the social surface to the psychological depth, one can SEE he is exactly in the mould of his own family in one way or another. (MSS)
 

 

TO BE CATEGORIZED

 

Overview

Planes of Our Being

The planes of our being are physical/vital (emotional, social), mental and spiritual in the vertical scale; and surface to the depths, culminating in our True Self, in the horizontal scale.  (2009-2011 Q1)

 

Man is (Qualified) Mental

Man is mostly a mental; being, though his mentality is dominated by the needs of his physical and vital nature.

 

Valuing All Planes of Existence

It is helpful to value all planes of existence -- physical, vital, emotional, psychological, mental, and spiritual; as well as the subtle (that which is unseen and invisible) and causal (the capacity to create something out of nothing). The advanced personality is in harmony with all of those dimensions of existence, and is on a path to integrate them in his thoughts and life actions. (2009-2011 Q1)

 

Human Traits and Personal Growth

-Each of us is an amalgam of infinite traits. They express positively and negatively. Those who are committed to personal growth consciously or subconsciously accentuate the positive, and recognize and then overcome the negative.

-Personal growth occurs when we overcome our limitations at the physical, vital; and mental levels; elevating them to their highest potential. (already copied) (2009-2011 Q1)

 

 

Makeup of the Individual

 

Personality

Happiness of the Unformed Personality

The energies of happiness are absorbed by the unformed personality for the purposes of formation. (MSS)

 

Achievement  and Personality

Achievement is determined by the personality. (MSS)

 

I

Makeup Human

Knowledge

Unconscious Sense-Based Mind
-Mind looking at senses for a knowledge of matter is looking out and is unconscious.

-Now mind is on the surface bound to Time, ego and the finite form. (MSS)

 

I

Makeup-subconscient

Moving from Subconscient to Conscient
Detachment from senses and detachment from intellectuality makes one move from the subconscient to the conscient. (MSS)

 

I

Makeup, Psychic

Achieve, Spiritual

Spiritual, Psychic

The Power of the Evolving Spirit to Move Matter Perfectly
Spirit in the body is the unevolving Spirit. There is also the Psychic in the body which is the evolving Spirit. That Spirit moves Matter from the mind. It controls life precisely. That is the capacity Man acquires when he invokes the Force or Spirit. (MSS, abridged)

 

I

Human Makeup, Negatives, Limitations?

Negativity Created by the Male
The accumulation of political power, material prosperity, religious enlightenment, scholarship, industrial and imperial power and the social preeminence of the male have created the politically oppressed, the poor, the ignorant superstitious masses, the lumpen proletariat and the uneducated docile woman drowned  in domestic chores. All these are reversing in varying measures. (MSS)

 

I

Human Makeup Spirit/Spiritual Mind

Silence, Vision, Illumination, and Intuition
When thoughts are eliminated altogether from his mind, then right thoughts come on their own. It is the power of silence. When thoughts come in the form of images, one acquires the power of mental vision. When without the help of either thought or vision, the light of knowledge is able to reach the mind one has had an illumination. When knowledge simply descends and enters in full without thought it is intuition.


Higher Consciousness, Ascent, and Descent
Higher consciousness is a movement in the ascent that enables a perfection of the planes in the descent.

Emotion is Born in the Human
Sensation is primary, is of the animal. Emotion is of the heart, is born only in the human being. (MSS)

Higher Consciousness, Ascent, and Descent
Higher consciousness is a movement in the ascent that enables a perfection of the planes in the descent.

Beyond Consciousness & Substance to their Surface & Depth
Take one of the four levels of Spirit, mind, vital and physical and divide it into consciousness and substance. These two subdivide into surface and depth. (MSS)

MSS Articles on  Human Personality [to be parsed out]

Wills at Several Levels of the Personality
Organisation of Personality
Composition of Human Personality
Human Personality
Human Development
Psychological DNA

One Becomes Creative When One is Unique
Writers, artists, musicians and poets are unique expressions of human Personality. If they are proud of anything, it is their creativity. One becomes creative when he is unique. (MSS)

Our Own Creativity is Ultimately the Creativity of the Divine
Creative personalities create unique products, but their theme is social, what all society happily receives and endorses. A writer feels that what he writes is his OWN thought. Yoga says thoughts are not ours, they are universal and they pass through our minds. (MSS)

Western Mind, Individualization, and Loss of the Divine
Developing one's capacities is great, including one's individuality and personal values and skills. Yet, ironically developing such capacities increasingly makes man forget the Divine Spirit. To lose faith in the Divine and shift that faith to oneself is in essence Westernization of the Mind. All the values that issue from that mind-set are values that can make the human personality dry, even rotten. We should understand that man is man because the Divine Spirit dwells in him. Man cut off from those springs of Spirit is a bundle of flesh and a basket of skills worth throwing away. Let him instead find the spirit, even as he develops his capacities. In that way he will move from the Westernization of Mind to the Universalization of Spirit. (Based on a thought of MSS)

 

Spiritual

On Being Human
What characterizes being human?
-Non-cannibalistic sympathy that tends to compassion is human.
-Truth, unity, goodness, knowledge, power and Love characterize being human.
(Paraphrase of MSS)

 

 


 

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