On 22nd February, the participants were reconnected for the second part of The Psychic Being: Your Inner Master. Again there was considerable diversity in style and approach between each of the facilitators. The first session, conducted by James Anderson looked at the flowering of the psychic being, which was described as the most important aspect of all human growth. He elucidated, “The spontaneous connection of the young child with his psychic presence is gradually smothered by the conditioning he absorbs in his upbringing. So with yoga, the task is to retrieve this connection through conscious practice. The consciousness is our torchlight. Slowly the petals of the “Deathless Rose” open and the psychic being steps forward to master our existence.” The presentation was profoundly experiential. First, the psychic being has to be found. James shared an exercise of connecting our light with the Source of Light by imagining oneself going through a tunnel. Through the darkness, people connect to the light and once the connection is achieved, a feeling of psychic presence opens every part and pore of nature to that Light which is the consciousness. This is the first step in the process of psychicising our nature
The second session, conducted by Srinivas Mulugu, looked at sadhana through psychic emergence. There was much integrity in his words. He described life as a quest. This quest is propelled by something within. It manifests in the individual and is inspired by the yearning to improve what he is. Acquiring siddhis of the physical and vital nature doesn’t contribute to the soul’s growth, it is the sadhana of the psychic being that enables the soul’s progress. The ascent to our Truth is possible because of the descent which has already taken place. In this process of ascent and descent, the little divine spark embedded inside, seeking to grow, expand and evolve, is the psychic being. People reach their psychic being through sadhana. The conscience is the first gateway in the psychic sadhana. One begins to distinguish between right and wrong and listens to the psychic intimation. It begins to influence the thoughts and emotions: this is the beginning of psychic sadhana. One learns to concentrate in silence in the middle of the chest. Psychic radiance penetrates the entire being and all the dark mental formations, justifications, and crude emotions get purified under the psychic influence on nature.
Manoj Pavitran described a novel subject of writing as a means for inner discovery and a gateway to the psychic being in a contemplative and meditative session. Guidance, he said, is already happening from within, the Inner Guide is commuting with the outer being. One needs to bring awareness to this and build a bridge between the inner and outer being. The key step in sadhana is to discern that word coming from within. For that, one must look within. One must scan the inner movements and filter out the signal from the noise. This is central to contact and expression. It is the mind that understands the language of words. It is the most developed and advanced faculty available, so purification of the mind is the starting point. By applying the intelligent will (buddhi) one starts to organise the different parts of the being, especially the vital and the physical. The training of the mind to receive the right word and training of the intelligent will is to recognise the right movements so that it can know the language, it can follow the call and learn to discern the signal from the noise. The mind needs to purify to give itself to the process. However, the mind cannot turn entirely to the Divine. It is only the psychic being that can do this. The Psychic being offers itself whereas the mind wants to be in control of things. The writing was described as a process to bring one closer to our psychic presence. One starts by setting an ideal. Self-observation is essential and consecration in detail is the key: to review our day in the light of the highest ideal we have set for us will dissolve the dark formations and enables all to invite the divine Presence through the words.
The Psychic Being, Gitanjali stated, is the ‘Rainbow Bridge’ in her illuminating session. The psychic being assumes a lot of importance in the works of Sri Aurobindo’s life-affirming spirituality because it is the bridge that keeps us in the manifestation. The other spiritual realisations like Nirvana entail the merging of the individual self into the Infinite where no individualisation possible and therefore for the Yoga of transformation, the lighting of this psychic flame becomes the bridge that connects us to the Transcendent because it is the reflection of the transcendental in the world. Gitanjali shared some recollections from her friendship with Amal Kiran (K.D. Sethna), a prominent disciple of Sri Aurobindo. So many psychic qualities were mirrored by him. Gitanjali described seven qualities: (1) selflessness – respect for others and being present for other people when required (2) aspiration for psychic progress. It is different from vital progress, which is laden with the competition. The intensity of the psychic progress lies in its purity. It has a sweetness and sense of fulfillment in its seeking (3) turning towards Satyam Shivam Sundaram, aligning to what is the Truth – Good – Beautiful. The psychic response is never a reaction; it is independent of how one is treated. It comes from an inner sense of responding to the situation (4) an absolute devotion and surrender — an aspiration to offer all the work/movements to the Supreme. No external validation is required (5) sweetness and Strength – one who is in touch with the psychic feels the world more intensely. Along with being sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, he also has the strength to plant the flower where there is mud (6) sense of living in eternity – not bound by any timelines, no sense of restlessness and immediate reward. Focused on the connection with the Divine and continue to offer all the action to the Supreme (7) equanimity – always a psychic movement.
In a detailed and profoundly compact session, Neelesh Marik looked at the process of psychisation. It was an examination of this profound shift in our being. He outlined four ways to bring order to the contamination and confusion of our nature to move us towards a greater realisation: (1) psychic distillation – an active vigilance on a moment-to-moment basis (2) nivritti over pravritti. Nivritti means desisting from impulsions, which allow a strengthening of the soul-power (3) road-testing – discerning between divine impulsions and impulsions arising from the surface nature. Road testing implies trying things out, tuning into the Mother, and obtaining her feedback (4) nature’s consent: here we move from aspiration to conversion. The tussle between soul and nature is transformed into aligned cooperation. Gradually, the fire of aspiration gets purified by concentrating in the heart centre. All our vital characteristics get imbued with s psychic quality. Psychicisation involves the lifting of the veil that separates the inner from the outer being. This allows the psychic influence to spread over our nature. There is also a breaking of the lid which allows us to connect with the silence above the head. One feels an ecstatic union with the Divine Person through the heart. From psychicisation we move to spiritualisation. Spiritualisation completes the process. One feels a Descent, a solid block of Peace descending. The baton of effort is handed over to the Divine. The mind becomes silent and receptive. The sadhana never stops. ‘All life is yoga’; the aspiration of self-perfection becomes firmly established. One finds equilibrium at the summit. The whole being orients itself towards an all-consuming Fire.
In an interactive session, Dr. Yogesh Mohan answered various questions to realise a few pointers in finding the innermost being. He said, “to know that we are on the right path we need discernment and this is acquired through concentrating within the heart. There is something within us that aspires, there you will feel joy, love and peace and this will develop the necessary discernment. We reach the psychic being through crises or beautiful situations. A window opens and Light enters. With dreams and visions, we can initially try to decode them but we must always allow the experience to go deeper without mental interference. We should not get stuck in mental stories and associations; we should just feel gratitude and move on. Physical pain: we should withdraw from the energy. All these different facets of suffering should be regarded as coming from outside and not innate to us. This reduces the impact.”
“The way every speaker brought the topic in a sincere and well-structured way was very much appreciated.”
”The workshop had excellent speakers, who provided a variety of information, experiences, and practices that can be applied in our personal journey. I enjoyed the felicitation and introduction done by Deepa for each session.”
“Every minute of every session was valuable to me, the knowledge, wisdom, and experience that each speaker brought were wonderful and I am so grateful that they were so open and sincere in their sharing.’
‘It felt like an ‘integral” understanding of the psychic – each session unique, clear, concise, practical application, contemporary. Everything one would need for these times…”
“The beautiful approach and sharing of personal practices and advice on how to reach the psychic being was present. Loved the references and explanation of the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s work.’
‘The whole sessions were effectively deliberated by learned speakers keeping in view theoretical and practical aspects.”
“The huge knowledge and expertise of the facilitators made this a very worthwhile experience.”
“How a layman like me understood and the way the topics were laid out.”
“Speakers made the subjects easy to grasp and understand.”
“The harmony of what each speaker contributed with their sincerity and love for the Mother and Sri Aurobindo was truly an offering. Their own experiences gave good inspiring guidance to all at any level of their Sadhana.”