THE SELF – MERE – SRI AUROBINDO
In most religions, and perhaps in most philosophies also, it is the vital being which is called “soul”, for it is said that “the soul leaves the body”, while it is the vital being which leaves the body. One speaks of “saving the soul”, “wicked souls”, “redeeming the soul”…
but all that applies to the vital being, for the psychic being has no need to be saved! It does not share the faults of the external person,
it is free from all reaction.
Everyone has in himself a being which he calls the “Self”, and which is completely silent and immobile.
So, if one becomes conscious of this being in himself, one has the experience of the silent Self. It is an immobile and silent being which is within, which is like an aspect of the true being and also an aspect of the witness… It is this silent being which, when it turns to things and looks at them, becomes the witness.
But it can turn inwards, not look on, be in its silent contemplation. It depends
on which side one turns to. It is a solid point in the being,
in which the light of truth shines.
The soul is a kind of individual concentration of this Grace, its individual representative in the human being. The soul is something particular to humanity, it exists only in man.
It is like a particular expression of the spirit in the human being.
The beings of the other worlds do not have a soul, but they can live in the spirit. One might say that the soul is a delegation of the spirit in mankind, a special help to lead it faster. It is the soul that makes individual progress possible. The spirit, in its original form, has a more general, more collective action.
The soul or spark is there before the development of an organised vital and mind. The soul is something of the Divine that descends into the evolution as a divine Principle within it to support the evolution of the individual out of the Ignorance into the Light.
as its instruments. It is the soul that is immortal
while the rest disintegrates;
it passes from life to life carrying its experience in essence and the continuity of the evolution of the individual.
Every soul is not evolved and active; nor is every soul turned directly to the Divine before practicing yoga. For a long time it seeks the Divine through men
and things much more than directly.
The soul is always pure, but the knowledge and force in it are involved and come out only as the psychic being evolves and grows stronger.
The soul is at first but a spark and then a little flame of godhead burning
in the midst of a great darkness; for the most part
it is veiled in its inner sanctum
and to reveal itself it has to call on the mind, the life-force and the physical consciousness and persuade them, as best they can, to express it; ordinarily, it succeeds at most in suffusing their outwardness with its inner light and modifying with its purifying fineness their dark obscurities or their coarser mixture.
There is in it an inner mind, an inner vital being of ourselves, an inner or subtle-physical being larger than our outer being and nature.
The true soul secret in us…burns in the temple of the inmost heart
behind the thick screen of an ignorant mind, life and body,
not subliminal but behind the veil,
– this veiled psychic entity is the flame of the Godhead always alight within us, inextinguishable even by that dense unconsciousness of any spiritual self within which obscures our outward nature. It is a flame born out of the Divine and, luminous inhabitant of the Ignorance, grows in it till it is able to turn it towards the Knowledge.
It is the concealed Witness and Control, the hidden Guide, the Daemon of Socrates, the inner light or inner voice of the mystic.
It is that which endures and is imperishable in us from birth to birth,
untouched by death, decay or corruption, an indestructible
spark of the Divine.