Everywhere we look, whether in material Nature, or in the vital or mental domains, we see a play of forces, attraction and repulsion, centrifugal and centripetal, positive and negative, dark and light, etc. It appears to be a core principle of the creation to utilize these opposing forces to create the dynamic needed for a progressive evolution of consciousness. Opposition appears to strengthen the forces of growth. We find that trees and plants subjected to somewhat strong winds, for instance tend to root themselves more firmly.

What is not so obvious to us is the conscious intentionality behind the operation of these forces. This is mainly due to our limited viewpoint that treats what we cannot directly see and understand as simply a mechanism, rather than the actions and resultant impacts of conscious entities making conscious choices. We may experience various negative consequences in the world, we may become angry, enraged, lustful or otherwise extremely passionate and we simply treat this as a response to events that occur without specific conscious causation.

We can see, and in fact, often do learn about manipulation that takes place among human society, to pressure people into responding or acting in a certain manner. This is done through creation of fear, desire, pressure of various sorts, appeals to vanity, offers of fame, power, wealth or sex, and through false or misleading information. Rumor and gossip are also powerful means of dissemination of implied meaning that cause people to respond in very predictable ways generally. The pressure tends to create specific types of responses based on the Guna that is predominant in the situation.

It should not surprise us then, that it is possible, indeed likely, that beings who operate on another plane, such as the vital plane, would work to manipulate our responses for their own benefit or enjoyment. Since most people have little direct experience with beings on these other planes, they tend to disregard this potential source of what they experience in the outer world. That is however like saying that because we cannot see it, electricity has no impact. There are individuals who have had direct experience of vital beings and their interactions in the human world, and they report what could be expected based on what others see occurring in the outer world. In other words, just as electricity has a cause and an effect, so too do the vital or mental beings and their action have cause and effect.

We see in all the great religious traditions, and even in the great literature of the world, an individual or multiple individuals having such relations and interactions. Jesus was tempted by the devil. Buddha was confronted by Mara. Moses had direct interaction with God to free the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and to lead his people to Palestine and to establish the 10 Commandments to be followed by them. Zoroastrianism described the conflict between Light and Darkness. The Rig Veda told of the hiding of the light and the need to liberate it from the control of the forces of darkness. Hamlet was visited by the ghost of his father who drove him to action of revenge. Richard III of England was visited by the spirits of those he had wronged in his ascent to the throne. Brutus had an experience just prior to a decisive battle that evidence the action of vital powers to undermine his confidence. The Puranas are filled with stories relating the interaction of various gods with human individuals to accomplish some purpose in the world. All of these forces are seen to act with conscious intention and to act upon situations, events, circumstances and individuals in the external world we inhabit and within which we live and act.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “There are forces, and subliminal experience seems to show that there are supraphysical beings embodying those forces, that are attached in their root-nature to ignorance, to darkness of consciousness, to misuse of force, to perversity of delight, to all the causes and consequences of the things that we call evil. These powers, beings or forces are active to impose their adverse constructions upon terrestrial creatures; eager to maintain their reign in the manifestation, they oppose the increase of light and truth and good and, still more, are antagonistic to the progress of the soul towards a divine consciousness and divine existence. it is this feature of existence that we see figured in the tradition of the conflict between the Powers of Light and Darkness, Good and Evil, cosmic Harmony and cosmic Anarchy, a tradition universal in ancient myth and in religion and common to all systems of occult knowledge.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 4 Cosmic and Universal Forces, pp.86-90

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast located at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky
He is author of 20 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.
Video presentations, interviews and podcast episodes are all available on the YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/@santoshkrinsky871
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at www.aurobindo.net
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press www.lotuspress.com