As an individual begins to work with various forces or powers in the world, he gains an insight and understanding of them, and gains the benefit of making use of those powers or forces in various aspects of his life. For example, someone can learn about the anatomy and physiology of the human body. With that understanding he can develop ways to optimize his health and well-being, as well as those around him, but he can go further and begin to apply that knowledge and become a healer, a doctor, a nurse, a surgeon, etc. and use that knowledge to aid numerous people in the course of his life.

Similarly, someone can focus on the power of computer programming and learn how to write programs to instruct computers to undertake various tasks, which may be simply to organize one’s own files, or may eventually be used to send rockets to the moon!

The same is true of the hidden or occult forces that operate in our lives. Through observation and focus, an individual can begin to understand the play of these forces and utilize that knowledge to advance oneself in the furtherance of his life’s goals. At some point, he gains the power, not just of observation and understanding, but also the ability to apply and utilize those forces and change results in his life based on the use of these powers. The more an individual can free himself from the limiting framework of the body-life-mind complex, and shift the standpoint to a wider and higher standpoint of a more subtle energetic level, the more clearly he will see the action of these forces and the more powerful will be his ability to use them.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “Anyone with some intelligence and power of observation who lives more in an inward consciousness can see the play of invisible forces at every step which act on men and bring about events without their knowing about the instrumentation. The difference created by yoga or by an inner consciousness — for there are people like Socrates who develop or have some inner consciousness without yoga — is that one becomes conscious of these invisible forces and can also consciously profit by them or use and direct them. That is all.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 1 Life Through the Eyes of the Yogin, pg. 3

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at 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.
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at