It is the normal process of Nature that each being, each individual experiences life, interacts with his environment and with other individuals and forms thereby his physical being, his vital being and his mental being through these interactions. What is not easily recognised, due to the unseen central being around which these aspects form and develop, is that this process systematically provides an ever-richer basis of experience and growth to the soul, the psychic being. For a long time, this growth process is something that occurs slowly and steadily across countless lifetimes.

At a point when the individual becomes conscious of the soul and its growth, it becomes possible to focus the attention on this development, and the soul can then more swiftly move to provide more direction and guidance to the process, and accentuate its progress in this direction. The Mother provides guidance about how the soul’s progress can be accentuated and made the central focus of an individual’s life experience, once he becomes aware of it.

A disciple asks: “How can one make one’s psychic personality grow?

The Mother answers: “It is through all the experiences of life that the psychic personality forms, grows, develops and finally becomes a complete, conscious and free being.”

“This process of development goes on tirelessly through innumerable lives, and if one is not conscious of it, it is because one is not conscious of one’s psychic being — for that is the indispensable starting-point. Through interiorisation and concentration one has to enter into conscious contact with one’s psychic being. This psychic being always has an influence on the outer being, but that influence is almost always occult, neither seen nor perceived nor felt, save on truly exceptional occasions.”

“In order to strengthen the contact and aid, if possible, the development of the conscious psychic personality, one should, while concentrating, turn towards it, aspire to know it and feel it, open oneself to receive its influence, and take great care, each time that one receives an indication from it, to follow it very scrupulously and sincerely. To live in a great aspiration, to take care to become inwardly calm and remain so always as far as possible, to cultivate a perfect sincerity in all the activities of one’s being — these are the essential conditions for the growth of the psychic being.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter VIII The Psychic Being and Inner Growth, pp. 160-161

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 17 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.