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Sri Aurobindo

Letters of Sri Aurobindo


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Psychic and Spiritual

Ordinarily, all the more inward and all the abnormal psychological experiences are called psychic. I use the word psychic for the soul as distinguished from the mind and vital. All movements and experiences of the soul would in that sense be called psychic, those which rise from or directly touch the psychic being; where mind and vital predominate, the experience would be called psychological (surface or occult). “Spiritual” has nothing to do with the Absolute, except that the experience of the Absolute is spiritual. All contacts with self, the higher consciousness, the Divine above are spiritual. There are others that could not be so sharply classified and set off against each other.

The spiritual realisation is of primary importance and indispensable. I would consider it best to have the spiritual and psychic development first and have it with the same fullness before entering the occult regions. Those who enter the latter first may find their spiritual realisation much delayed – others fall into the mazy traps of the occult and do not come out in this life. Some no doubt can carry on both together, the occult and the spiritual, and make them help each other; but the process I suggest is the safer.

The governing factors for us must be the spirit and the psychic being united with the Divine – the occult laws and phenomena have to be known but only as an instrumentation, not as the governing principles. The occult is a vast field and complicated and not without its dangers. It need not be abandoned but it should not be given the first place.


1 SABCL, volume 22: has not a necessary connection with the Absolute. Of course the experience of the Absolute is spiritual.


2 SABCL, volume 22: or one set


3 SABCL, volume 22: another


Current publication:

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Himself and the Ashram // CWSA.- Volume 35. (≈ 26 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2011.- 658 p.

Other publications:

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga // SABCL.- Volume 22. (≈ 28 vol. of CWSA).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971.- 502 p.

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga. I // CWSA.- Volume 28. (≈ 22 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2012.- 590 p.

Sri Aurobindo. Letters of Sri Aurobindo: In 4 Series.- Second Series [On Yoga].- Bombay: Sri Aurobindo Sircle, 1949.- 599 p.