Inspired by last week’s post, Robert Forman’s Enlightenment: thoughts on rebirthing a sacred culture, I wanted to share a summative essay I came across: Some Central Themes in Sri Aurobindo’s Works (PDF). For those of you who don’t know this gent, he was a yogi and mystic who lived at the turn of the last century. Aurobindo wrote voluminously on the evolution of consciousness and what he called “Integral Yoga,” which he believed was a new form of spiritual practice centered around bringing a higher, spiritual consciousness down into the material world. For the early part of his life, he was a British educated political activist in India. Following a series of dramatic spiritual events (the central one was quoted at the end of Eugene’s article), he left the political scene to become a full fledged Yogi.
Some of his major themes center around involution, which is something like the process of “descent” whereby spiritual energies become embodied and physical, and evolution, where these physical bodies actualize their spiritual nature. Aurobindo had a spiritual partner, the Mother (Mirra), and the both of them lived at an Ashram for the large part of their lives. (more…)