Integral Yoga and Human Defects (I) : the Sense of Sin

(Translation from the original French article posted just before)

On this Research Blog about integral conscious evolution as offered by the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, although one finds the description of my most important spiritual experiences and realizations – including those lived by my body-cells – exemplifying what is nowadays more and more possible, I have nevertheless not tried at all to hide the fact that I have had serious defects in my human personality, and that some of them are still there, still active in my being.

Some of the visitors to this blog have expressed their surprise and even their admiration for this absence of dissimulation on my part about my imperfections. past and present.

If I speak about them so openly, it is not just for the sake of indispensable honesty, but also because it is best that each of those who read me realize from the start that one cannot but have some defects, given human nature as it still is for the time being, that is, centered around the surface ego and so also governed by it instead of by the deeper divine Being in us, our ‘Psychic Being’, as Sri Aurobindo and the Mother call it.

Developing over lifetime upon lifetime around the original Spark of our Soul, it is precisely this Psychic Being (= Being of the Soul) who, I insist on that again and again, through its growing influence upon our more external parts (the Mental, the Vital and the Physical) turns them more and more towards the Divine, out of love, and gives them the desire to find again their own divine nature and mode of functioning. In this way it makes them accept and even seek with more and more joy their own transformation, gradually, towards this divine state which is their true eternal way of being.

But this cannot happen in one day, far from it, and the ego still quite present for a long time in the external consciousness of each one keeps trying to ever give to oneself – and to others – the best impression it can of itself!

The very fact for some people of starting to aspire towards Divine Perfection (a kind of Impeccability, the way the mental human consciousness erroneously conceives of it), can very well at first reinforce this desire to seem perfect, at the cost of avoiding to see what needs to change in ourselves…

Sri Aurobindo, with the delicious humor he loves using, in this case in his ‘Thoughts & Aphorisms’, describes for us the situation as follows:

68.’The sense of sin was necessary in order that man might become disgusted with his own imperfections. It was God’s corrective for egoism. But man’s egoism meets God’s device by being very dully alive to its own sins and very keenly alive to the sins of others.’

It even often happens, as the Mother points out in another piece of writing, that a person denounces or ridicules in someone else a defect… which that person himself also has just the same way, or even worse,  than the other one does, and everybody can see it but that person himself!… Or it is in the other one a simple variation of the same defect, but that renders the person unable to recognize it in himself, because of the different form it takes there…

Often I have had a feeling of incredible Comedy, seeing this general situation among us human beings everywhere upon Earth, who love so much to mock each other, overtly or not, while most often we share the same defects without realizing it! The Human Comedy, oh yes, with all of us human clowns not aware of being so ridiculous with our puffed up egoes…

But it all can turn also into a Tragedy, if some of those who pride themselves in believing they are perfect do not just mock others, but accuse them as well, or even worse, out of supposed religious zeal or whatever, condemn them and kill them for their supposed sins, sometimes through the most horrible ways they can invent.

It is not only at the time of Jesus-Christ nor only in that area of the world that such dangerous Pharisees have been a plague, or still are. So great can be the force of this self-blinding effect in the human ego. The ‘whitewashed sepulchres’, as he called them, under their pretense or complete illusion of impeccability, hide actually more to their own eyes than to those of others an insincerity which, if it becomes total, ineluctably brings about   rottenness, inner death.

Happy have been those who were trying to trap him through that question about whether or not they must stone to death that woman adulteress caught in the act: the so simple reply from Jesus,

‘Let him who is sinless throw the first stone at her’…

those simple words made a more lucid look flash within them upon themselves, and suddenly faced with their own fallibility and self-condemnation they all withdrew one after the other in silence, the head bent, without committing the murder.

For once, and in circumstances in which the consequences were potentially so grave, the spontaneous desire to appear more perfect than the others didn’t prevail in the end. But how many times this desire goes unnoticed within ourselves and blinds us to our own imposture, grown so usual that one doesn’t see it anymore for what it really is…  Or – and Mother smiles mentioning that – one exclaims immediately that in our case ‘it is not the same thing’: what we get indignant about in others, when we are the ones doing it, spontaneously in our eyes it is never the same thing…

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