Can We Expand/Widen Our Consciousness? =
== Union With the Divine in Works ==
… we can have the union with the Divine in works in its extreme wideness, if not yet on its most luminous heights; for we perceive no longer merely Nature or the modes of Nature, but become conscious, in our physical movements, in our nervous and vital reactions, in our mental workings, of a Force greater than body, mind and life which takes hold of our limited instruments and drives all their motion. There is no longer the sense of ourselves moving, thinking or feeling but of that moving, feeling and thinking in us. This force that we feel is the universal Force of the Divine, which, veiled or unveiled, acting directly or permitting the use of its powers by beings in the cosmos, is the one Energy that alone exists and alone makes universal or individual action possible. For this force is the Divine itself in the body of its power; all is that , power of act, power of thought and knowledge, power of mastery and enjoyment, power of love. Conscious always and in everything, in ourselves and in others, of the Master of Works possessing, inhabiting, enjoying through this Force that is himself, becoming through it all existences and all happenings…<ref>Sri Aurobindo. ( 1999). The master of the work. In The synthesis of yoga I.http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/ 23/ the- master-of-the- work# p17</ref>
There are two different things. One is the consciousness actually going out of the body—but that brings a deep sleep or trance. The other is the consciousness lifting itself out of the body and taking its stand outside it—above and spread round in wideness. That can be a condition of the Yogin in the waking state—he does not feel himself to be in the body but he feels the body to be in his wide free self, he is delivered from limitation in the body consciousness. <ref>Sri Aurobindo. (2014). Ascent to the higher planes. In Letters on yoga III. http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/30/ascent-to-the-higher-planes#p27</ref>
== Love ==
<div> This pure wideness is brought into the intensity of the sacrifice of love when into all our activities there is poured the spirit and power of a divine infinite joy and the whole atmosphere of our life is suffused with an engrossing adoration of the One who is the All and the Highest. For then does the sacrifice of love attain its utter perfection when, offered to the divine All, it becomes integral, catholic and boundless, and when, uplifted to the Supreme, it ceases to be the weak, superficial and transient movement men call love and becomes a pure and grand and deep uniting Ananda.<ref>Sri Aurobindo. (1999). The ascent of the sacrifice - II. In The synthesis of yoga I. http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/23/the-ascent-of-the-sacrifice-ii#p1</ref> </div> <div> As with individual, so with universal Love; all that widening of the self through sympathy, goodwill, universal benevolence and beneficence, love of mankind, love of creatures, the attraction of all the myriad forms and presences that surround us, by which mentally and emotionally man escapes from the first limits of his ego, has to be taken up into a unifying divine love for the universal Divine. <ref> Sri Aurobindo. (1999). The ascent of the sacrifice II. In The synthesis of yoga I. http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/23/the-ascent-of-the-sacrifice-ii#p7</ref> </div> <div> Knowing Him too in all beings, perceiving the glory and beauty and joy of the Beloved everywhere, we transform our souls into a passion of universal delight and a wideness and joy of universal love. <ref>Sri Aurobindo. (1999). Oneness. In The synthesis of yoga I. http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/23/oneness#p10</ref> </div> == Surrender ==
One starts by an intense idea and will to know or reach the Divine and surrenders more and more one's ordinary personal ideas, desires, attachments, urges to action or habits of action so that the Divine may take up everything. Surrender means that, to give up our little mind and its mental ideas and preferences into a divine Light and a greater knowledge, our petty personal troubled blind stumbling will into a great calm tranquil luminous Will and Force, our little restless tormented feelings into a wide intense divine Love and Ananda, our small suffering personality into the one Person of which it is an obscure outcome. If one insists on one's own ideas and reasonings, the greater Light and Knowledge cannot come or else is marred and obstructed in the coming at every step by a lower interference; if one insists on one's own desires and fancies, that great luminous Will and Force cannot act in its own true power—for you ask it to be the servant of your desires; if one refuses to give up one's petty ways of feeling, eternal Love and supreme Ananda cannot descend or is mixed and is spilt from the effervescing crude emotional vessel. No amount of ordinary reasoning can get rid of that necessity of surmounting the lower in order that the higher may be there.
== Oneness ==
But the consciousness can also widen and begin to be first in direct contact with an immense range of things in the world, then to contain them as it were,—as it is said to see the world in oneself,—and to be in a way identified with it. To see all things in the self and the self in all things—to be aware of one being everywhere, aware directly of the different planes, their forces, their beings—that is universalisation.
<ref>The Mother. (2003). Series one. In More answers from the mother.
== Aspiration ==
But there must be enough aspiration and adhesion in the being to make the expansion of the being, the expansion of consciousness possible. For, to tell the truth, everybody is small, small, small, so small that there is not enough room to put any supramental in! It is so small that it is already quite filled up with all the ordinary little human movements. There must be a great widening to make room for the movements of the Supermind.
(The Mother, 27 June 1956)
<ref>The Mother. (2003). 27 June 1956. In Questions and answers 1956.
== Find Your Psychic and Unite With It ==
Naturally, it is to widen and illumine your consciousness—but how to do it? Your own consciousness... to widen and illumine it. And if you could find, each one of you, your psychic and unite with it, all the problems would be solved.
(The Mother, 8 February 1973)
<ref>The Mother. (2003). 8 February 1973. In On education.
It all depends upon where the consciousness places itself and centralises itself. If the consciousness places or associates itself within the ego, you are identified with the ego—if in the mind, it is identified with the mind and its activities and so on. If the consciousness puts its stress outside, it is said to live in the external being and becomes oblivious of its inner mind and vital and inmost psychic; if it goes inside, puts its centralising stress there, then it knows itself as the inner being or, still deeper, as the psychic being; if it ascends out of the body to the planes where self is naturally conscious of its wideness and freedom, it knows itself as the self and not the mind, life or body. It is this stress of consciousness that makes all the difference. That is why one has to concentrate the consciousness in heart or mind in order to go within or go above.
<ref>Sri Aurobindo. (2012). Sachchidananda: Existence, consciousness, force and bliss. In Letters on yoga I.
The spiritual experience does not even despise dreams and visions; it is known to it that many of these things are not dreams at all but experiences on an inner plane and if the experiences of the inner planes which lead to the opening of the inner self into the outer so as to influence and change it are not accepted, the experiences of the subtle consciousness and the trance consciousness, how is the waking consciousness to expand out of the narrow prison of the body and the body-mind and the senses? For, to the physical mind untouched by the inner awakened consciousness, even the experience of the cosmic consciousness or the Eternal Self might very well seem merely subjective and unconvincing. It would think, "Curious, no doubt, rather interesting, but very subjective, don't you think? Hallucinations, yes?" The first business of the spiritual seeker is to get away from the outward mind's outlook and to look at inward phenomena with an inward mind to which they soon become powerful and stimulating realities. If one does that, then one begins to see that there is here a wide field of truth and knowledge, in which one can move from discovery to discovery to reach the supreme discovery of all. But the outer physical mind, if it has any ideas about the Divine and spirituality at all, has only hasty a priori ideas miles away from the solid ground of inner truth and experience.
<ref>Sri Aurobindo. (2014). The value of experiences. In Letters on yoga III.
It is a factor in all human natures,—restless, desiring, eager, despondent, unstable. Stand back from it and do not allow it to govern or move you. There is a right part of the vital which must be used—ardent, sensitive to the higher things, capable of great love and devotion. Strengthen that and support it on the psychic and on the peace and wideness that comes from above.
<ref>Sri Aurobindo. (2014). Wrong movements of the vital. In Letters on yoga IV.
= Recommended Practices =