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Expansion and Widening Summary

Widen your consciousness to the dimension of the earth and you will have a place for everything. [1]

(The Mother, 20 September 1971)

What is Expansion and Wideness?

Man is there to affirm himself in the universe, that is his first business, but also to evolve and finally to exceed himself: he has to enlarge his partial being into a complete being, his partial consciousness into an integral consciousness; he has to achieve mastery of his environment but also world-union and world-harmony; he has to realise his individuality but also to enlarge it into a cosmic self and a universal and spiritual delight of existence. [2]

That growth into the full mental being is the first transitional movement towards human perfection and freedom; it does not actually perfect, it does not liberate the soul, but it lifts us one step out of the material and vital absorption and prepares the loosening of the hold of the Ignorance. [3]

As the individual has a consciousness of his own, so too there is a universal consciousness, a cosmic Being, a universal Mind, a universal Life, a universal physical conscious Nature. We are unaware of it because we are shut up in our outer physical selves. By the inner awakening and the opening above we become aware of this cosmic consciousness, cosmic Nature and cosmic Self and its movements; our consciousness can widen and become one with it. The forces of universal Nature are always working on us without our knowing how they act or being able to get any general control over their action on us. By becoming conscious of the universal we are able to detect this working and control it. [4]

Why Expand and Widen?

This growth of the conscious being, an expansion, an increasing self-expression, a more and more harmonised development of his constituent members is the whole meaning and all the pith of human existence. It is for this meaningful development of consciousness by thought, will, emotion, desire, action and experience, leading in the end to a supreme divine self-discovery, that Man, the mental being, has entered into the material body. [5]

We are at a decisive hour in the history of the earth. It is preparing for the coming of the superman and because of this the old way of life is losing its value. We must strike out boldly on the path of the future despite its new demands. The pettinesses once tolerable, are tolerable no longer. We must widen ourselves to receive what is going to come. [6]

Absolved in the cosmic wideness, released from ego, his personality reduced to a point of working of the universal Force, himself calm, liberated, deathless in universality, motionless in the Witness Self even while outspread without limit in unending Space and Time, he can enjoy in the world the freedom of the Timeless. [7]

A larger psychic and emotional relation with God and the world, more deep and plastic in its essence, more wide and embracing in its movements, more capable of taking up in its sweep the whole of life, is imperative. [8]

Wideness and calmness are the foundation of the Yogic consciousness and the best condition for inner growth and experience. If a wide calm can be established in the physical consciousness, occupying and filling the very body and all its cells, that can become the basis for its transformation; in fact, without this wideness and calmness the transformation is hardly possible. [9]

How to Expand or Widen?

The easiest way is to identify yourself with something vast. For instance, when you feel that you are shut up in a completely narrow and limited thought, will, consciousness, when you feel as though you were in a shell, then if you begin thinking about something very vast, as for example, the immensity of the waters of an ocean, and if really you can think of this ocean and how it stretches out far, far, far, far, in all directions, like this (Mother stretches out her arms), how, compared with you, it is so far, so far that you cannot see the other shore, you cannot reach its end anywhere, neither behind nor in front nor to the right or left... it is wide, wide, wide, wide... you think of this and then you feel that you are floating on this sea, like that, and that there are no limits... This is very easy. Then you can widen your consciousness a little. (The Mother, 29 September 1954)


It is like the people who cultivate their intelligence, who learn, read, think, compare, study. These people's minds widen and they are much vaster and more understanding than those who live without mental education, with a few petty ideas which sometimes are even contradictory in their consciousness and govern them totally because these are the only ones they have and they think these are unique ideas which should guide their life; these people are altogether narrow and limited whereas those who are trained and have studied—this at least widens their minds and they can see, compare ideas and see that all possible ideas are there in the world and that it is a pettiness, an absurdity to be attached to a limited number of ideas and consider them the exclusive expression of truth. (The Mother, 23 February 1955) [11]

...if you.. realise your little person which is a second in eternity, not even a second, you know, imperceptible, a fragment of a second in eternity, that the whole world has unrolled before this and will unroll yet, indefinitely—before, behind—and that... well, then suddenly you see the utter ridiculousness of the importance you attach to what happened to you... Truly you feel... to what an extent it is absurd to attach any importance to one's life, to oneself, and to what happen to you. And in the space of three minutes, if you do this properly, all unpleasantness is swept away. Even a very deep pain can be swept away. Simply a concentration like this, and to place oneself in infinity and eternity. Everything goes away. One comes out of it cleansed. One can get rid of all attachments and even, I say, of the deepest sorrows—of everything, in this way—if one knows how to do it in the right way. It immediately takes you out of your little ego. There we are. (The Mother, 29 September 1954) [12]

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) [13]

True surrender enlarges you; it increases your capacity; it gives you a greater measure in quality and in quantity which you could not have had by yourself. This new greater measure of quality and quantity is different from anything you could attain before: you enter into another world, into a wideness which you could not have entered if you did not surrender. It is as when a drop of water falls into the sea; if it still kept there its separate identity, it would remain a little drop of water and nothing more, a little drop crushed by all the immensity around, because it has not surrendered. (The Mother, 4 August 1929) [14]

Outcomes of Expansion of Consciousness

Widening and expansion gives a great joy of being, a clearer sense of truth and things and an inner silence. We see things in a larger light and detect the origin and law of our feelings, emotions and sensations. The thick layer of ego gets thinned and we see ourselves reduced to a point of working of the universal force.[15] We are not carried away by the shocks and injuries, we deal with it in a calm equality. [16]

What Prevents Expansion of Consciousness?

  • The submental, subconscient, inconscient influence on nature. [17]Disrupts the mind’s natural tendency to reach beyond the mind by laying down its impulses and instincts.
  • Fear, distrust and skepticism [18]
  • Volatile vital with its desires, restlessness and unstability. [19]

Methods and Practices to Expand One’s Consciousness

  • Connection with the vastness of nature - gazing at the sky/stars/water body and expand into it. [20]
  • Do many different things - music, painting, reading varied subjects, learning languages, explore/travel.
  • When bored or troubled - thinking of the immensity and eternity of space and time before us. [21]
  • Participating in some work everyday as an expression of goodwill for all.

Content curated by Archana

Expansion and Widening Compilation


  2. Sri Aurobindo. (2005). The progress to knowledge -god,man and nature. In The life divine II.
  3. Sri Aurobindo. (2005). Out of the sevenfold ignorance towards the sevenfold knowledge. In The life divine II.
  4. Sri Aurobindo. (2012). Sachchidananda:existence,consciousness-force and bliss. In Letters on yoga I.
  5. Sri Aurobindo. (1999). Self-surrender in works - the way of the gita. In synthesis of yoga I.
  7. Sri Aurobindo. (1999). The master of the work. In The synthesis of yoga I.
  8. Sri Aurobindo. (1999). The ascent of the sacrifice II. In The synthesis of yoga I.
  9. Sri Aurobindo. (2013). Peace - the basis of the sadhana. In Letters on yoga II.
  10. The Mother. (2003). 29 September 1954. In Questions and answers (1954).
  11. The Mother. (2003). 23 February 1955. In Questions and answers (1955).
  12. The Mother. (2003). 29 September 1954. In Questions and answers (1954).
  13. The Mother. (2003). 8 February 1973. In On education.
  14. The Mother. (2002). 4 august 1929. In Questions and answers (1929-1931).