A Method of Spiritual Self-discovery
“Every human being carries hidden within him the possibility of a greater consciousness which goes beyond the bounds of his present life and enables him to share in a higher and a vaster life. Indeed, in all exceptional beings it is always this consciousness that governs their lives and organises both the circumstances of their existence and their individual reaction to these circumstances.
What the human mental consciousness does not know and cannot do, this consciousness knows and does. It is like a light that shines at the centre of the being, radiating through the thick coverings of the external consciousness. Some have a vague intimation of its presence; a good many children are under its influence, which shows itself very distinctly at times in their spontaneous actions and even in their words. Unfortunately, since parents most often do not know what it is and do not understand what is happening in their child, their reaction to these phenomena is not a good one and all their education consists in making the child as unconscious as possible in this domain and concentrating all his attention on external things, thus accustoming him to think that they are the only ones that matter.” [p. 30]
“The starting-point is to seek in yourself that which is independent of the body and the circumstances of life, which is not born of the mental formation that you have been given, the language you speak, the habits and customs of the environment in which you live, the country where you are born or the age to which you belong. You must find, in the depths of your being, that which carries in it a sense of universality, limitless expansion, unbroken continuity.” [p. 32]
“The psychic being is also a great discovery which requires at least as much fortitude and endurance as the discovery of new continents. A few simple words of advice may be useful to one who has resolved to undertake it. The first and perhaps the most important point is that the mind is incapable of judging spiritual things. All those who have written on this subject have said so; but very few are those who have put it into practice. And yet, in order to proceed on the path, it is absolutely indispensable to abstain from all mental opinion and reaction.
Give up all personal seeking for comfort, satisfaction, enjoyment or happiness. Be only a burning fire for progress, take whatever comes to you as an aid to your progress and immediately make whatever progress is required.
Try to take pleasure in all you do, but never do anything for the sake of pleasure.
Never get excited, nervous or agitated. Remain perfectly calm in the face of all circumstances. And yet be always alert to discover what progress you still have to make and lose no time in making it.
Never take physical happenings at their face value. They are always a clumsy attempt to express something else, the true thing which escapes our superficial understanding.
Never complain of the behaviour of anyone, unless you have the power to change in his nature what makes him act in this way; and if you have the power, change him instead of complaining.
Whatever you do, never forget the goal which you have set before you. There is nothing great or small once you have set out on this great discovery; all things are equally important and can either hasten or delay its success. Thus before you eat, concentrate a few seconds in the aspiration that the food you are about to eat may bring your body the substance it needs to serve as a solid basis for your effort towards the great discovery, and give it the energy for persistence and perseverance in the effort.
Before you go to sleep, concentrate a few seconds in the aspiration that the sleep may restore your fatigued nerves, bring calm and quietness to your brain so that on waking you may, with renewed vigour, begin again your journey on the path of the great discovery.
Before you act, concentrate in the will that your action may help or at least in no way hinder your march forward towards the great discovery.
When you speak, before the words come out of your mouth, concentrate just long enough to check your words and allow only those that are absolutely necessary to pass, only those that are not in any way harmful to your progress on the path of the great discovery.
To sum up, never forget the purpose and goal of your life. The will for the great discovery should be always there above you, above what you do and what you are, like a huge bird of light dominating all the movements of your being.
Before the untiring persistence of your effort, an inner door will suddenly open and you will emerge into a dazzling splendour that will bring you the certitude of immortality, the concrete experience that you have always lived and always shall live, that external forms alone perish and that these forms are, in relation to what you are in reality, like clothes that are thrown away when worn out. Then you will stand erect, freed from all chains, and instead of advancing laboriously under the weight of circumstances imposed upon you by Nature, which you had to endure and bear if you did not want to be crushed by them, you will be able to walk on, straight and firm, conscious of your destiny, master of your life.” 
“…This is the first thing necessary — aspiration for the Divine. The next thing you have to do is to tend it, to keep it always alert and awake and living. And for that what is required is concentration — concentration upon the Divine with a view to an integral and absolute consecration to its Will and Purpose.
Concentrate in the heart. Enter into it; go within and deep and far, as far as you can. Gather all the strings of your consciousness that are spread abroad, roll them up and take a plunge and sink down.
A fire is burning there, in the deep quietude of the heart. It is the divinity in you — your true being. Hear its voice, follow its dictates.” 
The very mention of spiritual cure raises eyebrows in the scientific community. It is however doubtful if even the most sceptic of scientists would absolutely refrain from turning to a higher power for help when all doors appear closed at the human plane to which we seem to be so helplessly tied in our understanding and action. The limits of our sight are not the limits of light and the absence of material evidence is not an evidence of absence. But spiritual cure does have sufficient evidence if we are to trust the testimony of many patients all over the world. What is missing is a concrete measure of spiritual force in terms of quantum and even quality. That in fact is true of many forces in the world. The force of love, the force of beauty, the force of peace and of joy, and of their obverse side, the forces of hate and jealousy are all experiential realities and yet they escape measurement. Perhaps it is a divine irony that some of the best things and some of the most powerful and useful forces cannot be quantified! Of these the one and perhaps the most indispensable of all is the spiritual force.
We can take an analogy, an analogy that is nevertheless close to a deep psychological truth of our nature. Imagine a state where people live only in darkness. They have never seen light (just as we do not perceive many important areas of the visual spectrum) and therefore do not have the faculty to experience it. How would these people react to the news that there is light? Some would react with belief, others with disbelief. Many may remain simply unconcerned. A few among the scientific community may try to experiment in order to find out. Since the faculty of sight is missing (light blinds them), they will try using other well-developed faculties like that of hearing, smelling, touching, etc. Some may even try to hold it in the hands and feel it and measure its shape and weight, etc. The result is anybody’s guess. All the measures and methods of a blind man’s exploration are perfectly useless for discovering light and its power. What is needed is to temporarily suspend these known methods and try developing the faculties of sight. Once developed, then light becomes self-obvious, even when one is unable to measure or describe it. Something of this truth applies in our exploration of the spiritual consciousness and its effects upon our mind and body and life. Animals cannot understand the human ways of knowing and working even if they have all the organs and functions of the human body including the genes and the brain. This lack of understanding is because they do not have a developed mental consciousness. We see the same difference between a human child and an adult. So too one needs to first develop the spiritual consciousness and then and then alone can one hope to study, understand and utilize the spiritual consciousness for making life better upon earth.
Scientific blindness apart, there are other confusions as well regarding the existence and use of spiritual force. First is the common misconception of its absolute omnipotence under all circumstances. This confusion is mainly because to the limited human consciousness all that exceeds our understanding is labelled as spiritual and there is even a tendency to equate the spiritual action with the instantaneous and the miraculous. But there are many tiers and levels of the spiritual consciousness itself and it is only the very highest Forces that can be considered as being practically omnipotent. But this highest Omnipotence is also endowed with a widest Omniscience. It sees things in a way that is very different from our limited human seeing and concerns. Therefore this Force is not at the mercy of human consciousness. And even if it were to be moved by some touch of our misery, there is not one in a million human beings whose consciousness can receive, support and hold the action of this very Highest Force. We would break down under its pressure just as a small vessel would be washed away if kept for a refill under the Niagara Falls. A great inner purity and strength, a great inner sincerity, courage, faith and surrender are needed for its unequivocal action. Such qualities are unfortunately rare in most mental beings, even among the most developed ones. They are paradoxically found either in those with a simple childlike heart that has not yet entered into the complex mazes of the mind or else, on the other pole, in those who have gone beyond the mind and live in the luminous simplicity of the Spirit itself. It is this that makes the sceptic argue that spiritual consciousness and healing is nothing but faith healing. In reality, faith supports the action of the spiritual consciousness just as faith supports the action of medicines. No force can act with certainty without the support of faith in one form or another. The intermediate ranges of the spiritual consciousness can hasten the recovery, aid the action of medicines or whatever system is used, or act independently on its own, but there are conditions to be satisfied and the result is often a net result of the action of all the forces of harmony and disintegration put together.
Beyond all the forces, even the very highest one is the supreme mystery of the Divine Grace ready to act in its own ineffable and mysterious way, if we allow it to do so. But Grace cannot be understood or explained by any process of the human mind and its logic. Even those who have been exceptionally fortunate to receive It and experience Its action in their life cannot speak about It. And yet no discussion on healing can be complete without speaking about Grace. For in the last analysis, all healing is an act of Grace and indeed all creation, including the sweet and bitter fruits of life, are nothing else but a constant unfolding of Grace.
“There are two ways of curing an illness spiritually. One consists in putting a force of consciousness and truth on the physical spot which is affected. In this case the effect produced depends naturally on the receptivity of the person. Supposing the person is receptive; the force of consciousness is put upon the affected part and it restores order.
In other cases, if the body lacks receptivity altogether or if its receptivity is insufficient, one sees the inner correspondence with the psychological state which has brought about the illness and acts on that. But if the cause of the illness is refractory, not much can be done. Let us say the origin is vital. The vital absolutely refuses to change, it clings terrifically to the condition in which it is; then that is hopeless. You put the force, and usually it provokes an increase in the illness, produced by the resistance of the vital which did not want to accept anything. I am speaking of … the vital but it can be the mind or something else.” 
The Art and Science of Inner Alchemy
Diversion, rejection, aspiration, surrender are all useful and complimentary processes that help us grow towards an integral health. Yet they are not the permanent remedy. The final solution lies in a radical transformation of the human consciousness and all the forces to which it is now open so that immunity becomes effortless and natural to it just as speech and thought are natural to man. If illness is a vibration of falsehood, then the final remedy is not just throwing out this vibration but transmuting it into its original figure of truth. This power is not available to our human consciousness and it is only the highest Grace that can perform this radical alchemy. Therefore to invoke this Grace through prayers, meditation or whatever means and to create within oneself the best possible conditions for this Grace to act is the highest wisdom. Faith, will, peace, etc. are nothing else but a preparation for the Grace to act. In the final analysis it is Grace alone that cures and that can redeem our fallen nature and save mankind from suffering. The mystery of grace is obviously beyond the domain of science and reason and all our limited or vastest intelligence. If it were not so, then Grace would be something below the mind subject to its analysis and our all too human laws. Fortunately there are few things at least that are beyond the purview of our mind. These are the intangible mysteries of the universe, which no law can bind, and no formula claim. That is why there is hope and that is why there is possibility of change. And of all these intangible mysteries Grace is no doubt the highest of the highest!
The human body as well as the inner being is as we have seen a melting pot for many a forces. These forces have evolved over millenniums and have had their temporary utility. All these forces exist within us in so many layers of our psychological being. What is however useful at one point of evolution may not be so at another stage. An attempt to rise beyond the domain of these turbulent forces is often met by a dragging resistance from them. Illness is one of the prices we pay for this evolutionary drag. The urge to evolve therefore adds a greater burden to mankind and calls for the need for a much greater vigilance against these forces. To be truly free of this drag we need to find some way of tackling these violent energies in us. Our body is like an antenna tuned to these forces for long. We attract these forces or are attracted to them as iron to magnet. All that we do is to paint the iron which thereby prevents it for a while from the attraction of the magnet. But as the paint wears off, the inner element emerges unchanged. And with this re-emergence we have a return of the illness.
The final solution therefore lies in transmuting the iron into something else that is immune to the attraction of the magnet. In other words, if illness is a vibration of falsehood, we need to replace this vibration by the vibration of truth. This power of transmutation, this touchstone is not available to mankind at large, yet is this change the one hope of mankind. Sri Aurobindo discovered this transforming power and termed it the Supramental. It is the transforming touch of the Supramental force that can finally make human nature immune to every form of illness and accident. It is not enough to cure the maladies of man; what is necessary is to cure the malady called man. It is only the very highest Supramental Force that can annihilate the very seed of falsehood buried in our inconscient depths, pluck out the roots of ignorance from our subconscient nature, and create peace where now there is the restless and troubled stress of desire, harmony where now there is only a precarious and uncertain balance of forces, and delight where now there is the troubled mixture of pleasure, pain and indifference. Human nature is incapable of this alchemy on its own. But what is impossible to man is perfectly possible for Grace. To invoke this highest Grace through prayer, meditation, japa, sincere aspiration, and opening oneself to Its action through sincere self-giving is the royal road to this transformation. But for this we need to work upon the different planes and make them increasingly receptive to the action of this highest Supramental Grace. This alone can ensure for us the perfect fulfilment of our dream — ‘health for all’. For health is obviously not just an absence of diseases and provision of hospitals and clean water. That is the first step no doubt. But the final step would be the absence of hospitals and doctors and drugs as there would be perfect natural immunity and therefore no requirement of these.
“Self-defence by these inner means may become so strong that the body becomes practically immune as many yogis are. Still this ‘practically’ does not mean ‘absolutely’. The absolute immunity can only come with the supramental change. For below the supramental it is the result of an action of a Force among many forces and can be disturbed by a disruption of the equilibrium established — in the supramental it is a law of the nature; in a supramentalised body immunity from illness would be automatic, inherent in its new nature.” 
 The Mother, CWM 12, On Education, ‘Psychic Education and Spiritual Education’, pp. 30, 32
 The Mother, CWM 3, Questions and Answers 1929 – 1931, 7 April 1929, p. 1
 The Mother, CWM 4, Questions and Answers 1950 – 1951, 31 March 1951, p. 264
 Sri Aurobindo, CWSA 31, Letters on Yoga IV, p. 564