The development of the psychic being passes through a number of stages. The first stage is when it is fully submerged in nature and has forgotten itself completely. It is the stage when the soul is identified with the darkness of material nature and is its slave. During this stage, it is helplessly carried or driven by nature with no power to understand or make choices and resist. Though the soul always carries the truth within, this truth is in the nascent seed state. This is what is called the state of complete ignorance.
Next, it starts waking up. The outer crust of the seed, that is to say, the shell of the ego begins to soften up. Nature changes from a Tamo-Rajasic or Asuric mode to a Sattwo-Rajasic or Daivi mode as the Gita explains. The soul begins to grow in light and a student and witness of its nature. It begins to seek for a higher principle of living, an ethical law, a greater Reality. One begins to seek Truth, Beauty and Good in everything. It is the stage when one feels kindness and love towards humanity. As a result of the growing soul pressure nature releases out of itself a higher faculty called Buddhi or discerning intellect which becomes from then onwards a provisional guide. Slowly the buddhi begins to separate from nature begins to look at everything dispassionately. This witness deepens and when it can separate itself from the nature completely, is detached and becomes a witness self, then it at some stage becomes integrated with the light of the soul.
Therein starts the third stage when the soul begins to turn away from nature and seeks its own Truth. It aspires for God, Light, Freedom, Immortality. As a result of this aspiration, there is progressively an upward and inward orientation, leading to a contact with the Divine Reality with all its attendant consequences. The absorbing interest that humanity takes in outer events and circumstances and the ever-changing appearances is replaced with an interest in God and Truth. Faith and devotion begin to develop and deepen as one grows in the soul and draws closer to God. Eventually, the soul becomes a master of nature and nature, too, begins to yield its hidden powers that the soul begins to integrate within. Thus, the soul grows into its fullness through all the experiences of life from a stage of utter darkness and bondage to a state of freedom and recovery of its own light.
As this development grows towards its fullness, the soul becomes aware of its mission, the special mode through which it will manifest some aspect or the other of the Divine. It takes birth consciously, chooses its circumstances best suited for its mission. It can then, if such be its destiny and secret will, consciously participate in the Divine Work, enter into darkness for the Divine Work thereby becoming one with the Divine not only in the inner static Self but also in the dynamic manifestation.