Human Science

Sri Aurobindo tells us that there are three levels of awareness for the individual: that which is subconscious to us, i.e. below the surface of our normal awareness; that which we are conscious of, i.e. what we do in fact perceive; and that which is superconscient to us, i.e. a higher, cosmic consciousness beyond our current level of awareness.

Sudden good fortune -- i.e. “life response” -- can issue from any of the three. However, the overwhelming majority of the time, it is a subconscious movement originating from points below our normal state of awareness. For example, in Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal is turned down by Eliza Bennet, who considered him proud and arrogant. As a result, he makes the stupendous effort to change his nature. When he makes that change, life responds and gives him an opportunity to resolve the elopement episode, which causes Eliza to change her view of him, leading to a second marriage proposal that she accepts. The opportunity afforded to Darcy to resolve the elopement is life responding to his inner efforts to change his wanting attitudes. The response itself however was subconscious to him, for he never intended to attract the circumstance that allowed him to demonstrate his changed nature, and, as a result, marry Eliza. In fact, in 99% of cases where sudden good fortune comes our way, it was never our intention to attract it. It was however the “intention” of our subconscious.

Conscious life response on the other hand has a decidedly different dynamic. In these situations, there is an active awareness that what is about to be done inwardly or outwardly will bring about a positive response from the environment. For example, one not only changes a wanting attitude, but simultaneously perceives that doing so will evoke a positive response. This is conscious life response, and is indeed a rare occurrence. However, it can occur through our conscious choice, and one way that can happen is by accessing the spiritual dimension. Let me explain.

If we open to the spiritual Force before undertaking an activity or dealing with a problem, one is in essence anticipating a positive response from life, and is therefore a conscious act. For example, if we consecrate an upcoming important meeting to the Higher Power, and we perceive that a life response can be generated as a result, then our initiative is a conscious one. When life then responds, we are overjoyed, yet somehow not surprised, since we anticipated something along those lines. In essence, we were aware of, even intended a possibility, which was then realized, making the process conscious.

Now this does not mean that we cannot practice conscious life response in other ways, aside from spirit-based consecration. I remember one day, I was closely observing the signs unfolding around me in anticipation of a delivery of a computer printer. I knew that if certain things transpired in a different domain (vacuuming the carpet), that a delivery person would show up at the door immediately thereafter. In other words, the vacuuming had nothing outwardly to do with the delivery, and yet I sensed the association of the two events. As it turned out, the delivery person arrived precisely at the moment I completed the vacuuming. It was in essence a conscious life response; in this case, anticipated and perceived through a subtle understanding of the unfoldings of life.

Let me add one other thought on subconscious response. If we are not intending sudden good fortune to come about, and yet it does -- i.e. it is subconscious to us in its origin -- then what is it in us that is evoking it? From a cosmic perspective, we can say that our shift in consciousness releases positive energies that align with corresponding positive conditions across space-time, bringing the fortuitous outcome to our person. But at what point does the response come about -- i.e. how much subconscious effort or energy needs to be released for the response to be triggered? The answer is that the subconscious awareness needs to reach a certain level of saturation, and when it does, the response manifests for us.

For example, we know that goodwill attracts good fortune. Let us say that over time, I have inwardly and outwardly demonstrated goodwill towards a business associate, but have noticed no response during that period. (In fact, I never considered such a possibility since it is subconscious to me.) But as my positive feeling towards that individual reaches a certain threshold, I evoke a powerful response from that person’s company in the form of the biggest business referral of my career that garners the highest commission of my life. What has happened is that our subconscious has become saturated at that point, evoking the powerful response. I.e. behind the scenes, below our conscious level of awareness, the intensity of our goodwill has reached a tipping point that evoked the results. In fact, most life response happens just this way -- i.e. it is saturation of a positive element in our being that is subconscious to our normal level of awareness.

Interestingly, even if a life response result issued from our conscious awareness, saturation of intensity, energy, etc, still needs to occur to attract the result. For example, I have often seen that if a person is having financial problems or hopes to change a dangerous situation in the world, it is only when that person’s emotions are so intense that his energies spill over, compelling the spiritual Force to move into action. Anything less will not do the trick -- i.e. not evoke the instantaneous miraculousness of life response.

Therefore, a key to becoming the master of Life Response -- i.e. so it occurs repeatedly on demand -- is to move the act from the subconscious to our conscious level of awareness. We do that by (1) becoming aware of the principles of life response, (2) evoking the right behavior in a given moment in time, and (3) having the ever-present thought that we will elicit a response by making that effort. As a result, we will generate far more and more powerful response in the course of our days.

--Roy Posner 13:57, September 11, 2009 (UTC)