"If it is the sole intention of Nature in the evolution of the spiritual man to awaken him to the supreme Reality...then in the essence her work has been already accomplished and there is nothing more to be done....But we have supposed that there is a farther intention, - not only a revelation of the Spirit, but a radical and integral transformation of Nature…”.

Sri Aurobindo – The Life Divine

In a previous set of pieces I explored the work of the great spiritual teacher Sri Aurobindo in relationship to the practice of alchemy. In the initial piece in that series I examined how there may well have been two kinds (or levels) of alchemy. The first, an esoteric layer, was about “turning lead into gold” in both a technological sense and also a spiritual sense.

The combination of both the technological and spiritual (or consciousness-side) of the equation are important there. It’s what led Carl Jung to argue that the UFO was an alchemical manifestation. Jacques Vallee, following Jung’s lead, argued that the UFO was a conscious technology, a technology that affected consciousness and (presumably) a consciousness that affected technology. Hence, the UFO is a form of alchemy in the skies. (Vallee, it should be noted, held ambivalence as to whether it should be considered a “light side alchemy” or a “dark side alchemy” incidentally.)

As covered in that initial piece, there is, however, the possibility that there was a second, even deeper and more esoteric version of alchemy. In this second version of alchemy it was not about turning lead into gold but rather taking gold and transmuting it further into even purer gold—aka the Philosopher’s Stone or Elixir. The Philosopher’s Stone was not about turning lead into gold but rather about tapping into the very transmutative co-creative core of Reality itself.

In the second article in that series, I hypothesized that if there was a technological and spiritual/consciousness version of the first form of alchemy would the same hold true of this second, even deeper layer? In other words, was there some spiritual analogue to taking gold and transmuting it into even purer gold? I argued there was and it came via Sri Aurobindo (and his co-teacher Mirra Alfassa, aka The Mother). In particular Aurobindo’s notion of the Supramental and the divinization of material reality fit the bill because for Aurobindo, the Supramental realization required first classical spiritual realization as well as soul embodiment, both of which follow more the traditional lineaments of spiritual alchemy (i.e. first kind/“lead to gold” alchemy) but then in addition added a further form of transformation: namely that of the Supermind.

These three forms of transformation (soul, spiritual, and Supramental) Aurobindo called the triple transformation. In this piece I want to expand on some of those ideas as well as bring in an important thread covered in a multitude of pieces here on the site—trauma. This piece will dive deep into Aurobindo’s crucial notion of the triple transformation and how trauma work points to a needed fourth or quadruple transformation (i.e. the regulative).

I’ll begin by quickly reviewing Aurobindo’s triple transformation model and then point out why I believe somatic and emotional regulation (aka trauma work) is a necessary addition to the model.

Aurobindo labeled the three forms of transformation: psychic, spiritual, and supramental.


By psychic transformation Aurobindo meant owning the uniqueness and sovereignty of one’s own soul. Aurobindo referred to the Soul as The Psychic Being. The Psychic Being is a deeper vehicle for personal realization and embodiment than the human ego. Aurobindo powerfully and succinctly summarized psychic transformation in this way:

“When The Psychic Being awakens, it does the Yoga.”

Aurobindo’s insistence that one needed to do the work of psychic transformation before (or at least simultaneously to) the work of spiritual transformation is really crucial here. As detailed in these pieces on the causal and non-dual traditions, those ground and essence processes (spiritual in Aurobindo’s language) are more universal in nature. By themselves they can lead to questions about the value or place of uniqueness, human incarnation, even material reality itself.

By placing psychic transformation at such a critical place, Aurobindo is really emphasizing that one must walk one’s own path and not succumb to cultish tendencies, religious dogmatism, or spiritual bypassing and disconnection. With the rise in the contemporary era of public teachings of spiritual enlightenment, too often soul/psychic transformation is lost. The consequences of not having The Soul (Psychic Being) in the driver’s seat is a great deal of egoic manipulation and warping of genuine spiritual tendencies. (One example of which I detailed in my wake vs. Woke piece).

The Psychic Being does the Yoga.

In order for that to happen, the psychic being must awaken and that is the path of psychic transformation. The path of psychic transformation is the classic path of shamanic and soul work. It involves things like shadow work, owning one’s unique energy, aligning to the Divine Will and Truth, resolving one’s relationship with their ancestors, completing karmas, and learning to commune with and have right relationship with the things like nature spirits or the high strange. I’ve covered aspects of those practices in multiple pieces on the site.

In contrast to many spiritual enlightenment teachings, Aurobindo does not write off as “mixed” or “illusory” the realms of the psychic and the subtle (detailed on the site here and here). Aurobindo’s triple braid or (meta)weave of psychic, spiritual, and Supramental realizations places soul work in a space of deep and lasting value. The profusion of spiritual teachings without much psychic transformational work bears out the warnings Aurobindo gave to such a path in his writings.


Spiritual transformation flows from psychic transformation.

Spiritual transformation is Aurobindo’s term for what is traditionally as enlightenment or spiritual awakening, particularly of the non-dual variety (see for example my piece on Plotinus and Neoplatonism for more about nonduality).

In spiritual transformation one realizes the non-separation or indivisible unity of consciousness and radiance/energy (Shiva and Shakti). There is a recognition that The Divine Light is the Divine Mind (and vice versa) and that this Divine Conscious Force-Light is not only the source but also the essence of all manifest reality.

The consequent mood or experience of such realization is utter ecstatic bliss (ananda). It is the realization of the fundamental unity and seamlessness of all Reality in oneness (or zero-ness if you prefer).

Here Aurbodino largely follows traditional enlightenment but with a few very important provisos. For one, he emphasizes the equal importance of psychic transformation as mentioned but also he ultimately argues that spiritual realization as traditionally conceived is insufficient.

"If it is the sole intention of Nature in the evolution of the spiritual man to awaken him to the supreme Reality...then in the essence her work has been already accomplished and there is nothing more to be done....But we have supposed that there is a farther intention, - not only a revelation of the Spirit, but a radical and integral transformation of Nature…”.

Sri Aurobindo – The Life Divine (source here)

When Aurobindo speaks of awakening to the Supreme Reality and a revelation of Spirit he is describing spiritual transformation. That is both it’s value but also for Aurobindo, its limitation.

This limitation points to the third and, for Aurobindo, ultimately most crucial form of transformation: The Supermind (or supramental).


“We have supposed that there is a farther intention…a radical and integral transformation of Nature.”

This radical and integral transformation of Nature is the Supermind for Aurobindo. The Supermind is a bridge between The Absolute Reality (Sacchiananda) and material reality. The Supermind is the transformation of material reality into divine matter. The Supermind is the second kind of alchemy spoken of in my earlier piece on the subject—taking already pure gold and transmuting it further into powdered gold of the Philosopher’s Stone.

The already pure gold in this analogy is that of psychic and spiritual transformation. Those twin forms of transformation are the necessary but not sufficient conditions for Supramental transformation.

In Supramental transformation the individual brings down the Conscious Light to such a degree that their very material being becomes increasingly divinized, i.e. “radical and integral transformation of Nature.”

Supermind or Supramental means literally “above” or “beyond” mind. For Aurobindo mind (avidya) is the realm of duality, bewilderment, and suffering. Aurobindo also called mind “The Ignorance” and it stands in stark contrast to The Integral. For The Supermind to bridge the Absolute Reality of The Conscious Truth-Force and divinize and liberate matter itself (herself) then Supermind must be above mind. But because mind dominates human evolution up unit this point, it is very difficult to say what Supermind is, for the understanding of that will then be bound by the human mind thereby defeating the whole purpose of it. Aurobindo can therefore only offer glimpses or point in a direction or speak of potentialities or possibilities. Mind is a product of nature—mind is simply the internal felt dimension of physical embodiment. Therefore if Aurobindo speaks of a radical and integral transformation of Nature, that would include a radical and integral transformation of the human mind into some divinized type capacity.

Following that line of thought, lead me to speculate whether perhaps the UFO phenomenon in some very strange ways already reveals at least aspects of the integral consciousness and embodiment.

I want to be ultra clear here however, so there’s no misunderstanding. While The Supramental might therefore superficially appear to be a very transhumanist-esque vision there is a very profound difference. Namely in the conventional trans- humanist ideology running our world, the shift into a post-humanity occurs through an outside technological force that bypasses humanity and material incarnation altogether (as I've argued elsewhere). Consequently the transhumanist vision is utterly lifeless, involving genderless androids, robotics, AI, virtual realities, cyborgism, and the like. Transhumanism is an ugly, sterilized aesthetic. It’s fundamentally anti-life, anti-organic flesh and blood reality.

Aurobindo stands in total opposition to this bloodless transhumanism. In fact Aurobindo begins his magnum opus, The Life Divine, with a critique of what he terms the Two Negations. One negation is the scientistic, rationalistic, materialistic denial of Spirit. The second negation is that of spiritual transcendence of materiality (i.e. spiritual transformation without Supramental realization).

Transhumanism is a species of the first negation. Ascensionist New Age Spirituality is most often a type of the second, which is why I pointed out in my previous pieces on those two movements that ultimately transhumanism and New Age Ascensionism are coming together into a fusion—because both ultimately want to see a bypass of material creation. That’s why I’ve been arguing that the Luciferian technocratic impulse is merging with the Satanic impulse towards desecration of materiality.

Aurobindo is very clear that the Supramental is a transformation and transmutation and divinization of matter, not its bypass.

Aurobindo’s termed the (meta)practice of uniting these types of transformation into a unified whole, The Integral Yoga.

Self-Regulation: The Fourth Form of Transformation

Having covered these three forms of transformation we are now finally in a position to add what I believe is a fourth form of transformation: nervous system regulation. In so doing I’ll argue that trauma regulation practices would be crucial to any systematic practice of the Integral Yoga, particularly in relationship to the path of the Supramental.

I’ve covered the integration of trauma healing and empowerment work with high strange experiences in multiple pieces on the site—in regards to what are known as the alien abduction and past life regression phenomenon for example. Here I want to bring that body of work in relationship to Aurobindo’s supramental transformation particularly.

Aurobindo does have within his overall Integral Yoga a place for harnessing what he calls the more vitalistic dimensions of the human bodymind but much of that reflection follows pretty traditional spiritual lines of ascetic purification. In the traditions of Buddhism and Christian mysticism for example one begins with moral discipline—called purgation in Christianity and sila in Buddhism. These are important elements to be sure. They include processes like developing empathy, creating an ethic of caring for life, cultivating compassion and mercy, acting with integrity, atoning for injuries caused. Again these are elements typically missing from much of the contemporary spiritual seeker scene and the results are pretty appalling.

Still Aurobindo wrote prior to the detailed knowledge of the nature and pervasiveness of trauma, as well as how to heal and liberate oneself from it through learning to self-regulate. That includes researchers like Peter Levine on Somatic Experiencing, Stephen Porges on polyvagal theory, Gabor Mate on the impacts of trauma on health, Kathy Kain on somatic touch, Anngwyn St. Just on social traumatology, and there are many many others who could be named.

Though those bodies of thought might seem profoundly removed from one another they are really not. Aurobindo was after the integral, fundamental transformation of the human body. This aspect really comes to the fore in the later writings of his one-time student and later co-teacher Mirra Alfassa (aka The Mother). Mirra spoke of the “mind of the cells”, i.e. the programming at an arch-biological instinctual level of human expression. The mind of the cells is a really key phrase. She is not saying the cells (i.e. material embodiment) are the problem. Rather the issue is the mind, aka The Ignorance, which has warped cellular reality to its egoistical ends. To overcome the “mind” of the cells would be to liberate the cells from their mentalized, survivalistic control, thereby liberating the cells to freedom and spontaneity in Spirit. That is the Supramental.

As a result, Mirra sought through her practice to invite The Divine into that heart of her our physical reality and have it be transformed (as part of the overall work of Supramentalization).

In that sense Mirra’s work (and by extension Aurobindo’s) can be considered very Hermetic insofar as they were both arguing that the human being is the microcosm of the macrocosm—the human is the representation of the entire cosmic order and therefore bringing down the Supermind in one being would have a kind of ripple effect throughout (i.e. the true Philosopher’s Stone).

Consequently a deeper understanding of the human nervous system and physiology and how it is able to digest and assimilate (in a healthy way) intense experiences would be absolutely critical to the path of the Supramental.

In a previous piece I discussed how many New Age Ascension practices lead people to push beyond their ability to self-regulate, leading to a series of what are known as “Ascension symptoms”, but which I argue are actually symptoms of trauma induced from high strange mystical encounters taking place too quickly and too intensely for human being to titrated and properly process. Trauma being defined as simply any experience (or experiences) that are too fast and/or too intense to be properly “digested” or processed at the time, leading dsyregulation.

Aurobindo’s Supramental and The Mother’s “mind of the cells” practice would fit into that category as well. If overdone, they could easily override a person’s ability to regulate and modulate the influx of Divine Light-Force Into their human bodies, thereby “frying their circuits”.

Practices and principles so central to somatic experiencing and self-regulation work—things like pendulation, titration, and resourcing—would be equally applicable to the practice of embodying the supramental.

The need to regulate oneself becomes I think a fourth form of transformation, a quadruple transformation to Aurobindo’s triple transformation. The regulatory path would be of equal importance to the transformational paths of the psychic (soul), spiritual (enlightenment), and The Supramental.