Infinity in a drop
a consciousness-centred psychology
inspired by the work of Sri Aurobindo

Matthijs Cornelissen
last revision: 09 March 2024


nb. this text is a work in progress
      suggestions welcome

Infinity — contents



    Part One
    What is consciousness?

  1. The philosophical foundation for a yoga-based science of the inner domain


    Part Two
    How do we know?

    A short note before we start with Part Two

  1. Four ways of arriving at knowledgeO--O
  2. How to improve the quality of our psychological knowledge ----o
  3. Towards a yoga-based research methodology o---O


    Part Three
    Who am I?

    A short note before we start with Part Three

  1. Who am I? A first look inside ----o
  2. Meeting others and the worldOOOO

    1. Relationships
      • The pervasiveness of relationships
      • Different types of relationships
      • Self-giving and re-owning yourself
      • Being lonely, alone, all one
      • Human love and love divine
      • Love and oneness
    2. Groups
      • The group as source of identity
      • The group as functional unit
      • Roles and hierarchies within groups
      • The group as carrier of culture
      • Conflicts between groups: us against them
      • Harmony within and between groups
      • Symphony
    3. Action and agency, fate and free will
      • What makes me act the way I act?
      • What is egoless action?
      • The scope for conscious, self-willed alignment
      • Is freedom real?
  4. Natural individual development

    1. Introduction
      • The individual as a product of nature and nurture
      • The individual as an eternal self, with a gradually developing soul nature
    2. Development over many lives: reincarnation
      • Arguments against and alternative explanations
      • Arguments in favour
      • A more detailed description of how it might work:
        • Possible mechanisms
        • Avenues for research
    3. Development within one life-time from a many-lives perspective
      • The influence of previous lives on childhood and life-span development
        • Possible mechanisms
        • Avenues for research
      • Taking responsibility for one's own development
    4. Implications
      • Implications for therapy, counselling and self-development
      • Implications for education
    5. Summary and conclusion


    Part Four
    Working on oneself OOOO

  1. Positive and negative motivation for change

    1. Mind the gap
    2. Changing the world
    3. Changing oneself
    4. The need for integration
    5. The innate aspiration
    6. ... And what holds us back
    7. The role of pain
    8. The sunlit path
  3. Basic methods and things that help

    1. Aspiration and the Grace that answers
    2. Self-observation as tool: insight and detachment
    3. Knowledge and reason as tools
    4. Silence as tool
    5. Remember and offer
    6. Aspiration, rejection, surrender
    7. Humour, detachment, commitment and love
    8. Helpful attitudes and psychological perfections
    9. The four aids
  5. Dealing with difficulties and dangers

    1. Common principles
    2. Dealing with the mind
    3. Dealing with the vital
    4. When mind and vital gang up
    5. Dealing with the body
    6. The unholy trinity
    7. Some common issues
    8. In conclusion: dealing with the ego
  7. Realisation, liberation and transformation

    1. Changes within the normal range
    2. Realisation: meeting the infinite
    3. Mukti, liberation
    4. Embracing the shadow
    5. The difference between change and transformation
    6. Psychic transformation
    7. Spiritual transformation
    8. Supramental transformation
    9. The complexity of human nature revisited


    Part Five
    Working with others OOOO

  1. General introduction

    1. Helping others: a word of caution
    2. General principles
    3. Motivation, insight, skill, and effort
    4. Building a tool box
    5. Helping others to help themselves
  3. Education

    1. Integral education: basic principles
    2. Educating the mind
    3. Educating the vital
    4. Educating the body
    5. Psychic education
    6. Spiritual education
    7. Helping others revisited
    8. Imagine a society in which education would encourage honesty, collaboration, and the pursuit of perfection in whatever sphere of interest the child has.
  5. Helping others with their physical health

  7. Helping others with their psychological health

  9. Social & organisational psychology



  1. Psychology and the future of humanity -O--

    1. Why, in spite of all obstacles, an increasing influence of an integral, Indian approach to psychology is inevitable
    2. Some strategic possibilities and considerations
  3. Life as sādhanā; sādhanā as life ---O-

  5. An expression of gratitude ----o