Infinity in a drop
a consciousness-centered psychology
inspired by the work of Sri Aurobindo
Matthijs Cornelissen

last revision: 19 May 2021

This text is a work in progress. Suggestions and comments are welcome!


  1. Why this text is called "Infinity in a drop"
  2. How this text is organised and how to engage with it

    1. How this text is organised
      1. the main text
      2. side blocks
      3. the appendix
    2. How to engage with it: A student's guide
      1. Maintaining a journal
      2. Working on a project
    3. A clickable "metro map" of Infinity in a Drop


    part one
    who am I?

    A short note before we start with part one

    part two
    how do we know?

    A short note before we start with part two

  1. How to improve the quality of our psychological knowledge

    1. The basic issue
    2. Stage one: The purification of the instrument of knowledge   
    3. Stage Two: Mental silence and the witness consciousness
    4. Stage Three: Developing knowledge by intimate direct contact
    5. Stage Four: Developing knowledge by identity
    6. Generic and situated knowledge revisited
  3. Towards a yoga-based research methodology

      The text of this chapter has been taken from an article that was written quite a long time back.
      It still needs revision in order to be better adjusted to the context of Infinity in a Drop, and to explore in more detail how the type of knowledge achieved by YBR is not the same as what comes from other types of research.

    1. Introduction
    2. Similarities between science and yoga
    3. Problems with knowledge in the subjective and inner domains
    4. The Indian solution: Yoga as research methodology
    5. Discussion of common objections
    6. Conclusion
  5. Inner and higher knowledge

    1. Introduction
    2. Alternative ways of being conscious in ordinary life
    3. Intuition's lookalikes: examples of "pseudo-intuition"
    4. Three types of the "peer-to-peer" variety of intuitive knowledge
    5. True intuition: unconstructed, pre-existing, true knowledge
    6. Types of true intuition
    7. Knowledge planes
    8. The future of the embodied mind

    part three
    meeting others and the world

  1. Rasa, the "taste of existence"

    1. Emotions: colours and "tastes" of self and nature
    2. Some classical listings
    3. Vital emotions and psychic emotions
    4. Intrinsic delight; why nothing can exist without ananda at its core
    5. Drama and the rasa in things
    6. The Godward emotions
    7. Equanimity and "being there"
  3. Relationships

    1. The pervasiveness of relationships
    2. Different types of relationships
    3. Self-giving and re-owning yourself
    4. Being lonely, alone, all one
    5. Human love and love divine
    6. Love and oneness
  5. Groups

    1. Group membership
    2. The group as source of identity
    3. The group as functional unit
    4. Roles and hierarchies within groups
    5. The group as carrier of culture
    6. Conflicts between groups: us against them
    7. Harmony within and between groups
    8. Symphony
  7. Action and agency, fate and free will

    1. What makes me act the way I act?
    2. What is egoless action?
    3. The scope for conscious, self-willed alignment
    4. Is freedom real?

    part four
    working on oneself

  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

  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 other with their physical health

    • Still to come...
  7. Helping other with their psychological health

    • Still to come...
  9. Social & organisational psychology

    • Still to come...


  1. Psychology and the future of humanity

    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

    • Still to come...
  5. An expression of gratitude


  1. Psychology and the scientific method: a difficult relationship

    1. 1913 and beyond: psychology's three lineages
      • A mini-history of psychology in modern times
    2. What is Indian Psychology?
    3. How assumptions and methods of enquiry determine what different schools of psychology can see
    4. Classical Behaviourism
    5. Mainstream yoga research
    6. 1913 and beyond: psychology's three lineages
      • A mini-history of psychology in modern times
  3. Applied psychology
  4. References, recommended reading and glossary