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object:2.3.04 - The Higher Planes of Mind
book class:Letters On Yoga I
author class:Sri Aurobindo

Chapter Four

The Higher Planes of Mind
The Higher Planes and Higher Consciousness
The higher planes are the higher mind, illumined, intuitive, overmind, supermind. The psychic, mind, vital, physical belong to the ordinary manifestation.

The planes and the body are not the same. Above the head are seen all the planes from the overmind down to the higher mind, but this is only a correlation in the consciousness - not an actual location in space.

The spiritual mind is a mind which, in its fullness, is aware of the
Self, reflecting the Divine, seeing and understanding the nature of the Self and its relations with the manifestation, living in that or in contact with it, calm, wide and awake to higher knowledge, not perturbed by the play of the Forces. When it gets its full liberated movement, its central station is very usually felt above the head, though its influence can extend downward through all the being and outward through space.

It [higher consciousness] means the larger spiritual consciousness which contains all these things [cosmic consciousness, intuitive consciousness, other planes of consciousness between
Intuition and mind] in possibility and once it is there can develop them in their due place or order.

The planes below [the Supermind, from the Overmind to the
Higher Mind] are of the spiritual consciousness but when there

The Higher Planes of Mind

is a dynamic action from them, it is always a mixed action, not an action of pure knowledge but of knowledge subduing itself to the rule of the Ignorance, the cosmic necessity in a world of
Ignorance. If their action was that of the full Knowledge, there would be no need of any supramental descent.

The higher consciousness is a concentrated consciousness, concentrated in the Divine Unity and in the working out of the
Divine Will, not dispersed and rushing about after this or that mental idea or vital desire or physical need as is the ordinary human consciousness - also not invaded by a hundred haphazard thoughts, feelings and impulses, but master of itself, centred and harmonious.

The Plane of Intuition
Intuition sees the truth of things by a direct inner contact, not like the ordinary mental intelligence by seeking and reaching out for indirect contacts through the senses etc. But the limitation of the Intuition as compared with the Supermind is that it sees things by flashes, point by point, not as a whole. Also in coming into the mind it gets mixed with the mental movement and forms a kind of intuitive-mind activity which is not the pure truth, but something in between the higher Truth and the mental seeking.

It can lead the consciousness through a sort of transitional stage and that is practically its function.

Intuition is in direct contact with the higher Truth but not in an integral contact. It gets the Truth in flashes and turns these flashes of Truth-perception into intuitions - intuitive ideas. The ideas of the true Intuition are always correct so far as they go
- but when intuition is diluted in the ordinary mind stuff, its truth gets mixed with error.



Letters on Yoga - I

Intuitivising [of the being] is not sufficient to prevent a drop
[in consciousness]; if it is complete (and it is not complete until not only the mind, but the vital and physical are intuitivised) it can make you understand and be conscious of all the processes in you and around but it does not necessarily make you entire master of the reactions. For that Knowledge is not enough - a certain Knowledge-Will (knowledge and will fused together) or
Consciousness-Power is needed.

One can get intuitions - communications from there [the intuitive plane] even while the ego exists - but to live in the wideness of the Intuition is not possible with the limitation of the ego.

The Intuition is the first plane on which there is a real opening to the full possibility of realisation - it is through it that one goes farther - first to Overmind and then to Supermind.

It [the individual Self] is not specially related [to intuition] - intuition is the highest power the embodied individual can reach without universalising itself; when it universalises itself it is then possible for it to come in contact with overmind. If by the individual Self is meant the Jivatman, it can be on any plane of consciousness.

By the intuitive self I meant the intuitive being, that part which belongs to the intuitive plane or is in connection with it. The intuition is one of the higher planes of consciousness between the human thinking mind and the supramental plane.

The difference between intuition and thought is very much like that between seeing a thing and badgering one's brains to find out what the thing can possibly be like. Intuition is truth-sight.

The Higher Planes of Mind


The thing seen may not be the truth? Well, in that case it will at least be one of its hundred tails or at least a hair from one of the tails. The very first step in the supramental change is to transform all operations of consciousness from the ordinary mental to the intuitive, only then is there any hope of proceeding farther, - not to, but towards the supramental.

The Plane of Intuition and the Intuitive Mind
Intuition proper is true in itself (when not interpreted or altered by mind), although fragmentary - intuitive mind is mixed with mind and therefore not infallible because the truth intuition gives may be mixed or imperfectly put by mind.

There is the Intuition and below it there is the intuitive mind which may have several degrees or layers. Also there is a partial power of intuition in ordinary mind itself, in the vital, in the physical consciousness, in the material itself.

To live in the Intuitive it is necessary first to have the opening into the cosmic consciousness and to live first in the higher and the illumined Mind, seeing everything from there. To receive constantly the intuition from above, that is not necessary - it is sufficient to have the sense of the One everywhere and to get into contact with things and people through the inner mind and senses more than with the outer mind and senses - for the latter meet only the surface of things and are not intuitive.

The intuitive "mind" does not get the touch direct from the supramental. Above it is the Overmind - in which there is a higher and greater intuition and above that are the supermind ranges.



Letters on Yoga - I

The intuitive mind is a level of consciousness which is touched by the light of higher truths and receives them vividly and conveys them to the consciousness below.

I do not think it can be said that there are separate strata in the intuitive for purity, strength and beauty. These are separate powers of the Divine, not separate strata. But of course they can be arranged by the Mind in that way for some organised purpose.

Yogic Intuition and Ordinary Intuitions
Some people have a faculty of receiving impressions about others which is not by any means infallible, but often turns out to be right. That is one thing and the Yogic intuition by which one directly knows or feels what is in a man, his capacities, character, temperament, is another. The first may be a help for developing the other, but it is not the same thing. The Yogic faculty has to be and it can be complete only with a great development of the inner consciousness.

To have the true intuition one must get rid of the mind's self-will and the vital's also, their preferences, fancies, fantasies, strong insistences, and eliminate the mental and vital ego's pressure which sets the consciousness to work in the service of its own claims and desires. Otherwise these things will come in with force and claim to be intuitions, inspirations and the rest of it.

Or if any intuitions come, they can be twisted and spoiled by the mixture of these forces of the Ignorance.

It [intuition] is the power of knowing any truth or fact directly without reasoning or sense-proof, by a spontaneous right perception.


The Higher Planes of Mind


As for intuition - well! One has to make a distinction - if one can - between a pure intuition and a mixed one. A pure intuition carries in it a truth, even if it is only a fragment or point of truth, and can be trusted. A mixed one carries in it some suggestion of truth which gets coated with mental matter - here one has to use discrimination and separate the true suggestion from the less reliable mental matter. Intuition and discrimination must always go together so long as one mixes in the mental plane
- and for some time after.

Mental intuitive knowledge catches directly some aspect of a truth but without any completeness or certitude and the intuition is easily mixed with ordinary mental stuff that may be erroneous; in application it may easily be a half truth or be so misinterpreted and misapplied as to become an error. Also, the mind easily imitates the intuition in such a way that it is difficult to distinguish between a true or a false intuition. That is the reason why men of intellect distrust the mental intuition and say that it cannot be accepted or followed unless it is tested and confirmed by the intellect. What comes from the overmind intuition has a light, a certitude, an effective force of Truth in it that the mental intuition at its best even has not.

Yes,1 but it does not necessarily come from the original source
- the plane of Intuition. There are mental, vital, subtle physical intuitions as well as intuitions from the higher and the illumined

Powers of the Intuitive Consciousness
Revelation is a part of the intuitive consciousness.

1 The correspondent asked: "Is the knowledge got by the Samyama of Rajayoga of the
same kind as one would get by Intuition? Is the source of the knowledge not the same?
- Ed.


Letters on Yoga - I

There is a discrimination [in the intuitive consciousness] that is not intellectual - a direct perception.

No, the world of Knowledge is composed of several planes. It is from one of them that inspiration comes.

The Illumined Mind
Intuition is above illumined Mind - which is simply higher
Mind raised to a great luminosity and more open to modified forms of intuition and inspiration.

The substance of knowledge is the same [in the higher mind and the illumined mind], but the higher mind gives only the substance and form of knowledge in thought and word - in the illumined mind there begins to be a peculiar light and energy and ananda of knowledge which grows as one rises higher in the scale or else as the knowledge comes from a higher and higher source. This light etc. are still rather diluted and diffused in the illumined mind; it becomes more and more intense, clearly defined, dynamic and effective on the higher planes, so much so as to change always the character and power of the knowledge.

The Higher Mind
The higher mind is a thing in itself above the intellect. It is only when something of its power comes down and is modified in the lower mind substance that it acts as part of the intellect.

It depends on what is meant by the higher buddhi - whether you use the word to mean the higher part of the intellect or the higher Mind. The higher Mind in itself on its own level knows, but when it is involved in the ordinary human intelligence and works under limitations, it often does not know - or it has the

The Higher Planes of Mind

idea merely that it must be so but has not the consciousness of its separate existence. The intellect can rise above its ordinary movements and feel itself as a separate power no longer working under the limitations of the vital and physical mind and the senses. It then begins to reflect something of the action of the higher mind but without the full freedom and greater light and truth of the higher mind.

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1:To live in the wideness of the Intuition is not possible with the limitation of the ego. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - I 2.3.04 - The Higher Planes of Mind,

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