1.28 - Supermind, Mind and the Overmind Maya
2.3.03 - The Overmind
The overmind is the world of the gods.
The overmind is the protective Double, a delegate of the
The Overmind has to be reached and brought down before the Supermind descent is at all possible—for the Overmind is the passage through which one passes from mind to Supermind.
Ref: CWSA Vol.28, Letters on Yoga-I, Page: 155
The overmind is the world of the gods.
The overmind is the protective Double, a delegate of the
11 Sri Aurobindo
3 The Mother
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
1:Then stretches the boundless finite’s last expanse,The cosmic empire of the Overmind,Time’s buffer state bordering Eternity, ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri 10.04 - The Dream Twilight of the Earthly Real,
2:The Overmind has to be reached and brought down before the Supermind descent is at all possible-for the Overmind is the passage through which one passes from mind to Supermind. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - I 155,
3:It is (sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly) by the power of the Overmind releasing the mind from its close partitions that the cosmic consciousness opens in the seeker and he becomes aware of the cosmic spirit and the play of the cosmic forces. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - I 152,
4:There are gods of the Overmind who are the great creators of the earth - until now. There are the gods of the Vedas who are mentioned in everything that has come down from the Rishis. And there are the gods of the Supermind, those who are going to manifest on earth, although of course they exist from all eternity on their own plane. ~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1957-1958 ,
5:It is from the Overmind that all these different arrangements of the creative Truth of things originate. Out of the Overmind they come down to the Intuition and are transmitted from it to the Illumined and higher Mind to be arranged there for our intelligence. But they lose more and more of their power and certitude in the transmission as they come down to the lower levels. What energy of directly perceived Truth they have is lost in the human mind; for to the human intellect they present themselves only as speculative ideas, not as realised Truth, not as direct sight, a dynamic vision coupled with a concrete undeniable experience. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - I 155,
6:The intermediate zone means simply a confused condition or passage in which one is getting out of the personal consciousness and opening into the cosmic (cosmic Mind, cosmic vital, cosmic physical, something perhaps of the cosmic higherMind) without having yet transcended the human mind levels. One is not in possession of or direct contact with the divine Truth on its own levels, but one can receive something from them, even from the Overmind, indirectly.Only, as one is still immersed in the cosmic Ignorance, all that comes from above can be mixed, perverted, taken hold of for their purposes by lower, even by hostile Powers. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Himself And The Ashram 118,
7:... All the works of mind and intllect must be first heightened and widened, then illumined, lifted into the domain of a higher Intelligence, afterwards translated into workings of a greater non-mental Intuition, these again transformed into the dynamic outpourings of the Overmind radiance, and those transfigured into the full light and sovereignty of the supramental Gnosis. It is this that the evolution of consciousness in the world carries prefigured but latent in its seed and in the straining tense intention of its process; nor can that process, that evolution cease till it has evolved the instruments of a perfect in place of its now imperfect manifestation of the Spirit. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 1,
8:Overmind is the highest source of the cosmic consciousness available to the embodied being in the Ignorance. It is part of the cosmic consciousness-but the human individual when he opens into the cosmic usually remains in the cosmic Mind-Life-Matter receiving only inspirations and influences from the higher planes of Intuition and Overmind. He receives through the spiritualised higher and illumined mind the fundamental experiences on which spiritual knowledge is based; he can become even full of intuitive mind movements, illuminations, various kinds of powers and illumined light, liberation, Ananda. But to rise fully into the Intuition is rare, to reach the Overmind still rarer- although influences and experiences can come down from there. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - I 152,
9:Our first decisive step out of our human intelligence, our normal mentality, is an ascent into a higher Mind, a mind no longer of mingled light and obscurity or half-light, but a large clarity of the spirit. Its basic substance is a unitarian sense of being with a powerful multiple dynamisation capable of the formation of a multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action, forms and significances of becoming, of all of which there is a spontaneous inherent knowledge. It is therefore a power that has proceeded from the Overmind,-but with the Supermind as its ulterior origin,-as all these greater powers have proceeded: but its special character, its activity of consciousness are dominated by Thought; it is a luminous thought-mind, a mind of spirit-born conceptual knowledge. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine ,
10:If we regard the Powers of the Reality as so many Godheads, we can say that the Overmind releases a million Godheads into action, each empowered to create its own world, each world capable of relation, communication and interplay with the others.There are in the Veda different formulations of the nature of the Gods: it is said they are all one Existence to which the sages give different names; yet each God is worshipped as if he by himself is that Existence, one who is all the other Gods together or contains them in his being; and yet again each is a separate Deity acting sometimes in unison with companion deities, sometimes separately, sometimes even in apparent opposition to other Godheads of the same Existence. In the Supermind all this would be held together as a harmonised play of the one Existence; in the Overmind each of these three conditions could be a separate action or basis of action and have its own principle of development and consequences and yet each keep the power to combine with the others in a more composite harmony. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine Supermind Mind and the Overmind Maya,
11:If we are religious-minded, perhaps we will see the gods who inhabit this world. Beings, forces, sounds, lights, and rhythms are just so many true forms of the same indefinable, but not unknowable, Essence we call God; we have spoken of God, and made temples, laws or poems to try to capture the one little pulsation filling us with sunshine, but it is free as the wind on foam-flecked shores. We may also enter the world of music, which in fact is not different from the others but a special extension of this same, great inexpressible Vibration. If once, only once, even for a few moments in a lifetime, we can hear that Music, that Joy singing above, we will know what Beethoven and Bach heard; we will know what God is because we will have heard God. We will probably not say anything grandiose; we will just know that That exists, whereupon all the suffering in the world will seem redeemed. At the extreme summit of the overmind, there only remain great waves of multi-hued light, says the Mother, the play of spiritual forces, which later translate - sometimes much later - into new ideas, social changes, or earthly events, after crossing one by one all the layers of consciousness and suffering a considerable distortion and loss of light... ~ Satprem, Sri Aurobindo Or The Adventure Of Consciousness ,
12:Supermind and the human mind are a number of ranges, planes or layers of consciousness - one can regard it in various ways - in which the element or substance of mind and consequently its movements also become more and more illumined and powerful and wide. The Overmind is the highest of these ranges; it is full of lights and powers; but from the point of view of what is above it, it is the line of the soul's turning away from the complete and indivisible knowledge and its descent towards the Ignorance. For although it draws from the Truth, it is here that begins the separation of aspects of the Truth, the forces and their working out as if they were independent truths and this is a process that ends, as one descends to ordinary Mind, Life and Matter, in a complete division, fragmentation, separation from the indivisible Truth above. There is no longer the essential, total, perfectly harmonising and unifying knowledge, or rather knowledge for ever harmonious because for ever one, which is the character of Supermind. In the Supermind mental divisions and oppositions cease, the problems created by our dividing and fragmenting mind disappear and Truth is seen as a luminous whole. In the Overmind there is not yet the actual fall into Ignorance, but the first step is taken which will make the fall inevitable. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - I ,
13:If we accept the Vedic image of the Sun of Truth, - an image which in this experience becomes a reality, - we may compare the action of the Higher Mind to a composed and steady sunshine, the energy of the Illumined Mind beyond it to an outpouring of massive lightnings of flaming sun-stuff. Still beyond can be met a yet greater power of the Truth-Force, an intimate and exact Truth-vision, Truth-thought, Truth-sense, Truth-feeling, Truth-action, to which we can give in a special sense the name of Intuition; for though we have applied that word for want of a better to any supra-intellectual direct way of knowing, yet what we actually know as intuition is only one special movement of self-existent knowledge. This new range is its origin; it imparts to our intuitions something of its own distinct character and is very clearly an intermediary of a greater Truth-Light with which our mind cannot directly communicate. At the source of this Intuition we discover a superconscient cosmic Mind in direct contact with the Supramental Truth-Consciousness, an original intensity determinant of all movements below it and all mental energies, - not Mind as we know it, but an Overmind that covers as with the wide wings of some creative Oversoul this whole lower hemisphere of Knowledge-Ignorance, links it with that greater Truth-Consciousness while yet at the same time with its brilliant golden Lid it veils the face of the greater Truth from our sight, intervening with its flood of infinite possibilities as at once an obstacle and a passage in our seeking of the spiritual law of our existence, its highest aim, its secret Reality. This then is the occult link we were looking for; this is the Power that at once connects and divides the supreme Knowledge and the cosmic Ignorance. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine Supermind Mind and the Overmind Maya,
14:What is "the heavenly archetype of the lotus"? It means the primal idea of the lotus. Each thing that is expressed physically was conceived somewhere before being realised materially. There is an entire world which is the world of the fashioners, where all conceptions are made. And this world is very high, much higher than all the worlds of the mind; and from there these formations, these creations, these types which have been conceived by the fashioners come down and are expressed in physical realisations. And there is always a great distance between the perfection of the idea and what is materialised. Very often the materialised things are like caricatures in comparison with the primal idea. This is what he calls the archetype. This takes place in worlds... not always the same ones, it depends on the things; but for many things in the physical, the primal ideas, these archetypes, were in what Sri Aurobindo calls the Overmind. But there is a still higher domain than this where the origins are still purer, and if one reaches this, attains this, one finds the absolutely pure types of what is manifested upon earth. And then it is very interesting to compare, to see to what an extent earthly creation is a frightful distortion. And moreover, it is only when one can reach these regions and see the reality of things in their essence that one can work with knowledge to transform them here; otherwise on what can we take our stand to conceive a better world, more perfect, more beautiful than the existing one? It can't be on our imagination which is itself something very poor and very material. But if one can enter that consciousness, rise right up to these higher worlds of creation, then with this in one's consciousness one can work at making material things take their real form. ~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1955 121,
15:"If the Divine that is all love is the source of the creation, whence have come all the evils abounding upon earth?" "All is from the Divine; but the One Consciousness, the Supreme has not created the world directly out of itself; a Power has gone out of it and has descended through many gradations of its workings and passed through many agents. There are many creators or rather 'formateurs', form-makers, who have presided over the creation of the world. They are intermediary agents and I prefer to call them 'Formateurs' and not 'Creators'; for what they have done is to give the form and turn and nature to matter. There have been many, and some have formed things harmonious and benignant and some have shaped things mischievous and evil. And some too have been distorters rather than builders, for they have interfered and spoiled what was begun well by others." - Questions and Answers 1929 - 1931 (30 June 1929) You say, "Many creators or rather 'formateurs', formmakers, have presided over the creation of the world." Who are these 'formateurs'? That depends. They have been given many names. All has been done by gradations and through individual beings of all kinds. Each state of being is inhabited by entities, individualities and personalities and each one has created a world around him or has contributed to the formation of certain beings upon earth. The last creators are those of the vital world, but there are beings of the Overmind (Sri Aurobindo calls this plane the Overmind), who have created, given forms, sent out emanations, and these emanations again had their emanations and so on. What I meant is that it is not the Divine Will that acted directly on Matter to give to the world the required form, it is by passing through layers, so to say, planes of the world, as for example, the mental plane - there are so many beings on the mental plane who are form-makers, who have taken part in the formation of some beings who have incarnated upon earth. On the vital plane also the same thing happens. For example, there is a tradition which says that the whole world of insects is the outcome of the form-makers of the vital world, and that this is why they take such absolutely diabolical shapes when they are magnified under the microscope. You saw the other day, when you were shown the microbes in water? Naturally the pictures were made to amuse, to strike the imagination, but they are based on real forms, so magnified, however, that they look like monsters. Almost the whole world of insects is a world of microscopic monsters which, had they been larger in size, would have been quite terrifying. So it is said these are entities of the vital world, beings of the vital who created that for fun and amused themselves forming all these impossible beasts which make human life altogether unpleasant. Did these intermediaries also come out of the Divine Power? Through intermediaries, yes, not directly. These beings are not in direct contact with the Divine (there are exceptions, I mean as a general rule), they are beings who are in relation with other beings, who are again in relation with others, and these with still others, and so on, in a hierarchy, up to the Supreme.(to be continued....) ~ The Mother, Question and Answers ,
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
8 Integral Yoga
11 Sri Aurobindo
9 The Mother
2 Nolini Kanta Gupta
12 Letters On Yoga I
9 The Mothers Agenda
9 Letters On Yoga III
7 Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness
6 The Life Divine
3 Letters On Yoga II
2 Words Of The Mother III
2 Talks With Sri Aurobindo
02.15_-_The_Kingdoms_of_the_Greater_Knowledge, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Mights played that never coursed through mortal nerves:
He scanned the secrets of the Overmind,
He bore the rapture of the Oversoul.
10.04_-_The_Dream_Twilight_of_the_Earthly_Real, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Then stretches the boundless finite's last expanse,
The cosmic empire of the Overmind,
Time's buffer state bordering Eternity,
1.03_-_The_Gods,_Superior_Beings_and_Adverse_Forces, #Words Of The Mother III, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
In their aspect above the Overmind, in the higher regions, the aspects of the Mother have very simple forms and dont have multiple limbs.
1.04_-_Religion_and_Occultism, #Words Of The Mother III, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
As for the relation with the beings of the Overmind, if this relation exists already, each case must have its own solution.
1.05_-_The_Ascent_of_the_Sacrifice_-_The_Psychic_Being, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
These two changes are the signs of a first effectuation in which the activities of the mental nature are lifted up, spiritualised, widened, universalised, liberated, led to a consciousness of their true purpose as an instrumentation of the Divine creating and developing its manifestation in the temporal universe. But this cannot be the whole scope of the transformation; for it is not in these limits that the integral seeker can cease from his ascension or confine the widening of his nature. For, if it were so, knowledge would still remain a working of the mind, liberated, universalised, spiritualised, but still, as all mind must be, comparatively restricted, relative, imperfect in the very essence of its dynamism; it would reflect luminously great constructions of Truth, but not move in the domain where Truth is authentic, direct, sovereign and native. There is an ascension still to be made from this height, by which the spiritualised mind will exceed itself and transmute into a supramental power of knowledge. Already in the process of spiritualisation it will have begun to pass out of the brilliant poverty of the human intellect; it will mount successively into the pure broad reaches of a higher mind and next into the gloaming belts of a still greater free intelligence illumined with a Light from above. At this point it will begin to feel more freely, admit with a less mixed response the radiant beginnings of an Intuition, not illumined, but luminous in itself, true in itself, no longer entirely mental and therefore subjected to the abundant intrusion of error. Here too is not an end, for it must rise beyond into the very domain of that untruncated Intuition, the first direct light from the self-awareness of essential Being and, beyond it, attain that from which this light comes. For there is an overmind behind Mind, a Power more original and dynamic which supports Mind, sees it as a diminished radiation from itself, uses it as a transmitting belt of passage downward or an instrument for the creations of the Ignorance. The last step of the ascension would be the surpassing of overmind itself or its return into its own still greater origin, its conversion into the supramental light of the Divine Gnosis. For there in the supramental Light is the seat of the divine Truth-Consciousness that has native in it, as no other consciousness below it can have, the power to organise the works of a Truth which is no longer .tarnished by the shadow of the cosmic Inconscience and Ignorance. There to reach and thence to bring down a supramental dynamism that can transform the Ignorance is the distant but imperative supreme goal of the integral Yoga.
As the light of each of these higher powers is turned upon the human activities of knowledge, any distinction of sacred and profane, human and divine, begins more and more to fade until it is finally abolished as otiose; for whatever is touched and thoroughly penetrated by the Divine Gnosis is transfigured and becomes a movement of its own Light and Power, free from the turbidity and limitations of the lower intelligence. It is not a separation of some activities, but a transformation of them all by the change of the informing consciousness that is the way of liberation, an ascent of the sacrifice of knowledge to a greater and ever greater light and force. All the works of mind and intellect must be first heightened and widened, then illumined, lifted into the domain of a higher Intelligence, afterwards translated into workings of a greater non-mental Intuition, then again transformed into the dynamic outpourings of the Overmind radiance, and these transfigured into the full light and sovereignty of the supramental Gnosis. It is this that the evolution of consciousness in the world carries prefigured but latent in its seed and in the straining tense intention of its process; nor can that process, that evolution cease till it has evolved the instruments of a perfect in place of its now imperfect manifestation of the Spirit.
1.09_-_Sleep_and_Death, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
from the muddy shades of the subconscient (gray, brown, black); the vibrant hues of the Subtle Physical; the bright colors of the Vital,
which, we should note, always look somewhat artificial, flashy, and a bit hard (this region is particularly deceptive); to the lights of the Mind, which become increasingly powerful and pure as one rises toward the Origin. From the Overmind and above (we will discuss the Overmind later), a radical change occurs in the nature of the vision:
the objects, beings and things we see no longer seem to be illumined from the outside, flatly (as is the Earth by the sun), but they are luminous in themselves, and ultimately there is no longer anyone "outside" looking in, but only ecstasy in a still, resplendent Light,
1.1.02_-_The_Aim_of_the_Integral_Yoga, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The aim of the Yoga is to open the consciousness to the Divine, to live in the inner consciousness more and more while acting from it on the external life, to bring the inmost psychic into the front and by the power of the psychic to purify and change the being so that it may become ready for transformation and in union with the Divine Knowledge, Will and Love. Secondly, to develop the Yogic consciousness - i.e. to universalise the being on all the planes, become aware of the cosmic being and cosmic forces and be in union with the Divine on all the planes up to the Overmind. Thirdly, to come into contact with the transcendent Divine, beyond the Overmind, through the supramental consciousness, supramentalise the consciousness and the nature and make oneself an instrument for the realisation of the dynamic Divine Truth and its transforming descent into the earth-nature.
1.1.03_-_Brahman, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
There is no thought in the pure Impersonal, it is silent - but it is true that divine Truth can manifest in the background of the silence. This is of course the truth of things up to the Overmind.
1.1.04_-_The_Self_or_Atman, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The Cosmic Spirit or Self
The Cosmic Spirit or Self contains everything in the cosmos - it upholds cosmic Mind, universal Life, universal Matter as well as the Overmind. The Self is more than all these things which are its formulations in Nature.
The Cosmic Spirit contains the Supermind, but it keeps it above and works for the present between the Overmind and the physical. It is only when the Ignorance is removed that the Supramental becomes directly a dynamic part of the workings of cosmic Nature here. Till then there are only reflections of it.
1.12_-_The_Superconscient, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
Before reaching the supramental plane, which is the beginning of the higher hemisphere of existence, the seeker will go through several mental layers or worlds, which Sri Aurobindo has respectively called, in ascending order, the higher mind, the illumined mind, the intuitive mind, and the Overmind. We may of course use a different terminology, but these four zones correspond to very specific experiences, verifiable by anyone who has the capacity to consciously undertake the ascent.
If instead of rushing to his pen or brush or into a torrent of words to relieve himself of the excess of light received, the seeker strives to preserve his silence and transparency, if he remains patient, he will see the flashes gradually multiply, draw nearer, as it were, and observe another consciousness slowly dawn within him at once the fulfillment and the source of both the illumined mind and the intuitive mind, and of all human mental forms. This is the Overmind.
e) the Overmind
the Overmind is the rarely attained summit of human consciousness.
It is a cosmic consciousness, but with no loss of the individual. Instead of rejecting everything to soar to celestial heights, the seeker has patiently ascended each step of his being, so that the bottom remains linked to the top without any break. the Overmind is the world of the gods, the source of inspiration of the great founders of religions. This is where all the religions we know were born; they all derive from an overmental experience in one of its countless aspects. For a religion or revelation, a spiritual experience, belongs to a certain plane; it does not come from God's thunders or from nowhere; those who incarnate the particular revelation have not conceived it from nothing: the Overmind is their source. It is also the source of the higher artistic creations. But we must remember that, although it is the summit, it is still a mental plane.
When consciousness rises to that plane, it no longer sees "point by point," but calmly in great masses.198 There is no longer the diffused light of the illumined mind or the isolated flashes of the intuitive mind, but, to quote the wonderful Vedic phrase, "an ocean of stable lightnings." The consciousness is no longer limited to the brief present moment or the narrow range of its visual field; it is unsealed, seeing in a single glance large extensions of space and time.199 The essential difference with other planes lies in the evenness, the almost complete uniformity of the light. In a particularly receptive illumined mind one would see, for example, a bluish background with sudden jets of light, intuitive flashes, or moving luminous eruptions, sometimes even great overmental downpours, but it would be a fluctuating play of light, nothing stable. This is the usual condition of the greatest poets we know; they attain a certain level of rhythm, a particular poetic luminousness, and from time to time they touch upon higher regions and return with those rare dazzling lines (or musical phrases) that are repeated generation after generation like an open sesame. The illumined mind is generally the base (an already very high base), and the Overmind a divine kingdom one gains access to in moments of grace.
Mantras, great poetry, great music, or the sacred Word, all come from the Overmind plane. It is the source of all creative or spiritual activity (the two cannot be separated: the categorical divisions of the intellect vanish in this clear space where everything is sacred, even the profane). We might now attempt to describe the particular vibration or rhythm of the Overmind. First, as anyone knows who has the capacity to enter more or less consciously in contact with the higher planes a poet, a writer, or an artist it is no longer ideas one perceives and tries to translate when one goes beyond a certain level of consciousness: one hears. Vibrations, or waves, or rhythms, literally impose themselves and take possession of the seeker, and subsequently garb themselves with words and ideas, or music, or colors, during the descent. But the word or idea, the music or color is merely a result, a byproduct: it only gives a body to that first, highly compelling vibration. If the poet, the true one, next corrects and recorrects his draft, it is not to improve the form, as it were, or to find a more adequate expression, but to capture the vibrating life behind more accurately; if the true vibration is absent, all the magic disintegrates, as a Vedic priest mispronouncing the mantra of the sacrifice. When the consciousness is transparent, the sound can be heard distinctly, and it is a seeing sound, as it were, a sound-image or a sound-idea, which inseparably links hearing to vision and thought within the same luminous essence. All is there, self-contained, within a single vibration. On all the intermediate planes higher mind, illumined or intuitive mind the vibrations are generally broken up as flashes, pulsations, or eruptions, while in the Overmind they are great notes.
At the extreme summit of the Overmind, there only remain great waves of multi-hued light, says the Mother, the play of spiritual forces, which later translate sometimes much later into new ideas, social changes, or earthly events, after crossing one by one all the layers of consciousness and suffering a considerable distortion and loss of light in the process. There are some rare and silent sages on this earth who can wield and combine these forces and draw them down onto the earth, the way others combine sounds to write a poem. Perhaps they are the true poets. Their existence is a living mantra precipitating the Real upon earth. This concludes the description of the ascent Sri Aurobindo underwent alone in his cell at Alipore. We have only presented a few human reflections of these higher regions; we have said nothing about their essence, nothing about these worlds as they exist in their glory, independently of our pale translations: one must hear and see that for oneself!
1.13_-_Under_the_Auspices_of_the_Gods, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
there seemed to be nothing but a rarefied whiteness, fit for other beings or another mode of existence, but not for the earthlings' lungs.
Whether one takes the mystic path or the slower path of the poet, the artist, or all the great creators, ultimately the consciousness seems to vanish at a white frontier, and everything is canceled out. The "someone" who could serve as a bridge disappears, all pulsations die out, all vibrations cease in a frost of light. Sooner or later, the human dissolves into a Nonhuman, as if the goal of this whole evolutionary ascent were only to leave the human smallness and return to the Source, which logically we never should have left in the first place. Even assuming there were some unknown gradation of consciousness beyond the Overmind, would it not be a more rarefied,
more evanescent gradation? One climbs higher and higher, more and more divinely, but farther and farther away from the earth. The individual may be transfigured, but the world remains as it is. What,
more and more intuitive, and will perhaps finally open to the Overmind. One might suppose that a humanity opened to the Overmind would be capable of handling life's intricate diversity. the Overmind is a godlike consciousness, indeed the very consciousness of the greatest prophets the world has ever known, a mass of stable light, so it would seem that everything should be harmonized in that all-embracing light.
Unfortunately, however, two facts shatter this hope: the first has to do with the very nature of the Overmind itself. To be sure, the Overmind seems formidably powerful compared to our mind, but this is a superiority in degree within the same type; it is not a transcendence of the mental principle, but only an epitomization of it. the Overmind can broaden the human scope, not change it. It can divinize man, but it also colossalises213 him, as Sri Aurobindo puts it; for if man attaches this new power to his ego instead of to his soul, he will become a Nietzschean superman, not a god. We do not need a superconsciousness; what we need is another consciousness. Even if man accepted to obey his soul and not his ego, the Overmind would still not transform life, for the very reasons that prevented Christ and all the great prophets from transforming life: because the Overmind is not a new principle of consciousness, but the very one that has presided over our evolution since the appearance of man; from the Overmind have come all the higher ideas and creative forces, and we have lived under the auspices of the gods for thousands of years
sometimes through the voices of our prophets and religions,
though they may have ameliorated it. Can we even say that our present life is more livable than that of the Athenians?
The deficiencies of the Overmind are retraceable to several causes.
First of all, it embodies a principle of division. Yet, we had said earlier that the overmental consciousness is a mass of stable light, that it possessed the vision of a cosmic harmony and a cosmic unity, since it sees light everywhere as in itself. As such, it is not a principle of division within unity. the Overmind sees that all is one, but by the very structure of its consciousness it cannot, in practice, help dividing 213
The farther the overmental truth (which is already fragmented)
descends from plane to plane in order to express itself in life, the more fragmented it becomes; beginning in division, it inevitably ends in a superdivision. From the Buddha to the "vehicles," and from Christ to all the Christian sects, the process is visible. This applies not only to the spiritual or religious spheres but to all spheres of life, since the very function of the Overmind is to bring into play one possibility and one only: It gives to each [possibility] its full separate development and satisfaction. . . . sheer unsparing logicality. It can give to beauty its most splendid passion of luminous form and the consciousness that 214
not just a fragment of life, not just a privileged beam or a blessed island. For this, another type of Power is required, a Power capable of resisting the downward pull, another undivided or global principle of consciousness capable of containing the innumerable diversity of life without mutilating it.
If we look at the evolutionary future from an individual standpoint instead of a collective one, the Overmind does not bring us, either, the living fulfillment to which we aspire. If the goal of evolution is merely to produce more Beethovens and Shelleys, and perhaps even a few super Platos, one cannot help thinking that this is really a paltry culmination for so many millions of years and so many billions of individuals expended along the way. Beethoven or Shelley, or even St.
John, cannot be evolutionary goals, or else life has no true meaning
because we all live in the beyond, all the time; they merely preach a larger beyond. Even Rimbaud said it: "True life is elsewhere."
Sri Aurobindo was searching for a true life here. Life, not a remote silent or high-uplifted ecstatic Beyond Life alone, is the field of our Yoga.217 He was realizing that the summits of consciousness are not sufficient to turn life into a true life. We may have attained the Overmind, found joy, a singing immensity, but not that of life, which continues to grate. When you are high up in the consciousness, the Mother remarked, you know, but when you come back down in Matter, it is like water entering sand. We have sent our rockets high into the spiritual heavens, have sung what is best in man without bothering with the lower levels, content if the brute in us was asleep enough not to upset our divine dreams; but this is precisely why life does remain brute, like ourselves: To hope for a true change of human life without a change of human nature is an irrational and unspiritual proposition; it is to ask for something unnatural and unreal, an impossible miracle.218 This is also why our islands of light are 217
that one never really understands unless one understands with one's body.
The Secret, what Sri Aurobindo called the Supramental, is not a further gradation above the Overmind, not a super-mind or a superascent, but a new Auspice, unconnected to the gods and the religions,
on which the very future of our evolution depends.
1.14_-_The_Secret, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
Sri Aurobindo has never told us the circumstances of his discovery. He was always extraordinarily silent about himself, not out of reserve but simply because the "I" did not exist. "One felt," his Chandernagore host reports with naive surprise, "one felt when he spoke as if somebody else were speaking through him. I placed the plate of food before him, he simply gazed at it, then ate a little, just mechanically! He appeared to be inwardly absorbed even when he was eating; he used to meditate with open eyes." 219 It was only later, from his writings and some fragments of conversations, that his experience could be pieced together. The first clue came from a chance remark made to one of his disciples. It shows that from Alipore onward he was on the trail: I was mentally subjected to all sorts of torture for fifteen days. I had to look upon pictures of all sorts of suffering.220 We must remember that in those worlds, seeing is synonymous with experiencing. Thus, as Sri Aurobindo ascended toward the Overmind, his consciousness was descending into what we are used to calling hell. This is also one of the first phenomena the seeker experiences, in varying degrees. This is not a yoga for the weak, as the Mother says, and it is true. For if the first tangible result of Sri Aurobindo's yoga is to bring out new poetic and artistic faculties, the second, perhaps even the immediate consequence, is to shine a merciless spotlight on all the undersides of the consciousness, first individual, then universal. This close, and puzzling, linkage between superconscient and subconscient was certainly the starting point of Sri Aurobindo's breakthrough.
Night, Evil, Death are masks. The supreme Opposition awakens the supreme Intensity, and the analogous becomes Itself there is only One, tad ekam. The Solar World, the supreme, supramental, divine consciousness, of which all the other worlds are separate rays, was present in the very heart of Matter. The step above the Overmind is not "above"; it is here within all things. The door below opens the door above and everywhere:
1.15_-_The_Supramental_Consciousness, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
The Supramental Vision The supramental vision is a global vision. The mind dissects little fragments and opposes them to one another. the Overmind connects everything with a single beam, but its beam terminates in a single point, and it sees everything from its own particular point of view; it is unitary and universal either by way of excluding all other perspectives or else by annexing them. The Supramental, or Supermind, sees not only the whole of things and beings within a single vision, connecting all the beams together without opposing anything, but it also sees the point of view of each separate thing, each being, each force; it is an all-encompassing view that does not terminate in a single, central point but in myriads of points:
a single innumerable look. . .259
This is the fundamental experience. Whenever we approach that great Silence, everything changes; we feel Certainty, Peace, like a shipwrecked man who has found a rock. Nothing in life is secure; only that Rock never fails us. That is why it is said that God's kingdom is not of this world. Sri Aurobindo's experience, too, had begun with Nirvana, but it ended with the plenitude of the world. This apparent contradiction is central to our understanding of the practical secret of true life.
The mind, even the Overmind of our prophets, is irreversibly bound to dualities (dualities within Unity): if God is above, He cannot be below; if this is white, it is not black. For the supramental experience, however, everything is embraced; it is always yes and no at the same time, the Mother remarked. The two poles of each thing are constantly integrated within another "dimension" ("the secret inner spaces," as the Vedic rishis called them, II.4.9). Thus, the Transcendent is not elsewhere, outside the world; it is everywhere here, at once fully within and fully without. The supramental consciousness, likewise, is fully in the world and fully outside the world; it is seated on the unshakable Rock and in the middle of the current. This is why it can truly enjoy life and be in control of life; for if we are exclusively in the current we find neither peace nor control;
we are merely carried away like a straw. We might be able to guess what the supramental experience is by going back to the first experiences of the beginning of yoga. Indeed, we had noticed that by stepping back in our consciousness, by a slight movement of withdrawal, we entered an expanse of silence behind, as if a portion of
The parallel with nuclear physics is even more striking if we describe the supramental power as it appears to one who inwardly sees. We have said that the higher we rise in consciousness, the more stable and unbroken the light: from the intuitive sparks to the "stable flashes" of the Overmind, the light becomes more and more homogeneous. One might imagine, then, that the supramental light is a kind of luminous totality, utterly still and compact, without the tiniest interstice. But, remarkably, the quality of the supramental light is very different from that of other levels of consciousness: it combines both complete stillness and the most rapid movement; here, too, the two opposite poles have become integrated. We can only state the fact without being able to explain it. This is how the Mother describes her first experience with the supramental light: There was an overwhelming impression of power, warmth, gold: it wasn't fluid; it was like a powdering. And each of these things (one can't call them particles or fragments, or even dots, unless "dot" is used in the mathematical sense of a point that takes up no space) was like living gold a warm gold dust. It wasn't bright, it wasn't dark, nor was it a light as we understand it: a multitude of tiny golden points, nothing but that. It was as if they were touching my eyes, my face. And with a sense of tremendous power! At the same time, there was a feeling of such plenitude the peace of omnipotence. It was rich, full. It was movement at its utmost, infinitely faster than anything we can conceive of, yet at the same time, there was absolute peace and perfect stillness.284 Years later, when the experience had become quite familiar to her, the Mother spoke of it in these terms: It is a movement that is like an eternal Vibration, with neither beginning nor end.
Something that exists from all eternity, for all eternity, and that has no divisions in time; only when it is projected upon a screen does it begin assuming time-divisions; it isn't possible to say one second, or one instant . . . it's very difficult to explain. Scarcely has it been perceived,
1.16_-_Man,_A_Transitional_Being, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
soul conscious of its own immortal stuff and the inexhaustible ocean of its ever-flowing energies is seized by it with the thrill of an inconceivable rapture. It hears behind the thought the childlike laughter and ecstasy of the Infinite.317
This ceaseless movement from Being to Becoming is what Sri Aurobindo called devolution. The transition is gradual; the supreme Consciousness does not all at once become Matter. Matter is the final precipitate, the end product of an increasing fragmentation or "materialization" of consciousness, which is worked out slowly, one level at a time. At the "top" of this devolutive course though it is not a top but a supreme Point that is everywhere at once stands the supramental Consciousness-Force, which encompasses in a single Glance all the infinite possibilities of the Becoming, as the solar Fire contains all its rays within its center: "They unyoked the horses of the Sun," says the Rig Veda, "the ten thousand stood together, there was that One, tad ekam." (V.62.1) Then comes the Overmind: the "great clevage" of consciousness begins; the rays of the Sun branch off; the single Consciousness-Force is henceforth scattered into trillions of forces, each seeking its own absolute realization. Once begun, the Play will not stop until all the possibilities have been exhausted,
including those that seem to be the very contradiction of the eternal Player. Force is cast in an ever more passionate movement, as if it wanted to burst forth to its utmost frontiers, to meet itself always farther in order to replace the One by an impossible sum. Then consciousness scatters. It breaks up into smaller and smaller fragments, becoming increasingly heavy and obscure, forming layers or worlds inhabited by their own beings and forces, each with its particular life; all the traditions have described them; we too, can see them in our sleep, or with our eyes open once our vision has become unsealed. From the gods to the symbolic gnomes, consciousness shrinks, crumbles, and falls to dust overmind, intuitive mind,
1.17_-_The_Transformation, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
we are free, we are stronger than all the "laws," because God is within us. All we need to do is believe this, for faith hastens the world's fairy tale. That was the thing that saved me all through, I mean a perfect balance. First of all I believed that nothing was impossible and at the same time I could question everything. 361 One day, as he was again being urged to resume his political struggle, Sri Aurobindo promptly replied that what was needed was not a revolt against the British Government, which anyone could easily manage . . . [but] a revolt against the whole universal Nature.362
The few disciples there were about fifteen of them all remember that very special, highly concentrated atmosphere prevailing during this first phase. They had dazzling experiences almost at will; divine manifestations were common, and the natural laws seemed to begin to yield. The veil between the physical world and the other planes of consciousness was growing thinner, and the beings we call gods, or the forces of the Overmind, were able to manifest, bend the laws, and produce so-called miracles. Had this trend continued, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother would have been well on their way to founding a new religion, and Pondicherry to becoming one of the "holy places" where spiritual fragrances mask the more common odors. But one day, as the Mother was describing one of the latest extraordinary occurrences to Sri Aurobindo, he remarked humorously: Yes, it is very interesting, you will work miracles that will make us famous the world over; you will be able to turn earthly events topsy-turvy; indeed (Sri Aurobindo smiled), it will be a grand success. Then he added: But this is an overmental creation, not the highest truth. It is not the success we want; we want to establish the 360
1.2.12_-_Vigilance, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
To give up restraint would be to give free play to the vital and that would mean leave for all kinds of forces to enter in. So long as there is not the supramental consciousness controlling and penetrating everything, in all the being from the Overmind downwards, there is an ambiguous play of forces, and each force, however divine in origin, may be used by the Powers of light or intercepted as it passes through the mind and the vital by the Powers of darkness. Vigilance, discrimination, control cannot be abandoned till the complete victory has been won and the consciousness transmuted.
1.28_-_Supermind,_Mind_and_the_Overmind_Maya, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
object:1.28 - Supermind, Mind and the Overmind Maya
7:It is in the latter alternative that we find the secret we are seeking, the means of the transition, the needed step towards a supramental transformation; for we perceive a graduality of ascent, a communication with a more and more deep and immense light and power from above, a scale of intensities which can be regarded as so many stairs in the ascension of Mind or in a descent into Mind from That which is beyond it. We are aware of a sealike downpour of masses of a spontaneous knowledge which assumes the nature of Thought but has a different character from the process of thought to which we are accustomed; for there is nothing here of seeking, no trace of mental construction, no labour of speculation or difficult discovery; it is an automatic and spontaneous knowledge from a Higher Mind that seems to be in possession of Truth and not in search of hidden and withheld realities. One observes that this Thought is much more capable than the mind of including at once a mass of knowledge in a single view; it has a cosmic character, not the stamp of an individual thinking. Beyond this Truth-Thought we can distinguish a greater illumination instinct with an increased power and intensity and driving force, a luminosity of the nature of Truth-Sight with thought formulation as a minor and dependent activity. If we accept the Vedic image of the Sun of Truth, - an image which in this experience becomes a reality, - we may compare the action of the Higher Mind to a composed and steady sunshine, the energy of the Illumined Mind beyond it to an outpouring of massive lightnings of flaming sun-stuff. Still beyond can be met a yet greater power of the Truth-Force, an intimate and exact Truth-vision, Truth-thought, Truth-sense, Truth-feeling, Truthaction, to which we can give in a special sense the name of Intuition; for though we have applied that word for want of a better to any supra-intellectual direct way of knowing, yet what we actually know as intuition is only one special movement of self-existent knowledge. This new range is its origin; it imparts to our intuitions something of its own distinct character and is very clearly an intermediary of a greater Truth-Light with which our mind cannot directly communicate. At the source of this Intuition we discover a superconscient cosmic Mind in direct contact with the Supramental Truth-Consciousness, an original intensity determinant of all movements below it and all mental energies, - not Mind as we know it, but an Overmind that covers as with the wide wings of some creative Oversoul this whole lower hemisphere of Knowledge-Ignorance, links it with that greater Truth-Consciousness while yet at the same time with its brilliant golden Lid it veils the face of the greater Truth from our sight, intervening with its flood of infinite possibilities as at once an obstacle and a passage in our seeking of the spiritual law of our existence, its highest aim, its secret Reality. This then is the occult link we were looking for; this is the Power that at once connects and divides the supreme Knowledge and the cosmic Ignorance.
8:In its nature and law the Overmind is a delegate of the Supermind Consciousness, its delegate to the Ignorance. Or we might speak of it as a protective double, a screen of dissimilar similarity through which Supermind can act indirectly on an Ignorance whose darkness could not bear or receive the direct impact of a supreme Light. Even, it is by the projection of this luminous Overmind corona that the diffusion of a diminished light in the Ignorance and the throwing of that contrary shadow which swallows up in itself all light, the Inconscience, became at all possible. For Supermind transmits to Overmind all its realities, but leaves it to formulate them in a movement and according to an awareness of things which is still a vision of Truth and yet at the same time a first parent of the Ignorance. A line divides Supermind and Overmind which permits a free transmission, allows the lower Power to derive from the higher Power all it holds or sees, but automatically compels a transitional change in the passage. The integrality of the Supermind keeps always the essential truth of things, the total truth and the truth of its individual self-determinations clearly knit together; it maintains in them an inseparable unity and between them a close interpenetration and a free and full consciousness of each other: but in Overmind this integrality is no longer there. And yet the Overmind is well aware of the essential Truth of things; it embraces the totality; it uses the individual self-determinations without being limited by them: but although it knows their oneness, can realise it in a spiritual cognition, yet its dynamic movement, even while relying on that for its security, is not directly determined by it. Overmind Energy proceeds through an illimitable capacity of separation and combination of the powers and aspects of the integral and indivisible all-comprehending Unity. It takes each Aspect or Power and gives to it an independent action in which it acquires a full separate importance and is able to work out, we might say, its own world of creation. Purusha and Prakriti, Conscious Soul and executive Force of Nature, are in the supramental harmony a two-aspected single truth, being and dynamis of the Reality; there can be no disequilibrium or predominance of one over the other. In Overmind we have the origin of the cleavage, the trenchant distinction made by the philosophy of the Sankhyas in which they appear as two independent entities, Prakriti able to dominate Purusha and cloud its freedom and power, reducing it to a witness and recipient of her forms and actions, Purusha able to return to its separate existence and abide in a free self-sovereignty by rejection of her original overclouding material principle. So with the other aspects or powers of the Divine Reality, One and Many, Divine Personality and Divine Impersonality, and the rest; each is still an aspect and power of the one Reality, but each is empowered to act as an independent entity in the whole, arrive at the fullness of the possibilities of its separate expression and develop the dynamic consequences of that separateness. At the same time in Overmind this separateness is still founded on the basis of an implicit underlying unity; all possibilities of combination and relation between the separated Powers and Aspects, all interchanges and mutualities of their energies are freely organised and their actuality always possible.
9:If we regard the Powers of the Reality as so many Godheads, we can say that the Overmind releases a million Godheads into action, each empowered to create its own world, each world capable of relation, communication and interplay with the others. There are in the Veda different formulations of the nature of the Gods: it is said they are all one Existence to which the sages give different names; yet each God is worshipped as if he by himself is that Existence, one who is all the other Gods together or contains them in his being; and yet again each is a separate Deity acting sometimes in unison with companion deities, sometimes separately, sometimes even in apparent opposition to other Godheads of the same Existence. In the Supermind all this would be held together as a harmonised play of the one Existence; in the Overmind each of these three conditions could be a separate action or basis of action and have its own principle of development and consequences and yet each keep the power to combine with the others in a more composite harmony. As with the One Existence, so with its Consciousness and Force. The One Consciousness is separated into many independent forms of consciousness and knowledge; each follows out its own line of truth which it has to realise. The one total and manysided Real-Idea is split up into its many sides; each becomes an independent Idea-Force with the power to realise itself. The one Consciousness-Force is liberated into its million forces, and each of these forces has the right to fulfil itself or to assume, if needed, a hegemony and take up for its own utility the other forces. So too the Delight of Existence is loosed out into all manner of delights and each can carry in itself its independent fullness or sovereign extreme. Overmind thus gives to the One Existence-Consciousness-Bliss the character of a teeming of infinite possibilities which can be developed into a multitude of worlds or thrown together into one world in which the endlessly variable outcome of their play is the determinant of the creation, of its process, its course and its consequence.
10:Since the Consciousness-Force of the eternal Existence is the universal creatrix, the nature of a given world will depend on whatever self-formulation of that Consciousness expresses itself in that world. Equally, for each individual being, his seeing or representation to himself of the world he lives in will depend on the poise or make which that Consciousness has assumed in him. Our human mental consciousness sees the world in sections cut by the reason and sense and put together in a formation which is also sectional; the house it builds is planned to accommodate one or another generalised formulation of Truth, but excludes the rest or admits some only as guests or dependents in the house. Overmind Consciousness is global in its cognition and can hold any number of seemingly fundamental differences together in a reconciling vision. Thus the mental reason sees Person and the Impersonal as opposites: it conceives an impersonal Existence in which person and personality are fictions of the Ignorance or temporary constructions; or, on the contrary, it can see Person as the primary reality and the impersonal as a mental abstraction or only stuff or means of manifestation. To the Overmind intelligence these are separable Powers of the one Existence which can pursue their independent self-affirmation and can also unite together their different modes of action, creating both in their independence and in their union different states of consciousness and being which can be all of them valid and all capable of coexistence. A purely impersonal existence and consciousness is true and possible, but also an entirely personal consciousness and existence; the Impersonal Divine, Nirguna Brahman, and the Personal Divine, Saguna Brahman, are here equal and coexistent aspects of the Eternal. Impersonality can manifest with person subordinated to it as a mode of expression; but, equally, Person can be the reality with impersonality as a mode of its nature: both aspects of manifestation face each other in the infinite variety of conscious Existence. What to the mental reason are irreconcilable differences present themselves to the Overmind intelligence as coexistent correlatives; what to the mental reason are contraries are to the Overmind intelligence complementaries. Our mind sees that all things are born from Matter or material Energy, exist by it, go back into it; it concludes that Matter is the eternal factor, the primary and ultimate reality, Brahman. Or it sees all as born of Life-Force or Mind, existing by Life or by Mind, going back into the universal Life or Mind, and it concludes that this world is a creation of the cosmic Life-Force or of a cosmic Mind or Logos. Or again it sees the world and all things as born of, existing by and going back to the RealIdea or Knowledge-Will of the Spirit or to the Spirit itself and it concludes on an idealistic or spiritual view of the universe. It can fix on any of these ways of seeing, but to its normal separative vision each way excludes the others. Overmind consciousness perceives that each view is true of the action of the principle it erects; it can see that there is a material world-formula, a vital world-formula, a mental world-formula, a spiritual worldformula, and each can predominate in a world of its own and at the same time all can combine in one world as its constituent powers. The self-formulation of Conscious Force on which our world is based as an apparent Inconscience that conceals in itself a supreme Conscious-Existence and holds all the powers of Being together in its inconscient secrecy, a world of universal Matter realising in itself Life, Mind, Overmind, Supermind, Spirit, each of them in its turn taking up the others as means of its selfexpression, Matter proving in the spiritual vision to have been always itself a manifestation of the Spirit, is to the Overmind view a normal and easily realisable creation. In its power of origination and in the process of its executive dynamis Overmind is an organiser of many potentialities of Existence, each affirming its separate reality but all capable of linking themselves together in many different but simultaneous ways, a magician craftsman empowered to weave the multicoloured warp and woof of manifestation of a single entity in a complex universe.
11:In this simultaneous development of multitudinous independent or combined Powers or Potentials there is yet - or there is as yet - no chaos, no conflict, no fall from Truth or Knowledge. the Overmind is a creator of truths, not of illusions or falsehoods: what is worked out in any given overmental energism or movement is the truth of the Aspect, Power, Idea, Force, Delight which is liberated into independent action, the truth of the consequences of its reality in that independence. There is no exclusiveness asserting each as the sole truth of being or the others as inferior truths: each God knows all the Gods and their place in existence; each Idea admits all other ideas and their right to be; each Force concedes a place to all other forces and their truth and consequences; no delight of separate fulfilled existence or separate experience denies or condemns the delight of other existence or other experience. the Overmind is a principle of cosmic Truth and a vast and endless catholicity is its very spirit; its energy is an all-dynamism as well as a principle of separate dynamisms: it is a sort of inferior Supermind, - although it is concerned predominantly not with absolutes, but with what might be called the dynamic potentials or pragmatic truths of Reality, or with absolutes mainly for their power of generating pragmatic or creative values, although, too, its comprehension of things is more global than integral, since its totality is built up of global wholes or constituted by separate independent realities uniting or coalescing together, and although the essential unity is grasped by it and felt to be basic of things and pervasive in their manifestation, but no longer as in the Supermind their intimate and ever-present secret, their dominating continent, the overt constant builder of the harmonic whole of their activity and nature.
12:If we would understand the difference of this global Overmind Consciousness from our separative and only imperfectly synthetic mental consciousness, we may come near to it if we compare the strictly mental with what would be an overmental view of activities in our material universe. To the Overmind, for example, all religions would be true as developments of the one eternal religion, all philosophies would be valid each in its own field as a statement of its own universe-view from its own angle, all political theories with their practice would be the legitimate working out of an Idea Force with its right to application and practical development in the play of the energies of Nature. In our separative consciousness, imperfectly visited by glimpses of catholicity and universality, these things exist as opposites; each claims to be the truth and taxes the others with error and falsehood, each feels impelled to refute or destroy the others in order that itself alone may be the Truth and live: at best, each must claim to be superior, admit all others only as inferior truth-expressions. An overmental Intelligence would refuse to entertain this conception or this drift to exclusiveness for a moment; it would allow all to live as necessary to the whole or put each in its place in the whole or assign to each its field of realisation or of endeavour. This is because in us consciousness has come down completely into the divisions of the Ignorance; Truth is no longer either an Infinite or a cosmic whole with many possible formulations, but a rigid affirmation holding any other affirmation to be false because different from itself and entrenched in other limits. Our mental consciousness can indeed arrive in its cognition at a considerable approach towards a total comprehensiveness and catholicity, but to organise that in action and life seems to be beyond its power. Evolutionary Mind, manifest in individuals or collectivities, throws up a multiplicity of divergent view-points, divergent lines of action and lets them work themselves out side by side or in collision or in a certain intermixture; it can make selective harmonies, but it cannot arrive at the harmonic control of a true totality. Cosmic Mind must have even in the evolutionary Ignorance, like all totalities, such a harmony, if only of arranged accords and discords; there is too in it an underlying dynamism of oneness: but it carries the completeness of these things in its depths, perhaps in a supermind-overmind substratum, but does not impart it to individual Mind in the evolution, does not bring it or has not yet brought it from the depths to the surface. An Overmind world would be a world of harmony; the world of Ignorance in which we live is a world of disharmony and struggle.
13:And still we can recognise at once in the Overmind the original cosmic Maya, not a Maya of Ignorance but a Maya of Knowledge, yet a Power which has made the Ignorance possible, even inevitable. For if each principle loosed into action must follow its independent line and carry out its complete consequences, the principle of separation must also be allowed its complete course and arrive at its absolute consequence; this is the inevitable descent, facilis descensus, which Consciousness, once it admits the separative principle, follows till it enters by obscuring infinitesimal fragmentation, tucchyena,5 into the material Inconscience, - the Inconscient Ocean of the Rig Veda, - and if the One is born from that by its own greatness, it is still at first concealed by a fragmentary separative existence and consciousness which is ours and in which we have to piece things together to arrive at a whole. In that slow and difficult emergence a certain semblance of truth is given to the dictum of Heraclitus that War is the father of all things; for each idea, force, separate consciousness, living being by the very necessity of its ignorance enters into collision with others and tries to live and grow and fulfil itself by independent self-assertion, not by harmony with the rest of existence. Yet there is still the unknown underlying Oneness which compels us to strive slowly towards some form of harmony, of interdependence, of concording of discords, of a difficult unity. But it is only by the evolution in us of the concealed superconscient powers of cosmic Truth and of the Reality in which they are one that the harmony and unity we strive for can be dynamically realised in the very fibre of our being and all its self-expression and not merely in imperfect attempts, incomplete constructions, ever-changing approximations. The higher ranges of spiritual Mind have to open upon our being and consciousness and also that which is beyond even spiritual Mind must appear in us if we are to fulfil the divine possibility of our birth into cosmic existence.
14:Overmind in its descent reaches a line which divides the cosmic Truth from the cosmic Ignorance; it is the line at which it becomes possible for Consciousness-Force, emphasising the separateness of each independent movement created by Overmind and hiding or darkening their unity, to divide Mind by an exclusive concentration from the overmental source. There has already been a similar separation of Overmind from its supramental source, but with a transparency in the veil which allows a conscious transmission and maintains a certain luminous kinship; but here the veil is opaque and the transmission of the Overmind motives to the Mind is occult and obscure. Mind separated acts as if it were an independent principle, and each mental being, each basic mental idea, power, force stands similarly on its separate self; if it communicates or combines with or contacts others, it is not with the catholic universality of the Overmind movement, on a basis of underlying oneness, but as independent units joining to form a separate constructed whole. It is by this movement that we pass from the cosmic Truth into the cosmic Ignorance. The cosmic Mind on this level, no doubt, comprehends its own unity, but it is not aware of its own source and foundation in the Spirit or can only comprehend it by the intelligence, not in any enduring experience; it acts in itself as if by its own right and works out what it receives as material without direct communication with the source from which it receives it. Its units also act in ignorance of each other and of the cosmic whole except for the knowledge that they can get by contact and communication, - the basic sense of identity and the mutual penetration and understanding that comes from it are no longer there. All the actions of this Mind Energy proceed on the opposite basis of the Ignorance and its divisions and, although they are the results of a certain conscious knowledge, it is a partial knowledge, not a true and integral self-knowledge, nor a true and integral world-knowledge. This character persists in Life and in subtle Matter and reappears in the gross material universe which arises from the final lapse into the Inconscience.
15:Yet, as in our subliminal or inner Mind, so in this Mind also a larger power of communication and mutuality still remains, a freer play of mentality and sense than human mind possesses, and the Ignorance is not complete; a conscious harmony, an interdependent organisation of right relations is more possible: mind is not yet perturbed by blind Life forces or obscured by irresponsive Matter. It is a plane of Ignorance, but not yet of falsehood or error, - or at least the lapse into falsehood and error is not yet inevitable; this Ignorance is limitative, but not necessarily falsificative. There is limitation of knowledge, an organisation of partial truths, but not a denial or opposite of truth or knowledge. This character of an organisation of partial truths on a basis of separative knowledge persists in Life and subtle Matter, for the exclusive concentration of ConsciousnessForce which puts them into separative action does not entirely sever or veil Mind from Life or Mind and Life from Matter. The complete separation can take place only when the stage of Inconscience has been reached and our world of manifold Ignorance arises out of that tenebrous matrix. These other still conscient stages of the involution are indeed organisations of Conscious Force in which each lives from his own centre, follows out his own possibilities, and the predominant principle itself, whether Mind, Life or Matter, works out things on its own independent basis; but what is worked out are truths of itself, not illusions or a tangle of truth and falsehood, knowledge and ignorance. But when by an exclusive concentration on Force and Form Consciousness-Force seems phenomenally to separate Consciousness from Force, or when it absorbs Consciousness in a blind sleep lost in Form and Force, then Consciousness has to struggle back to itself by a fragmentary evolution which necessitates error and makes falsehood inevitable. Nevertheless, these things too are not illusions that have sprung out of an original Non-Existence; they are, we might say, the unavoidable truths of a world born out of Inconscience. For the Ignorance is still in reality a knowledge seeking for itself behind the original mask of Inconscience; it misses and finds; its results, natural and even inevitable on their own line, are the true consequence of the lapse, - in a way, even, the right working of the recovery from the lapse. Existence plunging into an apparent Non-Existence, Consciousness into an apparent Inconscience, Delight of existence into a vast cosmic insensibility are the first result of the fall and, in the return from it by a struggling fragmentary experience, the rendering of Consciousness into the dual terms of truth and falsehood, knowledge and error, of Existence into the dual terms of life and death, of Delight of existence into the dual terms of pain and pleasure are the necessary process of the labour of self-discovery. A pure experience of Truth, Knowledge, Delight, imperishable existence would here be itself a contradiction of the truth of things. It could only be otherwise if all beings in the evolution were quiescently responsive to the psychic element within them and to the Supermind underlying Nature's operations; but here there comes in the Overmind law of each Force working out its own possibilities. The natural possibilities of a world in which an original Inconscience and a division of consciousness are the main principles, would be the emergence of Forces of Darkness impelled to maintain the Ignorance by which they live, an ignorant struggle to know originative of falsehood and error, an ignorant struggle to live engendering wrong and evil, an egoistic struggle to enjoy, parent of fragmentary joys and pains and sufferings; these are therefore the inevitable first-imprinted characters, though not the sole possibilities of our evolutionary existence. Still, because the Non-Existence is a concealed Existence, the Inconscience a concealed Consciousness, the insensibility a masked and dormant Ananda, these secret realities must emerge; the hidden Overmind and Supermind too must in the end fulfil themselves in this apparently opposite organisation from a dark Infinite.
16:Two things render that culmination more facile than it would otherwise be. Overmind in the descent towards material creation has originated modifications of itself, - Intuition especially with its penetrative lightning flashes of truth lighting up local points and stretches of country in our consciousness, - which can bring the concealed truth of things nearer to our comprehension, and, by opening ourselves more widely first in the inner being and then as a result in the outer surface self also to the messages of these higher ranges of consciousness, by growing into them, we can become ourselves also intuitive and overmental beings, not limited by the intellect and sense, but capable of a more universal comprehension and a direct touch of truth in its very self and body. In fact flashes of enlightenment from these higher ranges already come to us, but this intervention is mostly fragmentary, casual or partial; we have still to begin to enlarge ourselves into their likeness and organise in us the greater Truth activities of which we are potentially capable. But, secondly, Overmind, Intuition, even Supermind not only must be, as we have seen, principles inherent and involved in the Inconscience from which we arise in the evolution and inevitably destined to evolve, but are secretly present, occult actively with flashes of intuitive emergence in the cosmic activity of Mind, Life and Matter. It is true that their action is concealed and, even when they emerge, it is modified by the medium, material, vital, mental in which they work and not easily recognisable. Supermind cannot manifest itself as the Creator Power in the universe from the beginning, for if it did, the Ignorance and Inconscience would be impossible or else the slow evolution necessary would change into a rapid transformation scene. Yet at every step of the material energy we can see the stamp of inevitability given by a supramental creator, in all the development of life and mind the play of the lines of possibility and their combination which is the stamp of Overmind intervention. As Life and Mind have been released in Matter, so too must in their time these greater powers of the concealed Godhead emerge from the involution and their supreme Light descend into us from above.
1.4.02_-_The_Divine_Force, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
It is only if the supramental Power came fully down, not merely sent its influences through the Overmind, that things could be very radically altered in this respect - and that is why my main effort is directed towards that object - for then the sanction would not be rare! For the Law of the Truth would be at work not constantly balanced by the law of the Ignorance.
2.01_-_Indeterminates,_Cosmic_Determinations_and_the_Indeterminable, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Overmind consciousness is such a state or principle beyond individual mind, beyond even universal mind in the Ignorance; it carries in itself a first direct and masterful cognition of cosmic truth: here then we might hope to understand something of the original working of things, get some insight into the fundamental movements of cosmic Nature. One thing indeed becomes clear; it is self-evident here that both the individual and the cosmos come from a transcendent Reality which takes form in them: the mind and life of the individual being, its self in nature must therefore be a partial self-expression of the cosmic Being and, both through that and directly, a self-expression of the transcendent Reality, - a conditional and half-veiled expression it may be, but still that is its significance. But also we see that what the expression shall be is also determined by the individual himself: only what he can in his nature receive, assimilate, formulate, his portion of the cosmic being or of the Reality, can find shape in his mind and life and physical parts; something that derives from the Reality, something that is in the cosmos he expresses, but in the terms of his own self-expression, in the terms of his own nature. But the original question set out for us by the phenomenon of the universe is not solved by the Overmind knowledge, - the question, in this case, whether the building of thought, experience, world of perceptions of the mental Person, the mind Purusha, is truly a self-expression, a self-determination proceeding from some truth of his own spiritual being, a manifestation of that truth's dynamic possibilities, or whether it is not rather a creation or construction presented to him by Nature, by Prakriti, and only in the sense of being individualised in his personal formation of that Nature can it be said to be his own or dependent on him; or, again, it might be a play of a cosmic Imagination, a fantasia of the Infinite imposed on the blank indeterminable of his own eternal pure existence. These are the three views of creation that seem to have an equal chance of being right, and mind is incapable of definitely deciding between them; for each view is armed with its own mental logic and its appeal to intuition and experience.
If we enter through the Saguna into some ultimate possible of experience, we arrive at a divine Absolute, a personal supreme and omnipresent Godhead, transcendent as well as universal, an infinite Master of all relations and determinations who can uphold in his being a million universes and pervade each with a single ray of his self-light and a single degree of his ineffable existence. the Overmind consciousness maintains equally these two truths of the Eternal which face the mind as mutually exclusive alternatives; it admits both as supreme aspects of one Reality: somewhere, then, behind them there must be a still greater Transcendence which originates them or upholds them both in its supreme Eternity. But what can that be of which such opposites are equal truths, unless it be an original indeterminable Mystery of which any knowledge, any understanding by the mind is impossible? We can know it indeed to some degree, in some kind of experience or realisation, by its aspects, powers, constant series of fundamental negatives and positives through which we have to pursue it, independently in either or integrally in both together; but in the last resort it seems to escape even from the highest mentality and remain unknowable.
At the stage when from the mental it has to move towards its supramental status, one most liberatingly helpful, if not indispensable experience that may intervene is the entry into a total Nirvana of mentality and mental ego, a passage into the silence of the Spirit. In any case, a realisation of the pure Self must always precede the transition to that mediating eminence of the consciousness from which a clear vision of the ascending and descending stairs of manifested existence is commanded and the possession of the free power of ascent and descent becomes a spiritual prerogative. An independent completeness of identity with each of the primal aspects and powers - not narrowing as in the mind into a sole engrossing experience seeming to be final and integral, for that would be incompatible with the realisation of the unity of all aspects and powers of existence is a capacity inherent in consciousness in the Infinite; that indeed is the base and justification of the Overmind cognition and its will to carry each aspect, each power, each possibility to its independent fullness. But the Supermind keeps always and in every status or condition the spiritual realisation of the Unity of all; the intimate presence of that unity is there even within the completest grasp of each thing, each state given its whole delight of itself, power and value: there is thus no losing sight of the affirmative aspects even when there is the full acceptance of the truth of the negative. the Overmind keeps still the sense of this underlying Unity; that is for it the secure base of the independent experience. In Mind the knowledge of the unity of all aspects is lost on the surface, the consciousness is plunged into engrossing, exclusive separate affirmations; but there too, even in the Mind's ignorance, the total reality still remains behind the exclusive absorption and can be recovered in the form of a profound mental intuition or else in the idea or sentiment of an underlying truth of integral oneness; in the spiritual mind this can develop into an ever-present experience.
2.1.02_-_Classification_of_the_Parts_of_the_Being, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
In the ancient Indian system there is only one triune supernal, Sachchidananda. Or if you speak of the upper hemisphere as the supernal, there are three, Sat plane, Chit plane and Ananda plane. The Supermind could be added as a fourth, as it draws upon the other three and belongs to the upper hemisphere. The
Indian systems did not distinguish between two quite different powers and levels of consciousness, one which we can call Overmind and the other the true Supermind or Divine Gnosis. That is the reason why they got confused about Maya (OvermindForce or Vidya-Avidya) and took it for the supreme creative power. In so stopping short at what was still a half-light they lost the secret of transformation - even though the Vaishnava and Tantra Yogas groped to find it again and were sometimes on the verge of success. For the rest, this, I think, has been the stumbling-block of all attempts at the discovery of the dynamic divine Truth; I know of none that has not imagined, as soon as it felt the Overmind lustres descending, that this was the true illumination, the gnosis, - with the result that they either stopped short there and could get no farther, or else concluded that this too was only Maya or Lila and that the one thing to do was to get beyond it into some immovable and inactive Silence of the Supreme.
You speak of the gulf below the Overmind. But is there a gulf - or any other gulf than human unconsciousness? In all the series of the planes or grades of consciousness there is nowhere any real gulf, always there are connecting gradations and one can ascend from step to step. Between the Overmind and the human mind there are a number of more and more luminous gradations; but, as these are superconscient to human mind
(except one or two of the lowest of which it gets some direct touches), it is apt to regard them as a superior Inconscience.
will, feeling, emotion, sensation and physical contact. So, proceeding from intuition to a greater overmind height, there is a new conversion and we look at and experience everything from the Overmind consciousness and through a mind, heart, vital and body surcharged with the Overmind thought, sight, will, feeling, sensation, play of force and contact. But the last conversion is the supramental, for once there, once the nature is supramentalised, we are beyond the Ignorance and conversion of consciousness is no longer needed, though a farther divine progression, even an infinite development is still possible.
2.21_-_The_Order_of_the_Worlds, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
But against this hypothesis there stands the fact that we find these higher worlds in our vision and experience of them to be in no way based upon the material universe, in no way its results, but rather greater terms of being, larger and freer ranges of consciousness, and all the action of the material plane looks more like the result and not the origin of these greater terms, derivatory from them, even partly dependent on them in its evolutionary endeavour. Immense ranges of powers, influences, phenomena descend covertly upon us from the Overmind and the higher mental and vital ranges, but of these only a part, a selection, as it were, or restricted number can stage and realise themselves in the order of the physical world; the rest await their time and proper circumstance for revelation in physical term and form, for their part in the terrestrial5 evolution which is at the same time an evolution of all the powers of the spirit.
2.25_-_The_Triple_Transformation, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
If the spirit could from the first dwell securely on the superior heights and deal with a blank and virgin stuff of mind and matter, a complete spiritual transformation might be rapid, even facile: but the actual process of Nature is more difficult, the logic of her movement more manifold, contorted, winding, comprehensive; she recognises all the data of the task she has set to herself and is not satisfied with a summary triumph over her own complexities. Every part of our being has to be taken in its own nature and character, with all the moulds and writings of the past still there in it: each minutest portion and movement must either be destroyed and replaced if it is unfit, or, if it is capable, transmuted into the truth of the higher being. If the psychic change is complete, this can be done by a painless process, though still the programme must be long and scrupulous and the progress deliberate; but otherwise one has to be satisfied with a partial result or, if one's own scrupulousness of perfection or hunger of the spirit is insatiable, consent to a difficult, often painful and seemingly interminable action. For ordinarily the consciousness does not rise to the summits except in the highest moments; it remains on the mental level and receives descents from above, sometimes a single descent of some spiritual power that stays and moulds the being into something predominatingly spiritual, or a succession of descents bringing into it more and more of the spiritual status and dynamis: but unless one can live on the highest height reached, there cannot be the complete or more integral change. If the psychic mutation has not taken place, if there has been a premature pulling down of the higher Forces, their contact may be too strong for the flawed and impure material of Nature and its immediate fate may be that of the unbaked jar of the Veda which could not hold the divine Soma Wine; or the descending influence may withdraw or be spilt because the nature cannot contain or keep it. Again, if it is Power that descends, the egoistic mind or vital may try to seize on it for its own use and a magnified ego or a hunting after powers and self-aggrandising masteries may be the untoward result. The Ananda descending cannot be held if there is too much sexual impurity creating an intoxicant or degrading mixture; the Power recedes, if there is ambition, vanity or other aggressive form of lower self, the Light if there is an attachment to obscurity or to any form of the Ignorance, the Presence if the chamber of the heart has not been made pure. Or some undivine Force may try to seize hold, not of the Power itself, for that withdraws, but of the result of force it leaves behind in the instrument and use it for the purposes of the Adversary. Even if none of these more disastrous faults or errors should take place, still the numerous mistakes of reception or the imperfections of the vessel may impede the transformation. The Power has to come at intervals and work meanwhile behind the veil or hold itself back through long periods of obscure assimilation or preparation of the recalcitrant parts of Nature; the Light has to work in darkness or semi-darkness on the regions in us that are still in the Night. At any moment the work may be stayed, personally for this life, because the nature is able to receive or assimilate no more, - for it has reached the present limits of its capacity, - or because the mind may be ready but the vital, when faced with a choice between the old life and the new, refuses, or if the vital accepts, the body may prove too weak, unfit or flawed for the necessary change of its consciousness and its dynamic transformation.
Moreover, the necessity of working out the change separately in each part of the being in its own nature and character compels the consciousness to descend into each in turn and act there according to its state and its possibility. If the work were done from above, from some spiritual height, there might be a sublimation or uplifting or the creation of a new structure compelled by the sheer force of the influence from above: but this change might not be accepted as native to itself by the lower being; it would not be a total growth, an integral evolution, but a partial and imposed formation, affecting or liberating some parts of the being, suppressing others or leaving them as they were; a creation from outside the normal nature, by imposition upon it, it could be durable in its entirety only as long as there was a maintenance of the creating influence. A descent of consciousness into the lower levels is therefore necessary, but in this way also it is difficult to work out the full power of the higher principle; there is a modification, dilution, diminution which keeps up an imperfection and limitation in the results: the light of a greater knowledge comes down but gets blurred and modified, its significance misinterpreted or its truth mixed with mental and vital error, or the force, the power to fulfil itself is not commensurate with its light. A light and power of the Overmind working in its own full right and in its own sphere is one thing, the same light working in the obscurity of the physical consciousness and under its conditions is something quite different and, owing to dilution and mixture, far inferior in its knowledge and force and results. A mutilated power, a partial effect or hampered movement is the consequence.
This is indeed the reason of the slow and difficult emergence of the Consciousness-Force in Nature: for mind and life have to descend into Matter and suit themselves to its conditions; changed and diminished by the obscurity and reluctant inertia of the substance and force in which they work, they are not able to make a complete transformation of their material into a fit instrument and a changed substance revelatory of their real and native power. The life consciousness is unable to effectuate the greatness and felicity of its mighty or beautiful impulses in the material existence; its impetus fails it, its force of effectuation is inferior to the truth of its conceptions, the form betrays the life intuition within it which it tries to render into terms of life being. The mind is unable to achieve its high ideas in the medium of life or matter without deductions and compromises which deprive them of their divinity; its clarities of knowledge and will are not matched by its force to mould this inferior substance to obey and express it: on the contrary, its own powers get affected, its will is divided, its knowledge confused and clouded by the turbidities of life and the incomprehension of Matter.
2.26_-_The_Ascent_towards_Supermind, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The gradation itself depends fundamentally upon a higher or lower substance, potency, intensity of vibrations of the being, of its self-awareness, of its delight of existence, of its force of existence. Consciousness, as we descend the scale, becomes more and more diminished and diluted, - dense indeed by its coarser crudity, but while that crudity of consistence compacts the stuff of Ignorance, it admits less and less the substance of light; it becomes thin in pure substance of consciousness and reduced in power of consciousness, thin in light, thin and weak in capacity of delight; it has to resort to a grosser thickness of its diminished stuff and to a strenuous output of its obscurer force to arrive at anything, but this strenuousness of effort and labour is a sign not of strength but of weakness. As we ascend, on the contrary, a finer but far stronger and more truly and spiritually concrete substance emerges, a greater luminosity and potent stuff of consciousness, a subtler, sweeter, purer and more powerfully ecstatic energy of delight. In the descent of these higher grades upon us it is this greater light, force, essence of being and consciousness, energy of delight that enter into mind, life, body, change and repair their diminished and diluted and incapable substance, convert it into its own higher and stronger dynamis of spirit and intrinsic form and force of reality. This can happen because all is fundamentally the same substance, the same consciousness, the same force, but in different forms and powers and degrees of itself: a taking up of the lower by the higher is therefore a possible and, but for our second nature of inconscience, a spiritually natural movement; what was put forth from the superior status is enveloped and taken up into its own greater being and essence.
Our first decisive step out of our human intelligence, our normal mentality, is an ascent into a higher Mind, a mind no longer of mingled light and obscurity or half-light, but a large clarity of the spirit. Its basic substance is a unitarian sense of being with a powerful multiple dynamisation capable of the formation of a multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action, forms and significances of becoming, of all of which there is a spontaneous inherent knowledge. It is therefore a power that has proceeded from the Overmind, - but with the Supermind as its ulterior origin, - as all these greater powers have proceeded: but its special character, its activity of consciousness are dominated by Thought; it is a luminous thought-mind, a mind of spirit-born conceptual knowledge. An all-awareness emerging from the original identity, carrying the truths the identity held in itself, conceiving swiftly, victoriously, multitudinously, formulating and by self-power of the Idea effectually realising its conceptions, is the character of this greater mind of knowledge. This kind of cognition is the last that emerges from the original spiritual identity before the initiation of a separative knowledge, base of the Ignorance; it is therefore the first that meets us when we rise from conceptive and ratiocinative mind, our best-organised knowledge-power of the Ignorance, into the realms of the Spirit: it is, indeed, the spiritual parent of our conceptive mental ideation, and it is natural that this leading power of our mentality should, when it goes beyond itself, pass into its immediate source.
But here in this greater Thought there is no need of a seeking and self-critical ratiocination, no logical motion step by step towards a conclusion, no mechanism of express or implied deductions and inferences, no building or deliberate concatenation of idea with idea in order to arrive at an ordered sum or outcome of knowledge; for this limping action of our reason is a movement of Ignorance searching for knowledge, obliged to safeguard its steps against error, to erect a selective mental structure for its temporary shelter and to base it on foundations already laid and carefully laid but never firm, because it is not supported on a soil of native awareness but imposed on an original soil of nescience. There is not here, either, that other way of our mind at its keenest and swiftest, a rapid hazardous divination and insight, a play of the searchlight of intelligence probing into the little known or the unknown. This higher consciousness is a Knowledge formulating itself on a basis of self-existent all-awareness and manifesting some part of its integrality, a harmony of its significances put into thought-form. It can freely express itself in single ideas, but its most characteristic movement is a mass ideation, a system or totality of truth-seeing at a single view; the relations of idea with idea, of truth with truth are not established by logic but pre-exist and emerge already self-seen in the integral whole. There is an initiation into forms of an ever-present but till now inactive knowledge, not a system of conclusions from premisses or data; this thought is a self-revelation of eternal Wisdom, not an acquired knowledge.
Intuition has a fourfold power. A power of revelatory truth- seeing, a power of inspiration or truth-hearing, a power of truth-touch or immediate seizing of significance, which is akin to the ordinary nature of its intervention in our mental intelligence, a power of true and automatic discrimination of the orderly and exact relation of truth to truth, - these are the fourfold potencies of Intuition. Intuition can therefore perform all the action of reason - including the function of logical intelligence, which is to work out the right relation of things and the right relation of idea with idea, - but by its own superior process and with steps that do not fail or falter. It takes up also and transforms into its own substance not only the mind of thought, but the heart and life and the sense and physical consciousness: already all these have their own peculiar powers of intuition derivative from the hidden Light; the pure power descending from above can assume them all into itself and impart to these deeper heartperceptions and life-perceptions and the divinations of the body a greater integrality and perfection. It can thus change the whole consciousness into the stuff of intuition; for it brings its own greater radiant movement into the will, into the feelings and emotions, the life-impulses, the action of sense and sensation, the very workings of the body consciousness; it recasts them in the light and power of truth and illumines their knowledge and their ignorance. A certain integration can thus take place, but whether it is a total integration must depend on the extent to which the new light is able to take up the subconscient and penetrate the fundamental Inconscience. Here the intuitive light and power may be hampered in its task because it is the edge of a delegated and modified supermind, but does not bring in the whole mass or body of the identity knowledge. The basis of Inconscience in our nature is too vast, deep and solid to be altogether penetrated, turned into light, transformed by an inferior power of the Truth-nature.
The next step of the ascent brings us to the Overmind; the intuitional change can only be an introduction to this higher spiritual overture. But we have seen that the Overmind, even when it is selective and not total in its action, is still a power of cosmic consciousness, a principle of global knowledge which carries in it a delegated light from the supramental gnosis. It is, therefore, only by an opening into the cosmic consciousness that the Overmind ascent and descent can be made wholly possible: a high and intense individual opening upwards is not sufficient, - to that vertical ascent towards summit Light there must be added a vast horizontal expansion of the consciousness into some totality of the Spirit. At the least, the inner being must already have replaced by its deeper and wider awareness the surface mind and its limited outlook and learned to live in a large universality; for otherwise the Overmind view of things and the Overmind dynamism will have no room to move in and effectuate its dynamic operations. When the Overmind descends, the predominance of the centralising ego-sense is entirely subordinated, lost in largeness of being and finally abolished; a wide cosmic perception and feeling of a boundless universal self and movement replaces it: many motions that were formerly ego-centric may still continue, but they occur as currents or ripples in the cosmic wideness. Thought, for the most part, no longer seems to originate individually in the body or the person but manifests from above or comes in upon the cosmic mindwaves: all inner individual sight or intelligence of things is now a revelation or illumination of what is seen or comprehended, but the source of the revelation is not in one's separate self but in the universal knowledge; the feelings, emotions, sensations are similarly felt as waves from the same cosmic immensity breaking upon the subtle and the gross body and responded to in kind by the individual centre of the universality; for the body is only a small support or even less, a point of relation, for the action of a vast cosmic instrumentation. In this boundless largeness, not only the separate ego but all sense of individuality, even of a subordinated or instrumental individuality, may entirely disappear; the cosmic existence, the cosmic consciousness, the cosmic delight, the play of cosmic forces are alone left: if the delight or the centre of Force is felt in what was the personal mind, life or body, it is not with a sense of personality but as a field of manifestation, and this sense of the delight or of the action of Force is not confined to the person or the body but can be felt at all points in an unlimited consciousness of unity which pervades everywhere.
But there can be many formulations of overmind consciousness and experience; for the Overmind has a great plasticity and is a field of multiple possibilities. In place of an uncentred and unplaced diffusion there may be the sense of the universe in oneself or as oneself: but there too this self is not the ego; it is an extension of a free and pure essential self-consciousness or it is an identification with the All, - the extension or the identification constituting a cosmic being, a universal individual.
In one state of the cosmic consciousness there is an individual included in the cosmos but identifying himself with all in it, with the things and beings, with the thought and sense, the joy and grief of others; in another state there is an inclusion of beings in oneself and a reality of their life as part of one's own being.
Often there is no rule or governance of the immense movement, but a free play of universal Nature to which what was the personal being responds with a passive acceptance or a dynamic identity, while yet the spirit remains free and undisturbed by any bondage to the reactions of this passivity or this universal and impersonal identification and sympathy. But with a strong influence or full action of the Overmind a very integral sense of governance, a complete supporting or overruling presence and direction of the cosmic Self or the Ishwara can come in and become normal; or a special centre may be revealed or created overtopping and dominating the physical instrument, individual in fact of existence, but impersonal in feeling and recognised by a free cognition as something instrumental to the action of a Transcendent and Universal Being. In the transition towards the supermind this centralising action tends towards the discovery of a true individual replacing the dead ego, a being who is in his essence one with the supreme Self, one with the universe in extension and yet a cosmic centre and circumference of the specialised action of the Infinite.
These are the general first results and create the normal foundation of the Overmind consciousness in the evolved spiritual being, but its varieties and developments are innumerable.
The consciousness that thus acts is experienced as a consciousness of Light and Truth, a power, force, action full of Light and Truth, an aesthesis and sensation of beauty and delight universal and multitudinous in detail, an illumination in the whole and in all things, in the one movement and all movements, with a constant extension and play of possibilities which is infinite, even in its multitude of determinations endless and indeterminable. If the power of an ordering overmind gnosis intervenes, then there is a cosmic structure of the consciousness and action, but this is not like the rigid mental structures; it is plastic, organic, something that can grow and develop and stretch into the infinite. All spiritual experiences are taken up and become habitual and normal to the new nature; all essential experiences belonging to the mind, life, body are taken up and spiritualised, transmuted and felt as forms of the consciousness, delight, power of the infinite existence. Intuition, illumined sight and thought enlarge themselves; their substance assumes a greater substantiality, mass, energy, their movement is more comprehensive, global, many-faceted, more wide and potent in its truth-force: the whole nature, knowledge, aesthesis, sympathy, feeling, dynamism become more catholic, all-understanding, all-embracing, cosmic, infinite.
the Overmind change is the final consummating movement of the dynamic spiritual transformation; it is the highest possible status-dynamis of the spirit in the spiritual-mind plane. It takes up all that is in the three steps below it and raises their characteristic workings to their highest and largest power, adding to them a universal wideness of consciousness and force, a harmonious concert of knowledge, a more manifold delight of being.
But there are certain reasons arising from its own characteristic status and power that prevent it from being the final possibility of the spiritual evolution. It is a power, though the highest power, of the lower hemisphere; although its basis is a cosmic unity, its action is an action of division and interaction, an action taking its stand on the play of the multiplicity. Its play is, like that of all Mind, a play of possibilities; although it acts not in the Ignorance but with the knowledge of the truth of these possibilities, yet it works them out through their own independent evolution of their powers. It acts in each cosmic formula according to the fundamental meaning of that formula and is not a power for a dynamic transcendence. Here in earth-life it has to work upon a cosmic formula whose basis is the entire nescience which results from the separation of Mind, Life and Matter from their own source and supreme origin. Overmind can bridge that division up to the point at which separative Mind enters into Overmind and becomes a part of its action; it can unite individual mind with cosmic mind on its highest plane, equate individual self with cosmic self and give to the nature an action of universality; but it cannot lead Mind beyond itself, and in this world of original Inconscience it cannot dynamise the Transcendence: for it is the supermind alone that is the supreme self-determining truth-action and the direct power of manifestation of that Transcendence. If then the action of evolutionary Nature ended here, the Overmind, having carried the consciousness to the point of a vast illumined universality and an organised play of this wide and potent spiritual awareness of utter existence, forceconsciousness and delight, could only go farther by an opening of the gates of the Spirit into the upper hemisphere and a will to enable the soul to depart out of its cosmic formation into the Transcendence.
In the terrestrial evolution itself the Overmind descent would not be able to transform wholly the Inconscience; all that it could do would be to transform in each man it touched the whole conscious being, inner and outer, personal and universally impersonal, into its own stuff and impose that upon the Ignorance illumining it into cosmic truth and knowledge. But a basis of Nescience would remain; it would be as if a sun and its system were to shine out in an original darkness of Space and illumine everything as far as its rays could reach so that all that dwelt in the light would feel as if no darkness were there at all in their experience of existence. But outside that sphere or expanse of experience the original darkness would still be there and, since all things are possible in an overmind structure, could reinvade the island of light created within its empire. Moreover, since Overmind deals with different possibilities, its natural action would be to develop the separate possibility of one or more or numerous dynamic spiritual formulations to their utmost or combine or harmonise several possibilities together; but this would be a creation or a number of creations in the original terrestrial creation, each complete in its separate existence. The evolved spiritual individual would be there, there might evolve also a spiritual community or communities in the same world as mental man and the vital being of the animal, but each working out its independent existence in a loose relation within the terrestrial formula. The supreme power of the principle of unity taking all diversities into itself and controlling them as parts of the unity, which must be the law of the new evolutionary consciousness, would not as yet be there. Also by this much evolution there could be no security against the downward pull or gravitation of the Inconscience which dissolves all the formations that life and mind build in it, swallows all things that arise out of it or are imposed upon it and disintegrates them into their original matter. The liberation from this pull of the Inconscience and a secured basis for a continuous divine or gnostic evolution would only be achieved by a descent of the Supermind into the terrestrial formula, bringing into it the supreme law and light and dynamis of the spirit and penetrating with it and transforming the inconscience of the material basis.
A last transition from Overmind to Supermind and a descent of Supermind must therefore intervene at this stage of evolutionary Nature.
When the higher descends into the lower consciousness, it alters the lower but is also modified and diminished by it; when the lower ascends, it is sublimated but at the same time qualifies the sublimating substance and power. This interaction creates an abundant number of different intermediate and interlocked degrees of the force and consciousness of being, but it also makes it difficult to bring about a complete integration of all the powers under the full control of any one power. For this reason there is not actually a series of simple clear-cut and successive stages in the individual's evolution; there is instead a complexity and a partly determinate, partly confused comprehensiveness of the movement. The soul may still be described as a traveller and climber who presses towards his high goal by step on step, each of which he has to build up as an integer but must frequently redescend in order to rebuild and make sure of the supporting stair so that it may not crumble beneath him: but the evolution of the whole consciousness has rather the movement of an ascending ocean of Nature; it can be compared to a tide or a mounting flux, the leading fringe of which touches the higher degrees of a cliff or hill while the rest is still below. At each stage the higher parts of the nature may be provisionally but incompletely organised in the new consciousness while the lower are in a state of flux or formation, partly moving in the old way though influenced and beginning to change, partly belonging to the new kind but still imperfectly achieved and not yet firm in the change. Another image might be that of an army advancing in columns which annexes new ground, while the main body is still behind in a territory overrun but too large to be effectively occupied, so that there has to be a frequent halt and partial return to the traversed areas for consolidation and assurance of the hold on the occupied country and assimilation of its people. A rapid conquest might be possible, but it would be of the nature of an encampment or a domination established in a foreign country; it would not be the assumption, total assimilation, integration needed for the entire supramental change.
This entails certain consequences which modify the clear successions of the evolution and prevent it from following the cleanly determined and firmly arranged course which our logical intelligence demands from Nature but seldom gets from her. As life and mind begin to appear when the organisation of Matter is sufficient to admit them but the more complex and perfect organisation of Matter comes with the evolution of life and mind, as mind appears when life is sufficiently organised to admit of a developed vibration of consciousness but life receives its full organisation and development only after mind can act upon it, as the spiritual evolution begins when man as mind is capable of the movements of spirituality but mind also rises to its own highest perfection by the growth of the intensities and luminosities of the spirit, so it is with this higher evolution of the ascending powers of the Spirit. As soon as there is a sufficient spiritual development, something of intuition, illumination of the being, the movements of the higher spiritual grades of Consciousness begins to manifest, - sometimes one, sometimes the other or all together, and they do not wait for each power in the series to complete itself before a higher power comes into action. An Overmind light and power may descend in some sort, create a partial form of itself in the being and take a leading part or supervise or intervene while the intuitive and illumining mind and higher mind are still incomplete; these would then remain in the whole, acting along with the greater Power, often penetrated or sublimated by it or rising into it to form a greater or overmind intuition, a greater or overmind illumination, a greater or overmind spiritual thinking. This intricate action takes place because each descending power by its intensity of pressure on the nature and uplifting effect makes the being already capable of a still higher invasion before that earlier power itself is complete in its self-formation; but also it happens because the work of assumption and transformation of the lower nature can with difficulty be done if a higher and higher intervention does not take place. The illumination and the higher thought need the help of the intuition, the intuition needs the help of the Overmind to combat the darkness or ignorance in which they labour and to give them their own fullness. Still, it is not possible in the end for the Overmind status and integration to be complete until the higher mind and the illumined mind have been integrated and taken up into the intuition and the intuition itself subsequently integrated and taken up into the all-enlarging and all-sublimating overmind energy. The law of the gradation has to be satisfied even in the complexity of the process of evolutionary Nature.
A further cause of complexity arises from the need of integration itself; for the process is not only an ascent of the soul to a higher status, but a descent of the higher consciousness so gained to take up and transform the inferior nature. But this nature has a density of previous formation which resists and obstructs the descent; even when the higher power has broken the barrier and descended and is at work, we have seen that the nature of the Ignorance resists and obstructs the working, that it either strives to refuse transformation altogether or tries to modify the new power into some conformity with its own workings, or even throws itself upon it to seize and degrade and enslave it to its own way of action and lower purpose. Ordinarily, in their task of assumption and assimilation of this difficult stuff of Nature, the higher powers descend first into the mind and occupy the mind centres because these are nearest to themselves in intelligence and knowledge-power; if they descend first into the heart or into the vital being of force and sensation, as they sometimes do because these happen to be in some individuals more open and call them first, the results are more mixed and dubious, imperfect and insecure than if things happen in the logical order. But, even in its normal working when it takes up the being part by part in the natural order of descent, the descending power is not able to bring about a total occupation and transformation of each before it goes farther. It can only effect a general and incomplete occupation, so that the workings of each remain still partly of the new higher, partly of a mixed, partly of the old unchanged lower order. All the mind in its whole range cannot be transmuted at once, for the mind centres are not a region isolated from the rest of the being; the mind action is penetrated by the action of the vital and physical parts, and in those parts themselves are lower formations of mind, a vital mind, a physical mind, and these have to be changed before there can be an entire transformation of the mental being. The higher transforming power has, therefore, to descend, as soon as may be and without waiting for an integral mental change, into the heart so as to occupy and change the emotional nature, and afterwards into the inferior vital centres to occupy and change the whole vital and kinetic and sensational nature, and, finally, into the physical centres so as to occupy and change the whole physical nature. But even this finality is not final, for there are still left the subconscient parts and the inconscient foundation.
2.27_-_The_Gnostic_Being, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
At the same time certain deductions can be made from the very fact of this difference of nature which might be valid at least for a general description of the passage from Overmind to Supermind or might vaguely construct for us an idea of the first status of the evolutionary supramental existence.
This passage is the stage at which the supermind gnosis can take over the lead of the evolution from the Overmind and build the first foundations of its own characteristic manifestation and unveiled activities; it must be marked therefore by a decisive but long-prepared transition from an evolution in the Ignorance to an always progressive evolution in the Knowledge. It will not be a sudden revelation and effectuation of the absolute Supermind and the supramental being as they are in their own plane, the swift apocalypse of a truth-conscious existence ever self-fulfilled and complete in self-knowledge; it will be the phenomenon of the supramental being descending into a world of evolutionary becoming and forming itself there, unfolding the powers of the gnosis within the terrestrial nature. This is indeed the principle of all terrestrial being; for the process of earth-existence is the play of an infinite Reality concealing itself first in a succession of obscurely limited, opaque and incomplete half-figures which by their imperfection and character of disguise distort the truth of which they are in labour, but afterwards arriving more and more at half-luminous figures of itself which can become, once there is the supramental descent, a true progressive revelation. The descent from original supermind, the assumption of evolutionary supermind is a step which the supramental gnosis can very well undertake and accomplish without changing its own essential character. It can assume the formula of a truth-conscious existence founded in an inherent self-knowledge but at the same time taking up into itself mental nature and nature of life and material body. For the supermind as the truth-consciousness of the Infinite has in its dynamic principle the infinite power of a free self-determination. It can hold all knowledge in itself and yet put forward in formulation only what is needed at each stage of an evolution; it formulates whatever is in accordance with the Divine Will in manifestation and the truth of the thing to be manifested. It is by this power that it is able to hold back its knowledge, hide its own character and law of action and manifest overmind and under overmind a world of ignorance in which the being wills on its surface not to know and even puts itself under the control of a pervading Nescience. But in this new stage the veil thus put on will be lifted; the evolution at every step will move in the power of the truth-consciousness and its progressive determinations will be made by a conscious Knowledge and not in the forms of an Ignorance or Inconscience.
As there has been established on earth a mental Consciousness and Power which shapes a race of mental beings and takes up into itself all of earthly nature that is ready for the change, so now there will be established on earth a gnostic Consciousness and Power which will shape a race of gnostic spiritual beings and take up into itself all of earth-nature that is ready for this new transformation. It will also receive into itself from above, progressively, from its own domain of perfect light and power and beauty all that is ready to descend from that domain into terrestrial being. For the evolution proceeded in the past by the The Gnostic Being upsurging, at each critical stage, of a concealed Power from its involution in the Inconscience, but also by a descent from above, from its own plane, of that Power already self-realised in its own higher natural province. In all these previous stages there has been a division between surface self and consciousness and subliminal self and consciousness; the surface was formed mainly under the push of the upsurging force from below, by the Inconscient developing a slowly emergent formulation of a concealed force of the spirit, the subliminal partly in this way but mainly by a simultaneous influx of the largeness of the same force from above: a mental or a vital being descended into the subliminal parts and formed from its secret station there a mental or a vital personality on the surface. But before the supramental change can begin, the veil between the subliminal and the surface parts must have been already broken down; the influx, the descent will be in the entire consciousness as a whole, it will not take place partly behind a veil: the process will be no longer a concealed, obscure and ambiguous procedure but an open outflowering consciously felt and followed by the whole being in its transmutation. In other respects the process will be identical, - a supramental inflow from above, the descent of a gnostic being into the nature, and an emergence of the concealed supramental force from below; the influx and the unveiling between them will remove what is left of the nature of the Ignorance. The rule of the Inconscient will disappear: for the Inconscience will be changed by the outburst of the greater secret Consciousness within it, the hidden Light, into what it always was in reality, a sea of the secret Superconscience. A first formation of a gnostic consciousness and nature will be the consequence.
The creation of a supramental being, nature, life on earth, will not be the sole result of this evolution; it will also carry with it the consummation of the steps that have led up to it: for it will confirm in possession of terrestrial birth the Overmind, the intuition and the other gradations of the spiritual natureforce and establish a race of gnostic beings and a hierarchy, a shining ladder of ascending degrees and successive constituent formations of the gnostic light and power in earth-nature. For the description of gnosis applies to all consciousness that is based upon Truth of being and not upon the Ignorance or Nescience.
All life and living beings ready to rise beyond the mental ignorance, but not ready yet for the supramental height, would find in a sort of echelon or a scale with overlapping degrees their assured basis, their intermediate steps of self-formation, their expression of realised capacity of spiritual existence on the way to the supreme Reality. But also the presence of the liberated and now sovereign supramental light and force at the head of evolutionary Nature might be expected to have its consequences in the whole evolution. An incidence, a decisive stress would affect the life of the lower evolutionary stages; something of the light, something of the force would penetrate downwards and awaken into a greater action the hidden TruthPower everywhere in Nature. A dominant principle of harmony would impose itself on the life of the Ignorance; the discord, the blind seeking, the clash of struggle, the abnormal vicissitudes of exaggeration and depression and unsteady balance of the unseeing forces at work in their mixture and conflict, would feel the influence and yield place to a more orderly pace and harmonic steps of the development of being, a more revealing arrangement of progressing life and consciousness, a better lifeorder. A freer play of intuition and sympathy and understanding would enter into human life, a clearer sense of the truth of self and things and a more enlightened dealing with the opportunities and difficulties of existence. Instead of a constant intermixed and confused struggle between the growth of Consciousness and the power of the Inconscience, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, the evolution would become a graded progression from lesser light to greater light; in each stage of it the conscious beings belonging to that stage would respond to the inner Consciousness-Force and expand their own law of cosmic Nature towards the possibility of a higher degree of that Nature. This is at least a strong possibility and might be envisaged as the natural consequence of the direct action of supermind on the evolution. This intervention would not annul The Gnostic Being the evolutionary principle, for supermind has the power of withholding or keeping in reserve its force of knowledge as well as the power of bringing it into full or partial action; but it would harmonise, steady, facilitate, tranquillise and to a great extent hedonise the difficult and afflicted process of the evolutionary emergence.
There is something in the nature of supermind itself that would make this great result inevitable. It is in its foundation a unitarian and integralising and harmonic consciousness, and in its descent and evolutionary working out of the diversity of the Infinite it would not lose its unitarian trend, its push towards integralisation or its harmonic influence. the Overmind follows out diversities and divergent possibilities on their own lines of divergence: it can allow contradictions and discords, but it makes them elements of a cosmic whole so that they are forced, however unwittingly and in spite of themselves, to contribute their share to its wholeness. Or we may say that it accepts and even encourages contradictions, but obliges them to support each other's existence so that there may be divergent roads of being and consciousness and experience that lead away from the One and from each other but still maintain themselves on the Oneness and can lead back again each on its own path to the Oneness. That is the secret sense even of our own world of Ignorance which works from the Inconscience but with the underlying cosmicity of the Overmind principle. But the individual being in such a creation does not possess this secret principle in knowledge and does not base upon it his action. An overmind being here would perceive this secret; but he might still work on his own lines of Nature and law of action, Swabhava, Swadharma, according to the inspiration, the dynamic control or the inner governance of the Spirit or the Divine within him and leave the rest to their own line in the whole: an overmind creation of knowledge in the Ignorance might therefore be something separate from the surrounding world of Ignorance and guarded from it by the luminous encircling and separating wall of its own principle. The supramental gnostic being, on the contrary, would not only found all his living on an intimate sense and effective realisation of harmonic unity in his own inner and outer life or group life, but would create a harmonic unity also with the still surviving mental world, even if that world remained altogether a world of Ignorance. For the gnostic consciousness in him would perceive and bring out the evolving truth and principle of harmony hidden in the formations of the Ignorance; it would be natural to his sense of integrality and it would be within his power to link them in a true order with his own gnostic principle and the evolved truth and harmony of his own greater life-creation. That might be impossible without a considerable change in the life of the world, but such a change would be a natural consequence of the appearance of a new Power in Nature and its universal influence. In the emergence of the gnostic being would be the hope of a more harmonious evolutionary order in terrestrial Nature.
A supramental or gnostic race of beings would not be a race made according to a single type, moulded in a single fixed pattern; for the law of the supermind is unity fulfilled in diversity, and therefore there would be an infinite diversity in the manifestation of the gnostic consciousness although that consciousness would still be one in its basis, in its constitution, in its allrevealing and all-uniting order. It is evident that the triple status of the supermind would reproduce itself as a principle in this new manifestation: there would be below it and yet belonging to it the degrees of the Overmind and intuitive gnosis with the souls that had realised these degrees of the ascending consciousness; there would be also at the summit, as the evolution in Knowledge proceeded, individual beings who would ascend beyond a supermind formulation and reach from the highest height of supermind to the summits of unitarian self-realisation in the body which must be the last and supreme state of the epiphany of the Creation. But in the supramental race itself, in the variation of its degrees, the individuals would not be cast according to a single type of individuality; each would be different from the other, a unique formation of the Being, although one with all the rest in foundation of self and sense of oneness and in the principle of his being. It is only this general principle of The Gnostic Being the supramental existence of which we can attempt to form an idea however diminished by the limitations of mental thought and mental language. A more living picture of the gnostic being supermind only could make; for the mind some abstract outlines of it are alone possible.
The gnosis is the effective principle of the Spirit, a highest dynamis of the spiritual existence. The gnostic individual would be the consummation of the spiritual man; his whole way of being, thinking, living, acting would be governed by the power of a vast universal spirituality. All the trinities of the Spirit would be real to his self-awareness and realised in his inner life. All his existence would be fused into oneness with the transcendent and universal Self and Spirit; all his action would originate from and obey the supreme Self and Spirit's divine governance of Nature.
A knowledge by identity using the powers of the integrated being for richness of instrumentation would be the principle of the supramental life. In the other grades of the gnostic being, although a truth of spiritual being and consciousness would fulfil itself, the instrumentation would be of a different order. A
Higher-Mental being would act through the truth of thought, the truth of the idea and accomplish that in the life-action: but in the supramental gnosis thought is a derivative movement, it is a formulation of truth-vision and not the determining or the main driving force; it would be an instrument for expression of knowledge more than for arrival at knowledge or for action, - or it would intervene in action only as a penetrating point of the body of identity-will and identity-knowledge. So too in the illumined gnostic being truth-vision and in the intuitive gnostic being a direct truth-contact and perceptive truth-sense would be the mainspring of action. In the Overmind a comprehensive immediate grasp of the truth of things and the principle of being of each thing and all its dynamic consequences would originate and gather up a great wideness of gnostic vision and thought and create a foundation of knowledge and action; this largeness of being and seeing and doing would be the varied result of an underlying identity-consciousness, but the identity itself would not be in the front as the very stuff of the consciousness or the very force of the action. But in the supramental gnosis all this luminous immediate grasp of the truth of things, truth-sense, truth-vision, truth-thought would get back into its source of identity-consciousness and subsist as a single body of its knowledge. The identity-consciousness would lead and contain everything; it would manifest as an awareness in the very grain of the being's substance putting forth its inherent self-fulfilling force and determining itself dynamically in form of consciousness and form of action. This inherent awareness is the origin and principle of the working of supramental gnosis; it could be sufficient in itself with no need of anything to formulate or embody it: but the play of illumined vision, the play of a radiant thought, the play of all other movements of the spiritual consciousness would not be absent; there would be a free instrumentation of them for their own brilliant functioning, for a divine richness and diversity, for a manifold delight of selfmanifestation, for the joy of the powers of the Infinite. In the intermediate stages or degrees of the gnosis there might be the manifestation of various and separate expressions of the aspects of the divine Being and Nature, a soul and life of love, a soul and life of divine light and knowledge, a soul and life of divine power and sovereign action and creation, and innumerable other forms of divine life; on the supramental height all would be taken up into a manifold unity, a supreme integration of being and life. A fulfilment of the being in a luminous and blissful integration of its states and powers and their satisfied dynamic action would be the sense of the gnostic existence.
All supramental gnosis is a twofold Truth-consciousness, a consciousness of inherent self-knowledge and, by identity of self and world, of intimate world-knowledge; this knowledge is the criterion, the characteristic power of the gnosis. But this is not a purely ideative knowledge, it is not consciousness observing, forming ideas, trying to carry them out; it is an essential light of consciousness, the self-light of all the realities of being and becoming, the self-truth of being determining, formulating and effectuating itself. To be, not to know, is the object of The Gnostic Being the manifestation; knowledge is only the instrumentation of an operative consciousness of being. This would be the gnostic life on earth, a manifestation or play of truth-conscious being, being grown aware of itself in all things, no longer lost to consciousness of itself, no longer plunged into a self-oblivion or a half-oblivion of its real existence brought about by absorption in form and action, but using form and action with a delivered spiritual power for its free and perfect self-expression, no longer seeking for its own lost or forgotten or veiled and hidden significance or significances, no longer bound, but delivered from inconscience and ignorance, aware of its own truths and powers, determining freely in a movement always concurrent and in tune in every detail with its supreme and universal Reality its manifestation, the play of its substance, the play of its consciousness, the play of its force of existence, the play of its delight of existence.
This much is easily understandable if we regard the gnostic beings as living their own life without any contact with a life of the Ignorance. But by the very fact of the evolution here the gnostic manifestation would be a circumstance, though a decisive circumstance, in the whole: there would be a continuance of the lower degrees of the consciousness and life, some maintaining the manifestation in the Ignorance, some mediating between it and the manifestation in the gnosis; these two forms of being and life would either exist side by side or interpenetrate.
In either case the gnostic principle might be expected, if not at once, yet finally to dominate the whole. The higher spiritualmental degrees would be in touch with the supramental principle now overtly supporting them and holding them together and would be delivered from the once enveloping hold of the Ignorance and Inconscience. As manifestations of the truth of being, though in a qualified and modified degree, they would draw all their light and energy from the supramental gnosis and would be in large contact with its instrumental powers; they would themselves be conscious motive-powers of the spirit and, although not yet in the full force of their entirely realised spiritual substance, they would not be subjected to a lesser instrumentation fragmented, diluted, diminished, obscured by the substance of the Nescience. All Ignorance rising or entering into the Overmind, into the intuitive, into the illumined or higher-mind being would cease to be ignorance; it would enter into the light, realise in that light the truth which it had covered with its darkness and undergo a liberation, transmutation, new state of consciousness and being which would assimilate it to these higher states and prepare it for the supramental status. At the same time the involved principle of the gnosis, acting now as an overt, arisen and constantly dynamic force and no longer only as a concealed power with a secret origination or a veiled support of things or an occasional intervention as its only function, would be able to lay something of its law of harmony on the still existing Inconscience and Ignorance. For the secret gnostic power concealed in them would act with a greater strength of its support and origination, a freer and more powerful intervention; the beings of the Ignorance, influenced by the light of the gnosis through their association with gnostic beings and through the evolved The Gnostic Being and effective presence of the supramental Being and Power in earth-nature, would be more conscious and responsive. In the untransformed part of humanity itself there might well arise a new and greater order of mental human beings; for the directly intuitive or partly intuitivised but not yet gnostic mental being, the directly or partly illumined mental being, the mental being in direct or part communion with the higher-thought plane would emerge: these would become more and more numerous, more and more evolved and secure in their type, and might even exist as a formed race of higher humanity leading upwards the less evolved in a true fraternity born of the sense of the manifestation of the One Divine in all beings. In this way, the consummation of the highest might mean also a lesser consummation in its own degree of what must remain still below. At the higher end of the evolution the ascending ranges and summits of supermind would begin to rise towards some supreme manifestation of the pure spiritual existence, consciousness and delight of being of Sachchidananda.
A question might arise whether the gnostic reversal, the passage into a gnostic evolution and beyond it would not mean sooner or later the cessation of the evolution from the Inconscience, since the reason for that obscure beginning of things here would cease. This depends on the farther question whether the movement between the Superconscience and the Inconscience as the two poles of existence is an abiding law of the material manifestation or only a provisional circumstance. The latter supposition is difficult to accept because of the tremendous force of pervasiveness and durability with which the inconscient foundation has been laid for the whole material universe.
2.3.02_-_The_Supermind_or_Supramental, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The Supracosmic, the Supramental, the Overmind and Nirvana
(1) I mean by the supracosmic Reality the supreme Sachchidananda who is above this and all manifestations, not bound by any, yet from whom all manifestation proceeds and all universe.
(4) the Overmind is a sort of delegation from the Supermind
(this is a metaphor only) which supports the present evolutionary universe in which we live here in Matter. If Supermind were
To this action of the Overmind may be applied the words of the Upanishad, "The face of the Truth is covered by a golden
Lid", or those of the Vedic r.tena r.tam apihitam. Here there is the working of a sort of vidya-avidyamay maya which makes possible the predominance of avidya. It is by this primitive divisional principle that the Mind is enabled to regard for example the Impersonal as the Truth and the Personal as only a mask or the personal Divine as the greatest Truth and impersonality as only an aspect; it is so too that all the conflicting philosophies and religions arise, each exalting one aspect or potentiality of
In the Overmind itself there is not this confusion, for the
Overmind knows the One as the support, essence, fundamental power of all things, but in the dynamic play proper to it it lays emphasis on its divisional power of multiplicity and seeks to give each Power or Aspect its full chance to manifest, relying on the underlying Oneness to prevent disharmony or conflict.
Each Godhead, as it were, creates his own world, but without conflict with others; each Aspect, each Idea, each Force of things can be felt in its full separate energy or splendour and work out its values, but this does not create a disharmony because the Overmind has the sense of the Infinite and in the true (not spatial) Infinite many concording infinities are possible. This peculiar security of Overmind is however not transferable to the lower planes of consciousness which it supports and governs, because as one descends in the scale the stress on division and multiplicity increases and in the Mind the underlying oneness becomes vague, abstract, indeterminate and indeterminable and the only apparent concreteness is that of the phenomenal which is by its nature a form and representation - the self-view of the
One has already begun to disappear. Mind acts by representations and constructions, by the separation and weaving together of its constructed data; it can make a synthetic construction and see it as the whole, but when it looks for the reality of things, it takes refuge in abstractions - it has not the concrete vision, experience, contact sought by the mystic and the spiritual seeker. To know Self and Reality directly or truly, it has to be silent and reflect some light of these things or undergo selfexceeding and transformation, and this is only possible either by a higher Light descending into it or by its ascent, the taking up or immergence of it into a higher Light of existence. In Matter, descending below Mind, we arrive at the acme of the principle of fragmentation and division; the One, though secretly there, is lost to knowledge and we get the fullness of the Ignorance,
(5) If we regard Vaikuntha or Goloka each as the world of a Divinity, Vishnu or Krishna, we would be naturally led to seek its place or its origin in the Overmind plane. the Overmind is the plane of the highest worlds of the Gods. But Vaikuntha and Goloka are human conceptions of states of being that are beyond humanity. Goloka is evidently a world of Love, Beauty and Ananda full of spiritual radiances (the cow is the symbol of spiritual light) of which the souls there are the keepers or possessors, Gopas and Gopis. It is not necessary to assign any single plane to this manifestation - in fact there can be a reflection or possession of it or of its conditions on any plane of consciousness - the mental, vital or even the subtle physical plane. The explanation of it which you mention is not therefore excluded, it is quite feasible.
But, one might ask, if the higher planes or if the Overmind itself were to manifest their consciousness with all that power, light, freedom and vastness and these things were to descend into an individual consciousness here, would not that make unnecessary both the cosmic negation or the Nirvanic push and the urge towards some Divine Transcendence? But in the result, though one might live in a union with the Divine in a luminous wide free consciousness embracing the universe in itself and be a channel of great energies or creations, spiritual or external, yet this world here would remain fundamentally the same - there would be a gulf of difference between the Spirit within and its medium and stuff on which it acted, between the inner consciousness and the world in which it was working.
Letters on Yoga - I
lid of the Overmind is overpassed and opened and the dynamic contact with the Supermind and a descent of its Light and Power here is intended that it can be otherwise.
I have not said that everything is falsehood except the supramental Truth. I said that there was no complete Truth below the supramental. In the Overmind the Truth of supermind which is whole and harmonious enters into a separation into parts, many Truths fronting each other and moved each to fulfil itself, to make a world of its own or else to prevail or take its share in worlds made of a combination of various separated Truths and Truth-forces. Lower down in the scale, the fragmentation
If the supermind were not to give us a greater and completer truth than any of the lower planes, it would not be worth while trying to reach it. Each plane has its own truths. Some of them are no longer true on a higher plane; e.g. desire and ego are truths of the mental, vital and physical Ignorance - a man there without ego or desire would be a tamasic automaton. As we rise higher, ego and desire appear no longer as truths, they are falsehoods disfiguring the true person and the true will. The struggle between the Powers of Light and the Powers of Darkness is a truth here - as we ascend above, it becomes less and less of a truth and in the supermind it has no truth at all. Other truths remain but change their character, importance, place in the whole. The difference or contrast between the Personal and
Impersonal is a truth of the Overmind - there is no separate truth of them in the supermind, they are inseparably one. But one who has not mastered and lived the truths of Overmind cannot reach the supramental Truth. The incompetent pride of man's mind makes a sharp distinction and wants to call all else untruth and leap at once to the highest truth whatever it may be
- but that is an ambitious and arrogant error. One has to climb the stairs and rest one's feet firmly on each step in order to reach the summit.
Supermind and the human mind are a number of ranges, planes or layers of consciousness - one can regard it in various ways - in which the element or substance of mind and consequently its movements also become more and more illumined and powerful and wide. the Overmind is the highest of these ranges; it is full of lights and powers; but from the point of view of what is above it, it is the line of the soul's turning away from the complete and indivisible knowledge and its descent towards the Ignorance.
The Supermind is the One Truth deploying and determining the manifestation of its Powers - all these Powers working as a multiple Oneness, in harmony, without opposition or collision, according to the One Will inherent in all. the Overmind takes these Truths and Powers and sets each working as a force in itself with its necessary consequences - there can be harmony in their action, but the Overmind's harmonies are synthetic and partial rather than inherent, total and inevitable and, as one descends from the highest Overmind, separation, collision and conflict of forces increase, separability dominates, ignorance grows, existence becomes a clash of possibilities, a mixture of conflicting half-truths, an unsolved and apparently unsolvable riddle and puzzle.
The Supermind is the Truth-Consciousness; below it there intervenes the Overmind of which the principle is to receive the powers of the Divine and try to work them out separately, each acting in its own right and working to realise a world of its own or, if it has to act with others, enforcing its own principle as much as possible. Souls descending into the Overmind act in the same way. The principle of separated Individuality is from here.
At first still aware of its divine origin, it becomes as it descends still more and more separated and oblivious of it, governed by the principle of division and ego. For Mind is farther removed from the Truth than Overmind, Vital Nature is engrossed in the realisation of ignorant forces, while in Matter the whole passes into what seems an original Inconscience. It is the Overmind
Maya that governs this world, but in Matter it has deepened into
At the time when these chapters [the last chapters of The Synthesis of Yoga] were written, the name "overmind" had not been found, so there is no mention of it. What is described in these chapters is the action of the supermind when it descends into the Overmind plane and takes up the Overmind workings and transforms them.1 It was intended in later chapters to show how difficult even this was and how many levels there were between human mind and supermind and how even supermind, descending, could get mixed with the lower action and turned into something that was less than the true Truth. But these later chapters were not written.
The distinction [between the Supermind and the Overmind] has
1 The highest Supermind or Divine Gnosis existent in itself is something that lies beyond still and quite above.
not been made in the Arya because at that time what I now call the Overmind was supposed to be an inferior plane of the
Supermind. But that was because I was seeing them from the
Truth). In its own plane Overmind seems to be only a divided, many-sided play of the Truth, so can easily be taken by the
Mind as a supramental province. Mind also when flooded by the Overmind lights feels itself living in a surprising revelation of divine Truth. The difficulty comes when we deal with the vital and still more with the physical. Then it becomes imperative to face the difficulty and to make a sharp distinction between
Overmind and Supermind - for it then becomes evident that the Overmind Power (in spite of its lights and splendours) is not sufficient to overcome the Ignorance because it is itself under the law of Division out of which came the Ignorance. One has to pass beyond and supramentalise Overmind so that mind and all the rest may undergo the final change.
The Supermind is the total Truth Consciousness; the Overmind draws down the truths separately and gives them a separate activity - e.g. in the Supermind the Divine Peace and Power,
Knowledge and Will are one. In the Overmind each of these becomes a separate aspect which can exist or act on its own lines apart from the others. When it comes down to Mind, this turns into an ignorance and incapacity - because Knowledge can come without a Will to support it or Peace can be disturbed by the action of Power etc.
You will say however that it is not the Supramental but at most the Overmind that helped me to these non-nebulous motions. But the Supermind is by definition a greater dynamic activity than mind or Overmind. I have said that what is not true is not supramental; I will add that what is ineffective is not supramental. And finally I will conclude by saying that I have
One must have already become intuitively conscious to know about the Overmind and the supermind. To give "signs" is useless, for the mind would only make mistakes in trying to judge by the "signs" - one has to become conscious within and know directly.
2.3.03_-_The_Overmind, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
object:2.3.03 - the Overmind
Overmind and the Cosmic Consciousness
Overmind is the highest source of the cosmic consciousness available to the embodied being in the Ignorance. It is part of the cosmic consciousness - but the human individual when he opens into the cosmic usually remains in the cosmic Mind-LifeMatter receiving only inspirations and influences from the higher planes of Intuition and Overmind. He receives through the spiritualised higher and illumined mind the fundamental experiences on which spiritual knowledge is based; he can become even full of intuitive mind movements, illuminations, various kinds of powers and illumined light, liberation, Ananda. But to rise fully into the Intuition is rare, to reach the Overmind still rarer - although influences and experiences can come down from there.
It is (sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly) by the power of the Overmind releasing the mind from its close partitions that the cosmic consciousness opens in the seeker and he becomes aware of the cosmic spirit and the play of the cosmic forces.
It is from or at least through the Overmind plane that the original prearrangement of things in this world is effected; for from it the determining vibrations originally come. But there are corresponding movements on all the planes, the mind, the vital, the physical even, and it is possible in a very clear or illumined condition of the lower consciousness to become aware of these movements and understand the plan of things and be a conscious instrument or even, to a limited extent, a determinant Will or
Force. But the stuff of the lower planes always mixes with the Overmind forces and diminishes or even falsifies and perverts their truth and power.
It is even possible for the Overmind to transmit to the lower
You cannot do it [recognise the different planes of the Overmind] at present. Only those who have got fully into the cosmic consciousness can do it and even they cannot do it at first. One must first go fully through the experience of higher mind and illumined mind and intuition before it can be done.
Planes of the Overmind
There are different planes of the Overmind. One is mental, directly creative of all the formations that manifest below in the mental world - that is the mental Overmind. Above is the Overmind Intuition. Still above are the planes of overmind that are more and more connected with the supermind and have a
Letters on Yoga - I
partly supramental character. Highest in the Overmind ranges is the supramental Overmind or Overmind gnosis. But these are things you cannot understand until you get a higher experience.
It [the Overmind] can for convenience be divided into four planes - mental overmind and the three you have written [intuitive overmind, true overmind and supramental overmind] - but there are many layers in each and each of these can be regarded as a plane in itself.
What you call supramental overmind1 is still overmind - not a part of the true Supermind. One cannot get into the true Supermind (except in some kind of trance or Samadhi) unless one has first objectivised the Overmind Truth in life, speech, action, external knowledge and not only experienced it in meditation and inner experience.
the Overmind, the Intuition and Below
the Overmind receives the Divine Truth and disperses it in various formations and diverse play of forces, building thus different worlds out of this dispersion.
It is from the Overmind that all these different arrangements of the creative Truth of things originate. Out of the Overmind they come down to the Intuition and are transmitted from it to the
Illumined and higher Mind to be arranged there for our intelligence. But they lose more and more of their power and certitude in the transmission as they come down to the lower levels. What energy of directly perceived Truth they have is lost in the human mind; for to the human intellect they present themselves only as speculative ideas, not as realised Truth, not as direct sight, a dynamic vision coupled with a concrete undeniable experience.
the Overmind and the Supermind Descent
the Overmind has to be reached and brought down before the
Supermind descent is at all possible - for the Overmind is the passage through which one passes from mind to Supermind.
the Overmind and the Karan.a Deha
The karan.a deha may be simply a form answering to the higher consciousness (overmental, intuitive etc.) and I suppose a being could be there working in that consciousness and body. It is not likely to be the supramental being and supramental body - for in that case the whole consciousness, thought, action subjective and objective would begin to be faultlessly true and irresistibly effective. Nobody has reached that stage yet, even the Overmind is, for all but the Mother and myself, either unrealised or only an influence mostly subjective.
The Dividing Aspect of the Overmind
There are no Overmind dangers - it is only the lower consciousness misusing overmind or higher consciousness intimations that can make a danger. There are also no Overmind Falsehoods.
the Overmind is part of the Ignorance in this sense that it is the highest knowledge to which the Ignorance can attain, but the knowledge is still divided and so can be a knowledge of parts
What I said was that the scission between the two aspects of the
Divine [Personal and Impersonal] is a creation of the Overmind which takes various aspects of the Divine and separates them into separate entities. Thus it divides Sat, Chit and Ananda, so that they become three separate aspects different from each other. In fact in the Reality there is no separateness, the three aspects are so fused into each other, so inseparably one that they are a single undivided reality. It is the same with the Personal and Impersonal, the Saguna and Nirguna, the Silent and the
Active Brahman. In the Reality they are not contrasted and incompatible aspects; what we call Personality and what we call
In fact "fused together" even is a wrong phrase, because there they were never separated so that they have to be fused. All the quarrels about either the Impersonal being the only true truth or the Personal being the only highest truth are mind-created quarrels derivative from this dividing aspect of the Overmind.
the Overmind does not deny any of the aspects as the Mind does, it admits them all as aspects of the One Truth, but by separating them it originates the quarrel in the more ignorant and more limited and divided Mind, because the Mind cannot see how two opposite things can exist together in one Truth, how the Divine can be nirgun.o gun.; - having no experience of what is behind the two words it takes each in an absolute sense. The Impersonal is Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, not a
Person, but a state. The Person is the Existent, the Conscious, the Blissful; consciousness, existence, bliss taken as separate things are only states of his being. But in fact the two (personal being and eternal state) are inseparable and are one reality.
the Overmind and the World
[How the world appears to one living at the Overmind level:] As
2.3.04_-_The_Higher_Planes_of_Mind, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
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 planes below [the Supermind, from the Overmind to the
Higher Mind] are of the spiritual consciousness but when there
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.
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.
2.3.06_-_The_Mind, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The right activity of the buddhi is always to observe, discern, discriminate, understand rightly and give the right direction to the vital and the body. But it does it imperfectly so long as it is in the Ignorance; by opening to the Mother it begins to get the true light and direction. Afterwards it is transformed into intuition and from intuition to the instrumental action of the Overmind or the supermind Consciousness.
The Mind Proper
Above the physical mind and the vital mind is the mental intelligence, the mind proper. Beyond the ordinary thinking mind or intellect is the higher mind; beyond the higher mind is the illumined mind and beyond that is the intuitive mind. Above the intuitive mind are the Intuition and the Overmind.
2.3.07_-_The_Mother_in_Visions,_Dreams_and_Experiences, #The Mother With Letters On The Mother, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The black Kali form is a manifestation on the vital plane of
Mahakali - but Mahakali herself in the Overmind is golden.
2.3.07_-_The_Vital_Being_and_Vital_Consciousness, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
They wouldn't be heavens if they were not immune [from attacks by hostile powers] - a heaven with fear in it would be no heaven. The Life Heavens have an influence on earth and so have the Life Hells, but it does not follow that they influence each other in their own domain. Overmind can influence earth, so can the hostile Powers, but it does not follow that hostile Powers can penetrate the Overmind - they can't: they can only spoil what it sends to the earth. Each power of the Divine (life like mind and matter are powers of the Divine) has its own harmony inherent in the purity of its own principle - it is only if it is disturbed or perverted that it produces disorder. That is another reason why the evolution could have been a progressing harmony, not a series of discords through which harmony of a precarious and wounded kind has to be struggled for at each step: for the
Divine Principle is there within. Each plane therefore has its heavens; there are the subtle physical heavens, the vital heavens, the mental heavens. If Powers of disharmony got in, they would cease to be heavens.
3.1.02_-_Spiritual_Evolution_and_the_Supramental, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
the Overmind and the Supramental
There are many aspects of the Divine and of existence manifested as separate by the Overmind. Different minds are drawn by different aspects and each follows its own path to its own goal.
As for the Supramental, it is by definition a consciousness above the Overmind in which all aspects are infused in the integral Divine. But none is bound to seek after the Supramental consciousness if his tendency is elsewhere.
Yes, there has been some progress in that respect [psychicisation] and all progress in the psychic or spiritual consciousness of the sadhaks makes the descent more easy. But the main cause [of the descent of Light and Power] is that the Overmind principle which is the immediate secret support of the present earth-nature with all its limitations is more and more undergoing the pressure of the Supramental and letting through a greater Light and
Power. For so long as the Overmind intervenes (the principle of the Overmind being a play of forces, each trying to realise itself as the Truth) the law of struggle remains and with it the opportunity for the adverse Forces.
4.1.2.02_-_The_Three_Transformations, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The physical is of course the basis - that of the Overmind is in between the two hemispheres. The lower hemisphere must contain all the mind including its higher planes, the vital, the physical. The upper hemisphere contains the Divine existenceconsciousness-bliss, with the Supermind as its means of selfformulation. the Overmind is at the head of the lower hemisphere and is the intermediate or transitional plane between the two.
The supramental transformation can only come when the lid between the lower and higher hemispheres or halves of existence is removed and the Supermind instead of the Overmind becomes the governing power of the existence - but of that nothing can be spoken now.
4.1.2.03_-_Preparation_for_the_Supramental_Change, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Most, even in doing Yoga, live in the mind, vital, physical, lit up occasionally or to some extent by the higher mind and by the illumined mind; but to prepare for the supramental change it is necessary (as soon as, personally, the time has come) to open up to the Intuition and the Overmind, so that these may make the whole being and the whole nature ready for the supramental change. Allow the consciousness quietly to develop and widen, and the knowledge of these things will progressively come.
4.2.5.05_-_The_Psychic_and_the_Supermind, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
It is the supramental alone that can transform the material being, but the physical mind and physical vital can be very much changed by the action of the psychic and of the Overmind. The entire change however is made only when there is the supramental influence. But for the present the psychic is the force that may be relied on for the preliminary purification of the lower nature.
4.3.1.05_-_The_Self_and_the_Cosmic_Consciousness, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
it upholds cosmic Mind, universal Life, universal Matter as well
as the Overmind. The Self is more than all these things which
are its formulations in Nature.
4.3.2.04_-_Degrees_in_the_Higher_Consciousness, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
- through a chain or coordinated harmony of revelations, inspirations, intuitions, swift discriminations. the Overmind sees
calmly, steadily, in great masses and deep and large extensions
universal touch not only in spirit but in its manner. It creates and
acts in the same way - for the Overmind is the world of the great
Gods, the divine Creators. But each Godhead creates in his own
4.3.2.08_-_Overmind_Experiences, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Overmind experience comes when one rises to the Overmind
plane and sees things as they are on that plane or as they look to
the consciousness which sees the other planes from the Overmind
view. When one is in the mind, life or physical plane, then it is
the Overmind Influence that comes down and modifies the mind,
life or physical workings in greater or less degree according to
Overmind] tends to be concrete, there are no "abstract" truths
as in the mind, - even thought in the Overmind is a concrete
force and a palpable substance.
Yes - it is one aspect of the Truth: for in the Overmind there
are many aspects of Truth, separate or combined together or
Both [visions] are true on different levels of the Overmind
plane or in different cosmic formulations that come from the
Overmind. All aspects are there in the Overmind, even those
which the intellect considers contradictory to each other - in
the Overmind they are not contradictions, but complementary
to each other.
state, the power withdraws. These experiences impregnate the
consciousness with the Overmind knowledge and they prepare
it for transformation.
the Overmind experience does not necessarily deliver from the
lower vital and physical movements - it changes them only to
4.3.2.09_-_Overmind_Experiences_and_the_Supermind, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
People talk very lightly of the Overmind and the supermind as if
it were quite easy to enter into them and mistake inferior movements for the overmental or supramental, thereby confusing the
Certainly, it [the Overmind descent] is necessary for those who
want the supramental change. Unless the Overmind opens, there
can be no direct supramental opening of the consciousness. If
It is only the supermind that has an absolute freedom from
error. the Overmind presents truths in all sorts of arrangements
(1) He seems to say that beyond the Overmind there is a plane
of "higher luminous Intelligence". This is impossible. Beyond the
overmind there is the Supermind - the Overmind is the highest
of all the planes below the supramental, and he is not yet in
touch with the supramental. What he calls here the Overmind
cannot be the true overmind. His experiences are those of the
All this is not a supramental experience, but comes from
the Overmind. But the Overmind experiences must come first
and liberate the consciousness. It is only after the Overmind
liberation that the true experience of the supermind can come.
You must realise that the supramentalisation of the Overmind is
one of the most difficult things possible and proceed with great
4.4.3.05_-_The_Effect_of_Descent_into_the_Lower_Planes, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
farther down into the mind and vital, it has still something of
the Overmind creative Truth in it, but gets very badly mixed
with mental and vital formations that disfigure it and make it
4.4.4.08_-_The_Descent_of_Knowledge, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
a higher and higher level. First it is the higher or illumined
mind that predominates, then the intuition, next the Overmind,
lastly the supermind; but the whole consciousness has to be
5.08_-_Supermind_and_Mind_of_Light, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
We may say that there is a higher hemisphere of our being in which Mind, luminous and aware of its workings, still lives in the
Light and can be seen as a subordinate power of the Supermind; it is still an agent of the Truth-consciousness, a gnostic power that has not descended into the mental ignorance; it is capable of a mental gnosis that preserves its connection with the superior light and acts by its power. This is the character of Overmind in its own plane and of all the powers that are dependent on the Overmind: the Supermind works there but at one remove as if in something that it has put forth from itself but which is no longer entirely itself but is still a delegate of the Truth and invested with its authority. We are moving towards a transitional border beyond which lies the possibility of the Ignorance, but the Ignorance is not yet here. In the order of the evolutionary descent we stand in the Mind of Light on that border and a step downward can carry us beyond it into the beginnings of an ignorance which still bears on its face something of the luminosity that it is leaving behind it. On the other hand, in the ascending order of the evolution we reach a transition in which we see the
5.1.01_-_Terminology, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The dynamic aspect of the Divine is the Supreme Brahman, not the Gods. The Gods are Personalities and Powers of the dynamic
Divine. You speak as if the evolution were the sole creation; the creation or manifestation is very vast and contains many planes and worlds that existed before the evolution, all different in character and with different kinds of beings. The fact of being prior to the evolution does not make them undifferentiated. The world of the Asuras is prior to the evolution, so are the worlds of the mental, vital or subtle physical Devas - but these beings are all different from each other. The great Gods belong to the Overmind plane; in the Supermind they are unified as aspects of the
Divine, in the Overmind they appear as separate personalities.
Overmind plane) above the Gods".2 The Gods, as has been already said, are in origin and essence permanent Emanations of the Divine put forth from the Supreme by the Transcendent
Mother the Adya Shakti; in their cosmic action they are Powers and Personalities of the Divine each with his independent cosmic standing, function and work in the universe. They are not impersonal entities but cosmic Personalities, although they can and do ordinarily veil themselves behind the movement of impersonal forces. But while in the Overmind and the triple world they appear as independent beings, they return in the Supermind into the One and stand there united in a single harmonious action as multiple personalities of the one Person, the divine
5.1.02_-_The_Gods, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The Gods and the Overmind
The natives of the Overmind are Gods. Naturally the Gods rule the cosmos.
the Overmind is the world of the Gods and the Gods are not merely Powers, but have Forms also.
In the Overmind the Gods are still separated existences.
Beyond the Overmind (in the supramental nearest the Overmind for instance) the Gods are eternal in their principle, but not in their forms and separate activities; they are there simply aspects of the One. If you meet a Godhead there, it is not as a separate
Person; you feel only the Divine having a particular face, as it were, and relation with you for a certain purpose.
The Formateurs of the Overmind have shaped nothing evil - it is the lower forces that receive from the Overmind and distort its forces.
There is no particular connection between Shiva and the Overmind - the Overmind is the higher station of all the Gods.
5.4.01_-_Occult_Knowledge, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Letters on Yoga - I
less on one side, the selection may be the other way, the saving element being present, and determine another orientation. But to understand the working of this Cosmic Something one must see not only the few outward factors observed by the human eye, but the whole working with all its multitudinous details - that one cannot do unless one is oneself in the cosmic consciousness and with some opening at least to the Overmind.
Agenda_Vol_10, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
161Mother actually said "the overmental being." This confusion will often take place, probably because Mother found this
vocabulary quite cumbersome. But this next being clearly has nothing to do with the Overmind or the world of the gods.
162In May 1968, the student uprising in France.
Agenda_Vol_11, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
Nothing? What do you have?
Theres a practical point. In an Agenda some time ago [January 3], you spoke of the Overmind
and the Supermind, and once or twice I feel you used one word for the other. But Id like to be
Agenda_Vol_12, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
experience, say that those great Experiences, which have to be turned into spiritual summits, are part of
the mental bubble (including the Overmind): they are the rarefied summits on which the being thins out
into a marvelous whiteness, immense, royal, without a ripple of trouble, in an eternal peace which
Agenda_Vol_2, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
it concrete, so to speak, bringing in a sort of perfection of the state and an individual mastery of the
new creation. These beings in corresponding worlds (like the gods of the Overmind, 192 or the beings of
192In Sri Aurobindo's terminology, the 'Overmind' represents the highest level of the mind, the world of the gods and
origin of all the revelations and highest artistic creations - the world that has ruled mental man till now. in his gradations of
the worlds, Sri Aurobindo speaks of two hemispheres, the upper hemisphere and the lower. the Overmind is the line
between these two hemispheres, 'This line is the intermediary overmind which, though luminous itself, keeps from us the
Agenda_Vol_3, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
In fact, practically speaking, that's why these things used to be kept secret: one should get
66In Sri Aurobindo's terminology, the Overmind represents the highest level of the mind, the world of the gods and origin
of all the revelations and highest artistic creations - the world that has ruled mental man till now.
This has never happened before, it's brand-new. Before, there was always that Power transmitted
through the higher mind (what Sri Aurobindo calls the Overmind); it was up there, dissolving,
dispersing, changing, doing a whole lot of work, without any difficulty, effortlessly (gesture above the
various planes of consciousness. Mother interrupts him to add.)
Somewhere in the Overmind (beyond the higher mind and from the Overmind onwards), things are
luminous IN THEMSELVES. Light doesn't have to strike them: things themselves are luminous. And
What do you want to know?
I would especially like to understand the difference between the Overmind and the Supermind - to
understand it concretely, not abstractly.
the Overmind isn't part of the intellect. It's the domain of the gods.
It is the domain of the gods, and that's what has been ruling the earth. All the gods men have
I don't believe the gods have access to the Supermind.
Yes, the gods stop at the Overmind.
I am unfamiliar with the purely Hindu traditions, but the gods are the beings the Vedas and people of
No, what I mainly want to know is the difference when you cross to the other side, into the
Supermind - the difference in vision between the Supermind and the Overmind.
I don't know what Sri Aurobindo would tell you....
Sri Aurobindo didn't put too much emphasis on the Overmind. The one significant point is that the
Overmind has ruled the world through the different religions. And it is the dwelling place of all the
I mean that the why and the how of it won't be known until... until the curve is completed.
But the gods belong to the present curve. the Overmind belongs to this curve.
Those gods are all very nice! For some people they're unbearable at times (Mother laughs), but
No, but the difference in vision - I'm speaking of vision. You told me, for instance, that objects in
the Overmind were self-luminous.
Yes, from the Overmind onwards.
Did you mean that one sees terrestrial objects become luminous?190
No, no! I mean all the things and forms in the Overmind itself (the raiment of the gods, for instance,
their jewels and crowns - there are all kinds of things in the Overmind). In those worlds there are all
kinds of forms, which we translate into images from terrestrial life... but it's only a translation.
At their maximum, at the height of their possibilities, human conceptions can at the VERY BEST
express something or other of the Overmind. For me it is very vivid, very familiar, because I have lived
there a lot. But even so, I consider words too awkward to express it - although with "poetic" metaphors
Do those zones of music and painting and so forth form part of the Overmind or not?
Hmm, yes... I don't know. You see, all classifications, of any kind, always seem too rigid to me; they
(Mother listens to Satprem read a chapter from his manuscript entitled "Under the Sign of the Gods, "
in which he speaks of the Overmind's inadequacy for attaining the plenitude of evolution, Afterwards,
Mother tells what she saw while he was reading.)
falling one upon another like feathers - nothing heavy about it. And then from the left a being like a
god from the Overmind entered the room; he was both like a Hindu deity with a tiara, and a kind of
angel in a long robe (a combination of the two), and he moved so lightly, without touching the ground
It was really lovely.
But the gods may not be so pleased; after all, I say the Overmind is inadequate!
Of course they will!
Agenda_Vol_4, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
great care not to follow. But the deeper significance of figures came to me in Tlemcen, when I was in
the Overmind. I don't remember the names Thon used to give to those various worlds, but it was a
world that corresponded to the highest and most luminous regions of Sri Aurobindo's Overmind. It was
above, just above the gods' region. And it was something in accord with the Overmind creation - the
earth under the gods' influence. That was where figures took on a living meaning for me - not a mental
59Mother seems to have forgotten the red of the vital, which comes between material Nature's violet and the Mind's blue.
Thus we have twelve worlds: violet, red, blue (the Mind's three blues), yellow, then the Overmind's prismatic colors, which
makes five lower worlds, then finally the three golds of the Supermind and the four whites of the supreme creative Joy or