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Sri Aurobindo's - 'The Life Divine' - The Human Aspiration - Chapter I - The Human Aspiration - Track 1103

Question: Could you give examples of what can qualify as an experience of intuition, inspiration and revelation? How do we differentiate between them?

What she is pointing out is that we have experiences of intuitions, inspirations and revelations. These three words are difficult words. They are distinguishable from what we call expression of reason. You remember we had once made a diagram to show different levels of consciousness. Last time I compared reason with a carpet. Below the carpet and above the carpet. I said intuition is above the carpet, instinct is below the carpet. And the carpet itself is like the reason.

Beyond the reason, above the reason we have sometimes experiences which are sporadic, not constant. They come from time to time suddenly, they appear and then they close down. After sometime again they appear and then they close down. These are experiences which come in three forms: intuitions, revelations, inspirations.

I had explained to you these three words, once upon a time, when we were doing The Secret of the Veda. We had spoken of Ila, Saraswati and Sarama. This was when I had explained these three words in the Veda. Ila is the power of revelation. Saraswati is the power of inspiration. And Sarama is the power of intuition.

When you open your eyes all is revealed without effort. Similarly, there is an eye behind our eye, when you open it, everything is revealed.

Inspiration is very often experienced by us, not commonly, but sometimes in a brief intense state. A powerful word, as it were, comes out. It moves the people, illumines the people. Very often you take examples from poetry for inspiration. Often prophets make prophecies in a state of inspiration. They perceive the future as it were and make a prophecy, suddenly. Sometimes, as with Socrates, just before he was sentenced to death, he made a prophetic statement. In a certain state of intensity, the pressure of light manifesting itself in inspired words. Danton for example in one of his great speeches said: "Dare and dare again and still dare." Three words! "De l'audace encore de l'audace et toujours de l'audace." These three words that he spoke stirred the people. These are words of inspiration.

When you enter into the object and become the object, no more remain away from the object, become one with the object, identified, a spark takes place and the object is possessed. You become the object yourself and the object is known. This is intuitive knowledge.

So there are three powers, higher powers of consciousness, different from the powers of the reason. These three powers often manifest in our consciousness. They are like northern lights, they flicker from time to time, they do not remain plenary, not all the time. You don't remain in the state of plenary consciousness. You don't live in the sunlight all the time, you only get some flickering manifestations like sun–spots, radiating light from time to time. Similarly, intuition, inspiration, revelation are lights which come to us from time to time. Sporadic lights like northern lights. But they point to a higher light, they are a promise as it were, that if you can have from time to time intuitions, inspirations and revelations then you can be sure that you can reach sometime ? you need not fear to aspire to something higher in which you can remain forever in that state of consciousness. It is that stationing of yourself in that higher light, that is the aim of Divine life. When Sri Aurobindo says that human life aspires for God, Light, Freedom and Immortality what he means is that you can permanently live in Supramental Light. Permanently. This possibility of permanent living in Supramental Light, this promise comes to us by the fact that sometimes you do get sporadic intuitions, revelations and inspirations. If it happens sometimes you can be sure, you can also have it, you can at least aspire to live in that Supreme Light forever.

Question: Kireetbhai, it seems you related revelation to seeing, inspiration to hearing, intuition is related to what?

Discovering. Suddenly. In the Veda we have said that Sarama discovers, goes ahead of Indra and discovers the stolen cows.

Now let us the last portion,–

"And if there is any higher light of illumined intuition or self–revealing truth which is now in man either obstructed and inoperative or works with intermittent glancings as if from behind a veil or with occasional displays as of the northern lights in our material skies, then there also we need not fear to aspire. For it is likely that such is the next higher state of consciousness of which Mind is only a form and veil, and through the splendours of that light may lie the path of our progressive self–enlargement into whatever highest state is humanity's ultimate resting–place."