Even in the egoistic ignorance, we are aware only of the little bit of the past, a little bit of our present and a little bit of a perception of what may happen that is all. We are not aware of the soul for example, behind the ego there is soul. What we call ourselves, the real self is not our ego. Ourselves is the real soul, our psychic being, which is immortal. Our ego is slightly all the time becoming, more and less, the soul is immortal. It is the soul which knows, if you can get back to it for lives after lives, after lives. But we are aware only of the present life and the present body condition and that too, a little bit of it. You're not aware of the immortal time, off our being, which is immortally alive, which does not die at all. This is called temporal ignorance.
Now even that little thing that we know, we are ignorant of the psychology of what we are. When you ask the question, what am I? I'm aware of my body, life and mind that is the most and that too not the whole of the body. I don't know my own body, for example when the doctor points out that this is deficient in you: it comes to me like a surprise. I don't know, although it is my body and I live in this body all the time. I'm ignorant of my body basically. Only a few features I know of my body, the rest I don't know. I don't know what I desire. Only a few desires I know that I want this and I want that but when desires can be ignited, what am I capable of I don't know.
Macbeth did not know that he had a tremendous ambition to become king but this ambition was ignited and he was overtaken by it afterwards. So much that perhaps he could have never imagined that the great devourer, the great tiger was in him to become the king, to such an extent that he could kill his own master. Quite unaware of it he had this desire in him, lurking behind somewhere. We do not know our own mind. We have to learn, what is the mind, sensation and perception, ideation, volition, motivation, so many aspects of my mind and I'm quite unaware of it; I can't even distinguish between sensations and perceptions. I do not know the exact difference between ideation and perception. I don't know what is ideation and what is volition. All this I need to become aware gradually and that too very partly. There is so much in the mind, much of it we are not aware of and then apart from body, life and mind, which to some extent we are aware, we are totally ignorant of the subconscious that is in us. There are many memories which are put into the subconscious. So much that they are forgotten completely, you can never recover them and yet they effect you very much. A small child standing on the top step of a ladder, being asked to come down, suddenly falls down from the ladder. He’s hurt, after 10 or 15 years he forgets completely. The child doesn't remember many things but whenever he stands at the threshold of a ladder he hesitates to climb down. He himself may not know why, subconsciously is now afraid of coming down. There is a subconscious in him, he is forgotten completely, it is gone and he can never recover it. Sometimes of course one can recover, under great pressure or in a dream, he may see that scene again and he might remember, perhaps.
Question : He can overcome it, if he remembers?
Answer : He can overcome it, of course. If you develop a great bravery and a great courage in your personality then these things can be conquered. Certain things are not conquered that is why some mental doctors bring back to you. They find out what is troubling you that is one of the uses of mental doctors. They know that there are various things, which are lying in a subconscious of which we are not conscious but still they are effective and if you can find out, what is effective and sometimes when you become aware and then you master it. Even without that process, if you can become yourself very courageous and your mind becomes luminous many of these things can be wiped out.
The subconscious, which is lying in us, as Sri Aurobindo calls it, is a big layer, dam, almost an ending dam. All that is there, you are completely ignorant of it. There are many other things which are happening, not below you but behind you and that is what is called subliminal consciousness, not subconscious but subliminal. There are individuals who are growing up, a few of the individuals who are growing up together, you find some are growing very fast and some are growing very slow. This is because in the subliminal some are open and some are not open. If you're open then there's a huge world of mind, mental thoughts and they are constantly pressing upon you but if you closed, too much occupied with your present immediate movement then that which is coming from above or from behind, you may not receive them therefore, further progress is slow. Some people become philosophers by the age of twenty one, quite mature philosophers. Some philosophers become great poets by the age of twenty five, wonderful poets why does it happen?