Even if it takes a long time, we should either not start at all, but if we start we must go right up to the end.
The very first lines you will see as Sri Aurobindo has said that there have been many achievements in the past in the field of psychic transformation and some of the elements of spiritual transformation. The instances of these kinds of transformation can be many, but the perfection of this is illustrated only by a few, but even then that has been achieved also. But going from spiritual transformation towards supermind and supramental transformation it’s a very big domain but in the past history of mankind it has been only glimpsed and the higher heights have been ill explored, and perfection of this is something to be done.
There is nothing in the history of the past where we can get some kind of an indication or light, and that is why the substance of this chapter is so difficult.
Let me read this first paragraph and then we shall go forward. “The psychic transformation and the first stages of the spiritual transformation are well within our conception; their perfection would be the perfection, wholeness consummated unity of a knowledge and experience which is already part of things realized, only by a small number of human beings. But the supramental change in its process carries us into less explored regions; It initiates a vision of heights of consciousness which have indeed been glimpsed and visited, but have yet to be discovered and mapped in their completeness. The highest of these peaks or elevated plateaus of consciousness, supramental, lies far beyond the possibility of any satisfying mental scheme or map of it or any grasp of mental seeing and description. It would be difficult for the normal unillumined, or untransformed mental conception to express or enter into something that is based on so different a consciousness with a radically different awareness of things; even if they were seen or conceived by some enlightenment or opening of vision, another language than the poor abstract counters used by our mind would be needed to translate them into terms by which their reality could become at all sizable by us. As the summits of human mind are beyond animal perception, so the movements of super-mind are beyond the ordinary human mental conception: it is only when we have already had experience of a higher intermediate consciousness that any terms attempting to describe superamental being could convey a true meaning to our intelligence; For then, having experienced something akin to what is described, we could translate an inadequate language into a figure of what we knew. If the mind cannot enter into the nature of Super-mind it can look towards it through these high and luminous approaches and catch some reflected impression of the Truth, the Right, the Vast which is the native kingdom of the free spirit.”
Just as the animal perception cannot understand mental operations of man, even so, the mental human being cannot understand the operations of the supermind.
What does an animal understand of the beauty of poetry? How can it appreciate the music of a singer, when the animal does not have even the faculty of singing then to imagine that there can be various kinds of tunes, varieties of music, the play of music, the delight of music. How can it even be imagined? Even so, for our human mind, which does not have any kind of inkling into the ranges of supramental powers, even if they are described we won’t understand them. That is why Sri Aurobindo proposes that we should first describe intermediate ranges that which are between mind and supermind because these intermediate ranges although difficult to understand but they are not entirely alien. Therefore, this chapter primarily describes intermediate ranges; and as we shall see in this chapter there is a description of the higher mind, as distinguished from the mind, then at a higher level still, there is the illumined mind, then there is the intuitive mind, then the overmind and then the supermind.
These are the intermediate stages and Sri Aurobindo will describe them, but even before describing there are two or three important things that need to be taken into account. These things have been already described earlier and we had also an opportunity of referring to them, but we need once more to bring them back with some kind of precision and concentration. Today I will not read further in this chapter, but deal with those important elements which need to be focused upon.
There is first the question of the process of growth and evolution? How do we evolve? If we are to evolve from mental to Supramental, then we need to understand the process of evolution.
There is one full chapter earlier in this book which we have not read, but of which I have spoken; so that whatever is in the chapter is some how included in our perfunctory remarks, but there is one full chapter called ‘The Evolutionary Process – Ascent and Integration’, that’s the name of the title of this chapter. Very briefly, this chapter says that there is a rhythm in the development at lower levels of development the emphasis is upon development of physical instruments.
The lower animals have fewer physical instruments as the evolution proceeds further; more and more potent instruments are developed. Take for example, the ape which is nearest to the human beings in many ways, has many organs which human being possesses. But, it does not possess the kind of the brain that the human being possesses. It is; therefore, felt that the distinction between all the other animals and the human being is a possession of the brain. So, unless that physical organ is present, the kind of consciousness that has to be developed does not develop, it may seem that the development of consciousness depends upon the development of physical organ.