We have done only the first paragraph last time in which, what Sri Aurobindo tells us is that the process of psychic transformation and something of spiritual transformation have been done in the past by so many that it is not difficult to put forth the results of past efforts in this direction. But as far as Supermind and Supramental transformation is concerned, not much has been done in the past, and therefore, it is quite difficult to bring forth the results from the past; and what is new is still to be described. Having said this, in the subsequent paragraphs with which we shall deal now. The initial point that Sri Aurobindo makes is that the Supermind is so radically different from the mind that to describe Supermind to the mind is extremely difficult, if not impossible. But there are two features which render it somewhat easy, not easy but less difficult that there are certain elements in the mental consciousness, which are reflectors of the higher consciousness. Secondly the process by which evolution is moving forward the principles of that evolution are more or less similar in the higher evolution also. So, if you understand evolution as it has gone earlier then it will be easier for us to understand the process of evolution that will take place later.
Both the propositions are required to be understood and we shall dwell upon these two points. The first point is that there are elements in our mental consciousness, which reflect to some extent the operation of the higher consciousness. Here when I use the word higher in technical terms, it is called super-conscient. As you know we have three levels of consciousness—subconscient or inconscient starting from inconscient which becomes subconscient that is the lowest stratum of consciousness, the middle is the conscient, of which we are aware. We are aware of our physical life, vital life, mental life. This domain is the domain of the conscient. When we cross the borders of the mind and move upwards that whole domain is the superconscient and that superconscient consists of first of all the silent mind. The moment mind becomes silent—you have already entered in the domain, higher than the mind because mind by nature is active, constantly in vibration. The moment you put the mind into silence already you are creating an entry into superconscient. Then through the silent mind you can have the experiences of a witness, a silent witness in us, which is often called the Purusha,—the consciousness that witnesses all that is happening in the world. A further experience is the experience of Purusha as a giver of consent, giver of sanction. The witness self is called Sakshin or Sakshi, the one who gives consent is called anumanta, one who gives anumati, anumanta. Then comes the experience of even controller, not only giver of sanction but the controller, determiner, master,—experience of Ishwara, Sakshi, anumanta, Ishwara. These three experiences can be obtained, when the mind falls silent. There is also the experience possible here of a purely static silent, immobile self, not the individual self but the Self,—the self of which everything is a movement.
When you are in the pure state of witness self, in that state of consciousness you find that the movement does not proceed from the Purusha but it is outside the Purusha, this is the specialty of Purusha consciousness that the movement or the energy, activity or what is called Prakriti is experienced as something outside Purusha, of which Purusha being away from Prakriti is a witness. Even when you experience that as anumanta as a giver of sanction, even then it is, as if Prakriti is outside but Purusha is capable of controlling something that is outside itself. It is like yourself dealing with the electric gadgets, you are different from electric gadgets, but you can control and you can give orders to electric gadgets, so Prakriti is found to be still outside yourself. When Ishwara consciousness is obtained then you can still have an experience as if Ishwara is different from Prakriti,—although the master of Prakriti.
These three experiences are different from this fourth experience of which I spoke, the experience of the Self. In this experience of the Self, you find that what we call Prakriti, movement issues from the Self. Self is not separated from the movement, but the movement proceeds from the Self and yet Self is experienced as superior to all that moves out. But the essential feature of this experience is the quietude and the silence of the self from where a huge movement is moving out. But you feel in that state of consciousness as if the immobility is so real that the movement seems to be almost like cinema,− having no substance or substantial reality in it. It moves out of itself but it is experienced as if it is illusory, is unreal, it is imagination, a cosmic imagination you might say because it is so huge. The whole universe, which is in movement, seems to be a big imagination, quite different from its own immobility. So, although the Prakriti moves out of that self, the difference between immobility and mobility is so great and the reality of immobility is felt so deeply and intensely that anything that is different from immobility is felt to be imaginary or illusory. This is what is called the experience of Brahman. Self is Brahman; Self is also called Atman, not Jivatman which is different but Atman. So, Brahman and Atman are the same word you might say. This is the experience of the Self. In this experience you find that wherever you look out that immobile Self is seen everywhere. Everything is only one Self completely immobile. This seeing the Self everywhere, the same Self everywhere, not yourself everywhere but the same Self everywhere, this is the characteristic mark of this Brahman experience. When this happens, any one of these experiences that I described: Purusha consciousness,—as a witness, Purusha consciousness as anumanta, as a giver of sanction or as Ishwara or the experience of the Self, which is immobile.
There is a similarity between the Purusha experience and the Brahman experience because in both there is immobility, but the difference between the two experiences is that in the Purusha consciousness, movement as is seen to be quite alien outside Purusha. In the Brahman experience the movement is seen to be emerging from the Brahman itself, although experience has something so different from itself that it may look like an illusion.
In anyone of these four experiences, one important element which happens is that what we call ego is dissolved. In any one of these four experiences,—what you call desire is loosened and then can be abolished. At least what is called the central knot of ego and the central knot of desire is cut. Any one of these experiences is what is called moksha. Liberation is attained and having reached this point you have a possibility as far as the outer activity is concerned. One possibility is and that is possible for the Purusha consciousness, when you begin to witness Prakriti outside yourself and when you become the sanctioner, giver of sanction, anumanta you can decide not to give consent to the movement of Prakriti. And you will find that Prakriti also will fall silent. Even the outer activity, which was felt to be moving all the time,—it will stop moving, the moment you give a sanction. As long as you say all that all right, I want to see the movement, it will remain as a movement, although it is outside you. You find somehow that you have the key of the movement of Prakriti in you, not only that you are the witness but you have also the key and the moment. You say that I don’t want this show to go on,—it will cease. This is the relationship between Purusha and Prakriti. This is the experience that you find, at that stage you realize that even previously when you were doing so many activities, it was because Purusha had given inner consent to it, otherwise even this, what we are doing now would not be happening. Then you realize that actually even the previous experiences in which you were involved, it was only because you had given inner consent to it. Purusha had said I want to see as if it were the dance of Prakriti and the moment that decision was taken the Prakriti had begun to expand herself and manifest herself and present her movements. So the moment you say I am no more interested in it, I don’t give my sanction to it, the Prakriti can cease. So you attain not only the immobility of Purusha, you also attain to the immobility of Prakriti. This is one consequence as far as the action is concerned.
In the Ishwara consciousness, when you are the master of Prakriti, you have a further possibility that your Ishwara consciousness, the controller, the master consciousness can be poured in the outer movement, you can modify the Prakriti. Prakriti which is normally limited to sattva, rajas and tamas, in the presence of the Lord, if the Lord so decides can pour into that Prakriti, Ishwara consciousness, so that Prakriti can be seen now not merely bound by sattva, rajas and tamas but even the divine qualities can be implanted in Prakriti—this is a further possibility, possible. But you can also decide at the same time not to bother about doing anything about Prakriti, leave it alone, identify yourself with the Ishwara consciousness and allow Ishwara to do whatever he likes. As far as you are concerned you are only in the presence of the Lord.
When you attain to the Brahman consciousness you can arrive at a point where just as in Purusha consciousness Prakriti can stop working. Similarly, here also by centering upon immobility of consciousness, realizing that the movement is illusory, you can remain absorbed in the immobility and far as you are concerned that movement will cease, it will become immobile as far as we are concerned. Although for those who have not entered into that consciousness that movement will still continue as an illusion that is why those Yogis who realized the immobile Brahman, seeing that the Prakriti is illusory, for these yogis the Prakriti can become immobile and for the others, it continues. These are the consequences, which are possible at this stage, when the mind falls silent all these experiences you can have, this is called the central experience of Moksha. And basically in this state one becomes liberated from nature, from movement, from activity. But except in the experience of Ishwara consciousness, Prakriti remains either quiet or remains what it is bound by sattva, rajas and tamas. It remains as it is, you are liberated but Prakriti remains bound to its three gunas. But there is a new possibility, which is already promised in the Ishwara consciousness. As I said that when you arrive at Ishwara consciousness, it is possible for Ishwara to impart Ishwara consciousness into Prakriti, it’s a new possibility which arises in that state.
One can say that one is not bothered about it, let it remain as it is, I have attained to a mastery. But this possibility is of great importance, the possibility of transmitting the Ishwara consciousness into the Prakriti.
It is at this stage that one discovers an energy which is not bound by rajas, sattva and tamas, this is a discovery. This is what is normally called in Indian thought—Shakti as distinguished from Prakriti. Prakriti is bound by the three gunas but Shakti is not bound by these three gunas. In fact Shakti transcends these three gunas. It is not sattvic or rajasic or tamasic. Shakti is an energy, which has the power but not like rajas. Rajas has dynamism, but this is a power which is not controlled by desire. In the rajas, desire and dynamism are associated with each other, but here the Shakti, the energy, the dynamism is not at all limited by desire. In fact there is no desire at all in it. It’s an energy, it’s an action without any desire. It is not an energy or activity in search of possession. The rajasic desire, rajasic movement is in search of possession. All rajasic movement is a movement to acquire, to possess, from outside, to enjoy, to enjoy something which I did not possess and now hold it and to enjoy it. So this is the rajasic desire, rajasic activity but in the case of Shakti and the movement of Shakti, it is expressive movement, not a movement to possess something from outside. But this is a movement of expression of what is something inside, which is already full within oneself is simply expressed.
So this Shakti is an expressive movement of what is already possessed and which is in the state of fullness. Ishwara is fullness, is a Master, there is nothing that is lacking in him, therefore there is no movement of possessing something from outside. For Ishwara nothing is outside. Normally, when you do not want to possess anything, you don’t act. Therefore, very often when people feel that when you are already full, you cease to act but this is a new possibility that when you are full; even then activity is possible. Not because you want something but you can express. It’s an expressive movement, not that without expressing you remain incomplete that also is not the case but also by expressing you don’t become incomplete. This is a new possibility, which arises,—the possibility of expressing all the qualities of Ishwara. Ishwara is called anantagunah, he has infinite qualities sattva, rajas and tamas are only three very minor qualities, which are in Prakriti. When you take Vishnu Sahasranama, all the sahasranama, every one of them is a quality and none of them is sattva, rajas and tamas. It is anantagunah of aishwarya, Ishwara is anantaguna and this anatagunas is expressed, therefore Shakti also becomes anatagunah. So you discover this Shakti moving, you discover that all that you see in the world is of course sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. But, you also begin to perceive something behind it, above it, as if this Prakriti was simply a minor movement and above that movement there is a huge power, a great dynamo of activity which is everywhere, it is omnipresent, which can do everything which is omnipotent, which knows everything, which is omniscient. So, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient power is the Shakti.
You further discover at this point that in the perception of this huge Shakti, egoism is dissolved because there is no standing ground. Ego always feels I am independent and I am doing. When you really perceive that all action is proceeding from there, you are nothing, what are you, where is your independence and what is your doership? So in the perception of it ego is dissolved, but you discover that beyond egoism you are also a true individual, this is another benefit of this experience. In the experience of Purusha as a witness, or Purusha as anumanta or in the experience of the Brahman, you don’t have the experience of yourself as an individual beyond ego. In these three experiences, you simply find that ego is dissolved and what remains is Purusha, as a witness or a Purusha, as anumanta or self, which immobile. But in this experience of Ishwara and the movement of Shakti, you find that there is something like your own individuality, not egoistic and yet it is individual. This individual is what has been called Jivatman, not atman but Jivatman. Atman is the immobile Brahman but this Jivatman is the individual centration.
This centration has two aspects—aspects of being and aspect of movement within itself. In the case of Purusha consciousness Prakriti was outside, movement was outside, Purusha was only a witness but in this Jivatman, being and movement are in the same consciousness and you find that the being is centration of Ishwara and the nature is constituted by Shakti. Both of them together in the individual, — so you might say that the individual is a child of Shiva-Shakti. Shiva concentrates and gives the being to the individual. Prakriti gives nature to it but that nature is not sattvic, rajasic or tamasic — it consists of the anantguna that nature which an individual now comes to possess, or comes to see,—is constituted by Shakti. That is why this true individual is called the child of the Lord and the Divine Mother. Every one of us is basically a child of that.
All our sense of oneself, which till now was thought to be an ego, which now is dissolved, is now recovered as a real individual but unegoistic. It does not have that false notion that it exists independently. It does not experience that it is the doer of things. It recognizes itself as a centration of the Supreme, who is found to be a vehicle of the Supreme Lord and the Divine Mother. It’s only a vehicle. It’s a special kind of a centration. Its specialty is only that it has a specific swabhava, it has the specific function in the totality. Very often we ask the question, "What is my specific work in the world?'' In fact every individual has this basic question, what is my specific work in the world? This question is answered at this point. If you don’t have this experience, you cannot answer this question, because it is only here by knowing the movement, the specificity of that movement, the movement is ananta—infinite ocean but in that infinite ocean, there is a special kind of colour which belongs to you, which makes you what you are. You are not separated from the others. Just as the seven colours of rainbow are not separated from each other, it’s basically one and yet each strap is distinguished from the others. So, each one of us is distinguishable from the others but not divided from the others. And although distinguishable from the others, it is indivisibly one with all others. It has also a possibility of experiencing any individuality other than its own. In the egoistic consciousness, the divisibility is so great that to identify yourself with others becomes extremely difficult. Division is the most important element in the egoistic consciousness. But here all doors are opened, you can experience any individual’s experience as his own experience, the universality, sympathy, interpenetration of one in the other, the other in one, these experiences are of the true individual, the true individual, as a child of the Supreme Lord and Divine mother, individual experiencing itself as a vehicle of the movement of Supreme Lord and the Divine Mother. The individual experiencing its own specificity, distinguishable from others but not divided from the others. And the experience of the individual, who can interchange with all others freely,—these are the experiences of the Jivatman and all these experiences are possible.
All that I have said so far is all that has been attained in the past history of India. These have been all verified, repeatedly. It is true that not many have got all these experiences, all simultaneously. But these experiences have been known, experienced very repeatedly and therefore we can confidently say that there is a big science of this. The roads are built up, methods are defined and if you follow those methods, you can yourself verify and come to the conclusion as before. Therefore, it’s a complete science of Yoga. There is a farther experience, which also is possible and has been done already, of which I have already spoken earlier that Shakti when it moves into Prakriti there is normally a kind of a boundary line between Prakriti and Shakti. Sattva, rajas and tamas are the three knots and when the Shakti moves these three knots resist this flow of Shakti. Therefore, normally the transmission of Shakti into Prakriti is not absolutely pure. It gets resisted by these three knots. Normally these get resisted by two other knots,—desire and ego, but when ego is dissolved, when desire is dissolved these two knots cease to obstruct. As a result the Shakti moves into Prakriti but with lesser resistance. This is the great advantage which occurs that even when sattva, rajas and tamas still continue because of the absence of ego and desire, the Shakti can now move much more powerfully. Therefore any individual who enters into this experience of Ishwara, any individual who experiences himself as a true individual, Jivatman has a possibility of manifesting even when sattva, rajas and tamas still continue, a great dynamo of Shakti,—the Divine Will. Such are the great manifestations of the Divine Will; this has also been in the past. There have been many individuals in the past, by doing yoga they have been able to allow the Shakti to flow through them and there can be called the vehicles of Divine Will. As a result of this even sattva, rajas and tamas begin to become modified.
Having reached this point, a central question can be raised. Can this sattva, rajas and tamas be completely modified, is it possible? The Vedic Rishis had raised this question. If you read the Veda and if you read the description of experiences which are given, you will find that they were not satisfied merely with Purusha consciousness, or with Brahman consciousness, or merely with Ishwara consciousness, they discovered the Jivatman, they discovered the secret of Shakti, which they called Aditi. They also saw that Aditi can inundate the nature of Prakriti, sattva, rajas and tamas. They give different names sattva, rajas and tamas, the three names which do not exactly appear in the Veda as they appear later on in the development of Indian thought. But they called it, this nature of anṛtaṃ. This Prakriti is described by them as ‘anṛtaṃ bhurahe’ that which is full of falsehood, this was the description. And they wanted to bring the inundation, the flood of this Shakti, Aditi into this world of anṛtaṃ—falsehood. This was the experiment and the question was,—is it possible to inundate Prakriti to such an extent that it can be completely modified, completely changed and the entire experiment made by Vedic Rishis was on this subject. This is the heart of the Veda.
It seems that it is quite possible that they really could modify it completely, it’s quite possible from some of the descriptions you find that they might have perhaps done it. But still the question remains,—was it done to such an extent that it could be embedded, not only modified fully, but could be embedded in this Prakriti to such an extent as mind is embedded in Prakriti. Inundation is one thing; you can modify it but to establish it in such a way that it becomes a part of Prakriti. In an individual case the knots of sattva, rajas and tamas can be broken but could it be broken in such a way that in the universal Prakriti, not only the individual but Prakriti can this be embedded.
This question seems to have been raised but was achieved at the individual level but this embedding of Shakti into Prakriti;—this is where Sri Aurobindo says, ‘this is an ill explored region’. This is what has still not been done and Sri Aurobindo further found out that unless that is done the problems of the world which we are facing today, particularly cannot be resolved. So, Sri Aurobindo worked on this particular problem and accomplished it. And it is that aspect on which we are now concentrating in this chapter. The so far unexplored and now newly explored region, not entirely unexplored, but partially explored. So that there is something here which is known, something which is not known, in any case the whole path, the road was not found built as Sri Aurobindo says that when he started this process, he found that no road was built. How to go about this, how to arrive at a point by which Shakti can be embedded, not only Shakti flooding Prakriti, not only modifying it, not only changing it completely in the individual case but in the universal principle, how to flood it, so that it becomes a part of the normal experience of nature. What is the process? Therefore, Sri Aurobindo says that if you really want to know the process, our first difficulty is that Shakti is so different from mind, that Shakti is so different from sattva, rajas and tamas that to describe it is very difficult. For example, we spoke of omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence but what exactly is this? All our experiences, partial capacity, very limited capacity, our understanding of the present to be so limited in a small field, and our knowledge is so limited. This is all our experience as opposed to a consciousness which knows everything, a comprehensive consciousness, you use a word, but to be able to understand it is extremely difficult. What is omnipotence, it is very difficult to understand? What is omnipresence, it is very difficult—all the three are very difficult for us to understand. We seem to be familiar with these words because they have been used for ages but really to understand what it is, is very difficult. But one salutary fact is that although it is very different and difficult for some of the gunas, anantagunas are sometimes experienced in a scattered manner in our lower consciousness, this is one enabling factor.
Take for example the experience of fragrance of a flower, the fragrance of the flower does not pervade only the flower itself, it also spreads out. It’s a very small example, a very small experience. Where you find a quality which seems to be located in one place and yet spreading out from its location. From this analogy you can understand what omnipresence is. If something can spread out a little, it can spread out also all over, it is in this way that we are enabled to understand omnipresence because of certain experiences which we have in our lower consciousness in a scattered manner, in a small manner.
Let us take an example which are more difficult,—Shakti, the divine Shakti is the power of five faculties as we have seen last time, I have spoken of Mahati or Bharati, the faculty of Ila, the faculty of Saraswati, faculty of Sarma and the faculty of Daksha. These faculties I have spoken of last time and said that the Veda had described these faculties. The Bharati is the faculty of wideness, Ila is the faculty of revelation, Saraswati is the faculty of inspiration, Sarma is the faculty of intuition, Daksha is the faculty of discrimination. Shakti has got all these faculties and when you come into touch with that Shakti these faculties begin to blossom into our consciousness. Shakti flowing into our consciousness, we transcend the sattva, rajas and tamas and begin to have these faculties developing. If somebody asks the question, what is revelation, what is inspiration, and what is intuition, what is discrimination, really speaking all this is very difficult to explain,—to see the invisible is revelation. Our experience is only to see what is visible but to see the invisible is revelation, to hear the inaudible is inspiration, to touch the untouchable is intuition and to discriminate automatically all the relations of universe, which are not even tangibly understood by us is discrimination and the supreme vastness is Bharati or Mahti. So, if you describe simply in themselves, they are very difficult to understand. But because the four or five faculties are also present to some extent in a scattered manner in our mental consciousness, we can strive to understand and we can have some image of them.
Let us see for example, if the closed eyes are opened then the world, you don’t fabricate the world, the world is revealed without your manufacturing. You just open your eyes and the world is revealed, it is as simple as that. If you don’t have the eyes, nothing is revealed in the way the eyes can reveal. But eyes are faculties that the moment you open the eye the whole world is revealed. Similarly, now we can understand that there is a faculty of revelation, such that what is normally invisible can be seen so effortlessly, so easily, as our eyes can see the world, as soon as you open.
This is a distant image but we can try to understand that when Veda speaks of revelation and we say that the Rishis were drishthas. What is the drishti, that drishti is revelatory. When we say that Veda is shruti that which is heard, it is just like our ear hearing and if you really inquire that what is hearing, what is the nature of hearing, it also reveals the world but in a different way. It does not reveal the world in the same way in which eyes reveal the world. It’s a different quality of its experience. So inspiration is of that kind—just as hearing is different from sight—drishti and shruti have differences between the two, although both of them reveal. But this revelation by the ear has a different quality, which you can’t describe unless you experience what is hearing and a deaf person can never understand what is hearing. Just as blind man cannot understand what is colour, what is light. But because we have hearing, we can have some distant idea as to what kind of hearing it will be and we can be quite sure, it is also a hearing actually, this hearing and that hearing are fundamentally similar experiences,—you really hear. Only you don’t hear through these ears but you hear, there is sound, which is heard. How do I know my own joy in my heart, how do I know that I am joyous? It is because there is something in me, which can touch my own joy by myself. Nobody needs to intervene. It’s a touch experience; experience of my own joy is my touch experience. I touch my joy and I know it is joy. That kind of touch is what is called intuition. I know, what is called intuition is that you touch the thing directly without any intermediate. When the subject and the object penetrate into each other that penetration gives rise to intuitive light, intuitive knowledge.
Discrimination is also experienced by our mind. This is our normal experience. You hear a lecture in which ideas are scattered, you hear another lecture in which all ideas are related to each other and you can experience this difference. You have two experiences, a lecture in which ideas are scattered and the lecture in which all ideas are related to each other. How do you know that this is scattered and this is related? There is a faculty in you, which has a capacity of relating idea with idea, with thing with thing. So that you can distinguish between a sound abra ca dabra, which has no meaning and other sounds which have meaning. How do you know this? It is an inherent capacity of the mind to relate idea with idea, and thing with thing. This is the special quality of mind consciousness by which we call ourselves mental. This capacity of idea with idea and thing with thing, this capacity is the specialty of mind consciousness. If you don’t have this you are not mental, you can be an animal. Animals are not able to relate idea with idea, or thing with thing, except in some cases rudiments are there even in the animals. A dog for example can relate the ringing of the bell and coming of the food. When the bell rings, it can expect the food to come and saliva can begin to flow. This is possible to this extent. The relationship is possible, so rudimentary; relating idea with idea is even present in the animal consciousness but doesn’t go beyond, in what we call, mind in human beings.
The great capacity of human beings is that ideas can be related in large numbers. Things can be connected with each other in large numbers. But large numbers does not mean all. Whereas the Shakti relates all ideas, all things are related to each other, in their distinctions, in their relationships of various kinds. And it is automatic in the human consciousness to relate one idea with the other takes a lot of time of training. All mental education is nothing but to tell children how one idea is related to another idea, how one thing is related to another thing, this is all that mental education consists of. But Shakti of which we speak is a power in which all ideas are automatically related to each other. It doesn’t make any effort at all, it’s automatic, just as you open your eyes and you see the world. Similarly that consciousness is such that the moment that faculty operates, you see all ideas related to each other. You suddenly hear that Korea is invaded, you hear news in 1950, a big news flashed on a certain day that Korea was invaded. What does it mean, immediately the idea is what is the motive, what will happen, these questions immediately come to mind.
How to relate this event, invasion of Korea, how to see this event and relate it with the whole world movement? Those who are students of politics, of diplomacy, of history they might be able to relate to some extent this event with certain other things because of historical knowledge or whatever it is. Truman, at that time immediately went into aid of defense of Korea, this is one other simultaneous event that took place. And the question arose in the minds of many people why, how, what is the connection of America with invasion of Korea and why America should rush over there, what is the relationship? Now this question for us normally would be quite difficult and we have only put question marks. Even students of politics may find many explanations as to why it happens. Just at that time Sri Aurobindo was asked the question: ‘what does it all mean?’ Sri Aurobindo said, ‘It is as plain as anything. It is the first move of China to expand communism and therefore, the intervention of America is perfectly understandable because it does not want the spread of communism in the world.’ It’s a very simple kind of connection, why should America intervene because it has something to do with anti-communism. This attack is the movement of the spread of communism, therefore immediately this action has taken place. Now this is only a small example of how ideas can be related with each other and if you have that vision of Shakti, you can immediately see what all these things mean.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan has been dismissed. It’s an event and we have many questions as to how, why, what, what will happen now? And we are groping because we do not see many things in those inter-relationships. What is happening, why is it happening? Now, if you have that vision of Shakti, it would be very plain as to why this is happening. Similarly, about the whole world at one time it seemed that communism would spread over the whole world. It seemed, and yet it collapsed in the very center of communism, in Russia. A seer who has this vision could have seen even earlier that this movement is related to that movement and that with that movement and after some time it will collapse.
As Sri Aurobindo once wrote long ago that the Russian mind is basically a mystic mind, quite opposite of communistic mind. It’s basically a mystical mind and therefore, communism cannot survive in that consciousness. It’s a perception of two ideas of mysticism and communism and their relationship. That is why the Rishi of the Veda was considered to be trikala drishta, who could see past, future and present in one vision. The conclusion of all this is that because some of the elements are present in our ordinary consciousness we can imagine, what is revelation, what is inspiration, what is intuition, and what is discrimination, but to some extent. When it really acts and how it acts is for us actually impossible to imagine.
Once an engineer was talking to The Mother and was complaining that in Pondicherry it is very difficult to find water. He said that I am trying to find water, so that I can dig a tube well or something of that kind. So, Mother went on hearing and then he asked the question, ‘can you tell me where is water?’ She said: ‘Here, where I am standing.’ He dug a little and there was water, this is the perception of the Rishi, on the spot, there is no groping. And this is an important element in the superconscient, there is no groping. There is as Sri Aurobindo says, ‘knowledge from knowledge’ not from ignorance to knowledge, it’s a movement from knowledge to knowledge. The human consciousness and the mental consciousness is a groping consciousness. There is darkness all around and with a little light, with little hint and with little sign, we go on moving here and there largely failing in our attempts. This is the first point that I wanted to make in that paragraph.
Sri Aurobindo says in the 2nd paragraph that we can understand a little bit of this superconscient because some of the elements are reflected in our ordinary consciousness. Therefore, although this subject is very difficult, we cannot say to people that now don’t proceed at all to consider that subject, close the book and do nothing at all. But we can strive, we can give some kind of expression and something of it can be hinted, can be given to the groping consciousness. And this entire chapter is therefore, a chapter in which everything is impossible to understand.
When you cross the borders of sattva, rajas and tamas and enter into this everything is basically incomprehensible but we can understand to some extent because of this reason that the elements of it are to some extent to be found in our ordinary consciousness.
Now the 2nd point that is made is that even the process which is described as to how to mount from our present consciousness to the higher level of consciousness, how the higher consciousness can be embedded into the lower movements of Prakriti. This whole process would normally be incomprehensible, just as the states of the consciousness of the higher level are difficult to understand but to some extent understandable because of the reason that I gave now.
Similarly, the process by which we can mount from here to there and the process by which that higher conscious can be embedded here would be normally incomprehensible and yet it is not entirely incomprehensible because that movement will be similar to some extent to the kind of movement that we experience in our bodily life, vital life and mental life. How we move from one level of consciousness to the other. We can examine how the child develops its movement of development of consciousness. It is within the limits of mental consciousness only but there are gradations in the mental consciousness. An educationist and a psychologist have made study of this as to how the child develops and therefore, how the child can be helped to develop. If you study the laws of the development of life from the body, mind from the life and development of mind from grade to grade, if you discover the laws of this development and if you try to understand them and if you understand them, then to some extent since this kind of law would be also operative there we can understand this process too.
We have in the succeeding paragraphs the description of the process by which we can rise into higher levels of consciousness, the process by which the higher levels of consciousness can come down to embed themselves into the lower consciousness and also the description of the various states of consciousness, which begin to manifest when we make this ascent from below.
The real ascent of Supermind actually starts from the next paragraph, this is only the background. There is first in this movement a great emphasis on individuation. Let us try to understand this point. You will see that in the universal movement in ether or air there is a vastness and diffusion. In water for example there is more concreteness. Intermediate between the two is fire. It is fire which makes all forms stable; this is a specialty of fire. If you want to make any form stable you heat it. That's why welding, you use fire when you want to join two things. In water the form appears much more clearly, but even then it is so liquid, the form is broken constantly. It is only in earth principle, prithvi, that you find stable forms, which you call objects, in watery form there are no objects as such, its difficult, not that there are none, there are drops, there are the bubbles but they are so mobile they break immediately. It is only here in the case of physical objects that you find stable objects. You can distinguish one object from the other. Something like individuation takes place, one object distinguished from the other object, so that this object and its individuality is distinguished from the other object. And there are innumerable forms in this physical world, the principle of individuation manifests in a remarkable manner. You find that in the whole physical world two principles are manifest—commonness and individuation. The leaves of one tree are all common and the commonness is so great that you can distinguish the leaves of one species from the leaves of other species. The banana leaves are quite different from the palm leaves. So there is a commonness and yet individuation. All palm leaves are alike, all banana leaves are alike, there is commonness and yet each species is so distinguishable from the other. They are all common in the sense that they are all leaves; you can really see that they are leaves. There is something like commonness in all the leaves and yet there are different kinds of leaves. So that you can distinguish one from the other, this distinguishing feature is the individuation to some extent, but even in the case of every leaf of the same tree there is innumerable variety, every leaf of every tree is quite different from the leaf just on the same branch. If there are five leaves, each leaf is different from the other leaf, that is a principle of individuation.
As you rise in the scale of existence you find this individuation being accentuated. All cows are alike and they are different from buffaloes. So all cows are individuated from buffaloes, which are individuated from the cows on the other hand, but the faces of all the cows, each one of them has a difference. Unless you minutely examine, you may not be able to distinguish one from the other. The distinction is very slight and when you come to human faces the individuation is very great. The difference in one face of the cow and the other face of the cow is not much, there is a difference, there is an individuation. But when you come to human faces the difference is tremendous and the individuation is very great.
In other words in all progressive movements of evolution, there is a greater and greater stress on individuation. The more you develop, the more individual you become, this is one specialty of development. So when we rise from the lower level of the consciousness to the other—now we are coming to the main theme. We have reached where we are now up to the mental level. And if you want to move upwards, everybody who develops upwards has a necessary tendency to concentrate upon his individual development. Sometimes, we may even be reproached that we become too selfish, too self-centered but the truth behind it is that if you really want to move forward, this tendency will become inevitable. You become more and more individuated and the aberration of it is that one can become very egoistic, highly egoistic. Where one wants to be so different from the others that if an egoistic man finds that somebody else has become like him, he doesn’t like it, he still wants to become something quite different from the others. The whole search for originality, novelty, in all egoistic individuals is because of this. In the rajasic consciousness it becomes a kind of an aberration. A desire to become quite different from the others is like a mania in fact, but the truth behind it is that there is something to be discovered as you rise in higher consciousness. The discovery of the true individuality of which we spoke earlier in the beginning because every individual has Jivatman and Jivatman is specifically related to Shakti. Since both Shakti and individual Jivatman are not known in our normal consciousness. This action of Shakti and the individual is secret, action, is there, because they exist, but because of this knot the flow of this knowledge is not straight. Therefore, it works secretly and as you rise, there is a greater and greater pressure of the Shakti and of this Jivatman. This search of this Jivatman is a very important element of ascent from our present level of consciousness to the Supermind and emphasis on individuation. But if you want to make the best use of this sense of individuation then we have to distinguish clearly in our mind that this Jivatman is different from egoistic consciousness. If you really go on developing your egoism then the knot of egoism will become so powerful that the light which is coming from above will be still obstructed, therefore, the said passage from below to higher, is to reduce egoism and yet to discover your true individuality, the non-egoistic, unegoistic individuality.
One of the elements which plays a great role in the discovery of the true individual as distinguished from the egoistic consciousness is the experience of choice. Every one of us has an experience of choice; choice implies presentation before our consciousness of alternatives. There is no choice where there are no alternatives. So experience of the presentation of alternatives and our experience of choosing one of them,—this experience is of great importance. Normally we feel that when alternatives are presented to you and you choose one of them, you really feel that you have tried your best to make the best choice and a real choice, meaning thereby that it is your free choice, not compelled by anybody. You have made a real free choice and you call it a free will. You experience that you have had a free will by exercise of which you have chosen.
If you concentrate upon this experience of free will then a certain knot will be loosened by which we can make a distinction between egoism and the true individual. If you really want to understand what is Jivatman as distinguished from egoistic consciousness then let us concentrate upon the experience of free will. This is a very important element by which we can rise from our present level of consciousness to the superconscient.
You had many questions already but I did not allow you to put any questions at all, I went on speaking.