The integral yoga has two important points of concentration, the concentration that is inward and which presses towards discovery and unveiling of the psychic being and its powers, and the concentration that is upward, which presses on the summits of the mind and which breaks the lid of the mind so as to liberate our consciousness into the domains of superconscience, the levels of the higher mind, illumined mind, intuitive mind and overmind, which ultimately leads to the Supermind. In the yogic terminology of the integral yoga these two concentrations are termed as concentrations on (i) the heart centre, since it is behind the heart centre, deep in the inmost depths, that the psychic being is located, and (ii) the head centre, since the superconscient levels of consciousness are above the head centre. While dealing with the problems of the life-force in the integral yoga we have seen, although very briefly, the role that the psychic being plays. But we may now briefly study the methods by which the intellectual being can come to make a transition to higher principles of consciousness.
As Sri Aurobindo points out, the human being is distinguished from all other terrestrial creatures by virtue of his limited mental intelligence enlightening the limiting mind of sense and the capacity, not always well used of a considerable extension of it, by the use of the reason. The
sense mind, intelligence, reason, — these are the instruments in which man has learned to put his trust and he has erected by their means certain foundations which he is not over-willing to disturb. When he attempts to trace beyond these foundations, he feels all to be confusion, uncertainty and a perilous adventure; but what the integral yoga proposes is the transition to a higher principle, and that principle means not only a difficult conversion of his whole mind and reason and intelligence, but in a certain sense a reversal of all their methods. Sri Aurobindo points out that if an animal mind were called upon to leave consciently the safe ground of sense-impulse, sense-understanding and instinct for the perilous adventure of a reasoning intelligence, it might well turn back alarmed and unwilling from the effort. Similarly, he observes that the human mind, when called upon to make a still greater change and, although self-conscious and adventurous in the circle of its possibility, might well hold this beyond the circle and reject the adventure. For this reason, Sri Aurobindo acknowledges that the concentration on the head centre must reach a very high level of development, and the required change is only possible if there is first a spiritual development on our present level of consciousness; it can only be undertaken securely when the mind has become aware of the greater self within enamoured of the Infinite and confident of the presence and guidance of the Divine and his shakti. This means that the seeker should have already made considerable advance on the triple path of knowledge, divine love and divine works as a result of which the seeker has become aware of the Object of divine knowledge and has developed love of the Divine Lover and has also become confident of the working of the Divine and his shakti in the difficult tangle of the world of our experience. In order to arrive at the starting-point of
converting the human mind into the working of higher levels of consciousness leading up to the supermind, Sri Aurobindo speaks of a passage through a mediatory status and of the help of the one power already at work in the human mind, namely, the faculty of intuition, a power of which we can feel the presence but the workings of which, even when found impressive, we cannot understand.
The Reason understands itself, but does not normally understand intuition that is beyond it. It is true that the power of intuition is recognized, but it is seen to be acting in a covert manner, and it is mostly veiled by the action of the reason and the normal intelligence. It is also true that intuition emerges sometimes as a clear and instructive action; but it is still occasional, partial and fragmentary. It is admitted that in uition does cast a sudden light, and it makes a luminous suggestion or it throws out a solitary brilliant clue or scatters a small number of isolated or related intuitions, lustrous discriminations, inspirations or revelations. But even then, this action of intuition leaves the Reason, will, mental sense or intelligence to do what each can or pleases with what has been brought to it by the act of intuition.
The word intuition connotes the power of consciousness which is difficult for the mind to understand. The one operation in which intuition manifests in our lower levels of consciousness more clearly is the operation of the instinct. The instinct which works in the subconscient may be regarded as consciousness that is involved in action; in the superconscient, intuition is no longer involved in action, but operates as manifest light. Basically, intuitional knowledge
is common between the sub-conscient and the superconscient, and in both it is marked by effective identity between that which knows and that which is known. While elucidating the action of intuition in the sub-conscient and the super-conscient, Sri Aurobindo states as follows:
"In the subconscient knowledge or consciousness is involved in action, for action is the essence of Life. In the superconscient action re-enters into Light and no longer contains involved knowledge but is itself contained in a supreme consciousness. Intuitional knowledge is that which is common between them and the foundation of intuitional knowledge is conscious or effective identity between that which knows and that which is known; it is that state of common self-existence in which the knower and the known are one through knowledge. But in the subconscient the intuition manifests itself in the action, in effectivity, and the knowledge or conscious identity is either entirely or more or less concealed in the action. In the superconscient, on the contrary, Light being the law and the principle, the intuition manifests itself in its true nature as knowledge emerging out of conscious identity, and effectivity of action is rather the accompaniment or necessary consequent and no longer masks as the primary fact. Between these two states reason and mind act as intermediaries which enable the being to liberate knowledge out of its imprisonment in the act and prepare it to resume its essential primacy."14
According to Sri Aurobindo, intuition always stands veiled behind our mental operations. Intuition gives us that idea of something behind and beyond all that we know and seem to be which pursues man always in contradiction of his lower reason. It is intuition that formulates itself in the ideas of Eternity and Infinity, and the ideas of God and Freedom
and Immortality. Intuition springs from the inmost soul of the being and insists upon these ideas despite the contradictions of reason or the denials of experience. Intuition knows what is because it is, because itself it is of that and has come from that, and will not yield it to the judgment of what merely becomes and appears.
In man, on account of the preponderance of Reason, intuition works from behind the veil, and hence the light that comes from intuition becomes scattered, and intuition is unable to give us the truth in that ordered and articulated form which our nature demands. It is only when the lid between the conscient and the superconscient is rent, and it is only when reason is able to stand out in stillness that intuition can operate without interference of the mental methods of operation and can give us ordered and articulated form for the truths that are seen directly, without the operations of mediate reasoning. For understanding the true nature of intuition, we need to transcend the limitations of the mental consciousness and begin to accustom ourselves to looking in through the gates of the being's secret universal self-vision and knowledge. And even then intuition is still a transitional stage that has still to open up to the operations of the supermind.
As compared to the plenary light of the supermind, intuition is a first imperfect organization of superconscient light. In the words of Sri Aurobindo:
"The intuitive mind is an immediate translation of truth into mental terms half transformed by a radiant supramental substance, a translation of some infinite self-knowledge that
acts above mind in the superconscient spirit."15
There are, according to Sri Aurobindo, certain movements of the ordinary mental intelligence that look analogous and are easily mistaken for the true intuition in our first inexperience. There is something in the intellectual operations which can be called the intellectual insight of a quick intelligence; there is something like rapid judgment of reasoning intellect; there is also what can be called the inspired action of the imaginative intelligence; and there is also something like purely mental seizing of the truth and experience. All these mental operations may appear to be intuitive, but they are, according to Sri Aurobindo, mental representations of the higher movements of the intuition. The true intuitions differ from these effective but insufficient counterfeits in their substance of light, their operation, their method of knowledge. As Sri Aurobindo points out:
"The intellectual rapidities are dependent on awakenings of the basic mental ignorance to mental figures and representations of truth that may be quite valid in their own field and for their own purpose but are not necessarily and by their very nature reliable. They are dependent for their emergence on the suggestions given by mental and sense data or on the accumulation of past mental knowledge. They search for the truth as a thing outside, an object to be found and looked at and stored as an acquisition and, when found, scrutinize its surfaces, suggestions or aspects. This scrutiny can never give a quite complete and adequate truth idea. However positive they may seem at the time, they may at any moment have to be passed over, rejected and found inconsistent with fresh knowledge."16
A true mark of intuitive knowledge, even when it is
limited in its field of application, is that (within the given scope), it is sure with an immediate, and specially self-existent certitude. It is, as Sri Aurobindo points out, the disclosing of a knowledge that is secret but already existent in the being: it is not an acquisition, but something that was always there and revealable. "It sees the truth from within and illumines with that inner vision the outsides and it harmonises, too, readily — provided we keep intuitively awake — with whatever fresh truth has yet to arrive."17
Between the Mind and the Intuitive Mind, there are two layers, — those of the Higher Mind and Illumined Mind. The ordinary human mind is conceptual in character, and even at its highest levels, when it conceives of comprehensiveness and of a highest possible synthesis, it is so much occupied with multiplicity that it can cover in its grasp of conceptuality only a small portion of the totality. When one is able to step out of the lower mentality, one can ascend into what Sri Aurobindo calls a Higher Mind, a mind no longer made of mingled light or obscurity or half-light, but a large clarity of the Spirit. Sri Aurobindo points out that although it is still conceptual, it is a luminous thought-mind, a mind of Spirit — born conceptual knowledge. In the words of Sri Aurobindo:
"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 realizing its conceptions, is the character of this greater mind of knowledge. ...Large aspects of truth come into view in which the ascending Mind, if it chooses, can dwell with satisfaction and, after its former
manner, live in them as in a structure; but if progress is to be made, these structures can constantly expand into a larger structure or several of them combine themselves into a provisional greater whole on the way to a yet unachieved integrality."18
At a still higher level, there is, according to Sri Aurobindo, the Illumined Mind, a Mind no longer of higher Thought but of spiritual light. The downpour of inwardly visible Light very usually envelops the action of this Mind. The illumined Mind does not work primarily by thought, but by vision; thought is here only a subordinate movement expressive of sight. The illumined mind can effect a more powerful and dynamic integration; "it illumines the thought-mind with a direct inner vision and inspiration, brings a spiritual sight into the heart and a spiritual light and energy into its feeling and emotion, imparts to the life-force a spiritual urge, a truth inspiration that dynamises the action and exalts the life-movements; it infuses into the sense a direct and total power of spiritual sensation so that our vital and physical being can contact and meet concretely, quite as intensely as the mind and emotion can conceive and perceive and feel, the Divine in all things; it throws on the physical mind a transforming light that breaks its limitations, its conservative inertia, replaces its narrow thought-power and its doubts by sight and pours luminosity and consciousness into the very cells of the body."19
The intuitive mind is still at a higher level. When consciousness meets the Supreme Reality or the spiritual reality of things and beings and has a contactual union with it, then the spark, the flash or the blaze of intimate truth-
perception is lit in its depth. "This close perception is more than sight, more than conception: it is the result of a penetrating and revealing touch which carries in it sight and conception as part of itself or as its natural consequence."20
To arrive at the Intuitive Mind, Sri Aurobindo finds, in the actual process and experience of the Integral yoga, four methods, none of which would be regarded as exclusively adequate.
The first method is to silence the mind altogether,— to silence the intellect, the mental and personal will, the desire-mind and the mind of emotion and sensation, and to allow in the perfect silence the Self, the Spirit, the Divine to disclose himself and leave him to illuminate the being. As Sri Aurobindo points out, it is the calm and still mind much more readily and with a much greater purity than the mind in agitation and action that opens to the Infinite, reflects the Spirit, becomes full of the Self and awaits like a consecrated and purified temple the unveiling of the Lord of all our being and nature. This method aims at acquiring the capacity of always being able at will to command an absolute tranquility and silence of the mind free from any necessity of mental thought or movement or disturbance. But this is not enough because, as Sri Aurobindo points out, when the inner action proceeds after the silence, even if it be then a more predominantly intuitive in thought and movement, the old powers of mentality will yet interfere, if not from within, then from without. Therefore, the necessity of process of elimination or transformation of the inferior mentality remains always imperative.
The second method is to turn inward which comes naturally to the way of Divine Love. In this method, one rejects the intellect and its action, one listens for the voice, waits for the impulsion or the command, obeys only the idea and the will and power of the Lord within, the divine Self and Purusha in the heart of the creature. The movement of this method tends to become more and more intuitive and aims at making the whole nature intuitive; ideas, volitions, impulsions, feelings which come from the secret Purusha in the heart are of the direct intuitive character. As Sri Aurobindo points out:
"It is possible then by referring back all the initiation of our action to this secret intuitive Self and Spirit, the ever-present Godhead within us, and replacing by its influences the initiations of our personal and mental nature to get back from the inferior external thought and action to another, internal and intuitive, of a highly spiritualized character."21
Nevertheless, Sri Aurobindo points out that the result of this movement cannot be complete, since the intuitive thought and action detected from the heart (as distinguished from the highest centre of the being) may be very luminous and intense, but they are likely to be limited, even narrow in their intensity, mixed with a lower emotional action and at best excited and troubled, rendered unbalanced or exaggerated by a miraculous or abnormal character in their action or at least in many of their accompaniments which are injurious to the harmonized perfection of the being.
Therefore, there is a need to take recourse to the third method which turns to the highest centre of our being. Sri Aurobindo points out that the highest organized centre of our embodied being and of its action in the body is a supreme
mental centre figured by the yogic symbol of the thousand-petalled lotus, sahasradala, and it is at its top and summit that there is the direct communication with the superior superconscient levels. Here the method is to refer all our thought and action to the veiled truth of the Divinity above the mind and to receive all by a sort of descent from above, a descent of which we become not only spiritually but physically conscious. The fullness of the result of this method can only come, according to Sri Aurobindo, when we are able to lift the centre of thought and conscious action above the physical brain and feel it going on in the subtle body. Sri Aurobindo states:
"If we can feel ourselves thinking no longer with the brain but from above and outside the head in the subtle body, that is a sure physical sign of a release from the limitations of the physical mind, and though this will not be complete at once nor of itself bring a supramental action, for the subtle body is mental and not supramental, still it is a subtle and pure mentality and makes an easier communication with the supramental centres. .. .This opening up of a higher level and of higher and higher planes of it and the consequent reformation of our whole consciousness and its action into their mould and into the substance of their power and luminous capacity is found in practice to be the greater part of the natural method used by the divine Shakti."22
A fourth method consists of developing intellect instead of eliminating it; but the development is aimed at heightening the capacity right up to its utmost borders where the objects on which concentration is laid transcend the capacities of the intellect; the care is taken not to cherish the limitations but to increase the intensity, light and degree and force of activity; the time comes when the higher faculty of
consciousness takes up the activities of the intellect and intellect itself and transforms it into the movement of the higher faculty. As Sri Aurobindo points out, the reason and intelligent will, the Buddhi, is the greatest of our natural power and instrument; the intellectual being is raised up to a point where it is taken up by the Shakti in the yoga and raised to its fullest and its most heightened powers. The subsequent transformation of the intellect is possible because all the action of the intellect derives secretly from the higher level of consciousness, — from the intuitive mind and from the supermind. The limitations of the intellect are then removed by the intervention of the higher intuitive and supramental energy.
The intuitive mentality has a four-fold power. There is the power of suggestive intuition, the power of revelation, the power of inspiration and the power of discrimination. All these powers are inherent in the intellect but they are latent and act through the obstructions of the Ignorance. Because they are inherent in the intellect they can be easily taken up by the higher and conscious action of intuition, and intuition can perform all the actions of reason. As Sri Aurobindo states:
"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: .. .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."23
Indeed intuitive mentality is not the supermind or even overmind. The process of ascent from the mind, in order to be complete, has to pass not only through the higher mind, illumined mind, intuitive mind and also arrive at the overmind before arriving at the supermind. Nonetheless, the four methods for arriving at the intuitive mind are extremely important, and the practice of these methods, when they are combined, creates the organization of a predominantly or even a completely intuitive mentality sufficiently developed to take the place of the ordinary mentality and of the logical reasoning intellect of the developed human being. How these four methods can be combined cannot be fixed in any mechanical invariable order; the process has to be free and flexible according to the needs of the work and the demand of the nature. As Sri Aurobindo explains:
"The widest natural action of the Shakti combines all these methods. It creates, sometimes at first, sometimes at some later, perhaps latest stage, the freedom of the spiritual silence. It opens the secret intuitive being within the mind itself and accustoms us to refer all our thought and our feeling and will and action to the initiation of the Divine, the
Splendour and Power who is now concealed in the heart of its recesses. It raises, when we are ready, the centre of its operations to the mental summit and opens up the supramental levels and proceeds doubly by an action from above downward filling and transforming the lower nature and an action from below upwards raising all the energies to that which is above them till the transcendence is completed and the change of the whole system integrally effected. It takes and develops the intelligence and will and other natural powers, but brings in constantly the intuitive mind and afterwards the true supramental energy to change and enlarge their action. These things it does in no fixed and mechanically invariable order, such as the rigidity of the logical intellect might demand, but freely and flexibly according to the needs of its work and the demand of the nature."24
Sri Aurobindo has constantly underlined the need to keep in mind that the supramental change is difficult, distinct and ultimate stage. He has insisted that the supramental change must be regarded as the end of a far-off vista, and cannot be and must not be turned into a first aim, a constantly envisaged goal or immediate objective. He has clearly stated that the supramental change can only come into the view of possibility after much arduous self-conquest and self-exceeding, at the end of many long and trying stages of a difficult self-evolution of the nature. Describing the many stages that one has to cross to arrive at the view of possibility of the supramental change, Sri Aurobindo has stated:
"One must first acquire an inner Yogic consciousness and replace by it our ordinary view of things, natural movements, motives of life; one must revolutionize the whole present build of our being. Next, we have to go still deeper, discover
our veiled psychic entity and in its light and under its government psychicise our inner and outer parts, turn mind-nature, life-nature, body-nature and all our mental, vital, physical action and states and movements into a conscious instrumentation of the soul. Afterwards or concurrently we have to spiritualise the being in its entirety by a descent of a divine Light, Force, Purity, Knowledge, freedom and wideness. It is necessary to break down the limits of the personal mind, life and physicality, dissolve the ego, enter into the cosmic consciousness, realize the self, acquire a spiritualized and universalised mind and heart, life-force, physical consciousness. Then only the passage into the supramental consciousness begins to become possible, and even then there is a difficult ascent to make each stage of which is a separate arduous achievement."25
The ascent to the supermind, even after achieving the intuitive mind, has to pass through a difficult process of opening and developing the overmental consciousness. At the source of the intuitive mind, there is, according to Sri Aurobindo, a superconscient Mind, in direct contact with the Supermind. This cosmic Mind is not a mind as we know it, but, in the words of Sri Aurobindo, "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."26
The overmind is the occult link. It is the Power that at once connects and divides the supreme Knowledge and the cosmic Ignorance. According to Sri Aurobindo, Supermind transmits to Overmind all its realities but leaves it to formulate them in a movement. But this formulation is done by the Overmind by an awareness of things which, according to Sri Aurobindo, is still a vision of Truth and yet at the same time a first parent of the ignorance.
Comparing the action of the Supermind and the Overmind, Sri Aurobindo states:
"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 realize 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. ... 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 organized and their actuality always possible."27
Beyond the Overmind is the plenary supramental consciousness. If Overmental consciousness is global in character, the supramental consciousness is integral. The Overmental consciousness is compared by Sri Aurobindo to a Sun and its system shining out in an original darkness of Space and illumining everything as far as its rays could reach so that all that dwelt in the light would feel as if no darkness was there at all in their experience of existence. But outside that sphere or expanse of experience the original darkness would still be there. In the supramental consciousness, there is, on the other hand, a plenitude of light, and if it so wills, it can illumine everything integrally. The supramental consciousness is Truth-Consciousness, since it is at once the self-awareness of the Infinite and Eternal and a power of self-determination inherent in that self-awareness. As Sri Aurobindo states:
"In Supermind being, consciousness of knowledge and consciousness of will are not divided as they seem to be in our mental operations; they are trinity, one movement with three effective aspects. Each has its own effect. Being gives the effect of substance, consciousness the effect of knowledge, of the self-guiding and shaping idea, of comprehension and apprehension; will gives the effect of self-fulfilling force. But the idea is only the light of the reality illumining itself; it is not mental thought nor imagination, but effective self-awareness. It is Real-Idea."28
The process of ascent to the supermind is complex, and
in the integral yoga, the ascent to the supermind has the eventual aim that implies transformation of material life into divine life, carrying with it eventually the appearance of a new physical vehicle of divine life by means of the descent of the supermind on all planes of consciousness right up to the physical, subconscient and the inconscient. Hence, even when ascent to the supermind is pursued, there are processes of descents of higher levels of consciousness into the levels of consciousness which are sought to be uplifted. Moreover, in the process of the integral yoga, it is the psychic being which is considered to be the inmost leader of evolution, and this leader is the individual soul in its process of growth, caitya purusa, who has descended into the obscurities of Matter, Life and Mind and acts upon the individual body, life and mind, the three evolutionary products of lower nature (Apara Prakriti) so as to lift them upwards. The aim is to transform the Apara Prakriti into Para Prakriti. The caitya purusa leads the lower nature, but its leading power, light and wisdom is to be constantly received from the supreme Self whose self-awareness and self-determining power is the supermind. The entire process of integral yoga is thus a complex web in which the evolutionary urge of the lower nature is uplifted by the psychic being, who, in turn, receives through its instrumentality the guidance of the supreme Self or Purushottama (to use the language of the Gita), who acts through the supramental Para Prakriti. In the ultimate analysis, therefore, in the integral yoga, the accomplishment is sought to be effected by the process of progressive self-surrender so that it is the Purushottama and his Para Prakriti that can work out the supreme transmutation that is envisaged.
In fact, as soon as we begin to concentrate on the centre of the heart and the psychic, and on the centre of the head, we begin to connect our self with the Divine Consciousness and invite that consciousness to direct us and to govern us. In the process of the ascent, as soon as the plane of the mind is crossed, whether by the Jnana Yoga or by Bhakti Yoga, or else, by the Karma Yoga, whether by silence or self-offering, by devotion or by sacrifice of personal and egoistic will, — the Self brings to us a sense of unity or a sense of oneness. One is uplifted into self-consciousness that is free from the bondage to the instruments of the mind, life and body. As Sri Aurobindo explains very briefly in one of his letters how the Self governs the diversity by means of unity as one ascends from the higher mind upwards, where the realization of the one is the natural basis of consciousness. That sense of unity and oneness is common on all the planes from higher mind upwards, but what is new at every level of higher consciousness is the degree and kind of power of consciousness and the degree and kind of intensity and potency of the Light. Sri Aurobindo states:
"The Self governs the diversity of its creation by its unity on all the planes from the Higher Mind upwards on which the realization of the One is the natural basis of consciousness. But as one goes upward, the view changes, the power of consciousness changes, the Light becomes ever more intense and potent. Although the static realization of Infinity and Eternity and the Timeless One remains the same, the vision of the workings of the One becomes ever wider and is attended with a greater instrumentality of Force and a
more comprehensive grasp of what has to be known and done. All possible forms and constructions of things become more and more visible, put in their proper place, utilizable. Moreover, what is thought-knowledge in the Higher Mind becomes illumination in the Illumined Mind and direct intimate vision in the Intuition. But the Intuition sees in flashes and combines through a constant play of light — through revelations, inspirations, intuitions, swift discriminations. The overmind sees calmly, steadily, in great masses and large extensions of space and time and relation, globally; it creates and acts in the same way — it is the world of the great Gods, the divine Creators. Only, each creates in his own way; he sees all but sees all from his own viewpoint. There is not the absolute supramental harmony and certitude. These, inadequately expressed, are some of the differences. I speak, of course, of these planes in themselves — when acting in the human consciousness they are necessarily much diminished in their working by having to depend on the human instrumentation of mind, vital and physical. Only when these are quieted, they get a fuller force and reveal more their character."30
According to Sri Aurobindo, Supermind starts from unity, not division. It is primarily comprehensive, differentiation is only its secondary act. Therefore, Sri Aurobindo points out, whatever be the truth of being expressed, the idea corresponds to it exactly, the will-force to the idea, and the result to the will. In the Supermind, the idea does not clash with other ideas, the will or force with other will or force as in man and his world. The Supermind is, in the words of Sri Aurobindo, "one vast Consciousness
which contains and relates all ideas in itself as its own ideas, one vast Will which contains and relates all energies in itself as its own energies. It holds back this, advances that other, but according to its own preconceiving Idea-Will."31
The supramental consciousness is founded, according to Sri Aurobindo, upon the supreme consciousness of the timeless Infinite but has too the secret of the deployment of the Infinite Energy in time. In the words of Sri Aurobindo:
"It can either take its station in the time consciousness and keep the timeless infinite as its background of supreme and original being from which it receives all its organizing knowledge, will and action, or it can, centred in its essential being, live in the timeless but live too in a manifestation in time which it feels and sees as infinite and as the same Infinite, and can bring out, sustain and develop in the one what it holds supernally in the other. Its time consciousness therefore will be different from that of the mental being, not swept helplessly on the stream of the moments and clutching at each moment as a stay and a swiftly disappearing standpoint, but founded first on its eternal identity beyond the changes of time, secondly on a simultaneous eternity of Time in which past, present and future exist together for ever in the self-knowledge and self-power of the Eternal, thirdly, in a total view of the three times as one movement singly and indivisibly seen even in their succession of stages, periods, cycles, last — and that only in the instrumental consciousness — in the step-by-step evolution of the moments. It will therefore have the knowledge of the three times, trikdladrsti,
—held of old to be a supreme sign of the seer and the Rishi,
—not as an abnormal power, but as its normal way of time knowledge."32