Developing Capacity for Occult Knowledge

Sri Aurobindo discusses the opportunity of direct contact in consciousness with outer forms, forces and fields of consciousness, and the development of instrumentalities to gain knowledge based on this direct contact. This is different from our normal outer perception, and is only possible if we break down the walls between our inner subliminal being and the outer world. He explains: “In our surface mentality we are sometimes aware of a consciousness that can feel or know the thoughts and inner reactions of others or become aware of objects or happenings without any observable sense-intervention or otherwise exercise powers supernormal to our ordinary capacity; but these capacities are occasional, rudimentary, vague. Their possession is proper to our concealed subliminal self and, when they emerge, it is by a coming to the surface of its powers or operations. These emergent operations of the subliminal being or some of them are now fragmentarily studied under the name of psychic phenomena,–although they have ordinarily nothing to do wit the psyche , the soul, the inmost entity in us, but only with the inner mind, the inner vital, the subtle-physical parts of our subliminal being ; but the results cannot be conclusive or sufficiently ample because they are sought for by methods of inquiry and experiment and standards of proof proper to the surface mind and its system of knowledge by indirect contact. Under these conditions they can be investigated only in so far as they are able to manifest in that mind to which they are exceptional, abnormal or supernormal, and therefore comparatively rare, difficult, incomplete in their occurrence. It is only if we can open up the wall between the outer mind and the inner consciousness to which such phenomena are normal, or if we can enter freely within or dwell there, that this realm of knowledge can be truly explained and annexed to our total consciousness and included in the field of operation of our awakened force of nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 10, Knowledge by Identity and Separative, pp. 536-537

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