The development of the powers of the mental plane can continue within humanity, and Sri Aurobindo next clarifies the type of the pure thinking man, “the mental man, the man of a self-dominating and self-formative mind and will conscious of an ideal and turned towards its realisation, the high intellect, the thinker, the sage, less kinetic and immediately effective than the vital man, who is the man of action and outer swift life-fulfilment, but as powerful and eventually even more powerful to open new vistas to the race, is the normal summit of Nature’s evolutionary formation on the human plane.”
The pure mentality has access to an inner or subliminal mind “which senses directly all the things of the mind-plane, is open to the action of a world of mental forces, and can feel the ideative and other imponderable influences which act upon the material world and the life-plane but which at present we can only infer and cannot directly experience: these intangibles and imponderables are to the mental man real and patent and he regards them as truths demanding to be realised in our or the earth’s nature.”
The developed mental man, then can actually live in a world of ideation and mental forces. “to live in mind and the things of the mind, to be an intelligence rather than a life and a body, is our highest position, short of spirituality, in the degrees of Nature.”
It is interesting to note that while many who do not have this kind of mental development fully at work will try to discount the “reality” of this world of ideas and forces of will, there is a direct corrollary in the “invisible” action of mind and the “invisible” action of electricity on the material plane, or the transmission of emotions and feelings on the vital plane, both of which have now been documented and proven beyond doubt, and put into action in the world. Quantum physics is now recognizing the role of consciousness as the formative power of energy and matter, and the ability of consciousness to control and influence events and material substance. We thus see an approach from the side of science, to the type of recognition that Sri Aurobindo here explains.
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 18, The Evolutionary Process — Ascent and Integration