The Physical Mind Cannot Judge the Reality of Supraphysical Phenomena

Sri Aurobindo takes exception to the claim of the physical mind, which is based on and rooted in the world of Matter, to determine the “reality” or “unreality” of phenomena that have their source or action in another plane or world. “It should be evident that this demand for physical valid proof of a supraphysical fact is irrational and illogical; it is an irrelevant attitude of the physical mind which assumes that only the objective and physical is fundamentally real and puts aside all else as merely subjective. A supraphysical fact may impinge on the physical world and produce physical results; it may even produce an effect on our physical senses and become manifest to them, but that cannot be its invariable action and most normal character or process. Ordinarily, it must produce a direct effect or a tangible impression on our mind and our life-being, which are the parts of us that are of the same order as itself, and can only indirectly and through them, if at all, influence the physical world and physical life.”

Psychic phenomena may manifest in the material world, but more often the experiences brought about through the action of supraphysical forces and powers act on the planes of life and mind, appear in the form of dreams or visions or some kind of feeling. People frequently have such intimations and either unconsciously process them without knowing their source, or try to discount them when they do not provide some kind of physical proof to the physical mind. Putting aside some of the more extreme manifestations, we certainly can relate to things like the experience of a loved one dying in another part of the world and without any material facts, the related party knowing, at the exact time of occurrence, that the other person has died. There are numerous instances of such phenomena which clearly cannot be linked to the physical mind’s demand for physical proofs, but which nevertheless have to be understood and explained.

“There can, then, be various kinds of evidence of the existence of other planes of being and communication with them; objectivisation to the outer sense, subtle-sense contacts, mind contacts, life contacts, contacts through the subliminal in special states of consciousness exceeding our ordinary range. Our physical mind is not the whole of us nor, even though it dominates almost the whole of our surface consciousness, the best or greatest part of us; reality cannot be restricted to a sole field of this narrowness or to the dimensions known within its rigid circle.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 21, The Order of the Worlds

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