The Dynamic Will of the Higher Mind

The powers of the mind include both cognition and action. We have senses to experience, as well as instruments of expression. In the prior post we reviewed the cognitive side of the Higher Mind. There is also a side of dynamic action, the will. Sri Aurobindo describes the power of this gradation of consciousness as follows: “here we find that this greater more brilliant Mind works always on the rest of the being, the mental will, the heart and its feelings, the life, the body, through the power of thought, through the idea-force. It seeks to purify through knowledge, to deliver through knowledge, to create by the innate power of knowledge. The idea is put into the heart or the life as a force to be accepted and worked out; the heart and life become conscious of the idea and respond to its dynamisms and their substance begins to modify itself in that sense, so that the feelings and actions become the vibrations of this higher wisdom, are informed with it, filled with the emotion and the sense of it: the will and the life impulses are similarly charged with its power and its urge of self-effectuation; even in the body the idea works so that, for example, the potent thought and will of health replaces its faith in illness and its consent to illness, or the idea (1) of strength calls in the substance, power, motion, vibration of strength; the idea generates the force and form proper to the idea and imposes it on our substance of Mind, Life or Matter. It is in this way that the first working proceeds; it charges the whole being with a new and superior consciousness, lays a foundation of change, prepares it for a superior truth of existence.”

“(1) The word expressing the idea has the same power if it is surcharged with the spiritual force; that is the rationale fo the Indian use of mantra.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 26, “The Ascent Towards Supermind”

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Characteristic Action of the Higher Mind

If we examine the way our normal human mental process works, we see that it essentially represents a searching for knowledge and a systematic step-by-step building up of an edifice of understanding in an attempt to create what looks like a solid framework, but in reality, because it is based in Ignorance, is subject to being demolished or radically undermined when new facts or greater understanding comes into the picture.

The character of the Higher Mind is different, as would be expected, since it starts from a basis of Knowledge rather than Ignorance, and thus, would not have to conceptualise, analyse, build up idea-structures arduously step-wise. Sri Aurobindo describes it as follows: “This higher consciousness is a Knowledge formulating itself on a basis of self-existent all-awareness and manifesting some part of its integrality, a harmony of its significances put into thought-form. It can freely express itself in single ideas, but its most characteristic movement is a mass ideation, a system or totality of truth-seeing at a single view; the relations of idea with idea, of truth with truth are not established by logic but pre-exist and emerge already self-seen in the integral whole. There is an initiation into forms of an ever-present but till now inactive knowledge, not a system of conclusions from premises or data; this thought is a self-revelation of eternal Wisdom, not an acquired 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. In the end there is a great totality of truth known and experienced but still a totality capable of infinite enlargement because there is no end to the aspects of knowledge…”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 26, “The Ascent Towards Supermind”