Awakening to the Higher Mental Consciousness

For most people, the awakening of the mental consciousness results in some kind of high intellectualism, the development of what may be called “genius” in the society. Sri Aurobindo’s concept, however, goes far beyond this stage of development to encompass powers of mind that are currently beyond the normal range. “It is possible for man to awaken to this higher mental consciousness, to become this mental being (I include here in mind, not only the highest range of mind ordinarily known to man, but yet higher ranges to which he has either no current faculty of admission or else only a partial and mixed reception of some faint portion of their powers,–the illumined mind, the intuition and finally the creative Overmind or Maya which stands far above and is the source of our present existence. If mind is to be understood only as Reason or human intelligence, then the free mental being and its state would be something much more limited and very inferior to the description given here.), put on this mental nature and live not only in the vital and physical sheaths, but in this mental body.”

When we see what we call “genius” at work, we can find not only a highly developed reasoning and organizing faculty, but, frequently, at least an occasional action of intuition, an ability to open to some of the powers of the higher range on an intermittent basis. Sri Aurobindo observes that it is possible for the standpoint of consciousness to be shifted so that it is based in the higher levels of what he defines as “mind”, leading to a qualitatively higher action that brings the human individual much closer to the spiritual planes of consciousness: “For he would enjoy powers and a vision and perceptions beyond the scope of this ordinary life and body; he would govern all by the clarities of pure knowledge; he would be united to other beings by a sympathy of love and happiness; his emotions would be lifted to the perfection of the psycho-mental plane, his sensations rescued from grossness, his intellect subtle, pure and flexible, delivered from the deviations of the impure pranic energy and the obstructions of matter. And he would develop too the reflection of a wisdom and bliss higher than any mental joy and knowledge; for he could receive more fully and without our incompetent mind’s deforming and falsifying mixture the inspirations and intuitions that are the arrows of the supramental Light and form his perfected mental existence in the mould and power of that vaster splendour. He could then realise too the self or Spirit in a much larger and more luminous and more intimate intensity than is now possible and with a greater play of its active power and bliss in the satisfied harmony of his existence.”

“If there were a sufficient completeness in this transformation he would become capable of a life and a being at least half-divine.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 21, The Ladder of Self-Transcendence, pg. 452