Equality of the Thinking Mind

It is not just the emotions, vital impulses, desires and cravings which need to be brought to a state of equality. The various levels and aspects of the mental process require the same consideration. For those who have a strong mental development, the ideas, opinions, logic and reasoning structures, predilections, and inherent observational and interpretational bias that comes with a specific mind-set can be an extraordinary impediment to the achievement of spiritual realisation. The mental being must be able to observe and understand without the deformations of knowledge caused by a mind that is not balanced, equal and receptive to the truth as it unfolds itself without coloring or overlay based on preconceived notions or viewpoints.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “Our present attractive self-justifying attachment to our intellectual preferences, our judgments, opinions, imaginations, limiting associations of memory which makes the basis of our mentality, to the current repetitions of our habitual mind, to the insistences of our pragmatic mind, to the limitations even of our intellectual truth-mind, must go the way of other attachments and yield to the impartiality of an equal vision. The equal thought-mind will look on knowledge and ignorance and on truth and error, those dualities created by our limited nature of consciousness and the partiality of our intellect and its little stock of reasonings and intuitions, accept them both without being bound to either twine of the skein and await a luminous transcendence. In ignorance it will see a knowledge which is imprisoned and seeks or waits for delivery, in error a truth at work which has lost itself or got thrown by the groping mind into misleading forms. On the other side, it will not hold itself bound and limited by its knowledge or forbidden by it to proceed to fresh illumination, nor lay too fierce a grasp on truth, even when using it to the full, or tyrannously chain it to its present formulations. This perfect equality of the thinking mind is indispensable because the objective of this progress is the greater light which belongs to a higher plane of spiritual cognizance. This equality is the most delicate and difficult of all, the least practiced by the human mind; its perfection is impossible so long as the supramental light does not fully fall on the unward looking mentality.”

The intellect and reason of man has a purpose, and it is an important part of the evolutionary transition from the consciousness of the vital animal to that of the fully realised spiritual individual. Yet eventually, the mind has to be prepared to fall silent and become receptive to a higher light from a more powerful and encompassing plane of understanding. “A stilling of the mental thought may be part of the discipline, when the object is to free the mind from its own partial workings, in order that it may become an equal channel of a higher light and knowledge; but there must also be a transformation of the mental substance; otherwise the higher light cannot assume full possession and a compelling shape for the ordered works of the divine consciousness in the human being. The silence of the Ineffable is a truth of divine being, but the Word which proceeds from that silence is also a truth, and it is this Word which has to be given a body in the conscious form of the nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 11, The Perfection of Equality, pp. 679-680

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