Equality in the Intelligent Mind

The reasoning intelligence is the highest evolve power of the normal human existence. Since it is still a manifestation of Nature, the intelligence remains subject to the operation of the three Gunas, Tamas, Rajas and Sattwa. These three manifest in the intelligence in the forms of ignorance, error and true knowledge. In order to transition to higher levels of awareness and truth, it is essential for the intelligence to be able to detach itself from fixed ideas or opinions, as well as knowledge which is developed during the evolution from ignorance, through the mixed action of error, to the limited sattwic clarity and light. Even the highest and widest forms of knowledge achieved by the mind are still limitations of the consciousness which must eventually be overpassed.

Sri Aurobindo describes how equality in the intelligent mind operates to liberate the seeker from the limitations of his knowledge: “It will deal with the ignorance of the mind, as what it is psychologically, a clouded, veiled or wrapped-up state of the substance of consciousness in which the knowledge of the all-knowing Self is hidden as if in a dark sheath; it will dwell on it by the mind and by the aid of related truths already known, by the intelligence or by an intuitive concentration deliver the knowledge out of the veil of the ignorance. It will not attach itself only to the known or try to force all into its little frame, but will dwell on the known and the unknown with an equal mind open to all possibility. So too it will deal with error; it will accept the tangled skein of truth and error, but attach itself to no opinion, rather seeking for the element of truth behind all opinions, the knowledge concealed within the error,–for all error is a disfiguration of some misunderstood fragments of truth and draws its vitality from that and not from its misapprehension; it will accept, but not limit itself even by ascertained truths, but will always be ready for new knowledge and seek for a more and more integral, a more and more extended, reconciling, unifying wisdom. This can only come in its fullness by rising to the ideal supermind, and therefore the equal seeker of truth will not be attached to the intellect and its workings or think that all ends there, but be prepared to rise beyond, accepting each stage of ascent and the contributions of each power of his being, but only to lift them into a higher truth. He must accept everything, but cling to nothing, be repelled by nothing however imperfect or however subversive of fixed notions, but also allow nothing to lay hold on him to the detriment of the free working of the Truth-Spirit. This equality of the intelligence is an essential condition for rising to the higher supramental and spiritual knowledge.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 12, The Way of Equality, pp. 689-690

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