Steps in the Transformation of the Intellect

As part of the unfolding of the divine manifestation, the intellect has both its purpose and necessity in the process. Yogic methods that work to suppress the action of the intellect lead away from an active role in the life in the world. For those practicing the integral Yoga, the intellect must play its intended role, to the fullest, highest and widest extent. When we look at the current development of the intellect we can identify both its potentiality and its various limitations, and it is the role of the Yoga of self-perfection to systematically address these issues. The intellect can be transformed because, as Sri Aurobindo notes, “The subsequent transformation of the intellect is possible because all the action of the intellect derives secretly from the supermind, each thought and will contains some truth of it however limited and altered by the inferior action of the intelligence.”

Sri Aurobindo defines the process: “The transformation can be brought about by the removal of the limitation and the elimination of the distorting or perverting element. This however cannot be done by the heightening and greatening of the intellectual activity alone; for that must always be limited by the original inherent defects of the mental intelligence. An intervention of the supramental energy is needed that can light up and get rid of its deficiencies of thought and will and feeling. This intervention too cannot be completely effective unless the supramental plane is manifested and acts above the mind no longer from behind a lid or veil, however thin the veil may have grown, but more constantly in an open and luminous action till there is seen the full sun of Truth with no cloud to moderate its splendour. it is not necessary, either, to develop the intellect fully in its separateness before calling down this intervention or opening up by it the supramental levels. The intervention may come in earlier and at once develop the intellectual action and turn it, as it develops, into the higher intuitive form and substance.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 20, The Intuitive Mind, pp. 776-777