Two Higher Powers of the Intuitive Mentality: Their Powers and Their Limitations

The two initial powers of the intuitive mentality are not, in and of themselves, sufficient or complete in terms of their ability to transform the consciousness and move it beyond its normal reliance on the mentality. At a more advanced stage in the process, two additional higher powers come into operation. One of these Sri Aurobindo characterizes as a power of revelation; the other he characterizes as inspiration. Each has its own unique action, and it is through the combined action of the 4 together that progress in the transformation takes place. Any one of them, even the more powerful higher forms of revelation and inspiration, are limited in their ability to fully take over the normal human process of knowledge and action.

“The revelation may indeed present the reality, the identities of the thing in itself and add something of great power to the experience of the conscious being, but it may lack the embodying word, the out-bringing idea, the connected pursuit of its relations and consequences and may remain a possession in the self but not a thing communicated to and through the members. There may be the presence of the truth but not its full manifestation.”

“The inspiration may give the word of the truth and the stir of its dynamis and movement, but this is not a complete thing and sure in its effect without the full revelation of all that it bears in itself and luminously indicates and the ordering of it in its relations. The inspired intuitive mind is a mind of lightnings lighting up many things that were dark, but the light needs to be canalised and fixed into a stream of steady lustres that will be a constant power for lucidly ordered knowledge.”

“The higher gnosis by itself in its two sole powers would be a mind of spiritual splendours living too much in its own separate domain, producing perhaps invisibly its effect on the outside world, but lacking the link of a more close and ordinary communication with its more normal movements that is provided by the lower ideative action. It is the united or else the fused and unified action of the four powers that makes the complete and fully armed and equipped intuitive gnosis.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 21, The Gradations of the Supermind, pp. 786-787