Supramental Knowledge

There are a variety of ways of “knowing”.  Supramental knowledge exceeds the mental knowing, which is based on representational symbols in the form of thought.  Mental knowledge has an inherent separation between the Knower, the Known and the act or process of Knowing.   The object of knowing is something outside, external and needs to be comprehended through sense impressions and understood through some kind of logical framework developed around those sense impressions.  For the supramental knowledge, however, thought is not the mechanism of knowing.  With the shift in standpoint to one that is based in Oneness and unity, there is no longer any separation between the Knower and what is Known and the process of knowing is one that is immediate and complete as it is based on an intimate oneness.

Sri Aurobindo describes this further:  “The supermind knows most completely and securely not by thought but by identity, by a pure awareness of the self-truth of things in the self and by the self,….  I get the supramental knowledge best by becoming one with the truth, one with the object of knowledge; the supramental satisfaction and integral light is most there when there is no further division between the knower, knowledge and the known….  I see the thing known not as an object outside myself, but as myself or a part of my universal self contained in my most direct consciousness.”

“In the highest ranges of the infinite there need be no thought at all because all would be experienced spiritually, in continuity, in eternal possession and with an absolute directness and completeness.  Thought is only one means of partially manifesting and presenting what is hidden in this greater self-existent knowledge.  This supreme kind of knowing will not indeed be possible to us in its full extent and degree until we can rise through many grades of the supermind to that infinite.  But still as the supramental power emerges and enlarges its action, something of this highest way of knowledge appears and grows and even the members of the mental being, as they are intuitivised and supramentalised, develop more and more a corresponding action upon their own level.  There is an increasing power of a luminous vital, psychic, emotional, dynamic and other identification with all the things and beings that are the objects of our consciousness and these transcendings of the separative consciousness brin with them many forms and means of a direct knowledge.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 22, The Supramental Thought and Knowledge, pp. 801-802