We reside mostly in a conscious awareness of our physical reality, and base our understanding of life on the facts that we can palpably observe through our physical senses. We tend to dismiss or minimize the value of experience of the vital or psychic realm, and tend towards disbelief when someone relates experiences from that realm. There are however, states of awareness in which we become conscious on the vital prana or life force energy, and can experience forces and energies at work that are subliminal or at least unable to be consciously detected and understood by the physical senses. In some cases, the vital prana will yield results which the physical senses detect, but they do not attribute the results to the actual vital cause.
Access to this vital consciousness provides the being with an enlarged and more powerful window into the manifested universe, the forms, forces, energies and actions that create the world we live in. Sri Aurobindo comments: “These ranges are there already in action and known to a subliminal self in us, and much even of our surface consciousness is directly projected from them and without our knowing it influences our subjective experience of things. There is a range of independent vital or pranic experiences behind, subliminal to and other than the surface action of the vitalised physical consciousness. And when this opens itself or acts in any way, there are made manifest to the waking mind the phenomena of a vital consciousness, a vital intuition, a vital sense not dependent on the body and its instruments, although it may use them as a secondary medium and a recorder. It is possible to open completely this range and when we do so, we find that its operation is that of the conscious life force individualised in us contacting the universal life force and its operations in things, happenings and persons. The mind becomes aware of the life consciousness in all things, responds to it through our life consciousness with an immediate directness not limited by the ordinary communication through the body and its organs, records its intuitions, becomes capable of experiencing existence as a translation of the universal Life or Prana.”
“It is by opening this other level or depth of experience within and by admission to the vital consciousness and vital sense that the mind can get the true and direct experience. Still, even then, so long as it is on the mental level, the experience is limited by the vital terms and their mental renderings and there is an obscurity even in this greatened sense and knowledge. The supramental transformation supravitalises the vital, reveals it as a dynamics of the spirit, makes a complete opening and a true revelation of all the spiritual reality behind and within the life force and the life spirit and of all its spiritual as well as its mental and purely vital truth and significance.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 24, The Supramental Sense , pp. 839-841