The Larger Scope and Activity of the Psychical Senses

Whereas the physical senses are limited to gathering their impressions from the physical world of matter, the psychical senses act from a far larger scope and range, as they can perceive not only physical impressions, but also those emanating from the vital worlds, the mental worlds, the psychic and spiritual worlds.  To some degree the limitations of the physical body and its senses acts as a protection for the consciousness that is not prepared to deal with the vast range, and the myriad sources of these psychical impressions, which may be representations of truths, but may also be distortions, either created through the action of various forces, or consciously imposed by creations that have their own intentions and agenda, whether for good or for ill.

Sri Aurobindo explores these issues:  “Besides these transcriptions or impresses the psychical vision receives thought images and other forms created by constant activity of consciousness in ourselves or in other human beings, and these may be according to the character of the activity images of truth or falsehood or else mixed things, partly true, partly false, and may be too either mere shells and representations or images inspired with a temporary life and consciousness and, it may be, carrying in them in one way or another some kind of beneficent or maleficent action or some willed or unwilled effectiveness on our minds or vital being or through them even on the body.  These transcriptions, impresses, thought images, life images, projections of the consciousness may also be representations or creations not of the physical world, but of vital, psychic or mental worlds beyond us, seen in our own minds or projected from other than human beings.  And as there is this psychical vision of which some of the more external and ordinary manifestations are well enough known by the name of clairvoyance, so there is a psychical hearing and psychical touch, taste, smell,– clairaudience, clairsentience are the more external manifestations,– with precisely the same range each in its own kind, the same fields and manner and conditions and varieties of their phenomena.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 24, The Supramental Sense , pg. 845