Under normal circumstances the human individual relies on the senses to obtain impressions for the mind to receive and act upon. Anything that is not directly able to be perceived by the senses is not consciously recognized or understood. This is the working of what Sri Aurobindo calls the physical mind. At the same time, people have an intuitive sense that direct perception and action by the mind, absent the working of the physical senses, is not only possible but something that occurs regularly, albeit subconsciously.
Sri Aurobindo confirms, not only the actuality of such a direct action of the mind, but also the very real opportunity that arises to directly work with this power through the awakening of the psychical consciousness. “Our minds are indeed constantly acting and acted upon by the minds of others through hidden currents of which we are not aware, but we have no knowledge or control of these agencies. The psychical consciousness, as it develops, makes us aware of the great mass of thoughts, feelings, suggestions, wills, impacts, influences of all kinds that we are receiving from others or sending to others or imbibing from and throwing into the general mind atmosphere around us.”
With the development of the psychical opening, the individual gains substantial leverage with respect to understanding these subliminal influences and gaining the ability to consciously respond or even begin to master them: “It becomes possible to be aware, more or less accurately and discerningly, of the activities of minds whether near to us physically or at a distance, to understand, feel or identify ourselves with their temperament, character, thoughts, feelings, reactions, whether by a psychic sense or a direct mental perception or by a very sensible and often intensely concrete reception of them, into our mind or on its recording surface. At the same time, we can consciously make at least the inner selves and, if they are sufficiently sensitive, the surface minds of others aware of our own inner mental or psychic self and plastic to its thoughts, suggestions, influences or even cast it or its active image in influence into their subjective, even into their vital and physical being to work there as a helping or moulding or dominating power and presence.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 24, The Supramental Sense , pg. 847