Limitations of the Psychical Consciousness and Its Awareness of Past, Present and Future

The experiences and insights provided by the opening of the psychical consciousness have a power and intensity which make most of those who awaken to them tend toward belief in the veracity of them, and thus, can prove extremely misleading if relied on too heavily.  There are numerous limitations involved which can be due to misinterpretation of what is being presented, mental structures and formations being built to explain what is viewed, vital desire coloring the interpretation, and the inherent limits of the psychical consciousness which, in and of itself, is neither fully illumined nor all-encompassing.

Sri Aurobindo describes the concerns as a form of warning to those who would rely too heavily on the psychical experiences they receive:  “At the same time these powers are subject to this disadvantage that they are not by any means free from liability to confusion and error, and especially the lower ranges and more outer workings of the psychical consciousness are subject to dangerous influences, strong illusions, misleading, perverting and distorting suggestions and images.  A purified mind and heart and a strong and fine psychical intuition may do much to protect from perversion and error, but even the most highly developed psychical consciousness cannot be absolutely safe unless the psychical is illumined and uplifted by a higher force than itself and touched and strengthened by the luminous intuitive mind and that again raised towards the supramental energy of the spirit.  The psychical consciousness does not derive its time knowledge from a direct living in the indivisible continuity of the spirit and it has not to guide it a perfect intuitive discrimination or the absolute light of the higher truth-consciousness.  It receives its time perceptions, like the mind, only in part and detail, is open to all kinds of suggestions, and as its consequent range of truth is wider, more manifold too are its sources of error.  And it is not only that which was but that which might have been or tried and failed to be that comes to it out of the past, not only that which is but that which may be or wishes to be that crowds on it from the present and not only things to be but suggestions, intuitions, vision and images of many kinds of possibility that visit it from the future.  And always too there is the possibility of mental constructions and mental images interfering with the true truth of things int he presentations of the psychical experience.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 25, Towards the Supramental Time Vision , pp. 863-864