The Interaction of the Subliminal Self and Psychical Consciousness on the Mental Awareness

The normal mental consciousness is, as Sri Aurobindo terms it, a “mind of ignorance”, because it is limited, restricted and acts as if it has to acquire knowledge by assembling facts into ordered groups and then interpreting or analyzing them to develop an understanding.  The opening to the wider field of the subliminal self, and the action of the psychical consciousness relieve, to some degree, the limitations so imposed, and the process of knowing becomes more one of drawing out what is latent within, rather than seeking facts externally upon which to build up some kind of picture of things.  At the same time, however, the mentality in the physical body continues to frame and limit the action of the higher powers.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “The coming of the intimations of the subliminal self to the surface and the activity of the psychical consciousness tend to turn the mind of ignorance, with which we begin, increasingly though not perfectly into a mind of self-forgetful knowledge constantly illuminated with intimations and unsurgings from the inner being, antaratman, rays from the still concealed awareness of its whole self and infinite contents and from the awareness — representing itself here as a sort of memory, a recalling or a bringing out — of an inherent and permanent but hidden knowledge of past, present and future that is always carried within itself by the eternal spirit.”

“But embodied as we are and founded on the physical consciousness, the mind of ignorance still persists as a conditioning environment, an intervening power with limiting habitual force obstructing and mixing with the new formation or, even in moments of large illumination, at once a boundary wall and a strong substratum, and it imposes its incapacities and errors.  And to remedy this persistence the first necessity would seem to be the development of the power of a luminous intuitive intelligence seeing the truth of time and its happenings as well as all other truth by intuitive thought and sense and vision and detecting and extruding by its native light of discernment the intrusions of misprision and error.”


Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 25, Towards the Supramental Time Vision , pp. 864-865

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