Distorting Influences on the True Perceptions of Past, Present and Future

Not every perception or awareness represents the complete and accurate true situation as to past, present or future events, persons or circumstances.  Sri Aurobindo has identified various distorting influences which can reduce the integrity of the received information.  For those who wear eyeglasses in the material world, an analogy can be made to glasses that are fogged up, dust-covered or scratched, or that are subject to the reflected glare of very bright objects.  In each case, the vision is negatively impacted.  Similarly for the inner illuminations and insights, when they enter into the human mentality, they can be distorted due to the action of a pre-conceived will, emotional predilection or desire taking possession and modifying the pure illumination to justify the interpretive bias that arises from these causes.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “The personal will must either be put aside or else its suggestions must be kept in their place until a supreme reference has been made to the higher impersonal light and then must be sanctioned or rejected according to the truth that comes from deeper within than the mind or from higher above.  But even if the personal will is held in abeyance and the mind passive for reception, it may be assailed and imposed on by suggestions from all sorts of forces and possibilities that strive in the world for realisation and come representing the things cast up by them on the stream of their will-to-be as the truth of past, present or future.  And if the mind lends itself to thee impostor suggestions, accepts their self-valuations, does not either put them aside or refer them to the truth light, the same result of prevention or distortion of the truth is inevitable.”

Some try to solve these issues by eliminating the active life and retreating into a passive, receptive status that allows the mind to reflect the higher light, but not express it in any form of dynamic action.  “The integrality of the being demands, however, a will action and not only an inactive knowing, and therefore the larger and more perfect remedy is to replace progressively the personal by a universalised will which insists on nothing that is not securely felt by it to be an intuition, inspiration or revelation of what must be from that higher light in which will is one with knowledge.”


Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 25, Towards the Supramental Time Vision , pp. 866-867

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