The Intellectual Reason Is Not the Highest Power of Knowledge and Action

It is easy to see, if we take an evolutionary perspective, the intermediate station occupied by the intellectual reason, and the fact that there are lower terms of consciousness in the creation, and also higher terms.  The action of the reason, powerful as it is, is always limited by its incapacities and its rigidity of action.  Reason is unable therefore to grasp and manage the complexity of life and the evolving consciousness which manifests in the world.  It is a secondary power.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “The rational or intellectual man is not the last and highest ideal of manhood, nor would a rational society be the last and highest expression of the possibilities of an aggregate human life, — unless indeed we give to this word, reason, a wider meaning than it now possesses and include in it the combined wisdom of all our powers of knowledge, those which stand below and above the understanding and logical mind as well as this strictly rational part of our nature.  The Spirit that manifests itself in man and dominates secretly the phases of his development, is greater and profounder than his intellect and drives towards a perfection that cannot be shut in by the arbitrary construction of the human reason.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 12,  The Office and Limitations of the Reason, pg. 114