A Supreme Sense Behind the Senses, Part 4: The Divine Standpoint

When we adjust our view from the fragmented individuality which is our normal human standpoint, to the universal and transcendent view of the divine standpoint, the solution to the question of a supreme Sense behind the senses becomes obvious and straightforward.  The human standpoint starts from Matter and does not understand nor recognize the priority or infinite reality of the universal creation.  It therefore limits what it is willing to accept as “real” to what the human senses can perceive.  In this view, the sun revolves around the earth and rises and sets every day as it does so.  As humanity has extended the power of the senses through the use of technology, it has learned that many of its “self-evident” notions are in fact not the truth or reality of the situation.  Human sense perceptions have been extended, but have not succeeded in removing barriers or limitations which implies existence beyond what we can ourselves currently perceive.

From the divine standpoint, the entire material world within which we live and act is created by a universal consciousness, out of its own substance, and existing throughout its infinite reach through Space and Time.  From this standpoint, it is obvious that this divine standpoint encompasses ways of experiencing and knowing itself and its manifestation far beyond the limited human senses, and this can be understood as the Sense behind the senses.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “The Brahman-consciousness of which the Upanishad speaks is not the Absolute withdrawn into itself, but that Absolute in its outlook on the relative; it is the Lord, the Master-Soul, the governing Transcendent and All, He who constitutes and controls the action of the gods on the different planes of our being.  Since it constitutes them, all our workings can be no more than psychical and physical results and representations of something essential proper to its supreme creative outlook, our sense a shadow of the divine Sense, our sight of the divine Sight, our hearing of the divine Hearing.  Nor is that divine Sight and Hearing limited to things physical, but extend themselves to all forms and operations of conscious being.”

“The supreme Consciousness does not depend on what we call sight and hearing for its own essential seeing and audition.  It operates by a supreme Sense, creative and comprehensive, of which our physical and psychical sight and hearing are external results and partial operations.  Neither is it ignorant of these, nor excludes them; for since it constitutes and controls, it must be aware of them but from a supreme plane, … which includes all in its view….  all sense only assumes its true value and attains to its absolute, its immortal reality when we cease to pursue the satisfactions of the mere external and physical senses and go beyond even the psychical being to this spiritual or essential which is the source and fountain, the knower, constituent and true valuer of all the rest.”

“This spiritual sense of things, secret and superconscient in us, alone gives their being, worth and reality to the psychical and physical sense; in themselves they have none.  When we attain to it, these inferior operations are as it were taken up into it and the whole world and everything in it changes to us and takes on a different and a non-material value.  That Master-consciousness in us senses our sensations of objects, sees our seeings, hears our hearings no longer for the benefit of the senses and their desires, but with the embrace of the self-existent Bliss which has no cause, beginning or end, eternal in its own immortality.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Kena Upanishad and analysis, pg. 102, 142-155

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