Skip Navigation Links

 

A Note on Supermind

 

I

SUPERMIND is not a function, an extended function of the mind as someone seems to have presumed. Is Life then a function, an extended function of Matter? Is Mind also in its turn" a function, an extended function of Life? With equal reason one might conclude that God is an extended function of man and even Heaven an extended function of Earth!

A Sanskrit wit in trying to portray a pig for the benefit of one who has never seen the animal said (in joke or in earnest, one does not know): a pig is an elephant reduced or a mouse enlarged; it would be equally cogent or correct to say that the mind is the Supermind in reduced proportions or that the Supermind is the mind in enlarged proportions. One may "also remember in this connection Aesop's story of the boasting frog who wanted to inflate or blow himself into the size of a bull and blew himself up and burst into fragments in the attempt. The fate of the mind is likely to be the same if it attempted to magnify itself to the measure of Supermind.

However far the mind may be stretched, it cannot reach the Supermind. It is not a question of degree, but of kind, norm and quality. Even so, Matter, however subtilised, de-mate­rialised remains Matter – pulverized into infinitesimal particles at the farthest limits of the material universe it, does not abandon its material nature, it does not become Life. So again with regard to Life: Life-force, however extended or subtilised, does not acquire the mental power and become Mind. Matter evinces Life-power only when life is injected into it, Life exits somewhere else, exists by itself. In the same way Life betrays mental power when Mind is injected into it, mind is by 

Page – 21


itself something else. The difference, we may say, using a philosophical jargon, is not merely epistemological but ontological. These categories are, in fact, not derivative phenomena but self-existing Reals (noumena). Perhaps the word 'Supermind' itself is somewhat responsible for a misconstruction and mis­understanding. Supermind does not mean a "superior mind", it means beyond mind, away from mind, unreachable for mind – aprāpya manasā saha.

Supermind is not a function: It is a reality, the reality itself, the fundamental substance that underlies the world and its formulations of Mind, Life and Matter. It is that secret Energy of Consciousness and Being that lies as the seed and sprouts up and gradually expresses itself in its variant poises of mount­ing potency. These poises are not mere functions: a function is just the expression or operation of an already acquired or established power. It is a deducible conclusion from known and given data, the data and the conclusion are of the same basic nature, that is commensurable entities. Life and Matter are however not commensurable entities nor, Mind and Life. Even so the Supermind and Mind do not belong to the same category of objective reality. If that was so, one could very justifiably and in high seriousness proclaim in Sri Aurobindo's words − those radiant lines, bursting, as it were, with a sup­pressed laughter:

 

A DREAM OF SURREAL SCIENCE

­

One dreamed and saw a gland write Hamlet, drink

    At the Mermaid, capture immortality;

A committee of hormones on the Aegean's brink

    Composed the Iliad and the Odyssey.

 

A thyroid, meditating almost nude

    Under the Bo-tree, saw the eternal Light

And, rising from its mighty solitude,

    Spoke of the Wheel and eightfold Path all right.

 

A brain by a disordered stomach driven

    Thundered through Europe, conquered, ruled and fell,

From St. Helena went, perhaps, to Heaven.

    Thus wagged on the surreal world, until

Page – 22


A scientist played with atoms and blew out

The universe before God had time to shout.¹

 

 

The distinct and disparate realities have a substratum of unity, even identity, but that is somewhere else, that is precisely what the Supermind is, God's Parac1ete to creation.

 

II

 

The Age of Reason came and deposed God. It said and proved rationally that God is an irrelevant, unnecessary quantity. Reason is sufficient to hold together mankind and the world, to develop, elevate and illumine them as much as it is necessary. The Great Revolution declared: the Republic − ResPublica – has no need of God. Morality, a system of morals is the sole sufficient solid base; it is a known and proven reality, nothing illusory or imaginary, nothing nebulous or sup­positional about it.

Things went on well, at least one thought like that, for sometime, but then it was realised soon enough that something was missing in this rationalistic frame of life, for it was almost lifeless, dry: it does not evoke enthusiasm, does not drive man spontaneously towards heigher hights and deeper depths. Man remains a groundling. God need not be there: but the feeling that is associated with God and the conception of God – which is usually called the religious feeling is a genuine human feeling and with the rejection of God, the feeling does not go, it persists. So a new religion is proposed, a Godless religion, a Natural Religion and it came to be called the Religion of Humanity. God was replaced by Humanity. Humanity is a collective reality: to serve it became the ideal, the summum bonum. And to serve is to worship and adore. Thus a new deity was installed. To give yourself wholly, to work for the welfare of humanity, body and mind, to love one and all human beings, particularly those who deserve love and care – the poor, the needy, the lowly – to work so that they may be comforted, is to bring comfort to yourself, to your own soul. It is nothing short of the purest and deepest religious feeling.

 

  ¹ Collected Poems, Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, Vol. 5, p. 145. 

Page – 23


Is it so? The Age of Reason made its momentous declaration long ago: it is now almost two hundred years, but actually we find man refuses to forget God. Churches and temples, com­munities and corporations have been cropping up always demanding that God is to be called God, He cannot be called by any other name. He is to be worshipped as God. No lesser gods but the Supreme God Himself. Does not the Bible say: "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God" ?¹

A Godless morality or a Religion of Humanity, even at its best is a truncated truth. These do not possess the imperious urge of the total man; it is a headless waif wandering about in search of what it wants in this dreary wilderness of Existence.

The ancient Rishis of India knew better. They have never been for compromising for lesser truths. They said: Seek the one inalienable invariable Truth, leave all the rest aside, concentrate on that one thing alone. Even, they added, the rest is Maya, illusion, unreal, false.

They were terribly radical, iconoclasts. Cut away, they said, this world, this humanity, this nature. Go beyond into the transcendent. First enter and establish yourself there. That is the Supreme God, that is the own home of Truth. Cling to that unshakable status, thereafter only you can know of other things, then only you will know what to reject, what to accept, otherwise you will live in a glimmering mid-world of half­truths.

The Transcendental can be reached only in the transcen­dental way, not by pursuing the normal track, continuing the habitual line of gradual growth and development. The mea­sures – the tensor and vector, to use again a jargon, a mathe­matical one – of the mental consciousness do not apply there. There is a cut, a gap, a hiatus between Here and There; one has to take a leap to cross over. Nature herself has adopted that procedure. She has risen from stage to stage through successive leaps, per salturn. Man has to do the same but con­sciously. He has to jump over and land on the other side with the head foremost and down, in other words, there is to be a

reversal of consciousness; you stand on your head: you do not move clock-wise but perhaps anti-clockwise. You see things with another eye, the third eye – wide extended in heaven,

 

  ¹Exodus, [20:5]

Page – 24


as the Vedic Rishi says you look from above down. Things take a different shape and value. The world is constructed in another way.

However, the Transcendent is also here within you. But to reach there too, the procedure is the same to jump over and stand on your head. How to do? Something of that acrobatics is taught by what is called in India Yoga.

Page – 25

Copyright © Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1990-2023
From 15th August, 2013: Total Hits to This Page = 53; Total Site Hits = 1748896; Unique Pages Visited = 64789
From 15th August, 2013: Total Combined Group Sites hits = 4946558;    Returned in 106 milleseconds