A Note on Supermind
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
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.
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
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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
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
A DREAM OF
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.
meditating almost nude
Under the Bo-tree, saw the eternal Light
rising from its mighty solitude,
Spoke of the Wheel and eightfold Path all
A brain by a disordered
Thundered through Europe, conquered, ruled
From St. Helena went,
perhaps, to Heaven.
Thus wagged on the surreal world, until
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.
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.
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.
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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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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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.