Perhaps one of the most obstinate stumbling blocks for seekers who aspire to a truly new consciousness and the fulfilment of Sri Aurobindo’s prophecy of the establishment of a race of gnostic beings on Earth, is the role of Mind in the new arrangement. Spirituality provides a series of aphorisms and now perhaps worn out cliches in dealing with the mind of the human species and its role in a quest of any order. One hears phrases such as ‘go beyond mind’, or, as I myself have written on occasion, ‘to be caught in the mental cage’, and so forth. But, if the Supramental Manifestation is a reality for the Earth and a realisation in the body, which is obviously an essential prerequisite if this new creation is indeed to be established on this planet, then what is the real purpose of this most important of evolution’s devices? This is perhaps one of the most valid questions that can be asked at this point, and merits our most concentrated attention.
The truth of creation in matter is a fourfold reality. There are four major planes with which we can provide a preliminary overall categorisation. These are: physical, vital, mental and spiritual (for want of a better word). Indeed, in the light of the Supramental Manifestation, the latter is in need of a re-evaluation, and in the course of these Newsletters, we shall deal with the formulation of a more correct vocabulary for the creation that Supermind is introducing, insofar as the terms currently employed carry significances which are outdated and inadequate to express this entirely new revelation. Be this as it may, let us use the accepted categorisation for an initial discussion. In particular, we shall concentrate on the third plane, the one closest to the higher realm of the spirit. This is the mental plane and at the present stage of evolution, it is the regent of our civilisation.
Mind in all spiritual quests has presented tremendous obstacles to realisation. This is evident inasmuch as mind is the connecting link with the more subtle realms. It forms a bridge to the brain; or, we may say, it organises the descending light and power in such a manner as to provide a coherent and orderly interaction between subtle and physical. The brain is merely the instrument onto which this activity is directed, but it is not the determining agent. True, brain damage can obstruct a balanced experience of life in the body. For example, a person in a coma whose brain has suffered damage is subjected to delusions and unable to experience an orderly intake of impressions from the more subtle planes. It is merely that in the physical there is a broken link and this cannot be overcome unless that organ is repaired. The mind of the individual may continue to function properly, but this normal, sane experience is not coherently expressed by the embodied consciousness. That is, it is not made a conscious experience and therefore the purpose of embodiment on this planet is rendered meaningless and ineffectual.
However, mind itself has its own aberrations, and when these occur, no right functioning of the brain will solve the problem. That is, mind is the determinant in the process of balanced awareness, and not vice-versa. Therefore, the present emphasis on medication to heal an imbalance of mental functioning is wholly deceiving. Temporary results may be experienced; but these are not healing. They are only assuasive. The real damage is not dealt with and all that such medication provides is a lessening of the ability of the brain to serve as the instrument to act out the commands it receives from mind, – in this case abnormal. A damaged mind may command an irrational and violent behaviour, for which the instrumentality of the brain is imperative in order to have the physical body serve as the tool to carry out the deranged command. Medication can deaden certain areas of the brain which do indeed serve this purpose and are the means to permit the individual to enact mental commands; but this will in no way alter those commands and heal the real causation in its own domain. Mind is untouched by this administration, though the brain can be effectively subdued.
Out-of-the-body experiences allow us to appreciate this fact, especially when one consciously leaves the body just before falling asleep, maintaining the consciousness in full awareness during the process. One experiences that mind stands apart from the physical body. Indeed, one leaves that body and moves into other dimensions freely, while remaining fully aware, conscious of what one is experiencing. What then does this signify in terms of the role mind and brain play in the human being, and in particular what will their roles be in a new, supramental creation?
The brain is the organ that serves as a transmitter of the commands that it receives from the mind to the physical body. It is the bridge, as it were, between the two. Likewise, mind itself is a bridge, though of a subtle substance. And indeed, it is the link between the subtle planes and the brain. In the fourfold arrangement of creation in matter described above, mind or the mental being is the first level in what I have called the higher hemisphere. That is, there are four aspects to material creation and to the being of man. If we divide this scale in half, we see that mind represents the first poise in the upper half. It is our highest principle in evolution at present, the element that sets us off from the rest of the animal kingdom. One of its main functions is to provide the means for self-awareness, self-consciousness. To a certain extent this may be present in creatures on other rungs of the animal kingdom, but it reaches its indisputable apotheosis in the human being.
In the Gnostic Circle there is a particularly critical juncture that comes into being where the quarter of the Circle that represents Mind, and the quarter that represents the next in the descending order, the Vital, come into contact. This is what I have called, the 4.5 Orbit. The qualitative nature of that point is one of disintegration and reversal. It is an especially interesting area which in our solar system is reflected in the Asteroid Belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It could be said that the distressing impasse we have reached as a civilisation and the decay and disintegration experienced in every society at present, as well as the pernicious nuclear menace under which world population lives, is entirely expressed by this critical 4.5 Orbit in the Gnostic Circle. This is the area that epitomises the great Transition we are living. It is the Orbit of the great Reversal.
But what is it that is disintegrated at this crucial passage? There is no question of mind itself being dissolved or disintegrated, for then how could we experience the full gamut, or the whole Gnostic Circle which is the diagram of a complete and integrated being? On the contrary. A new poise has to come about, and this is the crux of the integral and supramental yogas. When this is achieved, then mind adopts a truer function. The nature of this function is the subject of this discussion.
The old spirituality has not really dealt with the problem. It has ignored it by providing realisations that fled the problem and its solution entirely, and which established a poise of the consciousness outside of the body. Evidently, if it had been seen that mind was a stumbling block, in the past the only way to become liberated from this scourge was to devise a means to experience a higher reality beyond it, – meaning, in actual fact, a realisation out of the body and beyond the cosmic dimension.
But this is inadequate in our quest, while it is wholly incapable of providing humanity with a way out of the actual impasse. It is evident that we cannot obliterate mind and ‘go beyond it’ by the means provided in the old spirituality. We have to find a new poise; or better said, the fuller, more mature and complete being of the species. This means that mind will not remain in its place of regent and the species’ highest light. It will continue to serve as the indispensable bridge that it is, but in the context of the new and wider reality of our experience.
When he had reached the very last year of his embodiment, Sri Aurobindo introduced something new in his description of the manifestation of Supermind. He called it the Mind of Light. Some referred to it as a ‘new star on the horizon’ of his work. Yet though Sri Aurobindo did not write in any great detail about the characteristics of this Mind of Light, the work that the Mother carried out in the years after his passing served to incorporate this ‘new star’ in the evolutionary mechanism on Earth. When therefore I write of a new poise of Mind that is required in order to incorporate the mental instrumentation in the greater blueprint, I mean that this Mind of Light now has to serve as the bridge between the subtle realms and the physical, or the brain. The Mother’s ‘yoga of the body’ was precisely centred on the establishment of this new poise for the species. In the course of this discussion, not only will we treat the nature of the Mind of Light in itself, but I shall offer a specific example of its functioning at this time. Again, the purpose is to render concrete what until now has been largely abstract and speculative.
The purpose of Sri Aurobindo’s coming was to forge a new way for the Earth and to reverse the direction that spirituality had imposed on seekers. If in the past one wanted to realise God, one could do so only by directing one’s quest beyond the Earth and out of the body. Sri Aurobindo’s yoga provided a different direction, while still working within and hand-in-hand with the evolutionary laws. He began to forge the link with those higher planes and the realm of Supermind. The Mother continued this work, drawing the process deeper and deeper into the physical. In the last Newsletter, I discussed her description of the method by which the new Supramental Consciousness would be seen to work on Earth, how it would be ‘organised for Earth use’. The present discussion is, to a certain extent, a continuation of the last, only I shall introduce the concept of the Mind of Light; and in the process we shall discover how the mind is to be incorporated in the new creation, the new species, and how the bridge is now to be formed linking this plane to the planes wherein Supermind is the determining power. But it is necessary to present a clear example of this action, otherwise the most exciting aspect of this work will be missed, that of its actuality and its relevance in the present context of this very trying period we are experiencing. In the process, it will become more than evident that the question is not to obliterate mind and poise the consciousness in a beyond, outside of the material dimensions in which we abide, but rather to re-poise the instrument and use it differently.
At this point I must discuss certain criticisms that this work has been the target of, and interestingly they are the same criticisms one often hears regarding Sri Aurobindo and his realisation. I have heard people refer to his work as ‘purely mental’, and this is sought to be justified because of the fact that he wrote books and utilised the written word for the transmission of his message to a more marked degree than other yogis. Indeed, having withdrawn into seclusion early on, it was largely through letters to his disciples and his writings on his yoga that a record was left of his activity. But many have seen in this a purely philosophical expression, that is, entirely mental and not spiritual in the fullest accepted sense of the word. The Mother was not the subject of this criticism as much as Sri Aurobindo, insofar as she did not use the written word for the explanation of her yoga to the same degree. However, when the point was reached and she ‘had conquered mind’, so to speak, then, as expressed in the dialogue I reproduced in the last Newsletter, a more ‘mental’ expression was utilised.
The results were predictable: very little attention was paid to the experiences she began to describe in this more mental formulation; that is, using elements closer to the language of science than spirituality. The very fact that she employed numbers was the reason that the experiences were not taken seriously by her entourage, not considered perhaps to be really ‘spiritual’. But the fact remains, when she wanted to know how the Superman Consciousness would act in the world, in the work, the answer was via Numbers and Time. In consequence, at that point once and for all the Mother parted ways with the old spirituality. She began concretely to forge the bridge between the planes of Supermind and the physical.
Now that the third stage of the work has been reached, this ‘mental formulation’ has become even more pronounced, and thus it too has been the target for criticism and dismissal by all but those who have been effectively touched by the new light. The old dies hard and the old formulations persist and will not lessen their hold on the human consciousness. But the point in question is the transformation of the mental instrument in order that it serve as the link to the new planes that have been reached and which are to provide the guiding powers of the new creation that is being established on Earth. In this process it is not a question of absolving Mind from its responsibility, but rather that it agree to serve the new Light. In which case it must agree to find a new poise for itself. The Mother’s yoga during her final years was centred on the question of working out this problem, of getting the mind of the species to consent to adopt this new poise. All the disciples in her close entourage during those years were instruments for this revolutionary activity.
The role these disciples played, however, was largely unconscious. To this day the real process is not appreciated in the circles of the Ashram and the city she called Auroville. Whatever the case, the fact is that she did complete the work allotted to her, and the bridge was forged. Which means, quite simply, that Mind has been displaced as the regent of the race. Though we are still in the initial stages of this new dispensation and are yet experiencing the destructive and negating attitudes that the old consciousness puts forth, the bridge has nonetheless been forged; moreover, we have been left with a detailed record of the process. By studying the work carried out, in conjunction with the records of the negation that perforce had to be experienced as a result of the introduction of this new poise, we are able to learn much about the properties of the Mind of Light and the role it is to play hereafter in the new creation. And, I repeat, since the focus of the new way is to provide a means to establish a gnostic society on Earth, the fact that this can only be done by using mind in a new way is the reason why disciples have not been able to appreciate the work in the later stages of its development, namely from 1962 to the present times. This confusion is rendered all the more confounding since Numbers are the key elements used in the new formulation, exposing this work to even more strident cries of spiritual aberration, of deviating from the known, trodden and accepted paths that humanity has come to regard as the only means to relate to the Absolute.
What then is the correct poise of mind in the new creation? To answer this we must return to our discussion concerning the nature of mind and its function in creation, but in particular in the untransformed human being. The present race orbits the ego, as we all know. This is its effective pivot, the axis of its being. Mind and vital and physical in such an arrangement are not able to express anything other than what this incomplete posture permits. That is, the truth of our instrumentality is fourfold, yet when we orbit the ego we are balancing our consciousness in the body in an incomplete fashion, leaving a dangerous gap. Instead of a perfect poise, a harmony of being which expresses the complete individual, we are off-centred and hence an incomplete product – a transitional race. The ego demands this, pulls the consciousness to a lower expression, and for this reason mind remains seated in the highest throne, rather than Supermind.
The work we are engaged in, both individually and collectively, is to reorient the being, to re-poise it on this fourfold foundation, and thus to allow a higher principle to govern our lives, displacing mind in the process, but not obliterating it. On the contrary. It finally comes to learn its true expression.
In this episode of the Temple, to which I have given great importance in my written works, we can appreciate the efforts made to bring mind to a new poise. But there were two phases involved in that formidable activity. As stated, the first concerns the Mother’s work ‘above’, something of which was described in the last Newsletter. When her Yoga of the Body reached its culmination, she was finally able to provide us with the Divine Measure, or the truth-measure of matter. This special activity covered the Sixties, but was set off by the Supramental Manifestation which occurred on 29 February, 1956. A decisive phase of Sri Aurobindo’s work began at that time. And from then onward, the Mother’s yoga was centred on her ‘body transformation’; not, however, restricted to her physical, as is widely believed. It was the larger Body; containing four planes, even as do our bodies. But the greatest obstacle to her transformation was the mental being, inasmuch as it is the first aspect encountered in the descent and the highest reigning principle of the human race. She carried out this activity with one of her disciples during those years, he representing this particular dimension of the human consciousness-being, though unaware of this representative activity.
The resistances to this re-poising of the mind – hard and destructive – were met in full at the close of the decade of the Sixties and the beginning of the Seventies, when the Mother presented a disciple and architects with her plan of the Temple. As reported, this followed upon the ‘arrival of the Superman Consciousness’ by one year, to the day. That final year of the decade, 1969, centred entirely on the conclusive formulation of the way in which that new Consciousness would be organised for Earth and ‘measurable’ by the human being. The ultimate experience came to the Mother in the vision of her Temple, which demanded a numerical expression and was therefore the signal that mind had attained a new poise. In the plan she gave, we have the blueprint as it were of a mental poise entirely new and expressive of the light of the planes of Truth. This is the major feature of the Mind of Light.
However, as described earlier, the Mother’s yoga was centred ‘above’, in what she termed the creative zone of the physical. The conquest she achieved encompassed the descending portion of that Bridge which would join plane to plane. When she reached the threshold of the physical plane, there was the condition below to contend with. Hence, the moment she presented her Plan to the disciple and architects, the void on this end, in this most material dimension, was met in full. It was as if the Mother stood dangerously poised over an abyss, on half of the incompleted bridge, suspended in mid-air. This was the dangerous abyss before which the entire race stood poised.
The effects of this void, or this gap in the work, made themselves known immediately when disciple and architects dismantled the plan she gave, the blueprint of the organisation of Supermind for the Earth, whose creative organ was the Mind of Light. While the work ‘above’ had been entirely successful – otherwise she could not have seen the Divine Measure, much less formulate it architecturally – conditions below remained largely untouched and closed to the full Power. Another element had to manifest, another course of the work had to be carved out, another direction assumed. And this was a work on the physical dimension proper, to open this plane to that light and to construct from below the remaining half of the connecting Bridge. The reception her original plan received pointed out in full the existent gaps in the process.
But even the necessity of an ascending link was foreseen and recorded in the design and measurements that the Mother gave in her original plan. She passed on the message of this need in a most sophisticated manner, yet entirely obvious in its symbolism. From the ‘Matrimandir Talks’ reproduced as Appendix I of The New Way, Volumes 1&2, it can be noted that the Mother insisted that she wanted only one entry into the chamber, by way of an ascension into the room through an opening in the floor at a specified place. The stairway was indicated in her plan to consist of 15 steps. I have written extensively on this point of the plan and its significance in The New Way because it is one of the most important features of her chamber. The aspect I must bring forth here concerns the fact that this direct ascension through the chamber’s floor into the room indicates this very bridge that needed to be constructed, but which, at the time of her vision, did not exist. Moreover, in the design and measurements, the Mother indicated when its construction would begin. This prophecy, written in the language of sacred architecture, was fulfilled accurately.
Given the general conditions prevailing and the work that had to be done, it is not surprising therefore that the very first item to be questioned in her plan by the disciple and architects was precisely this one, the ascension into the chamber through the floor by means of a 15-step stairway. They immediately sought to replace it by no less than a dozen stairways! (See Appendix I, The New Way, Volume 2, page 541) The final result is in Auroville for everyone to see: notwithstanding the claims of the architects that they are implementing her original plan in full, the fact is that the 15-step stairway through the chamber’s floor has been replaced by spiral ramps leading to two doors piercing the walls of the chamber, bearing no relation therefore to the significance of her vision. Moreover, she was emphatic that in her seeing there were no openings in the walls.
Despite this disregard for the knowledge of sacred architecture, of an entirely new order for this Age of the Supermind, the fortunate fact is that the Mother’s original blueprint managed to survive and, just as she had indicated in her plan, in 1971 the bridge from below was to come into being. 1956 was the beginning. The stairs she wished to have as entry into the Chamber were 15. These represent 15 years after 1956, by the Laws of Correspondence governing this type of architecture, which brings us to 1971 and the precise time that construction from below, ascending to join her Bridge above, began – in a Temple of which she said, ‘Everything is symbolic’.
In 1971 the first foundations for two things were laid: the construction of the temple in Auroville in its disfigured form; but more important was the other unperceived element: the Bridge symbolised in that ascending stairway that would allow her work of transformation of the reigning mental principle to be completed. Thereafter the Mother was concentrated on this activity on the physical plane, pouring out the Knowledge in an uninterrupted stream. By 1976 the first all-important phase of that work was completed. It is important, however, to study in detail the nature of that ascensional work, not only how this bridge joined her descending half, but what its significance is in the context of the Supramental Manifestation.
In January, 1970, when the Mother gave out her plan, she encountered a void. Below nothing was effectively prepared. The resistance the reigning principle presented was clear and definite. It was a colossal NO. Interestingly, this was reflected in the attitude regarding the construction of the temple in Auroville from the very first day that she gave the disciple and architects her plan. Nonetheless, in spite of this expected resistance, the refusal to implement her plan merely served to force the construction of that ‘bridge’. The ‘act of seeing’ was the tool of yoga to achieve this. A receptive vessel ‘below’ had to receive the light and in the same manner that the Mother carried the vision over from the plane of truth-consciousness to the portals of the physical without distortion, it was necessary to give the vision back to her in the very same undiluted form. This brought into being the bridge joining the two planes and secured a permanent opening on Earth for the light of the supramental world. In the midst of this activity there stood the resisting power of mind, untransformed, unintegrated into the larger vision. This condition is reflected in the building coming up in Auroville, which presents us with a disfigurement of each item of her original plan. Yet this is the problem the entire world faces: that construction is merely symbolic or representative, – a microcosm duplicating the greater malaise.
The victory has been achieved nonetheless, and The New Way stands as testimony to this success. Moreover, it must be stated once again that without the resistance concentrated in the Temple episode, it would not have been possible to complete the process. The half of the ‘bridge’ that had to come into being from this physical plane, reaching to the heights, could not have been achieved in a realistic fashion – that is, taking into consideration and incorporating the real conditions prevailing on Earth – unless this resistance was effectively reproduced in full strength in the centre of the Age established for this very purpose. What, then, is the exact nature of this victory?
The Mind of Light has to replace the present mental instrument, in the early stages at least in a representative number of individuals. This means that mind will function as it did for the Mother in the transmission of her original vision in the form of the architectural design she gave. In other words, without any distorting veils. And while the present unpoised mental being is reflected in the distorted plan which became the one implemented in the construction, the Mind of Light, working from below, is reflected in the true Knowledge that was received from the Mother and centred on her original plan, likewise without any distortions.
In The New Way, Volume 1 & 2, page 482, I have discussed the waves thrown up by the human instrument when it is wrongly poised and the manner in which a descending inspiration is thereby distorted; how man then makes a transcription ‘in his own image’. This is the state in which all things are transcribed by the human race in its actual incomplete condition. It is the major characteristic of the species. Because this bridge in material creation had not been formed, the mind of the human being was left open and vulnerable, a free marketplace for powers from any of the intermediate planes to use as their entry into this dimension. This action reaches a culmination now, for as the time draws near when the Mind of Light will become an established feature in evolution, those powers in the intermediate regions are also feeling the impact of this new organisation. One notable effect of this invasion is the present immense proliferation of ‘ways’, ‘enlightenment techniques’, spiritual teachings, and so forth. For the reigning elements in each of these zones seek to secure their hold over the Earth by putting forth influences through these channels. This is the proverbial war between the Light and the Dark, so majestically described in certain tales of Hindu mythology, as well as in St. John’s Revelation. Indeed, in the latter the vision is centred on a temple, the temple of the new Age, and on ‘a city’.
The work in effect at present is to integrate the intermediate planes which are experiencing a tremendous upheaval due to the Supramental Manifestation. There is a new Power at work in the world, hitherto operative only behind the veils and impeded in any fuller activity by the unbalanced poise of the human instrument which was founded on three rather than the four pillars of being. The highest was lacking or dormant, we may say, the one that while being the highest is at the same time the nearest, for it is the involved Seed in material creation. Because of its veiled and inoperative presence, there was no way to realise God on Earth and in the body, – that is, an established realisation here, which would in turn become the effective foundation for a new and better world order. When the point was reached to forge that link with the planes of the truth-consciousness, the Supermind, then the void was met and the only real means to deal with it was to shoot off to a Beyond. The great Reversal that has now come about, expressed in the 4.5 Orbit of the Gnostic Circle, is the new direction that utilises the Bridge and can therefore establish the kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
To accomplish this, Mind had to be displaced as the regent of the human species, inasmuch as it imposes its rule on the other levels beneath it, the vital and the physical. We can appreciate this in the fact that the nuclear menace – along with all the other devastating tools for destruction, total at this point – is the result not of the vital (force/power) but of an intellectual achievement. The survival of the human race hangs in the balance because there is yet one more link that must be forged, directly within the physical dimension itself. Be this as it may, the first stages of the process have been successfully completed and this renders inevitable the final one.
The new Mind of Light allows for the reception of Light from the planes of the Truth-Consciousness. This means that mind no longer distorts the descending inspiration, of whatever order, as evidenced in the Temple episode. Or else, the manner in which science distorts the inspiration it receives and devises more and greater tools of destruction. Mind comes to enjoy its true poise and offers the proper service, which is to organise the incoming Light and allow for an integrated, harmonised expression to ensue. The Mother’s original plan of the Temple is the first example of just how such a new poise of mind will function. One of its principal features is an integration and harmonisation of the unity and the multiplicity. The old attitude of Mind is replaced; it is no longer separative but unitive. No shadows arise because of off-centredness. The axis of being is repoised and the true centre takes the place of the ego-pivot. This is expressed exquisitely in the Mother’s original plan of the Temple; but as might have been expected, the changes introduced by the architects, also threw this perfect axial balance off-centre. The result is a reproduction on the physical plane of the disharmony the human race still knows.
A part of the bridge was completed in 1974. But the full work was done in 1976, when the Solar Line was completed in the vision and therefore the clear direction of the new creation began to emerge: the work became poised on the integral, fourfold foundation. It was then that the true Temple became a reality for the Earth – the ‘temple in heaven’ of St. John’s vision – and the connecting link from below joined the descending portion to forge an indestructible bridge, whereby the possibility now exists for this connection to act effectively on Earth, in the species, on the road to establishing a gnostic, truth-conscious society. And it is interesting to point out that at the very time the fourfold Solar Line and the vision of the true Temple were completed in 1976, this work parted ways with the existing organisations in Pondicherry and Auroville. It stands to reason that once the full vision comes, once the real foundations are known, one cannot compromise and accept a shadow version in its place. The Supramental Manifestation is one, though its integral scope embraces all elements and securely sets each thing in its rightful place. However, for this to function in a new way, mind cannot stand supreme. It must agree to occupy its true place and adopt a finer poise.
When this is finally achieved, mind permits an orderly transmission to the brain, and because of its poise on the true pivot of being rather than the ego, it is not overwhelmed by the intake and does not become literally possessed by one or the other of the intermediate influences it comes into contact with along the way. The bridge from mind to brain then becomes a clear channel rather than the obfuscated avenue so full of the chaotic traffic we know at present, which results in the many patterns of deranged behaviour, – for example, the nuclear threat of total annihilation. Presently, in its off-centred condition, mind cannot adjust to the intake of higher forces and impressions. Waves arise from below and cloud the light. But with the completion of the two-tiered Bridge, constructed by the Mother ‘above’ in the creative zone of the physical, and the Third here ‘below’, the time has come for an entirely new functioning of mind to manifest. This is the first distinguishing characteristic of the new gnostic race.
The Aeon Centre of Cosmology
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India