Paragraph 7

Study Notes


     We see at once that such a consciousness, described by such characteristics, must be an intermediate formulation which refers back to a term above it and forward to another below it; we see at the same time that it is evidently the link and means by which the inferior develops out of the superior and should equally be the link and means by which it may develop back again towards its source.


     The Truth-Consciousness having such characteristics must be an intermediary formulation. It refers back to a term above it. Also, it refers forward to something below it. It is a link by which an inferior develops out of a superior. It is also equally a link by which the inferior develops back again to its source, the superior.

The term above is the unitarian or indivisible consciousness of pure Sachchidananda in which there are no separating distinctions; the term below is the analytic or dividing consciousness of Mind which can only know by separation and distinction and has at the most a vague and secondary apprehension of unity and infinity, – for, though it can synthetise its divisions, it cannot arrive at a true totality.


     What is the term above this Truth-Consciousness? It is pure Sat-chit-ananda. It is the consciousness of indivisible Oneness. Here there are no separating distinctions. What is the term below? It is the consciousness of Mind. It is characterised by its dividing and analytical nature. Mind can know by separation and distinction. Mind understands unity and infinity only vaguely. It has not the direct experience of unity and infinity but only a secondary knowledge by its awareness about them. Mind can combine the divisions and form a totality. But such a totality cannot be a true one but a constructed one.

Between them is this comprehensive and creative consciousness, by its power of pervading and intimately comprehending knowledge the child of that self-awareness by identity which is the poise of the Brahman and by its power of projecting, confronting, apprehending knowledge parent of that awareness by distinction which is the process of the Mind.


     Between the Sat-chit-ananda above and the Mind below is the Truth-Consciousness. It is comprehensive (containing all) and creative (creates finite forms in the world out of the infinite). It has pervading (present throughout) and intimately all-embracing knowledge.
     By the power of this subjective, comprehending knowledge, it is the child of that self-awareness by identity which is the poise of the Brahman. This sentence needs a little more elaboration: Brahman is in all and all is in Brahman. Oneness is its character. Therefore, Brahman knows everything by its identity with all, being one with all. Similarly, Truth-Consciousness by its all- pervasive and all-containing knowledge knows everything by its identity and oneness with all. It envelopes everything and knows the truth. When it is the many that it sees, it is always conscious of the One in the Many. Because One is contained in the Many. In this aspect it is the child of the knowledge by identity. In its aspect as comprehending knowledge, it reflects the Sachchidananda consciousness.
     It also has the power of objective, apprehending knowledge. It is the projecting (viewing a thing outside of itself), confronting (facing a thing other than itself) and apprehending (becoming aware of) knowledge. The knowledge apprehends what is before it, keeping the other part of the knowledge behind it. When it sees the many, it sees only the many aspect, the oneness is left behind it. This is an awareness by distinction i.e., separating one from the other. It is the characteristic process of Mind. Here the Truth-Consciousness is the parent of this movement which culminates in the Mind. It puts away the object of knowledge in front of itself and sees only the front.
     Hence Sri Aurobindo says Supermind is the child of Brahman and the parent of Mind.