This, then, is the first operative principle of the divine Supermind; it is a cosmic vision which is all-comprehensive, all-pervading, all-inhabiting. Because it comprehends all things in being and static self-awareness, subjective, timeless, spaceless, therefore it comprehends all things in dynamic knowledge and governs their objective self-embodiment in Space and Time.
Truth-consciousness is the first operative principle of the divine Supermind. What is the nature of Truth-consciousness? It is a cosmic vision which is all-comprehensive, all-pervading, all-inhabiting. This is in contrast to our mental consciousness which has narrow vision, which excludes everything, which limits itself to a few things.
Truth-consciousness comprehends all things in being and static self-awareness. This self-awareness is subjective, timeless and spaceless. As it comprehends all things in static self-awareness so it comprehends all things in dynamic knowledge. It governs the various objects which are dynamically embodied (taken forms) in Space and Time.
Take the example of a plant leaf. The Truth-consciousness in the leaf not only has the static awareness of all the constituents of the plant and leaf but also of all the other constituents present in the universe outside the plant leaf. Thus, the Truth-consciousness in plant leaf also has the knowledge of the sunlight which is constituted outside it. This is the static and comprehensive awareness. Now in a dynamic scenario when sunlight falls on the leaf, the Truth-consciousness could recognise it and makes it possible for the photo-synthesis.
Take the example of a bird building a nest for its eggs before they are laid. The Truth-consciousness in bird contains the knowledge not only of itself but also all other things outside itself. This static knowledge becomes dynamic, when it uses this knowledge to build a compactly designed nest for its eggs. It uses the materials, other than itself, for building the nest.
Thus, the Truth-Consciousness comprehends everything both in static and dynamic self-knowledge.
In this consciousness the knower, knowledge and the known are not different entities, but fundamentally one. Our mentality makes a distinction between these three because without distinctions it cannot proceed; losing its proper means and fundamental law of action, it becomes motionless and inactive. Therefore, even when I regard myself mentally, I have still to make this distinction. I am, as the knower; what I observe in myself, I regard as the object of my knowledge, myself yet not myself; knowledge is an operation by which I link the knower to the known.
In Truth-consciousness the knower, knowledge (of object) and the known (the object) are one and the same. It is our mind that makes the distinction between these three. Because the nature of our mind is such that without distinction it cannot proceed.
Division and distinction are the proper means and fundamental law of action of mind. Without such action the mind becomes motionless and inactive. When I want to know something, I make a distinction of myself as knower. What I observe in myself, I regard as the object of my knowledge. I do not consider myself as myself but an object.
I see myself as a knower and not myself. I link myself as the knower with the object by the operation of knowledge.
But the artificiality, the purely practical and utilitarian character of this operation is evident; it is evident that it does not represent the fundamental truth of things. In reality, I the knower am the consciousness which knows; the knowledge is that consciousness, myself, operating; the known is also myself, a form or movement of the same consciousness. The three are clearly one existence, one movement, indivisible though seeming to be divided, not distributed between its forms although appearing to distribute itself and to stand separate in each. But this is a knowledge which the mind can arrive at, can reason out, can feel, but cannot readily make the practical basis of its intelligent operations.
Sri Aurobindo says this mental operation is artificial, purely practical and utilitarian. It does not represent the fundamental truth of things.
In reality if we see, the knower, the known and the knowledge are one and the same consciousness. The three are clearly one
existence, one movement, indivisible though seemingly divided. It is one but seems to stand separate and appears to be distributed between its forms.
Whether our mind can understand this truth? Sri Aurobindo says our mind can arrive at this knowledge of oneness of consciousness, reason it out and feel it. But it cannot make it a practical basis of its intelligent operations. For the mind this knowledge is only conceptual, not practical.
And with regard to objects external to the form of consciousness which I call myself, the difficulty becomes almost insuperable; even to feel unity there is an abnormal effort and to retain it, to act upon it continually would be a new and foreign action not properly belonging to the Mind. Mind can at most hold it as an understood truth so as to correct and modify by it its own normal activities which are still based upon division, somewhat as we know intellectually that the earth moves round the sun and are able to correct by it but not abolish the artificial and physically practical arrangement by which the senses persist in regarding the sun as in motion round the earth.
Man views all objects external to him as something outside his consciousness. It would be highly difficult for him to feel the oneness in consciousness with objects outside of himself. It would be an abnormal effort to feel unity with all. To remain in that feeling of unity continuously and act upon it, is an action quite contrary to the nature of human mind.
The activities of mind are based on division. Mind can at the most understand the truth of unity. Based on this understanding, to certain extent, it would modify and correct its actions which are based on division. But mind cannot base its acts solely on the consciousness of oneness.
This is similar to how our senses perceive that the sun moves around the earth. Intellectually we accept the fact that it is the earth that revolves around the sun. Based on this truth we correct our day-to-day workings. Scientific data bases itself on the movement of earth around the sun. Yet, we are still not able to remove from our mind the artificial and practical feeling created by our senses that it is the sun that goes round the earth. We still call sunrise and sunset.
But the Supermind possesses and acts always, fundamentally, on this truth of unity which to the mind is only a secondary or acquired possession and not the very grain of its seeing. Supermind sees the universe and its contents as itself in a single indivisible act of knowledge, an act which is its life, which is the very movement of its self-existence. Therefore this comprehensive divine consciousness in its aspect of Will does not so much guide or govern the development of cosmic life as consummate it in itself by an act of power which is inseparable from the act of knowledge and from the movement of self-existence, is indeed one and the same act. For we have seen that universal force and universal consciousness are one—cosmic force is the operation of cosmic consciousness. So also divine Knowledge and divine Will are one; they are the same fundamental movement or act of existence.
The fundamental basis on which Supermind always acts is the truth of unity. Supermind possesses unity as its very nature. In contrast, unity is the secondary and acquired possession for the mind. Unity is not the basic nature of the mind.
How the Supermind sees the universe? It sees the universe and its contents as itself in a single indivisible act of knowledge. This act is the very movement of its self-existence.
Supermind is a comprehending divine consciousness. In Supermind the Will, the act of power, the act of knowledge and the movement of self-existence are one and the same. (In other words, the Force, the Consciousness, the Existence are united without any division).
We have already seen that the universal force and universal consciousness are one. Cosmic force is the operation of cosmic consciousness. Likewise, divine Knowledge and divine Will are one. They are the same fundamental movement of existence.
(…. The key idea here is it does not so much guide or govern, it consummates. It is a wonderful explanation. It is the mind which keeps guiding and governing. It has its norms. It has its morality, ethics, philosophy etc. But the Supermind does not work in that way; it acts with a power which is inseparable from the movement of existence. It
consummates, it fulfils, it transforms – Ananda Reddy, Deliberations on the Life Divine, vol. III, p. 72)
This indivisibility of the comprehensive Supermind which contains all multiplicity without derogating from its own unity, is a truth upon which we have always to insist, if we are to understand the cosmos and get rid of the initial error of our analytic mentality. A tree evolves out of the seed in which it is already contained, the seed out of the tree; a fixed law, an invariable process reigns in the permanence of the form of manifestation which we call a tree. The mind regards this phenomenon, this birth, life and reproduction of a tree, as a thing in itself and on that basis studies, classes and explains it. It explains the tree by the seed, the seed by the tree; it declares a law of Nature. But it has explained nothing; it has only analysed and recorded the process of a mystery.
Have we understood this cosmos we live in? No. Because our mind tries to understand the universe by the process of division and analysis. Mind cuts everything into parts and analysing each part it arrives at a conclusion. Such a conclusion is partial and not wholistic. This is the error of the mind.
We must rely on the truth that Supermind is indivisible and comprehensive that contains all multiplicity without deviating from its unity. Only then, can we escape from the error of our mind and understand this universe.
Let us take an example to see how our mind regards a phenomenon in this world. We see that the tree comes out of a seed and the seed comes from the tree. We take it as a fixed law and an invariable process which makes it possible the permanence of the form of manifestation which we call a tree.
Our mind sees the birth, life and reproduction of a tree as a separate thing in itself. On this basis it studies and explains this process. The seed is explained as a product of tree and tree is explained as an outcome from seed. We call this a law of Nature.
But in this process the mind has explained nothing. It has simply analysed and recorded the process of a mystery. Science gives only the ‘how’ of things but not the ‘why’ of things.
We cannot separate the tree and the seed and fix one as the cause of the other, because both are part of and the result of something which mind cannot grasp.
Supposing even that it comes to perceive a secret conscious force as the soul, the real being of this form and the rest as merely a settled operation and manifestation of that force, still it tends to regard the form as a separate existence with its separate law of nature and process of development. In the animal and in man with his conscious mentality this separative tendency of the Mind induces it to regard itself also as a separate existence, the conscious subject, and other forms as separate objects of its mentality. This useful arrangement, necessary to life and the first basis of all its practice, is accepted by the mind as an actual fact and thence proceeds all the error of the ego.
Supposing, the mind perceives that there is a secret conscious force as the soul, the real being of a form; it views the rest as a settled operation and manifestation of that force. Yet, still, the mind views the form as a separate existence with its separate law of nature and process of development. Mind always divides the spirit and form.
In Man, with his conscious mentality, this separative tendency of the Mind makes it think itself also as a separate existence. It views itself as a conscious subject and other forms as separate objects. This is a useful arrangement necessary for practical life. This can only be a first basis for the practice of the mind and not a final truth. But the mind has accepted it as an actual fact. From here only proceeds all the error of the ego.