2. Inspiration is a slender river of brightness leaping from a vast and eternal knowledge; it exceeds reason more perfectly than reason exceeds the knowledge of the senses.
Before going into the discussion, let us see what the Mother has told regarding words and their use and meaning, especially when used by Sri Aurobindo, and definitely by the Mother herself.
“There are dictionary definitions, which are the ordinary explanations of the words as they are commonly understood. These do not make you think. What Sri Aurobindo says, however, is said in order to break up the usual conception, to bring you in touch with a deeper truth.” (The Mother)
Let us see what the dictionary meaning of the word Inspiration is.
a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
b. The condition of being so stimulated.
2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration....
5. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.
There are other dictionaries, which may be referred to. But more or less the same meanings are conveyed.
Let us see what Sri Aurobindo says here. According to Him, Inspiration is a slender river of brightness leaping from a vast and eternal knowledge.
Last week, we have discussed about Knowledge in Aphorism number 1. We have seen that Knowledge is not and different from and lesser than Wisdom. But that is one use of the word by Sri Aurobindo. Here, in the present aphorism the word Knowledge has a different meaning.
In the first aphorism, he was speaking of knowledge as sought by the ordinary human consciousness, through mental effort and development, through reason ; but here, in the present aphorism, He is speaking of “the essential Knowledge, the Supramental divine knowledge, Knowledge by identity.” (The Mother)
The Supramental divine knowledge is vast and immense, beyond the reach of the ordinary human mind. Only the rare people have been able to touch It so far. What comes to us as Inspiration, as Sri Aurobindo says, is ‘a slender river of brightness’ from this vast immense knowledge. It is a slender river, a tiny little stream. Or Inspiration may come to you as a few driops of light falling from the Supramental vastness, which gives you an impression that “you have reached infinite domains and risen very high above the ordinary human condition.” (The Mother)
Inspiration comes to us generally through the psychic being, the psychic consciousness, the psychic opening. That is the minimum range of consciousness required. Later on, when we transcend the ordinary mental plane and reach the higher planes of the Higher Mind, the Intuitive Mind and Overmind, and then from Overmind to Supermind, we can then receive Inspirations directly.
The Mother says, “Reason is certainly at the apex of the human mental activity.” But if we want the true Knowledge and Wisdom, we shall have to cross the borders of the ordinary mind, by unveiling the psychic being and ascending through the superconscient planes from the higher mind to Overmind and then to the Supramental Light and Consciousness. The only we can hope for reaching the real and true Aim and Purpose of the human life — the transformation of the human consciousness and being into the Supramental consciousness and being.
Thus, Man has to transform himself. Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have spoken of the Triple Transformation: psychic, spiritual, and then supramental.
In the first phase of this transformation, the psychic being has to come forward and take the lead of the whole being and its transformation. The psychic is the active aspect of the soul. The soul is generally inactive in the animals, and they do not have any psychic being. It is only the human being who has the psychic being, as Sri Aurobindo says.
For explaining the term “psychic being” Sri Aurobindo has stated as follows:
“The word soul is very vaguely used in English- as it often refers to the whole non-physical consciousness including even the vital with all its desires and passions. That is why the word psychic being has to be used so as to distinguish this divine portion from the instrumental parts of the nature.”
For the unveiling of the psychic being and for turning towards the Divine Consciousness, Man has to follow integrally the three ways of knowledge, of the heart or of love, and of the will or of action, seeking Truth, Beauty and Goodness [in Sanskrit satyam, sundaram and shivam].
These three ways of Knowledge, Love and Action, followed concurrently and in a combined manner, have a most powerful effect.
To transform himself and to receive the Inspiration, the Mother has shown us the best Way :
“When one opens oneself to the supramental regions, one puts oneself in the right state for receiving constant inspirations. Until then the best method is to silence the mind as much as possible, to turn it upwards and to remain in a state of silent and attentive receptivity. The more one is able to establish a silent and pefect calm in the mind, the more one becomes capable of receiving inspirations.” (The Mother)
Silence is therefore the golden Way.
In the second part of the Aphorism, it is said that reason is higher than the knowledge of the senses, but Inspiration is still higher. Inspiration belongs to realm of Light, the growing Light, whereas senses belong to Darkness and Ignorance, and reason seeks to go out of Darkness and Ignorance.
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