Thoughts and Aphorisms 6
6. Late, I learned that when reason died, then Wisdom was born; before that liberation, I had only knowledge.
(Thoughts and Aphorisms: Sri Aurobindo)
Earlier, we have seen that Sri Aurobindo has spoken of two allied powers in Man: Knowledge and Wisdom. And also, Sri Aurobindo has said that Knowledge is arrived through a distorted medium — the mind that arrives at the conclusion by groping. Wisdom is seen through the Divine Vision in the awakened person, when the person goes beyond the ordinary mental consciousness, beyond mind, and even the higher mind, towards the Overmind, and finally to the Supermind.
In this connection, it may be said that by Knowledge, Sri Aurobindo means ordinary knowledge, not Knowledge by identity. In this regard, The Mother says: “As for the knowledge of which Sri Aurobindo speaks here, it is ordinary knowledge, it is Knowledge by identity; it is knowledge that can be acquired by the intellect through thought, through ordinary means.”
Reason liberates us from the sensory perceptions and limited sensory knowledge. Reason has saved us and saves us from ignorance and superstitions. But we have seen earlier that Inspiration and Intuition, true Intuition, can give us Wisdom, which cannot be attained by Reason. Reason has its limits too. We have seen also that Sri Aurobindo has said that Inspiration exceeds reason, as reason exceeds the knowledge given by the senses.
In this regard, The Mother says: Reason must no longer be the summit and the master.
This does not mean that we should discard Reason. Reason need not disappear. Reason had and has its use and usefulness for Man and his progress and advancement. For a very long time Reason has helped us, has been indispensable for us, has remained the master. Otherwise, in the words of The Mother, one would have been “the plaything of one’s impulses, one’s fancies, and one’s more or less disordered imaginings” and one would have been also far away “not merely from wisdom but also from the knowledge needed for conducting oneself acceptably.” Reason should continue to serve its utility and purpose and to fulfill its legitimate role in the human progress. But when we have successfully managed to control ourselves and our existence, with the help of reason, we shall have then to surpass reason, not by discarding and trampling it, but by using it as a stepping stone for a higher consciousness, for Wisdom. We will then be successful in liberating ourselves from our ordinary life, ordinary mind and life, ordinary thought and vision of things. When the question of further evolution of the human race towards the supramental race comes, reason has to yield the summit to Inspiration, to the genuine Intuition, to the higher consciousness, ranging from the higher mind to the Overmind and then to Supermind.
And this higher evolution does not depend upon our choice. The Evolution will come and is on the process, as the Supermind has already descended and is working. This is the Truth.
As we know, The Mother has said —
The choice is imperative: Truth or Abyss.
If we do not accept the Truth, we will have to accept Abyss — fall and destruction. The Supernature will seek to bring in the supramental race by other means, by direct intervention. This is what The Master and The Mother have told us.
We have seen that as said by Sri Aurobindo, Reason had to die for Wisdom to be born.
And The Mother has said that Reason must no longer be the summit and the master.
Reason’s death gives us liberation, a freedom, which can give us Wisdom.
However, in surpassing Reason, in abandoning Reason, we have to be very cautious and conscious.
The Mother says : “…do not be in a hurry to abandon reason in the conviction that you will attain to Wisdom, because you must be ready for Wisdom; otherwise, by abandoning Reason you run a great risk of falling into unreason, which is rather dangerous.”
Those, who imagine that they can make progress in sadhana without sufficient and rigorous self-control, have been warned by The Master and The Mother. Their false belief of self-sufficiency will lead them to “a dangerous imbalance” and all passions and desires which are suppressed, repressed, hidden or secret in our darkness, will come out in the open. And we will have the erroneous belief we are freed and liberated from “ordinary conventions and ordinary reason.”
You can attain liberation and freedom, The Mother says, only when you rise and ascend to an altitude, a height above the human passions and desires. We shall have to rise above our selfish attitudes and desires and impulses and passions. This can be done a rigorous self-mastery, resulting into an ascension into the higher levels of Mind and consciousness, above our ordinary mind. You can be free and liberated only when you attained to a higher selfless consciousness, above all passions and desires and impulses.
But those, who are very reasonable and believe firmly in the ordinary social laws of morality, cannot say they are really wise, for, The Mother says, their wisdom is an illusion and it lacks the profundity of Truth. Truth is far above ordinary social and moral laws.
However, one cannot ordinarily break or ignore these social and moral laws or rules or conventions, or despise them. For doing that, we must be above them.
The Mother says :
“One who would break the law must be above the law. One who would ignore conventions must be above conventions. One who would despise all rules must be above all rules.”
And our aim and motive should not be a personal, egoistic freedom and liberation, for satisfaction of our desires and ambition, for the sake of glorifying and aggrandizing our egoistic personality. One should not have a feeling of superiority, with contempt for others. One need not think that one is above the people and above law.
The Mother says : “Be on your guard, when you feel yourself superior and look down on others ironically…”
Sri Aurobindo speaks of a true Wisdom, where there is nothing higher or lower, where there is no egoistic superiority. There is hierarchy of consciousness, of nearness and surrender to the Supreme.
Ordinary human consciousness, ordinary human reason, ordinary human knowledge cannot understand this hierarchy. For understanding this, ego has to disappear. When the true Wisdom ushers in, ego disappears, as the soul is awakened.
The Mother says :
"Only the awakened soul recognizes the awakened soul, and then the sense of superiority disappears completely."
For this to happen, what is required of us is a total surrender to the Divine, the Supreme — as is said by The Master and The Mother.
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