15. That which men term a hallucination is the reflection in the mind and senses of that which is beyond our ordinary mental & sensory perceptions. Superstition arises from the mind's wrong understanding of these reflections. There is no other hallucination. [Thoughts ad Aphorisms, Sri Aurobindo]
That which is beyond “ordinary mental & sensory perceptions,” when reflected in the mind and the senses, the reflection is termed by the people a “hallucination,” meaning a false illusion.
But that is, indeed, a wrong understanding, a wrong approach, as Sri Aurobindo explains. As He has said, what is termed as a hallucination, indicating an illusion, is not really an illusion or falsehood. We have earlier seen that He has described that the word “hallucination” as a scientific term refers to some irregular glimpses of truths which are ordinarily closed and shut to us, as we are preoccupied with matter. That is an experience of something that is beyond the mind and the senses. The experience by an unprepared mind and the unprepared senses gives a wrong impression, a wrong understanding, and it creates on repetition, in due course of time, a superstition. Had the truth or some of its aspects been correctly understood and sincerely realized, then it would neither have been termed a hallucination or an illusion. As Sri Aurobindo has said, “superstitions” are the results of the wrong understanding of the reflections of the mind and the senses. In reality, there is nothing else which can be termed “hallucinations” and the seeker of Truth should prepare himself to go beyond the wrong understanding.
Our preparations can lead us from the hallucinations to the Visions. There is a great difference between a hallucination and a Vision. Visions are what the human consciousness may experience, when it is prepared, aware or awakened, and sincere.
The Mother was asked a question: Can hallucinations be compared to visions?
In answering the question, The Mother says: “When a human being is sufficiently developed, he possesses an individualized vital being, with organs of sight, hearing smell etc. So a person who has a well-developed vital being can see in the vital world with his vital sight, consciously and with the memory of what he has seen.” The Mother further says: “It is the same for all the subtle worlds — vital, mental, Overmental, supramental — and for all the intermediate worlds and planes of the being. In this way, one can have visions that are vital, mental, Overmental, supramental etc.” [Collected Works of The Mother: Vol. 10]
So, one has to grow in awareness, in consciousness, in a true spiritual individuality, in all sincerity, and then one has visions of the Worlds, beyond the Reason, beyond the mind and the senses. And the higher one ascends, nearer one is to the Supreme Truth.
Thus the human being, with his consciousness and thought, can go beyond himself, through a progressive preparation, through silence, awareness and receptivity, and then have the visions of the higher worlds.
For Thought transcends the circles of mortal mind, It is greater than its earthly instrument: The godhead crammed into mind's narrow space Escapes on every side into some vast That is a passage to infinity. It moves eternal in the spirit's field, A runner towards the far spiritual light, A child and servant of the spirit's force. But mind too falls back from a nameless peak. His being stretched beyond the sight of Thought. For the spirit is eternal and unmade And not by thinking was its greatness born, And not by thinking can its knowledge come. It knows itself and in itself it lives, It moves where no thought is nor any form.
[Sri Aurobindo — Savitri: Bk 2, Co XI]
However, one may have a piercing but a synthesizing reason, with soaring thoughts and ideas, or one may have many series of visions from the vital and mental planes or even from the planes of the higher levels of mind, but that is not sufficient. A question will be there, in the words of M P Pandit : “It is when all ceases that there is something.”
He further says: “We are all the time seeing things with the physical eye, the mental eye and some with still another eye. There is a constant procession of images leaving the being no scope at all to see the reality of things.” [Dialogues and Perspectives, M P Pandit.]
The Aim should be to know the Unknown, to see and realize the Unseen, the Alone, so that one can become Oneself.
Interested mainly in the Adventure of Consciousness, I believe in human progress and evolution and in the inner capacity of Man to outgrow and master all his imperfections and darkness, to grow into a creative and constructive divine being, along with the society, conquering all inner and outer darkness, crossing all barriers and divisions.
I am a retired Officer of the Orissa Administrative Service from Orissa, India. Since adolescence, I was inspired by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (Mira Alfassa) and sought to understand and follow Their Teaching, and make others understand and follow Them. In 1956, I read The Life Divine, and gradually, read almost all that is written by Them and about Them. I have visited the Ashram and Auroville some times. I organized some Sri Aurobindo centres in Orissa, and often met Prapatti and Ramkrishna Das. I and my wife and children had a special Darshan of The Mother on my birthday on 3rd March 1972.
Mira Aditi Centre has published my Bengali translations of some books including Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness by Satprem, India's Rebirth and India the Mother, collections from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.