The Conversion of The Mental

The Sense of The Bhagavad Gītā

The Veda speaks of a Mind of light beyond the universe as well as of a descending stair of it into the lower mind and life, stretching as far into the outer layers of the physical mind. It is a continuum of the Spirit in Time and Space, and this continuum, ad infinitum, is the cosmology of Vishnu. But this continuum is disturbed, violated and perverted in the lower ranges of the mental consciousness, which is largely influenced by the lower Ignorance and Falsehood, an unfertile ground of negation and formidable resistance, from which grows all that is opposed to the divine movements and the growth of the Spirit. The manifestation of a higher divine Force in the downward lower mental ranges must presuppose a condition of an already prepared ground of receptivity, a condition already satisfied and fulfilled by a strong aspiration and sincerity in the individual first, and as the sense of a collective aspiration becomes apparent and spiritually manifest enough, in the humanity as a whole; otherwise the higher divine Force will not descend there or consent to work in the lower without the necessary conditions already in place. The surrender of the lower mind to the working of the higher Spirit must also presuppose the sanction and seal of the Divine Grace already secretly fulfilled in the individual as well as in the humanity, for the lower cannot aspire for the higher without the sanction of the Divine Grace or freely ascend into the nature of the Divine without His Will already established in the lower. And, all sense of evolution and the progressive ascent of Nature must presuppose an immanent Light here in the Inconscient, without which no Life or evolution of the soul is possible at all in the terrestrial. Here, we have to confine our discussion to the prospect of mental evolution, the nature of the lower mental and that of its possible conversion into the nature of a higher principle of the Divine and leave the rest to subsequent supplements in the series.

Painting by Preti Ghosh

The nature of the lower mind in Ignorance is that of an inverse movement towards supporting the feelings of the vital mind and its predatory perceptions, which in turn moves towards imposing its movements on the physical mind and its sensory perceptions in order to realise there a perverse joy of fulfilment in the conditions of an ensuing, terrestrial darkness, much to the chagrin of the higher movements which otherwise try all the time to bring into the mental and the ranges down to the physical a direct movement of the divine Spirit and a more elevated and larger sense of a greater delight and its fulfilment into the lower members. In the higher ranges of the spiritual mind, this delight is inherent, self-expressive, self-evident and free of all sense of unspiritual inversion of consciousness as is evident in the beginning of the lower ranges, the midheaven of the Gods from which the apparent sense of division proceeds into creating words of existences based still on an underlying unity of consciousness but no longer able to express it directly except through a descending struggle into a sense of division, and because division, therefore a struggle and labour through death and decay. The mind dwells upon these as it also imposes on them in order to establish a law of its own movements in the ignorance of being, and this is the nature of the mental being which has to be transformed in its own origin as well as in its descending ranges into the lower vital and physical.

A spiritual Mind of light is not yet Supramental, though no sense of apparent division of Consciousness is visible there or perceptible to experience of the ascending Spirit; in It, the underlying and indomitable unity of Consciousness-Existence is inseparable as a state of infinite existence encompassing all and everything, expressing itself as a descending stair of the divine Consciousness into the lower sphere, where the sense of underlying unity of the Spirit divine is no longer apparent or visible or perceptible to self-experience, though it may well be said that the higher mental principle of the infinite divine Consciousness is still there as self-evident only to those who have, instead of merely dwelling into it or passing through it in unconscious trance, remained there conscious of a secret underlying divine Reality pervading or superseding all strains of lower mental ignorance, thus paving way for the possibility of a higher divine Gnosis to be established there as something fundamental and inherently divine to self-experience of the individual, when he so ascends from the physical into the immediate states of consciousness above. The ascent of the individual into a higher spiritual Light must include as an indispensable necessity a clear mastery of the lower mental hemisphere, a knowledge both of a unifying consciousness and of all the contrary impulses masquerading as the Divine, and it is out of this conscious preparation and thorough practise comes the essential knowledge of the dominant truth-principle in the lower, which begins to be apparent to self-experience and yogic self-vision when the individual’s aspiration rises to meet the divine Reality above in the ascending planes of mental consciousness.

A mastery of the lower cannot be possible without ascending into a higher synthetic truth-Knowledge in its infinite dynamism, and here we see a certain dichotomy of opposites, each striving to establish itself more firmly into the lower mind of aspiration, one of divine impulse and help towards progress upwards the Spirit and another towards regression and awful bondage of self in the seemingly irreconcilable ignorance below. An effort, so mixed up and clouded by the lower distractions and irresistible pull towards Ignorance and Falsehood, cannot at all hope to succeed in its attempts to perfect the lower mental being and so transform it from its inherent ignorance into an inherent expression of a higher knowledge of the Divine Gnosis, and even if it succeeds for a while or seems to succeed, it was only because it had already fallen into the trap of a strong and adamant mental ego, and we may safely conclude that it was nothing more than a distortion of a true experience of the Spirit and its dynamics rendered impotent in the mental altitudes rising up towards the first stair of the higher Mind. A master, divine Impulse dominating as the source of all our seeking as opposed to a pseudo-impulse tending towards division and bondage of self must be founded in the lower mental hemisphere as an inevitable necessity of a great yogic progression of the Spirit involved here in the terrestrial and in the planes above the surface consciousness.

There is also an inner mind, which is less of a cluster of overlapping impressions as the thinking mind, but it is not entirely free either from the invading vibrations and impressionable touches of the emotional vital; it is a quintessential representation of the brighter side of the mental consciousness in evolution, though it is still not self-illumined in itself or directly under the Psychic influence. The nature of the inner mind is that it progresses much faster than the thinking mind or the mind proper to intelligence as it is less hampered by the burden of external vibrations and contrary suggestions and carries nothing of the apparent contradictions of lower thinking intelligence. There is also a cluster and overlapping of the external mind in ignorance which prevents all effort at inward absorption by the aspirant, which must be conquered first and foremost for a more fluid self-absorption within into the inner mind, the initial foundation for an upward ascent into the nature of a higher spiritual mind. The external mind is a cluster of a million and more impressions woven into one of a half-conscious chimera of the uncluttered or less cluttered inner mind within, but it is not wholly of the inner mind or wholly representative of it alone; it is more of the constitutional expression of the being in ignorance, crass image of it in the external and it is one recalcitrant expression of terrestrial ignorance resisting the spiritual as well as supramental conversion into its own native potency, in which it is no longer a horrible and unorganised clutter, but a stable, uncluttered stream of a wondrous movement of the Gnostic Spirit in evolution. Not just the conversion of the lower mental but also of its most outward expression into a direct, integral, divine expression is the nature of a supramental transformation of the mental consciousness in evolution.

Sri Krishna’s own mind was cosmic in scope and intensity of its spiritual self-attainment; it was self-illumined of a highest spiritual knowledge born of a conscious yoga, and the Gita itself was a direct derivation of a supreme, synthetic self-awareness of a Self in the manifestation in a progressive Avatarhood in the terrestrial evolution, but there is too little of it realised or realisable by the aspiring soul in the terrestrial conditions; all the higher potencies of the Spirit remain muted at best, if not resisted here in the earth-conditions, except a faint or distant echo of the might of the puissant Spirit and its greater dynamism of divinised Life upon earth, which while nor forthcoming under the established conditions of the Mind of light here, it is only worthwhile that we look beyond the highest stair of the all-luminous Mind to Something of the Spirit and the Divine, a native Truth of the Divine beyond the Overmind Consciousness, and it is that which is the basis of a self-illumined, self-released and self-transformed Mind in the lower strata of existence. But such a transformed Mind cannot exist in a void of negation and self-denial or in the conditions laid out by the Falsehood, for the conditions themselves must be transformed of their negations and self-denials to admit the possibility of a greater Power into the workings of the lower forces. Gita’s synthetic approach to Yoga and its three predominant powers stems from a spiritual realisation of the Divine as the basis of all existence, though it admits illusion and bondage to lower existence and the eventual deliverance from them through Yoga of devotion or works or knowledge or by a collective synthesis of all three, puts the onus on the seeker to choose one among the three or all three if he so pleases, but an integral self-development, of which the Gita does not speak or indicate, must indicate no preference at all for one approach to the exclusion of the other two, for even though it begins with a certain preference and drive for a particular approach, it eventually embraces the other two approaches in its earnest call and aspiration for a higher synthetic realisation of the Divine beyond the mind.

Since we seek the perfection of the lower mind here in the evolutionary existence, we must equally seek the perfection of the ascending stair of the mental consciousness, though in the higher mental planes it is not so much a sense of apparent division as in the case of the lower mental, for division is not apparent in them, but rather an integralisation of the countless determinisms in their solitary infinities into a pure, dynamic, infinitely self-expressing puissance of the Divine Grace, a Knowledge vast and self-expressive of the Divine Truth directly down to the lower mind and its disparate reasoning instruments. Once transformed, it is no longer a stair of a delineated strata of consciousness ascending into a froth of Infinity without an inherent sense of supramental unity; it becomes a continuum of a higher Gnostic Light into the terrestrial, thus forming a divine cortex in each successive planes for effective self-deliverance and self-manifestation of the Divine Truth, and it even forms a cortex in the physical brain when it has established itself directly in Matter, but we shall speak of this in detail later under a different heading.

A transformation of the lower mental must proceed on the lines of a higher Truth already in manifestation here in the terrestrial as an established Power. Not by ourselves the wide miracle of the Divine Godhead realised in the mind, but by His immeasurable Grace and unfailing Guidance. The lower mind is, in its principle and constitution, a symbol of division and dissection, abhorring all sense of unity as alien and disturbing to its normal existence. Even when it seems inclined to spiritual self-seeking, it is more of a seeking after exclusive forms suited to its disposition rather than an active surrender of all its wayward impulses to the higher Divine and His workings. Nothing worthwhile comes out of this mental ruckus; one may even achieve a certain siddhi in the lower mental and toss the being upwards into a mental light of seemingly inviolable purity, but it is more likely to be turned into a burden and a chain, a self-willed bondage to a demagogue and its dictates, and, as a result, a consequent servility to a darkness masquerading as the Divine Truth. The mind must cease all its preferences in order to be transformed of all its sense of division, for preference and spiritual surrender are alien to each other, and spiritual aspiration admits nothing of the idiosyncrasies of the mental machinery, for it is too an alien to the desire-movements of the mental. There is a deeper ignorance and resistance in the lower mind which does not become apparent by the first touches of the higher Spirit; while one part moves in the direction of a self-supplicating aspiration for the Divine Truth, another part moves secretly in the contrary direction towards the camp of the opposing or contrary forces to the divine Law, enlisting their help to keep its little kingdom of cherished ignorance intact and from disintegration in the great descent of the higher Force into the lower mental. This connivance of the mind is a great peril and danger invited upon itself, and it is only when it has truly turned itself integrally in all its parts to the Divine Truth that this danger can be met with the power of the Spirit and ripped off its evil roots once and for all. A mind so given to the highest Truth, in spite of itself and all that is contrary within, is sure to succeed with the help of the Divine Grace, and it is of which there can be or should be no doubt at all. The symbol of Krishna as a dominant Deity of the Supramental Consciousness here upon earth can be deciphered and rendered into fact of an indisputable manifestation of the Supreme Divine Consciousness already established in the terrestrial as a beacon of a highest spiritual hope for the aspiring humanity, lighting the far-off seas to help the wayward vessels to find home in the Divine Light.

End of part 11

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — Introduction

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — Sense of Nationalism

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Forms of Governance

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — Vidya or Education

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Sign and Symbol of a Teacher

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Nature and Dynamics of Spiritual Action

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Guide within

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Conduct of a Disciple

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — God in humanity

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — God, The Destroyer

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — God, The Saviour