Jan, 2018

Mental Knowledge and Spiritual Experience

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These disadvantages of mental knowledge no doubt exist.1 But I doubt whether anybody could mentally simulate to himself the experience of the One everywhere or the downflow of peace. He might mistake a first mental realisation for the deeper spiritual one or think the descent was in his physical when it was in his mental influencing the body through the mental sheath of the subtle body-but those who have no mental knowledge can also make these mistakes. The disadvantage of the one who does not know mentally is that he gets the experience without understanding it and this may be a hindrance or at least retardatory to development while he would not get so easily out of a mistake as one more mentally enlightened.

Usually they [persons without mental knowledge of Self] feel first through the psychic centre by union with the Mother and do not call it the Self-or else they simply feel a wideness and peace in the head or in the heart. Previous mental knowledge is not indispensable. l have seen in more cases than one sadhaka getting the Brahman realisation and asking “what is this?”describing it with great vividness and exactness but without any of the known terms.

Just after writing this I read a letter from a sadhika in which she writes, “I see that my head is becoming very quiet, pure, luminous, universal, vis’vamaya.” Well, that is the beginning of the realisation of the universal Brahman-Self in the mind, but if I put it to her in that language she would understand nothing.

Mental realisation is useful at the beginning and prepares spiritual experience.

It [book-knowledge] can help too at the beginning-but also it can hinder. It depends on the sadhak.

You have to learn by experience. Mental information (badly understood, as it always is without experience) might rather hamper than help. In fact there is no fixed mental knowledge for these things, which vary infinitely. You must learn to go beyond the hankering for mental information and open to the true way of knowledge.

All the experiences [of the Theosopbists] are mental except with a very few. Wordsworth’s experience also was mental. Mental experiences are of course a good preparation, but to stop there leaves one far away from the real thing.

Yes, if one has thought much of one kind of realisation and absorbed the idea deeply then it is quite natural that the spiritual experience of it should be one of the first to come. 

Written by – Enlighten master Sir Aurobindo 

Aim of Article– Aim of this article on Mental Knowledge and Spiritual Experience is to inspire people to live meaningful life by indulging their selves into the path of spirituality, by taking the guidance of a true guru to become (liberated soul ) in this life. 

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