Subtle sight

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(Mother:) “They have no idea of what one can see, feel, hear and perceive behind all these phenomena of Nature and the Forces which work and animate, create and impel and govern the existence of this whole creation. People are not aware of what I see all around in the atmosphere which surrounds us – the air that we breathe, the sun and its rays which vivify, give and impart energy to all things, how the elements work, act and influence all that exists and moves … The why and the how are no longer mysteries to be solved. For me it is as clear as daylight.”[1]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “As soon as the sight, for example, becomes altered under the influence of the supramental seeing, the eye gets a new and transfigured vision of things and of the world around us. Its sight acquires an extraordinary totality and an immediate and embracing precision in which the whole and every detail stand out at once in the complete harmony and vividness of the significance meant by Nature in the object and its realisation of the idea in form, executed in a triumph of substantial being. It is as if the eye of the poet and artist had replaced the vague or trivial unseeing normal vision, but singularly spiritualised and glorified, — as if indeed it were the sight of the supreme divine Poet and Artist in which we were participating and there were given to us the full seeing of his truth and intention in his design of the universe and of each thing in the universe. There is an unlimited intensity which makes all that is seen a revelation of the glory of quality and idea and form and colour. The physical eye seems then to carry in itself a spirit and a consciousness which sees not only the physical aspect of the object but the soul of quality in it, the vibration of energy, the light and force and spiritual substance of which it is made.”[2]

“But physically, for instance, you see this object [Satprem picks up a paperweight]. Now, I see it in a certain way — but you, with a supramental consciousness?...

(Mother:) I just see through it, that's all.
         But that's nothing!

What do you mean, you see through it?

Well, I mean I can see the luminous vibration behind it. But I realize that one way of seeing doesn't preclude the other.
         It's the same when I look at people: I don't see them as they see themselves, I see them with the vibration of all the forces that are in them and pass through them, and quite frequently with the supreme Vibration of the Presence. And that's why my physical sight is ... not exactly failing, but changing in character, for the physical precision that normal physical sight gives is ... it's false for me. Instinctively (not because I think of it that way), that's how it is. So I no longer have the precision of a vision designed to see just the superficial crust of things.
         But this doesn't keep me from seeing physically — although, yes, it does at times make me unsure of who's in front of me, because I see a vibration that is sometimes very similar, almost identical, in three or four people (who aren't all necessarily present, but anyway ...). So there's a slight external difference — there's a very great external difference in the way the form looks, of course, but in the combination of vibrations there's only a slight external difference.” (1962)[3]

“But isn't what you're talking about here [Satprem points to the paperweight] what people call a ‘clairvoyant’ vision?

No, no!

It's supramental vision?


A clairvoyant wouldn't see it that way.

No. It is the infiltration of the supramental consciousness.” (1962)[4]

“And then, with vision, for instance, the objective precision is missing (Mother makes a gesture of not seeing through her eyes). I see through and with the consciousness. With hearing, I hear in a totally different way; there is a sort of ‘discrimination’ (it isn't ‘discernment’), something that chooses in the perception, something that decides (that decides, but not arbitrarily — automatically) what is heard and what isn't heard, what is perceived and what isn't perceived. It's already there in vision, but it's still stronger with hearing: with certain things, all that's heard is a continuous drone; others are heard very clearly, as clear as crystal; still others are blurred, half heard. With sight, it's the same thing: everything is behind a sort of luminous fog (very luminous, but it's a fog, which means there is no precision), then all at once, a particular thing will be absolutely precise and clear, seen with a most precise vision of detail. The vision is generally the expression of the consciousness in things. That is, everything seems to become more and more subjective, less and less objective.... And they aren't visions that impose themselves on the sight, or noises that impose themselves on the hearing: it's a sort of movement of consciousness that makes certain things perceptible and keeps others as if in a very imprecise background.” (1966)[5]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “Some people have a faculty of receiving impressions about others which is not by any means infallible, but often turns out to be right. That is one thing and the Yogic intuition by which one directly knows or feels what is in a man, his capacities, character, temperament, is another. The first may be a help for developing the other, but it is not the same thing. The Yogic faculty has to be and it can be complete only with a great development of the inner consciousness.”[6]

“A pure perception lent its lucent joy:
Its intimate vision waited not to think;
It enveloped all Nature in a single glance,
It looked into the very self of things;
Deceived no more by form he saw the soul.
In beings it knew what lurked to them unknown;
It seized the idea in mind, the wish in the heart;
It plucked out from grey folds of secrecy
The motives which from their own sight men hide.”[7]

  1. Blessings of the Grace: Conversations with the Mother Recollected by Mona Sarkar and Some of Her Written Answers, p.81
  2. The Synthesis of Yoga, p.868, “The Supramental Sense”
  3. Mother's Agenda 1962, October 6
  4. Ibid.
  5. Mother's Agenda 1966', 9 March 1966
  6. Letters on Yoga – I, p.162
  7. Savitri, p.26, “The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Soul's Release”

See also