it can be especially difficult for those who are highly educated in the field of Western science, medicine, or other studies that focus on the logical intellect of the mind, to actually appreciate and be receptive to the play of forces that occurs outside the normal perceptive range of the intellect. The educational process tends to create a blinkered view of reality; anything that does not fit within the walls of the mind and its senses is considered suspect or fake, even when it has palpable and observable effects. This mental development tends to breed a form of mental arrogance that dismisses whatever it cannot define, analyze and process with its normal reasoning capacity. This condition obtains until the individual is able to recognise that there are upper and lower limits to the ability of the senses and the mind to perceive, and simply because something falls outside those limits does not mean that it is untrue or unreal.

It is possible through a process of quieting the mental noise to develop new capacities to experience and assimilate forces outside the mental range. The ability to channel intuition or inspirations represents one such avenue of experience. Some individuals have these capacities naturally, while others can systematically work to develop them. Many artists and those who work at the cutting edge of science are able to, either occasionally or frequently, tap into these sources of inspiration and thereby channel advances that the mind by itself could not develop.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “His new consciousness makes him feel more strongly the opposite forces that one contacts when one moves in the world and has to do affairs and meet with others and he is afraid of a response in the vital which will upset his sadhana or create difficulties. Evidently he is a man who is psychically sensitive or has become so to that thing which you blindly refuse to recognise even when you are in the midst of it — the play of forces. You can feel your friend’s atmosphere through the letter ‘so beautiful, so strengthening, so refreshing’ and it has an immediate effect on you. But your mind stares like an owl and wonders ‘What the hell can this be?’, I suppose, because your medical books never told you about it and how can things be true which are not known either to the ordinary mind or science? It is by an incursion of an opposite kind of forces that you fall into the Old Man’s clutches, but you can only groan and cry, ‘What’s this?’ and when they are swept aside in a moment by other forces blink and mutter, ‘Well, that’s funny!’ Your friend can feel and know at once when he is being threatened by the opposite forces and so he can be on his guard and resist old Nick, because he can detect at once one of his principal means of attack.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 1 Life Through the Eyes of the Yogin, pp. 5-6

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 20 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at