(Table of Contents)

Chapter 1 - The Human Aspiration

(Table of Contents)

Impulse toward perfection.

· Impulse, contradicted
§ Impulse toward perfection, truth, bliss, light immortality.
§ Contradicted by normal experience.
· Harmony
§ But all problems are of harmony. The greater the disorder, greater the spur.
· Emergence of consciousness
§ The impulse is part of a series of consciousness emerging.

Chapter 2 - The Two Negations - I: The Materialist Denial

The materialist negation denies spirit, and affirms that only matter or force is real.

· Reconciliation needed
§ Mind must seek reconciliation between spirit and matter.
§ It needs to test each assertion separately.
§ The materialist asserts that senses are the sole means of knowledge.
This argument convicts itself of insufficiency.
But is useful sometimes to correct errors by restraint of sensible fact.
· Knowledge, agnosticism
§ A kind of agnosticism (all form as symbol) is the final truth of all knowledge.
§ The core of materialism is the search for knowledge.
Knowledge by whatever path tends to become one.
· Energy, force, will
§ Matter expresses itself eventually as energy, force.
§ And Mind, Life will be found also to be that one energy in three forms.
§ Energy is will, will is consciousness applying itself to a result.
§ And its will in humanity is unending life, knowledge, power.

Chapter 3 - The Two Negations - The Refusal of the Ascetic

The ascetic insists on pure spirit as the sole reality, free from change, death.

· Suprasensible reality
§ A consciousness transcendent of the universe is attainable.
§ Realities that are supra-sensible are borne out by evidence and experience.
Though they are still imperfectly or crudely researched.
Denial can only be by a mind shut in the brilliant shell of the (materialist) past.
§ The question whether reality exists outside of the observer is crucial to the goal and efforts that we apply.
§ Both the materialist and the ascetic, at the extreme, arrive at the insignificance of the individual and the purposelessness of human existence.
· Cosmic consciousness
§ Only through extension of field or instruments of consciousness can the quarrel be decided.
The extension must be inner enlargement into the cosmic existence.
§ Cosmic consciousness is real to those who have had contact with it.
The world is also real to it, but real because it exists only in consciousness.
Yet this conscious being is more than the universe.
· Transcendent consciousness
§ Transcendent consciousness can bring a rejection of existence.
When the mind arrives here without intermediate transition, the world seems unreal.
This sense has dominated the Indian mind since Buddhism.
§ We seek a larger affirmation: both "One without a second" and "All this is Brahman"

Chapter 4 - Reality Omnipresent

World and non-being are affirmations of omnipresent Reality.

· Reconciliation between spirit and matter is needed
§ Must find a truth that reconciles claim of both freedom of spirit and matter as the mould.
§ Reconciliation proceeds by mutual comprehension, leading to oneness.
§ This takes place in cosmic consciousness.
§ Can perceive the possibility of a divine life in the world.
§ Silent and active self, Brahman, must also be reconciled, harmonized.
· Negation of the non-Being, Nihil
§ Is really a something beyond positive mental conception.
§ Non-Being is the affirmation of freedom from cosmic existence.
§ This denies limitation, not existence itself.
§ It is a result of narrowness of experience and concentration.
· Reconciliation
§ Affirmations are either assertions of status or of freedom from status.
§ Positive basis of the reality admits all things as the one Brahman.
§ World is originated in the reality, made of that reality.
§ Omnipresent reality and non-being are different states or affirmations of the reality.

Chapter 5 - The Destiny of the Individual

Liberation of the individual is the keynote of the definitive divine action.

· Omnipresent reality
§ Omnipresent reality is the truth of all life.
It is an indefinable or unknowable that appears in many states.
Source of the teaching that one must know God equally, everywhere, without distinction.
§ The truth of the two extreme points of view.
In the world of form, nothing is valid until it has possessed the physical consciousness.
Also true that form and matter asserting themselves as self-existent reality are an illusion.
§ True rule of self-realization is a progressive comprehension.
· Individual and universe belittled
§ Individual activities are consistent with cosmic, transcendent, and supracosmic consciousness.
§ The individual is a center of the universal; the individual is necessary to the action of the Transcendent.
§ Individual salvation has no sense if existence is an illusion.
· Solution
§ Must put aside the antinomy between self and world.
§ Self-formative power of reality, Maya.
Makes a scheme of itself in cosmos, using complementary terms of unity and multiplicity.
Also establishes the three terms of subconscient, conscient, supraconscient.
§ Ego is the superficial point at which awareness of unity emerges.
§ Liberation of the individual is keynote of the definitive divine action.
Divine soul reproduces itself in other souls, by a lateral unity.

Chapter 6 - Man in the Universe

Universe and individual are necessary to each other, and the conditions of the universe provide the means for our progress.

· Meaning of the universe
§ The meaning of the universe is a progressive revelation of a great, transcendent, luminous reality.
§ Ascent to this is the real human task and journey.
§ Reality is declared to be Sacchidananda: infinite self-conscious existence and bliss.
· Universe and individual
§ Universe and individual are two essential appearances through which the Reality has to be approached.
§ Ascent and revelation are necessarily progressive.
§ Universe and individual are necessary to each other.
§ Universe is a diffusion of the divine all, individual is its concentration within limits.
§ By means of the universe, the individual is compelled to realize himself.
We must necessarily universalize and impersonalise.
· Universe comes to individual as life
§ Mind, thinker, mental man, soul in mind is the middle term.
§ Affirmation of something greater is basis of divine life.
· Opposites (death, error, etc.)
§ Is the result of a wrong relation.
§ Are the conditions of progress.
§ We cross over death by means of the ignorance.
§ If they are the manifestation of a divine reality, then transmutation becomes conceivable.

Chapter 7 - The Ego and the Dualities

Dualities (pain, etc.) are the first inevitable outcome of the attempt to realize unity through the self-limitation of the ego.

· Present consciousness
§ If all is Sacchidananda, then dualities are creations of a distorting consciousness.
§ Dualities are not applicable to something transcendent of the forms.
§ We must first realize that the terms of duality are not the only ones possible, or not complete.
States of consciousness exist in which death is a change in immortal life.
Sense values hold good in their field, and can be accepted until a larger harmony is ready.
A basis of knowledge is necessary when substituting the egoistic for the truth, that the divine is itself the center.
· Transition to higher consciousness
§ Difficult for mind to conceive of higher existence.
We see it as the absolute of our positive concepts.
§ Reason errs by excessive subjection to apparent fact.
§ We seek to eliminate pain, etc., but because we envisage only external causes, we don't see the possibility.
· Solution: Brahman as Sacchidananda
§ Solution is the experience of Brahman universal and as Sacchidananda.
All life is the movement of a universal and immortal existence.
Ego is a temporary self-limitation, a willed ignorance.
By eliminating ego-determined reactions, true values emerge.

Chapter 8 - The Methods of Vedantic Knowledge

Vedanta starts from reason but uses intuition as the final authority, in order to know truths that are beyond ordinary experience.

· Senses and reason
§ Question: how does Sacchidananda work in the world, and what relation does it have with the ego?
§ Divine existence is reached by going beyond senses.
§ First instrument to do this is the reason.
§ Pure reason is not fully satisfying, because we want to experience things as well as conceive of them.
§ Psychological experience can also be pure, when we seek to be aware of our self as subject.
§ Mind is accustomed to depending on the senses, which is why it is in sleep that the subliminal mind is liberated.
§ Sense-powers and inner senses can be developed in themselves.
· Awareness of truths beyond phenomena
§ Experience of truths beyond senses requires something else, however.
§ Intuition is the common property between subconscious and superconscious.
§ The foundation of intuition is knowledge by identity.
§ The concept of Brahman, pure existence, is beyond ordinary experience.
§ Intuition is always behind reason, but it cannot give an ordered and articulated form until it is organized in our surface being.
This is why the age of intuitive knowledge had to be followed by the age of reason.
§ Indian philosophers started from reason, but used intuition as the final test and authority.

Chapter 9 - The Pure Existent

The pure existence can be known by identity, intuition, but not by thought.

· Our perception of things
§ Looking at one aspect or another, we make the illusion of quality, or quantity, or size.
§ That makes one thing greater than another.
§ The first reckoning we have to make is between this All and ourselves.
It must be infinitely important to us, as we are to it.
§ To do this, we have to know it.
· The pure existent
§ It must be infinite, since reason, experience, imagination point to no end.
§ Even eternity, infinity are categories or symbols of the reason.
§ It is indefinable.
§ A pure absolute, it is not summed in quantity, qualities, forms.
§ It can be known by identity, through intuition, though not by thought.
§ Movement, energy is a fact, like the pure existent.

Chapter 10 - Conscious Force

The existent is also a self-aware force of consciousness, Chit.

· Indian description of matter and force
§ All phenomenon resolves itself into a force.
§ Matter is the most intelligible to the mind/brain.
§ Indian physicists resolved matter into a presentation of force in five states; Sankhya added two non-material principles, Mahat and Ahankara, to explain conscious sensation.
§ Modern science also concludes that the world arises from an action, force of some sort.
§ How did it arise? Indian mind says that force is inherent in existence, so question does not arise.
§ If existence is conscious being, then the question arises, why manifest, why not remain concentrated in itself?
· Relation between force and consciousness
§ So, what is the relation between force and consciousness?
§ We must first realize that consciousness is wider than waking awareness.
§ Contrary to materialistic notions, the physical organs of thought are habitual instruments, but not the generators.
· Consequences of consciousness not being dependent upon physical organs
§ A universal subconscient may be in everything
§ A superconscient exists beyond our normal range.
§ There are submental forms of consciousness (vital, physical) in ourselves, in the plant and animal, even in matter.
§ "Consciousness" then becomes a self-aware force of existence of which mentality is the middle term.
Which is the Indian conception of Chit, conscious energy.
§ This is supported by the evidence of purposefulness throughout nature.

Chapter 11 - Delight of Existence: The Problem

If delight is the nature of existence, how can pain exist?

· Absolute delight
§ Question why Brahman, perfect, needing nothing, would throw out this force of consciousness?
Can only be for one reason: delight.
§ All absoluteness is pure delight; there can be no negation of delight in it.
§ So what has thrown itself out is Sacchidananda, existence-consciousness-bliss.
§ All things are terms of that force, delight, existence.
· Problem of pain and evil
§ Why are pain and grief present at all?
· Ethical problem of pain
§ Secondary problem: how can this conscious being have allowed pain?
§ The question only arises if God is extracosmic, outside the universe.
§ So real problem is how the infinite admits into itself that which is not bliss.
§ Half of the problem disappears if it is the question of cruelty to others, because all is Brahman.
§ World itself is not ethical; ethics is a stage in evolution; animal below is infra-ethical, and beyond humanity may be supra-ethical.
· Problem of pain
§ Delight is different from sensational pleasure, just as consciousness is different from waking awareness.
§ Universal, this delight is not dependent upon particular causes.

Chapter 12 - Delight of Existence: The Solution

Delight is at the root of all experiences, hidden behind our superficial responses.

§ The essential delight is normally hidden, subconscious, to our ordinary self.
· Relation of the eternal to the play of existence.
§ From the aspect of Sat in the surface consciousness, the world appears as Maya.
§ From the aspect of force of consciousness, the world appears as Prakriti.
§ From the aspect of delight, the world appears as Lila.
§ Since delight is the root, it must be one conscious being behind all our experiences.
§ And our experiences are imperfect responses, first divided rhythms or reactions.
· Consequences of delight as the root
§ Pain, pleasure is a superficial arrangement, behind which is a profounder response.
§ By living within we can perceive this.
§ Pain and pleasure, being superficial, are merely habit, are not inevitable.
§ This freedom is easier to experience in mind than in body or nerves.
§ But also seen in the physical in periods of exaltation, hypnosis.
§ Pain is nature's device to assist a limited being in meeting the shocks of existence.
§ When we are in harmony with universe, the utility of pain ceases.
§ Pain and pleasure are actually currents of delight, of rasa.
§ Art and poetry enable us to approach a universal appreciation, rasa, even for the sorrowful or the terrible.
§ Elimination of suffering first comes through facing and enduring the shocks of existence.
§ The reason for this movement lies in the variable realization of delight in its possibilities.
§ Delight loses itself in insensible matter and emerges first as the discordant rhythm of pain/pleasure, then into the unity of Sacchidananda.

Chapter 13 - The Divine Maya

The power of the self-existence to measure out and order itself is the higher Maya. At the level of mind, this is seen as a lower Maya.

· Overview of the world process
§ Existence is the self-manifestation and action by the power of its pure delight of conscious being.
§ So all things seek to arrive at their intended form, consciousness, power, delight.
§ Goal is completeness of self-existence, delight, power, consciousness.
§ This goal is only possible in the infinite consciousness, not the individual.
§ Thus, first there is an involution for the purpose of variation, then emergence of self-imprisoned force, then release into the infinite.
· How the reality has turned into this phenomenal world
§ There seems to be a law, development of past energy, which is a self-determining power in universal consciousness to perceive or direct a certain truth or force of creation.
§ Infinite consciousness produces only infinite results; to have a fixed truth requires a selective faculty.
§ Vedic seers called this Maya, the power of infinite consciousness to measure out, delimit name and shape, become ordered.
· Lower and higher Maya
§ Mental illusion of Maya, the deluding Maya, is that each being is separate.
§ Illusionistic philosophies missed the distinction between lower and higher Maya.
See mind as the creator of the world.
§ Integral view is that the creative conscious-force is the real-idea, a power born of real being, reality throwing itself into forms of its own substance.
§ This explains the instinctive aspiration in the mental being toward perfectibility, and the surge beyond to the transcendent.
· Characteristics of mind
§ Mind is the faculty which interprets truth for practical uses. It is not a faculty of knowledge itself.
§ Mind is a reflective mirror, receiving and representing images of pre-existent truth.
§ Even an infinite mind of this character would only result in illusionism or nihilism.
§ If we suppose mind as we know it is the highest force in the universe, this would be the only wisdom.
§ As long as we work with the mind, we can only infer the immanent truth.

Chapter 14 - The Supermind as Creator

Supermind is the intermediary creatrix between the one and the divided many. It puts forth forms out of its own substance.

· General description
§ The creatrix supermind is accessible on the heights of our own being; it is not inaccessible.
§ Mind is a development by limitation out of the supermind, and therefore can resolve itself back into the supermind by expansion.
§ The Vedas describe it as vast all-comprehensiveness; luminous truth and harmony; truth of law and act.
§ It has two primary faculties: sight and hearing, reflected in mental faculties of revelation and inspiration.
§ Supermind is the intermediary between the eternal and immutable One, and the flux of things.
§ So it is the beginning and end of all creation.
· Problem of how the world can be created at all
§ For the one, the division into a trinity of existence, consciousness, bliss is inadmissible; but the mind can conceive divisions as real.
§ Mind is a preparatory form of consciousness, which removes the difficulty it has with unity.
§ Supermind differentiates, manifests, but does not divide.
§ This carries with it the other powers of involution, envelopment, making implicit.
· Process of creation
§ Real-idea puts forth principles, forces, forms which have the rest of existence implicit within them.
§ So each thing implies infinite possibilities, but is kept to one process by the will and knowledge-force of the conscious being.
§ For the real-idea, all being is a vibration of itself.
§ In supermind, being gives the effect of substance; consciousness gives the effect of knowledge; will gives the effect of force.
§ In supermind, substance, knowledge, and force are not differentiated or separate.

Chapter 15 - The Supreme Truth-Consciousness

The supermind is a cosmic vision and a power of projecting concentration, everywhere present as an ordering self-knowledge.

· Supermind and the divisions of time and space
§ Supermind is the divine as creator, not as absolute.
§ It is everywhere present as an ordering self-knowledge, holding all together in a general determining harmony, the source of law in the world.
§ The development of the world according to a truth of its own being implies the succession of time, relation in space, and interaction of things by causality.
§ To consciousness higher than mind, time may be an eternal present, and space a subjective, indivisible extension.
§ Supermind embraces and unifies the successions of time and the divisions of space.
§ Because different forms are embodied, placed in space/time, they appear to struggle with each other to work out.
§ But this is only because we see each thing separately in itself, rather than what the supermind sees, the ever-developing harmony.
§ Each thing is governed by an indwelling vision and power, which is inconscient to us but not to itself.
· First principle of supermind: cosmic vision
§ First principle of supermind is that it is a cosmic, comprehensive, all-pervasive vision, where the knower/known/knowledge are fundamentally one.
§ Mind can understand this unity, but cannot make it the practical basis of action.
§ Divine as will does not guide, but consummates itself in the world.
§ To get rid of the error of the analytic mind, we must insist on this truth of the supermind containing multiplicity without losing its own unity.
§ To the supermind there is no independent center, no separate ego; each thing contains an equal pervasive concentration of the divine.
· Second principle of supermind: projecting, concentration
§ Second principle of supermind is the creative power of a projecting, concentrating in which knowledge stands back and observes its works.
§ Results in the soul observing himself in other forms from the artificial and practical center.
§ Pursued farther, this becomes the false unity of the ego, avidya.
§ The real change has been an unequal concentration of consciousness and force.

Chapter 16 - The Triple Status of Supermind

Supermind takes a triple status in its role as the intermediary between the absolute Sacchidananda and the separate mind. The triple status is: 1) equal self-extension, 2) individual divine, Jivatman, 3) divine projected into existence, the psychic.

· Supermind as intermediary
§ Mind and the unity of Sacchidananda seem to be opposite entities, one of which must be abolished for the other to be enjoyed.
§ The solution must be an intermediate link that can establish a relation between them. That link is the truth-consciousness, the supermind.
§ The link is a logical necessity if Sacchidananda is timeless/spaceless absolute, but the world is an extension in time and space and causality.
§ Supermind is Sacchidananda in the aspect of cosmic creation, with knowledge and will as the forms that the power takes.
§ This conscious being must be omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent; for nothing is external to it.
§ It is not limited to one form or poise, and in fact has three general poises.
· Three poises of the divine consciousness
§ First is the equal self-extension, all-comprehending, all-constituting, without individuation. This is the universal divine.
§ Second is the divine realizing itself in each form, the same essence. This is the individual divine or jivatman.
§ Third is the divine projecting itself into the movement, involved in it. [This is the psychic being that evolves.] This is a sort of dualism in unity.

Chapter 17 - The Divine Soul

The divine soul in itself, not descended into the ignorance.

§ What would be the existence of a divine soul, not descended into the ignorance?
§ It would always be in the immortal, unlimited, pure play of Sacchidananda.
§ It would not be limited by any poise or status.
§ It would live eternally in the presence of the Absolute.
§ It would live simultaneously in the Absolute and the many.
§ It would be aware of all variation as an extension of itself.
§ It would be aware of three grades of the supramental existence: all things as the self; all things in the self; and the self in all things.
§ It would be capable of returning to any poise or center.
§ It would have the delight of variable relation of self with self, form with form.
§ Death to it would be a rest, transition, holding back of the eternal being.

Chapter 18 - Mind and Supermind

The fundamental error, Avidya, of mind lies in conceiving of things as separate. This is the final stage of the apprehending movement, Prajnana, of the supermind.

· The question: what are the supreme sources of mind, life, body?
§ Supermind as it has been described so far does not seem to have any relation to our current mind and body.
§ What are the connections between Sacchidananda and supermind, with body, life, and mind?
§ All that we call undivine can only be a play of these four divine principles.
§ So it is probable that mind, body, life must be capable of divinity; they must have pure forms in the divine truth.
§ Then it must be possible to manifest the divine in mind and body. The internal has already been done.
§ What are mind, life, body in their supreme sources?
· Divine sources of mind, life, body
§ Essential characteristic of mind is that it measures, limits, cuts out forms.
§ Therefore it cannot possess the infinite; it can only be possessed by it.
§ The role of mind is to translate infinity into the terms of the finite.
§ The divine mind makes the apprehending movement, prajnana, a subordinate action of the supermind. It makes the fundamental division of Purusha and Prakriti, conscious-soul and nature-soul/creation.
§ Finally it inhabits every form.
§ 1) the One extends itself in conceptual time/space; 2) it translates itself into the multiplicity of a conscious soul, 3) it translates the multiplicity of soul-forms into divided habitations, actively identifying with each.
· Avidya
§ The self-ignoring faculty which separates action of mind from supermind is Avidya. This action of conscious force separates mind from the universal.
§ Avidya proceeds from the exclusive concentration, self-identification of consciousness with a particular state and form.
§ It then has to recover the rest by linking the succession of moments, points.
· Physical, life, mental mind
§ This ignorance is deepened by the identification, absorption in the physical workings of the body. This is the physical mind.
§ There is a life mind beyond this absorption, but it is still subject to the original ignorance.
§ There is also a pure mentality, which can be mistaken for the spirit. But it too is subject to the original ignorance.
· Essential error of mind
§ When mind is silent and passive to the supramental action, it can perform its function of holding forms apart for a purely formal delineation.
§ Ignorance does not create a new thing; it merely misrepresents the truth.
§ Fundamental error of mind is conceiving of individuality as separate, and thereby losing the universal.
§ All error is distortion, not an absolute falsehood.

Chapter 19 - Life

Life is a universal operation of conscious-force, acting to create, maintain, and destroy forms.

§ Mind is the final strand of the creative action of the divine; it is a creative cosmic agency.
§ This is at work in matter, in life, and in mind itself.
§ Supermind is always present where there is mind, compelling right relation, result.
§ Life is a specialization of force, of the cosmic energy, positive and negative, that builds up and energizes forms.
§ Death is really a rapid disintegration and change of form, not the opposite of life.
§ Ordinarily by life we mean animal life, but it really is present in the material and plant as well. There is no rigid demarcation where life begins. Even a "dead" body can be revived.
§ Also, certain forms of trance show no reaction to stimulus, but the life has not gone out.
§ Life is the dynamic play of a universal force, the interchange of stimulation and response between different forms.
§ Is life different in the human and the plant? There seem to be differences in response and locomotion, but no essential difference. The plant seems to have a subconscious mind.
§ In certain forms the Prajnana almost or quite ceases to act consciously, such as the automatic movements of the body.
§ So it is possible to conceive that in the atom there is something, an attraction and repulsion, that in us becomes will and desire. This is fundamentally the chit-tapas, chit-shakti of the Vedanta.
§ This is evident even if just observing evolution from the surface.

Chapter 20 - Death, Desire, and Incapacity

Death, desire, and incapacity are necessary processes of life as it is in a limited form.

§ Just as mind is a final operation of supermind, life is a final operation of consciousness-force that creates, maintains, and destroys individual forms.
§ Life relates to motions of force and forms of substance, rather than ideas.
§ Life has all conscious-force behind it in every one of its workings, and we cannot really know it until we are conscious of that essential conscious-force.
§ Because it is subservient to the dividing action of mind, life is subject to death, limitation, weakness.
§ By acting as a separate life, the universal life in us has a limited capacity, and cannot freely embrace the shock and pressure of life around it.
§ The impulse of all life is to master, know, and enjoy the play of the world.
§ Individual life will always be subject to death, desire, and incapacity.
· Death is the process by which life renews forms.
§ Death is a necessary condition of the individual life, which serves a particular place and scope
§ Life in the body has to go through death for a new construction or renewal.
§ Life-energy also supplies the material by which the physical form is built up, and if it gets out of balance, disease and decay begin.
§ Attempt at mastery creates reactions in the environment, revolts and attacks.
§ Embodied life seeks infinite experience in a finite life, which can only be done by dissolving the form and seeking new forms.
§ For this purpose change of form, which is the law of death, is essential.
§ Thus, death is a process of life, not the denial of life.
· Desire is the attempt of life to expand, aggrandize itself.
§ The attempt of the individual to aggrandize itself is the whole sense of desire.
§ The increase is through possession, absorption, assimilation, enjoyment.
§ This is finally through an increasing experience, which is really the impulse to realize the secret all-conscious divine.
§ Vital hunger in the body becomes desire and will in the mental or thinking life.
§ Life uses desire as the lever to achieve self-affirmation.
§ Desire can only cease by becoming the desire of the infinite. To get there, it must go from devouring to giving, to interchange, to the law of love, unity, immortality.
· Incapacity
§ Because life is an infinite force working in a finite form, its action must appear and act as a limitation, an incapacity.
§ Behind every action, however weak, is the whole infinite force.
§ Desire arises because of the gulf between the desire to possess and the capacity.
§ In the mind free from ignorance, putting forth an assured force, desire would not intervene.
§ The omnipotence of an ignorant force in a finite sphere is unthinkable; hence, life must rise through wrestling with other forces, until it becomes the happy shock of divine interchange.

Chapter 21 - The Ascent of Life

Life ascends through four statuses: physical matter; vitality; mind; and spirit. It has different expressions at each stage.

§ The first terms of life as it emerges is as the urge of physical energy.
§ The middle terms are death, desire, incapacity, the basis of Darwinian evolution. This is a struggle towards expansion, mastery, possession.
§ This very struggle, however, compels life towards permanence for the species, which means cooperation, mutual help, and eventually love.
· First status: matter
§ Life starts with matter, atoms, rigid division, the physical type of the ego.
· Second status: vitality
§ In the second status, vitality, elements of one life are broken up and enter into others, including those of our subtler life-energy.
§ Interchange, intermixture is the law of this second status.
§ Nature's main problem was to create a stable form.
§ But the two principles have to be harmonized, with the persistence of the individual along with the ability to fuse himself with others.
· Third status: mind
§ This can only happen with the emergence of the mental being, which the breaking of the physical form cannot destroy.
§ Association with love is the principle. This involves conscious acceptance of interchange.
§ Those most fit for survival in this tertiary status are those who develop most the law of love, help, unity.
§ This is because mind can grow and possess without devouring.
· The growth of love
§ Desire begins in the second status, but is transformed by the growth of love.
§ Love is at first a principle of life, but its true law is to have equal joy in giving and receiving.
§ There emerges the recognition of not-self as a greater self, resulting in a relation of mutuality.
§ Because mind is an inferior term of supermind, the perfect solution is a fourth status, beyond association, in the unity of the spirit.

Chapter 22 - The Problem of Life

The problem of life is that it is an infinite force in a divided action, which results in the clash of forces.

· General statement of the problem
§ The problem of the clash of opposing forces has to be solved in life, in act of being.
§ In the third status, mind, consciousness is delivered out of the form of its own force, but is not yet master because it is an individual, unaware of universality.
§ Similarly, the individual cannot reach mastery because he does not know the totality of his being.
§ To reach this, humanity must either become divine or give place to another, superhuman form.
§ Mental idea must push on to become the whole truth of existence, consciousness and force.
§ The poise of consciousness determines its force at any level; where consciousness is divided, life will be a clash of individuals.
§ There are four poises: Sacchidananda; material nature; mind/life; and supermind.
· Current difficulties of our poise of consciousness
§ 1) we are aware of only part of our being
We only have power over that which we are aware.
§ 2) we are separated from the universal.
So we are incapable of knowing other beings.
§ 3) division between force and consciousness
Life, mind, matter are at war with each other
Fundamental division is between force of nature and the conscious being
§ To the extent that we are self-conscious and a thinking being, we try to arrive at a harmony.
§ But a perfect harmony in ourselves or with the world is not possible with our current limitations; it can only come from above.

Chapter 23 - The Double Soul in Man

Like all principles, the soul has a surface form and a true form. The surface is the desire-soul, whereas the true form is the psychic being, the caitya purusha.

· Soul as the manifestation of true delight
§ The world being a masked form of Sacchidananda, the ascent of life is the ascent of the delight in things.
§ But where is this delight? What is the subordinate principle where it manifests in the world?
§ That is the soul, the psychic principle.
· Double action: surface and subliminal
§ As with all principles, there is the true one and there is the surface action in the ignorance.
§ The surface action of this is the desire-soul, whereas the true soul is a subliminal psychic entity, a power of delight, love, joy.
§ Subliminal soul is open to the universal delight.
§ The surface desire-soul responds to the world by a flux of reaching and shrinking.
§ Indifference is either the inattention of the surface desire-soul to the rasa of things, or its incapacity to receive and respond to them.
§ The real soul takes joy of all experiences and grows by all of them. It is impelled by the universal to develop by all kinds of experience.
§ By bringing the soul forward, pleasure and pain are replaced by an equal, all-embracing delight.
§ This can be approached through the impersonality of art, poetry, knowledge, where the individual desire-soul is less prominent.
· The secret soul
§ Behind the veil, a concealed witness and guide, the inner voice of the mystic.
§ Imperishable from birth to birth, the caitya purusha, deputy in nature.
§ Stands behind the mental, vital, physical beings.
§ Grows, changes, develops from life to life.
§ Takes the essence of all experiences.
§ The true original conscience.
§ Mind, vital, physical can be strong and brilliant, but psychic may be weak.
· Spiritual and supramental transformations
§ Psychic can open to the hidden ranges of our being, but spiritual transformation needed for universality and transcendence.
§ Psychic growth brings achievements of the spiritual mind, on its own plane.
§ Beyond this is the supermind, truth-consciousness
§ Only supermind can harmonies the opposition of spirit and our world existence.
§ Without it, the being can be divided into spiritual within and the natural without.

Chapter 24 - Matter

Matter is the result of the dividing action of cosmic mind, causing extreme fragmentation as the basis of evolution. In reality it is a form of conscious-force, but we know it only as the senses contact it.

· Problem that mind and life have with matter.
§ Mind and life depend upon the body; the human body has allowed us to rise above the animal, and by developing a body capable of receiving higher illumination we will rise above humanity.
§ Most religions see the body as a stumbling block, and at most endure it.
§ Even before spiritual awakening, life is at war with the inertia of the body, and mind battles with the limitations of both life and body.
· Why has matter arisen at all?
§ Matter cannot be the result of human mind, since it pre-existed.
§ Since existence is an activity of conscious-force, matter is also a form of spirit.
§ The appearance we see is a result of the dividing action of mind.
§ Matter itself is the final form taken by the conscious being phenomenally dividing itself.
§ It divides because mind carries the principle of multiplicity to its extreme potential; it is a necessary result of the will to multiplicity.
§ Substance as we know it is the form that mind contacts the conscious being through physical senses.
§ Thus, the action of the cosmic mind is the cause of atomic existence.
§ It is the extreme fragmentation of the infinite, as a starting point.

Chapter 25 - The Knot of Matter

Matter presents a practical difficulty, due to three characteristics: its self-lost inconscience; its bondage to material law; and the principle of division and struggle.

· Division between spirit and matter is not fundamental, but practical.
§ Division between spirit and matter is not fundamental; there is a manifold oneness, not a struggle between opposites.
§ There is a practical difference, however, and that creates the series of world existence.
§ There is a series of substance, through mind-stuff and spirit, that sense and knowledge can apprehend.
§ It is a spiritually conceptive difference, a difference created by spiritual conception.
§ In matter lies the practical key or crux.
· The difficulties stated
§ 1) fundamental opposition is that consciousness has lost and forgotten itself.
Out of this inconscience, minds emerge and struggle.
§ 2) matter is the culmination of bondage to mechanical law and inertia
Presents to life and mind an inertia in response to their demands.
§ 3) culmination of the principle of division and struggle.
Union at this level means either aggregation of units or destruction of one unit.
· Pain, suffering the result of the fundamental oppositions
§ These difficulties impose the law of pain and suffering on the mental and vital existence.
§ In self-conscious humanity, the limitations become too keenly sensible to be borne.
The finite cannot remain content if it is conscious of a greater existence.
§ The rigid division results in the law of discord in what would otherwise be a movement from joy to joy in evolution.
§ Brings into body, life, mind the qualities of attraction and repulsion, truth and error, pain and pleasure.
§ Which is the basis of the spiritual pessimist, asserting that the world is delusion.
· Solution: the conscious being is hidden in the forms of the universe
§ So there must be another term, the supramental, yet to emerge.
§ This may liberate the body from its current law of death.
§ Will use body as a subordinate term.
§ May develop a divine body.

Chapter 26 - The Ascending Series of Substance

Substance itself has an ascending series from matter to the spirit, and in each level there is less bondage to form, greater force, flexibility, and power of transmutation.

· Principle of an ascending series
§ Substance seems to the senses more real, in proportion as it is solid. And touch is the basis of the senses in this regard.
§ In the ascending series of substance, there must be less bondage to form, more flexibility of force, more interpenetration and power of transmutation.
§ This is of great importance in terms of the possible relation of the soul to the physical body.
§ There may be other relations, laws, even a different substance of body.
§ Even in the physical cosmos there is an ascending scale between inconscient substance and conscious self-extension.
§ One formulation is matter, life, mind, supermind, Sacchidananda.
§ Substance bases itself upon each of these principles in turn.
· Different bases and worlds
§ Matter as the basis
In material world, matter is the basis.
Life, thought, obey its laws.
§ Life and desire as the basis.
Basis is cosmic vital energy, vital seeking, not the inconscient.
§ Mind, supermind, bliss, being, conscious power can be the basis
§ All existence is a complex harmony
§ The more subtle is the more powerful
§ Pressure from these planes assists the emergence of the principles out of the material.
§ Pressure increases as each principle evolves here.
§ Consciousness is not limited to current possibilities. It has different bodies, sheaths, that the soul simultaneously inhabits.
§ Opening up of the veil is the cause of "psychic" phenomena.
§ Main principle is that behind the gross physical being there are other grades of substance with finer law, and by their pressure we can evolve different conditions of being.
§ Because being is an uninterrupted whole, the ascent opens the possibility of a conquest of physical limitations through the power of supramental substance.

Chapter 27 - The Sevenfold Chord of Being

Mind, life, matter, supermind, sat-chit-ananda is the sevenfold chord. The nodus of the psyche adds an eighth.

· The eight principles
§ Origin is triune Sacchidananda.
§ Nodus of creative action is the supermind, the Real-Idea.
§ Creation moves between unity and multiplicity, creating an ordered relation.
§ Mind, life, matter are the aspect of these principles to our superficial awareness.
§ The fourth principle which comes in as a nodus is the soul, or psychic being.
§ The soul is a projection of ananda, bliss, delight.
§ So all told there are eight principles: existence, consciousness-force, bliss, supermind, matter, life, psyche, mind. These are essential to all creation, and are there in ourselves.
· Higher trinity
§ Higher trinity is the source and basis of all existence.
§ There must be also a power of knowledge and will, fixing determined relations, laws.
§ But no law is absolute; everything contains endless potentialities.
· Mind, life, matter
§ Mind, life, and matter also indispensable to cosmic being.
§ Mind is the faculty that measures and limits.
§ Life and form of substance follow from mind; even if different from physical matter, some form would always be necessary.
§ Where one principle is present, all the rest must be not merely present, but secretly at work.

Chapter 28 - Supermind, Mind, and the Overmind Maya

Overmind is the link between supermind and mind, and has ranges (higher mind, etc.). Overmind itself is still a realm of knowledge, the higher Maya.

§ How did the lapse into ignorance occur?
§ Must be an exclusive concentration on one movement or status of conscious being.
§ There is a gulf between mind and supermind, so there must be an intermediate power somewhere in the ascending scale of being.
· Can we have contact with this intermediate range?
§ Even this intermediate power must be superconscient to human mind.
§ Appears as if we have no contact with higher ranges.
§ But that is deceptive; intuition is the first direction in which consciousness reaches beyond the mind.
§ Impersonality, universality also are indications of reaching of mind beyond ego. Genius comes from this widening.
§ Mystic and spiritual experience also pushes beyond normal bounds.
· Two movements by which we access superior gradations
§ 1) Inward toward the subliminal.
Can be gradual or vehement.
Inner soul, mind, life, subtle-physical are discovered.
§ 2) Ascent upward beyond the mind.
Normally first discovers a vast, silent Self, or a Nirvana of our active being.
Can also open into a cosmic awareness
§ Transition to the supramental is through the opening upward.
· Scale of intensities is discovered
§ Higher mind: spontaneous knowledge, with the nature of thought, cosmic character.
§ Illumined mind: more force; luminosity.
§ Intuition: more intimate contact.
§ Overmind: the original determinant of our mental energies; covers the whole lower hemisphere with a brilliant golden lid.
· Overmind as the link
§ Formulates the realities of the supermind, in a vision of the Truth but allows a free transmission. A change is compelled in the transition.
§ The integrality of supermind no longer here, but it is aware of the essential truth of things.
§ Oneness is realized, but dynamic movement not directly determined by it.
§ Gives each aspect an independent action, a separate importance.
§ Distinction between soul and nature, purusha and prakriti, begins.
§ Releases a million godheads, each capable of creating its own world.
§ Global in cognition; can hold seemingly fundamental differences in a reconciling vision, as correlatives.
Such as world-formulas of matter, mind, life, spirit.
§ No fall from truth yet; what is worked out is the truth of each aspect.
§ Vast and endless catholicity; each idea admits the right of the others.
§ Concerned mainly with pragmatic truths, not absolutes.
§ Differs from mind in that it would allow a harmony, the practical working out of each thing. (E.g., each religion). Mind cannot arrive at this true harmonic control.
· Overmind is original cosmic (higher) Maya
§ A Maya of knowledge, not yet ignorance.
§ But overmind reaches a line which divides truth from ignorance, where the emphasis on separateness of consciousness-force hides the unity.
§ The veil here is opaque, unlike the veil between overmind and supermind.
§ As it passes into cosmic mind, it is unaware of its source in the spirit.
· Subliminal or inner mind
§ But in this cosmic mind, a large power of mutuality and communication remains.
§ It is a plane of ignorance, but not yet falsehood.
§ When involution reaches the point of separating consciousness from force, or consciousness is lost in form, then error and falsehood are possible.
§ But even ignorance is in reality a knowledge seeking for itself.
§ Fulfillment of transformation made easier because intuition, even supermind operates secretly, giving us flashes and openings.