September 24, 2010
Hollywood director Christopher Nolan has stirred the creative world
and enthralled fantasy-loving cine buffs by mixing the
psychologists' old muse - dream reading - with a high-tech, special
effects bonanza called "Inception."
He has understandably made some compromises with the plot - car-chase, shootouts, killing et al
- to keep the audience engaged
while dealing with a complex subject and a mental game which could
otherwise have easily gotten swallowed in psycho-technical
While western audiences marvel at this "James Bond meets Matrix"
tale, very few are perhaps aware that
Sri Aurobindo, the renowned
mystic and spiritual master had spent considerable years through his
Integral Yoga, probing what he called the 'subconscient' human mind
and came up with some interesting insights on universal
consciousness as a whole.
Sri Aurobindo discovered, for example, that there are several realms
consciousness beyond the physical world we live in, and that
these planes of consciousness are in fact the other worlds that are
as real as we take our own world to be.
When one sleeps, he said,
the subconscient mind is freed from the shackles of the mind that
operates in the physical world, traveling across those other worlds
soaking in experiences, both good and bad, that are needed for
further consciousness evolution of the individual in the dream
state. Our skepticism or ignorance notwithstanding, these "other
worlds" not only coexist with our physical world but they also
impinge on it in myriad ways.
According to Sri Aurobindo these other worlds are stacked in a
spiral of lower and higher levels of consciousness.
We have good
dreams or nightmares, depending on where our subconscient mind
chooses to travel in the labyrinthine spiral, with each level having
several sublevels. Without our being aware, we draw upon these
worlds for some of the vilest, crudest or most noble and sublime
ideas that eventually shape our known world.
It isn't surprising
therefore that for a Jesus who comes to redeem our world we are also
visited by others who wish to subvert and destroy it.
Sri Aurobindo believed - through his own experience of yoga
spanning over 40 years - that through regular practice one can
raise one's consciousness to various higher levels until one reaches
what he called the supra-mental level, the pinnacle of evolution.
(He never took others' word for any kind of truth, and insisted on
testing it through self-experience).
Sri Aurobindo made another
profound revelation that unlike what scientists tell us, man is not
the pinnacle of Nature's evolutionary cycle.
Human beings are
transitional beings. We will undergo transformation and reach our
ultimate evolution level when we reach the highest plane of
consciousness. However, we will have to delve deep into our subconscient mind and begin rising through the spiral consciousness
to reach the pinnacle.
Sri Aurobindo's spiritual endeavor was not, however, aimed at his
own personal salvation. He wanted to share his experience with
others and inspire them to follow this path so that it would lead to
a spiritual revolution in us and usher in lasting peace.
accept the old spiritual belief that one could reach
moksha only if
one quit this so-called wretched world and ascend to a heaven above.
"It is here on this earth that we can create heaven and find release
in our own lifetime," he said.