Brain (Human)

…the brain is not the creator of thought, but itself the creation, the instrument and here a necessary convenience of the cosmic Mind.1


The brain is only a centre of the physical consciousness. One feels stationed there so long as one dwells in the physical mind or is identified with the body consciousness, then one receives through the sahasradala into the brain. When one ceases to be stationed in the body, then the brain is not a station but only a passive and silent transmitting channel.2

~ Sri Aurobindo


Thought does not depend upon the brain, which is quite a different thing. If one knows how to handle mental forces, one sees clearly that the brain is very suitable for expressing oneself — it has evidently been made for that, for receiving thoughts and putting them into action, into expression, words — but it doesn’t need to be exclusive.3


…the different states of being have a different density, and they have an individual independent existence of their own, that they are existing realities, that they are truly real substances, that it is not just a way of being. There can be a mental being and mental activity and, for instance, a thought that is completely independent of the brain, whereas the materialistic theories say that it is the brain which creates mental activity. But this is not correct. The brain is the material transcription of the mental activity, and mental activity has its own domain; the mental domain has its reality, its own substance. One can think outside one’s brain, think, act, make formations outside one’s brain. One can even live, move, go from one place to another, have a direct knowledge of mental things in the mental world, in a word, absolutely independent of a body which, indeed, can be in a state of complete inertia, not only asleep but also in a cataleptic state. And moreover, it is quite certain that so long as one has not understood that one is made up of different states of being which have their own independent life, one can’t have a complete control over one’s being. There will always be something that escapes you.4


…each new idea forms a kind of small convolution in the brain, and that takes time. You see, you are told something which you have never heard before; you listen, but it is incomprehensible, it does not penetrate into your head. But if you hear the same thing a second time, a little later, it makes sense. It is because the shock of the new idea has done a little work in the brain and prepared just what was necessary for understanding. And not only does it build itself up, but it perfects itself. That is why if you read a difficult book, at the end of six months or a year you will understand it infinitely better than at the first reading and, at times, in a very different way. This work in the brain is done without the participation of your active consciousness. The way the human being is at present constituted, the time factor must always be taken into account.5


Events have been quite different from the way in which they have been reported, and for a very simple reason: the human brain is not capable of recording things with exactitude; history is built upon memories and memories are always vague. If you take, for example, written memories, he who writes chooses the events which have interested him, what he has seen, noticed or known, and that is always only a very small portion of the whole. When the historian narrates, the same thing happens as with dreams where you take one point, then another, then another, and at last you can have an almost exact vision of what has taken place and with a little imagination you fill up the gaps; but historians relate a continuous story; between the events or moments there are gaps which they fill up as best they can or rather as they wish, according to their mental, vital and other preferences. And that comprises the history you are made to learn. The same story, narrated in one language and in another, in one country or in another, you cannot imagine how comic it is! This is particularly true if one of the countries is interested because of its vanity, its prestige. And finally the two pictures presented to you are so different that you could believe that two different things were being spoken about. It is unbelievable. But I have noticed that even for altogether external, concrete facts where there is no question of evaluation, it is still the same thing. No human brain is capable of understanding a thing in its totality; even the most scholarly, the most learned, even the most sincere person does not see a subject — and especially many subjects — totally. He will say what he knows, what he understands, and all that he does not know, all that he does not understand is not there, and this absolutely changes everything.6

~ The Mother


  1. CWSA Vol. 21-22, The Life Divine, P: 270
  2. CWSA Vol. 28, Letters on Yoga-I
  3. CWM Vol. 06, P: 315
  4. CWM Vol. 06, P:307-08
  5. CWM Vol. 04, P:197-198
  6. CWM Vol. 04, P: 111

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