The New Spirituality
Georges Van Vrekhem, a Flemish Belgian, lived in Auroville from 1978 until his passing on 31st August, 2012.
In that period he published a number of highly seminal books on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother such as Beyond Man, the Life and Work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (1997); The Mother, the Story of Her Life (2000); Overman: The Intermediary between the Human and the Supramental Being (2001); Patterns of the Present, from the Perspective of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (2002); Hitler and His God, the Background to the Nazi Phenomenon (2006); Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God (2011), and Preparing for the Miraculous (2012), containing the eleven lectures Georges had given in 2010-2011 at Auroville’s Savitri Bhavan and Town Hall.
In 2006 he was awarded the Sri Aurobindo Puraskar by the Government of Bengal.
At his passing Georges left a number of unpublished essays behind. Some of them were based on his talks in Auroville at the end of 2011, when he embarked on a second series of lectures on a wide variety of topics related to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. However, first Cyclone Thane and later his deteriorating health disrupted these lectures.
This book, which contains his unpublished essays as well as some of his articles and interviews that have been published in the magazines Auroville Today, Mother India, and The Advent, and in the book The Journeying Years, is published to honour Georges Van Vrekhem in recognition of his immense work in helping to understand the life and work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Author: Georges Van Vrekhem
Print Length: 274 pages
Publisher: Stichting Aurofonds
Sold by: Amazon.com
Book format: Kindle
Note on Terminology
Article s about Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
1. The New Spirituality or the Aurobindonian Revolution
2. Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity
3. The Metamorphoses of an Avatar
4. Overman: The Transitional Being
5. True Philosophy
6. A Matter of Matter
7. The Closing of the Western Mind
8. The Fall
9. The Integration of the four Varnas and the New Dharma
10. Aswapati and Sri Aurobindo
11. On Occultism
12. How Does One Write about Sri Aurobindo and the Mother?
13. Preparing for the Miraculous
Article s about Auroville
14. The Cradle of the ‘Overman’
15. Five Questions on Auroville
16. On the Use of Drugs in Auroville
Article s about the Second World War
17. Lest We Forget
18. Churchill’s Mission
19. In Memoriam Satprem
20. Amal Kiran: Psychic Greatness, Mental Versatility
21. Nihil Humanum A Me Alienum Puto
22. The Journeying Years: From Belgium to India
23. Moments That do not Fade: Meeting the Mother
24. The Trip to Bangalore: Remembering my Years as a Teacher in Auroville
The New Spirituality
Note on Terminology
For a better understanding of the terminology used in this book, we publish below a few quotations of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on the words Supermind, Supramental Overmind and “Surhomme” (literally translated by Georges Van Vrekhem as “Overman”).
– the Editors
Sri Aurobindo in Letters on Yoga,
(Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, vol. 28, pp. 147-149)
It is hardly possible to say what the Supermind is in the language of Mind, even spiritualised Mind, for it is a different consciousness altogether and acts in a different way. Whatever may be said of it is likely to be not understood or misunderstood. It is only by growing into it that one can know what it is and this also cannot be done until after a long process by which mind heightening and illuminating becomes pure Intuition (not the mixed thing that ordinarily goes by that name) and Intuition widens and masses itself into Overmind; after that Overmind can be lifted into and suffused with Supermind till it undergoes a transformation.
In the Supermind all is self-known self-luminously, there are no divisions, oppositions or separated aspects as in Mind whose principle is division of Knowledge into parts and setting each part against another. Overmind approaches this at its top and is often mistaken for Supermind, but it cannot reach it – except by uplifting and transformation.
* * *
The Supermind is the One Truth deploying and determining the manifestation of its Powers – all these Powers working as a multiple Oneness, in harmony, without opposition or collision, according to the One Will inherent in all. The Overmind takes these Truths and Powers and sets each working as a force in itself with its necessary consequences – there can be harmony in their action, but the Overmind’s harmonies are synthetic and partial rather than inherent, total and inevitable and, as one descends from the highest Overmind, separation, collision and conflict of forces increase, separability dominates, ignorance grows, existence becomes a clash of possibilities, a mixture of conflicting half- truths, an unsolved and apparently unsolvable riddle and puzzle.
* * *
The Supermind is the Truth-Consciousness; below it there intervenes the Overmind of which the principle is to receive the powers of the Divine and try to work them out separately, each acting in its own right and working to realise a world of its own or, if it has to act with others, enforcing its own principle as much as possible. Souls descending into the Overmind act in the same way. The principle of separated Individuality is from here. At first still aware of its divine origin, it becomes as it descends still more and more separated and oblivious of it, governed by the principle of division and ego. For Mind is farther removed from the Truth than Overmind, Vital Nature is engrossed in the realisation of ignorant forces, while in Matter the whole passes into what seems an original Inconscience. It is the Overmind Maya tha governs this world, but in Matter it has deepened into Inconscience out of which consciousness reemerges and climbs again bringing down into Matter life and mind, and opening in mind to the higher reaches – which are still in some direct connection with the Truth (Intuition, Overmind, Supermind).
* * *
At the time when these chapters [the last chapters of The Synthesis of Yoga] were written, the name “overmind” had not been found, so there is no mention of it. What is described in these chapters is the action of the supermind when it descends into the overmind plane and takes up the overmind workings and transforms them. It was intended in later chapters to show how difficult even this was and how many levels there were between human mind and supermind and how even supermind, descending, could get mixed with the lower action and turned into something that was less than the true Truth. But these later chapters were not written.
* * *
The supramental is simply the direct self-existent Truth Consciousness and the direct self-effective Truth Power. There can therefore be no question of jugglery about it. What is not true is not supramental.
* * *
The Mother to Satprem
(in Mother’s Agenda, vol I, May 10, 1958)
“To do Sri Aurobindo’s work is to realise the Supramental on earth. So I began that work and, as a matter of fact, this was the only thing I asked of my body. I told it, ‘Now you shall set right everything which is out of order and gradually realise this intermediate supermanhood between man and the supramental being’ or, in other words, what I call the overman.’ And this is what I have been doing for the last eight years, and even much more during the past two years, since Now it is the work of each day, each minute. That’s where I am. I have renounced the uncontested authority of a god, I have renounced the unshakeable calm of the sage … in order to become the overman. I have concentrated everything upon that.”
The Mother to the children of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram
(in Questions and Answers, 1957-58, p. 313, ff.)
On 16th April, 1958, the Mother announced as an existing fact what Sri Aurobindo had foreseen in The Supramental Manifestation Upon Earth. She affirms that “there is already a beginning of realisation. We have the proof that in certain conditions the ordinary state of humanity can be exceeded and a new state of consciousness worked out which enables at least a conscious relation between mental and supramental man. It can be asserted with certainty that there will be an intermediate specimen between the mental and the supramental being, a kind of overman who will still have the qualities and in part the nature of man, which means that he will still belong in his most external form to the human being [i.e. species] of animal origin, but that he will transform his consciousness sufficiently to belong, in his realisation and activity, to a new race, a race of overmen. This species may be considered a transitional species, for it is to be foreseen that it will discover the means of producing new beings without going through the old animal method, and it is these beings — who will have a truly spiritual birth — who will constitute the elements of the new race, the supramental race. So we could call overmen those who, because of their origin, still belong to the old method of generation but who, because of their accomplishment, are in conscious and active contact with the new world of supramental realisation.”