NAMAH Journal
Moving Forward
New Issue
About us
Contact us
Publication Ethics
Other Publications

Namah Journal


The miracles of human reason*

The Mother

14 – They told me, “These things are hallucinations.” I inquired what was a hallucination and found that it meant a subjective or psychical experience which corresponds to no objective or no physical reality. Then I sat and wondered at the miracles of the human reason.”1

What does Sri Aurobindo mean by “the miracles of the human reason”?

In this aphorism, by “they” Sri Aurobindo means the materialists, the scientists and, in a general way, all those who only believe in physical reality and consider human reason to be the one infallible judge. Furthermore, the “things” he speaks of here are all the perceptions that belong to worlds other than the material, all that one can see with eyes other than the physical, all the experiences that one can have in subtle domains from the sense perceptions of the vital world to the bliss of the Divine Presence.

It was while discussing these and other similar “things” that Sri Aurobindo was told that they were “hallucinations”. When you look up the word “hallucination” in the dictionary, you find this definition: “Morbid sensation not produced by any real object. Objectless perception.” Sri Aurobindo interprets this or puts it more precisely: “A subjective or psychical experience which corresponds to no objective or no physical reality.” There could be no better definition of these phenomena of the inner consciousness, which are most precious to man and make him something more than a mere thinking animal. Human reason is so limited, so down to earth, so arrogantly ignorant that it wants to discredit by a pejorative word the very faculties which open the gates of a higher and more marvellous life to man.... In the face of this obstinate incomprehension Sri Aurobindo wonders ironically at “the miracles of the human reason”. For the power to change truth into falsehood to such a degree is certainly a miracle.

* Heading provided by the Editor.

1 Sri Aurobindo. Thoughts and Aphorisms. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 1982, pp. 4-5.

The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 10. Cent. ed. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 1977, pp. 39-40.

Share with us (Comments,contributions,opinions)

When reproducing this feature, please credit NAMAH,and give the byline. Please send us cuttings.

Human reason