A feeling, an emotion, a thought arises within us. Do we ‘manufacture’ these, or are we the recipients of them from elsewhere? If we manufacture them, how exactly do we do that? Where does the basis for that thought or feeling come from? What causative factors are there for a specific feeling or thought to come to our awareness at a specific time?

Most people have experienced suddenly arising feelings or thoughts that seemed ‘foreign’ to them or their current state of mind. Sometimes they experience the same thought at the same time as others in their presence. People sometimes can pick up the ‘mood’ or ‘atmosphere’ of another individual without any obvious visual or verbal cues. There are occasions when hunger suddenly arises after an interaction with an individual which is otherwise inexplicable. Sexual energies are sometimes transmitted from one individual to another through vibrations that are almost visible and palpable to others. Some individuals can see or sense what is known as the ‘aura’ around an individual. Experiments have shown that the aura can actually be photographed with special equipment, and that it changes color, intensity and range beyond the confines of the body based on specific focused thoughts or energetic action. All of these type of things illustrate that forces are moving that are independent of an individual’s own ability to manufacture a thought, feeling or emotion, and that we receive these things from outside and, once tuned to them, we allow them to arise and manifest in our minds, our hearts and our vital centers.

Dr. Dalal writes: “The inner or subliminal being receives the contacts of the environing world through the environmental consciousness or the circumconscient, a formation of the subliminal consciousness which projects itself beyond the body.”

Sri Aurobindo indicates: “It is through this [environmental consciousness] that the thoughts, feelings etc. of others pass to enter into one — it is through this also that waves of the universal force — desire, sex, etc. come in and take possession of the mind, vital or body.”

“Each man has his own personal consciousness entrenched in his body and gets into touch with his surroundings only through his body and senses and the mind using the senses.”

“Yet all the time the universal forces are pouring into him without his knowing it. He is aware only of thoughts, feelings, etc., that rise to the surface and these he takes for his own. Really they come from outside in mind waves, vital waves, waves of feeling and sensation, etc., which take particular form in him and rise to the surface after they have got inside.”

“But they do not get into his body at once. He carries about with him an environmental consciousness (called by the Theosophists the Aura) into which they first enter. If you can become conscious of this environmental self of yours, then you can catch the thought, passion, suggestion or force of illness and prevent it from entering into you.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Introduction, Sri Aurobindo on Our Many Selves, Planes and Parts of the Being, pp. xxiii-xxiv

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 17 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.