There are occasions when an individual experiences something that is so powerful, so intense, that it causes him to trust the experience. Spiritual experiences in particular can have a force that overwhelms the normal mental standpoint of the individual and impose themselves upon the seeker in a way that goes far beyond the normal action-reaction processes of the mind-life-body complex. It is easy in such an instance to believe that such a powerful experience represents a truth that cannot be denied.

There is however a caveat to be appreciated. When the barrier between the external mind-life-body complex and the inner realms is breached, it can bring all manner of new experiences, many of them quite intense. This implies that some experiences may represent spiritual forces, while others arise from mental, vital or subtle physical realms. Another issue is the interpretation and filtering done as the outer being receives and transcribes the experience. In this case, any impurity, weakness or simply lack of complete background and understanding can cause the external being to apply its own interpretation that can clearly misconstrue what is actually occurring.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “I do not question at all the personal intensity or concreteness of your internal experiences, but experiences can be intense and yet be very mixed in their truth and their character. In your experience your own subjectivity, sometimes your ego-pushes interfere very much and give them their form and the impression they create on you. It is only if there is a pure psychic response that the form given to the experience is likely to be the right one and the mental and vital movements will then present themselves in their true nature. Otherwise the mind, the vital, the ego give their own colour to what happens, their own turn, very usually their own deformation. Intensity is not a guarantee of entire truth and correctness in an experience; it is only purity of the consciousness that can give an entire truth and correctness.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter VII Growth of Consciousness, Inner Experiences, pp. 137-138

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at 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.