To explore the hidden forces, both in our own lives, and in the larger framework of the universal manifestation and the evolution of consciousness over time, a new way of ‘knowing’ needs to be developed, one that can experience and interact with these hidden forces on a more direct and aware manner. We can see the direct responsiveness of the vital nature as it experiences life with what we call ‘instinct’ or ‘habit’. Yet this type of ‘knowing’ has its limitations insofar as it is not truly conscious and self-aware, but merely a reaction that is grounded in a deeply embedded process in the vital being. We can recognise that the mind is not the proper instrument for such an undertaking as its knowledge is necessarily indirect and inferential in nature. Relying on sense impressions and interpretations, the mind is unable to fully comprehend and understand forces that act outside its normal range. We thus are left with having to identify and develop a new power of ‘knowing’, beyond the vital and mental ranges with which we are familiar.

In his various writings, Sri Aurobindo identifies and describes various planes of awareness and powers of consciousness that exceed the mental level and operation. These powers have expressed in various individuals over time, who act as forerunners or precursors of a next phase of development beyond that of ‘man, the mental being’. To be sure, not all of humanity has fully developed and utilized to its fullest extent the vital and mental powers of awareness and response. We see a range of development. At the peak of this development, we can identify those who have had a touch of powers beyond the mind, powers which can be called intuitive or spiritual, and which are based on direct knowing through oneness of consciousness between the ‘subject’ and the ‘object’.

As the individual works to gain access to these higher powers of consciousness, he begins to gain the benefits of their action, and can thereby begin to see, appreciate and understand the forces at work to carry out the universal creation’s purpose and intention, and to move us individually to carry out our own role in this higher purpose and intention of existence.

Dr. Dalal observes: “Such an inward and direct knowledge of things is the basis of what has been stated in the pages of this compilation regarding the hidden forces of life. Dealt with herein are the diverse forces which act on us, determining the course of events, influencing our thoughts, feelings and actions, affecting our moods, health and level of energy, pulling the human being to nether depths or beckoning him towards lofty heights. Spoken of in this book are also the hidden forces behind evolution and beneficent forces which man can learn more and more to draw upon. Many of the passages in the book not only explain the nature of the various forces but also provide practical guidance in relation to both helpful as well as deleterious forces.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Preface, pp. x-xi

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 19 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.
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at