Nine Levels

Stages 1 to 9

Level 1:

  1. We have subdivided the mental, vital, physical planes into three subdivisions each representing mental, vital and physical parts of that plane.
  2. Properly speaking, the study should start at level 9 and proceed to level 1. We take it from 1 to 9 as this is development and not evolution.
  3. Number One is the pure mind, the mental part of mind, the pure thinker.
  4. It is here concepts are formed and understanding rises to its purity.
    • Pure understanding is concept .
    • Conceptual understanding is pure.
    • Concept is organised understanding.

  5. Mother refers to it as speculative mind, the seat of mental light.
  6. One represents the philosopher.
  7. One becomes most powerful when detached from the sentiment of two and the decision of three of the same plane.
    • One is powerful by itself.

  8. The essential faculty of One is organisation, the organisation of ideas.
    • Mother calls One speculative mind.
    • One coordinates thinking.
    • deas need non-sensational facts.
    • One is pure mind.
    • One is pure thinking.
    • One can go to the Absolute.
    • One is the example of consciousness rising by organisation.

  9. This is the seat of mental ego deriving its strength from the organisation.
    • Root of mental ego.

  10. ‘Ideas arise from the body’, says Sri Aurobindo. The body’s motion that becomes skill energised by the vital attitudes, having decided in one fashion and developing sentiments for it, finally letting go the essence of these exercises as Ideas which find their proper seat in One.
  11. In the process of development, One conceives and 2 to 9 execute.
    • Conceptual One.

  12. The knowledge of the process of external social development being really the knowledge of the process that moves from 9 to 1, One is capable of acquiring that knowledge.
    • One of essential experience.
    • One of creative thought.

  13. One has light, but no energy or power, even mental energy or mental power.
  14. Mind itself has no power of concrete accomplishment, except the mental power of decision in the consciousness and determination in the substance.
  15. One has the power in the measure other parts willingly accept One.
  16. Intrinsically, One has the power over all the parts of 2 to 9 if its clarity, organisation and strength of idea attain to the required perfection.
    • Power of clarity.

  17. As One is connected with four and seven, One can dominate seven since, in truth, One is the extracted essence of seven.
    • 1, 4, 7; 2, 5, 8; 3, 6, 9 are the triple trios.

  18. One moving seven is Mind dominating Matter whereas in practice it is Matter that dominates Mind.
  19. The subconscious substance of seven can be moved by One if the spirit in One is awake and reaches the spirit in seven.
    • Mind over Matter, of One reaches seven.

  20. All conscious social development is One directing and dominating the parts of 2 to 9.
    • One’s mastery is social development.

Level 2

  1. Level Two is the vital of the mental plane.
    • Mental vital.
  2. As concept and Idea belong to the consciousness and substance of One, feeling and sentiment belong to Two.
    • Two, the poet.
  3. Two is that which generates the poet.
  4. Poetry belongs to the sphere of ideas that are idolised and it is Two that does it.
  5. As One deprives the idea of sentiment to become a pure idea, Three refuses to mature into sentiment which will prevent its decision from being effective.
    • Sentiment prevents concept formation.
    • Sentiment is inimical to decision.
  6. But Two overcomes the practicality of decision and before maturing into pure idea, creates poetry.
  7. Two is in direct relation with 5 and 7.
  8. Seven produces the rustic folklore.
  9. Five produces the hero, the artist and the vital poetry whose thought content is not rich. Maybe the bard of ballads comes out of 5.
    • Ballads and lyrics of 5.
  10. Idea before becoming the action matures into sentiment.
    • Energising sentiment.
  11. Decisive action before becoming essential idea acquires the feeling and sentiment.
    • Purifying sentiment.
  12. The language of decision and determination is matter of fact.
    • Matter of fact decision.
  13. The language of concept is precise, well-defined, leaving no room for sentiment.
    • Precise concept.
  14. Physical action before becoming mental idea stops at the destination of poetry.
    • Poetry stops short of action.
  15. Not only poetry, but idealism belongs to this seat of Two.
    • Idealistic sentiment.
  16. An idea becomes an ideal when the emotions espouse it.
    • Emotional ideal.
  17. Philosophers are doctrinaire; men of action act and do not speak. Idealists who exhort the population cannot resort to doctrines nor will mere action inspire the people. Emotion of patriotism, metaphor of poetry, inspiration of music, and passion for a goal belong to Two.
    • Idealistic Two.

Level 3

  1. This is the physical mind, seated in the brain, centre of intellectuality, decision and determination above and below.
  2. Being physical, it is in direct relation with 6 & 9; being mind, it is in direct relation with 7. Juxtaposed between 2 & 4, both influence it.
  3. This -- No. 3 -- is the organiser in Man. All the civilised ways have been built up only by 3.
  4. No. 7 organises physical movements, No. 1 organises pure ideas and No. 3 organises thought, the sensational facts that interpret themselves in the brain as thoughts.
  5. Its organisation consists in creating systems for action by co-ordination. The facts fed by the 5 senses are converted here into thought and then are co-ordinated. That co-ordination is thinking. To create a system out of those thoughts is intellectuality.
  6. For this reason, it rarely fails as its facts are empirical, not hypothetical. For the same reason, it cannot be creative as 1.
  7. No. 4 offers emotionally energised ‘facts’ to No. 3. No. 3 accepts the facts and rejects the emotional colouring. Action -- decision for action -- is born when emotion is shed. At a further stage, emotion can energise action.
  8. No. 7 organises physical movements while No. 3 organises sensational movements.
  9. No. 9 is physical existence or awareness. Similarly No. 3 is the existence of thought or mental awareness.
  10. No. 3 offers the physical basis for the poet and the philosopher.
  11. No. 3 is unemotional.
  12. As No. 7 generates skill out of movements, 3 creates thought out of sensational facts.
  13. Great administrators belong to 3.
  14. HE says Ford had pragmatic intelligence. 3 is its seat.
  15. Executives of all types are those who have a developed No. 3.
  16. It loses its effectivity when sentiment colours it.
  17. Thought is the product of sensation in the physical part of the mind.
  18. It is said mind is the function of brain. The function of brain produces not mind but thought.
  19. No. 4 is cunning. No. 3 takes its feed without that cunning.
  20. It is the seat of action because it moves No. 7 which acts.

Level 4

  1. The mind of the vital plane often referred to as Vital mind by HIM is No. 4.
  2. If organisation is not considered at all, vital mind is the most efficient in man.
  3. Vital mind often penetrates the organiser No. 3 and claims success occasionally. This is so because the organisation takes a long time to perfect itself. Vital mind can spot the chinks and attacks with its subtle knowledge. Perfect organisation is always invulnerable, especially an established one.
  4. Vital mind accepts nothing less than victory and seeks it at all costs. Therefore it is not moral.
  5. Famous generals who came under the civilian authority before the advent of democracy, were of No. 4. Their courage issued from No. 5 even as their strategies emanated from No. 4.
  6. Shivaji was a vibhuti but had no compunction to kill his opponent by a fraternal embrace, a heinous crime for a leader of that stature in a country where Rama had set standards.
  7. The enormous courage of No. 5 refines itself into enormous cunning that is cleverness at No. 4.
  8. It is No. 4 which despises the organiser No. 3 and his systems of action because 4 knows 3’s systems can have chinks while its own insight is flawless.
  9. It is again No. 4 that ridicules No. 1 the philosopher and his ethereal conceptions.
  10. But No. 4 is in direct relationship with 1 above and 7 below as they too are mental parts.
  11. Sandwiched between 3 and 5, it is the prerogative of 4 to process the emotions of 5 into emotional thought of 4 and feed it to 3.
  12. Foresters, rustic community leaders, mafia chieftains, are of this cut or cult.
  13. 4 is the seat of superstitions when the person lacks courage.
  14. In the ascent 4 receives the emotions of 5 to process it into thought. In the descent 4 receives the decision of 3 and infuses it with emotion to charge the decision with emotional ideas. By itself, 4 is the preserver of social security, fashions social norms, lays down public conduct and plays the role of the social conscience.
  15. In times of social degeneration the strength of 4 determines the length of psychological social survival.
  16. In times of social upward movement one does not approve of the changes if 4 sulks.
  17. Shrewdness, insight, penetration, alertness, resourcefulness are its endowments.
  18. Athletes, film artists, public figures, commercial executives, if endowed with a strong 4, will move from success to greater success successively.
  19. Public speakers with linguistic ability can be made into public leaders if 4 is strong.
  20. Strong 4 makes fiction writers popular in the beginning because of a penchant for sensationalism. They degenerate into obscene writers as fiction does not thrive on sensationalism.
  21. Strong 4 in the head of a family will make the family a victim of tyranny, but the family will become a success, though a success shrouded in fear and tension.
  22. A weak 4 will make the person a victim of all circumstances. The victimization will be intensified by his own imagined fears without number.
  23. It is not for 4 to be ethical. In case it espouses any ethic, that will be followed religiously like Gandhiji’s goat’s milk.
  24. 4 is the monitor of attitudes and motives in consciousness and substance.
  25. Gita advocated the surrender of motives to reach Satchidananda and the Supreme as those were days of the vital man.

Level 5

  1. Five is the pure vital, the vital of the vital plane.
  2. Being vital, it is in touch with 2 and 8.
  3. Naturally it is between 4 and 6 and therefore in powerful touch with both.
  4. Five is the seat of the courage of the heroic warrior, the artists, the poet of the second level or the middle level, the pure emotion untouched by the minds of either the vital plane or of the mental plane.
  5. Five energises the physical vital of 6 and gives it the greatest force of the person.(Energiser of devotion.)
  6. Five is sensation in consciousness and sensitivity in substance.
  7. Sensation is an organisation of responses of the five senses coordinated.
  8. Sensation has energy but no power. Sensitivity has power of substance.
  9. Six vitalises the physical energy of the person while 5 vitalises that energy of 6.
  10. Its force and power come from its being pure energy.
  11. As it is untouched by mind, so it is untouched by the faculties of mind such as memory or judgement or even imagination.
  12. One is oblivious of the entire surroundings while at 5, because the surroundings come to one through observation or its memory.
  13. Senses do not think through memory or observe through mind; they only sense.
  14. When 5 was the highest height man had ever reached, he was in complete tune with Nature.
  15. His faculties at that time were the faculties of senses, i.e. pugnacity, gregariousness, survival, self-preservation, etc.
  16. The movement from the physical plane to the vital plane is vastly expansive in energy. A further movement of greater expansiveness is that of 5 over 6. Hence the greatest power of man is at 5, made possible by expansiveness of two levels.
  17. Music is the form of sound; painting is the form of lines; courage is the force of form of pure energy in action. Hence 5 is their seat.
  18. Energises 2 from below; 2 elevates it from above. From below it gets force, from above it gets direction.
  19. Negatively 5 is the seat of fear, phobia, possession, especially obsessive possession, total lack of understanding, energy of superstition.
  20. Sensation of 5 energises the natural physiological functions with energy, such as running in fear.

Level 6

  1. Six is the physical part of the vital.
    • Vital Physical.
  2. 3 is the physical part of the mental plane, seated in the brain.
    • Physical mind. Mental physical.
  3. 9 is the physical part of the physical seated in the body, the pure physical.
  4. 3, 6, and 9 are in direct touch with each other being the physical parts of various planes.
  5. Also, 6 is in touch with 5 above and 7 below.
  6. Six is the nerves, the central nervous system even as 3 is brain and 9 is body.
  7. Six is the point at which the physical plane emerges into the vital plane.
  8. That we know releases enormous energy but is still of the physical character.
    • Door to the vital.

  9. Ideas, opinions lodged here in 6 cannot be removed by a mental effort. It may succeed to some extent even at 4 since 4 is a mental part. It rarely passes on to 5, never to 6, as there is nothing of mind to receive or respond.
  10. At times of riots, flood havoc, etc. man puts aside his mind for all intents and purposes. At such times he acts mostly from 7 or 6.
    • The subconscious person.

  11. Emotion and devotion are seated here in the consciousness and substance.
  12. Devotion is strongest vitally at 5, but physically devotion reaches its maximum power only here.
    • Saturated devotion.

  13. Emotion at 4 will be coloured by emotional knowledge but here will be pure, untouched by mind of any description.
    • Physical emotion.

  14. The Tamil saint Kannappan dug out his eyes to replace the bleeding eyes of Siva lingam because he is one who belongs to six.
  15. Jean Valjean with his emotional sense of duty to his sister's kids lived centred in 6.
  16. As 6 is the point where physical plane enters the vital plane and the only mental touch it so far has seen is the mental ability of 7 to learn the primary skills for existence, 6 remains pristine pure unspoiled by the crooked mind.
  17. In the descent, 6 is to offer physical stability to the vital power of 5.
    • Physical foundation for the vital.
  18. The warrior who is thus supported feels like a rock as it is the support of the physical.
    • Pedestal for the fighter.
  19. All the power of organisation of 3, in spite of its relationship with six does not reach 6 essentially as it knows not what organisation is.
  20. It is open to the raw physical influence of 9 as it is of its type.
  21. It is here vital sensation and physical sensation interchange in the descent and ascent.

Level 7

  1. The mental part of the physical is seven. This is the very first appearance of Mind in Man.
  2. 7 is the conscious mental part even though it is seated in the subconscious physical.
  3. The subconscious has its mental part in what Mother calls Material mind which is the mental part of 9- when it is subdivided into mental, vital and physical parts. It is this mind that controls our involuntary organs and the reflex action.
  4. That Material mind emerges into conscious existence in 7.
  5. Thus, 7 is the seat of all conscious learning of our physical such as walking, talking, eating, etc.
  6. It is about this Mother says it starts doing the moment it understands.
  7. Its efficiency is thus total and for the very same reason it does not respond till it fully learns.
  8. Mind means turning sensations into ideas and organising them.
  9. 7 turns the physical sensation of eight into physical ideas of skills of acting.
  10. The mere undirected movements of 9 become skilled movements in 7 through the sensations of 8.
  11. 7 is vitally reinforced by 4 and conceptually educated by 1.
  12. 7 is in touch with 3 and gets the benefits of its organisation, decision and determination.
  13. There is no emotion of any kind in 7 nor any thought of any description since it is incapable of both.
  14. 7 is the foundation for 3 directly.
  15. Skill and capacity are seated here in the consciousness and substance.
  16. This is the raw human individual which rises in times of utter crisis to act as beast even as the sailors in the stranded ship started eating human flesh before they perished.
  17. Its greatest function is the formation of skills and extraction of their essence into capacity to be stored in its substance.
  18. Skill formation is a process where each unit is to be originally fashioned and coordinated by an original process of trial and error. As bricks are to be moulded one by one and laid one by one to erect a wall, skills need their psychological bricks of movements brought under an order. The writer writes each letter not each word separately to form a word which forms a sentence. Skill formation is a basic fundamental biological process.
  19. The trials and errors have given a resultant knowledge to 7 which it has arrived at on its own. That is its mental functioning. The physical memory of acts repeats those skills ad infinitum.
  20. What 7 does with primary physical movements, 3 does with primary thought movements.
  21. We can say 7 is the mind emerging from the physical while 3 is the physical base that helps the thought mind to emerge.
  22. In 7 the thought emerges from the physical sensation which the mind there organises.
  23. In 3 the physical organises itself as a suitable right basis for thought mind to emerge.
  24. In the relationship of 7 with 3, one supports the other from below and from above in this fashion.
  25. Thought in 3 becomes coarse by the physicality of 7 while the physical in 7 becomes bright with the light of 3.
  26. Thought in 7 is a physical movement which the scientist is trying to measure and track.
  27. Function of brain, the physical movement in 3 is a thought in 3.
  28. 7 does not respond to a vital sensation and rejects it.
  29. A concept of 1 does not reach 7 and when it does reach it has no faculty to respond with and therefore ignores it.
  30. 7 is the seat of the physical psychic as it is the mental part of the physical.

Level 8

  1. Eight is the vital of the physical plane, the very first point where vitality is born in Man.
  2. This is the first stage where there is a part absolutely untouched by mind.
  3. 8 is vital but is the vitality of the physical, not having any resemblance to vital energy, even as the wedding function in the poorest circumstances has the characteristic of the wedding without resembling any function.
  4. The vitality here is energy, not fully converted into sensation. If any sensation is there, it is the physical sensation.
  5. The sensations of 8 will have the newness to the individual which the neo-literate feels in the excitement of literacy.
  6. This is also the first seat that converts physicality into vital energy. The sense of wonder of the first recipient will characterise this conversion.
  7. What it receives from 5 and from 2 are of great interest to us. It is on a parallel to the effect on the bottom of the population by what the cream receives. It may be negligible but is significant.
  8. A study of these patterns is of great importance but we do not enter into these branches of expression here.
  9. Poetry even at this level is appealing to the population of that level. An old man composed a song on the spot and sang it at the thanksgiving function at Ramapuram.
  10. In the life of the warrior and the poet, either in his early life or in the previous generations, one can witness the presence of 8 without fail.
  11. 8 is in indirect touch with 2 and 5, in direct touch with 7 and 9.
  12. Man at 8 is the unskilled, energetic, physical worker.
  13. The only endowment he has is the primitive physical energy which does not condemn him as a bulk of dead flesh.
  14. Superstition will be his religion.
  15. He may not have evolved to the extent of either questioning his superstition or fearing to lose it. What he has is his possession.
  16. To him, emotions are objects, concepts are invisible.
  17. Even to be mercenary, he may not have faculties.
  18. Skills, emotions, ideas pass him as objects without his noticing them.
  19. Their sleep is unconscious, their dreams are of the subconscious.
  20. Even tree climbing is a skill that defies him.

Level 9

  1. Man begins his existence as physical existence at 9.
  2. This part is exclusively and purely physical, even as 1 is exclusively and purely mental.
  3. 9 is untouched by vitality or mentality in the least.
  4. It is in direct touch only with 8 and in indirect touch with 3 and 6.
  5. Movement and sleep are its statuses in consciousness and substance.
  6. What appears to us as a clod from the point of view of developed man is really the culmination of Man’s evolution from the animal. The animal vitality having evolved to human mentality is born as Man whom we find at 9.
  7. This man is only capable of movement, and emotion or thought has not yet been born in him. Mentality is only in potential while Man is at 9.
  8. Sri Aurobindo says the intelligence of the primitive man who fashioned the tools out of stones is the same as the modern scientist. When the species is born its highest intelligence is also born with it. Only that it is in potential while he is at 9.
  9. For that intelligence to flower and reach either 3 or even 1, it has to evolve emotions and sensations.
  10. Man at 9 is one who is in a dazed mental condition, if it could be called ‘mental’ by any stretch of the imagination or linguistic usage.
  11. The only thing he is really capable of is movement.
  12. In the absence of those inherent movements, he lapses into sleep.
  13. As the new born baby, he is representing the nascent conditions of the newly evolved member of the species.
  14. 9 can be compared to 1 with respect to the Higher mental Silence. The conditions of 9 with respect to Man is the same as 1 with respect to the faculty of the Higher Mind that understands through Silence.
  15. 9 is to the physical as 6 is to the vital and 3 is to the mental.
  16. 3 is empirical and organises its facts into system that is decision, but is at sea faced with the concepts of 1. So does 9 feel with respect to 7.
  17. 6 which is the first member of the vital is placed in a similar position with 4.
  18. The one asset of 9 is movement and that is all the source of its energy and later intelligence.
  19. The purity of 9 as pure physical is so complete that it permits evolution of vitality by its movements.
  20. The Supramental Being will be born if 9 is supramentalised in consciousness and substance.
  21. As its freshness permits it to evolve vitality, so too its pristine purity when deconditioned to its original status permits supramentalisation.
  22. By the time it is ready to be mentalised, the very flesh turns into the grey matter of brain.
  23. The influence of 1 penetrates to 9, to its substance.