The cardinal difference between the ordinary cognition of the mind and the global cognition of the Overmind is that the latter sports an universalized cognitive field that can simultaneously accommodate all points of view. "Overmind Consciousness is global in cognition and can hold any number of seemingly fundamental differences together in a reconciling vision". (Ibid)
A classic example of the mental vis a vis Overmind cognition would be how the human being is studied in psychology and a world-negating spirituality. Psychology studies the human being as a personality and impersonality would be a fictional stuff. A world-negating spirituality would consider the person as an ephemeral being and personality as a chimera. An Overmind cognition would simultaneously accommodate the dimensions of personality and impersonality in the human individual and would also give credence to their interaction producing different poises at different planes of Consciousness. "To the Overmind intelligence these are separable Powers of the one Existence which can pursue their independent self-affirmation and can also unite together their different modes of action, creating both in their independence and in their union different states of consciousness and being which can be all of them valid and all capable of co-existence". (Ibid, pg.295-296)
What is interesting is that we can also perceive the Divine in terms of impersonality (Impersonal Divine or Nirguna Brahman) or a Personal Divine (Saguna Brahman). Indeed spiritual seekers have often sided with the one or other world-view of the Divine. In the Overmind, both the Impersonal Divine and Personal Divine are "equal and coexistent aspects of the Eternal". (Ibid, pg.296) Even if one seems to be in the front, the other can be always behind. "Impersonality can manifest with person subordinated to it as a mode of expression; but, equally, Person can be the reality with impersonality as a mode of its nature: both aspects of manifestation face each other in the infinite variety of conscious Existence". (Ibid)
The contradictions and conflicts that are so specially harboured in the mind can ring a surprising harmony at the Overmind. "What to the mental reason are irreconcilable differences present themselves to the Overmind intelligence as coexistent correlatives; what to the mental reason are contraries are to the Overmind intelligence complementaries". (Ibid)
Our mind sees all things in sections and our world-views are conditioned on our respective poises which are in consonance with our consciousness. Thus for some the Cosmic Mind may be the basic principle in reality, for some others it would be the universal Life-Force or Universal Matter. For others with a more spiritual bent of mind, the Real-Idea that contained the essence of creation or the Supreme Knowledge-Will that executed the manifestation was more basic. To the normal separative intellect, each view would exclude the others. "Overmind consciousness perceives that each view is true of the action of the principle it erects; it can see that there is a material world-formula, a vital world-formula, a mental world-formula, a spiritual world-formula, and each can predominate in a world of its own and at the same time all can combine in one world as its constituent powers." (Ibid)
Our ordinary separative intellect has a phenomenal importance or otherwise we would not have developed unique systems. Yet it is fundamentally incorrect as everything in the manifestation has evolved from the Inconscience that holds all the powers of Being sans their uniqueness in a primordial ether from where they manifest one by one in the matrix of Matter, starting from Life and traversing through Mind, Overmind and Supermind to culminate in the Spirit. Each integer in its turn in this hierarchy of consciousness can accommodate the others. An Overmind cognition would simultaneously accommodate all the integers which could exist in harmony without losing their uniqueness. "In its power of origination and in the process of its executive dynamis Overmind is an organiser of many potentialities of Existence, each affirming its separate reality but all capable of linking themselves together in many different but simultaneous ways, a magician craftsman empowered to weave the muticoloured warp and woof of manifestation of a single entity in a complex universe". (Ibid, pg.297) Thus while the Inconscience would contain all integers without their uniqueness; the Overmind would accommodate all integers simultaneously in their unique poises.
Uniqueness of Overmind
The Overmind per se is unique in the sense that:
(a) Even though it holds multiple independent or combined Powers or Potentials, there is harmony and "no chaos, no conflict, no fall from Truth or Knowledge". (Ibid)
(b) Though the Overmind is a creator of truths, there is "no exclusiveness asserting each as the sole truth of the being or the others as inferior truths". (Ibid) As each truth-principle represented as a spiritual archetype can be considered as a god, it can be also said that in the Overmind "each God knows all the Gods and their place in existence; each Idea admits all other ideas and their right to be; each Force concedes a place to all other forces and their truth and consequences". (Ibid)
(c) Though the Overmind is "a principle of cosmic Truth and a vast and endless catholicity is its very spirit" (Ibid), its cognition is global rather than integral in character. Though the Overmind is "a sort of inferior Supermind", it totality is made up of "global wholes" or a coalescence of "separate independent realities" though linked by an unity-principle.(Ibid) In the Supermind all principles are linked by an inalienable unity, overwhelmingly intimate. In the Overmind all principles are in harmony with each other and thus the underlying unity is not secretly intimate or a "dominating continent" (Ibid, pg.298) as in the Supermind.
Global Cognition versus ordinary cognition
The ordinary cognitive field serves an "imperfectly synthetic mental consciousness". (Ibid) It is vastly different from the global cognitive field of the Overmind. The religious idea is an ideal example to understand the difference between the two cognitive fields:
(a) At the level of the mind, all religions are distinct, separate and often contradictory.
(b) At the level of the Overmind, "all religions would be true as developments of the one eternal religion". (Ibid) One could term it as a perennial or Sanatana perspective.
(c) At the level of the Supermind, the truth of all religions would be present as just a creative essence or Real-Idea.
So it is with all other Idea-Forces that get expressed in the world:
"all philosophies would be valid each in its own field as a statement of its own universe-view from its own angle, all political theories with their practice would be the legitimate working out of an Idea-Force with its right to application and practical development in the play of the energies of Nature. In our separative consciousness, imperfectly visited by glimpses of catholicity and universality, these things exist as opposites; each claims to be the truth and taxes the others with error and falsehood, each feels impelled to refute or destroy the others that itself alone may be the Truth and live: at best, each must claim to be superior, admit all others as inferior truth-expressions. An overmental Intelligence would refuse to entertain this conception or this drift to exclusiveness for a moment; it would allow all to live as necessary to the whole or put each in its place in the whole or assign to each its field of realisation or endeavour." (Ibid)
Why cannot our ordinary mind be capable of a global cognition? This is because the evolutionary mind deals with divisions of the Ignorance. That is not a defect because the present mind-principle is itself in a transitional phase and has the potentiality to evolve further in the evolutionary trajectory. And the phenomenon of Ignorance must not be seen from an ethical angle because the term Ignorance is used here as a phenomenon of consciousness where the multiplicity is ignorant of its unitary essence. Yet some concessions are still made as the ordinary mind can at best make eclectic combinations of correlated ideas or selective harmonies but "cannot arrive at the harmonic control of a true totality". (Ibid, pg.299)
Can the universal Mind or cosmic Mind around us be capable of a harmonic totality? Jung's collective unconscious refers to a lower substratum of the cosmic Mind from where we derive universal archetypes. However we are usually connected with the cosmic Mind at the level of the cosmic Ignorance. Just as the individual mind in Ignorance can make eclectic combinations, the cosmic Mind can contain a harmony of "arranged accords and discords"(Ibid) even though there is an underlying dynamism of oneness.
A true and complete harmony of all Idea-Forces can only be carried with a completeness "in a supermind-overmind substratum" (Ibid) but that cannot be imparted to the individual Mind in evolution. "An Overmind world would be a world of harmony; the world of Ignorance in which we live is a world of disharmony and struggle". (Ibid)
Date of Update:
- By Dr. Soumitra Basu