Questions and Answers regarding Mind, Knowledge & Science

Contributors to forum pages are requested to please register and log in with an identifier by typing the ~ key four times, so that other visitors can follow the exchange between participants.

Please also feel free to email your questions or comments to

Can any knowledge,be it science or religion, exist outside human mind?

Knowledge & Characteristics of Mind

  • Knowledge is a power of consciousness. Mind is one faculty or instrument of consciousness.
  • Mind is not synonymous with brain any more than the movie you watch on TV is synonymous with the TV set. Brain is only a receiving instrument.
  • The emotions of the heart, the feelings of the vital and the sensations of the body are expressions of consciousness below the mental level. Insight, intuition, inspiration, revelation, and knowledge by identity are forms of conscious knowing that do not originate in mind though they may be received by mind and expressed through it.
  • The particular character of mind is to know by dividing reality into small parts and viewing each part as a whole in its own right and then further dividing each part into smaller parts, etc. It knows by division. It also knows in a linear manner moving one step at a time. It cannot see the whole and the parts in their proper relationship to each other which requires a spherical three-dimensional vision. Our higher faculties have that capacity.
  • All great scientists confirm that their greatest discoveries did not arise from thinking processes, but from insights or intuitions. In fact, the process of scientific discovery is not known. It is not even studied seriously. Science maintains that the job of science is only to verify what is discovered, not to study the process of discovery.
  • For deeper insights on any of these – especially the nature of mind and knowledge and consciousness – see chapters in Sri Aurobindo’s Life Divine which give a comprehensive explanation of the nature of mind and different levels of consciousness.garry 06:48, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Knowledge entering the mind from outside

  • Kalidas was a famous Sanskrit poet. He was an illiterate. He suddenly started to write immortal poems and dramas after visiting a holy place. If you believe in this legend, then all his knowledge about language and literature entered his mind suddenly. No human can possibly train his or her mind to develop such a skill overnight.
  • If you don't believe in the above legend, you can read what many famous contemporary and modern poets and writers have said about the process of writing. Kannadasan, the most famous Tamil lyricist and one of the best poets South India has seen, wrote in his book Enathu Vasantha Kalangal (free translation): "Whenever I sit to write a poem, or lyrics, some force would suddenly enter into my head and make my tongue utter those words. My best poems were written in this fashion. I have written many things that were not actually in my mind." He would later use his 'human mind' to organize the lines and words so that the rules of the game - the man-made grammar rules- are honored. I have read similar statements from Russian writers also. Some have stated that when they apply the grammar rules to the original poem, the quality of the vibrations comes down. This shows that pure knowledge is outside human mind.
  • There are many documented X-files that describe 'unnatural' phenomena. For example, an uneducated teenage servant maid suddenly started to recite passages from great literary works and to give explanations that would surprise great scholars. Where did it come from? Some psychologists had tried to explain such things scientifically. The more they explained, the more they became confused. You can search web to read about such real incidents. Of course, these cases are unnatural to human mind but perfectly natural to something beyond human mind.
  • A library contains thousands of books written by knowledgeable authors. Is it correct to say the knowledge is in the library and in the books, and is not outside of them? The knowledge in the book is limited and it was given by the author for a limited purpose of the book. The book just organizes and stores the knowledge that came from outside, that is, the author. And the author is no different from the book! He received the knowledge from somewhere else. His human mind processed this knowledge and expressed it as his own. The quality is always decided by his mental skills and personality.--SilentStudent 06:30, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Some books say that all knowledge is within. Our mind is also within us. Then how come knowledge enter our mind from outside? Does this mean that even though Human Mind and Knowledge are within, they exist separarely within?"

All knowledge is within the universal mind. Knowledge enters the ego-bound mind from outside

  • Knowledge is a power of consciousness. Consciousness is universal, but we experience it individually the way a TV or radio picks up signals that are broadcast in the atmosphere and converts them into sounds and images that we can perceive.
  • All knowledge is within us in the sense that the only source of knowledge is consciousness and our individual consciousness is only the surface expression of the universal and transcendent consciousness that we are. Therefore, it is by deeping and expanding our consciousness that our capacity for knowledge increases, not by searching more intensely outsides ourselves.
  • At the same time, our personal consciousness is bound and limited by ego sense to a very narrow range. It is not identified with the universal consciousness of which it is a part. It is compartmentalized. Knowledge, thought, ideas in the universal consciousness impinge on the ego-bound mind from outside it and enter subliminally. In this sense almost all thought -- other than that stimulated by the senses -- originates from outside ourselves.
  • The two statements are not contradictory. They are different ways of viewing the same phenomenon, depending on how you define 'inside' and 'outside'. Ultimately everything is inside us, but not inside the limited ego.garry 09:34, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

[Perhaps we can say that all knowledge exists at the universal plane. Our minds simply have but a very small portion of that knowledge. When we live from a deeper poise, we tend to open more widely to that universal plane where the object of knowledge exists in its integral fullness. Thus, when we develop a wider opening, a greater conduit from within to the wider plane of Mind, we can have more of that knowledge. Ultimately, we have the potential to have all of that knowledge inside, and access it on demand. -RP]

May I have a few examples for thoughts that originate from us? Senses are generally activated or stimulated by contact with external factors. So,can we say even in the case of the thoughts that are the results of stimulation of senses, thoughts are injected into us indirectly from outside? --SilentStudent 10:26, 10 March 2007 (UTC)