Van Vrekhem's new book
deals with the intermediary being between the human and the supramental
Georges van Vrekhem's most recent book, deals specifically with the
transitional being that is to manifest between the mental being that we
are and the supramental being which is the present end of nature's
Sri Aurobindo first
mentioned the probability of a transitional being in a series of
articles written for the Bulletin of Physical Education between December
1948 and the time he left his body, on 5 December 1950. These articles,
later published as The Supramental Manifestation upon Earth can now be
found in Essays in Philosophy and Yoga, Vol. 13 of The Complete Works of
Sri Aurobindo describes this
transitional being as having a body which is still animal-human in its
origin and fundamental character, but be possessed already of what he
called 'a Mind of Light,' "a mind capable of living in the truth,
capable of being truth-conscious and manifesting in its life a direct in
place of an indirect knowledge. Its mentality would be an instrument of
the Light and no longer of the Ignorance. At its highest it would be
capable of passing into the supermind and from the new race would be
recruited the race of supramental beings who would appear as the leaders
of the evolution in earth-nature." The Mind of Light is thus a
subordinate action of the Supermind.
The book further details the work of The Mother in realising this
intermediate being. In a conversation in 1958, The Mother mentions that
this was the work she had been doing ever since Sri Aurobindo left his
body. The Mother, speaking in French at the time, called this being
surhomme, of which the literal translation is 'overman.' Georges, in
persistently using this term, goes against the translations of these and
other texts issued by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and in the thirteen
volumes of Mother's Agenda that use the term 'superman' instead. The
word 'superman', however, has been used by Sri Aurobindo in his
extensive writings to denote the supramental being. "Its use to
indicate the transitional being," writes Georges, "is
therefore a calamitous mistake."
The book continues to
describe The Mother's work of realising the overmentalisation of her
body. This work, which she started after Sri Aurobindo's passing,
reached its culmination in January, 1969, when she announced the descent
of the Overmind consciousness and describes it: "It was very human,
but human with divine proportions. Human without weaknesses and without
shadows: it was all light, all light and smiling, and sweetness at the
same time." The presence of the consciousness of the overman in the
earth atmosphere has since become a permanent fact.
The book ends with a cursory reference to The Mother's further
development till she manifested the prototype of a supramental body in
May, 1970. "But this," writes Van Vrekhem, "is outside
the compass of this essay and has been narrated elsewhere," a
reference to his books Beyond Man (in the USA Beyond the Human Species)
and his biography The Mother.
Overman, like its
predecessors, is well-written and is compelling reading for all those
interested in Sri Aurobindo's and The Mother's yoga. Those who have read
Van Vrekhem's earlier books will find a number of repetitions, but this
The Intermediary between the human and the supramental being.
Published by Rupa & Co, India 190 pp.
Price Rs 195.