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The Mental Physical

"...the mind in the physical or Mental Physical is limited by the Physical view and feeling of things, it mentalises the experiences brought by the contacts of outward life..., and does not go beyond that, (though it can do that much very cleverly),.unlike the Externalising Mind which deals with them more from the reason and its higher intelligence.  But in practice these two usually get mixed together. "
[Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga vol 1, pp.326-7 (Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry)]


Mental Physical
Vital Physical
Material Physical

The following further quotes of Sri Aurobindo are from the "Divine Plan" website (no longer online)

"All developed mental men, those who get beyond the average, have in one way or other or at least at certain times and for certain purposes to separate the two parts of the mind, the active part which is a factory of thoughts and the quiet masterful part which is at once a Witness and a Will, observing them, judging, rejecting, eliminating, accepting, ordering corrections and changes, the Master in the House of Mind, capable of self-empire, samrajya."

"The yogi goes still further; he is not only a master there, but even while in mind in a way, he gets out of it as it were, and stands above or quite back from it and free. For him the image of the factory of thoughts is no longer quite valid; for he see that thoughts come from outside, from the universal Mind, or universal Nature, sometimes formed and distinct, sometimes unformed and then they are given shape somewhere in us. The principle business of our mind is either a response or acceptance or a refusal to these thought-waves (as also vital waves, subtle physical energy waves) or this giving a personal-mental form to thought-stuff (or vital movements) from the environing Nature-Force. "


Advancing tardily from a limping start,
Crutching hypothesis upon argument,
Throning its theories as certitudes,
It reasons from the half-known to the unknown.
Savitri


The following (from Growth Online - external link Our Human Makeup is a summary of this aspect of being as presented in Sri Aurobindo's teachings:

Level #, Level, Level Definition, Function, Expression, Works, Historical
7 MENTAL PHYSICAL (The mental part of the physical plane)

Overview
This is the consciousness of the body, where the body learns how to act, where it learns the primary skills needed for existence and action from movement. It is the center of our physical skills.

Function
Physical consciousness: The body's understanding of action. Body becoming conscious. The knowledge of the body (physical skills). Body's knowledge of how to act, the skills needed for survival, ease, and action. (situated in brain). Organizes physical movements. Generates skill out of movements. Learns primary skills for existence. Physical ideas of skills of acting. Skills and capacities seated here. Extracts essence of skill into capacity.

Expressions
Physical skills of the brain, subconscious knowledge of the body (physiology), voluntary & autonomic. Rustic folklore. 


Traits
Stupid, self-taught.  Physical skills -- cleaning, cooking, grooming, walking, etc. 

Works
Artisan, agriculture




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page by M.Alan Kazlev
Quotations by Sri Aurobindo © Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust
table © from Growth Online - Our Human Makeup: --The dimensions and sublevels of the individual
page uploaded 30 November 1998, last modified 30 August 2004