Consciousness is not limited to mental consciousness. The noted Indian scientist and researcher Jagdish Chandra Bose was able to prove conclusively the awareness and vital consciousness active in the plant kingdom. Plants clearly respond to stimuli, have attraction and repulsion responses and act under the impulsion of what we may call vital consciousness.
Following the thread of consciousness even further, we can see at work in material forms, for instance in the metal, responsiveness of a type that can be designated a physical consciousness.
There is in fact no reason to presume that any manifested form is devoid of all consciousness. What we take for a lack of consciousness may simply be a lack of instruments with which to communicate or actively show a response. As we develop measuring tools and methodologies, we begin to recognize the action of consciousness in matter.
As below, so also above. There is no reason to suppose that consciousness has reached its pinnacle in the human being. We can thus recognize and intuit that there is an ascending series of consciousness beyond the human mental level that we will term superconscient, or supra-mental.
Systematic study of the characteristics and rules of action we find in the physical consciousness, and then in the vital and mental consciousness, lead us to believe that there is a highly evolved structure and organization that has its own characteristic action at each level. We can thus also presume that the supramental levels of consciousness will also show a characteristic mode of action all its own, different in type and scope and intensity from the mental, vital and physical levels of consciousness.
Everywhere we look we see the unifying principle that consciousness inhabits, permeates and informs all existence, all manifested forms. Consciousness is thus inherent in Force, and indeed uses Force for its acts of creation of manifested forms.
reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 10, Conscious Force
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