“Spirit is the soul and reality of that which we sense as Matter; Matter is a form and body of that which we realise as Spirit.” In this one statement, Sri Aurobindo illustrates the principle of Unity and Oneness pervading the entire creation. Spirit and Matter form the two poles of the creation, and while inextricably linked as one, there are a series of steps in the manifestation between these two extremes. At the one end, the conception of pure spirit, there is a timeless and spaceless reality that exists and secretly upholds with its infinite consciousness the entire manifestation through time and space. At the other end, we have the ultimate fragmentation of Matter where every unit is apparently separate from every other unit, and there is a lack of conscious awareness, an unconsciousness, that loses touch with the unity. In between we have the levels of life energy, mind, supermind which each bring an ascending level of conscious awareness to and thereby modify the lower levels. At the level of material existence we recognize the concepts of “subject” and “object” and the process of distinguishing them. While at the level of spiritual existence, subject, object and the process of awareness are all inextricably linked in one embracing experience of existence, consciousness and bliss.
Each level has its own distinct purpose and energetic substance, and as we ascend the scale, the subtlety and force of the next succeeding level exceeds that of the level below. It is this complex interleaving of layers of consciousness and force that creates the manifested universe.
reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 25, The Knot of Matter