The Mechanism of the Involution and Evolution of Consciousness

To overcome the difficulty of justifying a world of suffering created by an all-powerful, all-knowing Divine Creator, we can look at the creation from the viewpoint of the Creator being immanent within it, “himself in some sort both the player and the play, an Infinite casting infinite possibilities into the set form of an evolutionary cosmic order.”

Sri Aurobindo continues to expand on this concept: “On that hypothesis, there must be behind the action of the material Energy a secret involved Consciousness, cosmic, infinite, building up through the action of that frontal Energy its means of an evolutionary manifestation, a creation out of itself in the boundless finite of the material universe.” The fact that this material universe appears inconscient is due to the necessity of fully involving the consciousness in order that it may then manifest systematically out. One can visualise this concept somewhat graphically by understanding that the seed of the tree appears to be purely material, but within that seed is packed all the information, all the consciousness that later evolves out in the form of the tree as it germinates, grows and expresses its true nature. While the tree is hidden in the seed, we do not see that potentiality. But under the right conditions of germination, we recognize that even the apparently purely material formation of the physical seed contained within it latent powers of consciousness and expression that were able to manifest at the right time and create the intended form.

Sri Aurobindo explains “If there is such a creation by the Infinite out of itself, it must be the manifestation, in a material disguise, of truths or powers of its own being: the forms or vehicles of these truths or powers would be the basic general or fundamental determinates we see in Nature; the particular determinates, which otherwise are unaccountable variations that have emerged from the vague general stuff in which they originate, would be the appropriate forms or vehicles of the possibilities that the truths or powers residing in these fundamentals bore within them.”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 1, Indeterminates, Cosmic Determinations and the Indeterminable

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