Emergence from Involved Inconscience to Evolved Awareness

Sri Aurobindo describes at this point the mechanism and stages of the emergence of consciousness from the involved state of Inconscience previously described: “We can, in this knowledge, understand more clearly the stages of the emergence of consciousness from involution to its evolved appearance, of which we have already attempted some general conception. The material existence has only a physical, not a mental individuality, but there is a subliminal Presence in it, the one Conscious in unconscious things, that determines the operation of its indwelling energies. If, as has been affirmed, a material object receives and retains impressions of the contacts of things around it and energies emanate from it, so that an occult knowledge can become aware of its past, can make us conscious of these emanating influences, the intrinsic unorganised Awareness pervading the form but not yet enlightening it must be the cause of this receptivity and these capacities. What we see from outside is that material objects like plants and minerals have their powers, properties and inherent influences, but as there is no faculty or means of communication, it is only by being brought into contact with person or object by a conscious utilisation by living beings that their influences can become active,–such a utilisation is the practical side of more than one human science. But still these powers and influences are attributes of Being, not of mere indeterminate substance, they are forces of the Spirit emerging by Energy from its self-absorbed Inconscience.”

There are numerous examples that illustrate this principle. Research done on The Secret Life of Plants for instance, is able to record vital sensations and a form of awareness that most people have not yet recognised, but which nevertheless can now be measured and recorded. Similarly, some years ago I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit a researcher in a teaching hospital in South India who was working with measurement of vibrations. Among other things, he brought in various stones from different locations, some generally available in nature, with others brought from temples where prayers had taken place for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The stones that had been in the temple environment showed an aura and radiance that was immediately and palpably noticeable compared to the “ordinary” stones. Clearly those particular stones had absorbed and held energy of the prayers and was now radiating it back out. This is similar to the ability of stones to collect and hold heat, and then later radiate it back.

We shall continue this exploration in the next post.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 10, Knowledge by Identity and Separative Knowledge, pp. 550-551


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