Overcoming Our Ignorance of the Superconscient Realms of Consciousness

The nature of the superconscience, and its relationship to our subliminal and waking parts, is of primary importance as we try to gain an inderstanding of the entirety of our conscious being. Sri Aurobindo indicates that “it is ultimately our own highest deepest vastest Self, it is apparent on its summits or by reflection in ourselves as Sachchidananda creating us and the world by the power of His divine Knowledge-Will, spiritual, supramental, trut-conscious, infinite. That is the real Being, Lord and Creator, who, as the Cosmic Self veiled in Mind and Life and Matter, has descended into that which we call the Inconscient and constitutes and directs its subconscient existence by His supramental will and knowledge, has ascended out of the Inconscient and dwells in the inner being constituting and directing its subliminal existence by the same will and knowledge, has cast up out of the subliminal our surface existence and dwells secretly in it overseeing with the same supreme light and mastery its stumbling and groping movements. If the subliminal and subconscient may be compared to a sea which throws up the waves of our surface mental existence, the superconscience may be compared to an ether which constitutes, contains, overroofs, inhabits and determines the movements of the sea and its waves. It is there in this higher ether that we are inherently and intrinsically conscious of our self and spirit, not as here below by a reflection in silent mind or by acquisition of the knowledge of a hidden Being within us; it is through it, through that ether of superconscience, that we can pass to a supreme status, knowledge, experience.”

We mostly remain unconscious of this superconscient realm and it is this limitation which turns out to be the primary boundary of the Ignorance. Just as most people in the world at one time thought the sun revolved around the earth, and thus, were limited by imperfection of knowledge of the organisation of the solar system and the galactic framework; and just as most people at one time thought the world was flat, and thus were limited by the imperfection of knowledge to prevent them from having a global awareness, so too, our current ignorance of the superconscient realms of knowledge and power, and their central and primary function in creating the world and our very existence and its significance, is limiting our ability to evolve and gain a truer understanding of our life and its purpose.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 11, The Boundaries of the Ignorance


The Consciousness Elements of Our Being

Sri Aurobindo has thus far described three parts that together make up our life awareness. “We might say then that there are three elements in the totality of our being: there is the submental and the subconscient which appears to us as if it were inconscient, comprising the material basis and a good part of our life and body; there is the subliminal, which comprises the inner being, taken in its entirety of inner mind, inner life, inner physical with the soul or psychic entity supporting them; there is this waking consciousness which the subliminal and the subconscient throw up on the surface, a wave of their secret surge.” Of particular note is the point Sri Aurobindo makes about the waking consciousness being an ancillary or “created” consciousness arising from the action of the subliminal and the subconscient. Most of us tend to look at things from the other side, but fail to understand then the motive springs of action, or why we seem to be driven to do certain things, whether we call it instinct, habit, or intention, impulse or intelligent decision-making process! In all cases, forces we generally do not see or recognize are propelling us forward.

Sri Aurobindo takes this analysis further by also pointing out that while we have now built into this overview the subliminal and the subconscient, we have not yet taken into account the realms of consciousness that are superconscient to our normal awareness. “For the subliminal proper is no more than the inner being on the level of the Knowledge-Ignorance luminous, powerful and extended indeed beyond the poor conception of our waking mind, but still not the supreme or the whole sense of our being, not its ultimate mystery. We become aware, in a certain experience, of a range of being superconscient to all these three, aware too of something, a supreme highest Reality sustaining and exceeding them all, which humanity speaks of vaguely as Spirit, God, the Oversoul: from these superconscient ranges we hav visitations and in our highest being we tend towards them and to that supreme Spirit. There is then in our total range of existence a superconscience as well as a subconscience and inconscience, overarching and perhaps enveloping our subliminal and our waking selves, but unknown to us, seemingly unattainable and incommunicable.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 11, The Boundaries of the Ignorance