The Evolutionary Process of the Emergence of Consciousness, Part 2

Sri Aurobindo continues to explore the evolutionary process. The first foundation is the material base. Out of this has evolved Life and then out of Life/Matter has evolved Mind. “Thus, having first laid down a basis of material being, material forms, forces, existences in which it seems to be lying inconscient, though in reality, as we know now, always subconsciously at work, it is able to manifest life and living beings, to manifest mind and mental beings in a material world, and must therefore be able to manifest there Supermind also and supramental beings.”

It is interesting that without reflection human beings simply accept the idea that they are the “ultimate” creation, when it is clear that the manfestation is a continuous process and there is absolutely no sign, nor any reason to believe, that we have in fact reached the end of the evolutionary schema. It is analogous to the color spectrum. We can see only a limited range of colors, essentially from red at one end to violet at the other. We cannot see infrared or lower vibration colors, nor can we see ultraviolet or higher vibration colors beyond it. We are able, through use of various scientific instruments to “see” additional colors on both ends of the spectrum and to prove that some animals can see colors that we cannot. The spectrum of consciousness is similar in that we move within a certain range with levels “below” and levels “above” our current range, and thus, in a continuous progression we would expect that the next stage of evolution would result in higher levels of manifested consciousness.

“Thus has come about the present status of the evolution of which man is the now apparent culmination but not the real ultimate summit; for he is himself a transitional being and stands at the turning-point of the whole movement. Evolution, being thus continuous, must have at any given moment a past with its fundamental results still in evidence, a present in which the results it is labouring over are in process of becoming, a future in which still unevolved powers and forms of being must appear till there is the full and perfect manifestation.”

Given the past unconscious evolution out of Matter and through the manifestation of Life and eventually Mind, and the present struggle of Mankind to incorporate and develop fully the powers of Mind in Life, it is clear that we see “an evolution slowly becoming conscious of itself; the future must be a more and more conscious evolution of the spiritual being until it is fully delivered into a self-aware action by the emergent gnostic principle.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 18, The Evolutionary Process — Ascent and Integration