Human Evolution Brings Thinking Conscious Mind to Life & Body

Sri Aurobindo’s description of the evolutionary stages from Matter to Life, from Life to Mind in the animal, continues with the exploration of the stage of consciousness and its primary characteristics that comes into play with the development of humanity. “But when we come to man, we see the whole thing becoming conscious; the world, which he epitomises, begins in him to reveal to itself its own nature. The higher animal…has only a limited waking mind, capable of just what is necessary for its vital existence: in man the conscious mentality enlarges its wakefulness and, though not at first fully self-conscious, though still conscious only on the surface, can open more and more to his inner and integral being. As in the two lower ascents, there is a heightening of the force of conscious existence to a new power and a new range of subtle activities; there is a transition from vital mind to reflecting and thinking mind, there is developed a higher power of observation and invention, taking up and connecting data, conscious of process and result, a force of imagination and aesthetic creation, a higher more plastic sensibility, the coordinating and interpreting reason, the values no longer of a reflex or reactive but of a mastering, understanding, self-detaching intelligence. As in the lower ascents, so here there is also a widening of the range of consciousness; man is able to take in more of the world and of himself as well as to give to this knowledge higher and completer figures of conscious experience. So, too, there is here also the third constant element of the ascension; mind takes up the lower grades and gives to their actio nand reaction intelligent values.”

“The awaking consciousness in the animal is the unskilled primitive artisan of mind, in man it is the skilled craftsman and can become,–but this he does not attempt sufficiently,–not only the artist, but master and adept.”

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

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