The Reality of the Supraphysical Planes and Worlds

To the physical mind bound to the world of matter, the existence and reality of the planes of life and mind is either something illusory, or at the very least, if it is afforded a sense of reality, it is a development from the foundation and basis of the material consciousness. Sri Aurobindo explains: “It is possible to suppose that these higher planes and worlds have been created subsequently to the manifestation of the material cosmos, to aid the evolution or in some sense as a result of it. This is a notion which the physical mind, starting in all its ideas from the material universe as the one thing which it knows, has analysed and can deal with in a beginning of mastery, might easily tend to accept, if obliged to admit a supraphysical existence; it could then keep the material, the Inconscience, as the starting-point and support of all being, as it is undoubtedly the starting point for us of the evolutionary movement of which the material world is the scene. Our mind could still keep matter and material force as the first existence,–so accepted and cherished by it because it is the first thing that it knows, the one thing that is always securely present and knowable,–and maintain the spiritual and supraphysical in a dependence upon the assured foundation of Matter.”

This explanation, however comforting to the physical mind, does not explain how the powers of Life and Mind came about from a purely physical basis. We may find that we can experience the existence and reality of these planes and worlds as our capacity to expand our perception develops, but this does not imply that these worlds were created out of matter; rather, that they can be only experienced as we achieve a certain widening and enhancing of the power of consciousness active within us. In the end, we are forced to accept “Consciousness as the real creative Power or agent and all things as formations of consciousness.” This implies that the worlds of Mind and Life have the same essential and fundamental reality as the world of Matter.
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 21, The Order of the Worlds

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