When the Life-Consciousness entered into Matter, it had to work within the limitations and obscurity of the material consciousness, thereby reducing its pure power of action. Similarly, when the Mind-Consciousness entered into Life and Matter, a reduction occurred in the pure power of Mind to carry out its action, as it had to frame itself within the scope and capacities of these lower members. The Spiritual-Consciousness has a similar circumstance when it descends to work in the Mind, Life and Body. “Neither Life nor Mind succeeds in converting or perfecting the material existence, because they cannot attain to their own full force in these conditions; they need to call in a higher power to liberate and fulfil them. But the higher spiritual-mental powers also undergo the same disability when they descend into Life and Matter; they can do much more, achieve much luminous change, but the modification, the limitation, the disparity between the consciousness that comes in and the force of effectuation that it can mentalise and materialse, are constantly there and the result is a diminished creation. The change made is often extraordinary, there is even something which looks like a total conversion and reversal of the state of consciousness and an uplifting of its movements, but it is not dynamically absolute.”
The work that can thus take place is preparatory for further stages of descend from the higher planes, where a more puissant and comprehensive force can act on a now prepared foundation.
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 25, “The Triple Transformation”