Sri Aurobindo describes the various ways that we can grow into the experience of the higher gradations of consciousness. The first point to be recognised and remembered is that the higher levels of consciousness are involved even in the density of matter, and thus, permeate everything. This is what makes the opening possible at each level of awareness: “The presence of the Spirit is there in every living being, on every level, in all things, and because it is there, the experience of Sachchidananda, of the pure spiritual existence and consciousness, of the delight of a divine presence, closeness, contact can be acquired through the mind or the heart or the life-sense or even through the physical consciousness; if the inner doors are flung sufficiently open, the light from the sanctuary can suffuse the nearest and the farthest chambers of the outer being.”
It is also possible for there to be an occult “descent of spiritual force from above, in which the influx, the influence, the spiritual consequence is felt, but the higher source is unknown and the actual feeling of a descent is not there.” Sri Aurobindo points out that when something of this type occurs, it is possible for the soul to either move to depart from the evolutionary path by immediate union with the Divine; or else, there must be a detailed follow up to become aware of the higher source of the new consciousness and energy, and a systematic work to integrate these energies into the outer nature and thereby transform the outer life.
“This change must go step by step, till the stair of the ascension is transcended and there is an emergence to those greatest wide-open spaces of which the Veda speaks, the native spaces of a consciousness which is supremely luminous and infinite.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 26, “The Ascent Towards Supermind”