When the higher forces of consciousness begin to act in our mentality, vital nature and body, they do not become immediately and completely effective as if they were working entirely on their own plane in their own native clarity and power. They do not ‘write on a blank slate’. Rather, they meet the pre-existing tendencies, ideas, formations, desires, physical framework that holds the ground of our consciousness, and there occurs a process of mixture, resistance and modification until such time as the higher force is able to fully transform the nature.
The advent of a higher consciousness often leads one to believe that it is “all powerful” and thus, the obstacles in the nature can be swept away, but this is clearly not the case, at least with the advent of the gradations immediately above the human mind. Sri Aurobindo explains: “On their own level they work upon a basis of luminous consciousness and luminous substance of being and are automatically effective; but here they have to encounter an already and strongly formed foundation of Nescience,–not only the complete nescience of Matter, but the modified nescience of mind and heart and life.”
Not only do these pre-formed ideas and tendencies and habits put up their own resistance, but they represent universal forces developed at their gradation of consciousness, and thus, even if one tries to expel them from an individual, they come back to try and reinstate themselves from universal nature.
It is one of the principles of Nature to give every form and every force a “survival instinct” so that they strive to continue, to be, to perpetuate themselves. This provides a measure of solidity and stability that has its benefits, but in the case of an attempt to transform to a higher mode of consciousness, this creates a long, tough process of repeated effort until the change can be fully effectuated.
“But for this highest evolution it is essential that all mixutre of Ignorance with Knowledge should be abolished; and action and evolution through strife of forces must be replaced by an action and evolution through a harmony of forces: but this stage can only be reached by a last strife and an overcoming of the powers of Ignorance by the powers of Light and Knowledge.”
“This power of persistence, recurrence, resistance of established things in Nature is always the great obstacle which the evolutionary Force has to meet, which it has indeed itself created iin order to prevent a too rapid transmutation even when that transmutation is its own eventual intention in things.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 26, “The Ascent Towards Supermind”