The Manifold Experience of the Overmind Consciousness

The Overmind consciousness, based in cosmic awareness, has many different formulations by which it can be experienced by the developing consciousness of the seeker. In itself it holds multiple different possibilities ready for manifestation. Sri Aurobindo describes a number of different ways to experience the descent and action of the Overmind consciousness: “In place of an uncentered and unplaced diffusion there may be the sense of the universe in oneself or as oneself….”

The experience is not however an expansion of the ego-consciousness, but “the extension or the identification constituting a cosmic being, a universal individual.”

Another option that can occur: “In one state of the cosmic consciousness there is an individual included in the cosmos but identifying himself with all in it, with the things and beings, with the thought and sense, the joy and grief of others; in another state there is an inclusino of beings in oneself and a reality of their life as part of one’s own being.”

Sri Aurobindo points out that the response of the individual consciousness may be passive or dynamic to the “free play of universal Nature”. But it can also be that one gains the sense of a guidance or governance, “a complete supporting or overruling presence and direction of the cosmic Self or the Ishwara can come in and become normal…”

Another option is that “a special centre may be revealed or created overtopping and dominating the physical instrument, individual in fact of existence, but impersonal in feeling and recognised by a free cognition oas something instrumental to the action of a Transcendent and Universal Being.”

This is an important stage as the consciousness transitions from the Body, Life and Mind centered in the Ignorance and locked into its experience of separateness and fragmentation, to the full consciousness of the Supermind. The tendency of the Overmind is to discover a “true individual replacing the dead ego, a being who is in his essence one with the supreme Self, one with the universe in extension and yet a cosmic centre and circumference of the specialised action of the Infinite.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 26, “The Ascent Towards Supermind”

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