Transitioning from Overmental to Supramental Consciousness

As the overmental consciousness becomes established in the nature, it has a natural uplifting and widening effect on Matter, Life and Mind. In turn, the development of higher potentialities and elimination of the extremes of the Inconscience more and more prepares for the next phase of the ascent up the stairway of consciousness. Because the overmental consciousness obtains its light as a reflection or diffused result of the original supramental light, there comes a time when the supramental force can work more powerfully and directly on the nature. Sri Aurobindo describes this process: “This would continue until the point was reached at which Overmind would begin itself to be transformed into Supermind; the supramental consciousness and force would take up the transformation directly into its own hands, reveal to the terrestrial mind, life, bodily being their own spiritual truth and divinity and, finally, pour into the whole nature the perfect knowledge, power, significance of the supramental existence. The soul would pass beyond the borders of the Ignorance and cross its original line of departure from the supreme Knowledge: it would inter into the integrality of the supramental gnosis; the descent of the gnostic Light would effectuate a complete transformation of the Ignorance.”

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

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The Necessity for a Supramental Descent and Transformation of Consciousness

The implication of the limitations of overmental consciousness described in the prior post is that it does not have the complete transformative power to definitively alter the basic separation and underlying darkness of the nescience and inconscience, the principle behind matter, life and mind in manifestation. An overmental creation is one of multiple different possibilities being worked out, but without the complete coordinating unifying vision in place. Each one of them can create its own separate “universe” of action, but none of them are impervious to alteration, change or a fall back into some darker for more divided functionality. Sri Aurobindo uses the example of a blazing sun illuminating a solar system but outside that system, the darkness of space rules and should the sun ever falter, the system itself would go dark. Similarly, an overmental action in the world could lead to individuals who act on a more illumined basis; or even social structures or societies built around such individuals, but these would not be able to transform all of the world or all individuals in the light of their action. There could even be alternative or “competing” visions being worked out without a unifying vision tying them together. Sri Aurobindo points out “The supreme power of the principle of unity taking all diversities into itself and controlling them as parts of the unity, which must be the law of the new evolutionary consciousness, would not as yet be there.” The solution to these limitations comes about by the eventual descent and transformation that can only be effected by the Supermind: “The liberation from this pull of the Inconscience and a secured basis for a continuous divine or gnostic evolution would only be achieved by a descent of the Supermind into the terrestrial formula, bringing into it the supreme law and light and dynamis of the Spirit and penetrating with it and transforming the inconscience of the material basis. A last transition from Overmind to Supermind and a descent of Supermind must therefore intervene at this stage of evolutionary Nature.”

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