The Descent and Integration of the Higher Consciousness Into Human Life

Sri Aurobindo outlines the process involved in the development of consciousness and its integration into mind, life and matter. “Ordinarily, in their task of assumption and assimilation of this difficult stuff of Nature, the higher powers descend first into the mind and occupy the mind-centres because these are nearest to themselves in intelligence and knowledge-power; if they descend first into the heart or into the vital being of force and sensation, as they sometimes do because these happen to be in some individuals more open and call them first, the results are more mixed and dubious, imperfect and insecure than if things happen in the logical order. But, even in its normal working when it takes up the being part by part in the natural order of descent, the descending power is not able to bring about a total occupation and transformation of each before it goes farther. It can only effect a general and incomplete occupation, so that the workings of each remain still partly of the new higher, partly of a mixed, partly of the old unchanged lower order. All the mind in its whole range cannot be transmuted at once, for the mind-centres are not a region isolated from the rest of the being; the mind-action is penetrated by the action of the vital and physical parts, and in those parts themselves are lower formations of mind, a vital mind, a physical mind, and these have to be changed before there can be an entire transformation of the mental being. The higher transforming power has, therefore, to descend, as soon as may be and without waiting for an integral mental change, into the heart so as to occupy and change the emotional nature, and afterwards into the inferior vital centres to occupy and change the whole vital and kinetic and sensational nature, and, finally, into the physical centres so as to occupy and change the whole physical nature. But even this finality is not final, for there are still left the subconscient parts and the inconscient foundation. The intricacy, the interwoven action of these powers and parts of the being is so great that it may almost be said that in this change nothing is accomplished until all is accomplished. There is a tide and ebb, the forces of the old nature receding and again partially occupying their old dominions, effectuating a slow retreat with rear-line actions and return attacks and aggressions, the higher influx occupying each time more conquered territory but imperfectly sure of sovereignty so long as anything is left that has not become part of its luminous regime.”

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