Evolution of Consciousness on the Basis of Knowledge

Sri Aurobindo maps the two hemispheres, the 3 planes consisting of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Self-Existence consisting of Being, Consciousness and Delight of Existence) and the 3 planes consisting of Matter-Life-Mind (self-existent manifold becoming with multiple forms of being, multiple forms of knowledge, and multiple forms of delight. The Supermind acts as the link which mediates the relationship between Self-Existence, complete in itself with no “need” to “do” anything, and Self-Becoming which has as its purpose the manifold manifestation of all the possibilities of existence, consciousness and delight of existence.

Supermind acting on its own native plane takes on the character of the upper hemisphere, founded in Knowledge and expressing pure Sat-Chit-Ananda; while when it enters into the lower hemisphere to evolve and manifest, it represents itself sequentially as an evolving existence, evolving consciousness and an evolving delight of existence.

The appearance of the gnostic being is “the sign of an evolution from the consciousness of the Ignorance into the consciousness of Sachchidananda. In the Ignorance one is there primarily to grow, to know and to do, or, more exactly to grow into something, to arrive by knowledge at something, to get something done.” There is an inherent dis-satisfaction in our being as we are imperfect, limited, struggling to exist and to achieve and to find satisfaction in life. We move eventually from a focus on survival to a focus on a will to act and achieve, and then a will to knowledge, and a will to find the pleasure of existence inherent in all. “But our aims and our effort towards their achievement and the little we can hold as our gains turn into meshes by which we are bound; it is these things that become for us the object of life: to know our souls and to be our selves, which must be the foundation of our true way of being, is a secret that escapes us in our preoccupation with an external learning, an external construction of knowledge, the achievement of an external action, an external delight and pleasure. The spiritual man is one who has discovered his soul: he has found his self and lives in that, is conscious of it, has the joy of it; he needs nothing external for his completeness of existence. The gnostic being starting from this new basis takes up our ignorant becoming and turns it into a luminous becoming of knowledge and a realised power of being. All therefore that is our attempt to be in the Ignorance, he will fulfil in the Knowledge. All knowledge he will turn into a manifestation of the self-knowledge of being, all power and action into a power and action of the self-force of being, all delight into a universal delight of self-existence.”

“Each stage of the evolution in the knowledge will be an unfolding of this power and will of being and this joy to be, a free becoming supported by the sense of the Infinite, the bliss of the Brahman, the luminous sanction of the Transcendence.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 27, “The Gnostic Being”

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