The Supramental Way of Knowledge

If we reflect on the process of knowledge to which we are accustomed, we can see that it is essentially one of seeking for some truth, in most cases through a process of trial and error, with a methodology of trying to build up or piece together that truth from individual facts or principles. It is a mixed process in which bits of truth are combined with bits of falsehood. Over time, as our experience and understanding grows, we discard elements we held as true previously, and widen our understanding step by step.

Sri Aurobindo describes the supramental way of knowledge: The gnostic change “will act not by the discovery of the unknown, but by the bringing out of the known; all will be the finding “of the self by the self in the self.” For the self of the gnostic being will not be the mental ego but the Spirit that is one in all; he will see the world as a universe of the Spirit. The finding of the one truth underlying all things will be the Identical discovering identity and identical truth everywhere and discovering too the power and workings and relation of that identity. The revelation of the detail, the circumstance, the abundant ways and forms of the manifestation will be the unveiling of the endless opulence of the truths of that identity, its forms and powers of self, its curious manifoldness and multiplicity of form bringing out infinitely its oneness. This knowledge will proceed by identification with all, by entering into all, by a contact bringing with it a leap of self-discovery and a flame of recognition, a greater and surer intuition of truth than the mind can reach; there will be an intuition too of the means of embodying and utilising the truth seen, an operative intuition of its dynamic processes, a direct intimate awareness guiding the life and the physical senses in every step of their action and service to the Spirit when they have to be called in as instruments for the effectuation of process in Life and Matter.”

“The supramental transformation, the supramental evolution must carry with it a lifting of mind, life and body out of themselves into a greater way of being in which yet their own ways and powers would be, not suppressed or abolished, but perfected and fulfilled by the self-exceeding.”

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