Consciousness and the Evolution of Supermind

Sri Aurobindo continues his recap of the theme of the Life Divine in this final chapter by pointing out that “It is consciousness and life that must be the keywords to what is being thus worked out in Time; for without them Matter and the world of Matter would be a meaningless phenomenon….”

Consciousness has taken various forms in the evolution of life, from the subconscious or unconscious but still precise action of atomic forces of Matter and the instinctive responses of Life, to the mental, reasoning faculties that have developed and on which humanity relies as its basis of existence and action in the world.

Sri Aurobindo describes consciousness with the following statement: “For the essence of consciousness is the power to be aware of itself and its objects….” In order for consciousness to evolve and extend its range, it must be previously involved, as the tree is involved in the seed.

Sri Aurobindo further points out that while human mental consciousness perceives a separation between “self” and “not self”, in fact, “existence is indivisible”, thus making what we consider to be “not self” in fact a part of our larger self. Consciousness then must continue to evolve and expand along the lines of making what seems to be other than ourselves fully conscious as part of our larger, completer self.

This implies that the line of evolution we already see at work that leads to ever greater powers of awareness with the development of consciousness is ongoing and we are witnessing an intermediate stage that is not by any means the end of the development. The future then must hold a state of awareness that is current superconscient to us. This superconscient state must also be already involved in the current state of Being. Our destiny therefore is tied into the process of this development. “…we ourselves are something of that Intelligence evolving out of its involution, an emerging consciousness whose emergence cannot stop short on the way until the Involved has evolved and revealed itself as a supreme totally self-aware and all-aware Intelligence. It is this to which we have given the name of Supermind or Gnosis. For that evidently must be the consciousness of the Reality, the Being, the Spirit that is secret in us and slowly manifesting here; of that Being we are the becomings and must grow into its nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 28, “The Divine Life”