The mental consciousness suffers from limitations of knowledge, limitations of power and disharmony between knowledge and effective action. As a result of the underlying foundation of Ignorance and the process that the mental consciousness needs to use to “build up” what it knows from fragments and pieces, the mental consciousness has no ability to discover or hold any kind of absolute truth, much less implement what it “knows” in a comprehensive and effective manner.
The gnostic consciousness does not suffer from these limitations as Sri Aurobindo describes: “An innate character of the gnostic consciousness and the instrumentation of Supernature is a wholeness of sight and action, a unity of knowledge with knowledge, a reconciliation of identify of Knowledge and Will acting as a single power in perfect unison with the truth of things; this inbord character of Supernature is the foundation of the perfect unity, mutuality, harmoniy of its action.”
The developmental process of moving from the basis of a mental to a gnostic or supramental consciousness, has its impact on our ability to know and act: “…as the mind grows into the gnosis, our mental seeing and action lifted into the gnostic light or visited and ruled by it would begin to partake of this character and, even if still restricted and within limits, must become much more perfect and within these limits effective: the causes of our incapacity and frustration would begin to diminish and disappear. But also the larger existence will invade the mind with the potencies of a greater consciousness and a greater force, a bringing out of new powers of the being. Knowledge is power and act of consciousness, Will is conscious power and conscious act of force of being; both in the gnostic being will reach greater magnitudes than any we now know, a higher degree of themselves, a richer instrumentation: for wherever there is an increase of consciousness, there is an increase of the potential force and the actual power of the existence.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 28, “The Divine Life”