Increasing Power of Consciousness With Each Evolutionary Stage

We tend to believe that Mind is insignificant in relation to the vast, overwhelming material and vital forces that embody the universal existence. We therefore also tend to underestimate the power of the evolutionary forces of consciousness as they begin to manifest because they seem so small and weak.

Sri Aurobindo makes it clear that by adjusting our viewpoint on this matter, we can see the ever increasing manifested power that accompanies ever increasing knowledge, in this case, the development of the gnostic consciousness, based in the Knowledge, and its power of effectuation in relation to the material, vital and mental world which is based in the Inconscient or the Ignorance.

“The Inconscient there is the original, potent and automatically effective Force, the conscious mind is only a small labouring agent; but that is because the conscious mind in us has a limited individual action and the Inconscient is an immense action of a universal concealed Consciousness: the cosmic Force, masked as a material Energy, hides from our view by its insistent materiality of process the occult fact that the workingof the Inconscient is really the expression of a vast universal Life, a veiled universal Mind, a hooded Gnosis, and without these origins of itself it could have no power of action, no organising coherence. Life-Force also in the material world seems to be more dynamic and effective than Mind; our Mind is free and fully powerful in idea and cognition only: its force of action, its power of effectuation outside this mental field is obliged to work with Life and Matter as instruments and, under the conditions imposed on it by Life and Matter, our Mind is hampered and half-effective. But even so we see that Nature-force in the mental being is much more powerful to deal with himself and with Life and Matter than Nature-force in the animal; it is the greater force of consciousness and knowledge, the greater emerged force of being and will that constitute this superiority.”

We see that while even in the human sphere, the vital man of action seems to have more dynamic power of effective action, but over time, it is the fact that this action is tied to the action of Mind, that provides the true superiority of man over the animal creation in terms of force of consciousness and power of action. Similarly, one can see that the true power of Mind eventually can transform the vital life of the world and the material circumstances of life much more dramatically than the purely “action-oriented” vital being could ever hope to do.

“An immensely greater power over existence and over Nature must come when a still greater consciousness emerges and replaces the hampered operations of the mental Energy in our too individualised and restricted force of existence.”

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


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