The progressive evolution of physical forms provides a foundation for the higher powers of consciousness to manifest. These powers, as they manifest, then begin to modify and adjust the lower basis to more effectively, finely and precisely respond to the needs of that higher force of consciousness.
Sri Aurobindo takes us through a review of the stages that we can thus far see and identify: “Life takes hold of matter and breathes into it the numberless figures of its abundant creative force, its subtle and variable patterns, its enthusiasm of birth and death and growth and act and response, its will of more and more complex organisation of experience, its quivering search and feeling out after a self-consciousness of its own pleasure and pain and understanding gust of action; mind seizes on life to make it an instrument for the wonders of will and intelligence; soul possesses and lifts mind through the attraction of beauty and good and wisdom and greatness towards the joy of some half-seen ideal highest existence; and in all this miraculous movement and these climbing greatnesses each step sets its foot on a higher rung and opens to a clearer, larger and fuller scope and view of the always secret and always self-manifesting spirit in things.”
We see in the increasingly complex and responsive physical evolution an outward sign and indicator of the increasing action of the higher levels of consciousness, but do not yet see the inner meaning of this development until we ourselves move sufficiently up the ladder of consciousness to get an overview. “…the evolution of life opening to mind, the evolution of mind opening to the soul of its own light and action, the evolution of soul out of the limited powers of mind to a resplendent blaze of the infinities of spiritual being are the more significant things, give us greater and subtler reaches of the self-disclosing Secrecy. The physical evolution is only an outward sign, the more and more complex and subtle development of a supporting structure, the growing exterior metre mould of form which is devised to sustain in matter the rising intonations of the spiritual harmony.”
“Life itself is only a coloured vehicle, physical birth a convenience for the greater and greater births of the Spirit.”