The soul taking birth in the world of Nature naturally identifies first and foremost with that external world and the consciousness that perceives it and acts upon it. That is the role that the soul actually plays in the manifestation as the representative spark, so to speak, of the Divine in Nature. As long as the focus remains purely on nature and natural phenomena, there is only the partial knowledge of the Gunas and not the true knowledge of the spiritual consciousness that is unified with the Divine Lord of the creation. At some point, however, a transition from the one standpoint of consciousness to the other can be effected. Sri Aurobindo explains: “And this great thing, to rise from the human into the divine nature, we can only do by an effort of Godward knowledge, will and adoration.”
“The soul’s salvation cannot come without the soul’s perfection, without its growing into the divine nature; the impartial Godhead will not effect it for us by an act of caprice or an arbitrary sanad of his favour. Divine works are effective for salvation because they lead us towards this perfection and to a knowledge of self and nature and God by a growing unity with the inner Master of our existence. Divine love is effective because by it we grow into the likeness of the sole and supreme object of our adoration and call down the answering love of the Highest to flood us with the light of his knowledge and the uplifting power and purity of his eternal spirit.”
“It is the eternal wisdom, the great spiritual experience by which all the sages attained to that highest perfection, grew into one law of being with the Supreme and live for ever in his eternity, not born in the creation, not troubled by the anguish of the universal dissolution. This perfection, then, this sadharmya is the way of immortality and the indispensable condition without which the soul cannot consciously live in the Eternal.”
And it is this spiritual experience of living in the Eternal which is considered to be the basis and experience of true knowledge which transcends the limited experience of the mental being in the world of the creation.
Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 14, Above the Gunas, pp. 409-410