The Ascent Toward the Supramental Truth-Consciousness

The integral Yoga accepts the first two signs of a transformation of the mental consciousness as a foundational step, with the understanding that further development, taking the consciousness outside of the human mental standpoint and into the divine standpoint, is still before the seeker. The seeker recognises that the mental consciousness, even one that has been spiritualised, widened and heightened, is an intermediate phase between the seeming inconscience of Matter and the superconscience of the highest spiritual planes of Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. There remain further steps between the mental realm and the spiritual divine consciousness, and these are stages of higher mind, overmind and supermind. Sri Aurobindo describes these steps:

“There is an ascension still to be made from this height, by which the spiritualised mind will exceed itself and transmute into a supramental power of knowledge. Already in the process of spiritualisation it will have begun to pass out of the brilliant poverty of the human intellect; it will mount successively into the pure broad reaches of a higher mind and next into the gleaming belts of a still greater free intelligence illumined with a Light from above.”

“Here too is not an end, for it must rise beyond into the very domain of that untruncated Intuition, the first direct light from the self-awareness of essential Being and, beyond it, attain that from which this light comes. For there is an Overmind behind Mind, a Power more original and dynamic which supports Mind, sees it as a diminished radiation from itself, uses it as a transmitting belt of passage downward or an instrument for the creations of the Ignorance. The last step of the ascension woudl be the surpassing of Overmind itself or its return into its own still greater origin, its conversion into the supramental light of the divine Gnosis. For there in the supramental Light is the seat of the divine Truth-Consciousness that has native in it, as no other consciousness below it can have, the power to organise the works of a Truth which is no longer tarnished by the shadow of the cosmic Inconscience and Ignorance.”

This higher supramental realm is founded, not on division, separation, and fragmentation, but on wholeness and unity. It does not try to piece together disparate elements to achieve some form of knowledge, but sees with that basis of unity the truth of things and is thus founded on the basis of knowledge rather than, as the mind, a basis of ignorance.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 5, The Ascent of the Sacrifice-1, The Works of Knowledge–The Psychic Being, pp. 138-139

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