The Possibility of a Supramental Transformation of Consciousness

The physical-vital-mental framework of human consciousness creates tremendous barriers to the working of the spiritual principles from the higher planes of Sat-Chit-Ananda and the supramental “knowledge-plane” which mediates between them. The higher planes are active and control the action of the lower, but remain hidden behind the outer forms and forces of the material universe. One can see, for instance, the intense consciousness and energy hidden within the atomic structure of Matter; yet it does not appear on the surface. Spiritual endeavors have generally treated the higher ranges of consciousness as something “other than” what we experience here in the world of mind-life-matter, and this has led to the basic view that the life in this world must be abandoned in order to achieve the higher spiritual conscious existence. The transition from one status to the other is considered to be difficult.

Sri Aurobindo reminds us that existence is ONE and thus, all the planes of consciousness are active at all times, and are connected. This implies that it is both possible to contact the higher planes of consciousness and to eventually bring about a transformation based on their action into the world of Matter.

“If he rises into the knowledge-self beyond the highest mental stature, if he becomes the knowledge-soul, the Spirit poised in gnosis, vijnanamaya purusha, and puts on the nature of its infinite truth and power, if he lives in the knowledge-sheath, the causal body as well as in these subtle mental interlinking vital and grosser physical sheaths or bodies, then, but then only he would be able to draw down entirely into his terrestrial existence the fullness of the infinite spiritual consciousness; only then will he avail to raise his total being and even his whole manifested, embodied expressive nature into the spiritual kingdom.”

“The supramental principle is secretly lodged in all existence. It is there even in the grosses materiality, it preserves and governs the lower worlds by its hidden power and law; but that power veils itself and that law works unseen through the shackled limitations and limping deformations of the lesser rule of our physical, vital, mental Nature. Yet its governing presence in the lowest forms assures us, because of the unity of all existence, that there is a possibility of their awakening, a possibility even of their perfect manifestation here in spite of every veil, in spite of all the mass of our apparent disabilities, in spite of the incapacity or unwillingness of our mind and life and body. And what is possible, must one day be, for that is the law of the omnipotent Spirit.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 21, The Ladder of Self-Transcendence, pp. 453-454