As the mind opens to higher levels of awareness, it begins to reflect the higher light, seeing and understanding things in new ways; yet, it is the experience of humanity that converting this higher understanding into action in the world is extremely difficult, if even possible, using the mental consciousness. The mind’s limitations, its foundation upon life in the body, its fragmented and divided ways of seeing and acting, create the obstacles to actually carrying out a higher inspiration that originates in a plane of unity and oneness. We thus experience that we know a better or higher way of dealing with situations, but our actions do not necessarily reflect these higher forms.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “The highest heights of mind or of overmind come still within the belt of a mitigated ignorance; they can refract a divine Light but not pass it on in undiminished power to our lower members. For so long as we are within the triple stratum of mind, life and body, our active nature continues to work in the force of the ignorance even when the soul in Mind possesses something of the knowledge. And even if the soul were to reflect or to represent all the largeness of the knowledge in its mental consciousness, it would be unable to mobilise it rightly in force of action. The truth in its action might greatly increase, but it would still be pursued by a limitation, still condemned to a divisibility which would prevent it from working integrally in the power of the infinite.”
“This is the tragedy of ineffectivity, of the hiatus between ideal and effective will, of our constant incapacity to work out in living form and action the truth we feel in our inner consciousness that pursues all aspiration of mind and life towards the divinity behind them.”
What is required is a shift of the entire standpoint of consciousness to the level of the vijnana, or gnosis: “But the vijnana or gnosis is not only truth but truth-power, it is the very working of the infinite and divine nature; it is the divine knowledge one with the divine will in the force and delight of a spontaneous and luminous and inevitable self-fulfilment. By the gnosis, then, we change our human into a divine nature.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 22, Vijnana or Gnosis, pp. 456-457