Mentality, Gnostic Consciousness and Beyond

The transition from the mental consciousness to the gnostic consciousness has implications for all aspects of human existence. The entire framework and basis that we are accustomed to in the mentality is overturned and radically altered at the gnostic level. Instead of limitation, fragmentation, isolation and separation, with the attendant pain, suffering, weakness, and the reaching out of desire, there is a consciousness based in unity, harmony, and complete knowledge and effective power of implementation, with the corresponding experience of the “bliss of the Eternal” as the Taittiriya Upanishad phrases it.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “The ascent to the gnosis, the possession of something of the gnostic consciousness must elevate the soul of man and sublimate his life in the world into a glory of light and power and bliss and infinity that can seem in comparison with the lame action and limited realisations of our present mental and physical existence the very status and dynamis of a perfection final and absolute.”

He is quick to mention, however, that as qualitatively different this status is from the mental consciousness, it in fact does not represent the ultimate perfection possible. “And yet in comparison with what is beyond it, this too, this first gnostic splendour is only a bright passage to a more perfect perfection. it is the secure and shining step from which we can happily mount still upwards into the absolute infinities which are the origin and the goal of the incarnating spirit. In this farther ascension the gnosis does not disappear, but reaches rather its own supreme Light out of which it has descended to mediate between mind and the supreme Infinite.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Chapter 24, Gnosis and Ananda, pg. 477