Each plane of existence has characteristic forms and beings that represent that plane and are based on the consciousness-force uniquely active on that plane. In the material world, of course, there are gross material forms, but as development there occurs, we see the rise of crystals, minerals and metals, which are more evolved forms of Matter. On the vital plane, there is first the evolution of plants and then later, the forms of animals as they begin to extend their reach and start the development of the mental consciousness on the vital plane. As the mental plane develops, there are first those forms which develop the mind, but the mind remains in service entirely to the physical and vital life. Later, more characteristic purer forms of mind evolve and we see the development of the rational, intellectual, creative, imaginative, emotional, and aesthetic powers, etc.. Further evolution begins to develop the higher mind functions such as intuition, inspiration, and insight. Still further evolution can bring about the development of planes beyond mind, such as the gnosis, which brings forward the sense and basis of unity and harmony that far exceeds the limited powers of the mental plane to forge a unified understanding and force of action.
When the gnostic plane is fully operative, it exceeds the mental plane and the characteristic action is one of unity, harmony, and all-encompassing bliss, while at the same time, it maintains the ability to transmit and diffuse that energy to the lower planes in ways that they can absorb and accept it. It is this plane that Sri Aurobindo characterizes as the supramental (“beyond the mind”) level and one can posit, based on the past evolutionary progression, that there will emerge beings who characteristically act from this plane of consciousness, and we may call them a “supramental race”.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “The fully evolved soul will be one with all beings in the status and dynamic effects of experience of a bliss-consciousness intense and illimitable. And since love is the effective power and soul-symbol of bliss-oneness he will approach and enter into this oneness by the gate of universal love, the sublimation of human love at first, a divine love afterwards, at its summits a thing of beauty, sweetness and splendour now to us inconceivable. He will be one in bliss-consciousness with all the world-play and its powers and happenings and there will be banished for ever the sorrow and fear, the hunger and pain of our poor and darkened mental and vital and physical existence. He will get that power of the bliss-freedom in which all the conflicting principles of our being shall be unified in their absolute values. All evil shall perforce change itself into good; the universal beauty of the All-beautiful will take possession of its fallen kingdoms; every darkness will be converted into a pregnant glory of light and the discords which the mind creates between Truth and Good and Beauty, Power and Love and Knowledge will disappear on the eternal summit, in the infinite extensions where they are always one.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 24, Gnosis and Ananda, pg. 488