Human perception and conceptions about the nature of existence are generally based on what can be directly observed or extrapolated from our sensory experience. This has, of course, led to dramatic error and inexplicable mystery about the nature of life. We see the sun revolving around the earth, and we believe that Matter forms the basis upon which the phenomenon of consciousness develops, although there is no “mechanism’ that we can understand for that to occur. Nothing in the material view of the universe provides any answer as to “why” or “how” there is such an enormous creation, and the mechanism for the subtle, inter-dependent and inter-related action of atoms, molecules and their constituent parts, not to speak of the complexity and biodiversity of all life in a biosphere that is coherent and organized with complex detail far beyond anything that the human mind on its own can conceive or implement. For most, it is simply sufficient to posit an external creator God who somehow puts all these pieces into place. We see, however, everywhere in existence, a process and sequence that seems to indicate that the world and its systems utilize a process rather than some kind of manifestation out of nothing as a miraculous instantaneous and complete result. As human development takes place, humanity has been able to both develop finer instruments of observation and increasingly powerful tools of analysis and logic, as well as means to test theories. This has allowed errors based on the material conception to be corrected and new insights into the nature of existence to be brought forward.
Sri Aurobindo notes that nothing can evolve out of Matter that is not already inherent in Matter. There must be an involution of consciousness in order for there to be an evolution of consciousness. The process of the organization of existence, the involution into matter and the subsequent evolution must involve a consciousness that exceeds the human mental capacity. Sri Aurobindo calls this next level of consciousness, which is “suprarational” to our mental awareness, the supramental plane or simply, Supermind.
“It will then be evident that though the supermind is suprarational to our intelligence and its workings occult to our apprehension, it is nothing irrationally mystic, but rather its existence and emergence is a logical necessity of the nature of existence, always provided we grant that not matter or mind alone but spirit is the fundamental reality and everywhere a universal presence. All things are a manifestation of the infinite spirit out of its own being, out of its own consciousness and by the self-realising, self-determining, self-fulfilling power of that consciousness. The Infinite, we may say, organises by the power of its self-knowledge the law of its own manifestation of being in the universe, not only the material universe present to our senses, but whatever lies behind it on whatever planes of existence. All is organised by it not under any inconscient compulsion, not according to a mental fantasy or caprice, but in its own infinite spiritual freedom according to the self-truth of its being, its infinite potentialities and its will of self-creation out of those potentialities, and the law of this self-truth is the necessity that compels created things to act and evolve each according to its own nature. The Intelligence–to give it an inadequate name–the Logos that thus organises its own manifestation is evidently something infinitely greater, more extended in knowledge, compelling in self-power, larger both in the delight of its self-existence and the delight of its active being and works than the mental intelligence which is to us the highest realised degree and expression of consciousness.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 19, The Nature of the Supermind, pp. 756-757