The Fundamental Nature of Supermind

It is difficult, if not impossible, for the human individual, based in the mental consciousness, to acquire any real understanding of the nature of the supramental consciousness. The mental consciousness starts from the basis of separation, fragmentation and division and any unity that it sees or tries to build is based on accumulation and interfacing the separate parts into some kind of coordinated whole. On the other hand, the supermind is based in the unity of the divine consciousness. It sees, experiences and relates to everything starting from this basis of unity. The individual forms, forces and beings are not seen as separate and distinct from one another in any ultimate sense; rather, they are aspects or expressions of a unified whole of which the supramental consciousness partakes.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “The fundamental nature of this supermind is that all its knowledge is originally a knowledge by identity and oneness and even when it makes numberless apparent divisions and discriminating modifications in itself, still all the knowledge that operates in its workings even in these divisions, is founded upon and sustained and lit and guided by this perfect knowledge by identity and oneness. The Spirit is one everywhere and it knows all things as itself and in itself, so sees them always and therefore knows them intimately, completely, in their reality as well as their appearance, in their truth, their law, the entire spirit and sense and figure of their nature and their workings. When it sees anything as an object of knowledge, it yet sees it as itself and in itself, and not as a thing other than or divided from it about which therefore it would at first be ignorant of the nature, constitution and workings and have to learn about them, as the mind is at first ignorant of its object and has to learn about it because the mind is separated from its object and regards and senses and meets it as something other than itself and external to its own being.”

“The supramental Spirit has, unlike the mental being, the real because the inmost and total knowledge of itself and of all its universe and of all things that are its creations and self-figurings in the universe.”

We see, then, that the supramental consciousness requires a shift from the human standpoint of separation and isolation to the divine standpoint of oneness and unity of all existence. The supermind does not deny the appearance or the utility of the separate forms; in fact, it creates those forms as expressions of the self-manifestation of the divine spirit; at the same time, it is not misled or confused by these forms because it sees them as part of one complete, organic whole.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 19, The Nature of the Supermind, pp. 757-758

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