The Will of the Supermind and the Will of the Mental and Vital Consciousness

In the fragmented human mental and vital consciousness, the acquisition of knowledge is separated from the implementation of the active will. Will suffers from similar defects of limitation, deformation and incompleteness. The vital will takes the form of desire, the attempt to obtain something “outside” and “other” in order to meet some perceived internal need of the being. The mental will suffers from incapacity and misdirection of its efforts as it also references its actions to the perceived needs of the individual.

The supramental will has a different character. For the supramental consciousness, knowledge and will are unified so that knowledge is effectuated in the manifestation and unfolding of the action of the universal creation. There is no limitation either for knowledge, or will nor any bifurcation between the two, as Sri Aurobindo describes:

“The supermind is again, because it acts and creates as well as knows, not only a direct truth-consciousness, but an illumined, direct and spontaneous truth-will. There is not and cannot be in the will of the self-knowing spirit any contradiction, division or difference between its will and its knowledge. The spiritual will is the Tapas or enlightened force of the conscious being of the spirit effecting infallibly what is there within it, and it is this infallible operation of things acting according to their own nature, of energy producing result and event according to the force within it, of action bearing the fruit and event involved in its own character and intention which we call variously in its different aspects law of Nature, Karma, Necessity and Fate.”

The Rig Veda takes up the question as well in Mandala X, Sukta 129: “The seers of Truth discovered the building of being in non-being by will in the heart and by the thought; their ray was extended horizontally; but what was there below, what was there above? There were Casters of the seed, there were Greatnesses; there was self-law below, there was Will above.” (cited by Sri Aurobindo in The Life Divine, page 240)

The horizontal extension represents the mental consciousness of man. Involved in Matter there is what we may call “self-law”, an automatic pattern built into the very basis of the material universe to carry out the divine intention in creation. Above the mind there is a level of consciousness that creates and “casts the seed” into the manifestation. The human level, sandwiched between these two is always circumscribed, limited by its roots in the material world, and blocked from the higher light while it remains fixated on the mental process.

“The will of the mind and life is a stumbling about in search of right force, right Tapas which can wholly be attained in its true and complete light and direction only by oneness with the spiritual and supramental being.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 19, The Nature of the Supermind, pp. 761-762

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