The Stages of Development of the Supramental Consciousness and Relations With Life in the World


Sri Aurobindo reminds the seeker that the mental attempt to systematise and set up rigid “step by step” progress is not the way of the supramental awareness; rather, the development, while generally progressing from mentality to intuitive consciousness to the supramental consciousness, may lead to experiences of the higher levels at any time, and the repeated intervention of these higher forms of awareness actually help prepare the mind for its transformation and help speed the process.

“But the infinite even in the normal mind breaks through its own veils and across its own dividing lines of descent and ascension and gives often intimations of itself in one manner or another.  And while we are still in the intuitive mentality, the things above open and come to us in irregular visitations, then form as we grow a more frequent and regularised action above it.  These anticipations are still more large and frequent the moment we enter on the supramental level.  The universal and infinite consciousness can always seize on and surround the mind and it is when it does so with a certain continuity, frequency or persistence that the mind can most easily transform itself into the intuitive mentality and that again into the supramental movement.  Only as we rise we grow more intimately and integrally into the infinite consciousness and it becomes more fully our own self and nature.”

Some believe that the development of the higher forms of consciousness must necessarily alienate the individual from the life of the world and the normal human commerce.  It is true that someone living in the ordinary human sphere of mental awareness will find it quite impossible to understand the standpoint and view of someone who is living the supramental awareness.  The classic idea that for the yogi, “day is night, and night is day” compared to the ordinary consciousness holds quite true here.  Yet the reverse is not necessarily true.  Someone fixed at the supramental level can still both understand and relate to those who are living in the normal human levels of awareness, as the viewpoint is both larger and more inclusive, and has an innate understanding of the manifested universe and the actions that take place therein.

“…on the other, the lower side of existence which it might seem would then be not only beneath but quite alien to us, even when we live in the supramental being and even when the whole nature has been formed into its mould, that need not cut us off from the knowledge and feeling of others who live in the ordinary nature.  The lower or more limited may have a difficulty in understanding and feeling the higher, but the higher and less limited can always, if it will, understand and identify itself with the lower nature.  The supreme Ishwara too is not aloof from us; he knows, lives in, identifies himself with all and yet is not subjugated by the reactions or limited in his knowledge, power and Ananda by the limitations of the mind and life and physical being in the universe.”



Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 21, The Gradations of the Supermind, pp. 793-794