The Basic Characteristic of the Mental Consciousness is Separation and Disharmony

The mind, based in fragmentation and separative awareness, emphasizes the differences between forms, forces and beings, and works to understand these differences rather than primarily to reconcile them into their original harmony and oneness.  The power of analysis has been developed to a great degree.  Conflict arises when minds see things from different angles and do not recognise the reconciling harmony that pervades all existence.

Sri Aurobindo describes the basic action of the mind:  “The forms and processes of the mind consciousness are marked by a disturbing and perplexing division and separateness of the mental energies and movements in which the original unity of the conscious mind does not at all or only distractedly appears.  Constantly we find in our mentality a conflict or else a confusion and want of combination and the same phenomenon applies to the various movements of our will and desire and to our emotions and feelings.  Again our thought and our will and our feeling are not in a state of natural harmony and unison with each other, but act in their separate power even when they have to act together and frequently in conflict or to some degree at variance.”

“The mind is a thing of discords in which some kind of practical arrangement rather than a satisfying concord is established for the purposes of life.  The reason tries to arrive at a better arrangement, aims at a better control, a rational or an ideal harmony, and in this attempt it is a delegate or substitute of the supermind and is trying to do what only the supermind can do in its own right: but actually it is not able wholly to control the rest of the being and there is usually a considerable difference between the rational or ideal harmony we create in our thoughts and the movement of the life.  Even at the best the arrangement made by the reason has always in it something of artificiality and imposition, for in the end there are only two spontaneous harmonious movements, that of the life, inconscient or largely subconscient, the harmony that we find in the animal creation and in lower Nature, and that of the spirit.  The human condition is a stage of transition, effort and imperfection between the one and the other, between the natural and the ideal or spiritual life and it is full of uncertain seeking and disorder.  it is not that the mental being cannot find or rather construct some kind of relative harmony of its own, but that it cannot render it stable because it is under the urge of the spirit.  Man is obliged by a Power within him to be the labourer of a more or less conscious self-evolution that shall lead him to self-mastery and self-knowledge.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 22, The Supramental Thought and Knowledge, pp. 798-799