The Supramental Transformation Cures the Deficiencies of the Psychical Consciousness

As long as it is still anchored in the individual consciousness of body-life-mind, the psychic awareness is subject to the limitations implicit in the lower manifestation.  Additionally, the initial development of the psychical consciousness takes place in spurts and starts, and remains incomplete, subject to confusion, gaps of information, and misdirection or misinterpretation due to the distorting influences of the mind and the vital consciousness, or the predilections of the ego-awareness and the insistence of the desire-soul.  With the shift of the standpoint to the supramental level of awareness, all of these deficiencies are cured through the clarity, power and knowledge attendant to that level of consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo notes:  “The psychical consciousness is first supported and enlightened, then filled and occupied with the supramental light and power and the revealing intensity of its vibrations.  Whatever exaggeration, whatever error born of isolated incidence, insufficiently illumined impression, personal suggestion, misleading influence and intention or other cause of limitation or deformation interferes in the truth of the mental and psychical experience and knowledge, is revealed and cured or vanishes, failing to stand in the light of the self-truth– satyam, rtam — of things, persons, happenings, indications, representations proper to this greater largeness.  All the psychical communications, transcriptions, impresses, symbols, images receive their true value, take their right place, are put into their proper relations.  The psychical intelligence and sensation are lit up with the supramental sense and knowledge, their phenomena, intermediate between the spiritual and material worlds, begin to reveal automatically their own truth and meaning and also the limitations of their truth and significance.  The images presented to the inner sight, hearing, sensation of all kinds are occupied by or held in a larger and more luminous mass of vibrations, a greater substance of light and intensity which brings into them the same change as in the things of the physical sense, a greater totality, precision, revealing force of sense knowledge carried in the image.  And finally all is lifted up and taken into the supermind and made a part of the infinitely luminous consciousness, knowledge and experience of the supramental being, the Vijnana Purusha.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 24, The Supramental Sense , pg. 851

Transitional Stages in the Psychical and Supramental Transformation of Human Nature

It is important to maintain a sense of process and an understanding of the stages of the psychic and supramental transformations that take hold of the seeker as the evolutionary process unfolds.  This helps the individual relate to the changes taking place, understand both their meaning and their limitations, and allows him to maintain a balanced perspective along the way.  There is something of a two-fold process:  first, the force becomes active and begins to create a new reality of knowledge, energy, power, understanding, light within the being.  This action is incomplete and intermittent until it can be fully integrated and effectuate permanent changes in the operation of the lower members of the being.

Sri Aurobindo describes these stages and their characteristic action:  “The complete transformation comes on us by a certain change, not merely of the poise or level of our regarding conscious self or even of its law and character, but also of the whole substance of our conscious being.  Till that is done, the supramental consciousness manifests above the mental and psychical atmosphere of being,–in which the physical has already become a subordinate and to a large extent a dependent method of our self’s expression,– and it sends down its power, light, and influence into it to illumine it and transfigure.  But only when the substance of the lower consciousness has been changed, filled potently, wonderfully transformed, swallowed up as it were into the greater energy and sense of being… of which it is a derivation and projection, do we have the perfected, entire and constant supramental consciousness.  The substance, the conscious ether of being in which the mental or psychic consciousness and sense live and see and feel and experience is something subtler, freer, more plastic than that of the physical mind and sense.  As long as we are dominated by the latter, psychical phenomena may seem to us less real, hallucinatory even, but the more we acclimatise ourselves to the psychical and to the ether of being which it inhabits, the more we begin to see the greater truth and to sense the more spiritually concrete substance of all to which its larger and freer mode of experience bears witness.”

“When, however, the psychical and physical experiences are well combined in their true balance, we live at once in two complementary worlds of our being each with its own reality, but the psychical revealing all that is behind the physical, the soul view and experience taking precedence and enlightening and explaining the physical view and experience.  The supramental transformation again changes the whole substance of our consciousness; it brings in an ether of greater being, consciousness, sense, life, which convicts the psychical also of insufficiency and makes it appear by itself an incomplete reality and only a partial truth of all that we are and become and witness.”


Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 24, The Supramental Sense , pp. 850-851