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

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