With the appearance of man, the mental being, new, enhanced powers of mentality are deployed by Nature. These powers include the new forms of awareness that allow the developed mental being to explore deeper and gain a greater understanding of his own life and powers, and his role in the universal creation, as well as new powers of action that allow him to implement the secret universal Will with more freedom, flexibility and immediate responsiveness than the habitual and much more limited powers available to the rudimentary mental power when it first appears in animals.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “Man, the mental being in Nature, is especially distinguished from her less developed creatures by a greater power of individuality, by the liberation of the mental consciousness which enables him finally to understand more and more himself and his law of being and his development, by the liberation of the mental will which enables him under the secret control of the universal Will to manage more and more the materials and lines of his development and by the capacity in the end to go beyond himself, beyond his mentality and open his consciousness into that from which mind, life and body proceed. He can even, however imperfectly at present, get at his highest to some consciousness of the Reality which is his true being and possess consciously also, as nothing else in terrestrial Nature can possess, the Self, the Idea, the Will which have constituted him and can become by that the master of his own nature and increasingly, not as now he is, a wrestler with dominant circumstance but the master of Nature. To do this, to arrive through mind and beyond mind at the Self, the Spirit which expresses itself in all Nature and, becoming one with it in his being, his force, his consciousness, his will, his knowledge, to possess at once humanly and divinely — according to the law and nature of human existence, but of human existence fulfilled in God and fulfilling God in the world — both himself and the world is the destiny of man and the object of his individual and social existence. (It may be said that since man is a mental being limited by the mind, life and body, this development and organisation of a power beyond mind, a supramental power, would be the creation of a new superhuman race and that the use of the words human and humanly would no longer be in place. This is no doubt true, but the possibility for the race still remains, if not for all in the same degree or at the same time, yet in an eventual fulfillment.)”
Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 7, The Ideal Law of Social Development, pp. 64-65