We can follow the progression of the evolutionary expression of consciousness as a movement “from darkness to light, and from light to greater light”. The consciousness in Matter is inconscient and functions through automatic built in processes and arrangements without the active conscious insight or participation of Matter. As the vital level comes forth, we see an increasing level of awareness and participation. Similarly as the mind comes forth there is a further increase.
The psychic transformation puts the being in touch with the divine and thereby begins the process of transforming from a being rooted in mind-life-body to a being who utilizes these as instruments, but is connected to the larger divine power of consciousness. This transformation is then followed by the spiritual transformation which begins to shift the center of awareness to the spiritual center above the mind and universalizes the awareness and responses. This provides an influence but not a complete standpoint shift or the full power of that higher level fully active and controlling the responses and actions of the body-life-mind complex. Thus the supramental transformation is necessary to complete this evolutionary process.
Sri Aurobindo created the term supramental to describe a level of consciousness that is above the mental level, and that has the characteristics of maintaining a constant view and understanding of the unity and the knowledge-will and bliss of the divine consciousness while at the same time, having the ability to manage and understand the infinite variations in the manifested world with the interplay of all the elements that go into the creation. This level acts to modulate between the unity and the multiplicity and gains a power of understanding and implementation that far exceeds what can be done at the level of the mind.
Sri Aurobindo observes in The Life Divine: “As the psychic change has to call in the spiritual to complete it, so the first spiritual change has to call in the supramental transformation to complete it. For all these steps forward are, like those before them, transitional; the whole radical change in the evolution from a basis of Ignorance to a basis of Knowledge can only come by the intervention of the supramental Power and its direct action in earth-existence.”
“This then must be the nature of the third and final transformation which finishes the passage of the soul through the Ignorance and bases its consciousness, its life, its power and form of manifestation on a complete and completely effective self-knowledge. The Truth-Consciousness, finding evolutionary Nature ready, has to descend into her and enable her to liberate the supramental principle within her; so must be created the supramental and spiritual being as the first unveiled manifestation of the truth of the Self and Spirit in the material universe.”