Conditions Required for the Emergence of the Supermind in Earthly Life

Sri Aurobindo describes the emergence of Life in Matter, and of Mind in Life and Matter, as a process that involves a process of evolution of an involved form of consciousness into manifestation that is aided by pressure of that principle of consciousness from its own plane to further and support the manifestation.  In this view, Life and Mind exist on their own planes and cooperate in the process whereby they can manifest and organise their activity in the world we inhabit.

Similarly, he notes that Nature will follow this process in the emergence of first Overmind, then Supermind, in earthly Nature.  These powers, too, are involved in Matter — otherwise they could not evolve.  The external pressure from the supramental plane of consciousness draws them forth, helps them to achieve their organised existence and thereby aids in the integration of these powers in the world.  Since the Supermind is based on the principle of Knowledge, not the principle of Ignorance which is the characteristic of the consciousness of body-life-mind, it cannot simply extend the existing nature of these levels but must create its own existence, prepare body, life and mind for a new and totally different type of action and force.  This process Sri Aurobindo describes as one consisting of aspiration, the drive towards self-exceeding, to achieve a greater conscious existence, and surrender, the opening of the being to the higher forces, allowing them to enter and transform the ways of seeing, knowing and acting at all levels of the being.  This represents a process of “ascent and descent” which, working together, create the opportunity, the conditions and the fulfillment of the evolutionary process.

Sri Aurobindo observes in The Life Divine:  “The transition to Supermind through Overmind is a passage from Nature as we know it into Super-Nature.  It is by that very fact impossible for any effort of the mere Mind to achieve; our unaided personal aspiration and endeavour cannot reach it: our effort belongs to the inferior power of Nature; a power of the Ignorance cannot achieve by its own strength or characteristic of available methods what is beyond its own domain of nature.  All the previous ascensions have been effectuated by a secret Consciousness-Force operating first in Inconscience and then in the Ignorance: it has worked by an emergence of its involved powers to the surface, powers concealed behind the veil and superior to the past formulations of Nature, but even so there is needed a pressure of the same superior powers already formulated in their full natural force on their own planes; these superior planes create their own foundation in our subliminal parts and from there are able to influence the evolutionary process on the surface.  Overmind and Supermind are also involved and occult in earth-Nature, but they have no formations on the accessible levels of our subliminal inner consciousness; there is as yet no overmind being or organised overmind nature, no supramental being or organised supermind nature acting either on our surface or in our normal subliminal parts: for these greater powers of consciousness are superconscient to the level of our ignorance.  In order that the involved principles of Overmind and Supermind should emerge from their veiled secrecy, the being and powers of the superconscience must descent into us and uplift us and formulate themselves in our being and powers; this descent is a sine qua non of the transition and transformation.”


Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Seven, The Ascent Towards Supermind, pp. 78-79

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