Ascending the Ladder of Consciousness Beyond the Mind: Overmind, Part 2, Transcending the Ego-Standpoint

For those of us who live constantly in an awareness of our individual being, an egoistic personality, it is next to impossible to conceive of a status of consciousness that recognises an individual as a nexus, but does not support the ego-awareness.  Our human awareness also tends to be extreme and does not understand “nuance” so we feel like we either exist as an ego and act from that standpoint, or we no longer exist and the ego dissolves with the death of the individual.  Sri Aurobindo explores states of awareness that do not get entangled in either extreme, but which both recognises nexus of action in the individual while at the same time, not identifying this with a specific ego-personality.  The overmind consciousness can manifest in this way.  The individual feels and experiences himself as an element of the cosmic, universal awareness, but also that the energy and viewpoint can channel and express itself through the individual point for the completeness and harmony of the whole that is being manifested.

We see in the annals of psychology various states of awareness that in fact lose the ego-consciousness.  This is frequently, when it occurs, associated by professionals with a disorder of some sort.  But what if it simply represents the attempt by the universal creation to begin to manifest a higher form of consciousness that is not ego-bound but universal.

Certain traditions, for instance the Buddhist tradition, approach this same question from another angle, but clearly show that a non-attached position of awareness, wide and universal in nature, is both possible and not, as the Western psychologists have held, a sign of derangement of some sort.

What is the nature of existence when an individual loses the self-consciousness of the ego, but continues to live and act as an individual in the larger creation, as an expression of that larger creation?

Sri Aurobindo notes in The Life Divine:  “But there can be many formulations of overmind consciousness and experience; for the Overmind has a great plasticity and is a field of multiple possibilities.  In place of an uncentered and unplaced diffusion there may be the sense of the universe in oneself or as oneself: but there too this self is not the ego; it is an extension of a free and pure essential self-consciousness or it is an identification with the All, — the extension or the identification constituting a cosmic being, a universal individual…. In the transition towards the Supermind this centralising action tends towards the discovery of a true individual replacing the dead ego, a being who is in his essence one with the supreme Self, one with the universe in extension and yet a cosmic centre and circumference of the specialised action of the Infinite.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Seven, The Ascent Towards Supermind, pg. 92

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