The Nature of the Supramental Consciousness

Sri Aurobindo provides here in a brief compass the step-by-step description of the nature of the supramental consciousness and the evolutionary transitions that underpin its development.

We generally look at things from our fragmented and isolated mental viewpoint.  This viewpoint, however, is flawed and limited.  The reality of our existence goes far beyond our sense of individuality and its acceptance of its centrality in the creation.  Just as our view of the sun revolving around the earth is flawed by our earth-centric senses, so too our view of the universe revolving around the individual personality is flawed by our ego-centric viewpoint.

The emergence of the supramental consciousness shifts the standpoint to the universal level and we see that all beings, forces, events, processes are participants in a universal creation and manifestation and that the individual ego is an incident but not the central lynch-pin of that manifestation.  We then can view all as one, rather than separate and fragmented, and this inevitably changes the way we look at and interpret the reality within which we live and act.

Sri Aurobindo notes in The Life Divine:  “For the essence of consciousness is the power to be aware of itself and its objects, and in its true nature this power must be direct, self-fulfilled and complete: if it is in us indirect, incomplete, unfulfilled in its workings, dependent on constructed instruments, it is because consciousness here is emerging from an original veiling Inconscience and is yet burdened and enveloped with the first Nescience proper to the Inconscient; but it must have the power to emerge completely, its destiny must be to evolve into its own perfection which is its true nature.  Its true nature is to be wholly aware of its objects, and of these objects the first is self, the being which is evolving its consciousness here, and the rest is what we see as not-self, — but if existence is indivisible, that too must in reality be self: the destiny of evolving consciousness must be, then, to become perfect in its awareness, entirely aware of self and all-aware.  This perfect and natural condition of consciousness is to us a superconscience, a state which is beyond us and in which our mind, if suddenly transferred to it, could not at first function; but it is towards that superconscience that our conscious being must be evolving.  But this evolution of our consciousness is possible only if the Inconscience which is our basis here is really itself an involved Superconscience; for what is to be in the becoming of the Reality in us must be already there involved or secret in its beginning.  Such an involved Being or Power we can well conceive the Inconscient to be when we closely regard this material creation of an unconscious Energy and see it labouring out with curious construction and infinite device the work of a vast involved Intelligence and see, too, that we ourselves are something of that Intelligence evolving out of its involution, an emerging consciousness whose emergence cannot stop short on the way until the Involved has evolved and revealed itself as a supreme totally self-aware and all-aware Intelligence.  it is this to which we have given the name of Supermind or Gnosis.  For that evidently must be the consciousness of the Reality, the Being, the Spirit that is secret in us and slowly manifesting here; of that Being we are the becomings and must grow into its nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Nine, The Divine Life Upon Earth, pp. 119-120

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