The Shift from the Ego-Standpoint to the Universal Standpoint in the Supramental Evolultion of Consciousness

The mind is limited in its understanding by the “viewpoint of the observer”.  When we see the world around us, and try to interpret what we are seeing, it is generally based on the individual ego-standpoint.  There is a famous story about various people who witnessed an automobile accident, but from different angles.  They had in some cases radically different versions and interpretations of what actually occurred and the responsible party for the accident.  The mind brings not only its specific viewpoint to bear, but the entire background of the individual’s preconceptions, prejudices, ideas, emotional state, and the ability of the physical senses to capture information accurately.  We see this similarly with the idea of sunrise and sunset.  Individuals perceive the sun to rotate around the earth and create the daily ritual.  With further understanding and perspective we begin to understand that what we “see” is not the reality of what is taking place.

Similarly, as the supramental consciousness manifests, and the standpoint rises above the individual to the universal, an entirely new perspective, which can weave together the varying views of the myriad individual observers, takes the place of the ego-consciousness.  This allows us to see, interpret and understand things from what we might call a “global” rather than an “individual” perspective.

Sri Aurobindo writes in The Life Divine:  “A gnostic Supernature transcends all the values of our normal ignorant Nature; our standards and values are created by ignorance and therefore cannot determine the life of Supernature.  At the same time our present nature is a derivation from Supernature and is not a pure ignorance but a half-knowledge; it is therefore reasonable to suppose that whatever spiritual truth there is in or behind its standards and values will reappear in the higher life, not as standards, but as elements transformed, uplifted out of the ignorance and raised into the true harmony of a more luminous existence.  As the universalised spiritual individual sheds the limited personality, the ego, as he rises beyond mind to a completer knowledge in Supernature, the conflicting ideals of the mind must fall away from him, but what is true behind them will remain in the life of Supernature.  The gnostic consciousness is a consciousness in which all contradictions are cancelled or fused into each other in a higher light of seeing and being, in a unified self-knowledge and world-knowledge.  The gnostic being will not accept the mind’s ideals and standards; he will not be moved to live for himself, for his ego, or for humanity or for others or from the community or for the State; for he will be aware of something greater than these half-truths, of the Divine Reality, and it is for that he will live, for its will in himself and in all, in a spirit of large universality, in the light of the will of the Transcendence.  For the same reason there can be no conflict between self-affirmation and altruism in the gnostic life, for the self of the gnostic being is one with the self of all, — no conflict between the ideal of individiualism and the collective ideal, for both are terms of a greater Reality and only in so far as either expresses the Reality or their fulfilment serves the will of the Reality, can they have a value for his spirit.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Nine, The Divine Life Upon Earth, pp. 129-130

1 thought on “The Shift from the Ego-Standpoint to the Universal Standpoint in the Supramental Evolultion of Consciousness

  1. ….from what we might call a “global” rather than an “individual” perspective

    We might, though some might call such a perspective “aperspectival;” some “cosmic;” some by a thousand other names up to and including “pure awareness.” In fact, such a perspective goes by many names, depending the culture and context in which the name is employed. Of course, these last are not themselves insignificant.

    How unfortunate so many are insisting we must refer to this perspective by their preferred terms or else. How ironic that champions of diversity seem especially notorious for promoting linguistic imperialism and hegemony. And, of course, this linguistic imperialism and hegemony is most prominent and in demand in Academia.

    Why is that not surprising to me?

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