The Objections of the Physical Mind to the Possibility of the Evolutionary Manifestation of the Supermind

One can easily appreciate the difficulty posed by the concept of the supramental evolution in the absence of an as yet concrete and unambiguous sign of its emergence. The human mind relies on its sense organs for data and it arises within a context of Matter and Life. The mind therefore focuses on the past and present existing forms and cannot easily see what lies on the other side of that mountain that is our current level of development. The present reality, as we experience it, is what we accept as “real’. The past is given a sense of reality to the extent that we can reference experiences in the sequence of time. The future remains for us an unknown and therefore somewhat vague aspect of reality. Those who exercise the function of imagination, who extrapolate from past and present experience to envision a future reality are attempting to break out of the bonds of the physical hold on our mind. Yet, even these individuals, unless they look at the past, present and future as one comprehensive reality, and look at the unexpected evolutionary leaps experienced in the past as signs of a process that goes beyond a straight-line analysis, are really bound to the physical interpretation that confines us today.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “Again, if too strong a stress is laid on the present or apparent character of the evolution here as it is presented to us by physical science, it might be urged that there is no warrant for expecting any emergence of a principle higher than human mind or of any such thing as superhuman beings in a world of Matter.”

“Consciousness is itself dependent upon Matter and material agencies for its birth and its operations and an infallible Truth-consciousness, such as we suppose supermind to be, would be a contradiction of these conditions and must be dismissed as a chimera. Fundamentally, physical science regards evolution as a development of forms and vital activities; the development of a larger and more capable consciousness is a subordinate result of the development of life and form and not a major or essential characteristic or circumstance and it cannot go beyond limits determined by the material origin of mind and life. Mind has shown itself capable of many extraordinary achievements, but independence of the material organ or of physical conditions or a capability for any such thing as a power of direct and absolute knowledge not acquired by material means would be beyond the conditions imposed by Nature. At a certain point therefore the evolution of consciousness can go no further. Even if a something definite and independent which we call a soul exists, it is limited by its natural conditions here where Matter is the basis, physical life the condition, mind the highest possible instrument; there is no possibility of an action of consciousness apart from the body or surpassing this physical, vital or mental Nature. This fixes the limits of our evolution here.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light, Supermind in Evolution, pp. 84-85

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