There is a very simple image that will help us understand the concept of self-revelation of an involved consciousness in Matter. We see an acorn. If we do not know what it is, we see it as a material object. However if it sprouts, we then see a green shoot coming up and rootlets below snaking out from the acorn. At this stage, we only know that it is some form of life that has manifested from a material shape. We still do not know that it will become a giant oak tree at this stage of observation. Along the way, it becomes a sapling, eventually a tree and finally a massive tree with extensive root and branch systems and numerous leaves and, eventually we recognise it as the oak tree.
This illustrates the principle of “gradual self-revelation” that Sri Aurobindo describes. In addition, as we begin to understand the mechanism involved, we see that the genetic code that will turn this material object into an oak tree is encoded and “involved” within the material capsule that holds it, only coming forth under the right conditions to reveal its status as an oak tree! The fact that this material object contains the detailed genetic code to create the complex being of the oak tree, including its ability to convert sunlight into sustaining energy through photosynthesis, implies an intelligence that directs, guides and implants the code into the material shell that we call an acorn.
Sri Aurobindo writes: “In this vision of things the universe will reveal itself in its unity and totality as a manifestation of a single Being, Nature as its power of manifestation, evolution as its process of gradual self-revelation here in Matter. We would see the divine series of the worlds as a ladder of ascent from Matter to supreme Spirit; there would reveal itself the possibility, the prospect of a supreme manifestation by the conscious and no longer a veiled and enigmatic descent of the Spirit and its powers in their fullness even into this lowest world of Matter. The riddle of the universe need be no longer a riddle; the dubious mystery of things would put off its enigma, its constant ambiguity, the tangled writings would become legible and intelligible. In this revelation, supermind would take its natural place and no longer be a matter of doubt or questioning to an intelligence bewildered by the complexity of the world; it would appear as the inevitable consequence of the nature of mind, life and Matter, the fulfillment of their meaning, their inherent principle and tendencies, the necessary perfection of their imperfection, the summit to which all are climbing, the consummation of divine existence, consciousness and bliss to which it is leading, the last result of the birth of things and supreme goal of this progressive manifestation which we see here in life.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light, Supermind in Evolution, pp. 87-88