The shift from the mental standpoint to the supramental standpoint, from a limited, fragmented and error-prone seeking for knowledge, to a consciousness that lives in the full illumination of Knowledge is not something that takes place instantaneously and completely like flipping on a light switch. There is in the evolutionary process on earth, a long series of stages of development, and the transition from mind to supermind also includes a series of stages that Sri Aurobindo has identified and defined. Even a relatively small shift, however, yields dramatic results in terms of benefit to the life of humanity and the balance of the world-environment. The shift to a “mind of Light” brings with it a new way of seeing that takes into account the wholistic balance between the individual and the world, sees the unity of all creation, and recognises the need to achieve harmony in relations between people, and the natural environment of which we are a part and on which we depend. While the mind of Light does not yet represent the complete knowledge and power of the supermind unveiled and active, it provides illumination sufficient for humanity to begin to solve many of the imminent crises that threaten our existence at this time.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “Still there is an increasing self-limitation which begins even with Overmind: Overmind is separated by only a luminous border on the full light and power of the supramental Truth and it still commands direct access to all that Supermind can give it. There is a further limitation or change of characteristic action at each step downwards from Overmind to Intuition, from Intuition to Illumined Mind, from Illumined Mind to what I have called the Higher Mind: the Mind of Light is a transitional passage by which we can pass from supermind and superhumanity to an illumined humanity. For the new humanity will be capable of at least a partly divinised way of seeing and living because it will live in the light and in knowledge and not in the obscuration of the Ignorance.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light, Supermind and Mind of Light, pp. 94-95