Impact of the Supramental Manifestation on Earthly Existence, Part 2

There is a verse in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad which illustrates the essential principle of an evolutionary cycle of the development and growth of consciousness, when it indicates a progression ‘from the darkness to the light, from light to greater light.” The Upanishad foresees that eventually the darkness that shadows awareness, that dominates the material consciousness, is lifted somewhat in the successive stages of the vital and mental consciousness, will eventually disappear as further evolution of consciousness occurs. Eventually the light will be the controlling element, and yet, evolutionary progress can continue as we move ‘from light to greater light.”

The earth being an evolutionary, not a typal, world, we would not expect to see all life become supramentalised; rather, we would expect to see the supramental consciousness manifest and influence the action of the planes of Matter, Life and Mind, similarly, yet in a more direct and powerful manner, to the way Mind has already influenced and acted upon the planes of Matter and Life. This would bring about a vast transformation as the fragmented and linear process of mental development would be replaced by a unified and integrated global view provided by the higher expression of consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “For according to all occult teaching the evolutionary creation could have been such but for the intervention of the Powers of Darkness — all traditions including that of the Veda and Upanishads point under different figures to the same thing. In the Upanishads it is the Daityas that smite with evil all that the gods create, in the Zoroastrian [teaching] it is Ahriman coming across the work of Ahura Mazda, the Chaldean tradition uses a different figure. But the significance is the same; it is the perception of something that has struck across the harmonious development of creation and brought in the principle of darkness and disorder. The occult tradition also foresees the elimination of this disturbing element by the descent of a divine Principle or Power on earth, but gives to it usually a sudden and dramatic form. I conceive that the supramental descent would effect the same event by a progressive elimination of the darkness and evolution of the Light, but with what rate of rapidity it would be rash to try to forecast or prefigure.”

“… I need only add that there is nothing to prevent the supramental creation, the creation in the higher Truth-Light from being evolutionary, a continuous efflorescence of the Divine Truth and Harmony in a manifold variety, not a final and decisive creation in a single fixed type. What would be decisive would be the crossing of the border between twilight and Light, the transference of the base of development from the consciousness in the Ignorance to the Truth-consciousness. That would be, on this level, final. The transition into a world of spirits would only effectuate itself, first, if the whole earth-consciousness became thoroughly supramentalised, secondly, if after that the turn were to a realisation here of the principle of those worlds of Sachchidananda where determination disappears in the interpretation of All-in-All. But that would be to look too far into the potentialities of the future. In short, if the supramental principle came down it would not be in order to reproduce Heaven here under celestial conditions but to ‘create a new Heaven and a new earth’ in the earth-consciousness itself, completing and transmuting but not abolishing the earth order.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, The Supramental Evolution, pp. 69-75

Impact of the Supramental Manifestation on Earthly Existence, Part 1

Through the use of logical reasoning the human mind can extrapolate along a straight line of development once a pattern is seen and understood. We can also combine things through the use of the faculty of imagination to spin a web of speculation about the future, building on what we already experience and the trend line that we can observe, and constructing on that foundation. The limitation of the mental framework, however, does not provide us any real insight into any processes that fall dramatically outside the factual basis we can see and know. Just a few short centuries ago, it was virtually impossible for anyone to determine that humanity would travel to the moon, or be able to do genetic recombination and gene-splicing, or that all of humanity would be tied together in a communication network for voice, image and instant communication. How then can we expect to appreciate what is possible with the advent of an entirely new power of consciousness that operates on a totally different basis of knowledge by identity compared to our constructed step by step, block by block, process of mental knowledge?

Sri Aurobindo provides an example by describing the difference between a “typal” world and an “evolutionary” world. A “typal” world is static and expresses a specific type that characterizes the action and methods of that world; to the extent that a new principle becomes active it will override the methods and actions of the prior principles. On the other hand, an “evolutionary” world is dynamic and will continue to show a range of actions, and interactions, as each evolutionary principle finds its relation and role in the complex environment of dynamic evolution. The typal world will obviously be easier to describe as it carries out the character of the principle of which it is the expression. The evolutionary world has to account for a complex interaction of potentially vastly different ways of living, seeing, knowing and acting, and the rich play of forces can lead to less clarity and more unexpected results and additional time involved in developing and stablising the unique balance that must eventually result as the forces involved find their equilibrium. We exist in an evolutionary world where the principle of Matter, the principle of Life and the principle of Mind all are active and modify the pure action of one another to the extent of the variance in their modus of operations. Adding the Supermind principle into this dynamic mix provides another element to be harmonised and worked out while maintaining the basic mechanisms of action of each of the other principles.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “… speculation on the results of the manifestation of a new supramental principle in the earth-consciousness organising itself there as mind, life and matter have already organised themselves — for that is what it comes to — is a little perilous and premature, because we must do it with the mind and the mind has not the capacity to forecast the action of what is above itself — just as a merely animal or vital perception of things could not have forecast what would be the workings of Mind and a mentalised race of beings here. The supermind is a different order of consciousness far removed from the mental — there are in fact several grades of higher consciousness between the human mind and the supramental. If the earth were not an evolutionary but a typal world, then indeed one could predict that the descent of a higher type of consciousness would swallow up or abolish the existing type. Ignorance would end and the creation in the ignorance disappear either by transmutation or by annihilation and replacement. The human mental kingdom would be transformed into the supramental; [the] vital and subhuman, if it existed in the typal world, would also be changed and become supramental. But, earth being an evolutionary world, the supramental descent is not likely to have such a devastating completeness. It would be only the establishment of a new principle of consciousness and a new order of conscious beings and this new principle would evolve its own forms and powers in the terrestrial order. Even the whole human kingdom need not and would not be transformed at once to the whole supramental extent. But at the same time the beginning of a supramental creation on earth is bound to have a powerful effect on the rest of terrestrial existence. Its first effect on mankind would be to open a way between the order of the Truth-light and the orders of the Ignorance here on earth itself, a sort of realised gradation by which it would be possible for mental man to evolve more easily and surely from the Ignorance towards the Light and, as he went, organise his existence according to these steps. For at present the grades of consciousness between mind and supermind act only as influences (the highest of them very indirect influences) on human mind and consciousness and cannot do more. This would change. An organised higher human consciousness could appear or several degrees of it, with the supermind-organised consciousness as the leader at the top influencing the others and drawing them towards itself. It is likely that as the supramental principle evolved itself the evolution would more and more take on another aspect — the Daivic nature would predominate, the Asuro-Rakshaso-Pishachic prakriti which now holds so large a place would more and more recede and lose its power. A principle of greater unity, harmony and light would emerge everywhere. It is not that the creation in the Ignorance would be altogether abolished, but it would begin to lose much of its elements of pain and falsehood and would be more a progression from lesser to higher Truth, from a lesser to a higher harmony, from a lesser to a higher Light, than the reign of chaos and struggle, of darkness and error that we now perceive.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, The Supramental Evolution, pp. 69-75

The Process of the Supramental Manifestation and Its Integration into Life on Earth

The consciousness of Matter could not anticipate or dream of the manifestation of the Life-principle, and the vital living plant and animal consciousness could not anticipate the advent and impact of the mental consciousness. Similarly, the mental consciousness cannot truly understand nor anticipate the appearance of a being organised under a principle of consciousness so far beyond the mental, as the mental is beyond that of the plant and animal stage of consciousness. We see here on earth, however, that as a new principle manifests, the former principles are not either destroyed or utterly removed, but simply respond to the changing conditions imposed by the new principle, while continuing, more or less, subject to the new influence, their former mode of existence.

Clearly the mental principle has had a dramatic impact on both the material and life principles on earth, and clearly changes have been wrought which involve a certain amount of development, a certain amount of change and a certain amount of destruction upon the former expressions to bring about the accommodations necessary for the new principle to act in any real measure of the new powers it brings to the earth consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “Your statement about the supramental evolution is correct except that it does not follow that humanity as a whole will become supramental. What is more likely to happen is that the supramental principle will be established in the evolution by the descent just as the mental principle was established by the appearance of thinking Mind and Man in earthly life. There will be a race of supramental beings on the earth just as now there is a race of mental beings. Man himself will find a greater possibility of rising to the planes intermediary between his mind and supermind and making their powers effective in his life, which will mean a great change in humanity on earth, but it is not likely that the mental stage will disappear from the ascending ladder and, if so, the continued existence of a mental race will be necessary so as to form a stage between the vital and the supramental in the evolutionary movement of the Spirit.”

“Such a descent of higher beings as you suggest may be envisaged as a part of the process of the change. But the main part of the change will be the appearance of the supramental being and the organisation of a supramental nature here, as a mental being has appeared and a mental nature organised itself during the last stage of the evolution. I prefer nowadays not to speak of the descent of the higher beings because my experience is that it leads to a vain and often egoistic romanticism which distracts the attention from the real work, that of the realisation of the Divine and the transformation of the nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, The Supramental Evolution, pp. 69-75

The Advent of the Supramental Consciousness and Its Impact on Mind, Life and Body

Every new evolutionary development of consciousness has brought with it changes in the material forms and activity of those forms to accommodate the new powers that are manifesting. It is therefore expected that as the supramental manifestation takes place, it will also bring about changes in the forms and functions to express the needs and the powers of that new consciousness. These changes do not generally take place overnight. Evolutionary development on the earth spans millions of years and, while we may expect a more speedy process as the power of expression increases (and which can be seen in the relative speed of the evolution of mind in life, or the development of the reasoning intellect in the evolution of higher mind powers, the process of Nature does not tend to occur through what might be called miraculous intervention, as Sri Aurobindo points out.

It is not possible to foresee all of the changes to be ushered in with the advent of the supramental consciousness, as the mind has its limitations and is rooted in what it can see looking backwards. It is also not advisable to try to channel the action in ways that the mind may be able to envisage, as this acts as a limiting factor in the actual manifestation. We can , in general, recognise that the type of powers that the supramental consciousness brings to bear must eventually have a transformative impact on both the anatomy and physiology of those beings intended to manifest it in the future, as well as having an influence on the interaction with the natural environment and the conditioning of earthly life to provide a more harmonious basis for life to both survive and thrive.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “The descent of the supermind is a long process, or at least a process with a long preparation, and one can only say that the work is going on sometimes with a strong pressure for completion, sometimes retarded by the things that rise from below and have to be dealt with before further progress can be made. The process is a spiritual evolutionary process, concentrated into a brief period; it could be done otherwise (by what men would regard as a miraculous intervention) only if the human mind were more flexible and less attached to its ignorance than it is. As we envisage it, it must manifest in a few first and then spread, but it is not likely to overpower the earth in a moment. It is not advisable to discuss too much what it will do and how it will do it, because these are things the supermind itself will fix, acting out of the Divine Truth in it, and the mind must not try to fix for it grooves in which it will run. Naturally, the release from subconscient ignorance and from disease, duration of life at will, and a change in the functionings of the body must be among the ultimate elements of a supramental change; but the details of these things must be left for the supramental Energy to work out according to the Truth of its own nature.”

“The descent of the supramental is an inevitable necessity in the logic of things and is therefore sure. It is because people do not understand what the supermind is or realise the significance of the emergence of consciousness in a world of inconscient Matter that they are unable to realise this inevitability. I suppose a matter-of-fact observer, if there had been one at the time of the unrelieved reign of inanimate Matter in the earth’s beginning, would have criticised any promise of the emergence of life in a world of dead earth and rock and mineral as an absurdity and a chimera; so too, afterwards he would have repeated this mistake and regarded the emergence of thought and reason in an animal world as an absurdity and a chimera. it is the same with the appearance of supermind in the stumbling mentality of this world of human consciousness and its reasoning ignorance.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, The Supramental Evolution, pp. 69-75

Is There Any Certitude About the Supramental Manifestation Actually Taking Place?

The mind of the modern day wants to analyze facts and draw conclusions based on those facts. For centuries, the movement has been away from reliance on belief and faith to a reliance on facts and rational analysis. One need only look at the history of the rise of Western science and the disputes that occurred with the church over the centuries to understand the spirit of the recent age. We see however today a movement away from reliance on science and logic with the rise of belief-driven religious values that in many cases deny the facts in order to confirm the followers in their belief-system.

Neither of these approaches, however, helps us in directly addressing the question of the future of the supramental manifestation. From the side of science, we can interpret the systematic growth of consciousness through Matter, Life and Mind as a sequence that continues to develop and roll out through time, and thereby extrapolate the existence of, need for, and inevitability of the supramental evolutionary cycle. From the side of faith, we can evaluate the ways that Nature has of placing challenges in front of humanity which seem impossible to solve, and yet, eventually get resolved through some major development or leap forward which cannot yet be rationally and logically seen or determined.

Much of the debate about the future revolves around whether someone is inclined to see and understand the progressions of evolution, and how one interprets them, along with the way one interprets the method of Nature through this process.

We are confronted today by an evolutionary crisis and the sixth mass extinction event that scientists have been able to document through examination of the geological record. Nature is under pressure through pollution, climate change, destruction of the “food chain”, overuse and depletion of resources, destruction of habitat, increase of range of disease vectors, unequal distribution of resources and the conflicts and migration events that arise therefrom. We have mountains of waste from our way of living building up everywhere, and we are even filling up the oceans with plastic waste that gets into fish and other species that inhabit the waters, the air and the land. We have weapons of mass destruction that can destroy humanity many times over, and we have the unintended consequences of our approach to living on the earth. Clearly we either are headed towards a mass destruction or to a crisis inflection point that forces us to confront and solve this existential crisis. All our political, religious and economic solutions have reached a point of gridlock. This leaves us with, realistically, the only choice left, a development of a new power of consciousness that can resolve and harmonize these conflicting issues.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “I have already spoken about the bad conditions of the world; the usual idea of the occultists about it is that the worse they are, the more is probable the coming of an intervention or a new revelation from above. The ordinary mind cannot know — it has either to believe or disbelieve or wait and see.”

“As to whether the Divine seriously means something to happen, I believe it is intended. I know with absolute certitude that the supramental is a truth and that its advent is in the very nature of things inevitable. The question is as to the when and the how. That also is decided and predestined from somewhere above; but it is here being fought out amid a rather grim clash of conflicting forces. For in the terrestrial world the predetermined result is hidden and what we see is a whirl of possibilities and forces attempting to achieve something with the destiny of it all concealed from human eyes. This is, however, certain that a number of souls have been sent to see that it shall be now. That is the situation. My faith and will are for the now. I am speaking of course on the level of the human intelligence — mystically – rationally, as one might put it. To say more would be going beyond that line. You don’t want me to start prophesying, I suppose? As a rationalist, you can’t.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, The Supramental Evolution, pp. 69-75

A Supramental Race as the Next Evolutionary Phase

If we understand the development of life and life-forms on earth as an expression of the evolution of consciousness, we can easily see the relationship between a new power of consciousness and the need to have forms that can hold, and express, that power effectively. Scientists frequently comment on the changes in primates that accompanied the development of man, the mental being. This included development of an opposable thumb, standing and walking upright on two legs, and increased brain size and complexity. The principle at work provides us guidance for the manifestation of a new power of consciousness, as far beyond the mental level as mind itself is beyond the purely animal expression of awareness and energy.

Each phase of development has built upon the prior stages, such that life evolved out of material forms and continues to utilize the physical form as a basis for its action. Similarly, mind evolved out of living forms and continues to exercise its action through life and body. We can expect therefore, following this progression, that the supermind will evolve out of the mental beings, and continue to utilize and operate through mind, life and body.

We consider this to represent a new phase in earth-evolution and a new race of beings, as the powers of the supramental consciousness both far exceed those of the mind and operate on somewhat different bases of action. New powers of perception and new powers of integration of the diverse and fragmented view presented by the mind are to be expected. In addition, new powers of action, potentially with a new and different modus, must also be a result of this manifestation.

We see in the development of human technology that there is an ever-increasing focus on harnessing powers of mind through a direct interaction, and humanity is beginning to experience changes in biology, physiology and trained capacities of utilization of mind and senses that point us in a new direction.

It may be expected that as the supramental power manifests further it will effectuate changes in that portion of humanity that becomes receptive to it and, over time, we will see a new more intuitive, more globally-aware, more responsive race of beings emerge that will be able to bring healing, harmony and oneness into life on the planet.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “The earth is a material field of evolution. Mind and life, supermind, Sachchidananda are in principle involved there in the earth-consciousness; but only Matter is at first organised; then life descends from the life plane and gives shape and organisation and activity to the life principle in Matter, creates the plant and animal; then mind descends from the mind plane, creating man. Now supermind is to descend so as to create a supramental race.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Supermind and the Earth, pp. 67-68

The Yoga of the Supermind To Transform Earthly Life

The integral yoga is not an attempt to abandon this life and achieve some realisation beyond. There is no promise of a heaven of bliss, nor an escape from the difficulties posed by matter, life and mind and their interaction in the world. Even the achievement of any result in the integral yoga is difficult as there is no “cutting of the knot” by abandoning the difficulties of the nature to achieve a transcendent experience of an abstract Absolute; rather, there is the difficult effort required to understand and address the limitations, difficulties and obstacles posed by the body, by the life-energy and its needs and desires, and the mind, with its own limitations, fixed mode of action, and inability to grasp concepts that go outside its normal frame of action. The ego-personality continues to treat the individual as someone separate and essentially grappling with the other beings and fighting or conquering the environment in order to succeed in its own life. All of this runs counter to the truth of existence, which is one of unity and interdependence.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “The supramental is not grand, aloof, cold and austere; it is not something opposed to or inconsistent with a full vital and physical manifestation; on the contrary, it carries in it the only possibility of the full fullness of the vital force and the physical life on earth. it is because it is so, because it was so revealed to me and for no other reason that I have followed after it and persevered till I came into contact with it and was able to draw down some power of it and its influence. I am concerned with the earth, not with worlds beyond for their own sake; it is a terrestrial realisation that I seek and not a flight to distant summits. All other yogas regard this life as an illusion or a passing phase; the supramental yoga alone regards it as a thing created by the Divine for a progressive manifestation and takes the fulfilment of the life and the body for its object. The supramental is simply the Truth-Consciousness and what it brings in its descent is the full truth of life, the full truth of consciousness in Matter.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Supermind and the Earth, pp. 67-68

Spiritual Liberation and the Transformation of Life on Earth

Spiritual seekers have long looked at liberation from the bondage of life in the world, and oneness with the Transcendent, the Absolute, as the key focus to demand their attention. This is of course an essential step in freeing the individual from the current limits of mind, life and body, and yet, if it is treated as an exit rather than a necessary stage for the transformation of life, it leads away, rather than towards the universal creation and its intention in manifestation. Sri Aurobindo has set a further stage of actual transformation of life to create a divine life on earth. This is not to be done through outer means of a specific economic or political system, a specific set of doctrines or religious disciplines, nor from application of concepts of charity or social work. Rather, it is to be done by conscious participation in the evolution of consciousness, the detailed understanding of the complex interplay of the various aspects of consciousness that bring about what we experience in our lives, and a steady pressure of a higher evolutionary force to effect changes to the way our minds, lives and bodies respond and act in the world.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “The interpenetration of the planes is indeed for me a capital and fundamental part of spiritual experience without which yoga as I practice it and its aim could not exist. For that aim is to manifest, reach or embody a higher consciousness upon earth and not to get away from earth into a higher world or some supreme Absolute. The old yogas (not quite all of them) tended the other way — but that was, I think, because they found the earth as it is a rather impossible place for any spiritual being and the resistance to change too obstinate to be borne; earth-nature looked to them in Vivekananda’s simile like the dog’s tail which, every time you straighten it, goes back to its original curl. But the fundamental proposition in this matter was proclaimed very definitely in the Upanishads which went so far as to say that Earth is the foundation and all the worlds are on the earth and to imagine a clean-cut or irreconcilable difference between them is ignorance: here and not elsewhere, not by going to some other world, the divine realisation must come. This statement was used to justify a purely individual realisation, but it can equally be the basis of a wider endeavour.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Supermind and the Earth, pp. 67-68

Distinguishing the Supracosmic Reality from the Supramental Consciousness

The long history of focus by spiritual aspirants on achieving oneness with the Transcendent, the Eternal, while subordinating or outright denying the life of the world, has created substantial confusion about the significance of life, the nature of the manifested universal creation, and the relation of these to the Eternal. Sri Aurobindo clarifies the differences between the Eternal and the consciousness which is responsible for the creation, the supramental consciousness. Much of the confusion is due to the attempt to use the mind’s limited capabilities to understand what is clearly beyond the limits that the mind can grasp. Understanding can only come through “knowledge by identity” which requires the seeker to move beyond the mental framework and experience the higher consciousness directly.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “1. I mean by the supracosmic Reality the supreme Sachchidananda who is above this and all manifestation, not bound by any, yet from whom all manifestation proceeds and all universe. 2. The supramental and the supracosmic are not the same. If it were so there could be no supramental world and no descent of the supramental principle into the material world — we would be brought back to the idea that the divine Truth and Reality can only exist beyond and the universe — any universe — can only be half-truth or an illusion of ignorance. 3. I mean by the supramental the Truth-Consciousness whether above or in the universe by which the Divine knows not only his own essence and being but his manifestation also. Its fundamental character is knowledge by identity, by that the Self is known, the Divine Sachchidananda is known, but also the truth of manifestation is known, because this too is That — sarvam khalvidam brahma, vasudevah sarvam, etc. Mind is an instrument of the Ignorance trying to know — supermind is the Knower possessing knowledge, because one with it and the known, therefore seeing all things in the light of His own Truth, the light of their true self which is He. It is a dynamic and not only a static Power, not only a Knowledge, but a Will according to Knowledge — there is a supramental Power or Shakti which can manifest direct its world of Light and Truth in which all is luminously based on the harmony and unity of the One, not disturbed by a veil of Ignorance or any disguise. The supermind therefore does not transcend all possible manifestation, but it is above the triplicity of mind, life and Matter which is our present experience of this manifestation.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Planes of Consciousness and Parts of the Being, pp. 65-67

The Essential Role of Supermind in the Transformation of Mind-Life-Body

The aspiration and goal of seekers from time immemorial is the Eternal, which represents a status outside of the normal functioning of body-life-mind, that is, outside our normal experience. Through achievement of samadhi, the consciousness enters into the experience of pure existence, consciousness and bliss, Sat-Chit-Ananda. This is an “undifferentiated” state that is pure and unmoving. This status, while being the underlying basis and frame for the active movement of the universal energy in its manifestation, is not one that actively and dynamically creates that manifestation. Thus there enters into the picture the need for what Sri Aurobindo terms “supermind”. This consciousness acts as the bridge and link from Sat-Chit-Ananda to the world we know as mind-life-body. It simultaneously holds the undifferentiated existence and the world of forms in its experience.

Sri Aurobindo does not, however, deny the reality or validity of the Sat-Chit-Ananda pure experience of existence. As long as we remain bound to the limits of mind-life-body, we are unable to transform life. We must be able to step outside of this frame in order to act upon it from the wider sense, and this requires transcendence of our normal experience.

When one first experiences this transcendent reality, the mind cannot comprehend or process it, so it seems like something wide, empty and unmoving. In fact, passing the border from our normal awareness into the realm of Sat-Chit-Ananda requires the seeker to confront the fear of death and dissolution that rises up as the mind no longer finds anything to grasp onto and the ego-sense is confronted with an entirely ego-less reality.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “Supermind is between the Sachchidananda and the lower creation. It alone contains the self-determining Truth of the Divine Consciousness and is necessary for a Truth-creation. One can of course realise Sachchidananda in relation to the mind, life and body also — but then it is something stable, supporting by its presence the lower Prakriti, but not transforming it. The supermind alone can transform the lower nature.”

“It is the supramental Power that transforms mind, life and body — not the Sachchidananda consciousness which supports impartially everything. But it is by having experience of the Sachchidananda, pure existence-consciousness-bliss, that the ascent to the supramental and the descent of the supramental become (at a much later stage) possible. For first one must get free from the ordinary limitation by the mental, vital and physical formations, and the experience of the Sachchidananda peace, calm, purity and wideness gives this liberation.”

“The supermind has nothing to do with passing into a blank. It is the Mind overpassing its own limits and following a negative and quietistic way to do it that reaches the big blank. The Mind, being the Ignorance, has to annul itself in order to enter into the supreme Truth — or, at least, so it thinks. But the supermind being the Truth-Consciousness and the Divine Knowledge has no need to annul itself for the purpose.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Planes of Consciousness and Parts of the Being, pp. 65-67