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