The experience and descent of a higher consciousness is not a matter of philosophical argument but one of psycho-physical effects seen and noted by the individual, as well as palpable impacts in the basis of knowledge, action and implementation in the outer world. The seeker actually can feel the force entering and permeating his being. He can experience the widening of his awareness from a place above the mind. He begins to see and understand things from a new viewpoint which provides in some cases radically new insights and ways of doing things. The experience of Nikola Tesla, which he explained at one point, is illustrative. He indicated he did not gain his insights into the working of energy and how to utilize it from any kind of arduous thought, but through an insight or vision that he obtained. This mirrors the experience of many other creative individuals who attribute their breakthrough insights to a new way of seeing and understanding that originates outside the mental sphere. These are the realms of intuition, inspiration, creativity that reside in the higher levels of consciousness and which Sri Aurobindo has described both as to their psycho-physical effects and their results when they act through the mind, life and body.
Sri Aurobindo provides another insight about the process of the integral Yoga and the opening of the chakras, which should be noted. An arduous process of physical exercises, breathing techniques, etc. is not required for the opening of these occult centres to occur; rather, they open naturally under the influence of the psychic being coming forward and through the focus of the aspiration and subsequent connection with the higher forces of consciousness.
Sri Aurobindo notes: “An ascension of the consciousness to a position which is no longer in the body but above it. The consciousness can thus ascend and rise higher and higher with the awareness of entering regions above the ordinary mind; usually it does not go very far at first but acquires the capacity to go always higher in repetitions of this experience. At the close of the experience it returns to the body. But also there comes a definitive rise by which the consciousness permanently takes its station above. It is no longer in the body or limited by it; it feels itself not only above it but extended in space; the body is below its high station and enveloped in its extended consciousness. Sometimes indeed the extension is felt only above on the higher level and the enveloping extension below comes only afterwards as a later experience. But the nature of it is to be definitive, it is not merely an experience but a realisation, a permanent change. This brings a liberation from identification with the body which becomes only a circumstance in the largeness of the being, an instrumental part of it; or it is felt as something very small or even non-existent, nothing seems to be felt but a wide practically infinite consciousness which is oneself — or if not at once infinite, yet what is now called a boundless finite.”
“This new consciousness is open to all knowledge from above, but it does not think with the brain as does the ordinary mind — it has other and larger means of awareness than thought. No methodical opening of the centres is necessary — the centres are in fact open, otherwise there could not be this ascent. In this yoga their opening comes automatically — what we call opening is not that, but an ability of the consciousness itself on the various levels to receive the descent of the Higher Consciousness above. By the ascent one can indeed bring down knowledge from above. But the larger movement is to receive it from above and let it flow through into the lower mental and other levels. I may add that on all these levels, in mind, heart and below there comes a liberation from the physical limitation, a wideness which no longer allows an identification with the body.”
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 8, The Triple Transformation: Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental, The Spiritual Transformation, pp. 209-229