The Supermind and the Transformation of the Physical Body

With the advent of the supramental evolutionary principle in the physical world, certain expectations arise as to the physical body and its capacities. Supramental consciousness, infused into the very cells of the body, clearly would make the body more adaptable, more powerful and more able to withstand the causes of illness, decomposition and death; in other words, one could expect enhanced health and longevity to result. This prospect obviously captures the imagination of seekers and practitioners. In fact, the entire world’s population already wants to see improvements in the body’s ability to thrive, withstand disease and extend a useful, healthy life. But in today’s world, people go even further in their imaginings about the future capacities of the body, expecting various “super powers” to develop, and the popular culture is filled with ideas about the type of super powers that people fantasize about.

Sri Aurobindo acknowledges that the supramental force, acting directly on the body, would have a dramatic effect in favor of increased health, wellness, longevity and powers of action. Yet, he also notes that this is not something that can be expected to occur in the near term, and he outlines the conditions for the development of what may be called the ‘supramental body’. He also makes it clear that this is not some kind of miraculous result for any particular individual, but the speeding up, generally, of the development of the next evolutionary principle in the earth-consciousness, the next step beyond the mental evolution. This process can be, under normal circumstances, one that can take millennia to eventuate. Through the conscious participation in the process by practitioners focused on development of the necessary prerequisites, such as the focus and aspiration, the rejection of obstacles in the mind-life-body, and the opening of these lower principles to the action of the higher force in all fullness, Sri Aurobindo expects the process to be dramatically speeded up. Even so, this is not the earliest need, the first stage, nor anything in the immediate future for practitioners who have a lot of work to do and ground to cover before the real possibility even arises for this.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “The object of supramentalisation is a body fitted to embody and express the physical consciousness on earth so long as one remains in the physical life. it is a step in the spiritual evolution on the earth, not a step in the passage towards a supraphysical world. The supramentalisation is the most difficult part of the change arrived at by the supramental yoga, and all depends on whether a sufficient change can be achieved in the consciousness at present to make such a step possible. … One has first of all to supramentalise sufficiently the mind and vital and physical consciousness generally — afterwards one can think of supramentalisation of the body. The psychic and spiritual transformation must come first, only afterwards would it be practical or useful to discuss the supramentalisation of the whole being down to the body.”

“It is quite impossible for the supramental to take up the body before there has been the full supramental change in the mind and the vital. X and others seem always to expect some kind of unintelligible miracle — they do not understand that it is a concentrated evolution, swift but following the law of creation that has to take place. A miracle can be a moment’s wonder. A change according to the Divine Law can alone endure.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 8, The Triple Transformation: Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental, The Supramental Transformation, pp. 229-237

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