A seed in the plant kingdom remains inert and non-developing until such time as it is placed in the proper conditions and pressure from outside, in the form of heat or moisture primarily, is exerted upon it. A corollary process takes place in the animal kingdom, of course. Once the encoding contained within the seed is activated by the external means, and assuming it is located in a suitable environment for its development, including both ambient conditions and suitable nourishment, the involved pattern manifests and takes on its pre-determined form.
The awakening of a new deeper consciousness follows a similar process. The fertile ground is the prepared human being, receptive and ready to open up in new ways. The ‘word’ is the vibration that energizes the process and opens the consciousness to new insights, patterns and forces.
Sri Aurobindo notes; “The usual agency of this revealing is the Word, the thing heard (sruta). The Word may come to us from within; it may come to us from without. But in either case, it is only an agency for setting the hidden knowledge to work. The word within may be the utterance of the inmost soul in us which is always open to the Divine or it may be the word of the secret and universal Teacher who is seated in the hearts of all. There are rare cases in which none other is needed, for all the rest of the Yoga is an unfolding under that constant touch and guidance; the lotus of the knowledge discloses itself from within by the power of irradiating effulgence which proceeds from the Dweller in the lotus of the heart. Great indeed, but few are those to whom self-knowledge from within is thus sufficient and who do not need to pass under the dominant influence of a written book or a living teacher.”
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter III Growth of Consciousness Basic Requisites, pg. 46