Within the framework of our mind and the experience of our vital existence, we are inculcated in the belief that everything is subject to duality, good and bad, happy and unhappy, light and dark. We cannot generally conceive of an existence that is not subject to these pairs of opposites. We believe that we cannot appreciate happiness without the experience of sadness, or that we cannot truly gain any measure of knowledge without a corresponding experience of ignorance, or that light cannot be valued unless we have gone through darkness. We experience our lives as a series of alternations between these states, and believe there cannot be any other way.

We do not generally consider that the experience of the dualities is due to the way we perceive the universal creation, under the circumstances attendant upon our current mode and level of conscious awareness. If we reflect on the existence of the stars, our own sun, it does not alternate, within our ability to observe, between light and dark. There is no ‘on off’ switch there. It generates continuous light. It is the framework of life on this plane, and our limitation that creates the duality of light with darkness,

Just as there are vital states of consciousness that thrive upon the experience of duality, and seek to achieve what they conceive to be as ‘positive’ experiences, so there can be states of consciousness that achieve a form of equality as well as statuses that do away with the duality entirely.

When consciousness is one and universal, when all awareness is quantum entangled to such a degree that it experiences the entire manifestation as unified and carrying out the intention of the creation, there can come about a status in which all is known, the one and the many, and the relativistic conclusions about “good and bad”, “happy and unhappy”, “darkness and light” lose all meaning. Such a consciousness knows the unity while at the same time recognises the multiplicity in the play of forms.

Dr. Dalal notes: “The term ‘Supermind’ is apt to convey the sense of a super-eminent mind which is far above the ordinary mind. However Sri Aurobindo means by it a superconscient plane of being which is not only above the mind but also beyond mind and radically different from it. It is beyond and different not only in relation to the ordinary mind but also in comparison with the superconscient planes of mind, namely, Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuition and Overmind. For whereas all these superconscient planes of mind are blends of light and darkness, Knowledge-Ignorance, Supermind is the Truth-Consciousness, totally devoid of Ignorance.”

Sri Aurobindo writes: “The Supermind is in its very essence a truth-consciousness, a consciousness always free from the Ignorance which is the foundation of our present natural or evolutionary existence and from which nature in us is trying to arrive at self-knowledge and world-knowledge and a right consciousness and the right use of our existence in the universe. The Supermind, because it is a truth-consciousness, has this knowledge inherent in it and this power of true existence; its course is straight and can go direct to its aim, its field is wide and can even be made illimitable. This is because its very nature is knowledge: it has not to acquire knowledge but possesses it in its own right; its steps are not from nescience or ignorance into some imperfect light, but from truth to greater truth, from right perception to deeper perception, from intuition to intuition, from illumination to utter and boundless luminousness, from growing widenesses to the utter vasts and to very infinitude. On its summits it possesses the divine omniscience and omnipotence, but even in an evolutionary movement of its own graded self-manifestation by which it would eventually reveal its own highest heights it must be in its very nature essentially free from ignorance and error: it starts from truth and light and moves always in truth and light.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Introduction, Sri Aurobindo on Our Many Selves, Planes and Parts of the Being, pp. xxxi-xxxii

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 17 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.