Matter, prepared and encoded with the dataset required to bring forth Life, does not spontaneously, on its own express the life-form for which it is encoded. The seed, or the egg, remains potential, latent, until it is acted upon by a force external to it. In the case of the seed of a plant, the sun’s force combined with the action of moisture, leads to the sprouting of the seed. In the case of an animal’s egg, we find that a heat source is needed to warm the egg until it is ready to hatch. For mammals, a complex mixture of warmth and nourishment is provided to the embryo as it grows within the mother’s womb.

The external force that is required to bring about the manifestation of the life-energy in a material form provides us a clear sign of the interaction that takes place to lead to the manifestation of Life, and Mind, and eventually further aspects of consciousness involved in Matter, through the pressure and occult action of those higher planes on the material plane.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “Our development takes place very largely by their [higher planes] superior but hidden action upon the earth-plane. All is contained in the inconscient or the subconscient, but in potentiality; it is the action from above that helps to compel an emergence. A continuance of that action is necessary to shape and determine the progression of the mental and vital forms which our evolution takes in material nature; for these progressive movements cannot find their full momentum or sufficiently develop their implications against the resistance of an inconscient or inert and ignorant material Nature except by a constant though occult resort to higher supraphysical forces of their own character. This resort, the action of this veiled alliance, takes place principally in our subliminal being and not on the surface: it is from there that the active power of our consciousness emerges, and all that it realises it sends back constantly into the subliminal being to be stored up, developed and re-emerge in stronger forms hereafter. This interaction of our larger hidden being and our surface personality is the main secret of the rapid development that operates in man once he has passed beyond the lower stages of Mind immersed in Matter.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch.6 Hidden Worlds and Evolutionary Forces, pp.148-149

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast located at
He is author of 20 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.
Video presentations, interviews and podcast episodes are all available on the YouTube Channel
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press