Each successive plane of consciousness has a native action in its own domain and then, as it enters the material plane, it has to modify its action to conform to the limitations of the other principles. Thus, the native action of the vital plane is freer and more fluid and powerful than when the vital force manifests in the physical. Similarly, the native action of the mind is much more powerful when not limited by the instruments and incapacities or specific impulsions of the physical and vital nature as manifested here.

Mind is not the final term of the evolution, and thus, we recognise that there are both higher planes of consciousness that are more powerful in their native action and which, at the same time, modify their action as they come into play in the physical existence.

The Taittiriya Upanishad provides insight to the successive levels of consciousness and their increasingly more powerful influence and action in Chapter 3. beyond the level of Mind, there is the “Knowledge” plane or level, which, in modern terminology, we would call the supramental (literally, ‘superior to the mental’) level, or the ‘causal plane’. This level is charged with implementing the divine intention in its pure and latent status as Sat-Chit-Ananda into actual realisation in the external manifestation. It necessarily has the complete view of the divine intention as well as the knowledge and powers of action needed to implement this view and keep each element in its right place and right action.

As we see with each of the preceding principles, the Supermind could not evolve if it were not already involved in Matter. The encoded dataset for the supramental manifestation is therefore already deeply embedded in Matter. The action at the purely material level turns out to form elaborate, complex and harmonious patterns in the arrangement of atoms, molecules, elements, energetic relations and actions, mathematical precision of development and a detailed inter-relationship that creates symbiotic and inter-dependent parts to the entirety of the creation. When we observe the subatomic actions, the galactic and universal movements, and the emergence of biological entities that depend on one another, we can see the secret action of this higher organising and manifesting force that goes far beyond what the mind can either envision or create.

As the supramental force takes up a more overt and direct action through the evolutionary process, we could see the clarification of the conflicting mental ideas into a whole that is harminious and balanced; the removal of confused or obfuscating perceptions, the understanding of the oneness of the entire creation, and the insertion of a new force of balance and harmony into the creation, with a shift of standpoint to the divine standpoint as opposed to the individual egoistic standpoint from which we tend to act at the physical, vital and mental levels of manifestation.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “The Supermind is veiled here and does not work according to its characteristic law of being and self-knowledge, but without it nothing could reach its aim. A world governed by an ignorant mind would soon drift into a chaos; it could not in fact come into existence or remain in existence unless supported by the secret Omniscience of which it is the cover; a world governed by a blind inconscient force might repeat constantly the same mechanical workings but it would mean nothing and arrive nowhere. This could not be the cause of an evolution that creates life out of Matter, out of life mind, and a gradation of planes of Matter, Life and Mind culminating in the emergence of Supermind. The secret truth that emerges in Supermind has been there all the time, but now it manifests itself and the truth in things and the meaning of our existence.”

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

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 located at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky
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 https://www.youtube.com/@santoshkrinsky871
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at www.aurobindo.net
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press www.lotuspress.com