As we begin to experience realms of awareness other than that of our current primary body-life-mind complex, we can begin to appreciate that there are further, higher states of conscious awareness that can be experienced, and which have powers of insight, and ways of working that are far different than the normal processing of linear thought that represents our mental consciousness. We tend, in our current mental standpoint, to process things in a step-by-step manner with very narrow framing around whatever we are trying to understand. We want to move from “point A to point B” in a straightforward and logical fashion. There are tremendous advantages to this approach for accomplishment of specific tasks in the external world, as well as for deconstructing and appreciating the elements involved in any specific form or event. There are however also serious limitations.

The limitations revolve around a concept which artificially separates things into distinct event channels and thus, does not take into account nor appreciate the complete relationship and interaction that takes place. We thus gain a very detailed, but narrowed, view of our existence, its significance and our lines of action.

Sri Aurobindo describes the process of involution and evolution of consciousness to put a context on the emergence of the next term in this process, which he calls, simply, ‘supermind’ as it is the level ‘beyond’ the mental level. As with each preceding term of the manifestation of levels of consciousness, it must be ‘involved’ in Matter in order to be able to ‘evolve’ out of Matter; and to the extent that it manifests here within the framework of Nature, it will have its native action modified by the limitations of the earlier terms through which it works, until it can be fully manifested and thereby change the substance of the body, life and mind to conform to its native powers of action.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “Supermind is the grade of existence beyond mind, life and Matter and, as mind, life and Matter have manifested on the earth, so too must Supermind in the inevitable course of things manifest in this world of Matter. In fact, a supermind is already here but it is involved, concealed behind this manifest mind, life and Matter and not yet acting overtly or in its own power: if it acts, it is through these inferior powers and modified by their characters and so not yet recognisable. It is only by the approach and arrival of the descending Supermind that it can be liberated upon earth and reveal itself in the action of our material, vital and mental parts so that these lower powers can become portions of a total divinised activity of our whole being: it is that that will bring to us a completely realised divinity or the divine life. It is indeed so that life and mind involved in Matter have realised themselves here; for only what is involved can evolve, otherwise there could be no emergence.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch.6 Hidden Worlds and Evolutionary Forces, pp.149-150

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