By Kiara Windrider
Feb 1, 2015
The term ‘evolution’ is rapidly becoming a new buzzword in scientific as well as spiritual circles. But what does it really mean?
Is it merely a Darwininan phenomenon operating through accidental permutations of slow and gradual genetic mutations through natural selection? Is it a force within matter that blindly pushes life forward into a higher spiral of expression? Is there a field of intelligence beyond matter which is continually involuting into matter as matter simultaneously evolves towards this higher intelligence?
Are we even asking the right questions?
I believe that as long as we are approaching this question from a dualistic framework where mind, matter and consciousness are held separate from each other, any response to this question will be limited and unsatisfactory. We are conditioned to experience objects in nature, earth, universe, and everything ‘outside’ of ourselves as ‘separate’ from ourselves.
It is a perception of reality that we don’t question. It is simply the way things are. Matter is the foundation of life and has a reality of its own, derived somehow from the Big Bang of original creation. From this Matter-ialist perspective, where all objects and organisms have a life and reality that is fixed, dense and separate from the rest of creation, Mind slowly evolved within Matter during a long course of biological mutations, and Consciousness slowly evolved within Mind. And now somehow we have achieved a pinnacle of evolution where humans can reflect upon the nature of consciousness as masters of creation, imagining that we hold the power to direct the next stage of our own evolution.
But is this perception of reality accurate? What if we reversed this equation? What if Consciousness is primary in the field of Existence? What if Mind derives from Consciousness, and Matter derives from Mind?
Copernicus created a revolution in human thought when he theorized that it was the earth that circled around the sun and not the other way around. Could we be on the verge of a similar revolution in human consciousness as we assimilate the implications of such a radical change of perspective?
This perspective is not new. Mystics and sages across the ages in many parts of the world have understood this profound secret, known by the Vedic seers as advaita, or non-duality. Matter and consciousness are not separate. Me and you are not separate. There is only one fundamental reality in all of existence. It is only a lens of the mind that creates the illusion of separation.
This was not merely seen as a spiritual truth, but was a practical understanding which influenced the arts, sciences and technologies of many ancient civilizations in previous cycles of time. Today it seems that our scientists are leading the way back. Quantum physics has succeeded in deconstructing the illusion of matter. Many physicists today are becoming convinced that there are no fundamental building blocks of matter, that matter and energy both find their origins in a subquantum kinetic vacuum that goes beyond our current understandings of time space and creation itself. The properties of this kinetic vacuum are the same properties that the early Indian sages attributed to the primal field that exists beyond time space and creation, the field of Consciousness that holds all things as potential within Itself, known to the sages as Sat-Chit-Ananda.
This primal universal field, reflecting within and beyond all things, is that from which all things derive their existence. Like a deep ocean creating ripples and waves upon its own surface, it manifests itself as ripples of matter and energy that are constantly appearing and disappearing in a cosmic dance of creation and dissolution. The physical universe emerges from within this dance like a string of pearls where it is said that each pearl reflects every other pearl, contains every other pearl, and is every other pearl.
The medium through which this dance of creation takes place is the Mind, sometimes known as Ishwara or Maya, of which the human mind is but a fractional and holographic reflection.
So we have here the vast ocean of Consciousness, of which the visible known universe is a tiny fraction; we have ripples of Matter along the surface of this ocean, manifesting as endless constellations of stars, galaxies, atoms and organisms; and we have the lens of Mind which allows us to observe this distinction and participate within this grand illusion of creation as if it were real in itself.
As we observed earlier, the nature of Mind as it currently functions within the human organism is inherently dualistic, but nevertheless extremely powerful. Within this dualistic perception we have conditioned ourselves to believe that our existence as separate individuals is real in itself, that evolution shapes itself through blind chance, and that all of history is attached to a linear timeline. As we believe, so it is. The power of rational mind has created a matrix of reality that we believe to be real, and which now pervades the entire fabric of human history.
As we continue to act out our belief in separate existence, we have come close to annihilating ourselves and our planetary ecosystem in the dark dance of greed, insecurity and fear that inevitably result from this mindset. If this quality of Mind were the only tool we had to perceive and create external reality we are surely lost as a planetary culture. Whether we go out in a blaze of nuclear glory or a whimper of chemical asphyxiation is not important. Evolution has reached a point of stalemate where we cannot turn the clock back, yet remain unable to solve our mushrooming problems as we move ahead.
But what if there is a new evolution that can now begin to express itself based on an entirely different quality of Mind? If we go back to the model of reality where Consciousness is primary and Material Reality is created as the product of the Mind, would our experience of reality change according to what quality of Mind we are capable of manifesting?
As experienced in his own states of yogic contemplation the great Indian seer Sri Aurobindo speaks of a next level of mind that we are capable of harnessing now. He referred to this as the Supramental Mind. While our current quality of Mind provides a lens for Infinite Consciousness to experience itself in Matter in dualistic terms, the Supramental Mind allows Infinite Consciousness to experience itself within Matter while maintaining the awareness of primal unity.
As long as we are bound to the conditioning of the rational mind we will continue to experience ourselves as trapped within the collective matrix of duality. We are victims in a long chain of cause and effect, and too weak and powerless to extricate ourselves from it. We are insignificant pawns in a game where the laws of competition and survival of the fittest override the codes of co-operation, compassion, integrity and sovereignty.
However, as we open to the evolutionary possibilities of the supramental mind, this changes quickly and dramatically. We experience ourselves as infinite, powerful and creative beings lovingly creating a new earthly paradise based on the principles of harmony and beauty. I am not separate from my neighbour and therefore am no longer subject to the need to fear, betray or control anybody else. Just like each cell in the body works for the benefit of the whole, I find my unique gift and express it to support the whole while being equally supported by the whole.
What this means on the human level is that we are not blinded anymore by the illusion of separateness and duality that veils us from the essential unity underlying all life and all things. We discover that our highest good is also the highest good of the planet; we find that earth is home for all of life, and that we cannot misuse her resources to benefit just a few. We realize that our highest joy is to serve all life to the best of our ability, and that who we are is not simply an outer physical shell but the infinitely beautiful stream of all existence flowing through our open hearts, minds and bodies.
In other words, we discover that the Self in its role as creator becomes visible within bodies of creation. Sparks of divinity incarnate within the body as matter awakens to subtle realms of uncreated light. Subtle senses open within expanded perceptions of reality, breaking our hypnotic conditioning of a fixed reality ‘out there’, and flowing through multiple dimensions of time, space and existence.
As the supramental mind replaces our current dualistic mind, all evolution becomes a conscious dance of expression. A new species of humans serve their function as the nervous system of a much larger organism that we might call Gaia, a biological collective that includes all life on earth and even far beyond.
Within this biological collective, creative manifestation and joyful expression takes place in a constant act of new creation. The human species, whom Sri Aurobindo referred to as wide browed creators of eternity, take their place within the web of all creation as sun-eyed caretakers and architects of a new and marvellous dawn.
As we perceive, so it is. The act of changing our perceptions of reality changes reality itself, since reality is not independent from the one perceiving it. This is especially true when we are talking about the supramental quality of mind. Since the supramental force is birthed from the same space where the dance of creation happens, new realities can instantaneously be projected out through the lens of supramental vision.
This shift from rational mind to supramental mind is an evolutionary choice. Sri Aurobindo believed that it has already been made in wider fields of existence, and is rapidly being manifested within the field of matter. We can choose to be active pioneers in the embodiment of this new mind. It is not an external task, however, but needs to be accomplished within our own bodies, trusting and following the impulse striving to birth itself deep within the cellular mind.
‘Tat twam asi’, said the ancient vedic seers. ‘That I Am’. This is the realization sometimes referred to as enlightenment, the awareness that there is a single consciousness pervading all things, and this consciousness is not separate from what I am. The rational mind cannot be expected to understand this. The supramental understands nothing but this.
And from this arises the foundation for a new earth.