By Kiara Windrider
February 22, 2016
Sri Aurobindo speaks about three kinds of transformation: psychic, spiritual and supramental. Psychic transformation has to do with gaining an acquaintance with what he calls the ‘psychic being’, the inner spark of intelligence we each carry within our deep heart that guides our way through life. As we begin to listen to this voice within the heart we slowly get weaned away from the uncontrollable fire of our passions and enter into the silence of our inner being. It reflects as a presence that shines through our eyes, creating a space of strength and stillness within the storms of life.
As we advance in the task of psychic transformation we then enter the path of spiritual transformation. We recognize that within the stillness of the heart rests an entire universe, and that this universe is not distinct from all that exists in the vast oceans of time and space. The personal self and the universal self merge into one distinct identity in our journey of self-realization.
For most people on the spiritual path this is the ultimate goal of consciousness. However, Sri Aurobindo refers to something beyond, a third path of transformation that can only begin once we are firmly rooted in these first two stages of awareness. This is not a journey up but a journey down, not into light but into darkness. It refers to a path of self perfection that includes the physical body and the material planes. It involves reaching deep into the physical mind, or the mind of the cells, and transforming this. It requires going deep into the Inconscient, into the densest layers of our personal and collective illusions, and illuminating them.
This illusion, or maya as the hindus refer to it, is hard-wired into our DNA. It is the lens through which we perceive the world around us, and through which we create the illusion of material time and space. Another term we could use for this collective illusion, used by Morpheus in that well known cult movie, is the matrix. The matrix is all around us and we do not see it. It is the program hardwired so deeply into our sensory perceptions and physical structures that we literally create our own version of the universe in space and time.
It is a universe with certain built in limits that we take for granted. It is brought into existence through the sensory perceptions of the rational mind. It is driven by the laws of entropy which means that our bodies are subject to decay and death. It is framed in linear time which means that our existence is driven by memories and programs from the past, or fears and expectations of the future, coded deep into our DNA from our collective as well as personal history. Laws of cause and effect drive this universe, ensuring that we are trapped in a web of karmic law and limited capacity for change. This universe is experienced through the eyes of duality, and therefore reflects this back to our senses as something that exists outside of ourselves. We exist as a speck within this universe rather than the other way around.
The supramental world has a completely different starting point. It is brought into existence through the perceptions of a unified mind, which experiences itself as the One Self that embraces all things, simultaneously within all things and beyond all things. The laws of quantum physics apply to this realm of creation. We are not embedded in time and space, rather time and space are an extension of our creative consciousness, which unfolds as universal energy dancing in fields of matter. The entire created universe exists as a speck within the all pervading consciousness that I know myself to be.
The supramental transformation is about bringing this unified awareness into the structures of conditioned human consciousness. The same physical mind that is trapped in the conditioning of the past, once transformed, can act as a powerful stabilizing influence for the supramental field to permeate deeply into the structures of matter.
We do not age and die because we exist in bodies of matter. We age and die because our bodies are conditioned by an invisible field of limitations centered around an over-riding belief in duality. This belief in duality becomes the matrix that then shapes our existence from that point onwards, miring us in the quicksands of entropy, karma, and fragmented existence.
What if we are willing to challenge this state of things. Einstein equated matter with energy. Mystics equate energy with consciousness. Once we truly understand this we will identify ourselves not as personalities built into matter but as consciousness capable of entering the heart of matter to create infinite possibilities within the evolving universe, which is simply a holographic extension of who we are.
How do we accomplish this supramental descent? As mentioned earlier the first step is to recognize that our spiritual journey is not about leaving the body but entering it fully. It is about going into the collective programming that drives our existence and dismantling this, step by gradual step. I do not think this journey can be accomplished through the mind, although the mind can be useful in terms of understanding the big picture and holding an intent for making this transformation.
What I do believe can help is a shamanic understanding of the universe. In the Inka tradition of South America it was believed that there is only one field of energy that permeates the universe and is the universe. This energy is in a state of constant reciprocal flow, which they referred to as ‘ayni’. The unobstructed flow of this energy is known as ‘sami’; when it is blocked it is known as ‘hucha’. They believed that humans are the only beings on this planet capable of blocking this flow of energy and thereby creating hucha. This creation of hucha eventually leads to the perception of duality, which has shaped and conditioned our world for the past many thousand years.
The Inkas teach a series of simple practices for releasing hucha and re-establishing the flow of sami. When sami flows freely through our energy systems we are reconnected with the upper worlds and the lower worlds and can once again find a harmonious place within the flow of the universe.
In the Inka teachings the upper worlds are linked with higher levels of the mind, including what Sri Aurobindo refers to as the illumined mind, intuitive mind, and supermind. The middle world is our view of the universe created by the rational mind. The lower world includes the world of the physical mind, and the deep patterns of conditioning that drive our instincts and passions. These patterns are hard wired into our genes, and shape the long journey of psychic and spiritual evolution. As long as we remain unconscious this physical mind becomes the genetic matrix which keeps us trapped in the dense quicksands of maya, the seemingly endless cycles of karma, density, separation and fear.
However, it is possible to transform this same physical mind so that it becomes a powerful ally for stabilizing and channelling the supramental forces pouring down from the upper worlds. The Inka practices can assist in this work. But it requires a deep focus and strong intention. It requires a willingness to go deep into the darkness of the inconscient, and an innate trust in the psychic being who is guiding us on this journey. It requires a knowledge that the inconscient itself is simply a densified aspect of the same consciousness that pervades all things, and where we find our ultimate identity. If we go into darkness we must know ourselves as the light. Knowing this it simply becomes a journey deeper into the heart of our own hidden self.
And since the same Self moves through the heart of all things, whenever we illuminate the perceived density of matter in one small aspect of the collective we illuminate and holographically transform the whole. We participate in the evolutionary journey of Gaia herself.
This was the journey undertaken by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The Mother proclaimed on February 29, 1956, that the supramental field was finally able to penetrate into this realm of density, through her own body and into the body of the earth. The supramental transformation had begun. Sixty years later, this work continues to deepen within the structures of evolving humanity. What does it look like now, and where do we take it from here?