But the Supermind works otherwise. The tree and its process would not be what they are, could not indeed exist, if it were a separate existence; forms are what they are by the force of the cosmic existence, they develop as they do as a result of their relation to it and to all its other manifestations. The separate law of their nature is only an application of the universal law and truth of all Nature; their particular development is determined by their place in the general development. The tree does not explain the seed, nor the seed the tree; cosmos explains both and God explains cosmos.
In the previous paragraph Sri Aurobindo explained how mind divides and analyses the processes separated from the secret conscious force which is behind the process. In this paragraph he explains how Supermind works in contrast to the mind.
The Supermind sees the force of cosmic existence behind forms. The forms exist by that only. The tree and its process could not exist if they were a separate existence. The forms and their manifestations develop as a result of their relation to the force of cosmic existence.
The separate law of nature, say, a seed developing into a tree of particular form, is only an application of universal law and truth of all Nature. How a particular development of a form should happen is determined by their place in general development.
The tree does not explain how the seed germinates and develops into a tree. Nor does a seed explain how a tree with its particular form develops. The cosmos explains both. It is not the seed that produces the tree, it is the whole cosmos which produces both the seed and the tree. God explains the cosmos.
The Supermind takes both the tree and the seed and explains them in the background of the cosmos. There is a law in the cosmos and according to the law, the seed which contains the tree in its bosom releases itself; that is because of the law and that law is of the cosmos.
The Supermind, pervading and inhabiting at once the seed and the tree and all objects, lives in this greater knowledge which is indivisible and one though with a modified and not an absolute indivisibility and unity. In this comprehensive knowledge there is no independent centre of existence, no individual separated ego such as we see in ourselves; the whole of existence is to its self-awareness an equable extension, one in oneness, one in multiplicity, one in all conditions and everywhere. Here the All and the One are the same existence; the individual being does not and cannot lose the consciousness of its identity with all beings and with the One Being; for that identity is inherent in supramental cognition, a part of the supramental self-evidence.
It is the Supermind that at once contains and is present in the seed, the tree and all objects. It lives in a greater knowledge, i.e., the knowledge of Oneness which is indivisible. It is not an absolute indivisibility and unity but a modified indivisibility.
The Supermind is comprehensive in knowledge, i.e., it is all inclusive. In this all-embracing knowledge there is no independent centre of existence; there is no individual separated ego such as we see in ourselves. To the Supermind, the whole of existence appears to its self-awareness, as a stable extension. Oneness is the underlying truth. All and the One are the same existence.
In this condition of oneness, the individual being does not and cannot lose the consciousness of its identity with all beings, also with the One Being (Sachchidananda). This identity with all and with the One is inherent in supramental knowledge and its very character.
In that spacious equality of oneness the Being is not divided and distributed; equably self-extended, pervading its extension as One, inhabiting as One the multiplicity of forms, it is everywhere at once the single and equal Brahman. For this extension of the Being in Time and Space and this pervasion and indwelling is in intimate relation with the absolute Unity from which it has proceeded, with that absolute Indivisible in which there is no centre or circumference but only the timeless and spaceless One.
In that Oneness which is the fundamental nature of Supermind, the Being is not divided and distributed. It is evenly self-extended. It is present in everything, in multiplicity as One. Brahman is equal and the One which is at once everywhere.
In Supermind, Being is extended in Time and Space. It is present everywhere (all-pervading) and is present within(indwelling) everything. Yet, at the same time, it is in intimate relation with the absolute unity from which it has proceeded. It is in relation with the absolute indivisible which is the timeless and spaceless One, having no centre or circumference.
That high concentration of unity in the unextended Brahman must necessarily translate itself in the extension by this equal pervasive concentration, this indivisible comprehension of all things, this universal undistributed immanence, this unity which no play of multiplicity can abrogate or diminish. “Brahman is in all things, all things are in Brahman, all things are Brahman” is the triple formula of the comprehensive Supermind, a single truth of self-manifestation in three aspects which it holds together and inseparably in its self-view as the fundamental knowledge from which it proceeds to the play of the cosmos.
Here, Sri Aurobindo mentions two statuses of Brahman. One, the unextended Brahman in high concentration of unity. The other is the extension of Brahman in equal concentration spread out in multiplicity. This unextended state must necessarily become in extended state an equal pervasive (spread in all) concentration. It is an indivisible comprehension of all things. There is unity in this extension in multiplicity. No play of multiplicity can diminish this unity.
The triple formula of the comprehensive Supermind is, “Brahman is in all things, all things are in Brahman, all things are Brahman”. These three aspects, it holds together as a single truth of self-manifestation. This is held by the Supermind as the fundamental knowledge from which it proceeds in the cosmic play.
But what then is the origin of mentality and the organisation of this lower consciousness in the triple terms of Mind, Life and Matter which is our view of the universe? For since all things that exist must proceed from the action of the all efficient Supermind, from its operation in the three original terms of Existence, Conscious-Force and Bliss, there must be some faculty of the creative Truth-Consciousness which so operates as to cast them into these new terms, into this inferior trio of mentality, vitality and physical substance.
We live in this lower triple consciousness of Mind, Life and Matter. Our view of this universe is based only on these three terms. What is the origin of mentality and the organisation of this lower consciousness?
We know that all things proceed from the action of all efficient Supermind. Everything proceeds from its operation in the three original terms of Existence, Conscious-Force and Bliss. Then, there must be some power of the creative Truth-Consciousness which makes the higher of terms of Existence, Conscious-Force and Bliss to appear in these lower terms of Mind, Life and Matter.
This faculty we find in a secondary power of the creative knowledge, its power of a projecting, confronting and apprehending consciousness in which knowledge centralises itself and stands back from its works to observe them. And when we speak of centralisation, we mean, as distinguished from the equable concentration of consciousness of which we have hitherto spoken, an unequal concentration in which there is the beginning of self-division— or of its phenomenal appearance.
There is a secondary power in Truth-Consciousness. It is the power of its creative knowledge – its power of a projecting, confronting and apprehending consciousness. In this apprehending consciousness the knowledge locates itself in a centre and stands back from its works to observe them.
(That is the power of apprehending consciousness, it is a centralisation of consciousness, not a wide extension but a gathering and focussing of consciousness looing to only what is in the front and not what is elsewhere. This is the parent of a movement which ultimately ends in the mind which can never understand things except in fragments, in pieces. The mind can only understand in part, assemble the parts together and build a knowledge of the whole. But whole as a whole it cannot understand – Shri M.P.Pandit, Talks on the Life Divine, p.99).
In the previous paragraph we have seen that in Supermind the consciousness is evenly concentrated and equally distributed in all things. In contrast to that, here in this lower triple consciousness, there is an unequal concentration. It is the beginning of self-division or of its appearance in this phenomenal world.
(In the first level, the comprehending consciousness, the knower, the known and the knowledge are one and indivisible. In the second level or the apprehending consciousness, there is a concentration and the knower sees the known as an object, as something ‘outside of himself’.
We may take an example. We may see a garden and say it is beautiful. If we are asked, which part of it was beautiful, we may not know. Because we had a general view only. We may look again and say, the red flower is especially beautiful. We focussed on one object, the red flower. While looking at the red flower the other things go out of our view. This is the centralising and focussing of the consciousness. This is the second level where the knower, the known and the knowledge become separated. – Ananda Reddy, Deliberations on The Life Divine, Vol 3, p. 78)