Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation - Track 805

Inconscience, Subconscious and Supramental Consciousness

Question:  Stage of inconscience?

Inconscience, not unconscious but inconscience.

Question:  Different from subconscious?

It is below subconscious. Subconscious is a little higher than the inconscient. Inconscience is a complete darkness, as the Veda speaks, tato ratri jayata, tataba samudro arnavaba. The description of this is given in a very symbolic form – it says satyam charitam chabhidat tapasodhya jayataba, in the beginning there was only truth and light, that was the original state. Then it says: tato ratri jayata, then arose the night, night means ignorance because in the night there are stars and moon; so there is partial light still. Tataha samudro arnavaba means: then arose the ocean which is an image of complete inconscience, complete darkness. Out of ignorance arose complete inconscience. This is the process by which the Vedic seers knew how this ignorance came about and then how the complete inconscience came about. But as I said if you read the Veda by itself it is so symbolic that you may not be able to discover what I explained just now. You may not know the meaning of ratri, the meaning of samudra but if you read the Veda in totality you will find out that ratri stands for ignorance and samudra stands for inconscience and sindhu stands for the superconscience.  These are very technical terms which only when read repeatedly can the keywords and their meanings be found. If you do not know, then for you simply sindhu may mean a river and samudra may mean any ocean. But these are the symbolic words in the Veda which are not understood and therefore we are not able to understand the Vedic message. lf you understand this, then it describes how gradually ignorance arose and then how inconscience arose.

So once that condition was fulfilled, now the reverse process has to start because our aim was to uncover, to discover something that is hidden. The totality which is now hidden completely has to be uncovered. In reversing this process, this individual self who had gone to sleep as a result of which all this has happened now decides to awaken. There is a double movement: there is a an individual self deciding to go to sleep and the play being left to itself and then that play ignoring all the rest, this double process produces all these consequences. In the reverse process therefore this individual self or centration of the divine now decides to awaken this sleeping was deliberate and now it decides to awaken.  This awakening can be very quick, sudden, and as soon as it becomes awake completely this darkness can disappear, that is one possibility. But then that kind of delight which has to be sought which comes by gradual uncovering, that kind of delight would not come. The law of development here is a slow growth. This is the law you might say because of the decision taken by the individual self or by the Divine himself that this is a special kind of development which has to take place. It has to be a slow growth. For the slow growth only a small ray of light has to be thrown by the individual self into the inconscience. If all the light is thrown on the inconscience immediately then there will be immediate light, there will be no problem at all, but then this play will not be played. Therefore first a small light is thrown.

 This small light is called Samvatsara, in the Vedas. It says that from samudra came the Samvatsara. Now Samvatsara normally means the year, therefore this is also a technical term and we do not understand what it means really, but the word Samvatsara had a kind of association in the Vedic terminology with fire, Agni.  This individual self which had gone to sleep sends a ray of light in the form of Agni. Agni has a special kind of quality: it can be luminous even in the darkness as distinguished from the sun. When the sun manifests, darkness vanishes altogether but when Agni manifests, all around there can still be darkness and only a little thing is lighted up and therefore it is a very fit instrument for bringing about a slow development, slow growth of light. Therefore this special kind of energy was sent by the individual self. This Samvatsara, this light, this fire begins to burn in the inconscience and this fire is multiple. There are so many multiple centres because each individual has sent, as it were, a spark into the inconscient. Each spark takes charge of a small portion of inconscient and works on it and gradually tries to awaken it. That which was absorbed in the play, which was ignoring all the rest, now this fire slowly puts pressure upon it and makes it aware of all the rest which is there all around. It is a huge affair because to make the inconscient completely aware is a long process and a deliberately long process.

 A special kind of relationship is built up between the soul and the inconscient. The fire, Agni is also called the soul or the psychic entity or Samvatsara. That individual of which we spoke in the beginning is called in Sanskrit, Jivatman, or the individual self. This individual soul or the individual fire which has emerged out of the Jivatman is in technical terms called the psychic entity. A certain law is established that while the soul will go on pressurizing the inconscient, it will wait for its full emergence, i.e. when the inconscient has risen to such a point that it wants to open up fully, on its own, only when there is a kind of an urge that this is a play and having played it fully it wants to return from the play and become aware of all the rest. On the one hand the soul awakens the inconscient and the inconscient also wants to become awakened. When the two things will meet fully in a junction, then only the real manifestation will really be achieved.

But this is a long process. Here I spoke only in a few words but it takes a long process of development. It takes millions and millions of years of development. Out of the inconscient first matter is produced, then life is produced, and then mind is produced and each one of us is at this point. Each one of us has a body which consists of matter, each one has a life – our vital, and each one of us has got mental capacity, so you might say that this psychic entity has been able to lead the whole process to such a point as we are now.

 Having reached this point three important experiences occur. Each one of us feels a pressure to grow from unconsciousness towards knowledge, whether we like it or not. A pressure to grow from unconsciousness to greater knowledge is inherent in each one of us. Secondly, we all have the three elements of body, life and mind and we have to experience the pressure of the conflict between them and we do not know how to really reconcile all the three elements. And third is a pressure that there is still something else because of the psychic entity which is constantly pressurising our body, mind and life. Our body, life and mind are feeling the pressure of something but from where it comes they are not aware. But actually it is the pressure of the psychic entity which wants to give the light, which wants to pressurise, to awaken, but does not pressurise to such an extent that the game would be up within a short time and the gradual development would not take place. The law of development being a gradual development, the psychic entity allows the body, life and mind to grow gradually. It does not impose itself; it remains screened very much behind body, life and mind. But this pressure that there is something else is a pressure of bondage, we feel we are bound, bound to the body, life and mind and the circumstances in which we are and there is a feeling that "I should be something different" because really we are different. We have already experienced that Supramental consciousness, we are as it is said, amritasyaputraha. We are all children of immortality already. Because of the memory which is still there, we want to go back to it and that is why we feel the bondage. We are not comfortable with where we are there is a pressure that there is something else. What that is, we do not know.