The Spiritual Evolution:
Part 1 The Infinite Consciousness and the Ignorance
Part 2 The Knowledge and the Spiritual Evolution
Sri Aurobindo's principal philosophic work, a theory of spiritual evolution culminating in the transformation of man from a mental into a supramental being and the advent of a divine life upon earth.
"In my explanation of the universe I have put forward this cardinal fact of spiritual evolution as the meaning of our existence here", Sri Aurobindo wrote to a disciple. "Behind the appearances of the universe", he explained, "there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal... This One Being and Consciousness is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the method by which it liberates itself".
Evolution is possible, Sri Aurobindo argued, only because the Divine Reality has "involved" or "hidden himself" in the material universe. Involved in the world, the Divine, through His creative energy, gradually emerges in ever more conscious forms. Of this evolutionary process, Sri Aurobindo writes: "Consciousness appears in what seems to be the inconscient, and once having appeared is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second, but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Supermind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection".
Man, the highest conscious form of life upon earth, is a key to this perfection; a "transitional being" he is destined to exceed his limitations as a mental being and become a supramental being. This change can be brought about through a methodised effort towards self-perfection in which the individual seeks to enter into contact and union (yoga) with the Divine through aspiration and self-surrender, opens himself to the Divine Consciousness and Force which descend into him and gradually transform his mind, life and body. This integral transformation, said Sri Aurobindo, will lead to such a perfection of terrestrial existence that it might well be called a divine life on earth.