The Beneficial Power of Exclusive Concentration in Human Endeavors

While we may recognize the limitation caused by exclusive concentration when it artificially segregates the surface being from the true inner, and universal being of which it is a part, it is also important to recognize that the power of exclusive concentration likely developed in order to provide certain leverage or benefits to the outer life. Sri Aurobindo explores next the positive uses of this power of exclusive concentration:

“The superficial man living from moment to moment plays, as it were, several parts in his present life and, while he is busy with each part, he is capable of an exclusive concentration, an absorption in it, by which he forgets the rest of himself, puts it behind him for the moment, is to that extent self-oblivious. The man is for the moment the actor, the poet, the solider or whatever else he may have been constituted and formed into by some peculiar and characteristic action of his force of being, his Tapas, his past conscious energy and by the action which develops from it. Not only is he apt to deliver himself up to this exclusive concentration in a part of himself for the time being, but his success in the action very largely depends on the completeness with which he can thus put aside the rest of himself and live only in his immediate work.”

There is of course a difference from the more essential division we have been discussing heretofore, in that this focused effort of the surface being remains capable of rejoining its more complete awareness, and is of course informed and supported by the entire inner being, character and motives, formed not only in the past of this life, but taking on the characteristics of the being as developed over multiple lifetimes as well as the influence of the society, its organisation, and the future toward which all is pointing. Thus, the exclusive concentration is not absolute, or essential, but partial and for a specific purpose. And in this instance, it provides benefits that are a direct result of the power of that exclusive concentration.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 13, Exclusive concentration of Consciousness-Force and the Ignorance

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