Understanding the Vital Energy and Its Springs of Action

In his exploration of the vital drive of self-affirmation, Sri Aurobindo has pointed to this drive as a potent potential source of error, falsehood and evil, because the vital ego does not have as its focus or goal the achievement of truth, but the aggrandisement of its self and its energies. This does not imply that all its actions must be false, however. “It does not follow that this is all that the vital personality is in its native composition or that evil is its very nature. It is not primarily concerned with truth and good, but it can have the passion for truth and good as it has, more spontaneously, the passion for joy and beauty. In all that is developed by the life-force there is developed at the same time a secret delight somewhere in the being, a delight in good and a delight in evil, a delight in truth and a delight in falsehood, a delight in life and an attraction to death, a delight in pleasure and a delight in pain, in one’s own suffering and the suffering of others, but also in one’s own joy and happiness and good and the joy and happiness and good of others. For the force of life-affirmation affirms alike the good and the evil: it has its impulses of help and association, of generosity, affection, loyalty, self-giving; it takes up altruism as it takes up egoism, sacrifices itself as well as destroys others; and in all its acts there is the same passion for life-affirmation, the same force of action and fulfilment.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 14, The Origin and Remedy of Falsehood, Error, Wrong and Evil

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